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Jombo-Ofo now for Appeal Court

Govt okays N176b road contracts NEW S NEWS

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Page 6

•Lokoja-Okene-Auchi-Benin get N45.8b

•NJC orders CJN to swear in Justice

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2317 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

Forbes lists Dangote, Adenuga, Ovia, Rabiu Danjuma, Lulu-Briggs among Africa’s rich

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USINESS giant Aliko Dangote tops the list of Africa’s rich, for the second year running, with a net worth of $12 billion, up from $10.1 billion in November 2011. Dangote’s wealth is derived mainly from his

publicly-quoted Dangote Cement Plc, which operates in 14 African countries. Dangote is also on the list of the world’s richest released yesterday. This year, a record 1,226 billionaires made it to FORBES’ annual ranking of the world’s rich-

est. Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa is again Africa’s second richest, with a $6.4 billion fortune—down $100 million from a year ago. Oppenheimer decided late 2011 to sell his family’s 40 per cent stake in diamond

producer DeBeers to mining company Anglo American for $5.1 billion. The deal got final regulatory approval in July 2012, marking the end of 85 years of Oppenheimer family control of DeBeers. Continued on page 4

Jonathan: I can run in 2015 EFCC invites Babalakin over Ibori’s N2b loot

PDP member bids to stop President

•‘It’s intimidation’ From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited Bi-Courtney Chairman Wale Babalakin (SAN) over N2 billion loot traced to a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori. There were strong indications last night that some charges had been filed against Babalakin at a high court in Lagos. Although the details of the charge were unknown, Babalakin has maintained his innocence on the allegation that he laundered money for Ibori, who is in a UK prison. One of his aides said Babalakin had not received any invitation from the EFCC. When called at about 6.09pm, Babalakin was about going into a meeting with his management team. A source in EFCC, who

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s political future seems to be getting clear. Despite opposition from certain quarters, Jonathan would not shy away from contesting in the 2015 election, as allowed in the Constitution. According to him, with the political situation of Nigeria, it is better for him to spend nine years in office than to spend less than the eight years stipulated in the 1999 Constitution. Jonathan spoke through his lawyer, Ade Okeya-Inneh (SAN), in a counter-affidavit filed to a suit by Henry Amadi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), who is seeking to stop him from contesting in the election. In the suit before a Federal High Court, Abuja, Amadi is contending that Jonathan can no longer contest in 2015 because by so doing he would be spending more than the maximum two terms of four years stipulated by the 1999 constitution. The suit is similar to another one filed by a chieftain of the PDP, Mr Cyriacus Njoku, on March 20 before an Abuja High Court urging the court to state whether Jonathan can run or not. Judgment in that suit is pending before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi. In the present suit, the respondents are Jonathan and the Independent National Elec-

Continued on page 4

Continued on page 63

The question is... given that the constitution prescribes a maximum of two terms of four years... is he eligible to run for re-election in 2015?

•The collapsed building at Jakande Estate, OkeAfa in Isolo, Lagos State…yesterday PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Two sisters •SEE die in Lagos PAGE 8 building collapse

•Members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society evacuating one of the victims of the collapsed building …yesterday PHOTO: NAN

•ISRAEL, HAMAS AGREE CEASEFIRE P4 •SAUDI CHOPS OFF NIGERIAN HAND P5


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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NEWS

Africa’s 40 •Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal greeting Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha after the Speaker was honoured with an award of merit by the Sokoto State government in Sokoto. With them are the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Saad Abubakar and Dr. Sam Jaja.

•River State Governor Rotimi Amaechi (left), Senator Bukola Saraki and Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right) during the governors’ visit to condole with the Sarakis over the death of Dr. Olusola Saraki in Ilorin, Kwara State ... on Tuesday.

•Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda (left),Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Adeyinka Ajayi (right) and Deputy Chairman, Hassan Saleh during the submission of External Borrowing Plan by the governor to the Committee in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE.

• Senator Bukola Saraki speaking when Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (right), and the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly Kombowei Benson visited the Sarakis to condole with the Sarakis over the death of Dr. Olusola Saraki in Ilorin, Kwara State ... yesterday. .

Rising stock prices helped to shake up the ranks of Forbes’ second annual list of Africa’s 40 Richest. Fully one quarter of the list members this year are newcomers, including, for the first time, two women. Three of the newcomers hail from Nigeria while two tycoons are from South Africa, including Koos Bekker, a CEO who earns no salary or bonus.

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ESMOND Sacco, a South African mining mogul, is the richest newcomer, with a net worth of $1.4 billion. He chairs publicly traded Assore, whose shares soared more than 60 per cent over the past year – despite the labor strife in South Africa’s mining sector. Read more about Sacco here. Sudhir Ruparelia, a Property baron of Uganda, joins the list with a net worth estimated at $900 million. Ruparelia bootstrapped his way to extreme wealth, starting as a teenager in the U.K. and then sensing the need for foreign exchange bureaus when he moved back to Uganda early in his career. His Ruparelia Group owns hotels, real estate, Crane Bank, forex bureaus and more. Read more about Ruparelia here. Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria is one of the first two women members of Africa’s 40 Richest. She started as a secretary at an investment bank in the 1970s, launched a fashion label for upscale clientele in the 1980s and her Famfa Oil company was awarded an oil prospecting license in 1993. Famfa Oil owns part of the prolific deepwater Agbami field in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Alakija’s fortune is estimated at $600 million. Said Salim Bakhresa is the first African from Tanzania to make the Forbes list. His ownership of conglomerate Bakhresa Group gives him a net worth estimated at $520 million. The group has operations in grain milling, packaging, beverages and petroleum trading and manufactures the Azam brand of chocolates and ice cream. Bakhresa, now 64, stopped school at age 14 to start working. Moulay Hafid Elalamy hails from Morocco, bringing the total number of Moroccans on the Africa list to 5. Elalamy debuts due to the strength of Groupe Saham, one of the largest insurance companies in Morocco. Forbes puts his net worth at $500 million. O.B. Lulu-Briggs of Nigeria, with a net worth of $500 million, is one of four tycoons on the list whose fortunes lie solely in oil. His Moni Pulo Ltd. is an oil exploration and production company. Its flagship oil block produces 10,000 barrels a day. Isabel dos Santos, the second woman to join Forbes’ Africa list, is an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Her first business venture was an eatery in Luanda called Miami Beach Club. Current assets include investments in Portuguese banks and Portuguese TV and Internet company Zon Multimedia. Forbes estimates her net worth at $500 million. Koos Bekker has turned South African media company Naspers into a global media powerhouse, with investments in China’s instant messaging giant Tencent Holdings and Russia’s Internet player Mail.ru. As the CEO, Bekker has overseen a rise in the market capitalization of Naspers from about $600 million in 1997 to a recent $25 billion – all the while drawing no salary, bonus, or

Name

Worth ($ mil)

Aliko Dangote Nicky Oppenheimer Johann Rupert & family Nassef Sawiris Mike Adenuga Christoffel Wiese Othman Benjelloun Patrice Motsepe Naguib Sawiris Mohamed Mansour Onsi Sawiris Miloud Chaabi Yasseen Mansour Mansour Desmond Sacco Anas Sefrioui Stephen Saad Sudhir Ruparelia Jim Ovia Shafik Gabr Abdulsamad Rabiu Cyril Ramaphosa Lauritz Dippenaar Folorunsho Alakija Theophilus Danjuma Oba Otudeko Raymond Ackerman Mohammed Indimi Samih Sawiris Said Salim Bakhresa Isabel dos Santos Hafid Elalamy O.B. Lulu-Briggs Alami Lazraq Gerrit Thomas Ferreira Koos Bekker Sani Bello Jannie Mouton Naushad Merali Hakeem Belo-Osagie

$12,000 $6,400 $5,700 $5,500 $4,600 $3,700 $2,750 $2,650 $2,500 $2,200 $2,170 $2,100 $2,000 $1,950 $1,400 $1,350 $975 $900 $825 $720 $675 $675 $625 $600 $600 $575 $550 $550 $525 $520 $500 $500 $500 $490 $480 $450 $425 $415 $410 $400

benefits. His $450 million net worth lies mostly in the value of vested options in Naspers. Sani Bello of Nigeria has a fortune estimated at $425 million built on oil and telecom. His AMNI Petroleum has stakes in offshore Nigerian oilfields. He also owns a slice of MTN Nigeria, an arm of South Africa based mobile phone network MTN Group. Naushad Merali is the only Kenyan on this year’s list. His Sameer Group operates in construction, agriculture, information technology, telecom and finance. Three of the group’s units are listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Forbes estimates his net worth at $410 million. How Forbes arrived at the list The list tracks the wealth of African citizens who reside on the continent, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen. It calculated net worths using stock prices and exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, November 9. To value privately-held businesses, it estimated revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. The magazine said: “We have purposely excluded dispersed family


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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NEWS

richest: meet the newcomers Five Nigerians on list of 10 African millionaires to watch in 2013 Ten new faces made the Forbes richest Africans list released this year. The magazine believes new faces may make the list next year. Of the 10 it believes stands a chance of making the list next year, five are Nigerians. Below are their profiles:

• Otedola

• Oba Akinruntan

• Dozie

• Folawiyo

• Odogwu

Femi Otedola, the diesel marketer, was briefly a billionaire in 2009 but dropped off Forbes rankings following a steep fall in the share price of his petroleum marketing company, African Petroleum (now Forte Oil) and his very high debt profile. Otedola had been one of Nigeria’s biggest debtors for the past few years with non-performing loans reported at close to $1 billion. In October, Otedola cleared his debts, albeit in unclear circumstances. He’s making a bold attempt at a comeback. In October he was part of a consortium that won a bid for a government-owned power plant; his Zenon Petroleum Company is still the dominant supplier of diesel and kerosene in Nigeria and he boasts an attractive property portfolio in some of Nigeria’s swankiest neighborhoods.

Oba Obateru Akinrutan founded energy services firm Obat Oil in 1981 with a single gas station to meet the needs of his family and neighboring community. The group has grown over three decades to become one of West African country’s largest energy services providers. Assets include 50 service stations in strategic locations and a modern tank farm with a storage capacity of 65 million liters. The traditional ruler from Ondo State has recorded strides he perhaps never envisaged when he was starting out in 1981. The fortunes of his company has been on sharp rise and there appears to be no stopping him. If next year proves good, he may just make the Forbes list of richest Africans.

Paschal Dozie, who has interest in telecom and banking, is a trained econometrician. He founded Diamond Bank in 1991 and grew it into one of Nigeria’s largest commercial banks before retiring as CEO in 2005. Through his investment holding company, Kunoch Limited, he still holds a significant stake in the Nigerian Stock Exchange-listed bank. Dozie is also a founder of African Capital Alliance, a private equity firm focused on sub-Saharan Africa. He is one of the largest individual shareholders in mobile phone network MTN Nigeria. His fortunes are on the rise and all things being equal, he may make the Forbes list next year. He appears a candidate in the making.

Tunde Folawiyo is the scion of the Folawiyo family. Tunde Folawiyo’s father, Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo, was one of Nigeria’s wealthiest businessmen until his death in 2008. The Yinka Folawiyo Group, which he started in 1957 as an import and export business, grew to become one of Nigeria’s largest privately-held conglomerates with interests in shipping, banking, construction, agriculture and energy, including a 60 per cent stake in oil block OML 113. Tunde Folawiyo is now in charge. One of Nigeria’s more prominent boardroom gurus, Folawiyo sits on the board and owns significant stakes in blue chips such as MTN Nigeria and Access Bank Nigeria.

Chief Sunny Odogwu started off as a trainee pilot with the defunct Nigerian Airways in the late 40s before venturing into insurance. He founded his first company, Dyson & Diket, an insurance broker, in 1953 but closed shop shortly afterwards, to work as broker for insurance firms in London and Switzerland. In the late fifties, he returned home to build the Odogwu Group. The group owns the landmark 5-star Grand Hotel in Asaba and is currently building the Le Meridien Grand Hotel and Apartments on Vicotria Island in Lagos at a cost of over $330 million. His group is an international conglomerate with interests in real estate, financial services, infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

fortunes such as the Chandaria family of Kenya and the Madhvanis of Uganda, because the wealth is believed to be held by dozens of family members. We do include wealth belonging to a member’s immediate relatives if the wealth can be traced to one living individual; in that case, you’ll see “& family” on our list as

an indication. “A quarter of the tycoons who were featured on last year’s inaugural Forbes list of the 40 Richest Africans failed to make it back this year. “The reasons vary. For one, we’ve had access to new information, as in

the case of Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president. Kenyatta is an heir to one of Kenya’s largest land holdings. Between him and his family, they own over 500,000 acres of Kenyan land easily worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But here’s the problem: The Kenyatta

family is a very large one and it’s not certain at the moment that Uhuru, who aims to become president during the country’s elections next year, is the principal custodian of these assets. Hence, he’s been dropped off the list.” Aside Ibrahim and Al-Fayed, the

other eight did not make the list because they were simply not rich enough this year. Last year, the minimum net worth needed to make the list was $250 million. This year, that minimum jumped to $400 million, leaving off many at who were at the bottom of the 2011 list.

Reps hold summit on Petroleum Industry Bill

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HE House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) will on Monday hold a summit on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The summit, with a theme: “The Downstream Regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill: Stakeholders Perspective” will hold at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. It will examine the likely effect of Bill on the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The committee, in a statement, said the summit would be “a bolster to the Bill, which recently passed Second Reading in the House of Representatives.” The summit will examine: the Petroleum Industry Bill and its Implication for a Deregulated Downstream Sector; the Institutional Framework for the Downstream Sector under the Petroleum Industry Bill; the Implication of the Petroleum Industry Bill for Investments in the Downstream Sector of the Petroleum Industry. The committee said: “The findings and conclusions arising from these and other adjunct issues will hopefully assist the honourable members in fully understanding the implications of the provi-

By Olukorede Yishau

sions of the Petroleum Industry Bill.” The committee’s Chairman, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, said: “The importance of stakeholders in the PIB is an integral and necessary part of the law making process.” Peterside added that the undivided attention that trailed the PIB while debate lasted on the floor of the House, during which no single dissenting vote was heard against the Bill shows the law makers were unanimous in their quest for a new dawn in Nigeria’s oil sector. He said the PIB holds the key, not only for the industry and major players but also for oil bearing communities. “The PIB is a reform-focused document that will harmonise all the existing laws relating to the oil industry. It will guarantee the independence of efficient and effective, process-led regulatory agencies which will protect the interest of the all stakeholders, including consumers ,and promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria.”

According to him, proper regulation of the industry is one of the most serious challenges in the Niger Delta. The committee said the summit “is a fallout of the Nigerian Refining Capacity Summit otherwise known as Uyo 2012 which held earlier in March.” It added: “Uyo 2012 provided a veritable platform for addressing the challenges facing the downstream oil and gas sector, particularly as it affects refining. The Nigerian Refining Capacity Summit 2012 was a precursor to The Downstream Stakeholders Conference coming up on Monday, the 26th of November 2012 . The March gathering pointed the way forward and subsequent meetings will continue to draw substantially from it because of the serious questions posed and the solutions proffered. Uyo thoroughly examined through its speakers and panellists the vexed issue of deregulation and alternative refining models for Nigeria. National economic planners, policy makers and legislators will continue to benefit from the exhaustive key facts and solutions contained

The findings and conclusions arising from these and other adjunct issues will hopefully assist the honourable members in fully understanding the implications of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill • Dakuku

in the summit communiqué. “Among stakeholders, expectations are high. The secondleg in the series is already generating great interest both in the public and private sectors. The one-day meeting promises amongst other objectives to fully engage all interest groups in the sector in the drive towards the passage

of a functional downstream regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill. “Since the assembly in Uyo in March, a lot has been done by the Committee to raise awareness around critical issues and challenges in areas such as security, infrastructure, legislation, the environment, capacity building and regulation.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

NEWS Israel, Hamas agree ceasefire

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•President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) arriving Benezir Bhuttu International Airport for the D-8 summit in Islamabad, Pakistan…yesterday. With him from left is the Federal Minister, Kasimir Affairs, Mr. Munzor Wotto.

SRAEL and the Hamas movement which governs Gaza last night agreed a ceasefire to end a week of violence in which nearly 160 people have died, Egyptian and Hamas officials said. The ceasefire was announced by Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel Amr alongside United States secretary of State Hilary Clinton is intended to come into effect at 19:00 GMT (21:00 local time), the officials say. Similar predictions on Tuesday failed to produce a deal. A bomb exploded on a bus in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, leaving three people needing surgery. At least 13 people were killed in Gaza. As usual, the talking started before the killing stopped. Since Hamas took over internal control of the Gaza Strip from their Palestinian rivals Fatah in 2007, there have been many spasms of cross-border violence. All have been followed by ceasefires. All have fallen apart, and every time Israel and Hamas blame each other. The reason is that the ceasefires have been, to paraphrase a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister,

Forbes lists Dangote, Adenuga, Ovia, Rabiu Danjuma, Lulu-Briggs among Africa’s rich Continued from page 1

Notable newcomers include the list’s first two women: Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, who joins due to her stake in the prolific Agbami oil field; and Isabel dos Santos of Angola, an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of long-serving President dosSantos. South Africa’s Desmond Sacco makes the billionaires’ rank, thanks to his shares in mining concern Assore, which he chairs. Another South African newcomer: Koos Bekker, has since 1997, turned media group Naspers into a true multinational firm. His $450 million net worth lies mostly in vested Naspers options. South Africa, the continent’s economic giant, is home to 12 of Africa’s 40 richest, followed by Nigeria, with 11. Egypt comes next, with eight listed

members, and Morocco with five. Majority of Africa’s 40 Richest are from the countries with the largest stock exchanges. The wealthiest hail from eight countries –up from six last year. The two new countries represented are Angola (Isabel dos Santos) and Tanzania (Said Salim Bakhresa). Cairo is home to eight members. 32 fortunes are selfmade; 19 people have net worths higher than a year ago, while 10 have fortunes that dropped in value. The average age is 63 –up from an average of 61 last year. The minimum net worth required to make the list of richest Africans was $400 million, up from $250 million in 2011. The coveted list features 12 Nigerian business moguls, including Dr. Mike Adenuga, who ranks in the 5th position with a net worth of $4.6 bil-

lion from his telecoms and oil companies, Mr. Jim Ovia, ranks 19th with a net worth of $825 Million. Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, who heads BUA Group is ranked 21st with a net worth of $675 Million and Folorunsho Alakija, who is one of two women and ranked 24th with a net worth of $ 600 Million from the oil sector. Also on the list is 73-yearold former Defence Minister Gen. Theophilus Danjuma with a net worth of $600 Million from the oil sector is at the 24th position. Next to him is 68-year-old industrialist and HoneyWell group boss, Oba Otudeko, with a net worth of $575 Million. In 27th position is Mohammed Indimi with a net worth of $550 Million also from the oil and gas sector. At age 82 chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs also makes the list. He is on the

sticking plaster solutions. They cover up the fundamental problem which is that Hamas and Israel are in what amounts to a constant state of war. For months on end it can be a cold war, until it runs hot - and deadly again. There is a strong chance that a new ceasefire would eventually fall apart too, unless it brought with it a major change in the political equation between Israel and the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza This time round, both sides have been trying to change the rules of the game by attaching conditions to a ceasefire. Israel wanted Hamas not to rearm, and not to fire over the border. Hamas wanted Israel to stop assassinations and to stop the blockade of Gaza. That’s the kind of deal that might even work if they made it. But for that to happen both sides would have to make big concessions to their enemy. The details of the deal are not yet clear, says the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen. Israel’s demands included an end to hostile fire of any kind from Gaza and international efforts to prevent Hamas from re-arming. For its

part, Hamas wanted an end to the blockade on Gaza and targeted killings by Israel. Israel has accepted the deal, according to a statement released from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Netanyahu consulted with US President Barack Obama before agreeing to the ceasefire. Mr Netanyahu accepted Mr Obama’s “suggestion to give a chance to Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire and so give an opportunity to stabilise the situation and calm it before there will be need to apply greater force”. For the truce to hold, “the rocket attacks [from Gaza] must end and a broader calm must return,” Mrs Clinton said. “Now we have to focus on reaching a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security, dignity and legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” she said. Israel launched its current offensive a week ago with the killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. Militants fired more rockets at Israel, while Israel renewed its naval artillery bombardment of Gaza late on Wednesday.

EFCC invites Babalakin over Ibori’s N2b loot Continued from page 1

•Dr. Adenuga Jnr.

31st spot with a net worth of $500 million from the oil sector. On the 37th position is Sani Bello, former military governor from Kano state and a one-time ambassador to Zimbabwe. He is worth $425 Million. Also on the list is Hakeem Belo-Osagie, the 57-year-old Harvard-trained petroleum economist with an estimated $400 Million net worth from the oil and banking sector. Africa is best known for its Continued on page 63

spoke in confidence, said: “We have invited Mr. Wale Babalakin for interaction with our investigators on the alleged N2billion loot traced to ex-Governor James Ibori. “Our investigation showed that the loot was suspected to have been laundered through one of the firms owned by Babalakin. “We want to hear his own side to wrap up investigation into the allegation against Ibori.” Another source added: “I am aware that the EFCC interacted with Babalakin before. I think the invitation may be part of a move to arraign him in court over the loot. “I know that some charges were filed against Babalakin at a Lagos High Court yesterday. “I cannot give you the de-

tails but whenever the businessman honours our invitation, the public will certainly know.” But an aide of Babalakin alleged that the purported invitation was a move to intimidate the businessman to prevent him from going to court over the termination of the concession of the LagosIbadan Expressway. One of the close aides said: “This is 6.09pm; our chairman has not got any letter of invitation from the EFCC and he has not been served any court paper. So, where did they come across these unknown charges? “The allegation of laundering N2billion against Babalakin has been recurring in the past few months and no infraction has been established. “Babalakin is innocent; some Continued on page 63

NJC clears CJN to swear in Justice Jombo-Ofo for Appeal Court

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Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo is set for the Court of Appeal, with the National Judicial council (NJC) agreeing to allow her take the oath. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Mariam AlomaMukhtar declined to swear her in alongside 11 justices approved by President Goodluck Jonathan for elevation to the Court of Appeal. The CJN did not swear her in because she is not an indigene of Abia State that recommended her elevation, even though her husband is from Abia and she has been serving there for many years. Rising from an emergency meeting yesterday in Abuja, the NJC unanimously agreed to swear her in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. A statement by, spokesman of the council, Mr. Soji Oye, said the CJN deserved commendation and not vilification, for exercising sufficient

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

caution, diligence and maturity in the way she handled matter. It noted the controversy the issue had generated. The NJC recalled that the CJN, in a November 5 letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, informed him of the facts surrounding the elevation of Justice Jombo-Ofo. It also recalled that the Senate, without any consultation with the CJN, passed a Resolution on November 7 to the following effect:(a) That the Senate urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria to swear in Honourable Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo as a Justice of the Court of Appeal; and (b) That the Senate urged all Government Employing Agencies to note in terms of employing a married woman, shall lay claims to her

state of origin and that of her husband in relation to the Federal Character Regulations. The statement notes that” the binding principles and formulae for the Distribution of all Cadres of Posts (S.I.23 of 1997) provides in Part II, Section 2, that “A married woman shall continue to lay claim to her State of origin for the purpose of implementation of the Federal Character formulae at the National level”. “That the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council had by a letter dated 5th November, 2012, duly written to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to inform His Excellency that the matter of Honourable Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo and the fact that she was not

sworn in on the 5th of November, 2012 would be tabled before the National Judicial Council. “That the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council, being Federal Executive Bodies established in pursuance of Section 153(1(i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are bound and obliged to observe and obey the provisions of the Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Federal Character Commission Act. “ That the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also bound and obliged to observe and obey the stipulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Federal Character Commission Act; without prejudice to the undisputed power of the National Assembly to amend

and\or repeal the said Act. “That the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council must be commended for exercising sufficient caution, diligence and maturity in the matter, especially in the light of the documents, materials and other information available to her, and for taking the decision to put on hold the swearing-in of Honourable justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo as a Justice of the Court of Appeal, to await a Meeting of the National Judicial Council to review the matter in all its ramifications. “And after full and dispassionate deliberations on the matter, the council unanimously decided that Honourable Justice Ifeoma JomboOfo be sworn-in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal”. Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1979, Justice Jombo-Ofo was appointed a High Court judge on November 4, 1998.

•Justice Aloma-Mukhtar

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

5

NEWS Senate seeks more cash for ministry

Saudi amputates Nigerian’s hand SAUDI authorities yesterday chopped off the hand of a Nigerian man convicted of theft, in compliance with the Islamic Sharia law strictly applied in the kingdom, the Interior Ministry said. Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim was convicted of theft and sentenced to having “his right hand amputated”, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. The punishment was executed in Mecca where the theft took place, it said. The kingdom applies the Islamic Sharia law, including execution by the sword for people convicted of rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

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HE Senate yesterday said the security challenge in the country has made it imperative for increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Interior. Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior Senator Abubakar Bagudu spoke when the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and heads of corporations under the Ministry of Interior appeared before the Senate for the 2013 budget defence. Bagudu said there is no doubt that the Ministry of Interior is in the limelight with regards to the security challenge facing the country. He noted that issues ranging from effective border policing, alien control, emergency response, public vigilance, participation of civil society, traditional rulers and religious leaders, are important aspects of the security challenge facing the country.

NSITF, NECA reward NB, Nestle, others By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

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IGERIA Breweries Plc and three other companies were honoured yesterday by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) for being Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) compliant. The honour was effected under the NSITFNECA Workplace Intervention Project. Four ambulances and other safety materials were donated to Nigeria Breweries Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Unilever Nigeria and Nestle Nigeria Plc. Speaking at the ceremony, which took place at NECA House, Alausa, Lagos NECA President Chief Richard Uche said 30 companies in Lagos and Ogun states were invited to participate in the pilot OHS compliance audit among which few were chosen for their compliance with OHS scheme.

Group canvasses shadow govt in Nigeria

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NEW pressure group, Movement for Fundamental Change (MFC), has emerged with the sole aim of checkmating poor governance and saving Nigeria from sliding into the abyss. The movement, being proposed to operate like a UK – model shadow government, will develop and promote patriotic policy positions on every major public issues, cutting across all sectors, and use democratic means to compel governments to comply with its positions.

Senate to NJC: immortalise Eso From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja •Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahman Bello (third left) cutting the tape to open a Nescafe Cafe Building in UNILAG...yesterday. With him are Business Executive Manager, Cofee Centre on West Africa, Mr. Eiwan Vilfen (left), Marketing Service Director, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh and UNILAG Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Babajide Alo (fourth left). PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

VP leads cabinet to condole with Jonathan

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ICE-PRESIDENT Namadi Sambo yesterday led members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to condole with President Goodluck Jonathan’s family on the death of Chief Meni Jonathan. Sambo was received by the First Lady, Patience, and the matriarch of the Jonathan family, Madam Eunice, at the State House, Abuja. He said: “It is a sad event; we felt it; this is a journey that all of us will embark on someday; to God we come, to God we’ll return. “We are here to commiserate, condole and pray for the soul of our brother and that the Almighty God will fill the vacuum created by the deceased’s death. Please, accept our condolences.’’ The First Lady thanked the FEC members for their visit and said: “It’s quite sad that we lost my brother-inlaw at a tender age. “He was not old, this is the time the family needs him most, but we cannot question God. He knows best and knows why He took him at this time. “I thank you on behalf of my husband, mother-in-law and the entire family.’’ The delegation included the Ministers of Education, Works, FCT (State) and Aviation. A minute’s silence was observed by members of the FEC in honour of the late Meni.

•ACN, Northern governors, others console him From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja and Jide Orintunsin,Minna

President Jonathan has since left for Islamabad to attend the summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of Eight Developing Nations (D-8). According to Minister of Information Labaran Maku, the council weekly meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Sambo, expressed sadness over the sudden death of Meni. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condoled with President Jonathan. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was shocked and saddened by Meni’s untimely death. ‘’The death of any young and promising person is always a loss not only to his or her family, but to the country, which needs all the energy and creativity of its youths to achieve its potentials. ‘’We commiserate with President Jonathan and his family on this painful loss and pray that God will give them the strength and fortitude to overcome this difficult time. May He also grant repose to the soul of the departed,’’ ACN said. The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) also condoled with President Jonathan, urging

him to take heart and be strong. The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said the President should not be discouraged by Meni’s untimely death, but should forge ahead with the task of providing good leadership to Nigerians. The condolence, contained in a statement signed by the forum Chairman’s Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, said the best tribute the President can pay to the memory of his departed brother is to continue to touch more lives positively, as he has been doing. It prayed to God to give President Jonathan and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and to grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has also commiserated with President Jonathan. In a condolence letter to the President, Oshiomhole said: “I received with shock, the news of the passing on of your younger brother, Chief Meni Jonathan. “On behalf of the government and people of Edo State, I extend my deepest sympathy to Your Excellency, your family and the immediate family of the departed. “I feel and share in your grief, especially given that

Meni left us at a young age. But be comforted that he will be remembered for all he accomplished in such a short period as a wonderful person, great father, husband, brother and community leader. “I pray that the Almighty God will give you the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson also condoled with President Jonathan. The deceased was the Chairman of the Otueke Council of Chiefs. Governor Dickson, who led a delegation of senior citizens of the state to the Presidential Villa, prayed for Meni whom he described as a fine gentleman and a proud Bayelsan, owing to his commitment and dedication to the development of not just his community but Bayelsa State. He prayed that God should grant the President and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. The Acting Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, has also condoled with President Jonathan. He described the development as painful and regrettable. Onyebuchi urged the President and his family to bear the loss with fortitude and prayed for the repose of the deceased’s soul.

THE Senate yesterday urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to immortalise the late Justice Kayode Eso. This followed a motion entitled: “Demise of Justice Kayode Eso”, sponsored by Senator Babajide Omoworare (Osun East) and 14 others. The Senate resolved to observe a minute silence in honour of the late jurist and to send a delegation to commiserate with his family and the people and government of Osun State. All the senators who contributed to the motion paid tributes to the late jurist. Senate President David Mark said the contributions of the late Justice Eso would remain evergreen in the memories of the people. He said: “Once they heard the name of Justice Eso, most Nigerians believed there would be fairness and justice.“

‘Embrace Jonathan’s agenda’ THE Director-General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry, Lagos State, Mr. Ajibade A. Peters, has urged the college graduates to embrace the ongoing transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. He enjoined the 241 graduating students drawn from ministries, departments and agencies of the government to embrace Jonathan’s transformation agenda. Mr. Ajibade said civil servants must key into the government’s vision. Said he: “As public servants occupying the engine room of the government machinery, we have a leading role to play in the transformation of our country.”

Court refuses bench warrant on APGA factional chair

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FEDERAL Capital Territory High Court yesterday refused to grant a bench warrant to the police on the factional Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alhaji Sadeeq Masalla. Justice Peter Kekemeke said the police know how to get him since he is on administrative bail. Masalla is facing an 11count charge of forgery

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

instituted by the police. He allegedly forged the signatures of some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. Massalla, who is the Deputy National Chairman of APGA, is the leader of a faction that is enmeshed in a feud with the National Chairman, Victor Umeh, whom an Enugu High Court had restrained

from office. Justice Kekemeke, on November 13, granted leave to the Inspector-General of Police to file the charge against Masalla, after listening to an application by the police prosecutor, Frances Irabor. The court fixed yesterday for the arraignment. At the resumed hearing, Irabor complained that Masalla had jumped the administrative bail granted

him by the police and had been evading arrest. He said: “My Lord, today is for the arraignment of the suspect, but unfortunately he is not in court; the IPOs about four of them made frantic and several efforts to produce him in court, but without success. In fact, his mobile phones were switched off, his house address, which he gave as his last address as part of the conditions for the administrative bail, was

visited, but there was nobody there. “The police met a big padlock on the gate. It seems the suspect has jumped the administrative bail that the police admitted him to.” Before adjourning the matter till December 3, the court urged Tochukwu Onwugbufor, SAN, “as a minister in the temple of justice” to ensure his client’s presence in court.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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NEWS Nigeria/Pakistan flights coming From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

NIGERIA and Pakistan may soon begin direct flights, going by the ongoing talks between both countries. President Goodluck Jonathan and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Zardari, yesterday held bilateral talks in Islamabad, Pakistan. Jonathan departed Abuja Tuesday night to attend the summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of Eight Developing Nations (D-8). At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to energise the NigeriaPakistani Joint Commission to promote trade relationships between their countries. Consequently, a bilateral air service agreement between both countries was signed. The agreement, according to both countries, would translate into direct flights between the two countries. Jonathan arrived the military Airport base in Islamabad at about 1.30pm local time with some government officials. He was received by the Pakistani Minister in charge of Casmir, Manzor Wotto, and the Nigerian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Dauda Danladi, among others. The President is expected to open the session of the Summit as the out-going chairman of the group . He will thereafter hand over the chairmanship to the host, Zardari, who would then chair the summit’s meeting. Jonathan took over the leadership of the body in April ,when Nigeria hosted the 7th biennial summit of the D-8. Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru said the D8 had achieved a lot in the last two years it was headed by Nigeria. He said: "We have been able to achieve the integration of a group of eight developing countries.

Fed Govt okays N176b road contracts

•Approves purchase of air ambulance

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HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N176.13 billion for road projects. The approval was granted at the weekly meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo. The dualisation of the LokojaOkene-Auchi-Benin road will cost N45.8 billion. The Gashua-Bayamari Road across Borno and Yobe states will cost N6.58 billion. The augmentation of the contract for the dualisation of KanoMaiduguri road, awarded since 2006, was approved, thus raising the figure from N172 billion to N285 billion. Other roads and bridges include Suleja-Abuja (N1.1billion); Mararaban-Yorro road, Taraba State (N1.18 billion); Falali bridge in Sumaila council area of Kano State (N1.16 billion) and a flyover at Kundila roundabout in Kano will cost N2.5 billion. The Utor Bridge, with approaches along Asaba-Ebun-Ahia-Uromi in Delta and Edo states, has been reawarded after 42 per cent completion at N4.4billion, from its original N2.9billion. Also, augmentation was made in

N5b for rehabilitation of UN building

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HE Federal Government yesterday approved N5.1billion for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of sections of the United Nations building that was destroyed by suicide bomb attacks in 2011. The terrorist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the bombing. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger with a 16month period. Minister of Information Labaran Maku said this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo. Maku said: "The UN building is very strategic to Nigeria, it ensures that most UN agencies operating within the West African sub-region are located here in our country. It has offered employment opportunities to Nigerians . "Because it is the headquarters here in our country, From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

respect of the rehabilitation of the 23km Calabar-Ugep-Ogoja-Katsina Ala road, raising the final contract from N5.2billion to N9.13 billion. Minister of Information Labaran Maku, who briefed State House reporters at the end of the meeting, said a minute silence was observed in honour of the President’s brother. Another major approval is the purchase of a long-range Cessna air ambulance for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to evacuate disaster victims to any part

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

the various development opportunities that its department offered have been highly maximised." He said the intervention for the reconstruction of the UN building is part of the present administration's commitment to support the organisation's operation . “Since the incident, most agencies under the UN were provided temporary accommodation in different locations across the city.” Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Senator Bala Mohammed said the project will create goodwill for the country. Besides, he said the contract is in line with the promise made by the Federal Government to assume responsibility for the reconstruction of the building. He praised the various government agencies which provided temporary accommodation for the various departments of the UN.

of Nigeria or abroad. The two-patient aircraft will cost $23.17 million and N909 million. Additional excavators, payloader/ tractor head and for the agency are to be bought for N554million and N52 million. Also approved is N184.78 million for NEMA's CISCO VIOP infrastructure. The supply and installation of digital Motorola two-way Radios, Repeaters and base stations at NEMA's headquarters and its zonal offices will cost N271,694 million. FEC also approved the contract for

the terminal building, control tower and power house for the proposed Yenagoa airport at N13billion. The government argued that the control tower at completion would complement the plan by the Airforce to set up a military facility for strategic security reasons. Another approval granted was the constitution of a National Council on Niger Delta Affairs to serve as advisory body and coordinate policies for all agencies under the Niger Delta ministry and avert duplication of functions or improper implementation of policies.

•Former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the widow of the late Toyin Hamzat, Justice Olufunke (right) and Miss Omolara Hamzat during the condolence visit to the Ikeja, Lagos home of the late Hamzat …yesterday

Lawmakers hail President From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

MEMBERS of the Oyo State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Stakeholders Forum have praised President Goodluck Jonathan for terminating the concession agreement between the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited for the reconstruction of Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. In a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, yesterday, the Forum's Chairman, Asimiyu Alarape, said: "By terminating the failed concession of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway granted to Bi Courtney Highway Services, President Goodluck Jonathan has demonstrated his love, concern and care for the people of the Southwest and indeed all Nigerians. "The President has demonstrated that he also feels the pains of the masses who ply the most important and busiest road in Nigeria." The forum said there could be no doubt that the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway would serve the people as the main artery for commercial and social life of the nation. The lawmakers, in a statement by their spokesperson, Rafiu Adekunle, said with the timely release of funds to the new contractors, it would not be long for the reconstruction to be completed, if the contractors take the advantage of the onset of the dry season to fix the road. They called on the Federal Government to "urgently intervene" in other dilapidated federal roads in the region.

Protesters disrupt boundary demarcation in Bakassi

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ROTESTERS yesterday disrupted the demarcation of the maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon. The exercise was to be carried out by members of the Joint Technical team, comprising the United Nations and officials of the two countries at Ikang, Cross River State, where the new Bakassi is located. The team visited the Chairman of Bakassi Local Government, Ekpo Bassey, to intimate him of their mission but the protesters ,who carried

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

placards with inscriptions such as “United Nations leave Bakassi”, “Bakassians are Nigerians and not Cameroonians”, “Bakassi has the inalienable right to self-determination,” prevented the team from moving to the ceded Peninsula. Bakassi can be accessed from Ikang by the sea. Augustine Omini Iwara, who led the protesters, condemned the UN

and the Federal Government for, according to him, treating the people of Bakassi with contempt. He said the demarcation was being carried out, despite the case filed by the people asserting their right to self determination. Iwara urged the UN to conduct a referendum to enable the people decide where they want to belong. “No Jupiter can force us to leave our territory to become Cameroonians,” he insisted.

Bassey advised the protesters not to be violent.. He said though they have the right to agitate, he called on them not to do anything that could lead to a break down of order. The Director, International Boundary Commission, who led the Nigerian delegation, Sani Mohammed Isamni, called off the demarcation. He said the six-man team would communicate to the council after discussion with the Federal government.

