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News Tears as family bids slain banker Titilayo goodbye P5 Sport Eagles star Odemwingie doubtful for Bolton clash P24 Business Management threatens striking PHCN workers with sack P12 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 1947 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

THE BATTLE FOR BAYELSA T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) yesterday assured depositors of the three new banks (Mainatreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank) of the safety of their funds, saying that the institutions remain in business. A Federal High Court has restrained the trio from further

•Court stops PDP primary •Party: Primary will go on •Ward congresses valid, says chairman •PAGES 4 & 57 •Stakeholders kick

New banks remain in business, says CBN By Collins Nweze, Staff Reporter

dealing in the assets, businesses and operations of the nationalised banks - Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB. But the CBN and the NDIC, in a joint statement, said: “The CBN

and the NDIC wish to inform the general public that Keystone Bank Limited, Mainstreet Bank Limited and Enterprise Bank Limited are banks duly licensed by the CBN and are thus authorised to carry on banking business. We

N150.00

urge all customers of the said banks as well as the general public to continue transacting their business with the banks as hitherto done and hereby issue our assurances once again that all depositors’ funds in these institu-

tions are safe and banking operations will continue as normal.” They stressed that the three banks are fully insured by the NDIC and all depositors are assured of the safety of their funds. The duo also denied the court judgement, saying that they have not been served. Continued on page 11

Subsidy: Senators, Reps reject Jonathan’s stand President gets backing to fight Boko Haram From Yusuf Alli, Victor Oluwasegun and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

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FTER a two-hour audience, Senators and members of the House of Representatives still kept President Goodluck Jonathan in suspense over plans to remove fuel subsidy. But the President warned that the economy may collapse, if the subsidy remains, sources said. But the Senators and Representatives endorsed Jonathan’s plans to tackle the Boko Haram menace and rid Nigeria of terrorism. The President met with members of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa between 3pm and 5pm. The moderator of the session was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, a former Senate President. It was learnt that after the opening prayer, which was said by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, the session went into the two issues on the agenda - removal of fuel subsidy and Boko Haram’s insurgency. The President (with whom were some ministers and the National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi) explained why fuel subsidy must be removed. But the President’s arguments proved to be a hard-sell to members of the National Continued on page 4

•The scene of the fire incident that gutted a petrol tanker at ASCON Filling Station in Abuja while discharging fuel ... yesterday. Story on page 4. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•POLITICS P15 •SPORT P24 •EDUCATION P25 •NATURAL HEALTH P43


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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NEWS BOKO HARAM AND NATIONAL SECURITY

Senators seek removal of service chiefs Bomb explodes in Maiduguri W A

ORRIED by the porous security situation, especially from the Boko Haram group, senators will, today, meet with President Goodluck Jonathan to find a solution to the threat. The meeting followed their demand for the removal of the service chiefs. It was learnt that the senators were aggrieved that the security agencies had no answer to the persistent threat posed by the Boko Haram group. A high-ranking senator, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are going to meet with the President likely tonight over the security situation in the country. We resumed on Tuesday (yesterday) and all senators, irrespective of parties, were angry that things are degenerating. “Although security chiefs attempted to explain the situation to the Senate on Tuesday (yesterday), we were not convinced. That is why we are going to meet with the President to hear from him what the government is doing to address the situation.”

BOMB planted on the middle of Galadima Road in Maiduguri by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect exploded in the early hours of Wednesday. A reliable source told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the bomb exploded when people in the area were asleep. The source said after the explosion members of the Joint Task Force (JTF), who were on patrol, rushed to the scene t and started shooting into the air. The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr Simeon Midenda, confirmed the explosion, saying there was no casualty. Midenda noted that the rampant cases of explosion is an attempt by the Boko Haram group to establish itself in the state capital. But he assured that the security operatives would not give them the chance to do that. “Boko Haram is only disturbing and wasting its arsenal. I advise the people to go about their normal businesses, as the sect’s plans and efforts will be in futility,” Midenda said. From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

He added: “What our colleagues demanded actually was the removal of the service chiefs; they felt enough is enough before Boko Haram sect overruns the government in Abuja.

“We are certainly not after Jonathan but we owe Nigerians a duty to be safe. It was not only the opposition senators that joined issues with the service chiefs, many of us in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did. “For instance, it was sad that when some of us were coming to

resume for the Plenary on Tuesday, a part of the road leading to the National Assembly, the residence of the Supreme Court Judges, and Transcorp Hilton was cordoned off. “Some of us also observed that for a greater part of last week, the entrance to the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters was partially closed to traffic. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was under siege in his own office. “Go to the Defence Headquarters, the passage to the place is half-way closed to traffic. We concluded that security agencies are telling us that they have lost the war to Boko Haram. “We cannot continue to live in the nation’s capital as if we are in a war-torn country. The psychological siege is too much the way barricades are being mounted in Abuja. “We now felt that may be changes could make a big difference in the way we manage our security situation. At present, our agencies, with the exception of one, lack sophistication in managing security challenges.”

‘Most Boko Haram members disowned their parents’

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ORMER Head of Service and a retired Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bulama Mali Gubio and spokesman of the Borno State Elders Forum yesterday said most members of the Boko Haram sect disowned their parents. Gubio added that the government mismanaged the group. He said: “What we are seeing is not an external attack. It is not engineered by foreign powers and neither is it some form of intertribal or religious clash or whatever. It is some sort of reaction to certain issues which are not well managed by our respective authorities. Now, let us come to the issue of what you call Boko Haram. Initially, they were called the Yusuphia Sect Movement (YSM) named after Yusuph Mohammed, their late leader. And after some time, they called themselves Al-Yusuphina Jihad. It was because they were mismanaged by the Nigerian press that you now call them Boko Haram reflecting their grievances against Western education. Boko means ‘Western education’. Haram means ‘forbidden’.” He added: “To them, Western education will take away shields of rural dwellers and make them to become ‘spoilt children’ and they will become arrogant and never be able to go to their parents in the rural areas, and every

Most of the young people disowned their parents to join the movement. And that is how they are growing in numbers. Now, any form of government should know that such a group must be handled with firm caution •Dr. Gubio By Joke Kujenya

activity in the rural areas becomes cancelled. You know for them, most of the people who were in the rural areas and went for Western education never went back to their parents. And most of the culture, traditions and behaviours of the people were becoming different from that of the original background they were given. They noted that it was even different from the dictates of Islam and they tend to behave as if they are European children. And that every oth-

er traditional wall had crumbled as the one with education have begun to trample on all the wise things of typical African life. So, they said all these things are Haram –forbidden. They said they don’t like them and that they will resist them. “One of the people who actually started this movement was a university graduate. It actually began in 2001. And by that time, the late Yusuph himself was a very young man. I could even say he was a boy then. He had memorised the whole Quran at the age

of 12. And he was very intelligent. And even as a child, he was very defiant. He never wanted to pray together with his teachers because he always disagreed with them. He led separate congregational prayers, even when he was in school. And ironically, he himself attended all forms of schools. When he started his movement, because of his mastery of the Quran and of course, of the way he spoke, he attracted easily the attention of young people like himself. So, they would gather around him because they saw him as a hero that was speaking what they wanted to hear. And so gradually, the thing started. “So, when reactions started in and they feel that was injustice from the society, and particularly, with the introduction of Sharia in Zamfara and Taraba States; they wanted the same in Borno State. However, the governor at that time, Governor Mala Kachala introduced Sharia, but the one that succeeded him did not continue Sharia.” He said in 2001, most of the graduates in the sect burnt their certificates –degrees, diploma and some, even their Masters certificates and migrated out of Borno State to a place called Kanamma in Yobe State. “They set up their secretariat

and it was that place provided them an independent enclave and they were running their activities like any other government. But within a short while, they were dislodged by security agents after series of complaints from residents within their immediate enclave. And two years later, which was in 2003, they went to the hills of Gobra somewhere close to Borno State to establish their new secretariat. But again, they were quickly dislodged by a task force. And since then, they have refused to live separately. Now, they started living within communities in Maiduguri, with some of them in other places in the country. And then they built what they call their headquarters around the house of their late leader. And they called the place Markash where they built their own mosque and type of school. And then, most of the young people disowned their parents to join the movement. And that is how they are growing in numbers. Now, any form of government should know that such a group must be handled with firm caution. Here is a group who does not want to operate or recognise the existing Nigerian government; they don’t want to know the Nigerian Constitution and the Nigerian laws. They don’t just want anything Nigeria,” he said.

‘Investing in weapons won’t curb terrorism’ Mrs Afolake Oyofo is a Port Harcourt-based safety expert. In this piece, she suggests ways to end the Boko Haram siege. Excerpts: to provide forensic evidence only, ringe of benign lemon juice, but he

T

HE only and most effective weapon that can foil a terrorist is a fellow human being. Human failure, not machine or equipment failure, is the sole contributor to each and every successful terrorist act from the beginning of time, to this day. If you do not know what to look out for, how do you approach, prevent or avert it? Nigeria is more interested and already investing in procuring sophisticated equipment to battle terrorism, which is a bizarre path to take. Training to identify and deter potential terrorists is by far the preferred, most effective, efficient and cheapest option. All developed countries, which have learnt to live

with terror, prioritise the development of human resources, over equipment. Any equipment is only as effective as its operator. The hysteria over airports, public places and bridges resulting in queues, clearly demonstrates an utter lack of understanding and insight to terrorism by most of us. I’ll use a more recent example: Farouk Abdulmutallab successfully beat all the equipment and machines in at least two international airports. If we are to believe the grapevine, the original plan from Yemen, was to have the Improvised Explosive Device surgically implanted and to detonate it simply by stabbing himself with a sy-

turned it down in favour of a ‘diaper’. What machine would have detected that? More telling is that none of the international investigative bodies involved have blamed any country’s equipment for failure, Nigerian or Dutch, because it is well acknowledged that a machine is only as good as its operator. All these metal detectors, security walkthroughs, CCTV cameras, convex mirrors, atom detectors, uncomfortably garbed police in full metal jackets are unrelated to terrorism and definitely not counter terrorism. They should be utilised only as backup proof of intent or suspicion by trained personnel and

as is done elsewhere, for now. Human beings rule this sphere. Nigeria need not be different. We can use what we already have, to achieve what we want and we have well over 154 million clever people. We need to listen and learn from other countries. Government should always wave the olive branch, actively seeking peace with all persons on the one hand while also ensuring the safety and security of every Nigerian. With the right training, the man on the street is our best bet in the war on terror. Being taught how to handle suspicious vehicles and persons at a distance, handle situations decisively

•Mrs Oyofo

and alert security agents, buy precious extra minutes which translate into saving more lives and averting potential catastrophes. Most countries, including North America, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan have invested heavily in counter terrorism training; it is time for Nigeria to.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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NEWS BOKO HARAM AND NATIONAL SECURITY

•From left: Soldiers frisking cars entering the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja; IGA Hafiz Ringim; nad army chief Ihejirika

Govt ‘ll lose nothing by talking to them, says Umar Former Military Governor of Kaduna State Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd) believes dialoguing with Boko Haram leaders will help in tackling the security challenge the sect poses to the country. He spoke with LEKE SALAUDEEN.

H

OW would you assess the security situation in the country today? The country is bogged down by mass insecurity arising from Boko Haram unscrupulous activities which are yet to be resolved. About 150 were reportedly killed in Yobe State on the eve of Sallah. Violent attacks and killings of innocent people have become a daily occurrence in the Northeast. Kaduna State is boiling in crisis, many people have been killed. Of course, the activities of the kidnappers in the South are yet to abate. All this put together make the nation’s security precarious. What do you think is responsible for political/sectarian violence in the North? It is largely the handiwork of the miscreants and unemployed youths. The economic situation in the country is bad. In the North, it is worse. The incessant violent attacks in the North are functions of economic injustice where more than 80 per cent of the populace are not sure of three meals a day. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening daily. The Almajiris (underage beggars), who have no opportunity of acquiring Western education are will-

•Umar

ing tool in the hands of the miscreants’ unleashing terror in the society. The unemployed youths have resorted to violence in expressing their grievances. Some of them have taken to drugs out of frustration. They can do anything under the influence of drugs. It’s unfortunate that we are not addressing the issues that are undermining the national security. The political class is not sensitive to the plight

of the people. There is no transparency in governance. Less than 20 per cent of the country’s population control the nation’s wealth. The other 80 per cent are wallowing in abject poverty. The few rich flaunt their ill-gotten wealth with impunity. Go to Abuja and see the kind of structures the politicians are putting on ground. What these politicians spend on buildings is enough to set up cottage industries that would create jobs for the unemployed in their various constituencies. Prominent Nigerians have urged the Federal Government to dialogue with leaders of Boko Haram to stem the incidence of violent attacks and killing of people. What do you think? I read in the papers about Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s proposal on dialogue with the leadership of Boko Haram group. If the government can identify it and if its demands are reasonable, government should listen to it. Dialogue is preferable. I believe the Boko Haram members have some grouse against the government. Without dialogue, you can’t get their point of view. I believe we must dialogue with any group of people that have a problem with Nigeria, be it Boko

Haram or the Niger Delta militants, or the people having problems in Plateau State. Government will lose nothing by talking to them. At the end, government may discover that what is tearing the nation apart is a minor issue that could be easily resolved. A lot of crimes are being committed by miscreants other than Boko Haram group. Any crime committed anywhere in the country now, whether murder or armed robbery, people look at the direction of Boko Haram, even if their members are not involved. Some Nigerians are insinuating that influential politicians in the North are sponsors of Boko Haram and terrorist activities. Is it true? No. It is wrong of public affairs analysts to jump into conclusion that a group of northern politicians are sponsoring terrorist groups in order to make the country ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan. When late President Umaru Yar’Adua assumed power, the Niger Delta militants turned the region into a danger zone, not only for Nigerians but foreigners as well. Oil production was drastically reduced because the expatriates ran out of the country for fear

of being kidnapped by the militants. Nobody ever accused southern politicians of conspiracy or of instigating the militants against Umaru Yar’Adua. Rather, he listened to their complaints, granted them amnesty and worked out an enduring welfare package for them. Don’t forget that the Boko Haram problem started during Yar’Adua’s administration. It is absolutely wrong for anyone or a group of people to insinuate that northern politicians are behind the Boko Haram terrorist act. Are you impressed with the Federal Government’s handling of security matters in the country? Certainly, there is a general decline of security in the country. It is a matter of grave concern. However, security is the responsibility of all citizens. All Nigerians must put do their part in securing the nation. Government has a lot to do in the discharge of its constitutional mandate of providing security to protect life and property. It should empower security agencies through provision of modern equipment for intelligence gathering. Nigerians too have to be security conscious by alerting the security operatives of any strange development in their environment.

How to curtail sect’s activities, by security experts

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RETIRED Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frank Odita (rtd) and the President, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Association of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, have said the security situation in the country would only improve if perpetrators of violence are punished. Odita said: “Boko Haram should be looked at from a serious security point of view that is beginning to constitute a serious threat that is likely to affect our overall economic fabric, including tourism. If people get scared to come and invest in our country, we will lose out and our development would suffer. So, it is time for the government and all Nigerians to look at this holistically. We must find out those behind all this and unmask them. Boko Haram can’t be taken as fighting Western education when all it uses to perpetrate its acts is totally Western. If indeed,

By Olukayode Thomas and Joke Kujenya

it is fighting everything Western, its members should be living under the trees. “So I believe that it has threatened the Nigerian nation enough and it’s time for us to really find out who is our enemy.” Ekhomu said: “The day after the President was sworn in, there was a massive bombing campaign that went on throughout the country. And of course, the Boko Haram boys claimed responsibility. They killed about 25 people and then, nothing was done. In fact, it was only the European Union and the American government that reacted. It was like nothing happened to our government that was just being sworn in on May 29 while the bombing was on May 30. The government just moved on as if nothing serious occurred.

•Odita

•Ekhomu

“Look at the recent Yobe State incident in which they killed about 150 people. It wasn’t mentioned at the National Assembly, let alone the government. Government just went on talking about the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the seven-

year term. Meanwhile, lives that are irreplaceable are being lost and we are not even stopping to honour their memory. Even, over 60 law enforcement officers, policemen, and many others who were supposed to protect lives, were

killed in the Damaturu attack. Again, it was like nothing happened and they just moved on. The government has got it all wrong. And the question we want to ask is, how did we get it so wrong? The government got it so wrong by not understanding that security issue is the only issue, not even economy, as it thinks.“ Ekhomu advised Nigerians to be vigilant. He said: “The biggest threat in Nigeria today is ‘IED threat’, i.e. Improvised Explosive Device. That is really what should be focused on. So, if you feel a sense of unease around a strange looking person, leave at once. I am not saying that people should become unduly paranoid, but at least, be sensitive and sensible. ‘’And when you notice an altercation break out, leave immediately, instead of trying to be a Good Samaritan and end up losing your life.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

NEWS

Court stops Bayelsa PDP primary

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HE Federal High Court has stopped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from going ahead with Saturday’s governorship primary election in Bayelsa State. Justice Gabriel Kolawole granted the order, following an exparte application filed on Sylva’s behalf by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN). He warned that he shall not hesitate to nullify any step taken by the PDP in defiance of his order, once the defendants are served the order and the originating summons. He gave the defendant 72 hours to show cause why all the releifs sought by Sylva should not be granted and adjourned the matter till November 22 for hearing. The defendants are the PDP, its acting national chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court held that the era when political parties manipulate processes leading to the emergence of candidates are over, based on the 2010 Electoral Act as amended. Justice Kolawole said: “When I looked at the totality of the facts in the substantive Originating Summons and when these are considered visà-vis the extant provisions of the Electoral Act as Amended, my view is that the Court will not in any way be handicapped, even if the exparte orders, in particular, prayers 1 – 3 are not granted because the court retains the power to direct the 1st Defendant (INEC).’ Justice Kolawole said in terms of political parties’ candidates who may have been unlawfully excluded either from the parties’ primaries or from the elections to accept and act on the name(s) of such candidates as the authentic candidates sanctioned and approved by the court. “The new Electoral Act as Amended is a clear departure from the 1983 Act by which on the authority of the Supreme Court’s decision in Onuoha V. Okafor, the political parties were “god unto themselves” in terms of the choice of candidates. This

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

court had intervened in quite a number of political parties’ cases when candidates were being manipulated by the leadership of the political parties. “It is in this regard that I really do not see the Plaintiff being exposed in the long run to such injury, loss or damage that may, applying the Supreme Court’s decision in Kotoye V. CBN, supra be described as ‘irreparable or irretrievable’. Whatever be the case, I have no doubt that this court has the judicial powers to make appropriate orders as the justice of the case will require. “Let me state, for the avoidance of doubt, that in relation to prayers 1 – 3 of the Motion Exparte, the Plaintiff has made out a strong case which ordinarily should enable this court to grant the said prayers. But in the light of the analysis I have done as regards the statutory powers which the court has pursuant to Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, the 2nd Defendant [PDP] does not, in the long run, have the final say because the court can always make appropriate orders as the justice of the case will require to redress any wrong that may be occasioned by my judicial hesitation in granting the said prayers 1-3 on the motion exparte.” Sylva, who is seeking re-election, has been excluded from the primary by the party. He is bitter that the party is planning to dump him after winning the January 12 primary before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the governorship election. The INEC action was based on an order of an Abuja High Court which declared that the tenure of five governors continue beyond May 29 because they won re-run elections. The verdict was upheld by the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The governor is contending that his candidacy subsists as nobody petitioned against his success at the said primary election to the screening appeal panel or any other body or committee of the 2nd defendant. Lagos lawyer Femi Falana on Tuesday wrote a letter to INEC,

asking it to stop the planned primary because Sylva won the January primary. Besides, he said the PDP made him to pay another N5.5 million for the scheduled fresh primary election which the party has barred him from participating in. In the motion on notice, Sylva is, among others praying the court for “an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, servants, privies, officers or otherwise and/or any other person howsoever described from conducting, organising, or holding any meeting or ward congress and from embarking on any activities leading to the holding of any fresh gubernatorial primary election for Bayelsa State on the 19th November, 2011 or on any other day, pending the determination of the substantive suit. Besides, he urged the court to stop the party from nominating another candidate for the election and accelerate the hearing of the substantive suit.

•From left: President Goodluck Jonathan, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Senate President, David Mark and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim at the President Parley with legislators... yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

PDP insists on Bayelsa primary

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HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to go ahead with Saturday’s Bayelsa State governorship primary election in spite of a court order restraining the party. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali said the party has not been served the court order, which he described as a rumour that “exists only in the fertile imagination of mischief makers who are bent on undermining the unity and cohesion of the PDP in Bayelsa State.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

“We shall however not surrender ourselves to rumours being orchestrated by undisciplined persons who have no regard for group ethics and Party discipline”, he said in a statement. The party urged PDP members in Bayelsa to continue with preparations for the primaries where a candidate is expected to emerge for the governorship election billed for February 11, 2012. “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the

Peoples Democratic Party therefore wishes to inform all party members, particularly all aspirants and stakeholders in Bayelsa State that the primaries to select the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for Bayelsa State shall hold as earlier scheduled on the 19th of November 2011,” the statement added. The seven aspirants cleared to take part in the primaries yesterday received their clearance certificates at the national secretariat. The certificates were handed to them

by National Organising Secretary Prince Uche Secondus. Secondus enjoined the aspirants to play to the rules. He charged them to ensure that the exercise is violencefree, saying that being the home state of President Goodluck Jonathan, the aspirants and their supporters must set a good example. The cleared aspirants are: Orufa Justine Bolubo, Henry Seriake Dickson, Enai Christopher Fullpower, Katango Michael Youppele, Francis Amaebi, Ekiyeghe Francis Korobido and Austin Febo.

Fuel tanker explosion triggers panic in Abuja

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WO fuel tanker fire in Abuja yesterday triggered panic with the country on edge over Boko Haram bombings. But authorities said the blazes were not caused by attacks. Fire broke out in two different areas of Abuja, with thick smoke billowing into the sky and causing commuters to

scramble, some seeking to see what was happening and others trying to avoid the intense heat. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said after the first blaze broke out that “there is no reported bomb blast in Abuja, but an incidence of a petrol tanker that caught fire” at a fuelling

station. The second fire occurred at another fuelling station, the agency said, adding that there were so far no death reported. Witnesses at the scene of the first fire said one person suffered burns and was taken to the hospital. Police spokesman Yemi Ajayi insisted there had been

no attack. Islamist sect Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks in the country, including an August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja which killed 24 people. It also claimed a bomb blast at the police headquarters car park in June that killed two people.

Subsidy: Senators, Reps reject Jonathan’s stand Continued from page 1

Assembly, who were led by Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. It was gathered that when Mark gauged the mood of members on the removal of fuel subsidy, he intervened by changing the focus to Boko Haram menace and insecurity. A source at the closed-door session, who pleaded not to be named, said: “The President passionately pushed for support for the removal of fuel subsidy, saying if we don’t remove fuel subsidy, the country will be almost collapsing.” After the President’s speech, two Senators reportedly spoke Deputy Senate leader Abdul Ningi asked the President to deal with the cartel reportedly gaining from the fuel subsidy. He reportedly said: “You are the most powerful black President; you have the power to deal with the cartel. We should confront the cartel.”

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, reportedly said: “What makes political sense might not make economic and security sense.” Members of the House of Representatives declined to speak. The deafening “NO!” reechoed the position of the House that if the cartel is checked, the nation can afford about N500billion fuel subsidy per annum. Sensing likely rowdiness, the Senate President prevailed on the President to address insecurity, especially the Boko Haram menace. The source quoted Mark as saying: “I think the President cannot get the commitment of any member here, but we will go back and discuss the issue of removal of fuel subsidy and get back to him. “But members will want to know what your administration is doing to address insecurity in the country.” Following Mark’s interven-

tion, the President briefed the session. Another source said: “The President told us that his administration was tackling the terror attacks from Boko Haram. He said unlike Niger Delta militants who can be identified, Boko Haram members have mingled with the society under one guise or the other and cannot be easily located.” The source quoted the President as saying: “We are trying to address the insecurity; we are making efforts to tackle the Boko Haram menace via intelligence gathering. We are collaborating with some countries to get to the roots of these terror attacks and put the menace behind us. ‘We are on top of the situation; we will soon get over it. Terrorism is alien to our culture; we will address it once and for all.” Tambuwal gave the vote of thanks, it was learnt, urging the President to take whatever steps necessary to ad-

dress insecurity “and members of the National Assembly will back him”. Tambuwal is quoted as saying: “We have heard you, Mr. President. We thank you for addressing insecurity. Security is for all of us. We will back you.” On the removal of fuel subsidy, the source said, “the Speaker simply maintained that ‘we will meet and discuss it in our fora.” He added: “The Speaker’s non-committal on fuel subsidy removal drew instantaneous applause from members of the House at the session. “At the end of the day, senators and members of the House decided to keep the President in suspense. But that may be the end of the matter if care is not taken. The House is certainly opposed to the removal of fuel subsidy. “But Jonathan also got the backing of the National Assembly members to fight terrorism and address insecurity in the land,” he added.

Yesterday’s meeting which lasted about two hours was held at the Banquet Hall of the State House. Senator Ayogu Eze, chairman of Works Committee said though the meeting was inconclusive, “it is assumed that it is going to continue and I can see two or three more meetings before we can come to a comfortable platform. “I want to let you know that this is a very useful exchange, very useful interaction and we hope at the end of the day, it will produce desirable results for our people. “A whole lot of governance issues were discussed. We discussed security, subsidy and the issue of balancing the budget and just making sure that government works for the benefit of the people. It will be premature to say that we have failed to understand ourselves. This is the first interaction, we have listened to him (President) and we are going to take it further”, Senator Eze said. He dismissed speculation

of the attempted vote of no confidence on the President by the Senate, saying they were scandalised by the report. He said they only discussed security challenges since members were worried about the state of insecurity in the country. “That (vote of no confidence) never came up in the Chamber of the Senate. The Special Adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi also dismissed the report that the legislators were planning to pass a no confidence vote on the president. Besides the President, some members of the Federal Executive Council at the session were the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke; the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman; and the Minister of Youths Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi, among others.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

5

NEWS Tinubu for lecture

Tears as family bids slain banker E I Titilayo goodbye

T was an emotional farewell yesterday for Titilayo Arowolo, the banker allegedly killed by her husband, Akolade. Her remains were buried in Lagos. Titilayo was allegedly stabbed to death on June 25 by her husband. A huge crowd gathered at the Atan Cemetery to bid farewell to the former Skye bank official. The funeral service took place at the Foursquare Church, in Alagomeji, Lagos. At the graveside, it was all tears as the three-year-old daughter of the deceased, Olamide, who bears a striking resemblance to her mother, performed the dust-to-dust rite. Siblings of the deceased: Aidehi, Idokua, Daniel, Emohita and Emi,Folake and Agbons Okhawre, a cousin, laid flowers on her coffin. Titilayo was born on April 9, 1982 in Lagos to the family of Mr George Oyakhire and the late Mrs. Helen Oyakhire. At nine, she lost her mother during childbirth. She attended Lydia Secondary School, Edo State and Saint Maria Goretti’s College. The late Titilayo later attended former Ambrose Alli University in the same state. She did her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at Akwa Ibom State, with Niger Insurance. After the national programme, she enrolled for her Master’s degree at the Lagos State University (LASU), Anthony Campus. She met her husband, Akolade, during her postgraduate programme at LASU. The late Titilayo began her career at Skye bank in 2008. She got married to Akolade on October 4, 2008, and gave birth to her only child, Olamide, on February 10, 2009. She was in Skye bank until she her death on June 25, 2011. The service, which was presided over by Reverend Sylvester Aigborin and Pastor Ayo Binitie, lasted for about two hours. Binitie asked God to strengthen the family. He said: “I am very sad because Titilayo was a daughter to me. She was very jovial, loving, and a devoted Christian. “What is now in the coffin is not Titilayo, but just a body and I want you all to know one thing, that we will all die one day.I pray that affliction will never come to this family again.”

X-LAGOS State Governor Bola Tinubu will, tomorrow, be the special guest of honour at the 2011 Distinguished Annual Lecture of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State. Tinubu will speak on “Managing Nigeria’s Pluralism for Peace and National Development.” Also expected at the event, which will hold at the NIPSS Auditorium, is Major-Gen. Paul Ofuoma Omu (rtd), who will chair the occasion. Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo, Director-General/CEO, Energy Commission of Nigeria, the guest speaker, will speak on “Retooling Infrastructure for Peace and National Development: the Place of the Energy Sector.”

‘Economic growth stable’

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•The daughter of the slain banker, Olamide, being assisted by family members to perform the dust-to-dust rite...yesterday PHOTO: TITI BANJOKO

Titilayo was my sister and I loved her so much. Her husband killed her and has put us all to this pain. It is even more painful that he is claiming to be innocent. I pray the law takes it course and justice prevails By Titilayo Banjoko

The preacher praised journalists for exposing the crime and other social ills . Speaking with The Nation, the deceased younger sister said the family was angry not only by Titilayo’s death but because Akolade is claiming innocence. She said: “ Titilayo was my sis-

ter and I loved her so much. Her husband killed her and has put us all to this pain. “It is even more painful that he is claiming to be innocent. I pray the law takes it course and justice prevails.” The Director of Project Alert, Dr. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma urged victims of domestic vio-

lence to speak out and seek help before it is too late. She said: “My advice to those suffering silently is to speak out before it’s too late. Seek help; report the case to any human rights organisation that can assist you.” The spokesperson and counsel to the Oyakhire family, Mr. Nelson Ekoh, has scheduled a press briefing on the case. He said: “Due to certain matters arising, it is necessary that we have a meeting with the press at Project Alert office. “You may recall that Police and Prison officials almost assaulted reporters who came to the Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court at the last hearing.” Akolade is due to appear in court on December 12 at the Ikeja High Court, following the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

‘Akingbola got N8.6b loan without application’

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HE Chief Inspector of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Abdulraheem Jimoh, yesterday told a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, that the former Managing Director, Dr Erastus Akingbola, transferred N8.6 billion to a firm in which he is a director without any loan application. He said the money was transferred from an account with customers’ deposits to Tropics Finance Limited, where Akingbola is allegedly a director. Jimoh provided a breakdown of how N8,684,500 was “improperly paid out” to Akingbola’s company between May and June 30, 2009. He tendered 30 documents (all duplicates) of how the transactions were made. Original copies of the documents, he said, are missing from the bank. The only original documents tendered were issued cheques for the transfers. “The N8.6 billion payments were made based on instructions from Tropics Finance. They were payments from the bank’s Time Deposit Account, which warehouses deposit savings accounts of custom-

GRICULTURE has continued to top the nation’s economic growth with a 43.64 per cent share in the third quarter of 2011, the third quarter GDP report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown. Dr Yemi Kale, StatisticianGeneral of the Federation, noted that despite a little deep in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter, “the structure of the economy, however, remained largely unchanged with agriculture (43.64 per cent), crude petroleum and natural gas (14.27 per cent) and wholesale and retail trade (18.29 per cent) accounting for 76.2 per cent of total GDP.” He said the “fact that these three sectors account for over 76 per cent of GDP may explain in part why GDP growth has remained non employment generating and poverty reducing in the last few years.” In the report released on Tuesday in Abuja, Kale said “agriculture is mainly subsistence in nature and until it becomes more commercial, few job creating opportunities will emanate from that sector.”

By Joseph Jibueze

ers of the bank,” Jimoh said. Asked if any facility was extended to Tropics Finance by the bank, Jimoh said: “No.” He was testifying at the trial of Akingbola and General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Mr Bayo Dada. Both were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with 22 counts of stealing the bank’s N47.1 billion. They pleaded not guilty. On how the money was transferred, the witness said the Financial Controller, Mr Akin Fabunmi, issued a memo for the movement of the money. The money was moved from the Time Deposit account to the Prepayment account of the bank, from where it was transferred to Tropics Finance’s account. A letter, signed by Tropics Finance’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Anthonia Akingbola, stated how the money was paid out. Jimoh said on May 27, 2009, a memo was generated for the pay-

ment of N150 million to Tropics Finance. The money was paid, he said. On June 4, 2009, N750 million was transferred in two instalments (N600 million and N150 million) to the company. On June 8, 2009, N75 million was transferred to the same company in two instalments (N50 million and N25 million). An accompanying letter instructed that the N25 million be transferred to Tropics Securities Limited. “The instruction was carried out,” Jimoh said. Jimoh said a further N200 million was transferred to Tropics Properties Limited on June 11, 2009; N200 million was transferred to Tropics Finance and N35 million to Tropics Properties based on a June 19 letter; while N200 million was moved to Tropics Properties based on a June 26 letter. On June 29, 2009, Jimoh said a N324.5 million was paid in favour of Tropics Finance from the bank’s prepaid account. “The account of Tropics Finance is domicilled in Intercontinental Bank Plc. The statement of account

of Tropics Finance was generated from the computer in the bank capturing the transactions. They were examined and certified by me. “The computer is in the head office of the bank and it is used for capturing transactions of all accounts with the bank. Members of the public cannot have access to this computer,” Jimoh said. Akingbola’s counsel Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) and Mr Deji Sasegbon (SAN) objected to almost all the documents tendered, except some of the cheques. Sasegbon said they were given the documents on Tuesday and so they did not have enough time to study them. He said: “The documents were just passed to us yesterday. It violates Section 36 (6) of the 1999 Constitution which states that we should be given adequate time and facility to prepare a defence. “It also violates Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights that everyone shall be equal before the law.” Justice Habib Abiru overruled all the objections. He adjourned the hearing till December 14.

Visafone launches Visa Entrée Xpress O enhance the value and customer experience of communication, Visafone has unveiled a new prepaid package, tagged Visa Entrée Xpress. The new package enables customers to call other networks at 50k/sec for the first minute of the day and thereafter 30k/sec with the sole aim of giving customers who talk more to enjoy tariffs as low as 15k/sec. A statement signed by the Head Corporate Communications, Joseph Ushigiale, described this innovative package as “another platform Visafone is applying to enrich customers’ experiences, make communication affordable and accessible to majority of customers.” According to the statement, “Visafone does not only offer the lowest tariffs but it also gives clear voice and data quality with a wider reach.” The MD/CEO of Visafone Mr. Sailesh Iyer said besides the low tariff, customers will also enjoy SMS rate at N5 per SMS for Visafone to Visafone, N10 per SMS to any other network in Nigeria and N15 to international networks.

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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NEWS Conflicting election petition decisions worry Osinbajo

Lagos Senators protest confirmation of Bode George’s wife as NPC member T

HE three senators representing Lagos State in the National Assembly By Adebisi Onanuga yesterday opposed the conFORMER Lagos State Attorney firmation of Mrs. Roli Bode General and Commissioner George as a member of the for Justice, Prof Yemi OsinbaNational Population Comjo has described the spate of conflicting decisions of differ- mission (NPC) to represent the state. ent panels of the Court of The three Action Congress Appeal in election petition of Nigeria (ACN) Senators matters as a national embarare Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos rassment. East), Oluremi Tinubu (LaHe also said the slow pace of criminal trials amounted to gos Central) and Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West). a great disservice to the naChairman, Senate Comtion’s criminal justice system. mittee on National Identity The Professor of Law spoke Card and National Populayesterday at the seventh Chief tion, Senator Maina Lawan Babatunde Olusola Benson (Borno North) reeled out the (SAN) Annual Public Lecture names of 24 NPC members titled: “The Rule of Law: The and said due to the protest foundations Are against the nomination of Shaking”organised as part of Mrs George, his committee the activities marking the did not want to recommend Annual Law Week 2011 of the her for confirmation. Nigerian Bar Association He said the committee de(NBA), Ikorodu Branch. cided to leave the decision to Osinbajo observed that the confirm or reject Mrs. Roli various election petition George to the Senate as a panels of the Court of Appeal whole. held divergent views in Senate President David respect of what should be Mark called for contributions. regarded as sufficient compliSenator Ashafa prayed the ance with Para 18, First SchedSenate to reject the nominaule of the Electoral Act in applying to begin pre-hearing tion. He told the Senate to take sessions. note of the process of nomiAccording to him, the nation of individuals for conconflicting decisions of the firmation by the Senate. election petition panels was Ashafa noted that Lagos the result of the several apState Governor Babatunde peals witnessed in the courts Fashola, (SAN) wrote a letter across the country, most of to President Goodluck which he said were eventually Jonathan requesting that the struck out. nominee for NPC for Lagos Osinbajo, who cited relevant State should be recommendelection cases to butress his ed by him (Fashola) on bepoint, expressed regret that half of the state. the judicial process was being He said that in the letter it rapidly demystified, saying was underscored that the re“even laymen now wonder quest was acceded to. how come the same court Ashafa argued that for a sencannot give consistent rulings sitive commission like the on the same issue. NPC, the governor of a state “The legal process loses must make input. credibility where it is uncerGovernor Fashola, the sentain in its outcomes even in ator said, was categorical that the face of clear precedents”, the nomination of Mrs. he stressed. George should be rejected. The lawyer said there was Ashafa added that three need to have a centralised Senators from Lagos State are database for the Court of also in agreement that the Appeal to be manned by nominee should not be conresearchers who can provide firmed. support to the justices as Deputy Senate President regards judgments in other Ike Ekweremadu however zones in similar cases. said the Constitution em“Researchers would also be powers only Mr. President to useful in assisting the justices make nomination for confirof the Supreme Court to keep mation by the Senate and no track of precedents and flay other person. possible inconsistencies” he Senator Ashafa recalled that said, pointing out that case law softwares are now availa- a ministerial nominee from Taraba State , Dr. Obadia ble to track precedents easily. Ando was rejected because Osinbajo identified poor three Senators from the state investigations, absence of key opposed his nomination. witnesses including investigaHe also drew the attention tors at trials and delays in the of the Senate to the fact that a prosecutorial advice as factors that could slow down criminal nominee from Imo State , Mr. Peter Ezeobi, was denied contrials even for best resourced firmation because two Senaand prepared courts.

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• Senate overturns its precedent

•Senators Tinubu and Ashafa...yesterday From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

tors from the statekicked against his nomination. Ezeobi was nominated to represent Imo State on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Senator Oluremi Tinubu supported Senator Ashafa’s position. She reminded the Senate that “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander”, insisting that the position of Lagos State senators should be respected as has been the precedent in the Upper Chamber. She added that “it is all about trust” asking “do Lagosians really trust her to do what is right for Lagos State .” Mark said his concern was the reason for the opposition against the nominee. But Senator Musa Nagogo (Nasarawa North) cautioned the Senate to do what is right by abiding by its precedent. Nagogo noted that it is on record that the Senate rose against a ministerial nominee from Taraba State because of the opposition by Senators from the state. “For the sake of social justice and equity, in view of the fact that our colleagues opposed the nominee we should drop her,” he said. Mark responded that the Senate has not received any response from President Jonathan on Fashola’s memo to him. Senator Uche Chukwumerije said confirmation of nominees should be considered on

their merit. He added that convention should not be treated as law even though some conventions are sacrosanct. But Ashafa said the issue should not be reduced to Bode George, adding that the Senate should be concerned with the feeling and sensibility of the people of Lagos State. Before Mark asked the question he said: “The critical issue to be considered is the national interest raised by Chukwumerije.” When he puts the issue into question, the shout of “nay” was overwhelming, but he landed the gavel on the table and ruled:“the aye have it.” Abia State nominee, Sir Nwakanma Chimaobi, was also rejected due to what the committee called his age. Senators Ashafa and Tinubu addressed a news conference to express their dissatisfaction to the confirmation of Mrs. George. Ashafa said: “ The position of the 16 million people of Lagos State and the six million voters as witnessed in the last elections that brought in President Goodluck Jonathan was that the nomination should have been rejected. “However, the majority had their way in the ruling party, the PDP and we just feel that we must let the whole world know that a situation where an institution as important as the National Population Commission deserves a better representation from Lagos State. “The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) had, in a letter in September written to the President requesting that the

•Mrs George

nominee for this all important commission should be recommended by him on behalf of the state, regardless of partisan politics. “In the letter, it was mentioned supposedly that that request was acceded to. However, the list that was submitted to the Senate for consideration did not have the name that the governor put forward. And that was how the resolution came to be that the three senators including Senator Ganiyu Olarewaju Solomon representing Lagos West Senatorial District signed a letter of objection to that committee in charge of National Identity and Population Commission asking that that nomination from Lagos should be rejected. “We feel very, very passionate about this because the work of that commission deserves somebody who should have the feelings and the competence to deliver. “On that we made our point and we called the attention of the entire hallowed chamber to that all important letter and it generated a lot of controversies that at the end of the day, the majority had their way in passing her. But we feel we should come and lay it in the public glare so that our people at home and all Nigerians will know that the 7th Senate is bound to make a change and yet that change will come. “We have our brothers in the other parties that really supported our argument but we are saying matters like this should have the input and recommendation of the governor of a state, even

though constitutionally the president has the power to decide.” Senator Tinubu said: “We don’t feel let down but what it shows is that at the Senate we are not living up to the precedence we have laid. “We have done it in the past on two other cases and if three of us could sign a letter and they did not respect that, we were not surprised. “ Lagos State is a state that is moving and that is why we feel strongly about this. As I said on the floor of the Senate, I am not from Lagos but my contributions to the growth of Lagos has been immeasurable. “I hardly talk about it but then it is very glaring. I am still working for Lagos but has Mrs Roli George done any thing for Lagos and that is my position. “ Lagos State is a state that has become a reference point and we have sown so much into Lagos and we believe that such a commission that is very sensitive, we want somebody who will make sure that he doesn’t compromise in any way. “When it comes to census the right number is being given and that is our concern and that is where we stand. “I can’t really see what Mrs George has done to the growth of Lagos State and it is not about competence. It is about the love for the place you live in. Are you ready to make the necessary sacrifice? This is about trust. Do we actually trust her to do what is right for Lagos State?” The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Chief Festus Odimegwu as the Chairman of the NPC. Other members of the NPC approved by the Senate included: David Alakwaya Garnuwa (Adamawa), Moses Ekpo (Akwa Ibom), Alhaji Mohammadu Hamma (Bornu), Idi Baba Yakubu (Cross River), Dr Tunde Lakoju (Edo), Bala Mohammed Magaji (Gombe), Nwaogwu Ohakpugu Emmanuel (Imo), Mohammed Surajo Marshal (Kano), Mohammed Aikoye Akubo (Kogi), Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene (Kwara), Roli Bode George (Lagos), Alhaji Zakari Umaru (Nasarawa), Chief Lere Oyewunmi , Dr Oluremi Akinbobola Akogun (Ondo), Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Arsun Dapoet (Plateau), Dr. Donald Charles Wokoma (Rivers), Senator Bello Jibril Gada (Sokoto), Sunday Zik (Taraba), Prof Moore Simoen Chika (Anambra), Dr. Festus Ozor ( Enugu ), Mrs Seyi Adenirokun Olusanya (Ogun), Chris Onyejekwe (Ebonyi).

UBEC N787 million contract not advertised, says witness

PROSECUTION witness, Bridget Ojoma Onekutu in the ongoing N787 million contract trial of top officials of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), yesterday said the contract was not duly advertised. The contract was for the supply of plastic chairs and desks to all junior secondary schools. Led in examination in chief by the Prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, Onekutu, who is the Director, Administration and Supply of the commission told the Court that the contract was character-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ised by conspiracy, forgery, and subversion of due process. Besides, she said the board of the commission was deceived by the officials because most of the information supplied was not correct. Former Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Bridget Sokan and three suspended directors are facing a 64-count bordering on fraudulent inducement, criminal conspiracy and subversion of due processes in the award of contracts charge

slammed against them by the EFCC. The directors are, Molkat Manasseh Mutfwang, Michael Mtonga Aule and Dr Andrew Ekpunobi. They were re-arraigned with Intermarkets USA; Intermarkets Nigeria Limited and Alexander John Cozma, a foreign contractor on December 10, 2009 before Justice Adamu Bello. Besides Sokan and Intermarkets Nigeria Limited, the five other accused were first arraigned on May 19, 2009 on a 26-count charge. The witness identified the certified true copy of Punch,

This Day and the New Nigerian Newspapers in June 2004 where the accused claimed they advertised for the bidding of the contract. According to her, the accused fed the governing board of the commission with wrong information about the contract and that; it was based on the wrong information that the board gave approval for the award of the contract. She said there was nothing like advertisement, bid opening and bid evaluation before the contract was awarded, pointing out that Inter market USA claimed to have

responded to an advertisement which never existed. UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Modibo had earlier told the court that four companies out of the six that bided in the phase one supply of plastic chairs and desks to all junior secondary schools in the country were all fictitious. He told the court that former executive secretary of the commission and one of the accused , Prof. Sokan advised him to write a memo to the Education Trust Funds (ETF) for the release of funds for the phase two of the project, only to be replied by

ETF that the phase one of the project was not properly executed, and as such, funds would not be released. According to Modibo, Sokan’s Price and Contract evaluation committee awarded the contract of over N787 million out of which over N636 million was paid as mobilisation fee to Intermarket Nig Ltd and the company was later given another N41.5 million as transportation fee for the distribution of the product which was not in the terms of the contract agreement. The matter continues today.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

7

NEWS

Reps decry condition of Lagos airport road From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

HE House of Representative has set machinery in motion to investigate the deplorable condition of the major access road to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, to ensure that it is repaired. The lawmakers decried the bad impression the road creates in the minds of its users, especially foreign investors and others. The resolution of the House followed a motion raised under Point of Order by Ndudi Elumelu. He said the matter was of urgent public importance because of the volume of goods and passengers with about 87,000 aircraft that have landed at the airport since it was built. Noting that the Lagos airport is a major economic gateway, Elumelu said the deplorable condition of the road affects the movement of passengers and goods. He said: “Nigeria will continue to lose, economically, as long as that road remains unattended to because the condition of the road is enough to discourage foreigners, investors and tourists. Even Nigerians in the Diaspora, who are returning home for one reason or the other, especially those who are being encouraged to come back home to invest, would also be discouraged. “Hoodlums and miscreants have seized the opportunity of the bad road to inflict hardship on its users.” The lawmaker urged the House to implore the Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to repair the road as well as direct relevant committees to investigate and ascertain if contracts for the road have been awarded.

