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VOL. 7, NO. 1953 WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

KOGI 2011

N150.00

•INEC: we won’t allow rigging •AND MORE •PDP candidate has mental case, court told •No plan to sack traditional rulers, says Audu •PAGE 5

•COUNTDOWN TO THE DECEMBER 3 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN THE CONFLUENCE STATE

•IN

THE DOCK: Ndume in court just before he was ordered remanded in SSS custody by the Chief Magistrate ... yesterday

PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Court remands Senator in custody over Boko Haram Governors fail in bid to rescue Sylva

Sects’s spokesman bags nine years jail SSS screens Ndume’s, Sheriff’s call logs Senate insists on thorough investigation

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SENATOR accused of sponsoring Boko Haram – the dreaded Islamic sect troubling some parts of the North and Abuja – was yesterday remanded in the custody of the State Security Services (SSS). Chief Magistrate Oyebola Oyewumi of an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court issued the order after the SSS arraigned Senator Ali Ndume for alleged sponsorship of

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Boko Haram (Western education is sin). He was arraigned with the spokesman of the group, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, over a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation and anonymous calls. Konduga is accused of disclosing classified information to unauthorised persons between September 15 and No-

vember 3 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and Abuja. The alleged offence is contrary to Section 398 of the Penal Code. Ndume pleaded not guilty to the charge. Konduga, alias Usman Al-Zahawiri, was sentenced to a nine-year jail term after pleading guilty to the offence. Konduga could still bag a bigger sentence, if further investigation reveals more

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

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OVERNORS launched yesterday another failed mission to rescue Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva, who is fighting for his political future. Governors Forum chair Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi led the mission to persuade President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decision on the Bayelsa governorship primary.

facts. The court deferred the sentence following an application by the prosecutor, Cliff Osagie, who said the SSS was on the trail of other members of the group. The court adjourned the matter till December 6 for the Senator’s trial. Ndume is to remain in the custody the SSS, pending a formal bail application. Konduga, who spoke Continued on page 2

•Kanduga ... yesterday

Continued on page 2

•ROBBERS KILL FOUR IN AKURE BANK RAID PG 8 •ALEX IBRU PGS 6&7


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

NEWS

Governors fail to rescue Sylva Continued from page 1

Sylva was barred from contesting the primary, which Chief Seriaka Dickson won. Eight governors met with Dr Jonathan. Although the governors said they came for a different purpose, it was gathered that their visit was not unconnected with Sylva’s situation. The meeting seemed not to have ended well, with some of the governors frowning. The President, on Monday, praised the party’s leadership on its handling of the primary, which has generated a huge row. He told the party chiefs not to allow themselves to be intimidated by anybody as long as due process was followed. The governors refused to take questions from reporters who besieged the First Lady’s conference room to get information on the meeting. They came out of the meeting and broke into small

groups to discuss. They resolved to meet at the Jigawa State Governor’s Lodge for further talks. Sylva emerged first. When accosted by reporters, he declined to talk. He asked reporters to talk to Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State, who also asked reporters to see his Jigawa counterpart. The following exchange ensued between the governors and reporters. Sylva, when asked about the outcome of the meeting: “My chairman (Amaechi) will speak to you. I think my chairman will tell you that (about Bayelsa). He is the only one authorised to talk to you. Chairman of the Governors’ Forum will talk to you.” Amaechi dismissed the reporters. What are you here for? Don’t I have right to visit the President? Did you meet with the President to discuss Governor Sylva’s issue?

I’m not aware of that. Don’t interview me because I don’t know what you are talking about. What are you here for then? To see the President about Rivers State. And you came with your counterparts from other states? They came to see the President on their own state matters. What is so pressing that all of you came together? We didn’t come together. We came differently. What did you discuss with the President? Why should I tell you what I came to discuss about Rivers State? At the meeting with the President were Amaechi, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Sylva (Bayelsa), Ahmed Abdulfatai (Kwara), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi) and Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State.

Bayelsa: Battle shifts to Appeal Court

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HE legal battle for Bayelsa State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket shifted to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, yesterday. Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, adjourned hearing indefinitely in the suit filed by Governor Timipre Sylva after he was informed that the PDP had filed an appeal to challenge his November 15 order. Justice Kolawole had warned the PDP against going ahead with last

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Saturday’s primary election which took place last Saturday. He granted the order following an exparte application filed on Sylva’s behalf by his counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN). Sylva is challenging his disqualification as an aspirant from the party’s primary election, which was won by Chief Seriake Dickson. The Judge warned that he would not hesitate to nullify any step taken by the PDP in defiance of his order, once the

•Sylva

defendants are served the order and the originating summons. He gave the defendants 72 hours to show cause why all the releifs sought by Sylva should not be granted and adjourned till November 22 for hearing. Continued on page 3

•Thousands of Egyptians take to the streets in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria to demand an end to military rule, heightening tension after days of deadly clashes that threaten to derail next week’s legislative polls ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