Senate blasts IG on existence of anti-terrorism law

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HE Senate yesterday faulted the claim of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, on the existence of an anti-terrorism law. The IG reportedly blamed the police’s inability to fight terrorism on the absence of an enabling law. It was gathered that Abubakar said the absence of an enabling law has made to prosecution of terror suspects difficult. But the Senate said that the IG is ignorant of the law. The Chairman, Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, at a briefing in Abuja, said the Senate

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

was surprised to hear that the IG claimed there was no law to prosecute terror suspects. He said the National Assembly passed the Terrorism Prevention Bill on June 1, last year. The Bill, the lawmaker said, was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan on June 2, of the same year and signed into law on June 3. Abaribe said the IG should not hide under the excuse of an absence of an enabling law not to fight terrorism. He said: “Let me say that the Senate was very surprised that the Inspector General of Police said there is no anti-

terrorism law. “There is a law called the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011. “To show how important it is to the President, he signed it into law on June 3, last year. “I think that the IG has not been briefed properly on the existence of the Bill that is a year and five months old. “After the passage of the Bill, the Senate still passed an amendment of this Act on October 17 to expand part of the provisions on that Act. “Everything that you need to fight the war against terrorism is in the Act. “We are going to send a copy of this Act again to the IG. “

•Abubakar


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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NEWS Fayemi sacks chairmen, members of two commissions

Why Nigeria needs state police, O by Ajimobi intelligence and crime prevention. “The Federal Government of Australia maintains police forces alongside the federating units. Germany is a federation made up of Landers (equivalent of states). The German Constitution concedes most of police powers to the 16 Landers, even though the Federal Government is allowed to legislate on the subject. “In Switzerland, the constitution empowers the federating units, which are called the Cantons, to share policing functions with the Federal Government. In Canada, the national government shares policing functions with the federating units, which are called provinces. “In India, each state has its police force. The State Police Force is responsible for maintaining law and order in the townships and rural areas, while major cities have their respective Metropolitan Police Services. “It is evident from the foregoing that Nigeria’s refusal to

,

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday said Nigeria needs state police to keep its nooks and crannies safe at all times. Ajimobi told reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, that although the police are doing their best to ensure security, the present imposition of a centralised police force on Nigeria’s federal structure has rendered the force inefficient. He said Nigeria, as a country that practices the Federal System of government, is ripe enough for state police. The governor said other countries practicing the Federal System, such as the United States (US), Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, India and Ethiopia, have state police. Nigeria’s Federal and Presidential systems are patterned after those of the US, but the policing system has no bearing to the US’s system. He said: “The constitution of the US allows the federal, state, local and even special districts, such as universities, to perform police functions. The relationship among all the police services is properly coordinated for the exchange of

The constitution of the US allows the federal, state, local and even special districts, such as universities, to perform police functions. The relationship among all the police services is properly coordinated for the exchange of intelligence and crime prevention.

,

reflect the federal structure in its policing structure is the exception, rather than the rule in comparative federal systems. “The challenges of the police, such as funding, manpower and training, could be easily addressed if Nigeria adopts a federalist police structure through state police.” The governor said the review the 1999 Constitution should include the establishment of state police.

He said: “My conviction is based on my experience. I was a member of the Senate between 2003 and 2007 and I partook in the federal exclusive legislative responsibility of police functions. “I have been governor for about 19 months now and anyone conversant with the history of Oyo State will know it is no mean feat to be the Chief Security Officer of a state like Oyo. “When I assumed office, the state was one of the most turbulent states in Nigeria. Brigandage, violence and a culture of impunity were the order of the day.” Ajimobi praised officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force for complementing his administration’s initiatives to address the fundamentals that predisposed the state to such violence. He said: “While the officers and men of the police have been supportive, the structure of centralised police has made it impossible for us to move at a desirable speed.” The governor said the provision of state police should come with checks and balances that would preclude the po-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

E •Ajimobi

lice from abuse by governors. He suggested the establishment of a state police service commission, of which the Chief Judge, paramount traditional rulers, representatives of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (SCIA) will be members. Ajimobi said a review of the national revenue formula and a change in the priorities of states could ensure that state police, when created, could be effectively funded by state governments.

Annie Okonkwo hails Tinubu, Fashola

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RONTLINE politician and President of the C21, an Igbo socio–political group, Senator Annie Okonkwo has lauded the “inspiring leadership synergy” between the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. Okonkwo spoke with reporters on Monday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the installation of Tinubu as the Aare Ago of Egbaland. He said Tinubu’s honour is worthy because he orchestrated a leadership paradigm that is “stellar and sterling” in the Southwest. Okonkwo, who is a vanguard for improved relations between the Southeast and the Southwest, said it is “mind lifting” that the administrations of Tinubu and Fashola have “lifted Lagosians from chaos and gloom to hope and respite”. He said: “It is, therefore, no surprise that Tinubu is venerated and Fashola is celebrated. Even amidst Spartan grudges and dissents here and there, they have made it clear that leaders do not have to be supernatural to deliver results naturally. “The real clincher is that in the healthy adventure that gave Lagosians Tinubu and Fashola, governance became an art with different dance steps but one set target, which is to lift the bar of governance and accelerate the pace of development. “That is why I feel, almost emotionally, that this potent political dynamics flourishing in the Southwest, courtesy of their awesome drive and articulation, should blossom with Southeast republican creativity and resilience to escalate our collective joy and happiness.”

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday sacked the chairmen and members of the State Assembly Service Commission and the State Local Government Service Commission. In a statement, the governor’s media aide, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said Fayemi’s action was sequel to Tuesday’s resolution of the House of Assembly, which removed the chairmen and members of the two commissions. Speaker Adewale Omirin said the removal was ratified by no less than 2/3 of the House. Speaking with reports in his office yesterday, the speaker said the Assembly’s action was based on a correspondence addressed to it by the governor two weeks ago. He said the governor cited incompetence and indiscipline as reasons for the sack. Omirin said: “The governor explained that they were removed so that he could inject those that can work on the same page with him in the development of the state and sanitise the third tier of government.” He said the Assembly has enacted a bill to enable governors and their deputies collect pension and other benefits at the end of their terms. Omirin said former Governor Niyi Adebayo and his deputy, Chief Paul Alabi, are qualified to benefit from the policy, but former Governors Ayodele Fayose and Segun Oni are not because they were removed from office.

Ondo Tribunal to hold inaugural sitting today From Damisi Ojo, Akure

T •Osun State Commissioner for Enviroment Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye (second left) assisting Governor Rauf Aregbesola to wash his hands during the 4th National Roundtable Conference on Community-led Total Sanitation at the Leisure Spring Resort, Osogbo...yesterday. With them is the Director of Quality Water Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Samuel Ume (left) and others.

Security vote: Court to deliver judgment on Feb 18 A

Federal High Court, Abuja, will on February 18 deliver judgment in the suit challenging the legality or otherwise of security vote. An Abuja rights lawyer, Chief Nkereuwem Akpan is challenging the deductions by the 36 governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister. He is seeking a declaration that governors lack the power to deduct money from the Federation Allocations to states and the FCT under the guise of security vote. Akpan is urging the court to declare that by the provision of Section 16 of the Constitution and Section 51 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, Nigerians should

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

know the details of the “gargantuan and mind-bogging deductions and expenditure tagged security votes”. The activist wants the court to compel the governors to return the money “illegally deducted and misappropriated as security votes” and prevent them from making such deductions in the future under whatever guise. Akpan urged the court to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related crimes Commission (ICPC) to probe the deductions. The EFCC and the ICPC

urged the court to dismiss the suit. In its preliminary objection to the suit, the ICPC told the court that it is not empowered to investigate governors and that it can only investigate the FCT minister if a formal complaint is lodged against him. It saidAkpan never made any request to the agency, either orally or in writing, requesting it to investigate the FCT minister or the governors before filing the suit and urged the court to strike out the case. ICPC said granting Akpan’s requests would amount

to the court asking the commission to embark on an act it has no power to embark upon. EFCC said it has procedures for ascertaining petitions worthy of being investigated. It said the procedure is used to review and eliminate petitions which are in the end classified as “frivolous, unmeritorious and worthless”. EFCC said Akpan’s petition was read by its Legal Officer and was classified as “frivolous, unmeritorious and worthless”. It said Akpan lacked the locus standi to institute the action and urged the court to dismiss the suit.

HE inaugural sitting of the Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will hold today at the High Court in Akure, the state capital. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its candidate in the October 20 election, Prince Olusoji Ehinlanwo, have filed a motion ex-parte, seeking substituted service of the notice of their petitions on Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Labour Party (LP). Their counsel Segun Odogo said Mimiko and LP have been “evading” service for over 10 days. The petitioners are praying for “an order directing that the petition and other processes be served on Mimiko by delivering them to an adult in the Governor’s Office. They also want the petition and other processes delivered to the Office of the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN). The tribunal bailiff, Mr. Adebusi Adekunjor, complained that when he went to the Governor’s Office and the LP secretariat on November 12,13,14,15 and 16, he was told that Mimiko was away on official assignment and the LP Secretariat was locked.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CITYBEATS

Lagos, UNDP woo media

By Miriam Ndikanwu

LAGOS State Government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have sought the media’s support at the grassroots to tackle the effects of Climate Change. At the opening of a workshop organised for the media on the scourge of Climate Change, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said climate change “is a global phenomenon with varying impacts from region to region, from the developed countries to the developing and underdeveloped world. The reality of climate change is becoming more and more evident.” He said: “Temperatures are rising; rainfall patterns are shifting; glaciers are melting; and sea levels are rising with extreme weather conditions prevalent in many countries across the world, resulting in frequent hazards such as floods and droughts.” A robust relationship between the media and the society, he said, would serve as a strategic approach for addressing the scourge of Climate Change, adding that it would be impossible for the media to do well without meaningful partnership with the society.

Award for bank chief

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HIEF Executive Officer Ecobank Transnational Mr. Arnold Ekpe and Chairperson/ Chief Executive Officer of BrittaniaU Nigeria Ltd Mrs. Catherine Uju Ifejika, will be confered Professional and Entrepreneur Excellence awards at the Lagos Professional and Entrepreneurs’ Award Night of Excellence. The event, organised by the Catholic Men’s Organisation (CMO) of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos, is themed: “The Imperative of Wealth Creation in the New Nigeria.” Guest speaker Anthony Anonyai, Co-CEO Planet Capital will deliver the lecture . Chairman of the Planning Committee Mr. Mike Ogbanje said the award is to recognise individuals, who have made impact in their professions. The ceremony, to be chaired by Chief Philip Asiodu, the Izoma of Asaba, holds on Saturday at the McGovern Hall on the church premises, by 7pm. An Hyundai Verna car will be won at a Lottery Draw to mark the occasion.

Ovation Red Carol holds December 20 THE ANNUAL Ovation Red Carol, featuring celebrities, and top players in the entertainment industry, holds on December 20. It will showcase an award segment for the first time. The event scheduled to take place at the Eko Hotel’s Convention Centre already has a theme song which has become a rave among fans of the yearly event. The theme song will feature established artistes such as Waje, Tiwa Savage, Pamela Egoh, Timi Dakolo and Praiz.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Two sisters die as building crumbles

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WO sisters were died yesterday when a twostorey building collapsed at Jakande Low-Cost Housing Estate in Isolo, a Lagos suburb. The building came down barely 30 minutes after a tenant, Amodu Omoniyi, reportedly raised the alarm about its likely collapse. Toyin and Bukky Coker were pulled out dead by rescuers, but their mother was injured and rushed to the Isolo General Hospital. Block M20 collapsed at 12:30am. Residents said the Cokers may not have died had they heeded warnings to leave the building. Toyin was a medical doctor at the agos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); her younger sister, Bukky, just graduated from the university. Omoniyi, who resides on the ground floor, said he was the first to notice that the building “was shaking.” “At about 11:30 pm, I realised that the building was shaking and my door could not close. So I became uncomfortable because we had always feared that the building might collapse. “I immediately went upstairs to tell mama that it seems the building wants to collapse but she said God will keep them safe till morning and went back to bed. “So, I quickly woke the other neighbours, went to my apartment and picked some important documents; as I was stepping out, with three others, the three blocks collapsed,” he said.

•The late Dr. Coker

•The collapsed building

PHOTO: PRECIOUS IGBOWELUNDU

Controversy trails collapsed building

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ERE residents of the collapsed building advised to evacuate it before it went down early yesterday? Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Femi OkeOsanyintolu and his Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) counterpart Biodun Oki said the residents were warned. The residents denied the claim. Oki said the residents were warned earlier to vacate the building, which was erected about 18 years ago. He said: “Some of the buildings have been marked before now; in most cases, four years back. If you mark the buildings, they wipe off the paint and paint the building again. They have been served eviction notice several times.” According to the residents, the agency only came yesterday morning to mark some other buildings for demolition. Victor Daramola, a resident in the block said: “You see that these buildings were marked this morning. They also gave a 48-hour quit notice to all residents of M Blocks. I wonder why government officials like reactive measures. Where do they want us to go now?” By Precious Igbonwelundu and Miriam Ndikanwu

Neighbours are enraged that there was no response to their calls to the emergency agen-

He said: “I hate the hypocrisy that goes on in this country. For the past four years, we have written several letters begging the relevant authorities to come and inspect this building but they did not. “When they became embarrassed perhaps, they sent some of their agents last year to come and see the buildings. After their inspection, they told us the situation was not that bad, that we should stay as the building will not collapse any time soon. Here we are today.” An official of the Residents’ Association, who refused to be named, told reporters that the buildings in the ‘M-zone’ were built in 2001 by the government. “Alhaji Lateef Jakande did not finish building all the estates, so successive governments continued on it. I’m not sure they have good foundation, if not 11 years is not enough for the building to collapse,” he said. Another resident said the government sold all the buildings to private investors who do not bother about renovating them. “I moved into the estate in 2006. I renovated my building myself, despite paying N250, 000. If you complain to the landlord, they will ask you to leave because there is someone willing to take the place”.

cies for help. They said rescuers used bare hands and crude tools to rescue Mrs. Coker and pull out the bodies of her

daughters from under the debris. “People were using sledge hammers and other crude

•The late Bukky Coker

tools to break walls and get access to them, and we succeeded in reaching them at about 4am when mama was screaming for help,” Omoniyi said. Opeyemi Fagun, who rescued Mrs. Coker, said he followed her cry for help and “realised that she was covered by a cupboard. The cupboard saved her because it prevented the debris from the building from falling on her. She was rescued around 4am.” He said the emergency agencies were contacted immediately the building collapsed but only the Fire Service arrived at 3am with a tank of water; others did not show up until dawn. Commissioner for Housing Bosun Jeje said the government would foot the medical bills of the injured.

2000 get hearing-aids

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•The razed hostel... yesterday

Fire at UNILAG College of Medicine hostel

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IRE yesterday razed a room in a block at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG). According to the college's Public Relations Officer, Mr Olusesan Odejimi, the fire was caused by an electric cooker, which was not switched off during power outage. "Some students were cooking and there was an interruption in public source of power by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) but occupants of the room left the cooker on and went out. When the light returned the electric cooker caught fire and the room was razed," he said. He said two rooms were affected, but one was razed. Odejimi said the college management has visited the scene to assess the damage. "The students have been relocated to another room and the burnt rooms cordoned off

By Wale Adepoju and Precious Igbowelundu

to prevent accident," he said. Odejimi said normalcy has since returned to the college. An eye witness said the stu-

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dents were on top of the situation before the fire service arrived, adding:"They were using water and the fire extinguishers in the school to put out the fire by themselves."

PM News office razed

IRE last night razed the Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos head office of the Independent Communications Network Limited (ICNL), publishers of The News and PM News. The fire, which began on the third floor of the complex, was said to have started from a faulty air conditioner before spreading to other offices. It razed the floor and spread to the penthouse, which hitherto housed the rested AM News. A worker with the newspaper, who did not give his name, said but for the timely intervention of the Fire Service, the fire would have

affected the whole building. He said the evening newspaper section was not affected by the fire as the magazine and newspaper offices occupy the first two floors. “Our operations were not adversely affected by the fire because it did not spread to the second and first floors. The fire was limited to the third floor which was occupied by corporate tenants,” he said. He praised men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Police and Fire Service for rising out the occasion and putting off the fire before much damage was done.

US based charity, Starkey Hearing Foundation, has distributed 2000 pairs of hearing aids worth N720 million to hearing-impaired Lagosians. The process started last year when Starkey came to Lagos in response to the request made by a group of Nigerian charity organisations for the supply and fitting of hearingaids. “This is happening for the first time in Nigeria. We contacted about 45 international organisations and only Starkey responded. They came to screen about 1,600 pupils and promised to be back with the hearing aids by December,” said Oluwatoyin Towobola of Women Protection Organisation (WOPO), one of the five local organisations involved in the project. Other organisations are BSA Hearing and Speech Consult, Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), Inner Wheel Club of Lagos, and Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board. The long wait for the hearing-aids had made the beneficiaries to lose hope of getting them. “I really didn’t believe it when they brought the message to my house because we thought they are not coming again,” said Hannah Oyewale, whose 12-year-old deaf daughter, Sarah, heard clearly for the first time. For the four days that the fitting of the device lasted, the beneficiaries were happy following a change in their fortune. “Hearing impairment con-

By Segun Balogun

stitutes almost 50 per cent of all disabilities but all they need is just that little support and they are completely free. Once they have this hearing aid, the sky is their limit,” said Wale Ogunbekun of BSA Hearing and Speech Consult. Gboyega Ilusanya of ESSPIN said the device “will ensure access and equity in our schools.” He promised that his organisation, in collaboration with WOPO, would monitor the devices and ensure they are properly used. A former education commissioner in Lagos State, Dr. Leke Pitan, described the gesture as a challenge “for corporate bodies in Nigeria because if you could come all the way from US to Nigeria, they should look to see what they can do.” According to him, giving hearing-aids to the needy “must not be seen as a sympathetic act but as an intervention to harness human resources. If we don’t do this, we’ll be wasting a lot of potentials that are locked up in the physically-challenged people.” He advocated screening of newborns for deafness to prevent them growing up with the knowledge of their impairment. The executive chairman of Lagos SUBEB, Gbolahan Dawodu, said Starkey is not giving back to pupils of their own country, but in Nigeria, an act she said would be more rewarding for Nigerian corporate organisations than lottery draws.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

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

Naira gains on inflows

Korean firm to build $30b solar power plant

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HE naira strengthened on inflows for pur chases of fixed-income securities after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) held its benchmark interest rate at a record high early week to check inflation and stabilise the local currency. It gained 0.2 per cent to N157.65 a dollar after weakening 0.1 per cent on Tuesday. The naira has appreciated 3 per cent this year, the second-best performing currency tracked by Bloomberg in Africa. Nigeria is scheduled to sell 50 billion naira ($316.6 million) of 10-year and 7-year bonds today and is offering N116.18 billion of Treasury bills tomorrow. “Nigerian bond yields remain attractive to offshore investors, with the inflows boosting dollar supply,” Wale Abe, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Market Dealers Association, which groups lenders trading in the money market, said by phone yesterday. “An interest rate of 12 per cent will check excess money supply and demand for dollars.” The apex bank sold $200 million at a foreign currency auction yesterday at N155.76 per dollar, it said in a statement on its website. The regulator sells dollars on Mondays and Wednesdays to keep the naira within a 3 per cent band around N155 a dollar. The naira’s appreciation could be traced to tight monetary conditions, improved supply of foreign exchange to the market by oil companies and increased inflows from portfolio investors, CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said yesterday.

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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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• Vice President, Operations, Unilever Nigeria. Plc Mr. Anil Gopalan (left) presenting key of a van to the Managing Director, Caniz Limited, Pastor Florence Izagbo (right). With them (middle), is Pearlizane Events Creative Director, Caniz Limited, Obiageli, during the presesntstion of van to Unilever’s Distributors, in lagos...yeterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Nigeria’s oil production crashes below 1.5 m barrels per day

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AILY oil production from Nigeria yester day crashed below 1.5 million barrels, representing a loss of over 1 million barrels as ExxonMobil on Wednesday became the fourth oil major in a month to warn customers over delays to Nigerian oil and gas exports. Nigeria, which produces about 2.4 million barrels daily, depends largely on proceeds from oil to service over 85 per cent of its annual budget and this loss of over 1 million barrels poses a fresh threat to the country’s budget. Already, Exxon’s Nigerian

unit, Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture declared on Wednesday it would not be able to meet its contractual agreement with its traders as it declared a force majeure on Qua Iboe crude oil exports. A statement by its General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Paul Arinze, said the action was due to outages caused by a pipeline oil spill on November 9, which witnesses said had spread 20 miles down the coastline. Royal Dutch Shell lifted on

Wednesday its force majeure on Nigeria’s benchmark Bonny Light crude oil exports, easing some of the supply concerns. But three of Nigeria main oil grades; Qua Iboe, Brass River and Forcados are still under force majeure. These oil streams together account for around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) or around a third of total Nigerian exports. France’s Total and Italian oil firm Eni have also declared force majeure, on gas and oil supplies, respectively. These developments have added to a raft of problems

caused by oil spills, theft and flooding. A huge fire on an oil tanker being used to steal oil last month prompted Shell’s outages. The AngloDutch, major shut another pipeline in Imo River on October 31 due to theft damage and deferred 25,000 bpd. Oil theft is a major problem in the winding creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta, where it is easy to conceal boats and illegal refineries in the dense mangroves. Nigeria estimates around 150,000 bpd is stolen, much of which is sold abroad.

Senate gives wake-up call on Nigerian vehicles

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ENATE President David Mark yesterday said the country should take advantage of the National Automotive Design Bill when signed into law to design and build Nigerian made vehicles. Mark spoke after the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Com-

• National Automotive Design Bill passed From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

mittee on Investment on a Bill for an Act to repeal the Centre for Automotive Design and Development Act, 1992, the National Automotive Council Act, 1993.

The repeal of the two Acts paved the way for the establishment of the National Automotive Design and Development Council and for other matters connected therewith, 2012. The Senate President said the essence of the Bill is to

de-emphasise heavy importation of goods, especially vehicles. He said: “With the passing of this Bill, the business of emphasising so much on importation should be reduced drastically. The essence of this Bill is that things should be designed and produced in Nigeria .”

Tribunal penalises stock broking firm

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HE Investments and Securities Tribunal sit ting in Abuja has penalised Davandy Finance and Securities Limited and its Abuja branch manager, Mr. Abodunde Abiodun, for culpability in a multi-million naira fraud and breach of the code of conduct for capital market operators. The penalties include repayments of N98.8 million, shares buy-back, N2.5 million damages, debarment of the company and manager from market operation, as

• To pay N98.8m From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

well as prosecution by police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for fraud, amongst others. The tribunal ‘s Head, Public & International Affairs, Mr. Kenneth Ezea, in a statement, yesterday said aside the stringent penalties, the 35-page judgment signed by the Chairman, Dr. Nnenna A. Orji, looks to entrench new

mandatory improvements of the principles, processes as well as regulatory fundamentals of the capital market.” It pointed out that the company and its officer were jointly and vicariously found guilty of fraudulent sale of 500,000 Wema Bank Plc’s shares belonging to an investor without authorisation, and also for fraudulent conversion of another N117million invested with them. Ezea said: “Giving judg-

ment in an appeal filed by Mrs. Olabisi Titiola and eight others against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Davandy Finance and Securities Limited and 11 others, the Tribunal found that the company violated the provisions of Rule 182 (a)(1) of the SEC Rules and Regulations and article 1(v) of the code of conduct for Capital Market Operators by disposing of the 500,000 units of Olayinka Temitayo’s Wema Bank Plc shares without authority.

KOREAN firm has shown interest in in vesting $30billion to build a 10,000 megawatts solar power plant in the country, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has disclosed. The Chief Executive Officer of HMC, the Korean firm, Mr. Kin Moon, broke the news during his meeting with the management of NIPC in Abuja. He said the construction of the plant should begin in January 2014, with a target of 1000 megawatts every year for 10 years. He said: “The company has plans to build 300megawatts of photophobic panel plants and other solar thermal technology and 10,000 jobs are expected to be generated when the project takes off, while $1.8billion will be generated annually from the project. “The company will need at least 83, 999.99 hectares of land to actualize the project in the country. The firms visit to NIPC is to seek assistance and support in the area of facilitation, gather relevant information, legislative and regulatory framework to enable the firm commence operation,” describing Nigeria as a fertile land for investment.”

Tiger Brands to up stake in Dangote Flour

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OUTH Africa’s con sumer goods group, Tiger Brands, is offering to buy out some minority shareholders in Dangote Flour Mills as it expands in fast-growing African markets. Earlier this year, Tiger Brands bought a 63 per cent stake in the flour and pasta maker in its third and biggest deal yet in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and second-largest economy, which is seen as a growth area for consumer and food products. Owner, Aliko Dangote’s holding firm, Dangote Industries Limited kept a 10 per cent shareholding in the flour mill after Tiger Brands’ purchase. Tiger Brands, according to Reuters, said in a presentation on its full-year earnings, it is making an offer to minorities in Dangote Flour which is expected to be completed by March, next year. “We will go up to a maximum of 70 per cent in total, leaving the balance in Nigerian hands,” Tiger Brands’ Chief Cxecutive, Peter Matlare told Reuters after the presentation. Tiger Brands, a maker of bread, breakfast cereal and energy drinks, expanded outside its home base last year with acquisitions in Nigeria and Ethiopia.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 22, 2012

INDUSTRY

MAN urges govt to expedite action on tax waiver HE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the Federal Government to quicken its plan to grant tax waiver to firms that generate their electricity to resuscitate the ailing sector so as to improve the economy. MAN President, Mr Kola Jamodu, made the call at the Nigeria Economic Management Team (NEMT)meeting which was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja. According to him, despite the improvement in power supply in recent weeks, which has increased capacity utilisation to about 54 per cent, some manufacturers are still generating their own electricity to ensure that they remain afloat. He called on the government to execute the relief package meant to assuage their problems. “These are things that would normally have been provided by government. In the last few weeks, we have noticed improvement. What has happened today is that a lot in the manufacturing sector are generating their personal electricity supplies to sustain production,” Jamodu said. Aganga described the industries as being in disarray and experiencing decreasing productivity.

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Stories by Toba Agboola

He said: “There is no country that moves from being a small nation to a big one without industries. That is what Nigeria and Africa has not done for many years. That is why Africa contributes only three per cent to the global trade. “We already have an Industrial Revolution Plan (IRP), which is based on three main pillars: moving our industries to areas where we have big comparative advantage, industrial skills development, and innovation.” He said with enhanced attention given to agriculture,mining and petroleum, an effort which has saved the country over N200 billion in the cement industry alone, the government is set to focus on iron and steel production to galvanise the economy by going into automotive production. The Federal Government has approved a National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as part of efforts to address infrastructure deficit in the country. Vice-President Namadi Sambo announced the approval while declaring open the Fourth African Public-Private Partnership Conference in Abuja. He said the policy was meant to complement the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commis-

sion Act of 2005, and to provide the legislative, regulatory and institutional framework for PPPs to thrive. According to him, the policy will also help boost investors’confidence in the economy. Sambo said the government is committed to promoting PPP as a viable business model, adding that government’s transformation agenda placed a high premium on PPP for the rapid modernisation and expansion of the country’s in-

frastructure. He said: “Our goal has consistently been to work with the private sector to close the capital investment and financing gaps that continue to encumber our determined efforts to meet the growing infrastructure needs of our people. “Due to its viability, we are also focused on applying the Public-Private Partnership approach to developing other vital sectors of the economy. We are confident that through this measure, we will eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks

and reduce direct government involvement in management activities. “Overall, we are creating an enabling environment for the operation of an efficient and effective private sector economy.” Sambo said the annual African PPP conference had evolved into a platform for governments to address the continent’s infrastructure deficit and showcase Africa’s investment potential to the outside world.

SON, firms sign MoU

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HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs) to reduce the importation of sub-standard products into the country. The firms will test the products and ensure the sealing of the container before shipping. The MoU is to rejig the objectives of SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) which, observers say, failed in the past few years. The new process entails testing the products before they are loaded into containers, sealing the containers, issuance of SONCAP certificate by SON, and re-testing the products on arrival in the ports before clearance. SON’s Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said the challenges of implementing the SONCAP objectives over the years bordered on less monitoring of the programme. He added that the processes for monitoring imported goods did not give the desired results. He said loopholes in the SONCAP programme would be plugged, adding that this would stop the importation of sub-standard products. The programme, he said, is being renewed to meet the increasing expectations of Nigerians and contribute its quota to the realisation of the broad economic programmes of the Fed Government. “For several times in the past, we have called to question the effectiveness of SONCAP for a number of reasons. Apart from the initial successes we recorded, the programme started having some challenges because we have not monitored the programme effectively, to ensure that we cover loopholes that are normally created by those who would rather prefer that such a programme does not exist. We have tried to address the challenges with the new SONCAP we are launching today. The new

SONCAP will ensure the integrity of products that are imported by people in Nigeria and we will guarantee the integrity of these products.” The changes, according to him, will include sampling of most of the items that will be imported into the country. “Containers will be sealed in such a way that when they get to Nigeria, we will be able to establish the integrity of the goods before the containers leave the ports; and also the SON will be in the position to issue the SONCAP certificate here in Nigeria. “We went through rigorous process of accreditation to get the IAFs who have the technical competence to deliver the best for Nigerians, before we could shortlist four companies as service providers to handle the monitoring of products in which Intertek International Limited, SGS and Cotecna Trade Services are part of the four companies,” Odumodu said. Also, SON has also appointed four firms to accredit imported goods in line with the global best practices. He said they would not tolerate lapses by service providers. “They must adhere to the terms of agreement reached because our 2012 stance as far as this campaign is concerned is to reduce the incidence of substandard products by 30 per cent and if we are to achieve this target, all hands must be on decks. This means all service providers must play their parts effectively”, Odumodu warned. The Chief Operating Officer, Cotecna Trade Services, Mr Mattheiu Delorme said: “In the old system, goods that were checked are substituted but now the goods will be sealed and confirmed on arrival in Nigeria. It is a big challenge to us but we will be working with SON to block any loopholes as soon as we discovered. We are not new in Nigeria and we are conversant with the situation. We intend to protect Nigerians.”

•Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, exchanging pleasantries with President, Korean Testing Laboratory, Mr Namgung Min, during his visit to South Korea.

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Cash-less policy : CBN promises traders incentives

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will soon introduce incentives for traders (Point Of Sales terminals) through commercial banks to drive the cash-less policy, its Deputy Governor Mr Tunde Lemo, has said. The CBN also said the cash-less policy, which started in Lagos State, will soon be implemented in other states, adding that this would be kicked off with aggressive campaigns. Lemo spoke during a cash-less policy seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Lemo said CBN has appraised Lagos for the implementation of cashless policy and based on the report it got, some far-reaching decisions would be taken to improve the effectiveness and ease of the policy on the economy. The Deputy Governor, who was represented by Eric Yaduma of the Shared Services Sector of CBN, said a draft report had been presented to management and after the review of the report, some changes would be effected before the policy was rolled out to other states. “What CBN is thinking right now is to encourage banks to introduce some incentives to merchants. We are trying to determine the best incentives schemes for stakeholders,” he said. He said the CBN is planning to perfect the cash-less policy, adding that there were 5,000 Point Of Sales (POS) outlets at inception and that this has increased to about 200,000. “We are working with the Nigerian Inter-Banks Settlement

Services (NIBSS) to address some of the challenges we are experiencing in Lagos which are out of service/network problems, low awareness, among others. We are also engaging telecommunications companies to give priority to data services to eradicate the network challenges,” he said. He disclosed that the CBN is also partnering with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to improve on the awareness adopted in Lagos because awareness was key to the success of the policy. He said CBN created a Consumer Protection department to address issues related to the cashless policy and an e-payment fraud forum to handle fraud-re-

lated cases, adding that the Nigerian Postal Services have been approached to promote mobile money transactions under thecashless policy. The President of LCCI, Goodie Ibru, said the introduction of the cash-less policy in Lagos in April, this year has brought many challenges and opportunities in doing business in the state. “To help improve the policy as CBN gets set to extend it to other states, they, as regulators should pay more attention to developing business in the e-payment sector because it is a critical sector that will drive Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), international trade and trade integration,” he said.

Shoprite to open outlet •Targets 280 direct, indirect jobs

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NEW Shoprite store will be opened at the newly constructed Kwara mall in Ilorin today. The Business Development Manager, Shoprite, Jan Van Zyl, said: “We’re happy to open an outlet in such a welcoming environment. Kwarans are renowned for their effortless taste and we have the quality to satisfy.” On the expansion projects, he said: “The success of Polo Parks, Enugu has proven that centres of this nature can be successful outside the conventional commercial centre of Lagos and Abuja. “ Shoprite is proud to be part of this development. It is to prove the company’s commitment to serving

Nigerians from all backgrounds and income groups across Nigeria. “We believe by going to all places where our customers are located, we can serve our customers better.” The Human Resource Manager, Shoprite, Adeola Kagho, said about 180 direct and over 100 indirect jobs will be created in the new outlet. He said: “We build employee competence by investing in training and development. Our training programmes have an organisational and personal perspective to it which results in our employees ability to carry out their jobs effectively.”


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 22, 2012

INDUSTRY Although Nigeria is rich in oil, gas and other natural resources, it still faces serious energy crisis. More than half of the population do not have access to electricity. Those who do do not get adequate supply.This is why many people depend on generators. However, experts say solar energy may be the best alternative. TOBA AGBOOLA reports.

How solar energy can solve power problem I

N Nigeria, not only is the cost of electricity high, its supply is unpredictable, unreliable and in many cases – unavailable. This makes alternative energy solution, such as solar energy vital and critical to our economic development. Recognising this, the Federal Government set up the Energy Commission of Nigeria to coordinate national policies in energy. This apex government organ is empowered to promote the diversification of the energy resources through the development and optimal utilisation of alternative energy resources, including solar energy. Speaking on the new technology, the Managing Director, Soverign Solar Energy Ltd, an indigenous engineering solutions provider, Dr Felix El-Schaeddhaei, said solar power has the capacity to solve Nigeria’s power problem. He advised the Federal Government to key into the advancements made in solar energy, saying doing so would enable the government to provide cost-effective rural electrification with positive environmental impact. He said though Nigeria needs adequate supply of energy to drive its economy and power its domestic, economic, technological and social sectors, it has, however, been difficult to meet the energy needs of its citizens by successive governments. “Nigeria is blessed with a variety of energy sources in abundance, fossil energy, such as crude oil, natural gas and coal, and renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, biomass, biogas, and so on. Nigeria’s oil reserve is predicted to be exhausted before the next 50 years, thus it is imperative to pay more atten-

and tailor various market specific programmes aimed at reducing the cost of solar power systems, we will be able to support the growth of the solar industry in Nigeria,” he said. He recommended the use of solar energy as a means of tackling the problems of climate change and ensuring a cleaner environment. He said solar energy technologies use energy from the sun to provide electricity and even cooling for businesses, industries and homes and is a clean, non-polluting and renewable source that can improve power efficiency.

What is solar power?

A photovoltaic panel (or solar panel) is a packaged interconnected assembly of photovoltaic cells also known as solar cells. They are used as components in a larger solar system to provide electricity for civil, commercial and residential applications. The solar system harnesses energy from the sun, and converts it into energy that can be used for multiple practical applications.

Why solar power?

•A giant solar panel

tion to renewable energy sources,” he said. He stated that by using solar photovoltaic panels of only five per cent efficiency, the country could generate about 600,000mw, from only one per cent of its land area. He said renewable energy was always available on cyclic basis, stressing that it would never be exhausted, unlike the conventional energy of oil, coal and gas. “As long as there is life in us, solar energy will always be there, everyday. When the sun comes up, solar energy begins to be available. We also have wind as a renew-

able energy. Wind arises as a result of extra-terrestrial solar heating of the air masses in the extra-terrestrial space; leading to pressure differences, manifesting in the flow of air. “We can also tap significant amount of energy from wind. Hydropower as you know is also coming as a result of cyclic activities of the rainy reason. Rivers are there and we can tap. We also have biomass – biofuels; they are all part of renewable energy. They are always available on cyclic basis. “If we can learn from Germany and Japan

Solar technology provides environmental and social advantages over other energy sources. Some of the advantages are: • Low energy costs: The sun provides solar radiation for free • Low maintenance: Fewer moveable parts means fewer parts can break • No emissions: Solar lighting does not contribute to global warming • All day; everyday: Solar solutions continue working even if there is a power cut • Easy installation: There are no confusing wires – each system is independent.

Govt to partner states on oil palm cultivation

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HE Federal Government is set to partner states to revive moribund oil palm industry and make it one of the major revenue earners for the country, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said. Adesina disclosed this at the inauguration of oil palm plantations by the Cross River State Government under its privatisation programme. The minister said such a partnership would make states known for oil palm cultivation to revive the sector while at the same time challenging other states blessed with arable land to take to large scale cultivation of palm plantations. He said the Federal Government was concerned about changing the fortunes of agriculture and making it a worthwhile venture for large and small scales’ investors, and appealed to business men to invest heavily in agriculture. According to him, in the oil palm value chain many things were wrong that needed the enabling environment of government to succeed and the commitment of the private sector operators to correct; hence the Cross River example was a step in the right direction. The goal of the oil palm value chain of the country, he added, was to increase oil production to satisfy local demand and eventually

export as well as increase the productivity of farmers and create employment. Special Adviser to the Cross River State Government on Investment Promotion, Mr Gerald Adah, had earlier informed the gathering that a combined investment portfolio of various companies operating in the state in the last five years was now in excess of $2 billion. He described the inauguration of the oil palm plantation as a major milestone in the vision of attracting foreign direct investment to the state and country adding that in the past two years, the state’s engagements with Wilmar has been in the aspects of acquisition of at least 50,000 hectares of agricultural land for primary production of oil palm as well as the establishment of an oil palm processing/refining facility worth $400 million. He said while the proposed investment is valued at $400 million, the direct benefits accruing to the state include employment of over 20,000 persons on an average payroll of N3.2 billion annually; outgrowers support scheme for another 20,000 ha leveraging on the World Bank support, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in terms of standard schools and hospitals for employees, dependents and host communities.

Peppe Terra gets recognition

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EPPE TERRA (a tomato paste) has been praised for its achievements in the market. Euromonitor International in its report on packaged food praised the firm for its successes. This is coming about two years after its launch into the market. According to Managing Director, Tropical General Investment Nigeria Ltd (makers of Peppe Terra), Roy Deepanjan:“We have been able to put up a brand whose quality and proposition is international.

He said this has been vindicated by Euromonitor International’s special mention on Peppe Terra, adding that the brand was praised for being innovative and uniquely adapted for to suit local tastes’. Roy added: “The report, on packaged food in Nigeria, goes on to praise Peppe Terra as an ‘unique blend of tomatoes, onions, and spicy chilli, that addresses a local need, rather than being an international product to which consumers have to adapt’.