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•Portholes and flood on Mafoluku junction of the Oshodi-Murtala Muhammed International Airport road, Ikeja, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Armed military men take over hydro power stations in Niger

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RMED military men yesterday took over the nation’s three hydro-electric power generating stations in Kanji, Jebba and Shiroro as the administrative workers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), on Tuesday, began a strike. Sources at the three stations told The Nation in Minna, the Niger State capital, that the military men arrived the stations in the early hours of Tuesday on the orders of the Federal Government to forestall threats by the Boko Haram sect. Operational workers at the three power stations were at their duty posts, especially at Shiroro, when our correspondent visited the station. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday in Kaduna kicked against Fed-

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

eral Government’s plan to draft armed military men to PHCN installations and offices across the country, alleging that the move was to enforce the proposed deregulation of the power sector. But sources said the government’s action was informed by the threats of the Islamic sect to bomb PHCN installations across the country. The armed men at Shiroro prevented non-members of staff of the station from entering the dam. The administrative workers of PHCN in Minna Business District, in line with the directive of the national secretariat of the electricity workers’ union, yesterday opened for business after reporting for work in protest

of “the militarisation of various PHCN installations and offices by armed military personnel”. The Nation learnt that the decision to go on strike was conveyed to the workers via two short message service (SMS) by the Secretary-General of the workers’ union through their local officials. The first SMS reads: “GS (General Secretary) directed that from tomorrow (Tuesday), (there will be) no work, and all stations/offices should be locked, based on the Army take-over of our offices.” The second message directed “all members to gather outside the gate of all offices/stations to offer prayers and go back home”. Workers of the company in Minna gathered at the office gate, opposite the U.K. Bello Arts where inter-de-

Ex-lawmaker, eight others arrested over alleged fraud HE Jigawa State Police Command yesterday arrested a former member of Jigawa State House of Assembly and an ex-Chairman of the House Committee on Salary and Pension, Alhaji Sale Fawa, as well as eight others for allegedly defrauding the state’s pension board of N6million. Addressing reporters in Dutse, the state capital, Police Commissioner Hashimu Suleiman Argungu said the suspects shared the money. He said someone informed the police about the suspects’ activities, prompting an investigation leading to the arrest of the suspects. The police chief said the fraud involved some workers of Gagarawa, Gumel and Maigatari local government areas; the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB); and a court judge. He said the police would investigate the matter further to bring the culprits to justice. According to him, the police have recovered part of the

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From Eunice Bosua, Dutse

money and arrested the women used as the wives of the deceased. Argungu gave the names of the fake deceased persons as: Muntari Habu Abdu, Abdullahi Mohammed Sule and Haruna A. Musa, a pensioner, who was allegedly paid N912,600. The “fake” pensioners were said to be teachers at Koki Nami Primary School in

Gumel Local Government Area. They reportedly collected, N1,812,256; N1,602,251; and N1,184,554.80. The police chief said Musa is alive and that the family the suspects used to claim his pension at a court in Gumel was not his family. Argungu added that Musa’s name was used by the syndicates to claim the money from the pension board.

Trauma centre for Benue From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

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HE Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has said the proprietress of Primus Hospital in India plans to establish a trauma centre in Benue State. Orhii spoke in Makurdi, the state capital, when he conducted the Chairperson of the hospital, Dr. Achla Dewan, round facilities at the Lessel General Hospital in Ushongo Local Government Area. The NAFDAC chief and the visitor were accompanied by the Benue State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr. Orduen Abunku. Orhii said: “They (Indians) are interested in seeing how they can help us in Benue State. They are thinking about how they can set up a trauma centre.

nominational prayers were said before they dispersed, leaving behind only the operational workers. The Public Relations Manager of Shiroro Generation Company, Mr. Samson Esumeh, in a telephone interview, said the management of the station was on top of the situation.

Nasarawa gets sixth police chief this year From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

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OR the sixth time this year, Nasarawa State, on Tuesday, received another Police Commissioner. Mohammed Inda-Bawa. He replaces Musa Daura, who was moved after three months. Daura took Inda-Bawa to Governor Umaru Tanko alMakura at the Government House in Lafia and introduced him as the police chief taking over from him. As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear where Daura was being posted to and why. It was learnt that the former Police Commissioner was being recalled to the police headquarters in Abuja where he would receive his new posting.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 2011

NEWS Ex-Ondo Commissioner joins ACN

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NOTHER chieftain of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, Mr. Sola Amodeni, yesterday joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The former Commissioner for Natural Resources and lately Adult and Non-formal Education said he left LP because “it has become a oneman affair.” Amodeni said LP lacks internal democracy and an individual is now running the party as “his personal estate.” He lamented that his local

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

government (Akoko South/ East) has been neglected by the government in terms of developmental projects. Amodeni said he joined ACN because it is the “only party that has the interest of the masses at heart.” In the last two months, about 10 LP chieftains, including its former State Chairman, Dr. Olaiya Oni; his Vice, Senator Omololu Meroyi; and a former aide of the governor, Mr. Saka Lawal, have joined ACN.

Criticism trails radio station’s cut-off from road From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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RITICISMS have continued to trail the alleged deliberate cut–off of Adaba FM, a private Radio Station in Ondo State, from the road. The company handling the project of the road leading to the station in Ilara-Mokin, Cornerstone Construction Company (CCC), penultimate Friday dug a ditch on the road with an excavator, cutting the station away from its clients. The management of the company said it was not given any notice by the company. It said the company abandoned the road over six months ago, only to reappear two weeks ago. Vehicles of clients and workers parked before the arrival of the excavator were trapped in the station for over one week, until an alternative route was discovered. The development has cost the station several millions of naira. A socio-political group, Sunshine Liberation Forum (SLF), condemned the company’s action. SLF Chairman Victor Ojo said CCC’s action is a deliberate attempt to frustrate the station. Ojo said: “We know those behind the ugly incident and the truth shall prevail. Adaba FM management should keep calm, as the natural course of justice is around the corner.” Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) PDP described the company’s action as “cruel and inhuman.” Its publicity secretary, Chief Olufemi Omosanya, said the development was a demonstration of political intolerance. Omosanya queried the rationale behind digging a gully on a road the government has allegedly spent over N180 million tax payers money on. He said the “cruelty” exhibited towards Adaba FM might scare investors away from the state. The station’s General Manager, Martins Ayoola, said: “Whatever might be the hidden motive of the contractor, he should urgently return to site to rectify the damage done to the road under the guise of reconstruction.” He thanked the public for its concern, adding that the station was established to serve the interest of every citizen.

Ataoja: Court insists on order

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N Osun State High Court yesterday ordered Mr. Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun to stop parading himself as the Ataoja of Osogbo, the state capital. The court had earlier ordered Olanipekun to vacate the Ataoja stool, but he failed to comply. After listening to the arguments of Olanipekun’s counsel, Kehinde Eleja, Justice Jide Falola advised the lawyer to ensure that the sanctity of the law is respected at all times. He said: “As a master in legal matters, you should not allow any litigant to disobey a court order and turn the court into a toothless bulldog. Your client’s attitude is creating tension in the town. “Administrators of justice should not encourage disobedience of court order, so as to avert anarchy. I advise all

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

parties in the matter, particularly Olanipekun, to lie low and allow the law to take its course. “Every application has equal opportunity before the law and the court would not allow anybody to push it to the extreme of doing his or her bidding.” The case was adjourned till December 20. Speaking with reporters after the hearing, Eleja said: “There is no tension in the town as regards the matter before the court. As an officer in the temple of justice, I would not allow the litigants to disrespect the rule of law.” Defence counsel Oluwasesan Dada urged lawyers to always abide by court orders to avoid chaos in the society.

ACN picks candidate for Ado-Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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HE Caretaker Chairman of Ado-Ekiti Local Government, Mr. Sunday Ibitoye, has emerged the Chairmanship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the January 21, 2012, local government polls in Ekiti State. In the primaries conducted yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, Ibitoye had 266 votes. Former House of Assembly member Tope Olanipekun had only one vote, while two other contestants, Sola Elesin and Gbenga Ajijola, did not get any vote. The party’s state Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, debunked claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) comprises of ACN members. Awe said the commission is made up of people of integrity and experience. He advised the PDP, which has filed a suit in court seeking to disband EKSIEC, not to boycott the election.

Ekiti rape victim’s family allege threat to life

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EARING in the alleged rape of a 17year-old pre-degree student of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) will come up tomorrow at the Magistrate’s Court I in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. The suspects, Cosmas Betiku and Tope Adeniyi of the Faculty of Agriculture, EKSU, allegedly raped their victim with the help of a female predegree student, Sadiat Hassan. The suspects, who confessed to the crime, were granted bail. But the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ministry of Justice, has given the go ahead for the prosecution of the suspects. Director of Public Prosecution Mr. Familoni Adeniyi said facts regarding the case have been assembled and the min-

•Hearing tomorrow From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

istry is prepared to appear in court. Adeniyi said: “The awaited legal advice has been issued from here, stating that the two male suspects and their female accomplice have a case to answer. We are prepared to appear in court for the case. “However, there is a snag. At the commencement of the case, the police forwarded only photocopies of documents relating to the case to us. Now, we expect them to release originals of the documents, without which we cannot appear in court. “This means it will be impossible for us to continue the case, should the police contin-

ue to hold on to the original file. We have contacted them (the police), but they are yet to respond. “Because of the level of concern on the case, once the police release the original case file to us (DPP), I shall request that the court grants the case accelerated hearing, perhaps consecutive hearing of three or four days.” Police spokesman Babayemi Victor said: “It is wrong to hold on to the case file, but I don’t think it is deliberate. The practice is that once the police conclude their preliminary investigation, they should duplicate the file and forward the original to the DPP. I will find out what happened and get back to you.”

The father of the victim, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “The family has decided to stop pursuing the case, based on the intervention of some big shots within and outside Ado-Ekiti, who have been contacting us through many means. “I appeal to you (The Nation reporter) not to say anything about it again, as my life and that of my daughter is meaningful to me. Please, stop writing anything about the case.” Adeniyi said the state would continue the case with or without the consent of the victim and her family. He said: “It is erroneous to assume that the continuation of the case is dependent on the consent of the victim’s family. The state reserves the legal right to continue with the case, without regard to the expressed interest of the parties.”

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle) with Southwest Heads of Service: Mr. Bunmi Famosaya, Ekiti (left); Mr. Tajudeen Aremu, Oyo (second left); Mr. Ajose Kudehinbu, Ondo (third left); Mrs. Iyabo Odulate, Ogun (third right); Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, Lagos (second right); and Mr. Segun Adewusi, Osun; when they visited him at the Lagos State House, Marina...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES.

PDP, ACN disagree over Oyo councils

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has condemned a statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the performance of local governments. In a statement by former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s spokesman, Mr. Dotun Oyelade, the PDP Synergy League urged the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration to organise elections in the local governments, to curb “deterioration at the 33 councils .” But ACN said Alao-Akala is responsible for any deterioration in the local governments.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

In a statement, ACN’s Publicity Secretary Kolawole Dauda said the fact that the House of Assembly chided some government officials for delaying some grassroots projects shows that the Ajimobi administration is not prepared to follow the footsteps of the Alao-Akala administration, which allegedly “used the councils as conduit pipes to fleece the state.” The statement reads: “AlaoAkala and his aides should bury their faces in shame because the so-called deterioration they claim to have noticed in the councils is as a result of

the over N8 billion heist their government perpetrated in the councils, for which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is trying the former governor. “We urge the former governor and his aides to face their trial for looting the state, at the top of which is the stealing of local government funds. “Rather than attacking the third tier of government, AlaoAkala’s loyalists should commend democracy at work in the House, as the ACN-led government believes in the rule of law. “What is happening now

never happened under AlaoAkala, as his government just let the local governments loose, using it as a conduit for stealing money. “We are here to restructure the local government and put it on the desired path.” The party wondered why Alao-Akala’s loyalists have stopped using the former governor’s name in the media, preferring the “ubiquitous name of Synergy,” shortly after the EFCC arrested their principal. It urged them to behave like the proverbial pigeon, which would never abandon its master in time of trouble.

Victim of Ekiti police killing for burial today

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HE remains of the late Miss. Tayo Abe (27), who was killed by the police in Orin-Ekiti, Ekiti State, will be buried today. She was killed four weeks ago. The father of the deceased, Pa. Ogunyemi Abe, said: “I decided to keep her body in the mortuary, because I did not want a situation where the police would have to dig up her remains to conduct any investigation. “But the family has decided that we should bury her. We cannot keep her in the mortuary indefinitely.” Pa Abe said the four policemen involved in the killing are being interrogated and urged the police to expedite their investigation and charge them to court. His eldest son, Niyi, who

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

witnessed the incident, sustained injuries in the arm. Niyi said: “I have been invited to the Police Headquarters in Ado-Ekiti four times. You won’t believe the level of unintelligence of the men who killed my sister, as was revealed in the way they responded to questions. You will question the Force on how such elements joined the Police in

the first place.” Niyi’s girlfriend, Kemi Ajiboye, was also shot in the right arm. One of those who protested the killing, Babatunde Oluwaseun, was shot in the right leg. Kemi and Oluwaseun are recuperating at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), IdoEkiti. They thanked the state and local governments for their support and urged them to intervene to enable authorities

of the hospital carry out the last operation they need to recover fully. Caretaker Chairman, Ido/ Osi Local Government, Elder Ben Fatope, said the council would offset their hospital bills. Fatope said the late Tayo would be buried by both the state and local governments. Police Commissioner Olayinka Balogun said: “The law would take its proper course on anyone is found guilty.”

Ajimobi seeks investors

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YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has called on private organisations and industrialists to partner his administration to develop the state. Ajimobi spoke at a meeting with members of Oluyole Club in Ibadan, the state capital. He decried the poor state of Oyo’s economy

and urged industrialists to support him in repositioning the state. Ajimobi said his administration has created a conducive environment for investments, adding that the state has vast human and material resources, as well as large domestic markets for various products and services.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

NEWS

Alleged N108m fraud: ICPC grills ex-Governor Shinkafi

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OR about three hours yesterday, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) grilled a former Governor of Zamfara State, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi. But the interrogation of the ex-governor was said to be in connection with the ongoing probe of the eight-year administration of ex-Governor Ahmed Yerima. Shinkafi was Deputy Governor to Yerima during the eightyear tenure. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that a petition had been pending against Yerima in ICPC since 2002 bordering on alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of some funds. It was alleged by two groups that the administration of Yeri-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

ma had made N108million “claims for improvement, dredging and repairs of a collapsed portion of the Gusau barrage without any tangible work. The claims were as follows: Repair of a collapsed portion of the Gusau barrage at N14.2 million; resuscitation of the Barrage at N92million and desilting of the Gusau Dam Barrage at N1.8 million. Although it could not be immediately ascertained what role Shinkafi played in executing the said contracts, a source in ICPC claimed that the “exgovernor was mentioned by Yerima in his statement and we have to invite him. According to findings,

Shinkafi had arrived at the ICPC office at about 10am and he was immediately taken to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the commission for interrogation. The session ended at some minutes past 1pm. A source, however, said: “The invitation of Shinkafi had to do with misappropriation of funds during the administration of Yerima. “Since Yerima mentioned the name of the ex-governor, we sought to know the extent to which he was involved in the said allegations. “We had audience with Shinkafi for about three hours; he cooperated with us very well. But we have not concluded our investigation. He may still come back to clarify some issues.

Afribank ex-MD Adigwe, others urge court to dismiss N87b theft charge

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•Shinkafi

Replying to a question, the source added: “We have gone far in the ongoing investigation of Yerima but we may still invite some former commissioners and officials of Zamfara State Government.” Contacted, the Media Consultant to ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti, said: “According to our register, ex-Governor Shinkafi was with us on Wednesday.”

ORMER Managing Director of Afribank Plc, Mr Sebastian Adigwe and five others yesterday urged a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, to dismiss a N87billion theft charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They were alleged to have stolen the money from the bank. EFCC arraigned them on a 36-count charge of stealing, conspiracy to commit felony, receiving stolen property and cheating. Adigwe was charged with Afribank’s former chairman, Osa Osunde and former executive directors –Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia, Henry Arogundade and Peter Ololo. In separate notices of preliminary objection, they, except Onyia, urged Justice Olabisi Akinlade to quash the charges

By Joseph Jibueze

because they were incompetent. Adigwe’s lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), said the charge amounted to abuse of court process because the Federal Republic Nigeria was not a competent complaint. Only the Attorney General of Lagos State could initiate criminal proceedings in the court, he argued. Idigbe said a fiat granted the Federal Attorney-General by his Lagos counterpart was invalid because it was based on the repealed Criminal Procedure Laws of Lagos. Idigbe said the EFCC having charged his client at the Federal High Court in 2009 under the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act, the Failed Banks Acts and the Investments and Securities Tribunals Act, could not try him under general law in the Lagos High Court. The other defendants’ lawyer adopted Idigbe’s submissions. But EFCC counsel, Mrs Khadija Yusuf, urged the court to dismiss the objections because the charge was competent and the fiat granted the EFCC by the Lagos State Attorney General valid. Adigwe was accused of converting billions of units of Afribank’s shares belonging to 1,258 subscribers to the use of different companies. EFCC alleged that he induced Afribank Capital Limited to pay Spring Capital Limited N11.5billion as the stock market price for Afribank’s 388,346,154 ordinary shares at N29.61 per share. By doing so, the agency said he got Afribank Capital to pay more than it would ordinarily have paid for the shares “but for the fraudulent device.” EFCC said he did likewise in respect of Afribank Trustees and Asset Management Company, which he allegedly got to pay Spring Capital N8billion as the stock market price for Afribank’s 360,238,657 ordinary shares at N22.21 per share; thereby inducing Afribank Trustees to pay more that it would have paid for the shares. The defendants were accused of fraudulently converting various sums of Afribank’s money through Rehoboth Asset Limited, Broworks Limited, Suletical Nigeria Limited, Alsmiths Nigeria Limited, Resolution Trust and Investment Limited, Kolvey Company Limited, Petosan Property and Development Company Limited, and Larix Company Limited The money, EFCC said, was converted to the use of AIL Securities Limited, Falcon Securities Limited, Asset Management Nominees Holding Limited, Freeland Petrol Limited and others. Ololo was accused of receiving Afribank’s N12billion through Resolution Trust “knowing same to have been stolen,” while Osunde, while being a Director of Freeland Petroleum allegedly received over N800million stolen units of Afribank’s shares. The offences are contrary to Sections 390 (7), 516, 427 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 17, Laws of Lagos State 2003. They pleaded not guilty. Justice Akinlade adjourned till January 23 next year for ruling on the objections.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

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

Naira weakens at interbank, stable at auction

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HE naira weakened against the United States dollar on the interbank market yesterday, but held steady at the biweekly currency auction even as strong demand for the greenback persisted on the interbank. The local currency according to Reuters News, closed weaker at N158.75 to the dollar on the interbank market from N157.70 the previous day. “The naira closed stronger yesterday as a result of direct dollar sales by the central bank to some banks toward the close of the market,” one dealer said. Traders said the naira weakened yesterday even when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cleared all demand at its bi-weekly auction because more airline companies and other major firms excluded from the official window are buying dollars. On the official window, the apex bank sold all the $333.82 million demanded at N154.50 to the dollar, more than its initial offer of about $250 million. The regulator sold only $250 million at N154.50 to the dollar at the previous auction. Dealers said local unit of Exxon Mobil sold about $59.9 million to some lenders yesterday, but expect the impact to be felt in the market today. Outlook for the local currency favour broad stability around N157.50-159 to the dollar depending on the sustenance of the regular direct dollar sales to the market by the CBN. “The Central Bank has successfully curtailed the volatility in the market through its regular intervention, so we see the naira fluctuating between 157.50-159 figure in the near term,” one senior trader with a local unit of a foreign bank said.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.3% 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 $32.820b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

-

0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472

• Omon Isemede; Head of Sales, Air France, KLM, Port Harcourt; Okey Nwuke, Executive Director, Access Bank Plc, Consular-General of France; Mr Sastourne Francois; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rivers State, Dr. Nabbs Imegwu; Wife of Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi; GM, Air France, KLM, Mr Christian Herpin; Wife of Commissioner of Justice, Rivers State, Mrs. Bertholet; Wife of Managing Director,Total E& P, Herbert Wigwe, Group Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank Plc and EMD, Total E & P, Mr Igbinovia, at the inauguration of Air France First Class and Business Class Lounge and Ticketing Office, at the Port Harcourt International Airport.

EFCC to probe Chinese firm over N2.2b Apapa port contract

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the role of a Chinese construction firm for allegedly falsifying ‘bid documents on N2.2 billion Apapa ports road contract. The firm, in connivance with some top civil servants in the Ministry of Transport, was alleged to have submitted fake documents in an attempt to secure the job for the construction of the 1.6 kilometres Apapa Ports Internal roads worth N2.2 billion. The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) law provides that a company should be barred from doing business in the country for five years if found guilty and the officers involved should be jailed for a minimum of three years without the option of fine, and maximum of five years as well as a fine of 25 percent of the procurement

•Officials risk jail terms From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

The firm, according to findings, was alleged to have included in its bidding a document sent to the BPP, claiming to have executed a similar project worth N7 billion in Niger State, a claim which was faulted by BPP upon due diligence test. Confirming this yesterday at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by PresidentGoodluck Jonathan, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the president, who was furious about the issue, had directed that the officials of the company who signed the forged document be handed over the EFCC, for a full-scale investigation. The President, he further said, directed the EFCC to investigate the contractor and

the civil servants involved in the scam and that those found guilty should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Also, BPP Director-General, Emeka Eze, said steps taken so far by the government is an indication of further support to enthrone transparency in public expenditure and also a clear demonstration of government’s plan to further deepen the transparency in public procurement in Nigeria. “it is not so much about how much money was involved, It is not so much as to how of money that would have been involved. “it is more of did you lie? Because if you give it to somebody else, you still have to spend money for the person to get the job done. But the fact that you lied. And when you lie under oath, it is a crime under the law,” he said.

Citing the BPP Act, Eze said as long as the contractor lied over the contract, the company would not be able do business with the government for five years”. Speaking on FEC’s decision, Maku who briefed alongside Idris Umar, minister of Transport; Prof Rukkyat Rufa’i, minister of Education and Akinwunmi Adesina, minister of Agriculture, he said: “FEC took a major decision to begin to take measures to check sharp practices in the process of contract award, especially at the Federal Level. “Last week, there was a contract that was probationarily given to a company to rehabilitate a 1.6kilometre road in Apapa, Lagos, but because we were not too sure of some of the information contained or claimed by the contractor, Mr. President directed that there should be further investigation to ensure that council was taking the right decision,” he said.

New banks remain in business, say CBN, NDIC Continued from page 1

“The CBN and the NDIC state categorically and with all sense of responsibility that we are not aware of any such order as no such order has been served on either the CBN or the NDIC,” the statement signed by Mohammed Abdulahi and Sule Birchi, spokemen of the CBN and the NDIC respectively said. Also, the management of Mainstreet, Enterprise and Keystone Banks have assured their customers that banking operations will continue as usual in all their branches nationwide. They implored them to disregard the court order. Mainstreet Bank assured that the institutions will carry on business as usual as there is no order against it. ”The bank is certain that no order was made ex parte requiring the bank to shut its doors to millions of our depositors and customers. We wish to assure all our cus-

tomers that our over 200 branches nationwide are open for full banking business as usual,” said Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Maninstreet Bank, Mr. Anogwi Anyanwu. He said the bank will continue its banking operations carry as usual, and therefore advised the public to disregard any statement or statements that the bank has been restrained from carrying on business. Enterprise Bank said in a statement: “We wish to assure all our customers that all our over 150 branches nationwide are open for full banking business as usual. Banking operations will carry on as usual and the public should disregard any statement or statements that the bank has been restrained from carrying on business.” It said that the bank will carry on business as usual as there is no court order against it, adding that no order was made ex parte requiring the bank to shut its

doors to millions of our depositors and customers. Keystone also insisted that no writ of summons or court order has been served on the bank. ”We enjoin all our customers and the general public to disregard the reports as the bank will continue to carry out normal business operations. ”We appreciate and assure you of our usual excellent services in all business outlets of the bank,” the bank said in a statement. Meanwhile, analysts have continued to fault the court ruling, describing it as baseless and an affront on the federal government represented by the CBN and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). The Managing Director, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, Ike Chioke said the step taken by the shareholders was baseless because they have already lost their funds in the banks before the institutions were recpaitalised.

He said that the banks currently belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria and for anyone to think that they will take over the bank , it is not feasible. Oladele Solanke, Corporate Governance expert, said that the shareholders are not in touch with global reality. He wondered what would have happened had the CBN allowed the banks to be liquidated. “We should not get emotional with this matter. As far as I am concerned, these shareholders have already lost their funds and should not drag the public their matter,” he said. The Managing Director, Financial Nigeria International, Jide Akintunde said the shareholders’ action is not good for Nigeria and for profiling the economy. He said such action will increase legal risks involved in investing in the country, adding that such risks discourage foreign direct investments.

Etisalat hits 10m subscriber base By Adline Atili

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TISALAT Nigeria has hit 10 million active subscriber mark. It achieved this feat in two months after recording seven million active subscriber base. At a press conference yesterday, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Steven Evan, stated that the network has covered every town and city in the country with its superior 3.75G High Speed Packet Access plus (HSPA+) network. He said: “We realised early that network coverage and quality of service go hand in hand, and that coverage is a major consideration for subscribers, who wish to join our network. So, we embarked on an aggressive roll-out campaign to cover Nigeria with our quality network. This strategy paid off and has made it possible for us to effectively compete with the older players in this market.” He disclosed that from initial launch in seven cities in the country, the telco has full coverage in 523 major cities and towns; 2,716 satellite communities and over a hundred roads across Nigeria. “We are proud to announce that Etisalat is covering Nigeria with quality service. In just three years of operation, we have reached the magical 10 million subscribers and we are the fastest growing telecoms company in the country. We say a big thank you to Nigerians for giving us the opportunity to become their network of choice”. “Today, Etisalat has network coverage in all the states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.” “We have made substantial direct investment in infrastructure with a significant portion deployed into the construction of the GSM network infrastructure and the introduction of HSPA+ technology to deliver reliable and high quality service,” Evans said.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

BUSINESS NEWS Reps kick against tax bill From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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BILL sponsored by Hon. Marouf Akinderu-Fatai (ACN Lagos) caused uproar in the House of Representatives yesterday. The chamber became noisy as some members shouted while others tried to raise point of order. It took the intervention of the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to avert a row as the plenary was becoming chaotic. The bill with entitled: A bill for an act to provide for the distribution and payment to state governments of some taxes and duties collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) or other authorities of the Federal Government and other matters connected therewith, was being presented for second reading before the House when the problem started. It seeks to correct the lacuna in section 163 (b) of the Constitution by stipulating a time frame by an Act of the National Assembly for the Federal Government to pay back to the states taxes and duties it collected on their behalf. But no sooner had Tambuwal announced that the bill be presented before the House by the sponsor, Akinderu-Fatai, than a member, Karmil Akinlabi, called for a “point of order!” Akinlabi said the bill should not be discussed because it runs contrary to the provisions of Section 80 Sub sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution. According to him, any law that is passed and is at variance with the provisions of the Constitution is null and void. He, therefore, advised the sponsors of the bill to re-present it as a constitution amendment bill. But the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, expressed surprise at the position taken by Akinlabi. According to him, Akinlabi should not have read Section 80 of the Constitution in isolation of section 163 (b). “Section 163 (b) allows the House to do what the bill seeks to do. Section 80 of the Constitution should not be read in isolation but should be read together with section 163 (b),” he said.

Striking PHCN workers face sack

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HE Power Holding Com pany of Nigeria (PHCN) yes terday threatened to sack its workers who are on strike. The notice to the workers came just as the Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, justified the reinforcement of security at critical infrastructue across the nation. In a statement entitled: Notice to all PHCN staff, made available to reporters in Abuja, the management said: “In view of the above, please take notice that any staff member who absents himself or herself from work without legitimate authorisation stands a high risk of forfeiting his or her job in line with extant PHCN Conditions of Service (2010).” PHCN management said it came to its notice that some staff of PHCN refused to come to work since Tuesday, November 15, 2011 in protest against the deployment of military personnel to secure Federal Government’s assets and facilities across the nation, including PHCN installations. The company claimed that there was no basis for the industrial action since there is no trade dispute between the workers and their management. The statement added: “This is to inform you that there is no basis to embark on a strike or any industrial action as there is no trade dis-

• Minister justifies military deployment From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

pute between PHCN workers and its Management. In view of the fact that PHCN is the sole provider of electricity services to the nation and as such, an essential services provider under the laws of the land, the current situation calls for immediate remedy.” Meanwhile, the Power Minster has commended the PHCN workers for ignoring the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Mr Joe Ajaero’s order, which described as “not only illegal but constitutes a grave danger to national security and to the country’s development.” He noted that the presence of military personnel in hotels, worship places and at critical facilities has gone restored public confidence in the safety of these high profile places. Nnaji, in a statement from his Special Assistant on Labour Matters, Hon. Nick Agbo, said it was, therefore, improper for any person to reject, in the name of trade unionism, the presence of military men and women in power facilities, in which the nation has made huge investments over the decades. He said the Ministry also con-

siders it awkward that the NUEE general secretary has vehemently rejected the Federal Government’s policy that all public service employees, including ministers, undergo biometric verification. “All Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have undergone biometric verification, which entails the provision of appointment letters, staff numbers, fingerprints and other simple requirements,” he said. Consequently, he said it beats the imagination that Mr Ajaero should object to the conduct of the verification in the PHCN. The minister insisted that the N9billion, which the Federal Government has made available to the PHCN management for the payment of the 50 per cent increase in staff salaries for June, July and August will be paid to only PHCN staff members who have been verified. As at press time, the NUEE was still calling on the Federal Government to withdraw soldiers from the PHCN formations across the country. Some of the PHCN officials who spoke with our correspondent in confidence, the staff cannot be comfortable working under the soldiers’ surveillance.

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

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. 2. 3. 4.

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

T

MONDAY - FRIDAY

1. Arik 2. Aero

Insurers move against mega banks HE days of big banks appears to be numbered as the World Deposit Insurers are considering shrinking their sizes. A statement from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) which participated at the Annual Conference/General Meeting of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) in Warsaw, Poland, said: “Regulators were urged to bear in mind that banks regarded as too big to fail, should be considered as too big to save, and therefore too big to exist.” The statement, which was signed by Head, Communication and Public Affairs, Hadi S. Birchi, noted that the conference, “concluded that the Deposit Insurance Scheme had gone beyond depositor protection, and should consider the responsibility of promoting systematic stability as a priority.” Deposit insurers were also urged to consider promoting stability. The event, hosted by the Bank Guarantee Fund (BGF) of Poland, had as theme: Beyond the crisis: The need for strengthened financial stability famework. The Conference also deliberated on the fallout of economic recession in different world economies and reported that the global economy was at a turning point and was going through another phase of economic crisis in the form of sovereign debt crisis.

Flight Schedule

• Executive Director, Sales and Aftersales, Ford, Coscharis Motors Limited, Mr Raju Sawiani (right), in hand shake with General Manager, Briscoe Ford, RT Briscoe Nig. Plc, Mr Osenie Oigiagbe. With them are Executive Director, JWT Nig. Mrs. Bisi Afolabi and Group Head, Strategy, JWT, Nig. Mr Chike Oputa, at a briefing by Ford, at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Fed Govt backs $100m Lagos transport project

F

OR executing the best urban transportation scheme in the country, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved Lagos state’s request to take another $100million loan for the second phase of its Urban Transport Project. The Federal Government is the guarantor of the project, which will run from Mile 2 to Oshodi and Ikorodu. The Lagos State government has also paid its N308 million counterpart fund for the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) supported by the World Bank. The approval for the state’s transport project, which was granted at the weekly FEC meeting, according to Minister of Information, Labaran, was as a result of the success story of first phase of the project. Accordind to him, the memo for the loan was brought to the council by Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, seeking “council’s approval for the French Development Agency (AFD) credit

• State pays N308m for World Bank schemes From Vincent Ikuomola and By Daniel Essiet

of USD100 million to the Federal Government for co-financing the Lagos Urban Transport Project 2 (LUTP), Given the successful implementation of LUTP 1, the Lagos State Government applied to scale up the project through LUTP 2. The LUTP 1 was implemented using the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, mode of transportion in the State. “Having significantly achieved the development objectives of LUTP 1, which among others were to reduce travel time and transport fares of passengers plying the BRT routes, with the resultant reduction in household expenditures on transport and poverty alleviation, it was decided to extend the scheme to other parts of the state, with a view to increasing the number of direct beneficiaries. Under LUTP 1, passenger’s fare became stable with a 30 per cent reduction of average, travel time was reduced by about 35 per cent, ambient concentration

of pollution posing health danger along the corridor was reduced, 1,500 direct graduate employment was created and over 50,000 indirect employment in the state. “It is also important to highlight that the scheme has been a learning point for other states in Nigeria and countries around the world that have sent delegates to understudy the system. Foreign countries that had visited Lagos State to share experience on the project include Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Japan and UK, while Edo, Oyo, Kanl and FCT had also visited the state to discuss the project.” Meanwhile, Lagos State’s Commercial Agriculture Development Project Co-ordinator, Bolaji Balogun, said N150 million was paid in 2009, while N158million was paid last year, adding that the balance for this year would be released soon. He said a total of 119 sub-projects valued at about N295.8 million had been implemented, out of which 1,292 farmers have benefitted.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35

11.35

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

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

08.00 18.00

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


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011


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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

There is, perhaps, no state as politically troubled as Anambra. All the political parties have their share of the crisis that marks the character of politics in the state. The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) soul is seared. The ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is split. Governor Peter Obi is reportedly on the war path with National Chairman Victor Umeh. What are the issues? What options are open to the combatants? Correspondent NWANOSIKE ONU, who spoke with critical stakeholders, reports.

APGA in Anambra: The trouble within

A

T a point, they looked like soul mates. Mr. Peter Obi, who assumed office in 2006 after a grim struggle, found a partner in Victor Umeh, an architect, Together, both men who found a common political enemy in Chief Chekwas Okorie, worked together to project and prepare the party for the 2010 governorship election. Many party members thought they complemented each other well. But, recent developments have shown that things have fallen apart and the centre is finding it difficult to hold. When Obi first showed interest in the governorship seat in 2002, he was without a platform. He asked a pertinent question that has since become a sing: “Is Anambra cursed, or are we the cause? When he took over, it was expected that his party would soon take over control of the state. The first test came with the April 2007 elections into the state House of Assembly and the two Houses of the National Assembly. In the light of what is now known about the general elections of that year, it could be said that the Anambra governorship poll was more of selection than election. It is the excuse APGA had for losing out in the electoral battle. It lost all in the legislative polls. 2011 was another opportunity. The party performed better, winning 16 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly, five of the 11 House of Representatives seats, but none in the Senate yet with one still outstanding. Seven months after the April polls, the crisis that was covered in APGA has blown open with friends and associates of Obi and Umeh attacking the rival factions. Anambra is not alone. From Abia to Imo, Enugu to Ebonyi, the areas believed to be the strongholds of APGA, it has been one crisis after another. Some have even mooted the idea of passing a “vote of no confidence” on Umeh. There are fears that APGA problem may not be unconnected with the moves by its founding national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, to reclaim the party from Umeh, who they said had floored him on several occasions in different courts of the land. Others are blaming Governor Obi, who they claim has no interest again in the party as, ac-

cording to them, he has made up his mind to join the ruling PDP for what they suggest could be a Vice Presidential ambition in 2015 after his second spell in the state. Allegations against Umeh include charges that the party lacks sense of direction and the chairman operates it like a dictator. They have also alleged that Umeh’s leadership lacks accountability and constantly and unjustifiably removes officers without recourse to the party’s constitution. Furthermore, those groups dropped threats of suspension or dismissal of members who hold opposite views to Umeh’s style of leadership, inability to mobilize, sensitize and motivate followership. He is also charged with unilateral elongation of his tenure for another four years without a properly convened national convention, factionalization of the party at all levels and gross disrespect to state leaders of the party, especially the governors. The allegations were brought to the public domain by a group known as APGA stakeholders in Anambra State after its meeting. The communiqué of the stakeholders meeting was signed by the 21 local government chairmen of the party. Therefore, they want the party leadership to ensure immediate restructuring by conducting ward, local government and state congresses to restore unity, cohesion and confidence in the party. But the National Chairmen of the party, Chief Victor Umeh has dismissed all the allegations against him, describing them as the handiwork of those who are idle. He told the Nation that there is nothing like stakeholders in APGA, accusing Chief Nwobu Alor, an uncle to the Governor Obi, as the brain behind the crisis. He said, “it is obvious that some satanic agents are attacking the party, when the agents of the devil are on the prowl, those of us who are Christians will rely on God for prayers. So, I wish to assure you that our party is intact from the national leadership to the state leadership across the country and the zonal leadership. “If you go and crosscheck, you

• Umeh

• Obi

‘Allegations against Umeh include charges that the party lacks sense of direction and the chairman operates it like a dictator. They have also alleged that Umeh’s leadership lacks accountability and constantly and unjustifiably removes officers without recourse to the party’s constitution’ will notice that there is no crack in our party, there can only be a division in the party if the National Working Committee of the party is divided and the state chairmen are no longer loyal to the national leadership. But I can tell you that on this hour and today, all the officers of APGA are intact and loyal to the leadership of the party”. He said that APGA has a constitution with laid down procedures for removing its officers. Anambra State Chairman of the party, Chief Mike Kwentoh, told the Nation that nobody has the right to remove their national chairman, adding that he can only be removed through national convention. “What this means is that Umeh’s tenure ends when the convention of the party comes up again, because the last convention of the party was held last January”, Kwentor who is an ally of Umeh said. Kwentoh, further told the Nation that people who are insinuating that the party is going through series of crisis are wasting their time, describing APGA as a united family. However, one of the party’s elders in Anambra State, Chief Sylver Nwobu Alor, told the Nation that already, the governors of Anambra and Imo States, Peter Obi and Rochas Okorocha had already written a letter to Umeh to dissolve the structures

‘It is obvious that some satanic agents are attacking the party, when the agents of the devil are on the prowl, those of us who are Christians will rely on God for prayers. So, I wish to assure you that our party is intact from the national leadership to the state leadership across the country and the zonal leadership’

of the party in all the formations in the country. This, according to him, is to allow for the conduct of congresses in the states and indeed another convention. Alor said that the letter from the governors had not been replied by Umeh. It is evident from the activities of the party in recent times that the relationship between Umeh and Obi is strained despite denial by the national chairman. A source close to Umeh attributed the differences to Umeh’s advise that the governor should conduct local government election. Again, Umeh is known to have taken exception to Obi’s decision to keep his cabinet of five years. This is said to have got Obi, who saw it as undue interference in his government, angry. The face off reached its height during the last general elections when Umeh, had to abandon APGA in the state to its fate and reportedlymoved over to Imo State to deliver Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the Governor. During the Senatorial battle between Prof. Dora Akunyili of APGA and Dr. Chris Ngige of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, The Nation learnt that Umeh was nowhere to be seen until election day. This, again, according to sources, got Obi and other stakeholders of the party angry.

There have been speculations of recent that the governor might be grooming the Chief Executive of Capital Oil and Gas, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba as his successor. One of the pro-Umeh party leaders who spoke with The Nation in confidence said, “you know Umeh is a party man while Obi is not. If you watch closely, you will notice the kind of romance going on between Obi and Ifeanyi Uba”. “Obi has insisted that the right person to replace him is Uba but it has not gone down well with Umeh who has insisted that a core party man be chosen by the party for the position and you should know that Uba is not a member of (APGA)”. If what is playing out in APGA is not quickly checked, APGA could go the way of PDP in Anambra. A worried leader who is known to be non-aligned said the crisis could be attributed to the absence of Chief Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu who has been receiving treatment in a London hospital since last year. The fact that Okorie is waiting in the wings to profit from the quarrel is another danger signal. It is too early to talk about the moves and disposition of Governor Obi ahead of the 2014 elections, but there is no doubt that his body language and actions could dictate the place and position of the party in the years ahead.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

POLITICS

‘Why insecurity remains stubborn in Nigeria’

Former Ondo State Commissioner for Finance Wale Akinterinwa is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The bankerturned politician spoke with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU on his defection from the Labour Party (LP) to ACN, and his party’s preparation for the 2012/2013 governorship election.

Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, a two-term senator and chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character, represents Niger East in the upper chamber. In an interview with journalists in Abuja, he traced the root of the current security challenges facing the country, the need for federal character and power generation Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR, was there. Excerpts:

‘Power will shift to Ondo ACN in 2013’

E

MERGING security challenges are almost overwhelming governments at all levels. What do you think is the way out? You cannot talk of security without going to the root of the problem. One of the root causes is the problem of unemployment. Our university graduates are unemployed. Even in terms of qualification, they are half-baked but when they get employed, they can undergo another training to be fit to work. We have a very good programme for the Niger Delta youths. They sent so many of them overseas for training but if the power problem is not fixed, how would you guarantee their self-reliance on their return with the training they have acquired? If they have nothing to do on their return, it becomes a threat to the security of this country. Unemployment that leads to insecurity is a very serious matter that anybody can hardly tell the direction it will go. Now that people are talking about minimum wage, I think N18, 000 is still inadequate in a country like Nigeria with high cost of living. Under this situation, affected civil servants will look for avenues for survival. Even with the collapse of electricity, they would also want to live comfortably like their neighbours by buying a generating set out of their N18 monthly income. So, they will go out of their ways to look for money in their official capacity in order to live like their neighbours. When you put these together, there is no how we can get it right as far as security is concerned. How do you appraise Nigeria at 51 especially with the myriads of challenges facing the country? What we have achieved so far is that for the first time in 51 years, there is 11 years of uninterrupted civilian administration. I think this has given the country the opportunity to lay a solid foundation for democracy and as far as democracy would be allowed to grow without interruption, there is every hope for this country to move forward. But there are things we are supposed to have gone far with, unfortunately we have not. What are some of the things left undone yet? Today, countries that started at the same time with us in terms of power supply and other socio-economic amenities have gone far but we still have not moved from where we were since 1968, which marked the beginning of urbanisation and industrialisation. The present administration has been thinking aloud in such a manner that would ensure regular and reliable supply of electricity. That has not been achieved. What we have witnessed is fluctuating fortunes as far as generation of electricity is concerned. I thought that by now, we would be able to generate about 10,000 mega watts. It is acceptable anywhere that for a nation to take off fully, it must start with a minimum of 10,000 mega watts. Now, the country is in such a terrible position that we cannot even achieve 4,000 mega watts. So, while we congratulate Nigeria that we have been able to permanently send the army to the barracks, we must also think of what to do to ensure there is peace and harmony and we cannot have peace and harmony without employment. When there is unemployment all over the place, there will be no peace. What is breeding unemployment in most cases is lack of electricity. South Africa is only about 50 million people and it is generating about 47 mega watts of electricity. For10 years, Iran have had an outage of just two minutes and the people were complaining about it. We took off together with Brazil. Brazil has a population of about 200 million, it is generating about 100,000 mega watts. Iran is just about 75million and it is generating 60,000 mega watts out of which they require only 40,000, the rest is exported. The Holy City of Mecca alone is consuming over 3,000 mega watts. The whole of the Heathrow Airport in London is consuming well over 5,000 mega watts, when Nigeria has not been able to generate 4,000 mega watts. Last time we heard we were generating 4,200 mega watts but that

was not true. So, we should look at all these problems with a view to finding lasting solutions. Activities of Senate committees are picking up after their inauguration. What is the programme of action of the Committee on Federal Character? The Senate President has said it that our mandate requires that we ensure that all government parastatals, agencies, ministries and departments are performing. We have had a lot of problems in this country because many people felt marginalised. So, beginning with the Federal Character Commission (FCC), which is the main agency that we oversee, we wish to ensure that there is a balance. What we are preparing to do is to first meet with the FCC and get details about their work. We also want to go round the country and see which of the agencies are functioning and which are not. We proposed to see that they computerise all their activities and by extension, ensure that all the ministries and parastatals are computerised, particularly, their nominal roles. At any given time, we may divide ourselves into sub-committees to take charge of some of the MDAs. We will go in there without notice to ask for staff lists of particular ministries so that, at least, from level eight upwards, we will ensure there is balance. What else apart from that? Our second mandate is specifically about proportional distribution of infrastructural and socio-economic amenities in the country. We are going to involve Minister of Works. We want to find out how many of the roads and other amenities are in particular section of the country; how many roads are being constructed in a particular part of the country and at what amount cost and stages of completion. We will find out whether there is a balance where in zone A, you have 1000 kilometres of road being constructed while in zone B, you have less. Sections 14:3 and 14:4 of the Constitution imply that in whatever is done in this country all sections must be positively represented. We are also going to have pre-budget meetings with the parastatals to see that they key into the transformation agenda of this administration. We shall look at how they have gone with their budget, whether it is in consonance with the focus of the administration or not. How will your committee balance enforcement of Federal Character policy with the problem of mediocrity in employment? I said it at the inauguration of our committee that the federal character principle must be strictly adhered to without sacrificing merit and standard. According to the Senate President, there is nowhere in this country that we will not get the required number of qualified people. So, we will ensure we balance all appointments in such a way that qualified people occupy positions.

