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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Why we‘re in court, by Ondo ACN

Crude theft: Shell shuts in 25,000 barrels NEWS

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NEWS Page 7

•Total to sell $2.4b Nigerian assets

•Action ‘to strengthen democracy’

VOL. 7, NO. 2307 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012



Lam Adesina dies at 73 President, Mark, Tambuwal, Tinubu, governors mourn ex-Oyo Governor

•Ajimobi (fourth left), Amosun (fifth left), Tinubu (centre), Fashola (behind Tinubu) Arisekola-Alao (second right) and Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, Special Adviser, Political (right) at the prayer …yesterday


CHAPTER closed in Oyo State politics yesterday, with the death of former Governor Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina. He was 73. The remains of the late Adesina, popularly known as “Great Lam”, were buried at exactly 4:15p.m at his Felele Layout, Bodija, Ibadan. He was Oyo State governor between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Alli-

From Bisi Oladele and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

ance for Democracy (AD). He was a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic. A teacher, the late Adesina was a member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) – the anti-military dictatorship group that fought at home and abroad against the Gen. Sani Abacha regime to restore democratic


•Oyo declares seven-day mourning •The man Lam, his life, times & stuggles •What shape for Oyo politics after Lam? AND MORE ON PAGES 2-5,39&40

rule. The government of Oyo State announced his death in a statement by Dr. Festus Adedayo, Special Adviser (Media) to the governor. It said: “Governor Abiola

Ajimobi has, with profound regret but total submission to the will of the Almighty Allah, announced the passing of former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Onaola-

Continued on page 4

•The late Alhaji Adesina

How to end Boko Haram attacks, by ACF


HE North’s premier sociopolitical organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has listed ways out of the Boko Haram insurgency. Boko Haram (western education is a sin), whose attacks have

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

led to the death of thousands of people and paralysed economic activities in Borno and Yobe states, last month offered to talk with the government. As the government weighs the

option presented by the group to facilitate the talks, the ACF has raised a 10-point solution to the insurgency. The Forum demanded that all those arrested on suspicion of committing any offence relating

to security challenges in the region should be investigated and prosecuted “without undue delay”. It asked Federal and state governments that had raised comContinued on page 4





Jonathan, Mark, P

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second left); Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone RB 8, Ilorin, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Kehinde Adeleye (left); Deputy Corps Marshal, Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Adei Abu and Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi during a working visit to the Governor, in Ado-Ekiti... at the weekend

•Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke welcoming Secretary of State of Maryland,United States of America, Mr John Patrick McDonough and his Deputy, Rajan Natarajan, who led a 30-man delegation to Calabar in continuation of Sister State partnership between both the weekend

•Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo(left) and Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu when the minister visited the Governor in Gombe at the weekend

•The widower _ Prince Michael Tunde Ponnle (left); Chief Moses Inaolaji and his wife, during their condolence visit to the home of Prince Ponnle on the death of his wife, Olufunke Comfort at their Ogudu, PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM Lagos home...yesterday

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan led the tributes for the late Oyo State Governor Lam Adesina. The President expressed sadness over the death of the elder statesman. A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said: “On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and all Nigerians, President Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to Adesina’s family and the Government and people of Oyo State. The president joined the late Adesina’s family, relatives, friends, associates and all who knew him in mourning the renowned educationist and political leader. Jonathan noted that the former governor devoted his entire adult life to working for the progress of his people and the nation. He believed that the late Adesina’s indefatigability in political struggles as well as his honesty, integrity, sincere commitment and dedication to the service of his people before and during his tenure endeared him to all. “According to him, Adesina will be honoured and remembered by present and future generations as an exemplary leader who did his utmost best to improve the lives of his people. “The president prayed that God Almighty would receive Adesina’s soul and grant him eternal rest.” Senate President David Mark described the late Adesina as a progressive who stood on the side of the people at all times. Mark, in a condolence message to the government and people of Oyo State, noted that the former governor would be remembered for his passion, selfless service and love for the ordinary man. He said: “Death is a necessary end that must come when it shall. “We are, however, consoled that the late Adesina contributed positively to the development of the society during his life time and left an indelible footprint on the sands of time. “He left a legacy of service to the society, honesty and commitment to the ideals of nation hood.” The Senate President counselled today’s leaders to emulate the virtues of honesty, hard work and democratic ideals which the late Adesina represented. He noted that imbibing the late Adesina’s virtues is “the sure way to keep his legacies”. Tambuwal said the late Adesina’s death has created a very big vacuum, adding: “Lam has been a very patrotic and commited Nigerian, a nationalist, a man who lived an exemplary life, right from the time he was a columnist and when he became the Governor of Oyo State. It is indeed a national loss.” The Speaker is sad that he did not have the priviledge of meeting with him. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) described the death of Adesina as a devastating blow to the party in particular and a big loss to the nation in general. In a statement in Ibadan yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said with the demise of the former governor, Nigeria has lost an irrepressible voice of conscience.

By Our Reporters

‘’Lam Adesina has remained a constant fixture in the nation’s body polity for over three decades, either as a newspaper columnist, member of the House of Representatives, social and political critic, prisoner of conscience, state governor, or an elder statesman. ‘’Though deceptively meek, he was a political lion who was ferociously effective. A perfect validation of the saying that all politics is local, Lam Adesina never lost control or confidence of his people. Even during the locust years when the PDP captured the body of Oyo State politics, the soul of the people remained with the former Governor,’’ it said. The ACN said it was remarkable that even after he was rigged out of the state’s governorship, he remained in his Molete home in Ibadan, right in the midst of his people, instead of migrating to the GRA or other elitist areas of the city as many in his class would have done. ‘’From that modest abode, he influenced political discourse and direction in Nigeria. There is no better attestation to this than the fact that he never lost touch with the ordinary people during his rich and purposeful lifetime,’’ the party said. The party prayed that God will grant repose to the soul of the departed, and give his family the strength to bear their irreplaceable loss. Former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a tribute, said the late Adesina was an “astute progressive, a democratic warrior who never gave up in the face of intimidation, detention and manipulation”. “He led the democratic struggle against the military that led to the triumph of the people and the brightening of hope and opportunities for the mass of our people.” The AC N national leader described the late governor as an irrepressible fighter, one who faced heavy enemy fire at the worst of times during military rule. He was a courageous NADECO hero who with his leader, the late Chief Bola Ige, was paraded on the streets of Ibadan as prisoners of war” for having the temerity to oppose the late Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha. He praised Adesina for serving Oyo State to the best of his ability. “This is the exit of one of the titans of our time, a proven progressive of the Awoist stock”. Tinubu, who described the former governor as a forthright leader, said the late Adesina was a sincere and honest person in his relationship with others. “He was loyal to both friends and all those he had dealings with. Loyalty permeated his politics. He was a man fiercely committed to the welfare of his people and sought power only as an instrument of emancipation and not exploitation,” said Tinubu. To him, the late Adesina was a steady, consistent and progressive political leader of our time whose dedication to serving the people and commitment to ensuring that Nigeria’s democratic development is not truncated cannot be questioned. “He remains one of the most credible democrats that lived and we shall miss him. Though his party was robbed out of office, he remained a committed progressive and helped tutor others. Adesina exits gloriously after seeing his party back in power and the progressive ideas he fought and lived for back on the agenda. He will be missed.”




Tambuwal, Tinubu, ACN, others sad

Ajimobi left), widow, Saratu and her son, Dapo at the funeral ...yesterday. At the back row are Senator Oluremi Tinubu and others

• Former Governors Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti) left and Aremo Olusegun Osoba (Ogun)... yesterday

•Chief Durojaiye

•Former Special Duties Minister Elder Wole Oyelese (left) and Chief Olufemi Olaifa


• Tambuwal (right); Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Aregbesola (Osun) and former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Victor Olunloyo... yesterday


•ACN Chairman Chief Bisi Akande (right); Oyo State Deputy Governor, Moses Alake and and former Oyo State Deputy Governor Iyiola Oladokun

•Osun State Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Muyiwa Ige (left); Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi and former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Gbolarumi Hazeem PHOTOS: BY FEMI ILESANMI

Gunmen kill six in Yobe, Bauchi

UNMEN at the weekend shot dead five residents of Gaidam in Yobe State and a policeman in a Bauchi State town, the police said yesterday. The gunmen stormed the home of the people believed to be Igbo in Gaidam late Saturday and shot them dead before fleeing, police commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe said. "The gunmen broke into the home of the Igbo iron welders after they had closed from work and shot them dead. The attackers escaped and no one has been arrested for the attack," he told AFP.

Gaidam, which lies 135 kilometres (84 miles) from the Yobe State capital Damaturu and near the border with Niger, is the hometown of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam. Egbuniwe did not say whether Boko Haram was behind the killing. Also on Sunday, gunmen have killed a policeman and wounded another in a raid on a police station in Bauchi State, a police officer said yesterday. The gunmen launched the attack late on Saturday in the town of Itas,

about 200 kilometres from the state capital, Bauchi, hurling explosives into the police station and opening fire on policemen, leading to an hour-long shootout, according to the AFP "The gunmen threw explosives into the police station, setting it on fire," and killing a police inspector inside the building at the time, said the police officer who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak about the incident. Another policeman was wounded in the shootout and two

nearby police homes were burnt. Bauchi State Police Commissioner Mohammed Ladan confirmed the attack but said he had no details yet. On Friday, gunmen killed three policemen and set ablaze three churches and a school in Bonny Yadi in the volatile Yobe State, a military spokesman said. Nigeria's northeast has been hard hit by deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram. In November last year, the Islamist militant group launched coordinated bombings and shooting at-

tacks on the town. Armed with Kalashnikov rifles, the Islamists hurled explosives at Gaidam police station, freed suspects, stole arms, rampaged through the town, burning six churches, a high court, a shopping complex and robbing a bank. On Friday, gunmen killed three policemen and set ablaze three churches and a school in the town of Bonny Yadi in the volatile state, a military spokesman said. Nigeria's northeast has been hard hit by deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram.



NEWS How to end Boko Haram attacks, by ACF

Crude theft: Shell shuts in 25,000 barrels


HE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has shut down the Imo River Trunkline in its Eastern operations. The company said in a statement that it shut down the facility after several crude theft points were found on it. As a result, production of 25,000 barrels of oil per day is deferred. The statement said: “SPDC had shut in the producing stations and isolated the line on 31st October on discovering the first set of leaking points, but an additional leak from the remaining oil in the pipeline occurred about eight days later, when unknown persons installed more crude theft connections, some of which have failed.” According to the statement, some six crude theft points have so far been confirmed on the 12-inch trunkline, of which three have been repaired. “There have been 26 spills in the Imo River area so far

•Total to sell $2.4b Nigerian assets this year; 25 have been due to sabotage, spilling nearly 3000 barrels into the environment,’’ the statement added. Shell’s Vice President for HSE & Corporate Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tony Attah said: “Ground visits showed that the oil had impacted rivers and other water bodies even as we have managed to deploy containment booms and are now starting to recover spilled crude. The evidence is clear for all to see, that crude theft is bad for Nigeria, bad for the people, bad for the environment and bad for our business.” Imo River Trunkline is part of the Trans Niger Pipeline which suffered a similar fate at Mogho when unknown persons installed two crude theft valves today (11th November), barely 24 hours after the last of such leaks was repaired at Biara, also in Ogoni land. The two crude theft valves have been closed and

the line is being reopened. The largest number of spills in Imo River this year occurred in May and August, with six incidents in each month. Five of the spill sites have been fully cleaned and certified while cleanup activities are ongoing in the rest. SPDC shut down production in Imo River in August last year because of incessant crude theft activities, and only resumed operations many months later when the broken lines were repaired and conditions had improved. Also yesterday, the Chief Executive of French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) said he would not deny a report that the firm was in talks to sell assets in Nigeria, worth about $2.4 billion, to China’s Sinopec. A Bloomberg report last week said Asia’s largest refiner China’s Sinopec (600028.SS) was close to buying stakes in Nigerian onshore oil blocks from Total.

“Yes we are discussing with certain buyers about selling certain assets in Nigeria,” said Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, declining to name the potential buyer or value of the deal but saying he would not deny the report. “But it doesn’t mean we are scared and intend to start some kind of walking out of Nigeria...Total is happy to develop its projects in Nigeria,” he told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi. Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil exporter and oil companies operating there have long had to deal with attacks on their pipelines and staff, with the country’s worst floods in 50 years seriously affecting their output over recent weeks. The French group said in September it planned to sell assets worth between $15 billion and $20 billion in the period up to 2014 as part of a bolder approach to managing its business, which has seen it buy and sell assets more frequently. Continued on page 59

•Aliyu Continued from page 1

mittees and panels on security challenges in the North to implement the recommendations of such committees without immediately. Besides, the ACF is seeking the adoption of the United Nations (UN) ratio of one policeman to 400 citizens in the country. The ACF called for the removal of immunity clause in the 1999 Constitution to make the President and governors more transparent and

•Members of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government during their extraordinary session in Abuja…yesterday

Lam Adesina dies at 73 Continued from page 1

po Adesina. “Alhaji Adesina, a National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the rallying point of ACN in Oyo State, died early this (Sunday) morning at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos during a protracted illness. He would have been 74 next January. “The former governor, whose health recently deteriorated, thus necessitating his admission, first to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and later, St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, will be buried today (Sunday) at his Felele, Ibadan residence at 4 pm. according to Islamic rites. “The state government has declared a seven-day mourning for the departed elder statesman and former teacher of Governor Ajimobi, during which all official state functions will be suspended and the national flag flown at half mast.” Ajimobi described the late Adesina as “a dedicated patriot, foremost defender of democracy and human rights, and political war-horse who had always stood on the side of truth”. Ibadan was throbbing yesterday with top politicians,

businessmen and community who rushed down to the state capital to bid the late Adesina a final farewell. His body was interred at exactly 4:15 pm in the presence of ACN national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi, Ajimobi, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and his Ogun State counterpart Ibikunle Amosun. Other dignitaries who witnessed the burial included: Adesina’s former deputy Iyiola Oladokun, former Oyo State Governor Omololu Olunloyo, Aare Muslumi of Yorubaland Alhaji Azeez Arisekola-Alao, Senator Olabiyi Durojaye, exGovernors Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Adeniyi Adebayo, Former Deputy Governor Hazeem Gbolarunmi, former Minister Wole Oyelese and Osun State Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development Muyiwa Ige, Son of the late Chief Bola Ige with whom the late Adesina associated, FirstBank Chairman Chief Ajibola Afonja, Member House of Reps, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Alhaji Yekini Adeojo. The Chief Imam of Ibadan, Alhaji Busari Suara Haruna, led the Janazah prayer at exactly 4:05 pm. The dignitaries and clerics extolled the virtues of the

“Great Lam” and condoled with his wife Alhaja Sarat, and the family on the loss of their patriarch. Felele was jampacked by a huge crowd of sympathisers, politicians, top government functionaries and the ordinary people. The Lam Adesina Street was closed down. Tinubu described the late Adesina as a committed democrat and courageous fighter. He said: “Adesina fought with courage. He was committed to democratic values and great character. He fought a battle and won. He was loyal to his friends. He was loyal at all times. He was a committed democrat and he battled like a general. He got Oyo State back to the fold of the progressives and he exited well. It can’t be more glorious.” Aremo Osoba said: “What you can’t take away from him was his fortrightness and outspokenness, even in the face of intimidation. He will be greatly missed for his contributions to the progressive elements in the society.” Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, said: “I am devastated. He was a great leader. I will miss him. May his soul rest in peace. We just have to follow his legacy.”


efficient. The suggestions are contained in a 19-page “Roadmap for peace, unity and development of Nigeria.”. The roadmap, exclusively obtained by The Nation, was submitted to the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, by ACF Chairman Alhaji Aliko M. Mohammed. The ACF said: “Operatives of intelligence and security agencies must be given adequate training and retraining on a continuous basis. They must be well-equipped and motivated. “There should be a complete and purposeful reorganisation and reorientation of the Police to make (a) the beat constable more efficient and effective;(b) the investigator to exercise independence, professionalism and efficiency in order to achieve good results(c) members of the Police Force themselves to respect the human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution. “Ensure proper screening of the background of all prospective police recruits using police apparatus and traditional institutions i.e. ward, village and district heads, Emirate Council and similar outfits in other parts of the country. “Continuously screen the existing manpower of security agencies, weed out the unfit and train and continuously retrain. “The procedure laid down for military take-over from the police during civil unrest or disorder should be revised and strictly adhered to. The current practice of deploying the military too frequently on police duties should be discouraged. All such deployments should be given adequate legal cover. “Those arrested on suspicion of committing an offence Continued on page 59

Task Force clears NNPC of non-remission of crude sales

T •Ajimobi

House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who arrived at the late governor’s home at about 5:08 pm with Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, described the late Adesina as “a great leader” and “democrat” who spent his life fighting for the people. He said: “His death has created a very big vacuum. Lam has been a very patrotic and commited Nigerian, a nationalist, a man who lived an exemplary life, right from the time he was a columnist and when he became the Governor of Oyo State. It is indeed a national loss. I did not have the priviledge to meet with him when he was alive.” Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi also visited the family.

HE Ribadu Task Force Report on the activities in the oil industry submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan last week, cleared the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of allegations of non-remission of crude oil sales as at when due. The committee, under the sub-head: Remittance of Amounts due to the Federation Account relating to Domestic Crude Oil allocation, states: “The amounts outstanding as at 31 December, 2011, represent amounts due for the months of September 2011 to December 2011. In view of the 90-day credit period, the outstanding amount as at 31 December, 2011, was not due for payment. The Taskforce, however, sighted evidence of subsequent payments in 2012.” The committee said sample selections were made across the 10-year period in order to verify that the net amounts payable were remitted to the Federation Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). From the selections made, it was observed that amounts remitted were most

By Emeka Uguwanyi

times different from the net payable amount. “From discussions with the NNPC, the variances were attributed to other miscellaneous receipts from the domestic gas sales and Nigeria Gas Liquids (NGL) supplies which were also included in the remittances to the Federation Account by the NNPC,” it added. The committee noted some negative differences which it attributed to differences in computation of subsidies. It said subsidies deducted by the NNPC represent the difference between the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) approved landing cost and the NNPC retail price (exContinued on page 59

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NEWS LAM ADESINA (1939-2012) Lanlehin mourns From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

THE Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, has described the death of the former Oyo State governor and a leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, as not only shocking but a colossal loss to humanity and the global democratic community. He said in a statement, issued by his media aide, Olawale Sadare, that the news of the death of Lam Adesina was devastating as it came at a time nobody expected. “Our love for the iconic Lam Adesina made the news hard to believe. One would have wished he lived for more years in the service of humanity, Africa and God.

He was a honest politician, says Fashola


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday along with his counterparts in Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states as well as the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, joined hundreds of well-wishers in Felele, Ibadan to bid farewell to a former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adeshina. In a condolence message, Governor Fashola described the late Alhaji Adeshina as a disciple of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo,

and a consummate administrator who was thoroughly grounded in the dialectics of the Yoruba. While condoling with his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the family of the departed and the people of the Southwest, Governor Fashola said the former Oyo governor was a honest but shrewd politician who took time to make up his mind on any issue, adding that once convinced about the rightness of his decision, it became difficult to dissuade him.

“Alhaji Lam Adeshina held his political beliefs firmly. He recognised the need to groom the younger generation and was never found wanting in promoting the interest of the youth,” the Governor said. According to him, Alhaji Lam Adeshina was a fighter who never shied away from a good cause, especially when it concerned the Yoruba cause. “As the Governor of Oyo State, he left indelible marks in various facets, most especially in the edu-

cation sector where he brought his professional acumen to bear. He would be remembered for his doggedness and steadfastness in ensuring that a progressive party runs the affairs of the Southwest,” he said. Governor Fashola, who along with other governors and dignitaries condoled with the widow and family of the deceased shortly before the Janazah prayers, prayed that Almighty Allah would grant him Al-Janah Firdaus.

Amosun shocked OGUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has expressed his condolence to the government and people of Oyo State on the death of the former governor of the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina. He described the ex-governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State as one of the heroes of the democratic struggle in Nigeria. The governor noted that “his death came to us as a shock.” In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Senator Amosun said he joined millions of Nigerians to mourn the demise of an icon of democracy, whose tenure as governor of Oyo State was remarkable on all fronts.

He‘ll be missed, says Opadokun By Precious Igbonwelundu

THE NATIONAL Coordinator, Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), Chief Ayo Opadokun, yesterday described the death of Lam Adesina as shocking. Opadokun said the progressive political divide has lost a cherished colleague in the person of Lam Adesina. He said: “I receive with the greatest shock the sudden news of the death of my great friend, comrade and governor, ‘the peoples’ governor’. The progressive political divide has lost a cherished colleague. “Lam used his talents as a principal and a columnist with the Nigerian Tribune. As a politician, he positively impacted on people’s lives. “He was the Parliamentary Secretary of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the national caucus along with Chief J.A.O. Odebiyi who was the Parliamentary Leader. “He was the Secretary of the Afenifere during the days of the military dictatorship and was also Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in Oyo State.”

Babatope condoles with Lam’s family By Emmanuel Oladesu .


FORMER Transport Minister in the late General Sani Abacha administration, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has expressed shock over the death of Alhaji Lam Adesina. He described the deceased as a foremost educationist, visionary politician and an advocate of national unity, adding that as a federal legislator, he teamed up with compatriots, including Chief Debo Akande, Niyi Adelu and Hon. Otegbeye to advance the cause of Ibadanland on the floor of the House of Representatives. In a statement, Babatope said: “Nigeria will miss an educationist, visionary and fearless politician. May his soul rest in peace.”

ACN: Nigeria has lost a valiant soldier

T •Islamic clerics at the funeral...yesterday


Aregbesola salutes ‘bridge builder’ Adesina


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has described as a shock, the death of the former Oyo State Governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adeshina. A statement by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the death of Adesina would create a political vacuum in the Southwest, but Nigeria. The governor said the deceased was an astute poli-


tician, administrator, teacher of teachers, leader of men, progressive and believer in people’s government. “Alhaji Lam Adesina was an insightful politician, a bridge builder and a listening leader. He fought with others for the democracy the country now enjoys. “During the locust years and in the twilight of the military rule, Lam was among the political leaders, including the late AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief

Bola Ige, arrested as Prisoners of War (POW) in Ibadan by the late General Sani Abacha government. “These leaders never wavered. They remained undaunted until the military withdrew to the barracks. His contributions during the dark days of the military rule spoke volumes of a leader and a freedom fighter with selfless interest. “He became the Oyo State Governor in 1999. I have a strong conviction that he lived a meaningful life, a life worthy of emulation and

•The late Adesina

carved a niche for himself in the hallowed political chamber of Nigeria.

His modesty legendary, says Belgore

HE Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN) has commiserated with the government and people of Oyo State over the death of former Governor Lam Adesina. Belgore, the Kwara ACN governorship candidate in the

2011 poll, said Pa Adesina’s “glittering sense of modesty” stood him out in an era and society dotted with corrupt and arrogant politicians. A statement by Belgore’s media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, quoted him as saying: “We commiserate with the government and people of Oyo State on the death of the former

Governor Lamidi Adesina. Pa Adesina’s death, no doubt, is a great loss to the people of Oyo, our party ACN and of course the entire country, as it marked the exit of one of the last men standing in the history of this young democracy and our people’s pursuit of good governance. “We, however, find com-

fort in the fact that in an era where corruption, questionable wealth and arrogant display of same stand many people out, Pa Adesina would be remembered for belonging in the ranks of those who helped the course of liberty, democracy and good governance - and he did all these with glittering sense of modesty.”

Tinubu is Aare Ago of Egbaland


HE NATIONAL Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been conferred with the title of Aare Ago of Egbaland by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedokun Gbadebo. His wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, is the Erelu Aare Ago of Egbaland. They are to be traditionally installed on November 19.

A statement from the palace said: “Oba Adedotun Gbadebo (CFR), the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland after due consultations and in exercise of his traditional authority will confer the titles of AARE AGO of EGBALAND, (Field Marshall of Supreme Eminence) and ERELU AARE AGO of EGBALAND on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator (Mrs.) Oluremi Tinubu on Monday, November 19.

“This letter serves as an invitation to this occasion. The traditional installation will take place at the Ake Palace commencing at 2pm immediately after the church service to be held at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Ake, Abeokuta, which will start at 12 noon as part of the activities to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of Alake of Egbaland. “Please accept our best

wishes.” In Egbaland, there are four classes of Are chieftaincies, namely, Are Alasa, Are Ago, Are Onibon and Are-Ona Kakanfo, the last being the most powerful. The first Are Ago of the Egba was the late Chief Saibu from Egba Alake. It was an established war title of supreme eminence in Ijaiye (that is old Ijaiye of Kurunmi) as well as in the old Oyo empire up to Afonja’s era.

HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has expressed sadness over the death of former Oyo State governor and leader of the ACN, Alhaji Lam Adesina. It described the passing away of Alhaji Adesina as the passing on of a titan and a colossal loss to the nation “at this delicate stage of our nationhood.” The party wished him eternal rest and urged Nigerians to draw immense lessons from the frugal, spartan, honest and dedicated life he lived. In a statement in Lagos, signed by the Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party described the death of Lam Adesina as a big loss to a nation that is running short of honest and dedicated patriots needed to steer the nation from the path of perdition.

Mimiko remembers humble teacher GOVERNOR Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has described the death of Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, former Oyo State governor, as a sad and shocking loss In a statement yesterday in Akure, Mimiko said though death is a certain end to all beings, the suddenness of Lam Adesina’s death can not but be shocking. “He was a humble teacher and good leader of his people. He was not known to be flippant, arrogant with power or inordinately ambitious. “When his people called upon him for leadership, he was not abusive of the privilege and did not amass wealth to the detriment of the people. “Our heartfelt condolence goes to his family, the government andpeople of Oyo State and his associates,” Mimiko said.




Deputy Speaker assures on implementation of views


HE people of Aba North and South Federal Constituency, Abia State, have called for the creation of Aba state. They also called for the adoption of a five-year single term for presidents and governors. This was the unanimous resolution made by voice vote by participants at the Peoples’ Public Session on the review of the 1999 Constitution held at the weekend at the Aba Town Hall, Aba. They also called for the amendment of Section 208 (immunity clause) protecting the president, governors and their deputies from being prosecuted while they are still in office. Also to be amended is the inability of the constitution to cater for the interest of persons with disability and allowing states to control up to 50 per cent of their economic resources. The people, however, rejected the idea of geo-political zones as tiers of government, abolition of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, Land Use, Public Complaints Commission, National Security Agencies Acts. The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Chairman in Aba South, Joseph Ugbaja, called on the National Assembly to consider the opinion of the people during its delibration.

•State creation, rotational presidency discussed in Imo From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri


OUSE of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha has assured Nigerians that their views would form the frame


work for the new constitution. Ihedioha spoke at Mbutu, Mbaise Local Government in Imo State during the constitutional Review Session. He encouraged Nigerians to contribute positively to the review. The Deputy Speaker, who is also the secretary of the National Committee on

Constitution review session, said the essence of organising the review outside the National Assembly was to capture the views of the people. He said the constitution would not be complete without the views of the people at the grassroots. Ihedioha promised that whatever decision reached would not be manipulated. State creation and rotational

presidency dominated discussions at Ohaji-Egbema/ Oguta Federal Constituency, held at the Oguta Civic Centre in Oguta Local Government. The participants, who unanimously voted for the creation of 12 more states with three in the Southeast, argued that the zone is marginalised in the present arrangement.

Calls for council autonomy in Akure From Leke Akeredolu, Akure


TAKEHOLDERS in Akure South/North Federal Constituency in Ondo State at the weekend called for the autonomy of local governments. The decision was taken at a public hearing, which was organised by the lawmaker, representing the constituency, Ifedayo Abegunde. The stakeholders said some governors have mismanaged councils’ funds since they both use joint accounts. They demanded an amendment which would enable funds allocated to local governments to be paid directly to councils. The event was attended by civil servants, lawyers, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and civil society groups. They said any state which fails to conduct local government elections should forfeit its allocations. The participants also called for a uniform tenure for all local governments.

State creation, state police rejected From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE people of Oredo Federal Constituency yesterday rejected the creation of additional states. They also rejected the establishment of a state police. They spoke through a voice vote at the Peoples’ Public Session on the review of 1999 Constitution held at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre in Benin City. The constituency voted yes to 22 of the 38 items listed on the template on clauses to be amended in the constitution. They voted yes for the abolition of state/local government joint account and removal of immunity provision for the president, vice-president, governor, deputy governor, except on matters of civil proceedings. They also voted for the amendment of Section 315 (5) (a) and (d) removing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Act, the Land Use Act, Public Complaints Commission Act and the National Security Agencies Act from the constitution, but voted for granting of financial autonomy to states’ assembly. The Oredo people were also unanimous on the implementation of practical federalism that allows states to control up to 50 per cent of their resources and pay the balance to the Federal Government. They agreed that the derivation components of the revenue allocation be increased to at least 20 per cent and rejected that a role be created for traditional rulers such as having representatives in the National Council of State.

Kwara South, Igbomina Osun want Igbomina state From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


EOPLE of Kwara South extraction and parts of Osun State at the weekend clamoured for the creation of Igbomina state from the present Osun and Kwara states. The proposed state will consist of the present Irepodun Local Government, Ifelodun Local Government, Isin Local Government, Offa Local government, Oyun Local Government, Ekiti Local Goverbnment, Oke Ero Local Government all in Kwara State as well as Ila and Ifedayo local governments in Osun State. The Igbomina argued that their agitation dated back to 1957 before the minority commission set up by the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sir Allan Lennox-Boyed, to “ameliorate the dominant group’s marginalisation of the minorities in Nigeria.” Some Ekiti Kwarans called for a merger with Ekiti State, arguing that for over a century, they had been agitating to be in the Southwest and not part of the North. They noted that the demand was not a call of the severance of cultural ties within the existing council areas but that the creation of new councils will help to generate employment. The Vice-Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Moshood Mustapha, pledged to champion the decision of his constituents for the creation of additional local governments, if the ongoing review eventually allows the amendment.

•From left: The member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon James Faleke; member of the Lagos State House of Assembly Ms. Lola Akande and President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Olorunfemi Kolawole at the public hearing on constitution amendment organised by Faleke at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja…at the weekend. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

Let’s produce a workable constitution, Minority Whip urges


OUSE of Representatives Minority Whip Samson Osagie has urged journalists and stakeholders to join members of the House to give a befitting constitution to the country. Addressing a crowd at the Esohe College Hall at Abudu, Osagie said the session would help the people to address the numerous constitutional challenges facing the nation. The minority whip said

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

security, good governance, accountability/corruption, immunity, project implementation and indigeneship were discussed. In Akoko- Edo, the controversial immunity clause for governors, president and the vice president, state police and resource control, including derivation formula, dominated the town hall

meeting. On control of resources, the people said the current derivation formula should be increased from 13 per cent to at least 20 per cent. They said states should be allowed to possess 50 per cent of their resources and pay the remaining 50 per cent into the Federation Account. The people said the country is not ready for state police.

Ijaw, Itsekiri fault neglect of environment


HE people of Warri Federal Constituency in Delta State have decried the absence of environment from the list of 43 key issues voted on in the public session on the review of the 1999 Constitution. Speaking at the Federal Government College, Warri, venue of the session hosted bythe lawmaker representing the area, Daniel Reyenieju, the people lamented that the environment, one of the key issues affecting the Niger Delta, was not listed. An environmental activist, Temi Brown Dibofun, said the region is submerged

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

in oil pollution because of unguided oil exploration and activities of international oil companies. He said: “The ecosystem in Warri and the Niger Delta is becoming a disaster zone. “If we must continue to survive, we must have an enabling law dedicated entirely to a sustainable environment. “It is not out of place to demand that a fresh environment should be made a constitutional right for all Nigerians, especially those in this area.”

The Igba of Warri Kingdom, Chief Rita LoriOgbebor, also decried the Yes/No format of the template for voting. She said: ”It is not right for us to come and say yes or no to all issues. “We may not be lawyers, but we are learned.” Mrs Lori-Ogbebor said the people should be allowed to make inputs and not teleguided. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Reyenieju calmed frayed nerves with a promise that a stakeholders’ session would be held before the final process of the review.

Ijaw demand 10 regions From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri


HE Ijaw National Congress (INC) has demanded the creation of 10 geo-political zones for minority ethnic nationalities. Its Legal Adviser, Mrs. Veronica Bamuza-Mutu, said the six geo-political zones arrangement was an injustice to minority ethnic groups, adding that it does not give same political opportunities to the minorities. She said it is only in such arrangement that every region would be on their own and have equal political opportunities. Mrs. Bamuza-Mutu said the Ijaw have long demanded for a region of their own where they would control their own resources and pay tax to the Federal Government. The proposed 10 geo-political zones include: North West, North East, Upper Northern region Middle belt, Western region, Eastern region, Niger Delta region, Mid-West region and the Cor region. The former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Power Aginighan, said the people whose resources are exploited should be allowed to have a say on how the funds should be spend.



NEWS Armed robbers besiege Ado-Iyin Road •Police seek information from residents From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

•Amosun addressing residents...yesterday.

Ogun to pay N10b for demolished structures


HE demolition of structures began yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to give way for the expansion of roads. The bulldozers began work in Itoku, Ake, Sapon Omida, Panseke and Onikolobo. Governor Ibikunle Amosun said over N10 billion compensation would be paid to owners of affected buildings. He assured affected shop owners that they would be the first beneficiaries of the shopping malls that would be built by the government.