From left: President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Mrs. Bunmi Oke; Member, Committee of Wives Of Lagos State Officials, Deaconess Mosunmola Junaid; Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mabe Thabo and Vice-President, Operations, Unilever Nig. Plc, Anil Gopalan, during the re-launch of Vaseline at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Fed Govt targets 10% growth through SMEs

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HE country needs strong Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and wellnurtured small entrepreneurs to attain 10 per cent growth rate and above in the next decade, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said. He spoke at the maiden Nigerian Banking-Panel evaluation for SMEs’ business proposals in Lagos. Aganga,who was represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Leadership Initiative (LDI),Mr Yinka Oyinlola, challenged banks to look beyond multinationals and large domestic corporate businesses and improve access to those living in rural areas and the informal sector, stressing that it is only in doing so that the financial services industry can meaningfully contribute to national economic development. He said SMEs have been prioritised to fashion out pro-active development policies, adding that the government is working

withinternational development partners, in pursuing financial inclusion to make growth broadbased and sustainable for the hitherto excluded SMEs. He said in recognition of the important role played by MSMEs in economic development and their contributions to employment and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and realising that financial access is critical for MSMEs’growth and development, his Ministry,the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) were taking the lead in supporting initiatives that would improve access to finance. “In specific terms, my ministry is looking at three key areas to support the development and growth of a dynamic SME sector in Nigeria. “First, we have designated SMEs a ‘priority sector’ and are fashioning pro-active SME development policies in respect of finance, appropriate technology and skills

development, in addition to rationalising the existing policies and institutions. “Second, as part of the overall macro-economic management, we are focused on creating an enabling economic environment comprised sound macroeconomic and structural policies, good infrastructure, fair policy of competition, and efficiently functioning institutions. “Third, we are providing necessary business support services for SMEs including skills training, trade fairs and exhibitions, product research and development, appropriate technology research, access to Export Processing Zones (EPZs), and business support centres,” he said. He urged entrepreneurs to understand that a potential business idea must be open to evaluation and feedback from others who may provide genuine insight on refining the existing concept.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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COMMENTARY EDITORIALS

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Where is the subsidygate report? • The House dillydallies on a matter that may define this era

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IX months have passed since that invidious scandal broke out; searing the very psyche of the nation and her people. Yet, none in government has deemed it fit to take any action, if only to purport that Nigeria is part of the modern civilised universe. We of course refer to what has been dubbed the subsidygate, the bribery allegation scandal against a ranking legislator, Mr. Farouk Lawan, and top businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola. The bribery scandal, which was itself a chain in a cycle of another corruption scandal involving the Federal Government and oil marketers had its genesis in the dramatic removal, last January, of a so-called subsidy in the importation of petroleum products. The sudden yanking off of the subsidy had elicited a spontaneous reaction from Nigerians who insisted on a reversal, proper consultation and possibly, alternative solution to the problem. The ensuing violent protestations and near-total shutdown of the country for about a week moved the government to set in motion a series of panels to investigate the subsidy regime which had clearly become untenable even to the government. The alarm actually triggered when it dawned on all that one year subsidy payout was almost surpassing the capital expenditure in the federal budget. It was in the frenzy of the moment that the House of Representatives, not to be outdone by the executive arm, set up its own committee headed by Farouk, perhaps the longest serving member. No

sooner did the committee turn in its earthshaking report which revealed how oil marketers had colluded with government officials to fleece the nation of about N1.07 trillion in purported subsidy than Farouk and his team was shafted with a deadly allegation. Farouk had enjoyed only a few days as a national hero of immense courage and integrity when one of the marketers under scrutiny, Mr. Otedola, revealed to a stunned nation how he had ‘bribed’ Farouk in a ‘sting’ operation. Otedola had tell-tale, if not a ribald video ‘evidence’ to corroborate his ‘sting’ operation story. He claimed he had paid Farouk an initial $620,000.00 out of a total $3 million. It was too real, too shocking to believe or even disbelieve. The populace was, in a manner of speaking, torn to pieces as their emerging hero, in a quick, sad twist, was kissing the dust of villainy. The hunter became the hunted. The tale became even more twisted as the thief catcher was framed in an awkward position necessitating yet another panel to probe him. Last June, the House’s Committee on Ethics and Privileges was mandated to investigate Otedola’s allegations against Farouk. The committee had 21 days to submit its report. Six months have passed, yet the committee has presented no report. The House has not deemed it fit to make an official statement on the matter either. By the same token, the police started an investigation on this high-wire criminal matter and they have only managed to lead the people to a cul-de-sac.

We find it uncanny, and we believe numerous Nigerians are in the same state of bemusement, that such a matter as this which touches the very fabric of our society and is capable of defining not only the character of this government, but its rating in the comity of nations, is treated with so much levity. We wish to remind that if the Federal Government, the police and the House imagine that this sordid affair will just vanish from the public arena without proper resolution, it will not happen. The subsidy matter is a fundamental issue that defines an epoch. We urge the House to release its panel’s report and drive the matter to its logical end.

‘We wish to remind that if the Federal Government, the police and the House imagine that this sordid affair will just vanish from the public arena without proper resolution, it will not happen. The subsidy matter is a fundamental issue that defines an epoch. We urge the House to release its panel’s report and drive the matter to its logical end’

Sweet and sour •Even with victims of the flood disaster, Jonathan keeps faith with his policy flip flop

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OTH cheery and dreary news emerged this week for victims of the national flood disaster, from the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Is this a case of lack of coordination or simply policy flip flop? From the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has come the good news that 40, 000 metric tons of local staples would be released to displaced flood victims nationwide, with 1, 333 trailers bearing the stock, the first step in the N9.7 billion Food Recovery Production Plan. But from Bayelsa, the president’s home state, has come the disheartening news that displaced refugees were being forcibly ejected from their camp, amidst great lamentation and gnash-

‘That the released grains – maize, millet, gari and sorghum, prized local staples – come from Nigeria’s national strategic food reserve silos is heart-warming. Though strategic grain reserves are routine in other spheres, it is gratifying all the same to realise Nigeria, maybe, is not as plan-less as perhaps many a citizen would like to believe. It is kudos to Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the agriculture minister, and his staff’

ing of teeth. The authority to disband them reportedly came from Rear Admiral John Jonah, chairman of the Bayelsa Flood Relief Management Committee. Lt. Col. Bernard Kenebai (rtd), Governor Seriake Dickson’s special adviser on security, was said to have led security, agencies to enforce the order; leading to protests by the luckless refugees. That the released grains – maize, millet, gari and sorghum, prized local staples – come from Nigeria’s national strategic food reserve silos is heartwarming. Though strategic grain reserves are routine in other spheres, it is gratifying all the same to realise Nigeria, maybe, is not as plan-less as perhaps many a citizen would like to believe. It is kudos to Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the agriculture minister, and his staff. The distribution formula would also appear fair and equitable. Having earlier classified the flood disaster into four brackets, depending on the severity of the flooding, the states in Category A (Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Oyo, Kogi, Bayelsa, Delta and Anambra) would get 50 trailer loads of grains; Category B states (Lagos, Imo, Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Taraba, Niger, Cross River and Edo) would receive 40 trailer loads; Category C (Ebonyi, Rivers, Kwara, Abia, Ogun, Ondo, Gombe and Katsina): 30 trailer loads each; and Category D (Borno, Yobe, Enugu, Ekiti, Osun, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Akwa Ibom and the FCT): 25

trailer loads each. But pray, with a disbanded refugee camp, where do the Bayelsa victims of the flooding get their own share of the food relief? How could the authorities explain that victims in Bayelsa, one of the worst hit states, now stand, if care is not taken, to benefit least from the relief, since they have been forcibly removed from their camps? So, whereas states nominally affected by the flooding get food relief, Bayelsa might not. That is not good enough and should not be allowed to happen. Besides, the Bayelsa development seems to reinforce yet again a recurring decimal in the Jonathan Presidency: lack of coordination and avoidable flip flops. The earlier this worrying trend is stopped, the better. Whatever reasons the Bayelsa State government has to have taken the action it did, it ought to have been more circumspect and much more compassionate in the handling of the situation. Citizens just coming to grips with the trauma of mass displacement are hardly the right sort of people to be visited with yet another displacement. Whatever happens, Governor Dickson must ensure the affected people, wherever they are, benefit from the food relief. Otherwise, the whole exercise would degenerate into a sham, with the food ending up with people who don’t need it, while those who genuinely do starve.

Judicial Elections, Unhinged

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HIS year’s round of state judicial elections broke previous records for the amounts spent on judicial campaigns around the country. The dominant role played by specialinterest money — including money from super PACs financed by undisclosed donors — has severely weakened the principle of fair and impartial courts. In Florida, for example, three respected State Supreme Court justices won their retention election battles, but only after they were forced to raise more than $1.5 million in total. They had put on expensive campaigns because they were targeted for defeat by moneyed conservatives who wanted to drive them off the bench for their supposed liberal views. The justices were absolutely right to fight back. Still, the bitter campaigns leave impressions of judicial partisanship and indebtedness to campaign donors. Nationally, spending on television advertisements in state supreme court races reached nearly $28 million by Election Day, exceeding the $24.4 million in 2004, the previous record for a presidential election year, according to the Brennan Center for Justiceand Justice at Stake, non-partisan groups working for fair courts. Groups not connected to candidate campaigns paid for more than half of the TV ads run, compared with about 30 percent in 2010, making it much harder for candidates to control their own message. In Michigan, where three of seven seats on the State Supreme Court were up for election, records were set for both spending and lack of accountability. The $3.2 million raised by candidates and reported to the Michigan Bureau of Elections was dwarfed by unreported spending by the political parties and outside groups interested in tilting the balance on the court. One ad run by an independent group against Bridget McCormack, a Democratic candidate for a seat on the court, featured the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan and suggested that Ms. McCormack’s legal work for a detainee released from Guantánamo Bay in 2007 showed support for terrorism. Ms. McCormack won the race. Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which advocates changing Michigan law to bar undisclosed independent spending. That exceeds even the 2010 record, when half the total spending on Michigan Supreme Court races came from secret sources. Regrettably, states that elect their top judges show no inclination to address these distressing trends by replacing judicial elections with systems of merit appointment that avoid retention votes. This year’s experience should at least hasten state efforts to revise rules for judicial refusal to take campaign contributions into account. Mandatory disclosure of all donations to a judicial race is also essential. Litigants cannot know when they should request that a judge step aside if they cannot tell whether their case involves a party that supported the judge’s campaign. – New York Times

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: : Hundreds of hapless and helpless Nigerians resident in Borno and Yobe states have become refugees in their country home for no fault of theirs. Thomas Hobbes’ ‘life is short, nasty and brutish’ best describes what has become of Borno and Yobe states today. Both states have literarily become Africa’s latest killing fields where life has become so cheap that death ‘pays no dime’ to claim. Women, children and even men have fled their homes and businesses. The security community whose responsibility it is to protect lives and property of the citizenry have become prime targets and have lost an appreciable number of its men to the activities of a blood-thirsty and amorphous group called Boko Haram. The cliché, ‘no place like home’ definitely means a different thing to indigenes of Borno and Yobe states that have fled their homes for dear lives. They feel much more at home in foreign lands than contemplating a visit to their ancestral abode. Life there has become ‘everyone to himself and God for all’. Security agents seem to have given up the fight against the Boko Haram Islamist sect. Are Borno and Yobe states part of the Nigerian federation? There is no gainsaying that the chief executives of Borno and Yobe states have been practically overwhelmed by the rising spate of bloodbath in their domains. Both Ibrahim Gaidem of Yobe and Kashim Shettima of Borno feel more relaxed in Abuja than staying back in their respective states where peace seem to have gone on sabbatical leave. No serious investor who means business would contemplate investing a penny of his in an environment plagued by uncertainty. Aside the deployment of troops, the President Goodluck Jonathan’s government has failed woefully to identify with Nigerians in the af-

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Mr President has been unfair to Borno, Yobe States fected states! The situation in both states is so bad that President Jonathan with his armed security guards is scared of visiting there to restore hope in victims. Beyond the ritual of condemning such barbaric acts each time they occur, his resolve not to have visited any of the states to see the horror on ground sends a wrong signal. As Nigeria’s president, we expect that he metes out same measure of concern to all, irrespective of tribe, religion, class or political leaning. Mr President has no genuine reason to leave these Nigerians to suf-

fer and continue to live in fear. No responsible and responsive leader turns his face the other way when his people cry to him for help. President Jonathan fled to faraway Brazil to attend a mere summit on a day dare-devil Boko Haram members visited terror on innocent Nigerians in the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna state. In the wake of recent floods in some parts of the country, we all rose up in support of the victims. But we watch on local television and read in news dailies how victims of Boko Haram insurgency have continued

to cry for help only for us, including those whose responsibility it is to offer help, to maintain sealed lips and deaf ears. Aside from visiting the flood victims, Mr President had in the first place dispatched a number of his ministers to visit the affected states for an on-the spot assessment tour. As a follow-up, the president also set up a fund-raising committee headed by billionaire business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to raise money for victims of floods. Though commendable, can’t same be done to victims of Boko Haram in other states where

the faceless group had registered its presence? Mr President, you are the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your number-one duty is to ensure that we are safe from internal and external aggression. Sir, they is absolutely nothing wrong if you temporarily shift your base from cosy office in Abuja and have a feel of what your fellow country men and women have been going through in Yobe and Borno states. Boko Haram is a national calamity. If we continue to use regional binoculars in viewing their nefarious activities, then we are indeed far from recording meaningful success in our effort to overcome the group. Sir, since you are afraid of visiting Borno and Yobe states for reasons you lack the courage to tell us, should we now assume that the states are no longer part of this geographical enclave called Nigeria? • Abdullahi Yunusa, Minna, Niger State.

Let’s diversify to revamp our economy IR: As our over-dependence on oil has become bedrock of crisis in Nigeria (insecurity,

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unemployment, poverty, bombing, killings, massive corruption and bad leadership among others), we must diversify our economy because Nigeria has great potentials that could enable it play an enviable role in the global world. Nigeria must be ready to attract investment through the implementation of structural reforms that will ensure accountable and transparent investment environment to ensure access and equity for the small and medium enterprises (SMES) to compete in local and global economies. Nigeria must also critically adopt adequate policy strategies within the context of its domestic potentials and external relations, to em-

brace the promises of globalization for sustainable democracy. The experiences of India , South-Korea , Brazil , Malaysia and Singapore are prime examples. Our political leaders must fear and trust in God and be politically willing, and committed. Corruption must be checked, poverty reduction programmes must be made to work. Nigerians must learn to adhere strictly to the rules of democracy to enable the international community to appreciate our efforts and extend good gestures to improve the economic well-being of all Nigerians. It is worrisome that we lack of fear of God, and rather embrace greed, unrighteousness, callousness and covetousness. For all these, the ministers of God in our midst should not keep quiet on burning issues in the country.

We should contribute and help build Nigeria among the political class and Nigerians. If those negative things are not arrested, the nation cannot make any headway. Nigerian businessmen must embrace manufacturing of goods for local consumption and export, while government should improve on power supply. Nigeria has no business talking about scarcity of food, the only reason we are complaining is that we are not doing the right thing. Before the discovery of oil, agriculture had always been the crux of economic growth and development because, farmers were encouraged by the government; the reverse is the case now. Also, the low employment level in the country and poverty could be solved through agricultural investments by all tiers of govern-

ment and other stakeholders. As a matter of fact, the only thing any government can do to make people happy is to provide food for its people. So, agricultural sector should be the engine room of our economy. The public should not be an end in itself. It is held in trust for the common good and not to terrorise or kill innocent citizens. Violence is not what we should celebrate. Violence is the argument of the person who has run out of logic and ideas. Politics should be about dialogue, issues, persuasions and not violence. • Prophet Oladipupo FunmiladeJoel (Baba Sekunderin) Gen. Overseer, The Way of Reconciliation Evangelistic Ministries (TWOREM) Int’l CEO, Messiah Broadcasting Network, Nigeria.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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COMMENTS

Islamic insurgency in the West African Sahel

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HE Sahara desert has historically not been a hindrance to people’s movement from North to south and vice versa and from East to West. Events happening in one part of the Sahel (shore of the desert) eventually reverberate in other parts of the Sahel. The camel euphemistically called the ‘sheep of the desert’ has always provided means of transportation across the desert. Goods like gold and even slaves and kolanuts have usually found their ways into the Maghreb and beyond through Trans Saharan trade routes. Whilst goods made in the Maghreb and Europe and the Middle East have always found their way into the savannah and rain forest regions. By the 14th century or even before that time the Arabic script and its local variant, the ajami were widely used in Kano and Katsina, Goa and Timbuktu as a result of diffusion of arab and Islamic culture into these areas. Islamic civilization flourished in the savannah and the Sahel to the point that the Islamic centre of Sankore in Timbuktu provided a training school for the ulama of many cities in the savannah and Sahel. Many of the products sold in morocco for example, the famous Moroccan leather were actually goat skins from Gobir and Zamfara. The point being made is that modern international frontiers are relatively new in these parts of Africa. The people still move easily across national frontiers without realizing they are moving from one country to another. This is why the infiltration of West Africa by Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, Alshabab from Somalia into the Sahel and our own home grown boko haram with possible external links are now causes for worry. We now have a situation in Mali where the Toubou or taureg people have taken over the northern part of Mali and are destroying sacred burial grounds of the past Islamic leaders as a part of salafist opposition to the Islamic shrines which they see as anti-Islamic. The city of Timbuktu in particular is being destroyed as part of this salafist campaign and a part of the West African civilization is crumbling before our very eyes. But what is actually very dangerous is the division of Mali along ethnic and racial lines. The area being claimed by the secessionist group in Mali is not coterminous with racial divide between Tuareg and Blacks. In any case, the tuaregs are a wandering people without any particular homeland that can be said to be their original home. In which case, their new country in northern Mali will be a replication of Mauritania where blacks and moors live together in an unhappy marriage. The situation in the Sahel as a whole, not just northern Mali, has become a cause for worry for important players in the global community particularly the North Atlantic Powers. America and France in particular, have strategic interest in this part of the world. Since the collapse of Libya under NATO

pressure, a lot of arms have found their ways into the hands of insurgents in the sahelian part of West Africa including our own part of the Sahel. This is why we have a community of interest with the countries in the west to impose a pax Africana on the Sahel. The UN Security Council is seized with the question of peace in northern Mali and the Sahel as a whole. If Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb is not stopped in Mali, then the same situation will repeat itself in Niger, our Northern neighbor and also in Chad in our North- East where there has been a history of rebellion by their Saharan tribes. What is to be done? ECOWAS is being prodded and goaded into sending troops into Mali so that the country can assert its sovereignty over its territory including the secessionist northern Mali. This will be in consonance with the Africa Charter of the AU which enjoins on all African Countries to respect their colonial boundaries. Once this principle of inviolability of international borders is breached, no one can predict where it will lead. It certainly could lead to irredentist wars in Africa because of the artificiality of our borders. This is why the secession in northern Mali is not in any body’s interest. It has also been suggested that drug traffickers are beginning to use this territory as transit camps to the Maghreb and southern Europe. The flow of arms into these areas can also destabilize the whole of West Africa and lead to the collapse of many states and consequential movement of huge population that can destabilize the entire world. The armed rebels in possession of hand carried missiles may pose threat to civil aviation across the Sahara desert. The US and France are apparently prepared to provide logistical support for military intervention in Mali. For this purpose, an ECOWAS force of 3000 soldiers is being assembled to which Nigeria would probably contribute some battalions. Exactly how many soldiers would be necessary to achieve success has not been fathomed out, but anybody with a sense of military history should know that the kind of force that would be needed is not going to be one or two brigades but perhaps a division or two. The area involved is larger than France even though sparsely populated. In other to effectively occupy the area and to uproot these ‘dessert rats’, one would need to defeat them in detail. After their defeat, there will be need for an effective occupation. It seems to me that the ECOWAS leaders have not grasped this. In the history of Chad that we know, France was never throughout its colonial days able to hold the area together. And since 1945 to the present day, the government has not been able to do this. This is simply because of the hostile environment which is comparable to Mali. It is hoped that the West African force when it goes into Mali, will receive massive French and American logistical

a s s i s t a n c e particularly the provision military helicopters and combat aircrafts so that what the ground troops will be used for will effectively be mop-up o p e r a t i o n s . Anything outside this is doomed to fail. ECOMOG was Jide not able to defeat Osuntokun rebels in Liberia and Sierra-Leone without the support of the UN and the additional intervention of British forces in Sierra-Leone in particular. And this is an area much more militarily hospitable than the inhospitable environment of the desert where ECOWAS troops will be fighting much more formidable opponents with the knowledge of the environment and a foe also driven by the fervor of Islamic fanaticism. There is perhaps no option other than military intervention. ECOWAS cannot simply acquiesce with the dismemberment of a fellow member. But in intervening, it must aim at success because failure will not only expose the organization’s weakness, it will encourage either secessionist forces to rear up their ugly heads. But for me parroting General Colin Powell, no country or group of countries should embark on a military expedition until it has overwhelming power to compel success. A force of 3000 troops in a desert the size of Northern Mali is in my own estimation not overwhelming enough and it seems to me an invitation to failure or to a war of attrition lasting many years.

‘The flow of arms into these areas can also destabilize the whole of West Africa and lead to the collapse of many states and consequential movement of huge population that can destabilize the entire world’

When presidents fight

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ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has a way of dealing with his protégés when they fall out of line. He doesn’t call to talk to them, especially when the issue at stake is in the public domain; he rebukes them in the open, probably for the benefit of the people who he believes should know where he stands. No doubt these people would have preferred that he called them in private and say whatever he likes to them, but Baba doesn’t do things that way. Obasanjo seems to get a kick from ridiculing his ‘boys’ in public and I have tried to hazard a guess as to why he does this, without success. Could it be because they don’t listen to him when he advises them in camera? Could it be because he wants to be seen as pro-people? Obasanjo pro-people? It sounds somehow because he is not known to be a man who shows concern for the people, except it is politically motivated. Really, why does Obasanjo take delight in talking down to sitting presidents when he has unrestrained access to them? Assuming he was in those people’s shoes, how will he feel if he was at the receiving end? Knowing Obasanjo for who he is, he would never allow such attacks to go without a fight. Presidents are a

cult of sorts. Whether serving or not, they bond together, meeting and conversing at forums exclusively meant for them. Such forums should provide a veritable ground for an ex to advise a sitting president and avail him of his own experience while in office. With his native intelligence, Obasanjo may think that such forums are not appropriate for the discussion of certain sensitive matters under which we can categorise his castigation of his one-time minions for perceived poor handling of the affairs of state. Ask former military president Ibrahim Babaginda; ask the late President Umar Yar’Adua and now President Goodluck Jonathan has got the length of Obasanjo’s tongue. In 1986, Obasanjo tore Babaginda apart over the military dictator’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which the gap-toothed general said had no alternative. SAP as an economic policy was harsh and Nigerians groaned under it. The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), who in his characteristic manner , tried to provide an alternative through enlightened debate was arrested and kept in detention for long. Thus, other Nigerians were cowed from speaking out on the issue. Like a bolt out of the blue,

‘There is no need for Jonathan to go to battle with Obasanjo. The group that he should do battle with is Boko Haram and the sooner he faces this enormous challenge the better for us all’

Obasanjo descended on Babaginda and his SAP.‘’Any economic policy’’, he said, ‘’must have human face and milk of kindness’’. Any policy, which does not pass this test, is not worth it, he said matter of factly to the admiration of Nigerians. In the heat of the crisis caused by the illness of the late Yar’Adua, Obasanjo was on song again. Responding to criticisms that he foisted a sick man on the nation, Obasanjo absolved himself of blame. He said he could not be held responsible for the way the late Yar’Adua turned out in office. Taking a shot at the late Yar’Adua, who he went round the country campaigning for in 2009, Obasanjo said if someone is given a job to do and he knows that he is not fit to do that job, the best thing is to call it quits. Obasanjo said : ‘’If you take up an assignment, a job, elected, appointed; whatever it is, and then your health starts to fail and you will not be able to deliver to satisfy yourself and to satisfy the people you are supposed to serve, then there is a path of honour and the path of morality’’. It was an unkind cut because Obasanjo cannot feign ignorance about the late president’s health challenge, but that did not stop him from speaking out in public then. If Obasanjo could not be restrained from talking by the late Yar’Adua’s health challenge, how can President Jonathan, who has no such problem expect Obasanjo to keep quiet if he believes that things are not going on well in the country. Does the Obasanjo that Jonathan knows behave like

that? No, he doesn’t. Obasanjo is known for calling a spade a spade, whether you like it or not. So, he was simply behaving true to type when he took Jonathan to the cleaners over his handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.Baba did not say anything new as we all know that Jonathan has been too soft in his handling of the delicate Boko Haram issue. he president is only being cautious in his approach, but do the group and its backers appreciate this? It is good to be meek and gentle, but it is not noble to allow that gentility to be taken for granted, at least not in this Boko Haram case. The group needs to be handled with iron hand and this is the message Obasanjo was trying to pass across by criticising the president. So far, Jonathan has taken it too easy with the group. Truly, going by his track record, if Obasanjo were to be in charge, things would not have been handled this way.Give it to Baba. With his military background, he would have taken some drastic actions, which by now, may have changed the course of events. It may not have necessarily ended the Boko Haram insurgency, but the point would have been made that no group can just wake up one day and resolve to wage war against the society for no just reason without paying the price. Of course, there would have been some collateral damage, but a message would have been sent across. What is the message that Jonathan is sending across with his handling of the group’s excesses? I’m sorry to say there is none whatsoever and that is the

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Lawal Ogienagbon lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net SMS ONLY: 08099400204

truth.Rather than see Obasanjo’s broadside as an attack on his administration, Jonathan should see it as a wake-up call to do something about this Boko Haram insurgency before things become worse than they are. There is no need for him to go to battle with Obasanjo over this issue. The group that he should do battle with is Boko Haram and the sooner he faces this enormous challenge the better for us all. Whether the Odi invasion was a failure or not, one thing is certain, we had a president who rose to the challenge of the time and did something. The question posterity will ask Jonathan is what did he do when his country was burning under the Boko Haram threat? Will he want to be remembered like Nero who fiddled while Rome was burning? It is not enough for Mr President to lament the invasion of the seat of power by Boko Haram elements; what the nation expects him to do is to fish out these people and bring them to justice. May God grant him the will to do this.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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COMMENTS

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F I were an adviser to President Jonathan, I would have counseled self restraint in taking up issues with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, over his recent public rebuke. Tragically, the president’s outburst about the success or failure of the ‘Odi treatment’ is not the answer to crisis of leadership raised by Obasanjo. But more than this, the president more than anyone else knows his acclaimed god father is a leader who is generally regarded as an evil oracle with goodwill towards neither friends nor foes, a leader who thrives more amidst political intrigue and above all, a godfather who according to his daughter, senator Iyabo Obasanjo Bello, neither forgets nor forgives. No past leader is known to have ever survived a battle of intrigue with the ‘ebora’ of Owu. I am sure the president is also aware Obasnjo who has publicly admitted nothing embarrasses him is not in a hurry to change people’s perception of him as a man who strikes against those who regard him as friend when they least expected. He ate pounded yam with Ahmadu Alli in the afternoon and master minded his ouster as PDP chairman in the evening. He joined the people against embattled IBB during the last days of his fraudulent transition. Abacha, who he had dismissed as the main beneficiary of Babangida ‘transition without end’, did not take chances. He roped him into a phantom coup and put him on death row. But he survived Abacha to emerge a two term president. He single handedly enthroned ailing Musa Yar Adua president but turned around to denounce him. He did everything including denying the zoning policy enshrined in PDP constitution to enthrone Dr.Goodluck Jonathan as president. Now, he says Jonathan is a weak president. He is holding him responsible for the monumental corruption that has come to characterize government these past years. As a creation of Obasanjo, one would have expected the president to be conscious of Obasanjo’s well documented periodic interventions in the affairs of the nation; an intervention which most often tragically ended as a tale of doom foretold for past successive deaf leaders. President Jonathan ought to have known from experience that Obasanjo would at the end exploit these interventions to position himself on the side of the people, as he had successfully done in the past when the nation came under the assault of its elected, self or god father imposed leaders. But as it is always the case, what Obasanjo has just told the president was a rehash of

O

N the 16th of October 2010, when a tumultuous crowd of Ekiti Indigenes took to the streets to celebrate the judicial pronouncement of the Appeal Court that declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi as the duly elected governor of the state, many thought it was all a part of politicking. Some critics even went as far as saying the crowd was rented to create an illusion of popularity for the new governor. But for those of us resident in the state, Fayemi’s victory at the Appeal Court was a sigh of relief and a promise that better days were ahead for us. It was a clear proof that heaven had finally sated the cravings of the good people of Ekiti for a messiah. Before Fayemi’s administration, the environment of Ekiti State was an eyesore. Ado-Ekiti, the capital was an Aegean Stable that would rank amongst the worst capital cities in the country. Major and minor streets in the metropolis were littered as virtually every available space had become a refuse site. Drainages were blocked, walls were defaced with posters of all sorts and the roads were in derelict conditions. The stench oozing from the heaps of refuse that had become a regular

‘The best thing about Fayemi’s environmental renaissance is that it has placed Ekiti state on the spotlight as a tourist destination. The massive investments at the famous Ikogosi spring which serves as the state’s tourism hub speaks volumes of what his administration wants to achieve’

The fearful evil oracle and his god son what others who are genuinely worried about the health of our nation have said. Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu and other patriotic Nigerians have called attention to the president’s inability to confront his corrupt PDP buccaneers who do not give a damn about the health of the nation. The only difference today is that because it was Obasanjo who raised these issues, the self serving presidential aides, paid by the tax payers to help the president in his decision making process cannot demonise Obasanjo or accuse him of ’insulting the president’. They simply abandoned the president to fight his own war with a god father who neither ‘sleeps nor forgives’. But since government, as the president knows, is a trust, I think the reprimand by Obasanjo, should help him to deeply reflect on what informed the general atmosphere of mistrust by millions of Nigerians who massively elected a God fearing leader about 18 months ago, but today allege his government is behind the massive looting going on in the country just as they accuse him of inept handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. For the purpose of this inner reflection, let us do a quick recap of some unnerving actions of “a Jonathan we don’t know” Towards the end of last year, it was President Jonathan who alerted his fellow Nigerians about the existence of ‘oil cartel’ that was sabotaging the nation’s economy. What Nigerians got in place of presidential decisive punitive action was a New Year gift of over 300% increase in the pump price of fuel. The president appealed for support

claiming the economy would collapse without such an action. Critics who maintained government action was a mere strategy to raise fuel tax to satisfy the greed of government parasites became targets of government intimidation and harassment. Not long after, it became a public knowledge that the president men and women deliberately sat on the KPMG audit report that revealed monumental stealing in NNPC. To discredit the message, government officials and political office holders decided to turn the searchlight on the personalities behind KPMG-the largest professional services company in the world. On the eve of the presentation of the Farouk Lawal House Committee report that exposed the theft of over N2 trillion from the nations treasury, Otedola the rumored friend of the president and a confirmed PDP fund raiser was aided by the state to video tape Farouk Laval while receiving $620 of $3m agreed bribe to ensure the name of Otedola’s company is expunged from the list of defrauding firms. The focus changed from the contents of the report to the leadership of the lower House after PDP leading light had watched a preview of the video. The report of the Aig Imokhuede presidential technical committee was also a damning verdict of soiled hands of some leading members of the ruling party involved in shady oil deals. Instead of the president tendering an apology to millions of his face book admirers he had let down, what we have seen so far is ‘motion without movement.’ The ongoing devious maneuvering to discredit the report of a committee headed

Fayemi, the pathfinder By Oluwafemi Omonigbehin sight on almost every street was a constant source of worry for everyone but the government that was contended with turning a blind eye to the problem. So bad was the situation that visitors in the state who were not familiar with the nauseating smell would cover their noses while walking and driving on the streets. Thankfully those days have become history that will soon fade from our memories as a people. The coming of Dr. Fayemi marked the end of that era of disorder in Ado Ekiti and other towns in the state. In just two years at the helms the governor has transformed the environment of Ekiti State for good. He has proved to be the pathfinder illuminating our paths out of the dungeons where his predecessors placed us. It is to Fayemi’s credit that a town that was once an eyesore and held no attractions for anyone now glows and competes favourably with Ikeja, Asaba, Uyo and other capital towns in Nigeria. In his quest to ensure that things do not remain the way they were before his time, the governor started the urban renewal initiative which seeks to revamp and beautify Ado-ekiti and other cities in the state. The results are obvious for all eyes to see. With the re-introduction of the monthly environmental sanitation across the state, the governor is turning Ekiti into a decent and modern State. We now see colourful flowers and trees blossoming in places that used to be refuse dump sites. Drainages are flowing freely and roads that used to be decorated with filth are

now being swept on a daily basis. The stench that hung in the air before now has also been replaced with an aura fresh air. Any visitor familiar with the Ekiti State during the pre-Fayemi era would attest that the Governor has performed credibly well in such a short time. Ekiti now wears a new a look that is hard to deny. For Governor Fayemi, it is not just about giving the capital city a face-lift. It is about meeting the people’s expectations, creating a platform for them to develop themselves and leaving something tangible for posterity. For instance, when one considers the ‘Lagacy Projects’ that were initiated last month when he marked his second year in office, it becomes clears to see that the governor is driven by a passion to make life better for the people by turning the state into an urban centre. He knows that a well kept environment will not only attract investors to the state but will also put the people in the right frame of mind to think and come up with ideas that will better their lives. The projects which include a new Government House, Civic Centre (incorporating a library, museum and art gallery and a cinema), State Pavillion (something like the Eagle’s Square in Abuja, where parade and other activities will take place), Samsung Engineering Academy and Grand Tower Shopping Mall which will be incorporated by Shoprite will not only add aesthetic value to the state but also provide job opportunities for the people. Aside from that, it will also improve the internally generated revenue of the state. The infrastructural development programmes initiated by Fayemi’s administration have also contributed

by Nuhu Ribadu, known for his integrity by government appointees is perhaps what has finally forced Obasanjo to take side with frustrated erstwhile president Jonathan admirers. On Boko Haram, besides Obasnajo the dreaded evil oracle , others not as gifted have equally argued the war on Boko Haram could have produced a different result if the president , known for protecting his friends with might and means had deplored half of the energy used in protecting his friends to wade off political foes , in Balyesa, Edo and recently in Ondo, to Borno and Yobe. During the last Ondo state governorship election, borders were closed days to the election with the IG in direct control. The share number of soldiers and policemen deployed to the state while the election lasted ensured miscreants and trouble makers were put on the run. Since the rest of the country is at peace, the president’s frustrated admirers wondered why their Commander in Chief has been unable to direct the IG to shift his base to Borno or Yobe, swarm the area with soldiers as he did in Ondo leaving behind a handful of men in uniform to curtail the activities of ‘Okada’ law breakers in Lagos, overzealous south south militants who have hijacked our president, after securing mouth watering contracts and Igbo professional kidnappers on the trail of prominent and not so prominent Igbo citizens that stray home from their safe havens of Lagos and Abuja.? The rest of the souths west, the president can handover to OPC, best equipped to hand out justice to petty thieves and ritual killers. Let us ignore the evil oracle. Who says the spate of killing of innocent Nigerians by those the government even with its control of awesome apparatus of state power claim are led by ‘ghosts’ does not deserve desperate action.

The ongoing devious maneuvering to discredit the report of a committee headed by Nuhu Ribadu, known for his integrity by government appointees is perhaps what has finally forced Obasanjo to take side with frustrated erstwhile president Jonathan admirers. immensely in transforming the landscape of Ekiti State. In fulfillment of his promises to connect all parts of Ekiti State through motorable roads, the governor embarked on massive road construction projects across the state. As at today almost all the major roads in the State have either been completed or nearing completion. Even the Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki Road which proved a difficult task for previous governments is almost at the last stage of construction. Without doubt, these projects have eased the burden of life and living for millions of the residents of the state. The best thing about Fayemi’s environmental renaissance is that it has placed Ekiti state on the spotlight as a tourist destination. The massive investments at the famous Ikogosi spring which serves as the state’s tourism hub speaks volumes of what his administration wants to achieve. By redesigning the landscape, constructing villa chalets and an amphitheatre, the governor is looking to attract local and international tourists to our beloved state. For a state that is naturally endowed with some of the most picturesque landscape, beautiful mountains, and alluring valleys, tourism portends an economic boom for the people. As an observer, I often ask myself why previous administrations did not do as much as Dr. Fayemi is doing now. If any of the governor priviledged to have ruled this state had done a quarter of what he is doing, our state will definitely be more developed than it is today. With the meagre resources coming from the Federal Government as monthly allocation and a lean internally generated revenue purse, he has been able to achieve so much. I have no doubts that by the end of his tenure as governor, Ekiti would be one of the most sought after states in this country. • Omonigbehin writes from Ado-Ekiti.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION

EDUCATION

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

INSIDE

Six renounce cultism, burn temple at Okopoly -Page 27

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In 2008, Prof Francis Idike’s appointment as Vice- Chancellor of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) pitched the governing council against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). His reappointment for another term of five years has reignited that crisis, reports OGBONNAYA OBINNA from Abakaliki.

VC divides ASUU, Governing Council

Niger Delta students declare October 5 Special Day

•Portrait of one of the slain students

IN honour of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) killed by members of the Aluu Community, the Niger Delta Students Union Government (NIDSUG) has declared October 5 a Special Day.

-Page 37

CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc

Fee hike protest rocks UNIJOS THE Aluta spirit came alive last week at the University of Jos (UNIJOS). Hundreds of students cordoned the main gate, preventing vehicular movement in and out of the campus. The students, who were led by the Acting President of SUG, were demonstrating against the hike in tuition fees by the management.

-Page 29

•EBSU Entrance

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S it was in 2008, so it is now. Prof Francis Idike’s appointment as Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) four years ago pitched the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) against the government. Now, his reappointment has reignited that crisis. ASUU says it will stop at nothing to ensure that due process is followed in the appointment of a new VC. Idike, who succeeded Prof Fidelix Ogah, has been having a running battle with EBSU-ASUU since his appointment. ASUU percieves Idike’s appointment as wrong but the government is not moved by the union’s position. Idike left as Deputy ViceChancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to take up EBSU job. In 2008, ASUU protested the noninclusion of the VC’s tenure, in his appointment letter, signed by the Secretary to the State Government Chief Fidelis Mbam. It views what it perceives as a deliberate omission as a ploy by the government to continue to impose vice-chancellors on the university without advertising for the job. Four years after, ASUU and the Governing Council are at it again as Idike has been re-appointed. EBSU-ASUU Chairman Prof Emeka Nwakpu said the council did not follow due process in recommending Idike for a second term of five years, adding that the protest is to ensure that the right thing is done. Nwakpu said when Idike was first appointed in 2008, the union

•Dr Aja Nwachukwu

•Prof Idike

•Prof Nwakpu

was against it but did not down tools because a national strike had just ended. “We wanted to protest but because of the industrial action that engulfed universities in the country that just ended in 2008, we decided to shift the evil day. Right from the first appointment of the

VC, due process has never been followed and we felt that it is time the right thing is done in this institution. So many things are done wrongly here and we are determined to see to its end. “The 2009 Ebonyi State University Law was amended in 2011. The law has a lot of loopholes, we

made presentations but the state government ignored all the recommendations made by ASUU, one of which was that vice-chancellors and other principal officers should only serve for five years, which is applicable in other universities in the country except Ebonyi State University. “It is expected that when a state law and the constitution is in contention, the Federal Law takes precedence. The Ebonyi State Government in amending the EBSU Law included the 70 years compulsory retirement age but failed to include the five years single tenure for the Vice Chancellor and other Principal Officers”. “The question we are asking is, why adopt other positions in the constitution and leave that of the

ASUU is insisting that the Governing Council should advertise the position for people to apply and three shortlisted for the visitor to appoint. We cannot continue to run this institution as if there are no constitutional provisions

• Continued on page 26


THE NATION THURSDAY,NOVEMBER 22, 2012

26

EDUCATION

VC divides ASUU, Governing Council • Continued from page 25

Five Years Single tenure? The Ebonyi State University should join other universities in the country to run the same constitutional provision. As at today, EBSU is the only university in the country running a two term of five years. With the problems associated with second term, we expect that the institution should amend the constitution to run a single five year term like other universities”. Nwakpu added that the law which took effect from May 2012, also stipulates that retired professors should not be appointed as vicechancellors. He said Idike, now 67, should have retired in 2010 having clocked 65 years before the new constitution. “ASUU is insisting that the Governing Council should advertise the position for people to apply and three shortlisted for the visitor to appoint. We cannot continue to run this institution as if there are no constitutional provisions. We have nothing against the Vice Chancellor; all we are asking is that the right thing should be done,” he said. The union sent on October 31, 2012 letter to the Senate, detailing their disapproval. However, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Dr. Igwe Ajah Nwachukwu said in an interview that the averments of ASUU/EBSU stand on one leg of Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act Law 2012 predicated on the Federal Government/ASUU Agreement of 2009, arguing that there are no provisions in the 1999 Federal Government Constitution and Miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act Law 2012 that supersede the provision of 1999 and 2011 EBSU Laws. He added that the provision on the appointment of serving present Principal Officers are not in tandem with ASUU-FGN agreement. “It is the firm position of the Governing Council of this institution that no violence has been done to the laws of Ebonyi State University by action of the present Governing Council on the recommendation of the re-appointment of the present Vice Chancellor to the visitor of the this great institution” The Pro-Chancellor pointed out that the investigation of the Vice Chancellor by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies cannot stall his recommendation for re-appointment, describing the allegation of N70 million bribe against Idike as laughable. On the 70 years retirement age, Ajah Nwachukwu said since the Vice-Chancellor will reach the milestone in three years, the institution would find a solution to avoid any vacuum that may be created when he retires. “Professor Idike’s case is not the first in the retirement age of appointed VCs. A former Lagos State University Vice Chancellor was appointed at the age of 68 years and by the time he clocked 70 he was due for retirement and he retired

and another person was appointed, so when we get to that bridge we will know how to cross it,” he said. Ajah Nwachuwku said the council’s recommendation for Idike’s re-appointment stemmed from the infrastructural and human developments the university witnessed during his first tenure. Also, Idike is credited with prudent management of resources, in addition to restoring financial discipline to the institution. Some of the infrastructure built in his administration include a 1000-capacity conference centre and the school of post graduate studies complex, modernisation of the administrative arena in the Collage of Agricultural Sciences (CAS), perimeter fencing of the CAS campus, establishment of a micro-finance bank, among others. On human development, Ajah Nwachukwu said between 2010 and 2012, over 25 academics started their Masters and Ph.D programmes overseas while over 200 workers – technical, academic and administrative – have benefited from international, national and local conferences/workshops and short-term trainings. He said Idike has also been given pass mark for thorough scrutiny of job quotation involving money, which has helped the institution reduce financial recklessness prevalent before his appointment. Proponents of Idike’s re-appointment support him for his resourcefulness. They claim that the state government’s monthly subvention to the university is not more than N245 million, yet salaries consume about N370 million monthly. This shows that the Vice Chancellor and his team add N72 million monthly to salaries alone from internally generated revenue. Ajah Nwachuklwu noted that the Vice Chancellor has also cleared promotion and leave allowances of staff that were outstanding between 2005 and 2008. Critics of Idike’s appointment, the ASUU and the Peace Movement for EBSU argued that though he improved infrastructural and human development, his first appointment was an illegality. They argued that in 2008 when Prof Idike was appointed Prof Awoke, the Former Secretary to the State Government Prof Ozor Nweke Ozor applied for the same position but the governor unilaterally appointed IdikeVC without considering the others. The critics after an emergency meeting rose with the following questions; whether the governing councils action was in compliance with the constitutional provisions, whether the Vice Chancellor and other Principal staff were eligible for re-appointment, was Prof Idike the only candidate eligible for the Vice Chancellorship position among others. In its October 30, 2012 statement, the Peace Movement for Ebonyi State University signed by its Chairman and Secretary respectively, Mr. Ibegbu L and Okeke M.S said the Vice Chancellor should not be reappointed since he is still un-

PHOTO SPEAK

•From Left: Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, Chairman, Conference of Alumni Association of Nigerian Universities (CAANU); Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Dr. Ahmed Tijani Mora, mni, Deputy National President, ABU Alumni Association at the opening session of the CAANU conference held in ABU.