• Kuta

C

OULD you trace the genesis of your foray into politics? I have been a progressive politician from the time I entered politics. Recently, I resigned from the cabinet of Governor Olusegun Mimiko as Commissioner for Finance. My political career started with the Alliance for Democracy (AD). I joined the AD in 1999. I was the House of Representatives candidate in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency. I lost the election, due to the rigging of 2003 in the Southwest. After that, AD moved into the AC and later ACN. I left AC to join the governor in Labour Party as a founding member . We were in about 21 months of intense legal battle. I was appointed the Commissioner for Finance. I resigned from that government in 2009. Why did you resign? My reason for resigning were well publicised. There was a fraca in my home town , Ile-oluji, and I didn’t like it. In good conscience, I will not want to be part of that. But why did you leave AD for LP in the first instance? The PDP was not doing enough. The state was lagging behind in all developmental indices. There were disillusionment, total discontent and disconnect between government and people. LP and Mimiko were the arrowheads of the battle. People wanted change. They saw PDP as an infiltrator. Ondo has always been in the progressive camp; AG, UPN, SDP, AD. Southwest has never liked conservative parties. At that time, Mimiko was popular. He was part of the progressives before he left for PDP. Recent events have shown that the promises he made have not been fulfilled. Today, LP is not as dominant as people used to see it. PDP has a lot of baggage in terms of election rigging. The party of the moment is ACN. It is waxing stronger on daily basis. It is the number one party in the Southwest. The wind is blowing and you cannot go against it. ACN will gain more states and Ondo state will not be lonely. Commissioners have been resigning from the cabinet. What has gone wrong? I was not the first cabinet member to resign. The former Commissioner for Works, Mr Yele Omogunwa, resigned and went to the PDP. Why did I move to ACN? I have always been a progressive. I was in AD with the governor. In 2003, when he moved to PDP, following his failed bid for the governorship ticket, I refused to go with him to the PDP. I couldn’t imagine myself going to the PDP for whatever reason. So, I went into AC. Along the line, when the issue of Labour Party came up, we thought that LP would be part of the progressives. There was an unwritten pact to work together with the progressives. Throughout the struggle, the LP cannot deny the support it got from the progressives. The day the governor was being sworn in, the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is the leader of ACN, was there. Chief Niyi Adebayo, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Segun Osoba, the present governor of Osun State , Rauf Aregbesola, and a host of other progressive elements were there. But two years down the line, we can see where the party is heading to. It is clear that the party is not aligning with the progressives. Since I like to be part of progressives, I find it difficult to be part of their brand of progressives. What is this progressive thing all about? Is it about platform or ideology? It is about ideology. For some people, it is about platform. When LP was formed in Ondo State, majority of members were from AC. That was because we were coming together to fight the progressive battle. That amalgamation was largely of like minds. But it was a different ball game after the government took off. Hypocritical devotion to progressive ideals is easily detected. You cannot fake your posture. It is foolish to continue to go in the wrong direction. LP is ideologically shallow. Now that you are in the ACN, what are we to expect?

• Akinterinwa

‘The performance of ACN in Lagos and Edo reflects its ideological orientation. It is being replicated in Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun. People tend to run to LP for temporary refuge. Andy Uba, Timi Alaibe used the platform. They are PDP chieftains’ The most important task is to build ACN. It is a credible party. It is a platform of pride. What ACN has done in other states can be seen. There is a difference; a clear difference, between ACN and PDP, and ACN and LP. I am in ACN, not because I am looking for a platform to run, unlike others who chase platforms. It is a decision driven by personal belief. I want to join hands in building ACN so that it can take over the government of Ondo State. Was there any evidence of any agreement? He will be in a better position to answer that. But leaders of ACN; Tinubu, Bisi Akande, Aregbesola, felt betrayed by LP in Ondo State. The whole world knew that they supported the battle against the retrogressive elements in the state in 2006/2007. People think that ACN and LP are progressive parties... I disagree that the LP government in Ondo State is a semblance of the labour-oriented government. For strategic reasons, it was just being painted as the party of the masses. The performance of ACN in Lagos and Edo reflects its ideological orientation. It is being replicated in Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun. People tend to run to LP for temporary refuge. Andy Uba, Timi Alaibe used the platform. They are PDP chieftains. LP did not field any presidential candidate. Yet, it did not adopt the presidential candidate of any progressive party. Mimiko’s foray into LP has got to do with his partisan political behaviour. But what are the achievements of Labour in Ondo State? Two years down the line, how many roads have been constructed? The government has moved not away from the traditional projects to transformational projects. We don’t need to be celebrating the commissioning of boreholes. Construction of market stalls is the responsibility of local governments. We should avoid mediocrity. Our goal is to move our state forward. We have dreams and vision to ensure a better state that is well governed along progressive ideas, a state where policies and programmes are well implemented for the greatest good of the greatest number of our people.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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INDUSTRY

Fed Govt, private sector to tackle trade barriers T HE Federal Government is to set up a business competitiveness council to enhance investment for Nigeria to be among the world’s top 20 economies by 2020, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga has said. Aganga said the government would set up the council in collaboration with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to remove the barriers hindering the industrial sec-

Stories by Toba Agboola

tor from maximising its productive and installed capacities. He said the government was working out modalities to introduce a credit guarantee scheme to support the purchase of made-inNigeria goods as part of plans to boost the demand and supply of locally made products. “No meaningful economic progress can be made in terms of

wealth creation and poverty alleviation without a robust manufacturing sector. Our modest efforts at improving our economic environment will attract more investment and partnership from other countries to enable Nigeria to become one of the top 20 developed nations in the year 2020. “Nigeria has the wherewithal to make things happen. And we are

committed to partnering the OPS as a strategic and reliable ally to move the economy forward. It would be recalled that in a survey of 142 countries, the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum recently revealed a decline in the ranking of the country from 99 in 2009 to 127 this year. African countries with superior ranking include South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania,

Ethiopia, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal and Kenya. The global competitiveness index provides a holistic overview of factors that are critical to driving productivity, competitiveness and confidence. These include the state of infrastructures, quality of institutions, macroeconomic condition, human capital status, technology, business sophistication and innovation.

Nigerian, British bilateral trade hits N960b

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HE bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) hit £4 billion (about N960 billion). The Nigerian-British Chambers of Commerce (NBCC) President, Emeka Awagu, told reporters in Lagos that the UK has renewed its commercial interests in Nigeria. According to him, a clear manifestation of this is the visit of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and several high level ministers, particularly, the Mayor of the city of London, Alderman Michael Bear. He added that the chamber has been meeting with officials of the UK Trade and Investment on ways to synergise efforts to actualise the doubling of existing trade figures by 2014. Awagu disclosed that the fair would give the chamber the opportunity to woo more members. He urged those who visited the chamber’s stand to join the chamber to benefit from its business initiatives. He disclosed that the NBCC in

conjunction with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) organised made-in-Nigeria exhibition in three UK cities. Awagu said: “Despite the clear positive points recorded, it was noted that most of the Nigerian products on display were poorly packaged and consequently, not ready for the competitive global market. “Our Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) entrepreneurs thus need to be guided on improving their packaging standards. “Next year, the NBCC will specially designed workshops on packaging for SMEs among other capacity building programmes for members and non members alike. “These will be published as appropriate very early in the year in prominent national dailies,” he said. He stressed the need for some Arts faculties in some universities to offer courses on packaging to assist those who wish to specialise in this area.

•From left: Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs Dominga Odebunmi; Head of Quality and Sustainability, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), Mr Doyin Ashiru; Chairman, Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS), Mr Tijani Perkis and Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Jonas Agwu, at the presentation of helmets to motorcycle riders in Lagos.

Nigeria safe for investment, govt tells foreigners

T

HE Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has assured foreign investors of the safety of their investments. Its Executive Secretary, Mustafa Bello, gave the assurance in Abuja at a dinner organised in honour of a Saudi businessman, Prince AlWaleed Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. Bello said the Federal Government has put in place policies capable of building and enhancing investors’ confidence. He assured Al-Saud, who had earlier indicated his interest to invest in the country, that the commission would make all necessary information about doing business in Nigeria available to him. “Mr President has pronounced the NIPC as the agency of government that will handle any issues of investments that are of interest to you. “And I can assure you that whatever you need in the private sector, we will be able to mobilise and make it available to you,’’ Bello said. Also speaking, FCT Minister Bala Mohammed thanked the Prince for his visit, saying that he came at a time the territory was being unbundled to investors in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. Business mogul Mr Femi Otedola described Nigeria as one of the emerging markets in Africa and urged the Prince to feel free to invest in the country. There were goodwill messages from the Emir of Kazaure and Chairman, Board of Katsina University, Alhaji Najib Adamu and businessman Aliko Dangote.

Others came from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru, Kano, Lagos, Niger and Kwara states as well as the wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Sambo. ‘And

I can assure you that whatever you need in the private sector, we will be able to mobilise and make it available to you’

•Managing Director, Omeba & Associates Advertising Ltd, Mr John Woma (right), receiving a certificate from Head, Operations, Keystone Bank, Mrs Ada Okorie at an event, in Lagos recently.

N750m invested in local steel pipe mill

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HE Nigeria Gas and Steel Limited (NGSL) has in vested $5 million (N750 million) in the production of large diameter steel pipes. NSGL Managing Director Mr Hasib Moukarim said the design today incorporates the use of steel pipes in construction and building of warehouses, airports, conference halls and pedestrian bridges, among others. Moukarim said the company boasts of materials such as round and square pipes, ranging from 19mm to 250mm in diameter and thickness up to 10mm, needed for the design and construction of beautiful edifices.

According to him, the company has completed the installation of a 70-metre long pipe for the manufacture of huge welded steel pipe from “4, 5, 6, 8-10” in diameter with thickness, 3mm to 10mm. He said the mill is a blessing as the country would conserve millions of dollars it spends on importing large diameter steel pipes and beams. To make it a complete mill, he said a sophisticated bending machine has also been added to the company’s facility. The new machine can bend steel pipes – round or square of any diameter or thickness – to various shapes and forms as

specified by clients. Experts also have proven that steel pipes can withstand higher pressure than beams of the same size. For this reason, architects and structural engineers have opted for its usage in large projects. Nigerian professionals have no other choice than to join this trend. With the growing demand and investments in infrastructural projects by all levels of governments, the company is now well positioned to meet demands for big diameter steel pipes, slit flat sheets for other sub-producers. Nigeria Gas and Steel Limited, formerly Mouka Pipes, is prob-

ably the oldest steel pipe manufacturing plant in Nigeria. It has been in operation for more than 35 years, serving the construction industry with high quality pipes of small diameter for the furniture industry, scaffolding pipes and Z-purlin. “The product has recently won the SGS certification for pressure and hydro test; and promoters look forward to great demand of the new product from state and federal governments, which are keen on spending on infrastructure such as pedestrian bridges, highway rails, bus-stops, airport terminals, traffic lights etc,” he said.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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INDUSTRY Panasonic extends after-sales service

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•From left: Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Amina Yakowa; wife of the Deputy Governor, Hajiya Fatima Yero; Corporate Affairs Manager, Total Nig Plc, Mrs Moyo Areola; Deputy General Manager, Total Upstream Company Ltd, Mrs Nkoyo Attah, at an event in Kaduna.

Akpabio woos investors

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OME Australian professionals are being expected in Akwa Ibom State to explore investment potentials, Governor Godswill Akpabio has said. Speaking after returning from Perth, Austrialia, Akpabio said the professionals are coming to discuss with the government. Akpabio said: ’’I went with President Goodluck Jonathan to Australia to attend the Commonwealth Heads of States (CHOGM) summit at Perth. "I had a series of meetings with miners because the city we went is predominantly a mining community and I must tell you that the economic meltdown affecting the world today does not affect Australia’’. "We had a series of meetings in which professionals are coming to explore the potentials of Akwa Ibom. Soon, we are going to have a trade delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the same thing would happen with the people from Australia, who may come before the people from the UAE to bring dividend of democracy to Akwa Ibom State in terms of direct investments Akpabio said his administration is set to turn the state to a miniDubai in the area of tourism to cre-

ate job opportunities. He said: ‘’ I first sent a delegation in advance led by the Deputy Governor, Mr Nsima Ekere to the UAE where they held a series of meetings with different investors. They met with the eminent groups and also met with the administrators in Dubai. They also met with various groups including real estates in Dubai. You have to understand that in the Middle East, Dubai is a success story. We are trying to recre-

‘I went on a tour of the Dubai Airport and to the longest shopping mall in the world built in Dubai. They have done tremendously well’

ate in Nigeria a mini Dubai. ‘’It should be a model state that Nigeria should see as a resort everybody should come to. So we believe that there should be a sister relationship between the city of Dubai and the city of Uyo. I went to Dubai to join the team. I was privileged to meet with Sheik Shakema-matu. “He is from a royal family and also the chairman of United Arab Emirates’ groups and Chairman of about 25 other companies. “I went on a tour of the Dubai Airport and to the longest shopping mall in the world built in Dubai. They have done tremendously well.’’ The governor added: ‘’I just wish that I could carry enough people of Akwa Ibom along with me, so that they can see things for themselves and begin to appreciate the vision, appreciate the flyovers, appreciate the idea of a second fivestar hotel and even a three-star hotel as well as an international conference centre. For a state to get to that standard, we want to place in Nigeria, they must appreciate the vision of Ibaka Seaport and the expansion of the airport to build a big terminal, the first of its kind in Africa and begin to have cargo flights from here to other countries."

IFC invests $1.6b in Nigeria in one year

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HE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group made investment commitments of $1.61 billion into the economy between 2010 and 2011, its Vice-President, Latin America, the Carribean, subSaharan African and Western Europe, Mr Thierry Tanoh, has said. He said it was targeting additional investments in the next one year as part of its plans to seize new opportunities in the agribusiness, financial, and infrastructural sectors and support development in Nigeria. Tanoh spoke in Abuja during a visit to Nigeria. He said IFC provided new investment commitments of $926m in Nigeria in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, up from $690m the previous year. Tanoh restated IFC’s commitment to new investments in Nigeria, especially those with strong portfolio of advisory programmes. He said: “IFC has been a leader in supporting Nigeria’s financial sector through trade finance and partnerships with commercial banks and specialised financial institutions.

By Toba Agboola

“IFC has also financed telecoms infrastructure, business infrastructure, tourism, and health-related and services projects. Its advisory programmes offered support in sectors such as rural telephony and mobile banking, health advisory, financial sector infrastructure, corporate governance, and SME management solutions. In the unfolding year, Tanoh added, IFC would target housing and mortgage financing. According to him, IFC aims to play a bigger role and will quickly pursue new opportunities under the new policy environment that is clearly encouraging private sector investment. “In the agribusiness sector, IFC is seeking to help financial institutions lend more to the sector and support large agribusinesses and commodity traders to improve quality in their supply chains by supporting local farmers and related infrastructure in the infrastructure sector,” he said. However, Tanoh said the finan-

cial institution would review power and transport opportunities, including potential PublicPrivate Partnerships (PPP), to help address urgent needs deemed to be supporting overall economic growth, development and job creation. Tanoh said: “There is enormous momentum for rapid development in Nigeria today that builds on a greater appreciation among policymakers for the role that private investment must play. IFC aims to demonstrate the opportunities available by quickly pursuing targeted investments that help remove roadblocks to growth and encourage opportunities for more people. I commit IFC to build on policies aimed at supporting independent power projects to demonstrate their commercial viability and attract capital from other sources.” During the visit, Tanoh met with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

ANASONIC Nigeria has extended it superior aftersales service to it teeming consumers value for money. According to its Sales and Marketing Analyst, Oluwaseyi Obembe, Panasonic is offering trusted products and after sales service to go with these products. “We have discount up to 12- 10 per cent on all our brands from our TVs down to home appliances. Even before now, some of our products have been on promo before, if you buy any of them you’ll get a phone with talk time for six months, now we are adding more. If you buy our 32 u 20 we’ll give you airtel Internet modem, with three months subscription free. These are exciting offers, and we still have them now. We still have them now,” said Obembe. Speaking on Panasonic visibility, affordability and popularity

in Nigeria, he said the price range is no higher than most of the other electronic brands in the country. “I don’t believe with the notion that Panasonic is not everywhere, because from last year to this year, we know how our customer trooped in to buy our products, and we have more than 20 of our merchandisers scattered all over the country, and even our showroom, and service centres are always busy. So, we are really making waves. “We never stop coming out with new things we launched a number of products this year, hopefully next year, we will launch more products with even better quality to join our array of products. It doesn’t just end with the trade fair. Panasonic will keep giving the best to its customers,” he said

Women display cooking skills

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NORR cube, one of the seasoning products of Unilever Nigeria Plc, has held its maiden rice festival in Lagos giving over 160 women the platform to showcase their cooking talents, winning prizes worth millions of naira. The festival, which was held alongside a picnic for the families, had washing machines, dinner sets, giant deep freezers among others as prizes. The Category Manager, Foods, Unilever Nigeria PLC, Mrs Nsima Ogedi-Alakwe, said over 600 women agreed to come for the cooking competition voluntarily but over 160 were able to make it to the festival. She added that the reason why Knorr decided to use rice is because rice is eaten in almost every home in Nigeria and it cuts across all geographies with Knorr offering a solution to make the meal tastes better than it does. She said: "While over 160 women who voluntarily partici-

pated cooked their jollof rice from home using Knorr, which has real chicken flavour to compete, another 16 women were selected to cook varieties of jollof rice at the festival using some provided recipe by Knorr." "The effect to be expected on the brand is from the consumer’s point of view. If these women show people that they use Knorr to make their meal taste well, definitely, other fellow women will want to have a try, which will, therefore, increase sales. “Also, we are expecting every woman here to become an ambassador to the brand," she said. At the end of the festival, every participant of the cooking competition went home with a brand new 16 piece dinner set, first and second prize winners won a giant deep freezer each; third to sixth, a four-burner gas cooker each and seventh to tenth went home with a microwave oven each.

TATA Motors kicks off promo

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HE management of Tata Motors in Nigeria, Tata West Af-rica have announced the scheme of promotions for the festive season. The promo, which is to last from November 1 to December 20, is geared towards rewarding its customers. The promotion, which is an annual one, is in partnership with Stanbic IBTC. The company’s management said it is a way of thanking customers for their patronage. Announcing details in a media parley, the General Manager of Tata Nigeria, Gerard Nayagam said this year’s promo will be one of its kind as everyone will be a winner. Ensuring that they get value for their money, every purchase of the Tata Indigo Wagon automatically will earn the customer a laptop, blackberry phone and LCD TVs. Draws will be held every fortnight, namely on November 15, December 20 and December 30. There will be three Tata wagons to be won in the raflle draws in three weeks. The choice of the last three months of the year, Nayagam said, is strategic because it coincides with the yuletide and Eldir Kabir festivals. Tata Nigeria, which started operations in the country in January 2009, said Nigeria has been a very supportive market, and

tends to give back to the country by providing jobs and income. It has come to be the number one in commercial vehicles with over 1,900 units of cars and 900 vehicle sales nationwide. It also charged the government and stakeholders to implement clear, stable and consistent policies to enable them have a level playing field. It also said that just as it launched 100 vehicles to the Lagos State government, it is also making plans to make a difference and change the environment in other states by taking such initiative to other states. “Just like our slogan goes, we take care of every need. Our brand is doing well when our customers are happy. So, we are ensuring satisfaction and that the cost of spare parts and servicing are more cost effective and we are also increasing the warranty time on all vehicles from 0 to 30 kilometres. Due to Nigerian roads, the warranty becomes relevant as the suspension parts are often damaged. We are a huge automobile market and so we are using this medium to show others how it is to be clean and transparent in conducting business in Nigeria, making sure we penetrate the PAN Nigerian aspect.” It also said no specific amount of money has been set aside as rating for the promo but just to thank its loyal customers for their patronage.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION Comments

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

The problem with Republican support for waterboarding

Extravagance •Where has the N34trn gone?

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HERE is a school of thought which believes that the cause of Nigeria’s pervasive poverty is not necessarily the lack of the requisite financial resources but the misapplication of the substantial amount of funds that have accrued to the nation’s coffers over time. This much seems to have been confirmed by the recent revelation by the Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Lawan Ngama, that about N34 trillion has been paid into the Federation Account by the country’s income generating agencies in the last 10 years, after deduction of Joint Venture Cash calls. Alhaji Ngama made this disclosure to the joint committee of the House of Representatives investigating the debt of N450 billion reportedly owed the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). A breakdown of the revenue realised

‘A breakdown of the revenue realised during the period shows that the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) generated N15,395,166,845,158.30, the NNPC N11,946,038,969,638.70, the Department of Petroleum Resources N3,879,154,581,457.37 and the National Customs Service (NCS) N2,627,915,823,622.32. It is certainly difficult to reconcile these impressive revenue figures with the dismal state of the country’s infrastructure ...’

during the period shows that the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) generated N15,395,166,845,158.30, the NNPC N11,946,038,969,638.70, the Department of Petroleum Resources N3,879,154,581,457.37 and the National Customs Service (NCS) N2,627,915,823,622.32. It is certainly difficult to reconcile these impressive revenue figures with the dismal state of the country’s infrastructure, the virtual collapse of critical social services, mass unemployment and the depressing Hobbesian conditions that make life so “solitary, nasty, brutish and short” for millions of Nigerians. Ours is a striking exampe of the tragic paradox of a country at once so rich and yet so poor. Of course, it is not a story of universal poverty as the common experience of Nigerians. Rather, there is a wide gulf of inequality that separates a small percentage of super-rich Nigerians from the teeming majority that wallow in penury. Sadly, those who exhibit the greatest opulence are not necessarily distinguished by their superior industry, talent, creativity or enterprise. It is either that they occupy positions that enable them to abuse control of public resources or they benefit from the privilege of access to persons in those positions. The unhealthy opacity that characterises the management of the country’s resources and facilitates the massive haemorraging of public funds into private channels is responsible for the NNPC’s inexplicable indebtedness to the Federation Account being investigated by the House of Rep-

resentatives. It is instructive that while testifying before the joint legislative committee, the NNPC and the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disagreed sharply on the actual amount deducted by the former for subsidy, which was responsible for the debt, in the first place, to the Federation Account. As against the NNPC’s figure of N450 billion, the NEITI insisted that the unauthorised subsidy deductions from the Federation Account by the corporation was actually N842 billion. Without prejudice to what may be the true position, this kind of confusion certainly militates against transparent and efficient management of public funds to achieve meaningful economic development. No matter how much revenue is generated largely from crude oil sales by Nigeria, the impact on economic growth and development will continue to be marginal unless drastic steps are taken to reverse the present unhealthy emphasis on recurrent rather than capital expenditure. An unjustifiably bloated public sector bureaucracy as well as unrealistic and unsustainable remuneration of political office holders across the country has resulted in wage and administrative costs that hinder optimum economic performance. There is thus paucity of funds for investment in public infrastructure as well as other critical sectors that can expand the productive base of the economy, lessen the dependency on oil and generate jobs on a massive scale for collective prosperity.

Physician, heal thyself • Nigeria is playing Father Christmas in education for other countries

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IGERIAN education authorities appear to have run into storm with critics and other stakeholders, over a reported literacy intervention scheme that would see Nigeria help the triad Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, in a four-country collaboration to bring down illiteracy in the West African subregion. At the 36th United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) conference in Paris, France, Prof. Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, Nigeria’s Minister of Education, had said the literacy intervention project, the bulk of which cost Nigeria would bear, would help to roll back illiteracy and boost literacy in the four countries. The minister further explained that the new four-country collaboration against illiteracy was a new initiative to combat illiteracy among the most populated countries in the world. On the face of it, combining to fight such a scourge to development and prosperity cannot be a bad idea. For one, four countries cooperating to fight illiteracy could only be a salute to regional cooperation and integration, which mutual suspicion, fuelled mainly by illiteracy and ignorance, had held back for too long. But even more exciting: three of the four countries in the cooperating belt are Francophone (as different from Nigeria which is Anglophone), which is something extra to cheer. It could well mean

that at last, African countries are throwing off the artificial shackles of colonialism and rolling back arbitrary boundaries to rally themselves to the cause of development – and how more fundamental can that be than literacy! However, that is as far as the plaudits go, particularly in the context of Nigeria’s penchant to embark on “big brother” spending sprees without either first calculating the gains such spending would fetch the country; or even doing a comparative analysis of how such overseas costs could hamper the funding of literacy at home. Indeed, it may well be a case of the Biblical “physician, heal thyself.” How can a Nigeria that still grapples with the most fundamental of literacy problems now decide to assume the role of spender and helper-in-chief to neighbouring West African countries which, in all probability, may even have better local anti-illiteracy programmes for their citizens? If that were so, would it not be a case of double jeopardy, resulting from misplaced priorities? Nigeria, since independence, has been known to push too far its “Big Brother” African role. The examples are just too many. In Southern Africa, Nigeria galvanised the liberation struggles – which was all right. But what was not fine was that there was no deliberate plan to recoup any gain from that great investment. In both Liberia and Sierra-Leone,

Nigeria delivered democracy, shelling huge cash and shedding blood along the way. But back in Nigeria itself, it is a moot point if democracy has been delivered, despite 12 straight years of civil rule. If these earlier trends are anything to go by, Nigeria will launch into the fourcountry literacy scheme, sparing no effort or cash. Yet, the mass illiteracy would fester in the country and little or nothing would be done about it. Cooperating with other West African countries to eliminate illiteracy is noble. But that must come after Nigeria has tackled its critical illiteracy challenges. Charity must not only begin from home, it must also be seen to be so in the literacy issue.

‘Indeed, it may well be a case of the Biblical “physician, heal thyself.” How can a Nigeria that still grapples with the most fundamental of literacy problems now decide to assume the role of spender and helper-inchief to neighbouring West African countries which, in all probability, may even have better local anti-illiteracy programmes for their citizens?’

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MAGINE THAT a U.S. soldier is captured and subjected to waterboarding. Would Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann consider that torture? Maybe not, given their disappointing responses to a question about waterboarding posed during Saturday’s Republican debate. And if they did object to the soldier’s treatment, they’ve lost the moral authority to argue against it. Both Mr. Cain, who is leading the field of GOP contenders, and Ms. Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, expressed approval of the controversial technique, which has been considered torture since at least the Spanish Inquisition. “I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced-interrogation technique,” Mr. Cain answered, adding that he “will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.” Is Mr. Cain not aware that military leaders have emphatically rejected waterboarding and other forms of torture? Did he not know that active and retired military leaders have said that the use of such abhorrent techniques makes it much more likely that U.S. service members would be subjected to such brutality? For her part, Ms. Bachmann said she would be “willing to use waterboarding” if she were elected president. “I think it was very effective. It gained information for our country.” Later in the debate, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum joined Ms. Bachmann in praising the effectiveness of “enhanced-interrogation techniques.” And Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed “using the techniques, not torture, but using those techniques that we know will extract the information to save young American lives.” Bush administration officials, including former vice president Dick Cheney, have asserted that waterboarding led to important intelligence gains. It is not clear this is true. But even if it is, there is no evidence to suggest that such information could not have been gleaned using legal methods. Moreover, intelligence agents and military officials have consistently said that torture leads to unreliable admissions by victims who are desperate to stop the mistreatment. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman were the only other candidates to be asked Saturday about waterboarding. They rightly rejected its use. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a former prisoner of war and the GOP’s 2008 nominee, said he was “very disappointed” with the embrace of waterboarding by some of the candidates. On Sunday, President Obama rightly reiterated why it is important for the United States to reject such barbarity. “If we want to lead around the world, part of our leadership is setting a good example,” Mr. Obama said. “Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals.” – Washington Post

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

“MINIMUM WAGE... MAXIMUM ‘WAHALA!.”

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IR: If Nigeria the development of our democratic traditions and values depended on our present elected leaders, particularly those in the People Democratic Party (PDP), it would have been pronounced dead on arrival. It may be expecting too much to believe that leaders, who ride to power on the basis of their ability to bend, stretch or break party rules will respect the same rules when they apply them to others. The PDP which had long mastered the art of subverting the will and wishes of its rank file left its mark all over the nation with skeletons of dashed dreams and bitter, popular candidates. It has more elected people than all the parties put together, and it has the same proportion of inherent capacity to subvert the basic principles of a democratic system. The forthcoming governorship election in President Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa is giving the PDP one more opportunity to show its contempt for intra-party democracy, as the party of the powerful and the wealthy, not of the faithful rank-

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Bayelsa guber: the drama has just begun and-file. It is pitting the President, the leader of the self-acclaimed largest party in Africa against the entire internal democratic processes of the party. The plot involves desperate moves to impose the will of the President to make sure that the incumbent governor does not run; as well as deft and clumsy manoeuvres to make sure he does. The audience is made up of citizens of the state and the rest of the nation, but it is showing little interest in a play whose end is fairly familiar. Six months after an election which exposed the weaknesses of the Nigerian democratic process, and very little of its strengths, the governorship elections in five states are re-

minding the nation that our politicians and leaders have no intention of improving the electoral process. The incumbent governor has been literally on his knees begging for the flag. His colleagues, other governors from the zone, joined him on theirs at the Presidential Villa a few days ago. Many others have gone on their knees, literally, begging the Villa, as we say in Nigeria, to forgive and forget, and tamper justice with mercy. And we say in Nigeria as well, for where? The powerful will demonstrate their power, because that is the only way people will know they are powerful. Internal party rules on primaries, screening panels, appeals committees, party pressure groups

and the wishes of the ordinary party members will in the end, merely endorse what the President wants. And he wants someone else, not Governor Sylva, and he is most likely get who he wants. And whoever he wants will fly the flag and be declared winner. And democracy will shrivel even further in the President’s own state. Bitter political fallouts will feed the simmering violence in the whole region. New frontiers will open, and old ones will be re-activated. The PDP would have lost another battle to enthrone rule of law and good governance. The unfolding drama in Bayelsa is a painful reminder that the remote causes of much of the crises which attended the last general elec-

Corrupt rulers, sentimental followers IR: Corruption is the cankerworm militating against development in Nigeria. Not until it is fought with sincerity can any tangible development be achieved. No development can be achieved if politics in the country is “dirty”. All sectors in the so called giant of Africa are corrupt. Those who are to salvage Nigeria are either the corrupt rulers or cohorts to the corrupt. Some of the Nigerian rulers found guilty of corruption are now senators. A honourable speaker found guilty of embezzling public money was merely removed from position yet remained in the house to corrupt the system. A corrupt ruler even received a presidential dance after his release from prison. The only suspect in Bola Ige’s murder became a senator straight from the police “custody” without primaries.

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To worsen the bad situation, the electorates (masses) are sentimental on issues. The best bet to remedy this rather embarrassing situation is by electing credible people. What is electoral reform if a sitting political office holder – president, governor, senator – is allowed to contest election while in office? This democratic process is already compromised and the masses disjointed on state and national issues (by the power seekers) along ethno-religious sentiments. For Nigeria, the borrowed democracy should have been domesticated to suit her identity and sovereignty. What we have is disguised “democrazy” –crazy demons, where police can invade press houses, harass and detain pressmen without any justification. The Americans we “copy” took their president to court over a

sex scandal. What a day it would be when a Nigerian ruler resigns over an “allegation”. A presidential aspirant wanted to remove immunity clause from the Nigerian constitution if elected. In China, any corrupt Chinese is killed by hanging, a contributory factor why China is doing so well. Small African countries have their refineries but the “giant” of Africa is taking her crude oil outside the shores of Africa and return same to Nigeria that is detrimental to Nigerian masses. The president directed that the price of cement be reduced to one thousand naira a bag. Today a bag of cement sells between N1, 800 – N2, 200. What is the actual kerosene price per litre now? Minimum wage cannot be paid after campaigns and elections but a senator gets salary more than the U.S. President. Now, toll-gates are to return on

death-traps called roads. .Pupils sit on bare floor, under trees as schools. Now, university students receive lectures under trees. Almost half (41%) of Nigerian populace is said to be unemployed. Yet the students themselves see nothing wrong with the educational sector. No assurance of employment. The poor youths are employed in cultism and used as thugs. The future of children of the masses is bleak. To better our educational sector, all political office holders, heads of agencies, permanent secretaries must enroll their children of educational age in public schools until the first degree in Nigeria. A day will come when the rich will not be able to ride the jeeps in presence of the poor. The masses must unite regardless of religion and ethnicity. • Sandra Ochandura, Akoko Edo, Edo state.

tions are still with us. Internal party rules are minor inconveniences which can and will be circumvented by those with power and money. INEC is powerless under law to stop parties from abusing their own rules relating to the emergence of party candidates. Party members watch as their wishes and preferences are brushed aside by people who have stolen their sovereignty. People who break party rules with impunity are hardly likely to respect basic electoral rules. So the democratic process suffers, and loses popular support as more and more Nigerians lose faith in a process which is supposed to give them powers to elect their representatives and leaders, but which makes them mere spectators. • Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Abuja.

What manner of national honours?

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IR: Please what is the basis for awarding national merit honours? Is it by virtue of outstanding contributions to the development of our country or by virtue of being a serving governor, minister, senator or holding a political office? A whooping 350 political office holders were conferred with a honorary award, yet 80 percent of Nigerians are living below poverty level. The situation is simply laughable. Were they awarded for delivering their electorial promises or for enriching themselves with public funds? Please we really need to put the right people in office, because this bunch of our so called leaders are making us a laughing stock to the rest of the world.Just like a verse in our national anthem say “So help me (us) GOD... • Chukwuma Uchella, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

21

EDITORIAL/OPINION

Some thoughts on our foreign policy -1

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ROFESSOR Bolaji Akinwande Akinyemi distinguished Professor of International Relations, former student at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy and Oxford University was conferred with the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday. This is a rather belated acknowledgement of the imperishable contribution of Professor Akinyemi to Nigeria’s foreign policy. His idea of Nigeria sending technical assistance in form of manpower at our expense to less fortunate African states and other culturally related people in the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands remain till today an example of using soft power to advance a country’s interest. Even if the idea was not new, it was left to Akinyemi to adapt it to the African condition. His concept of medium powers can be seen in the G-15 or even in BRICS which Nigeria forlornly wishes to join. Apart from Akinyemi, only Ibrahim Gambari’s idea of Nigeria’s foreign policy operating in concentric circles with Africa in the centre and Ike Nwachukwu’s economic diplomacy raised the discourse of Nigeria’s foreign policy to some level of intellectual pedestal. Obasanjo was effectively his own foreign minister even though he appointed Sule Lamido, Olu Adeniji and briefly Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as foreign ministers. They operated within the grand perspective of Obasanjo’s policy of cooperation and integration in Africa. On the other hand, Ojo Maduekwe during the Yar’Adua/ Jonathan administration attempted to elevate Nigeria’s foreign policy to some intellectual level. Maduekwe is generally perceived as a man of ideas but his “citizen diplomacy” did not meet the intellectual rigour expected of such a man of ideas. His idea of citizen diplomacy was premised on the generally accepted principle of reciprocity in diplomacy.

‘His idea of Nigeria sending technical assistance in form of manpower at our expense to less fortunate African states and other culturally related people in the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands remain till today an example of using soft power to advance a country’s interest’

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OURTS are temples of justice, with judges as the ministers. A temple is a hallowed place; a holy ground which should not be desecrated no matter what. Those who worship at the temple do everything to ensure that it remains sacred because it is the holy of holies. Our courts as temples of justice are also hallowed chambers. The words of judges, who minister in these courts, are law once they are uttered. This is why judges are called “My Lords.” By virtue of the high esteem in which they are held, judges are expected to be above aboard. They must be seen to be upright and live well within their means. Society provides everything, within its means, to make judges comfortable. They are given houses in choice areas; they ride good cars and their security is guaranteed. Judges are the envy of many others in the society. But many of our judges do not appreciate the sacrifice society makes for them. These judges are not satisfied with what society does for them. They believe that they deserve more than what they are getting. So, they cut corners in order to make more money. These judges are the bad apples which taint their incorruptible colleagues. We have seen how these judges turn the law upside down for selfish reasons. Judges, by nature, are expected to be a special breed. Though they are human, and are expected to behave like any ordinary human being, their calling, whether they like it or not, puts them in a special class. Being in this

But he missed the road when he suggested that Nigeria would defend the interests of its citizens everywhere in the world. This is to suggest that if a Nigerian could say “Civis Nigerianus Sum” he should expect the long arm of the Nigerian state to protect him. This is of course unrealistic and downright impossible. Nigeria has neither the hard or soft power to deliver on Ojo Maduekwe’s promise. Thank God Olugbenga Ashiru our current Foreign Minister has his eyes on solid ground of promotion of foreign direct investment. This short piece dedicated to Profesor Akinyemi attempts to briefly review our foreign policy since independence. At independence it was natural for our leaders to chart a course of our relations with the rest of the world. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, our Prime Minister who also doubled as our foreign minister enunciated in October 1960 the fundamental principles of our foreign policy. He alluded to the fact of Nigeria being an African country with the largest concentration of black people in the world as a fundamental factor determining the direction of our foreign policy. He also emphasised the need to maintain friendly relations with our trading and economic partners. In other words, he realised that Nigeria would only be able to play an active role abroad if we were economically buoyant and strong at home. It is common knowledge that there exists a nexus between domestic and foreign policy globally and this is also the situation with Nigeria. Scholars agree that no country can be weak at home and strong abroad. Although, activism abroad was sometimes used to cover inadequacies at home After our country’s independence, we were of necessity preoccupied with the consolidation of our newly won sovereignty. We also realized that our freedom was not total unless the rest of Africa was free. Any derogation of the right of any African or black person because of his skin colour was a challenge to our own dignity too. This was why we as a nation was seized, some would say obsessed, with the question of decolonization and fighting for the rights of all black people wherever they may be. In our pursuit of this policy, we paid the price in human and material terms. Shortly after independence, our army was involved in peace keeping and peace enforcement under United Nations auspices in the Congo. Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, former Military Heads of State cut their operational teeth in the Congo. In our mission to help and lead

Africa we have carried Africa’s burden with equanimity. This was the case when we stood alone, deserted by other African states in our opposition to France over the testing of atomic bombs in the Sahara. Our determined stand brought the wrath of France Jide against our vital interests including the susOsuntokun tenance of our sovereignty and national unity. We have sometimes in our defence of Africa hurt our vital economic interests and undermined the smooth economic relations with our major economic partners. It is necessary to emphasize the continuity of sacrifices from the 1960s to the present. Our contributions to African unity and African liberation have been done hand in hand with the struggle for a just and equitable world. We have found common interest with countries particularly in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and south-Eastern Europe. We have pursued these interests within the NonAligned movement. Our contribution to this group was hinged on our belief for a peaceful world far removed from a world divided into two armed camps with the threat of human annihilation in the event of a nuclear war. In this regard, we have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty and worked tirelessly to make Africa a nuclear weapons free zone.

‘Nigeria has neither the hard or soft power to deliver on Ojo Maduekwe’s promise. Thank God Olugbenga Ashiru our current Foreign Minister has his eyes on solid ground of promotion of foreign direct investment.

Borno tribunal dissolution: matters arising category makes them a golden fish that have no hiding place. Whatever a judge does for good or for ill attracts attention. Therefore, judges must be extra careful in whatever they do or say. To be referred to as “my lord” is not a mean joke. Only God Almighty and some church ministers are referred to as such. However God is the Lord of Lords, meaning that nobody, including judges are above Him. If we treat judges like god, why then are some of them not godly and goodly in nature? Why do they like to do things to demean their stature? I am worried by the way some of our judges do things. They tend to behave as if they owe allegiance to some people, especially those in power. And nothing informs such behaviour other than the belief that they owe their appointment to such people. We all know the circumstances under which the Acting President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Dalhatu Adamu, came into office. Justice Adamu became acting PCA following the purported suspension of the PCA, Justice Isa Salami, by the National Judicial Council (NJC). His suspension was hastily upheld by President Goodluck Jonathan, who appointed Justice

‘If we treat judges like god, why then are some of them not godly and goodly in nature? Why do they like to do things to demean their stature? I am worried by the way some of our judges do things. They tend to behave as if they owe allegiance to some people, especially those in power’

Adamu in acting capacity. Justice Salami ran into trouble because of his principled stand on issues. What are these issues? First, the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, wanted to stop the election petition appeal tribunal from delivering judgment in the Sokoto State governorship election dispute. He refused. Second, Justice Katsina-Alu wanted him to, in the alternative, disband the appeal panel. Again, he refused. Third, Justice Katsina-Alu sought to ‘promote’ Justice Salami to the Supreme Court. Justice Salami saw through the Greek gift and declined the offer. In the eyes of the powers-thatbe, Justice Salami has done the unthinkable and he must go in for it. Although he fought and is still fighting to keep his job, Justice Salami did not get any support from those who should naturally come to his aid. Many of his colleagues with whom he sat on the NJC abandoned him as he fought to keep his name and integrity. No matter what happened, we thank God for judges like Justice Salami. With men like him, it shows all hope is not lost for our judiciary. Men of honour are still on the Bench, but it is so painful, that they are few. How sweet would it have been if our Bench is peopled only by men of honour and integrity? Men who are ready and willing to damn the consequences to ensure that the judiciary is our nation’s greatest asset. But what do we have presently? The judiciary has become so thoroughly abused because of a few bad eggs. We now have judges who act in breach of

the law. Judges who have become so spiritually gifted that they know what is on the minds of their masters (read as appointing authority) and carry out their intentions even without being told. Was Shakespeare wrong in saying “there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face?” Shakespeare was not wrong, it is just that some of our judges have suddenly become oracles who divine what is on a man’s mind. In most cases, their divination amounted to nothing. Last week, the oracle at the Court of Appeal, Justice Adamu, read the mind of his masters and divined that what will please them will be to dissolve the Borno State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which was set to deliver judgment in the case brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Goni. Why did Justice Adamu do that even when the Supreme Court had since October 31 quashed the order of the Court of Appeal staying proceedings at the tribunal? Whose interest was Justice Adamu trying to protect? Was there a complaint against the tribunal that warranted the dissolution? If there was, who are the complainants? Assuming there was a complaint, is Justice Adamu the appropriate authority to look at it or should he have referred it to the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and the NJC? I don’t believe that Justice Adamu will just wake up and dissolve the Borno tribunal. He may have his reasons for doing so and he would do well to let us know these reasons, so that we can determine whether or not he was wrong in taking the action.