PDP: We won’t make Sylva’s sins public

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HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday insisted that the party would not make public the reasons why it excluded Governor Timipre Sylva from the Bayelsa State governorship primary of the party. National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, told reporters that Sylva was disqualified on the basis of the complaints made against him by some individuals. He refused to disclose the individuals. The governor had challenged the leadership of the party to tell the public his “sins” which led to his exclusion from the primary. But Alkali said the governor should approach the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for answers to his questions. Alkali said the four aspir-

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

ants who were screened out of the primary were aware of the reasons why they were disqualified; adding that contrary to Sylva’s claims, the governor knew the reasons for his disqualification. He said: “If Sylva says he does not know, let him come to the party and we will tell him. We are not going to the market place to announce the reasons why he was screened out” On the validity of the Bayelsa primary against the backdrop of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staying away, Alkali said the party is not aware that INEC did not observe the primary. He denied the widely held belief that President

Goodluck Jonathan may have been pulling the strings in the Bayelsa PDP crisis, saying Jonathan should be left out of the matter. Alkali clarified that what Sylva served the party was not a restraining court order stopping the primary but a motion on notice “with an order asking the party to show cause within 72 hours why the preservatory orders sought may not be granted on the return date on November 22 (yesterday).The Party immediately complied by filling process showing cause” He justified the party’s action in conducting the primary, arguing that it does not stop the case from going even to the Supreme Court, as, according to him, the case remains a pre election matter.

Court remands Senator in custody over Boko Haram Continued from page 1

Hausa through Mustapha Shehu, an interpreter, admitted being guilty as charged. He pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy after confessing that he was behind the threat text messages to the Judges sitting in the Borno State Election Petition Tribunal which relocated to Abuja. Konduga also claimed responsibility for the threat messages sent to Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu. He named other victims as: Senator Sanusi Daggash (former Minister of Works) and Ambassador Dalhatu Tafida (Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. According to him, the threat messages were to compel the victims to comply with the conditions of Boko Haram group. Konduga claimed that the text messages were being written and sent to him by Ndume with the phone numbers of the target personalities. Chief Magistrate Oyewumi convicted Konduga – in line with Section 318 of the Criminal Code Law. She said Ndume should be allowed unhindered access to medical facilities and his law-

SSS screens Ndume’s, Sheriff’s call logs

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ECURITY agents are screening the call logs of Senator Ali Ndume, former Governor Modu Ali Sheriff and the late Ambassador Saidu Pindar who were implicated by some suspects as backers of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect. The State Security Service (SSS) is also on the trail of more suspects. Ndume’s detention has raised anxiety among Senators. His mobile telephone’s call logs are being screened to determine whether he is a member of a syndicate or not. A source said: “We have started a comprehensive investigation of the call logs of these bigwigs, based on the confession of one of the key suspects in our custody. “We are not closing investigation with these three suspects already implicated. yers. Ndume told the court that he was invited by the SSS on Monday and that he never thought he would pass the night there and, as such, did not take his drugs along, adding that he is suffering from prostate cancer. The court refused the oral bail application by his counsel, C.I. Nnaemeka, asking him to formalise it. The matter was adjourned till December 6 for hearing of the matter and the bail application. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the spate of

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

“We are suspecting a network of backers; we have to unmask others so that we can address this issue once and for all. We know that the call logs will reveal more.” Responding to a question, the source, who pleaded not to be named because of what he called the matter’s sensitive nature, added: “We may have cause to interact with more high-profile suspects soon.” It was gathered that many senators were shocked by their colleague’s arrest. A Senator said: “You can see that no segment of the society is immune from the Boko Haram menace. No one is saying that Ndume is guilty. “It calls for concern that your colleague in the same chamber with you is being

terrorist activities and bombings across the Northern states. The group has also attacked Abuja, killing people in suicide bombings on the Police Headquarters and the United Nations building. Book Haram’s most recent attacks were in Damaturu and Potiskum where more than 60 people were killed in co-ordinated attacks. Rattled by the arraignment of its member for financing Boko Haram, the Senate went into a two-hour executive session yesterday. Senator Ndume is being

implicated in security breaches of this magnitude.” Another Senator said: “I am scared but what the SSS did has shown that we are getting closer to the roots of this Boko Haram menace.” Another Senator said: “It is too early to pronounce Ndume guilty, but one thing I have noticed about him in the chamber is that each time Boko Haram matter came up, he was always advising us to discuss behind closed doors. “There was a day one of our colleagues challenged him on why he was always favouring closed-door sessions.” The Nation learnt yesterday that security agencies had been on the trail of the Senator for some time. It was gathered that the SSS decided to break the news after reaching a “convenient bend”.

detained by the State Security Services (SSS) for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram. Senate spokesman Enyinnaya Abaribe told reporters after the closed-door session that their deliberations centred around national security and issues of national interest. A self-confessed Islamic fundamentalist, Konduga, who was jailed yesterday by an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court for terrorist acts, named Ndume as one of those behind the deadly sect.