•Pupils of Corona School ,Agbara, Ogun State entertaining guests with the South African Zulu dance at the school’s annual prize-giving day on Sunday... PHOTO:ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

der probe by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC. The bodies argued that allowing him continue as the Vice Chancellor will jeopardize the investigation of the anti-graft agency adding that the Vice Chancellor should submit himself to the agency for probe. When contacted, a senior staff in the office of the Secretary to State Government who pleaded anonymity said, the non-inclusion of theVC tenureon his appointement letter was not a deliberate attempt by the government to elongate his tenure adding that during his appointment, the constitution was not specific on the tenure of the Vice Chancellor. He said: “When Elechi emerged the Governor of the State and the need to re-appoint a Vice Chancellor, there was no specific tenure for the position of the Vice Chancellor so for the Governor not to do anything contrary to the provision of

Professor Idike’s case is not the first in the retirement age of appointed VCs. A former Lagos State University Vice Chancellor was appointed at the age of 68 years and by the time he clocked 70 he was due for retirement and he retired and another person was appointed, so when we get to that bridge we will know how to cross it

the constitution, he appointed Prof Idike without specifying the time frame of his administration. Those who are insinuating that it was a deliberate attempt to elongate his tenure are mischievous and has orchestrated plans to not only frustrate the administration of the Vice Chancellor but to also ridicule the office of the Secretary to the State Government and the Governor himself. Chief Martin Elechi believes in the principal of due process and would not do anything that would contravene the provisions of the constitution.” Some of the lecturers and students who spoke with The Nation on grounds of anonymity argued that Idike’s reappointment should be advertised to create room for equal competition adding that the Council should not unilaterally recommend him but should submit at least three names to the governor for him to choose the best. Another cross section of the lecturers and the students argued that the institution has never had it so good pointing out that Idike has not only brought prudence to the running of the institution but has also ensured that the academic environment is conducive both for the students and the lecturers. They urged the Visitor to the university not to hesitate in reappointing the Vice Chancellor as those calling for his removal are those who want to continue to siphon funds from the institution. When contacted, Idike argued that he never retired from UNN as being claimed by the Movement

and the ASUU. According to him, based on the old law he was to retire in 2010 but with the amendment of the constitution that pegged the retire age for professors at 70 he still has more years to put into service. Idike also said that the appointment of the Vice Chancellor was a political appointment as he was not a staff of the university. He said his appointment was a national service, adding that should the Ebonyi State government say it no longer needed his services, he would go back to the UNN were he would retire at 70. Idike regretted the pull-himdown syndrome prevalent in Nigeria adding that the university community should not engage in such act as it is the environment is for academic excellence. On the alleged financial investigation, he said EFCC wrote him requesting for document for the execution of various contracts in the university pointing out that the anti graft agency has been provided with such document, yet nothing has been found against him. He also noted that the ploy was a calculated attempt by some individual who does not like the prudence in the administration of the university. He added that his administration in the last five years has blocked all leakages that existed before his appointed noting that the financial prudence that exist now in the institution creates room for the institution to prosecute its accreditation process without much burden on the State government.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

27

EDUCATION

Six renounce cultism, burn temple at Okopoly

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IX undergraduates at the weekend renounced their membership of secret cults at the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State just as the institution’s Anti-Cult group destroyed the temple of Black Axe confraternity cult. The repentant cultists were mostly freshers who were initiated about seven months ago while one of them is a final year student. At the convocation arena, venue of the renunciation ceremony, the Anti-Cult group led by Khaki Abdullahi displayed some items recovered during the raid of the temple. Among the items included a bible, mace, three pieces of regalia for the chief priest and other hierarchies within the cult group, axes, charms, candles, vests and daggers. The items were burnt by the repentant cultists. Abdullahi explained that his group acted on information which resulted in the destruction of the temple, warning that the other members of the group who refused to renounce must be rusticated. Addressing members of staff and students of the institution, the Rector, Prof Godwin Onu said when he assumed office in 2010 over 50 students renounced their membership of various cult groups, adding that his administration’s zero tolerance for cultism and is yielding positive results. “We have sustained our efforts

through prayers with the men of God around us, the activities of the Anti Cult Squad and other mechanisms put in place to ensure that our students enjoy their studies and live without fear. We stand on the declaration we made that this place must be cult free,” Onu said. He noted that all efforts made by various cult groups to re-launch themselves in the school have been thwarted. He said four members of the Black Axe from another higher institution in Abia state were recently arrested at the polytechnic “to prove that our school is a no-go area.” Onu declared: “These young men who have declared in the name of Jesus Christ that they will no longer have anything to do with cultism or have any relationship with cult groups are hereby pardoned and forgiven. We reintegrate them into the polytechnic and they are not going to suffer any form of punishment.” He, however, warned that those who refused to renounce their membership of various cult groups would be expelled from the institution if caught “as we are tracking them.” While giving the repented cultists moral advice, the Anglican Chaplain at the school, Venerable Chukwudi Osondu told the students that membership of the secret cults would only lead them to destruction, adding that what baffled him was the inclusion of the Bible among the items of worship by the cultists.

MTN Foundation upgrades 22 labs

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HE MTN Foundation (MTNF) will inaugurate science laboratories it rehabilitated in four public secondary schools in Lagos tomorrow at Vetland Senior Grammar School, Ifako Ijaiye. The four are among the 22 that the foundation, which is the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Nigeria, will refurbish in the first phase of the MTNF Science & Technology Laboratory Scheme in the six geo-political zones. The project is aimed at improving learning and practical teaching of core science subjects, namely Chemistry, Physics and Biology and ultimately improves performances in the core science subjects. The beneficiary schools were selected following rigorous assessment of Expressions of Interest (EOI) by their state Ministries of

Education to the foundation. “Science and technology is the bedrock of modern society. Through this scheme, we hope to make significant contribution to giving Nigeria a sound footing in science and technology,” said Wale Goodluck, Director, MTN Foundation. The upgrade includes renovation of existing laboratory space/rooms in the beneficiary schools, provision of laboratory furniture, supply and installation of modern science and technology equipment for each of science subject laboratory, provision of generators, and one full year’s supply of consumables and fuel for the generators. In addition, the MTN Foundation is also undertaking the training of 24 science teachers and laboratory attendants in all beneficiary schools.

•Some of the cult items that were burnt

OSUSTECH moves to permanent site

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NDO State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, has relocated to its permanent site – the first public university in Nigeria to do so within two years of take-off from a temporary site. OSUSTECH, which began academic activities at its temporary site in Idepe, Okitipupa with less than 100 students two years ago, moved to its main campus on Igbokoda Road, Okitipupa. The management organised a special orientation programme/ seminar for newly admitted students to acquiant them with innovations in the institution. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tolu Odugbemi, said the orientation was to give students a sense of belonging and direction while undergoing their studies. Odugbemi described the freshers as special students admitted totally on merit as none came in on the governor’s list, VC’s list or any other that negates the principle of merit. “The admission committee did its work according to the requirement obtainable universally. There was no interference from any person to influence the admission procedure .So, with this, you could see you are special students to have been admitted into the university on merit ,“he added. He, however, warned them

against engaging in any act capable of tarnishing the university’s image and truncating their dream of accessing the kind of quality education provided by the institution. As part of the institution’s mission to train the students to be total graduates, the Vice-Chancellor told the students the university has designed an entrepreneurship programme to make them truly independent after graduation. Under the programme, he said they must choose one of 21 skills to learn once in a week. “Every Wednesday afternoon

‘The admission committee did its work according to the requirement obtainable universally. There was no interference from any person to influence the admission procedure’

•Odugbemi

has been dedicated as lecture-free day to enable students participate in the programmes. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity in getting yourselves trained in any of the skill training programmes available,” he added. Odugbemi also spoke about compliance to the university rules and regulations, care for the environment, and support for other students. He urged them to suggest to the management about how to improve the university to be one of the best in the world.

Creating access for Southern out-of-school children

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ARLIER in the year, President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned the first almajiri model primary school constructed by the Federal Government in Sokoto. Since then, the Government through the Ministry of Education and her agencies, built about 100 of such schools in different parts of the country. Several of these schools have been fully completed and are being furnished. Some are nearing completion, with the supervising Minister, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the nation’s Minister of State for Education working round the clock to ensure that the contractors deliver before the close of the year and in line with approved contractual specifications. With efforts to address the challenges posed by the almjiri out-ofschool children now in top gear, the Federal Government is now conscientiously working on the implementation of a novel educational programme targeted at the out-of-school children in SouthEast and South-South. Like the almajiri programme, the

By Simeon Nwakaudu

out-of-school educational programme is a well thought out plan to ensure the trader boy-child in the South-East and the children of the South-South fishermen and other less privileged persons are not denied access to quality education because of their social and economic backgrounds. Furthermore, the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that Nigerians from all geo-political zones of the Federation benefit from programmes and policies aimed at improving the quality of education nationwide. Having built a structure in the north with over eight million children out of the 10million out of school children in the country in the process of receiving needed education, it was only important to tackle the remaining less than two million children in the south. The programme is being handled by the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike who is coordinating the efforts of Federal Government agencies and their counterparts at the state level to en-

sure that the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan is dutifully implemented. It is imperative to point out that before the Federal Government commenced the implementation of this programme, it involved the major stakeholders at the State Level. These stakeholders are expected to take a cue from the Federal Government and ensure that there is a trickling down effect of the programme in the interest of the larger majority of less privileged Nigerians in the South-East and South-South. Under the programme, the Federal Government is building special basic education schools laced with vocational and technical components in all the eleven States of Southeast and Southsouth. The State Governments are to provide land for the schools, while the Federal Government through its interventionist agency, the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, will fund the construction of these schools. Already, relevant curriculum is being worked out by the Nigerian Educational Research Development

Council, NERDC, in conjunction with the Highbury College, United Kingdom for the schools. The curriculum will be ready before the physical structures of the schools are in place. Experts from both institutions are working round to clock to ensure that the curriculum that will be developed will be a realistic approach towards impacting into the less privileged children basic education, vocational and technical skills. The input of states and other stakeholders are being harnessed in the process of developing this functional curriculum. This is important because upon completion, the Federal Government will hand over the schools to the states for administration. The Federal Government will also supply books and other relevant instructional materials to all the children that will attend these schools, the way the almajiris in the north are being catered for. The essence of the interventions to accommodate less privileged children in educational programmes by the Jonathan administration is simply to underscore the point that no

•Wike

tier of government in the country can look the other way while our children roam the streets. For Nigeria, the overall objective is Education for All. This is what every officer in the administration under the direction of President Jonathan is working hard to achieve. •Nwakaudu is Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State for Education.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

EDUCATION BRIEFS FUTA plans medical college From Damisi Ojo, Akure

THE Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Emmanuel Fasakin, has said the institution would soon have a College of Medicine and a Teaching Hospital. Fasakin added that the management was still awaiting the approval and funding from the Federal Government before it could take off. He spoke at a press conference ahead of the 24th convocation and 30th anniversary of the university. He said many studies had been done on the proposed College of Medicine and teaching hospital and that the authorities would establish themonce they get the nod. Fasakin said: “We are desirous to have our own college of medicine and teaching hospital like Ogbomoso and Uyo, but the impediment is the approval which has not come from the Federal Government. “We have done the necessary paper works but we need the pronouncement. We could take-off the moment we receive the approval because it is highly capital intensive, he added. Besides, the Deputy VC academic said 3, 489 students will graduate from the university during the convocation slated for Saturday. Fasakin said 15 out of the 1,960 students who will receive first degree certificates, on the occasion were in the First Class category while the university will award PhDs to 41 people.

Complaints trail Queen’s College PTA meeting

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T was complaints galore at last Saturday’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meeting of the Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos held in the aging gymnasium of the 85year-old college. Parents complained about poor feeding, unsatisfactory classroom instruction, overloaded timetable, dilapidated structures and poor toilet facilities. They also expressed disappointment about the incomplete supply of textbooks and uniforms they had paid for and demanded that they be provided the list of books rather than being made to pay N20,000 and above only for half of the books/uniforms to be supplied. Another source of contention was the parents expected to visit their wards after the meeting but were not allowed to do so. According to the college rules, visiting days hold only once in a term, and the one for this term was held last month. Parents received SMS mes-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

sages last Thursday informing them that Saturday was PTA meeting/Visiting Day. But, after the meeting, the college management did not allow the parents to see their wards, which caused many to rail at the PTA executives. During the meeting, the PTA executive committee led by Alhaji Farouk Mogaji brought the parents up to date on the hostel project for which parents of newly admitted pupils paid N47,000 as levy. (Old students’ parents paid N17,000). He said while the project is expected to cost N248 million, the association had expended N75 million to bring it up to the first floor. He pleaded for more funds to complete the project. To raise more funds, he told the parents that the Exco had produced 25-page raffle ticket booklets which would be distributed to them according to the number of children they had in the school. He

also spoke of plans to organise a fundraising programme, like the PTA of King’s College did for a similar project. While some parents suggested they would be ready to pay more, many others rejected the demand for more money, with some recommending that the association approach a micro finance bank to raise funds to complete the project. Some also questioned how the EXCO managed the funds paid by parents. “At FSTC, Yaba, the parents pay only N7,000 for PTA levy but you see them commissioning projects every term. They feed the children well. I don’t know why we have to spend so much at Queen’s College,” fumed a parent to others seated around her. Condemning additional levies, a mother of three, two of whom were admitted into the college this term, said they were told they would not have to pay more again. “I have two children that came

Osoba, others for NIJ convention IT will be a great re-union for old students of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos, as they converge on Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, for their convention on Saturday, December 1. In a statement signed by Mr Moshood Adebayo, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the association, veteran journalist and former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba would be the chief guest of honour at the convention which holds at the MOKLAND Hotels, GRA Ibara-Abeokuta as Chief Guest of Honour. The royal father of the day is the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, Amororo II and Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, Towulade of Akinale, while the mother of the day is Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson. The lecture of the convention titled: Government Management of Public Opinion for National Development will be delivered by Dr. Doyin Okupe, the Senior Special Adviser (Public Affairs) to President Goodluck Jonathan.

Crawford partners Israeli Institute CRAWFORD University, Igbesa, Ogun State, is partnering with the Galilee International Management Institute, Israel for a world class MBA programme that would benefit Agriculture, pharmaceutical and marketing companies. The programme would attract the presence of experts from the institute to teach courses on High Tech Processes in Banking Operations, Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Process, Insurance and Risk Management, Telecommunication Processes, and Industrial Management. Further to this, all participants would proceed to Israel for a month intensive course module in High Tech components of various compulsory courses. According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor S. A. Ayanlaja, the programme will be highly beneficial to corporate organisations, and individuals, since Israel is known to be one of the world’s most advanced countries in terms of science and technology.

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (right) presenting a brand new Toyota car to Mr Adeniji Olufemi Adewale as reward for being the best teacher from the state. Watching are Adewale’s wife, Bolatito Adeniji and the Special Adviser to the governor on Education, Dr Tunji Abimbola.

in this year. I paid N94,000 for PTA levy. I met the PTA Chairman and he said our children would not be registered in the college if we didn’t pay the levy. But he also assured us that it was to be paid just once. The moment you come here, you just start spending money. Some people left because they could not afford it. Just budget N200,000 for a child. The essence of this meeting is to come and pay again. In fact, I am regretting bringing my children here,” she told The Nation. Explaining the need for more funds, Mogaji said the Exco would meet to decide how much parents will be billed to add to fund the building project. “We had said the N47,000 was a one-off payment for the building project but we may meet and add N10,000 to what children will pay for PTA Levy next term. The raffle ticket is voluntary, we are not imposing it on parents,” he said. Addressing the parents about the challenges of the college and their response as stakeholders, the new principal, Mrs E. Osime said she was disappointed about the state she met Queen’s College on resuming this term. She added that money to run the college is inadequate and does not come timely and urged the parents to support the management to feed the girls properly. “I read in the minutes about somebody talking about funds coming in late. The government funds us but the funds are not adequate, regular, and they come in anyhow. Yet there are several responsibilities, expectations from you to us. The carrying capacity of this college is 400 students per class. I have a class that is 570. In fact, no class is 400. The pressure to have girls in this college is high. I will be happy if we can have only 400 in each class. “I am going to ask you to help the school feed your children properly. Don’t give us money. Just convert the money into food. Let me enter the store and see bags of rice, onions and beans and I will tell you Mungode,” she said. She, however, refuted claims that the girls are not well taught and that there is insecurity in the college.

Women scientists counsel female pupils

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HE Rivers State chapter of the Society for Lady Medical Laboratory Scientists (SLMLS), the women wing of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, has visited many female secondary schools in the state to sensitise the pupils on the need to take to medical laboratory science after their secondary education. The President of the Society, Dr Ibitoru George-Opudah who spoke in Port Harcourt during the event, said many students did not take to medical laboratory science because

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

of ignorance of what medical laboratory science is all about. “So we want to educate them on what this profession is all about, it is a noble profession and it is one of the health professions”, Mrs GeorgeOpudah said. Apart from sensitizing the pupils on the importance of medical science laboratory, the lady scientists also enlightened them about the risks of HIV/AIDS. Mrs George-Opudah also expressed regrets that “most parents

and students shy away from discussing HIV/AIDS and sex as it were. So our enlightenment visits would educate these young ones and make them aware of the risks involved because they are at their prime, an excited age and if some one is not there to counsel them more or less, they will make more mistakes.” The Chairman of the Planning Committee of the SLMLS event, Mrs Macfiberesima Gborieneomie also informed the girls that abstinence from premature sex remains the best prevention for HIV/AIDS because antiretroviral drugs have great side

effects. Mrs Macfiberesima added that “medical laboratory science which is a profitable and noble profession is also an oracle of modern medicine which would help to further educate them on risks that come with HIV/AIDS.” Some of the secondary schools the society visited include: Comprehensive Secondary School, Eleme, Government Girls Model Secondary School, Rumueme, Port Harcourt, Government Secondary School, Usokun, Degema and Comprehensive Secondary School, Ibaka, Okrika.

Oduduwa varsity seeks govt aid

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HE President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Osun State, Ramon Adedoyin, has again made a case for government support to private universities. Speaking at the third Founder’s Day of the university, Adedoyin said the fees charged by private universities were not much compared to what they spend. “We need the assistance of the Federal Government. When the government was introducing intervention fund, it was given to just government universities, are the people coming to private universities not Nigerians?” he asked. He, therefore, advised government to assist private universities by offering scholarships if it does not provide the funds directly. He

By Gbenga Aderanti

also sought the assistance of individuals and private bodies in developing education in private universities. Worried that no Nigerian university is among the first 400 universities in the world, Adedoyin pledged that Oduduwa University would see to the development of education in Nigeria by producing the best of graduates. “We are working towards making Oduduwa University one of the best universities in the world,” he said. In just three years, he said the institution has witnessed tremendous development, investing heavily in manpower and physical structure. Of recent, he said three professors,

eight PhD holders and other senior lecturers were employed to shore up the manpower. He also disclosed that the construction of the Colleges of Law, Environmental Technology and Engineering are ongoing. He said three additional programmes international relations, political science and public administration have been approved for the institution by the National Universities Commission (NUC). He decried the dearth of doctoral degree holders in Nigeria which he attributed to the attractions they get from overseas universities. He stressed the need to for more PhD holders to remain in Nigeria because most of them who go abroad to teach hardly bothered to return to the country.

•Adedoyin


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Herdsmen waylay UNILORIN students Page 31

*CAMPUSES NANS *NEWS honours *PEOPLE VC, *KUDOS& KNOCKS Last week, all hell was let loose at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) following the death ex-leader of a final year student of Accounting, Teslim Adebola Ibrahim. OLATUNJI AWE reports. *GRANTS Page 34

THE NATION

CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: ladycampus@yahoo.com THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

Students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) besieged the main gate of the institution last week, paralysing activities. They were protesting against the new fees introduced by the management. ESTHER MARK (Mass Communication) reports.

Ayandapo Ilupeju (300-Level Political Science Education) has a dream to be Nigeria’s president. The University of Uyo (UNIUYO) student, who plays the talking drum, told KEMI BUSARI (300Level Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University), how he combines his talent with academics and politics.

‘I see myself as president’ •The demonstrators with placards last week

Fee hike protest rocks UNIJOS T

HE Aluta spirit came alive last week at the University of Jos (UNIJOS). Hundreds of students cordoned the main gate, preventing vehicular movement in and out of the campus. The students, who were led by the Acting President of SUG, were demonstrating against the hike in tuition fees by the management. Activities on the campus were paralysed as students assembled around 10am. They carried placards, and sang Aluta songs. They stopped motorists and staff from entering the school, pleading that their voice must be heard. Before the demonstration, students had gathered on the campus, waiting for their union officials, who were meeting with the management. When they thought that the negotiation was taking long, the protesters contributed money to bring a Disc

Jockey (DJ) to “make the protest lively”. With music blaring from loud speakers, the students became livelier. They picked up their placards and swayed their bodies to the rhythm of gospel and contemporary hip-hop songs. They dubbed the management their enemy. After some time, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) officials emerged from the meeting with the management and addressed the demonstrators. After the update on efforts made so far, the SUG leaders joined their colleagues in dancing. When the Acting President of the union, Maya Nanlop, took the stage, the students went wild as they hailed her. They later moved towards the main gate to register their displeasure over the increment in the school fees. In 2010, the tuition fee was reviewed and increased with about

N10,000 development levy. The following year, the Nantok Dashuwar-led SUG dialogued with the management, which led to the reduction of the fee by N5,000. It is in light of this that the students were shocked when they heard of the new fees payable by graduate and undergraduate students. The fese have been increased by about 150 per cent. A breakdown of the fees showed that undergraduates will pay N27,000 against N12,200 they paid last session. The hostel charge was increased to N13,000 from N4,200. Other charges include N2,000 for replacement of identity card, N10,000 for deferment of admission and N5,000 for carry-over courses. Freshers are not unaffected by the new fee regime. They will pay N25,000 acceptance fee against N10,000 which was paid last year. The total fee payable by them, ex-

cluding accommodation and acceptance fee, is N49,350. Maya, who praised the students for staging peaceful protests, told them not to relent in their fight against the fee hike. “This shows we are peaceful people. However, we want to plead with all students to cooperate with us in this battle. We would give the management three days to reconsider its stance after which we would resume our protest on Monday if they fail to come to a meeting point. They should reconsider their decisions in the interest of all,” Maya told the protesters. Marvellous Oha, 100-Level Law, urged management to consider her poor parents. He said: “The economic situation is not helping matter here. Since it affects everybody including my parents, the management must see reason to bring •Continued on page 30

•Ayandapo •Story on page 30

•’Nigeria is sick’-P32 •NUC shuts down illegal ‘IMSU campus’-P33


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

Where do Pushing we go from Out with here? (2) Agbo Agbo

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HEN I was putting the first part of this column to bed last week, the very depressing and heart-rending report, put together by a 10-member Needs Assessment Committee, headed by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu with former Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU), President, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie as member was released with the revelation that public universities have largely become a mockery of what citadels of research and learning should be; in essence, our tertiary institutions are in a dire strait, far more than we ever imagined. This however, is story for another day, but what I started out writing last week is directly connected with current happenings in the ivory towers. As the fees being paid by undergraduates kept increasing over the years, it is becoming apparent and glaring that we are gradually imbibing some of the attributes of a fullfledged neo-liberal capitalist system that has profit as the driving force of almost everything. Put simply, we are likely not going back to the days of free or subsidised education because education, like other social services and products, will be commoditised and anyone that needs it will have to pay to access it. But unlike other full-fledged capitalist states that have shock mechanisms to take care of the helpless in society, ours does not. So in the case of the present reality what needs to be done to ensure that a student is not denied access to education because he is from a poor family? Since we borrowed our democracy from the United States of America, I’d like to draw examples from there on how students access loans to complete their education and see if we can borrow a leaf. In 1965, Senator Claiborne Pell of the US Congress tabled a legislation that later became the Higher Education Act. Originally known as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, it

08052959489 (SMS only)

•aagboa@gmail.com was later named after him (Federal Pell Grants). The Pell Grant is money the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree. The Grant program is sponsored by the United States Department of Education which determines the student’s financial need. The U.S Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the student’s expected family contribution (EFC). Funding for colleges and universities is managed partly by the Department of Education directly, called the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP). The other half is managed by commercial entities such as banks, credit unions, and financial services firms under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Some schools accept only FFELP loans; others accept only FDSLP. Still others accept both, and a few schools will not accept either, in which case students must seek out private alternatives for student loans. The Pell Grant is covered by legislation titled the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1; 20 U.S.C. 1070a. These federal funded grants are not like loans and do not have to be repaid. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating post-secondary institutions. These federally funded grants help about 5.4 million full-time and part-time college and vocational school students nationally. For the 2010–2011 school year, 7 of the top 10 colleges by total

Pell Grant money awarded were forprofit institutions with one institution; University of Phoenix, Arizona having an enrollment of 380,000 students. Before the Pell Grant became what it is today it went through numerous changes between 1972 and 2011. In that year, the maximum award amount per student was $5,550 (N847,800). The program was funded at an amount of $17,114,000,000 from 2008–2010 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The application process requires the student and the student’s family to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The applicant completes the FAFSA form for the first time prior to starting the freshman undergraduate year, and then updates the form each year as he/she progresses through the college undergraduate term. In Nigeria, we do not have anything close to the Pell Grant, though we have instances where some state governments give scholarships to their citizens, but this often fall short of meeting students’ needs. What we do have is the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) which was established as an intervention agency under the Education Tax Act No. 7 of 1993 and amended by Education Tax (Amendment) Act No. 40 of 1998; with project management to improve the quality of Education in Nigeria. To enable the TETFund achieve its objectives, Act No. 7 of 1993 as amended imposes a 2 percent (2%) Education Tax on the assessable profit of all registered companies in Nigeria. There is no doubt that university education has undergone tremendous expansion in recent times due to rapid increase in the demand for and enrolment in university education perceived as crucial in sustaining individual growth and relevant to the development of high level manpower in relevant fields for socio-economic, scientific and technological development. For instance, the university enrolment figures of 1,096,312 for both the degree and non-degree programmes in 2010, for instance, exceeded the carrying capacity of 715,000 by an over enrolment of 381,312 students. Government objective is to provide adequate access to university education to whoever desires, however government resources

have not been sufficient to meet the massive expansion needs. Therefore the need arises for cost-sharing arrangements. A recent study conducted on the socio-economic background of households in Nigeria revealed that over 70% are poor and only about 29% of families can live on one dollar (N157.00) or above a day, which implies that the socio-economic hardship experienced by the parents deprives many of access to university education as many cannot afford to pay their children’s school fees thereby not addressing the issue of access and equity Juxtaposed with the average fees charged by Nigerian universities which stands at not less than N100,000 and in excess of N1 million in case of some private universities, it means that over 70% of some households may not be able to send their children to the university. Since some companies are already committing 2% of their assessable profit to the TETfund would they be willing to do more to support tertiary education? They should considering the fact that products of such universities are the manpower they need; companies should see this as an investment for the future. There is nothing wrong for a company to have a long term plan for a specific cadre of students that it may need for its line of business. It can set up a loan scheme with some universities where they can go into an undertaking with students who would be compelled to work for certain period to offset their loan arrangements. This, I believe, will go a long way in stemming the tide of “educated illiterates” that some of our universities churn out every year. The money wasted in retraining these graduates can be put into more productive uses. However, I have my reservation because the present neo-liberal ideology teaches Nigerian leaders to subject provision of social service such as functional education, affordable healthcare, massive transportation development (road, rail, water), job creation, food and energy supply, etc to market forces. With these policies, it is the rich that will be buying up the country’s resources at a tokenwith state resources anyway- while majority will not be able to afford the huge cost needed to access social service. Is this the way to go? China and other Asian countries should point us toward other route.

‘I see myself as president’ •Continued from page 29

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Fee hike protest rocks UNIJOS •Continued from page 29

down the fee.” Charity Nwoyeocha, another student, said: “While schools like Ahmadu Bello University and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University pay N17,000 as tuition, the management of UNIJOS must not send us back home with its exorbitant fees. This is not a private university; we must come out to protest this wicked act against the poor.” Meanwhile, the management has debunked the claim that it increased the tuition fee, saying it could not have in increased what did not exist. According to a statement by Steve Otowo, Deputy Registrar (Information and Publication), the management described as uncharitable the claim by SUG that there had not been any visible development or project done to show for the Development Levy collected last year.

He said: "Management met with the SUG three times over the review of service charges and development levy. The University of Jos charges are the lowest compared to other Universities and tertiary institutions in the country." "The generality of the students have acknowledged a significant improvement in the cleanliness of hostels, environs as well as the perimeter fencing undertaken both at the Naraguta and Bauchi Road Campuses. This has improved the security situation on both campuses for our staff and students. Even the staff of the university also contributed towards this project." Management to assure the public and students that it would always do everything possible to continue to improve on the modest achievements made so far, noting that the welfare and academic progress of the University were prior to it when it arrived at the "modest increases" in service charges.

•Maya addressing the students

HEN did you start playing the talking drum?

I was born into a family which plays the talking drum as a vocation. This is our occupation. Since my childhood, I’ve been playing all kinds of talking drums. In 2007, I decided to make it big. I partnered with a friend, who also plays the drum. I honed my skill through my obsessive interest and constant training. So, my belief is that I trained myself because the talent is innate in my family. What has been your goal? Each time I play, it is always with the motive to win souls for Christ, which is why I restrict myself to gospel services. I play the talking drum for my churches both in school and at home. I attend events to play and feature in videos of musical artists. I also train those that have interest in the instrument. I belong to a music band called Opelojasi, where I play as a talking drummer. Though, I have not had the opportunity to participate in any competition but I am looking forward to such. You also participate in students’ union politics, how do you combine the two pastimes with your studies? As a disciplined person, I have conditioned myself to do the right thing at the right time. I don’t engage in the two together. I leave one for another depending on my schedule. I study my books more than I practise drumming and politics. I devote more time to study because that is my primary assignment on campus. As for politics, I pray that God give me

the opportunity to lead this nation. At present, I’m doing it at my immediate environment, I engage in politics at my ward and departmental level and I also have the intention of contesting for the post of the welfare officer of my school in the forthcoming election. I will vie for the position of president after my Master’s degree. Do you see future in this art? In Yoruba land, the talking drum is part of our culture. As a custodian of this, I have the intention to establish a school not only for the drum, but the percussion instrument generally. I envisage in the nearest future a great stage where drummers will be celebrated. What challenge do you face playing the talking drum? It is the discouragement I received from people after performance. Even some of my family members kill my spirit sometimes if they see that I am practising the talking drum. These are the obstacles I need to surpass but I will prove to them that I play the talking drum not because of laziness. Have you ever been embarrassed? It is a normal thing I receive from people whenever I go. The pain of this is unimaginable and it becomes more painful whenever I am being shouted down by clients to leave the stage and find another thing to do with my life. Today, my greatest challenge is the way people look down on us as never-do-well. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? I believe in God and in the ability he has bestowed in me. With my passion, I see myself as the proprietor of Ayanmix Percussion School and in the realm of politics, I see myself as the president of Nigeria.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

Herdsmen waylay UNILORIN students •Dispossess them of valuables There was confusion last week at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) when Fulani herdsmen allegedly robbed students going home from school. MICHAEL ADEBAYO (300-Level Computer Science) reports.

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T was around 8:45pm when students were returning to their hostels after academic activities last Thursday at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). Others were going to nearby offcampus residences in commercial vehicles. However, a few minutes into the journey to the town, two armed Fulani herdsmen allegedly emerged from the bush and stopped the vehicles. They robbed the passengers and the drivers of vehicles going in and out of the campus. The attack threw the halls of residence into chaos when students learned of the incident. The robbery, which was said to have lasted for about 30 minutes, occurred at the staff quarters junction. According to an eyewitness, the robbers were masked and carried guns, daggers and machete. Students and drivers were dispossessed of their valuables which included laptops, phones and cash.

The 2012 Batch ‘C’ Corps members, who are presently undergoing their orientation exercise in Kaduna State, are experiencing accommodation challenge. IDRIS ABUBAKAR (one of them) writes.

The president of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Abdulmolik Aremu, was not spared. Eyewitnesses said Abdulmolik, on seeing the robbers, opened the door of the vehicle he was riding in and ran for his dear life. But he could not escape from the scene, he was hit with a rod by the robbers. “When he (Abdulmolik) got to a safe place, he diverted oncoming vehicles back to the campus. Before the security personnel could get to the scene, the robbers had run away,” said a student who escaped being robbed. The SUG president collapsed on getting to the Students’ Union building. He was immediately rushed to the school clinic. When students in the hostels heard of the news, they carried all sorts of materials, vowing to kill the robbers. However, they were pacified by the union officials, who asked the students to join them in boycotting lectures until the “porous security” was addressed on campus. They booed

•UNILORIN senate building

the union leaders, saying they were part of the cause of their problems. One of those things that annoyed the students, according to a student who does not want his name in print, was the epileptic power supply on the campus. The 400-Level student said the SUG never did anything to ensure the campus was lit at night. As the rancour between the students and the SUG leaders went on,

the three Deputy Vice-Chancellors, professors Bayo Lawal, Wahab Egbewole and Yisa Fakunle arrived but they never alighted from their vehicles. They pleaded with the students’ not to cause further confusion. They advised the students to formally channel their complaints to the authorities. The General Secretary of the union, Abdulrahman Abdulraheem, said part of the

agreement reached between the management and the SUG included the barring of Fulani herdsman on campus, functional street lights at strategic locations and additional security checkpoints. “We agreed that if there was no power supply from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the generator should be on between 7pm and 12am” Abdulrahman added.

In Kaduna, Corps members sleep in toilet

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T may sound unbelievable but the story is true: Corps members deployed to Kaduna State orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are sleeping in the toilet. The camp, which is also known as Black Gold Orientation Camp, is situated at Kilometre 16, Kaduna-Abuja expressway. The site is presently occupied by the 2012 Batch ‘C’ Corps members, who are undergoing orientation. CAMPUSLIFE gathered the number of youths posted to the camp was more than its capacity. There are about 2,300 Corps member in the camp, a population which is about 700 more than youths posted to the state in the Batch ‘A’ last March. Other states like Gombe, Bauchi and Zamfara presently host less than 1,500 Corps members. Already, the serving youths are complaining that they are finding life in the camp to be harsh and unbearable. Some of them said the rigour of the orientation exercise couple with the discomfort in the hostel was taking toll on them. Also, the high cost of food and other useful utensils being sold to the Corps members at the camp’s mammy market did not help the situation. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that it took the intervention of the Camp Commandant, Captain J.A. Dada, to bring down the price for resizing of

•A corps member posing in one of the toilets converted to hostel

NYSC Khaki from N1,500 to N700 by the tailors. The hostels are grossly inadequate, said Suleiman Musa, one of the serving youths. The fortunate ones, who secured accommodation early, are staying in overcrowded halls. “The halls are very unfit for human habitation,” a Corps member, who pleaded anonymity, told CAMPUSLIFE, adding: “It is ramshackle and massively overcrowded with a high risk of disease and per-

sonal safety.” Muslims among the Corps members took solace by sleeping at the camp’s mosque. Muhammad Kyari told our correspondent he could not secure accommodation, a situation which made him to sleep in his car. Some desperate Corps members converted an abandoned toilet into living rooms. “I don’t have option my brother, I can manage this place for three weeks,” said a Corps member, who sleeps in the camp lava-

tory. Occupation of the lavatory facilities by the serving youths has resulted into shortage of toilet for use on the camp. The Corps members now use the Muslim Corpers’ Association of Nigeria’s (MCAN) toilet facilities as alternative. The last time the Camp Director, Mrs L.D. Mburi, addressed the Corps members, she complained bitterly about the action of some female Corps members, who were defecating in polythene bags in their hos-

tels. She said the indiscriminate defecation could lead to cholera outbreak in the camp. Speaking on the accommodation challenge, the State Co-ordinator, Mrs Victoria Ango, told NYSC Director-General, Brigadier-General Nnamdi Okorie-Affia, that the abandoned hostels’ project in the camp would be completed in three weeks. But this may be after the present Corps members would have marched out.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

•Florence flanked by the winners of the pageant

Fun at Science Week

•Daniel (left) explaining the proposed production capacity of the block industry

Accounting students defend proposal HE 400-Level Accounting students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have held a tutorial on feasibility study in commercial block making. The lecture was part of the Entrepreneurship Development course they are offering. The lecture, which was held in the Room 2 of the New Science Lecture Theatre, had 18 groups comprising the part-time and regular students. Each group comprises of 14 students with a group leader. One of the groups went on excursion to a commercial block making factory, Vibro Block Venture, situated at Arab Road, Calabar. The course lecturer a Dr. Bassey Bassey supervised the expedition. Chika Onyero, who was the leader of Group 4, said commercial block making referred to process where blocks were made in large quantities for the purpose of selling to the public. She explained the method

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From Stanley Uchegbu UNICAL

of block making. According to her, for a commercial block making business to succeed, the manager must consider the location of the factory. She said the company may not survive if roads were bad because a potential customer would easily locate factory which his truck could pass. Another student from the group, Daniel Ogban, narrated through a cardboard paper that the raw materials required to produce quality blocks include cement, stone dust, laterite and water. He said the proposed production capacity per day was between 500 to 750 blocks for six inches blocks at 50 blocks per bag of cement and 350 to 525 for nine inches blocks at 35 blocks per bag since 10 to 15 bags of cement could be used for a day. He added that if the number remained con-

stant a week, 2,000 to 3,000 blocks would be made for sale. Chika concluded the exercise, saying the profit level in the commercial block making venture was far greater than the sum of profits if cement is to be sold for builders per bag. He added that the tax liability per annum that would be generated to the revenue authority by the block making venture would lead to rapid growth and development. Dr Bassey, who is also the Head of the Department, said the aim of the feasibility study was to equip the students with techniques and procedures to be self-employed after graduation. One of the students, Patience Wilfred, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, said the feasibility study afforded her the requisite knowledge to be self-reliant after her degree programme.