Lawal Ogienagbon lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net

There are grounds upon which a tribunal can be dissolved. These grounds are, among others, when the tribunal is shown to be biased or corrupt. In this instance, this was not the case. If it was, the CJN would not have overruled Justice Adamu on the dissolution of the tribunal. I don’t know if Justice Adamu was serving any interest in dissolving the tribunal; if he was, whose interest was he serving? Nigerians will want to know because for long the belief has been that those in power are the ones manipulating the judiciary to serve their interest. In Borno State, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and not PDP, is in power. Could it be that Justice Adamu was working against PDP, the party in power at the centre? It sounds incredible. This is why Justice Musdapher should not stop at overruling Justice Adamu. There is need for the CJN to investigate the circumstances surrounding the dissolution of the tribunal and punish all those found culpable. Or did Justice Adamu act with the best of intention? He may have. But it is left to Justice Musdapher and the NJC to help us unearth the truth. If they don’t, it means there is more to the dissolution of the tribunal than meets the eye. SMS ONLY: 08056504763


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION FENIFERE’S SOLIDARITY VISIT TO EX GOVERNOR DANIEL ‘I am amazed at your capacity to turn logic on its head. Please tell me the empty swamp that Daniel caused President Jonathan to commission. I will like to have specific details, location and description. The fact that your patron does not share the same political view with Daniel does not give you the liberty to feed falsehood to the public domain….OGD did not castrate the house of assembly as you alleged. Egbetokun and company went beyond their legislative duties because Daniel refused to give them money”. Yinka Kutoye 0806970842 COMMENT As for the allegation against members of the defunct Ogun State of Assembly, I think they can protect their own integrity. As the empty swamp commissioned, Picture doesn’t lie. The above picture shows the PORTAL PARKE HALL whose foundation ceremony was performed five months before the expiration of Daniel’s eight years term. What remains of the Portal Parke Hall is the white commemorative plaque inside a swamp. “U took a swipe at Adebanjo and co’s visit to Daniel. The visit shocked me too….Have the personalities acknowledged the elders? In Yoruba culture, it is the junior that should at least show deference. But here is case where the juniors perceived themselves well off with or without the help of these elders”. 08037037909 COMMENT Our leaders deserve praises for their past sacrifices for the Yoruba nation. The truth about Yoruba culture however is that our leaders often earn their respect. The moment they decide to swim against the tide of popular public opinion of their followers, they are left to dance alone and naked to wit. “I sure hope our leaders can still listen to the voice of reason. They have left us confused by their body language. It seems okay to dine with the devil. I have often wondered how old they were when they became leaders. Some of us still believe in the elders but they should know the generation is a continuum. It does not end with them”. Steve A. Abeokuta 0803712 8706 Some of the so-called Afenifere are on their own They are not representing Yoruba nation since all they know is to be paying solidarity visits to thieves. Adebayo, Mopa Kogi State 07082886203 ON NATIONAL ID CARD This is another way of stealing by PDP gov-

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N November 1, a different kind of meeting was scheduled by the office of the minister of works, Architect Mike Oziegbe Onolememen. A paradigm shift was in the making, indeed it has been in the making since the day he was sworn-in as a minister in charge of one of the nation’s most critical ministries. The occasion was the inauguration of the ministerial committee for the monitoring of federal road projects in the six geo-political zones of the country. These Nigerians who constitute this committee, a first of its kind have a simple but historic assignment – to make government budgets on roads meaningful and realistic. Earlier before the meeting, a similar gathering had been hosted by the minister ostensibly to liaise and intimate commissioners of works from the 36 states of the federation on how best to interface with the centre on roads rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance. Architect Onolememen told the commissioners that each of the states should as a matter of urgency establish a road maintenance agency to access the five per cent fuel levy fund established since 2007 but which has not been utilised by both the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the states. The levy is shared in the ratio of 40 per cent to FERMA while the various states’ road maintenance agencies are to share the remaining 60 per cent on the basis of established and incontrovertible needs. But, in order for the fund to be meaningfully utilised at both federal and state levels, the minister advised the commissioners to obtain clearance from the Federal Government before embarking on any form of restoration of federal roads in their states. Moreover, where such clearance has been obtained, states should lay more emphasis on maintenance so as to avert the huge cost required in rehabilitation and reconstruction. There is no doubt that the state of Nigerian roads has become worrisome especially given the carnage that has been witnessed on the roads in the last one decade during which these roads suffered neglect necessitated by paucity of funds and constructions that are

Feedback A NEWSPAPER is a market place of ideas. The columnist view is tempered by his environment, culture and his world view. There is therefore always an alternative view to the columnist interpretation of events. It is for this reason I am devoting this week column to those who had taken pains to read and subject the views expressed to critical examination. Happy reading.

ernment. It can never solve any problems confronting the nation. It is a fraud-infested project which must be stopped. The House is noted for passing monetary bills from where they can have kick backs. The FEC is the father of corruption and 419 contracts. Pastor Odunmbaku 07051594699 ON REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY. Writers from the West have no reason to vilify Jonathan as all the write-ups then were pro Jonathan. Have you people ever asked why Buhari is hated? Give yourself an honest answer, and then you must have found the way to befriend the truth. Gari Kaso, Abuja, 07033377773 NEW TOLL GATES “It wasn’t PDP decision to remove toll gates but a unilateral decision of Chief Obasanjo, though PDP has no credible manifestoes to implement. Evangelist Igunbor-Abuja Nigerians who voted for Jonathan and his devilish party are to be blamed. Muh’d Awsal Jebba…..08098170827 You have nailed the problem on the head. Your advise that if President Jonathan is afraid of the cabal he has already identified as saboteurs of critical aspects of our economy, he should by-pass PDP and seek General Buhari’s help…..” is commendable. One day God will intervene for the sake of the masses. Mr Quadiri Abuja 08033590644 ON BOKO HARAM Your write up on Boko Haram is masterful, but will GEJ and his team listen? Only God can save Nigeria. Chima Anyaibe Port

Harcourt. 07082176768 If our government knows they cannot fight terrorism, let them go into negotiation because diplomacy not backed by power soon dissolves into rhetoric. Sunny, Ikeja, Lagos. 07088802760 You could not convince me why you want government to negotiate with those who have forcefully taken the lives of the poor, prompted by the need to control. I do not also think you have experienced the brutal nature of these extremists who have no love and regard for those outside their fraternity. 08035836499 Where there is poverty, diseases and ignorance, crime is inevitable. Let the government formulate and implement policies on aggressive food production and affordability by the common man and see what will remain of these social vices. God bless Nigeria. Tope Oyetola Ife 08066157763 ON NEGOTIATED FEDERALSM. True down to earth federalism is the only panacea against the differences that have crippled us since birth as a nation. And until we face the fact, no leader will succeed. We can no more afford to sit on the fence playing the ostrich. Skirting around the obvious with a circumlocution of expression of frustration called ‘a single term of six years, refusing to see all these warnings signs are an open invitation to violent break up of this glorified unitary country. Bisi Adefila Osun State 08066701608 We should negotiate. Even those who don’t

New dawn for road infrastructure By Sehinde Omoniyi below acceptable standards. Ironically, for a country with the largest road network in West Africa and the second largest south of the Sahara, Nigeria’s estimated 194,394 kilometres of surfaced roads has suffered from poor maintenance and have often been cited as a cause for the country’s high rate of traffic fatalities. Globally however, human factor accounts for more than 75 per cent of road accidents. Much more than the deplorable state of the roads, such other factors as attitude of road users, condition of vehicles, the standard of these vehicle parts and activities of miscreants and criminals account for accidents on an average Nigerian road. Out of these 194,394 kilometres road network, about 60,068 kilometres (including 1,194 kilometres of expressways) are paved while 134,326 kilometres are unpaved. Notably, some of these paved roads have lost their asphalt surface and are in very poor condition or have reverted to being gravel roads, especially in high rainfall areas of the south. Roads that were designed to carry maximum 30 tonnes capacity are subjected to as much as 50 tonnes and more especially with the increasing number of heavy duty vehicles on these roads due to the non-functional alternative transport systems in the country. The implication is obvious. These roads wear out fast and their general lifespan is shortened. For instance, the Sagamu-OreBenin road is more than 30 years old and it is unarguably one of the nation’s busiest roads, perhaps second only to the 105 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Statistics show that in the current federal budget, road construction is allotted less than N120 billion while one road, the WarriKaiama-Port Harcourt-Ahoada section of the East-West road in the Niger Delta was recently revalidated to cost N245.9 billion.

Consequently, the ministry of works is perpetually insolvent where money required for road maintenance and reconstruction is concerned. The scepticism of the average Nigerian, especially given the terrible images of gullies and craters which have replaced once beautiful surfaces, has increased. These pictures which are painted of both federal and state roads, pains the heart. The same Nigerians have over the years, seen ministers come, make promises and go; budgets announced and presumably expended, but these roads have remained the same way, and in most cases become impassable. Several sad tales are told of loved ones who started a journey on these roads but never got to their destination, instead unpleasant details of how they died on these roads reverberates. Faced with this state of unproductive exercise, certain segments of the society have become disillusioned and sometimes emotionally obtuse. Presently, the Federal Ministry of Works is committing N980 billion to ongoing projects in the country while its budgetary allocation for this year is less than 30 per cent of this sum. So, there must be a way of resolving the existing funding gap and that is one of the minister’s headaches. Another solution, perhaps a more permanent one, would be when the other aspects of transportation in the country are harnessed and put into proper use as a way of reducing the over dependence on road transport, especially for moving goods and services. The country has an estimated 3,557 kilometres of rail system out of which more than 3,000 kilometres are narrow gauge while only a mere 329 kilometres are in standard gauge. Several years of neglect of this sector has seriously reduced the capacity and utility of the system.

like houses can choose to live in holes like rabbits. They will remain Nigerians provided they pay their tax. Imoh Ukpong, Makurdi 08037655611 There is a need to focus on what is in our interest as a people of common descent in our Nigeria that has refused to change from ‘a geographical expression as said of India by Sir Wilson Churchill and echoed of us by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Special Advisers, our National Assembly members and other well meaning Nigerians will appreciate this master piece and act fast for a true federalism. The time to Act is now. Dr Dotun Malomo “My question is how long we will shy from this stark reality. We cannot tell ourselves the truth….Some from all the geo political zones are benefiting from the system, one day the monkey will go to the market and shall not return”. Tarrie Dawudu, Warri Delta 008027475353 ON WIKILEAKS AND THE NAKEDNESS OF OUR LEADERS It has opened our eyes and mind more to the evils peddled by the Westerners under the guise of giving succor to Africans. It is time we woke up from our docility, define and decide our future by ourselves. Rabiu Waliu Bolaji University of Ilorin This is a naked truth that has somehow stripped further our leaders. Do we cover them up or take them to the market for a dance? J.A. Akinyemi 07066722465 ON BPE Contrary to your view, Nigeria Airways had over 30 brand new aircrafts when OBJ left power in 1979 but met only two when he returned in 1999. 08053060685 COMMENT. That is a clear evidence of failure of a leadership. OBJ in 1979 said the best candidate didn’t need to win the presidential election. Shehu Shagari won but messed up the economy. In 2007, OBJ’s successor was the terminally ill late president Yar’Adua.

‘This is another way of stealing by PDP government. It can never solve any problems confronting the nation. It is a fraud-infested project which must be stopped’ Only a few states in the country have made any plans to construct viable rail system in their states as a way of easing the dependence on road transport to move human and commodity traffic. The few states that have taken some steps in this direction include Lagos which proposed a metro system since 2008 and before then in 2007, Bayelsa and Rivers announced plans to embark on the construction of a high-speed rail line to connect their two capitals of Yenagoa and Port Harcourt. The biggest boost to restoring the rail system in the country came in 2006, when President Olusegun Obasanjo signed a contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to modernise the Lagos to Kano railway line as first phase in the proposed threephase line upgrade. The project has been split up into five sections namely Lagos-Ibadan (181 km), Ibadan-Ilorin (200 km), Ilorin-Minna (270 km), Minna–Abuja–Kaduna (360 km), and Kaduna-Kano (305 km). Similarly, the more than 8,600 kilometres of inland waterways in the country, needs to be harnessed. The longest are the Niger River and its tributary, the Benue River yet, the most used especially by larger powered boats and for commercial activities are in the Niger Delta and along the coast from Lagos lagoon to Cross River. Modern economies have adopted pipelines to transport not just petroleum products but also products like cement. And as at 2004, Nigeria had 105 kilometers of pipelines for condensates, 1,896 kilometers for natural gas, 3,638 kilometers for oil, and 3,626 kilometers for refined products. Since then, additional pipeline projects have been added to expand domestic distribution of natural gas and to export natural gas to neighbouring West African countries, with extension to other African countries. So, when recently in an interactive session with the media, the minister reassured again that Nigerians would experience pleasurable rides to their various states this yuletide; he is saying in essence that with the support of wellmeaning Nigerians his character, credentials and zeal for fatherland are enough to make all the difference there could be. • Omoniyi writes from Abuja.


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Uche brothers dedicate Be ready to goals to daughter play anywhere

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8- NATION TOURNEY

Nigeria wants Musa, Odumadi released


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Keshi promises changes in Eagles S

UPER Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi has promised to effect major changes to the team in subsequent games. Keshi masterminded a 0-0 draw with Botswana and a 2-0 victory over Zambia in international friendly matches played on Saturday and Tuesday. The 28 players who turned up for both matches were invited by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) but Keshi says he will now take complete control over the invitation of players to the national team. ‘I am fully in charge now, so I will draw up the list of players to make up the team

for any other game that will be played by the national team,” Keshi told SuperSport.com. The ‘big boss’ expressed dissatisfaction with the list of players invited for the games against Botswana and Zambia saying: “I saw a list which contained nine strikers. “That’s way too much but I have worked with it and things will be different from now. I will be drawing up the names of players that I need from now on,” Keshi said. Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea leading to the sack of former Coach, Samson Siasia.

INJURY SCARE

McLeish up-beat over Agbonlahor

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STON Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is winning his battle to recover from injury to face Spurs next Monday, according to boss Alex McLeish Agbonlahor has been struggling with a hamstring strain for the last ten days which forced him to miss England’s friendly victories against Spain and Sweden. McLeish admitted that the striker is still to join in training as he continues to undergo daily treatment on the problem but is hopeful that he will be back in action before the end of the week and he can include him in his squad for the trip to White Hart Lane to face Harry Redknapp’s in-form Tottenham team on Monday. McLeish told the Daily Mail: “‘Gabby has not joined the group yet but we are hopeful he will be back towards the end of the week. “I think he has got a chance for Tottenham. He has got a slight strain which guys like Gabby, with their explosive pace, can pick up. “Gabby went to England in good faith and unfortunately came back with this little nick on his hamstring. It was the England

medical guys who flagged it up for us.”

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OTH Uche brothers Kalu and Ikechukwu were on target as Stephen Keshi claimed his first win as Nigeria boss, and they dedicated both goals to Kalu’s new baby girl Michelle. The elder Uche and his new wife had the baby girl last month, and the midfielder had no hesitation to who the goal was for. “I thank God for my lovely daughter Michelle and the wonderful family I have so we are dedicating the goals to her. I also dedicated the last goal I scored at my club to her too because she has brought a lot of joy to me and my wife.” It is the first time the Uche brothers are scoring for Nigeria in the same game, and Kalu was suitably overwhelmed.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t know how to say it. It’s something great. It’s the first time my brother and I are scoring for Nigeria in the same game. It’s not easy and I thank God for everything.” With the 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier just around the corner, Uche is hoping Tuesday’s victory will provide a springboard to better things for the Super Eagles. “Nobody can predict anything. But I am happy for the new coach and the changes he has brought, and I am grateful for the opportunity. “We will do our best to make sure we qualify for the Nations Cup and the World Cup, and I think he is doing very well so far.”

Be ready to play anywhere S

UPER Eagles’ head coach Stephen Keshi has advised his players over fears of playing in some parts of the country subsequently as a result of fans’ attitude during matches. Speaking to NationSports in Kaduna on Tuesday after the friendly match against the Chipolopolo of Zambia, which the

Osaze doubtful for Bolton

• Agbonlahor

By Innocent Amomoh

hold on Saturday, 19 November. Beach Volleyball and Beach Soccer finals will hold on Sunday, 20 November. Volleyball finals are scheduled for Tuesday, 22 November. The finals of Basketball events are on Wednesday, 23 November, while athletics and football finals will be staged during the final ceremonies on Friday, 25 November at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Seventeen tertiary institutions out of 19-federal/state/private- in the state, are jostling for the N9.625m prize monies to be won in seven sports during the 10 days championship, which is facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to the Governor and the Min. of Sports. The LOC said that as usual the prize monies will be directly disbursed to the lucky students through their institutions. In addition to the prize monies, the preparation support of N3.250m is being paid to the 17 institutions depending on the numbers of athletes they are featuring in the Tertiary Games.

EST BROM manager, Roy Hodgson has revealed that striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie has a slim chance of featuring in the this weekend’s Premier League match against strugglers Bolton Wanderers. The Nigerian international was reportedly injured in a league match that kept him out of his team’s crucial match against Arsenal penultimate week, and the two-phased international friendly by Nigeria against Botswana and Zambia. Hodgson said though the potent striker had responded well to treatment in the cause of the week, he will need as much time as possible to recover fully. “He is making progress. Things look a lot brighter than they did two weeks ago but it’s too early to say whether he will be fit for Saturday. It’s not impossible but he needs not to be rushed. “The new hydropool at the training ground is very helpful because they can do a lot of work in there and if they are to play on Saturday they have to be back in training on Thursday. ‘’The pool enables players to work at an intensity they probably wouldn’t be able to manage if they were fully weight-bearing on the field.”

Super 4 kicks off Dec 14

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HE traditional Nigeria preseason tournament, The Super 4, will be played between December 14 and 18 in Lagos, officials have told MTNFootball.com. The tournament, which is used to usher in a new season, will draw the top four teams from the just ended season – champions Dolphin, Sunshine Stars, Warri Wolves and Kano Pillars. The competition is played on a round-robin basis. Enyimba won the last tournament. NPL officials have said they aim to reposition the league and that was why the mini-league is being staged in the country’s commercial capital.

8-NA TION T OURNEY 8-NATION TOURNEY

KESHI TO EAGLES

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3rd Tertiary Games gets underway HE 3rd edition of the Lagos Tertiary Games got underway yesterday in seven venues spread across the Lagos metropolis. The venues are Teslim Balogun Stadium, which will host athletics events and football finals. Yaba College of Technology will play host to Basketball and a group of football matches. Bar Beach behind Federal School of Fisheries and Marine Technology on the Lagos Island will host Beach Volleyball and Beach Soccer, University of Lagos will host a group of Football matches, Table Tennis and Volleyball, while Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere and Onikan Stadium will host another groups of football matches. According to the Games Chart released by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the championship headed by Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Table Tennis events began yesterday, while Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball will start tomorrow in order to allow the organisers to make the venue athletes friendly. The finals of Table Tennis will

Uche brothers dedicate goals to daughter

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By Patrick Ngwaogu Eagles won by 2-0, Keshi said most of the qualifying matches would now be played outside Abuja. “I have told the boys to prepare their minds to play anywhere in the country especially Lagos. Gone are the days where our matches would

be centralized in a place. Other parts of the country should have a feel of the national team, not minding the reception of the fans to the team. “If the fans are booing you, they are indirectly motivating you to put in more efforts. We wouldn’t say because of that, we would not play matches at hostile venues again. They are Nigerians and they are expecting the best from national team, if we are not putting in the best, they should be able to make their feelings known immediately to enable us rise to the occasion,” he said. The big ‘boss’ said that players should be prepared to show more commitment to national duties, saying that no single player can hold the country to ransom, adding that the country is bigger than anybody. He promised to wield the big stick, on any erring player, reiterating that the era of inviting legion of foreign-based players is over, as more home based players would be given the opportunity on regular basis. “I want to tell you the fact, most of these players you saw in the two friendly matches would not be returning again at least for now. I have interacted with them, I have seen them play, I would also need to see those that that are based here at home. It does not make sense to bring players all the way from Europe and make them sit on the bench for the duration of matches. It is not economically wise, and also not healthy for the player’s career. Our invitation would now be purely on need” he concluded.

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Nigeria wants Musa, Oduamadi realeased

HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has again pleaded with the European clubs of Ahmed Musa and Nnamdi Oduamadi to release them for the final Olympic qualifiers in Morocco. The NFF on Tuesday fired a passionate appeal to Musa’s Dutch club VVV Venlo as well as Italian club Torino, who have Oduamadi on their books, to release them for the competition, which gets underway on November 26. “We have pleaded with these two clubs to release these players knowing that the competition is not on the FIFA calendar and it is therefore left to the discretion of the clubs to release or not release any player for the tournament,” a top official informed MTNFootball.com VVV Venlo have already turned down an earlier request for the release of Musa and three other Nigerian players for the U23 tournament. The NFF had to plead with the Dutch club before Musa was released for the African Youth championship in South Africa in April. Torino are also refusing to let go Oduamadi for the competition and this was despite an initial approval by the Italian Serie B club. Torino are currently top of the Italian lower league and cite injuries and suspensions to key forwards for their reluctance to

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T least 12 players from the Nigeria Premier League are on the verge of making the final Nigeria squad for the final Olympic qualifiers in Morocco. Coach Austin Eguavoen is expected to forward a list of 25 players to the Nigeria Football Federation this week for onward submission to the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) for the U23 Championship, which kicks

Competition to gulp N16.7m • Odemwingie

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• Oduamadi

NPL stars lead Dream Team squad

25TH DALA HARD COURT TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP LL is now set for this year’s 25th Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship, scheduled to hold in the ancient city of Kano from November 19 to November 27, 2011. Speaking to Sports Writers in Kano yesterday, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Bashari Mohammed Gumel, disclosed that the committee budgeted N16.7 million for prosecution of the tournament. Gumel, said that 10 professional tennis players from neighboring West African countries are expected to grace the 25th Silver Jubilee anniversary of the competition, pointing out that 20 male tennis players and 10 ladies are to slug it out in the main draws, depending on their recent national ranking. Among events to be competed for at the week-long tournament are the Men’s Singles, with a prize money of N1 million, while the runner-up will go home with N500, 000 The Ladies singles attracts N500,000, runner-up will pocket N250,000, while semi finalists will be rewarded with N150, 000 each, as eight gentlemen and four ladies will emerge from the preliminaries, while wild cards will be extended to four gentlemen and two ladies from Kano State to complete the draws of 32 for men and 16 for ladies. Also, the Chairman revealed that competent officials have been invited from various states of the federation to handle the tournament, adding that

release the winger, who is on loan from Italian champions AC Milan. In the meantime, Ukraine-based left winger Michael Babatunde has disclosed that his club will allow him to leave for the tournament in Morocco after a crucial league game on November 19. Team officials also informed MTNFootbal.com that Ivorian club Asec Mimosas have now agreed to release U20 striker Olanrewaju Kayode for the tournament after an initial insistence they would only release him at the start of the qualifiers on November 26. Nigeria will submit to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) a final squad of 21 players by midnight Wednesday.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano adequate arrangements have been made their welfare and free medical facilities far all participants. In order to actualize the tournament, Gumel said Fidelity Bank donated N5 million, while their partners in progress for the past 18 years, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and the Central Bank of Nigeria are still been awaited for their donation, including the Kano State Government.

off on November 26. The list will have 21 players and four on standby. Sixteen players of the Nigeria U23s have undergone the mandatory medical test for the U23 Africa Championship. Thirteen of these players are from the domestic league and their chances of making the final squad have been boosted by the growing reluctance of European clubs to release Nigerian players for the competition. The NPL stars are: Goalkeepers: Olufemi Thomas (Ocean Boys), Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars) Defenders: Kingsley Udoh (Unattached), Markson Ojobo, Emmanuel Anyanwu (Enyimba), Papa Idris (Kaduna United) Akas Chima (3SC). Midfielders: Ayo Saka (Ocean Boys), Ugonna Ezewanka (36 Lions) Forwards: Gbolahan Salami (3SC), Osas Okoro (Heartland), Odah Onoriode (Fame FC). Overseas-based Dele Ajiboye, Edet Ibok, Olaitan Otubanjo and Sunday Nwadialu have also undergone the medicals.

Adepoju refutes fraud allegations

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ENERAL manager of Shooting Stars (3SC) Mutiu Adepoju has dismissed allegations of mismanagement of funds levelled against the club. Former international Adepoju told MTNFootball.com: “There are rumours going around that we embezzled money. I want to put it straight that we’re operating on the budget we received during our campaign in the Pro League. “Everyone knows that Premiership football is more expensive than pro league. In premiership, you have to get more quality players in order to get the desired result. “But in our situation, we’re still running the club on the same budget we were when we were in pro league,” Adepoju said. He added: “People expect us to deliver as some other clubs whose budget cannot be compared to ours. There is no way we can compete with them on the budget we are on now. “If we’d been mismanaging the fund released to us, the state government will not be looking at us up to this time. But these rumours were discouraging and it really affected our morale.” Shooting Stars finished three points outside the drop zone with 47 points from 38 matches. Drastic changes are now expected at ‘The Oluyole Warriors’ ahead of the new season, which is likely to roll out in January.

• Adepoju

Kenya, Egypt,Uganda confirm for Obudu

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WO East African nations,Kenya and Uganda and a north African nation,Egypt have confirmed their participation in the third African nations mountain running Championships for both men and women scheduled to hold at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu,Cross River state on the 28th of this month. Kenya,the world acclaimed champions of middle,long distance as well as road races will be making a third consecutiveappearance at the championships which made its debut in 2009 alongside the annual Obudu International Mountain race which is in its seventh edition this year. Interestingly,Kenya,for all her

prowess in long distance running including the marathon have not won the African title since the championship was introduced two years ago as part of the Obudu International Mountain Race. Also making consecutive appearances are Uganda who supplanted Ethiopia as African champions last year at the championships in India as well as Egypt whose men have failed to make any team impact at the championship, coming last in the first two editions in 2009 and 2010. Secretary General of the Athletic Federation,Mrs Maria Worphil confirmed at the weekend that more African nations are making enquiries about travel and accommodation arrangements and expects more

confirmations this week. ‘The AFN is delighted with the response shown by African nations for this championships.Last year we had six nations in the men event and five in the women including the host nation,Nigeria and we are already convinced we will have more African nations this time around as we strive to make mountain running a perrenial fixture in the calendar of the African Athletics Confedration’, said Worphil, a former national handball star. Ethiopia,winner of the inaugural edition of the championship tops the list of other nations who have made enquiries about the championships and Mrs Worphil is full of praise for Cross River state Governor,senator Liyel Imoke for providing the platform to host the rest of Africa.


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THE NATION

EDUCATION

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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

email:- education@thenationonlineng.com

Nigerians are spending a fortune on tuition fees in foreign schools. At home, high tuition fees are not tolerated. Many perceive high tuition fees as a ploy to deny indigent students of quality education.Is this so? KOFOWOROLA BELO-OAGIE, ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA and MIRIAM NDIANKWUexamine the implication of high tuition fees on the academic dreams of students.

Can students cope with high tuition fees? T

HAT hundreds of Nigerian students are studying in tertiary institutions in Ghana is no longer news. But what is of interest is that about N155 billion paid as tuition fees by 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana funds that country’s economy. The figure is more than the N121 billion yearly budget of federal universities in the country. This grim revelation was made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at a book presentation in Kaduna to commemorate the 80th birthday of renowed educationist Prof Adamu Baike, three weeks ago. In a paper entitled: Re-invigorating education in Nigeria: An essay in honour of Professor Adamu Baike, Sanusi, said perennial underfunding led to an exodus of students and teachers to better countries, such as Ghana, South Africa and others, which he described as having “organised educational settings.” His remark was followed by another damning revelation by the Network of Migration Research on Africa (NOMRA), a group comprising experts on migration research in Africa. The body, in a research it conducted, posited that about 10,090 Nigerians granted visas into the United Kingdom (UK) in 2009 paid N42 billion to their host country. NOMRA Co-ordinator Prof Aderanti Adepoju also believes progressive underfunding of the education sector by successive governments since 1980, has negatively impacted on national development. While Sanusi argued that recent data ranks Nigeria third “on the list of countries with the highest number of students studying overseas,” NOMRA asserts that Nigeria “is believed to be the largest supplier of African students to universities in the West because of their relative wealth.” Sanusi said: “Although there are no comprehensive data on the number of Nigerian students abroad, recent data have shown that there are about 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana paying about N155 billion annually as tuition

fees as against the annual budget of N121 billion for all federal universities. “In other words, the tuition paid by Nigerian students studying in Ghana with a better organised system is more than the annual budget of all federal universities in the country.” He said it was time the nation stopped creating “unnecessary” states, local governments and ministries to curtail spending. A system like Nigeria, Sanusi stressed, where states earmarkedspent 96 per cent of their resources on salaries and allowances, leaves little cash for infrastructural development, including education. “We have created states and local governments and ministries as structures that are economically unviable, and the result is that we do not have funding for infrastructure, we do not have funding for education; we do not have funding for health. “I don’t know how many people know that 70 percent of the revenue of the Federal Government is spent paying salaries and overhead; leaving the rest 30 percent for 150 million Nigerians. What this means, is that there is no money for the provision of infrastructural facilities by the various tiers of government.” Sanusi noted that Nigeria, an emerging economy, needs a well designed educational policy as an integral part of its development strategy. Adepoju, who addressed some African journalists during a workshop facilitated by NOMRA at the University of Lagos last week, said the group arrived at the figure based on the school fees paid by 10,090 Nigerians who were issued visas into the UK in 2009. he said: “The downturn in the economy resulted in a lower level of funding to all three levels of education sector. The outcome of this was an increasing trend of tertiary level lecturers and even some at secondary level migrating to other countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States (US) to seek better-paying opportunities.” •Continued on Page 26

•Students demonstrators carry banners as they marched against cuts tuition funding in London last Thurday

Tuition fees in some select universities around the world 1.

University Location Tuition Fee (Home students) Tuition Fee of home students(Naira) Tuition Fee (Foreign students) Tuition Fee of Foreign students(Naira) 2. Imperial College London,Uk •9,000 N2,277,000 To be announced later ——3. University of Leeds UK •9,000 N2,277,000 •11,800 N2,985,400 4. University of Sheffield UK •9,000 N2,277,000 (To be specified later) ——— 5. University of Michigan USA $8,636(Engineering& computer Science) N1,355,852 $21,230(Engineering & Computer Science) N3,333,110 6. University of Ghana Ghana 2,424.00 Cedi(Science/Agric Students) N237,552 Not specified ———7. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana Ghana Fresh science students-532.43 CediReturning science students-517.43 Cedi N52,178.14N50,708.14 Not specified Not specified ———— ——— Exchange rates used in calculation 1 US Dollar =N157.90 1 British Pound =N253.17 1 Ghanaian Cedi =N98.0392

• FUTA BACKS POST- UTME - PAGE 27 • ASCON, NOUN TO RUN PG PROGRAMME - PAGE 37


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

26

EDUCATION

Can students cope with high tuition fees? •Continued from Page 25

He stressed the need for African leadership to evolve a framework that would help harness the benefits associated with migration into national development. He also stressed the need for Africa to become an economic unit, arrest the challenges of brain drain, and attract development. In January last year, Business Day online reported that Nigrian spend N246 billion yearly on education in the UK. According to statistics from the British Council, since 2002, the number of Nigerians studying in the UK increased by 75 per cent. It is, therefore, projected that the number given in 2006, would have increased because of the progressive crumbling of the education system. Between 2007 and 2008, on the list of countries sending students to the UK, Nigeria ranked eighth. This kind of fees will definitely be high compared with fees paid in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Yet, an attempt by governments to increase fees has been condemned by parents and resisted by students. Recently, some Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities said Nigerians should stop playing the ostrich by pretending that the government alone could shoulder the ‘overwhelming’ challenges of education. They posited that part of the responsibility of improving standard in universities should be shifted to parents in terms of tuition increase. At present, some of tertiary institutions are having a brawl with their students on issues bordering on tuition fees. The Lagos State University had its share of skirmishes when, last month, it jacked up the fees from N25,000 to between N250,000 and N280,000, provoking portests by students who disrupted the second semester examinations. The exams resumed on Tuesday following the intervention of the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa. Abia State University (ABSU) is one of the five eastern state universities whose lecturers embarked on a six- month strike because of poor pay, lack of facilities and funding for research, among others. It is most likely the institution will institute a new fees regime this year. Though they could not give specific figures, the duo of Paschal Okezu and Chijioke Jane, students of Mass Communication of ABSU, told The Nation reporter that there were rumours that from the new academic session, new students are to pay about N25,000 for development fee and N30,000 as Acceptance fee as against the N25,000 and N10,000 those in the system currently pay. But the Vice-Chancellor, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Prof Tolu Odugbemi, has cautioned against politicising tuition fees. Odugbemi said such issue should be taken with all seriousness. “It (fees) should not be politicised. We should take the issue of fees more seriously so that our universities are just not ill-equipped sheds. “Students that can’t pay fees should not be sent out of school. In the past, communities made provision for funding for indigent students to study at home and abroad. Such initiative should be revived. The universities should also introduce work-study programmes.”

Vice-Chancellor Caleb University Imota Prof Ayodele Olukoju said the current economic depression in the country makes it imperative for fees introduction in schools. “With the current economic depression the country is going through, there is no way tuition fees can be avoided. I support free education from primary up to secondary school, but not at the tertiary level. But for the sake of children from under-privileged homes, remedial measures such as bursaries, endowment and palliatives should be introduced to cushion the effect.” But a cross section of students who shared their views still believe new fees are not justifiable and introducing same is a fallout out of government’s failure to live up to its responsibility. Except Edet Blessing, the six undergraduates who were part of the winners of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) annual national essay competition, held at the Muson Centre on Monday, described introduction of tuition as “unreasonable.” One after the other, the students: Jadi Maitala Minawa; Felix Toginfono Udokang; Sunday Sunday Imoh; Edet Blessing, Joshua Zudemlmwa Jurdimma, and Nkiru Chukwuka kicked against what they called alleged plan by the government to deny children from humble background access to education. They also said the plan, if enforced, will continue to widen the gap between children of the rich and the poor, making the latter perpetually enslaved to the former. They said governments of the countries where there is high tuition put structures in place to encourage indigent students acquire education. Such governments, they stressed, also put in place state-of-the-art facilities to justify the increase, hence the reason those who studied overseas do better, and are in hot demand by multinationals back home. Corporate organisations and distinguished individuals, they added, are also compelled by governments to dedicate part of their wealth to scholarships unlike what they called ’tokenism’ by most donors in this part of the world. Blessing sued for a dialogue between management of institution, parents and other stakeholders for a roundtable before any increase can be justified. “It is so sad that governments these days will all of a sudden announce increase in tuition fees on the media without thorough consultation with stakeholders. This is bad. Sometimes government might be right for wanting to increase. We know education today is very expensive and our school needs facilities. But the governments need to call all stakeholders to a roundtable session to agree on a fee accepted by all,”she said. “I want to implore government to expedite action on the fees. I believe Nigerian students deserve more opportunities to attain their education dream. Many, like me, are from poor homes whose parents struggle to make ends meet. How do they expect many parents to cope?” asked Felix Tongifono Udokang, a 300Level Animal Science undergraduate of the Cross River University of Technology. Imoh, a 100-Level student of the University of Uyo and Nkiru Chukwuka also a 200-Level Environmental Health Technology student from Shehu Idris College of Health and Technology, Kaduna, said a recent introduction of tuition in their

•Prof Odugbemi

•Sanusi

•Prof Olukoju

institutions almost pitched the students against the management. Imoh said the difference in environments, and the fact that all fingers are not equal is one reality that should make government think twice before increasing tu-

ition, and not what obtains in other countries. Zumdelwa Jurdimma, a 400-Level student of the University of Jos said government must, first of all, consider parents who live from hand to mouth as well as students who sponsor themselves to schools, be-

fore slamming any fees. “I remember my parents could not pay my fees in full in my 100Level. I had to add up with the savings I gathered from the part-time work I was doing then. If I had not saved up, how would I have coped?” he asked.

•Head Girl, Kosofe Senior College, Aderinsola Sokunbi; Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods (Indomie), Mr Temitope Ashiwaju; Senator Olugbenga Ashafa; Principal of the school, Mrs Olanireti Fawole; Principal, Head Boy, Ekpenyong Bassey and Vice-Chairman, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Mr Mufa Okus, during the donation of science laboratory equipment to the school by Dufil Prima Foods

Babcock bags best Africa varsity award

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HE Vice-Chancellor Babcock University, Ogun State Prof Kayode Makinde will, on behalf of the university, receive the 2011, Kwame Nkruma Leadership Award as the best Africa private university by the All Africa Students’ Union in Accra, Ghana. Makinde will also be inducted into the Africa Hall of Fame in Windhoek, Nambia, during the international Students Day celebration. This was announced by the

•Prof Makinde

By Yemisi Akinyemi

Head of Glo 1 Enterprise Solution, Mr Folu Aderibigbe, during the university’s acquisition of 40 mega

bytes of internet link which, according to Globacom, the indigenous communication giant and service provider, is the largest in Nigerian education so far.

“... Yet, 80 per cent of available jobs are for a privileged few!”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

EDUCATION

FUTA backs post-UTME UTHORITIES of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have faulted the move by the National Assembly to stop the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) screening conducted by universities for candidates who wrote the UTME by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The Chairman of the 23rd Convocation Committee, Prof Biyi Daramola, spoke at the weekend in Akure at a briefing ahead of the convocation. He noted that JAMB has failed in its responsibility to conduct credible examination for students seeking admission into the tertiary institutions which made the post-UTME tests imperative as many candidates who paraded high marks in their UTME performed woefully in their postUTME exams.

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Daramola said the Senate could regulate the amount of money being charged by universities. He said: “Post-UTME examinations have come to stay in view of the fraud that has trailed JAMB examination in recent times. “It is desirable and very important because many students who scored higher marks have failed to impress at post-UTME examinations.” About 3,270 will take part in the convocation with 18 coming out with First Class honours. The institution will also give honorary awards to the Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan. During the week-long ceremony, various projects embarked upon by the institution will be inaugurated.

•A cross section of the graduates at their graduation at the University of Ibadan on... Monday

Experts proffer dispute resolution models for colleges

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XPERTS in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) took turns for three days at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija – Epe, Lagos, to instill in the management staff and core academics ways to access the new dispute management mechanisms in tertiary institutions for peace and progress. Director, Lagos State Multi-Door Court House (LMDC), Igbosere, Mrs Caroline Etuk, in her keynote address entitled: Designing a whole institution dispute resolution system, the LMDC Model, identified the benefits of ADR. Mrs. Etuk said it would, among others, “enhance students’ social and emotional development, promote a culture of peace and enhanced communication; provide a platform and atmosphere for dialogue, and create an environment

By Adegunle Olugbamila

that is conducive for learning.” She recommended the adoption of ADR as parts of the college’s curriculum and management style, adding that students exposed to ADR technology, become active listeners and are schooled in conflict resolution styles, anger management, conflict escalation and deescalation, perspective taking, winwin problem solving, negotiation and mediation. “The application of ADR techniques in school system would additionally foster the infusion of conflict resolution skills at the classroom, school-wide levels and engender interactions with parents,” the LMDC boss said. They are also expected to implement a peer mediation programme, begin conflict resolution and teacher education.

‘The application of ADR techniques in school system would additionally foster the infusion of conflict resolution skills at the classroom, school-wide levels and engender interactions with parents,” posited the LMDC boss’

•Participants at the workshop.

Tertiary institutions were advised to train in-house experts whose roles must include the development of pre-academics – academics on campus, teaching, researching and publishing as experts in conflict resolution. To install peace in tertiary institutions, the establishment of a working group on conflict resolution education to liaise with academic institutions, states and the Federal Government to design and deploy conflict resolution models is most desirable, Mrs Etuk said. She gave the components of the Multi-Door Court system as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, a combination of mediation and arbitration (hybrid) and other conventional conflict resolution mechanisms. Introducing ADR, Mrs. Adeyemi Adenrera, acting Director, Office of Public Defenders, Lagos State, listed the benefits of ADR as informality, in which case, parties are free to discuss their concerns without the formalities and consequences imposed by courts. The tense and strict court procedures are thereby eliminated. “Recourse to ADR ensures the preservation of an existing relationship by allowing parties to work together to come up with a resolution that is acceptable to all.” She gave the assurance that ADR offered a sense of certainty. Disputants at ADR are free to set their own schedules,, fees and time frames and disputes are resolved in a speedier manner without undue delays, contrary to long wait-

ing period of the courts. The drawbacks, said Mrs. Adenrera, include the non-vindication since aggrieved party may think he could procure better justice elsewhere, and where mutual distrust is prevalent, the resolution brokered may not stand. Additionally, the enforcement of ADR agreement depends on the co-operation of the one at the receiving end otherwise, the innocent party may have to seek enforcement elsewhere, probably through the time consuming court processes. The Mediating Disputes: Best Practices delivered by Mr Bola

Disu, Registrar, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos, treated ethical practices of mediation, quality and competence of mediator-arbitrator, service and operation, fairness and impartiality. He said a mediator must take all reasonable steps to protect the level of confidentiality agreed to by the parties. Disu, in his presentation, harped on how negotiation and mediation could be brokered. Participants were also treated to practical sides of the issues for the workshop.

Epileptic power: Commissioner seeks local technology

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YO State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Adetokunbo Fayokun, is seeking the support of polytechnics and technology institutions to find solution to epileptic power supply by developing a cheap solar energy that could serve various institutions and their environs. The commissioner, while delivering her speech at the awards for the 40 th anniversary of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, charged the institution to wriggle out of their abysmal performance in technological development. She challenged the authorities of the polytechnic to develop solar energy to ease the problem of electricity within the school and its immediate environment. Mrs Fayokun said if the institution develops its functional solar energy, the feat would open the door of economic prosperity to and make it less dependant on the government for financial support. She said: ”You should be able to develop a cheap solar energy that would not only be able to serve the needs of the institution but also serve your immediate neighbours. I want to say without any iota of doubt that polytechnics and technological institutions should help Nigeria. You are the hope of the nation in this respect and you should not disappoint the government and people of Nigeria.” Mrs Fayokun said the present administration of Governor Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi would spear no ef-

By Jeremiah Oke

forts towards ensuring that education reached the desired height in the state. The Acting Rector, Dr Nathaniel Adebayo, congratulated the awardees. He highlighted the contributions of the institution to the development of the country. His words:“The Polytechnic, Ibadan, a few decades ago, had contributed to the development of the nation, especially in terms of manpower. Some of the graduates of the institution are captains of industries, home and abroad, and we had produced some governors in the past. So, our 40 years anniversary is not a joke.” Speaking on the awardees, Adebayo lauded them, particularly Dr Jacob Adejumobi who in his time as the institution’s rector, ensured sanity was restored into the four decades old institution. He called on all to emulate the awardees to ensure qualitative education in Nigeria. The Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, told the 11 awardees to consider themselves lucky and continually work harder for the progress of the institution. Among those awarded were two former rectors and Adejumobi; Prof. Olakunle Iyanda, former Registrar; Dr E.O. Adetunji, Dr Oyegoke, former Dean, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies and V.O. Yoleye, former acting rector.

‘Some of the graduates of the institution are captains of industries, home and abroad, and we had produced some governors in the past’


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

EDUCATION ACE FILE ‘Reorientation’ll boost science education’ THE Provost of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, has said there is need to simplify the study of Science. The Provost said this during the fourth national conference of the school of Science. It had as theme Science Education: A roadmap to economic and technological development. Idowu, who was represented by the Deputy Provost, Dr Olufemi Olajuyigbe, said the economic and technological development of any nation is hinged on science, which in turn is founded on a solid educational system. He called for a re-orientation of students towards embracing the sciences so that the country is not left behind in the race for technological development. The Dean, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Achievers University, Owo, Prof Stephen Shoyinka presented the keynote address while the Head of the Mathematics Department, University of Ibadan, Prof Ezekiel Ayoola presented the lead paper entitled Science Education: An inevitable foundation for the Economic and technological development in Nigeria.

Bells VC canvasses support for private varsities

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HE Vice-Chancellor of Bells University of Technology, Ota in Ogun State, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, has called for support for private universities. He made the call at the Third Convocation of the institution. He said since the deregulation of the education sector, which led to the establishment of more universities, private varsities have played significant role in nation building such that more opportunities were made available to students and job seekers. He, therefore, praised the government’s plan to get it a fund for private varsities, akin to the one in the industrial sector. He said: “The decision of the government, as recently pronounced by the minister of

• Produces 19 First Class By Joseph Eshanokpe and Adegunle Olugbamila

State for Education to establish a fund for the private initiatives in tertiary education is quite commendable. This intervention would take some pressure off the operators of the private universities and tremendously improve service delivery. It is our hope that this would be translated into reality.” He noted that the call became imperative because one of the challenges of the institution, like others of its kind, is that their programmes are capital intensive. As a result, funding should not be left to the owners of the

varsities alone. “There is the dire need for collaborative efforts with other well-wishers and stakeholders to partner with us in achieving our lofty aims and goals,” he said, adding that the plan to launch an endowment fund for Bells programmes and facilities was welcome. Adeyemi described Bells as the first private university of technology in the country, which opened shop on July 1, 2005 with three colleges and a modest 51 students and that at end of the 2010/2011 session, it had 1,481. He said its programmes have been accredited and that two new colleges – Engineering and

Environmental Sciences – will soon be added. At the convocation, the university graduated 251 students. It also graduated for the first time the first set of the College of Management Sciences, which produced the best graduate. Out of those who passed out, 19 made First Class; 90 Second Class Upper; 104 Second Class Lower and the rest Third Class. The cynosure of all eyes at the event was Miss Jennifer Adaeze Grant-Ezeronye, who was the overall graduating student with the Grade Point of 4.87. A graduate of Economics, she also won the Vice-Chancellor’s Best graduating prize worth N50,000, the college’s prize worth N30,000 and the department’s prize. Adeyemi listed some of the

Deputy Provost charges staff THE Deputy Provost of ACE, Dr Olufemi Olajuyigbe, has called on workers in the college to embrace team spirit in discharging their duties. He made this call during a party organised by the Division of Students Affairs to celebrate his elevation to the post of Deputy Provost. Olajuyigbe was the Dean Students Affairs until his appointment as the Deputy Provost of the college. The occasion was also to send off Mr Gabriel Olowolafe, who retired from the Division after 35 years in the College.

Lecturer donates reagents A LECTURER in the Department of Chemistry, Dr J.O. Babajide has donated chemical reagents and First Aid Box worth N350,000 to the department. The College Management in a letter of appreciation thanked Babajide for the gesture.

•From right:Olatubora, Mrs Kolawole, Prof Bunmi Magbagbeola, Acting Dean, Faculty of Science and Prof Odugbemi in the Chemistry Laboratory

Commissioner lauds OSUSTECH’s practical learning vision

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HE Ondo State University of Science and T e c h n o l o g y

(OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, may be about one year old and yet to move to its permanent site. However, the newly-appointed Ondo State Education Commissioner, Mr Remi Olatubora, is impressed by the speed with which the university has aligned with the vision of becoming the hub of science and technology education. Olatubora paid a working visit to the institution last Friday during which he was conducted round facilities at the take-off campus in company of the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Education, Mrs Taiwo Kolawole and other directors in the ministry. He vis-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

ited the Biology/Physics and Chemistry laboratories, Library, ICT Centre, lecture rooms and offices. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tolu Odugbemi, said the institution used the N500million take-off grant from the state government to put facilities in place and recruit lecturers to ensure that its 200 students (87 from the pioneer set, and 137 newly admitted students) get practical training in their fields, engage in research, and take on entrepreneurial projects. “I always like people to see what we have been able to put on ground from January till now. We want our students and teachers to be involved in practicals. Up till now, the governor has not interfered with the running of the university. This has enabled us to do everything professionally,” he said. The commissioner also visited the permanent site of the institution where the construction of faculty buildings, administrative blocks, library, health centre, hostels, and staff quarters is going on. But the attraction was not the appreciable level of

work done on the structures as much as the OSUSTECH farms which the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Odugbemi said is being run to place the university among the best in the area of food production and industrial processing of crops and animals. At the farms, Olatubora and his team were shown the vegetable farms, cassava, pineapple, banana, plantain, oil palm plantations, the fish farms where the university has 20 fish ponds for grooming Clarias and is constructing 20 more, piggery, poultry, and goatry. The Vice-Chancellor said the farms will provide a platform for research as well as entrepreneurship for students and members of staff, as well as members of the host community. He said the vision is for the farms to provide sufficient food to feed the state, Nigeria, and extra for export. To this end, he said the university has purchased pineapple juice extractor from FIIRO to produce pineapple juice when the time comes as well as a smoking kiln to smoke some of the fish it is breading. He added that the university also plans to produce enough feeds for its animals and for sale.