Abaribe said the Senate is “very well aware about an allegation concerning a member of the Senate”. He said the Senate is always in the forefront of the efforts to make the country safe for Nigerians. “We urge security agencies to continue with their investigation.” Abaribe said: “Security agencies should continue with their investigation and they have told us that investigation is continuing. At the end of the day, if anybody is indicted, the law should take its course.”

According to him, though the Senate is worried about the development “we stand by our member until investigation is concluded.” The Senate will make a categorical statement after investigations, he said. He said: “What it means is that an allegation has been made and the personality involved is still a member of the Senate. “The Senate cannot go against its member when investigation is still going on. When investigation is concluded, the Senate will come up with its position on the matter.” Abaribe said that the Constitution of the country has a presumption of innocence on the accused until proven otherwise, adding: “He is still an accused “and the security agencies have told us that they are still investigating the matter. The statement against him (Ndume) is just a mere allegation and we urge Nigerians to exercise some patience to allow security agencies to conclude their investigation. “The Senate has been very supportive of the security agencies to do their job. If there is an allegation, we want the security agencies to do thorough investigation,” he said.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS

•From right: Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Musiliu Smith (rtd); Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Olusegun Kassim (rtd); Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Chief Femi Okunnu; his wife, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu; and Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, at the fifth town hall meeting on security at CMC Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday.

Tinubu to chair celebrity media awards •Inaugurates prize for Best Political Reporting

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•From left: S. P. Patrick Ejedawe; S. P. Abba-Kyari; DSP Udo Itigila; ASP Apochi Joseph; ASP Charles Onwuka; ASP Ugowe Igbinaz Aka; Insp. Bernard Ehimare; Insp. Austine Salami Sunday; CPL Aimufua Daniel and others at the meeting…yesterday. PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Education not for seeking govt jobs, says Aliyu N

IGER State Governor Babaginda Aliyu yesterday said education is not about waiting for the government to provide jobs after graduation. He urged graduates to stop relying on the government to provide jobs but to develop the skills that would enable them to rely less on the government for their survival. The governor identified entrepreneurship as a major avenue to minimise poverty in the country. Aliyu spoke at the 27th convocation lecture of Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos. In his lecture, entitled: Entrepreneurial Skills and Competence-Based Education: Elixir for Employability and Self-Reli-

By Seun Olalude

ance, the governor advocated a re-orientation of youths to make them understand the essence of entrepreneurial empowerment. Aliyu, who was represented by the Niger State Chief of Staff, Prof Mohammed Yahaya Kuta, said: “We need to change the orientation of the youths to make them understand that education is not solely for seeking government employment but for making the individual function optimally and coping with the dynamics of day-to-day living as well as the challenges of the fast changing modern world.

Our educational system should address this re-orientation right from the elementary levels through the university, so that students prepare themselves to live independent of government upon graduation. “This attitude will reduce undue pressure on government to provide employment for the school leavers once there is synergy between the curriculum and entrepreneurialship development.” Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola urged the graduates to be focused as they go into the world of competitions.

Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mr Olajumoke Oladunjoye, the governor said the state government was making efforts to promote entrepreneurial education. He praised the college for its achievements and development programmes. The Rector of the college Dr Margaret Ladipo noted that entrepreneurship is the way out of poverty. She said: “The major index for growth and development across the globe is a sustainable entrepreneurial practice for the enhancement of poverty eradication anchored on a sound education background.” The convocation holds tomorrow at the school auditorium.

ORMER Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will on November 27 chair this year’s edition of Celebrity Media Awards (CMA), organised by Media Ace Limited. He is also expected to inaugurate the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Prize for Best Political Reporting in Broadcast, Online and Print Journalism. The event will hold at the De Renaissance Hotel, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, at 4pm. The awards will be staged alongside Brand Leader Nigeria Awards. The two events are in recognition of the bond between the media

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By Eric Ikhilae

The trial court convicted Lafiaji for abuse of office and conspiracy and sentenced him to 16 years. Amali got seven years. But yesterday, the Appeal Court, in its judgment on two separate appeals by Lafiaji and Amali, discharged and acquitted them. Justice Mohammed AmbiUsi Danjuma, who read the judgment, allowed the appeals and set aside the con-

viction and sentencing. The Appeal Court held that the prosecution failed to prove its cases against the appellants beyond reasonable doubt. It held that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were marred by irreconcilable contradictions and wondered how the lower court proceeded to convict the appellants based on such evidence. The appellate court held that the lower court failed to investigate the actual

amount involved, noting that while the prosecution alleged that 164,300Euro was seized from Onoche, the accused claimed it was 168,300. It held that since there were contradictions in the evidence of the first prosecution witness (PW1-Samuel Gadzama) and other prosecution witnesses, the lower court should not to have found the appellants guilty as charged. “There was no evidence that this sum was received by Lafiaji; the PW1 himself

and corporate Nigeria. They will be hosted by queen of airwaves and multiple award-winning radio presenter, Matse Uwatse; ace comedian and Master Compere Abiodun Olopade, aka MC Abbey. While the CMA will reward journalists with focus and work under various categories, the Brand Leaders Nigeria Awards will honour individuals, companies and their brands for their contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s business environment and making their brands the choices of Nigerian consumers this year.