Assembly meets on new CJ in Osun From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


HE Osun State House of Assembly will meet tomorrow on the controversy following the nomination of a new Chief Judge for the state. One of the nominees for the position, Justice Joseph Oyewole, was rejected by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The NJC, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam AlomaMukhtar, advised Justice Oyewole, who is a Judge at the Lagos State High Court, to transfer his service to Osun State and queue behind the most junior Judge, before he could be considered for appointment in the future. The Osun State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended Justices Oyewole and Bola Ojo for the position. Ojo is the next in line to the former CJ, Justice Olaniyi Ojo, who retired on November 7. The JSC said it made its recommendation after consultation with prominent Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), including Chief Afe Babalola, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, Chief Akin Olujimi and Mr. Dele Adesina, who endorsed Jistice Oyewole. The CJN, in a letter to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, recommended Justice Ojo as CJ. If Justice Oyewole transfers his service from Lagos to Osun and queues before the most junior judge, he will lose 11 years on the bench, having been appointed a judge in 2011 and called to the Bar in 1986. It was learnt that the CJN’s directive is contrary to Section 6 of the State High Court Law, which states that the order of precedence on seniority shall be determined by the governor, on the advice of the JSC, and Sections 84 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Addressing residents in Panseke, Amosun praised the people for cooperating with the government. He said: “In a year’s time, you will not recognise this place. We thank everybody, particularly the property own-

ers. We cannot develop without some pain, but the outcome will benefit everybody. “We cannot continue to live as if we are 100 years back. Some of these roads were built when I was a young boy. We need to build new roads and shopping complexes. Shop owners affected by the demolition will be the first to benefit when we build the shopping malls. “I feel very proud today that I am from Ogun State. Most of you complied with our directives and we are happy that you showed understanding in this project.”

Why we are in court, by Ondo ACN


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has given reasons for challenging the result of the October 20 governorship election in court. The party said its action is aimed at strengthening the nation’s democracy and building an autonomous Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prevent “colossal rigging” in the 2015 elections. In a statement, ACN Publicity Director Idowu Ajanaku alleged that the election was marred by irregularities and malpractices. Ajanaku said: “It is a known fact that officials of the Labour Party (LP) were arrested during the elections with thumb-printed ballot papers. There was violence against the opposition before and during the election, which significantly altered the results. “More so, since the election ended, the LP government has been exhibiting an attitude be-

traying their mischievousness by various acts inimical to progress. How do you explain unprovoked attacks on traditional leaders? Why would the state government revive a 15year obnoxious and moribund law to deprive citizens of their means of livelihood in Odigbo and other places? “If Governor Olusegun Mimiko believes that he won the election free and fair, why has he not concentrated on fulfilling the failed promises of the past three and half years, instead of vindictiveness? Mimiko surely has something to hide. “We are in court to show the whole world the true position of what transpired in Ondo State on October 20. We are in court, just like Mimiko did in 2007 when his mandate was stolen, to make the votes of the people count. When we finally present our case in court, the revelation that the Late Prophet Ayo Babalola and Mike Tyson voted in Ondo State in 2007 will be child’s play.

“Even sprits voted in the last governorship election. It is a notorious fact that INEC officials were arrested with over 10,000 ballot papers. The Igbeayo card and biometric registration data were all imported into the INEC registration database. “We are also in court to expose to the whole world the ballot stuffing carried out in the homes of political appointees and so-called elder statesmen, as well as the desecrated palaces of some Obas, where justice ought to be upheld; the allocation of votes for LP and the creation of secret units and collation centres to perpetuate electoral fraud; the glaring violence, malpractices, irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2010; the falsification of the voter register by INEC to ensure Mimiko’s victory; the connivance of some political office holders in Ondo State with security agents and INEC officials to rig the poll in favour of the LP; and ballot hijacking, bal-

lot box stuffing and multiple thumb-printing of ballot papers by LP agents. “Our commitment to justice and faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man is unwavering. We reinforce the confidence of our people in the judiciary and in our nation that there is still hope. “According to the revered Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, ‘the man died in him, who keeps silent in the face of tyranny’. We cannot be quiet in the face of this outright rape of our democracy, especially when it seems everyone who should know is pretending that all is well. This may not augur well for our nascent democracy. “The ACN has prayed the court to nullify the October 20 election on the basis that Mimiko was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes and that the election is invalid by reasons of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act.”

Sacked Ondo council chairmen fail to vacate office


HE nine local government caretaker committee chairmen, who were sacked last week by the Ondo State House of Assembly, have refused to hand over to the Directors of Local Government Administrations (DLGs) as directed by the Assembly.

From Damisi Ojo,Akure

They are Femi Opakunrin, Akure North; Afolabi Mabogunje, Ose; Adetunji Ojomo, Owo; Rufus Agboola, Ifedore; Mrs. Yetunde Dada, Ile Oluji/ Oke-Igbo; Banji Okunomo, Ilaje; Akin Sowore, Ese-Odo; Inormac Akinnayajo, Idanre and

Olu Arowolo, Akoko North East. They were sacked for failing to audit their workers as directed by the Assembly. Sources said they also failed to submit the budget proposals for their councils, nominal rolls, lists of projects awarded and executed, as well as state-

Ekiti, Imo others for China forum


HE governors of Ekiti, Imo, Plateau, Gombo, Benue and five other states will be part of the delegation to an investment forum in China next year. It was gathered that the forum, which is being organised by the Ministry of Trade and Investment, is aimed at linking the governors with investors, who can help them develop key sectors in their states. Minister for State on Trade and Investment Samuel Ortom, who was in China for the country’s Trade Fair, urged the Chinese to invest in

By Jude Isiguzo

Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Ortom met with Nigerian manufacturers at the China Head Office of Blue Diamond Logistic in China. The organisation is owned by a Nigerian, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu. He said over 10 governors have indicated interest to attend the forum and they would present business proposals. The minister said the meeting would provide an opportunity for Nigeria and China to collaborate.

ments of allocations to the Assembly as demanded since July. The House appointed some persons to replace them. They are Ajayi Ogunsusi, Akure North; Akinrinmade Benson, Idanre; Ebegbe Matthew, Ose; Osuporu Olawale, Owo; Sikiru Adenolawoye, Akoko Northeast; Leke Ewarawon, Ilaje; Jaiyeola Omobobuwa, Ese-Odo; Prince A. Adegboungbe, Ile-Oluji/ Oke-Igbo and Sunday Olojualaule, Ifedore. The Assembly directed law enforcement agents to maintain security in the affected councils. However, it was learnt that the sacked chairmen refused to vacate their offices. They allegedly locked up their offices and prevented the new appointees from gaining access into them.

ARMED robbers have besieged the Ado-Ekiti/IyinEkiti Road in the last one week. It was learnt that the masked robbers often emerge from a footpath beside the cemetery on the outskirts of Iyin. Dr. Kingley Azugo, who was attacked last Wednesday, said: “I went to Iyin and was returning to Ado-Ekiti around 4pm when we came upon a man in mask, who stood in the middle of the road and pointed a gun at the car in front of ours. “Because it was sudden, we hit the car from the rear. Both cars stopped when the robber shot into the air. I came down and ran into the cemetery. “I was still hiding there when I saw the robbers retreat through a footpath near where I was hiding. They all wore masks and were five.” Kingley said a female Youth Corps member, who was in the vehicle, said the robbers dispossessed the girl of N12,000 and a handset. Kingsley said two of them carried short locally made pistols and three had cutlasses. A female student of the Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, who pleaded for anonymity, said the robbers came back around 7:30pm on the same day. She said: “We were coming from Lagos and were held up in traffic for hours in Lagos and Ibadan. On getting to Iyin, we were told robbers were operating on the road. We could not proceed until armed policemen in a vehicle came and led us through.” On Friday, the police arrested some male residents of Iyin for “refusing to provide information on the attacks”. The arrests sparked protests by youths, who made bonfires on the roads and obstructed traffic. Police Commissioner Sotonye Wakama said: “The robbery attacks take place every other day. We have increased surveillance in the area but have not been successful, as we have not received the needed cooperation from the community. “We have appealed several times that unless the people offer us useful leads, there is no way we can make headway as we did in AdoEkiti and some other towns through community supports.

Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of accident and abandoned vehicles parked at Alakara, Akodo, and Mosafejo Police stations to remove them or risk losing them to the public through auction. The vehicles include a Mercedes Benz marked EA333FST, Honda Accord HZ30AAA, Audi 80 DA28LSR, Fort Lift unregistered, Astra Opel CH394KSF and Mistubushi BB404AGL



NEWS Rivers workers suspend planned strike From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


ORKERS in Rivers State have suspended the planned strike that would have begun today in protest of illegal deductions from their salaries. The decision to suspend the strike was reached after a meeting between Labour leaders and the Head of Service, Mr. Samuel LongJohn. The suspension of the strike was made known yesterday in a statement signed by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Chris Oruge; his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Mr. Chika Onuegbu and the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Mr. Chukwu Emecheta. Besides the illegal deductions from their salaries in September and October, they workers complained of the non-payment of the 7O per cent salary relativity and the minimum wage, as well as the government’s refusal to stop deductions by the Federal Mortgage Bank and the removal of the Finance Commissioner, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside. It was resolved at the meeting that all deductions – the social services contributory levy, the contributory pension and the new personal income tax regime - be stopped until an agreement is reached between the government and the labour unions. The statement reads: “That a technical committee comprising representatives of the government and labour unions be constituted to critically study the issues involved and make recommendations as appropriate. “On the refusal to pay arrears of 7O per cent salary relativity, it was agreed that the payment of arrears be paid in three installments, with effect from November, 2012. “On the payment of minimum wage arrears, it was resolved that the labour unions should produce the agreement reached with the government on the matter for implementation. “On the Federal Mortgage Bank’s deductions, the meeting agreed that the representatives of the bank would be invited to a meeting with the union leaders and representatives of the government and that the money deducted be kept in a suspense account by the Satte Accountant-General, pending the resolution of all issues on the matter.” It was resolved that the removal of the finance commissioner, as demanded by the workers, be between the labour leaders and Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

•Oil spill at the Qua Iboe Oil Field...yesterday.

Oil spill at Mobil’s Qua Iboe field


HERE has been an oil spill at Mobil Producing Nigeria’s (MPN’s) Qua Iboe Oil Field in Akwa Ibom State. The Director in charge of Oil Spills in the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris Musa, yesterday said: “We received a report from Mobil that there was a spill at their field and we have dispatched our officers from our Uyo office to the spill site

to access the impact. “They are estimating that the spilled volume is between 50 and 100 barrels, but the investigation would determine precisely the quantity of oil discharged into the environment.” MPN General Manager, Public and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr. Paul Arinze said: “MPN, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC/MPN) Joint Venture, confirms that

on November 9, an oil release occurred offshore Akwa Ibom State. “The source of the leak was identified and the pipeline was isolated and shutdown. Emergency response personnel and equipment have been deployed and regulatory and community representatives have been notified. “MPN also arranged for representatives of the Department of Petroleum Re-

sources (DPR), NOSDRA, the Ministry of Environment and the local community to overfly the area.” MPN said it regretted the incident and reiterated its commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in its operations. NOSDRA officials said they are still probing two spills that occurred at the Qua Iboe Oil Fields on August 13 and 23.

Why we sacked teachers, by Oshiomhole


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday explained why erring teachers were sacked. He said the Bible says “whoever does not work should not eat”. Oshiomhole spoke on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin during an inter-denominational service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to mark the beginning of his second term in office. The service was attended by former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Governor Osariemen Osunbor and former Niger Delta Development Commissioner (NDDC) Commissioner Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Lady Valerie Ebe and chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), among others. Responding to the plea by the state CAN Chairman, Bishop Peter Imasuen, for the recall of sacked teachers, Oshiomhole said: “I pray everyday for God to give me the courage and wisdom to take the right decision. The CAN Chairman has asked me to undo all that we have done. I am a Catholic and I daily ask God to forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me. “I appreciate the power of forgiveness, but the Bible says the labourer deserves his wages. The Bible also says that those who do not work should not


From Osemwengie Ogbemudia, Benin

eat. The Bible also tells us that if a finger leads you to commit sin, it is better to cut it off. If a teacher would lead us to commit sin, we better dismiss that teacher. “These are the challenges of leadership. For Edo to work, all its parts must work. Every man and woman of age must work. That is why I take my work seriously. “Every leader must device the right means, under the guidance of God, to deploy the carrot and the stick. As you honour or reward those who delivered good service, you must also find the courage to bring to line those who think they can earn without working. “The courage to do the two and to define the limit is what has guided me. It is important that I clarify that it hurts me to say to a man, who voted for me only four months ago, that his job is over. “Ninety-eight per cent of teachers or more voted for me. I actually met some of them and know some by their names. I know they are relations of ACN leaders. Even yesterday, I learnt that one is the wife of an ACN leader and a personal friend. “But my understanding of my brief is that, if I do not have the courage to instill discipline in our public service, the capacity of the government to deliv-

er will be severely weakened. “All those beautiful schools will come to naught, if the teachers are in Onitsha when they are supposed to be in the classroom. I worry about the future of our state. “If we must have a work force that would produce men and women with the capacity and skill to contribute to the country’s growth, we must pay maximum attention to the quality of public schools and employ teachers that are ready to impact knowledge in an enabling environment.” Most Rev. (Dr.) Friday John Imakhai said: “The governor’s electoral victory is well deserved in view of the monumental and positive impact of his administration’s policies in the lives of the people, which is evident in all spheres of our common life. Gowon said: “I am here not only to congratulate the governor, but the good people of Edo State for reelecting him. It is certainly the choice of God. The result of the election shows that it is one of the best in the country. “It reminds me of the support I had during the Nigerian crisis. The defunct Bendel State was one of the states that gave me the greatest support. I assure you that he would do his best to surpass what he did in the first term.” He urged Oshiomhole to work towards achieving greater feats.

Uduaghan mourns Hope Harriman

ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has commiserated with the Harriman family on the death of Chief Hope Harriman. The late Harriman was the pioneer President of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyor and Valuers; the first President of the International Real Estate Federation; the Principal Partner and Chairman of Harriman and Company. Uduaghan described him as “a nationalist, a

consummate industrialist, an iconic estate surveyor, a front line politician and a philanthropist.” He urged the family, friends and associates to be comforted by the fact that the late Harriman lived a “productive and successful life”. Uduagha said the late Harriman will always be remembered for his “patriotism, foresight and as one of the foremost authorities in education and the development of Estate Management in Nigeria and beyond.






Navy needs N8.9b to fix NNS Aradu


HE Chief of Naval Staff, Vice -Admiral Dele Ezeoba, has said the only way to secure the nation’s waterways is the procurement of newer and modern ships. He also noted that the renovation of NNS Aradu, the Navy’s flagship, will cost the Navy about N8.9billion. Ezoba urged the Presidency and the National Assembly to improve on funding for the Navy. He spoke at two-day security conference in Lagos organised by the Association of Industrial Safety and Security Operators of Nigeria, (AISSON). The CNS, who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda, called for a stakeholders’ forum to for-

By Jude Isiguzo

mulate strategies to fight illegal bunkering and maritime insecurity. Ezeoba said: “The stakeholders’ forum should include governors, lawmakers, ministers, the Armed Forces, lawyers, private security experts and the media to help the Navy to overcome challenges of “operational platforms, equipment, logistic and finance to become more effective in combating maritime crimes.” The CNS said the Navy will improve on its intelligence gathering, mobilisation and sensitisation of its personnel. Ezeoba delivered a paper entitled: “Challenges of Crude Oil Theft, Illegal Bunkering and Piracy New Strategies for Improved Maritime Security in Nigeria.”


‘Don’t remove immunity clause’

NAMBRA people yesterday canvassed the abolition of State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECs). They are also against the removal of immunity clause for the president, vice president, governors and their deputies. Constituents in Anaocha/ Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency also voted against the establishment of

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

state police. Also in Awka North and South and Idemili North federal constituency, the people called for the scrapping of SIECs. People failed to turn up at Nnewi North and South, Ekwusigo Federal Constituency. Chris Azubuogo is the representative of the

constituency. The member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Mrs Uche Ekwunife, was praised by her constituents. At Anambra East and West Federal Constituency, the constituents agreed on amendment of Section 8 to have equal number of states in each geo political zone, rotation of the president among the six geopolitical zones.

Other issues endorsed were six-year single tenure for president and governors, the reform of the judiciary , provisions for persons with disability and amendment of Section 47 to provide for a unicameral legislature. Governor Peter Obi, who was represented by Commissioner for Justice and AttorneyGeneral, Peter Afuba, hailed lawmakers for the constitutional review.

Lawmaker: review’ll help us overcome challenges


CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker representing IfakoIjaiye Federal Constituency, Otunba Michael Yomi Ogunnusi has said the ongoing review of the constitution is necessary to help the nation overcome the many problems

By Miriam Ndikanwu

besieging it. Ogunnusi, who is also the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Finance, said the review would address state creation, revenue sharing formula, creation of state police and other sensitive issues.

“People complained that our constitution was militarised and written by a few people without capturing our diversity. “That is why the National Assembly deemed it fit to review it. “So, issues bordering on state creation, revenue allocation to local governments,

creation of state police and other germane issues need to be reviewed so that we can move forward, “ he said. The lawmaker said the dilemma of whether local government funds should be paid directly to the councils or through the state would also be addressed.




Two killed, scores injured in Ebonyi community’s crisis

Labour insists Wamakko must apologise to PHCN worker From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko must apologise to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) worker, who he allegedly molested. In a statement by its President Abdulwaheed Omar, the umbrella Labour union said the governor committed a gross human right violation. The statement reads: “We are reliably informed that lights were taken off in the Governor’s village (possibly while some ceremony was to take place). The next thing was for the governor to summon the officer in charge of PHCN in the area and publicly flogged him to a state of comma. “In reaction to this, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), had asked the Governor to apologise. Typical of an arrogant Governor, he chosed to keep mute ever since, resulting in the total black out being experienced in the State for about a week now. “This is absolutely unacceptable in any decent society, and an uncivilized, undemocratic behavior least expected of anyone elected to serve the interests of the entire citizens of the state. The action of the governor is a violation of the fundamental human rights of the PHCN worker and also exposes the limit of the governor’s exposure to democratic ideals.

Obi donates bus, others to seminary


HE factional President-General of Ishiagu Community Development Union (ICDU), Mr. David Ajah, has urged the InspectorGeneral of Police, Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi and others in positions of authorities to direct the police commissioner to arrest and prosecute those responsible for the killing of two persons in Okue Autonomous Community, Ivo Local Government Area. Addressing reporters at the weekend, Ajah alleged that a team of policemen invaded the community last Wednesday and killed two residents.

•Group urges Jonathan, Elechi to intervene From onnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

He said: “ICDU, with a bleeding heart, condemns the way the police invaded the Okue autonomous community in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in the early hours of Wednesday. They shot sporadically and killed two innocent and helpless citizens of this community instantly and injured dozens of others. Some are still missing.” Ajah alleged that the community is no longer safe. According to him, there is a political undertone to the incident because the residents are not at war with

each other. He urged the people to avoid taking the law into their hands while they await the intervention of the federal and state governments. The community leader prayed that those behind the act would be arrested and prosecuted. Ajah said: “We also pray that whoever is involved in this barbaric act should be seriously punished to avoid a recurrence. As I am writing down this report, my name must have been penciled down among the people to be assassinated. But I must always stand on my feet to oppose and con-

demn the wrong deeds of some people.” Mr. Stanley Anyim, the Anyim Pius Anyim-led factional President-General of the union, regretted the killings. He said the incident had nothing to do with the union. Anyim described thse linking the crisis to the union as mischief makers. Police spokesman Sylvester Igbo, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said the police are investigating the incident. He added that the perpetrators would be apprehended and prosecuted.

•Cleric to governor: we admire your godly politics From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has donated an 18-seater bus, 10 sets of computer and N1million to Archbishop Patterson’s Seminary, Igbariam, Anambra East Local Government Area. The Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Niger West, Prof Anthony Nkwoka, received the donation. He urged the residents to pray for another governor who would be like Obi when the tenure of the incumbent ends. The cleric said he had followed Obi’s politics over the years, adding that he has displayed godliness that is absent among many other Nigerian politicians. Prof Nkwoka said: “Your Excellency, we admire your godly style of politics. It made it possible for you to be here today to fulfill your promises to us. Given your engagements and commitments to floods and national assignment, a typical Nigerian politician has got more than enough reason to waive us aside.”

‘Tens of Airhiavberes can’t stop Oshiomhole’ CHIEFTAIN of Edo


State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr Jimoh Lawal, yesterday said no amount of media campaigns and litigations by Prof. Tony Afejuku of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the governorship election, Charles Airhiavbere, can stop Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s swearing-in. Lawal addressed reporters in Benin, the state capital, in preparation for Oshiomhole’s second term inauguration. He said: “Tens of Tony Afejuku and their newspaper campaign against Oshiomhole will fail because the governor, who is their target, is a destined child who is bound to fulfill his purpose in life. “No matter the activities of a disgruntled UNIBEN professor, who converted his column in a national newspaper to aid the dead ambition of an orphan, whose party withdrew from Airhiavbere’s legal voyage against the popular wish of

the people, will collapse like a pack of cards. “I have, in the past three months, watched with amazement how an exercise that gave credibility to this country in the international community is being ridiculed by those who do not mean well for the nation. “The recent governorship election in Edo State, which was resoundingly won by Comrade Oshiomhole, wherein for the first time in the history of the state, the entire 18 local government areas voted overwhelmingly for him and not a single issue of violence was recorded, is now being ridiculed by persons whose activities in UNIBEN are well known. “I think the most honourable thing for Airhiavbere and Afejuku to do is to congratulate the Comrade Governor. Like in civilised countries, one would expect that the main opposition candidate in the election, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), would congratulate Oshiomhole.”

•Obi presenting computers and the bus to the seminary at Igbariam. With him is Prof Nkwoka (on the governor’s right).

Flood victims leave camps in Anambra


ESPITE warnings from the Anambra State Government that those displaced by floods should remain in the camps, most Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have begun to leave the various camps. Though the floods have receded, the government noted that the dangers of contracting diseases were among the reasons the Peter Obi administration and some notable individuals were warning the victims. But the Office of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been receiving relief materials. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation yesterday visited some of the camps at Ogbaru and Ekwusigo with materials worth millions of naira. The items included over 100 bags of rice, 10 big bags of beans, over 100 cartons of assorted soap, rolls of tissue

Dr. Godson •Foundation distributes more materials foundation, Okeke, told the IDPs that the From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

papers, cartons of detergent and several cartons of disinfectants, among others. The Coordinator of the foundation, Sir Tony Obi, told the victims that hopes were not lost. He noted that the gesture was humanitarian and not for

political. The foundation coordinator urged the IDPs to have faith in God, adding that nothing happens without His knowledge. Obi assured the IDPs that the foundation would identify with their plight until they vacate the camps. The doctor in charge of the

foundation will, on Thursday, provide a mobile clinic at the two camps to attend to their health needs. Receiving the items, the Anglican Bishop of Ogbaru Diocese, Rev. Samuel Ezeofor, hailed the foundation for its assistance. The cleric assured that the materials would be judiciously shared to the victims.

NUC summons VC over ‘illegal’ programme


HE National Universities Commission (NUC) at the weekend shut down what it called an illegal venue for a part-time programme of the Imo State University in Abuja. It summoned the Vice-Chancellor to Abuja to explain why the university was running the programme in Abuja. The venue of the “illegal” programme at the Junior Secondary School (JSS), Area 10, Abuja, was sealed with some armed police-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

men. The NUC committee on closure of illegal universities arrested the coordinator of the part-time programme, Mr. A. C. Odunze. The coordinator had run on sighting the policemen. Prof Adebisi Balogun, who is a visiting professor to the NUC and the Committee Chairman on Closure of Illegal Universities, spoke on the programme.



NEWS N6.3b scam: EFCC to arraign ex-PDP National Chair’s son, others


From left: Pro-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN,Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Arinola Sanya, at the 64th Foundation Day Service of the University of


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it will arraign seven more suspects today and tomorrow for alleged N6.3 billion fuel subsidy scam. One of the suspects is Mamman Nasir Ali, son of the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmadu Ali, who is a former Chairman of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) where the subsidy scam was allegedly perpetrated. Others are two companies, Nasaman Oil Services Limited and Brila Energy Limited; Christian Taylor; Oluwaseun Ogunbambo; Olabisi AbdulAfeez (still at large) and Rowaye Jubril. A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the suspects would face trial before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja. The statement reads: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has concluded arrangement to

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

arraign seven more suspects in the ongoing trial of individuals and organisations implicated by the investigation into the subsidy regime on imported fuel. “Five of the suspects implicated in a N5.4 billion fuel subsidy scam are to be arraigned on November 12 before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on a 13-count charge bordering on intent to defraud, stealing, forgery and altering. “The suspects, comprising one company and four individuals are: Nasaman Oil Services Limited, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Olabisi Abdul-Afeez (still at large). “They are alleged to have obtained N4,460,130,797.94 from the Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to them under the petroleum support fund for the importation of 61,049,937.00 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).”

ECOWAS leaders place stand-by force on alert for Mali From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


ITH the worsening security situation in Mali, the Heads of State and Governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday directed the commission to keep the stand-by force in readiness for immediate deployment. The leaders gave the directive in Abuja after validating the harmonised concept of operations for the African-led International Force in Mali and consideration of the recommendations of the Mediation and Security Council, which comprised Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the member states. Reading the communique at the end of the Extraordinary Summit, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Ouedraogo, said: “Authority reiterates that dialogue remains the preferred option in the resolution of the political crisis in Mali. However, regarding the security situation, recourse to force may be indispensable to dismantle terrorist and transnational criminal networks that pose a threat to international peace and security.”

Bello appointed UNILAG VC


FTER acting for six months as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Adisa Bello has been appointed the substantive helmsman for a single tenure of five years. His appointment was ratified by the Governing Council of the university following its special meeting at the weekend during which members unanimously adopted the report of the Selection Board saddled with appointing a Vice-Chancellor for the institution. With the appointment taking effect from today, Bello becomes the 11th Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG. The Professor of Chemical Engineering becomes VC after Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, who died on May 12 while preparing to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary. Bello served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services) under Sofoluwe from April 2010. Born on October 6, 1948 in Iboro, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Bello attended Egbado College, Ilaro, Ogun State for his secondary education and passed out in 1966 with Grade One in the West African

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

School Certificate Examination. He obtained Ordinary National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical College, Ibadan, now called The Polytechnic, Ibadan, and bagged a first degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Ife (now called Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1974. Bello started work as a Mechanical Engineering Technician with the Nigerian Tobacco Company in 1969. He served with the then NorthEastern State Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Maiduguri during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He worked briefly at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources as a Petroleum Engineer before proceeding to the University of Waterloo, Canada, where he obtained his M.A.Sc (1977) and PhD (1981) in Chemical Engineering. Bello joined the University of Lagos as an Assistant Lecturer in 1977 and rose through the ranks as Lecturer II, Lecturer 1 and Senior Lecturer, in 1981, 1982 and 1985. He was appointed Associate Professor in 1991 and Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1998.

















The five-dollar debate •The rot in the system deepens while the executive and legislature bicker over oil benchmark


HE economy is clearly in the doldrums; nearly every sector is suffering acute inertia, the corruption monster is on the loose while the current federal budget seems irredeemably mired in implementation hiccups. These are fundamental problems that require hard-headed responses from both the executive and legislative arms of government. But instead of seeking far-reaching solutions to the dire situation the country is faced with, these two bodies are bickering over a five-dollar differential in the oil benchmark of the 2013 federal budget. There is no doubt that five dollars in millions of places is a lot of money just as we recognise that an oil producing country must find an appropriate benchmark to peg its oil price upon; but these arguments become trifling when they override fundamental issues. Now, the House of Representatives has threatened to shelve all considerations for next year’s budget unless the Federal Government accedes to its demand that the oil benchmark is pegged at $80 per barrel against $75 proposed by the Federal Government. The Senate on the other hand, has found a middle ground of $78. Under the circumstance Nigeria’s economy is today, oil benchmark is neither here nor there. It is indeed the least of the challenges the economy is faced with. We wish to remind that in the last two decades or so, we have deliberately under-benchmarked our oil earnings and there has not been any spectacular benefits accruable there from. The economy has continued on its seeming inexorable slide. If this benchmark gimmick has not

worked over these years, why do we keep splitting hairs over it? Again, we are inclined to align ourselves with the position of the House which queries the logic of deliberately inducing deficits into the budget only to borrow funds at costs to make it up. It is troubling that the Federal Government is proposing a deficit of about N700billion, which includes domestic borrowings. Government compounds its argument by insisting that a higher benchmark would hamper its ability to access a $1.2billion loan from the World Bank that will be ready for draw down next year. The Federal Government team led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi have warned of grave consequences to the economy should government not have its way on this tussle. But our answer to that is that Nigerians hardly believe government officials anymore, particularly this duo. Not after the fuel subsidy saga during which our economic minders, including the twain, had warned of doom of calamitous proportions should the so-called subsidy be retained. But it all turned out that the ‘subsidy’ was a ruse anchored on a grand scale corruption. And talking about corruption, it has been revealed to Nigerians that it may well be the problem with our budgets and not the margin of benchmark. On many occasions, we have heard of unilateral withdrawals by the Federal Government from the excess crude account in which

proceeds accruing from lower oil benchmarks are warehoused. A most recent example is the report by the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu which found that about N2.8 trillion may have been unlawfully drawn from the federation account. We are worried that this unnecessary bickering, as we consider it to be, would distract us from the real issues about the budget and the economy. Some of these include, promptitude of the budget which has been a sore point for a long time now, and a more efficient implementation regime – government seems to absolutely lack the capacity to move from projections to actual. And, unless the Federal Government summons the courage to kill the rampaging monster of corruption, no formula or benchmark would work.

‘We are worried that this unnecessary bickering, as we consider it to be, would distract us from the real issues about the budget and the economy. Some of these include, promptitude of the budget which has been a sore point for a long time now, and a more efficient implementation regime – government seems to absolutely lack the capacity to move from projections to actual. And, unless the Federal Government summons the courage to kill the rampaging monster of corruption, no formula or benchmark would work’

Hard way to peace •With mutual distrust, dialogue with Boko Haram would be a testy affair LUSH from the unprovoked bombing of St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Unguwan Yero, Kaduna on October 28 in which about 30 defenceless worshippers perished , Boko Haram’s November 1 call for peace talks is doomed to mass distrust. To boot, the terrorist organisation was listing its own preconditions! It proposed Saudi Arabia as venue; and listed six moderators, without whom it would never trust the Nigerian government: Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari, and the Alkali couple – Alkali Wakil and his wife, Aisha. If the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) under Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor angrily dismissed the talks and virtually warned the Federal Government to steer


‘Certain principles, however, must guide the talks. Under no condition must this talk be about jumbo payout to some malcontents who have levied war against their country and recklessly taken innocent lives. That would be rewarding anarchy and criminality; and it would just be motivation for future malcontents to tread that path for blood-soaked profit. Rather, it should tackle the fundamental causes: mass poverty, cavalier injustice, wanton impunity and lack of opportunity’

clear of it, that stand is perfectly understandable. In the Boko Haram war of blood and gore, Nigerian Christendom, under Oritsejafor’s presidency, had been unprovoked victims. Christians who for nothing got their temples routinely bombed and their members killed and maimed, certainly have a right to be sore. No less is Gen. Buhari, Boko Haram’s preferred chief moderator – but for a different set of reasons. The former military head of state and Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) national leader would be naive to have his name linked to a murderous gang, even for the sake of peace, in a political milieu where bad faith, cynicism and blackmail come with the territory. So, it is little wonder Gen. Buhari has turned down the offer, insisting that Boko Haram could be any of these three: the slain Muhammed Yusuf group protesting brazen injustice by the Nigerian state, free-wheeling criminals cashing in to kill in Boko Haram’s name and the Jonathan Presidency which, in Buhari’s view, has showed prodigious incompetence in dealing with the menace. Aside, CPC, Buhari’s party, had fingered an alleged Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to tar Buhari with a link to Boko Haram. Even the generality of Nigerians would be riled by a lawless and murderous band, having bombed a defenceless populace into submission, having the temerity to call for talks, and stake claims to amnesty and compensation, as if terror was the key to the pocket of the Nigerian state. The same pattern prevailed in sorting out the Niger Delta militancy crisis, though terrorism then was targeting Nigeria’s oil facilities rather than mowing down

defenceless citizens. Still, all these are emotional responses, understandable as they are. The stark reality is that there is an urban warfare which Boko Haram cannot win but which the state could not subdue. Such infernal stalemate calls for fresh thinking and a clinical approach to peace and security. That is the window the Boko Haram offer has opened. No matter how it hurts, that window should not be shut. That is why the Jonathan Presidency’s open door approach is welcome. Certain principles, however, must guide the talks. Under no condition must this talk be about jumbo payout to some malcontents who have levied war against their country and recklessly taken innocent lives. That would be rewarding anarchy and criminality; and it would just be motivation for future malcontents to tread that path for bloodsoaked profit. Rather, it should tackle the fundamental causes: mass poverty, cavalier injustice, wanton impunity and lack of opportunity, especially in the North East, which makes a large swathe of the hopeless to gravitate towards doomsday pseudo-saviours. That was the trigger of the Maitatsine crisis in the Second Republic, which though exploded in Kano had its roots in the North East. That is the trigger of the current Boko Haram insurrection. That would be the trigger of any future insurrection, if the poverty question is not addressed. By tackling poverty and injustice, therefore, this bloody cycle of blood and gore would be broken. That should be the goal of the talks.