“We have taken the governor’s dream for a world-class university as a challenge and we are hoping to be able to feed the university, Okitipupa, Ondo State and even provide for export,” he said. In an interview after the tour, Olatubora said he was impressed with what OSUSTECH has achieved in record time. He commended the vice chancellor and his team for their dedication to Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s vision for quality science and technology education and pledged his support to address the university’s areas of need, including that of accommodation and funding. “Let me say I am very impressed and very amazed at the level of accomplishment of the vice chancellor and his team. They have transformed the ideas behind the establishment of the university. I can see they are turning this place into what will become the resource base of this country in 10 years. I will report what I have seen here to my boss. There is need for the government to come and see what Prof Odugbemi is doing here. We seem to have a university that will generate enough resources to run itself. But we need to assist them with funds to do all these,” he said.

achievements of the university to include winning for the second time, the Nigeria Universities/Polytechnics Computer Contest at the National Mathematics Centre, Abuja; a bronze in swimming at the National Universities Games (NUGA) and its alumni excelling in their careers. He urged the fresh graduates thus: ‘’By your professional calling and academic training, you have become assets and marketable to the nation. So, go and exhibit your talents, your ingenuity and your creativity, garnered over the years, in the course of your study here at Bells University of Technology, Ota. As you go into the world of great challenges, I charge you all to be bold and courageous.” In her valedictory, Miss grant-Ezeronye said success can only be attained through hard work. “My experience in the past four years has taught me that there’s really no big secret to being the best at something. It’s quite simple. You have to do the work. Push out the inevitable self-doubt and replace it the work that needs to be done,” she advised. The Chancellor of the university, Prof Akinlawon Mabogunje, thanked the Council, management and staff of the institution for upholding the philosophy of Bells and for the progress it has made since inception. He urged the fresh graduates to contribute their quota in nation building. He said: “Whatever goals you set for yourself, as you go out to fulfill them, do so with the right values, values that will enrich your life and the lives of those whom you touch on your journey through life.”

Lagos school prefects acquire skills By Sampson Unamka

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REFECTS of some secondary schools in Lagos State have been empowered to carry out their assignments in their schools after they acquired many valuable leadership skills at the yearly leadershipconference organised for them last week at the Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos. The programme was sponsored by Royal Exchange Plc in collaboration with the Foundation for Youth Education, a non-governmental organisation. The resource persons, who were invited to train the students’ leaders, explained the leadership qualities they are expected to exhibit, how to retain the loyalty of their co-students; how they should lead an exemplary life for others to emulate; how to earn the respect and fellowship of others and how the leadership positions they occupy in their respective schools should be seen as a springboard for becoming future leaders of their country. The Group Managing Director of Royal Exchange, Mr Chike Mokwunye, said since Nigeria is blessed with abund a n t r e s o u r c e s , what is needed to harness these resources for her transformation is to put the right leaders in place, adding that this should begin by instilling discipline and leadership qualities in school prefects.


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Power changes hand in LASPOTECH

DLI pageant lights up UNILAG

*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS

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*GRANTS

THE NATION

CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: ladycampus@yahoo.com THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

A 24-man robbery gang last Thursday invaded the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), killing and maiming. MODESTUS DIKO (300-Level Microbiology) reports that the incident was horrific. HE day broke as usual last Thursday at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. Nobody had premonition of what lay ahead except perhaps, those planning evil against others. Around noon, however, students going for their exams were taken aback when a 24-man robbery gang stormed the campus. All hell was let loose. Pandemonium. “Today is horrible,” said a student, who claimed to be in a bank when the robbers struck. Armed with sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 rifles and dynamite, the robbers stormed the campus in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and two buses. They left a trail of horror. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that members of the Governing Council were to meet about the time the robbers struck, but the meeting was shelved. A source said the members initially thought it was a cultists’ clash but on realising it was a robbery, they fled. The robbers used explosives to blow up the bank’s entrance when they could not force the doors open with bullets. The incident took about 30 minutes. The robbers carted away millions of naira, it was learnt. More than six students were allegedly killed. Scores of other students and bank customers were wounded, sources said. Vehicles parked a few metres away from the banks were destroyed. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that when the robbers arrived, students who were in the banks thought they were members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. According to an eyewitness, shouts of “Ah, Boko Haram ti de o” (Boko Haram has come) rent the air as the robbers shot their way into the premises. A Philosophy teacher identified as Mr Precious, who was said to have come to withdraw money for his child's naming ceremony, was robbed of an undisclosed amount and his laptop, which contained the results of his students. After the robbers left, one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Registrar and local government chairman visited the scene of the robbery. Exams scheduled to hold that day and the following day were postponed in memory

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•One of the banks that was robbed

Horror as robbers invade varsity campus

of the slain students. No student was willing to speak on the robbery which they described as horrific. Students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE did so anonymously because, according to them, “nobody knows whether the robbers were students or outsiders, so that they will not come back and hit us. “Always, as we come close to the end of a session, students are always terrified because of incidents such as this. The same

thing happened last year as the session was about to end. Students’ activities are being paralysed by this incident,” said a student. A Philosophy student, Ayooluwa Akinola, said: “The incident was really tragic. Two

final year students who ought to be leaving OOU for good were killed. It is only God who will save us from the hands of these miscreants. “Boko Haram could have done the same thing and gone scot free just like the way the robbers es-

caped after stealing millions from those banks. Should we live in fear in a place that is supposed to be free of trouble?”a Law student asked rhetorically. Another student said: “This is a campus and nobody expects security would not be water-tight as we have seen on Thursday. I still don't believe that those heartless robbers would come here and kill students like chickens. The government needs to strengthen security on campus.”

•Department loses student •Ibadan students visit Oyo lawmakers, council boss- PG33


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE someone walks up to me asking for transport fare or something. That is not planned for ahead. The above is just something personal to me, so might not count. But whoever imagines that N120 or N100 can provide anywith one one “manageable lunch” not to talk of at least 20 lunches (in a Ngozi Agbo month) needs to think again. I couldn’t help thinking that this 08054503104 would provide a great opportu(SMS only) nity for a few people to “take care of themselves” nicely. •campuslife@thenationonlineng.net So, while many of these chil•ladycampus@yahoo.com dren remain without decent classrooms, computers, needed ratories mostly nonexistent and staff teachers and all the other screaming (teachers) unmotivated. In addition, tools needs, they are sure of getting N100 or like the computer are strange objects. Channels did a good reporting of the N120 every month they are in school. Is there no limit to which a populist govevent as its cameras showed the building ernor can take his fantasies? I think this housing classrooms where the same children receive classes. It was mainly dilapi- is about the most ill-advised policy in dated with the ceiling and roof coming education I have seen. I did a little mathematics, not my best down on one side already. Its reporter also spoke to a principal of one of the sec- hobby I hasten to add, and came to this conondary schools who clearly stated that clusion. In a school of 1000 pupils, N100 per would come to N100,000. The mean his school was in danger of being over- child cost of moving up and down (allowtaken by disrepair. They also needed average ances for the government officials and their teachers in some core subjects. This is the scenario into which the Imo State government introduces lunch stipend, subsidy, allowance… whatever they have called it. OMORROW, we will be celebrating I saw the money being shared to the chilthe best of Nigeria’s campus journaldren one after the other. They might have ists. It is the 3rd Annual CAMPUSLIFE Awards, proudly sponsored by Coca-Cola come from poor homes but they deserve Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Bottling some respect. I’m one of those who gives Company (NBC) Plc. out money in envelopes, thus something Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing in me recoils whenever I see people being Lagos Central, will be our keynote speaker. given money – especially money that is She will be speaking on “The Place of Viplanned for ahead – in “open cash” like sion and Values in Leadership”. that. This is different from a case where

Let’s teach Pushing them to fish Out

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think this happened two weeks ago. But it was last week, during the public holiday, that I stumbled on the news. It was carried by Channels Television. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was reported to have approved monthly lunch stipends for secondary and primary school pupils in the state. The news didn’t stop there. Viewers were shown the governor talking while his aides went round giving out the stated sums to the children. Primary school pupils got N100 while those in secondary school were given N120 each. I was mortified as I watched the aides in their suits giving out the two N50 notes a piece and the other pair accompanied by a N20 note. These sums were supposed to take care of each child’s lunch per month. I don’t know if it was the idea itself, the actual sharing of the money or the excitement on the children’s faces or the combination of the three that bothered me most. Let’s start with the idea. The governor had earlier announced free education up to secondary school. A commendable move. But this has not been able to sway the middle class and others whose children are in private schools to bring them back to the public schools. We all know why. The public schools are mostly underequipped, understaffed and underfunded. In many cases, classrooms are very dilapidated, libraries and labo-

Senator Tinubu, Abdullahi at CAMPUSLIFE awards

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‘Job seekers need to get more skills’ Opeyemi Awoyemi is a graduate of Computer Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and co-founder of Jobberman one of the fastest growing online job portals in Nigeria. He told FEMI ASU what drives him.

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HAT is Jobberman all about? Jobberman.com is Nigeria’s No. 1 Jobs Website. We help employers fill their vacancies quickly and cost-effectively too by giving them access to the largest database of qualified jobseekers. We also provide up-tothe-minute job opportunities Nigeria. Why the name, Jobberman? Well, the name was picked by a friend of mine with a mindset of personifying the being that assists people in getting jobs. Tell us about the brains behind this initiative? ‘The three musketeers’ are Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude and Ayodeji Adewunmi. We grew this business from our undergraduate days at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. What inspired this initiative, and when did it kick off? We are young entrepreneurs who became perplexed about the daunting problem of unemployment in Nigeria. Though the first version of Jobberman.com was created by me in 2008, Ayodeji and I came together in 2009 to work on a website to organise, deliver and manage the largest catalogue of jobs in Nigeria. Lekan joined us in 2009 as well and we’ve worked together to catapult this idea into a business with steady and rapid growth. What are some of the challenges you had to confront at the initial stage? First, we had the problem of credibility. Companies were reluctant to post jobs on our website. However as we grew we were able to penetrate the mar-

ket and now over 600 employers post jobs directly through us. We also had the challenge of differentiating ourselves from scam sites and content farms with no value to job-seekers and employers. Was there any moment when you felt like giving up on this idea? Never, we were very much entrepreneurial from the onset and we believed, at the worst, we were touching lives. What has been your driving force so far? The outcome that many unemployed Nigerians get the job of their dreams via www.jobberman.com. Currently, over 1,000 people have secured good jobs via our website. That alone

escorts as well as cost of fuelling and maintaining their vehicles) to distribute the money would amount to some N120,000 per school. I arrived at this conservative amount as I considered that schools in an area would be visited within a week, in a bid to save cost. I also decided against the idea of sending the money through the head teachers and principals as those may not be trusted and which poor student would have the effrontery to go his teacher to request to be paid? This would give one N220,000 per month, per school. In a term (usually a little more than three months) this would total N660,000 per school of 1000 pupils. In one year, we are looking at N1,980,000 (one million, nine hundred and eighty thousand Naira). I may not be an expert but I believe that this amount can provide a decent classroom block, desks and chairs. It could go into upgrading the laboratories, libraries – or providing an e-library, why not?! These projects, I believe, would add much more to the children’s overall development. They would fall, in my reasoning, under the category of teaching a man how to fish. What is being done now is merely giving the man fish. He will keep coming back and sooner than later, the state government would run into trouble. Ciao

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the Minister of Youth Development, will be our chief guest of honour. The event, to be held in Lagos, promises to be the best since we introduced the awards ceremony three years ago. It will precede a capacity building workshop for some of our correspondents, to be facilitated by Mr. Debo Adesina, Editor of Guardian Newspaper.

Popularly called Ara, Mujidat Oluokun is the first female Vice President of the Student’s Union Government at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY), Kwara State. In this interview with JASPER DADA, she speaks on her involvement in politics.

‘Anything man can do, a woman can do better’

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•Opeyemi

encourages us to push harder in our endeavours. What do you think about the notion among many youths that there are no jobs? There are jobs. Companies constantly look for people to hire. All the jobs you see on www.jobberman.com are for real and most of them are paid for by the companies. If there were no jobs, there will be no jobberman.com. However, there are more job seekers than jobs and this will not change very soon. Is it true that many graduates are unemployable?

Very true. Job-seekers need to either get more skills or be realistic on the kind of job their present qualifications fit into. Job-seekers should also know that Is Jobberman putting food on your tables? If you mean ‘is Jobberman doing well?’ yes, we are doing well, we can pay ourselves and our 27 coworkers, thanks to all our clients and customers. What are the major requirements employers look out for in applicants? Employers are always on the lookout for excellence, commitment and passion.

HY are you in politics? I joined OFFA POLY politics because I believed that anything a man can do a woman can do better. I said to myself that yes I must vie for political office for me to contribute my quota to the welfare of the students. What are some of your achievements as the vice president? We have achieved a lot and by the special grace of God we are still going to achieve more. One of the major things we have achieved was to make sure that the tuition fee was not increased recently. Why is election in OFFA POLY always a do or die affair? For me and the rest of us in Liberation Movement we don't see it as a do or die affair. We believe in intellectualism, positive ideals, and that is why we continue to preach peace and also advise the students to look before they leap. What are some of your challenges? There are many challenges, but Almighty God has been there for me. It's not easy combining extra curriculum activities with my primary assignment which is academic; I have to make sure that one does not affect another. What is your advice to female politicians?

•Mujidat

They should be determined and be focused. They must not feel inferior to their male counterparts. They must face their academics and not join bad associations. They should know the reasons why they are here. They must also shun adultery, fornication, drug abuse and other social vices which may puncture their dream of becoming great in life. How do you want to be remembered in OFFA POLY? I want to be remembered for my stewardship, honesty and integrity which has been my watch word.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE

Power changes hand in LASPOTECH The new leadership of the Students' Union Government (SUG) has been inaugurated at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH). ADENIKE ASHOGBON (ND II Mass Communication, LASPOTECH) was there.

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HE Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) was agog when the 2011/2012 Students' Union Government (SUG) was inaugurated. The event, which took place in the auditorium of the institution’s Ikorodu Campus, was attended by the Deputy Rector, Mr Olasunkanmi Longe, the Acting Registrar, Mr Olufemi Adebanjo, the Acting. Dean of Students' Affairs (DSA), Mr Gbolagade Omolumo, the Librarian, Mrs. Olajide Abiodun, the last SUG executives and students. Longe urged the students to remember why they came to the institution. She advised them to always make time for their studies, adding : "Leadership is going to take a lot of time from you and you must be prepared to sacrifice time for those you lead. Don't allow your position to affect your purpose here which is to study.” He also congratulated the outgoing executive led by Comrade Adedayo Gafarr for ensuring that the session was hitchfree. He said: “I am proud of the outgoing President and executives of the SUG. We had challenges

but we were able to resolve them because they believed in dialogue instead of violence". Omolumo urged the executives to embrace peace when handling issues that have to do with students' welfare on campus. Dialogue, he added, is the best weapon the union can adopt in handling crisis with ease and not aluta. In his valedictory speech, Gafarr enjoined the new executive to exhibit good leadership traits. He advised them to embrace dialogue in dealing with the management. In his speech, the President, Alajogun Raheem, pledged to be of service to his fellow students. He said his administration would focus on areas such as maximising the Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme set up by the management, prompt release of results: transportation and other issues affecting students. Alajogun said the union will partner with organisations within and outside the institution to achieve its objectives. “This administration hopes to achieve a lot within a short time. We shall do this by partnering

•Deputy Rector Mr Longe (right) presenting an award to the outgoing Sports Director

with organisations within and outside this institution,” he said. Other members of the executive include, Vice President - Omisore Olalekan, Lady Vice President Nnochiri Blessing, General Secretary - Folarin Ajibola, Assis-

tant General Secretary Osasona Oluwatoyin- Financial Secretary -Dauda Monsurat, Treasurer Alimi Oluwatosin, Public Relations Officer- Gbadejoko Sunday, Social Director - Odusanya Abayomi, Welfare Director

(Ikorodu) - Oso Oladotun, Welfare Director (Isolo) - Olayinka Azeez, Sports Director Odunniyi Ayomipo Sodiq, Speaker - Ajibike Iyanu Dare and the Deputy Speaker - Ogunubi Adebiyi.

Despite their anger over the hike in their school fees, students of the Lagos State University (LASU) have inaugurated the leadership of their union’s parliament. NURUDEEN YUSUF (200-Level Islamic Law, LASU) reports.

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TUDENTS of the Lagos State University (LASU) have shelved their protest over increased fees for incoming student to inaugurate their Parliament. On October 25, the students gathered to inaugurate the legislative arm of the LASU Students’ Union Government (SUG) at Okunnuga Hall, Ojo campus, with the theme “Parliament as an agent of change in the 21st Century”. Dignitaries at the occasion included Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Dr Bidemi Idowu, the union president, Akeem Durojaiye, exsenate president of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ahmed Agbabiaka, former speakers of the union, Adebowale Osineye, Ajasa Senapon and Ganiyu Ibikunle. The programme started about 10 a.m., with the union anthem. In his address, the speaker Abdulrasheed Azeez, said the house would stop the management from denying the indigent students qualitative education. “The law making function is one of the essential pillars of any society. No human society survives in the total absence of laws. Whatever the social system, the conduct of affairs must be defined by certain basic rules. This parliament will carry out its oversight functions which encompass policies, processes and activities to eliminate wastage, plug loopholes and ensure value for our money,” Abdulrasheed said. He added: “The parliament will encourage regular constituency outreach activities of its members through monitoring and evaluation, the parliament will continue to serve as a vehicle and instrument of social engineering.” The immediate past speaker, Ganiyu Ibikunle, said: “The members of the parliament should not see themselves as enemies of the members of executive; rather a symbiotic relationship should be engen-

LASU students get parliament

•Abdulrasheed •The parliamentarians after their inauguration

‘The parliament will encourage regular constituency outreach activities of its members through monitoring and evaluation, the parliament will continue to serve as a vehicle and instrument of social engineering’ dered between the two arms for the sake of students. The time to make changes and reasonable laws should not be jettisoned for resolving ego crisis.” Ibikunle urged the speaker to protect the interest of members as their welfare depended on him,

Abdulrasheed, he said should see this opportunity represent the interest of the students. Dr. Idowu admonished the students not to see themselves as island but as an amalgam of students representing the interest of their

colleagues who could not find themselves in the same position. She implored the union members to allow the university to conduct the outstanding exams, which the students disrupted on two occasions. The DSA told the students that

during her own time, students embarked on more than eight months strike over fee. “At the end, it is the students that will pay for it because your stay on campus will be elongated which you all will not like,” Dr. Idowu said. Other members of the parliament include Saheed Adesanya, the clerk, Rasheed Mustapha, Deputy Speaker and Peter Owolabani, the Chief Whip. The Amir of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), LASU Chapter, Abdulmajeed Olayinka, implored the House to embrace peace. He said: “Parliamentarians are the missing link in our democracy. By not understanding the principle of governance, their ignorance has caused us a lot. We need one voice; we need you to work as one because if we are united, we can break the jinx.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

CAMPUS LIFE Students go to the polls

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TUDENTS of Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), have conducted elections into various positions of the Law Students Society (LSS). The elections were keenly contested between various contenders from different levels of study. Asides the executive council elections, elections were also held for seats in the Law Students Representative Council (LSRC), the legislative arm of the student body. The voting started by 9am and ended around 5pm. The moot and mock courts were the voting centres. After the votes were counted, Dayo Ogunyemi was returned as President. Others elected are Rosemary Nwankwo, Vice President;

From Opeoluwa Sonuga OAU

Toyese Odekumi, General Secretary; Joshua Filani, Director of Socials; Quadri Oladimeji, PLO; Ebenezer Adeojo, Assistant General Secretary; Oluwafisayo Oke, Financial Secretary; Adebimpe Adewole, Treasurer; Olayemi Oyeniyi, Director of Sports, and Wole Olaleye, PRO. James Olubunmi, 200-Level Law, and member of the Electoral Commission, said: “It was a free and fair contest.” Also, Joshua Filani said: “I personally thank God for the election and this is a responsibility which I would definitely fulfill to the best of my ability and promise I won’t let the students down.”

•IFUTSA Excos after the programme

Medical students hold seminar on MDG’s

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FE University Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Students (IFUTSA) have held a seminar, with the theme The role of the corporate world and healthcare professionals in the actualisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event, held at the Co-operative Building in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, Osun State, was attended by the Provost of the College of Medicine, Prof Solomon Ogunniyi, national president of Occupational Therapy Association, Chief Joe Nwuigwe, Col. Anne Emechete, the head of Physiotherapy Department, Prof

From Hannah Ojo OAU

Matthew Olaogun, Mr Felix Faniran, of OAU Teaching Hospital, head of Physiotherapy Department at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Olajide Olawale, represented by Mr Oluwatoyosi Owoeye and the Vaccine Manager of Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Miss Omowunmi Wickliffe. In his address, the president of IFUTSA, Kofoworola Ayodeji, said he appreciated the guests and students for attending the programme. While talking on the MDGs and

the role of physiotherapists, Nwuigbe said all hands must be on deck towards the actualisation of the goals. Miss Wickliffe educated the audience on cervical cancer which she described as a killer-disease among women. She said GSK has manufactured a vaccine to prevent the disease. Twenty- six diseases, she said, are vaccinepreventable except Malaria which vaccine, she said, is expected in the market by 2015. The event also featured a presentation of awards to some personalities and launch of the department’s magazine.

•Dayo celebrating his victory with friends

Union elects leaders

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T was a busy week for the students of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto last week. The week was marked with elections in various campus associations. It climaxed with the election of the Students Union Government (SUG) and the Students Representative Assembly (SRA). The SUG voting, which began at around 9:00am last Thursday across the 21 centres, ended by 4:00pm. There was low turnout due to the Sallah break. After the exercise, the chairman of the electoral commission, Dr.

From Mubarak Ibrahim UDUS

M.A Mode, announced Bashar Binji, a student from the Faculty of Education and Extension Services, as the president-elect. Bashar defeated his opponent, Azubuike Lawal, by more than 1,000 votes. Students said the election was free, fair and transparent. The members of the executive and legislative arms of the SUG elected were sworn in the following day. Abdullahi Tijjani, a student from the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies, was elected as the Speaker.

Dept gets new leadership

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•Cross section of students during the election

Law students elect new leaders

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HE Law Students Society (LSS), Adekunle Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko (AAUA), Ondo State has elected new officers for the next academic session. The election was described by many as one of the most peaceful elections in the association’s history. The election featured a debate between the two presidential aspirants, Segun Olubola and

From Dayo Ojerinde AAUA

Dimeji Oyesusi, on the topic: “The LSS of my dream”. While Segun dreamed of a LSS that other associations on campus would envy, Dimeji emphasised on a good welfare package for members. At the end of the polls, Dimeji defeated Segun to emerge presi-

dent. Others elected are: Tope Olabolu, Vice President; Afolabi Adesanmi, General Secretary; Bunmi Jinadu, Financial Secretary, Oluwatosin Ojo, Social Director and Olalekan Adeoye, Treasurer. Dimeji appreciated his colleagues for believing in his dream. He praised his opponent , promising to seek his support to succeed.

Institute begins new session TUDENTS of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, have resumed for the 2011/2012 academic session. But, students have been complaining that their registration is too rigorous. Bamidele Olukare, HND 1 Science Laboratory Technology,

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From Akintomide Akindotun PTI

said: "I am delighted to be admitted, but I expect the registration to be done online, rather than going from one office to another, with our credentials to get registered." The resumption of returning

students has reduced the chances of new students getting hostel space in the school’s two halls of residence Aso Rock and Noble Hall. This has led to a stiff battle for accommodation. Nobel hall is the only female hostel and it has limited bed spaces.

HE National Association of Community Health Students of Nigeria (NACHSN), Bayelsa State College of Health Technology (BYCOHTECH) chapter, has a new leadership. The election was held at the department’s auditorium last weekend, starting with accreditation of voters at about 12pm. Casting of votes began at 1:00pm It ended at about 3:40pm after which counting under the watchful eyes of the aspirants’ agents, began. The result as announced by the electoral committee chairman, Emomotimi Agbogidi, indicated that 148 votes were cast and 29 votes were voided for the presidential position due to error of voting, leaving 119 valid votes. Daniel Ayibapiriye was elected as the president of the department,

From Isaac Mensah BYCOHTECH

having polled 64 votes against his opponent’s 55 votes. Others elected into various positions are Princewill Sebastine, Vice President; Keme Aneri, General Secretary, Akpan Utibe, Deputy General Secretary; Happy Agbowe; Financial Secretary; Zegbe Mukume, Treasurer and Genesis Moses; Public Relations Officer. While addressing students, Daniel promised to live up to the expectation of the students by embarking on projects that would be meaningful to the association. He also promised to consolidate on the gains of previous administrations. In a chat with CAMPUSLIFE, Genesis expressed optimism that the new leadership would lift the association “to an enviable height”.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE Dept loses student

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•The new faculty building for Information Sciences

Faculty moves to permanent office • Mass Comm hold congress

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TUDENTS and members of staff of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences (CIS), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have moved to the just completed CIS building. The building was inaugurated on October 22, during the university’s 27th convocation. But some of the lecture rooms are yet to be equipped with chairs and desks. The building consists of staff offices, lecture rooms, laboratories, common rooms, advertising and public relations room. It also houses the UNILORIN Radio Station, formerly situated on the fifth floor of the Senate Building. The CIS faculty was established following the decision of the Senate at its 193rd special meeting held on June 20, 2008. The decisions covered the movement of the Department of Computer Science and Mass Communication from Faculty of Science and Business and Social Sci-

From Hameed Muritala UNILORIN

ences to the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences. The decision also endorsed the take off of the departments of Library and Information Science (LIS), Information and Communication Science (ICS) and Telecommunication Science. The CIS faculty now has five departments Computer Science, Mass Communication, LIS, ICS and Telecommunication Science. Some students of the faculty, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, expressed appreciation to the management for providing them with the new building, which they said would aid their learning. The students of Mass Communication Department under the banner of Mass Communication Students Association (MACOSA) have held a congress to decide the way for-

ward. The congress was presided over by the MACOSA president, Akinwunmi Ishola. Top on the agenda was the exorbitant faculty fee the students paid in addition to other fees, first year students paid N62,000, while other departments paid less than N40,000. The sophomore students paid N43,000 and Direct Entry students paid N86,000 while other departments in the faculty pay less than N25,000. Akinwunmi said his predecessors tried their best in ensuring that the fees were reduced, but to no avail. “The immediate past executive council wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, on this issue and the reply of the VC was that the fee has been reduced, but this is yet to be effected in our school fees. So, nobody knows where the money goes,” he said. He, however, assured the students that his executive would meet with the Dean of Students Affairs (DSA), Prof Sunday Umoh, to sort things out.

graduating Mass Communication student at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Evelyn Odeh, and the only child of her parents, is dead. She died of malaria. The department was thrown into mourning when news of her death spread. Lectures were cancelled last Monday to honour the late Odeh as her remains were being taken to Benue State for interment. The atmosphere was moody as her classmates recounted how good she was. Her FaceBook page was bombarded with tributes. Lecturers in the department said she was a good and gentle student. Hope Ofobike, a classmate, said she could still not believe that Evelyn was no more. According to her, she was kind, gentle and funny. “We even shared the same page on our year book,” Hope said. For Kehinde Mofolere: “It is so sad that Evelyn, having sur-

Catholic students hold congress

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HE Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) has held its 39 th Biennial Conference, with the theme Rekindling your faith. It took place at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). Participants were from nine ecclesiastical provinces comprising the national body, Owerri (host province), Onitsha, Calabar, Kaduna, Jos, Abuja, Ibadan, Benin and Lagos province. Rev. Father Lawrence Iwuamadi, the Owerri Provincial Chaplain welcomed the participants to the conference. Arch Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese,

From Egwumba Ugochukwu IMSU

A.J.V Obinna, Rev. Fr. A.P.C Njoku, Rev. Fr. Boniface Idoko, Rev. Fr. Collins Akhigbe, Honourable Uche Onyeagocha, Henry Ogu, Prof. Cyril Asiabaka and his wife, Iheoma, were among the dignitaries at the event. Programmes included the launch of NFCS Magazine variety show, talent hunt, adoration, praise and worship. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Asiabaka said he was elated seeing the leaders of tomorrow gathered in his institution. He encour-

aged them to keep living the faith. The NFCS Owerri Provincial President, John Mary Evangelist, told CAMPUSIFE that he was happy hosting the conference. Tosin Oriyomi, a participant from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), said she learned a lot and reconnected with some old friends. Jennifer Elugwaronwu, the NFCS National Vice-President from the Jos Province told CAMPUSIFE that she gained new knowledge from her participation, especially being part of the organisers of the conference. The conference ended with a closing mass.

From Esther Mark UNIJOS

vived the Jos crisis, and the rigours of academic life, was cruelly snatched away from us.” The department visited the bereaved parents. A prayer session was organised by her classmates , who urged God to grant the remaining students long life.

•The students with Hon Ojo (middle)

Ibadan students visit Oyo lawmakers, council boss

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•Father Collins Akhigbe (third left) with participants

•Late Eveyln

HE Federation of Ibadan Students Union (FIBSU), leadership has visited some offices to solicit for sponsorship. The union comprises of students in higher institutions from the 11 local government areas that make up Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. President of the union, Tunmise Adeagbo, said the sponsorship drive was aimed at actualising some of the programmes. The students visited the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ibadan North Local Government, Idris Lapade and congratulated him on his appointment. They handed him a letter containing the programmes of the union which included payment of bursary, scholarship, employment opportunities for Ibadan graduates, among others. Lapade said he would release modalities for the payment of bur-

From Musliudeen Adebayo IBADAN

sary, scholarships for brilliant students and accepted to be a patron. He said the Yes-O 20,000 jobs programme of Governor Abiola Ajimobi would address unemployment. He promised to liaise with other local government chairmen for the procurement of a bus for the union. The students also visited the House of Assembly. Receiving them, the only People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member in the House, Bamidele Ojo, representing Ibadan South East Constituency 1, congratulated the students on their elction and urged them to embrace dialogue. He promised to always assist the union. Deputy Speaker of the House, Babatunde Olaniyan, urged the students to meet 15 other members from Ibadan and also pledged to support the union.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE The tight exam schedule could not deter the Distant Learning Institute (DLI) students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) from organising a beauty pageant. AMAECHI OKOYE (500-Level Business Administration, DLI) was there.

DLI pageant lights up UNILAG

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NE after the other, guests arrived at the venue of the pageant, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Sports Complex. They scrambled for seats in the front row so as not to miss out of the excitement. From the good to the bad and to the ugly, the dress sense of the students was something else. Many wore skimpy dresses just to cover the sensitive parts of their body. It was the second edition of Mr. and Mrs. DLI pageant, organised by the Distant Learning Institute Students Association (DLISA) during the last week of its semester. The pageant started with the mobilisation of students, many of whom had been busy reading for their exams. Also, the organising committee hosted interested students at a “Barbeque Nite” to further create awareness for the show. On D-Day, the Indoor Hall of the Sports Hall Complex was besieged by students. The show started around 4pm with students taking pictures with themselves and some invited guests. Miss Deborah, the CEO of Debby’s Worth Entertainment, a company contracted by DLISA to put up the show, while speak-

•Mr and Miss DLI with the runners up

•Some of the DLI students at the event

ing with CAMPUSLIFE described the pageant as bigger, better and an improvement to the first edition held last year. Present were the Deputy Director of DLI, Dr. M.P. Kuton, who was the special guest of honour,

popular comedian, Owen G, DLI president, Sheriff Sulaimon, the outgoing Mr. and Miss DLI, George and Jennifer. Owen G headed the four-man panel of judges. “This is an indication that all

work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” said Chioma Chukwuzitere, the Secretary of the organising committee. She continued: “This is how to get the students of DLI to balance the work-and-play theory after two to

three months of serious class work and examination.” Peter Orusa, 400-Level Business Administration, said he came to cool off after weeks of intensive lectures and exams. “My brother, should I kill myself?” asked Peter. A 200-Level student of Accounting, Lynda Okwara, who was in company of her classmates, Nelly Austin and Cansilia Ozor, said: “I missed last year edition of the pageant because of exams but this year, I want to be counted.” Richard Odianose, 400-Level Business Administration, who was visibly excited, said: “I am here to support my girlfriend who is one of the contestants for Miss DLI. I believe she is the most beautiful among the girls contesting.” Ten female students contesting for Miss DLI and seven macho guys took the centre stage at 7pm, thrilling the audience with dances, catwalks and performances. They answered questions from the judges and displayed their talents in cultures. De-United Foods, producer of Indomie noodles, sponsored the programme. It served guests and students delicious delicacies of noodles. After each contestant had performed and answered questions from the judges, decision time came. The judges picked Lanre Shobakin, 400-Level Business Administration, and Sikirat Usman, 300-Level Accounting, as the new Mr and Miss DLI for another session. Consequently, the outgoing Mr. and Miss DLI decorated the winners. Kuton congratulated the winners and urged them to be good ambassadors and role models to other students. The winners were given a laptop, with three-month Internet subscription. The first and second runners up in both categories were given LCD TV and mini fridge as consolation prizes.

As the outgoing executive of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), University of Jos (UNIJOS), prepares to leave the political atmosphere is heating up. ESTHER MARK (400-Level Mass Communication) examines the strategies employed by aspirants in the forthcoming election.

Election time at UNIJOS T

O be the Students Union President in any institution is no mean task. It involves so much politicking and strategising, just as it happens in the political world. At the University of Jos, campaign for any position in the Students Union Government (SUG) are usually intense. The aspirants develop strategies to outdo one another. Some of them take pictures in striking positions depicting the post they are seeking. For those seeking to be President or Vice President, the pictures are usually serious with a somewhat shy smile that depicts the sensitivity of the position. But for those aspiring to be Secretary- General, Financial Director and Treasurer, a striking pose with a pen or any writing material does the trick. After designing a poster that will definitely catch the attention of their fellow students, the aspirants will begin to jostle for every available space on campus. A few of them make banners which are placed conspicuously at gates and other strategic areas.

To further create awareness, many candidates employ friends, course mates and church members to act as praise singers. That’s not all. The aspirants also dish out lots of freebies such as customised pens, T-shirts, books, table water, meat pies, noodles, and so on. These are usually given out during the round off campaign. However, from one hostel to the other, stories abound of parties organised by aspirants and other freebies doled out depending on their financial capability. Some actually put the academic consideration in view as they make photocopies of past examination questions, especially the GST courses and distribute to new students to gain their votes. Others organise extramural classes for students on various courses where they don’t fail to remind the students the reasons behind the kind gestures. Having spent heavily on campaigns, one wonders why most of the aspirants hardly perform or live up to the promises they made while campaigning. CAMPUSLIFE spoke to some of-

•UNIJOS students during one of the awareness programmes organised by the SUG

fice holders on why they employ such means to gain a foothold in the political structure of the students body. One of them said: “In as much as we have the passion to serve and better the lots of fellow students, we just cannot shy away from the fact that we need real money to run a successful campaign. We even borrow money from friends and our families to achieve our dreams and if you are not ready to play along,

you would be left out”. Another executive, who also pleaded anonymity said: “Holding a political office or any appointment is a matter of sacrifice and dedication. You must be ready to sacrifice your leisure time including classes and lectures for one meeting or the other.” While many believe that money is a big factor in student politics, some students said the cost of

holding a position should not require so much money. Rosita Okolie, a 400L student of Sociology said students’ campaigns should not be as expensive as they are presently. “If we must campaign, it should be done on a low key so as not to imitate our politicians who use all they have for campaigns and rely on the masses’ money called national cake to reimburse themselves.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE

There is no beauty without brain

By Vincent Nzemeke vincentmaga@gmail.com

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BOUT this time last year, I had a heart to heart talk with one of my mentors who was preparing for his marriage. The conversation turned out to be an interesting one largely because of his optimism that he made a good choice in settling for Rosemary, the girl he was getting married to. As much as I tried to remind him that he said similar things about Cynthia, Tolani, Theresa and his other girlfriends who I knew, he was firm in his conviction that Rosemary was the ideal woman for him. Though he admitted that she was not as beautiful as those I mentioned, he gloated over the fact that she was the most intelligent among

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TRAVEL around campuses as the year comes to an end reveals a trend. It is the time for graduation, and the graduating students affected are not leaving any stone unturned. Playing back the lives of students who were delayed for some years after secondary education, going back to school is a miracle. They get into the admission process with eagerness and look ahead into the four, five or more years of stay on campus with hope. The period seems to be a long while but days fly into months and months into years. Play in real time, the then freshmen are in their final year. They all greet the final year with exhilaration; they maximise the moment and even over-maximise the moment into trouble. Activities that characterise the season include pro-

By Chris Okafor mathswiz2003@yahoo.com

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T was a very bright day and all Nigerians woke up, some on the good side of the bed and others on the bad side, it was October 16 and a memorable Sunday to behold, and as usual Christians found their way to the church. Some went to the church to extol their creator

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APPENINGS in this country are affirming the fact that Nigerians are good in fabrication and implementation of plans, programmes and policies, but execution gradually becomes a problem. With the introduction of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) a few years ago, the agency has done well mostly in the urban communi-

them. To further convince me that he was on the right path, he disclosed that his wife-to-be was a First Class graduate of a top-rated university in Nigeria who could defend herself anywhere. Perhaps because of my naivety, I didn’t see any sense in Uncle Steve’s argument. I couldn’t fathom why he settled for the not-so beautiful Rosemary when classy girls such as Cynthia and Tolani were falling over each other just for him to propose to them. For a streetwise person with good looks and a decent job, Uncle Steve looked too sophisticated for a run-of-the-mill girl such as Rosemary, her first class degree notwithstanding. A few months after their traditional wedding, Uncle Steve invited me and a few friends (all undergraduates) to a get together party at his residence. There he taught us some of the most important lessons we will ever learn about choosing a life partner. All through our discussion, he reiterated that as young men we must look beyond the physical beauty of a woman when searching for a life partner. He also told us that while looks are important, a woman’s intelligence and character are the most essential things to look out for. According to my mentor, everything a woman

has is ephemeral and will fade with time, but her character and intelligence will always be there. He ended his sermon with a story of a girl he used to date. They hit the rocks simply because he couldn’t tolerate her insipid nature. Although marriage is the last thing on my mind right now, Uncle Steve’s sermon reverberated in my mind when I was invited to observe the screening ceremony of contestants for a popular beauty pageant in Lagos. The exercise was part of the modalities to select the final 20 contestants who would make it to the event. While discussing with a member of the organising committee a day before the event, I revelled at the prospect of watching beautiful and intelligent damsels slug it out in a battle of wits. After perusing through the photographs of almost 120 gorgeous girls, I asked him to arrange an interview session with a few of them who, in my opinion, were the most beautiful and had what it takes to scale through the screening. On the day of the event, I ensured that I dressed to impress. I was confident that before or after the show, I would corner one of the girls for a tête-à-tête that would eventually mark the beginning of our friendship. I had no premonition about

was studying Geography, they asked her where the River Niger and Benue connected in Nigeria. After a brief moment of silence, she ran her eyes through the length and breadth of the hall and shouted ‘Mississippi’ with a smile on her face. Obviously surprised at her answer, one of the judges asked if she was sure and she said yes! Another contestant, a student of History and International Studies became uneasy when she was asked to mention three states in the Southsouth. On hearing the question she put up a bright smile that made everyone think she had the answers. After mentioning Delta and Edo State, her confidence seemed to have disappeared. There was a brief silence in the hall as everyone waited on her to mention the third state. She eventually gave the answer as Onitsha and sent everyone reeling with laughter. Although the judges eventually picked the final 20, it was not an easy task. Before announcing the successful contestants, one of them advised the girls to develop themselves by reading. I tow that line too. Girls must understand that beyond being physically attractive, they must also be intellectually attractive. No serious man wants a dullard for a wife that is why every girl who desires a good man must first make herself a good girl.

the disappointment that awaited me in the hall. If I ever had any the doubts about Uncle Steve’s assertions that there is more to a woman than physical beauty, it melted right there in the hall. What I witnessed that day was sufficient to make one conclude that beauty and the brain is a fairy tale delusion that doesn’t exist. Many of the girls, including those I nominated as potential winners, were flops. Although a few were slightly above average, many of them could not answer simple questions posed to them by the judges. It was indeed very embarrassing to see stunning undergraduates fumbling with questions that a well taught secondary student would answer without hassles. The judges and the audience had a rich dose of laughter as the contestants, one after the other, cat-walked with aplomb to the stage only to washout at the first question. What was supposed to be a serious business became comedy when the beautiful girls answered questions with unimaginable answers. One of the contestants, who claimed to be a sophomore student of a university that flagrantly prides itself as the most preferred in Nigeria, cracked many ribs with her anVincent, recently finished from Mass swer. Having told the judges that she Comm., DELSU

Enough of the final year euphoria duction and purchase of mementoes, organisation of dinners, awards and parties and everybody is in a state of ecstasy. Some entrepreneurs have built an industry around this yearly sacrifice, and they smile to the bank while finalists play celebrity! As the celebration goes on in real time, many students do not realise there is a heating up of the system. Months to come, monthly allowance will be past tense, no more reimbursement from uncles and aunts, and no more ‘opportunity’ to squeeze extra income from parents. The undue advantage over inexperienced girls comes to an end, and the swagger on campus will no longer be tested. It is time for the and place their demands for the new week while others stayed back at home and visited places of their interest. If Emmanuel had known the tragedy that awaited him on that fateful day he would have stayed at home. As a Christian he decided to go to church with the hope of returning at the close of the service but only his mother did. Driven by his dream of becoming a legal luminary, he challenged the men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at a check point along Sanni Abacha Way, Yenagoa, for extorting money from commercial motorists, they ran after him like a common criminal and shot him to make sure he was dead. Even the cry from his poor mum could not cause any change. What a brutal police force? And a brazen act of terrorism. Even if he had insulted them, does the constitution allow the police to condemn someone to death by “firing squad?” I have always had it in mind that the days of “firing squad” where people are tied to empty drum and shot to death was past tense and

theoretical knowledge acquired on campus to be converted to practical application. It is time for the finalist with zero years of experience to slug it out with the generation of his fathers who have refused to exit the stage and with people who have graduated five or more years and have obtained requisite experience that has made them fit for the job. Reverse play to real time; are you ready for the challenges ahead? Are you sure you have developed the muscle for the task the future is bringing on while you revel in this ephemeral success. If you have, be hungry for more. If not, start building your strength immediately and keep it up. Realize that it is a con-

tinuous process and that things are rarely granted, they are earned. Invest in your field of expertise, read books, browse the Internet and be listed on the leaders in the sector. Take courses and certifications as they enhance your acceptance in the work environment. Final year students, the seasons that lie beyond the ivory tower are seasons where the wheat will be separated into the barns and the chaff into the fire. It is time to be proactive, take charge of your life and put emphasis where it belongs. Enough of the final year euphoria. Abayomi, 500-Level Chemistry, LAUTECH

The blood of Emmanuel cries out! that we as a democratic nation have gotten to that stage where people are charged to court to defend themselves. Tears fell from my eyes as I read the account of the incidence as narrated by the mother of the deceased, Mrs. Grace Victor, excerpt of her story: “I saw them shoot my son: without mercy, they shot him brutally and he fell down. The tallest police man among them continued shooting him while he was lying lifeless on the ground and when I attempted to help him they threatened to kill me, so I helplessly watched my son die,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks. This is a blatant display of barbarism and wickedness. We all know the pains of motherhood, the protracted nine months labour, the teeth-biting hours in the delivery room and the stress of grooming a child to adulthood particularly in our contemporary Nigeria, yet this men who I am sure

have children of their own were heartless to take someone’s life. No one could say what this innocent boy would have become tomorrow. Those piloting the affairs of this country rose from somewhere and nobody including them knew they would be where they are today. With no apology I say Nigeria has lost a future President, a Governor, another replacement of Gani Fawehimi. The perpetrators of this heinous crime are Nigerians paid and trained by the government to protect the lives of citizens but the reverse is the case, they are still walking about as free as air today. If this could be done boldly in the day I wonder how many Nigerians particularly in the Niger Delta are extra-judicially condemned to death daily. Nigerians must stand up to this challenge. Emmanuel Victor could have been you, your brother, your relation or even your friend. The question is who are the perpetrators of this heinous crime? After

NDLEA and its challenges ties. However, its operations are centered in the urban community at the detriment of the rural sectors. To ensure wider coverage, NDLEA staff should be stationed at every local government headquarters and offices created

By Abayomi Oyelami yomioyelami@yahoo.com

By Suleiman Barau ibrahimdoko@yahoo.com

to ensure that illegal drugs are not taken by members of the local community Despite the enlightenment by experts such as medical doctors,

several days, the crime was committed in Bayelsa State, nobody has been identified and presented to Nigerians as the culprits. It is shameful and embarrassing that those who call themselves our leaders sit down in the comfort of their homes and do nothing in situations like this. Rather than cook up defences, like they are doing now, the culprits should be presented to Nigerians and their punishment spelt out if found guilty by the law court. The NPF should ensure a proper screening of individuals for recruitment. Mentally unstable and psychic persons should have no business in the police force. Most of these problems come from this end. Finally, the President and the Inspector General of Police should look into this case and ensure that the right things are done for the blood of Emmanuel cries out for justice. Chris, 400-Level Microbiology, UNIPORT

visit Danbare village of Kumbotso Local Government Area to see how cannabis is being smoked daily in open places like, a situation which is worrisome, and makes most students residing there to seek for better option for fear of being regarded as one of such drug addicts.

scholars and clergy men on the dangers of drug abuse, especially “Indian hemp” or cannabis popularly called “wee-wee” daily the intake seems to be on the increase. Suleiman, 400-Level I challenge the NDLEA in Kano Comm., BUK State to rise up to their duty and

Mass


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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CAMPUS LIFE

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Leadership quotes for todays youth

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ODAY’S write up will focus on the thoughts and words of very great minds who distinguished themselves as great leaders of our time. These men and women stood tall over the ideologies of their time, proving to themselves and to the world around them that where there is right leadership there is prosperity. Our desire today is to challenge you to ponder on these words. Mull over them. Dissect them. Run them through the mill of your mind. Extract the very essence of the words and hopefully by this let there be an almost mystical experience that unfolds: one that separates you immediately on a conscious level from those around you. Then carry with you this consciousness and let that become the propelling force to a whole new stratosphere of performance. We are desperate in these times. Posterity will not forgive us if we fail our generation. Leadership, nay, right leadership is a mandate. It is a call. One to which you must answer. Are you ready? Then dig in! •“You will never be a leader unless you first learn to follow and be led.” -Tiorio •“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” -Jim Rohn •“Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” -Jim Rohn •“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a transformer in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” -Stephen R. Covey •“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” -Rosalynn Carter •“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” James Crook •“Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people.” -Brian Tracy •“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be

On and Off Campus

By Uche Ogbonna marketingcommunication@fidelitybankplc.com uche.ogbonna@fidelitybankplc.com 08055061278

frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” Lao-Tzu • “It’s not always easy to do the right thing. But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think. In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone. But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.” - Queen Latifah •“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” -Kenneth Blanchard •“I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.” -Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill •“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Take a moment and read up the biographies of some of the people we have cited above. Greatness many times is the subject of envy and criticism, but truth be told, many times it is a bye profuct of outstanding leadership. Detach yourself for a moment and let introspective reflection take place in your mind. Can you actually connect with some of the things stated above? Can you relate with Rosalynn Carter when she says “A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be”? Do you really believe that? Do you fathom the implication of such a deep statement? Are you willing to pay the price and make the sacrifice necessary to take a people to where they ought to be? This is the kind of thinking that propels us forward and helps us achieve far reaching goals. It is deep and it is productive. Learn to think like these men and women. Study them, dig deep into their psyche. Find out what makes them tick and you will be on your way to revolutionary Leadership. Check out our facebook page (fidelityhelpinghands). Join the group and see what we are doing. Get yourself a Fidelity Flex account! It Rocks!