Bayelsa: Battle shifts to Appeal Court •Continued from page 2

The defendants are the PDP, its Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But the party still went ahead to conduct the primary. At the resumed hearing yesterday, Fagbemi (SAN), who appeared with Mr. Femi Falana in a bid to stave plots to delay the hearing, did not oppose the application for stay of proceedings. Although he was served at the open court, Fagbemi told the court that he had no objection to the motion, urging Justice Kolawole to grant it. His words: “Ten minutes before you sat, we were served with a number of processes by the 2nd defendant (PDP). My lord, the processes include record of proceedings from this court, containing some processes in this case, including a ruling they (PDP) said they are not aware of. They also filed in the Court of Appeal a stay of proceedings dated 21st November, 2011 and a Notice of Appeal dated same day. The path of law and honour is that since this matter having been entered at the Court of Appeal and with the motion for stay pending, the battle ground shifts to the Court of Appeal. So, we pray your lordship to allow the matter, move to your senior brothers. But let me note that it is interesting the speed at which the PDP got the Certified True Copy of the proceedings and the speed with which the PDP did not say in his evidence travelled to the Court of that he gave such money to Appeal. I hope they will use the appellant. the same speed to pursue “One wonders if the evitheir appeal. It is the only dence of PW1 or any part of path of honour which we his evidence during the trial have taken and hope they amounted to proving bewill also take, instead of deyond reasonable doubt of nying service as they had receiving either the Euro or done earlier.” the Naira sum alleged. The respondents’ counsel “To secure conviction, the praised Fagbemi for his poprosecution must prove by sition. credible evidence, the comJustice Kolawole mission of the offence on described Fagbemi as a each of the counts always worthy role model. beyond reasonable doubts. “

Appeal Court upturns ex-NDLEA chair’s, other’s conviction HE Court of Appeal in Lagos has upturned the conviction of former Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Bello Lafiaji, and his erstwhile Special Assistant, Usman Amali. A Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Olusola Williams, had, on June 21, last year, convicted them for diverting funds recovered from a drug suspect, Ikenna Onoche.

By Yinka Aderibigbe


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS BAYELSA CRISIS

CPC woos Sylva •Decries PDP crisis

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HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is interested in having embattled Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva fly its flag in the governorship election. It condemned the power struggle between President Goodluck Jonathan and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on one hand, and Sylva, on the other. The party described it as an act of war against the people of the state and, by extension, Nigerians. In a statement by its National Secretary, Buba Galadima, CPC warned Jonathan to stop militarising states where elections are to be conducted. It said: “No matter how much they try, PDP and the Presidency cannot convince Nigerians that what is going on in Bayelsa is an internal affair of the party. “The Bayelsa conundrum is the infringement on the fundamental rights of a citizen. “It is the subversion of

law, guidelines and procedure, it is a disregard for the court of law, it is an imposition of vested interest over public interest-all of which constitute an affront to our democracy as a nation and our civil liberty. “The PDP breached the right of unwanted from contesting and thus cleared the way for the anointed.” Galadima alleged that the Presidency intimidated the people into submission by the coercive state forces “by deploying air and ground forces, helicopter gunships, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs),15,OOO policemen and armed SSS operatives. “CPC stands for progress, democracy, human rights and justice. As an innocent victim of fascism, CPC is sympathetic to Sylva and all the other victims of PDP’s and the President’s injustice. “Our party’s doors are wide open to all. We are willing to give every Nigerian a sanctuary against injustice and victimisation by the state.”

Judge summons AGF, House Clerk over N37.91b loans in Bankole’s trial

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PPARENTLY to foil an alleged plot to stop some witnesses from testifying in the trial of exSpeaker Dimeji Bankole and Deputy Speaker Bayero Nafada, the Abuja High Court yesterday summoned the Accountant-General of the Federation and five others to appear before it today. They are the Clerk of the National Assembly, Abubakar Salisu Maikasuwa; the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori; the Director of Finance, National Assembly, Bukoye Lasisi, and two bank managers from UBA and First Bank.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

A copy of the court summons issued by Justice Suleiman Belgore asked the witnesses to appear before the court today. The order reads in part: “Whereas Dimeji Bankole and Usman Bugaje Nafada have been charged by the Federal Republic of Nigeria for offences contrary to sections 97(1), 311 and 285 of the Penal Code Act, CAP 532 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1990). “And it appears to me by the proof of evidence that you are likely to give material ev-

idence therein on behalf of the complainant and will not voluntarily appear for that purpose. “You have been summoned to appear before the FCT High Court on the adjourned dates to testify what you know in such matter.” There had been pressure on top officials of the National Assembly not to “go to court to testify at the trial of their former principal officers.” A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “A principal officer of the National Assembly is opposed to the release of these officers who had made useful statements to the EFCC.