Where Hurricane Sandy still hurts


OR all the efforts of federal, state and local officials to help people after Hurricane Sandy, unacceptable pockets of suffering remain. Ten days after the hurricane struck, thousands of people in New York City’s public housing are still without heat, water, electricity or food. Many people needed assistance after the storm, but the most vulnerable of the city’s inhabitants seem to be among the last in line to get it. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration estimated that Sandy had initially left more than 800,000 city customers without power, including many people in public housing. Many have since had their power and heat restored. Yet Steven Banks of the Legal Aid Society estimated on Thursday that more than 15,000 units of public housing closest to the city’s shoreline — mostly in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Red Hook — were still without heat and hot water or electricity. “We’re into the second week of this,” he said, “and there is no real urgency to get it fixed. ...No can-do New York attitude here.” More than 400 buildings run by the New York City Housing Authority were affected by the storm. Mr. Bloomberg said Thursday that 70 percent of these buildings now have heat and hot water and 82 percent have electricity. But that leaves 120 buildings and the people who live in them without heat or hot water and 72 buildings and their residents without electricity. Whatever the precise numbers, by any accounting, life for these people is grim. On Wednesday afternoon, in the Far Rockaways, hundreds lined up for as much as three hours in the cold to get hot food promised by a makeshift delegation of volunteers. The multiple government agencies promising help were nowhere to be seen. In a public housing building in Red Hook, residents received official notices warning that “Since Hurricane Sandy, the electricity and water will be out indefinitely.” Meanwhile, Mr. Bloomberg has been urging older residents and other vulnerable citizens to “go someplace warm,” like shelters. On Thursday, Mr. Bloomberg expressed the hope that private contractors would be able to restore electricity by the weekend and heat “sometime early next week” to affected buildings. This is hardly comforting news to people huddled in blankets as temperatures drop. There seems to be no clear answer for why it has taken so long to send out temporary generators and boilers to help these residents. City Hall leaders argue that restoring power is a process that is more complicated than simply bringing in generators, especially in buildings where electrical systems have been badly compromised. They promise to dispatch additional workers to public housing and a phasedin schedule to bring more power and heat each day to devastated areas like the Rockaways. To us, that sounds late and insufficient. Mr. Bloomberg needs to redouble his efforts to help those most in need. – New York Times

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IR: Kindly permit me a space in your popular newspaper. Let us imagine a situation when crude oil prices do not exceed 40 US dollars per barrel and the demand for Nigeria’s oil drops because the US, a country that imports about 40 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil, cuts down significantly on imports of the product from Nigeria for other exporters of crude oil to that country. Let us contemplate a situation where the revenue of Nigeria can no longer support the constitutional allowances and remunerations that Nigeria’s rulers award themselves. Would it not be interesting to see scavengers of Abuja scamper away because the honey pot has been wiped clean? Board members of many redundant and unprofitable government corporations shall find nothing again to satisfy their lusts. State governors shall be hard pressed for their lack of ingenuity and creativity as they would not be able to cope with riots in their states caused by their inability to pay salaries of generally unproductive government workers. The centre will not hold again then, and the attraction of this union shall rapidly wither away. The saying “the need to diversify the economy” has become a cliché since nothing is being done in that direction by the leaders. However, lack of patriotic governance continues unabated. The 2013 federal budget proposal presented to the national legislature by President Jonathan reveals three present problems with Nigeria: First, the amount of revenue Nigeria should legitimately expect next year is not fully covered in the proposal. Two, the federal government is still acting as though there is no urgency for increased capital votes for expenditure on infrastructural development, education for the future challenges of new technology, welfare programs such as public housing in partnership with local governments (See the fourth schedule of the 1999 constitution which makes building and maintenance of houses for the poor and infirm mandatory for local


Revenue crisis may hit Nigeria soon councils), and on strategic partnership with state governments on projects and programs that will reduce unemployment. Three, there is no evidence that the federal government is eager to cut down on big government spending by implementing the recommendations of the Orosanya’s committee it had set up, which include either complete scrapping of redundant departments and agencies or merging some of them that perform duplicate functions. The budget pro-

posal is silent on shrinking of the size of government in any form or shape. Why has the Jonathan government kept the revenue from gas sales from the Nigerian people? This lack of transparency is not acceptable, and our legislators must ask those relevant questions. They must unearth revenues that the federal government keeps away from both the state and local governments. An insidious conspiracy of forging fig-

ures is going on while Nigerians who know don’t talk and those who don’t know don’t ask. Does Nigeria need a revenue crisis to reveal information about our genuine revenues that is kept from our prying eyes? We are told how 400,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen daily! Don’t we have government anymore, or are those figures spouted out just to hide what is stolen by the kleptomaniacs in public office under some innocuous headings? Most probably, it would not

move relevant government officials to resign, and neither would they lose their jobs should that figure rise to even 1 million barrels a day in the near future. The secrecy about our nation’s revenues, which is continually being spun by the PDP government, has come to be accepted as a difficult mathematical open problem that no polymath is presently inclined to consider. We must consider this problem. We need to resolve this seeming puzzle. A revenue crisis may hit Nigeria very soon except Nigerians are allowed to choose leaders who have a heart for the people. We can’t afford leaders who are never alarmed by their incompetence and lack of empathy for the people. • Leonard Shilgba, Associate Professor of Mathematics, American University of Nigeria.

Maintenance culture can rebuild our nation IR: I have observed with serious concern that the culture of maintenance is lacking in Nigeria and will continue to be so unless something drastic is done to halt the trend. In developed countries like United States, Britain and Italy to mention a few, maintenance has always been part and parcel of their culture. The Statue of Liberty in the United States of America, the famous Tower Bridge on the Thames River popularly known as London Bridge, and the Big Ben, the tower clock hung since 1858 in London and ancient structures such as Rome’s Coliseum, built as far back as AD 60 and the Roman Forum are evidence of the importance of maintenance in preserving monuments that are vital to the history of not only cities but countries. Here in the African continent, Egypt, an ancient country also boasts several monuments such as the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx which is about 4,000 years old. The recently concluded Olympics Games hosted by the city of London also highlighted the age-


long tradition of maintenance where tourists and visitors were conducted round the different monumental structures, one of which is the beautiful Church of England which has been in existence for centuries and still has all its architectural beauty intact and even stronger than modern-day structures. It is noteworthy to state that the aforementioned monuments still exist and are well-sought-after by tourists from all over the world due to the high premium that is placed on their maintenance and preservation by the government. The beauty and attraction of these cities stem from the fact that the various stakeholders involved have not only taken maintenance as part of their culture but have domesticated it in their everyday lives. Back home, what we have in our dear country is an opposite of what obtains in developed countries, where our citizens throng on a daily basis for greener pasture. Maintenance in Nigeria is almost non-existent owing largely to negligence, inconsistent government

policies and desirability of new projects at the expense of maintaining the old ones and misplacement of priority. Another area where maintenance has been dealt a major blow in the country is the spate of collapsed old structures which can still stand the test of time if properly maintained. Buildings that ordinarily ought to have been pulled down are still in existence due to non-enforcement of appropriate building and maintenance laws. Many unsuspecting occupants of such edifice soon become victims when it eventually collapses. Stakeholders, including government and individuals have major roles to play in ensuring that we all imbibe maintenance culture. In May 2012, the assessment of the nine-year-old National Stadium, Abuja which was supposed to play host to the botched pre-season tour by Arsenal Football Club of England, was carried out by the Senate Committee on Sports. The report by the committee was quite shocking as it was revealed that the Stadium was in a ‘sorry’ state.

In Ogun State, huge step towards reviving the tradition of maintenance is being taken. Noteworthy is the repair work recently carried out on the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta. The structure which was built in 1992 is wearing a new look. Apart from the fact that the existing structure was repaired, painted and given a facelift, new innovations such as a swimming pool, fun fare arena, children playground, a blend of the contemporary amusement park, and a traditional local café have been introduced. Also, 1,500 modern and colourful seats have been fixed to replace the obsolete ones. The beauty of maintenance is that not only the existing old form is taken care of, new innovations and ideas of the current era which could not have been in existence when the project was created would be incorporated, while also keeping track of history which will become embedded in the sand of times. • Olatunde Tijani, Public commentator, Abeokuta.




The Ekiti State progressive welfare programme


N Tuesday, 25th October, 2011 at Ise-Ekiti, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi formally flagged off the State Social Security Scheme for the Elderly with the commencement of the payment of the monthly stipends to the beneficiaries. The governor had prior to that day announced this policy direction during the celebration marking the anniversary of Nigeria’s 51st Independence and 15th Anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State on the 1st October 2011. Dr. Fayemi had then said the scheme was conceived to improve the living condition of the senior citizens and serve as a poverty reduction strategy in favour of the deserving poor through the provision of regular income and free health care; adding that this was a fulfilment of his electioneering campaigns. In his words: “It is painful to note that across the length and breadth of Africa, poverty visibly walks on the street with impunity. Of the many identifiable strands of poverty that is confronting the developing world is the one associated with old age when one’s strength and vitality is lost and the bones are irredeemably weakened. Not too long ago, those who fall in this vulnerable category, the aged, are taken care of by a social system that is effective in making life more enjoyable though with little to share. “Today, civilization has eroded the system; it is now everyone to himself and God for us all. In the process, people lived the latter part of their lives in abject poverty with attendant diseases, emotional breakdown and frustrating social disaffections”. He said on another occasion: “We embarked on this programme not only to make the state stand shoulders higher than other states but also to ensure that life becomes more abundant for our aged ones.”

‘Payment of the stipend is made regularly on the 25th of the month when all workers are being paid. The scheme costs the government a sum of N1 million monthly. On how the state government has coped despite its meagre resources, Fayemi said the scheme was not conceived because the government has abundant resources but due to “the will to positively affect the lives of the toiling masses for whom this government is in authority” He stated that the administration was always propelled by the need to make life meaningful and comfortable for the elderly’

By Olu Adewusi Thus, the state became a pioneer for the initiative in the country which the Federal Government and other states are now taking a cue from. The programme is the first in West Africa. The novel approach has continued to receive accolades across political, ethnic, social and economic divides. For the programme to take off, more than 52,000 elderly indigenes aged 65 years and above in the 16 local government areas of the state were enumerated. The enumerators who were well trained were charged to ascertain the profession and economic status of the children of the proposed beneficiaries of the scheme towards ensuring that elderly people from poor homes benefit more. Fayemi himself exempted his aged mother from the scheme to underscore his point that the elderly indigenes that have well-to-do children should not be part of the scheme. He said if the jobs of the children of the would-be beneficiaries were disclosed, it would be easier for the committee to decide whether a beneficiary was indigent or not deserving elderly citizens. At the end, 10,084 beneficiaries were selected. The beneficiaries were invariably grateful for the government’s gesture. Thanking the Governor for the stipend, one of the beneficiaries, Madam Abigael Oyedele, commended the Fayemi-led administration for remembering the elderly citizens. Madam also Oyedele prayed for the success of the Fayemi-led administration. To give a strong legal backing to the initiative to ensure its sustainability, the government put in motion the process of drafting legislation which was sent to the state House of Assembly. A public hearing was organised on the bill, where participants that consisted of mainly elderly people expressed joy at the introduction of the programme by the Fayemi administration, the participants canvassed for the expansion of the programme for more people to benefit. The House Majority Leader, Hon. Churchill Adedipe, who moved the motion for the acceptance and consideration of the report of the committee that deliberated on the bill observed that the programme was in line with the policy enshrined in chapter 11 of the 1999 constitution of the FederalRepublic of Nigeria as amended with particular reference to section 14(2) and 17 of the constitution. The bill was unanimously approved by all the lawmakers. The governor eventually signed the bill into law. While signing the bill, the governor said: “To some skeptics at the time, this was just a vote-catching gimmick of a typical opportunistic and desperate politician. Even to genuine admirers, the realisation of this dream was unfathomable given the limited resources available to our state. Now that the goal is realised, it is the beginning of the fulfillment of our campaign promise to provide for our elderly in their old age.” In response to the call for the expansion of the programme,

a comprehensive review was carried out after the first six months of the programme. The implementing ministry was directed by the government to conduct another enumeration of the elderly citizens in February 2012. The exercise brought out over 34,000 elderly citizens from whom another batch of 9,186 elderly citizens in Ekiti State, were selected to join the beneficiaries of the scheme. Speaking at the flag-off of the payment for the Batch B beneficiaries of the scheme at Ekiti East Council, Governor Fayemi said the scheme which was employed by his administration to address adult poverty challenges was already hitting at the target as more elderly citizens who had once thought the programme was a mirage are now subscribing. The Governor said the emergence of the second batch of the beneficiaries became necessary so as to capture as many qualified elderly citizens as possible who did not participate in the first enumeration exercise partly due to skepticism arising from the weariness of failed promises by politicians. Payment of the stipend is made regularly on the 25th of the month when all workers are being paid. The scheme costs the government a sum of N1 million monthly. On how the state government has coped despite its meagre resources, Fayemi said the scheme was not conceived because the government has abundant resources but due to “the will to positively affect the lives of the toiling masses for whom this government is in authority” He stated that the administration was always propelled by the need to make life meaningful and comfortable for the elderly. The welfare of the senior citizens in the state is a cardinal point in the eight-point agenda of the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration. The scheme has been made to be free from political or gender bias. The governor once stated that even if it is impossible to reenact, in absolute terms, the good old days of fending for our elderly through our extended family system, it is the determination of this government to reduce old age poverty significantly. The scheme, according to the government, was not aimed at undermining the ultimate responsibility of families to care for their aged ones but should see it as a reward for the past contributions of the beneficiaries. A spokesperson of the Ekiti State government, Mrs RichieAdewusi stated that “since our culture does not encourage the setting up of old people’s home, the state government has to fashion out a way of continuously identifying with people 65 years and above in a programme. She added that people would foster social solidarity through a regained sense of citizenship that will enable them contribute to the society and enhance citizens-government relations, even as government is acknowledging its own roles and moral commitment to the welfare of citizens regardless of party affiliation. •Adewusi writes from Ekiti

Reflections on Awo phenomenon-1


N the light of the controversy that arose as a fall out from Chinua Achebe’s new book on Biafra, one aspect a lot of people have ignored, or forgotten, is the courage of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987), a foremost nationalist and active public officer during that era. All of us may not agree entirely with Chief Awolowo as a leader cum politician or as a manager, but one cannot but salute the quality of his courage. No guess work on Chief Awolowo. You know where he stood. Some have analysed that it was this quality that created the blockage on the path of his becoming the President of Nigeria. Ironically, it is this same benefit that has made him a hero today. Someone considered widely to be a modern day victor, so to say. Courage is a quality of mind or temperament which makes one to resist temptation to give way in the face of danger, opposition or hardship. It stresses firmness of mind or purpose. Some call it boldness or doughtiness or guts or tenacity. Some call it stubbornness, doggedness or bull headedness. It is this courage that separated Chief Awolowo from the crowd. Even twenty five years after he has died and from the grave, Chief Awolowo is still the issue in today’s Nigeria. Unlike some very close associates of Papa Awo, I am not an authority on Chief Awolowo. As a reporter in The Nigerian Tribune, I covered his convocation speech as Chancellor of the then University of Ife, on July 6,1974,when he condemned the 1973 provisional census figures, conducted by Sir Adetokunbo Ademola as “a barren exercise”. To make such a speech at that time was too daring, venturesome and perilous because it was considered a blasphemy, but Chief Awolowo made the speech with courage. That same year, as a reporter with Nigerian Herald, I covered a lecture in Ibadan during which he gave reasons, for quitting General Yakubu Gowon’s cabinet where he served as Minister of Finance.

By Eric Teniola In Kano state while working as political correspondent with The Punch, I covered his triumphant entry into that ancient city for the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) Presidential rally on December 17, 1978. The crowd in Kano was a mammoth one. The following morning, we drove to Kaduna state with Ebenezer Babatope; I had a dinner with the great Awo at Hamdala hotel. At dinner, Chief Awolowo had a commanding presence. He sipped his lucozade drink gently. I even had time to check his Breitling wrist watch and of course his trade mark Barley shoe- very well polished. Later as city editor of The Punch, I covered the tribunal and Supreme Court proceedings, when Awo challenged the Federal Electoral Commission’s declaration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari as President of Nigeria in 1979. He would come to the tribunal and Supreme Court punctually, brief his lawyers and then sit down quietly. Often times, he greeted Chief Richard Osuolale Akinjide, Alhaji Shagari’s attorney. He lost both suits at the tribunal and the Supreme Court. He also lost the Presidential Election in 1983, retired to his home town Ikenne, refusing to challenge the 1983 Presidential Election, and insisted that, if Nigeria need him ,they know where to find him. In the early hours of May 9, 1987, Chief Awolowo died in Ikenne. As press Secretary to Governor Ekundayo Opaleye of Old Ondo state, I was present at his burial in Ikenne in June 1987, where late Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi described him as the “Best president Nigeria never had.” I thought the story on Awo was over that sunny day. I was wrong. Ojukwu was the man that led the failed Igbo secession bid that Achebe chronicled in his latest book. The book has resonated once again the Awo phenomenon and the role he played or what he allegedly said for or against the Igbo ethnic group. It is due to reiteration of Awo’s legacy and for the purpose of clarity that I feel compelled

to reproduce the most courageous speech, Chief Awolowo ever made at the most crucial period of our National life at a meeting of Western Region Leaders of Thought at Ibadan on May 1, 1967 The immortal sage started his meeting’s speech thus: ‘I consider it my duty to Yoruba people in particular and to Nigerians in general to place four imperatives, two of them categorical, and two conditional. They are that: Only a peaceful solution must be found to arrest the present worsening stalemate and restore normalcy: The Eastern Region must be encouraged to remain part of the Federation. However: If the Eastern Region is allowed by acts of omission or commission to secede from or opt out of Nigeria, then Western Nigeria and Lagos must also stay out of the Federation: The people of Western Nigeria or Lagos would participate in the Ad Hoc Constitutional Committee or any similar body only on the basis of absolute equality with other Regions of the Federation.’ If the East attacked the North it would be for the purpose of revenge pure and simple. Any claim to the contrary would be untenable. If it is claimed that such a war is being waged for the purpose of recovering the real and personal properties left behind in the North by Easterners, two insuperable points are obvious. Firstly, the personal effects have been wholly locked up or destroyed, and could no longer be physically recovered; secondly, since the real property is immovable in any case, recovery of it can only be by means of forcible military occupation of these parts of the North on which this property is situated. On the other hand, if the North attacked the East, it could only be for the purpose of further strengthening and entrenching its position of dominance in the country. If the North claimed that an attack on the East was going to be launched by the Federal Government and not by the North, as such, and that it was designed to ensure the unity and integrity of the Federation, two other insuperable points

also became obvious. First, if a war against the East becomes a necessity, it must be agreed unanimously by the remaining units of the Federation. In the face of such a declaration by the three out of the four territories of Nigeria, a war against the East could only be a war favoured by the North alone. Secondly, if the true purpose of such a war is to preserve the unity and integrity of the Federation, then these ends can be achieved by the very simple device of implementing the recommendation of the committee which met on 9 August 1966,as reaffirmed by a decision of the Military leaders at Aburi on January 5, 1967,as well as by accepting such of the demands of the East, West, Mid-West and Lagos as are manifestly reasonable and essential for assuring harmonious relationships and peaceful co-existence between them and their brothers and sisters in the North. We have been told that an act of secession would be a signal in the first instance for the creation of the COR state by decree which would be backed if need be by use of force. With great respect, I have some dissenting observations to make on this declaration. There are eleven national or linguistic groups in the COR area, with a total population of over five millions. • Continue tomorrow

‘Ojukwu was the man that led the failed Igbo secession bid that Achebe chronicled in his latest book. The book has resonated once again the Awo phenomenon and the role he played or what he allegedly said for or against the Igbo ethnic group’





VERY stunning scenario played out in Abuja last week at the inauguration of the newly appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal. Following the release of a list of 12 Justices for the ceremony, prospective beneficiaries had come to the venue full of expectations. But the unexpected happened. One of those listed, Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo was not that lucky. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar refused to swear her in ostensibly on account of petitions alleging that the state she represents (Abia) is not her state of origin. Justice Jombo-Ofo had served Abia state for many years following her marriage to Mr. Jombo-Ofo, an indigene of the state. But she originally hailed from Anambra state. Apparently sensing danger, Abia state governor, Theodore Orji was at hand to make a special case for Justice Jombo-Ofo. But all his entreaties came to naught. He was also said to have written to the CJN affirming that Abia state actually nominated Justice Jombo-Ofo and that she is from the state. Perhaps, unknown to him, the CJN was relying on a subsisting, nay obnoxious policy in the judiciary that prevents married women from reaching the peak of their career in their husbands’ state irrespective of their qualifications and suitability for the post. Curiously, it was the same office that cleared her for the swearing in. For that, the hopes of this eminently qualified and promising Justice were dashed and she had to go home with her admirers and well wishers utterly disappointed. The fate of Justice Jombo-Ofo has once again

‘It is akin to denying married women employment in their husbands’ states because they happened to come from other states. It remains to be seen the type of values we seek to promote by insisting on that obviously very retrogressive policy. Regrettably, such an anachronistic and unprogressive policy has been allowed to stay in our statute books even as it has outlived its usefulness’


Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Jombo-Ofo: Matters arising highlighted the inadequacies of some of the policies in the nation’s statute books. And in spite of the reasons that originally informed their formulation, some of them have consistently proved counterproductive in elevating our collective aspirations as a people. Instead of merit they have tended to promote mediocrity by placing very qualified candidates into serious disadvantage on account of their state of origin. We are thus faced with irreconcilable contradictions in barring married justices from ascending the peak of their career solely on account of having hailed from a different state before their marriage. Not only is such a policy discriminatory and stale, it is difficult to fathom the purpose it is meant to serve or how it can elevate the job of the judiciary. By preventing married women from reaching the topmost echelons of their professions, the policy no doubt, sacrifices merit for political expediency. Such a policy will be inherently deficient in promoting the cause of an efficient and virile judicial system. What sense is there in discouraging and disqualifying merit on the spurious ground that the woman did not originally hail from that state even when she had been married there for so many years? It is akin to denying married women employment in their husbands’ states because they happened to come from other states. It remains to be seen the type of values we seek to promote by insisting on that obviously very retrogressive policy. Regrettably, such an anachronistic and unprogressive policy has been allowed to stay in our statute books even as it has outlived its usefulness. One also finds it an uncanny twist of fate that governor Theodore Orji was the person who fought this discriminatory policy with-

IS was one that the Republicans really should have won. Given the weak economy, American voters were open to firing President Obama. In Europe, in similar circumstances, one government after another lost re-election. And, at the beginning of this year, it looked as if the Republicans might win control of the United States Senate as well. Yet it wasn’t the Democrats who won so much as the Republicans who lost — at a most basic level, because of demography. A coalition of aging white men is a recipe for failure in a nation that increasingly looks like a rainbow. Schadenfreude may excuse Democrats’ smiles for a few days, but these trends portend a potential disaster not just for the Republican Party but for the health of our political system. America needs a plausible center-right opposition party to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, not just a collection of Tea Party cranks. So liberals as well as conservatives should be rooting for the Republican Party to feel sufficiently shaken that it shifts to the center. One hopeful sign is that political parties usually care more about winning than about purism. Thus the Democratic Party embraced the pragmatic center-left Bill Clinton in 1992 after three consecutive losses in presidential elections. That was painful for many liberals, who cringed when Clinton interrupted campaigning in the 1992 primary to burnish his law-and-order credentials by overseeing the execution of a mentally impaired murderer. But it was, on balance, less painful than losing again. You would expect the Republican Party to make a similar lurch to the center. But many Republican leaders still inhabit a bubble. It was stunning how many, from Karl Rove to Newt Gingrich, seemed to expect a Mitt Romney victory. And some of the right-wing postmortems are suggesting that Romney lost because he was too liberal — which constitutes a definition of delusional. Imagine what would have happened if the Republican nominee had been Gingrich or Rick Santorum. We surely would have seen a Democratic landslide. On the other hand, if the Republicans had nominated Jon Huntsman Jr., they might have been the ones celebrating right now. But he had no chance in Republican primaries because primary voters are their party’s worst enemy. Part of the problem, I think, is the profusion of right-wing radio and television programs. Democrats complain furiously that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity smear the left, but I wonder if the bigger loser isn’t the Republican Party itself. Those shows whip up a frenzy in their audience, torpedoing Republican moderates and instilling paranoia on issues like immigration. All this sound and fury enmeshes the Republican Party in an ideological cocoon and impedes it from reaching out to

out success. His state not long ago, sacked workers in its employ for the simple reason that they are non indigenes. Despite all appeals, he did not budge. He can now appreciate the feelings of those workers he sacked for the very spurious reason that they hailed from other states. Jombo-Ofo is just one out of the several justices that have suffered incalculably on account of this useless policy. It may have been designed to ensure that top judicial offices meant for states go to their indigenes. That could as well be. But there is everything wrong in the thinking that a woman married in a particular state cannot be regarded as an indigene of that state even as her children are accorded the full rights and privileges of that state. This does not make any sense. It is even more confounding to require such women to get their nominations from their original states. It cannot work that way. What the policy has succeeded in achieving is to place a permanent hurdle on the career prospects of women married in states other than the one they originally hailed from. Such a policy is out of tune with the realities of the time and ought to be expunged from our statute books without further delay. It is a matter of regret that female judicial officers have had to live with this retrogressive policy for years without drawing public attention to it. They should therefore share in the blame for keeping quiet in the face of a discriminatory and strangulating policy. Above all, the policy has once again drawn attention to such contentious and unresolved issues of our federal structure as residency factor and indigeneship.

It is at this point that the recent intervention of a retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olufunlola Adekeye cues in very appropriately. In a speech to mark her retirement from the Supreme Court, she had implored the CJN, the Chief Judges of states, the Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council to review the policy barring married women from reaching the peak of their career in their husbands’ states. She noted that complaints of this nature are increasingly rampant in the judiciary and that since married women transfer their services to their husbands’ state, it is logical and in compliance with the tenets of marriage that the two become one. This goes without saying. The retired Justice further contended that it is “unconstitutional as well as discriminatory to deprive her of her promotion in her acquired state as a citizen of Nigeria by virtue section 42 of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” Justice Adekeye has said it all. She has not only exposed the contradictions in the policy but gone a step further to show how that policy is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution. However, it still remains puzzling why key functionaries as well as the regulating authorities in the judicial system allowed it to hold sway in spite of its negative effects on the moral and career progression of married women. Perhaps, if the women had spoken out before now, the embarrassment suffered by Jombo-Ofo and others before her would have been averted. Good a thing, the attention of the National Assembly has been drawn to this embarrassing regulation. Obviously piqued by that show of shame, the senate had in a motion voted against the policy and directed the CJN to swear in Jumbo-Ofo without further delay. That is the right thing to do. Now that the national assembly is in the process of constitutional amendment, it must work to identify all laws and policies that promote discrimination based on sex, marriage, religion or state of origin and expunge them from the ground norms of this country. We need policies that can tap from the best brains in the country irrespective of mundane considerations. We need laws that can pool the creative resources and energies of our various peoples for collective national progress. It is time to discard worn-out and rusty laws and policies from our statute books for those that conform to global best practices.

Can republicans adapt? By Nicholas D. Kristof swing-state centrists, or even understanding them. The vortex spins ever faster and risks becoming an ideological black hole. In 2002, a book was published called “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” It argued that Democrats would gain because of their strength in expanding demographics such as Hispanics, Asian-Americans and working women. It seemed persuasive until Republicans clobbered Democrats in the next couple of elections. But perhaps that book was ahead of its time. This was the first election in which Hispanic voters made up a double-digit share of the electorate, according to CNN exit polls — 10 percent, doubledfrom 1996 — and more than 7 out of 10 Hispanic voters supported Obama. That wasn’t inevitable. In 2004, exit polls suggested that President George W. Bush received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. But Republicans became obstructionist on immigration and then veered into offensive demagogy in opposing the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The Hispanic vote tumbled by increasing numbers into the Democrats’ laps. Then there are women. The paternalistic comments about rape by a few male Republican candidates resonated so broadly because they reflected the perception of the G.O.P. as a conclave of out-of-touch men. As Representative Todd Akin of Missouri might put it, when a candidate emerges with offensive views about rape, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Namely, they vote Democratic. America is changing. After this election, a record 20 senators will be women, almost all of them Democrats. Opposition to same-sex marriage used to be a way for Republicans to trumpet their morality; now it’s seen as highlighting their bigotry. By the time President Obama had waded through a convoluted answer about health care — “He’s not mentioning voucher-care?”someone called out — a pall had fallen over the room. When the president closed by declaring, “This was a terrific debate,” his re-election team grimaced. There was the obligatory huddle to discuss how to explain his performance to the nation, and then a moment of paralysis: No one wanted to go to the spin room and speak with reporters. Mr. Romney’s advisers monitored the debate up the hall from the Obama team, as well as at campaign headquarters in Boston. Giddy smiles flashed across their faces as their focus groups showed the same results.

“Boy, the president is off tonight,” said Stuart Stevens, the senior Romney strategist, sounding mystified, according to aides in the room. Russ Schriefer, a senior adviser, immediately began planning television spots based entirely on clips from the debate. As it drew to a close, Gail Gitcho, Mr. Romney’s communications director in Boston, warned surrogates heading out to television studios: “No chest thumping.” An astonishing 45 percent of Obama voters were members of minority groups, according to The Times’s Nate Silver. Many others were women or young people. That’s the future of America, and if the Republican Party remains a purist cohort built around grumpy old white men, it is committing suicide. That’s bad not just for conservatives, but for our entire country. – New York Times

• Obama









Obudu ready for Saturday's race


HE Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Obudu international mountain race, says it will organise another hitch-free competition this weekend when the 8th edition of the race holds at the Obudu Ramch Resort in Obudu,Cross River State. Sir William Archibong, chairman of the committee, disclosed at the weekend that his committee has concluded all arrangements for a smooth race on Saturday. `The LOC is ready to organise another world class race come Saturday. We have taken care of all logistics and want to assure His Excellency,the executive govermor of Cross River state,senator Liyel Imoke,all Cross Riverians and Nigerians in general that we will organise another

successful race that befits the status of excellence we have adorned",he said. He further disclosed that officials of the world mountain running association have started arriving for the race, while elite runners invited for the race will start arriving from today. Honourable Patrick Ugbe,the state commissioner for youth and sports who is also a member of the LOC, added that the committee will fulfil Governor Imoke's charge that this year`s race should be used as a test-run for the world mountain running championships which the state will be hosting in 2014. Ugbe further disclosed that this year's race will be run over 12kilometres in line with the requirements of the world governing body for mountain

Mikel, Moses, Apam out W of Venezuela friendly

Lagos boosts team as athletes promise medal haul at Eko 2012

running and is open to only professional runners. `This is more like a fresh start for us because we will observe all the rules that govern a world mountain running championships in this year's race but we are up to the task. The WMRA believes in us and the governor has confidence in our organisational abilities", says Ugbe. The race is sponsored by the government of Cross River state to principally attract tourists to one of its flagship projects, the Obudu Ranch. The ranch sits on a mountain plateau at an altitude of 1600m. It is an IAAF permit event, a WMRA associate member event assisted by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria. Doping control will be carried out and prizes withheld pending the results.

•Dike, Gomo step in, Maigari leads team




HELSEA super stars, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and French based central defender, Onyekachi Apam will not be part of this week’s international friendly between Nigeria and Venezuela in Miami, Florida, United States. Head Coach, Stephen Keshi said Sunday that the trio had different reasons for not being part of the game, but that should not bring fears to Nigerians as capable replacements have already been named for the encounter . Mikel for instance has family matters to settle bothering on his

future as a father , following some domestic accidents. “ Timberwolves player, Bright Dike, who stars in the MLS for Timberwolves Fc has already been invited to play in his stead and we are sure that he will do well in the encounter, especially as he is based in the United States”, Keshi declared. For Victor Moses, Sharks FC’s Gomo Onduku, who has been in splendid form at the national camp has been drafted in and will be part of the team that will travel Sunday night to Miami, Florida for the encounter against Venezuela. “I have been there before and we don’t have any grudges against players withdrawing from international friendlies,

especially when they are compelled to do that but we want to be told on time so that we can make replacements”, Keshi declared on Sunday morning. All other players invited for the encounter have since confirmed their early arrival, even as the team jets out Sunday night via Delta Airlines for the game that comes up on Wednesday night in Florida, USA. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, is expected to lead the delegation for the friendly, that kickstarts Nigeria’s preparations for the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted in South Africa.


and referee Aniete promptly pointed to the spot and Mba stepped forward to register his second goal of the day. The game which was watched by NFF technical director Emmanuel Ikpeme, went on a ding dong affair till a dramatic moment in the 85th minute when a Water FC attacker was felled in the Eagles vital area. A penalty was awarded but blasted wide by Ifeanyi Adibe to ensure a respectable scoreline for the national side who are on their way for a friendly against Venezuela Sunday night. Meanwhile, nine players from the NPL have made the final cut for the Venezuela game. The list was announced lunch time Saturday by assistant coach Daniel’ Amokachi. Leading the pack is home-based skipper, Chigozie Agbim, who recently moved from Warri Wolves to Rangers. Others are Sunshine Stars skipper Godfrey Oboabona, left back Benjamin Francis, who has been in impressive form at the national team’s camp. Also picked are Warri Wolves centre back Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe, Umar Zango Umar, Henry Uche, Sunday Mba of Warri Wolves and Ejike Uzoenyi. The team will depart for Miami through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos by 10pm via Delta Airlines and accommodation has already been reserved for the team at the Intercontinental Doral in Miami.

Keshi commends Eagles’ A form, discipline S

Ahmed Musa: I can lead Eagles' attack R ED-HOT Ahmed Musa has told Eagles' coach Stephen Keshi he can lead the team's attack at next year’s AFCON in South Africa. Jet-heeled Musa has been moved from a winger to a centre forward by his Russian club CSKA Moscow and the results have been remarkable as he has now scored seven goals in the league as well as a goal in the cup. The first of his brace against Kuban Krasnoder on Saturday was a typical striker’s goal as he used his blistering pace to reach a long through ball before slotting past a helpless goalkeeper. "I am enjoying my new role as top striker for CSKA. It has given me a chance to score more goals. I will lead Eagles attack well if I’m asked to do so too,” Ahmed Musa told He said his goals in Russia could also be attributed to the fact that he has fully settled down

at the army team after his bigmoney switch from modest Dutch club VVV Venlo. "I am also scoring goals because I have adjusted to the league in Russia and now know what is expected of me,” he disclosed. Last month against Liberia in Calabar, the former Kano Pillars star was played mainly as a left winger and scored a goal. He scored a total of two goals in the qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, a goal behind the team’s top scorer Ikechukwu Uche. Three seasons ago, Musa showed he knows his way to goal when he scored a recordbreaking 18 goals for Kano Pillars playing mostly as a right winger.