•From left: Egbedina Folorunsho; Adeyemo Abisola; Fagbemigun Taiwo; Awe Oluwayomi; Jimoh Olanrewaju and Dare Julianah after their Master’s degree convocation at the University of Ibadan last Friday

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IGERIA is a sick patient in an emergency ward, who could only be rescued by professional medical personnel. This was the statement of a former member of the House of Representatives and convener of Anti-Corruption Network, Hon. Dino Melaye. He was the guest speaker at the Otunba Adeleke Adesina Annual Lecture organised by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) chapter of the National Association of Building Students (NABS). Melaye, who thrilled the audience with his choice of words, described the situation in Nigeria as “calamitously bad”. While criticising the President Goodluck Jonathan ad-

‘Nigeria is sick’ From Sikiru Akinola and Kemi Busari OAU

ministration on security breaches, Melaye said he was not afraid of being arrested by security agents, saying he had his toothbrush with him wherever he went. The activist described the Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi OkonjoIweala, as an imperial agent, who came to do the bidding of the Bretton Woods institution in Nigeria. He observed that Babangida sold Nige-

ria to the capitalist countries through the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme in the 80s. Speaking on the 1999 Constitution, he described the document as a military decree, adding that for the nation to surpass its present problem, civilians must come together to write the statute with which they wanted to be governed. “In the past, there was no fence around houses in Nigeria because our forefathers consider such as zoos and prison yards. But today, insecurity has made many to rear lions as guards. Thanks to the inaction of the president, who claimed to come to power on popular votes,” Melaye quipped. He said revolution was the solution to the problems facing the nation.

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T was fun all through at the Faculty of Science of the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH). Students under the banner of Faculty of Science Students’ Association (FASSA) held its week amid fanfare. The Week started with an excursion to Tinapa Resort, where students were conducted round the complex before converging at the pool side. Afterwards, there was a procession around the school. Students were clad in colourful attires to mark the day. More than 500 students of the faculty took part in the procession led by the president of the association, Ferdinand Egor, and the Vice President Florence Emenike. The procession started

From Isaac Mensah CRUTECH

from the faculty building and was rounded with refreshment. Part of the activities lined up for the week included chess, scrabble, lawn tennis among others. There was also a beauty pageant, which produced Mr and Miss FASSA 2012, who were won by Abang Benson and Alice Ndem. Alice said: “As the queen of my faculty, I will try my best to ensure that the female students dress decently by being a good example to them.” Florence expressed appreciation to students of the faculty for conducting themselves peacefully during the week-long event.

Varsity holds thanksgiving

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O appreciate God for the unity of Christian students at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) and members of the University Chapel have led the university community in a thanksgiving service. The service was also to thank God for the parcel of land acquired for the fellowships on campus. The land, which was named Ecumenical Centre, houses the building of Redeemed Campus Fellowship, ECWA Student Movement, Deeper Life Campus Fellowship and Christ Apostolic Church Campus Fellowship among others. The service was the first of its kind since the establishment of the university. In attendance were the chairman of the University Chapel, Dr T. W. Jacks, the Chaplain, Rev U.I. Ibeme, the sub-Dean of Student Affairs Unit, Prof Mary Fajonyomi, Prof Ayo Oni, members of staff and students. Oni said: “We have been seeking

From Taiwo Isola UNIMAID

for a land on campus where fellowships can worship and I thank God that we are on that land today, with facilities for every fellowship.” Students could not hide their joy as they recounted their struggles for places of worship. A graduating student, David Oladipo, said: “Gone are those days we worship in classrooms, lecture halls and under tents; we now have a place where we can worship God without fear or harassment. I am really happy.” Quoting copiously from the bible, Ibeme, in his sermon, stressed the importance of unity in the church. He noted that denominationalism was not God’s agenda for the church, urging Christians not to see themselves as different groups. Jacks expressed appreciation to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof M. M. Daura, for his love for Christian students by allocating them land on the campus.

‘Gone are those days we worship in classrooms, lecture halls and under tents; we now have a place where we can worship God without fear or harassment. I am really happy’


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE NUC shuts down illegal ‘IMSU campus’

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•Members of the group with guests during the programme

Group holds career fair for students

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GROUP, Box Office Development Partners, in conjunction with the office of the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, has held a career fair for students. The event, with the theme Human capacity building in Nigeria for a viable and secured nation, was held in the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The Special Adviser to the President Job Creation, Miss Josephine Washima, who spoke on Human capacity building in Nigeria: To achieve a viable and secure nation, restated the commitment of the Federal Government to create more jobs for the youth. She encouraged the participants to always listen to news and read publications, saying

From Tomiwa Bello, Mariam Akingbala and Anuolwapo Alani LAGOS

such would help to know the latest in their fields. A youth empowerment consultant, Mr Eniola Joshua, told the participating students to see selfdevelopment and capacity building as possible means to achieve success in their fields. He spoke on Nigeria youth and burden of self development. He emphasised on time management as a tool to achieve one’s desire. The Director, Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative, Mr Ike Okonkwo, cautioned the participants on reckless driving. He said the behaviour of road users in Nigeria

was bad, urging the students to pay attention whenever they were driving on the road. A popular movie actress and founder of Jenifa Foundation, Funke Akindele-Oyedele, explained how she was made to study law against her wish. She said humility, determination and fear of God made her to succeed in her undergraduate days. Other speakers at the event included Muheez Bello, Public Affairs, Chevron, Mosunmola Umoru, Chief Executive Officer of Farmshoppe, Simileolu Osidele, Director, Mara Foundation and Lanre Dabiri, CEO of Trybe Records. Participants at the event included youths and students, who came from various institutions within Lagos.

•The students at the Obudu Ranch

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ARELY two weeks to the semester exam, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has organised the union’s Annual Students’ Week to round up the semester. Academic works were brought to a halt as the campus bubbled with various social activities during the Week. Though, the week was declared lecture-free but some lecturers still fixed classes for students. The Week with the theme Consolidating the strike for a perfect balance started with a rag day and awareness campaign coordinated by members of the union. There was also a bonfire at Malabo Square, which was attended by offcampus students. Highlight of the bonfire night included a talent hunt, flying of balloons and dances. Chemistry department students,

HE National Universities Commission (NUC) has shut down an illegal part-time programme allegedly operated by the Imo State University (IMSU) in Abuja. The commission also summoned the Vice-Chancellor of the institution to Abuja to explain why the university was running a parttime programme in a secondary school. The illegal programme which was operated at the Junior Secondary School, Area 10, Abuja, was sealed off last Saturday. The officials of the Committee on Closure of Illegal Universities carried out the closure with the help of armed mobile policemen. The police also arrested the Coordinator of the programme, Mr. A. C Odunze, who tried to run away when he saw the Commission officials. Prof Adebisi Balogun, chairman of the Committee, who was part of the sealing operation, gave details of the incident and how it was carried out. He said: “When the lecturers saw we were coming, they quickly ran out of the classrooms. But we apprehended the coo-rdinator and handed him over to the police. They knew they are running an illegal institution.” Balogun said the NUC had placed advertorials in the media over illegal part-time programmes being run by some universities. “But unfortunately, the illegality still persists and this is one of the illegal outfits. This outfit is in conjunction with the Imo State University. There are regulations governing the establishment of part-time and affiliated programmes. And they are running so many programmes here that have not been approved by the NUC.

From Jennifer Ngerem ABUJA

“You can see the type of environment where they carry out the illegality. This is not a conducive environment for learning. We once met the co-ordinator and told him that the programme had been abolished. But the information we had showed that they were running the part-time programme. “Having given the Imo State University several warnings, this programme is cancelled and the VC of Imo State University will be summoned to answer questions. We are going to allow the law to take its course. The co-ordinator was running away when we arrested him. The Commission warned admission seekers to be wary of illegal tertiary institution, saying the coordinators of such programme were out to defraud them. Some of the students who spoke to our correspondent expressed disappointment over the development and vowed to “see to the end of the matter”. They added that they could not just waste their money and time. One of them, Mr Aye Ayeni, said: “The co-ordinator kept telling us that the programme is not illegal and that the NUC was aware of the part-time programme. I have spent five years on this programme and I am not ready to let go just like that. I will see to the end of this.” Also, One Concept College London, situated in Gwarinpa area of Abuja, was shut down by the commission for illegal activities. Its coordinator, Mr Marcel Ezenwoye, has been handed over to the police for prosecution.

•Medical students carrying a ‘cadaver’ during the week

Exciting week at UNICAL •Students visit Obudu Ranch From Stanley Uchegbu UNICAL

who spoke to our correspondent, said the bonfire enlivened them after their lecturers released bad tests’ results. The following day, students clad in different colours of attires moved round the campus displaying their departments’ symbols. They later converged at the university stadium for a carnival. Arikpo Oboh, president of Faculty of Basic Medical Science told CAMPUSLIFE that his colleagues appeared in lab coats and cadaver to draw the attention of authorities to

the plight of the students in medical college. He noted that cadavers used for practical purposes were scarce and that laboratory equipment in the Physiology and Biochemistry department was not readily available. “We need more lecture venues to give the students conducive atmosphere for effective learning,” he said urging the Vice Chancellor to build more lecture venues for students. On Friday, students embarked on an excursion to Obudu Cattle Ranch. It was a two-day tour. It was a seven hours journey from Calabar down to the isles of Obudu still in Cross River state. To students going there for the first time, it was

an experience, a memory that will linger forever. On arrival at the ranch, the students gathered at the gate for photographs.

One of the students, Blessing Effiong, 300-Level Sociology, told CAMPUSLIFE she was visiting the ranch for the first time. She said the excursion was interesting and educative as it afforded her to know historical points during the visit.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone B, converged at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, to honour their ex-leader. EMEKA ATTAH writes.

NANS honours VC, ex-leader

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HE main auditorium of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) was filled with students last Tuesday when members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B converged to inaugurate a new leadership to pilot its affairs. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka, and former president of the association, Comrade Jude Imagwe, who is now the Special Assistant on Youth and Students’ Matters to President Goodluck Jonathan, were also honoured. Their was camaraderie. As the NANS and students’ union leaders entered the hall various Aluta greetings rented the air - “Greatest Nigerian students oo; Greatest gbaga gbogo, greatest gbooogboo.” Their colleagues responded in an equal thunderous tone. For a couple of minutes, the wave of salutation continued because of the presence of Imagwe’s who the students described as one of their own. Perhaps Imagwe ascendancy to the presidency is a reminder that they can also get to the top one day. Earlier on before the commencement of the programme, Imagwe

•Imagwe (second left) and Prof Egboka (third left) with NANS officials after the programme

paid a courtesy visit to office of the Vice-Chancellor. In his remark, the ex-students’ leader said he was impressed by the “ground-breaking achievements” recorded by the Egboka-led management. Imagwe, who is the first postgraduate student to be elected as NANS president, said there was difference between a Vice-Chancellor and a father, describing Egboka as a true father who took students and staff of the university as his children. “I bring you greetings from the

presidency. As a Vice-Chancellor, you are overseeing a critical sector of the education programme of the President Jonathan administration. Most Vice-Chancellors dislike hosting NANS or students’ union leaders because they think the unionists will disturb their administration. But today, things have changed, we have passed the stage of violent protests in Nigeria,” he noted. He said President Jonathan was determined to make a difference in the education sector. “This is

why in next year’s appropriation bill, education received the highest percentage in line with UNESCO recommendation,” Imagwe stated. Prof Egboka, while welcoming the ex-NANS leader, acknowledged Imagwe’s meteoric rise in his career, describing him as a goal-getter which should be a source of inspiration to the youths and students. He said students are the center point of his administration which informed his “students’ first” phi-

losophy. “All of us are students, age or status immaterial. The professors and lecturers are also students in the school of life. The child is the father of the man and here we take the welfare of our students seriously. Our students’ union election is a model for Nigerian democracy because we organise it in a free, fair and democratic manner without any form of intimidation or imposition. We stand for positivism here while human resources are our greatest asset,” the VC said. After the meeting, Imagwe was conducted round the campus before the award ceremony. During the programme, the country representative of West African Students’ Union (WASU), Sheriff Zadok, in his presentation, eulogised Imagwe and Egboka for being students friendly. Prof Egboka and Imagwe were presented with Progressive Leadership Merit Award. Former Students’ Union president of the university and the Personal Assistant to the VC Kizito Okonkwo was also honoured for his service to the Nigerian students. Imagwe said he was delight by the honour, promising to always fight for the students’ interest. The incumbent Students’ Union president of UNIZIK, Victor Onuegbu, said the successful hosting of the event on the campus was a boost to the image of the university. He appreciated the Vice-Chancellor for his support and thanked Imagwe for his humble disposition. After the award, a new executive of the students’ body in the zone led by Ike Okorie was inaugurated by the outgoing zonal coordinator, Ezekiel Nwankwo.

The Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has checked commodities’ prices on the campus. EMMANUEL AHANONU (400-Level Political Science) reports.

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O ensure business vendors do not exploit students on services, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) held a parley with stalls owners to agree on prices of items. The meeting was held at the instance of the Director of Welfare, George Aniekeme. Addressing the vendors, the Task Force chairman, Mr Dominick Asuquo, who also represented the school authorities, told the vendors the union leaders met with management with a proposal to fix the price of food at N100 per plate. “But, the management, after serious deliberation decided it should go for N150,” he said. Asuquo said management decried the high prices of goods, citing the electric bulb, which is sold off-campus at N50 but given to students at a higher price as an example. He said the authorities has approved the proposal for price reduction, which was released by the Welfare Director’s office. He added: “We are not here to negotiate; the price list has been approved by the university authority.” Comparing prices, George said a plate of any food with a sachet of water, which was being sold at higher amount to UNICAL students is sold at N150 at the College of Health Technology, Calabar and N100 to students of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO). He said all the union wanted was to harmonise the prices with those obtainable in institutions in the region. He threatened that “something will definitely happen should you fail to comply with our price list.” George said vendors should not place the same prices on items be-

•Cross section of the vendors during the meeting

•George responding to questions from the vendors

Union moves against exploitation ing sold outside the campus with the ones being sold in the university. He emphasised that commodities must be cheaper at students’ hostels. To ensure compliance, the Welfare Director displayed a copy of a sealed stamp to the vendors, saying his office was ready to close down any stall that did not comply with the new prices. He cited other instances when commodities were sold at higher price to students. He read out the new prices of goods to the vendors. Going by the list, hair cut is now N50 as against N100, shaving is fixed to be N30 against N50, Internet service is now N100 for an hour as against N150, a plate of food with sachet

water is N150 as against N200, 35cl of Coca-Cola bottle is N50 as against N60, passport photograph is now N250 as against N400 among others. “Other items not captured in this list must have 10 per cent decrease from what is obtainable outside as constant check will be conducted to ensure compliance,” the memo reads in part. In response, four vendors spoke on behalf of their colleagues. Anieka

Jona, who spoke for soft drinks and snacks sellers, complained that before the SUG came up with the new prices, low sale had been recorded by the merchants. She said: “I don’t know how the new price list will affect our sales but some female students now buy fridges and sell drinks in the hostels. This is a very big challenge for us.” George responded that the vendors should help to identify such

‘I don’t know how the new price list will affect our sales but some female students now buy fridges and sell drinks in the hostels. This is a very big challenge for us.’

students, re-affirming that accommodation in the university’s halls of residence did not give students freedom to trade. Ugo Chukwu, the owner of a popular eatery called Yugobite, who spoke for food vendors, said the union should have negotiated the prices with the vendors before imposing it on them. He said price reduction would not affect the quality of food but may affect the quantity, which could make students consume food up to N200. George responded that the food sellers should visit the College of Health Technology to find out where the vendors on the campus buy their raw food materials. Godwin Udofia, speaking for barbers, said N50 for hair cut was not feasible because of the high cost of fuel and rent. Responding, Asuquo said the barbers should not complain because the electricity in the hostels was stable.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

The vanishing potential

By Uche Anichebe

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IVE years ago when this writer was graduating from secondary school, a lecture entitled Ignite your potential was delivered to the pupils. The eloquent speaker, whose name I could not remember now, spoke glowingly to the outgoing pupils of a future filled with gold and abundance. Five years after that speech, Nigeria marked her 52nd independence anniversary. The ceremony was marked amidst excitement by the political class and hope by the common man. Rather than joining the bandwagon, I reflected on where the country started and where it is and the level of development its peers have achieved.

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HAT exactly was on their minds as heavy clubs landed on their heads? Did they wish they never visited this cruel world? Who was that man who broke a human skull like a calabash? Who brought the idea to set his fellow men ablaze? Who were the spectators at the gory game that placed innocent men at the mercy of those violent men? Who were the photographers and camera men that covered the battle between the victims and those messengers of death? Who were they? Watching the video of the brutal lynching of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt surely drew tears of pain to my eyes. My face is now dry but my heart is still weeping. As a student, the sound of my heartbeat increased as I sensed danger even though I was not guilty of the crime. My stomach got rumbled as I shivered continuously at the horrible seven minutes video clip before me. To me, I never thought Aluu was a community in Nigeria. Notwithstanding, even if Aluu was located in another world, who am I not to feel emotionally disturbed at the sight of the barbaric, vicious

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HAVE decided to play the blind to my amateurish ‘poetic nonsense’ and speak the language every layman understands. Countless times, a couple of other countrymen and I have rained curses on certain people in the corridors of power or if you like, the helm of affairs. Some have called for a change of party system, ruling party and ideology. Some advocate dictatorship as the best form of government Nigeria deserves. Others say a change from capitalism to socialism would change the condition of people. However, the one question that has been in my mind is: aren’t we all guilty of the mess in Nigeria? The mighty Iroko tree, we seem to forget, is formed by a seed buried underneath the soil. If corruption has become a force to reckon with on the political arena and indeed every facet of the Nigerian society, isn’t it that we allow the scourge to flourish? Charity, they say, begins at home. If the family

The lecture of my graduation came to mind. It was a sober moment for me, for I was faced with a naked truth of our march to nationhood- the Nigeria of our dream has been a possibility, a huge potential that has never been ignited. The streets and resort places were busier with revelries, people dressed in attires displaying the national flag colour and I received a deluge of messages, whose main contents were that I should celebrate our nationhood and independence. But I ask: does the country truly independent? In pre-independence era, our founding fathers dreamt of an independent nation where resources would be deployed to benefit of all. Today, these resources have been literally converted to the personal use of the few in the political class. While majority of the citizens still live below $2 per day, the people in the nation’s leadership live in abundance and affluence to the surprise of many that believe Nigeria is potentially endowed with greatness. It has been said that the best road to progress is freedom’s road, but it appears Nigeria’s condition has, so far, been an exemption to this oft-said maxim. After the independence, the country has enmeshed in a situation so pathetic that people now reason that, had we not gained freedom from the Britain, our story of misery would be have been different. Thanks to decades of bad leadership, we have made a mockery of our independence by showing to the outside world how helpless we are at managing our own affairs.

Truth be told, Nigeria deserves to be wept for. The state of affairs in the country has bewildered even a discerning mind. Nothing is going well. We dream of a good future but in over five decades of independence, a promising period has not surfaced. All the dreams turned mirage when corruption was introduce into the system. It is a sheer illusion in our psyche that we adopt an unmerited appellation - giant of Africa. If we have succeeded in anything, then it must be our success in placing the name of this nation on records which not only denigrate us, but also mocks our nationhood. To that end, when the world speaks of corruption of the ruling class, massive unemployment, tribalism, terrorism, insecurity and lack of basic infrastructure, Nigeria is a name that would immediately call to mind. Truly, if spirits could bite, then the spirits of our founding fathers would have surely bitten the present ruling elite for constituting a stumbling block preventing the country from achieving its dreamed greatness among the comity of nation in the black continent. It amounts to restating the obvious that if one says the present political class has destroyed the foundation and legacies of our founding fathers. It is not unknown that Nigeria was beset by internal setbacks. We cannot forget the long years of military incursion in governance, the gory Biafran war and other national tragedies, but let it be also known that other prospering nations of the world have

had their own fair share of setbacks and tragedies in their journey to excellence. Let it be known that once upon a time, China was listed among the third world nations; that at a point in time, Nigeria was better than Ghana; that South Africa was once beset with apartheid iniquities and America, which is now a reference point of functional democracy, has also witnessed periods of internal upheavals. Yet, these countries have moved on and have all developed from its rubble of contradictions. So, what is wrong with the socalled giant of Africa? If I could say rightly, Nigeria’s major problems are the leadership and our refusal to learn from our past errors. Achebe posited: “The only thing that we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.” Thus, our potential has, for 52 years, remained in a state of inertia. It is unarguably a common denominator for patriotic leaders and visionaries, to perceive independence, or better put, freedom as a means to an end, which is happiness. During his year as the America’s president, John F Kennedy, maintained that “the best road to progress is freedom’s road”. Also, Swan Anthony stated that “independence is happiness”. But our independence has precipitated more hardship never imagine in pre-independence. When will this voyage to nowhere end? When will Nigeria’s potential be ignited? Uche, 500-Level Law, UNIZIK

Jungle justice as security challenge and brutal act directed at fellow human beings? The reason for beating fellow men to death was not known to me then but I will spare no word to say that with our level of morality in Africa, beating goats to death in such a shameless, cruel manner is condemnable and unwarranted. The animalistic habit in me, which obviously resides in every man, was provoked when I got informed of the unfounded rumour that the four were thieves who stole blackberries and laptops. Oh God! May I approach this issue from a legal standpoint? The theft of laptops and Blackberry does not in any way go with the mind of punishment meted out to the youths Wait, I am not done venting my opinion. If such jungle justice is justified as a recompense for theft, I think the thieves in the corridor of power should not be spared; they must also be lynched and fed worthless dogs with their remains. The four friends were paraded naked for hours, beaten to pulp and

then set ablaze without the security agencies getting the reports of the lawlessness that culminated into the burning of the youths. Their dreams were shattered within minutes by people who apparently did not even know what it means to have a dream. Yes, they don’t, because the fact spoke for itself. I saw different pictures showing the young men being paraded naked. Reader, could you believe the value of humanity was lost at that point? I noticed they forgot that they were not even clothed. What was going on in their minds? Exactly what will go through the mind of you and me, as rational being if we find ourselves among these peculiar men? Let me state it plainly at this point that the animals that lynched the students do not deserve the smallest space among civilised men. Of course, a man in his right sense will never watch a fellow man being lynched, let alone doing the lynching. Over the years, a jungle justice has been experienced in Nigeria. They

Aren’t we all guilty? By Dele Madamidola

unit truly makes a society, then every Nigerian family must have a fair share in the blame and curses we rain on our leaders. As our elders have it, it is the egg that becomes the cock. Every Dick, Tom and Harry in leadership position today certainly undergoes such biological transitions. If we now say our leaders are greedy, inconsiderate, ruthless, self-centered and gluttonous, I dare say, the society is to blame. If given the same opportunity, I

bet it, you and I would seek first the kingdom for ‘self’ before other things are attended to. Let us face it, we are as guilty as the victim of our accusation. No defendants as there are no plaintiffs in this blame game. Therefore, when we curse a member of the Nigerian family in power, we indirectly curse, by extension, every other family, rich or poor, who must have benefitted from the largesse of power. It is a long and endless chain. My brother, sister, niece, nephew,

know the masses will cry and stop. To this, I say we shall never stop until justice is done and clearly seen to be done. I humbly beseech that advocates of change, human right activists, freedom fighters and distinguished students all over the country to raise our voices to ensure this reprehensible act is stopped and seek justice for the Aluu victims. That this happened in broad daylight indicated the failure of governance in Nigeria. If the government was functioning, the socalled promoters of peace and order would not have been among the terrible onlookers of the disgusting display of madness. Security of lives and property is fast becoming a one-time tale in Nigeria. If it is not, four lives would not have been taken in such a brutal and reprehensible manner without the police arresting the situation. The security of Nigeria must be prior in the scheme of things in Abuja if we still want this country together. Let us make a courageous move before everything freezes or dies of cousin, uncle, aunt, etc walks into my office but meets many qualified job seekers seated outside. He or she gets the job he or she is not qualified for but at the expense of other qualified applicants. This is called connection and it is also a form of corruption Aren’t you and I then an integral part of the same corruption we hate with passion in public offices? On a lighter note, if corruption were to be killed today, there would be death in every household. Now that it has been established that the scourge is in every home, our holier-than-thou minds dissolve in the face of this reality. What then is the way forward?

‘The same sweat of the poor is used to build the wealth the rich enjoy. If a man has one hundred mansions scattered across the country and another is homeless, the one with many mansions cannot sleep in two rooms at a time; why can’t be his brother’s keeper by given him a room?

By Segun Ogundipe

fever. Segun, 500-Level Law, UNILORIN Though, I’m not in any way exempted from the malaise, yet I must suggest that every man begins to see wealth as useless without its distribution. If everyone is rich in a society does not mean anyone rich. We only know the privileged people are rich because some others are poor. Besides, the same sweat of the poor is used to build the wealth the rich enjoy. If a man has one hundred mansions scattered across the country and another is homeless, the one with many mansions cannot sleep in two rooms at a time; why can’t be his brother’s keeper by given him a room? If we all live our lives with other people in mind, the world would be a better place. If our society must be saved, everybody must play his own part to clear the mess of corruption and bad attitude in the country. If this malaise persists, it means all the families on the Nigerian landscape are guilty of the crime we all accuse the leadership of. Dele, 400-Level English, OAU IleIfe


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE Varsity bars Al-majiri on campus

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EACTING to the growing concern of students and visitors, the management of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) may have been planning to stop beggars’ activities on the campus. The Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Prof Wakili Gaya, made this known in an interview with our correspondent in his office. He said the management would come up with a regulation to address the scourge. “The complaints about the begging activities in the school have come to the notice of the school management and we are fully prepared to put an end to this menace through a security check point at various school entrances,” he said. Gaya attributed the activities of the beggars to the failure of government. He said: “The failure of the state to relieve the poor and physically-challenged has resulted into this influx of Al-majiris we are now witness-

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From left: Vice-Chancellor Professor Rahaman Ade Bello; Commissioner for special Duties Dr Wale Hameed; Pro-Chancellor Dr Gamaliel Onosode; Oba Adedapo Tejuosho; Mr Mac Ovibiagele at the launch of University of Lagos Donor Forum and Award presentations to major sponsors of the institution last Friday. PHOTO: GBENGA KUTELU

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

Freshers tasked on hard work

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HE Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), has held an orientation programme for the freshers admitted into the department. The guests at the ceremony included the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof B.L. Adeleke, Head of Plant Biology department, Prof P.O. Fatoba, Head of Zoology department, Prof A.T. Ande and Prof G.C. Nzeh, who was the guest speaker among others. Welcoming the students, Ande said he believed the freshers were the awaited generation that would take the department to the level it ought to be on the campus. He ad-

From Taiwo Isola UNIMAID

ing on the campus.” Faith Ije, a 300-Level student, was concerned about the numbers of beggars on the campus. “I have personally experienced the scenario where beggars walked into the lecture hall to seek for alms. The implication is that lecturers as well as students are distracted,” she said. Eleven-year-old Salisu Umar, who came from Bauchi to Maiduguri to acquire Islamic education, told CAMPUSLIFE that life had been difficult for him because his teacher had large number of pupils to cater for. “So I take to begging in other to eke out living and survive,” the kid said. Ayo Ayodeji, 300-Level Accountancy, urged the management not to delay in stopping beggars’ activities on the campus. From Wale Bakare UNILORIN

vised the students to take their academic works serious, saying: “If you study hard and become a university scholar, you will be recognised in every occasion as a guest.” “I believe this orientation will help to increase the interest of students that have found themselves studying Zoology by chance.” Nzeh said Zoology was an aspect of biology that dealt with animals. She said many students in the department did not apply to study the course, advising that seriousness could make the students to be authority in the field. One of the freshers, Kehinde Adekeye, said: “I appreciate the department for organising the orientation. My thought about Zoology now changed from bad to good. I now appreciate the discipline more than before.”

Group to hold youth summit

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O stop the tide of unemployment among the youth, and to prepare them for opportunities in Nigeria’s emerging economy, an organisation, Global Partners for Development Initiatives, is set to host national youth economic summit. The event with the theme Positioning youth for active participation in an emerging economy will hold on November 29 and 30 at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. It will feature speakers who will be delivering papers on contemporary issues in various sectors of the economy. The project co-ordinator, Mr Michael Adeyeye, said the summit will attract participants across all sectors of the economy and will also include interactive

From Tomiwa Bello LAGOS

sessions, exhibitions and a job fair. He added that the event will host the flagging off of the National Mentorship Scheme, in which successful entrepreneurs take up young entrepreneurs for a one-year period to learn, build their business acumen as well as network. Adeyeye stated added that the event would climax with an awards tagged Nigerian Youth Merit Awards. Speakers and guests expected at the event include co-ordinating Minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Yinka Akande, as well as Ituah Ighodalo and Olakunle Sorinyan among others.

•State Co-ordinator, Lagos State NYSC, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi; winners of Etisalat Mind-thegap Debate Competition, Onotu Mohammed; Ope Ogunseitan Tinuke and Analyst, Events & Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria Ibeanu Okanu, at the Etisalat/Mind-the-gap Career Summit for NYSC 2012 Batch C, Corps Members, held at the Lagos State NYSC Camp ground, Iyanaipaja, Lagos, last Saturday PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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EDUCATION EKSU FILE NUC teams assess courses

Fed Govt seeks PPP in education

THE Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, has been praised for maintaining a neat academic environment while the management got a pass mark for its vision to move the university forward. The commendation was made by the National University Commission’s panels on accreditation programmes that visited the university recently. Praising the cleanliness, the leaders of the 12 panels including Prof O. M. Nwofor, Prof Paul Eniayewu, Prof. N. Chinyere, Prof A. G, A Oladosu, and Prof Mohammed Abdulah, also described the cooperation between the staff and the leadership of the university as unique. They noted that the accreditation exercise was not inquisitional but to look at the strengths and weaknesses of programmes objectively and make recommendations for improvement.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

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HE Minister of Education, Prof Ruquayattu Rufa’i , has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to partner with the Federal Government to improve the education sector for national development. She also stressed the need to ensure adequate maintenance of education infrastructures across all institutions in the country. The minister spoke last Saturday at the inauguration of the 350-seater Law Lecture Theatre donated by the Pro-Chancellor, UI, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). She said no matter how rich in resources a government may be, it cannot adequately provide all the needs of education. Acknowledging Olanipekun’s initiative in helping to transform the university, Prof Rufa’i said: “This gesture will go down in history not only for UI but Nigeria as a whole. We thank you very much our own Prof. Wole Olanipekun. I urge other Pro-Chancellors to emulate his good gesture. We are inviting other stakeholders to come and partner with us in the area of education. If they do, the level and quality of education will be higher. “No matter the resources a government may have it cannot sufficiently cater for education. What we mean is that people should come and partner with the government,” she said.

•NIDSUG members honour the slain students

UNIPORT 4: Niger Delta students declare October 5 N honour of the four students of security remains porous. Special Day of the University of Port Yalah said: “We are not going to

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Harcourt (UNIPORT) killed by members of the Aluu Community, the Niger Delta Students Union Government (NIDSUG) has declared October 5 a Special Day. The group held a candle light programme for the late Loyd Toku Mike, one of the four, at his family house – 29 Captain Amangala Street, Port Harcourt. The event attracted students from the six Niger Delta states who came to pay their last respects. Their co-ordinator at the event

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

and National President of the group, Comrade Tonbara Michael Yalah, said NIDSUG has declared October 5 as a special day for the UNIPORT Four. Yalah also said a committee has been set up to investigate the level of insecurity in institutions in Niger Delta, threatening to write a petition against the National University Commission (NUC) and Inspector General of Police if the state

take laws into our hand. But to be frank, we are prepared to ensure that this country particularly the governors in the Niger Delta region take the issue of security in our various campuses seriously. You can take a look of the crowd here today, we are not happy, and we will go a long way to protect ourselves. But we will not take the issue of the security of students lightly and we are prepared for a legal battle if necessary.”

National alumni body seeks tax relief for donors

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•Prof Rufa’i

HE Conference of Alumni Association of Nigerian Universities (CAANU) is seeking tax relief for contributors to the education sector. Rising from its fourth quarterly conference for 2012 held at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria between November 15 and 18, the group urged the National Assembly to give tax relief to organisations and individuals that support educational courses, even

Okojie praises ABUAD Law programme

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THE Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, has described the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) College of Law as the best in West Africa. Okojie said the College holds unquantifiable values projecting the new face of quality legal education in Nigeria and beyond. “Now, you have seen the authentic handwriting of the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC),” Okojie said while touring the university in company of top officials of the Commission. He said: “My first official visit to the Afe Babalola University College of Law is simply unbelievable! I am amazed at the level of investments, facilities and dedication. It is certainly the best Law College in West Africa.” Okojie’s disclosure came on the heels of an award by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology which conferred the best College of Law Award in Nigeria on the institution in Abuja. The law curriculum of the College was designed to cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of quality legal training, consistent with internationally recognised standards. The NUC helmsman eulogised the

By Adegunle Olugbamila

uniqueness of its programme which mandatorily required students to undergo law office attachment designed to acquaint them with the technicalities and rudiments of legal practice during their vacation periods after their third and fourth sessions. He said ABUAD’s Law library which is presently the largest in the country is a place serious global academic research with its rich collection of highly valuable, up-to date national and international reading resources like All England Reports, Harvard Law review and Yale Law Journal. At the 1500-capcaity Law auditorium which is equipped with multimedia facilities, Okojie commended ABUAD Founder, Aare Afe Babalola’s vision. He described the Moot Court and the Law Clinic as modern laboratory equivalents for practical training. The NUC Boss also expressed satisfaction with the quality of academic staff, some of whom graduated with advanced degrees from renowned universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, and others. The construction of the ultra modern College of Law edifice commenced in July 2010, and was commissioned on February 22, 2012.

on non-taxable items. Their decision derived from papers presented by Mallam Nasir Bello, Director, Directorate of University Advancement, ABU, and Mallam Ahmad Shehu, Director, Advancement Office, Bayero University, Kano on the topics: Organising Alumni as Stakeholders for the Development of Universities and Alumni and Institutional Advancement. The group said in its communiqué: “Conference prays the National Assembly to initiate bills that will grant tax reliefs to donors in the educational sector, especially when educational materials fall under non-taxable items.”

The body also plans to engage both the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC) and the Committee of ProChancellors of Nigerian Universities on the need to partner with the various alumni associations in their universities to improve facilities in their institutions. Representatives of alumni associations of 20 universities were at the conference. Led by their chairman, Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, they visited the host Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha who called on the over 500,000 alumni of the university to join hands in the development of the second phase of the university.

VC warns about famine THE EKSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina has warned of imminent famine in Nigeria if the government does not act to prevent it urgently. The don of Soil Physics gave the warning while delivering the 13th Professor Afolabi Adegbola Memorial lecture organised by the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG) in Lagos. In the lecture, entitled Climate Change and food Security: The Challenge of transforming agriculture in Nigeria, Aina noted that though Nigeria marked her 52nd independence as a nation, it was disheartening and frightening that millions of Nigerians have nothing to eat, unlike more populous countries, such as India and China. “India’s population is larger than that of Nigeria so is China to mention just two. In these two nations, food is abundantly available and cheap,” he said. He lamented that Malaysia, whose major foreign earner is palm oil got palm seeds that have now turned to gold from Nigeria while the country wallows in poverty. Prof Aina, therefore, advised that budgets in the various sectors of governments must look favourably towards meeting the hunger threat.

•Aare Babalola (second left) Provost, College of Law Mrs Smaranda Olarinde, and Prof Okojie, fielding questions from journalists after inspecting the College of Law and new Multipurpose hall. Behind them are Prof Micheal Ajisafe, ABUAD DVC (in black) and Prof Adekunle Alalade, Director, General Studies.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

EDUCATION Group honours Afe Babalola THE founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, has been described as a father, who believes in industry, hard work, determination and excellence. He was also described as one who has sustained his brand name and invested his resources to chart a new path of transformation in the university system. The Co-ordinator of Children- inScience and Technology (CIST), Prof Ibiyinka Ogunlade, said this at the investiture of Aare Afe Babalola as an Honorary Fellow of CIST at a threeday international conference which took place at the multi-purpose hall of the university. Ogunlana said:“Over the years, Baba Afe (Babalola) has become synonymous with success and philanthropy. He has also demonstrated his passion for education by establishing ABUAD with a dream to nurture it to world standard. CIST members are, therefore glad to have baba as a Fellow believing we can draw from his immense wisdom, love for education and his grass-to-grace success story.” Ogunlande thanked Aare Babalola for his philanthropic gesture and solid support for the CIST at all times. Ibiyinka also decorated the founder and his wife, Yeye Modupe, with the CIST insignia and plaque commemorating the award. Responding on behalf of Aare Babalola, ABUAD BOT representative, Prof Olatunji Orubuloye promised the university’s support for the CIST in its efforts at producing future scientists for the nation. ABUAD Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sidi Osho expressed gratitude to the organisers for honoring both the founder and his wife, Yeye Modupe. who also celebrated her birthday during the occasion. Many schools thrilled the audience with musical dance-steps and playlet at the three-day international workshop which has as its theme: Focusing on the potentials of children in science and technology for sustainable development.

Tutor-General bows out By Ramat Musa

IT was a grand celebration as the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Education District 1, Agege, Mrs. Victoria Peregrino, signed off from the civil service. The occasion, which was celebrated in the usual owambe style and branded with white and purple aso ebi, was graced by dignitaries including the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo; and Head of Service Adesegun Ogunlewe who was well represented. Mrs Peregrino, a graduate of Educational Psychology who also clocked 60, described her 29 years of service as not “all bread and butter,” adding that though there were challenges, she was able to surmount them through hardwork and resilience. ‘’My career started as a teacher, education officer, principal and Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary. I faced challenges for being hardworking and introducing new innovations. Of course backbiting, petitions, threat to life and so on followed. All is history now. “On the other hand, I am happy because God has seen me to the peak of my career. I am surrounded by loved ones who wish me a better life after civil service. I am leaving behind a workforce whose psyche have been positively affected to carry on the good work. “When I was coming here, it was with trepidation; This stemmed from the fact that I was coming to a new territory, to work with a new set of people, some of whom I probably have never met,’’ she said.