“The summons were issued yesterday, following an application to the court by the prosecutor of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Festus Keyamo.” Keyamo later told the court that the affected officers had developed ‘cold feet.’ He said: “My Lord, I want to put it on record that those who were supposed to come as witnesses are developing cold feet. “Specifically, the Clerk of the House, who was one of the witnesses you signed their witness summon this morning, from available information are being pressurised not to give evidence in this court.”

Aspirants: cancel delegates’ congress, primary •Write PDP Panel Chairman

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HE crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has taken a new twist. Three aspirants have called for the cancellation of the delegates’ congress and governorship primary. Christopher Enai, Austin Febo and Boloubo Orufa walked out during the primary which took place at the Yenagoa Sports Complex last Saturday. They were initially joined by Francis Doukpola, who later participated in the exercise. The trio claimed they had complained to the Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade-led Electoral Panel on the outcome of the controversial ward congress. In a letter to the Chairman of the Governorship Electoral Panel for Bayelsa PDP, they urged the panel to can-

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa cel the primary and nullify the result which produced Seriake Dickson as the party’s governorship candidate. They called for a fresh ward delegates’ congress and primary election. “We know that the ward congress did not hold on November 14. “We call on the leadership of the PDP to do the right thing so as to circumvent acrimony in the state.” Doukpola also described the ward delegates’ congress as a scam. He, however, described the primary as fair. “The process leading to the primary was not fair because of the fraudulent delegates’ congress but the primary was free and fair,” Doukpola said.

Students protest Sylva’s exclusion

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HE National Union of Bayelsa State Students (NUBSS) Worldwide has protested the exclusion of Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary. Describing Sylva’s exclusion as a political gang–up by some mischief makers, NUBSS said the party should obey the rule of law and follow due process. Addressing reporters in Abuja, NUBSS Senate President Igeta Ayebakuro urged the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP to reverse the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC). He said: “We as students leaders cutting across diverse unions, associations, and institutions deem it fit to bring to the fore of the public the injustice and po-

‘Our stand is that Bayelsa State Students are totally in support of the Sylva-led administration for continuity despite the alarming political intrigues and misfortune befalling the governor’ From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

litical victimisation being meted out to the governor. “Our stand is that Bayelsa State Students are totally in support of the Sylva-led administration for continuity despite the alarming political intrigues and misfortune befalling the governor.”

•Fayemi (right) discussing with the Chairman, Council Of Obas and the Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji. With them is the Alara of Aramoko, Oba Olu Adeyemi

Fayemi: our budget will touch every town

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said next year’s budget will honour every town with at least one project. The governor made this promise yesterday in Efon Alaaye and Aramoko Ekiti at the commencement of the Town Hall/Village Square Meetings Local Government tour in preparation for the budget. Fayemi said the grassroots people would make their contributions to the budget. Attended by obas, chiefs, community leaders and youth groups, the Town Hall/Village Square Meetings gave the communities

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

the opportunity to state their needs. Most requests centered on roads, water, electricity, bridges, job creation, schools renovation/reconstruction, construction of palaces, political appointments for indigenes and enhancement of tourism. Fayemi said the requests not contained in the present budget would be taken care of in subsequent budgets. He promised that his administration would build over 300 kilometres of roads across the 16 local

governments before the expiration of his tenure in 2014. In Efon Local Government, Fayemi promised to build an International Market at Ita Iwaure that would consist of a mechanic village, a police station, a petrol station and a weigh bridge. Fayemi said: “We don’t want to stay at Ado putting together a budget that bears little link to the people. “Most of what our people requested could be accommodated in the budget while some have been mentioned which have nothing to do with

Senate refers NHRC nominees to committee

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HE Senate yesterday referred the request of President Goodluck Jonathan for the confirmation of the chairman and members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) nominees to its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. The confirmation, according to Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, is sequel to Section 2 of the National Human Rights Commission Act 2010 (as amended). The nominees include Dr. Chidi Anslem Odinkalu (Chairman) and Prof. Ben Angwe (Executive Secretary).