•Ahmed Musa

UPER Eagles' handler, Stephen Keshi has sounded it loud and clear that form, fitness level and discipline of players would be the parameter of measuring the players that would eventually form the Super Eagles squad to represent Nigeria in 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in South Africa between January 19th and February 10th, 2013. The former Chief Coach of Togo and Mali offered that if Nigeria is to make any meaningful impact in AFCON 2013, then the form and fitness level of the players and team discipline must be taken very seriously and also be the watch words during the final phase of the team’s preparations and competition proper. “Firstly I am very concerned about the health of my players in respect of being free of injuries and in good form and must be well discipline. These are the


HARKS of Port Harcourt's Gomo Onduku who was handed a late inclusion in the Miami,USA bound Super Eagles' squad, has expressed his willingness to surprise the senior national team's technical crew if he is given playing time in the international friendly tie with Venezuela on November 15. Onduku joined the already known nine home based players after a closed-door meeting

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri American nation. "I am happy I made the the Eagles coaches had team. It was God's doing on Saturday evening to and I can't question him. increase the number of I had been told I would domestic players aboard travel with the team. I am the ancraft to the United the 10th player. States to 10. "I am going to the In a chat with United States to show NationSport, Onduku said what I can do if given an that he was happy to opportunity during the eventually make the match. I will not squad to America and disappoint anybody," would convince coach Onduku disclosed. Stephen Keshi and The Blue Angel's striker company they didn't scored 9 goals in the NPL make any wrong choice if and 5 in the 2012 he features against the Federation Cup last emerging South season.


From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja

“We are throwing this party in honour of our darling Super Eagles team for putting up superlative performances in the qualifiers of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and eventually ensuring that Nigeria green-white-green flag is hoisted in the forth-coming 2013 AFCON in South Africa. We thank them on behalf of Bolton White Apartment and Nigeria for getting the ticket. “The Eagles also put the icing on the 2013 AFCON qualification by hammering Liberia 6-1 in the return leg in Calabar, Nigeria after the first leg had ended 2-2 score draw in Liberia. We are happy that the

important factors for a team to make an appreciative impact in any important tournament of this magnitude. So I am really working on this to ensure we present a good team that would be a pride to Nigeria”, Keshi told NationSport. He also disclosed further that “There is no player that is bigger than the team. If a player is not giving us (coaches) what we think is right for the team, he may not even see jersey to play. The set of group we have here is not about favouritism or sentiment. If you are good, you are good. If you are not good we will say thanks and goodbye to you. So next time when we see that you have improved and get better then we will recall you (the player). “It is not that the door is shut for any player in this team but the thing is that we want the best for

Nigeria. We want Nigeria to be happy and that is the only commitment that we have. That is what we are going to do. So if any player comes around and he doesn’t know how to play, we will send him back”, Keshi warned.


Ameobi eyes Newcastle spotlight

Bolton honours Keshi, Eagles N Onduku: I'll explode against Venezuela if... HE Management of Bolton White Apartment and Hotel, Abuja, the hotel camp of the Super Eagles on Friday night gave awards to the Super Eagles and their technical crew led by Stephen Keshi in a party organised in the team’s honour for qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, held at the Swimming Pool side of the hotel. The less than two hour party which featured five top Comedians in Abuja was also witnessed by battery of sports reporters based in Abuja. The General Manager of the Hotel, Chiedu Anakwe, however, disclosed the main reason for honouring the Nigerian team by throwing a party and giving awards to both players and technical crew.

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja

Eagles made this Apartment their home and they eventually qualified for the competition while lodging here. So we share in this happy moment and also wish the team a huge success in South Africa”, the hotel boss summed up. Assistant coach of the team, Daniel Amokachie who spoke on behalf of the team thanked the management for their support to the Eagles and said they would continue to make the hotel the team’s home. All the players and their coaches received awards from the management of the hotel while the Polish Ambassador made the award presentation to the Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi received by Amokachie on his behalf.

EWCASTLE forward Sammy Ameobi has set his sights on being a star for club and country. Ameobi, the younger brother of Toon striker Shola, made an impressive impact against Bruges in midweek and has been earmarked for the top by

•Prefers England to Nigeria Magpies boss Alan Pardew. And while the 20-year-old is some way off becoming Newcastle's next great No 9, the lanky left-footer has big ambitions. "I would love to get to that stage. It's still at the beginning for me but hopefully one day," Ameobi told The Sun on Sunday. "Everyone dreams of playing for their local club. I've had that opportunity to do so and I'm really grateful. Obviously Andy (Carroll) has moved on now. It's something we've had to deal with and we got Papiss (Cisse) who's a great player. "But I am only in a position where I have just started to play for the first-team. I am not getting ahead of myself. I am just on the

team, Ayo Omotara, would remain grateful to the governor particularly the state Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi for ensuring that the team embarked on 10-day training tour of China. Omotara, a son of former international, Titus, believes the tour would help the team to excel at Eko 2012. “We learnt a lot from the training tour and we are working hard to win laurels for the state. I am happy that I will be representing the state at the festival. With God on our side, we are optimistic that we will surpass our performance at the last festival in Rivers State,” Omotara said. Captain of Swimming, Moses Aladin lauded the governor for investing in sports development as well as given priority to athletes’ welfare, particularly in the area of payment of sports aid to athletes. “On our part, we have decided to compensate the Governor by wining many gold medals in swimming and we are working hard to achieve this,” he said.

Squash team vows to sweep medals

Eagles win test game 3-1 he Super Eagles defeated nonleague side Water FC of Abuja 3-1 in a test game on Saturday. Both teams first clashed on October 5 in the run-up to a 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Eagles forward Sunday Mba served notice of what would happen on Saturday when he blasted wide after being set up by Ejike Uzoenyi after just the second minute. In the sixth minute, Azubuike Egwuekwe strayed forward to head home an Uzoenyi corner but a Water FC player blocked it with his hands. The referee rightly pointed to the spot and Mba stepped forward to send the keeper the wrong way. The Eagles would have been two more goals up but Gambo Mohammed blasted wide in the 10th minute, before hitting the cross-bar with a textbook header in the 20th minute. Gambo finally registered his name on the score sheet when he out jumped the Water FC defence to nod home a Solomon Kwambe cross. The amateur side thereafter woke up and subjected the Eagles' defence to sporadic raids. Agim made a save in the 42nd minute by palming the ball for a corner kick. The resultant corner kick was rammed home in the 43rd minute by Okey Aboyin, who was also on target when both sides met in October. The second half was barely five minutes old when onrushing Mba was brought down in the vital area

ITH quality equipment, regular camp allowances coupled with conducive atmosphere, the Lagos State Government has given its athletes all what it takes to do well at the 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012. Virtually all the athletes at their various camps were provided with training equipment and materials, while regular allowances were also given to the entire team by the state government. Boosted by the laudable gesture of the government, Captain of the boxing team, Olaide Fijabi assured that they would surpass the feat at Rivers 2011. “We are working and training vigorously to win all gold medals in boxing to compensate our sports loving Governor, who has invested so much in the team by providing all the necessary training materials that we need. To succeed, we are going to capitalize on our monthly boxing show and that will be a tonic that we need to excel at the festival,” Fijabi promised. Also captain of the table tennis

verge but I feel that I'm beyond that point where I am the new kid on the block. "I am here to start making a difference in games now and showing I want to get to the top." Ameobi has been called up by Stuart Pearce for the England Under 21 squad and is hoping to outshine his brother Shola, who was recently named in the Nigeria squad. "It is a competition between us and I'd like to surpass him in whatever way I can. I can do that by getting into the England team," he added. "Shola's decided to play for Nigeria but England would be my first choice. I was born and brought up here and have only really played English football."

FTER naming its eight-man team for the 18th National Sports Festival, tagged Eko 2012, the Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA) believes no team can rival it in the event. With squash making its debut as a medal-winning event at Eko 2012, LSSA chairman, Sanya Akindele, says he was confident that the Coach Wasiu Sannitutored side has what it takes to claim the four gold medals at stake at the sporting fiesta. Akindele said the maiden Classic being staged by the association was meant to assess the preparedness of Team Lagos being the last major tournament the players would participate in before the festival. Wasiu Bello will captain the team while others are Moses Durosinmi, Wale Amao and Mayowa Olorunnisola for the men’s team, while the female team is Taiwo Ebifemi, Alimot Idris, Funke Awosanya and Shade David. Head Coach of LSSA, Wasiu Sanni, said the players’ selection was based on their form, and assured that they would sweep the four medals at stake at the festival. Excited about the support accorded the team by the state government, Sanni said it became necessary for the team to reciprocate the gesture by clinching the four gold medals at the festival. “I want

to say that we have had the best of support from the state government for our preparation for the festival. All the equipment the team needed have been provided and all the players are in top shape to do well at the festival and I want to assure the state government that we will not disappoint them,” he said. Also speaking on the readiness for the festival, captain of the team, Bello, said nothing could stop the team from emerging the overall winner in the event. He added: “We have been motivated to do well and we don’t have any excuse not to do well because everything have been provided for us, while the support from our coaches have been tremendous. So we are set for the festival and we are hopeful that we will do well by God’s grace.” “You must be aware that the bonuses that caused uproar at Sharks have been paid and all bonuses for the League and FA Cup. “We will commence payment for the continental match bonuses for Dolphins tomorrow (Monday) and hope to complete it by the end of the week,” Igwe said. He added that this will be a good motivational factor ahead of the new season even though it was money owed from last year.

Dolphins pays players’ bonuses P

LAYERS and officials of former League champions, Dolphins FC, will from Monday begin to get match bonuses for their efforts on the continent last season. Rivers State sports commissioner, Fred Igwe said on Sunday that it would have taken a while to get the money out of he had applied for funds so he had to look inwards to generate cash for this effect. “You must be aware that the bonuses that caused uproar at Sharks have been paid and all bonuses for the League and FA

Cup. “We will commence payment for the continental match bonuses for Dolphins tomorrow (Monday) and hope to complete it by the end of the week,” Igwe said. He added that this will be a good motivational factor ahead of the new season even though it was money owed from last year. “Motivation is a continuous thing for us in the state and we will ensure we do what we have to do. Hopefully, by the end of the week all players would have been paid,” Igwe said






In the coming days, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) would curtail or stop all promotions that either increase subscribers base, minutes or that are causing additional congestion on the network.

- Dr Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology


‘Union Bank now performance-oriented’ - P. 39

Want a job? Try Internet Marketing - P. 37 ‘Resist calls for rice import’

News Briefing

EU investment hits N7.4tr

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu


THE European Union (EU) investment in Nigeria has risen to over N7.4 trillion, its Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr David MacRae, has said.

- Page 26

S&P raises three banks’ ratings STANDARD & Poor’s (S&P) has raised the longterm counterparty credit ratings on FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to ‘BB-’ from ‘B+’.

- Page 26

CBN reviews agric funding policy THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed rules for lending to the agricultural sector of the economy. The apex bank The Nation learnt, took the decision after reports from banks and discount houses indicated that lending to the subsector remains a highrisk, which should be followed with caution.

- Page 30 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

•From left: Immediate past Group Managing Director, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs Funke Osibodu (2nd left), speaking on behalf of recipients of Women in Business (WIMBIZ) Ambassadors Award in Lagos ... at the weekend. With her are Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Gbenga Oyebode (left); CEO, Filmo Group, Fatimo Wali Abdulraman; and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Banks to raise funds to boost lending


EVERAL banks are set to raise new capital to boost their balance sheet and provide a headway for increased lending. Sources said though the average capital adequacy ratio in the substantially high, banks were considering sourcing more capital to meet increased funding demand in the infrastructure and explorative business sectors. The additional funds are expected to be raised through debt and convertible quasiequity instruments with some strands of supplementary equity issues. Sources said banks that are transforming into holding company structure would be raising funds through the holding company for onward distribution to the constituents. A top source in a bank transforming into holding company said the group would consider issuing debt instruments to raise funds for Nigerian and other African investments. Sources also said banks were being proactive to ensure adequate long-term capital plan for their expansion plans. Many banks including to tier banks were said to be targeting multilateral organisations such as the International

By Taofik Salako

Finance Corporation (IFC) for non-controlling equity investments as well as debt and on-lending facilities. Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Mr Segun olokituyi, has confirmed that the bank plans to raise about N35billions. Another source said banks’ increased appetites for new capital may not be unconnected with the huge funding requirements in the power, oil and gas, infrastructure and telecoms sectors. The source noted that Nigerian banks’ total balance sheet is less than N20 trillion, about $128 billion, an amount considered significantly low compared with funding requirements in the newly emerging power sector alone. The source said 2013 would see marked increase in new capital raising by banks as banks move from recent consolidation and transformation into new phase of competitive growth. Recent analysts report indicated that banks were generally adequately capitalised with several banks deemed overcapitalised based on the level of their capital. According to analysts, most of the banks are adequately capitalised to ab-

Customs seizes N600m goods in Owerri


HE Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of the Nigeria Custom Service has seized goods worth over N600million in Owerri. The seizure was part of measures to check smuggling and other illegal activities in the zone. The Comptroller of the Zone, Mohammed Biu, said his officers and men made 15 sei-

By Oluwakemi Dauda

zures, worth N600million in September. He said they were able to clamp down on smugglers because of the dedicated officers in the zone, who do not cut corners nor compromise standards. Mohammed said since his resumption at the command two months ago, he has focused on closing linkages.

sorb losses without requiring emergency capital injections

in case of any further writeoffs.

HE Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) has called on the Federal Government to resist the call for massive importation of rice to mitigate the impact of the recent flood disaster in the country. Chairman of the association, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar, told The Nation in Abuja that there was no need for the government to entertain any fear as “there are adequate stocks of rice in the country to meet immediate demands”. “It is our view that there exists 600,000 tonnes in the country and with rice harvest starting in November, additional stock of up to half a million tonnes will be added to the national food stock.’’ While urging the government to avoid orchestrated panic and doomsday projection, the association said: “Government should carefully consider appropriate measures and response that would not damage our national interest.’’



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

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

By Toba Agboola

per, metallic items, steel), about N1 trillion on oil products (refined). MacRae said imports of industrial equipment is being liberalised in Nigeria to promote local production and import substitution. He said EU is committed in the negotiation of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Nigeria. ”Nigeria constitutes around half of the EU exports to the region and nearly 70 per cent of the imports. “Of course, oil takes the biggest share, but the EU also attracts more than 50 per cent of the Nigerian non-oil exports, and is a key partner, through trade and investments

in the industrialisation of the country. “Stocks of EU investments in Nigeria alone amounted to no less than 30 billion Euros in 2010/2011,” the envoy said. He said Nigeria is EU’s key partner in Africa, stressing that the collaboration has been on for a very long time now and he only sees a better future. “We see EPA as a development tool to reinforce regional integration process and foster growth and development. The EU believes that the EPA represents an opportunity to Nigeria in terms of attracting investment to the no oil sectors, improved access to the EU market and economic governance,” he added.

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

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

HE European Union (EU) investment in Nigeria has risen to over N7.4 trillion, its Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr David MacRae, has said. He also said about N2.5trillion worth of goods were imported to Nigeria from the EU in the past one year. Speaking with The Nation, the envoy said the EU is still Nigeria’s biggest non-oil trading partner. Giving the breakdown of the imports, MacRae said N750 billion worth of machinery and equipment are imported, while the total imports of food and beverages within the period was N200 billion . He listed others to include N200 billion from chemicals, pharma and perfumes, N200 billion on manufactured goods (mainly pa-

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

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

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

EU investment in Nigeria hits N7.4tr, says envoy T

08.00 18.00

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

•From left: Chairman, Lafarge PLC, Olusegun Osunkeye; founder, Akintola Williams & Co, Akintola Williams; CEO, Deloitte, West & Central Africa, Adeniyi Obe; ex-managing,Deloitte, Akintola Williams; and Victor Hammond, at the Akintola Williams Deloitte’s alumni annual dinner in Lagos.

‘How airspace redesigning’ll save costs’ By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


HE redesigning of the Nigerian airspace to make it compliant with the World Geodetic Survey 84, the latest technology in air routes, will save millions of naira for carriers. The design is one of the steps taken by Nigeria to meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard and transit to performance-based navigation. According to the Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, the redesigning of the airspace will help to curb transit time by 30 per cent and reduce the cost of air transport. Also, the airspace design will minimise the impact of weather and other disruptions as well as achieve 99 per cent on time departure and arrivals. He explained that the new airspace design will also limit passenger processing time in the airport to less than 10 minutes. He, however, identified some challenges the aviation industry is grappling with to include poor policy environment, inadequate infrastructure, poor financing, poor regional leadership, operational difficulties as well as identified and unidentified security challenges. Udoh said: “ Nigeria must take the lead in the full and timely implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration on the development of the open sky policy. “To meet the estimated seven per cent growth rate, significant investment will be required in fleet, personnel and infrastructure. The public and private sector must be encouraged to invest in the anticipated growth.”

S&P raises First, GTB, Zenith banks’ ratings


TANDARD & Poor’s (S&P) has raised the long-term counterparty credit ratings on First Bank of Nigeria Plc , Zenith Bank Plc, and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to ‘BB-’ from ‘B+’. The firm said also raised the longterm Nigeria national scale ratings on the three lenders to ‘ngAA-’ from ‘ngA+’, adding that the stable outlook on the trio reflects that on the sovereign. The firm said the banks’ business and financial profiles will remain relatively unchanged over the next 12 months. According to Reuters, the ‘B’ short-term counterparty credit ratings on all three banks were affirmed and their outlook remained stable. S&P said the rating actions on FirstBank, Zenith, and GTB follow the upgrade of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rating on improved fiscal and external buffers and strong growth. It said that the sovereign upgrade re-


By Collins Nweze

flects its view of an improvement in the government’s fiscal buffer and external position, as well as ongoing reform momentum. “We believe these factors will benefit the three rated Nigerian banks through the improved quality of their large exposure to the sovereign treasury bills and other government or government-related debt account for about 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the banks’ total assets. There is also expected strong economic growth, especially in the non-oil sector,” it said. The S&P said it does not rate Nigerian banks above the foreign currency sovereign credit ratings because of the direct and indirect influence the sovereign in distress would have on a bank’s operations, including its ability to service foreign currency obligations. “The long-term counterparty credit rating on Zenith remains constrained by the ‘BB-’ foreign currency sovereign credit rating

on Nigeria. The ratings on FirstBank and GTB reflect their SACPs of ‘bb-’,” it added. According to S&P, the stable outlook on FirstBank reflects the stable economic environment, adding that the bank’s business and financial profiles will remain relatively unchanged over the next 12 months. It expects the bank to retain its strong market position as Nigerian banking sector leader, with relatively stable revenues and moderate geographic diversification. The bank’s capitalisation, it said, should remain in the five to six per cent range under S&P’s risk-adjusted capital (RAC) methodology, but there could be downward ratings pressure if loans grow faster than we currently anticipate. “In our view, positive economic prospects should keep asset quality and loss experience at currently good levels, although a focus on lending to midsize companies may pressure

this in the next 12 to 18 months,” it said. On GTB, it said the stable outlook reflects the stable economic environment, stressing that the bank’s business and financial profiles will remain relatively unchanged over the next 12 months. “In our view, the positive economic prospects in Nigeria will further support GTB’s business relationships and earning capacity,” it said. It said the stable outlook on Zenith reflects that on the sovereign, adding that the lender’s business and financial profile will also remain relatively unchanged over the next 12 months. “We anticipate that the positive economic prospects in Nigeria will support Zenith’s financial performance. We would raise the ratings on Zenith if we were to raise the ratings on the sovereign,” it said. The agency said a downgrade of the sovereign rating would trigger a downgrade of the bank.

‘Nigerian firms lured by London’

IGERIA might be trying to lure local companies into listing on its stock exchange, with flotation activity set to increase – but it’s not the only one. London is stepping up its efforts too for listings in tandem. As the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) scrambles to regain the ground it lost after the equities bubble burst in 2008 sparking a spectacular $50billion crash, Nigerian groups are also being tempted by London’s broad investor base and liquidity, according to Financial Times’ beyondbrics. The LSE is actively looking to add Nigerian companies to its roster and is in discussions with its Nigerian counterpart to simplify the dual listings process, allowing immediate

trading and settling of securities in both markets. Ibukun Adebayo, the London Stock Exchange’s head of business development for the Middle East and Africa, said: “The level of interest in the country from global investment houses operating out of London has grown significantly, particularly in the last couple of years. There’s been a distinct pick up in terms of the value that African countries see in having a LSE listing.” The result is that the pipeline of Nigerian companies now preparing for initial public offerings in London “has grown significantly compared to this time last year”, he added, without naming groups. For businesses that have outgrown

their own bourse the attraction is greater than a new realm of investors. “It’s about more than just capital raising. It’s about profile building, the binding effect of meeting higher regulatory standards, plus London’s ability to adequately price risk from this part of the world,” Adebayo explained. There are five companies either incorporated or operating in Nigeria now quoted on London markets, worth a total of $3.5billion. This September, the west Africa-focused energy group Eland Oil & Gas became the largest company to float on the LSE’s smaller market AIM, raising $188millio after it partnered with local oil firm Starcrest to buy a stake in a Nigerian oil block.

Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading lenders, also said penultimate week that it plans a secondary listing in London, which will be facilitated by JP Morgan pending shareholder approval on November 21. It follows other top-tier financial institutions Guaranty Trust Bank and Diamond Bank. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is aiming to float a 20 per cent stake of his $11billion cement business next year – the first listing of one of his companies outside Nigeria. But Dangote Cement is grappling to meet the LSE’s stringent main market corporate governance requirements, with analysts predicting that it will make it to market in late 2013 at the earliest.






CBN reviews policy on agric sector funding Stories by Collins Nweze


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed rules for lending to the agricultural sector of the economy. The apex bank The Nation learnt, took the decision after reports from banks and discount houses indicated that lending to the subsector remains a high-risk, which should be followed with caution. In a circular to all deposit money banks and other stakeholders in the agric funding chain released at the weekend, the CBN said agricultural lending accounts for approximately 1.4 per cent of formal lending, and has been on the

decline since 2006 because of the perceived risk of the sector. This situation, it said, was because banks have limited understanding of and lack of confidence in the sector. To reduce the inherent risk in the level, the apex bank advised that going forward, lenders should conduct environment and social risk analysis and assessment of agricultural clients and activities before extending loans to them. The lenders, by this rule, are also expected to ensure that identified risks are adequately monitored and managed while adhering to local environmental

fund that produce high quality research on the needs of the sector. Lenders are also to encourage and finance providers of storage facilities for seeds, produce and other value-added products provided that they take into consideration energy efficiency issues. The apex bank said it is collaborating with local banks for the institution of principles that will assist them in the identification and management of complex environment and social risks associated with the provision of financial products and services to the agriculture sector. It is also meant to provide

and social laws. The CBN also wants lenders to be consistent with Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) agenda, ensuring that, they finance the manufacture and distribution of improved and high seeds; lending to indigenous seed companies and importers of seed varieties and ensuring that farmers are able to procure seeds directly from seed manufacturers by availing them adequate credit. Also, with support from industry stakeholders, banks are to establish agricultural value chain research development

Unity commits N2.1b to housing, transportation area of Lagos. “The project is worth N1.5 billion,” he said. Wanka said that this was the way the bank could participate in the turning Lagos to emerging mega city. He said the bank was also involved in promoting hospitality and tourism in the country by providing N250 million to fund the building of “African Sun Amber Residence”.


NITY Bank Plc has said it has committed N2.13 billion to fund housing and transport projects in Lagos State. Managing Director of Unity Bank Mr Ado Wanka, who said this at the weekend disclosed that the bank had committed about N1.5 billion to financing affordable houses in the state while another N6.33 million was earmarked for the purchase of 100 42 seater buses by HFZ Transport services. Wanka, represented by Mrs Yemi Adeyinka, the bank’s Regional Manager in Ikeja, made spoke at the bank’s Special Day at the ongoing 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos. “The bank is involved in financing 112 housing units comprising 84 units of fourbedroom and 28 units of threebedroom apartments in Lekki


EW set of winners have emerged in the Ecobank “Win Big” promo at the second draw held in Port Harcourt at the weekend. The draw, according to a statement, saw Mrs. Josephine Njideka Nwafor from Old Market Road, Onitsha winning the star prize of a brand new Nissan salon car. Other winners include Dr. Ibadin Michael, a customer

The managing director also said that the bank was involved in financing the purchase of 50 Nissan Sunny cabs to ease transportation in Lagos to its POD of Diamonds customers. He said that the bank had been participating in the Lagos Trade Fair because it had large numbers of its branches in the state. “We are directly participating in the laudable steps taken

by the Lagos Sate government to reshape the state into a model mega city of the 21st century,” he said. Mr Goodie Ibru, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the bank had been reliable in providing finance to the private sector. He urged the bank to continue in its financial intervention to help businesses to grow in the country.

Joseph. Speaking at the event, Ecobank Executive Director, Domestic Bank, Kingsley Aigbokhaevbo, who was represented by Funwa Akinmade, Head of Domestic Products said the bank has earmarked four monthly draws for the promo to appreciate customers and

from Uselu Road in Benin and Nkamigbo Valentine of Factory Road Branch, Aba both won 2.5 KVA generators, while Ezeobiora Joseph and Nwaobasi Mathew were winners of respective 2.5 KVA generators. Two Blackberry phones were won by Ezera Raimond and Nkereuwem

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




8.00 1.49 0.51 0.56 0.58 0.53 2.46 56.61 8.60 1.94

O/PRICE 0.63 1.62 13.77 3.90 0.56 1.69 65.00 20.70 4.00 1.60

help them enjoy the benefits of maintaining a good savings culture. “Each draw takes us closer to the first prize of Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) to be won in the Grand Finale up in December,” he said. He reiterated that the promo is Ecobank’s way of saying thank you to all its customers and stakeholders.

Consultant and Dr Prem Shamdasani, a first class brand management expert from the National University of Singapore Business School. The event, which has as its theme: ‘Marketing and brand leadership in an emerging market’, is expected to draw over 500 alumni and invited guests to the Honeywell Group auditorium of the school, the venue of the event. According to the Alumni Relation’s Director of the School, Mr Henry Onukwuba, “the Alumni Conference, popularly known as Alumni Day, is the biggest annual academic event of the alumni association of the School which usually features carefully selected experts in their respective fields. The conference is in furtherance of the objective of the association to afford its members life-long learning opportunities after graduation from the school.


8.40 1.55 0.53 1.62 0.60 0.54 2.50 57.51 8.66 1.95


0.40 0.06 0.02 0.06 0.02 0.01 0.04 0.90 0.06 0.01

C/PRICE 0.58 1.54 13.09 3.71 0.54 1.63 63.02 20.10 3.90 1.56

CHANGE 0.05 0.08 0.68 0.19 0.02 0.06 1.98 0.60 0.10 0.04

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 2-11-12



INANCE Minster and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will be guest speaker at the 17th Annual Alumni Conference of Lagos Business School on Thursday, November 15 in Lagos. She would speak on Nigeria’s financial prospects and opportunities in 2013, and would lead other speakers which will include Prof Walter Vieira, Asia’s leading Marketing and Management

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m


Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

ture is a practical means of reducing poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, whilst providing raw materials for industries and export in the



Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year




OBB Rate Call Rate

•CBN Governor, Lamido

Okonjo-Iweala, others to speak at LBS confab

Winners emerge in Ecobank promo



additional sector-specific guidance to supplement the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles Guidance Note and ensure that banks adopt relevant international standards and best practices in the management of environment and social risk. The principles will equally position agriculture as an attractive, rewarding and sustainable business opportunity given the large proportion of the population that depends on agriculture as a source of livelihood. “It is clear that agricul-

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 125.92 124.12 0.76 1.11 0.94 1,733.86 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,827.50 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





Honeywell Flour Mills: not as profitable H

ONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc's outward performance showed modest growth in key performance indicators but the underlying indices showed a less profitable, highly geared and less liquid company. Audited report and accounts of Honeywell Flour Mills for the year ended March 31, 2012 indicated modest growth in sales and profitability as management reined in operating expenses and finance costs to counterbalance the visibly negative impact of high input costs. But while the mid-line cost-cutting strategies resulted in modest outward performance outlook, the company's underlying fundamentals were not impressive. With decline in average profit-making capacity, productivity, overall costefficiency, negative working capital and lower liquidity as well as weakening financing structure, the beyond-the-surface balance sheet and profit and loss performances counteracted the modest outward growth, reflecting a largely weak overall performance assessment. However, the company's expansive investments in new production capacity and technologies expanded the balance sheet. A double in long-term assets added a half to total assets. The company increased cash payouts by 15 per cent just as net assets improved by 11 per cent. But the increase in cash payout far above the net earnings growth impinged on future dividend sustainability rating. At current market consideration, the net book value of the company meanwhile, suggests undervaluation, opening up potential headroom for two-sided returns from expected consolidation of operational performance and related capital appreciation.

Financing structure Honeywell Flour Mill relied substantially on bank loans to finance its expansion plan, reflecting the economic-wide financial leverage faced by growing companies as the capital market totters after a grueling recession. While total assets grew by 54 per cent, total liabilities doubled by 101 per cent; driven mainly by nearly a triple in bank loans. With these, the debtto-equity ratio spiked from 39 per cent in 2011 to 93 per cent in 2012. The proportion of equity funds to total assets dropped from 52 per cent to 37 per cent. Current liabilities/total assets ratio stood at 44 per Fiscal Year Ended March 31 Nmillion Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend (Nm) Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo) Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds





•Chairman, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko


loss figures and declining underlyper cent from N1.12 billion to N559 ing profitability and returns. On the million. With these, profit before tax cent in 2012 as against 38 per cent in surface, total sales grew by 12 per inched up from N3.52 billion to 2011. The proportion of long-term cent while pre and post tax profits N3.66 billion. A further slight deliabilities to total assets meanwhile, braced 7.8 per cent decline in gross crease in taxes helped net profit afstood at 63 per cent in 2012 comprofit to post 4.2 per cent and 8.4 ter tax growth to 8.4 per cent at pared with 48 per cent in 2011. per cent growth respectively. BeN2.70 billion in 2012 as against Total assets had increased from yond the surface, gross profit marN2.49 billion in 2011. N29.14 billion to N44.94 billion. gin declined from 21 per cent to 17 The company distributed N1.19 Fixed assets grew by 120 per cent to per cent. Average pre-tax profit per billion as cash dividends to shareN27.71 billion as against N12.57 bilunit of sale slipped from 10.3 per holders for the 2012 business year, lion while current assets inched up cent to 9.6 per cent. While actual representing 44 per cent of net earnfrom N15.67 billion to N16.33 bilcash payout showed 15 per cent inings. It had distributed N1.03 billion lion. However, total liabilities doucrease, underlying returns on eqor 41 per cent f net earnings in 2011. bled from N14 billion to N28.14 biluity and total assets slipped from Per share analysis showed basic net lion. Current liabilities grew by 78 16.5 per cent and 12.1 per cent in earnings per share of 34 kobo in 2012 per cent from N11 billion to N19.6 2011 to 16.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent as against 31 kobo in 2011. Dividend billion while long-term liabilities in 2012 respectively. This also reper share improved from 13 kobo shot up by 185 per cent from N3 bilflected in dividend cover, which in 2011 to 15 kobo in 2012. Net aslion to N8.52 billion. shifted from 2.38 times to 2.27 sets per share also improved from times. N1.91 in 2011 to N2.12 in 2012. Efficiency Group total sales had increased Liquidity Average number of employees inby 11.8 per cent from N34.06 bilcreased by 15 per cent from 656 perlion to N38.07 billion. The group The liquidity position of the comsons in 2011 to 757 persons in 2012. witnessed appreciable growths pany weakened considerably in Staff costs improved by 11 per cent across its business segments. The 2012 with negative working capital to N882.8 million in 2012 compared main business segment of flour and less financial coverage for probwith N795.29 billion in 2011, indimilling saw 9.8 per cent increase in able risks. Current ratio, which incating average cost per head of sales from N27.56 billion to N30.26 dicates financial agility by relating N1.17 million in 2012 as against billion. Noodles and pasta business current assets to relevant current liN1.21 million in 2011. Following improved sales from N6.5 billion to abilities, nearly halved from 1.42 same pattern, average pre-tax profit N7.8 billion. Cost of sales spiraled times in 2011 to 0.83 times in 2012. per head dropped from N5.36 milupward by 17 per cent to N31.5 bilThe positive ratio of working capilion to N4.84 million. With high toplion as against N26.9 billion in pretal to total sales of 13.7 per cent in line cost, the overall cost efficiency vious year. Gross profit thus 2011 reversed to -8.6 per cent in 2012. reduced during the period. Total slipped from N7.12 billion to N6.57 The proportion of debtors to credicost of business, excluding finance billion. Total operating expenses tors dropped from about 72 per cent charges, amounted to about 91 per dropped by 6.2 per cent to N3.11 in 2011 to 59 per cent in 2012. cent of total turnover in 2012 as billion as against N3.32 billion, against 89 per cent in 2011. driven mainly by reduction in disGovernance and tribution expenses from N2.27 bilstructures Profitability lion to N1.88 billion. Administrative expenses increased from N1.05 Honeywell Flour Mills Group conHoneywell Flour Mills showed a billion to N1.27 billion. sists of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, two contrasting profit outlookWhile non-core business incomes the parent company and its whollymodest growing outward profit, decreased slightly by 7.2 owned subsidiary- Honeywell Su2012 2011 per cent, the company perfine Foods Limited. A member of 12 months % change 12 months halved its interest ex- the Honeywell Group, a Nigerian penses to boost the bot- conglomerate with widely diversified tom-line performance. interests in manufacturing, oil and gas 30,263 9.8 27,560 Non-core business in- and financial services sectors, 38,072 11.8 34,058 come dropped from Honeywell Flour Mills became a pub31,502 17.0 26,933 N823 million to N764 lic limited liability company in 2008 6,570 -7.8 7,124 million. Interest expense and its shares were quoted on the Ni3,111 -6.2 3,317 however, dropped by 50 gerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2009. 764 -7.2 823 559 -49.9 1,115 Fiscal Year Ended March 31 2012 2011 3,663 4.2 3,516 % % 2,702 8.4 2,492 Financing structure 34 9.7 31 Equity funds/Total assets 37.4 51.9 1,190 15.4 1,031 Long-term liabilities/Total assets 62.6 48.1 15 15.4 13 Current liabilities/Total assets 43.7 37.8 212 11.0 191 Debt/Equity ratio 92.6 39.3 By Taofik Salako

27,706 28,607 603 16,333 44,940

120.4 112.3 -12.0 4.3 54.2

12,572 13,472 685 15,665 29,137

1,022 15,551 19,622 8,516 28,138

7.1 161.7 78.1 184.6 100.9

954 5,943 11,015 2,992 14,007

3,965 16,802

0.0 11.0

3,965 15,131

Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)

17.3 9.6 8.2 16.1 2.27

20.9 10.3 12.1 16.5 2.38

Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) Staff cost per employee (Nm) Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover

4.84 1.17 90.9

5.36 1.21 88.8

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

0.83 -8.6 59.0

1.42 13.7 71.8

It currently has some 28,000 shareholders. However, latest shareholding analysis showed that three shareholders accounted for 88 per cent equity stake. Siloam Global Services Limited holds 75 per cent equity stake. First Bank of Nigeria holds a separate 7.0 per cent equity stake while it also jointly with BGL Securities Limited JSA holds 6.0 per cent equity stake. Dr. Oba Otudeko, who chairs the board of directors, holds 15.72 per cent equity stake through his 21 per cent indirect stake in Siloam while his son, Obafemi Otudeko, a non executive director, holds 7.2 per cent stake through 9.6 per cent indirect stake in Siloam. Obafemi is an executive director of Honeywell Group. The board and management remain stable. Mr. Folaranmi Odunayo still leads the executive management as executive vice chairman and chief executive officer. The company has complied largely with code of corporate governance and best practices with appropriate board committees and management structures to ensure effective oversight and decision-making.