SCHOLARSHIPS APPROACHING DEADLINES 2012 KAAD Scholarships for Master's and PhD Students from Developing Countries, Germany KAAD funded Master's and PhD Scholarship for developing or emerging country in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America at a German university- 2012 Study Subject(s): Any Subject Course Level:Master's and PhD Scholarship Provider: KAAD Scholarship can be taken at: Germany Eligibility: For the scholarship programme 1 of KAAD you can apply if you -Come from a developing or emerging country in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America -Have a university degree and professional experience from your home country - want to acquire a master's degree or a PhD at a German university or do a post-doctoral research project (2-6 months for established university lecturers) at a German university

- Are a Catholic Christian (or general belong to a Christian denomination) -Candidates from other religions can apply if they are proposed by Catholic partners and can prove their commitment to interreligious dialogue -The general rule is that applicants for Masterscholarships should be of the maximum age of 30, while applicants for PhD-scholarships should not be older than 35. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America Scholarship Description: The KAAD scholarships are addressed to post-graduates and to academics who already gained professional experience and who are interested in postgraduate studies (or research stays) in Germany. This program is administered by regional partner committees, staffed by university professors and church representatives. How to Apply: By Post Scholarship Application Deadline: 30 June, 2012

‘Shoddy teaching of Maths, others soar unemployment’

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HODDY teaching of science, technology and mathematics in schools is responsible for the soaring unemployment in Nigeria, a professor of Science Education, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Esther Omosewo, has said. Prof Omosewo spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, while delivering the 118th inaugural lecture of the university. The lecture was entitled: Why dread the science of the state of the universe. She said: “The present scourge of unemployment in Nigeria clearly reveals that the STME taught in all schools at all levels do not prepare Nigerian graduates to function well as expected. If Nigeria develops her physics education, she will have solutions to most of her energy needs.” She urged the Federal Government to give scholarships to candidates willing to study physics education in

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the university, noting that such candidate should be at least a step higher than their mates at the secondary school where they teach. Prof Omosewo added: “It is not out of place to encourage Nigeria to wake up from her educational slumber and determine either to join the advanced country of the world or remain backward. “It is necessary that Physics educators, Physics teachers, policy makers in the ministries of education in Nigeria start the idea of teaching Physics application.” She argued that it is only then that Nigeria can have the required number of problem-solving engineers, medical doctors, technologists, Physics teachers and the likes. She urged departments of physics in higher institutions in Nigeria to

embark on designing improvised equipment and make it a compulsory course for prospective physics teachers to reduce the rate of dependence on imported equipment. She stressed that the training of prospective physics teachers should be such that students are sufficiently exposed to the subject matter content and emphasis should be placed on the applications of the various topics to everyday life. Her words: “Government funding of projects in physics should be improved. Nigerians should borrow a leaf from the United States which spends billions of dollars annually on meaningful projects in education. “This will certainly be the beginning of the step towards self-reliance in this country. Virtual laboratory in physics is worth venturing into by the Faculty of Education for effective training of physics teachers.

Envoy lauds institute

NICO holds cultural fiesta THE National Institute for Cultural Orientation {NICO} Lagos Office is set to host the third edition of its end-of-year children’s cultural extravaganza on December 7. The programme is one of the institute’s initiatives to stimulate school-aged children to appreciate Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage. Over 1,000 pupils from schools within Lagos are expected to attend the programme which will holdat the institute’s complex, situated at National Theatre Annex, Iganmu Lagos. The activities for the day, according to Head, Lagos Liaison office, Mrs. Bridget Yerima, include a debate in Yoruba language, traditional cooking competition, traditional hair-do contest and fashion parade in indigenous attire. While appreciating previous sponsors, she also appealed to corporate organisations and NGOs to support the forth coming programme. This year, celebrated comedienne, Helen Paul, is expected as special guest of honour.

•Helen Paul

By Adegunle Olugbamila

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HE Nigeria High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Ademola Oluwaseyi, has thrown his weight behind the Accra Institute of Technology (AIT) in Ghana, imploring Nigerians seeking university education for their wards in Ghana to make AIT their preferred choice. Oluwaseyi said this when a high-powered delegation from the university, led by its President, Prof. Clement Dzidonu, paid a courtesy call on him, in Accra, Ghana. Welcoming the delegation, Oluwaseyi said AIT has helped to further cement the Ghana-Nigeria tie which dates back to centuries, emphasising the need to sustain same for mutual benefits to both countries, particularly in the area of education and capacity building. He said: “Our two countries have been working together for centuries. I am glad that your institution is further strengthening this relationship in the area of education.” Oluwaseyi commended the leadership of AIT and expressed delight that Nigerians are excelling in the school and are acquiring the tools of scholarship to play an active role in the global economy. In his response, AIT President, Prof. Clement Dzidonu, flanked by members of the institute’s Senate includingProf. Yeboah Amankwah; Dean of Post- Graduate Studies Prof. T.B. Wereko; Dean of Business Dr. Ben Hagan; Dean of Research, Dr. Benjamin Aggrey-Ntim; Dean of Innovation and Industrial Partnership and Dr. Hillar Addo; Secretary to the AIT Senate, thanked Oluwasayi and equally extended to him warm greetings from the Chairman of the AIT Board of Trustees, Prof Francis Allotey.

•From Left: Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, Minister of State for Education, Mr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, and the Director-General, National Teachers Institute (NTI), Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu at the graduation of 58,000 teachers in Kaduna

NTI graduates 58,000 students

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ATIONAL Teachers Institute (NTI) has graduated 58,320 students who have successfully completed the institute’s academic and professional programmes from 2005 to 2011. Giving a breakdown of the graduating students, the NTI DirectorGeneral, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu said 13,382 completed Postgraduate Diploma in Education, 44,060 for Nigeria Certificate in Education and 878 in Advanced Diploma in Education. Sharehu said the institute’s programmes are handled by well trained professionals mainly using

Open Distance Learning (ODE). He said the institute adopted this mode because “it is a major cost effective alternative to education in Nigeria. It is also a means of taking education to the doorsteps of people.” Sharehu said graduands of the institute can compete favourably with their counterparts that attend conventional schools because they use textbooks developed by TESSA, a professional body formed by 18 African countries. He also said NTI has stepped up the Continuing Professional Development Programmes for primary school teachers by training over 40,000 teachers from 2009 to 2012 in

over 20 states across the country. This he said would help address the deficit of qualified teachers in schools. “There has also been an upward review (by 300 per cent) of the allowances of course tutors and centre managers in the Institute’s programmes with effect from 1st January 2010 to boost their morale,” he said. Sharehu however noted that the institute is facing a number of challenges some of which include inadequate funding and lack of financial support from states and local governments to sponsor specific projects that can enhance the capacity of teachers.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

EDUCATION

Alumni launch N50m fund for 40-year old alma mater

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LD Students of Alamuwas Grammar School, Ado-Odo in Ogun State, are determined to reverse the decay of facilities in their alma mater. Spotting blue-stripped T-shirts and fez caps, the alumni gathered at the school’s sports field Saturday last week to launch a N50 million rescue plan. It was a re-union to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the school. Alamuwas Grammar School was established in September 1972. The school named after Alamuwa, the ancient military hero of Ado kingdom, was then the premier secondary school in the entire Ado-Odo/ Igbesa axis. The dream of its founding fathers was to make it a model school equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories. Thus, at inception it began as a boarding school, parading some of the finest structures and laboratories. Today that story has changed, as the school no longer enjoys such facilities that made it tick. Its classrooms and laboratories are in deplorable states – ditto for the old gigantic fence which once surrounded not only the school, but the Principal Lodge and Teachers’ Quarters. AGSOSA President, Abiodun Alimi said so far, the association has mobilised 3,000 old students to join in the restoration project. “We have been making efforts to reach all old students of the school

By Adegunle Olugbamila

ahead of this occasion. We opened an e-mail and urged members to upload their profiles. Our strategy was using individual members of other sets to reach others. Before today, we had about 10 meetings in this school and we realised that each time new faces joined us. So far, we had reached about 3000 members even though not everybody showed up,” he said. Alimi, a pioneer senior prefect of the school (1979 set) said aside paying membership dues, AGSOSA has decided to celebrate Alamuwa Founders’ Day annually. “The Founders’ Day will henceforth be celebrated annually. We are setting a 10-year target. We the alumni body want to ensure that by the time the school clocks 50, we will have achieved so much of our objectives to celebrate its Golden Jubilee,” he added. Alimi’s hopes of an improved Alamuwa Grammar School were corroborated by Mrs Adeloye Titi Odu another alumnus of the school. Recalling with nostalgia her school days, she noted the high level of discipline the school was reputed for. “I graduated in 1983. In those days, the fear of our teachers was the beginning of wisdom. Also no junior student dared disobeyed the senior ones; that was the tradition. We used to live in the hostel close to the school then and our principal was one Mr Adebiyi.

•Two pupils of Alamuwa presenting an award on behalf of the school to Comrade Idowu, an alumnus

“In those days, the house master usually collated names of those who misbehaved in the hostel. By Friday, if your name appeared on the list, you are sent to ‘detention’ – that is a portion of land was allocated to you to cut grass on Saturday. The more your name appears on the list, the larger the parcel of land you were asked to cut.” The Principal of the junior secondary arm of the school, Keke Reuben Olusegun said the school, which currently has a population of about 2,500 (both junior and se-

nior), has products who are now professionals in many fields of human endeavour that are making the nation proud. Olusegun, appealed to other alumni members to join in, adding that the re-fencing of the school as well as raising its pioneer building as a monument remain key.

The week-long programme of events to celebrate Alumuwas’ 40th anniversary, featured tree planting, carnival, inter-schools competitions, drama presentations, the launch of the school magazine, Christian and Muslims prayers and awards to deserving old students and teachers.

School girls make Lagos proud at NTA fair

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HE duo of Esosa Imofidon and Moyosore Odugbemi of Saint Bernadette School, Ipaja, have won the Nigeria Television Authority Expo 2012 in Abuja. The school girls, who represented Lagos State in the primary category, defeated 21 schools to clinch the top spot with their innovation at the grand finale which had eminent educationists in attendance led by the Education Minister Prof. Ruqqayat Ahmed Rufai. At the 2012 edition themed: Power and energy-generation for sustainable development of Small and Medium scale Enterprises, Esosa and Moyosore won the heart of the judges by producing power from cow dung. For their feat, they were presented with a trophy, a DVD player and refrigerator by Prof

By Adeola Ogunlade

Rufai The materials used for the project, according to Imafidon a Primary 6 pupil, are cow dung, boiler, conventional stove and poultry droppings. They were able to produce a light emitting diode (LED). Moyosore also in Primary Six, who said the cow dung was sourced from Oko-Oba abattoir in Agege added that she was proud that the occasion afforded her to meet the education minister for the first time. They dedicated the award to their school proprietor, Mrs Clementina Doregos, and their teacher, Mrs. Foluso Aregbesola for impacting in them the knowledge and understanding to do well.

Deputy governor, Ajimobi’s wife make case for girl-child education

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•Mrs Olusoga (left) and Mrs Lamikanra leading the tour

Academy to groom culture-compliant pupils

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S it opens its doors to pupils for the first time in January 2013, the City of Knowledge Academy (CKA), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State plans to do things differently. Its founder, Mrs Mosun BeloOlusoga said CKA will focus on grooming pupils who are not only academically sound but culturally and morally compliant. The school has organised tours for scores of parents from Lagos and environs to visit its facilities to learn how it plans to provide wellrounded education for those admitted. However, in an interview with journalists, Mrs Belo-Olusoga and the Head of School, Ms Biola Lamikanra, warned that having deep pockets alone will not guarantee pupils admission – as the school will assess whether the parents and pupils share their goals. Mrs Belo-Olusoga said the CKA would lay emphasis on good upbringing that is appreciative of the Nigerian culture. She said: “The way children are

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

these days is a little bit bothersome to me. You see children that are intelligent but I don’t believe are well-rounded. Why would a child feel embarrassed to prostrate because it is not hip? By the time a person finishes from CKA, you will know that this is a well brought up individual who is morally sound and has empathy and can stand his ground with any child from anywhere in the world. “For me, culture is really important. You have children, who can’t speak their local languages; who don’t know the meaning of their names. Our children will be confident about who they are. “When we are doing interviews, we will interview the child and the parents to be sure we have the same goals. We don’t want just parents who can afford to bring their children here. There are some who can that will be rejected. Parents cannot abdicate their responsibility to the school.”

On her part, Ms Lamikanra said school rules will not be sacrificed to satisfy any parent’s whims. “I have been a teacher for a very long time. I am totally confident and there is no parent I will allow to do things we do not allow. There is not going to be any flouting of any parent’s wealth,” she said. Speaking on the level of preparedness to open, Ms Lamikanra said the school has employed the services of the best teachers whose careers have taken them to the top schools in Nigeria. In addition to teaching a combination of the Nigerian and British curricula, she added that pupils will be required to learn vocational subjects. In line with British curriculum, they will take the checkpoints and the IGCSE examinations in Year 9 (JSS3) and 12 (SS3). She added that the school plans to run A Levels, and would ultimately switch to the International Baccalaureate (IB). In place for resumption are classrooms, hostels, dining halls, laboratories, ICT facilities, among

EPUTY Governor of the State of Osun, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, has called on the government and stakeholders to ensure full education of the girlchild. The call was made at the installation of Sade Ajasin and induction of new board members of Zonta Club of Ibadan, held at the Zonta Multipurpose hall, Jericho, Ibadan Mrs Laoye-Tomori noted that Nigeria accounts for six of the 36 million girl-child of school-age not in school worldwide. Tomori said the education of the girl- child should be paramount and non-negotiable in the agenda of the government and parents if the country is to develop. According to her, after 52 years of Nigeria’s independence, the country is still struggling to give all girl child quality education, which she blamed on culture and religious sentiment. She urged the federal government on the need to create a new strategy and take a pragmatic step towards ensuring that all girl child in the country are giving quality education. “The government have not been up to the task of promoting girl child education, “We have realised that girls were at a disadvantage simply

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

because of their gender. The creation of a day that recognises the importance of respecting, educating and empowering girls would help put a focus on girls’ right to equality,” Tomori said She noted that a girl who gets access to both quality primary and secondary education was less likely to experience violence, or get married and have children whiles she was still a child but more likely to be literate, healthy and grow into adulthood, invest her income into her family, community and country, and understand her rights and be forced to change.

•Mrs Laoye-Tomori


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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EDUCATION Southsouth states articulate policy on funding, others

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HE Commissioners for Education from the Southsouth are to produce a policy document that will guide the management of the education sector in the six states. The conclusion of the BRACED (acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta) states education summit will serve as input for the document. Twenty papers were presented at the summit held between last Thursday and Saturday during the opening ceremony, two plenary sessions, five panel discussions and interactive sessions and four breakout sessions attended by 750 participants. In a communiqué signed by the governors of the Southsouth and the BRACED Commissioner, Ambassador Jose Keshi, the summit sought more funding as well as adequate release of funds appropriated to the education sector. It also called for a review of basic education, recommending that government should invest in early childhood e ducation, initiate reading programmes, and promote pri-

EDUTALK

What indeed can govt do well?

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

vate sector participation by adopting the voucher system for innovative schools development. The summit also urged Southsouth governments to reward high performing schools, overhaul the curricula at all levels to include character building, among others With regards to teacher training, the summit recommended that teachers be re-certified and provided with resource centres and other opportunities for on-the-job training. The communiqué stated: “The summit observes that beyond the issues of funding and infrastructure, efforts should be made to improve the quality of teachers through qualitative preparation, and engagement in continuous professional development and mentoring. Therefore, the establishment of Teachers Resource Centres asinstitutions for driving the above is imperative. In addition, enhancement of teachers’ professionalism, provision of adequate and regular payment of remuneration should be

Y •Keshi

emphasised.” The BRACED governors have also been urged to support the development of science and technology by initiating special scholarship programmes for science students, supporting science-related researches and research institutions, and improving computer literacy in the region Participants praised the BRACED states Governors’ Council for the organising the summit which has potential to improve education service delivery in the region

New book probes education-employment gap

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HE World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) has launched Learning a living: radical innovation in education for Work, a 160-page book that explores ways to improve links between education and the rapidly changing job markets. The book was launched during the WISE programme in Doha, Qatar last week. The publication is based on 15 case studies and personal stories emerging from forward-thinking educational projects around the world that were identified through the WISE community, including winners of the WISE awards which showcase and promote educational projects that have a transformative effect upon society. The book focuses on the failure of education systems to equip students adequately for today’s

labour market, and consequently to become productive members of their societies. In Nigeria a 2012 joint report by UNICEF, UNESCO, UIS and UBEC found that nearly 400,000 children had dropped out of school. Given that more than 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population is less than 25 years, these numbers will have a gripping effect on Nigeria’s economic future. Through statistics, interviews, case studies and photographs, the book highlights the need for innovation in preparing students for work and life in Nigeria in 21st century. Learning a Living argues that change is necessary in both education systems and the workplace, but the implications go further and readers are drawn to a suitably important conclusion: Making it easier to acquire skills is no longer enough; today’s students must also acquire entrepre-

neurial values to create the opportunities that will make a real difference for themselves and the society. The book covers a diverse range of projects, including the network of schools created by the NGO BRAC, whose Founder and Chairman, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, was the first WISE Prize for Education Laureate in 2011. It also includes several WISE awards winning projects, such as Widows Alliance Network for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana; The Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio in Nigeria; and Al Jisr School-Business Partnerships in Morocco. The authors are a team of innovation specialists: Valerie Hannon, Sarah Gillinson and Leone Shanks. WISE also commissioned photographer Reza Deghati (known as Reza) to create vivid images that bring the case studies to life.

•Keke fetes principals at 30th anniverasry

Keke School fetes principals at 30th anniversary

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EMBERS of staff and students of Keke Senior High School, Ifako/Ijaye Local Government Area has rolled out the drums in celebration of the school’s 30th anniversary. The two-day event was used to appreciate former principals who contributed to the development of the school in the Lagos State Educa-

tion District 1. Awards were presented to the pioneer principal, Mrs A.B Amodeni, and the one reputed to have transformed the school, Mrs Annette Adeoba. The event was graced by the Chairman of Ifako-Ijaye Local Government, the Bale of Keke, Chief Liadi Ajagunna, and other guests.

with

The principal, Mrs Olufunmilayo Ogunsi appreciated those who contributed to the making of the school, and high moral standard and promised not to relent in the pursuit of those ideas. She thanked the Lagos State government for sound educational policies and careful implementation which is benefiting the school.

ES! What can the Federal Government do excellently beyond taking good care of

public office holders? I have been sympathetic to the claims that no Kofoworola government can handle the enormous needs of education without support from corporate organisations, NGOs and Kofosagie@yahoo.com individuals. I have even called 08054503077 (SMS only) for support many times on this column to improve facilities in schools that will make them conducive for teaching and learning. However, after my visit to Queen's College, Yaba, last Saturday, I couldn't help thinking otherwise. If indeed the Federal Government (and even state governments) cannot bear the burden of education alone, then what can they actually get right and do well? There is hardly anybody in this life that has enough resources to satisfy his needs 100 per cent of the time. However, we all strive to achieve perfection and can usually show how we have improved our situation as far as our limited resources can take us. Sadly, that is not the same with anything that has to do with government. It is almost always the story of inadequate funding, non-release of funds, or when released, misappropriated funds, dilapidated facilities, and the like. It is true that secondary education is not the responsibility of the Federal Government. However, it owns 104 colleges a.k.a Federal Unity Schools. Like the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), they were established during General Yakubu Gowon’s regime to foster unity. They were also established to be models for secondary education. So, we can refer to the ownership of the schools by the Federal Government as an interventionist measure to expand access to quality education. Unfortunately, the government has failed woefully in this assignment. The schools have been neglected for so long. Many of them have terribly dilapidated facilities. As if that is not all, the meagre subvention needed to run the schools are inadequate, untimely, and are released haphazardly. Yet the schools are meant to function and compete favourably with far better funded private schools. Academically, some of the colleges are still doing very well despite these challenges. This is because those pupils admitted are above average, and their teachers are highly qualified and experienced. I was at the United States Public Affairs Department on Tuesday and learnt that products of the colleges get scholarships to study in the US regularly. One of the officials of the Education USA centre attested to this fact. It is, therefore, a shame that the Federal Government cannot take them as a project and ensure that they are well funded, equipped and managed. Queen's College is begging for attention. So are King's College, and the other 102 colleges. The gymnasium where the PTA meeting held last Saturday is aging. The classrooms are old, the toilets in a state of disrepair and insufficient, water is scarce, the quantity of food served the pupils is too small and the population too large. The new principal of the college, Mrs E. Osime said none of the classes from JSS1 to SS3 have the right number of pupils. Each level should accommodate 400 pupils - 40 per class across 10 arms. But, she said one of the levels even has 570 girls. This is because of the pressure on the school management to admit pupils. The pressure comes from the highest level of government, parents, and others. This puts pressure on the facilities the government has failed to expand. Now, parents are forced to build hostels, employ teachers, provide water, toilets, and feed their wards. The PTA of the college is on its second hostel project. At King's College, the PTA organised a fundraising dinner last Friday for a N500million five-storey hostel. Parents have no choice but to intervene to make their wards a bit comfortable in school - thanks to the Federal Government abdicating its responsibility. There are some calling for the Federal Government to relinquish ownership of the colleges. But I do not agree. If we stick to the original vision, these colleges will provide platforms for children from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds to be educated in the same premises. Beyond academics, they learn cultural and religious tolerance, make friends across state boundaries, and understand the concept of unity in diversity. I know, because I attended one of the colleges and it broadened my perspective about life. Again, despite the less than transparent admission process, many of the children admitted by these colleges are truly intelligent. It offers our country the opportunity to offer a cream of our secondary schoolaged children quality education in a truly competitive environment. But we are bungling it because our government cannot do anything right. If the Federal Government can get things right, then let it prove so by reviving the 104 Federal Unity Colleges.

Belo-Osagie

‘Now, parents are forced to build hostels, employ teachers, provide water, toilets, and feed their wards. The PTA of the college is on its second hostel project. At King's College, the PTA organised a fundraising dinner last Friday for a N500million five-storey hostel. Parents have no choice but to intervene to make their wards a bit comfortable in school’


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012


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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Today, the issue in political discussions in Benue State is where power should shift to in 2015. The choice of successor to Governor Gabriel Suswam is already threatening to heat up the polity. UJA EMMANUEL reports the issues, actors and intrigues.

Idoma, Tiv politicians jostle to succeed Suswam

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OVERNOR Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has 30 months more to pilot the affairs of the state. Turbulent most of the time, but the ship of his administration is expected to stay on course till May 29, 2015. Ordinarily, this period is supposed to be devoted to governance and not politicking; but this is not so in the state. Fierce battle to succeed Suswam has begun in earnest, even with interesting dimensions. The people of Benue South senatorial zone, otherwise known as Zone C, are already working on all cylinders in the hope of securing the opportunity to steer the ship of governance in the state after. They are not comfortable that they have not governed the state since its creation from the old Benue - Plateau State more than 35 years back. The senatorial zone has nine local government councils seven are predominantly of Idoma ethnic group while the other group, the Igede is spread across the two local government areas that constitute Zone C. However, while the Idoma are tucked in one senatorial zone with seven councils, their Tiv brothers are spread in two senatorial zones (A and B) with 14 local government councils with an overwhelming population. The closest opportunity that came the way of Benue South to become governor of the state was in 2007

when Mike Onoja came second in the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) governorship primaries against Suswam. Since that opportunity eluded them, they have been struggling to no avail. Now, as 2015 approaches for another round of elections, apostles of power shift to Benue South have stepped up their campaigns. Recently, the deputy governor of the state, Chief Steven Lawani, played host to a group led by former threetime member of the House of Representatives representing Ado\Okpokwu\Ogbadigbo, Hon Dave Idoko at the Government House, Makurdi. The group, known as Apa 9, comprises past political appointees from the nine local government areas of Benue South. Their main agenda is for the zone to produce the next governor. Apart from Idoko, other members include Hon George Ali, Hon Sunday Orinya, Hon. Joseph Odaudu and some other prominent sons of the zone. Speaking with The Nation shortly after the group held a closed-door meeting with the deputy governor, Idoko maintained that Apa 9 is primarily concerned with ensuring power shift to Benue South in 2015 and/or the creation of Apa State. “There are two things that are at the front burner in Benue politics

• Suswam

today. The people of Zone C want to produce the next governor of the state or in the alternative, the creation of Apa State, and we came here to dialogue with the deputy governor and have his blessing,” said Idoko. He said further that the group was working with every man and woman for the realisation of the ambition of the Benue South people. He spoke further: “We want our Tiv brothers also to see reason and allow power shift to Zone C because President Goodluck Jonathan and Kaduna State governor are from minority groups, yet they are leaders today. So, there is nothing wrong with an Idoma man from Benue South becoming the governor of the state in 2015.”The big question now is: Will Tiv ethnic group with two senatorial zones allow the people of Benue South

produce the next governor for the first time since the creation of Benue from Plateau? Already, apart from agitating for power to shift to the MINDA axis (a group among the Tivs), there is another group, Tiv Federation Quota (TFQ) led by Chief Jeo Har and Kelvin Acka, which have accused Idomas of manipulating federal appointment and recruitment of people into military and paramilitary organisations in their own favour. At a recent press parley held in Makurdi, the spokesman of the group, Chief Har called on the federal government to halt the trend just as he asked the government to investigate the lopsided recruitment exercise into the military, where Tiv people’s names were substituted for Idomas’. The group expressed concern that their Idoma brothers were crying of marginalization, but in the real

sense, according to it, they are the ones marginalizing other ethnic groups in the state as seen by the recent recruitments into the Police, Navy, Army and Civil Defence, which were skewed in favour of the Idomas against Tiv and Igede people. The group further wondered: “If they were not yet in power and were able to manipulate federal appointments and recruitment exercises, what would become of the rest tribes if they produce the governor of the state?” There is fear among the major ethnic groups about power shift. While Benue South cries foul that since the creation of the state, they have not occupied the Government House in Makurdi, the Tivs are worried that only Idomas are being recruited into the military and federal positions from the state. Already, the Tiv group called MINDA, which is spread across Makurdi, Gwer, Gwer West and Guma local government areas, has maintained it is Tiv’s turn to produce the next governor of Benue state. The group said all the Tiv ruling houses of Kwande, Jechira, Jemgba and Sankera had occupied the Government House, lamenting that the only group remaining is MINDA, which should be allowed to have its turn in 2015. From MINDA axis so far, some people have indicated their intention to run for the post. They are: Hon John Tondu, Commissioner for Lands and Survey and Dr. Tivlumun Nyitse, Permanent Secretary, Government House Administration. Also, prominent persons from MINDA who are under intense pressure to contest the 2015 governorship race are Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom and Prince Simon Aondona. The people of Benue South may not achieve the much-sought power shift on a platter of gold as their Tiv brothers appear not done yet. But as Idoko, the leader of Apa 9 said: “If we can’t shift power to Zone C, we can at least have Apa State created. But how things would turn out in 2015, depends on circumstances and development within the period.

We encourage robust arguments in Edo ACN, says Ize-Iyamu Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the National Vice Chairman, of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the Southsouth. He was the Director-General, Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation, in the July 14, 2012 governorship election in Edo State. The former Edo State Secretary to the State Government also organised the November 12 inauguration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, for a second term in office. In this interview, he speaks on the governorship election and the state of his party in the zone. OSEMWENGIE OGBEMUDIA reports.

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OU were the campaign director of Governor Oshiomhole. What, in your view, was responsible for the success of the election? It was a combination of factors. First, we prayed to God for peaceful election and God heard our prayers. And to the best of my recollection, I don’t think that there was violence any where. I have not been told that any one died. The weather of the day was good and the election went quite well. Again our people behaved properly. Apart from the security arrangement put in place, the usual incident of ballot box snatching, trying to stuff the ballot boxes or the use of force to rig the elections did not occur. The Edo people too must be appreciated for behaving themselves in an exemplary manner and showing to other Nigerians how an election should run. It should not be a do or die matter, it should not be a desperate thing. Also

we must thank Mr. President. I recall when he came to Edo State to campaign, he made it very clear that the era of writing results or using security agencies to intimidate people were gone. That the election would be free and fair; that it would be one man one vote and that even the security agencies had been told to behave themselves properly. Honestly speaking, that was what happened; it was one man one vote and the security agents behaved properly. You mean there was no ballot snatching? Well, you know during the campaign, many of those issues were brought to the fore by our candidate in particular, and to a lesser extent, other party officials kept saying they would not tolerate ballot snatching. We were all determined that even if the security agents were to be found wanting, we were ready to take the law into our hands to ensure that such

a thing did not occur. But I also think that the president’s own assurances and the way the police and military behaved helped to ensure that every body played by the rule. There was no preferred political party or candidate; that made it easier for people to behave themselves. The level of enlightenment and mobilization was quite high and ACN as a party made it very clear that we were not interested in rigging elections. All we wanted was that the outcome must be transparent and credible and at the end of the day, that was what we got. Didn’t you entertain any fear before the election on account of the major opposition’s capability? We never had any fears at all. Perhaps what came as a surprise was the overwhelming victory. That we would win was not in doubt. Somebody might be a General in the Nigerian Army, but in terms of partisan politics, we felt that he was relatively

new and when you look at the whole election, the things he said and of course the final outcome, you will agree with me that he was quite a novice. Even the unit where he voted, he lost to the ACN. We are not talking about the ward or local government. We are talking about his unit, and he lost the place. We were never carried away by his military title. There is no doubt that he had a lot of resources but money is not everything. If you know the history of our people, you will know that money is not really what makes people to win election. Yes, it’s paramount but it is not the major factor. We were not worried about his rank and military influence; we were very confident that based on the performance of the Comrade Governor across the state, it would have been a big shock if he had not won the election. The pleasant surprise is that we won particularly everywhere and •Continued on page 44

• Ize-Iyamu


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

44

POLITICS

Governance: Ogun sets new standards B Y the time the 26 world-class model schools under construction across the three senatorial districts in Ogun State are completed, I wonder if the proprietors of the mission schools will still want to take possession of their schools or ask the state government to retain its current ownership of some of those institutions and turn them also into model schools. By the time these top-notch model schools with state-of-the-art facilities commence admission processes, the oft-quoted remarks of Senator Ibikunle Amosun would have turned out to be prophetic. “We are not interested in taking over any school; all we have said is to ask them to give us a couple of years to sort out ourselves. A policy that would have seen over 20,000 children roam the streets in one fell swoop is certainly not in public interest. In fact, our plan is to give the private schools a run for their money by the kind of facilities we intend to put in our public schools.” The mission schools, which constitute over ninety percent of the academies in Ogun State, will now need to ask themselves a lot of questions. Here are Amosun’s model schools that stand out; he is providing free and qualitative education for our children. Can we attract children to our schools by providing the same structures and facilities that Amosun has provided in these model schools? Can we also provide free education to our children? And here lies the concept of The Ogun Standard. The Ogun Standard is a philosophy enunciated by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the governor of Ogun State. It means any project or activity embarked on by the state government should set benchmarks for others. Such a project should comply with international best practices; it should be a reference point; a model for others to copy. I have illustrated this with our efforts in the education sector, particularly the model schools’ initiative of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration. It does not end there... I have interacted with members of some of the communities where the model schools are sited and they are upbeat about the modern educational edifices, the very first of such in the state. They can hardly wait to see this

• Senator Amosun By Soyombo Opeyemi

dream come to reality. They know that beside the knowledge and vocational training to be provided by these schools, they will open up the host communities and hasten their pace of socio-economic advancement. More hands will be employed. Commerce will increase. Other development projects will be attracted. This is also part of The Ogun Standard. Every project should also factor in economic linkages, backward integration or beneficial value chair for the citizens of the state. The Ogun Standard is also illustrated in the security architecture of Ogun State. The state-of-the-art Armoured Personnel Carriers purchased by the current administration to contain the security challenge it inherited are the very first of such in Nigeria. They are of the latest technology in the world. They are indeed of The Ogun Standard. As Governor Amosun posited, “we also value the lives of our security personnel; they must be provided with equipment that as much as possible guarantee their own security as well.” I understand a couple of other states are trying to purchase these latest APCs. Said the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, on April 20th, 2012, during the launch of the APCs and other security equipment provided by the state government: “I have served in all the six geographical zones of this country, I have never seen the

kind of equipment you are donating to security agents today. This is the first of such maximum donation I have ever seen since I have been serving as Police officer.” In the same vein, if the then Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, had made it to Abeokuta on that fateful day when the administration of Governor Amosun commissioned 500 transformers for distribution to communities across the state, he would probably have spoken along the same line as IGP Abubakar. I am not sure of any state government in the country that had made such quantum of purchase at one fell swoop. As these transformers are energised across the length and breadth of the state, the battery chargers, barbers, hair-dressers, video-club owners, business centres, auto-mechanics, auto-electricians, welders, tailors and others hitherto paralysed by lack of power, will have their businesses energised and be able to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state; unproductive hands are engaged and many idle hands are taken off the streets. Such a gargantuan intervention in the critical sector of the economy is also of The Ogun Standard. It’s one single project that creates massive beneficial ripple effects. The Ogun Standard as well takes cognisance of present realities and the future, hence the Bus Mass Transit Scheme (BMT) launched by the Amosun administration. As at the time Ogun was created, the population of the state would probably not be more than a million, but today we are about 5 million. How can we continue to rely on taxi cabs and narrow roads for transportation? And so, for the first time in the history of the state, we have modern luxury buses introduced, even as the governor continues the offensive against poor road network... And look at that very first ultramodern secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ogun State chapter that sits splendidly along the Abiola Way in Abeokuta! It was built with the support of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration. Look at that taste and touch of excellence! That’s The Ogun Standard, which sets benchmarks for others. I saw the expression on the face of Senator Amosun at Ota during the Local Government Assessment Tour

early in the year. He was to commission a road. He said frankly that “the road is good as it will end the distress of those communities, open up the area and increase commercial activities. But this is not of The Ogun Standard!” A road of The Ogun Standard, according to the Commissioner for Works, Arc Lekan Adegbite, “will have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years barring wilful damage. It will have 4 or 6 lanes with drains, sidewalk, median, lighting and greens.” The Ibara-Totoro Road, constructed by the current government, is of The Ogun Standard, indeed the very first of such road in the history of Ogun State. It has become a reference point even as a couple of the above features are in the process of being added to that highway. Talking about durability of Ogun roads, someone from the opposition once remarked that apart from the small Oke-Ilewo road in Abeokuta, there was no single road constructed by the immediate past administration that outlived it, in contrast to the Chief Olusegun Osoba roads. I thought that was hyperbolic but as we toured the entire state from Ipokia to Ijebu-Waterside, from Ago-Iwoye to Sango Ota, ijebu-Ode to Ilaro, etc., I could not see a single road constructed by the last government that had not been plastered and replastered. The sight of an accident victim with multiple injuries emerging from a hospital (with plasters all over) better illustrates the point here. If Ibara-Totoro Road is the first of its kind by any state government in Ogun State, the Ibara Flyover Bridge under construction is also the first by any state government in the annals of the state. All these have set benchmarks below which no future governments in Ogun must fall. You can perform better but you are not permitted to fall below this standard that has been set by Amosun. That is the concept of The Ogun Standard. It’s about having a vision that transcends the present, the immediate. And wherever Papa Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Bisi Onabanjo are, they will be happy that there has arisen once more in Ogun, a man of vision, resolutely committed to the Mission to Rebuild Ogun State. •Opeyemi is Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Ogun State.

‘We encourage robust argument in ACN’

•Continued from page 43

even the PDP bigwigs that we thought would be able to win their unit lost them. If there is any surprise at all, it is the fact that even PDP bigwigs did not win their own units. We were very confident we would win. So far, ACN has been successful in the state, but people are concerned that some of you who came from the PDP due to crisis could cause similar crisis in the party. The problem with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was that its leadership was too autocratic and too personalized and because of that, many of us could no longer stay. At the height of the arrogance, we came out with the slogan “no man is God” because we were trying to say that there was need for humility even in leadership. For ACN, I believe we have learnt from the mistakes of the PDP. During the campaigns, there were talks about a pending implosion in ACN, but at the end of the day, we came together and worked together. The beautiful thing about ACN is that we encourage robust argument. We are not afraid to disagree with ourselves and we also have a mechanism for settling problems before they get out of hand. When such a mechanism is there, it only makes the party healthier. A party where everybody says one thing is not a healthy party. In a political party, there are different people and if they are vibrant, they

‘The beautiful thing about ACN is that we encourage robust argument. We are not afraid to disagree with ourselves and we also have a mechanism for settling problems before they get out of hand’ must have different views. The ability to collate them and say this is our view is what makes the party strong. You can see the unity that played out in our election; it takes unity to win 18 over 18. We had one purpose, we had a clear agenda, if you listened to our message throughout the campaign. There is no harm or crime in disagreeing. Disagreeing is healthy in politics but what is important is the ability to annex these views; the ability to accommodate one another even if we disagree. It has played out in this election and we also believe it will play out in other elections. It is alleged that because the state is broke, most of the projects that have been initiated by the governor will be abandoned... I don’t know where you got the information that the state is broke; the state is not broke. I am even aware right now that contractors are being paid. I also know that public servants are being paid when due; if the state is broke that won’t happen. The only time there was a lull in construction was because of the rains; now, the rains have

stopped, contractors have fully returned to site. So, the state is not broke. If you look at the way the Comrade Governor has handled the revenue of the state, you will actually give him kudos. Apart from the fact that there is transparency, he has also made steps to make Edo State viable. Today, people are paying their taxes; institutions that no man would have talked to are being talked to - PHCN, UBTH, the Banks - they are now paying their taxes. In the past, these organizations would collect ‘pay as you earn’ tax from their workers running into millions of naira and theyy were not remitted to the state government. What can you say about the IGR profile of the state? The revenue profile of the state has increased. Today, the state is not totally dependent on flack as it used to be in the past. From the internal generated revenue alone, Edo State government can pay its recurrent expenditure. And if you look at the pattern of administration, his priority is capital project and in his current budget,

he made it clear that deliberately, recurrent will not exceed 40 per cent of the budget, and capital, 60 per cent. We must not continue to consume our resources. So, Oshiomhole is determined to take Edo State to the next level. In this second term, I see a lot of commissioning; I see a lot of projects across the state being commissioned. I see more development being started and completed at the same time. I see areas where people thought had been neglected being tackled. You could see Aliko Dangote at his inauguration. Dangote spoke to the Edo people at the launcheon and said because of the persuasion and commitment of the Edo State government, before the end of the year, he would do a ground-breaking ceremony of what will be called the biggest fertilizer plant in the whole of Africa in Edo north - Agenebode. That will bring thousands of jobs that will bring serious economic activities and increase the revenue of Edo State. For those that think he has not done much in job creation, he has always said that he wanted to first make the state attractive. “I want to put infrastructure in place that will make people come to Edo State. I also want to make the state viable. I want Edo State to be able to pay salaries and pensions,” the governor once told Edo people. He has achieved that. The next level has commenced and the key is economic transformation, making Edo State economically strong.