By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

Faculty elects new executives

IGERIAN University of Education Students Association (NUESA), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) chapter, has elected new leaders. No fewer than 18 aspirants from various departments of the faculty vied for the available positions. The election started with the manifesto where the aspirants woo their colleagues, promising better representation if elected in the contest. However, the two presidential aspirants, Edward Ogunleye and Samuel Olugbo stole the show as they attracted much attention. While Edward promised to make available a public address system in the lecture halls in the faculty, as well as a weekly news bulletin, among other things Samuel promised prompt release of results, free tutorial class, inter-departmental quiz and debate. However, after the election, Edward was re-

From Dayo Ojerinde AAUA

turned as the elected president of the association. Others elected are Olanike Oladimeji, Vice President; Tolulope Betiku, Sport Director; Monday Awe, Social Director; Joseph Aloba, Financial Secretary; Gift Iyogun, General Secretary; Aina Oludayo, Liberian; Babatunde Olotu, General Secretary; Opeyemi Ayodele, Treasurer; and Michael Abimbola, Welfare Director. The electoral chairman, Reverend Abayomi Oluwasijio said: “The committee encountered some challenges, but we were able to overcome the challenges. For instance the election was supposed to have been held earlier, but due to some reasons, the Dean and the Staff Adviser of the faculty deemed it fit to postpone the election, but thank God the election is history today”.

•Poetomania on stage

Club organises campus health forum

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HE Campus Health and Rights Initiative (CHRI), a reproductive health club at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has organised a campus health forum programme to educate students on unwanted pregnancies. The event, held at the Fajuyi Hall café, was well attended by students and health personalities prominent among whom are Dr. Funmi Ogunwunmi, of OAU Community Health department, Dr Shola Ajayi, from Crop Production, Pharm. Tayo Odu and Dr Ola Tunji. The programme started with songs on HIV status by a student who simply identified himself as Rex. Poetomania, a poetry group comprising of students from the department of English thrilled the audience to a funny but educative piece on unwanted pregnancies. There was also a debate session which featured representatives of clubs such as Alpha, JCI and AISEC. Olutayo Osho, JCI representative, while speaking on Who is to blame for unwanted pregnancies, cited ignorance, rape and ineffective use of contraceptives as major causes for the menace. The point that the women should be

From Hannah Ojo and Oyindamola Adedeji OAU

blamed was upheld by Toyosi Ukpong, AISEC representative, who argued that ignorance should not be a defence since the world is in a computer age and information could be easily accessible. Chijioke Isichie, who represented Alpha Club, however, stood in defence of women saying men often shift responsibility from their action. Olutayo emerged the best speaker with 97 points and was closely followed by Chijioke with 94 points. There were also contributions from members of the audience. CAMPUSLIFE spoke to Tunde Ajidagba, a 500Level Medicine student, who submitted that CHRI was an avenue for students to come to air their views on current issues about reproductive health. “Sex is something that most people don’t want to talk about since parents and religious centres shy away from it. The theme for this year was chosen as a result of the high prevalence of unwanted pregnancy. Even though we sometimes challenge ourselves since we usually don’t get sponsors, we are focused on making impact and the response so far has been good,” Tunde said.

‘Unwinding with alcohol does more harm than good’

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PSYCHOLOGY lecturer with the Bayelsa State College of Health Technology (BYCOHTECH), Mr Timisuo Kiabuku, has warned against alcoholism, noting that unwinding with alcohol does more harm than good. Mr Kiabuku gave the warning while delivering a paper on Stress and its management at the 2011/2012 series of seminar presentation held at the institution’s Lecture Room 3. He said that about 42per cent of alcohol addicts drink with the view of unwinding after a stressful day or in a frustrated state as indicated by, according to him, a recent health research. According to the psychologist, alcohol is a depressant to the central nervous system and brain activity. He advised people not to see alcoholic drinks as antidote for stress. Proffering solution to management of stress, he

From Isaac Mensah BYCOHTECH

said instead of resorting to alcoholism in troubled states, involvement in body exercise such as swimming, rope-skipping and dancing could be better ways of managing stress. The venue was filled to capacity as students and staff attended the seminar that equally featured questions and answer session. Among dignitaries present was the Provost of the College, Dr. Teddy Adias. In a chat with CAMPUSLIFE, a lecturer, Mr Tonye Ogele, praised the efforts of the college management, describing the seminar as a forum for the cross-fertilisation of knowledge. A student, Solomon Bigbo, remarked that the seminar was an eye-opener to some prevalent habits among people which are not healthy.

This goes out to my bosom friend and confidant to whom I accord much respect, Oluwatunmise Oladipo, who got posted to Oyo State for her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. Tunmise, only God understands the bond between us. I will miss you, dear! Also, to Gerald Nwokocha, who got posted to Abuja. Boko Haram will not visit your ways in Jesus name. Welcome to the fold, brother. Olawale Ajetunmobi, corps member, NYSC Lagos.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

EDUCATION FUTA FILE

ASUU warns of imminent strike

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HE Abuja zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to begin the full implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement to avoid disruption of academic activities in universities. The union also urged ASUU-NEC to reconvene after November 22, to review government’s fulfillment of its promises and take an action. Addressing a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM), ASUU Zonal Co-

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

ordinator, Dr Abu Mallam, said since the agreement was signed, apart from salary component, substantial aspects of the agreement were yet to be implemented. He also said the government has not shown any willingness to honour the agreement. Mallam noted that following the two-week warning strike by ASUU, there were appeals from well-meaning Nigerians and the government for an amicable solution, but lamented that nothing has been done since the two-month

grace. Mallam said the components of the agreement yet to be implemented included funding, academic allowances, 70 years retirement age for academic staff of professorial cadre and amendment of pension; Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Universities Commission (NUC) laws. It also decried the arbitrary and illegal dissolution of the governing councils of federal universities and the conduct of post-UTME by universities as part of quality control for admissions.

INEN inducts students

-•Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, ASUU National President

Experts to brainstorm on curricular at Ekiti varsity

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XPERTS in Sociology and Anthropology will gather at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, between Wednesday and Saturday to deliberate on ways of improving teaching and societal acceptance of both academic fields. The meeting being planned by the Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Association (NASA), is expected to be attended by heads

By Eric Ikhilae

of departments and professors of Sociology/Anthropology under the aegis of the Committee of HODs and Professors of Sociology/ Anthropology (HaPSA). Prof Olabisi Aina, President, NASA, and Dr R.A. Okunola, the Secretary-General, in letters to university vice-chancellors, said the meeting was mandatory for HODs

and all professors of sociology (and or Anthropology) in their institutions. The meeting, NASA said, is to reposition Sociology/Anthropology, as a discipline in the nation’s tertiary institutions and ensure that local curricular meet international standards. “This is to ensure that our graduates can compete well with their counterparts around the world. It will also avail the group opportu-

nities to share experiences, challenges, and innovative pedagogies in the field. “More importantly, sociologists and anthropologists in Nigeria reposition themselves and be more relevant to international and national development agendas and specifically, come up with strategies for rebranding our national consciousness / identities so that Nigeria can better compete amongst the committee of nations.

ASCON, NOUN to run PG programme

UNIOSUN wins CIPM quiz • Peters (fourth from right) and Prof Tenebe (fifth right) and other principal officers of the institutions. By Adegunle Olugbamila

bal shift in the management of resources. In his response, Mr Peters recalled how the institute established by the Federal Government in 1972, was charged with training, research and capacity building. Ajibade said such marriage is not new to ASCON. He recalled a similar alliance with the University of Lagos for a PGD in Public Administration in 1980. He thanked the management of NOUN as well as the immediate

past Head of Service of the Federation Prof Oladapo Afolabi who facilitated the alliance. “We want to thank NOUN because the manner of the collaboration was smooth. But, moreover, this alliance will benefit many public and private officers desirous of certificates. “The e-learning is one thing we must all imbibe. We already have an e-learning unit at ASCON. ASCON started a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration with UNILAG in 1980. Now, we are starting another Post-Graduate Di-

ploma in Management with NOUN; and you know that management is the contending issue in the country. For transformation and everything other thing, we need qualitative people who will manage every resource we have in the country. A lot of public servants and people in the private sector want certificates to be given to them by reputable institutions such as ASCON to prove to the world that they can do it. There are other things that we would do together, but we are starting with this one first.”

Niger governor for YABATECH convocation lecture

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IGER State Governor Dr Muazu Aliu Babangida will speak on Entrepreneurial skills and competency based education: An elixir for employability and selfreliance at the Convocation Lecture of the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) on Tuesday. YABATECH Rector Dr Margaret Kudirat Ladipo, said the choice of Babangida to deliver the lecture for the 27th convocation of the first tertiary institution in Nigeria was informed by his passion for entrepreneurship and skills development. She added that he is discuss-

VC counsels on excellence THE 2,825 new students of FUTA have been urged to maintain the moral and academic excellence which the university has worked hard to achieve. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebisi Balogun, said this during the orientation organised for freshers. He reiterated that the students were admitted on merit out of the over 17,000 candidates who applied. Balogun, who described the new students as lucky, warned them against cultism, examination malpractice and other social vices, while enjoining them to hit the ground running, since the final Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of students will be determined by the efforts they put in from their first year. He said the university has put facilities in place to make the students comfortable, including a new students’ hostel.

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ISTORY was made last Thursday when the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly run a postgraduate management programme. At the event, which was attended by principal officers of both institutions, led by NOUN Vice-Chancellor Prof Vincent Ado Tenebe and ASCON Director-General, Mr Ajibade Peters, the agreement was signed amid fanfare. Tenebe noted that the importance of public service in economic management cannot be overemphasised as national development rests on the quality of public management policy. The MoU, Tenebe explained, “is to institute a postgraduate diploma in Management through the Open Distance Learning (ODL) system which relies heavily on e-learning.” Tenebe added that managers who go through the programme will be able to “take up appointment as competent managers in any establishment both in private and public sectors of the economy; initiate and implement appropriate policy framework in improving and enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in public service; perform as public and private sector managers, consultants, academics, researchers and community development officers, among others. Tennebe described the alliance as part of Nigerians’ response to a glo-

TWELVE students of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have been inducted into the Institute of Economists of Nigeria (INEN). Speaking during the Regional Students Membership Induction and Seminar, held in the university, the Rector, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun, said the economy took off at independence from a humble beginning that was purely agrarian – with agriculture accounting for over 82.2 per cent of export earnings and over 70 per cent of the labour force. The Rector, who spoke on The Role of Economists on the SocioEconomic Development of Nigeria, stated that economists should conduct research into the success and failure of the country’s economy and recommend the way forward.

•Otedola, Akpabio, Farouk to become fellows ing partnership with the college on entrepreneurship. The lecture, which is scheduled for the Yusuf Grillo Auditorium, will be chaired by Senator Uche Chukwumerije, chairman, Senate Committee on Education, while Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State will be the special guest of honour. At the convocation on November 24, former Lagos State Governor, Sir Michael Otedola, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on

Education, Hon Lawan Farouk, and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State will be conferred with fellowship of the institution. Dr Ladipo said the trio were chosen because of their contribution to the development of education. She said: “Otedola facilitated the donation of an expanse of land for YABATECH’s Epe campus, the Agricultural Technology, Marine Technology programmes and quring land for the Epe campus of the

institution.As for Farouk Lawan, his dogged belief in education has placed him on the front burner for the development of education in the country. Akpabio was chosen because of his love for education. He made both primary and secondary education compulsory and he is providing a conducive environment for tertiary education as well.” At the convocation, 5,444 graduates from the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 academic sessions will be awarded National and Higher National Diplomas (ND and HND).

OSUN State University (UNIOSUN) has won this year’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) Students’ quiz competition. The event held took place at Brymo Hotel, Ilobu Road, Osogbo, as part of the activities to mark the Third Annual Conference of the Osun State branch of CIPM. The competition was between students of the Department of Local Government Studies, Faculty of Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife and those of the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management of the College of Management and Social Science, Osun State University, Okuku Campus. The UNIOSUN students won with 22 points while OAU scored 21 points. Prizes were presented to the competitors by the wife of the branch Chairman, Mrs. O. Anifowose. While congratulating the students, the UNIOSUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sola Akinrinade, urged them not to rest on their oars and urged them to continue to be good ambassadors of the institution. The university was represented by Fakrogha Dotimiye, Fashakin Babajide and Balogun Ramat.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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EDUCATION FEDPOFFA FILE New academic calendar outInbox THE management of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA), has released the academic calendar for the 2011/2012 academic session. According to a statement signed by its Registrar, Alhaji Abdulhamid Raji, the first semester of the new session will start next Monday with the resumption of students while registration would begin on resumption day till Wednesday, December 14. The orientation for fresh students is slated for next Tuesday and Friday, while lectures would start for all students on December 5. Matriculation of fresh students will take place on January 6, while the Eighth Convocation is slated for February 25.

Accreditation teams visit ACCREDITATION teams from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) have visited the polytechnic for the accreditation and re-accreditation of programmes in the Schools of Applied Science Technology, Business and Management Studies, Communication and Information Technology, Engineering and Environmental Studies. Receiving the teams in the Polytechnic Boardroom, the Rector, Dr Mufutau Olatinwo, said the polytechnic has been making efforts to ensure that all its programmes were always accredited. He expressed the readiness of the management and members of staff to cooperate with the resource persons and assist them in their tasks. The leader of the Team, Mrs Grace Mekeri-Yahaya, said that the accreditation is for quality assurance and would assist the polytechnic in many ways.

SCHOLARSHIP APPROACHING DEADLINES Tehran University of Medical Sciences Scholarship Program (TUMS Scholarship Program)for Undergraduate and Graduate courses in medical Sciences Study Subject(s): Medical Sciences:- Anatomy, Anesthesiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cardiology, Community Medicine, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, ENT, Forensic Medicine, General Surgery, Genetics, Geriatrics, Histology, Immunology and Biology, Internal Medicine, Legal Medicine and Occupational Medicine, Medical Education, Medical Ethics, Medical Physics, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Neurology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Occupational Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Parasitology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Psychiatry, Pulmonary Medicine, Radiology, Radiotherapy, Reproductive Biology, Social Medicine, Sport Medicine, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Urology, Virology etc. Course Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, Masters and PhD programs Scholarship Provider: Tehran University of Medical Sciences Scholarship can be taken at: Iran Eligibility: For undergraduate level of studies: The applicant must have finished her or his high school. For graduate level of studies: The applicant must have had obtained a degree in the field related to her/his desired field of study. The teaching language will be in English. The applicant need to have proof of English language ability to write, read, and understand. Students currently studying or residing in Iran are not eligible to apply. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: TUMS Scholarship Programme is a scholarship programme set up by the TUMS to facilitate students and scholars from all over the world to conduct their study and research at TUMS. The scholarship aims to increase the mutual understanding and scientific exchange of scholars and students of Iran and scholars and students from the rest of the world. TUMS is the best university in the field of medical sciences in Iran and it is the second best medical university in the Middle East. How to Apply: Online Scholarship Application Deadline: 31 December 2011. Read more: TUMS Scholarship Program 2012 in Medical Sciences at Tehran University of Medical Sciences : College Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, Postdoctoral, Graduate International Scholarships Fellowships http://scholarship-positions.com The Phi Beta Kappa Society offers Sibley Fellowship for Women in French Studies, USA- 2012 Study Subject(s):French Studies Course Level :Research Scholarship Provider: The Phi Beta Kappa Society Scholarship can be taken at: USA Eligibility: Candidates must be unmarried women 25 to 35 years of age who have demonstrated their ability to carry on original research. They must hold a doctorate or have fulfilled all the requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation, and they must be planning to devote full-time work to research during the fellowship year. The award is not restricted to members of Phi Beta Kappa or to U.S. citizens. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: The annual Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship is awarded alternately in the fields of Greek and French. The award may be used for the

study of Greek language, literature, history, or archaeology, or the study of French language or literature. The fellowship has a stipend of $20,000. The stipend will be paid in two installments, the first on July 1 of the award year and the second on the next January 1, unless the Fellowship Committee orders the stipend withheld because the fellow has disregarded the purpose of the award as stated by the donor. How to Apply: Online Scholarship Application Deadline: January 15, 2012 Read more: The Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship in French Studies, USA : College Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, Postdoctoral, Graduate International Scholarships Fellowships http://scholarship-positions.com Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarships(OCISS) for Islamic Students, UK November 12, 2011 Scholarship for Islamic students and developing countries students only at University of Oxford, UK Study Subject(s):Various Course Level:Graduate Scholarship Provider: University of Oxford Scholarship can be taken at: UK Eligibility: Candidates should be applying to start a new graduate course at Oxford. Please ensure you meet the requirements for entry to your course, including English language requirements. See the Course Guide for more information. Open to British Muslim students and students from the following developing countries in Asia and Africa: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen Arab Republic. You must be able to show how your intended course of study is of relevance to the Muslim world. UK students must also be Muslims. This scholarship is open to candidates studying for all degree bearing courses, with the exception of PGCert and PGDip courses. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: These scholarships have been established by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies to allow graduates to pursue study of benefit to the Muslim world. The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is a Recognized Independent Centre of the University of Oxford. It was established in 1985 to encourage the scholarly study of Islam and the Islamic world. The Centre provides a meeting point for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning. At Oxford it contributes to the multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary study of the Islamic world. Beyond Oxford, its role is strengthened by an international network of academic contacts. How to Apply: Online Scholarship Application Deadline: Candidates should apply by Application Deadline 2 ( January 6, 2012 for Medical Sciences and Philosophy; January 20, 2012 for all other subjects). Read more: Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarships(OCISS) for Islamic Students, UK : College Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, Postdoctoral, Graduate International Scholarships Fellowships

Lagos deputy governor canvasses more writing

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•Akran of Badagry the Aholu- Whenu Toyi(middle) flanked by the Provost Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Otto/Ijanikin Mr Bashorun Olalekan(left) and his deputy Mr Agoro Oladehinde. Others are (from left) the college Public Relation Officer Adebowale Odunayo; Director of the college Centre for Lagos Studies, Mr Femi Keshinro; the librarian Mrs Oluwole Omotayo; a member of the college Governing Council Alhaja Salia Fagbenro (second right) and deputy registrar (staff &development) Adetayo Adegboyega (right) when the group paid a courtesy visit to the palace of the monarch in Badagry.

NICO to hold cultural extravaganza

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HE National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Lagos Office has scheduled the second edition of its end-of-year children’s cultural extravaganza for December 9. The event is targeted at children to complement the institute’s efforts at promoting

Nigeria’s cultural heritage. Over 1,000 pupils from various schools within Lagos are expected to participate in the programme at the institute’s Lagos office, at National Theatre annex, Iganmu. A statement by the Head, Lagos Liaison office, Mrs. B. R. Yerima,

said activities for the day would include debate in Yoruba language, Quiz in Igbo and Hausa catching the train, traditional hair demonstration and traditional cooking competition. She appealed to corporate organisations and NGOs to sponsor the event.

HE Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has called for more writers to render stories on relevant events. Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said this at the launch of a book ‘Never say Never’ held Penultimate Thursday at Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Lagos. She said pupils learn faster from stories written from daily events. Her words: “There is need for more writers who will put relevant events into story like we had today because pupils gain a lot from this and it stays longer in their memory.” Mrs Orelope-Adefulire, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Risikat Akinyode, urged pupils to cultivate the habit of reading. Speaking on the quality of the book, the book reviewer, Mr Kayode Olopade, described it as a must for every pupil, saying it will boost their interest IN reading. “The book is highly recommended for pupils across the nation because it gives courage to them to persevere and to work hard because it pays. The book is well explained and full of food for thoughts. It will boost the interest of pupils for reading,” he said. The author of the book,Mrs Adetokunbo Akinosho-Thomas, advised pupils to make positive use of internet to enhance their learning. She warned pupils to desist from indulging in pornography and other vices online, saying there are more positive things to learn than their indulgence.

By Seun Olalude

She said: “One of the ways forward in the education sector is through the e-book which is read online. It teaches chemistry, physics, mathematics, which seems difficult to most pupils and other subject. Read online not for pornography, films or all these vain materials they look for on the Internet. Parents, teachers and guardians have to make sure they monitor what these children are accessing online.” MrsAkinosho-Thomas, a civil servant with the Lagos State government, described her book as one of the ways to champion a positive shift in pupils’reading culture and boosting their moral standard. “There are no two ways about it; readers are leaders, whether you read online or the hard copy, just make sure you read because as you do that, you learn. You cannot have everything in the classroom; so read to become a better person. I saw the decadence not only in education sector alone but in moral and character of youths. So, I tried to help through this book to open their eyes on something they can read for pleasure.” The Chairman, Lagos State Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), Mrs Gbolahan Daodu, said the state government is working to make reading part of pupils in the state. “We have mandated it for pupils in the 1001 primary and secondary schools in the state to read after the schools’ hours before going home. By this, we hope there will be positive changes towards reading,” she said.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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EDUCATION

LSUBEB flags off Bridge IT project

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HIRTY-ONE public primary schools in Lagos State have begun deploying educational

videos to enhance the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Their pupils are being taught mathematics by teachers using television sets connected to Nokia mobile phones loaded with video contents that make the concepts more concrete and interesting. The project, tagged Bridge IT, was flagged off by the Chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), Mrs Gbolahan Khadijat Daodu, penultimate Tuesday at St Agnes Primary School, Maryland. The IT project is sponsored by the Pearson Foundation in with Nokia (under the Nokia Education Delivery – NED) with Airtel, supplying the airtime to power the phones.

Its Co-ordinator, Mrs Atinuke Adelakun said 62 teachers, two per school, were trained during the long vacation to use the platform to make teaching of the subject more practical. She said if they perform well and the pilot phase is a success, the project would be extended to about 100 schools by January – with the teaching of Science added to Mathematics. “I told the teachers that the expansion of the project depends on what they do with it. They need to teach with it, use it and observe how the pupils respond. We will decide to include Science in January,” she said. Mrs Daodu lauded the initiative and the private sector involvement in complementing government’s effort to improve the quality of education.

School wins health debate •Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Nemi (left), presenting a trophy to the representative of Obio/Akpor Local Government Mr Ikechukwu Chinyere in which one of the schools in the community - Community Secondary School Rumuokwurushi- emerged first at the finals quiz competition for all secondary school in Port Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Okorocha hails school on performance in quiz contest T HE Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has described his school Rochas Foundation College as the best secondary school in the country because of its outstanding academic records. Receiving the trophy and cash prize won by the school at National High Schools Quiz Competition, Okorocha described the college as a centre of excellence, adding that his penchant for free education was derived from the college’s success of the college. He said: “My children have, indeed, proved beyond reasonable doubt that Rochas Foundation College is a centre of excellence. The policy of free education in

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From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Imo State is derived from the successes and academic record of Rochas Foundation College. I am optimistic that they will sustain this wonderful record.” The governor promised organisers of the programme that the state will host next year’s edition. He also gave N100,000 to each of the three pupils who represented the school and N250,000 to the school management. The leader of the delegation and National Quiz master, Dr

Administrator seeks best practice

O bring the education system at par with the best in the world, an educationist, Mrs Tokunbo Edun, has recommended that Nigeria should learn from countries like Singapore and China. In an interview at Grace Schools, Gbagada, Lagos where she is the Administrator, Mrs Edun said these countries with similar history of colonialism and economic backwardness with Nigeria were able to rise and reposition their education system to become the toasts of the world. “For years now, Singapore has produced the best results in International Mathematics and Science examinations. We have to learn what they are doing right. We all started together; at independence we were at the same level. They were colonised like us. They have been able to break through,” she said. To this end, Mrs Edun said Grace School adopts best practices from around the world and provides facilities, resources and training that can make the pupils compete favourably with peers from all over. “I have been to schools around the world – India, China, Australia. When I come back home, I am proud of what we have at Grace because our facilities can

Chidi Enwerem, said Rochas Foundation College came second after to the host school, Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja in a keenly contested intellectual Olympics winning the trophy and N100,000 prize. He described the competition as a private-public partnership (PPP) initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Inquest Limited, West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examinations Council (NECO) and some corporate organisations. He said the event was to promote the spirit of healthy competition among secondary schools in the country, reward excellence in teaching and learning as well as promote national integration.

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HE College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu has won of the Health Debate organised for secondary schools in Enugu metropolis. The competition, which was conducted at the National Grammar School Nike, Enugu State was sponsored by the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (GLRA) and facilitated by Krisanctus Productions, a media outfit based in Enugu Four schools each from the three local government areas, which make up Enugu urban, participated in the competition, which is in its pilot phase. The selected schools were visited in liaison with the state Ministry of Education to acquaint them with the modalities for participation prior to the start on October 24 with the Local Government Preliminaries during which some topics on Leprosy and related issues were debated upon. The most interesting contest was that between the National Grammar school Nike and St. Patrick’s Secondary School in which the proverbial David and Goliath battle played out. St. Patrick’s paraded a squad made up of senior pupils, who were de-

From Chris Oji, Enugu

feated by the Junior Secondary School (JSS) pupils of the National Grammar School Nike to the amazement of the crowd. The preliminaries produced three schools, National Grammar School Nike, CIC and the Command Day Secondary School, Enugu that competed in the grand finale for the prize money of N50,000 donated by the GLRA . Addressing the pupils at the event, the representative of GLRA, Gerhard Oehler praised the dexterity of the competitors, expressing his surprise at the level of research they carried out. “It’s amazing to know that students at this level can carry out researches as enormous as this,” he said Also speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director of the organising body, Mr Sanctus Okereke, said the competitions were designed to keep the pupils busy while teaching them what they should know about leprosy and other health issues. He also said that the event is expected to translate into yearly competition, which will see more schools participate in subsequent editions.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

compete with others around the world,” she said. Mrs Edun added that the school’s adoption of the Chinese Language as part of its curriculum was aimed at grooming world-class pupils. Given the progress China has made technologically in recent years, Mrs Edun said the language would help Grace pupils gain from the country’s progress. “Almost every product is made in China. They are investing so much in Africa. We teach our children Mandarin Chinese from year one in primary school to JSS3. They can also write Pinyin – the western style of writing Mandarin Chinese. We have five Chinese teachers sent to us by the Chinese government from the Confucius Institute at the University of Lagos. We don’t pay for their services,” she said. Beyond seeking to do well in international examinations, such as Cambridge O Levels and SAT, Mrs Edun said the school, established by her mother, the late Deaconess Grace Bisola Osinowo, in 1968, is also excelling locally. Supporting her claim, the Principal of Grace High School, Mr Ronald Cilliers, said the school places emphasis

•Mrs Edun (middle) flanked by Mr Cilliers (right), and Mrs Madhusri Saha, Head Teacher, on the occasion

on ensuring its pupils excel in public examinations. “As a Nigerian school, I think it is very important for us to conduct Nigerian examinations. When we do the WASSCE and the SSCE conducted by NECO, it is important to benchmark where

we are in the industry locally. In the past three years, we have had 100 per cent pass in the SSCCE. We have our candidates making six, seven eight As,” he said. If Nigeria is managed like Grace is, Cilliers, a South African, said the country would surpass many others, like Grace.

“I have always maintained that this country has the ability to supersede other countries. I refer to this school as mini Nigeria and we use the resources at our disposal to the best of our ability. I hope and pray that Nigeria would use its resources right,” he said.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

EDUCATION

Don recommends credit in Maths for public officers A PROFESSOR of Mathematics at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Timothy Opoola, has suggested a minimum of credit pass at the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for intending political office holders. He said with alertness, “one, who is adept at Mathematics readily spots error and exposes what is wrong, especially if such a person chooses to practise what is right and good for the country and his fellow men.” The mathematician said this while delivering the 97th inaugu-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

ral lecture of the university entitled: Mathematics: Faith that works. He urged the government to continue to invest in the teaching of and research in Mathematics as it is the language of science and technology. “The challenge of promoting the subject and building students’proficiency in Mathematics should be a foremost concern for our

government if we want to ensure a better future for our nation and the next generation that will inherit it.Visual Mathematics should be introduced in our primary and secondary mathematics curriculum,” he said. Opoola also recommended that talented students should enjoy scholarship for undergraduate and postgraduate education in Mathematics and given automatic employment to teach Mathematics in secondary schools after their education.

•Toby-Lade and his wife, Elizabeth at the event

Ex-NATE chief laments state of technical education F

OR someone who spent decades fighting the BSc /HND dichotomy, Pastor Joseph TobyLade’s 75th birthday penultimate Friday at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos was an apt forum to discuss the challenges facing polytechnic, technical and vocational education. Toby-Lade, whose struggle for recognition and career advancement for polytechnic-trained graduates, particularly in engineering, led to the formation of the Nigerian Association of Technological Engineers, now Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE), in 1976, also launched a foundation (the Engineer Toby-Lade Foundation) to provide technical skill training and mentoring to youths during the programme. Toby-Lade, the president of NATE for nine years, lamented the lack of appreciation of technical and vocational skills today unlike in the preindependence era when the government encouraged acquisition of technical skills by youths and rewarded them with scholarships and jobs. He faulted the present government for favouring university certificates over others, thereby reducing the interest of youths in technical education. He said: “These certificates (technical certificates) were of great value then, recognised by government, companies, etc. and were passport for good employment. The former colonial masters made it so. But nowadays, many young people aspire to obtain university qualifications because of the value government places on university degrees, and so, many people are no longer interested in obtaining Technical and Vocational Education to acquire trade/technical skills. Instead they join the bandwagon of people pursuing university education at all cost.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

“Following the above, there is drastic shortage of skilled technicians, artisans, craftsmen of various trades such as masons, carpenters, electricians, R&A technicians, road and building construction workers, to mention a few. Very soon, we may start importing technicians from neigbouring Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic in large numbers.” The event was attended by top NATE leaders including present and past presidents who lent credence to Toby-Lade’s concerns. The NATE National President, Sir Leo Okereke, said the current situation has hindered technological advancement of the country and its ability to produce goods. “Every economy is technologically driven except that of Nigeria. That is why Nigeria cannot move forward. Nigeria is moving on its knees. Until we decide to go back to skill acquisition, our factories will never run; our power will never come back. Factories are relocating to West African countries. In my own factory, Ghanaians are the ones that do the work,” he said. On his part, chief launcher at the programme and Toby-Lade’s successor as NATE President, Dr Segun Lami, said not only government must end the BSc/HND dichotomy but Nigerians as a people must stop discriminating against technical and vocational education. When he asked those present how many allowed their wards to enroll in polytechnics or for trades, none answered in the affirmative. “Let me ask parents here how many of you want your children to learn carpentry, iron bending,

plumbing etc? We want it for the children of the neighbours. We are also discriminating like government. None of my children went to the polytechnic. Many of us here our children do not attend polytechnics,” he said. Also speaking, Mr Obashola Alabi, a NATE Fellow, said time had come for Nigeria to embrace the practice the world over and phase out the HND qualification. He urged the association to support any move to convert polytechnics to universities given the neglect of polytechnics that has resulted in the degeneration of their facilities. He said: “Sometime last year, the Federal Government approved the conversion of polytechnics into degree-awarding universities of technology. I call on my colleagues in NATE to embrace this educational reform.The abrogation of HND programme is a global trend and will finally put to rest all the discriminations bedevilling the engineering family.” He also criticised the NATE leadership for compromising the objectives for which the association was formed to fight for recognition of HND graduates, particularly their decision to adopt the classification, Technologist, to describe HND Engineering graduates. “NATE adopted the nomenclature ‘Technologist’ for HND graduates in engineering.This is being represented in the engineering family pyramid by a demarcation or a line below the apex of the pyramid with the engineer at the apex (an acceptance of inferiority).This title has generated confusion as it has no clearly defined functions that are distinct and unilateral. In fact, it does not even exist in the civil service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You cannot rise to Level 17 without job function,” he said.

EDUTALK Reviewing campus friendships

with

R

EMINISCENCES of school days with some colleagues during a road trip this week brought to mind the value of relationships while in school. The education we gain in school is not limited to academic knowledge but intangible skills of how to relate with people and deal with issues of life. Who we are, to some extent, is a product of our relationships. Relationships can make or mar; which is why it is imperative that students pay attention to the friends they keep. I believe there are two categories of students who gain admission into school. We have a few who start out focused and determined to excel in their academics, and begin to work right from the onset. Their determination helps shield them from peer pressure and saves them from noticing they are missing out of fleeting campus pleasures. The second category, where majority fall, is made up of students who enjoy life, take every day as it comes, and only realise in their second, third or even final year that they should have been more serious with their studies all the while. The distractions of campus life, strengthened by relationships they keep, have a stronger pull on them. For all students, especially those in the second category, this may be a good time to re-evaluate all friendships and decide whether they are worth the time and effort or not. If as a student you find you have a lot of time on your hands to chat with friends about who snatched whose boyfriend or who is chasing the richest lecturer, or the hottest show in town, then it means you are not using your time well and may need to change company. The same goes for if you find that you are the one doing all the dirty jobs for others. Good friends influence you positively and vice-versa. Students, who move with serious-minded friends, will find that they become more serious. Back in school, I was not a serious student in the first two years. However, I can remember clearly that the only time I completed an assignment on time was when I was paired with an Efiko in my class on a project. She pushed me and

Kofoworola

Belo-Osagie Kofosagie@yahoo.com 08054503077 (SMS only)

ensured I completed all the required tasks in record time. Before then, I had a close friend I did most things with – and we were not of good use to each other as far as our academics were concerned. Our assignments and preparation for examinations were done at the last minute. We spent far more time outside lectures chatting, cooking, going on dates (with me usually serving as an escort) or lazing around. The result of how we spent our time showed badly in our mediocre results (mine worse than hers). The next semester/session, I joined a reading group and improved. But the real turn around for me came when I reduced my dead time chatting with friends or engaging in frivolous activities. I still kept my friends but they knew my stand, and soon emulated me because while I was away studying, I missed unpleasant scenes such as fights, as much as I missed juicy gossips. It was not long before my grades shot up. When assessing your friendship, ask yourself whether you learn more being with that person. It is not just about enjoying somebody’s company but about the value it adds to your life so you turn out a better person. However, true friendship is not one-sided. The worth of a relationship should not just be what you gain from it but what you give as well. And you cannot expect to just receive without adding value as well. So if you find that you have been selfish with your resources, time and views, you also need to change. At the end of the day, the value we add in life is measured by how much we impact others because we cannot exist for ourselves alone. (first published May 12, 2011)

‘The second category, where majority fall, is made up of students who enjoy life, take every day as it comes, and only realise in their second, third or even final year that they should have been more serious with their studies all the while. The distractions of campus life, strengthened by relationships they keep, have a stronger pull on them’

From my Inbox Good day Kofo, I read ur good write up (Resumption pressure). It is nothing but absolute fact, only if those concerned will reason along that line. Frm Bolaji


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

How grape fruit can affect medication Y ES, grape fruit juice, other of its products and other citrus fruits can interfere with different prescription medications. Don’t take these interactions lightly, as some can cause potentially dangerous health problems. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before consuming any grape fruit products or citrus fruits if you take prescription medications. You may need to eliminate grapefruit products from your diet. Simply taking your medication and grapefruits at different times doesn’t stop the interaction. Certain chemicals that grapefruit products and citrus fruits contain can interfere with the enzymes that break down (metabolise) various medications in your digestive system. As a result, more medication stays in your body. This can increase the potency of your medication to potentially dangerous levels, causing serious side effects. Pomelos and Seville oranges, a type of bitter orange often used to make marmalades and compotes, may have a similar effect. Researchers are identifying other foods that also may interact with medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns. Here are a few examples of prescription medications that can have serious interactions with grapefruit products. This is not a complete list of grapefruitmedication interactions, so check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your medication is affected. Energy drinks are consumed for their short-term benefits of increased vigour and alertness. They are primarily composed of sugar and caffeine. These drinks are relatively safe for most people, but should still be consumed with caution and in moderation, according to Dr. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic. Excessive sugar and caffeine intake pose serious health risks. Longterm use of energy drinks by children, teenagers and adults can be dangerous.

Caffeine effects Energy drinks contain 10 mg of caffeine per ounce. According to the Kids Health website, teenagers should have no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day. Therefore, more than 10 ounces of either of these energy drinks exceeds this suggested amount. Too much caffeine increases the activity of your nervous system causing anxiety and rapid heartbeat. Excessive caffeine causes tolerance over some time and abrupt cessation causes withdrawal symptoms including headaches, nausea and fatigue.

•Side effects of caffeine drinks

•Ekeh

•Lemon

•Pineapple

By Wale Adepoju

A

•Grape fruits

•Oranges

Examples of grapefruit-medication interactions Type of medication

Medication name

Anti-anxiety

Buspirone

Anti-arrhythmia

Amiodarone (Cordarone)

Antidepressant

Sertraline (Zoloft)

Antihistamine

Fexofenadine (Allegra)

Anti-retroviral

Saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir (Crixivan)

Anti-seizure

Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol)

Calcium channel blocker

Nifedipine (Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular)

Immunosuppressant

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune)

Statin

Simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor

Effects of alcohol Teenagers and students have reported combining alcohol and energy drinks to socialise better and party more. Drinking a mixture of alcohol and an energy drink while partying was reported by 25 to 40 per cent of young adults, according to an article Risk of Energy Drinks in Youths, published in Archives of Paediatrics. This article also revealed that when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol, the risk of alcoholrelated consequences, such as drunken driving, sexual assault and death, increases dramatically.

students and substance abuse, specifically marijuana and alcohol. This study also found increased energy drink consumption to be associated with increased likelihood of risk-taking and fighting.

Associated conditions The effects of energy drinks on children, teens and young adults was the focus of a study conducted by the

University of Miami, published in the March 2011 issue of “Paediatrics.” Researchers found an association between energy drinks and seizures, diabetes and cardiac problems. Energy drinks were also associated with mood disorders and behavioural disturbances. In addition, researchers found no positive health benefits associated with energy drinks. •Source: www.mayoclinic.com

Problem behaviours Several studies have shown energy drinks to be a gateway drug for dependence on other drugs, according to an article in the January 2009 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. One such study, published in the November 2008 issue of The Journal of Adolescent Health, found an association between frequent energy drink consumption among

Firm launches cereal food

Pax Herbal moves to new office Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories Nigeria Limited of Benedictine Monastery, Ewu-Esan, Edo State has moved from its old Corporate Office to a new one. The new address is 7a, Molade Okoya, off

Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos. Already, the Medical Director, Rev. Father Anselm Adodo, has slated a media briefing for tomorrow to discuss: “The way forward for herbal medicine in Nigeria.”

N indigenous food industry, Justy Confectionaries and Foods Limited, has manufactured nutritious food. It is called Biniza Multivitamin Cereal. According its Managing Director, George Ekeh, it has 35 essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. This cereal food can supply micro-nutrients for the body. The product, he said, has colostrums (the first milk that a mammal produces), which is rich in micro-nutrients that the human body needs. Some of other vitamins in the food are A, D, K and B1 and 2 while the minerals include potassium, calcium, chloride and zinc, among others. The product can prevent diseases associated with malnourishment and lack of essential vitamins. It can also cure some diseases such as pancreas problem, diabetes among others. “The first thing it does when taken is to detoxify cells coated with fats. The colostrums help to boost the immune. This is because it is the first milk produced right after delivery and it is present in human for only two days while that of cow last for seven day after delivery, but we use that of cow before three days and left the other days for the curb to suckle so that it can stay alive,” he said. The product has been okayed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN). The other cereal product by the company, Biniza Multivitamin Cereal Ultra, is awaiting the agency registration. Ekeh said the cereal has the active ingredients to nullify excessive protein in the blood stream, to restore health to the body. On the importance of the food, Ekeh said: “It improves the nutrition of children, mothers, elderly and invalid. It provides protein, fibre, vitamin and mineral requirement for children of school age. Expectant mothers and babies would benefit from rich source of iron, calcium, folic acid and colostrums present in the product.” The product, he added, can also prevent cancer, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, ageing and infertility, among others due to the anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, C, and D, selenium and zinc present in it. “The men would also benefit from the product. It boost sperm count and increases sexual drive of men and women. it helps in the manage menopause due to the presence of vitamin D, K, calcium and magnesium,” Ekeh said.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

NATURAL HEALTH

Nigerians urged to eat more probiotics

N

IGERIANS have been advised to take more probiotics to avail themselves of their benefits. Probiotics are supplements which enhance digestion. According to a nutritionist, Dr. Dupe Oduye, probotics aid the absorption of nutrients, especially micro nutrients, by the body. She said: “Friendly bacteria are vital to proper development of the immune system, for protection against microorganisms that could cause disease and absorption of food and nutrients. Each person’s mix of bacteria varies. Interactions between a person and the micro-organisms in his body, and among the microorganisms themselves, can be crucial to the person’s health and well-being.” Oduye, who is the Medical Director of Amellia Organics and food Supplement Centre, said probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements and in other forms. She listed foods containing probiotics as yoghurt, milk, some juice and soy beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria are added. She said the immune system is an important part of digestive health. “It is comprised cells, proteins, tissues and organs that work to defend the body against bacteria, toxins, infections and diseases. Gastrointestinal immune cells are a vital part of the lymphoid branch of immunity, which secretes lymphocyte cells to attack harmful invaders. These gut-lymph tissues include specialised areas called Peyer’s Patches and other gut immune cells, which work to identify and kill pathogens, toxins or other health-robbing substances we may have ingested into our system via the gastrointestinal (GI), or digestive tract. “In addition to specialised immune cells, your gastrointestinal tract is also home to numerous species of probiotics or good bacteria, which help prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, yeasts and parasites. Good bacteria are also critical for immunity. They have been shown to enhance the function of natural killer immune cells. Probiotics also form a barrier on the intestinal wall, serving as a powerful line of defence to prevent patho-

•Oduye

•Seven servings of fruits By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

gens from being absorbed. “The many strains and species of probiotics or good bacteria in our digestive tract are vital to health for some reasons. They assist in digestion, manufacture vitamins and protect against the overgrowth of disease-causing organisms. Recent research also suggests that each person’s internal ecosystem of friendly

bacteria is unique, and can influence our neurology and mental states, including the development of our brains during infancy. Bacteria colonise the gut in the days following birth during a sensitive period of brain development. “ Studies show that micro flora in the gut can influence behaviour throughout our lives by inducing changes in the expression of certain genes that control brain and neurological function. Pre-clinical stud-

‘Friendly bacteria are vital to proper development of the immune system, for protection against microorganisms that could cause disease and absorption of food and nutrients and digestion. Each person’s mix of bacteria varies. Interactions between a person and the micro-organisms in his body, and among the microorganisms themselves, can be crucial to the person’s health and well-being’

ies have shown too that higher levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut can reduce anxiety, depression and neurotic behaviour, and even combat the effects of stress,” she said. The nutritionist added: “Studying the numerous links between our nervous system, hormones and immune system, the gastrointestinal system serves as rich ground for observing these connections, one interesting link is the improvement that many digestive supporting herbs and supplements effect on brain and neurological function, hormone balance, immune health and more.

10 to get free dignoses The first 10 people to register for the screening or diagnoses being organised by Odumegwu Herbal Tea Limited will get free services. According to the organiser Robinson Ike, the event will hold on Saturday, November 26, 2011 between 10 am and 10:00pm at the Traingle, Ijesha Market, Ijeshatedo, Lagos. He said the programme will enable to patients get highly subsidised treatment.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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NATURAL HEALTH

Possible causes of blurry or failing vision (3) T

of an average adult is brownish or reddish because children handle fibrin better in the eye than adults.