Analyst's opinion Honeywell Flour Mills faces the tough challenge of blending the spiraling global input costs with the sluggish domestic purchasing power, without necessarily undermining returns to shareholders. Perhaps the greatest challenge to the company is the common industry issue of the Federal Government cassava initiative. Basically, government plans to 40 per cent substitution of cassava flour in wheat flour. Consequently, the government has increased duty level on wheat grain by 15 per cent, raising effective duty rate to 20 per cent. The Flour Mills Industry lobby group is engaging the government on the substitution, which may dramatically impinge on the industry performance if fully implemented under the current scenarios. Also, new fiscal measures on sugar import taking off January 1, 2013 will also likely have indirect slowdown impact on the industry. Import duty and levy on raw sugar will be 10 per cent and 50 per cent respectively while refined sugar will attract 20 per cent duty and 60 per cent levy. There is also obvious need to deleverage the company, possibly through equity issue, to stave off negative impact of existing and deferred finance costs. Meanwhile, Honeywell Flour Mills could mitigate adverse operating environment with synergies and scale from its expansion drive. Its mill expansion will add 62 per cent to production capacity from 1,610 metric tonnes to 2,610 metric tonnes per day. The state-of-the-art facility and other complements such as the 30,000 metric tonnes storage silos are expected to enhance the creativity and productivity of the company, two key attributes in a largely monotonous industry. Overall, there is still reasonable basis to be optimistic about the future outlook of the company, although the tough operating environment calls for cautious assumptions.











Union Bank records N17b Q3 profit


NION Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc further consolidated its performance in the third quarter as the recently recapitalised bank reversed net loss of about N59.14 billion with net profit of N17.18 billion. Interim report and accounts of the bank for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2012 showed strong bottom-line performance as improvement in core banking operations continued to impact on overall performance. Profit before tax stood at N14 billion in 2012 as against pre-tax loss of N75.8 billion in comparable period of 2011. While tax write back of N16.66 billion helped reduced net loss to N59.14 billion in 2011, the company recorded net profit of N17.2 billion in 2012. Tax writeback for third quarter 2012 was N3.2 billion. Net interest income increased from N47.81 billion in 2011 to N52.23 billion in 2012. The latest report steadied the bank’s returns outlook with earnings per share of N3.29 in 2012 as against net loss per share of 5.0 kobo in the comparable period of 2011. At today’s opening price, earnings yield stood at 41 per cent, indicating the probable return to investors. The report also reaffirmed Union Bank’s large capital base with shareholders’ funds of N209.93 billion in 2012 as against deficit of

•Investors stake N11.5b on equities By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

N189.04 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2011. The third quarter report showed sustained growth trend, building on turnaround noted in the first and second quarter. In the first half, the bank recorded net profit of N16.14 billion compared with a loss of N40.30 billion posted during corresponding period in 2011. This translated to earnings per share of N2.51 as against a loss per share of N3.05 kobo recorded same period last year. In the first quarter, the bank posted gross earnings of N25.51 billion while profit after taxation was N6.32 billion. Directors of the bank stated that the third quarter report indicated the resurgence of the bank following its recent recapitalisation and restructuring programmes. According to the bank, the stellar performance is due to full re-capitalisation, emergence of core investor; faster service delivery to customers and other growth spurring polices of the management. The bank said its robust performance sprang from a solid foundation laid during the recapitalisation and restructuring period, thus creating momentum that has helped to feed the in-

vesting public optimism as evident in the rising risk appetite and share price of the bank. Directors of the bank said they expected the uptrend to continue in the periods ahead as investors look towards first full-year profit in recent years. Meanwhile, investors staked N11.49 billion on 1.19 billion shares through 22,277 deals last week at the Nigerian stock market. The financial services sector remained the toasts of the investors with turnover of 835.158 million shares valued at N6.380 billion in 13,326 deals, representing 70 per cent of aggregate turnover for the week. The consumer goods sector staged a distant second with turnover of 178.863 million shares valued at N3.65 billion in 4,204 deals. The trio of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa were the three most active stocks, accounting for 324.977 million shares, some 27 per cent of total turnover. On the over-the-counter (OTC) bond market, investors staked N187.51 billion on 179.414 million units of bonds through 1,196 deals. Nigeria’s sovereign bonds are traded on the OTC. The benchmark value indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed modest gain for equities. The All Share Index (ASI), the main index for Nigerian stock market, inched up from its opening index of 26,559.55 points to close at 26,718.30 points, indicating an increase of 0.60 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities also added N50.6 billion to close at N8.514 trillion.






The recent announcement of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc as one of the successful bidders for power generation companies being privatised by the Federal Government may further consolidate the conglomerates recovery, writes TAOFIK SALAKO.

Will power project redeem Transcorp’s image?

• Elumelu


HE emergence of Transcorp Consortium as the highest and preferred bidder for the Ughelli Power Plc, one of the five power generation companies under privatisation in the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), has seen a spike in demand for the shares of the conglomerate at the stock market. Transcorp consortium had offered $300 million for the Ughelli Power Plc. The Transcorp consortium included companies such as Wood Rock; Symbion Power LLC, USA; Medea Development; PSL Engineering and Control and Thomassen Services and Contracting Company. They had all been prequalified by the NCP. Within the consortium, Transcorp is the dominant Nigerian company and ostensibly the anchor for the consortium. Besides, it probably has the dominant role among the three quoted companies in the entire process. With the market agitating for the inclusion of listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of the conditions for the emerging power companies, the red alert for possible windows for wider investors’ participation in the power companies was high.

Changing fortunes? Another streak of bullish rally would see Transcorp consolidating its position atop the return table at the NSE. Already, with a subsisting year-to-date gain of about 68.4 per cent, the conglomerate has mostly showed strong performance. While Transcorp had recorded a negative year-to-date return of 8.77 per cent or a loss of N1.3 billion within the three months ended March 31, 2012, the second quarter had seen significant capital appreciation as the conglomerate released early fundamentals and forecasts for 2012. At 57 kobo per share, Transcorp had opened this year with a market capitalisation of N14.71 billion but it ended the first quarter with market value of N13.42 billion at 52 kobo per share, around its lowest value per share of 50 kobo. At today’s opening price, Transcorp’s market value stands at about N24.8 billion. But it still has a long way to go to redeem its hopes and promises. For most non-insider investors in Transcorp, it has been a long waiting for any form of return or recuperationcash dividend, bonus share or capital appreciation. Incorporated in 2004, Transcorp was touted as the next frontier of African investment and Nigeria’s investment vehicle in the global economy. Its vision was to become the largest and most successful Africa-

based conglomerate while the mission was to drive Africa’s integration into the global economy by becoming a Nigerian-based multi-national conglomerate with between $5 billion and $10 billion annual revenue and market capitalisation of between $30 billion and $60 billion within five to seven years. As a conglomerate, Transcorp’s interests span agriculture, energy, real estate, hospitality and trade and commerce. All these were woven around enticing returns to shareholders. More than five years after it raised several billions of naira from investors with a promise to be the pride of shareholders, Transcorp has still yet to find neither the fundamental stability nor the technical appreciation to deliver any commensurate return. After a railroaded application and waiver that exempted Transcorp from the required minimum operational years and audited accounts, the conglomerate was listed in November 2006. The share price leapt from a low of N6 per share to close the year at a high of N9.71. However, realities soon set in. Transcorp closed 2007 at N3.14 per share, seven kobo above its lowest market consideration of N3.07 during the period. Thus, rather than the high hopes of a global multinational return, Transcorp returned full-year loss of 67.7 per cent to shareholders in its first full year on the stock market. By the time the capital market caught the cold from global financial and economic crises and domestic assets bubble in 2008, Transcorp had stripped to nominal value. In 2010, the conglomerate spiraled from a high of 57 kobo to close at a low of 50 kobo. In 2011, the company traded within a range of a high of N1.82 and a low of 50 kobo and subsequently closed at 57 kobo per share. But for most part of this year, the stock has shown tendency towards the bull rather than the bear. Although it had slumped to a low of 50 kobo, it has largely hovered around 100 kobo mark in the past six months.

The fundamentals Transcorp recovery is also related to changes in the fundamentals of the

company. While its performance on the secondary market mirrored its historic false start, the resurgence is also an indication of the prospective yields, especially given the low consideration of the stock. Transcorp had posted a loss of N9.1 billion within the eightmonth period ended December 2006. In 2007, loss after tax stood at N8.93 billion while investors contended with net loss of N6.70 billion in 2008. It broke the cycle in 2009 with a net profit of N1.2 billion. But recent audited and interim fundamental reports of the conglomerate have shown stable and reassuring positive outlook, allaying fears that had built up over years of mindboggling losses. Audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed that turnover rose from N13.93 billion in 2010 to N14.08 billion in 2011. Profit before tax and exceptional Item stood at N3.5 billion as against N4.1 billion in 2010. After exceptional item, profit before tax dropped from N6.91 billion to N3.5 billion. Profit after tax closed 2011 at N4.67 billion as against N5.39 billion in 2010. Unaudited report for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 showed appreciable improvement in profitability, raising prospects for shareholders’ earnings this year. While turnover dropped marginally from N663.81 million in first quarter 2011 to N514.84 million by first quarter of 2012, profit before tax closed the first three months of 2012 at N610.12 million compared with N399.07 million in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax also improved from N319.26 million to N518.61 million. By the second quarter ended June 30, 2012, profit before tax had romped to N1.05 billion as against N684.01 million in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax also increased to N939.93 million as against N547.21 million in corresponding period of 2011. However, total revenue dropped from N1.25 billion to N1.25 billion, indicating the fact that the bottom-line was driven majorly by financial management than operations. Net finance income, after deducting finance ex-

penses, stood at N747.12 million in 2012 as against deficit of N127 million in 2011. In recent time, the board of the company estimated that profit after tax would be about N1.51 billion by the third quarter ended September 30, 2012. With total income expected at N2.66 billion, profit before tax was projected at N1.77 billion for the period.

Hopes on the horizon? Increasingly positive fundamentals are expected to redirect investors’ perceptions about the prospects of the conglomerate. Just as the emergence of the conglomerate as a core investor in a power generation company. Often cited in relation to the boom in the telecommunications sector, most analysts perceive the power firms as cash cows that would not only generate power but significant returns for investors. The monopolistic nature of the system and centrality of the success of the privatisation to government’s transformation agenda confer enormous advantages on the power companies. Transcorp is also pushing for growth on other frontiers. Speaking recently on prospects of the conglomerate, chairman, Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu, said the conglomerate has commenced the execution of its expansion plans to fully utilise the massive unutilised land on its Transcorp Hilton Abuja site and roll out new hotels across major economic centres in Nigeria such as Lagos and Port Harcourt. According to him, the conglomerate took several significant steps in its key sectors of agri-business, energy and hospitality – that would no doubt see Transcorp taking its rightful place as a key player in the economic development and transformation of Nigeria. He outlined that Transcorp’s agribusiness subsidiary, Teragro Ltd, has the annual capacity to process 26,500 metric tonnes of oranges, mangoes and pineapples, turning them into juice concentrate that will be supplied to ready-to-drink juice

At today’s opening price, Transcorp’s market value stands at about N24.8 billion. But it still has a long way to go to redeem its hopes and promises. For most non-insider investors in Transcorp, it has been a long waiting for any form of return or recuperation-cash dividend, bonus share or capital appreciation

manufacturers in Nigeria and beyond. “This plant will contribute tremendously to increased employment, the utilisation of local produce, as well as serve as a domestic supply substitute for indigenous manufacturers. I am excited and optimistic about Nigeria’s coming of age. Now is the time to become fully engaged in transformational investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth by increasing employment and enhancing the quality of life for all Nigerians,” Elumelu said. President, Transcorp, Mr Obinna Ufudo, said the company has fully embraced and enthroned the highest level of global best practices and governance standards in our operations and businesses. “Our major priorities now are creating value for our stakeholders as well as making profits for our shareholders, and we believe very strongly that the foundation that we are laying, and our hard work, will lead to dividends being paid by the end of this financial year,” Ufudo said. Besides, Transcorp had recently caused the revision of the terms of partnership in its Oil Processing License 281 (OPL 281) in Nigeria. The revised terms were said to be as a result of a change of control in Transcorp as the conglomerate sought to fully take responsibility for the operation of the block in its bid to become a leading Nigerian indigenous oil and gas upstream company with production. The company is optimistic that the power generation deal would be a win-win situation for Nigerian consumers and its investors. “We are going to let Nigerians know that a Nigerian company can lead a foremost Nigerian sector,” Ufudo enthused shortly after Transcorp was declared a winner. Such a win as the leader in the much-needed electricity sector will surely make Transcorp a winning stock. There however, still remain points of caution. A similar announcement of preferred bidder for the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) proved to be a mirage, with the telecoms company still writhing in the pangs of the inconclusive deal. Transcorp was also a party in the NITEL saga. But then, leadership has changed at the conglomerate and the financial clout of the new board appears adequate to cover a $300 million deal. Even as it finalises the power deal, there appears to be more wind in the wing to propel Transcorp to a new high.






Want a job? Try Internet Marketing


HESE days, coming by a job is hard, no thanks to the economic recession. Millions of jobs were lost to the recession from which there seems to be no respite. Many governments are seeking to tackle unemployment through various policies, all to no

avail. As there appears to be no answer to unemployment, people are looking for new areas to survive. One of such is internet marketing, a process whereby people use the internet to create jobs for themselves. Other jobs that can be done through the


One of the good things to happen this century is the Internet, which has made the world a global village. Many things can be done on the Net, as it is fashionably referred to. The unemployed too can get a job on the Internet. How? By availing themselves of the opportunities in Internet marketing, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE

internet include website creation, content writing, updating of social media sites, promotion of online products/ services, Pay Per Click (PPC), targeted e-mail lists, among others. The jobs vary, offer different appeals as well as remuneration. Usually, people who provide these services

are paid periodically, subject to the agreements they reached with their customers. Internet marketing has attracted attentions globally. In the developed econo•Continued on page 38




Want a job? Try Internet Marketing •Continued from page 37

mies, such as the United States and Europe, internet marketing has gained prominence as people veered into it to earn a living. Nigeria has joined the league of nations that leverage on internet marketing, among other ideas to create jobs, because of the growth in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country. Experts say internet marketing has the potential to create jobs for the large army of unemployed youths. They say millions of people surf the internet daily for one opportunity or the other, adding that the volume of traffic determine the earnings of people that create jobs for themselves on the internet. According to the experts, people who want to go into internet marketing must have at least secondary school certificate, adding that people with higher qualifications stand a better advantage. Other requirements include the ability to study and understand the technicalities of ICT facilities, good presentation of services/ products, network and time in surfing the internet. The General Manager, System Power Limited, Mr Steven Akinwale, said people who want to create jobs through internet marketing must have a laptop, desktop, modem, a mobile phone, among other tools, to do the job effectively. Akinwale said people can sit in the comfort of their homes and create jobs, adding that one does not need a big office to operate. However, he said getting clients or customers is not easy because one has to search for them online, stressing that this involves going through specialised websites that are on internet. Acording to him, people can go into content writing to survive once they have a good understanding of English language. He said content writing is into different stages, arguing that one can write on different topics as directed by the owners of the site. “There are a lot of website owners online who are looking for people to

write for them on different topics. There are many high paying clients who want articles or blog posts on their sites. Others pay people to create information for the products they are selling online.Website owners that are in Europe and other developed economies pay in dollars. The fees ranged from $500 to $1000 depending on the nature of the work. Some pay less; that is why it is important to have ICT facilities to function well in this kind of business,“ he said. He said there are hundreds of graduates who are writing for website owners to earn a living, adding that the figure will increase because of the surging interest on internet use in the country. Akinwale identifed updating of social media sites as another employment opportunity on the internet. He said: “Besides my job as information technology engineer, I update social media sites for people. When I write website content for someone, I always offer to create and update a Facebook and Twitter page for them for an additional fee. Lots of people know they should have a social media presence, but they don’t really know how to get started or keep it updated. “Most of the time, the websites I create are for myself. I use them for my own businesses. In addition, I set up sites for small businesses that want online presence. “Though one must have electrical and electronics background to do this, peo-

ple from different backgrounds have taken time to study this area and are doing well today.” He said there are thousands of social media sites that need activation, adding they are looking for people who can update their sites for them. For Mr Sunday Adeoye, his online business has been rewarding him bountifully. A graduate of Ogun State University, he said he had put endless search for jobs endlessly behind him since he started working as an internet marketer. “I promote online products and services. A lot of the money I make as a marketing professional comes from being an affiliate of various companies. That means the company pays me a commission. Three of the programmes that pay the most consistently for me are Google Adsense, Amazon, and TangoWire. Besides, I sell books online and get paid,“ he said. Adeoye said he had trained many people on how to be self-employed, especially in internet marketing. He advised people to write on national/ global issues and post them on blogs to foster growth, adding that search engines, such as Google and Adsense, are ready to pay the writer once there is a huge traffic on the websites or blogs where the article is posted. This, he said, can be done on a part-time basis. “This is where the issue of Pay Per Click comes in. The more people click on the website to read the article, the more the remunerations accruing to the owner of the work,” he added. Similarly, the Managing Director, New

‘What people need to do is to get a little knowledge of ICT processes. With that, one can do a lot of things for oneself and survive. Internet marketing is broad and relative, depending on what people are interested in offering on the internet. Globally, the ICT industry has the potential to create millions of jobs for people without much stress’


Horizons Computer Learning Centres, Mr Tim Akano, said job opportunities are waiting to be exploited on the internet. Akano said google boasts of millions of websites, which people can go through to locate opportunities. He said beyond marketing products or services online for companies in Europe, people could create and market their products on the internet. He said the universities are turning out over 100,000 graduates every year, arguing that it is high time people sat down, think and create jobs for themselves. He said background in sciences is not compulsory when it comes to maximising opportunities in the ICT industry. “What people need to do is to get a little knowledge of ICT processes. With that, one can do a whole lot of things for himself and survive. The issue of internet marketing is broad and relative, depending on what people are interested in offering on the internet. Globally, the ICT industry has the potential to create millions of jobs for people without much stress,” he said.



OB hunting has striking similarities to marketing a product. Like the four Ps of branding, the “P”-words for a successful campaign are positioning, process, and persistence followed closely by performance, personality, and pricing. The product is the candidate. In order for a candidate to have the opportunity to sell their value to the targeted buyer/employer, the strategy driving the search has to be effective which means choosing the correct focus and developing the right approach. Your job search project may be one of the most demanding, and rewarding, campaigns you will ever manage. Let’s look at ways you can improve odds in your favour through savvy job hunting and best practices job search implementation skills.

Positioning The first step to launching a successful campaign and propelling it forward is to identify what makes you a unique candidate. With such stiff competition, it is imperative that candidates distinguish themselves. This means creating a message or an identity that is remarkable and memorable, one that will separate you from the pack of resumes hitting recruiters’ desks. It is sometimes difficult to develop this for yourself especially if your career has depended on doing this for others. You may want to seek advice and counsel

Six Ps of job search By Olu Oyeniran

to establish your value objectively. What is it that you do better than others? What is it about you that enables you to succeed where others don’t? Is there something in your background that others easily remember? This bit of specialised, personal data is your tagline. If you get the positioning targeted correctly, your campaign will be focused on the right employer market with a message that the buyer will value generating more employer interest. Once you have captured an employer’s attention, then you have created a chance to demonstrate your abilities that eventually may produce a job offer, the goal of your job search campaign project.

Process The swiftest route to a new opportunity is to identify your target employers and then address their needs in terms of how you can meet them better than anyone else. Don’t wait around for a company to advertise for a job that is perfect for you. Rather, go out there and seek out a company where you are confident you can make a positive impact, especially one measurable in dollars saved or made. Double back to ensure that your

positioning vis a vis your target employers is consistent with your most outstanding ability or characteristic that an employer will instantly value. In other words, the better the match, the greater the likelihood for capturing the employer’s interest immediately to actually satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations. If you understand the dynamic between meeting employers’ needs first and then promoting your skills against these requirements, your chances of making a connection are much greater than if you concentrate only on your achievements and accomplishments without customising them for an individual company in a way that unmistakably proves your value. Cite ways you can save money, save time, retain customers, reduce costs, increase sales or profits, etc.this will offset their expenses of adding you to headcount.

Persistence and perseverance The early bird, the first candidate to impress the decision maker, has a competitive advantage. So be the one to create a new job just for you by introducing yourself to employers you want to work for. This also means stay-

ing in contact with individuals with whom you “clicked” but didn’t reach an employment agreement for whatever reason. That positive interpersonal chemistry can make or break a situation in your favor so don’t let a good relationship slip away because the timing was off for hiring you. Sticking with your job search goals also means doing a whole lot more than simply submitting a resume or an online application—go and find out who is the hiring manager and speak with them directly. This will get you name recognition and hopefully allow you to pitch them on the phone or in person with your credentials; a much better method than a written marketing document/resume by itself. A word about focus and establishing priorities: concentrate your resources on activities with the largest potential return on your investment. While all search methods have their place, most executive jobs are filled through one avenue: personal referrals. Keep track of your contacts and refresh them periodically. Use different methods to stay in touch varying phone, email, snailmail, an article or clipping, invitations, face to face, etc. according to the recipient preferences. Remember that in networking, maintaining contact is key to results—

out of touch can mean out of mind. Ask your contacts for advice, introductions and information—not directly for a job. Rely on your professional network and return favours generously. Persistence in personal interactions is guaranteed to be the very best way to identify a new opportunity. Recommendations carry tremendous weight over cold calls and unsolicited inquiries. If you can get a colleague to make a direct referral to a prospective employer, your chances of being given serious consideration are much higher. If one colleague asks another to meet with a third person, this usually happens and once you are face to face, this is the best possible circumstance to create good interpersonal chemistry and share ideas. Interactions like these often lead to creating a new opportunity specifically in response to a candidate being available; in other words an unadvertised position in the hidden job market is created just for a particular candidate. Let this be you! Good luck and see you next week for the concluding part. This article relied heavily on a presentation by Debra Feldman of Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




•Mrs Osibodu

‘Union Bank now performance-oriented’ She came, she saw and she conquered. This line best describes the success story of the immediate past Group Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs Funke Osibodu. She was one of the turnaround managers hired by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August 2009 to rescue some lenders that posed a threat to the financial system, after eroding their capital. From the outset, Mrs Osibodu’s role (to stabilise and retain the identity and name of the bank) was clear. Mrs Osibodu, the last ‘man’ standing, who held sway until last Wednesday, was mandated to fix three issues weighing down the 95-year-old lender: corporate governance, negative capital and liquidity crisis. It was not an easy task as she had to contend with sceptical shareholders, pensioners, employees, brokers and other stakeholders. In this interview with journalists in Lagos, she speaks on her three-year tenure. The Nation’s Group Business Editor, AYODELE AMINU was there.


INCE October 2009 when you came to Union Bank, what has been your experience trying to revamp the bank? Considering that a lot of people had come and gone, what made you the last ‘man’ standing in view of the fact that you have been able to achieve the mandate given to you by the CBN? What has kept you going over the years? I would say that I am not the last ‘man’ standing. I thought that Union Bank was the last man standing. I think Union Bank has been a very, very interesting institution, though tough to work for. Union Bank, you know, is an institution that has a very rich heritage in terms of relationships and people. There are many stakeholders with their various angles. I believe these were what kept me this long. What the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, asked us to do was to stabilise the institution and move it to a new home; in other words, get investors to participate. My stay in Union Bank couldn’t have been shorter because the Board from day one took a decision that Union Bank must stand on its feet again. From that perspective, we opted to look for investors

who will ensure that, going forward, some of the things we had in the past will not take place again. As you already know, we have core investors called Union Global Partners Limited. But what is unique about them is that they are largely foreign investors who bring strong corporate governance and international exposure to the bank. As you know, even externally, they have been making their own public announcements about their involvement with the bank; i.e., some of the members of Union Global Partners who have invested in Union Bank. When you bring international players who are foreign into the Nigerian environment, their time frame is not necessarily fast. And two, the methodology we used was different from that of the other intervened banks. It was such that it required careful process, lots of due diligence and regulatory approvals. So, while we wanted it faster, we couldn’t get it faster.As you also know, we had closed and concluded the recapitalisation process long before now. Again, to ensure smooth transition, I had to stay and be part of the new board. The new board started in February,

this year. We had to make sure that there is a new executive. It was also important to make sure that when I leave, it is not all of us (executives) leaving, so that there is continuity. And as you know, three of the former executives – Executive Director, Commercial Banking (North) and Public Sector, Alhaji Ibrahim Kwargana, Executive Director, Commercial and Retail Banking (South), Mr Kunle Adeosun and Executive Director, Corporate Banking and Treasury are staying behind as part of the process of making sure that the transition is smooth and two new executives will join them. One of them has commenced and she is Executive Director Finance, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale. The other one will not be able to join the bank until sometime next year. With that, the bank will have a completely effective executive team. We have everything planned out to ensure that with the change in baton, the transition is smooth. Sometimes when I read some of the reports in the newspapers •Continued on page 40




‘Union Bank now performance-oriented’ •Continued from page 39

that are speculations, it gives me the energy to say that I will stay and prove to them that the information is not correct. But most of the time there are positive reports in the press in terms of celebrating what we’ve done so far. The change we (Union Bank) went through has been very significant. You remember, at some point when we needed shareholders to agree to what we were doing, we needed staff and shareholders to work together. That was one point where I saw the real strength of Union Bank. We had staff, pensioners; and shareholders all working together to make sure Union Bank remains the last man standing. Generally, there were so many things in bits and pieces that ensured that we (my team) were successful. It’s been a long story from 2009, bringing the bank back from tatters. We would like to have some performance indicators. When you met this bank, what were the indicators? Well, I will talk in general not very, very specific term. As you know, when I came in there were three things wrong: corporate governance, negative capital and liquidity crisis. Today, from the liquidity perspective, I think within the first three months we dealt with the liquidity crisis. Our liquidity ratio has moved from below 20 per cent to between 80 and 90 per cent. This is very positive as the minimum statutory liquidity ratio is 30 per cent. And we are leaving it far higher and above the statutory minimum. The major portion of this came from the new capital that came in and the loans we sold to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). On negative capital, I think at our peak level, our shareholders’ fund was negative, somewhere around N378 billion negative; in other words, we were in such a deep hole, and as you said, nobody would touch us and even at that point, existing shareholders technically abandoned their bank. Today, we have positive capital of N190 billion, so we moved from N378 billion negative to N190 billion positive - that is over N570 billion positive. That was something that took quite a lot of work by all us and we are reaping the gain today. On the corporate governance side, you remember, the corporate governance issue was that everybody was doing his own thing and there were so many things we (Union Bank) had done and were still doing wrongly.A number of these have been corrected using best practice as our guideline. Standards have been set and are monitored. I think the example I usually use is that when you go into an old woman’s house (Union Bank is 95 years old now), you are bound to find a lot of cobwebs and junks because she will not throw away many things that are no longer useful or relevant away easily. Even though the sitting room may look okay, it is only when the children and grandchildren go into her bedroom and forcibly clean up the bedroom that a new and modern environment is formed. Our job when we were brought in by the CBN was to go in and clean out those cobwebs. I believe we’ve done a reasonable job. There are many things we have cleared up. Remember that I used to say we had un-reconciled accounts of over N3 trillion, today our un-reconciled accounts is in hundreds of millions not even billions. We had an army of over 150 people that worked day and night and they are still working and cleaning it up. So, that’s part of the cobwebs that we were cleaning up. We also had bad loans, which we sold to AMCON. We wrote off some, renegotiated some.We now have a department called portfolio management and part of their job is to manage and monitor those bad loans in such a way that we still resolve them. We only have those that are in very small bits, nothing substantial anymore in terms of bad loans. So, we have a relatively clean book. It means that our loan portfolio reduced from somewhere around N700 billion to around N200 billion. When you look at our balance sheet, it is small but very clean. All the things clustering us are gone. It’s now for us to build on it. More importantly, some of you are our customers. People used to say, that Union Bank is for the old senior citizens. The young man cannot have an account or work in Union Bank. Even the young man will say: “That it is the bank of my father or the bank of my grandfather; they took me there in those days.” But there is good news for you. We have an army of young people that we recruited over the last three years now working in the bank. As at the last count, they were about 1,000-man army. I had what we call a congress with some of them (600 people) about two weeks ago. We gathered all of them into one big canopy hall, somewhere in Victoria Island and we had our own mini- rally. It was interesting, the energy I saw in that group and the testimonies in terms of their experience in Union Bank. So, we have this strong army that is taking over Union Bank. The way we describe ourselves is that we now have energy and experience in the new Union Bank. The young 1,000 people recruited over the last three years have the necessary energy for the future of Union Bank.The older people like us have the necessary experience, which will ensure that we learn from our experience and mistakes. And with that, we can’t go wrong because when the experience tells you this is what we have to do, the energy takes over and moves very fast. So, many things have changed. When you look at customer service, even though we will not say that we have got to where we should be, quite a number of our customers are surprised at the good quality and responsive service that they now receive from our staff. When customers come into our branches, we attend to them fast. We had many of our branches looking very, very run down and we are working round the clock to revamp them. We have changed 75 out of about 300, all of them are wearing a new look.The one on Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos is a good example of our new look. So, those are some of the changes that I am leaving behind and what I will call the foundation to move to the next level. Finally, the third issue of inadequate capital was sorted out

•Mrs Osibodu

‘Our shareholders’ fund was negative, somewhere around N378 billion. Today, we have positive capital of N190 billion, so we moved from N378 billion negative to N190 billion positive - that is over N570 billion positive. That was something that took quite a lot of work by all us and we are reaping the gain today’

•Mrs Osibodu through the combined help of AMCON and the new core investors - Union Global Partners Limited (UGPL). What is your projection in the next one year? What should the shareholders and the customers expect in the next one year? Secondly, banking is now Information Technology (IT) driven. Where is Union Bank in terms of technology? I want to start from the last one. As you know, just as it happened with the intervened banks, when we came in, some of our customers came to withdraw their money from the bank. Our staff were trying to pacify them, to stop them but I said no, allow them to take their money in spite of the fact that you are shaking. You know even the Iroko tree can shake when the wind is very strong but that does not remove the fact that it is an Iroko tree. So, we said that we (Union Bank) will show them that we are still big, strong and reliable. Let them take their money and they did. But within a short while, they returned. And this is very, very important. In the last three years, our savings account has continued to grow, not going down and our current account has also continued to increase. Now those two (savings and

current accounts) are very strong marks of confidence. It is largely from our retail network. That is from our entire branch network. That rural banking, you call it rural, I call it retail because there is nowhere that is rural anymore; there is no where you cannot reach with technology today. Those locations became the bedrock of savings and deposit accounts. These customers are so strongly committed to Union Bank. We continue to hear from these customers: “this is my bank and am not moving anywhere and there is nothing going to happen to it.” So, in the area of continuous growth in confidence and bonding from our customers, we believe that we are still big, strong and reliable. We do not have any serious issue. On technology, for some of us that have been in the bank before we joined, while we had computers, several people did not know how to use the computers or the technology. Today, everybody is technology compliant. We did not have to buy anything new. We had all the technology internally. All we had to do was to turn them on. When it comes to banking using technology, we had everything –whether it is telephone or mobile banking, whether it is internet banking, the facilities existed in-house but were not utilised.Even in the latest cash-less initiative and the Point of Sales (POS), we became number one out of all the banks in terms of active POS utilisation. I never dreamt that we will get to be number one in active POS. In other words, our customers use our machines and they will only use your machines if you educated them well, and you are making sure that those machines work. We are becoming very effective in technology utilisation. For mobile banking and internet banking, again, we didn’t need to buy anything new; we had them. All we need was to open them up for our customers to use them and get our staff to appreciate and start using them, so whether it is using technology to transfer money from one account to the other, whether it is going on line using your computer to move money, we do all that. We used to have a very low number of cards that we issued to our customers, now that is a thing of the past. Somebody was saying that before when he requested for ATM cards from Union Bank, at times if we are very fast, it might take you two or three months to get it, at times it might even take you up to six months. Today, the maximum is 10 days. We are working on turning it around to make it 48 hours. Even to collect cheque book from the bank, it used to take a long time.Now if you want a cheque book you get it by latest the next day. So, a lot of things have changed and are still changing on that technology side. We even have the technology where you can use your Naira ATM card to withdraw money abroad, which we will soon be activating. So, what I am highlighting to you is that the ‘big, strong, and reliable’ bank is not only back but much better. Our stallion brand remains very strong and resilient. Within the first month in office after I resumed in Union Bank, I went to Abuja to see a customer. The security man at the entrance called me big, strong and reliable, merely by looking at me. He saw the way I looked at him surprised and he just pointed at my stallion lapel pin. That is how strong our brand is. Our marketing and advertising communication campaign now has the line: “We have only just begun.” This is to mark the commencement of a new beginning and a new phase for Union Bank. We are no longer an old institution but a young and vibrant institution. When you look at our published performance as at June 2012, we exceeded our budget and market expectations. We expect we will continue to exceed our budget going forward. We have laid the foundation, it is time to build. As you know, laying a good foundation of any house is critical and often is not easily noticed. Now that we have put the pillars, the bank is ready to move fast. When will the new Group Managing Director resume? The new GMD will officially take over on the 1st of November, that is, Thursday (last week). We’ve been working together and even tomorrow (Tuesday) again we’ll be working together so as to make sure that the handover of baton is smooth and effective. Thereafter, I will take my accumulated leave but will always be available for any clarification. Someone was telling me that I am looking relaxed. It’s just the thought of the leave that I am about embarking on. This would allow me an opportunity to ‘let my hair down’ after these years! The thought is enough to relax me. So, in the initial period I’ll just take that leave, travel and then come back. You said you are going on leave and after a while you’ll come back. Could you be more explicit? I did not say after a while I’m coming back to Union Bank. This is why it is very useful to have an interactive session. What I said was that I will be proceeding on leave. I will be taking my accumulated leave and come back to Nigeria after that. Technically, I am still a staff member of Union Bank till the end of December. I was talking about transition with the new chief executive; we’ve been exchanging information for a while in order to ensure a smooth transition.For the next two days (last Tuesday and Wednesday), we will be working together and when I leave if there are things that are unfinished, that I need to clear, I will be coming in to sort them out, so I am not returning to Union Bank. I’ll just be performing my duty as a staff of Union Bank. I know initially you had this problem with the staff, especially the retired ones. What is the situation now? And, again, are you satisfied with what you have done in Union Bank? First on the retired staff, it was an issue that I met on ground. We had a situation where there were so many things done wrongly in the past. We had staff that had issues on whether they were exited on retirement or retrenchment. We had retired staff who said their benefits had not been paid for quite a while and some who had issues with the timing of the commencement of payment of their retirement benefit. We had over 2,000 ex-staff affected, with very many cases in court, and picketing being the order of the day. What we’ve done over the last three years, is to streamline all the issues and start paying those who have genuine issues. I am happy to say that substantially, we have resolved all these issues. On those who had issues on if they were retired or on retrenchment, we reached an out-of-court settlement. We are now more performance oriented, and we are accordingly rewarded; so everybody is aligned to work for the shareholders and the stakeholders. This bank has a new orientation. I think we now have a major culture change as a result of the measures we have introduced.