Ibadan State viable, says Olubadan By Emmanuel Oladesu

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HE Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oyo State, Oba Samuel Odulana, has justified the demand for the creation of Ibadan State, stressing that the metropolis is qualified for the status by population and historical evidences. Also, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), which had submitted a memoranda to the national Assembly on the agitation, pointed out that the people of Ibadan have more claims than the promoters of Oduduwa and Ijebu states. CCII leader, Chief Adebayo Oyero, said the proposed Ibdan State would be viable because of the untapped potentials that would ultimately boost its internally-generated revenue. He said the population of Ibadan and Ibarapa districts, which are larger than many states in the country, have made the basis for the Ibdan State more compelling and convincing. Oba Odulana, who was a member of House of Representatives and Parliamentary Secretary to former Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa in the First Republic, said Ibadan is the lone preindependence administrative capital that is not enjoying the status of a state. The monarch, who had personally written to the Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker, to demand for Ibadan State sin 2008, pointed out that the two senators representing Oyo Central and Oyo South Districts are from Ibadan, adding that, out of 14 House of Representatives members, seven are also from Ibadan city. Oba Odulana added: “Ibadan has 16 House of Assembly members out of 32 and 155 elected chairmen. chairmen and councillors. We earnestly hope that the National Assembly will set in motion the necessary legislative machinery that will make the creation of Inadan State a reality”. CCII leader Chief Oyero said the total population of the proposed state is 45.61 percent of the present Oyo State. He added: “The population of the proposed Ibadan State is more that eight states in Nigeria-Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Gombe, Kwara, Nasarawa, Taraba and Yobe. He said Ibadan and Ibarapa have jointly submitted memoranda in 1989, 1991, 1996, 2003, and 2006 for the creation of the proposed state. “I can tell you thet Ibadan State will be more viable. We will eliminate waste. In Oyo State, Ibadan is the livewire. 80 percent of the internally generated revenue comes from Ibadan and Ibarapa. Our plan is that in Ibadan State, we will not have a bloated staff. ICT will reduce personnel cost. Currently, in Ibadan, there are untapped potentials. I moved into my house in Ibadan 31 years ago and up to now, I have not paid tenement rate. Ibadan is a gold mine untapped. “Physical development in Ibadan is haphazard today. No policy on planning. No political will to implement planning regulations. Up to now, Ibadan has no master plan. The current administration is trying with the establishment of the Ministry of Planning and urban Development. Ibadan State will lay greater emphasis on this. Ibadan can be a mega city”.

• Oba Odulana, Olubadan of Ibadan


45

THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

THE NATION

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

Charcoal powder good for mouth, body odour M OUTH odour, also known as bad breath or foul breath or even halitosis, is no respecter of anyone - men, women and children can have it. This condition, however, is on the rise, but an iridologist and naturopath, Dr Gilbert Ezengige, said it can be cured. According to him, mouth and body odour is on the increase due to many causes. This raises the need to do something to reverse the trend because the mouth is the gateway to the body. He said there are natural remedies and methods, which are beneficial to the treatment of the condition. The naturopath recommended regular usage of the herbal chewing sticks such as massularia acuminata (Pako Ijebu) Fagara zanthoxyloides (Orinata) and ingestion of two teaspoonfull of charcoal powder with a glass of water thrice daily (total of six teaspoons daily). He also said charcoal should be taken at least two hours before meals. “Charcoal is one of the finest remedies for putrefaction, decay, and removal of obnoxious gases within the body. It is an excellent absorbent and the safest body deodoriser. The charcoal that should be used must be produced from non-toxic, non-resinous wood,” he added. He said people should wear cot-

• Ezengige By Wale Adepoju

ton clothes always to encourage sweat elimination and cooling of the body and the need to shower twice daily. Rub a slice of Irish potato on your armpit like you do with your roll-on, after your morning bath. Drink plenty of water daily and cut down on the consumption of red meat, eggs and white flour products. Also, epsom salt bath helps to

•Charcoal

•Irish Potato

draw out and remove toxins that are lodged underneath the skin. This bath can be conducted between two to three times weekly and zinc and magnesium supplements may be added to your list of medication by a naturopath if the need for them is called for. They need to eat avocado pear, fresh pineapple juice, tomatoes juice, water melon (including its green peel), juices from dark green vegetables and parsley (Expectant mothers should avoid large intake of pars-

ley). Ezengige said body odour, on the other hand, is called bromhidrosis (smelling perspiration), osmidrosis (foul smelling sweat), or ozochrotia (smelling skin ). Mouth and body odour, he said, share many things in common. Sometimes, the person having this condition gets so used to his own breath to the extent of being unaware of the offensive nature of his breath to people living or staying in his immediate environment.

Mouth and body odour may give rise to psychological disorders in sufferers, most especially when the patients consciously withdraw from freely interacting with colleagues, friends and family members. This attitude impacts negatively on the self-esteem of an individual and in some cases may lead to depression. Major causes of mouth and body odour are due to poor oral hygiene, gastrointestinal disorders and inherited traits from the ABCC 11 gene. Other causes are micro-organism belonging to corynebacteria and staphylococcus which act on the sweat produced by the apocrine glands that are located mostly in the armpits, genitals, scalp and other hair-follicle-rich regions of the body to produce offensive skin odour, nose, throat and respiratory tract infections, dietary imbalance, some medical conditions involving the liver and the kidney, diabetes mellitus, smoking, alcoholism and poor bathing habit, and intake of strong medications over a prolonged period. Relying on perfumes, chemical deodorants, mouth fresheners, body sprays and anti perspiration body products for these conditions is at best a palliative measure. The principal causative factor of halitosis or bromhidrosis should be identified and treated for a permanent result.

Promote healthy living , Nigerians told

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IGERIANS have been urged to promote healthy living, as 10 organisations

were honoured at the fourth Indulge Wellness Award in Lagos. The recipients are the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Vitafoam Nigeria, 180 Degree Programme, and Unilever, among others. Managing Director, Indulge Nigeria Limited, Dr Bisi Abiola said the award is about promoting health, confidence, and wellness. She enjoined the people to celebrate companies, individuals and non-governmental organisations who received the award for supporting healthy lifestyle in Africa. She said prevention of disease through healthy living is better than cure, as such people should inculcate good lifestyle to ward of diseases and stay healthy. She thanked those who supported her dream of ensuring wellness in Nigeria and beyond,

By Wale Adepoju

saying the best is yet to come. Mrs Abiola said the award was to spur others to join the wellness advocacy so people can be healthy. Hard work, she said, should always be recognised to further encourage the people to do more. Responding, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile said health is wealth, adding that Lagos State will never renege on its health for all policy, to ensure that lives are saved. He said the best way to do this is by encouraging wellness through preventive method of health. Olugbile urged people to invest in prevention rather treating illnesses as there is return on investment. He praised the organisers for promoting lifestyle changes, promising that the state government will continue to support it as a form of encouragement.

• Dr. Olugbile (second left) presenting the wellness award to the Marketing Director, Vitafoam Nigeria Limited, Mr. Peter Folikwe. With them are Mrs. Olugbile (left) and Mrs. Abiola.

‘Garlic can be used to manage hypertension’

G Garlic

ARLIC has been identified as a natural remedy to manage hypertension. A traditonal doctor, Mr ‘Latunde Alade, said it is a plant with clusters and barks of different colours that can be likened to onions. According to him, it can be

By Olatunde Odebiyi

used to manage hypertension when it is soaked in water and mixed with golden seal, honey and other ingredients. Alade, who is into packaging of garlic mixed with other natural materials into bottles for easy access, said the product contains sulphur, volatile

oils and anti-biotic properties. He said his product, A-LAT remedial tincture can be used to take care of hypertension, adding that it has no side effects. Garlic, he said, can also be used as seasoning for food to achieve a palatable taste, add-

ing it can also be used medicinally to heal wounds as well as to expel insects. Alade said hypertensive patients should take two table spoons of his product, two to three times daily depending on the severerity of the illness.


THE NATION TTHURSDAY , NOVEMBER 22, 2012

46

NATURAL HEALTH

Are witches behind ‘death attack’ during sleep?

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OOD day! Were you troubled by witches or wizards in your sleep last night? I mean …did you feel as if you were choking or suffocating, unable to breathe for one second or more, feeling as though someone was pressing life out of you, but you survived only because, somehow, in the nick of time, against all the odds, you were able to move one arm or leg … or shout JESUS? Many people go through this experience once in a while or regularly, and wake up to mount a search for someone to hang for it. This is good business for the growing army of modern day Nigerian pastors. Spiritually speaking, Nigeria falls within the “abnormal zone” of the earth. In this zone, there is an overpopulation of phantoms and demons. This cannot be helped because, spiritually speaking, most inhabitants of the abnormal zone experience life at this level. Fear and superstition rule their mind, blur their spiritual eyes and vision. And the priests feast on it. Arguably, Nigeria has the world’s largest concentration of churches per square kilometre. But this has not cleansed the land of witches and wizards. So, in this fertile land of fear pastoral work is often not about teaching God’s Will in Creation, or about imparting the knowledge of Creation, which many priests lack, anyway. Pastoral work has descended into festering fears of witches and the enemy, and offering miracles and deliverance from an evil world which their clients partook in bring about and, under the law of Nature, must experience. Prosperity, not God’s Will, is the vision of the congregation. Pastors are richer than businessmen and thieving politicians. And God has become an errand boy who must rain fire and brimstone on enemies; provide jobs and promotions, husbands, wives and children, NOT the Creator whose Will must be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Is the church different today from the synagogue from where Jesus chased out money changers? Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean that witches do not exist, or that they do not do those things they are said to do. Witches are people who, one way or another, have recognised certain principles or laws in the working of Creation, and apply them negatively to the detriment of other people. At 24, I had my first Out of Body Experience (OBE) and, soon after, became “day conscious” once or twice in my dreams. An OBE means the real you, the spirit, steps out of its physical body, beholds that body and beholds himself or herself. Day consciousness in a dream means you know in that dream state that your physical body is somewhere and the real you, the human spirit, is somewhere else, and you can experience life in that somewhere else as you do during day-time consciousness. From this experience, you come to recognise that there is another life outside physical life, that the body you use in that other world maintains the physical body you left behind in your bed, and that any harm or injury to that non-physical body will, ultimately, manifest in the physical body. That is why people who are shot in their dreams may suffer pain or disease in the corresponding parts of their physical body. That is also why the Abikus or Ogbanjes bring back wound marks on their mutilated physical bodies. For the soul body picked the injury before it finally separated from the physical body laid aside in death. Thus, I perfectly understood the secretary of Mr Aloysius Obiyo, proprietor of UNIVALUED Global Ventures, when his sister died of “tummy ache” which the family ascribed to “Spiritual attack”. I heard a similar story last week in Shomolu from a church-daughter of my sister. Her 14 -year - old sister complained of “tummy ache” in the afternoon, and died in the evening. I was in high school in the 1970s when one of my uncles, Mr Jimi Oshidipe Isonyin, died in hospital after a “tummy” complaint. All of us were furious with the doctor. What kind of doctor was this who couldn’t manage a simple tummy ache?, many ignorant members of the extended family asked. There is a common string which runs through all three deaths, and perhaps more, which does not necessarily make them the outcome of “spiritual attacks”. They were all cases of burst appendix. The appendix is a small pouch at the tip of the ascending colon (big intestine). The location may be found if the middle finger of the right hand is placed on the navel and the thumb is projected outwards to the right. The health of the appendix depends on the health of the digestive system. When there is too much pressure in the intestines from constipation or gas, the pouch may be forced open and filled with fecal matter. This, of course, sets up infection, inflammation and pain often called “tummy aches” because the pain may radiate upwards to the abdominal region. In many people, the appendix has been grumbling for years. Doctors call the situation “grumbling appendix”. Doctors often have no solution but surgery. Mr Dotun Akintoye, my best man, was booked for surgery about 10 years ago. When I advised him of some herbs he could take to quieten the appendix and he complied, the need for surgery disappeared….till this day. When many people hear of surgery, fear overwhelms them, and they begin to think of who may be behind their travail. That is a characteristic of the “spiritual abnormal zone” where people do not see events as equations in which they are involved as principal characters, and solutions to problems lying in the withdrawal or termination of their own inputs into the equation.

Sufferer

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HE same goes for near–death experience during sleep. For some years, I was a sufferer from these events known medically as “sleep apnea”. In that sleep state, I would know I was only a few moments away from physical death, and would appear to be unable to do anything about it unless I could move a hand or leg, or shout. Sometimes, help would come from my wife rolling over me, and I would

he met another doctor who used natural remedies in his protocol. The doctor put him on an energy analyzing machine which in a few minutes began to beep when the probe hit the mitral valve. The doctor gave Tradeau natural supplements which cured his mitral valve prolapse. Tradeau had had to travel to Mexico for this treatment because the American Medical Association forbade its use in the United States, one reason consciencious American doctors were learning for Canada and Mexico where medicine was more open-minded. Tradeau returned with joy to his American doctors, his story goes, to request a re-run of the old checks. They told him it would be a waste of their time and his money because the condition was irreversible and corrective surgery was risky. He insisted. And they agreed. To their amazement, Tradeau no longer had mitral valve prolapse. What went wrong? They stuck to their guns that the condition was irreversible naturally and came up with only one conclusion: they must have MISDIAGNOSED Tradeau’s heart problem. The annoyance of this experience challenged Tradeau to search for natural cures conventional medical hates to adopt, and this influenced the title of his book. He found that many people were dying from poisons they consume with food, especially microwaved food, and medicine, for the money, was offering them drugs and surgery, instead of nutritional and lifestyles changes. This is by the way. open my eyes to find myself breathing hungrily, hard and fast, as though I wanted to pack into my lungs and system, in the shortest possible time, all the air I had been deprived of for ages. Sometimes, it would be a sudden burst of wind slamming a door that would bring respite. It is always amazing how help always stood by when we are deep asleep, especially if before we went to bed we didn’t fail to beseech the Lord for His Protection. After such a prayer, I sometimes remember my grandmother, and never fail to remember my spiritual (not religions) upbringing since the 1970s. My grand mother forbade anyone to sleep on his or her back. She taught us grandchildren that witches were on the prowl at night, and could see all the internal organs of people who slept, Chest up. So, we learned to sleep, side down. Spiritual upbringing taught me about elemental or Nature beings. They are servants of the Almighty Creator who are the forces which produce what we call Nature. Baalam, as reported in the Old Testament of the Bible, saw them after his horse had sighted them in activity, but in error named them Angels. They are servants of the Most High who are meant to help us in all situations, even to protect our physical bodies during sleep, and our souls or ethereal bodies during OBEs. Most people have OBEs but do not know. A dream may be an OBE in which the dreamer may, or may not die day conscious on the other side. The spirit never tires or sleeps. When the physical body goes to recharge its batteries as it were during sleep, the soul or spirit “travels” out of that casing for guidance or experiences that should guide its future earthly conduct. Thus, the Pharaoh would dream of seven lean cows eating up seven fat cows, a dream slave boy Joseph would correctly interprete to mean seven years of bumper harvests and plenty overtaken by seven years of blight bad famine. Egypt would, therefore in the years of plenty save food for the years of blight.

Sleep apnea

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HIS condition belongs to a class of health troubles known as sleep disorders. These disorders have different causes and symptoms. Calcium and Magnesium deficiency, for example, may cause the nerves, brain and blood vessels not to relax for sleep. The brain may not have enough neurotransmitters. These are chemical substances which calm the brain. Serotonin, one of them, sends the brain to sleep once the eyes pick the signals of nightfall. Too much serotonin may cause Narcoptesy or steep attack, in which a person may fall asleep when walking to a bus stop or while conducting a Board meeting. There is also the Restless Legs Syndrome in which poor blood circulation and nerve irritation may cause such sensations as may make one wish to move the legs, and knee jerks which get one up from sleep. Fatigue and depression are culprits in sleep disorder. They make the body consume neurotransmitters faster than they are produced by the body. This creates a deficiency. High blood pressure, iron deficiency, constipation, late meals, caffeine and microwaved food cause trouble also. Kevin Tradeau, in his NATURAL CURES ‘THEY’ DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT, says a lot about the health danger of micro waved food and why the Russians banned microwaves in their country. The summary is that microwaves damage the molecular structure of foods, transforming them into poisons, even when, visually, they remain appealing. Besides, they eliminate the “life force” in food which maintains the life forces in humans. Tradeau cites an experiment, which anyone can perform at home, which persuaded many people in Europe to throw away their microwaves. In that experiment, two groups of seeds were sprouted. One group was fed microwaved water group did not germinate. But the group fed clean, filtered water grew lushfully. Tradeau himself was a victim of these matters. At 21, he suffered a heart attack. It took his doctors several days of strenuous laboratory tests to discover that he had mitral valve prolapse from birth. They told him there was no cure, and surgery was risky. He went helter shelter, as they say, in search of help. Then,

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

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N sleep apnea, breathing ceases or is suspended and, should it not be resolved suffocation occurs. That means death. In other words, sleep apnea can lead to respiratory failure and death. This process has been suggested to be cause of cot deaths in which otherwise healthy babies are found stone dead, with no other reasonable explanation for this occurrence. Doctors are still baffled about the cause of sleep apnea. But they are not giving in to the witches – at - work hypothesis. One leading assumption is an infection of the region of the throat behind the nose and the mouth called nasopharyngeal zone. The common cold infection, like bacterial and candida havocs, have been suggested as causes of inflammation and collapse of this airway. As the airway narrows, air from the nostrils is forced through, towards the lungs, and this partly causes the snoring sound. That’s why people who snore are most likely candidates for sleep apnea. In Europe, many snorers go to bed with all kinds of devices in their mouths to open up this air passage. Kevin Tradeau will wonder; Why don’t they do candida, bacterial and viral cleanse? The body must be filled with toxins and germs and the immune system must be seriously depleted. The snore and the sleep apnea must be ways through which the body is telling us to do something urgently before it is too late William Shakespeare, that great literary English giant, knew about 100 years ago that the snore is a serious message when he wrote in The Tempest: “Thou dost snore distinctly. There’s meaning in thy snores” Healing Sleep Opnea In all probability, infection is present in the throat/ air passage zone. There is inflammation as well. Soft muscles and nerves in this region may have been damaged as well. To imagine the ongoing inflammation and damage scenarios, think of two loaves of bread, one fresh from the bakery, the other soaked in water overnight. Tissue in the throat/ air passage zone may be like the second loaf of bread. To eliminate germs, the following herbs and / or food supplements may be useful (1) Amazon Throat E-Z (2) Colloidal silver for gagging (3) Oregemo Spray or gel. (4) Echrnacea Supreme (5) Golden Seal root capsules or tea (6) Sage tea ((7) Kyolic garlic (8) Amazon AF, for candida (9) Amazon AV, for viruses (10) Bell’s Shark Liver Oil for viruses. Antinflamatories that may help may include Broad Spectrum Bioflameds to which may be added Activated Queration, also a bioflamoid, Curcumn 2000x, Ginger, Pantothenic Acid, Udo’s oil, Flax Seed oil buffered or alkaline Vitamin C. To relax the nerves and tone them, nerve tonics should be considered. Some of these are B – complex vitamins, St. Jolin’s Wart, Vervain, Valerian root, Passion, flower, when it comes to the healing of damaged tissue, we need a good multimineral multiple formula, or a good (about 40) green leaves powder formula. The same goes for zinc, amino acids collagen, and the proprietary blend called Stem Cell Activator. Actually Tradeau’s healing protocol included Stem Cell injections. This has to be carried out by or under the supperusion of a medical doctor with the expertise. Stem Cell Activator is a proprietary intermediate stage process as the name implies. It supports the production in the bone marrow, say the producers, of stem cells which circulate in the blood and are attracted to tissue where damage has occurred or where replacement cells are required. There, this neutral cell adjusts itself to the local tissue environment, becoming, for example, a cell of the eye or a liver cell. With this healing scenario, it is certain that snoring and sleep apnea can be reversed, and the thought of witches being behind suffocation or near – death experiences diminished. How I wish Mrs. Switzer will read this. Her husband Melvin, a 200lb British dockworker, held or still holds the Guinness Book of World Records title with a snore sound of 88 deubels. That’s about the sound of a motorcycle engine at full speed. Mrs. Switzer had to lay her good ear to the pillow when she slept at night. She went deaf in the other because of the motorcycle noise on the other side of the bed, reports the Doctors Book of Home Remedies. But she isn’t screaming witches or seeking pastoral deliverance from them.

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

47

THE NATION

e-Business Subscribers seek compensation for poor service Bowing to the avalanche of complaints from subscribers, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recently banned telecoms service providers from doing promotions and lotteries on their networks. But subscribers insist NCC should move beyond that and compel operators to compensate them for the long period of poor service delivery. LUCAS AJANAKU reports

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F Onyekachi Aguomuo, a lawyer, had an option, his recent experience with his global system for mobile (GSM) communication service provider would have made him to stop using mobile phone. He had re-united with four colleagues with whom he did the Advanced Level General Certificate of Education (GCE) at the Federal School of Arts and Science, Sokoto, between 1986 and 1988. He was so excited about the re-union that the he immediately put a call across to his wife to share the joy with him. For so long, he tried without success. When what appeared like respite came his way, he was dumbfounded to hear: “The number you have called is incorrect. Please check it and call again.” He was frustrated, especially when his service provider told him that he no longer knew the number of his wife. “I was shocked to hear that. I scrolled through the phone and doublechecked the number and when I was convinced that the number was correct, I dialled again. The call came through but the joy of getting to talk to her evaporated like soap bubbles when the conversation snapped when she had hardly spoken with one of them,” Aguomuo told The Nation. He said the operators were acting with impunity, wondering if there was no law to check their excesses. Felix Momodebe, a Computer Engineering graduate of the Lagos State University (LASU) also has a bitter experience with his service provider. A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in Osun State, he was “broke” and needed to make calls to his parents in Kogi State. After many fruitless attempts to call his mummy’s number, he tried that of his uncle. With only N50 worth of airtime on his phone, he dialled the number of his uncle only for his operator to divert the call to another person. “All I heard from the other end was that you have dialled a wrong number. By the time I checked the credit on my phone, it had depleted. I was livid with anger because the call I intended putting across to my parents was that of a child in distress. I had no money on me and our ‘allowee’ was not ready,” he complained. The experience of Aguomuo and Momodebe are but few of the over 105 million telecoms subscrbers in Nigeria that daily pass through one form of agony or the other in their efforts to use their mobile phones owing to congestion on the network. As a matter of fact, sector analysts say persistent congestion on the network has led to break down in marriages while business opportunities have also been lost. Momodebe carpeted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for not doing enough to protect the subscribers. “The NCC ought to do more than it is doing by ensuring that the consumers are adequately protected. It should not have stopped at stopping promos and lotteries, it should have gone further by asking the operators to compensate their subscribers as it happened during the days of his predecessor,” he said, adding that none of the big players is living up to the expectation of their subscribers. For Aguomuo, the reign of impunity that has been the hallmark of operators of GSM in the country is disturbing. According to him, whenever a subscriber buys a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), activates and loads it with recharge card, a contract is entered into between the subscriber and the operator, adding that any breach of that contract by way of poor service quality is intolerable. “The regulator, having established, through the appropriate unit, that the contract has been breached should step in and impose sanction on the erring party,” he said, adding that compensating subscrbers for long period of poor service is not out of the point at this time. Network congestion in the country has further been worsened by the cut-throat competition the operators are engaged in. They promise aircraft, luxury bus and various goodies, including almost 500 per cent free talk time, which had inevitably led to congestion of the network, leading to unauthorised call diversion and routing calls into voice mails. Experts say network congestion causes poor reception, drop calls, poor voice signal as well as clogging of interconnect routes between networks. Regulators’ perspective Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said she is also worried by the situation of things as hardly a day passess without people complaining. “I am quite aware of the poor quality of service, which seems to be getting worse by the day. Quality of service is probably one of the biggest issues that the industry is dealing with right now and it is important that consumers understand what the issues are and what the Ministry and NCC, the regulator, are doing about it. At present, the telecoms industry has some problems with the inadequate number of base stations, arbitrary cost and lengthy process of right of way acquisition, persistent interruptions as they try to lay cables even after obtaining right of way, wilful and accidental damage to fibre optic cables and base stations and ofcourse illegal taxes and levies by a number of state and

•Omobola

local governments all of which work together to affect quality of service,” she said, adding that she has studied at the newly gazetted quality of service indicators which has these challenges and problems built into it. “We are not asking for 99.9 per cent network uptime or a zero per cent call drop rate or 100 per cent successful call set up. For this reason, I have asked the NCC to start the process of not only publishing performance on quality of service by operator per month but also impose meaningful penalties on operators that do not meet the targets set. Performance and penalties will be published on NCC websites monthly. In other words, there shall be consequences for network operators that do not meet this quality of service indicators. I don’t believe that there is any self-respecting company that wants to be constantly and continously penalised by its regulator; so it is expected that this singular action will result in more effort being placed on improving quality of service by all network operators,” she added. Stakeholders’ perspective President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Bayo Banjo, blamed the development on the era of weak regulation. Acording to him, the regulator, the NCC has become a toothless bulldog that could only bark. Banjo, who is the immediate past vice president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), argued that the practice in developed countries is that the government approaches the issue with a stick and carrot. He said like what happened in the financial sector, any erring telco chief should be shown the way out. For the Chief Executive Officer,Teledon Group,Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the situation could truncate the Vision 20:2020 programme of the Federal Government. He lamented that in this information age, anything that would hinder the free flow of information and spread of knowledge would do collateral damage to the nation. He blamed the problem on “low capacity”and the refusal of the operators to plough back substantial part of their mega profits into expanding the network. But President, National Association of Telecom Subscribers

‘We are not asking for 99.9 per cent network uptime or a zero per cent call drop rate or 100 per cent successful call set up. For this reason, I have asked the NCC to start the process of not only publishing performance on quality of service by operator per month but also impose meaningful penalties on operators that do not meet the targets set. Performance and penalties will be published on NCC websites monthly’

•Juwah

•Adebayo

(NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo,disagrees with subscribers over demand for compensation. According to him, the operators should be given another three-month window within which to do the right thing, especially when it was realised that early in the year, the NCC had fined them N1.17 billion for failing to comply with the minimum standard of quality of service. While MTN and Etisalat coughed out N360 million each, Airtel and Glo paid N270 million and N180 million to the Federal Government. But operators say they were not responsible for the problem. President, Association of Licenced Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) Gbenga Adebayo, said bombs and floods had affected quality service provison in the country. According to him, the incidents affected over 250 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) that lost connection (due to primary and secondary impact) and many suffered significant damage beyond repairs. Added to this is the usual resort to closing BTS by agents of the government over refusal to pay charges that are not known to law, adding that when one base station is closed, it affects others because of the inability to connect calls from the closed BTS. While Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said the agency was monitoring the performance of the operators since they and the regulator have agreed to key performance indicators (KPIs), which they must not go below, subscribers say the horse must have starved to death before the grass grows.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

e-Business

A

N indigenous submarine cable company, MainOne, official has accused the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of looking the other way when major operators engage in anti-competitive practices that are capable of killing small players. Telecoms sector analysts complain of the weak regulation, insisting that the regulator is a toothless bulldog that could only bark. An official of the firm,Kemi Adeyanju, who spoke in Lagos, lamented that in the submarine cable market, there are other operators providing the same services, arguing that these operators have core retail and wholesale businesses integrated. He added that they also have infrastructure. “The challenge we face regarding last mile services puts us at a disadvantage and indicates that our segment is not competitive. We have had experience where our competi-

‘NCC regulation is weak’ Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

tors sell services in Abuja and Lagos at the same price, they refuse to share infrastructure with us, and most times give infrastructure away to other players in the market,” she lamented. According to her, the refusal to share infrastructure is one way of ensuring that the competitor is driven out of business, adding that this could take the form of deliberately increasing the price of access to infrastructure - bearing in mind that the central objective of most interconnection policies is the principle of non- discriminatory. She lamented that the various anti-competitive practices being carried out with impunity despite the existence of rules and regula-

tions barring such. She urged the NCC to demonstrate commitment to restore the confidence of operators in the market. “Rules currently exist in the Acts and Regulations but needs to be enforced. The Commission needs to demonstrate commitment to restore operator’s confidence as they are reluctant to come forward not to ruffle any nest of the big operators whilst nothing will be done to the big player and the complaining operator will then be victimised by the big operator,” she said. Adeyanju wants the NCC to invoke its investigative responsibility, set up Special Competition Tribunal, simplify the procedure for complaining and resolving issues in realistic timelines and put puni-

tive remedies such as fines, compensation, suspension of licences, publication of names of operators engaging in these acts among other recommendations. She identified increased costs of providing services by way of high price to end users, duplication of infrastructure, creation of a dominant operator, erection of barrier to market entry and enhancement of the quick exit of smaller/new operators as the evils of anti-competitive practices. These, she said, also discourage investment, impact the quality of service and is responsible for low level of broadband penetration in the country. Adeyanju said the laws cover all these areas but only needed to be

enforced by the NCC. But the NCC said it has engaged the services of foremost consultancy firm, KPMG, to carry out an assessment of the current level of competition in the telecoms industry. Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, said at a forum that the commission was committed to remaining vigilant to ensure sustainability and fair competitive practices in the industry. Juwah, who was represented by a Commissioner from the commission, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, said: “Obtaining empirically verifiable information on this competition issue is fundamental to the development of regulatory initiatives to prevent anti competitive practices and deepen competition in the industry. The result of the study will go a long way to ensuring confidence and certainty in all players in the various markets over unfair practices of their competitors.”

ISPON chief flays poor funding of research, devt

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RESIDENT, Institution of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chris Uwaje, has condemned the absence of investment on research and development in the country, warning that no nation can make progress in technology without investing in it. Uwaje who spoke at a workshop organised by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) on Computer Science/Information Technology at the University of Lagos. He lamented that with about 70 per cent population growth that makes the country to stand at number eight in global rankings of the most populous countries, it is sad that it cannot innovate for the communication technology, adding that the nation ought to earn technology and not to wish for it. He said delivering ICT could change the government’s policies, education, and industry through research and development. Uwaje charged the Federal Government to fund reserach for the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that the country cannot be viable enough if it does not invest in research, which would bring about creativity and innovation.

By Adedeji Fakorede

He said the networked world now demands a workforce that will understand how to use technology as a tool for increased productivity and creativity, adding that the academia, the government and industry should collaborate to establish a national database of teaching resources and a network of facilitators to support and sustain life. He charged the NCS to research on a super computer for the country. President, NCS, Sir Ademola Aladekomo, said the workshop was designed to hone the skills and propagate the development of information technology and research. He said the group has put mechanisms in place that would spur interest in ICT among youths. This, he said, is through organising competitions for pupils in secondary schools to bring out the best in them. Aladekomo decried the dearth of research equipment nationwide and urged the industry to fund the university system for research. Prof.Nike Osofisan said every child is a potential researcher and a scientist, adding that parents should expose their children to creativity and technology at a tender age.

Teledon Group introduces smart classroom

A

N indigenous ICT firm, Teledon Group, has introduced a modern learning and teaching equipment, Smart Classroom to redefine teaching and learning in schools. Speaking at the unveiling of the products, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, chief executive officer of the firm, said the advantages of the innovation are: students would have an audio-visual copy of each lecture, a development, which, he said, allows for ease of revision. “Smart Classroom is a technology enhanced classroom that boosts the quality of teaching and learning by leveraging on technology such as computers, specialised software, audience response technology, videoconferencing platform, digital podium, networking, interactive smartboard, multimedia projector, LCD TV, DVD player/recorder, USB duplicator, SATA storage devices,” he explained to The Nation in Lagos. According to him, it comprises automated teaching, learning processes where lectures are recorded for date and time specific playback, making revision and assimilation a pleasant experience. He said the advantages include allowing the teacher to produce and modify resources quickly and

easily, real-time access to internetbased information and resources, allowing access to a wide range of information in different formats, multimedia enrichment of the senses of the students for high assimilation and allowing teachers to use different drafts to assess how work is progressing and what input is needed. “By having recorded classroom sessions for future playback, complacency on the part of teachers is eradicated, hence, there will be a remarkable improvement in the way teachers teach,” he added.

•From left: Head, Glowworld, Mr Rejiu Handa; Head, 3G and Eletronic Globacom Mr Gabriel Olarewaju and General Manager, Marketing and Strategy Globacom, Mr Ashotoh Tiwary, during the launch of Revolutionary Glo Bolt in Victoria Island, Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

Lagos teachers to get laptops

T

EACHERS in Lagos State public schools may soon get laptop from the state government, Aebiyi Fatai Mabadeje, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, has said. He spoke during the opening ceremony of ICT Curriculum Workshop for Secondary Schools Teachers in the state at Digital Village, said 120 schools in the state now have ICT Labs where students go in and take practical lectures. “We will look at the request by the teachers for laptops. Clearly, it is something we would like to do for them and we are glad that they are asking,” he said, adding that it is a clear manifestation that the teachers have acquired a skill, which they intend to take forward. On the provision of personal computers in schools to facilitate teaching, he said: “What we traditionally do is to create what we call an ICT Lab in the school equipped with computers, which the teachers can use to teach the students. It

is a shared resource where, whenever they have the students have their ICT classes, they go in and take lectures. It is like a common room where there are computers with internet access. We have done about 120 schools, we intend to do more. It’s in phases, the first being for secondary schools.” He said the workshop was designed to upgrade the skills and knowledge of teachers in the state and improve the performance of pupils, especially in internal, external examinations and provide platforms for interactions for teachers to brainstorm and evolve better ways of handling and imparting knowledge. “This is because the goal and determination of the present administration is to provide qualitative and functional education consistent with our socio-economic and technological needs and to adequately equip our children and youths for global

challenges in the future,” he said. According to the commsisoner, training and retraining is the bedrock of professionalism and ICT brings more it as it allows for adequate research, online classes, advance learning softwares and latest graphic illustrations. “The adminstration is committed to science and technology education because they have been proved to be an effective panacea to rid our society of ignorance, backwardness and underdevelopment. It is seen as a veritable tool and vehicle for socio-economic and political transformation of our society. “It is seen by this administration as the basis upon which our policies as highlighted in the 10-point agenda are laid,” he said. One of the greatest possibilities for the country he added, will be her ability to utilise the power IT to assemble and analyse relevant data for meaningful planning and policy implementation.”

Airtel, Ericsson partner on network upgrade

B

HARTI Airtel is undertaking networking transformation programme in its mobile operations in 16 African countries. The programme, according to a statement, is the largest on the continent. It involves the upgrade and expansion of network elements on Airtel’s African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems. This transformation, in which Ericsson is a partner, has deployed the latest wireless technologies,

would enhance Airtel’s network capacity and robustness and help deliver best-in-class services to customers at affordable rates. This also makes Airtel’s networks ready for next generation services that include high speed data and value added services. Also, an upgrade of the charging platforms in its operations was implemented, introducing the latest version of Ericsson’s Charging System, enabling Airtel to offer subscribers new and innovative value-added services, such as mobile wallets. This project will result in Airtel’s 60+ million customers having a better expe-

rience on their networks. Chief Technical Officer, Airtel Africa, Eben Albertyn, said: ”The customer is at the core of everything we do at Airtel. The implementation of this transformation programme will enable us to further enrich our customer experience across the region. It allows us to provide Airtel subscribers with the best network possible while meeting the growing usage of mobile data. “Our long-standing relationship with Ericsson gave us confidence in their ability to manage and deliver such a large and complex project.”

Backed by 12,000 consulting and systems integration professionals across the world, over 100 Ericsson resources worked onsite to ensure successful delivery of this complex project – the largest network modernisation programme in Africa’s telecom history. Ericsson’s systems integration organisation according to the statement, delivers more than 1,500 systems integration projects per year in multi-vendor and multiple-technology environments. Projects range from single-solution integrations to end-toend solution transformation projects such as this one.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

News ‘Banigo’s kingship’ll enhance Brass LNG project’

T

HE inauguration of renowned banker, Ebitimi E. Banigo, as paramount ruler of the Okpoama Kingdom in Bayelsa State, will not only remain topicical for a long time but also quicken the completion of the multi-billion dollar Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (Brass LNG) project. Installed as Okpo XXl and the Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, one of the host communities of Brass LNG project, Banigo, according to industry operators, came at an auspicious time in the life of the project. As a boardroom guru and entrepreneur, the operators said he would not only boost the project but will usher in a new lease of life for the people of the Kingdom. With him at the inauguration was another key personality that will assist in successful execution of the project, a former Governor of old Rivers State and frontline leader and the paramount ruler of another host community of the project, Twon Brass, Amanyanabo Alfred DieteSpiff. At the event was the Chairman of the Brass LNG Limited, Dr. Jackson GaiusObaseki. He expressed joy with the installation of Banigo as monarch, saying as a boardroom player, the monarch would, no doubt, strive to ensure a peaceful environment for business operation, which would be a catalyst to a successful ex-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

ecution of the project. Gaius-Obaseki, who is a a former group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the island to witness the installation of King Banigo was a testimony of the commitment of his administration to a successful execution of the project. He said Brass Island could be the commercial gateway to Bayelsa State and expressed confidence that when completed, the project would offer job opportunities to hundreds of indigenes of the community and the state. The Final Investment Decision (FID) on the twotrain, 10 million metric tonnes per year project has been scheduled for the first quarter of next year, which Gaius-Obaseki confirmed at the company’s Eighth Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) holds 49 per cent equity in the company, and plans to divest about 30 per cent from it out of which five per cent will go to the Bayelsa State Government, while LNG Japan would take four per cent, Itochu Corporation, three per cent, and a joint venture between Nigerian indigenous company Sahara and Francebased Sempra Energy would

hold two. American oil group, Conoco Phillips, which is divesting its interest from Nigeria, French giant - Total and Italian company, Eni, hold 17 per cent stake apiece in the project. Under the Shareholders’ Agreement, the NNPC cannot divest its equity in the project until an FID has been taken; and towards the realisation of this (FID), a crucial meeting of the Board was held earlier last week. At the moment, efforts are in top gear to make sure that the FID was realised. Earlier, the Chairman of Okpoama Kingdom Council of Chiefs, Chief Wapaobinyo Amade-Obasi, noted that the coronation signals a transformation of the kingdom with its proud heritage into a world class global economy.

E

•From left: General Manager, Brass Facilities, Dr. Joao De Oliveira; King Banigo and wife, Queen Pelebo; and Chairman, Brass LNG, Dr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, at King Banigo’s Coronation.

In his address, Banigo pledged to work for the common good of the people. He noted that the kingdom is poised to provide the enabling environment for well-meaning inves-

tors to harness its abundant resources with a view to becoming an industrial hub especially in the gas and oil sector. King Banigo, who praised the efforts of President

Jonathan and governors of flood affected states for alleviating the sufferings of internally displaced persons, also thanked those who contributed to the success of the event.