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor Others are Sully Abu, representing the media (member); Mrs. Eugenia Abu, representing official media (member), Kayode Komolafe, also representing the media (member), Dave Obidi C. Ezeigwe representing the Nigeria Bar Association (member), Mrs. Ranti Bosede Dauda representing NBA (member), Mrs. Saadatu Mahdi, representing human rights NGOs (member), Jones Osim, representing human rights NGOs (member); Olawale Fapohunda, representing human rights NGOs (member);

•Ndoma-Egba Mrs. Funmilayo Falana, representing women (member); Mrs. Cynthia Ene Olofu Ogbe, representing women (member).

budget.” The governor hinted that the budget would be the genuine product of the people and not the sole business of the people in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

ERA/FoEN gets $500,000 award THE Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/ FoEN) has been named a recipient of the maiden Ford Foundation Jubilee Transparency Awards. ERA/FoEN and the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance/Theatre for Development Centre were announced winners at an event held on Monday in Abuja. Ford Foundation initiated the Jubilee Transparency Awards as part of activities to mark its 50th year of operation in West Africa. Each winner will receive $500,000 to enhance the scale and impact of its work. The two organisations were selected through an open call managed by the Development Initiatives Network (DIN), a development organisation working on public interest issues in Nigeria. A nine-member National Awards Committee chaired by Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah worked with DIN to screen over 100 nominees.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS KOGI 2011 No plan to disband stool, Audu assures monarch GOVERNORSHIP candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) in Kogi State Prince Abubakar Audu yesterday urged the people to discountenance a rumour that he plans to disband the Ohi stool in the Central Senatorial District, if elected into office. Audu spoke during a visit to the Ohi of Eganyi. He said: “God forbid and God forbid again for I Prince Abubakar to disband your stool.” The Ohi of Eganyi, Chief Musa Isa Achuda, said he created more council areas in the state during his tenure as governor. “The idea is to bring government closer to the people. The stool of Ohi is close to the people and the people like it. So, why should I come against the people with such an inhuman act? I am not surprised because they have no reason to criticise me except through this shameful way,” he added. The monarch urged the former governor to always consider Ajaoukuta as his home town, promising his subject’s support for the candidate. He charged politicians to ensure peace during the December 3 governorship election.

Workers to get minimum wage THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, yesterday promised to pay the workers the N18,000 minimum wage, if elected. He has opened a register for the documentation of all workers retrenched from service under questionable circumstances. He said the present administration has no excuse not to pay the constitutional minimum wage to workers, despite the huge amount of revenues accruing to the state. Audu said: “They claim that the state has been losing too much funds to wage bill. That is why they sacked legitimate workers I employed during my tenure. Yet they cannot pay salary. Presently teachers are on strike. “They promise to pay you minimum wage by December; what that means is that you vote for them and they dump the promise. If they are sincere, let them pay you now.” He reiterated his commitment to the welfare of the workers. He promised to create more job opportunities.

Kogi PDP candidate has mental disorder, court told

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N Abuja Federal High Court was yesterday told that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, has a record of mental disorderliness from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. This was at the hearing of a suit filed by a chieftain of the party, Mr. Emmanuel Abalaka against the nomination of Wada. In an originating summons brought pursuant to Sections 31 (2), 31 (5) (6) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the inherent jurisdiction of the court, the plaintiff is pleading with the court to declare that Wada’s nomination by the PDP is null, void and of no consequence. He pleaded for an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Wada as a candidate in the poll. The respondents are the PDP, INEC and Wada. The plaintiff is contending that Wada was not a card carrying member of PDP by the time he was nominated. The plaintiff’s counsel, Bola Aidi, brought a fresh affidavit where he stated that Wada is “not a fit and proper person

Fresh trouble rocks party

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HERE is fresh trouble over the nomination of Captain Idris Wada as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State. A chieftain of the party, Mr. Emmanuel Abalaka, yesterday asked an Abuja Federal High Court to disqualify him from the December 3 governorship election. “The defendant (Captain Wada) has occasioned a mischievous and violent insertions of his name in the membership list of the 2nd defendant (PDP) in ward 1, contrary to the Electoral Act 2010, as amended,”he stated. The plaintiff alleged that Wada made false declarations in his affidavit in support of personal particulars, adding that he also forged membership card of PDP to participate in the primary election. From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

to contest for the governorship of Kogi State”. The affidavit deposed to by Uchechukwu Clement, a lawyer, stated that contrary to claims by Wada on oath under part B, Article E Question 1 “Idris Wada had at a point been adjudged to be of unsound mind”. •That Idris Ichalla Wada is actually an un-discharged psychiatric patient of the Uni-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

He further alleged that Wada forcefully obtained the membership register of PDP in ward 1 and fraudulently inserted his name; an action he noted cannot confer membership of the party on him. Besides, he alleged that Wada made false declaration that he attended federal government college Sokoto between 1969 and 1970 and the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology in the same 1969 and 1970. When the matter came up yesterday before Justice Adamu Bello, Wada through his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) told the court that he was not served with necessary processes of the court. The matter has been adjourned till November 22, for hearing.

versity College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. •That Idris Wada was admitted into the psychiatric unit of the UCH Ibadan on 7th April 1976 with Card No. 399346 on referral from Dr. V.O. Anosika of Estate Clinic Group for Schizophrenic illness” •That Idris Wada’s mental state on admission was one of paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations according to his medical record. •That contrary to Idris