Indeed, in Oyo State, it is the end of an era as a former governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, died and was buried yesterday. Following his exit from office as a governor in 2003, he became the pivot for progressive politics in the state. What next after his demise? Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU explores the terrain.


ROGRESSIVES in Oyo State were bereaved yesterday. A big elephant departed from the forest and the wild forest became void. Mourners assembled in Felele, in the heart of Ibadan, the political capital of the Southwest, to bid farewell to a political megastar whose exit has created a vacuum. Who succeeds Lam Onaolapo Adesina as the arrowhead of the dedicated progressive bloc in the Pacesetter State? The former Oyo State governor became the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader by merit, experience and seniority. Since 2001, he had played the role to the best of his ability as a dependable leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He was a strong fighter for justice, a versatile mobiliser, organiser and inspirational leader. His leadership style was endearing to the men of the old order an d new converts. Lam believed in the political labour for the masses and his incorruptible nature jollied well with his perspective on service to the people without expecting reward. This must be challenging to his survivors in the fold. Lam’s lieutenants in the crusade for a better Oyo State include Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the Oke-Ogun leader, Chief Michael Koleoso, who served as Secretary to Government under his administration between 1999 and 2003, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, former Deputy Governor Iyiola Oladokun, and Dr. Bayo Adewusi. The onus is now on these leaders to keep the political family intact and prevent strife and rancour capable of destabilising the fold. Lam’s life and times were instructive. From the first day he placed his hand on the progressive plough, he did not look back. The consummate politician and associate of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was consistent to the end. Yesterday, the foremost educationist, administrator and political colossus, died a hero and fulfilled leader. He was an oak tree offering shades to the devoted progressive bloc in Oyo State in post-Ige era. In Ibadan, his cradle, he was a household name as far back as the seventies. For an average Ibadan man, the first step towards active political life was Ibadan irredentism. Having established himself as a patriot in the metropolis, Lam, as he was fondly by his radical compatriots, gained more popularity as a radical activist in the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT). Throughout his career as a teacher, principal and unionist, he was always advancing the cause of teachers in the old Western State and later, Oyo State. Lam had his tutelage in politics under Awo. He was among the Ibadan youths who fell in love with ‘Awoism’ as a political creed at the prime when key leaders of the city opposed the former Premier of the defunct Western Region. It was a paradox. While Awo ruled the Southwest from Ibadan, the political headquarter, majority of the Ibadan indigenes were follower of the National Council of Nigerian

•The late Adesina and Chief Bola Ige.

Oyo politics after Lam Adesina Citizens (NCNC) led by the late strongman, Adegoke Adelabu. Few youths, including Lamidi Adedibu, Yinusa Ogundeji, and Lam defiled the populist ‘Penkelemeesi’ and served as Action Group (AG) field workers under the guardianship of Chiefs Durosaro, Moyosore Aboderin, Adisa Akinloye, Chief S. O. Lanlehin and Canon Emmanuel Alayande, who facilitated an alliance between Ibadan Peoples Party and AG. Lam was among the party youths who endured the tribulation, following the onslaught on the power that be against Awo’s disciples, after the split in the AG. But he refused to jump the boat. He was among the dependable allies who welcomed the sage from prison. Immediately, he also became a member of the Committee of Friends, which later transformed into the Unity of Nigeria (UPN) led by Awo. Lam had declared interest in the chairmanship of the Ibadan Municipal Council. But Ibadan leaders decided otherwise. He was advised to pick the House of Representatives form. On the UPN platform, he was elected as a member of the Lower Chamber. Some of his UPN colleagues in the House were Prince Oluyole Olusi, the late Chief Debo Akande (SAN), the late Sir Dele Ige, the late Akanni Suarau, Alhaji Rasheed Shitta-Bey and Prof. Opeyemi Ola. In parliament, Lam was not a bench warmer. He was very vocal and spoke from the UPN perspective on the floor. As a regular columnist in ‘The Nigerian Tribune’, he was also a respected national

commentator and critic of the inept Second Republic Federal Government. In later years, he reflected on his parliamentary years while contributing to the debate on Senate/Representatives superiority. Lam declared that both chambers had equal status. The 1983 coup aborted his career as a federal legislator. But throughout the military regimes, he fired salvos at the interlopers from his Felele, Ibadan hope, drawing attention to the negative effects of illegitimate rule. Lam later became a chieftain of the Afenifere and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). He was at the forefront of the massive protest against Abacha Administration in Ibadan in 1998. On that fateful date, he was ‘captured’ by soldiers struggling to quell the protest and hounded in detention. When rights activists pressed for his release, Former Military Governor Ahmed Usman declared that Lam was ‘a ;prisoner of war’. Ironically, the prisoner of war later emerged as Usman’s distant successor. Lam was a founding leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He was nominated by the party leaders to run for governorship. He won the governorship along with his compatriots; Bola Tinubu (Lagos), Bisi Akande (Osun), Segun Osoba (Ogun), Adebayo Adefarati (Ondo) and Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti). But when Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) emerged as President, Lam cried out, saying ‘eemo wolu o’ (strange spirit had invaded governance). Asked to substantiate his claim, he warned that Obasanjo’s Presidency would not profit the nation. Lam’s AD was a child of circumstances. At

‘Lam’s exit has created a vacuum. The void can only be filled by men of experience. They are not in short supply in Oyo State. The only tribute his survivors, including Ajimobi, Chief Michael Koleoso, Babalaje of Oke-Ogun, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and Iyiola Oladokun, can pay to him is to ensure that there is unity, understanding, cohesion and harmony among the members of the political family left behind by the indefatigable ideologue and father figure’

infancy, it was certain that the party would face perilous times. Unable to resolve the crisis that broke out over the feud between its two presidential aspirants; Ige and Olu Falae, the party, and Afenifere, the panYoruba socio-political group that gave birth to it, was eventually polarised. The party also somersaulted by allowing its key leaders, including Lam and Osoba to become campaign agents for Obasanjo’s second term. When the 2003 electoral earthquake swept across the poll-confident Southwest, only Tinubu’s Lagos survived the onslaught. The defeat further escalated the crisis in Afenifere, with Lam pitching his tent with Ayo Fasanmi’s faction. It took another eight years for Lam’s followers to recover from the heat. By the time his group, which had become the dominant force in Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State, won the liberation war, it was evident that Lam could not fully bounce back as a strongman. His son even lost his bid for a seat in the House of Representatives. ACN could only escape the Peoples democratic Party (PDP) hammer because a faction of the conservative party had gone to encamp in the Accord Party (AP) led by Lam’s successor as governor, Chief Rashidi Ladoja. Before he was assailed by illness, Lam was a gerontocratic monitor of Ajimobi Administration. He was acclaimed leader of the progressive fold in the state, working in concert with ACN Governor Abiola Ajimobi to erect lasting legacies. He was an advocate of true federalism, restructuring of the polity, state police and parliamentary system. But he left behind a crisis-ridden Afenifere, a trembling Yoruba nation agitating for regional integration and autonomy, a country in perpetual drift, and a big progressive camp in disarray and scattered across many ;parties. Lam’s exit has created a vacuum. The void can only be filled by men of experience. They are not in short supply in Oyo State. The only tribute his survivors, including Ajimobi, Chief Michael Koleoso, Babalaje of Oke-Ogun, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and Iyiola Oladokun, can pay to him is to ensure that there is unity, understanding, cohesion and harmony among the members of the political family left behind by the indefatigable ideologue and father figure.




Fasanmi laments Lam’s death A FENIFERE Deputy Leader Senator Ayo Fasanmi yesterday described the death of Alhaji Lam Adesina as a terrible blow to the progressives in the country. The elder statesman said the former federal legislator and governor of Oyo State was a democrat per excellence and committed Awoist, adding

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

that he always exhibited frankness and candour no matter whose ox is gored. Fasanmi, who spoke on phone with our correspondent, said: “He was a titan. I have known him as a columnist in The Tribune for over 40 years.

When he was in the House of Representatives, I was a senator and the late Senator Jonathan Odebiyi was our leader. Lam was the secretary of the UPM parliamentary caucus. He was a mass mobiliser, transparent and a man of exceptional character. His son, the young commissioner, I believe, will keep the flag flying”.

Northern governors pay tribute


HE Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has paid tribute to the late former governor of Oyo State and elder statesman, Alhaji Lam Adesina, saying his death marked the end of a glorious era. Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said the late Adesina was a true nationalist who lived a purposeful life of dedication to the cause of Nigeria’s unity and development as well as commitment to the upliftment of the citizenry. In a statement signed by Governor

Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum described the late Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain as a loyal party man and a diligent, principled person, who stood on the side of the people at all times. “From his days as a newspaper columnist through his election into the House of Representatives, to his elevation to the position of the Governor of Oyo State, and his life in retirement, Adeshina remained with the people,” the statement said. The forum said the best tribute that

Nigerians can pay to the late Oyo helmsman is to re-dedicate themselves to the ethos of nationalism, nation building, democracy and love for one another. It called on the Oyo State government to honour the memory of the former governor to serve as an inspiration to the younger generation of Nigerians. The forum prayed God to grant repose to the soul of the departed and grant the ACN and the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Man of vision, character, says Kalu


FORMER Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has described the demise of Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina as a huge loss to the country. Kalu, in a statement yesterday, said Adesina will be missed for his noble contributions to the socio-economic and political development of Oyo State and Nigeria. The statement, signed by Oyekunle Oyewumi, said Kalu described Adesina as a visionary leader who saw beyond

his leadership of Oyo State when he was governor. Oyewumi quoted Kalu as saying: “When Lam, as we fondly called him, was the governor in Oyo State, the projects he undertook were not only geared towards developing a state he was passionate about, but situated within the context of developing the country as a whole. “In choosing the projects he undertook, especially roads, he looked at it from the context of its benefit to Oyo State and Nigeria at large, especially for

itinerant traders who made use of the network of roads within his state and connecting roads to other parts of the country in moving around their goods. “There is no doubt that his intellectual capacity stood him out when he was in government.” Kalu described Adesina as a great mind and one committed to justice and fairness on both national and international issues. He sympathized with his family, the Oyo State Government and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.

Oyo won’t be the same again, says legislator


HE Chief Whip of Oyo State House of Assembly Hon. Abiodun Adigun Hammed has described the death of the former governor of Oyo state as a great loss to the Yoruba race, the state and the entire nation. He said the former governor, as an activist, politician and ace columnist contributed greatly to the development of Oyo State when it was committed to his charge. Adigun who spoke on telephone

By Jeremiah Oke

with our correspondent said “Lam Adesina was a great politician who has contributed immensely to national development. One of his great achievements before was in ensuring that the state was brought back to the progressive fold after the disaster of 2003. So we are all going to miss him. “He was among of the people who worked with the Papa Awolowo and Chief Bola Ige during their time to

ensure that the nation remained united.” Hammeed said the followers now have the challenge of keeping the flag flying. He said “alongside other leaders, those who served as governors of the Southwest at the same time as the late Alhaji Lam Adesina should do everything to ensure that the flag of progressive politics is kept flying and that the region does not return to the dark age. .

•From left: Lam Adesina, former governor of Kwara State Senator Bukola Saraki and Alhaji Lawal Kaita in 2002.

• Lam Adesina (right) with former Ogun State Governor Chief Olusegun Osoba (left) and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the 10th remembrance servicve for the late Chief Victor Onabanjo.

• The Late Lam Adesina

The man Lam: His life, times, struggles By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor


HE eventful but appreciably exemplary political odyssey of Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina, a former Governor of Oyo State, ended yesterday. To the shock of many who had expected him to continue to play the role of a leading figure in Oyo State politics, he breathed his last at the St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, after a fairly protracted illness. Fondly called ‘Lam’ by his admirers, he was aged 73. Prior to his governance of the state between 1999 and 2003, he had been a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in the Second Republic . And until his demise, he was the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State . He was seen as one of the strong pillars that bonded the party’s members together. Born January 20, 1939, the late Adesina was also an educator before his sojourn in politics, which eventually culminated in his election as the state’s number-one citizen on 29 May 1999 . He had been elected on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) which metamorphosed into the Action Congress (AC) and ultimately, the ACN. He attended Loyola College , Ibadan and later studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka from1961 to 1963 before he later attended the University of Ibadan in 1971. He worked in private educational institutions before entering politics and eventually throwing his cap into the political ring. The first indication that he would gfo a long way in the political arena came in the 70s when he ran a regular column in the Nigerian Tribune. Despite the military’s hold on power and being a teacher, he found means of criticising the successive military administrations. Shortly after the civil war, it was time for Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the political elite of the South West to plot the way forward, especially with the promise that the civilians would be brought back to the scene in 1974. he was thus a prominent member of the Committee of Friends put together by the late Chief Awolowo. In the Second Republic , he sought and secured a seat at the House of Representatives. When the military dismissed politicians from the stage in 1983, Adesina resumed his socio-political activism. He was a prominent leader of the Social Democratic Party in Oyo State in the aborted Third Republic and his total support for the party’s presidential candidate whose victory was annulled led to his detention. The military declared him a Prisoner of War for his activities as a leader of the resistance movement, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that spearheaded the campaign against the annulment. He distinguished himself in the trenches and emerged a commander of the political army in the Southwest sector. The late Adesina enjoyed the reputation of being a major sponsor of the incumbent Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his successful election into the Senate to represent Oyo South in 2003. But the father-son relationship between them soon went on sabbatical as they later fell apart. Ajimobi pitched his tent with the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). However, as it is often said, no permanent enmity in politics, their differences later gave way for a refreshed order – a reunion. In October 2009, the two were friends again and thus, both became leaders of the AC in Oyo State . The truce, it was learnt, was brokered by the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. With the death of the widely-acclaimed strongman of Oyo politics, Alhaji Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu, not a few had tipped the late Adesina to be his ready successor for his experience and roles in the politics of the state, especially in recent times. More importantly, he had turned the rallying point in ACN’s affairs in the state. However, all was not a bed of roses for him as at one time or the other, he had to swim in troubled waters of awry political developments. Perhaps of particular mention was when he stepped on toes at the dawn of Ajimobi’s current administration. The late ex-governor was quoted as saying that he would “prevail on Ajimobi not to probe” his predecessor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala over the “k-legged” way he allegedly ran the affairs of the state while in the saddle. To many an observer who had been disenchanted with the Alao-Akala-led administration, the late Adesina was playing a spokesman of the flamboyant ex-governor that many love to hate. But to the man, his intention was borne out of his love for the people of the state and his conviction that Ajimobi needed not dissipate energy on such a “distraction”, instead of focusing his total attention on genuinely moving the state forward within a short period. With the guidance of his like, so far, the people of the state are already inhaling a refreshing air of a new order under Ajimobi. As the politician was interred in his Felele home yesterday, it goes without saying that members of his party, and indeed, the people of his state would miss a politician who believed that politics must be a tool of change in the fortunes of the majority.















n Wednesday 7th November, 2012 (23rd Dhul Hijjah, 1433 AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its Seventy second (72nd) sitting in continuation with sequence of previous sittings during which important policy issues and programmes that positively impact on the quality of lives of our citizenry were deliberated upon. .

Importantly, in the Seventy First (71) sitting, the present administration approved a capital expenditure close to N223billion of which N253,317,417.50 was approved for the execution of 8 projects by the Council during its most recent 71st sitting. Today, Council sitting was presided over by Gov. RABIU MUSA KWANKWASO FNSE during which 23 memoranda were submitted by 10 MDAS for deliberation by the Council. An expenditure of N1,772,046,011.81covering 18 projects was approved for execution by the Council 1. Ministry of Science and Technology Request for release of Counterpart funding for New V-SAT and Local Area Network Installations Under the NICEF-Galaxy Backbone Initiative:Attention of the Council was politely drawn, by Contents of this memorandum, to the deployment of 5,000 V-SAT notes nationwide planned by the Federal Government as part of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). This is under the National Information, Communication and Education Programme (NICEF). Galaxy Backbone Initiative has the main objective of providing I C T benefit at no cost to beneficiaries. However, respective Collaborating Governments Shoulder the bandwidth Cost and Support Services Charges. Retrospectively, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) partnered with Galaxy to extend the Services to unserved and underserved Communities through the deployment of the Infrastructure at six (6) locations in the year 2011/2012 as follows; i. Government Girls’ Arabic Secondary School, Albasu. ii. Audu Bako College of Agriculture, Dambatta. iii. Sani Bello Science Secondary School, Dawakin Kudu. iv. School of Rural Technology and Entrepreneurship Development, Rano. v. Ibrahim Ayagi Science Secondary School, Dawakin Tofa. vi. Government Girls’ Secondary School, Gezawa. Notably, Council recently approved for the release of funds to facilitate for payment of recurrent bandwidth Cost for the sustenance of Service at the locations mentioned via a correspondence referenced SSG/AGS/A/170/T.I/34 dated 25th June, 2012. Progressively, the Ministry of Science and Technology proposes to extend/deploy the facility to eighteen (18) more locations which include six (6) Schools and twelve (12) communities in an effort to bridge the digital divide. i. • • • • • •

Six Schools:Governor’s College, Kano G.S.S Zakirai G.G.S.S, Kabo G.G.A.S, Tudunwada G.S.S Rimi, Sumaila G.G.S.S, Bagwai

ii. • • •

Kano Central:Garunmalam Madobi Warawa

iii. Kano North:• Gwarzo • Shanono • Tsanyawa • Tofa iv. Kano South:• Albasu • Kibiya • Rogo • Bebeji • Gaya The aggregate Sum of N58,680,211.86 was requested for release by the Council to enable the Ministry Undertake the referred project at the Unit Cost of N3,260,011.77 (Including VAT and LAN Component) per location which multiplies to (18 x N3,260,011.77) or N58,680,211.86 for the proposed 18 Locations. The Council deliberated and directed Hon. Commissioners of Science and Technology and that of project Monitoring and Evaluation to study and report on findings by next Council Meeting. 2. Ministry of Justice Request for the release of funds to facilitate for the Construction of 27 New Shari’a Courts across the State:Courts are required establishments Sustained by any responsible Government to ensure the provision of access to the dissemination of Justice to all and Sundry especially under political dispensation. Contents of this memorandum reminded the Council of having received a report on the progress of work on the Construction of 26 New Magistrate Courts. Meanwhile, the Sum of N374,826,895.74 is being requested for release by the Council to facilitate for the Construction of 27 New Shari’a Courts by the Ministry of Justice so as to provide more avenues/chances for the settlement of myriad of Islamic Shari’a Cases for the Citizenry. Council approved for the release of the requested sum of money to enable the Ministry of Justice facilitate for the execution of the referred project. 3. Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport Ten (10) memoranda were submitted by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for consideration by the Council as follows; a. Request for funds to enable Settlement of outstanding payments on facility Services rendered at Aminu Kano House (Governor’s Lodge) Asokoro, Abuja:The Sum of N120,175,434.49 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for onward payment to Messrs Julius Berger as the vetted Sum for the settlement of outstanding payments for Services rendered at Aminu Kano House Abuja as presented in a reminder letter dated 7th August, 2012 with reference number D1300/01/MPA/L/12/0073 sequel to the determination of the Contract in February, 2012. b. Request for funds to facilitate for the Construction of a 257m perimeter wall fence at Cabinet Office:Securing, protecting and providing required fortification to Government property against encroachment and unauthorized Infiltration is on of the cardinal principles embarked upon in earnest by the this administration especially at the Government House which is the main seat of the administration. The Cabinet Office, as one of the most significant units of the administration, is located across the State road in close vicinity to the Government House and requires the provision (Construction) of similar wall fencing (fortification) to that provided at the Government House. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and transport requested, through contents of this memorandum, for the release of the sum of N79,839,748.52 to enable the Construction of the referred wall fence which is in line with the policies of the present administration.

Council noted, considered and approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to execute the referred project. a. Request for funds to enable the Construction of Internal Iron-Fence In between the Protocol Office and Government House proper:Contents of this memorandum alerted the Council of the work in progress on the Construction of the wall fence at Government House, Kano. Additional works were encountered which include the need to Construct an Internal Iron-Fence by the protocol Office and Government House proper as well as between the Government House proper and ten (10) Chalets located Close to the area. The requested sum of N58,572,434.08 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the referred additional works encountered at the vicinity of the Government House. d. Request for funds to facilitate for the Procurement and Supply of Electronics/ Household utensils to the ten (10) recently renovated Guest Chalets (former B.O.N Quarters) Government House:Council was informed of the completion of the approved general renovation work executed on the ten (10) Guest Chalets located at the Government House. What remain are the Supply of Electronics and household utensils for which the sum N14,552,212.50 was requested for release by the Council to enable the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to execute. Council approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to facilitate for the completion of the renovation works at the ten (10) Guest Chalets so as to make them fully operational in order to save Government the expenditure incurred in paying for Hotel bills in respect of Official visitors to the State whenever necessary. a. Request for funds to enable the Installation of Streetlight at Ibo/Hausa (from Bata Roundabout) to Sarkin Yaki junction (from Airport Road junction) to Burma Road Junction through Festing Road to France Road Junction:The requested Sum of N114,960,247.50 was approved for release to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the Task Force Committee on the Repair and Reactivation of Street and Traffic Control Lights execute the referred project as it is in conformity with the Laudable policies of the Incumbent Second Tenure of Gov. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso F N S E. a. Request for release of funds to facilitate for the Construction of 299m perimeter wall fence and Interlock tiling of 2550m land area at the Deputy Governor’s Wing in vicinity of the Government House, Kano:The referred project is among additional works encountered in handling the Construction of the wall fence and other renovation works at Government House. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested for the release of the sum of N138,870,324.37 to enable the execution of the referred additional works which is required in order to make the envisaged complete renovation of the government House and relevant vicinity to it. a. Request for funds to facilitate for the execution of Installation of new Streetlight projects Covering six (6) routes in Kano Metropolis:Installation, repairs, reactivation, and maintenance of Street and Traffic lights is among the laudable and Successfully executed programmes of the present administration. Pursuance to this, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested, through contents of this memorandum, for the release of the aggregate sum of N195,944,048.50 to enable the Task Force Committee on repairs and Renovation of Street and Traffic lights execute the referred project as it affects five (5) identified routes in the municipality as follows; i. Murtala Muhd Specialist Hospital Road through Hanga, Yola, Agadasawa, Kwanar Gabari to Yan Mota ii. Yar’mota Though Kofar Wambai, orioncirema tp Mallacin Idi. iii. Yan mota through Bakin Zuwo, Kwanar Dala, Madabo, Makafin Dala, Mumbaiyya Junction. iv. Kwanar Dala through Kantin Dan’Kurma, Masukwani, Jakara, Gadar Salga, Bala DPO Police Station, Mararaba, Gidan Nababa, Gworan Dutse Junction /Aminu Kano way. v. Jakara through Tudun Fufawa, Kantin Dan’Jumai, Kwanar Makwarari, Sheshe, Soon Dinki to Gidan shatima. vi. Kwanar Makwarari through Lalloki to Kwanar Gabari. h) Request for funds to enable the provision of street light along Gandun Albasa from KERD to Zoo Road;The sum of N9,872,029.00 was approved for release as requested by contents of this memorandum to the Ministry of Works to enable the Task force Committee on repairs and Reactivation of Street and Traffic lights execute the referred project as it is required and in line with the laudable policies of the Incumbent administration. i. Request for approval for use of Contingency funds and release of funds from same to enable the renovation of diversion roads for use to allow for the Smooth Construction of Flyover Bridges (State Road-K/Nassarawa Gate) and Ibrahim Taiwo Road (from Gidan Bello Dandago):The present administration of Gov Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso places high premium in the provision of important infrastructural facilities especially Roads and Bridges to ease transportation problems across the state. It may be recalled that the state Government has awarded contracts for the construction of combined length of 220 Km dual carriage ways with drainages and other road appurtenances, in Local Govt headquarters of the state and at the same time re validated the construction of 5 major road rehabilitation works in the metropolitan. Further, to complement the efforts of expansion of major road coming into the city, Flyover bridges are now being built at State and Ibrahim Taiwo roads. Therefore to ease traffic flow during the construction period Work has commenced on alternative routes for use pending completion of the Construction of the Flyover Bridges. Hence the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested, through contents of this memorandum, for the release of the sum of N124,100,500.91 to enable the execution of the following projects; i. Repair of Lawan Dambazau Road – N32,966,829.00 ii. Renovation of Abdullahi Bayero Road – N91,133,671.91 iii. Total = N124,100,500.91 This will facilitate for provision of the requirement of the heavy vehicular traffic at the site pending completion of the Flyover Bridges. j) Request for approval of jointly funded general renovation and construction of addition facilities at General Hospital Gwarzo;The deteriorated condition of Gwarzo General Hospital was brought to the attention of the Council by Contents of this memorandum. Need to address the situation is paramount in order to revitalize and improve health care delivery services within the Gwarzo Catchment area. The Ministry of Works requested for the release of the sum of N240,156,701.39 by the Council to enable execution of the referred projects to be funded by the MDG and the state Government. Thus council approved for the release of the requested sum of money to enable the Ministry of Works expedite action in the execution of the referred project.

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso 4. Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Request for the release of funds to facilitate for the renovation of the Leprosy Centre at Dawakin Kudu town in Dawakin Kudu LGC A:Providing for the less privileged in our Society is among the Cardinal resolutions of the Current administration under the leadership of Gov. Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso FNSE. much has been achieved as heralded by the recent approval for the release of funds to enable the complete renovation of the psychiatric Hospital Goron Dutse, the Leprosy Hospital Yadakunya (Bela), the Hasiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital, etc. So, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested through Contents of this memorandum for the release of the Sum of N24,348,775.97 to enable the renovation of the deteriorated leprosy Center at Dawakin Kudu town in order to uplift the morale and general wellbeing of the afflicted inmates. Considering, Council approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the execution of the referred project in view of its Significance. 6. Ministry of Health Request for funds to enable provision of Landscaping/Interlock tiling, Conversion of box Culvert to ring Covered drainages and renovation of two (2) blocks of six (6) Cubicles/Seater ventilation Improved Pit (VIP) Latrines at Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Kano:Contents of this memorandum applauded the effort/performance of the present administration in the transformation of the entire Health Sector/System in the State citing the recent approval granted for equipping/furnishing of the “TB” Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR Ward) at the I D H commissioned by Gov Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso FNSE on 1st November, 2012 as an example. The Government directed the Ministry of Health to assess and prepare for Landscaping/Interlock tiling, Conversion of box culvert to Ring covered Drainages and renovation of the existing but dilapidated two (2) blocks of six (6) Cubicles/seater VIP Latrines. Based on this, the Ministry of Health assessed the Scope of work and requested, through Contents of this memorandum for the release of the sum of N79,881,499.00 to enable execution of the referred Projects. Council noted, Considered and approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Health to execute the referred projects in order to further upgrade the standard of IDH as a hospital of unique status. 7. Office of the Secretary to the State Government:This Office Submitted three (3) memoranda on behalf of some MDAS for deliberation by the Council as follows; a. Request for funds to facilitate for settling the balance to Egypt Air and Purchase of Air Tickets in respect of the next batch of Candidates among the 501 Sponsored for Studies abroad:The Scholarship Board submitted a request, contained in this memorandum, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, for the release of the aggregate sum of N57,193,361.00 to facilitate for; i. Balance for 38 tickets to Egypt Air – N2,220,361.00 ii. Money for 170 tickets for next batch – N54,973,000.00 Total = N57,193,361.00 Item (ii) is distributed as thus; SN i. ii. iii.

Country Malaysia Poland Ukraine

Number 23 03 144

Rate(N) 350,000.00 281,000.00 320,000.00


Total amount(N) 8,050,000.00 843,000.00 46,080,000.00 =N54,973,000.00

Council approved for the release of the requested sum of N57,193,361.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the Government for onward payment to the Scholarship Board to facilitate for the referred purpose as it is in agreement with an already approved undertaking. a. Presentation on Inspection Report from the State Drainages Committee:Four (4) critical area prone to flooding were Inspected by the State Drainages Committee with a view to assessing the respective situations. Viable solutions were proffered as informed from Observations by the Committee. The four areas inspected comprise; i. Kofar Mata area ii. Yakasai Drainage iii. Gyadi-Gyadi Court road Drainage iv. Sallari Pond Drainage. Seven (7) recommendations were proffered for consideration by the Council thus; i.Consistent effort be made to evacuate the debris from the drainages identified in the affected areas. ii.All damaged drainages be renovated to prevent discharge of Content on to adjacent roads. iii.Drainages in the respective areas be surveyed to provide proper gradient for effective and wider discharge of effluents. iv.Effort be made to provide Inspection Chambers at Strategic locations to allow for routine maintenance of drainages. v.Improvement of some of the drainages by Increasing their width and capacity to accommodate large volume of drain. vi.Properly aligned drainages be provided around the existing pond. vii.All Structures sited/erected on drainage lines be Immediately removed and permanent barriers be erected to prevent reoccurrence of flooding. Council appreciated the presentation and directed the committee to present a more comprehensive report on Sallari area general drainage. c. Presentation of Progress Report Submitted by the Task Force Committee on Private Schools Operating in the State and request for release of funds to cover payment of Sitting allowances for members of the Committee:-



Contents of this memorandum presented a ten (10) items Summary of the contents of the original report for Council’s appraisal along with details on requirements for Sitting allowances and operational funds in addition to the allocation of an 18 Seater Bus for use by the Committee. Council noted in appreciation the progress report presented, approved members allowances and for the merger of the proposed website to existing one under the SSG’s office. 8 Ministry of Rural and Community Development Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by the Council from the Ministry of Rural and Community Development as follows:a. Request for release of funds to enable the execution of electrification projects at Jilawa Ja’en, Katsinawa, Dandishe and Kunka Towns in the State:Electricity Supply is vital to the Socio-economic wellbeing of any Society especially now that almost everything depends on the steady and reliable Supply of electrical energy to power production at whatever level. The present administration in Kano State under the able leadership of Gov Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso F N S E considers it necessary to provide electricity to all nooks and Crannies of the State including the rural areas. Reactivation of vandalized/ destroyed electricity networks and/or its expansion by provision of transformers/transmission lines and Connection to the National Grid have been undertaken at various locations by the present administration. Notably, the entire projected electrification projects envisaged under the Constituency electrification projects budgeted for the Current financial year have recently been ratified and approval was granted for the release of the budgeted sum of money to execute the projects. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Rural and Community Development requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N25,405,517.00 to enable the execution of the following electrification projects; SN i. ii. iii. iv.