HE picture is enlarging. Just as one man who took EDTA intravenous injections to clear his blocked arteries discovered the therapy improved his failing vision as a side effect, one man who was taking a proprietary product made by his employer suddenly discovered that his cloudy eyes began to brighten. This product, a conglomeration of Systemic Enzymes, went beyond its brief and, today, is reported useful in the treatment of Angina pectoris, Osteoarthritis, Fibrocystic Breast Disease (FBD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), Uterine fibroids, Protein Losing Enteropathy, Peyronie’s Disease, a condition in which the erect penis curves, making sexual intercourse difficult and painful for men, Cosmetic Surgery, Multiple Sclerosis, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Alzheimer’s Disease, Endometriosis, Estrogen Dominance, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Cold and Flu, and Diabetes, among others. Soon, I will briefly explain what these ailments are and how NEPRINOL, the Systemic Enzymences brand, helps to liquidate them. Before I come to this, I’d quickly like rewind the clock to two events mentioned previously in this column. The first is the date November 11, 2011. The second, last month, is about Nigeria’s readiness, at last, to produce MORINGA OLOIFERA tea as a national tea, long after other countries, including Ghana and Swaziland for example, have done so in keeping with World Health Organisation (WHO) directives a little over 10 years ago that member states upgrade Traditional Medicine to the level of Orthodox Medicine.

November 11, 2011 I will make no comments this time. The, following, therefore, will only be a reminder that last Friday was November 11, 2011. Sometime this year, I received the following telephone:text message about it. Very intriguing. This year, we’re going to experience four unusual Dates…•1/1/11, •1/11/11, • 11/1/11, •11/11/11 And that’s not all. Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born… now add it to the age you will be this year, and the result will be 111 for everyone! Good eh!? This is the year of money!!! This year October will have five Sundays, five Mondays, and five Saturdays. This happens only every 823 years!!! These peculiar, years are known as ‘Moneybags? The proverb goes that if you pass this on to eight good friends, money will appear to you in the next four days as is explained in Chinese feng-shui. Isn’t it worth a try?

Moringa Oloifera

Since this column reported that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on plans to produce nutritional and medicinal herbal products based on this plant, I have received many enquiries from people who wish to buy and use Moringa Oloifera products and people who grow this plant for commercial purposes and are searching for markets. There are pocket of growers in every state, and states in the north sare showing more activity. Michael Ashimashiga (0812274944), from Nasarawa State, I believe, keeps my phone busy. He is the Secretary of Eden Group Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd which, he says, “is capable of delivering two to three tones every week. Their bulk Moringa (that is, leaves) is said to be made from trees not younger than 35 years. This means the trees used were planted before, or in 1976. Per kilogramme the dried leaves sell for N2,000, fresh leaves N700, root N7,000, bark N6,000, high breed seedlings N200 each. Next month, at a Moringa Oloifera seminar the cooperative is hosting in Abuja, participants will get 10 seedlings free and a 50 per cent discount on all purchases, including seedlings which will be delivered not later than one week after payment.

Neprinol

As suggested earlier, Neprinol should help many eye conditions, based on research findings on how it positively influences many health conditions with origins similar to many disturbances in the eye. As Dr. Sam Asomugha explains it: “The incidental discovery on Neprinol effect was made by Joseph Mofor. He was only trying out Neprinol and Syntol on pains he continued to have many months after a RTA (Road Traffic Accident). He also suffered poor vision/ floaters and watering of eyes due to frequent/prolonged computer use. All pain/vision stopped by the end of the first week on Neprinol/Syntol. He began to see clearly; no cloudiness, no watering and no pains. Dose used was 3 x 2 of each”.

Angina Rectoris Chest neck or shoulder pains diagnosed as angina pectoris, indicate possible blockage of heart (coronary) arteries, blood vessels which deliver blood to the heart. They may be blocked by cholesterol (fat) plaque or by Homocysteine, a greasy by product of the metabolism of an amino acid. These pains may also suggest impending heart attack or stroke. Angina patients experience chest pain under increased physical activity which requires that the heart be supplied more blood that is not delivered because of the blockage. This is typical angina. Another type, variant angina is not dependent on exertion but characterized by pain at rest. In angina, the body breaches the Law of Balance in the production and breakdown of a protein called fibrin in the coronary arteries. The lining of blood vessels is covered by a thin lining of fibrin. Fibrin helps to form blood clots which seal blood leakages. Normally, the body produces just enough fibrin for this purpose.For too much fibrin would cause blockage. An enzyme named plasmin ensures that excess fibrin is destroyed. But these are not eliminated when the plasmin production is low. Neprinol, a enzyme complex, has been found to reduce or eliminate angina risk by reducing fibrin content of blood vessels Neprinol comprises Netokinese, Serrapeptase, Bromelain, an extract of pineapple, and papain, an extract of pawpaw seeds, leaves fruit or stein. These Neprinol enzymes stimulate fibrin breakdown and production of more plasmin, making the product a fine, safe blood thinner.

Uterine Fibroids

W

I

T would appear that the Hercules in Niprinol is Natokinese, which sells, also, as a single product as in the Bell’s propri etary brand of Master Herbalist series. Four doctors applaud this fermented soy extract,natto on the side panel of the packet of Bell’s Brand NATTOKINESE. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, M.D., a Board certified cardiologist, is reported to have switched his heart patients from harmful pharmaceuticals to Nattokenese. Dr. Martin Milner, N.D. says: “in all my years of research as a professor of cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine, Nattokinese represents the most exciting new development in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth Jr., D.O. adds: “Nattokinese is a particularly potent treatment because it enhances the body’s natural ability to fight blood clots. It is cost effective and can be used preventively.” Dr. Gary Gordon, M.D., D.O.: Long – term protection against massive blood clots is needed to prevent heart attack.” In Neprinol, Nattokinese works with other natural Systemic Enzymes which support the blood – clearing system to degrade and remove unwanted materials, deliver blood and nutrients to cells on time end promptly clear their wastes. The other coworkers with Nattokinese in Neprinol are Bromelain, Serapeptase (from silk worm). Bromelain is well known to counteract inflammation and pain. Besides, it contains enzymes which dissolve excess fibrin and help plasmin work better. Serapeptase does the same. They all belong to the family of Systemic Enzymes which help thin the blood, eat up unwanted substances, including tumours and are used for “angina, inflammation, pain, edema (swelling) arthritis, poor circulation, immune disorders .etc. In the eye, Systemic Enzymes will help dissolve floaters, and excess fibrin which block the natural drainage, causing glaucoma. They should help, also, to dissolve parasites, such as those worms many people complain about.

Osteoarthritis (OA) In osteoarthritis, cartilage protection for the heads of joint bones is damaged, the lubricant synovial fuid is insufficient, bones rub and wear, and inflammation, pain and immobility occur, especially due to scar tissue formation (keloids etc) from fibrin activities. Nattokinese Bromelain and Serrapeptase in Neprinol help to clean up the joints. So do other enzymes in this product, Papain and Rutin. Even where obstructive scar tissue has form, Systemic Enzymes have been known to break it up. Fibrocystic Breast Disease (FBD) my mind is racing to a young, single woman in the banking hall who has had three benign lumps removed from one breast. Many women have breast lumps, some of them not dangerous (benign or friendly). They occur in the normal course of biochemical activities in the breast. In menstruating women, some hormones make the breast to develop. If the breast overdelops in anticipation of pregnancy but conception does not occur, the excess or unwanted breast tissue may be broken down through inflammatory or enzymic action. Inflammation causes swelling, tenderness and pain. Cellular repairs may lead to scarring and bump tissue, a caine of fibrocystic – type lumps. Much of this problem is tied down to fibrin. Nattokinese is relevant here again. So is Serrapeptase which helps the silkworm dissolve its coccon and, in one study,” reduced breast engorgement and pain in 87 per cent of patients”. Using Neprinol or its component substances does not preclude use of other supplements, especially in estrogen – dependent lumps for which the Bell proprietary supplement BREAST HEALTH proves useful in converting dangerous estrogen to friending friendly estrogen. Breast Health Formulation is based on a University of California research published in the Journal Carcinogenesis that, cruciferous food such as “cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsely celery, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, turnip, apricot seeds containing isoflawnes is the best prevention we know” against cancer. What has all these got to do with eye?, you wonder. Irridology, the diagnostic method, is based on the idea that the eye is linked to all parts of the body, reflects what is going on elsewhere and is affected by changes anywhere in the body. Remember, too, that fibrins are at work everywhere, and so are Systemic Enzymes. In fact, collapse of the eye’s collagen matrix in glaucoma should invite attention to the fact that plasmin work maybe inadequate in many parts of the body as well.Sometime , I wonder if the white in the eye of childen is so cystal white and that

e-mail: femi.kusa@yahoo.com or olufemikusa@yahoo.com

ITH about 20 underlying causes suspected by research ers, this condition , like any other , cannot be bottled in one column such as this . Even the fibrin route would require many books .Almost every Nigerian adult woman lives with one form of uterine fibroids other , suffering either period pains , heavy bleeding , abdominal bloat, pain during sexual intercourse and inferlility or a combination of these. A recent study suggests that, genetically, uterine fibroids are similar to keloid scars.A keloid is an abnormally grown scar tissue .We all have scar tissue at the sites of injury .There is a scar , for example, at the site of my vaccination against small pox in 1956.The trouble comes when scar tissue overgrows its bounds, as in the keloid or bump of barbing injury.According to internet information: “Like scars, fibroids are composed mainly of collagen , a protein found in joints and muscle tissue.” This collagen that makes up the fibroids is deposited by fibroblast, blood cells specialised to cluster together and multiply at the site of an injury to form a clot.A protein called fibrin acts as the glue that holds the collagen fibroids together .The reproduction of the fibroblast cells and resulting growth of the fibroids is stimulated by cytokines and growth factors, which are chemical messengers from the immune system!” Until the advent of Systemic Enzymes, uterine fibroids therapy did not aim to dissolve excess fibrin throughout the body , not just in the womb, eliminate it. Many women know their menstruation clots and comes either in tiny dark clots or lumpy discharges. This is excess fibrin at work signalling onset of the uterine fibroid forming process. And that is why fibroids regrow after their surgical removal. Describing how Neprinol works against fibroids, it is said to “act on the molecules that form fibroids… improve circulation, stimulate the immune system and reduce inflamtion.” I find the citation for Neprinol exciting to cite not only because it would be of interest to many women , whether or not they have uterine fibroids(who wants to have one, anyway?) because its therapeutic application goes beyond only the womb.Excess fibrin troubles the eye as it, to mention a few cases, does the penis, where it causes PEYRONIES DISEASE (D), a condition in which the erect penis is bent, making sexual intercourse difficult and painful. The Neprinol citation says: “Niprinol is extremely effective in removing toxix from the bloodstream, and helpful to pass the emulsified fibrous tissue…. Many women experience a smoother midsection as the fibroids begin to soften. This process can take several months depending on the size and density of the fibroids itself. Neprinol works equally as well for ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast disease sufferers as well as on painful fibroadenomas. Virtually all types of benyn fibrous growth can safely be dissolved using Neprinol.” The range of application is wide, including “post surgical scar tissue” and “even soften the appearance of hard purple scars from C-section surgery”. As the fibroid dissolve, large amounts of fibrous waste are discharged into the bloodstream and the lymph for onward excretion through the urine and bowels. For this reason, the excretory and lymph may be supported with Amazon Raintree Nutrition food supplements such as Amazon Lymph Support, Amazon Detox Support, Amazon Liver Support, Amazon Immune Support, Amazon Kidney Support and Bells Supreme Immune Booster. The use of Neprinol calls for Supplementation with a Probiotic\Minerals complex such as Synthrol. “You may notice softened stool and pungent urine during the first few weeks, using Neprinol as well as the thicker vaginal discharge,” say the Interactive. “Waste material including arterial. Plague build-up and impurities are also removed during the period. This is typical and only temporary.

Peynonies Disease In this condition, fibrin fibers form plaques in the soft tissue of this organ, forcing it to curve when erect. It is thought to be caused by alchohol and sexually transmitted disease (STDs) among many source. No large scalen study has been done on Neprinol’s abilito to dissolve the collagen\fibrin matrix in peyronie’s disease, but the possibility exists that the fibrin=dissolving power of the Nattokinase and its power to raise plasmin levels in the blood can do the job.

Diabetes In either Type 1 or Type 2, diabetes or pre-diabetes states, sugar sludges in the blood block circulation, cause injury (glycation) and fibrin build ups. In me Neprinol experiment which lasted six months, the blood parameters (glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol) of a young prediabetic woman normalised by the end of the study, it is reported.

Conclusion What goes on in one part of the body may occur in another. In the eye, cellular debris and microbial debris bound by immune substances circulate as Circulating Immune Complexes, laced with fibrin and easily form floaters. Growths, such as Pterigium and styes also occur because the body has diminished capacity to dissolve them. Many people have claim cures for certain condition simply by extracting substances from pineapple peel and drinking them. Some cancer patients who claim relief from taking juice of paw paw leaves, root, stem, leaves fruit and seed, all of which are rich in pap ain which, like bromelain found in pineapple, are present in Niprinol. With all these, Serrapeptase (from silk worm) and Nattokinse present in Neprinol, this product may be worth trying as a potential recipa for clearer vision and cleaner blood.

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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INDUSTRY

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HE Federal Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to review all industrial incentives in the country. Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said at the Nigerian Non-Oil Export Conference, Exhibition and Awards (NNECEA) in Abuja that the report of the committee was ready and would be presented to government for consideration soon. His words: “Government’s efforts at propelling the growth and development of local industries, especially the exports, led to the promulgation of various statues in the past. “The Export Act No 18 of 1986 provides incentives to manufacturing exporters of exportable products. In addition, several other statues were enacted to created institutions whose activities were to facilitate export, thereby leading to a plethora of incentives to support non-oil. “This package of incentives was to encourage Nigerian exporters to

Aganga: new export incentives coming Stories by Toba Agboola

increase the volume of their exports, broaden export and market coverage and diversify the productive base of the economy. “The schemes were also aimed at increasing the foreign exchange earnings from the non-oil export sector, address the problem of supply, demand and competitiveness of Nigerian products in the international market. “However, most of the incentive schemes have become technically impotent, while others have become moribund over time.” He said the president want relevant regulatory agencies in the financial sector to ensure that the reforms in the financial system ensures the availability of financial and accessibility of finance to deserving exports. Speaking on the importance of

export business to a nation’s wealth, he said: “This is because it catalyses economic growth, creates a strong base for technological development, encourages economic specialisation and attracts high rate

of investment. “It is a known fact that no nation can exist by being a consumer nation. The globalisation phenomenon has also proved that for a country to remain relevant among na-

‘This is because it catalyses economic growth, creates a strong base for technological development, encourages economic specialisation and attracts high rate of investment’

tions, it must articulate policies and programmes that support its export business. “It is, however, lamentable that today in spite of the abundant resources at our disposal, Nigeria still lags behind in terms of nonoil exports so much so that oil continues continue to dominate the economy. Apart from low production capacities, our non-oil export is still dominated by agricultural commodities.”

LCCI urges govt to tackle economic mis-governance

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NLESS the Federal Government addresses the lin gering crises besetting the nation’s growth, Vision 20:2020 may be a mirage, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said. Specifically, the chamber pointed out that parlous infrastructure, insecurity and economic misgovernance remain avoidable obstacles to the nation’s economic development agenda. LCCI president Femi Deru, who spoke in Lagos, said the three tiers of government need to be more responsive to germaine issues in governance, to fulfill their respective electoral mandates. Deru stressed that promotion of enterpreneurship should no longer be lip service, but a strategy for greater effectiveness in economic management. “We need to do this to harness the enterprising resources of Nigerians and foreign entrepreneurs for the advancement of the economy and the welfare of our people,” he said. According to him, it is entrepreneurs that create wealth in any economy and generate employment on a sustainable basis.

“They are the largest contributors to the nation’s revenue; they reduce poverty and insecurity through job creation and they are the drivers of technological and other business innovations. “We need to appreciate these linkages to properly situate the role of the private sector in the development process,” Deru said. He said that in spite of the evident limitations of the business environment, the state of infrastructure at the trade fair complex, condition of the access road and dreadful situation, the fair was able to hold. “It is heart warming to note that participants had rewarding business interactions during the fair. “I am also delighted to observe that the business community as well as foreign investors have again demonstrated their confidence in the economy and their determination to succeed in spite of the challenges in the investment environment.” “We also hope for a considerable improvement in the state of the facilities at the trade fair complex. “The state of facilities still falls short of the standards expected of a fair of this status,” he said.

•Binatone Regional Manager, Mr Isaac Parasar, and other staff of the company, at a raffle draw held in Enugu.

Non-oil sector growth rises to 8.82% in second quarter

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HE Nigerian non-oil sector has recorded an increase of 8.82 per cent growth in real terms in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the 8.41 per cent recorded in the corresponding period in 2010. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) second quarter report released by the National Bureau of Statistics recently, the non-oil sector continued to be a major driver of the economy in the second quarter of 2011 when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2010. According to the statistics, the 0.41 percentage point increase in growth was largely driven by improved activities in the agriculture, telecommunications, wholesale/retail trade, hotel/restaurants, solid minerals and business/other services sectors. It stated: “In terms of agricultural output, the real agricultural GDP growth in the second quarter of 2011 stood at 5.87 per cent as against 5.84 per cent in the corresponding period of 2010. “This sector continued to benefit from various interventions by government especially the agricultural credit schemes of the Central Bank

of Nigeria (CBN). “In this regard, the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria to purchase the toxic assets (non-performing and bad loans) from the banks’ to enable them increase their lending activities commenced operations in the last quarter of 2010". It disclosed that the wholesale and retail trade sector was a major driver of economic activities in Nigeria, adding that with a contribution of 16.75 per cent to total GDP in the second quarter of 2011, the sector surged further relative to 16.19 per cent contribution made in second quarter of 2010. It hinted that the sector recorded a growth rate of 11.48 per cent in the second quarter of 2011, indicating an increase of 0.08 percentage points above the 11.40 per cent growth achieved in the corresponding period of 2010. The increase in growth recorded in second quarter of 2011 was attributed to the increase in wholesale and retail trade activities following an increase in consumer demand. Informal trading activities also strive in this sector and highly supported by the nation’s lvel of imports.

•From left: Tunde Arogunmati, Chairman of the occasion; James O. Ebuetse; Director, Policy Advocacy and External Relations and Mr Mustapha Bello, Executive Secretary/CEO NIPC, at a stakeholders forum in Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

NASME partners NERFUND on SME funding

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HE National Economic Reconstruction Fund, (NERFUND) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, (NASME) for the provision of collateral free Micro funding to its members. In a ceremony at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja, the Managing Director/CEO, Alhaji Baba Maina Gimba, challenged the association to use this opportunity to contribute its quota towards the empowerment of small businesses operated by its members. He observed the challenges facing SMEs and recognised that access to finance is critical. Gimba expressed his desire to bridge the financing gap of SMEs

as part of his mandate, but emphasised the need for the association to shortlist only genuine and credible entrepreneurs who will not regard NERFUND Loan as part of their national cake but those who are determined to effectively utilise the facility and repay as and when due. The association’s Head of Membership and Public Relations, Nerus Ekezie, in a press release, stated that the NASME President, Dr Ike Abugu, who was present at the signing, extolled the exemplary leadership of Gimba and his commitment towards the growth and development of SMEs in Nigeria. He promised that NASME members will live up to expectations as the incident of loan default among members will be

mitigated and will not be associated with NERFUND facility. He further assured Gimba that NASME will strongly advocate the strengthening of the bank in order that it is effectively repositioned to expand its operations across the nation. NERFUND was established by the Federal Government as an agency under the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1989 to among others, correct inadequacies in the provision of short, medium and long term financing to micro, small and medium enterprises, while NASME is a Business Membership Organisation (BMO) charged with the responsibilities of co-ordinating and fostering the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

e-Business Technology has evolved from the simple mainframe computers and bulky mobile phones we knew, to tablet computers and smartphones that incorporate immense capabilities. Technology companies are spending enormously on research and development initiatives to provide solutions at the cutting-edge of technology, ADLINE ATILI reports

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NORMOUS changes are taking place daily in technology, causing monumental shift in the way we interact with each other. The society as we know it is going through a radical makeover, due to constant connectivity everywhere. This is creating a need for a digital makeover of everything as we know it. It is changing our infrastructure needs and also increasing the velocity of business. Today, there is no longer a need to memorise facts and dates. These, of course, can be 'Googled.' Students may never have to lug a heavy backpack around school because electronic readers may soon replace textbooks. There's also a good chance we will never know a dependence on oil as renewable energy technology flourishes. Much of the emerging technology that will change our world is created with the idea of offering greater convenience. Search engines, smartphones, social media and collaboration tools, are among a few relatively new developments that have made modern life easier than it has ever been. At the Cisco Collaboration Summit 2011 in South Africa last week, Head of Architectures and Enterprise, Emerging Markets at Cisco, Den Sullivan, gave an impressive account of how technology will change our world. His presentation included many examples of the fast pace of change and its impact on our lives and careers in future. He noted that advancements in technology will enable significant capabilities that have the power to change our world. He added that innovation in technology will be at the centre of these advancements. He identified business volatility, rapid globalisation, personalisation, ecological footprint, demographics and innovation as some of the mega trends shaping the business environment. "Two-third of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2015, making it more pervasive than it is today; 210 billion email messages will be sent per day and 48 hours of video will be uploaded every minute at the same period. "All these will drive innovation. In innovating, however, security, reliability and scalability are vital to driving adoption," he said. Experts say technology innovation is now the single most important driver of competitive success in many industries. In driving innovation for sustainability and economic growth, Cisco has upgraded its TelePresence offering to enable more people collaborate across devices. The Cisco TelePresence, first introduced in 2006, is a teleconferencing solution that provides high-definition video, spatial audio, and a set-up designed to link two physi-

How technology solutions are transforming IT

•Evolution of mobile phones

cally separated rooms so they resemble a single conference room even though the two rooms may be on opposite sides of the world. But what started out as a way to save travel costs and optimise employee time at large companies has evolved into a way of accelerating time to market, expanding access to experts and transforming how companies do business. The new solutions, the Cisco Jabber and the Cisco WebEx, according to the company, will help organisations and individuals carry out teleconferencing on a variety of devices including smartphones, tablets and other Internet-enabled devices. The solutions, due for shipping next year, will be made available to customers in partnership with MTN Nigeria. The company said the solutions will enable effective collaboration in the "post-PC" era. For nearly 30 years, Personal Computers (PC) have been the drivers of the technology engine. But the rise of mobile computing is upending the technology. Annual growth rates for the PC industry as a whole have been shrinking in recent years, with small single-digit rates of growth. Speaking at the launch, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Collaboration and Communications Group at Cisco, Barry O'Sullivan said the solutions, spanning a variety of integrated product lines will redefine client experience in the area of video, voice and conferencing to drive new levels of business productivity and competitiveness. He noted that: "In a post-PC era, businesses need ways to extend mobile, social, video and virtual collaboration on any mobile phone, tablet or Internet-connected device. We've listened to our customers and with this mind, we've developed new Jabber tools and the new WebEx to enable a seamless experience on a range of devices and platforms, whether on premises or in the cloud. "These offerings highlight Cisco's ongoing efforts to transform the workspace and drive greater usage of video, with peoplecentric collaboration that enables customers to capitalise on the evolving mobile,

social, visual and virtual aspects of the workspace." He added that the company has also developed the Cisco Jabber Software Development Kit (SDK) to enable application developers incorporate Cisco Unified Communications capabilities such as voice, video, Instant Messaging (IM), presence, voicemail and conferencing into Web applications such as Google applications and SAP Streamworks. The kit, he further said, provides third party developers with software development kits, sample codes, instructional videos and opportunities to ask technical questions. He said Cisco will be offering a free version of WebEx in the first quarter of 2012. The free edition, O'Sullivan noted, will enable new users experience a Web conferencing solution among three users or less, to make meetings more productive and efficient. He stressed that the new functionality will also help accelerate channel partners' ability to deliver profitable collaboration solutions to customers, backed by professional integration services. In partnership with CommScope, an infrastructure solutions company, Cisco has developed the SYSTIMAX iPatch Intelligent Infrastructure solution, to enhance energy management. The SYSTIMAX iPatch solution provides IT managers improved network visibility, allowing them to track the physical locations of all networked devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, wireless access points, Internet Protocol (IP) phones and IP cameras, in real time. Vice President, Growth Solutions at CommScope, Matias Peluffo said: "With a considerable proportion of the world's electricity consumed inside office buildings, reducing that share is an important objective for the IT industry. "As the industry strives to reduce its carbon footprint, the integration of iPatch location information and power management capabilities can further reduce energy consumption, while also improving operational efficiency and reducing costs. "The solution enables companies to mea-

For nearly 30 years, Personal Computers (PC) have been the drivers of the technology engine. But the rise of mobile computing is upending the technology

sure, monitor and manage the power consumption of network infrastructure and any network attached devices. By using the network as a platform for energy management, companies can manage power consumption with specific policies and reduce power consumption to realise increased cost savings." Cisco has also collaborated with a Telco, Vodacom for the first public cloud offering in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The solution provides fully functional office workstations to large and small enterprises. The companies said the offering, Office in the Cloud will use virtualisation technology and hosted applications, to bring enterprise class IT services to businesses from small to large. Office in the Cloud is a complete managed office solution which enables customers to rent everything they need for a fully functional office, resulting in lower costs and allowing them more time for their core business. Executive Head, Hosted Services at Vodacom, Richard Vester noted that cloud computing is profoundly transforming the way information and services are consumed and provided. With this new paradigm shift, he said, comes the opportunity to dynamically scale IT resources and make applications and services easier to access. Experts say cloud computing represents the next phase in the logical evolution in the delivery of IT services, building on previous innovations that include grid, utility and on-demand computing. They add that widespread interest and excitement about cloud computing emanates from businesses, government agencies and other organisations seeking more dynamic, resilient and cost effective IT systems than previous generations of technology allowed. Speaking at a cloud computing workshop recently, General Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje, noted that: "The adoption of the PC by businesses in the 80s dramatically altered the staid world of technology, characterised by 'big iron' mainframe computers. "The emergence of the Internet in the 1990s and the more recent improvements in affordable and reliable Internet bandwidth here in Africa has given birth to a generation of applications for the Web, like search engines or online banking systems, that present completely new ways for people to find and share information. "These factors in technology's evolution over the past 30 years have combined to bring about another powerful shift in computing: the cloud.� Onyeje said as cloud computing takes hold across Africa, companies will be able to automatically deploy the computing capabilities their employees need to drive innovation and reach customers, whether they are around the corner or across the globe. The common theme for these companies, he noted, is simplicity and cost-savings. According to Vester, "We are taking the concept of cloud computing and offering it in a turnkey solution that fits any business, regardless of size. Legacy desktop environments can easily be replaced with 'Office in the Cloud.' "According to some studies, Personal Computers lose roughly 50 per cent in value annually, and can be difficult to install or upgrade. Furthermore, compatibility issues often arise with new software releases. We will offer software from the cloud which will be able to extend the life of the desktop to an estimated 12 years. "Customers can select software from a Web-based portal which will automatically be provisioned pending the customer's internal approval process. From start-up to established business, the customer can decide how many workstations are required, with which applications, and pay only for what they use."


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

e-Business Microsoft drives business growth with technology solutions

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•From left: Head of Glo 1 Enterprise Solutions Folu Aderibigbe, showing a prototype of a block of classrooms to be donated to Muslim College, Ijebu Ode by Globacom as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode-Adetona. With them are Senator Adegbenga Kaka and others.

Stakeholders urged to collaborate to tackle cybercrime

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O redeem the country’s battered reputation brought about by cybercrime, President, Information Security Society of Africa Nigeria (ISSAN), Mr David Isiavwe, has called on government and stakeholders in the information and electronic payments industry to foster alliances to tackle the cybercrime menace. Nigeria reports one of the highest numbers of cybercrime incidents in the world and was recently ranked third, in a report by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre which tracks the prevalence of cybercrime globally. According to Isiavwe, the quest to achieve a cashless economy by the Central Bank of Nigeria may be undermined by cybercrime if necessary steps are not taken to ensure security of data, systems and networks. Speaking at a technical workshop on security organised by

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known to result in the loss of billions of dollars by various organisations. In some cases, lives are lost due to security breaches. “Imagine for a minute what would be the impact of a hacker gaining illegal access to a hospital database to change the drug prescription of a patient? Nuclear warfare could be triggered off by security breaches and even plane crashes could result from information security breaches,” he said. He advocated effective legislation as a way of curtailing activities of cyber criminals and deterring potential criminals, saying: “Very importantly, cyber criminals must be identified, tracked, apprehended and punished through the courts. This is where the police and EFCC come in.” He also called for increased awareness “to ensure that the society is safe to do business.”

Samsung, firm partner to drive ICT penetration

ECHNOLOGY Distributions Limited (TD), an Information and Communications Technology distributor and Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA) have partnered to ensure Nigerians get quality and affordable ICT products for development of education. TD Managing Director, Mrs Chioma Ekeh noted that the partnership will address manifestations of the economic recession in the West African region including unemployment, capacity building and utilisation. According to her, while the African continent remains rich in mineral resources, it is in dire need of technological tools for self actualisation. She said: "The TD/Samsung alliance will deliver innovative solu-

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Stories by Adline Atili ISSAN), Isiavwe said: “Cybercrime is on the increase, hence there is need for all stakeholders to join hands together to fight this menace. “This is particularly germane given the efforts being made by the Central Bank of Nigeria to achieve a cashless society. Organisations must take necessary steps to secure their data, systems and networks. Where they do not have the technical resources in-house, they must engage skilled consultants to fill the gap.” According to him, cybercrime activities such as espionage, free ware, war dialling, crackers, Internet hoax, remote access tools, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses and worms, can wreak devastating havoc in information systems. “Data breaches have been

tions that will address issues of affordability and appropriateness of ICT technology in the oil, banking, communications, manufacturing, and public sectors of the economy with a special emphasis on education." Director of Information Technology at SEWA, Mrs Chioma Iwuchukwu-Nweke, said the partnership will enable Nigerians access to array of outstanding products for home, small and medium businesses and large enterprises. While noting the specifications of Samsung products for the African market, she said Samsung manufactured the first solar-powered mini laptop to address energy challenges of the Third World at an affordable price. According to her, the durability

of the Samsung IT products is due to the fact that Samsung manufactures components for other PC manufacturers. She said the Samsung offering include toners, inks, printers, monitors, desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. All the products, she said, come with a comprehensive one year warranty and after-sales support from TD Plus, a subsidiary of TD with multiple engineering competency. Mrs Iwuchukwu-Nweke stressed that the Samsung business model guarantees customer satisfaction while growing the trade. Resellers, she said, enjoy robust rebates under the Power Partner Scheme, product training, and access to Samsung reward programmes.

Firm floats crime detection technology

N electronic crime detection and forensic tagging technology has been launched by Geo-Matrix Nigeria Limited, a security systems company. The technology, a merger of three internationally certified components, works by triggering off an alarm system which emits an odourless, colourless liquid when an intruder enters a restricted area. This liquid, known as the RedWeb’s Advanced Molecular Taggent Technology (AMTT), forensically tags the intruder to the crime scene. Managing Director of GeoMatrix, Juwon Ademola, explained that the AMTT contains a red dye

which remains on the skin and clothing for several days, and an indelible ultraviolet dye which can only be seen under UV light. He said once the Molecular Taggent trace has been swabbed and tested, the unique tag means that it can be linked back to the crime scene. He, however, added that AMTT is also available as an invisible covert solution, without the coloured dye. Speaking on the benefit of the technology, Managing Director of Geo-Matrix, Juwon Ademola said: “This system when installed will invisibly mark any person who removes something unlawfully

from that environment for 18 months. Whenever that fellow goes through any Detectalux Lights anywhere in the world he will be apprehended and returned to the country where the offence was committed. “Gone are the days when innocent people were punished for crime they did not commit. For instance, if there is a theft in a factory where our system is installed, all that needs to be done is have everybody with access, pass through the UVF lights and the culprit will immediately be detected.”

ICROSOFT Nigeria has launched new products and services to drive business growth and encourage local innovations. The products, which include Microsoft Lync 2010, Windows 7 SQL Server, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the much-heralded Kinect for Xbox 360, were showcased at the justconcluded two-day Open Door event, a key initiative in the company's continued investment in the African region, to foster local Information Technology (IT) development and drive innovation. This year's event provided an opportunity for guests to experience the latest Microsoft technologies firsthand, increase knowledge and share ideas. Speaking at the event, Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje, said: "The Open Door events are a great platform for us to showcase our complete vision and wide range of technology solutions including our unique position on cloud computing and the potential this offers to basically change how individuals and organisations across the region will use technology in the future. "We remain committed to fostering local growth and development and believe the Open Door events provide a fantastic opportunity to not only highlight the latest developments in ICT, but also the potential growth opportunities they offer." With the Open Door events,

Microsoft is further building on its local partnerships across the country to expand the possibilities for computing and increase the number of people using and developing technology to drive growth and ideas. Director, Developer Platforms, Microsoft West, East and Central Africa, Dele Akinsade, noted that: "Microsoft understands the need to help others innovate and compete favourably. This explains why we have raised the bar in our partnership with local universities to empower students with the best technology tools to enhance their learning experience. "Consequently, Microsoft will offer students in universities focused on IT, free copies of DreamSpark, a platform that provides professional-level developer and design tools to students and educators, at no charge for development and testing purposes." He added: "As we identify that the potential to innovate must be nurtured early on, Microsoft will continue to provide appropriate and superior learning tools to encourage innovation." Some of the sessions at the event were dedicated to cloud computing with the aim of helping businesses discover cloud power; control and manage their IT across physical and virtual server environments while leveraging their existing IT investments and skills.

Cashless Nigeria: Interswitch rewards Verve users

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NTERSWITCH, an electronic payment transaction and switching firm, has rewarded the first set of Verve card users across the country, in the second edition of the Verve National Consumer Promo. According to the company, the promo which started last month, is aimed at supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy and rewarding new users who have obtained the cards and existing ones who have used the card at least five times in the last couple of weeks. At the draws held in Lagos, 13 of the 19 participating banks were able to meet up with the deadline of submitting Verve customers' data; four winners emerged in each of the banks, while 10 persons won the grand prizes across all 13 banks. The prizes won by the four winners include freezers, generators, television sets and BlackBerry phones, while iPads were presented to the 10 grand prize winners.

Director, Payments Solutions at Interswitch, Mr Charles Ifedi said: "The initiative is a combination of three things which includes assisting the CBN in the quest for a cashless economy; encouraging new users to obtain Verve cards to drive the initiative and encouraging existing users to use the cards. According to him, there are over 10 million Verve cards in circulation as against five million last year, with the company recording over four times of last year's transactions. Divisional Head, Verve Business, Interswitch, Mrs Tobi Boshoro noted that with the chip technology in the Verve cards, customers no longer have to worry about security, assuring that transactions are now fully secure. "With the chip technology in the Verve cards, it is almost impossible for cards to be cloned. Some ATMs have even been configured to seize and reject any card that the ATM parameters do not fully conform to," she said.

Reasons to be a member of Telecomscompare

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ELECOMSCOMPARE has been a major buzz on the Internet over the past three months with lots of blog reviews, comments, analyses on Facebook and Twitter. Telecomscompare is a tariff comparison site that is the voice of the people in the telecommunications world. Unbiased, thorough and precise, why should anyone be a member of this comparison site? Underneath is a list of reasons why if you are not a member you should be one immediately. i. Telecomscompare helps you decide which tariffs are affordable and pocket-friendly ii. Telecomscompare intimates you with latest news and information on the telecommunications industry in Nigeria iii. The site is interactive, allowing members’ comments and reaction to every service iv. The site gives a solid comparison and analyses of all prod-

ucts offered by Nigerian networks v. The articles are not only insightful but also resourceful and thought-provoking vi. A membership forum like Nairaland, with specifics on just telecommunications vii. The forum allows people of like interests and sentiments share ideas viii. Just by being a member you stand a chance of winning fascinating gifts, freebies and prizes ix. The best place to air your displeasure at terrible services or network x. The FAQ section allows you to ask any question concerning telecom in Nigeria and expect a prompt and accurate response. So what are you waiting for? Log on to: www.telecomscompare.com and be a part of something exciting and revolutionary.


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e-Business Matters e-Rising Segun Oruame segun@segunoruame.com

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HERE are two areas I want to draw our attention to. The first is the fact of the matter: The universal decision to go digital by 2015 and the end of support for analogue signal. This is a fact. The second is what role the media must play in getting everyone informed and involved in this fact. But the question really is whether the media itself is well informed on digital migration. How much knowledge does the media itself has about the digital migration process? What will it report to the public? If the media is not well informed, there are implications. This brings us to the question: Have Nigerian citizens been adequately informed about the issues and challenges of the digital

migration process? How much knowledge exists on the digital migration process within the public domain and outside of the exclusive terrain of policy makers and technocrats? What are the issues the media really need to report on the digital migration process? What does the public need to know? And how should we get the general public and all stakeholders ready for the digital migration process? Digital migration Essentially, digital migration is the transition from analogical system of communication and transportation of data to digital technology. “The main reason for the world’s migration to digital is to release valuable spectrum which can be used for other services.

Engaging media in digital migration Spectrum is scarce; therefore, more efficient use of the spectrum is necessary if more terrestrial telecommunications and broadcasting services are to be made available.” Digital technology will mean lesser use of heavy equipment either by service providers or consumers and better efficient means of transmitting sound and pictures. The benefits of digital broadcasting are numerous. They include the provision of “more TV channels and radio stations; the provision of extra information and interactive features that allow the capability to interface with devices such as a cell phone, memory stick or Internet modem. One of the most significant achievements is that TV pictures and sound will suffer from less interference. As some experts put it, digital broadcast eats less bandwidth, “the more bandwidth, the more can be carried ¯a bit like traffic lanes

on a highway. Analogue signals use a lot of bandwidth, limiting the amount of signal that can get through at any one time. Digital signals, on the other hand, require much less bandwidth —up to nine times as much digital information can be carried in the same bandwidth! The result is a brighter, sharper picture and much better sound quality; like the difference between an old video cassette and a DVD.” The international deadline for implementation of the policy is 2015. All around the world, the migration to digital broadcast transmission technology has begun. Countries already advanced in their migration programmes are France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and New Zealand. In Finland and Mauritius, the analogue switch-off has already been done. Nigeria has set the 2012 deadline for transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting and has set 2015 as the year for full

digitisation. The information gap There is not much within the public information domain to know exactly what is going on within government as to achieving this target. And there is certainly little knowledge of what this holds and its implications among the citizens. How many Nigerians know what the digital migration process is all about even though it will mandatorily affect every citizen from 2015? The Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on the transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting provides guidance on how Nigeria can achieve its target. Indeed, the PAC has submitted a formal implementable blueprint to government to that effect. But not much of that guidance exists within public domain. There is still an aura of mystery on what government is doing on digital migration and consequently, citizen and stakeholders’ mobilisation is extremely poor. ...to be continued.

Embrace ICT for development, Minister urges SMEs S MALL and Medium scale Enterprise (SME) operators in the country have been urged to leverage the power of the Internet in transforming their businesses. Speaking at the Google Business Summit in Lagos, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson said empirical evidence supports the concept of putting businesses online. "Today, Nigeria has an estimated 33 million Internet users and we have targets to double this number in the next three to four years. Getting your business online immediately gives you access to this market, not to talk of the hundreds of millions of other Internet users out there - a very strong value proposition in our opinion. "There is also increasing empirical evidence that suggests that simply by putting a Website on the Internet, revenue and productivity of SMEs increase many fold with commensurate contributions to job and wealth creation and of course, GDP," Mrs Johnson said. She noted that getting busi-

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Stories by Adline Atili

nesses online provides access to markets (retail, wholesale, local and international) at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and marketing. She added that ICT's, through the Internet, enable local companies to select and partner with companies in the international business community, going beyond the borders of their natural territories to interact, collaborate and do business with their counterparts across the globe. Mrs Johnson described SMEs as "viable vehicle for sustaining industrial development because they possess the capacity to promote an indigenous enterprise culture." She stressed that in some developing economies; SMEs are used as strategy for employment generation, food security, poverty alleviation, rapid industrialisation and reversing rural-urban migration as well as tool for economic restructuring for development and growth. She, however, regretted that SMEs in Nigeria have been slower to adopt ICT and embrace the ad-

MTN scoops awards at AfricaCom

TN has once again been recognised for its innovation and market leadership, scooping two accolades at the AfricaCom 2011 awards in Cape Town, South Africa. MTN South Africa received awards in the Best Network Improvement category for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot test in Gauteng province, and Best Marketing Campaign (dubbed Bow Wow) for MTN Zone. Chief Marketing Officer at MTN South Africa, Serame Taukobong, said: "MTN is ecstatic to have once again gained this important recognition. These awards go to thousands of MTN employees, our partners and customers who share the MTN vision with us and ensure our objectives are realised. "The accolades are further affirmation from the industry and our customers that we are on the right track and need to cement the work we have been doing to provide our customers with the seamless experience they have come to expect from MTN." MTN was short-listed for six

of the eleven award categories, with MTN South Africa vying for four awards in Best Network Improvement, Changing Lives, Customer Service Excellence and Best Marketing Campaign categories. MTN Group was shortlisted for the Best Pan Africa Initiative for Mtnfootball.com, while MTN Nigeria and MTN Uganda were nominated for the Rural Telecom Award for their Rural Telephony Business and Rural Internet Café projects respectively. Chief Commercial Officer, MTN Group, Christian De Faria, said: "We are immensely proud of the two awards received by MTN South Africa. We are equally filled with pride to have been short-listed for a total of six awards across four areas of our business. "For MTN, these awards are an important recognition of the tireless efforts put in by MTNers and our partners across the continent to bridge the digital divide in the countries where we operate."

•Members of staff of Airtel Nigeria donating books and academic materials to pupils of Oremeji Primary School 2, Ajegunle, Lagos.

vantages it offers. According to her, "In Nigeria, 70 per cent of our employment is provided by SMEs but SMEs deliver only 10 per cent of value to the economy, compared to an average 55 per cent and 25 per cent economic value added, in other developing economies and 60 per cent and 50 per cent respectively in developed economies. These statistics

show that Nigerian SMEs are not as productive as they can, should or need to be." She attributed this to poor infrastructure, poor skills base, access to finance, low adoption of ICT and access to markets, restating the commitment of her ministry to facilitating the build out of an ICT infrastructure that is cost effective and ubiquitous, giving more Nigerians better

and faster access to the Internet at affordable prices. "We are also committed to getting as many devices into the hands of Nigerians to enable them transact business on the Internet and create a demand for products and services offered over the Internet. In other words getting businesses online is a key part of the agenda and policy direction of this ministry," the minister said.

Firm gets e-payment licence

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AYMASTER Limited, a subsidiary of Chams Plc has been licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to operate as a Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP), for Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals to be deployed across the country. As a PTSP operator, Paymaster will deploy PoS terminals, maintain and provide support on behalf of its acquirers, while also providing training to merchants, minimise recurring faults while ensuring optimal terminal up time. As part of efforts to transit the country into a cashless economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria had called for expression of interest from qualified electronic business support services provider and had subsequently, conducted a rigorous screening exercise after which it licensed Paymaster Limited and three other companies as PTSP operators. Acting Managing Director of the company, Charles Uwagbale in a

statement said the approval is a testament of the company's ability to provide first-rate e-payment infrastructure support services. He said: "Prior to being licensed as a PTSP operator, we have shown strong pedigree in the e-business sector in the deployment and maintenance of an independent multi-application and functional Point-ofService terminals network, which accepts cards from all payment schemes in Nigeria by connecting

directly to relevant electronic transaction switching and processing companies." "We have invested heavily in the acquisition of PoS terminals, which were customised for the Nigerian market by Bitel, for deployment across the country. We will leverage the internal capacity we have built as company over the years in PoS terminal maintenance, deployment, installation, maintenance and networking to achieve this in record time."