Wada’s deposition, Dr. Oyewumi of University College Hospital, Ibadan actually diagnosed him of acute psychotic episodes and paranoid psychosis on 7/4/1976. •That contrary to Idris Wada depositions, Dr. Oyewumi on 24/4/76 at 11:50 a.m actually confirmed that Idris was psychotic. •That again contrary to Idris Wada deposition, it was again confirmed at 4 p.m of the same 24/4/76 that Idris

Wada was grossly psychotic. •That his father Haleel Ejiga while attempting to remove him from UCH against medical advice actually disclosed a history of mental illness in the family as a niece of Idris Wada also had it in 1972. •That on 28/4/76, his father, then of upper Area Court, Makurdi, by a letter of discharge against medical advice actually took Idris Wada Hospital No. 399346 away from University College Hospital, Ibadan contrary to the advice of medical staff. •That Idris Wada did not undergo full treatment for his psychotic disorder from UCH Ibadan before his father removed him against medical advice. •That he was not diagnosed as having been of reasonable mind before his father removed him. •That by his father’s letter of 22nd September 1976, Idris Wada was to return for treatment and observation for a period of 6 months from 19th August 1976. •That there’s no record that Idris Wada went back for treatment at UCH. Justice Adamu Bello adjourned the hearing till November 29.

PDP is colluding with INEC to rig, says Audu

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HE Campaign Organisation of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, yesterday raised the alarm over alleged plans by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the December 3 governorship election by planting its men as polling officers and clerks. The organisation alleged that each of the PDP-controlled councils has submitted two names each of partymen and women to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work as ad-hoc officials. The temporary workers, it alleged, would work primarily to ensure victory for the

•INEC: It’ s not true From Joseph Jibueze and Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

PDP by all means. It urged INEC chair Prof Attahiru Jega to stop the alleged plan to influence the outcome of the election. A former House of Representatives, who is the organisation’s chief strategist, Mr Dino Melaye, told reporters that the ACN would ensure the peoples’ votes counted. He said: “Arrangements have been concluded to make them ad-hoc staff. This is the time for Prof Jega to prove again that there will be one

man one vote. “As I speak with you, each local government is contributing money daily to service the campaign of the PDP, yet they cannot pay the salary of striking workers.” But the PDP had denied the allegation, challenging the ACN to prove it. Melaye said the security agencies have been alerted on the exact location of where the arms were stockpiled, and where the counterfeit uniforms were being sewn. His words: “I was a member of the PDP before I gave my life to Christ. Once I was

blind but now I can see. The only electoral machinery the PDP has today is rigging. There is no substance in their campaign. It’s not issuebased, because they have nothing to sell. INEC’s Public Affairs Officer, Mr Ahmed Bagudu, denied the allegation that councils were sending names to the commission. He said neither the state government nor any local government has the right to submit names of ad-hoc officials. The commission, he added, had already chosen those to work for it and the training of their trainers had begun. The second phase of the training will begin today, he said.

•Audu

Bagudu said: “Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will form the bulk of our ad-hoc staff. “That the PDP or local governments are sending in names, we are not aware. It is purely untrue.”

Activist sues Fed Govt over fuel subsidy removal By Eric Ikhilae

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•SWEARING-IN OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right) felicitating with new Supreme Court justice, Justice Olu Ariwoola in Abuja...yesterday. With them is: Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters.

RIGHTS activist, Morakinyo Ogele has sued the Federal Government over the planned removal of subsidy from petroleum products sold in the country. In the suit he filed at the High Court of Ondo State, Akure, Ogele is praying the court for among others, an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Goodluck Jonathan and other defendants in the suit from actualizing their plan to remove oil subsidy. He is also seeking a declaration that the removal of oil subsidy will unleash more hardship on the poor. Named with President Jonathan as defendants in the suit are: Federal Republic of Nigeria and President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS ALEX IBRU (1945 - 2011)

Publisher who loved art and white dresses The late publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru, was a man of many parts. Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME recalls his love for art and humanity