Project location Jilawa Ja’en Katsinawa Dandishe “B” Kunka

LGCA Gwale Gwarzo Dala Madobi

Project L.T Extension Transformer Replacement Installatio of 500KVA Transformer Electrification Project


Cost (N) 5,965,764.00 2,601,525.00 10,450,959.00 6,387,269.00 = N25,405,517.00

Council noted, Considered and approved for the release of the requested sum of money to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable the execution of the referred projects in view of their Significance in addressing the erratic or complete absence of electric Power Supply at the concerned locations. (b) Request for release of funds to facilitate for the procurement and installation of two (2) transformer and addressing the problem of Low Tension Extension at Dan’Zabuwa Town in Bichi LGCA;The sum of N17,835,395.00 was approved for release by the Council to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development, as requested by contents of this memorandum, to expedite action in addressing the electricity supply failure experienced at Dan’Zabuwa town reported to be due to overload on the existing obsolete two (2) transformers and the low Tension lines to some residential areas in the town. This gesture is in line with the resolution of the present administration to renovate all vandalized/destroyed electricity networks for which phase I and II have been executed with the desired injection of relief to the benefitting communities being achieves. 9. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, co-operative and Tourism Re; Request for construction of a public school at the abandoned site of Kwalwa Dyeing pits complex;Council was reminded, by contents of this memorandum, of the referred issue on which an executive Committee was constituted comprising the Hon. Commissioner of Education and Commerce at the Council sitting of 3rd October 2012 to visit the site and report findings to the Council. The committee did its work based on which the following recommendations were proffered to the Council. i. Construction of a Public School in Sheshe Ward is required for which negotiation with property owners in the referred area is recommended. ii. Revival of the Commercial activities at the Dyeing pits by supporting the Dyeing pit owners with some form of capital and encouraging them to form a Co-operative society. Council approved and directed the committee to process acquisition of the Land area as well as purchase of the neighbouring houses (property) with a view to constructing some classrooms (School Structure) in the area. 10.

Ministry of Planning and Budget

Request for balance of the state contribution to the conditional grants scheme project;Contents of this memorandum presented highlights of the details of kano state conditional grants scheme (CGS) for the year 2012 as follows; SN Title Total (N) Federal CGS(N) State control (N) i. CGS 836,687,405.49 418,343,701.75 ii. 5% CGS Admin cost 41,834,370.17 20,917,185.09 20,917,185.09 iii. CCT 375,000,000.00 187,500,000.00 187,500,000.00 iv. 10% CCT Admin cost 37,500,000.000 18,750,000.00 18,750,000.00 Total 1,291,021,773.66 645,510,886.84 645,510,856..00 Importantly, Kano state Government under the leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso approved for the release of N600,000,000.00 to meet its contribution for the CGS for the year 2012 and satisfied all other pre requisites mandatory for acces to funds from the CGS. Once again, Council approved for the release of the balance of N45,510,856.00 to complete its mandatory share contribution to N645,510,856.00 in order to access to the CGS fund of N1,291,021,773.66 11.

Ministry of Land and Physical Planning

Interlock Tiling project executed on metropolitan roads is an aspect of the general beautification of urban Kano embarked upon by the present administration. Fifteen (15) such roads were approved for the project as first batch about to be completed. The Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of funds to commence the interlock tiling project along eight (8) more selected roads as second batch. The roads include, Atiku Abubakar road, Murtala Mohd way (1), Murtala Mohd way (11) Gwammaja road, BUK Road and Sabo Bakin Zuwo Road. Details of the expenditure was presented in this memorandum. Council noted considered and approved for the release of the sum of N50,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable the commencement of the 2nd batch of interlocking tiling project along referred roads. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES AT THE 72ND EXCO SITTING 1.LAUNCHING OF THE GOVERNOR’S COLLEGE As part of this administration’s effort towards improving the standard of education in the State, Council noted with appreciation the formal opening on Thursday 1st November, 2012 by His Excellency Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of the newly established Governor’s College. 2. OFFICIAL VISIT TO KANO STATE BY THE DELEGATION FROM THE NIGERIEN REPUBLIC MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Council today noted with delight the official representation from Nigerien Ministry of Education over the State Government effort to establish an exchange boarding school at Niamey for the learning of French. 3.TRIUMPH OF KANO PILLARS FOOTBALL CLUB AT A FRIENDLY TOURNAMENT Council noted the successful performance of Kano Pillars Football Club at the recent concluded West African friendly tournament in Niger Republic where they were crowned champions. 4.FLAG-OFF OF THE EMERGENCY TRANSPORT SCHEME IN THE STATE Council noted the flag-off ceremony on the Emergency Transport Scheme which is a means of transporting pregnant women from rural areas to nearby Hospitals by His Excellency, the Gov Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso which is in collaboration between Paths2, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Health and NURTW as a pilot scheme across 10 Local Government Areas in the State. 5.DEPUTY GOVERNOR’S OFFICIAL VISIT TO ABUJA Council noted the official visit of His Excellency, the Deputy Governor to the Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria where fruitful discussions were held in the areas of Poultry, Soccer academy, and other Human endeavour in the State. Similarly, His Excellency, the Deputy Governor paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission where by the initial approved number of students intake of the newly established Northwest University was increased from 400 to 1000 students. In the light of the foregoing, Council extended its profound gratitude to NUC and other relevant stakeholders who contributed immensely towards the successful up liftment of education in the State and country at large. 6.PRESENTATION OF AWARD TO HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI’U MUSA KWANKWASO BY NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION, BUK CHAPTER Council noted with delight the presentation of an award to His Excellency the Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso by the Nigerian Agricultural Association BUK Chapter.

SIGNED: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Kano State ka turo shi ya kawo min daga gobe zuwa





NEWS Aliyu: Riding high at 57

‘There’d been Boko Haram presence in Kogi before church killings’


IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu (CON) is 57 today. The Chief Servant, as he is fondly called, has shown his love for his people in the last five years he has been at the helms. When, in May 2007, Aliyu mounted the saddle, he promised in his inaugural address that he was going to be a courageous leader, more resolute than any other leader we have seen in the state. He said he would provide “courageous and quality leadership” since the destiny of any people is inextricably tied to the quality of its leadership. Five years on, no Nigerlite, I am sure, would dispute the fact that the Chief Servant has kept his word. As I said in my previous tributes to the man, there is hardly any leader of the state who has made as much efforts to change the face of the politics and socio-economy to the fullest like Aliyu. Indeed, like I have always maintained, his first term of four years represented a defining period of our state’s history. For those who know Aliyu, the successes recorded so far do not come as a surprise - the man came well-groomed for the job of transforming Niger State. Between November 12, 1955, when he was born in Minna, and today when he turns 57, Aliyu’s life can best be described as a lesson in resilience, hard work, diligence and steadfastness. The Talban Minna was born into a humble, even though culturally rich background and had to toil to survive from tending horses, packing the dung, going to Arabic/Islamic school and attending public schools from primary to his university education. Therefore, like William Shakespeare would say, Aliyu was not born great; rather, he achieved greatness on his own. As he celebrates his birthday, it is not just the interesting narrative of his 57-year sojourn on earth that should resonate. What should fascinate Nigerians is how wide exposure and educational sophistication has made Dr. Aliyu one of the most sophisticated statesmen in the country, especially with his good education in Nigeria and some of the best universities in the United States. The governor has in the last five years shown that he has knowledge, capacity, wisdom, experience and proven fairminded to preside over a multiethnic and multi-religious national community. For his administration in Niger State, everybody resident here is a Nigerlite and enjoys every amenity or provision of the government without discrimination. The concept of state of origin does not exist. Every school child in the primary school and students in the secondary school in the state enjoys free education without

COMMUNITY leader in Kogi State, Alhaji Majid Dahiru, has said there had been Boko Haram presence in Kogi State before the Deeper Life Church bombing in Okenne. The Ebira businessman said there had been traces of the sect in the area since the 1990s. Speaking with The Nation, Dahiru recalled that some Islamic clerics had been using inciting language in their sermons in the past 20 years. He said: “Before the church killing, the police had uncovered many bomb factories and dangerous weapons in Ebira land. Those arrested were linked with Boko Haram.” The community leader wondered why security agencies have not concluded their investigation on the church killings. Dahiru is the founder of a socio-political group, Kaneri Movement, in Okene. He urged the Special Tax


•Aliyu By Danladi Ndayebo

discrimination; every child up to the age of five, as well as all pregnant women and the aged are entitled to free and quality medicare without discrimination. Also, in the last five years, the Chief Servant has stamped his seal of excellence in all the sectors of the state’s economy. His chosen areas of priority, namely Education, Health, Agriculture, infrastructural development and social security have seen progressive achievements. His accomplishments have been attributed largely to prudent and judicious application of funds, visionary planning and consistency in policy implementation. Aliyu has introduced initiatives that are novel in the history of political leadership in Nigeria. An instant revelation is the Ward Development Projects which ensure that development reaches the grassroots. The initiative, which ensures that each of the 274 wards in the state receives N1million monthly, is a huge success story. Under the initiative, each ward takes full responsibility for proposing to the state government development projects that the ward consultative forum feels deserves priority attention. The implementation of projects is carried out by the people, who participate fully at all levels. The Jama’a Forum, a meet-thepeople-tour, initiated and embarked upon by the governor to meet and interact with the people one-on-one in their communities and villages, has not only gained significant support but has also served as an instrument through which he relates directly with the common man. The tour is aimed at getting to know the people, their areas of need and how to address their problems as well as giving the people an opportunity to interact freely with their governor on issues bothering them. Aliyu, who thinks right and acts right, is the man of the moment in Niger State but should be elevated to act right and think right for the entire country. Let his deeds of today be his judge for the future. Here’s a happy birthday message to the Chief Servant of the people. •Ndayebo is the Chief Press Secretary to Aliyu

Benue deputy governor condemns attack on lawmakers

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

Force (STF) on security to avoid being used for vendetta by those he called selfseeking politicians. The community leader alleged that some politicians had hijacked Kogi State to victimise their perceived enemies. Dahiru said the continuous hunt on former Okene Local Government Area Chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Karaku, by the STF is unnecessary. According to him, security agencies handling the church killing have exonerated the former chairman. Despite his release by the police on the grounds that he had no case to answer, members of the STF are said to be searching for Karaku on his alleged connection to the killings. The commandant of the STF last week said the task

force wanted to ask the former council chief some questions on the killing of two soldiers. But Dahiru said: “In a case like this, only the police have the right to hunt a suspect, not the Army. In Karaku’s case, he was arrested by the police and eventually freed of complicity. “It baffled me when I read in the papers that soldiers were hunting this man to take him to the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI). They have forgotten that the DMI is specifically meant for accused soldiers and not civilians, especially as this has to do with a civil case.” The businessman noted that there had been killings of prominent soldiers, policemen and political leaders in Ebira land without anyone being fingered or hunted. He wondered why Karaku is being hunted when the police have arrested some suspects on the church killings.

Wada’s sister orders arrest of journalist, wife, over facebook comment


N online journalist and former moderator of a facebook group: The Kogi Political Platform, Odaudu Joel Minister, was allegedly beaten up like a “notorious criminal” by the police. According to a source, his ordeal followed earlier calls from Fatima Abdullahi (néeWada) allegedly “threatening the online journalist to either stop reporting stories on her father or risk arrest, detention and total annihilation”. The journalist was arrested in his home in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area, at 12.30am yesterday. The source said: “All I can say for now is that no arms were found in the possession of Mr. Minister when he was arrested.” According to a police source, Minister was arrested in connection with a comment he posted on facebook about Governor Idris Wada on the crisis rocking the House of Assembly. The post was said to have exposed a secret meeting at the Governors’ Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, between Wada and Yakubu Yunusa, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, representing Ofu

•Governor’s spokesman: Wada’s hands clean From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Constituency on November 5. Yunusa is a member of the 13-anti impeachment lawmakers. A lawyer, Idris Kabir, described the arrest as an abuse of power. He said: “Let me place on record that what happened to this man is indefensible. A media consultant from the state, Phrank Shaibu, described the arrest and the illtreatment of Minister as “unlawful, barbaric, cruel, brutal, evil, vicious, wicked, vindictive and reckless”. He said: “I want to say with all sense of modesty and responsibility that the way Mr Minister was treated by the police is unlawful, barbaric, cruel, brutal, evil, vicious, wicked, vindictive and reckless.” Minister said, last night, a sister to Wada, “Habibat Wada, brought thugs to my house. But when she saw that I was calling the police, she ran to the station and brought policemen to arrest me and my wife. “The police shot twice into

the air before they arrested me and my wife, who did not know anything about my online activities. The police arrested us at 12.30am and released us at about 2.30pm. “She asked me to sign an undertaking that I will delete The Kogi Political Platform from the facebook because, according to her, it is being used to vilify Wada. “Habibat also told me that if I do not delete it, my wife,

FCTA worried by crimes in abandoned buildings From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed worry over criminal activities in abandoned buildings. FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed spoke at the weekend in Abuja at a meeting with his security adviser. The minister directed security agencies to monitor abandoned buildings. He urged the police to ensure that such buildings are no

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


ENUE State Deputy Governor Steven Lawani has condemned the attack on the House of Assembly by unknown hoodlums. He said the attack was a manifestation of intolerance. The deputy governor noted that the Assembly is a veritable organ of government, adding that violence is a retrogressive action that hampers democracy. Lawani dismissed the insinuation in some quarters that his presence at the Assembly worsened the leadership crisis.

Hailing security agencies for curtailing the Ebira crisis, Dahiru urged the STF to widen its investigation and avoid being fed with false information and lies. Dahiru said: “When Karaku held sway in Okene Local Government Area, he performed excellently. Apart from hisachievements, for the first time, he brought peace to Ebira land. His performance made him more acceptable to his people. “Anyone who feels Karaku’s political pedigree is threatening his ambition should try and emulate him so that he or she will be more accepted by the people. Telling lies against Karaku before the soldiers will not help but rather build hatred.” He urged the military to also investigate those “feeding them with lies” to get the truth about what is going on in Kogi State.

longer used by criminals to plan and launch their nefarious activities. Mohammed said: “All security agencies are hereby directed to, as a matter of urgency, beam their surveillance on abandoned buildings to crack down on criminals using such places as a haven.” The minister stressed that criminals must not be allowed to operate within the 8,000 square kilometres of the FCT. He added that criminals must be stopped from using abandoned buildings as a launch pads for evil.

who is a 300-Level student of History and International Studies in the Kogi State University, will not graduate.” The Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Jacob Edi, said Wada had no hand in the journalist’s ordeal. Edi said Habibat is the governor’s younger sister., adding that she is free to seek redress when she feels aggrieved.

GUS 9: Survivors denied meal for failing task

remaining five Gulder T heUltimate Search 9 survivors missed what would have been a finger-licking, tongue tasting delicacy. The delicacy however remained at their arms’ length because they failed the Blindfolded Box Building challenge. The survivors were required to fetch 10 wooden boxes scattered around the task area. After gathering the wooden boxes, they were to form a staircase which would aid them pick up a basket nailed to a palm tree. In the basket was their prize. When properly assembled, the boxes formed the picture of a Gatekeeper. The survivors were blindfolded for the task, except Paschal Eronmose who was to guide them with his voice. The four

blindfolded survivors were also tied together and had to complete the challenge within a 30 minute timeframe. The survivors could not finish the task – hence they missed the mouth-watering reward. ChidiMokeme, the Anchor man, also refused to tell them what the delicious meal was. He left it to their imagination. While Nuhu Zigwayi and Adah James stated that the timeframe for the completion of the task was short, UzorOsimpka blamed Paschal for their poor performance. The survivors had to make do with their meal of ‘jollofrice’ which they cooked themselves. The show continues tonight on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), AKBC, Uyo and ITV (Benin) at 10pm.




N984m for rural electrification By Miriam Ndikanwu

THE Lagos State Government will spend about N984million on transformers to light up rural communities, Commissioner for Rural Development Cornelius Ojelabi has said. Ojelabi spoke at a dinner organised by the ministry in collaboration with Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State to commemorate this year’s Community Day. Ojelabi said the gesture was part of the government’s effort to ensure that rural residents enjoy uninterrupted electricity. The development, he said, would boost economic activities in the rural areas and improve the people’s living standard. He acknowledged the contributions of local government chairmen through the initiations of programme with impact on the lives of rural dwellers. Ojelabi said: “My ministry is particularly impressed with the efforts of these wonderful people who have continued to uphold the tenet of our great party which is service to humanity and justice to all; by championing any programme of the ministry designed to bring succour to the rural populace particularly in the area of maintenance and sustenance of the ministry’s developmental projects at the grassroots as well as security surveillance.”

Teaching in local languages under way By Adebisi Onanuga

PUPILS are to be taught in their local languages under a new education project named Multimedia for School Network (M4 School Network). The new education project will take off on March 20, next year, in selected 12 states of the federation. The Regional Sales Manager, Gilat Satcom Nigeria Limited, Mr. Richmond Ronald Okechukwu made this known during a media session held in Lagos to announce the pilot scheme of The M4 School project. Okechukwu said the scheme is being implemented in partnership with the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC), Federal Ministry of Education and Gilat Satcom of South Africa. Operators of the project, he said, were also in partnership with another local company named Brand Surveys which would help to scale down the software to be deployed in the programme under Scaleable Multimedia in Local Education (SMILE). Under the project, he said, schools which fall under the M4 School Network would teach with the aid of multimedia equipment and the educational materials that would be relayed to them through an educational support satellite platform.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

LASTMA bars junior officers from arresting motorists L AGOS State Government has directed junior officials of its Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to stop arresting motorists who violate traffic laws. LASTMA General Manager Babatunde Edu said this was part of efforts to check abuse by LASTMA men and return sanity to the roads. He spoke at a public forum on the new Lagos Traffic Law, organised by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA). Edu urged motorists apprehended by a junior LASTMA official to report to the authority, but implored the public to obey the law. He said the junior officers, who could be identified with the black epaulet on their uniforms, were only to assist motorists and ensure that

By Miriam Ndikanwu

traffic laws are obeyed. Edu said: “You can easily identify a junior officer with black epaulet on his shoulder. Henceforth, junior officers can no longer arrest, only the senior ones with red epaulet on their uniforms can. We have stopped the junior ones from arresting motorists except during joint operation. That is the extent we have gone in checkmating aggressive enforcement of the law.” The government, he said, was spending heavily on continuous training of the officers on non-aggressive ways of dealing with motorists. LASTMA officers, he said, were expected to assist any motorists whose vehicles broke down unexpectedly on the highway, rather than harass or victimise them.

•LASTMA officers struggling for the control of steering with a commercial driver.

“We have trained these men to be fair with motorists. They are not to harass or victimise on the road. If they do otherwise, please do not fight them, just take note of their names and report them. You

don’t enforce law by breaking it. “What I’m saying here may be totally different from what obtains on the roads, please I urge you to report them. Every officer has a name on his

Residents claim police shot guard


SECURITY guard was allegedly shot dead and a bank worker injured by policemen who mistook them for robbers. The incident occurred early Saturday in Ikota, Lekki, Lagos. The police were responding to a distress call by a resident that robbers were operating in the neighbourhood. The guard was simply identified as Nuhu. The banker’s name was given as Femi Adewunmi Badejo. The robbers, numbering about 20, were said to have scaled the fence of the building. The Nation gathered that they dispossessed their victims of cash and valuables without shooting. The police reportedly came after the robbers had left a shooting Badejo and Nuhu. The guard, who was allegedly shot in his chest and pelvic region, died in an undisclosed hospital; Badejo is recuperating at a highbrow hospital on Lagos Island. There are conflicting reports on how the men were shot. The tenants claimed the police shot them and rushed them to the hospital; the police alleged the guard was found dead on their arrival with bullet wounds on his chest and back. Our source, said the tenants were outdoor, discussing their ordeal

•’It’s not true, we found him dead’

Robbers kill Inspector


POLICE Inspector was yesterday killed during an early morning robbery inside an Estate in Oke-Afa, Isolo, a Lagos suburb. It was gathered that a Corporal, who was wounded, is in the hospital. Police sources told The Nation that the incident occurred around 2am when about 15 armed men invaded the estate. The gunmen were moving from house to house when a distress call was sent to the police. The Nation learnt that unknown to the policemen, who came in two patrol vehicles, some of the hoodlums laid ambush for them in a bush outside the estate. As the policemen approached the scene, the By Precious Igbonwelundu

when the police arrived in their patrol van and shot Badejo thrice. He said: “Badejo was telling the policemen that he is not an armed robber, and that he was robbed; the police refused to listen and shot him thrice. “Nuhu, who was standing beside Badejo, was equally shot by the police on his back and chest. The main security man, Joseph, who saw what was happening, scaled the fence and ran into the bush. “Eventually, other neighbours came out and also told the policemen that the two people they had shot were members of the compound. That was when they carried

By Jude Isiguzo

hoodlums opened fire on them, killing the Inspector and injuring others. A resident told The Nation that “it was like a war” as the robbers who, apparently, came with sophisticated firearms, shot sporadically for over 30 minutes. It was learnt that the policemen who could not match the robbers firepower reportedly fled. Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said the Inspector died on the way to the hospital. Braide said the policemen killed a member of the gang and recovered an AK47 rifle.

them in their ambulance and rushed them to St. Nicholas Hospital.” The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) said Badejo was recuperating at the hospital. Nuhu was found dead by the police at the premises, she said, adding that his killers are not known. “The police got a distress call that armed robbers were operating in the area opposite Mega Chicken; some officers were deployed, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to cordon off the area. “We were in contact with the person who made the call and even at the point of

entry into the compound, the caller insisted that the armed robbers were still within the vicinity. As the police approached, a man was seen hiding under a car, and he was mistaken for a criminal and shot in the leg. “When he screamed that he wasn’t an armed robber, and was only hiding, the police went to rescue him and he was taken to the hospital. For the guard, his remains were found on the floor in the compound and it was not clear who must have killed him. “It appeared it was a false alarm because no armed robbers were sighted at the vicinity at the time the police arrived. The remains of the guard have been deposited in the mortuary.”

Lagos urges residents to re-paint structures on highways


AGOS State Government has asked residents with properties on major highway to paintsuch structures to complement its efforts in beautifying the metropolis for the yuletide. The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, gave this charge while monitoring the ministry’s projects across the state. He expressed displeasure about the poor state of most buildings on ma-

By Miriam Ndikanwu

jor highways and streets, like Ikorodu Road, Agege Motor Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Isolo Road, Mushin, Oshodi, Victoria Island, Apapa, Ikoyi among others. The other category of neglected buildings noticeable on Lagos roads, he said, were those he referred to as “abandoned properties,” which he noted were prevalent in Ilasamaja, Apapa, Creek Road, Ikoyi, and Victoria Island.

Properties along this corridor, he said, were abandoned by their owners, who have relocated and left them in the care of their security guards and local mai-guards who have converted them to “Okada parks” and hideout for miscreants. He advised the owners to come and take ownership of their buildings, ensure they are put in proper shape and painted to complement the government’s effort on its massive envi-

ronmental regeneration programmes. Bello said the task of building a new Lagos that is adorned with beautiful highways/high streets, recreational parks/gardens and lush green lawns is the ultimate goal of and the collective responsibility of the people. He urged individuals, groups and corporate bodies to join hands with the government to attain a cleaner and sustainable environment.

uniform. However, our roads must not also be turned into a mechanic workshop where you will decide to repair your car; you have to evacuate the faulty car from the road so as not to disturb other road users,” Edu said.

Five policemen held for groom’s death By Precious Igbonwelundu


IVE policemen have been reportedly arrested by the Force Headquarters detectives from Abuja, over the death of Ugochukwu Ozuah. Ozuah was allegedly killed on September 11, five days after his wedding, around the UPS office, Gbagada, by policemen attached to the Anthony Division. The Police Command initially denied the involvement of its men in the incident, but the deceased’s friend, Omene Irikefe, insisted that Ozuah was shot by policemen. Police claimed the groom was killed by suspected robbers. The Commissioner, Umar Manko said he was unaware of the arrest. Sources said the arrested men have been taken to Abuja for interrogation. Our source said the policemen were arrested because their movement was not accounted for on the night of the incident. “Based on the findings of the Special Investigation Team from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Headquarters led by Chris Ezeike, who were assigned to the case, the five officers attached to Anthony division were arrested. Ezeike had pledged during a visit to the deceased’s family that they would reconstruct the crime scene as well as carry out forensic investigations that would determine the point of bullet entry and exit. When contacted, Manko said he was not aware of the arrest of the officers because the investigation was being carried out by the Force Headquarters. “I think you should call Frank Mba, he is in a position to know since the Headquarters is handling the matter. I am not aware if my officers were arrested.” Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Frank Mba, (CSP) could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.






Jonathan and the Ribadu report


T is so unfortunate that there has been so much ignorant carping and malicious tittle-tattling about the report of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force chaired by Malam Nuhu Ribadu, both failings arising from a deliberate attempt to individualize what was actually group work, a mischievous attempt to politicize one report out of three, and to smuggle into an emergent grand web of conspiracy, elements of blackmail, mischief and outright opportunism. I should like to dispel the putrefacious stench of the fart that seems to have overtaken the subject by returning all of us to certain basics that have not changed since President Jonathan approved the setting up of committees to inquire into different aspects of the Petroleum Sector and particularly since the reports were presented and accepted. The facts are as follows. The committees in question and the probe into the Petroleum sector were initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure transparency and accountability in the extractive industry; the goal was to transform the sector and raise levels of integrity accordingly. Every step that has been taken by this administration in this regard has been in fulfillment of this well-stated principle. This includes the decision to completely deregulate the downstream sector, which has now resulted in the exposure of oily deals in that sector, with consequences for the indicted persons. It also includes the launch of a concerted fight against crude oil theft and illegal payments of fuel subsidy. Zakari Mohammed of the House of Representatives talks absent-mindedly about “lack of political will” to fight corruption. He certainly doesn’t know what he is talking about. A legislative posi-

By Reuben Abati

tion should not confer a right to mendacity. He should know, if he had been reading the newspapers, that on the basis of both the report of the House of Representatives and the Aig Aig-Imokhuede committee report on fuel subsidy payments, persons are currently being prosecuted in the law courts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Federal Government has not done anything to stop or discourage the prosecution of indicted persons. We have made the point, again and again, that in this on-going fight against corruption, there will be no “cover ups”; and no “sacred cows,” and that President Jonathan’s only interest is the people’s interest. This same President has demonstrated the political will to deal with corruption in the country’s electoral process, to both local and global acclaim. He has no reason to make compromises in other areas of national life. Interestingly, many of those who are now talking ignorantly about “political will” are beneficiaries of this administration’s commitment to the rule of law and fairplay. On the specific issue of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force report, the mischief-makers should go back to the statements made by President Jonathan, and subsequently by the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on the occasion of the presentation of the report. The President’s position that the work of the Ribadu Committee, and of the two other committees that presented their reports on that occasion, the Idika Kalu committee on Refineries and the Dotun Sulaiman Committee on Governance is useful and enlightening has not changed. Alison-Madueke has further echoed that position more than twice. The three committees were

set up as fact-finding and advisory bodies. That fact was further underscored by the President’s mature response to the altercation that the Ribadu Committee Report generated when he said that those who have issues to raise should be free to make their own independent submissions. This shows a determination to get every possible piece of information and to accommodate all concerns. This shows a will to act. President Jonathan has not dumped any input, rather he welcomes every possible input and he has no private interest in this matter. So for anyone to say that the Ribadu committee was “calculated to fail from the beginning”, is absolutely uncharitable. Indeed, for the benefit of those playing politics and doing quick business with this matter, the truth is that President Jonathan is already taking steps to address some of the issues raised in the various reports. When President Jonathan sets up committees to investigate particular issues, he does so, because he wants to address those issues. I had, before now, drawn attention to the fact that the President gave clear directives on the state of the refineries and that at least one meeting had been held since the presentation of the Report on Refineries, to act specifically on the recommendations made. President Jonathan has directed that he wants the refineries fixed and steps are already being taken; deadlines have been set. That didn’t make the headlines, rather, falsehood hugged the headlines, because these days it pays to fart all over the place, and attract attention. To set the records straight, here is what happened. After the presentation of the reports by the three committees; the President directed the Minister of Petroleum Resources to take up the recommendations

of the Kalu Idika Kalu committee on refineries. The committee recommended, in part, that the country’s refineries should be rehabilitated without any further delay. On November 8, the Minister and her team were at the Villa to brief the President about the state of the refineries, their current capacities, and steps that need to be taken to get them to function at optimum capacity. The President made it clear that the government is committed to getting the refineries to work, so that we would no longer have to import refined petroleum products, which he considers shameful, and by so doing, government would have succeeded in creating jobs and put an end to the hardship that attends importation. The meeting discussed the possibility of ensuring the Turn Around Maintenance of the refineries by March 2013, and subsequently, the rehabilitation of the facilities. The meeting ended with a directive that the Minister and her team should return with further presentations on the technical details of the agreed plan of action. This is one clear example of prompt action and demonstration of commitment. President Jonathan has no reason to embarrass anyone who served on any of the three committees. While receiving the reports, these were his words: “…we have seen that the people that have been selected in these committees are people that are known by Nigerians, people that are credible, most especially people that are patriotic and I believe that they put all that into consideration for the interest of the country not for the interest of any individual. You have submitted your reports today. We have to thank you very sincerely and government will surely make use of these reports… because we feel that the oil industry as it is, need to be reformed.” I urge you to note

the emphasis on all the reports without exception! Thereafter, President Jonathan commented on the work of the individual committees. On Dotun Sulaiman committee, he said: “…we feel that our governance and control, (in the oil and gas sector) we need to look at it. And of course quite a number of issues raised by the presenters link up with even the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) issues and I believe it will even help the National Assembly robustly in terms of looking at some aspects of the PIB. So we thank you very sincerely for that.” On the Kalu Idika Kalu Committee he said: “In the case of the refineries, I really have to thank you because I was listening, trying to see the kind of recommendations you will bring up…Maybe some of you don’t know but those of us who are in politics, they used to “yab” us some years back that in Nigeria we import what we have and export what we don’t have. They say we import what we have because we have crude oil for God’s sake. Ordinarily if it is a country where we placed our focus right, we should be having filling stations all over Africa and all over the world …It is disgraceful that we are importing petroleum products. If in the next ten years this country still imports petroleum products then all of us who have the opportunity to be here, in fact when we die they should write something and put behind us that we did not rule this country well, because we must stop the importation of petroleum products.” Hence, the President held the aforementioned follow-up meeting on refineries. Now, on the Ribadu Report, President Jonathan said, inter alia: “…Probably not everybody agreed on some of the conclusions but I don’t think we need to bother…what

we would say is that any member who has one or two observations should please write it either directly to me through the Chief of Staff or through the Minister of Petroleum Resources…But the issues of finance, if it borders on corrupt practice or outright stealing, definitely it will go to the EFCC for investigation…If there are errors of calculation or misinformation from the relevant agencies of government that are supposed to give the correct figures, that will be filtered out. It will not be used against anybody, because the interest of government to set up these committees is to help us do what is right. It is not to help us do what is wrong. And that is why we have to be careful and do what is right. So I plead with you. But let me assure you that government has no interest in hiding anything…” Let me cut this short, at this point, by saying that President Goodluck Jonathan has no reason whatsoever, personal or political (since at least one character has said that the furore over the Ribadu Report has something to do with 2015!) to protect wrong-doers in the land. He took on this assignment to make Nigeria better and that is what he is doing everyday: working hard at the Nigerian project and taking every step to transform it for good. The Nigerian people are enjoined to stand on the side of truth and to reject the mischief of all hunters of fortune whose interest is their own ambitions, for in this Ribadu Committee Report matter, personal ambitions are beginning to becloud the facts. President Jonathan will continue to provide leadership. Nobody should drag him into the cheap arena of opportunistic demagoguery. •Dr. Abati is Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity







NEWS Task Force clears NNPC of non-remission of crude sales Continued from page 4

cluding margins) multiplied by the PPPRA observed volumes. The PPPRA subsidy approvals for the sale of the refined products by the NNPC were in excess of deductions made by about N132.7 billion as at 31 December, 2011, it added. Subsidy is currently paid based on the difference between the proceeds from the sale of refined products and the cost of importation of refined products. The committee said: “In the course of the

Taskforce’s work, we did not receive sufficient justification and basis for the practice of deducting subsidies from the amount payable to the Federation account. Indeed, this practice does not accord with the law, with particular reference to the Constitution,” it said. The report said based on the daily allocation by the Federal Government of 445,000 barrels of crude oil, it is expected that the NNPC would be allocated approximately 162 million barrels annually. Our

review of the records received showed an inconsistent pattern in the implementation of this policy with variances found for 10 years review spanning 2002 to 2011. The implication of this finding is that for half of the period under review, the NNPC received less than the 445,000 barrels. On the discrepancy in the pricing of Domestic Crude, the taskforce found that the average price per barrel payable by NNPC was compared with the average weekly

prices for Nigeria Bonny Light, Forcados, obtained from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The committee said enquiries made from NNPC revealed that up until October 2003, the NNPC was granted fixed price regimes by the Federal Government: 1999 – 2001, $9.50bbl, 2002 to July 2003, $18/bbl, August/Sept 2003, $22bbl. “This explains the wide disparity in prices in the earlier years,” according to the findings of the Taskforce.

Crude theft: Shell shuts in 25,000 barrels Continued from page 4

Total declared force majeure in mid-October on gas supplies to Nigeria LNG’s liquefaction plant, saying it had stopped oil and gas production on one onshore block 58, which was losing 90,000 bpd of oil equivalent, in

which it has a 40 percent stake. Total’s head of upstream told reporters at the same press conference in Abu Dhabi that it was still too early to say when production might restart, with flooding still posing problems. “The water is decreasing,

but we still have some problems with the floods,” YvesLoius Darricare, Total’s head of upstream, said. “I hope we will be able to restart production as soon as we can.” At least 363 people have been killed due to the floods since the start of July and 2.1 million people have been dis-

placed, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). NEMA said last week the oil-producing Niger Delta region was still flooded but water levels were falling and the heaviest rains had passed as Nigeria enters its 6-month long dry season.