Clarke frets over Petroleum Industry Bill

LDER statesman Chief Edwin Clarke has said certain issues, which the newly revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly fails to address may end up undermining and threatening the existence of the Niger Delta if not revisited. The former Information commissioner expressed this concern while calling for additional provision to be included in the bill to take care of these issues. Delivering a paper entitled:

By Bidemi Bakare

The PIB and the oil producing areas equation, at an Upstream and Downstream Oil and Gas expo in Abuja, Clarke said some of these issues centred on transparency, the environment and economic empowerment of the people of Niger Delta. On transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry, Clarke said they are provided for in the bill, particularly on tendering and licensing for oil blocks still fall short of what

is required. He said: ”The process of licensing and tendering in the oil industry is still not transparent enough even with the new PIB. I would have wanted the process to be made more open so that the owners of the oil blocks are made public. Such transparency will curb the corruption in the industry as well as increase the revenues accruable to the Federal Government.We need to have a competitive and open licensing and tender pro-

cess for all the oil blocks and marginal fields as well as in the associated processes for granting licenses for crude oil lifting and other downstream activities. This I think would ensure better returns to the government.” On protection of the environment, Clarke said what the new bill makes provision for is still a far cry to what is required for the mitigation of the level of degradation done to the environment.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-11-12

High-cap stocks drag market down

T

HE Nigerian stock market relapsed to the negative yesterday as supply pressures on highly capitalised stocks in the breweries, banking and manufacturing sectors coloured the overall market situation. Both the aggregate market value and the benchmark value index slipped by 0.21 per cent each, implying a modest loss of N18 billion. Although there were more losers than gainers, losses by Guinness Nigeria, UAC of Nigeria (UACN), Flour Mills of Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Unilever Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK) defined the market position. The scheduled merger of Flour Mills and its subsidiary, Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company (Bagco) Plc continued to play out in favour of Bagco, with the share price of the subsidiary advancing while the parent company declined. In the merger proposal, Bagco was valued at N2.75 per share, appreciably higher than cur-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

rent market consideration. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from opening value of N8.400 trillion to close at N8.382 trillion. The main index, the All Share Index (ASI), which tracks changes in prices of all quoted companies, slipped from 26,358.73 points to 26,303.35 points. The average year-to-date return at the stock market dropped to 26.88 per cent. Guinness Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N12.59 to close at N239.26. UACN trailed with a drop of N2.48 to close at N40.50. Flour Mills lost N1.68 to close at N64.57. MRS Oil and Gas declined by N1.45 to close at N27.70. GSK dropped by N1.40 to close at N37.51. Zenith Bank and Unilever Nigeria lost 41 kobo each to close at N17.49 and N41.60 respectively. DN Meyer dropped by 34 kobo to N3.11. Academy Press lost 27 kobo to close at N2.43 while FBN fell by 20 kobo to N15.20. On the other hand, Nige-

rian Breweries led the price appreciation list with a gain of N3.95 to close at N137. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with addition of 90 kobo to close at N30. Presco rallied 52 kobo to close at N15.37. Bagco added 11 kobo to close at N2.37. Dangote Sugar Refinery and RT Briscoe gained 7.0 kobo each to close at N5.57 and N1.55 while Honeywell Flour Mills and United Bank for Africa rose by 6.0 kobo each to close at N2.06 and N4.60 respectively. Total turnover stood at 262.04 million shares valued at N1.54 billion in 3,749 deals. Banking sector accounted for 103.12 million shares worth N687.12 million in 1,983 deals. Insurance subgroup followed with a turnover of 93.83 million shares worth N72.27 million in 120 deals. Petroleum-marketing subsector recorded a turnover of 20 million shares valued a tN18.78 million in 73 deals. On stock by stock basis, Continental Reinsurance topped activity chart with a turnover of 87.46 million shares valued at N67.99 million in 31 deals. Beco Petroleum trailed with 20 million shares worth N10 million in two deals while Unity Bank placed third with a turnover of 16.5 million shares valued at N8.62 million in 69 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-11-12


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

55

MONEY LINK

Drop in Nigeria’s revenue imminent, says Rewane

D

•Seeks change in monetary stance

EEPENING global uncertainties and weak global demand are likely to suppress oil prices and slash Nigeria’s revenues, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Bismarck Rewane has said. In the FDC Economic report

By Collins Nweze

for November, he noted that since Nigeria obtains over 80 per cent of its fiscal receipts from oil, a reduction in fiscal revenue especially if production drops, will deplete earn-

ing downgrade,” he said. The FDC boss said all pointers are in favour of an end to the CBN’s tight monetary policy stance and the need to boost growth and lending to the real sector. He said the current contractionary policy stance has been in play since October 2011 when the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was raised by 275 basis points. He insisted that the sustainability of a contractionary stance and its stifling impact on growth and the economy justifies the need for a change in policy direction. “Our view is that the overdependence on interest rates as a tool for adjustment is precarious. In 2013, the CBN will have to moderate its stance to allow the interest rate decline and exchange rate depreciate,” he said. According to him, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), as anticipated, left its benchmark interest rate un-

ings for the country. “Any oil price and or production disruption could easily deplete the government coffers to as low as $20 billion, a depreciation of the exchange rate, loss of market confidence and a possible rat-

LCCI flays CBN over interest rate retention T

HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over the implications of retaining interest rate at 12 per cent. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had last Tuesday, retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent. LCCI Director-General, Muda Yusuf said the current economic and business conditions will escalate unemployment crisis, decline profit margins, weaken consumer demand and lead to prohibitive interest rates. He also said that the tight monetary stance will decelerate economic growth and lead to high mortality rate of small businesses. “These conditions call for policy choices that would stimulate the economy, even at the risk of inflation. Boosting economic activities would increase output and invariably moderate inflation. The MPC decision to retain a regime of tightening is ill advised and insensitive,” he said.

According to Yusuf, the apex bank’s concern about Inflation, exchange rate stability and the preservation of foreign reserves are noted but given the present socio economic conditions, stimulating the economy should be paramount at this time. He added that monetary policy decision should ideally be situated in the context of this reality; the interest of the larger economy and the welfare of the citizens. “The ultimate aim of economic policy is to impact the lives of the

people. Economic policies are not ends in themselves, but means to an end! The fiscal authorities also have a critical role to play in revamping the economy; but regrettably, the effectiveness of fiscal policy has been significantly weakened by corruption and pathetic institutional capacity,” he said. The CBN left interest rate unchanged last Tuesday. The apex bank said that interest rate of 12 per cent will check excess money supply and demand for dollars. It said that naira’s appreciation could be traced to tight monetary condition.

Fidelity Bank steps up CSR

T

HE Fidelity Helping Hands Programme (FHHP),a staff funded volunteer initiative, has renovated and handed over Sought After Foundation Orphanage Home in Lekki, Ajah to its management. The bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services, Mrs Ugochukwu Chijioke, who

bank believed that giving back to the communities where it does businesses is the right thing to do, because in nourishing that community and paying attention to its needs, it shows that we are real citizens and members of the communities and not just visitors and strangers in the land”.

was represented by the General Manager of Operations, Mr Sam Obijiaku, said the renovation was done in the spirit of giving back to the society where it operates. She said the gesture was also meant to further the bank’s philosophy of being true to its communities. Mrs Chijioke said: “ the

FGN BONDS 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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 22-11-12 SYMBOL

O/PRICE

BAGCO RTBRISCOE PRESCO JBERGER HONYFLOUR NB CUSTODYINS LIVESTOCK NEM UBA

2.26 1.48 14.85 29.10 2.00 133.05 1.22 1.44 0.50 4.54

O/PRICE 2.70 3.45 3.02 42.98 0.54 251.85 29.15 2.72 1.67 0.97

A

S part of activities planned to mark 15 years of a rewarding partnership, UBA in conjunction with MoneyGram on has donated a fully branded crèche for the Oncology Pediatric ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Nigeria. The ward branch was handed over to Senior Management of LUTH at a ceremony within the hospital premises according to

a statement. The Product Manager, Stella Okojie, said that as part of bank’s incentive to reward customers during the UBA/MoneyGram 15th Year Anniversary, the Bank plans to execute hospital-based Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects. The hospital based initiative will take place in four regions, namely Lagos (Lagos University Teaching Hospital), Ibadan, Benin and Enugu.

C/PRICE

2.37 1.55 15.37 30.00 2.06 137.00 1.25 1.47 0.51 4.60

CHANGE

4.87 4.73 3.50 3.09 3.00 2.97 2.46 2.08 2.00 1.32

C/PRICE 2.43 3.11 2.82 40.50 0.51 239.26 27.70 2.60 1.60 0.93

CHANGE -10.00 -9.86 -6.62 -5.77 -5.56 -5.00 -4.97 -4.41 -4.19 -4.12

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 22-11-12

SYMBOL ACADEMY DNMEYER REDSTAREX UACN UNITYBNK GUINESS MRS AIRSERVICE ETERNA MCNICHOLS

UBA, MoneyGram celebrate partnership

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

Currency

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

policy stance to apply. Rewane said that for the leading economic indicators to have remained positive for two months and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth figure for third quarter to come in lower than the previous year at 6.48 per cent, sends mixed signals on the direction of the Nigerian economy.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

MANAGED FUNDS

OBB Rate Call Rate

•Rewane

DATA BANK

Tenor

NIDF NESF

changed at 12 per cent per annum during its last meeting for this year. He said the decision was based on inflationary risks and uncertainties surrounding the weak global economy and that other policy instruments such as the Cash Reserve Ratio and Net Open Position were left unchanged at 12 per cent and one per cent respectively. Likewise, Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased by 0.4 per cent to 11.7 per cent in October, primarily as a result of exceptional factors such as the flooding, which resulted in an increase in food inflation to 11.1 per cent. He said the impact of the flooding in 12 states of the country was immediate but was not as severe as expected. Core inflation declined for the fourth consecutive month to 12.4 per cent, which, according to the MPC has created some uncertainty as to the appropriate

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 128.02 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 125.16 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.79 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.11 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.96 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,743.19 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 11.31 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,926.69 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 127.71 124.40 0.76 1.11 0.94 1,735.74 10.75 1.33 1.80 8,695.33 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

NEWS

Five killed in Nasarawa communal clash

F

IVE persons were reported killed and 15 houses set ablaze in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State in renewed clashes between Koro and Eggon indigenes. Police Commissioner Abayomi Akeremale yesterday confirmed the death toll in Lafia, the state capital. He said several houses

•15 houses razed were destroyed by fire during the hostilities between the two tribes in Gwadanye area of Agyaragu. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the clash occurred after an unidentified person allegedly stole a motorcycle

from Angwan Yakubu. The suspected thief allegedly ran into Gwadanye, inhabited by the Koro. The demand by the people of Angwan Yakubu to fish out the alleged culprit resulted in a fracas that led to the death of more than

five persons and the burning of more than 15 houses. The constituency of the House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Elisha Agwadu was also razed. Akeremale said security agencies were on top of the situation, adding that security personnel had been deployed to ensure safety of life and property.

Orji, Abia lawmakers oppose Kalu’s return bid to PDP A BIA State Governor Theodore Orji, the three senators and House of Representatives members from the state yesterday kicked against the planned return of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Orji led the federal lawmakers and other party stakeholders in the state to the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja. They warned the PDP leadership against the consequences of readmitting Kalu into the party. A protest letter by the group, under the banner of Abia PDP Stakeholders, was submitted to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The group explained that readmitting Kalu into the PDP would return the party in Abia State to the battlefield. The statement reads:

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

“There is no one politician in the Southeast who excites as much resentment as the former governor among the elite and ordinary people. The former governor carries a huge credibility baggage; there are not a few Abians who accuse him of large scale squandering of their resources and the recrimination of politics from which the state is recently recovering. “In fact, the state government is seriously exploring the possibility of probing his administration to establish the truth of these allegations and to properly understand unexplained alleged fund diversion/misappropriation during his tenure. “His readmission would, therefore, significantly obstruct this objective and put

the state government in an impossible ethical dilemma at this critical period in the political life of the party. “The overwhelming rejection of his political dynasty and popular opposition to his continued relevance in the politics of Abia State were the strongest incentives to uniting all factions and tendencies in the build-up to the 2011 elections.” The lawmakers and stakeholders explained why Kalu should not be allowed back into the party. According to the, they do not oppose defectors returning to the party for a levelplaying field but there is a unanimity that readmitting any former member whose presence will cause disaffection or battles will be resisted. The statement added: “On the strength of our usually reliable intelligence gather-

ing from his (Kalu’s) loyalists, his sole objective in seeking to rejoin the party is to use its platform to pursue his presidential ambition. It is a ploy that will escalate tension within the ranks of the party; he is coming not to build but to distabilise. “If Chief Kalu were allowed to return, he would do so with his loyalists in the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). Where and how will they be accommodated? If they attempt to dislodge the existing structures, which are a product of a harmonised agreement among major interest groups and prominent individuals in the state, a violent struggle for power will ensue. “It was a similar struggle which caused the rift in Enugu State and eventually set the stage for the unceremonial exit of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo as national chairman.”

Embattled Kogi Speaker Bello resigns From Muhammad Bshir, Lokoja

HE crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly might have been settled. Embattled Speaker Abdullahi Bello yesterday resigned follow i n g t h e t r u c e b r o k e r e d b y m a j o r stakeholders last week. Bello was impeached amidst controversies and Jimoh Lawal was sworn in as the new Speaker in the heat of the crisis. There were moves last week to settle the crisis at the Government House in Lokoja, but the peace parley ended in a fight. The Nation learnt that there were reconciliatory moves to end the crisis with the resolve that only the embattled Speaker would resign while other principal officers would retain their positions. There were doubts earlier on whether Bello would resigned as he was said to have insisted that he and Lawal should vacate the seat for another member to take over. But Lawal yesterday retained the seat and was sworn in with other lawmakers in attendance. In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker noted that the unity of the Assembly is key to the progress and development of the state. He said the crisis in the Assembly has only made it stronger and more united. Lawal said: “The event that led to my election today has so much threatened our unity, the unity of this House. It has also stressed and tested our maturity and patriotism. Everyone of us should be proud that we have come out of the storm stronger, more united and more patriotic than ever before.” According to him, the events of the last five weeks have affirmed “why democracy is said to be a journey and not a destination”.

T

PUBLIC NOTICE EKEMODE

I, formally known as Miss Ekemode Bukola Rahfat, now which to be known and addressed as Dr. Mrs. Adeniran Ekemode Bukola Rahfat. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE OKANUME

I, formally known as Miss Okanume Anthonia Ogechi, now which to be known and addressed as Mrs Ike Anthonia Ogechi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

Shekarau: I remain member of Kano Emirate Council

F

ORMER Kano State Governor and the Sardaunan Kano,

Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, yesterday said his exit from the Kano Emirate Council is temporary and not by resignation. The Kano Emirate Council had been quoted as saying that Shekarau had resigned his membership of the traditional institution. The former governor told reporters in Kano that it is not true that he has resigned as the Sarduanan Kano and a

10 doctors sacked From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

T

HE Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre in Owo Local Government of Ondo State, Dr. Olufemi Omotosho, yesterday sacked 10 doctors. They were sacked, following the refusal of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) to end its two-week-old strike. The doctors are demanding a replacement of the shortfall in the number of doctors at the centre over the last three years. The union had been advised by the management to end the strike or see more of its members sacked. A statement by the ARD President, John Ajuonu and General Secretary, O.A Sotiloye condemned the management decision.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

member of the Emirate Council. According to him, he sought the permission of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, to step aside because of the responsibilities he handles for his party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He said: “It is now common knowledge that sometime last month my party, the ANPP, assigned to me an onerous task of leading a committee, formed and charged with the responsibility of contacting and discussing with opposition parties. This is with a view to merging and forming a common front to provide

Nigerians with an alternative platform that will lead our dear nation to the promised land. “No doubt, this is a task that will involve a lot of travels and holding meetings nation-wide. I, therefore, felt that I will definitely not have enough time to attend and participate fully in the Emirate Council’s meetings. “Upon this, I consequently wrote a letter to His Highness, the Emir of Kano, requesting for permission to withdraw (temporarily) from attending the Emirate Council’s meetings. This was to enable me concentrate on the new national assignment given to me by my party. “His Royal Highness has already replied, accepting

•Shekarau

my request. This has nothing to do with my position and functions as Sardaunan Kano. “I wish, therefore, to make it very clear that I, Ibrahim Shekarau, am still holding my position as Sardaunan Kano and will continue to exercise all known traditional rites, roles and functions associated with the traditional title.”

‘We lost 12 pastors to Boko Haram’

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HE President of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev. Soja Bewarang, yesterday said the church lost 12 pastors and several members to Boko Haram insurgence. Rev. Bewarang spoke in Jos, the Plateau State capital, when he presented his annual report to the General Church Council at COCIN headquarters. He said: “As if the great loss we suffered as a church in the last 12 months is not enough, only last week, we heard the brutal killing of Rev Elisha Kabura in his house in Borno State. “As a church, our heart is broken over the loss of our reverends in Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Maiduguri. The victims

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

would have been here with us for this general council meeting, if not for their untimely death. “We call on the Federal Government to take more serious proactive measures to safeguard life and property of all Nigerians, especially in Kaduna, Yobe, Borno and Bauchi states. “COCIN, as a single denomination, has suffered greatly due to Boko Haram activities and flood disaster.” The cleric was confident in the unity and progress of the country, despite its security challenges. He said the church would not deviate from its vision

and mission in the face of organised attacks. According to him, the divine mission of the church is being pursued with seriousness.

Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of accident and abandoned vehicles parked at Isokoko Division to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction. They are Honda Accord BullDog marked GF488LND, and Honda Accord ER566KRD.

PUBLIC NOTICE

AWUJOOLA HERITAGE FOUNDATION The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004. ITS TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Mr. Oladimeji Musifiru Isiaka 2. Mrs. Toyin Faramade Isiaka AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To establish a body dedicated to the provision of social services, empowerment and support to the immediate community and seek the grace of Allah. 2) To set up revolving credit schemes for the empowerment of drivers, artisans, market women and the indigent in the community. 3) To promote selfless services, peaceful cordial co existence and foster a happier world through love for humanity. 4) To promote entrepreneurship. Any objection thereto should be addressed to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Daniel + Company Barristers, Solicitors & Consultants (01-3202202, 08033047936)


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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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NEWS

FOREIGN

UNIPORT students write exams at stadium

Mumbai gunman executed

S

TUDENTS of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) have continued to write their second semester examinations at the stadium and convocation arena. Investigation yesterday revealed that the lecture halls at the university’s three campuses, fondly called parks, in Choba, Delta and Abuja were inadequate. Some of the students, who started their examinations on Monday, accused the ViceChancellor, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, of poor performance and

•Management: it’s blackmail From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

insensitivity to their plight. A senior official of UNIPORT, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Yes, it is true that UNIPORT students write examinations at the university’s stadium and convocation arena. This is not the first time. I have personally supervised examinations at the stadium. “Ajienka promised to invest in human capital development

and make UNIPORT an entrepreneurial university. The former VC, Prof. Don Baridam, tried his best by embarking on infrastructural development, especially buildings. “Writing examinations at the stadium and convocation arena is due to shortage of lecture halls. Students in certificate and post-graduate programmes began their second semester examinations on Monday and it will run simultaneously with that of under-

graduates. “UNIPORT Deputy Registrar, Information, Dr. Williams Wodi is also a lecturer in the university’s Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies. He may not tell you the truth, but the students are suffering.” When Wodi was contacted, he said: “Where is the story coming from? Sounds like programmed blackmail. Students in Physical Education do practicals at the convocation arena. Shouldn’t they do practicals again?”

Edo Tribunal: Airhiavbere presents five witnesses

F

IVE witnesses yesterday testified at the continued hearing of the petition filed by Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election in Edo State. Airhiavbere is challenging Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s victory at the polls on the grounds that Oshiomhole allegedly lacks the educational qualification to contest the election. He also alleged that the election was marred by irregularities. The five witnesses called by Airhiavbere are Ms. Omolulu Ogbeni, Phillip Osawaru, Peter Osawaru, Deaconess Osaghea Marina and Madam Jennifer Ologbosere. Ms. Ogbeni said she was a certified crime and intelligence

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

analyst and worked at the Los Angeles Police Department in the United States (US) for seven years. She told the tribunal that she joined the PDP over two years ago and was the party’s agent in Unit 27, Ward 12 of Oredo Local Government Area. Ms Ogbeni said: “Several people were using one card to vote repeatedly. I did not protest because security operatives pointed guns at me.” She said she did not ask for the result sheet after the election. A man and his son, Peter and Phillip Osawaru, testified that their names were missing on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) list of accredited party agents. They said they were PDP

agents in Units 12 and 13, Urhonigbe Ward in Orhionmwon Local Government Area and said PDP members were driven away during accreditation. Phillip, the son, who claimed to be 38 years, could not remember the year he registered as a voter. He told the tribunal that he did not know that persons below 18 were not allowed to register as voters. Deaconess Osaghea said she was not a party agent but the PDP Woman Leader in her locality. She claimed that voters were given N3,000 each to vote for Oshiomhole. Madam Ologbsere said she voted at Oza Primary School Unit 12, Ward 10 in Oredo Local Government. She told the tribunal that

money, canned malt, Gala and bottles of La Casera drink were shared by opposition parties to induce voters. The witness said House of Assembly Speaker Uyi Igbe gave oranges and N5,000 to voters at the polling centre. She said: “He told them to vote for ACN after sharing the money, but I do not know which party the people eventually voted for.” The tribunal Chairman, Justice Mu’azu Pindinga, urged Airhiavbere to increase the number of witnesses called because of time and adjourned till today. The timely intervention of security operatives prevented a clash between ACN and PDP supporters outside the premises of the hearing.

‘Obasanjo’s action on Odi was genocidal’

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IGER Delta rights activist Annkio Briggs yesterday said former President Olusegun Obasanjo should be tried for genocide by the International Court of Justice for criminal offences. She said Obasanjo’s 1999 military action on Odi, Bayel-

From Bukola Amusan and Faith Yahaya

sa State, which claimed over 4,000 lives, was not only barbaric but also genocidal. Speaking with The Nation in Abuja, Briggs wondered why Obasanjo was justifying the massacre of the community 13

years ago. Reacting to Obasanjo’s statement that President Goodluck Jonathan was slow in tackling the Boko Haram menace, Briggs said: “What Obasanjo wants is for Jonathan to move to the North and mindlessly wipe out a whole community

of people. “Nigerians should not forget that Obasanjo referred to the total destruction of a whole community and not 19 houses as he claimed. Can he do that in a Yoruba speaking state? The assault on the people was just too much.”

M

OHAMMAD Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has been hanged. The Pakistani national’s plea for mercy to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected earlier this month. He was executed in prison in Pune early on Wednesday, the Home Ministry said. The 60-hour siege of Mumbai began on 26 November 2008. Attacks on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre claimed 166 lives. Nine gunmen were also killed. Qasab and an accomplice carried out the assault on the main railway station, killing 52 people. He was convicted of murder and other crimes in May 2010. The Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in August.

Police Benghazi chief killed

T

THE police chief of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has been assassinated overnight, officials have said. Farraj al-Dursi was targeted outside his home in a driveby shooting. Col Dursi was appointed shortly after an attack on the US consulate in the September in which the US ambassador and three other Americans died. More than a dozen security officers have been assassinated this year in Benghazi, where the uprising against the late Muammar Gaddafi’s rule began. The BBC’s Rana Jawad in the capital, Tripoli, says most are believed to have been targeted because of their ties to the previous government. Before last year’s revolution that toppled and killed Gaddafi, Col Dursi was known to have been in charge of an official unit combating drugs, she says.

Funeral for Delta chief tomorrow

•The late Agbogidi

T

HE remains of the late Chief Moses Ederemugba Agbogidi, the Otota of Agbarha Kingdom and the Ugo of Agbarho Kindom will be buried tomorrow at his home on Uvwiama Road, Agbarho, Delta State. The late Agbogidi was the patriarch of the Afokaye Agbogidi family in Uvwiamuge Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Gov-

ernment. He was 90. There will be a service of songs at his Uvwiama compound today. The funeral service will hold at St. John’s Anglican Church, Esiso Street, Orho-Agbarho tomorrow, after which, he will be interred at his compound. Guests will be entertained at Agbarho Model Primary school playground in OrhoAgbarho. The late Agbogidi is survived by his wife, Lady Josephine and 16 children, amongst whom are Justice Clara Achilefu, Mrs. Kesiena Okumagba, Mrs. Faith Odibo, Mr. Akpovofene Agbogidi and Dr. Isreal Agbogidi, amongst others.

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

M

y pastor used me for sex. He knew that my husband and I have been trying to have children. One day, he said that God has chosen me for blessing and that I should come for prayer. We were in the room alone and from there, he started praying and touching me. He told me that God has chosen him to help me father a baby and that I should accept God’s gift. The first time it happened, I did not know what to say or do. And then he started inviting me regularly for prayer after which he will conclude by having sex with me. Now my conscience tells me that this is wrong – Mary Dear Mary, your conscience is only just telling you now that this is wrong? I cannot believe this. Where has your conscience been all along? Your ‘pastor’ is not using you. He is a predator playing a sexual game and you played along. You are a married adult woman. To let this criminal have sex with you while pretending not to know what is going on is an offence in itself. I know that you are desperate for a baby but not like this and you know it. Go to the hospital for a thorough STD test because you may have contacted a disease from this man. And after that, go for a fertility test. There are all kinds of drugs and medical procedures that can help you and your husband have a baby. And please report this criminal pastor to the police before he pounces on another desperate woman – Uche My husband has very weak erection and he is not ready to help himself. Even if I give him oral sex from now till tomorrow, he cannot get it up. If not that I am a godly woman, I would have cheated. I need your help – Justine Dear Justine, I understand that your husband is also overweight and diabetic. That is the cause of his problem. Diabetes has no cure so he can only use an erection supplement to make his erections strong. Libigrow supplement is good for diabetics and will help him a lot. I also thank you for not cheating on him. Marriage is not easy and when things get difficult, only the best of us do the right thing. I suggest getting a good vibrator for

yourself too. The Power Bumper Rabbit vibrator will satisfy you and ensure you are not tempted to cheat – Uche I used the Maximus Penis Enlargement Cream for a few months. It is working but it is finished. I sent my boy to buy more and he bought Max Width Enlargement Cream. Are they the same thing? O.J Hello O.J. both products are good but they are not the same thing. Max Width Enlargement Cream is an instant penis enlarger whereas Maximus Enlargement Cream takes a longer time to work but has longer lasting results – Uche What is the best lubricant you can recommend to my wife? We have three children – Pius Pius I recommend the A&E Vagina Tightening Lubricant. It lubricates and tightens the vagina. Women who have had children prefer it – Uche Hello sir. Will you still have the Love Stuff Delay Cream around March next year? I am using it now and it is helping me with my premature ejaculation so well that I worry you may not have it when next I need it – William We always have it William – Uche Good day sir. I am ready for phase two. I am taking the Libigrow supplement now and my erections and performances are powerful. Please let us tackle the sex position part now. Thanks - Philip That’s great Philip. Now look for The Advanced Sexual Techniques and Positions DVD . it has everything you need – Uche The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08191978308 or 08027901621 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

NEWS EFCC invites Babalakin over Ibori’s N2b loot Continued from page 4

forces in government are out to intimidate him so that he will not go to court over the termination of the concession agreement on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. “They are aware that they breached the existing agree-

ment on the concession of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. They know that Bi-Courtney Consortium has a good case but they want to use the EFCC to force Babalakin to negotiate and overlook errors committed by the Federal Government. “This man is just being per-

secuted because he was loyal to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. What is going on has political undertone beyond the EFCC. “They are just desperate, trying to hang him at all cost. These arm-twisting tactics will not assist indigenous investors to succeed.”

Jonathan: I can run in 2015 Continued from page 1

•Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa (right); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olufemi Olugbile and guest speaker, Dr. Olakunle Onakoya, at the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Association of Lagos State Government Employed Medical Doctors at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industy, Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday

toral Commission (INEC). The plaintiff is pleading with the court to direct INEC not to accept Jonathan’s nomination as candidate of the PDP for 2015 because the oath of allegiance and oath of office he would take, if he wins, will violate the two oaths of allegiance and office stipulated by the 1999 Constitution. But in a prelminary objection to the suit, Jonathan, through his lawyer Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), has asked the court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. According to him, the plaintiff is an ordinary individual who is not qualified to request the court to stop him from contesting 2015 presidential election. Jonathan said Amadi failed to disclose reasonable cause of action and that the plaintiff’s claim is hypothetical and academic. Jonathan averred that he

took the first oath of office on May 6, 2010 following the death of erstwhile President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. ‘’The question that arises for determination is whether, having regard to the facts of this case, he is in his first or second term. In other words, given that the constitution prescribes a maximum of two terms of four years each totalling a maximum of eight years as President, is he eligible to run for re-election in 2015? ‘’If yes, that would mean that, if he wins, he would be in office for a period of more than eight years. On the other hand, if the answer is no, that would mean that he, for no fault of his, would be constrained to serve for a period of less than eight years. ‘’Given that between May 6, 2010 and May 28, 2011, he held office for the unexpired term of office of Yar’Adua following his death. Does the constitution contemplate that the period of about one year and

three weeks would constitute his first term, a period of less than half of the constitutionally prescribed period of four years’’. He added: ‘’In resolving this issue, the court is invited to make a determination whether the period of May 6, 2010 to May 28, 2011 wherein Jonathan occupied the office of the president can in law be regarded as one term of office and relevance of the oath of office Jonathan took on May 6, 2010 in computing the tenure of office of Jonathan in line with sections 135 (1) and (2), 137 (1)(b), 140 (1) and (2) and 146(1) of the 1999 constitution’’. ‘’This approach is also consistent with the time-honoured canon of interpretation to the effect that if confronted with two interpretations, one of which would abridge a person’s right and another which would maintain or enhance a person’s rights, the former constitution yields to the latter’’. The matter continues.

Forbes lists Dangote, Adenuga, others Continued from page 4

•From left: Lagos lawyer Femi Falana SAN with his daughter, Folakemi and wife, Funmi, during the call to bar of Folakemi in Abyja...on Tuesday

abundant natural resources, but its 40 richest operate in an array of industries, bolstered by a growing consum-

er sector. Just four of the 40 draw their net worth from oil. Ten, by contrast, have diversified fortunes, either through ownership of a conglomerate (like Egypt’s Man-

sours) or ownership of assets in diverse realms, like Kenya’s Naushad Merali. Six built their wealth in the financial industry.

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TODAY IN THE NATION

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

‘The flow of arms into these areas can also destabilise the whole of West Africa and lead to the collapse of many states and consequential movement of huge population that can destabilise the entire world.’ VOL. 7, NO.2,317

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

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WANDAN President Paul Kagame was in Nigeria two weeks ago on a private visit at the invitation of a local Foundation. It was his first visit to Nigeria. The highlight of his short visit was the Spring Lecture on Public leadership of the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Nigeria, which he delivered at the Eko Hotel in Lagos. The Spring Lecture, an annual event, is a tradition shared by the two great British Universities. I was delighted to attend the lecture which was well attended by other Oxbridge graduates and their guests. I have visited the country before and I was eager to hear directly from President Kagame a personal account of recent developments in Rwanda, and how it emerged successfully from the tragic event of the genocide there a decade ago. President Kagame spoke enthusiastically and with justifiable pride and passion about the phenomenal economic and political progress achieved since he took over power in Rwanda, after the horrifying genocide that virtually destroyed the country. Rwanda is no longer a pariah state. Under his watch, the country is ostensibly more stable now. There is a general sense of normalcy there, though tribal violence and conflict remain a potent threat to its future stability. Rwanda appears to have put its ugly and dark past behind it. Some of the major economic transformation in Rwanda in recent years is being highlighted in the global media as a good example of sound economic management. Its growth rate in recent years has averaged eight per cent. This is striking as President Kagame came to power in the most inauspicious circumstances, after nearly a decade of civil war and genocide in Rwanda, in which nearly one million Tutsis, the minority tribe, were slaughtered by the Hutus, the majority tribe. The violence was a revenge for the 1972 slaughter by the Tutsi of some 200,000 Hutus, an event that attracted little global attention at the time. This time, the Tutsi genocide stirred the conscience of the world. Its primitive and horrifying savagery was incredible, even by African standards. It was worse than the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. It was the worst in Africa’s long history of bloody civil conflicts. But, like the recovery of Nigeria after its bloody civil war, Rwanda’s recovery from the tragic event and the deep seated tribal hatred that caused the genocide has been hailed and admired widely all over the world. Africans tend to forgive and forget more readily than other races. In general, poor people tend to forgive and forget more easily, since their means of vengeance is limited. But as Chinua Achebe’s recent controversial book, ‘There was once a Country, and the response to it have shown, the victims of violence do not forgive and forget completely. They simply wait for the right moment for vengeance. Rwanda has had a chequered political history of serial and tribal violence. With its undulating features and terraced farming, it is a beautiful, small, but landlocked country in Central Africa. Until its independence in 1962, it was one of the three Belgian colonies in Africa, the others being Burundi and the

DAPO FAFOWORA

FROM THE SUMMIT dapo.fafowora@thenationonlineng.net

Kagame in Nigeria

•President Kagame

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Rwanda and the neighbouring Burundi were so small that Belgium governed them as one territory, Rwanda-Burundi, to reduce the cost of colonial administration. Neither was considered by the Belgians as really viable economically on its own. Because of its poor resources, the Belgians did not care much for the colony. Unlike the Congo, described as a geological scandal, Rwanda and Burundi were very poor countries, the poorest in Africa actually. At independence, the two countries had the lowest per capita income and GDP in Africa. They had little or no natural resources and were almost totally inaccessible to outsiders. Even now very little is known about Rwanda. It remains one of the most obscure countries in Africa. There are no foreign correspondents in Kigali. The few in South Africa hardly ever go there. It was brought into global attention by the tragic events that occurred during the genocide. In 1973, I had the privilege of visiting Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda and found its natural beauty breath taking. I was serving then as Nigeria’s acting High Commissioner in Uganda, from where we were concurrently accredited to Rwanda. I actually drove there myself with my wife and our two young children, through Uganda, which shares its borders with both the Congo and Rwanda. It was a hazardous journey, but it was the easiest way to get to Kigali from Kampala. The alter-

native route would have been to fly to Kigali through Nairobi, Kinshasa, and from there to Kigali. There were no regular commercial flights. Most people going to Kigali from Kampala went by road. Our journey took us through frightening hair spin roads, up on the beautiful hills of Rwanda. It took us some six hours to get to Kigali from the Ugandan border where we had spent the night before very comfortably. At the time, Kigali was a small, sleepy, and unpretentious town, with only a few tarred roads and one major tourist hotel. Even though Rwanda is recorded as one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, but with a total population of only five million, Kigali itself was probably not more than two million in population then. The future of the country looked really bleak, so bleak that nearly half of its population had emigrated to the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Kenya, and the Congo, in search of employment and better economic opportunities. It was the only way to escape the crushing poverty in Rwanda. At its independence, the Belgians left a terrible colonial legacy in Rwanda which eventually led to its long civil war and genocide. In both Rwanda and Burundi, the Belgians yoked together, under one colonial administration, two different and mutually hostile ethnic groups. The Hutus, a Bantu ethnic group, are the majority tribe, with 85 per cent of the population, while the Tutsis, of Nilotic racial stock, are the minority. But in both countries the Belgians contrived to hand over power to the Tutsi minority, which formed the back bone of the Army before and after independence. The Tutsis ran the country as badly as the Belgians. Under their rule, tribal colonialism replaced foreign colonialism. In Burundi where the Belgians handed over power to the Tutsi monarchy, it was overthrown by the Tutsi dominated Army, which embarked on ethnic cleansing against the Hutu majority. In 1993, a Hutu, Melchoir Ndabaye, won the general election, but was assassinated in 1994 by the Tutsi minority which assumed power again. In Rwanda, a Hutu-dominated government was overthrown by a Tutsi militia which installed a Tutsi government. In retaliation, the Hutus struck back by embarking on genocide against the Tutsi minority. That is the origin of the genocide in the country about which there was despair globally.

HARDBALL

T

HE Islamic sect, Boko Haram, is taking a much huger toll on us than the killings, arson and maiming that have become its trademark. While we are still grappling with burying hundreds of the sect’s victims, rebuilding places of worship, reconstructing ethnic and religious relationships, and peering warily into a future that is looking increasingly gloomy, the sect has both directly and indirectly created a unique trouble for everybody. So far, we have passed the stage of arguing over whether to negotiate with the sect or not, for it seems we have argued ourselves into a stalemate, with the government more evidently at sixes and sevens than the rest of us. Now, we are at the stage of arguing over whether we are actually negotiating with the sect’s representatives or not, and not trusting what we see or hear. Self-doubt has begun to gnaw at our national kidney. After many months of handwringing, unsure whether to fight the sect or not, the government finally decided to fight, even if half-heartedly. Then when it discovered that winning the fight goes beyond the mere determination to fight, the gov-

JIDE OSUNTOKUN

Now, President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, has had some success in ending the despair in Rwanda. He has brought back some hope to the country. Under his rule, the country has recovered from the ravages of its long civil war, and has, by all accounts, made astonishing economic progress. Economic liberalisation has brought in substantial foreign investment in the tourism and service industries. Its FDI per capita is one of the highest in Africa. Kigali, its capital, once a sleepy town, is beginning to look like a modern city, with relatively good infrastructure. Rwanda’s per capita income has increased significantly. President Kagame could boast in his lecture that Rwanda is now 94 per cent literate, and that 90 percent of its population is covered by health insurance. He has tackled public corruption in Rwanda vigorously. The scope and range of Kagame’s reforms and the economic transformation of Rwanda are confirmed by nearly all the reporting multilateral financial and economic institutions, including the WB and the IMF. But unemployment is still rife in the country. For all this, President Kagame deserves credit and commendation. But there are still some leadership challenges in Rwanda that President Kagame has to face squarely. He is being denounced increasingly at home and abroad as a despot. These critics argue that he does not tolerate any domestic dissent and that the two elections he won over the years by over 95 per cent in a country with a tribal structure such as Rwanda’s were a sham. Many of his domestic critics have fled abroad to European capitals for their own safety. Some of these media criticism may be exaggerated as claimed by President Kagame, who dismissed them at the lecture as biased. But when I brought this issue up with him after his lecture, he appeared rattled and uncomfortable. He defended his regime angrily. He did not appear keen or willing to discuss the issue, or to introduce the necessary political reforms in Rwanda to complement his impressive economic reforms. Like in most African states, tribal colonialism has replaced foreign colonialism in Rwanda, with the Tutsi minority holding the reins of power and subjugating the Hutu majority. There is no easy answer to this complex African political problem. But the tensions generated by tribal politics in Africa can be substantially reduced by allowing all the ethnic groups greater participation in the political process. The democratic process must be free and fair. A greater accountability at all levels of government will also help. Regrettably, this does not appear to be the case in Rwanda now. It is unlikely that its economic transformation under President Kagame can be sustained without the Hutus, the majority tribe, being given a fair share of the political power in Rwanda, now held predominantly by the Tutsi minority. This is the great test that President Kagame now faces. Failure to address this problem will undermine his impressive economic record. Worse still, it may lead again to the horrendous cycle of violent tribal conflict that almost destroyed the country a decade ago. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

So, who is telling the truth on Boko Haram? ernment, like a whirligig, again began to contemplate dialogue; and the sect itself, with its hoary sense of humour snickered as it baited the government. Finally, a few weeks ago, after the sect announced its readiness to enter into dialogue, presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, acknowledged that some forms of negotiations were going on. He had asserted, with the kind of confidence that pleases newspaper reporters that, “I can confirm to you that talks are ongoing at the background. But the talks are not the kinds being envisaged by Nigerians. I know that some Nigerians are expecting that a venue should be chosen and a banner would be placed there indicating that the Federal Government is holding dialogue with the group there. That is not the kind of talks we are talking about here. The ongoing talk is a back-channel one in which those who know members of the group are talking with them on behalf of the government.”

Abati’s confident assertions supposedly put us out of misery. But the relief was short-lived. Soon, the president himself, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, weighed in with an even more vigorous counter of his own. Said he dismissively: “Government is not in dialogue with any of group of people, not the least Boko Haram. They (Boko Haram) are still operating under cover. They wear a mask. They don’t have a face. You don’t dialogue with people you don’t know. We don’t have anybody to dialogue with. There is no dialogue going on anywhere contrary to reports that have been carried in the media.” Whaoh! If Abati doesn’t have egg on his face because of his self-effacement, on his behalf, we solemnly bear the pain. But who’ll break the logjam and set the record straight? Enter knight-errantry. Enter Dr Junaid Mohammed, the knight in shining armour, sweeping pugnaciously into view, arms flailing, eyes blazing hot, and tongue speaking daggers. He confirmed that the president was not telling the truth on Boko Haram dia-

logue, and that in fact dialogue was already taking place between the sect and government. Hear the eloquent Jonathan tormentor: “This government (the Jonathan presidency) has been having underground talks with Boko Haram, and if the President says he is not negotiating with the sect, he is lying. What the government is trying to do with the Boko Haram matter shows the highest display of hypocrisy and dishonesty.” Few people call a spade a spade as acerbically as Junaid. Should we decide to cast the deciding ballot, how would we vote? All three gentlemen ought to know the truth; but all three have chosen to tell colourful stories. Somewhere between them lie the unvarnished facts, and perhaps it is only Boko Haram that is not misrepresenting the reality. The winner in all this, it is obvious, is Boko Haram, a sect that repeatedly sets a cat among the pigeons, our pigeons, frightens us out of our wits, and causes the power elite to find fact and fiction indistinguishable.

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The Nation November 22, 2012