NCC boss bags fellowship

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XECUTIVE Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, and Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, have been inducted into the fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, for their contributions to the growth of the industry. The investiture was one of the highlights of the weeklong activities of

the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), featuring conference, exhibition and Annual General Meeting. Juwah began his career as a computer expert in the oil industry, and delivered solutions that were geared towards computerisation of activities in the industry while Dangote is reputed to have employed thousands of chemical engineers in his establishments, creating employment for chemical engineers in Nigeria.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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MONEY LINK

‘Regulators fret over rising customers’ complaints’

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By Collins Nweze

HE Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umaru Ibrahim, has said the rising trend in bank customers’ complaints is a source of worry to the regulators. He said such complaints arising mainly because of poor customer service, high bank tariffs, frauds and forgeries andbank distress could threaten confidence in the banking system. Speaking during at a workshop on Customer Complaints in Banks organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), he said a lot of efforts have been made by the regulatory authorities to ensure that customers of banks enjoy not only quality services but also protection from excessive charges and outright loss of funds. The NDIC boss said that banks are quite aware of whom their customers are but many of them do not appreciate the need to determine their expectations and how to manage them. “The inability to manage customers coupled with the serious corporate governance issues could explain the high frequency of complaints amongst bank customers in Nigeria. “ To be able to determine the causes of customer complaints and design appropriate strategies for preventing and controlling it, the need to determine customer expectations and how to effectively manage them cannot be overemphasised,” he said. Ibrahim said that customer satisfaction is achieved by providing valued services and products, where value is the positive difference between customers’ actual experiences and their service delivery expectations. “Satisfaction is also generated through high quality support services (people, information and technology) and being empowered to provide value and resolve customer complaints,” he

he explained. Besides, he said the introduction of universal banking concept, which removed the barriers between commercial and merchant banks, heightened competition in terms of new products and business lines, some of which the banks lacked adequate skills to handle. The consequences of all these, he said, were that quality service delivery as well as integrity began to diminish leading to incessant complaints against banks on a daily basis by their customers. He added that customers are a major stakeholder in banking business, the world over and indeed without customers, banks will cease to exist. Should there be loss of confidence in the banks by their customers

banks but the entire system, and subsequently, could trigger run on the affected banks and the entire system. He traced the genesis of customer complaints in the country’s banking system to the transformation the system witnessed over time. “Looking back at the system in the last two and a half decades, when Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was introduced in 1986, a lot of developments had taken place both in terms of the number of banks, bank branches and the services they render. The rapid growth in the number of banks, branches and products as a result of the deregulation of the system in line with the dictates of SAP, was not matched with the quality manpower to service the industry,”

said. He said that customers are critical stakeholders in any business, adding that “customer is the king and is always right”. “He said it therefore means that businesses should strive hard to ensure that the needs and expectations of their customers are satisfied. “The failure to meet the needs and expectations of customers creates grounds for complaints, which if not addressed in good time could result in the rejection of products/services and sometimes leading to litigation,” he said. According to him, dissatisfaction of banks’ customers could lead to loss of confidence in not only the affected

Industrialists to Govt: create linkages to economy

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HE President, Nigerian Associa tion of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Chuku Wachukwu has urged the Federal Government to create linkages in the economy. Speaking during the NASSI business forum in Lagos, Wachukwu said Nigeria can achieve a lot through partnership and cooperation between different sectors of the economy especially the Small and Medium Scale Industries (SMEs). He said it is only when there is healthy competition and favourable economic environment that foreign direct investments (FDI) come in. He

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ASTERCARD has continued to drive e-payment through offering cardholders benefits and privileges. A statement from MasterCard said it is also serving as the Official Card of the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (1MMSC) and the Great Singapore Sale (GSS). Additionally, MasterCard extended its sponsorship

said there is need to stimulate the local economy, stressing that divestment in the economy is imperative, instead of depending solely on oil revenue. He said the government should take step to deepen the economy because it will bring multiple streams of income. “There should be emphasis on transformation, deepening with the economy. I would want to suggest that developing healthy small scale industries, encouraging the informal sector among other things to create wealth in the economy,” he said. He said there is so much leakage of wealth within the

informal sector, which needs to be pieced together. SMEs with fewer than 10 employees are referred as “micro”, those with less than 50 employees as “small”, and those with fewer than 250 as “medium”. In most economies, smaller enterprises are much greater in number and are also responsible for driving innovation and competition in the economy. He said the major advantage of the sector is its employment potential at low capital cost, which helps to create rapid wealth within the economy. He said NASSI is committed to en-

suring that government creates enabling environment and infrastructure that would make it easier for SMEs to access loans from financial institutions without ease. According to him, since it has become difficult for several members of his group who do not have the right collateral to obtain loans, the association will going forward guarantee the credits for its members. He said that the problem of the real sector has been on policy implementation, insisting that whatever policies he set for his members to secure loans will be implemented.

currency debit card. The card provides ease and convenience to cardholders using the cards locally and overseas and offers advanced security and control. Two other debit cards, City Local Debit Card and City Manarah Islamic Debit Card, were also unveiled during the launch ceremony. “Also, in cooperation with Airtel Africa and Standard Chartered Bank in

Kenya, MasterCard introduced PayOnline. Kenya is the first market in the world to make this type of payment solution publically available, which enables Airtel Money customers in Kenya access to greater financial inclusion. Airtel customers can use their mobile phones to make online purchases from MasterCard merchants around the world, the statement added.

‘MasterCard drives e-payment’ with the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment to support the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) for the 12th consecutive year, as well as ‘Eid in Dubai’ and ‘Ramadan in Dubai’. For the third quarter ended September 30, MasterCard,according to the statement, announced the launch of the MasterCard Platinum Dual Currency Debit Card, the country’s first dual

FGN BONDS

DATA BANK

Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

GAINERS AS AT 16-11-11 SYMBOL FO REDSTAREX ECOBANK IKEJAHOTEL PREMBREW AIICO WAPCO TRANSCORP DANGFLOUR WEMABANK

O/PRICE 11.61 2.12 1.95 2.88 0.93 0.50 37.50 0.57 5.17 0.58

C/PRICE 12.19 2.22 2.04 3.01 0.97 0.52 38.99 0.59 5.35 0.60

CHANGE 0.58 0.10 0.09 0.13 0.04 0.02 1.49 0.02 0.18 0.02

LOSER AS AT 16-11-11 SYMBOL CUSTODYINS CADBURY DANGSUGAR VITAFOAM CILEASING AGLEVENT STERLNBANK CONTINSURE UBA GOLDINSURE

O/PRICE 2.81 13.30 4.65 5.87 0.81 1.90 1.14 0.92 2.90 0.55

C/PRICE 2.67 12.64 4.421 5.58 0.77 1.81 1.09 0.88 2.79 0.53

Amount

Offered ($) Demanded ($)

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

especially depositors; it will not only affect the individual banks but also the entire financial system, he said. Ibrahim said that a good understanding of a banks’ customer expectation entails knowing who the customers are. This is important in order to enable the banks devise strategies for preventing and controlling complaints against their services. “One of the most important customers to a bank is depositor. A depositor carries his money to the bank for either safe keeping or earning returns. It is this money the bank uses in creating loans and in the process derives income to sustain its operations and even declare dividend to shareholders,” he said.

Amount

Exchange

Sold ($)

Rate (N)

Date

450m

452.7m

450m

150.8

08-8-11

250m

313.5m

250m

150.8

03-8-11

400m

443m

400m

150.7

01-8-11

EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

-2.11

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

245.6422

-2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

Parallel Market

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NSE CAP Index

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

(S/N)

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Aug ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

8.75%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

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

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

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

CHANGE 0.14 0.66 0.23 0.29 0.04 0.09 0.05 0.04 0.11 0.02

• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

55

NEWS Aliero loses bid for Senate ‘New driver’s licence, number plates will boost national security’ F

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ESPITE growing criticism against the new driver’s licence and numbers plates, Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday insisted that they would ensure good governance and improve national security. Sambo, who spoke in Abuja through the Minister of Work, Mike Ono, at the Third Federal Road Safety Commission’s (FRSC’s) Annual Lecture Series, said the commission has been proactive in searching for credible response to road accidents. According to him, the provision of emergency care for road accident victims is a core value of the FRSC, which aims to reduce accidents to 50per cent in 2015 and reduce deaths from 10 to two per 10,000 vehicles on Nigerian roads by 2020. He said: “The FRSC, in the last three years, has been aggressively involved in pursuing policies aimed at ensuring good governance and attaining national security for the country with the introduction of enhanced national driver’s licence and customised number plate in vehicle administra-

Lagos flags off issuance By Miriam Ndikanwu

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HE Lagos State Government yesterday flagged off the issuance of the new national number plates, amid agitation over the planned phasing out of extant vehicle plate numbers by the National Assembly. Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Aderemi Ibirogba, flagged off the exercise at the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja. Showcasing the new number plates, Opeifa described the development as the government’s response to the problems caused by improperly registered vehicles in the metropolis. He said the new initiative was informed by a high number of unregistered, used, imported vehicles, as well as new ones, coupled with the acute shortage of the old number plates and their security implications. From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

tion. “The environment in which we operate is always changing. Change is so spontaneous, routine and pervasive that it can be safely asserted that it is the only phenomenon in life that remains constant.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu called for meas-

ures to encourage multi-sectoral involvement to achieve desired goals. According to him, road safety will not be achieved in Nigeria unless it is integrated into national development plans. Ekweremadu said: “Road safety will remain elusive in Nigeria unless it is conscientiously integrated into our national development plans. Sim-

ple logic therefore dictates that if we want to achieve the decade of action on road safety, then we have to inject more energy and resources into roadfixing in our development plans.” The FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka said: “As the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated in the report, 1.3 million people are killed by road traffic crashes and 50 million injured on the world’s road annually. “Unfortunately, over 80 per cent of these crashes occur in the developing countries with Africa accounting for the highest death rate. It is also predicted that if nothing concrete is done by countries to stem this tide, death by road crashes would increase by 65 per cent by 2015 – 2020 and become the third killer of mankind, overtaking malaria and tuberculosis.” A professor in transport engineering and Chair in Road Safety, Prof. Richard Tay, noted that there is a correlation between economic boom and the number of road crashes.

ORMER Kebbi State Governor Adamu Aliero has failed in his bid to regain the Kebbi Central Senatorial seat. The newly reconstituted National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Birnin-Kebbi yesterday struck out the petition filed by Aliero of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The election of the Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu was upheld. Aliero filed the petition on May 1, challenging the victory of Bagudu. Delivering judgment, Chairman of the Tribunal Justice Aondover Kakan, said by virtue of Sec 285(6) of the Constitution which stipulates 180 days to deliver Judgment; the petition

is dead and the Tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain it. Justice Kakan said the life span of the case has ended because the constitutional provision is sacrosanct, a violation of which he said, would amount to a “voyage in a sea that has no shore”. He said the law is settled that the issue of constitution is fundamental and the law does not confer jurisdictions on the respondent or petitioners to extend time for hearing. Counsel to the Petitioners, Mr. Sam Kargbo who described the judgment as a new face of justice argued that the Court of Appeal in Sokoto has ordered for a retrial of the petition which to them shall be considered afresh maintaining that they will study the judgment carefully.

No corps member will be posted to Borno, Yobe, says minister HE Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday said no member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would be posted to Borno and Yobe states because of the insecurity in both states. In a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Julius Ogunro, the minister said the decision followed “the ongoing controversy and confusion over the fate of wouldbe corps members” originally posted to both states. The statement said Abdullahi “wishes to state clearly that no new corps member would be posted to these states under the current ‘Batch C’ mobilisation of corps members. The affected corps members will be called to camps and begin the orientation exercise in Benue State (for those initially posted to Borno) and Nassarawa State (for those posted to Yobe) immediately after the regular orientation camps close. “Thereafter, these corps members will be posted to all states of the federation, except Borno and Yobe states. “The minister wishes to assure corps members that the Federal Government is working hard to ensure their safety and security, and commends them for their unalloyed service to the fatherland.”

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Group to Jonathan: don’t make Nigeria police state

A •Opeifa (second left); Ibirogba (second right), with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr Oluseyi Coker (right) and his counterpart in the Motor Vehicles Administration Agency (MVAA), Mr Akin Hanson, at the ceremony at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES

Kogi PDP: Court to hear suit Nov 24 N Abuja Federal High Court yesterday fixed November 24 for hearing in the suit filed by Umar Lawal, who is seeking an order against the nomination of Captain Idris Wada as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State. The election is scheduled for December 3. Justice Bilikisu Aliyu joined Jibrin Isah Echocho and Wada as second plaintiff and fourth respondent in the suit. Isah had won the PDP governorship primary in January before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed elections in five states, including Kogi. An Abuja Federal High Court had ruled that the tenure of the five governors extends beyond May 29, 2011, following their victory in the rerun elections. When INEC released a new

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•Echocho, Wada, joined From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

date for the election, Kogi PDP conducted another primary in September and Wada won it. Lawal is asking the court to declare that the January primary, which Isah won, is still valid and that the September primary should be cancelled. He is contending that it is

only in case of the death or voluntary withdrawal that a candidate can be changed. Through his counsel, S.I Ameh (SAN), Isah is seeking to be joined as a plaintiff on the grounds that the decision of the court would affect him one way or the other. Wada, through his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), is seeking to be joined as a respondent, saying the suit centres on him.

Other respondents in the suit are INEC, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), and the PDP. Justice Aliyu held that it would be proper for the parties to appear before the court, adding that the two applicants had shown substantive intention to be joined in the suit. She ordered the parties to exchange their processes within seven days so that hearing of the substantive suit can begin.

Audu’ll reabsorb sacked workers HE Kogi State governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Prince Abubakar Audu, has said his administration, if voted into power in the December election, would reabsorb the workers who were “illegally” sacked by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Over 1,000 civil servants were said to have been fired through a screening conducted by a consultancy firm. Audu, who addressed a large crowd of

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From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

party supporters at the palace of the Elegbe of Egbe in Yagba West Local Government Area on Tuesday, said his campaign office in Lokoja, the state capital, had opened a register for the affected workers to enable him reabsorb them when he becomes governor. According to him, many workers lost their jobs to the “illegal” exercise, leading to the death of many of the affected workers.

GROUP, the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned the occupation of offices of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by armed military operatives and armed security operatives who cordoned off the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) office in Bayelsa State. It described the military occupation as unconstitutional and illegal, urging the Goodluck Jonathan administration not to turn Ni-

geria into a police state. The group urged the Federal Government to desist from implementing neardraconian military measures in any part of the country, noting that it would portray Nigeria as a police state in the eyes of the international community. HURIWA warned that the military and police actions, “which stifle political freedoms, freedom of movement and association, will whittle down the advancement of democracy and respect for human rights of the citizenry.

TUC to EFCC: review corruption cases HE Rivers State chapter of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to review corruption cases that were settled through plea bargain. It hailed the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, for rejecting plea bargain for corrupt politicians and public officers and for describing it as a novel concept in the nation’s jurisprudence. Through its Rivers State Chairman, Chika Onuegbu, the union, at an interactive session with reporters in Port Harcourt, the state capital, said due process must be followed for justice to be

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From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

ensured, without having double standard. It described as shameful the decision of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), to opt for plea bargain in settling high profile cases of corruption out of court. TUC said: “We call on the EFCC to review all previous corruption cases settled through the instrumentality of the unconstitutional and illegal plea bargaining process, with a view to ensuring that the full weight of the law applies to all affected public treasury looters.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

57

NEWS

Bayelsa PDP Ward Congress valid, says chairman HE Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, James Dugo, yesterday said Monday’s controversial ward congress elections in the state were validly and legally conducted. He said there would be no coronation of the party’s governorship candidate as being alleged by a disqualified aspirant, Ben Murray-Bruce. Dugo, who addressed some reporters in Abuja with some members of the State Executive Committee (SEC), said he and his colleagues are being threatened. He said: “It’s regrettable to hear people lie and try to drag my name into a baseless and spurious accusation. “Some disgruntled trouble makers said there were no ward congress delegates’ elections in our state on November 14. “I am here with the State Executive Committee Secretary and other Executives. “Six local government party chairmen are my witnesses. “We saw, we received and attended the briefing/ meet-

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•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan immunising a baby against polio at the flag-off of the statewide programme against the disease’s eradication at Bomadi… yesterday

•‘Cancel the elections’ From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, and Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

ing with the panel from Abuja and as directed went ahead to participate and supervise the ward elections in our local governments. “Though our lives and that of our families are being threatened, we are committed to stand for the truth, say the truth and remain fair and firm. I want to say and reiterate that the party is bigger than any individual. “We have video tapes to show that we received the ward congress panel from Abuja, attended the briefing, witnessed the appointment of recruiting officers. “We want to emphatically state that there were elections and they were free and fair. There were some rancour in Nembe and Brass areas. We salute the police, SSS and the JTF for maintaining peace. On the allegation that the party has an agenda to coronate a candidate, Dugo added: “Everybody has his

own opinion but we have no plan to impose anyone as the governorship candidate. That is his (Ben Murray Bruce’s) own opinion. “I want to assure all PDP members in the state that the primary will be free and fair to all the aspirants.” But more groups have called for the cancellation of the elections. Some council chairmen,Milton Ebi; Edison Sorgwe; Ben Forman and Anthony Zuokumo from Brass, Yenagoa, Southern Ijaw and Nembe Local Governments, said the ward elections did not hold as being proclaimed by some members of the party. They said: “It is imperative for the national body to do the right thing. PDP is one family, we should not destabilise the party for personal gains.” Some councillors said there were no elections in their councils. They said: “We are in the wards, any one parading himself as a delegate from the ward elections is doing so against the guidelines of the party.”

Three held for alleged murder

Mark declares NDDC a failure

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ENATE President David Mark yesterday declared the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) a failure. Mark gave the damning verdict after the confirmation of the chairman and members of the board, who were nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Senate President gave the board six weeks to prove its mettle or be prepared to face the same fate that befell its predecessors. Two nominees, Peter Ezeobi (Imo) and Osahon Imaro (Edo) were, however, rejected by the lawmakers. The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration and approval of the report of the Committee on Niger Delta presented by Committee Chairman James Manager. Mark said: “The NDDC has been a failure up to this point and there is no need to mince words. “The individuals who have been put there have decided to make their own personal interest the priority of the

•Gives board six-week ultimatum •Imo, Edo nominees dropped From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

commission. It is hoped that the new group would not do the same. “If the Senate Committee on NDDC had supervised the commission properly, we would not have found ourselves in the position we are in today. “So, while we urge the members of the commission to make sure that they do their work properly, it is imperative that the committee also does its job properly. “The two have to work together to ensure that the dividend that we expect from the commission is delivered to the people. “If they do not perform in the next six weeks, the same fate that befell their predecessors will also befall them. “So, it is clear that nobody wants to allow money to fall down in the Niger Delta and

Delta awards road contract to Setraco

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ELTA State Government yesterday awarded the contract for the 7.6 kilometre Umeh Road in Isoko South Local Government to Setraco Nigeria Limited at N3.625 billion. The project, when completed, would ease the movement of agricultural produce from the locality to the rest of the state and beyond. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said on Tuesday, during an unscheduled visit to the area, that his administration would build the road because of the great agricultural potential of the people. Uduaghan said he learnt about the deplorable situation of the road from the Facebook page created by Afohokor Duncan, an indigene of the community. He said: “You people are sophisticated farmers, what I saw in your farm lands are wonderful. You people have gone far in agriculture. I commend you.”

then be taken away by individuals.” George Sekibo urged the Senate to impress it on the board to take the development of the Niger Delta serious. Ayogu Eze said the board should be prevented from pursuing personal agendas of its members. Wilson Ake said the Senate needs to impress it on the board to work as a team. Abdul Ningi asked the Senate to ensure that the funds provided for the development of the Niger Delta are not squandered. Those confirmed include Tarilah Tebepah and Christian Azubuike Obo as Chairman and Managing Director respectively. Also confirmed are Lambert John Konboye Executive Director (Finance and Administration) and Edikan Eshett Executive Director (Projects).

Others are Imaobong Johnson; Edigirisi Paul Orubo; Dominic Aqua Edem; Solomon Ogba; Prof Ibitamuno M. Aminigo; Tunde Ogbeha; Garba Lado; Rima Shawulu Kwewum; Aloysius Nwagboso; Omagbemi Oladele and Joe Jakpa. On the rejection of Ezeobi, Manager said the issue of competence was raised against him. But a source said Ezeobi’s rejection had more to do with the politics of Imo State. The source said two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators from the state opposed Ezeobi’s nomination because it was influenced by Governor Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Imaro was also said to have been rejected due to his connection with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in his state.

Institute hosts alumni week

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HE Nigerian alumni of the New York-based Africa- America Institute (AAI) will hold a two-day alumni reunion today and tomorrow. The event, which would take place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA),Lagos, has its theme: “Looking back 50 years and moving forward into the future”. The organisers said: “The event will draw together past participants of scholarship programmes such as the Nigerian American Scholarship Programme (NASP); African Scholarship Programme of

American Universities (ASPAU); African Graduate Scholarship Programme (AFGRAD) and Advanced Training for Leadership and Skills (ATLAS) .” The event, according to them, will include panel discussions featuring alumni such as Senator Femi Okurounmu; Dr Tim Farinre; Prof. Vremudiah Diejomaoh; former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Ayinde Adalemo; former ministers Kalu Idika-Kalu, Ebitimi Banigo, Bolaji Akinyemi and Obi of Onitsha Alfred Achebe.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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HREE persons have been arrested by the police in Edo State for allegedly abducting and killing a 16-year-old teenager, Godspower Idjerhoyibo. The victim was discovered in the bush two days after he was reported missing at Obeh village, near Benin City. He was found dead with his hands tied to his knees. Commissioner of Police David Omojola said the victim was abducted on November 10 while returning from school. Omojola said investigation showed that the abduction was allegedly carried out by Daniel Etido (21), identified as a friend of the victim. Other suspects arrested are Godday Ogbeiye (25) and Kelvin Ogiemwonyi (20). The suspects reportedly confessed to the crime, saying they wanted to bury the victim alive. The commissioner said the suspects would soon appear in court.

I’m humbled, says Oshiomhole

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said he is humbled by the national award conferred on him. President Goodluck Jonathan awarded the governor the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) on Monday. Oshiomhole said it shows that his contributions to nation building are being appreciated. At a reception for him by friends on Tuesday, the governor said: “I really appreciate the award; it shows that our modest contributions to

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nation building and national development are being appreciated. “When I joined politics, my wife and children had fears that the name we have built over the years may be soiled by the actions or inaction of others, but as you can see today, the name has remained untainted and our contributions have been rewarded with a national honour.” Those who attended the reception include business magnate Aliko Dangote, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda, Senators Ehigie Uzamere and Victor Oyofo.

‘We don’t have DESOPADEC’ From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

WEVWE-Agbarha Otor community in Ughelli North Local Government of Delta State yesterday decried the non-existence of the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) in the area. The community said despite its status as the headquarters of the Eriemu Field, second to the Afiesere Field in terms of oil production quota in the local government, the commission was yet to execute a single project in the community. President-General of the community Freeborn Adjanakpo said no indigene has been employed in the oil fields. Adjanakpo enjoined the commission to ensure that indigenes are employed, saying the host communities are “the brains” behind the establishment of the commission. He urged DESOPADEC to provide a 12-classroom block in Owevwe Secondary School, construct “ring and roads” in Owevwe, Opherin and Otokutu and a water project that would serve the people of Owevwe and Opherin communities.

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NEWS One dead in Anambra fire

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23- year- old Awa Kalu was yesterday killed by an inferno that engulfed his apartment at 17 Kpughemobi Street, Ogbaru Local Government, Anambra State. The deceased, who hailed from Akanu Ohofia of Abia State, was burnt beyond r e c o g n i t i o n . Goods worth several millions of naira were also destroyed.

From Adimike George, Onitsha

A source said the inferno started at about 2pm when a teenager allegedly threw fireworks at the building. The fire reportedly consumed cash, property and other personal effects. Caretaker of the house Donatus Onu said the fire started from one of the tenants’ apartment.

Fayemi opens Efon House By Emmanuel Oladesu

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will commission the Effon House project in Lagos on Saturday. The building at 104 Apata Street, Somolu, was built by Effon Development League, Lagos branch. It is the first by any Ekiti community in Lagos. According to the chairman of the Organising Committee, Emmanuel Ajewole, a church service would precede the inauguration. Guests include Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)leader Senator Bola Tinubu, , top government functionaries, politicians and traditional rulers. The royal father of the day is the paramount ruler of Efon Kingdom, the Alaaye, Oba Adesanya Aladejare, Agunsoye 11.

Community leader remembered

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HE remembrance service for Pa Abel Oladimeji, a community leader and cocoa merchant, will hold at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Imola, Owo, Ondo State, on Saturday. Oladimeji died 35 years ago at the age

of 62. He is survived by children and grandchildren, among whom is Rev. Bayode Oladimeji, a Priest of Anglican Communion and Director of Student Affairs, Achievers University, Owo.

Funeral for community leader

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HE remains of Mrs Abigail Oreoluwa Famakinwa, educationist and community leader, will be interred at St. John Cathedral cemetry, Iloro, Ilesa, on Saturday,after a valedictory service. Famakinwa died on August 24. She was 70. She is survived by children and grandchildren, among whom is the Arenifere Renewal Group (ARG) chieftain and Managing Director of Development Qualitatives Limited, Ilupeju, Lagos, Mr Dipo Famakinwa.

Burial Nov. 25

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ADAM Beatrice Adetoun Fasehun is dead. She was 78. The Christian wake comes up on November 24 at her home, No 4, Lane 2, Ayoade Street, Esso, Ondo State, at 5pm. Her remains will be buried on November 25 after a valedictory service at St. Andrews Anglican Church, Idimoge Street, at 11am. She is survived by Lanre Fasehun, Managing

•The late Madam Fasehun

Director, Universal McCann, Lagos, and Itunu Akinsulie.

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Appeal Court orders retrial of Ngige’s, Akunyili’s case T

HE Court of Appeal in Enugu yesterday ordered a retrial of the petition by Mrs Dora Akunyili of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) challenging the election of Senator Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal. Ngige had won the election into the Anambra Central Senatorial District. In a unanimous decision delivered yesterday by the three-man panel, Justice

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Bode Lokolo-Shodipe declared that the issues which the tribunal considered in throwing out Akunyili’s petition could not stand the test of justice. He said all the issues lacked merit and that the tribunal took decisions which it reversed random-

ly. He added that granting the application of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) means contradicting itself. The court held that Mrs Akunyili’s appeal was meritorious and set aside the verdict of the lower tribunal. There were no costs attached to it. The APGA candidate had challenged the election of

Ngige at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka. But the tribunal struck out her application on October 20 following her failure to file vital documents. Not satisfied with the verdict of the lower court, the former Minister of Information and Communications appealed the decision at the Appeal Court. Both parties and their lead counsel were absent in court.

Enugu resolves minimum wage crisis

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HE lingering minimum wage crisis in Enugu State has been resolved. The resolution followed an agreement considered by the state government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on the modalities for paying the new minimum wage to workers. The state government had complied with the payment of N18,000 to junior workers as required by law. But the negotiations with Labour centred on how their

From Chris Oji, Enugu

senior counterparts could also benefit from the arrangement. NLC spokesman Uchenna Ekwe, who spoke in Abuja yesterday after the tripartite meeting of representatives of the NLC and the state government, said both parties rose from the meeting satisfied. “This is the first meeting we had and both parties were smiling, remarkable progress has been made and

we have a lot better understanding of where we are heading to in our negotiations,” he said. Ekwe explained that although they came to sign the agreement Lbour reached with the state government, they discovered that there were some technical issues that needed to be clarified. He assured workers that the agreement reached with government on the issue would reflect in their November salaries. Ekwe said the principles of

collective bargaining and negotiation must be respected and hailed the state government for its understanding. The labour leader urged the workers to remain calm. The meeting, which was held at the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), was attended by the NLC Chairman in the state, Chumaife Nze; the Acting Secretary, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Andy Nzenwanze and Dan Nwodo of the TNC.

N50b World Bank Southeast youth project begins

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HE Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank has launched a N50 billion youth empowerment programme for Southeast youths. The money is expected to empower about 6,000 youths in the country. Performing the launching in Umuahia, Abia State, the Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, decried the high rate of unemployment in the country. She said the programme is aimed at fighting unemployment by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration and assured that about 100,000 jobs would be created through the programme. She said doing business in the country has become very difficult, “Access to funds is a huge problem, particularly among young business men and women who lack the collateral to secure small business loans and are in most cases unable to purchase equipment or source raw materials for their businesses”. The minister hailed the ingenuity of Southeast youths, adding: “The youths in Aba and Onitsha have been doing well to keep their businesses afloat, despite the daunting challenges they face”. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala explained that the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Ni-

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•Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji; Finance Minister, Mrs Okonjo- Iweala and Anambra State Governor Peter Obi. From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

geria (YOUWIN) is a programme of the Federal Government aimed at assisting aspiring young entrepreneurs under 40 years to start their businesses through the provision of training mentorship. “But, in most cases, they require more of those who will mentor them to give them direction on how to sustain their businesses. That is what the programme

is all about. “Through the YOUWIN, up to 3,600 Nigerian youths with existing businesses or innovative business ideas will be identified and directly supported to develop their enterpreneural ideas over the next three years. We hope to provide the needed support for these young people to create about 80,000 to 100,000 jobs for others within the next three years,” she said. Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State urged his counterparts in the Southeast to

help their youths to access the fund and hailed President Jonathan for approving the programme. Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State assured of his administration’s partnership with President Jonathan to give support to the YOUWIN programme. Orji said the state government has already keyed into the youth empowerment programme of the Federal Government, through the creation of about 4,000 jobs in the state.

Group to collaborate with Osun govt

SOCIO-ECONOMIC group, Osun Development Association (ODA), yesterday said it will partner with Osun State government to develop the state. According to its Chairman, Prof Olu Aina, the CHANGE OF NAME OYELOHUNNU I Miss Oyelohunnu Awawu Adenike Now wish to be known and address as Mrs Awawu Adenike Abdul Raheem. All formal document remain valid. Lagos State Polytechnic, NYSC, N.E.R.D.C., and general public please take note

By Wale Adepoju

ODA has seasoned professionals in various fields of endeavour whose expertise can be beneficial to the state. Aina, who spoke to reporters on the ODA Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for next Friday, in Osogbo, the state capital, assured of the group’s collaboration with the government to enhance the state’s socio-economic development.

He said the group will discuss the possibility of public-private partnership (PPP) with the state, promising to bring about good and measurable development if used. “We believe PPP might offer great opportunity to address the critical issue of funding and joint dialogue on the reality and the reality which the AGM offers would certainly create cross-access for potential investors, financiers and the government to form a bond. The state is blessed with cultural and

touristic assets such as the renowned Osun Osogbo Festival, Erin Ijesha Waterfalls and Ile-Ife which is the source of Yoruba race,” he said. OSD, Aina said, was established as an independent body of Osun State indigenes to create a platform for conflict mediation and resolution among other objectives, adding that it rose to the occasion when a crisis broke out at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) recently.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

FOREIGN NEWS

Bullets ‘hit White House window’

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WO bullets have been found at the White House, one of which struck a protective window when it was fired, the United States Secret Service says. The casings were found on the grounds during a probe launched after gunshots were fired nearby late last week. The US Parks Police now says it is searching for a 21year-old man, Oscar Ramiro Ortega, over the shooting. The bullets have not yet been “conclusively connected” to the shooting, the Secret Service told AFP. “An assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing,” the service told the

news agency. The discovery of the bullets, which were found on Tuesday, follows reports of gunfire between the White House and the Washington Monument at about 21:30 local time on Friday evening. Oscar Ortega has been linked to Friday evening’s shooting Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK47 rifle was also recovered, the Associated Press reported. In a blog post issued by the US Parks Police, Sgt David Schlosser said the investigation into the shooting near the White House had led to them to issue a warrant for the ar-

•Obama

rest of Mr Ortega. “As the investigation unfolded, the US Park Police located a vehicle in the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue,” Sgt Schlosser said, some seven blocks away from the White House.

Pakistan’s US Ambassador recalled over army plot

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AKISTAN’s ambassador to the United States has been summoned to Islamabad to explain his role in an alleged plot by President Asif Ali Zardari to oust his army and intelligence chiefs. Husain Haqqani was summoned following claims that he had passed on a secret letter from Mr Zardari to America’s top soldier calling on Washington to help rein in his army and stop its chiefs from mounting a coup against him. The claims, which have been dismissed by the Pakistan government, have been taken seriously by several key army figures, plunging already tense relations between the civilian government and the military to their lowest level for some time. “The army leadership believes the

claims may be true,” said one military source. According to the claims, by influential Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the letter was passed to Admiral Mike Mullen, the United States chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one week after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, one of Pakistan’s most heavily guarded garrison towns. Mr Zardari had feared his humiliated army would mount a coup against him to restore morale following the raid. The letter, Mr Ijaz claimed, included an offer that a “new national security team” would “eliminate” the section of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service which supports the Taliban insurgency and

its feared Haqqani Network. The letter had been given to him to pass on as a secret conduit. Last night Husain Haqqani confirmed he had been summoned to Islamabad to brief the Pakistan People’s Party leadership on “issues impacting US-Pakistan ties” but claimed not to be concerned. “We have been at this crossroads before,” he told a wellwisher on Twitter. Lieutenant-General Talat Masood, a retired senior Pakistan Army officer and leading security commentator, said Mr Haqqani had been targeted as a scapegoat for the fast-deteriorating relations between Army Chief General Kayani, intelligence director Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Mr Zardari.

Portugal’s PM Pedro Coelho seeks Angola investment

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ORTUGAL’S prime minister is travelling to oil-rich Angola, which is boosting its investment in its former colonial power caught up in the eurozone debt crisis. Angolan presidential aide Carlos Maria Feijo said Portugal’s privatisation scheme would be discussed. The International Monetary Fund has ordered Portugal to sell state companies to qualify for a bailout. Angola’s investments in Portugal have risen sharply in recent years. The figure in 2009 stood at $156m (£99m), compared to $2.1m in 2002, according to the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS), a Lisbon-based think-tank. Angolan companies own the equivalent of 3.8% of companies listed on Portugal’s stock exchange, from banks to telecoms and energy,

it says. Angola is Portugal’s fourth biggest trading partner and its largest outside the European Union. Portuguese goods account for nearly one fifth of all Angolan imports. The IMF has agreed to give Portugal a $107bn bailout on condition that it introduces a wide range of economic reforms - including privatisation. However, anti-corruption campaigner Rafael Marques says Portugal should be careful about accepting money from Angola, where corruption is endemic. “The Portuguese should be asking questions about where this money is coming from,” he said. “If they don’t ask these questions, they risk Portugal becoming a Laundromat for Angola’s ill-gotten gains.”

Microfinance rated high in Mexico

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IGHT of the top dozen countries with the best business environment for microfinance are from Latin America, according to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2011 prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). According to the report, Mexico, one of Latin America’s biggest economies along with Brazil, made important strides in improving the environment for microfinance businesses with both countries now ranked among the top ten

performers. Mexico’s score improved greatly, rising 13 places to the tenth position, following important efforts to streamline microfinance regulation, improvements in standardizing accounting practices and recent reforms that boost consumer protection in terms of pricing transparency and dispute resolution. This annual study ranks the business environment for microfinance in 55 countries and provides a perspective on both country-specific and global trends.

Peru ranks first followed by Bolivia, Pakistan and Kenya, according to the 2011 ranking, which compares the microfinance sector in countries and regions across two broad categories: Regulatory Framework and Practices and the Supporting Institutional Framework. The strong results for Latin America have been driven by high scores on elements that enable the microfinance business, particularly the existence of credit bureau infrastructures that are relatively well established in the region.


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NATION SPORT

NFF hails Oshiomhole

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HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has commended Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for ‘his genuine and tremendous contributions to the development of football in all areas.’This was contained in a letter of appreciation signed by NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and addressed to governor Oshiomhole. Alhaji Maigari in the letter thanked the governor for what he termed wonderful audience the governor granted members of the NFF Executive Committee as well as the hosting of the international friendly football match between the Super Eagles and their Botswana counterparts in Benin City.According to the letter, “several highly placed individuals, corporate organisations and even football fans have continued to hail the smooth organisation of the match, which was the first outing for the new head coach,

From Osagie Otabor, Benin Stephen Keshi, and one of the matches lined up to prepare the Super Eagles for a busy year 2012”.The NFF boss further

NDIC to sponsor sports in Nigeria with N50m

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HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has earmarked about N50million to sponsor popular sports competitions in seven states across the six geo-political zones of the country. A statement from the NDIC said the corporation’s sports sponsorship “is the pilot scheme of such financial assistance towards sports development in the country, aimed at promoting sports development especially in schools in line with the corporation’s corporate social responsibility.” The statement added that “while

Oyo commissioner urges parents to encourage sports

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HE Commissioner for Lands and Housing in Oyo State, Hon. Ajiboye Omodewu, has urged parents to always encourage their wards to participate in sporting activities. Hon. Omodewu gave the admonition at the 4th InterHouse Sports Competition of Bishop Akinyele Grammar School, Oke- Are, Ibadan, held at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. According to him, “we need to appreciate our parents’ support for sporting activities in

prayed God to grant Oshiomhole more energy and greater innovation to continue the execution of projects and programmes that gives joy to Edo people.

our schools. In the past, only few parents urged their children to participate in sports. Though, the situation has changed but we need to appeal to parents who do not believe in sports. “Sport is very good and it keeps body and soul fit. Apart from the economic gains derivable from it, it’s good for one’s health and we should all encourage our young ones to participate actively in sports, in conjunction with their academic abilities,” Hon. Omodewu said.

By Nduka Chiejina flagging off the Under-18 Senior Secondary Schools Volleyball championship in Kano state, the NDIC Managing Director/Chief Executive, Umaru Ibrahim, said that the Corporation had donated N5million each towards the successfulconductofthevarioussports tournaments in six states of the federation and the FCT.” Alhaji Ibrahim, described sports not only as a veritable tool for physical and mental development but also as one of the avenues for creating and maintaining unity, charged students at all levels to shun violence, cultism, drug addiction and other vices and concentrate on their studies. The NDIC Chief Executive Officer also disclosed that the Corporation has since 2003 been actively involved in the development of education in Nigeria through sponsorship of various projects. The projects are located in federal and state universities as well as other tertiary institutions in the six geo-political zones of the country. Among the sports competitions that are being sponsored by the NDIC includes Ibrahim Geidam Under-20 Hockey tournament in Yobe State, Open Table Tennis Championship in Ekiti state; Under -18 Senior Secondary Schools Volleyball Championship in Kano state.


TOMORROW

www.thenationonlineng.net

IN THE NATION

‘‘Surely Achebe would be happier if our National

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

award was something akin to the United State’s Presidential Medal of Freedom (PMOF) which was instituted by President J.F. Kennedy in 1963’ VOL. 7, NO. 1,947

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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HREE clear days after the National Honours ceremony ended, the altercations the awards generated are yet to subside. The chairman of the Awards Committee, the respected jurist Modibbo Alfa Belgore put up a robust defence of the process that culminated in the colourful ceremony that we all saw – on television - on Monday. I was convinced the committee deserved a pat on the back for the job of selecting those lucky ones, of the about 150 million citizens of this country. Not so the busybodies who see nothing good in every attempt to celebrate our heroes – and heroines. First, they grumbled that the ceremony ran out of medals. Didn’t the organisers plan for the number of recipients? Was the figure ballooned after the names had been compiled? Who got the medals? Who didn’t get? What criteria for choosing those who got medals and those who got mere certificates? They piled up questions upon questions, in a desperate attempt to discredit the worthy exercise as a ludicrous veneer of happiness in a season of pains. The more truculent of the critics asked: must we have national honours now? Those purveyors of sad news in newsrooms, staff rooms and restrooms of whom I have just spoken did not stop at merely disparaging the exercise. They have been bandying names of people they strongly feel should also have been with that crowd in Abuja to be decked with medals as national honorees. Every attempt to explain to them that the selection was a painstaking exertion by a team that worked for months cut no ice with them. They seem to have a point here. In vain did I search the list for some men whose actions have affected the polity. Step forward former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloysius Katsina - Alu, who presided over the judiciary as if it was a casino. Towards the end of his chequered tenure, the line between law and politics became so thin no one was sure of anything. The Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the verdict in the Sokoto governorship dispute for, according to court papers, puerile reasons that stood logic on its head. The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, kicked, but National Judicial Council (NJC), headed by Justice Katsina-Alu , was coralled into haunting down Justice Salami. From Port Harcourt to Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan, lawyers hit the street in protest. The NJC, apparently embracing the Justice Katsina - Alu view of discipline in the judiciary, throttled Justice Salami’s rights and privileges. It hammered him with a suspension, which President Goodluck Jonathan, who nobody can accuse of being indecisive, swiftly endorsed. The judiciary became the butt of beer parlour jokes. If Justice Katsina- Alu had played the quintessential CJN, would there have been room for Justice Dahiru Musdapher, his successor, to embark on reforms? The former CJN

GBENGA OMOTOSO

EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

gbenga.omotoso@thenationonlineng.net

Missing in Abuja

How about a posthumous award for Yusuf? This may pacify his followers, keep suicide bombers at bay, save security chiefs’ jobs and get foreign investors rushing in. Expediency? Oh yes! Why not? •Ringim

should step forward for a medal. Police chief Hafiz Ringim stood there on Monday, his face wreathed in smiles, admiring his prized medal. We all know that Ringim’s sterling achievements would not have been possible, but for the herculean efforts of some of his men who have brought so much ingenuity to policing. Step forward Kogi Police Commissioner Amanana Abakasanga. The other day when some Osun State residents in a state government bus attempted to pass through Lokoja to Abuja, he ordered them back. Reason: they could not state their mission in Abuja. “When you leave your house, you must have a mission. If you don’t, I won’t allow you to pass through my state,” he was quoted as saying. Unknown to many, a new anti-crime strategy was in the smithy. If well executed, the Abakasanga solution may well require us all to obtain visas to visit Abuja. And the police would have dismantled the trouble that almost cost them the IG himself when a suicide bomber hit the heart of its operations and intelligence – the Louis Edet House. Doesn’t Abakasanga deserve an award as a faithful and innovative security chief? And talking about security. The Boko Haram – the name invokes trepidation in every heart – has issued its charter of de-

RIPPLES FED GOVT TO REGULATE NOISE LEVEL NATIONWIDE –News

...including NOISE on FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL?

mands, to stop the spate of bombings that has killed many and put Nigeria on the world terrorism map, with some countries advising their citizens to be wary of visiting this country. The sect wants the killers of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who was executed in police custody, brought to book, among other demands. How about a posthumous award for Yusuf? This may pacify his followers, keep suicide bombers at bay, save security chiefs’ jobs and get foreign investors rushing in. Expediency? Oh yes! Why not? What of the former Super Eagles coach, Samson “Sia One” Siasia? For the first time in 25 years, Nigeria will be missing at the Cup of Nations after our big boys failed to whip Guinea. The fans – those fastidious fellows who will always keep on crying for goals and more goals even when it appears scoring more will not alter the team’s fortune - called for Siasia’s head. The authorities, in a moment of rashness, fired the guy. That was wrong. With the fall of the Super (?) Eagles, Siasia has unwittingly shown us that it is simply foolish not to accept that our soccer has crashed. We need a crisis resolution session. And all this for just N5million a month. Shouldn’t such a chap be honoured? The honours list was sprinkled with some

HARDBALL

S

HORTLY after he became acting president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan began to entrance us with sound bites pleasing and even thrilling to the ears. Though this column was one of the first commentators to note and remark that desirable tendency, it wondered whether Jonathan could walk the talk as he loftily talked the talk. That puzzle has since been solved. Jonathan is a better democrat than Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, but he also creatively, furtively and sometimes fervently subverts the constitution. Like the late Umaru Yar’Adua, his immediate predecessor, he has found a way to maintain brilliant harmony between subverting the constitution and rhapsodising the same document. If we thought the dissonance between Jonathan’s talk and action was due to the fact that he newly assumed the office of the president while Yar’Adua was bedridden, we note that he has sustained that habit and even improved it since he earned his own epaulettes. We are forced to recall this Jonathan predisposition today in view of the wonderful sound bites coming like torrents from the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru

Musdapher talks the talk Musdapher. His predecessor, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, left office in a blaze of controversy disputing and reviling some of the actions and judgments of the Appeal Court under the suspended Justice Ayo Salami. However, determined not to be entangled in a skein of juridical controversy, the new CJN promised, on assuming office, to sanitise the judiciary in all its unpromising and uninviting ramifications. So far, he has set up a high-profile panel to look into the judiciary and make recommendations. More, and this is the substance of this piece, he has identified some of the ills of the judiciary and has spared neither harsh words nor withering gestures to put them down. Only two days ago, he denounced the concept of plea bargaining newly smuggled into Nigerian jurisprudence. When he described it as “(dubious) invention to provide soft landing for high-profile treasury looters,” he knew it would

STEVE OSUJI

women who, no doubt, have been able to hold their own in a world dominated by male chauvinists and misogynists. But one woman was missing. The First Lady. Without a dutiful Dame Patience, the home front would have been so stifling for President Jonathan, who needs so much conviviality to run state affairs. The First Lady has been leading the clamour for the 35% Affirmative Action. Besides, only those whose minds have been struck with a strange kind of ingratitude will forget so soon how she travelled all over to campaign for the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), urging us all: “vote umblela! Senate, umblela! House, umblela! President, umblela! Everybody, umblela!” How we were all exhilarated! I am damn sure Her Excellency’s bejeweled robust neck can do with a medal too. Fair is fair. Talking of fairness, I recall the ordeal of Babatunde Omidina, alias Baba Suwe, who was detained for about three weeks without trial and forced to defecate again and again, until he lost weight and became frail, after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) alleged that its scanners found a strange object it suspected to be narcotic in the actor’s body. The agency keeps blabbing and blubbing over the matter. But the Baba Suwe show has provoked the age-long debate on the power of juju – some analysts insist that if, indeed, he had an object in his body, he may have held it from being defecated with the aid of black magic – the kind former President Olusegun Obasanjo advised we deploy in South Africa in the days of apartheid. If it has taken Baba Suwe, who suffered so much indignity and deprivation, to make us recall that we have an untapped fortune in what the west derisively calls African magic, shouldn’t the nation show some appreciation? Also deserving appreciation are members of the Economic Team or whoever has rightly advised the government to do away with oil subsidy, which some barber shop analysts have dismissed as inexistent, but which state officials insist amounts to trillions of naira yearly. The thinking is that if we recover this hefty sum from the mafia or cabal that has been sharing it all this long while with loathsome impunity, there will be “life more abundant for us” all. Roads will be tarred. Hospitals will live up to their names. Crimes will be no more as criminals would have got more than enough without firing a shot. Schools will be schools, not pigsties. Add the mountain of cash that will come from the subsidy to the surging inflow from the toll gates that will soon be built and the electricity tariff that will bring in more money and spice it all up with the gains of the port reforms. The result? A bountiful 2012. Need I canvass more for our economic experts’ recognition? •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above resonate perfectly with the public. And when he went on further to denounce those who run to the courts for injunctions to tie the hands of law enforcement agents from arresting and prosecuting them, he rightly suspected that the small, disenchanted but vociferous moral public left in Nigeria would be enraptured. Then he followed this gentle sagacity by excoriating the justice system that uses holding charges to abridge the rights of the weak and innocent. And finally, in a tone seemingly delivered with absolute deadpan, though he was represented by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, he derided the police culture of parading suspects before the press. As far as talk goes, Jonathan, unlike the dour Obasanjo, comes across as an interesting personality. But Musdapher beats them all. He talks engagingly and delightfully, his microphone baritone insinuating an unusual and indescribable genuineness into his ideas. What remains to manifest is whether the CJN has the character to match his words; whether he can walk the talk as avidly and profoundly as he talks the talk; whether he can overcome the disingenuous waffle that saw him recoil in the face of Katsina-Alu’s dubieties.

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

The Nation November 17, 2011  

The Nation November 17, 2011

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