WEMA MD, others seek support for community poly


ANAGING Director of WEMA Bank Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, Executive Vice Chairman of Industrial and General Insurance company (IGI) Mr. Remi Olowude, and other dignitaries are rallying financial support for Igbajo Polytechnic. The institution is a private initiative by the Osun State town. They made the call at a fund raising dinner in Lagos, on Friday. Oloketuyi extolled Igbajo Polytechnic, its administration and the community it is situated. “The Igbajo Polytechnic initiative is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is still the only com-

By Damilola Owoyele

munity polytechnic in Nigeria till date . . . Research has shown that an educated and literate workforce is important to the growth of any nation. The more the intellectual capital you have, the better your chances of successes. Communities that generate a wealth of intellect tend to produce better economic returns. Therefore the Igbajo Polytechnic initiative is an investment in economic future of the community,” he said. Olowude said: “For all lovers of good education, the establishment of Igbajo Polytechnic is a

dream come true. The vision of the polytechnic is to become one of the foremost in the production of first rate graduates in the sciences, the arts, and technology blended with strong moral responsibility. Support for this institution is not limited to the rich, but should involve us all.” The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the polytechnic Chief Ade Fadahunsi said private higher institutions are confronting the challenges created by inadequacies of the public universities.He said it is necessary to explore avenues of funding to meet the huge cost of running Igbajo Polytechnic.”

He implored corporate bodies, individual donors and international organisations to rise to the civic responsibility of helping to educate the Nigerian youth. He lauded the traditional head, Owa of Igbajo, and the Igbajo community for their commitment. Rector, Adedapo Oke spoke on the attainments of the institution. “We have 500 ordinary national diploma students. And since we will be expanding next year to include higher national diploma in our curriculum, I envisage that the population of students will increase to 600.”

E-filing: FCT High Court to parley with NBA, others


HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court is to organise a meeting of stakeholders in the nation’s judiciary on the essence of the newly introduced e-filing system before the end of this month. The stakeholders include the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), judges and court clerks, a director with YWC Technologies Ltd, initiator of the project, Mr.

Kabir Akanbi stated this at the weekend in Abuja. E-filing is the transmission of legal documents through parties electronically. The initiative which was recently unveiled by the FCT High Court is the latest in the series of moves within the nation’s judiciary to fast track the delivery of justice through the Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Akanbi said, more than any other thing, the initiative would make filing of cases “more convenient and cost effective, efficient and time saving. “It’s flexible as it accepts standard document format while it is user friendly and secure as the data cannot under whatever circumstance be altered by anybody.” On its working, Akanbi who lauded the FCT Chief Judge,

Justice Lawal Gummi, for the novel idea, said “The processing unit opens the portal and processes the documents after which they will be sent to the CJ who assigns the matter to designated judge who in turn gives a date for the matter and sends same back to the processing unit which will now forward the matter as processed to the parties involved .”

‘How to end Boko Haram attacks’ Continued from page 4

should be investigated properly and prosecuted without undue delay. “Government should undertake total reform of the criminal justice system in order to achieve speedy dispensation of justice. “There is continuing debate about the desirability of “State Police” but this should be avoided as we are still not politically mature enough to ensure that it is not abused. “In the wake of rising wave of rising security challenges across the country, the Federal and state governments raised various committees and panels to investigate and recommend ways of addressing the problems. Governments are urged to as much as possible implement the recommendations of these panels without further delay to sustain the public confidence in such committees. “The Police Council, in conjunction with the InspectorGeneral of Police, should work out an establishment for the Force, based on the United Nations ratio one policeman to 400 citizens The distribution of the agreed figure should be made on pro-rata basis. “Thereafter, other factors, such as industrialization, crime wave, sophistication and so on should be taken into consideration to determine deployment to the states. “Statistics should show the manpower contribution by each state to the Federal Police and, if any state exhausts its quota, no recruitment should be made from that state until vacancy occurs. “This will enhance the sense of belonging and provide opportunity for employment of qualified citizens in the North. It will also check the dominance of the police by a section of the country. “State governors should therefore closely monitor the recruitment of their citizens in the Police.” Besides security challenges, the ACF called for the removal of the immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution to enable the president and governors

be more transparent and efficient. The roadmap said: “Political leaders must show greater openness and accountability. The most serious impediment to the realization of the goals of peace, security and development is corruption, which fosters bad governance. Bad governance leads to all sorts of evil; treasury looting, misplacement of priorities, nepotism, injustice and distortion of national ideals and moral values. “There is noticeable disconnect in the country between the citizens and governments at all levels. As a result of rampant corruption, there is also noticeable dwindling of resources available to governments. More positive impact will be made by governments in people’s welfare, if leaders take concrete steps to eliminate corruption at all levels. “The immunity clause in the constitution, which is intended to allow governors and the President to do their work unhindered, has become a cover behind which some hide to drain the treasury with impunity. This clause should be expunged from the Constitution. “No group is so pampered by the corrupt Nigerian environment, is so protected from the consequences of their actions and so compensated for their inadequacies than political office holders. As a result, politics seems to be the only thriving in the North. Good governance needs to be enthroned to reverse this ugly trend.”


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Imoudu Osihomo Maureen now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Agboola Saliu Osihomo Maureen. All former document remains valid. NYSC and the general public please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE Loss of Document

This is to notify the general public of the loss of a building lease registered at Enugu as 10/100/583. Signed: Joseph Onaga



FOREIGN NEWS 11,000 refugees flee Syria in 24 hours

Missing girl: Man gives himself up

AS many as 11,000 people have fled Syria in 24 hours - one of the biggest refugee exoduses the country has seen in its 20month conflict. The refugees were escaping fierce fighting between rebels and government forces for control of the northeastern Syrian town of Ras al Ain on the border with Turkey. The exodus signals the escalating ferocity of the conflict, which has killed more than 36,000 people since March 2011. The United Nations has warned that an estimated four million people inside Syria will need humanitarian assistance by early next year as winter sets in - up from 2.5 million now. Of the 11,000 Syrians who fled in the 24-hour period that began on Thursday, 9,000 crossed into Turkey, while Jordan and Lebanon each absorbed another 1,000 refugees, according to UN officials.

22-year-old man wanted in connection with the suspected murder of a teenager has handed himself in to police. Hertfordshire Police said Jack Wall was arrested by officers investigating the disappearance of Amelia Arnold, who was last seen on Wednesday. Detectives fear that Miss Arnold, aged 19, has been murdered and are focusing their enquiries on her home in Hadrian’s Walk, Stevenage. Wall, also of Stevenage, has been arrested on suspicion of Miss Arnold’s murder. He presented himself to officers at a police station in Hertfordshire after detectives appealed for him to contact them. Detective Chief Inspector Tim Redfearn, from the joint Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Amelia’s family are extremely distraught and are desperate for information on her whereabouts.” Officers particularly want to hear from anyone who lives in and around Hollybush Lane, Welwyn Garden City, and saw a white van or anyone depositing items in the area on Thursday afternoon or evening. “I’d also renew my appeal for anyone who saw or heard any suspicious activity in Hadrian’s Walk between Wednesday and Friday to come forward,” added DCI Redfearn.

Cracks at nuclear plant raise safety concerns TINY cracks have been found in tunnels at a nuclear plant in South Korea, increasing concerns about nuclear safety in the country following a recent scandal involving the use of unverified parts. The reactor where the cracks were found will remain offline for weeks as regulators investigate the problem, putting extra strain on South Korea’s already stretched power supply going into the winter months. The utility Korean Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) said it detected microscopic cracks in six control rod tunnels at Unit 3 of its Yonggwang nuclear plant in the southwest of the country. Control rods are used to regulate the speed of nuclear reactions taking place inside reactors.

UK remembers fallen heroes A TWO-minute silence has been held to remember members of the British and Commonwealth’s armed forces who have died during conflicts. The Queen was joined by several members of the Royal Family at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday. The country observed a two-minute silence as Big Ben struck the eleventh hour. British forces across the world - including 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan also stood silent to remember. The Queen laid a wreath, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Cambridge. The former chief of the defence staff, Lord Guthrie, laid a wreath on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who is in Auckland, New Zealand.


•US President Barack Obama lays a wreath during a Veterans’ Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, PHOTO: AFP Virginia...yesterday.

Envoy decries rise in trafficking of Nigerians T

HE Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, Mr. Iliya Nuhu, has decried the high rate of trafficking of Nigerian girls through the West African country. Nuhu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bamako that the problem had grown in “magnitude and sophistication” to the extent that a substantial number of Nigerians in Mali seemed to be thriving on it. He said the practice was a “kind of modern day slavery” with Nigerians going to their villages or towns to bring in young girls between the ages of 10 and 15. He said the traffickers were taking advantage of Nigeria’s economic problems to lure their victims with promises of setting them up in “very lucrative businesses abroad.” “These people (traffickers) tell them about businesses which are not there and these girls, with very loose parental upbringing, fall for their tricks. “They go to Nigeria to source for these girls and sell them off to their cronies not only in Mali but in other countries; but we are able to work in cooperation with these countries to map out the routes the traffickers follow. “Since August, we have as-

sisted not less than 30 of these girls to return to the country and this is a daily routine that the embassy and the workers go through. “From what I gathered from the Nigerian community in Mali, an average of 20 to 30 girls are being trafficked into this country everyday and those we get are those who raise alarm,” he said. Nuhu said the embassy was working with the police in Mali on how to identify the traffickers, adding that he

had written a memo to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, to work out a strategy to solve the problem. “We, however, call on the Federal Government to work with NAPTIP or take appraisal of what they are doing and see if there are gaps to be filled so that they can have the capacity to do this job. “NAPTIP also should be able to have the necessary information through their own network to able to fol-

low up these routes and study the mode of operation of the traffickers and beat them to it,” he added. NAN spoke to two of four girls who had been rescued from the traffickers. Joy Monday, a hairdresser, said a woman came to her hometown, Auchi, Edo, to lure her to Mali. “The woman told me that I can make between N5,000 and N7,000 fixing one person’s hair in Mali only to discover on reaching here that I am to be a prostitute and I was rescued by a man who brought me to the embassy,” Monday said.

Turkey helicopter crash: 17 troops killed


EVENTEEN Turkish soldiers have died after their helicopter crashed in southeastern Turkey in bad weather, an official has said. The Sikorsky aircraft came down on Herekol mountain, in the Pervari district of Siirt province, according to Siirt governor Ahmet Aydin. The victims were members of gendarmerie special forces and there were no survivors on board, he said. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash

which reportedly happened in thick fog. The helicopter was transporting troops to Pervari, where the Turkish army has been involved in operations against Kurdish rebels for three days, security sources told AFP. The military has been on Herekol mountain in an attempt to flush out militants from outlawed separatist group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who have hideouts there.

Since the summer, there has been an upsurge in PKK attacks in southeast Turkey, particularly in the Hakkari region. Turkish jets and helicopters have pounded PKK positions along the border with Iraq and Iran for three days, killing 42 militants, Hakkari’s governor said. Last month, a Sikorsky crashed in southeastern Diyarbakir province after it hit power lines, killing one soldier and wounding seven.

12 feared dead in Burma earthquake


STRONG earthquake has struck northern Burma, leaving at least 12 people feared dead and dozens more injured. The 6.8-magnitude quake was reported 70 miles (120km) north of the city of Mandalay, on Sunday morning. While no casualties or damage were reported in the city,

small towns around the epicentre of Shwebo were badlyhit. The largest single death toll was reported by a local administrative officer in the Sintku township, where six people died in a gold mine collapse and another 11 were injured. In nearby Thabeikyin, a primary school, 100 homes, and

some government buildings were damaged. In Shwebo a bridge under construction across the Irrawaddy River collapsed. A 5.8-magnitude aftershock was reported later on Sunday, but there were no initial reports of new damage or casualties. Burma has a poor official disaster response system, de-

spite a devastating cyclone in 2008 which killed 140,000 people. “This is the worst earthquake I felt in my entire life,” said Soe Soe, a 52-year-old Shwebo resident. She said the huge concrete gate of a local monastery collapsed and that several sculptures from another pagoda in the town were damaged.

Israel fires ‘warning shots’ into Syria


SRAEL says its forces have fired “warning shots” into Syria after stray mortar fire from fighting in the civil war-hit nation struck the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It was the first time Israel has been drawn into the unrest in the neighbouring country, and was the first Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military since the 1973 war. The Israeli army said: “A mortar shell hit an IDF (Israeli Defence Force) post in the Golan Heights adjacent to the Israel-Syria border, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria. “In response, IDF soldiers fired warning shots towards Syrian areas.” Sky’s Middle East correspondent Sam Kiley said: “Sky sources tell me the warning shot was an anti-tank missile fired by Israel into Syrian territory, close to the crew that was identified as having fired this mortar round. “So, already the Israelis are signalling that both sides should back off. They don’t want another front line opening up in their ongoing conflicts, not least because in the last 24 hours there has been an escalation of violence in Gaza.” The shell overshot the Golan disengagement fence and exploded near a Jewish settlement without causing casualties, it was claimed. There were no reports of damage or injuries inside Israel.






Falcons crash again in disastrous AWC


IGERIA lost the chance to salvage some lost pride after they lost third place at the African Women’s championship to Cameroon on Sunday. The sorry Falcons fell 1-0 to a 31st minute strike by Gaelle Enganamouit to finish their

worst-ever AWC in fourth place. The Lionesses outplayed sixtime champions Nigeria to avenge a 2-1 defeat in the group stage of the tournament. Cameroon also eliminated Nigeria from the 2012 Lon-

don Olympics qualifiers. The Falcons are due back in the country on Sunday with the future of coach Kadiri Ikhana very uncertain. The final of the 2012 AWC is between hosts Equatorial Guinea and Bayana Bayana of South Africa.

FIDAF organises soccer tourney for UN bomb victims T HE second Edition of the Federation of International Development Agencies Football (FIDAF) in honour of the colleagues who were affected by the United Nation building bomb blast in Abuja in 2011 would hold between 17th and 26th November, 2012 at El Amin School in Maitama, Abuja. The Agencies are playing in honour of colleagues who were affected by the UN Building bomb blast in Abuja in 2011, and there are 12 teams vying for the trophy and other consolation

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja

prices. There are 12 teams competition in this year’s edition and are divided into four groups. In Group A are, USAID Markets, US Missions, IHVN and British Council, Group B has CIHP, Action aid, MSH, SFH, Group C consists of FHI 360, APIN, UN while Group D parades EFCC, DFID and ADB. FIDAF is an acronym for Federation of International Devel-

opment Agencies Football. It is a non-profit oriented initiative intended to foster camaraderie amongst International Development Agencies (IDAs) and also to provide a forum for interaction both within themselves (the IDAs) and with their Clients, prospective clients and support organisations. The tournament also provides a forum for participating Organisations to showcase their objectives

Wuraola Memorial Golf Tourney ends amid fanfare T

HE 9th edition of Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo Golf Tournament ended at the weekend with fanfare at the Ikeja Golf Club. The gala nite, which was organised to round off the weeklong tourney sponsored

by Toyota Nigeria Limited, was a beehive of activities with crème la crème of the society paying glowing tribute to the chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited Chief Michael


Heartland wants Imo government's recognition


012 Federation Cup winners, Heartland of Owerri has called on the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to give the team a befitting reception after doing the State proud in the competition for the second consecutive season. The Naze Millionaires won the coveted Cup for Imo for the state, first time in almost three decades in 2011 when they defeated Enyimba of Aba 1-0 and made it a double August this year after a nail-biting 21 victory over Lobi Stars in Lagos. About three months after their heroics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium a source very close to the team told NationSport that there is disquieting thoughts among the players on why it has taken the Imo government such a long time to properly reward them for doing the State proud. The source informed that though the players were grateful to the Imo government for offsetting most of the arrears of their last season's sign on fees but added that judging by what the players passed through during the campaign for the 2012 Fed-

•Rochas Okorocha

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri eration Cup which they braved the odds to win, the Owelle Rochas Okorocha led government should have done something to make them happy. Though Heartland's form deepened so badly in the Nigeria Premier League(NPL) last season owing to dispute over sign on fees arrears which culminated in an industrial action for more than two occasions, the club would still be staging a come back to Africa after the feat in the Federation Cup which returned the club to the 2013 CAF Confederations Cup competition again. The Owerri based side ended the NPL season in the 8th position but are well poised to better than performance this term having retained the core of the players with the club last season and also with some statement making signings too already. RESULTS: ENGLAND - PREMIER LEAGUE Man City 2 - 1 Tottenham Newcastle Utd 0 - 1 West Ham Chelsea 1 - 1 Liverpool ITALY - SERIE A Palermo 2 - 0 Sampdoria AC Milan 1 - 3 Fiorentina Chievo 2 - 2 Udinese Genoa 2 - 4 Napoli Lazio 3 - 2 AS Roma Parma 0 - 0 Siena Torino 1 - 0 Bologna SPAIN - PRIMERA DIVISION Valladolid 1 - 1 Valencia Athletic Bilbao 2 - 1 Sevilla GERMANY - BUNDESLIGA I. Wolfsburg 3 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen FRANCE - LIGUE 1 Marseille2 - 2 Nice Lorient 0 - 4 Bordeaux Sochaux 1 - 1 Lyon

Ade Ojo for consistently sponsoring the competition in memoryof his late wife, Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo, who was also an ardent golfer during her lifetime. Prizes and trophies were awarded to winners in various categories of the championship, which was played by more than 130 golfers from different golf clubs in the country. Chief Ade Ojo himself commended the standard and organisation of this year’s tourney, saying that he was overwhelmed with the quality of players that took part in the competition and the packaging of the grand finale ceremony. “I’m so glad that our golfers displayed high sense of professionalism in the competition, but they could not win the one unit of the latest edition of Toyota Camry, the hole-in-one star prize. Since the tournament started 9 years ago, we have not seen any golfer here to play to the highest standard of winning the car, hopefully we’ll see one next year. I want to say that the next edition will be better and bigger,” Chief Ade Ojo said. The tournament was won by Gbenga Ayodele who scored 67 nett in the men’s event. Chris Obije won the Gross (men) with 75 gross. AIG Harris Agboghroma with 70 nett won the Veteran category. Kunle Ade Ojo won the Best Endeavour (men). Veronica Chaka Awatai with 96 gross won the ladies event. Mrs. Ruth Oluwatosin won the Best Front 9 with 34 nett. The Longest Drive in the ladies’ game was won by Alaba Adetunji, while Mrs. Majekodunmi won the Guest Ladies with 80 nett. In the Professional event, Chidi Tobias was the winner with 67 gross, while Isiaka Kelani with 77 gross won the Caddies competition. The new champion, Ayodele said he would work hard to win the Toyota Camry next year, adding that the rain that fell during their match prevented him from meeting the target of winning the car.





ATIONSPORT has exclusively gathered from the Nigeria Football Federation’s Secretariat in Abuja Sunday afternoon that there will be difficulty in securing the release of Bayer Leverkusen offensive midfielder cum attacker, Sidney Sam for the Super Eagles’ campaign in the finals of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations between now and the commencement of the competition. Eagles’ handler, Stephen Keshi had raised hope last week that the player born of

AFCON 2013

NFF rules out Sidney Sam •Says player is presently injured From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Nigerian father and German, mother had signified his intention of playing for his fatherland which was widely celebrated in the media. “Sidney Sam and I spoke [on

Monday] and he was really very keen to come and play for Nigeria now. This is cheering news any way. I actually told him that Nigeria is his fatherland land and we would like to see him don the Nigerian jersey for his fatherland.

Team Unilag wins 4th Lagos Tertiary Games


HE camp of University of Lagos was in jubilation on Saturday when it was announced that the team had won the 4th edition of Lagos Inter Tertiary Games. Team Unilag was adjudged overall best team of the championship with 9 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. They dethroned last edition’s winners, Team Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH to the third position. Yaba College

By Femi Shittu of Technology, Yabatech came second with 6 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals, while LASPOTECH won 1 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals. This year’s Tertiary Games was climaxed with the football event during the closing ceremony held at the sports complex of Yabatech. LASPOTEC, however, took

solace in the soccer gold of the tournament as they defeated hard-fighting Unilag team 30 via penalty shootouts after the match ended 1-1 in the regulation time. Yabatech beat Lagos State University, LASU 3-1 to win the third place match. LASPOTECH pocketed the sum of N1.2m, Unilag team were given N850, 000, while Yabatech boys went home with the sum of N450, 000.

He then told me that he would be glad to join the team,” said Keshi. “So we would see him during the training sessions and towards the [Africa] Cup of Nations. When he comes around we will see how it goes”, Keshi had disclosed. But the NFF General Secretary told NationSport bluntly, “I don’t know, I don’t know for now. The player is presently injured and he is going to be out (of football) for four weeks. So I doubt if he would be ready for the Nations Cup in South Africa”, the Kaduna born NFF Scribe disclosed. Also when Keshi was asked by the NationSport on the inclusion of dfender Nedum Onuoha in the final preparations for the 2013 AFCON in Portugal, the Coach popularly called the Big Boss simply replied, “I have no clue about Nedum Onuoha.

Ikoyi Club agog for Arco Table tennis championship


HE second edition of the Arco Petrol-chemical Table Tennis Championship witnessed a keenly contested competition which saw Sheikh Adnah emerging as this year's winner in the men's singles category. Adnah edged out Okuneye Gbolahan in a 4-2 win watched by members of the table tennis section of the Ikoyi Club 1938 on Friday evening. In an opening speech by the Chairman of the Tennis section of the Ikoyi club, John Owolabi, he noted that the 5- day competition was greeted with enthusi-

By Stella Bamawo asm by members of the club just as he commended the MD of Arco Petro-chemical, Alfred Okoigun for keeping the ping pong game alive in the club. However, Julie Okoigun who represented her husband at the occasion stated that the company was geared towards meeting its social responsibilities. Okoigun told the NationSports that sports at the grassroots was also a primary focus of the organisation as it had sponsored the round leather game and other sports at

various times. She said: " This is another form of a healthy lifestyle. I wouldn't say we are limiting ourselves to Ikoyi Club. We have done some grassroots tournament in the past . Meanwhile in the Veterans category, the chairman of the tennis section of the club, Owolabi, could not match the prowess of Okuneye Gbolahan as the game ended 3-2. In the men's doubles which was also played on Friday, the duo of Seye Oki and and Bola Ayorinde emerged overall winners while in the Women's single, Tolu Onakoya

got the golden trophy. Prizes ranging from Generators, Fridges and other consolation prizes were won by participants.

Julie Okoigun presnting the trophy to Sheikh Adnah Photo: BOLA OMILABU

Ghana’s Torgah wins Glo Golf Tour


HE maiden edition of the Globacom sponsored Glo Tour series came to a thrilling end at the Ibori golf and country club on Sunday with Ghanaian Vincent Torgah emerging the winner of the competition. To come tops, Torgah signed for a closing 74 for 292 total over 4-days, winning the glamorous tournament by twoshots. Tournament favourite, Emos Korblah also of Ghana, came second after grossing a fourday score of 292, losing the tournament’s top prize to Torgah. Nigeria’s Andrew Oche Odoh also gave a good account of himself. Playing four-shots off the pace going to the final, Odoh fought back for a closing 74 to come third in the tournament. The Odohs almost made it a family affairs as Martin Odoh,

also from the famed Odoh family shone like star coming fourth in the field of over 90professional drawn Nigeria and west Africa subregion. Martin started his game with an opening 71, shot a second day score of 74, carded 79 on the third but recovered the final day to come forth. Benin’s Francis Isuku proved he is still a force to be reckoned with in golf. He placed fifth behinds Martin Odoh. Cameroonian top seed Ebela desire was also in the tick of the action. Though he failed to challenge for the top prize but his 6th placement is encouring for a vistotor. The golfers played for a total purse of N15m in Asaba. Speaking at the closing ceremony, Torgah described the competition as the beginning of great things in the sub region.

Saraki pays ABS outstanding fees


ENATOR Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Proprietor of ABS FC has commended the players, staff and management of his team for their perseverance, even as he promised to support the team fully in their campaign in the 2012/2013 NPL season. He promised to continue to make the welfare of the team, which according to him will encourage performance, a top priority. Saraki, who spoke through the General Manager, Alloy Chukwuemeka, ordered full payment of the 45% balance of last season’s sign on fees


and other entitlements owed the players on Friday. According to chukwuemeka ‘Saraki believes strongly that welfare of players remains a topmost priority to achieve excellence and to get the best performances’. Explaining the delay in payment, Chukwuemeka said lack of sponsor in the Nigeria Premier League affected the club’s budget last season when clubs were forced to pay match officials indemnities, accommodation, feeding and transportation. This led to the club’s inability to pay as at when due.




VOL 7 NO 2,307

‘‘It is akin to denying married women employment in their husbands’ states because they happened to come from other states. It remains to be seen the type of values we seek to promote by insisting on that obviously very retrogressive EMEKA OMEIHE policy.’



HE one was an infighting within the peacock class. The other was a fury from below. In both instances, we saw a mirror of a people lost from the call of dignity. The second one happened first, but the first reflected the deeper underbelly of the greed and indecencies of our people. The second one was a drama in the glare of Goodluck Jonathan. It involved Malam Nuhu Ribadu and Stephen Oronsaye, and the issue was the report of how the oil business has soiled the haughty fingers of the rich and crooked. The first one was the story of the restriction of motorcycles (okada) riders away from the major arteries of the city of Lagos. At stake in both cases was the concept of the decent society, the society that sets before itself the ground rules of engagement, the laws, the courtesies, discipline and fiery obedience to the logic of legal retribution to the breach. That inculcates a social contract, a tension of law and punishment, with the capacity to lure the bad to the bosom of the best among us. Ribadu attracted flak from many, even within the inner sanctum of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), for taking a job under the man he reviled during the presidential campaign. A feisty, stubborn, if at times turbulent soul lurks in his fragile frame. It was an understated physical quality that rattled the seedy elite when he downed one peacock after another as the boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He did not do this job with the flawless temperament of a Rabbi or a Christ or Alfa. With provable charges of selectiveness, his tenure as EFCC boss has remained controversial. Hence some saw his acceptance of the Jonathan job as a bounty for a loser and the loser gladly accepted. Maybe it was. Maybe Ribadu had a reflex of integrity and turned the bounty from a material gift to a crusading moment by saving his name. So his report unveiled the sleaze of the oil world under the stewardship of Jonathan. To rebuff the bounty, Ribadu probably damned the giver, the President with his report, and became an avenging angel. If that was what Ribadu did, he had his critics to thank for his image rebirth. Ribadu probably had the mischievous grace from the beginning to spite Jonathan before the criticisms raged. But only he knows the truth. The agony was the spectacle of the older Oronsaye, who played a puppet in a presidential oil game. The man condemned a report even though he was missing in action while Ribadu worked without sitting allowance. He had the shameless boldness to play righteous before the camera and the world. The point has been suggested that Orosanye, once a technocrat with tranquil grandeur and former head of service, became a rhetorical boxer defending a system as decrepit as it was dirty. Before the incident in front of the President, many did not know he had the gallery touch, the air of the bureaucratic impresario. Jonathan was quietly gloating over this public jousting. The President, in his serpentine style, came to the fore again. Why was

RIPPLES CNPP urges Jonathan to be proactive in the fight against corruption - News


aces as homes. The Presidency has latched on to the Oronsaye indiscretion to question the report. Ribadu had noted that there was some imperfection in the work, but that did not detract from the basic premise of its conclusion. Why did the President not say, well, we shall extend your time, finish the work? Oil is our wealth, not a partisan matter. It is about our patrimony and prosperity. It is about the future of our children, of our infrastructure and education. The handling of the matter, above all, reveals our disregard for the basic decencies of civilisation. It is what Conrad calls “the nightmarish parody of administration without justice, without law, without order.” In Lagos, we saw okada riders take laws into their hands. The law said they should stay off certain areas. They defied the basic meaning of the law. Where in the world do we have bike riders as major transporters? So bad were they that they caused many a death, maimed many too, and impoverished the artisan sector with everyone from plumber to mechanic viewing the trade as a source of quick money. If the people at the top have no regard for law and decency, how do we expect the folks in the plebeian bracket to do same? The National Assembly has looked into many issues, but none has been resolved. No convictions although we all know there were crimes. The power sector is just an example. The okada question has raised the question of replacement taxis and buses. That did not happen today, and their organisation only paid lip service to the project so long as they could still scoot about legally. With the restriction, they can now settle to the ultimate model for development: a private-public re-

lationship that we have seen with the phasing out of the molue. Let us not forget the Makoko incident. The floating slum dwellers agreed not to cross a line, but they did. When they were given a 72hour ultimatum to leave, they turned it into emotional blackmail. The shantytown on stilts is an anomaly, but even at that they want to extend all the filth and danger to environment and health of the entire city by polluting the lagoon. All of this is corruption. But the root of the problem is far deeper. At an event last week, Professor Wole Soyinka argued that corruption is the cause of the decay around us. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) saw it differently. Ribadu as EFCC boss noted with statistical dismay how corruption was the source of our bane. The governor, for example, argued that we should look deeper into our culture and our history. He saw corruption as a symptom. I agree. It is the society that creates corruption and not vice versa. As Jesus Christ said: “An evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” The tragedy though is that we created corruption, but it festered so powerfully that it is recreating us. I blame all our founding fathers who did not set a ground rule for the nation. Rather, they travelled on ethnic tangents. We have not created a nation of laws. When the United States started, there was a conflict between President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who accused the leader of abandoning the revolutionary ideals. Jefferson dreamed of America as a rural paradise. Washington dreamed of a country of big cities and wealth. He hired Alexander Hamilton who crafted the rules by which American civil society operates, centering on the rule of law. Patent protection, the rise of the financial system, stock exchange, the prosperity of the world today derives from the genius of the immigrant trusted by a president who never attended university. I believe it is our lack of ground rules that has led us to the path of corruption. When men like Oronsaye and the okada riders ignore law and decency personified by a man like Ribadu in the report, we shall continue to plummet in standards of living, have students who cannot read and write well and an ominous future beckons us. What will rescue us is the shock wisdom that illumines Shylock’s eyes in Shakespeare’s classic, Merchant of Venice. When his impunity is exposed in court, he asks, “is that the law?” Rather, we mock the law. Until we allow the law nourish order, we shall never have a decent society.


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Too big to fail or too big to succeed?

aster. If the West did not help Nigeria to avoid apocalypse, he warned, it would have grave repercussions for Africa. There is, however, no doubt that Kagame’s analysis suggests he feared Nigeria’s collapse could affect everyone everywhere, even as far away as Rwanda. He admonishes Nigerians to work out their differences and not surrender to unproductive pessimism or even fatalism. This large country of resourceful people, he says, has a large pool of talented young people to turn the country around. But while his admonition was doubtless sound, especially coming from a tested war and peace leader like himself, there is little to suggest that Nigeria is taking any step to avoid state failure. Absolutely nothing. Indeed, while the world appears anxious about Nigeria’s stability and future, many Nigerian leaders seem convinced, as former military head of state, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar said on Saturday, that Nigeria was not going to disintegrate. The bad news Hardball regrets to give all of them is that many Nigerians actually don’t think their country is too big to fail. They in fact think it is too big to succeed. These are the people the optimists mouthing platitudinous words need to address and reassure. In any case, believing something is too big to fail neither precludes failure nor guarantees success. Everything depends on what is done to avoid the worst-case scenario.


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009& 2010 (D.A.M.E)

The decent society


Oronsaye doing another engagement that took him away from this all-important task? Why did Jonathan sign up to such distraction? Did Jonathan not see that Oronsaye’s rebellion against the report was capable of suggesting that the man was planted in the committee to cast sufficient doubt on its probity? A classical divide-and-rule tactic. Once that was done, then the government can exercise a right to whittle down the weight of Ribadu’s work and assign the document, after all the hoopla of protest, to the cynical silence that other reports on oil have suffered. This is a report about corruption, about billions of Naira fleeced without regards to law, bonuses appropriated with brazen fare, about the oil that immiserates the teeming poor in our society, about the lifestyle that furnishes outlandish holiday resorts abroad, cocky boats, soaring soirees, in private jets and pal-


T is not clear why Rwandan President Paul Kagame thinks Nigeria is too big to fail, or whether in fact that was the idea he sought to convey when he surveyed Nigeria’s problems and proffered solutions. At any rate, a newspaper gave that headline to the Kagame prognosis on Nigeria when the Rwandan visited the country as a guest of African Personality Forum to speak to young Nigerian professionals in Lagos. The headline, if not Kagame himself, was inspired perhaps by the world financial crisis of 2008 which triggered massive economic collapse and business failures around the world. Kagame’s actual words were: “Nigeria is too big, too resourceful to allow these things (corruption and underdevelopment) to continue. If there is a problem in Nigeria it would spread, even to as far as Rwanda. That is why we as Rwandans are ready to work together with Nigeria to solve our problems together and learn from one another.” The term itself came into prominence when certain mavericks coined the phrase to inspire government bailout of distressed companies, among which were banks, insurers and auto companies. Some of these companies, investigators found out, augmented their profitability by creating and disposing complicated derivatives. By trading in risky loans, currencies and stocks, among other things, they became so big that if they failed, as indeed many

of them did, it would have ripple effects on other smaller companies and create an unmanageable chain of damaging effects for the economy. One of these companies that inspired the ‘Too big to fail’ slogan was AIG, a leading insurance company that specialised in traditional insurance until greed pushed it into credit default swaps (insuring assets that supported corporate debt and mortgages). Lehman Brothers, which made the largest bankruptcy filing in United States history in 2008, also inspired the phrase. But sometime last year, G. Pascal Zachary, a former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, author of Married to Africa and professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, wrote an interesting article for the prestigious The Atlantic magazine on Nigeria’s shaky battle with underdevelopment. The title of the essay was Nigeria: Too Big to Fail. A little like Kagame, and referring also to Karl Maier’s book, This House has Fallen, published in 2000, Zachary lists a potpourri of factors ranging from ineptitude, corruption, ethnicity and in particular religion as factors predisposing Nigeria to dis-

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The Nation November 12, 2012  

The Nation November 12, 2012