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ANY have fond memories of Mr. Alex Uruemu Ibru, who died last Sunday at 66. They have recalled his humility. They have spoken of a highly principled gentleman. His love for simple white dresses, which is like a trademark, earned him the name, ‘Mr. White’ among his admirers. He loved children who he always hosted at his Agbarha-Ottor, Delta State home at Christmas. At the national level, he was devoted to the promotion of reconciliation and national stability in the wake of the post-June 12, 1993 electoral crisis. “The country benefitted from his wealth of experience and peaceful disposition. He believed in and sowed his life as a seed to God by, amongst other things, building up the Ibru Centre to advance the study of religion and religious harmony. We can see that his life demonstrated that he valued his relationship with God, with man and with his family,” President Goodluck Jonathan recalled. But not many Nigerians know the late publisher of The Guardian as a lover of art, especially the plastic art. Some years ago, Nigeria’s master printmaker Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya donated some paintings to the late Ibru as part of his contributions to the Ibru Centre, which shares same locality with Onobrakpeya’s art centre in Agbarha-Ottor. In appreciation of the gifts, the late Ibru pledged to make some of his lodging facilities available to artists at the annual art workshop organised by Onobrakpeya. The philanthropic side of the youngest of the famous Ibru brothers was not really known to many. Ibru was the chairman of Trinity Foundation, the vehicle through which he supported the poor and the needy. He was also the founder of the Ibru Centre, which promotes ecumenism and religious harmony. On return from a five-year stay away in Britain, where he was receiving treatment after escaping an assassination attempt during the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha, the late Ibru said: “I recognised, as soon as I become conscious again that God had spared my life in order that I could continue to serve Him and humanity in my chosen ways.” A visit to the Ibru Centre in Agbarha Ottor in Delta State reveals the peace loving character of the late Ibru. The moderately furnished structures that house the centre-a clean, spacious and serene environment for spiritual growth and learning- confirm his philosophy about life. The centre remains a resort of a kind for most religious organisations for retreats and workshops. In the last two months, the centre has hosted top flight gatherings of clergymen from the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). They included visitation by Anglican province of Abuja, Niger Delta, Ughelli diocese clergy and wives retreat, Bishops’ training school featuring 19 bishops and their wives, Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh joint meeting with Archbishops, bishops and presidents of the Diocese Council of

NLC mourns businessman

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HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday mourned the publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru. NLC, in a statement, extended “its heartfelt condolences to the family, management and workers of The Guardian newspapers on the recent passing away of Mr. Alex Ibru to the great beyond.” The statement reads: “Mr. Ibru was a publisher of repute, and a successful businessman, who was highly principled and committed to excellence. “As a publisher, his entry into the media expanded the frontiers of print journalism by sustaining high standards and intellectual discourse as well as setting agenda for public debate on a number of critical national issues. “Despite a few instances of industrial disagreements with workers and the elitist traditions of The Guardian newspapers, Chief Ibru’s consistent support for the ordinary people and popular struggles were not in doubt. “He was a devout Christian and philanthropist who committed some of his enormous resources to the promotion of religious dialogue, peace and unity of the country. We pray that God grant you and the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

‘Nigeria has lost a principled gentleman’

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•The late Ibru

Ibru was until his death, chairman of Trinity Foundation, the vehicle through which he did his massive philanthropy, giving support to the poor and the needy. He was also the founder of the Ibru Centre, which promotes ecumenism and religious harmony

Knights from the province East of the Niger and Bendel and the Church of Nigeria’s workshop on dispute resolution. The centre started two days to Christmas in 1989. The harmattan was on. Mr Ibru and his family were inside their serene and expansive country home at Agbarha-Otor. Something made him leave the room for a garden chair in the patio. Soon, he realised that God was inspiring him to give up his personal use of the vast country home and, instead, deploy it for spiritual use. It was a clear dialogue with the Holy Spirit, and he returned to the lounge to disclose to his wife, Maiden and their children this experience. The reaction expectedly was disbelief. Ibru had a choice either to give heed to this voice or not. There was no element of compulsion. But his wife and children made no attempt to discourage him: “Remember there had been before now a strong feeling of content-

ment at God’s generousity,”the late Ibru recalled. The next couple of hours witnessed the conflict between the flesh and the spirit. To beat off succumbing to temptation, Mr. Ibru hit the road to Warri to discuss this strange experience with the Roman Catholic Bishop for a joint effort at discernment. After reflection, dialogue and prayers, it became clear that God has entrusted him with a service. After that, the late Ibru finalised the decision to make the country home available as Spiritual Centre by the Christmas of 1989. For the efficient and expansive usage, the centre was handed over to Trinity Foundation on March 1, 1995. The Trinity Foundation is now fully under the control and management of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion led by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, the Most Rev. Okoh.

HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria yesterday described the late publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru as a man of integrity. The party said with the death of Ibru, Nigeria has lost a principled gentleman who made his utmost contribution to the progress of Nigeria. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party described Mr. Ibru as a quintessential honest Nigerian who refused to compromise. The party said: “While we commiserate with the immediate family, his friends, associates and indeed, The Guardian newspapers, we pray God to grant him eternal repose. We pray that the solid impressions he made on the Nigerian state, especially on principle, honesty and integrity will bear great fruits in the years ahead.” The party added: “We are saddened by news of his death, which brought back memories of his persecution in the hands of the government he served for the simple reason that he did not compromise his integrity and that of his paper. We regret that such a fine and honest Nigerian has to die at the prime of his life and just when the country is in great need of honest Nigerians to see it through what could pass as the most difficult period in its

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

nationhood. “Mr. Ibru’s integrity and honesty rubbed off on his newspaper, which stands irrevocably committed to the promotion of truth and integrity in the Nigerian media space. Ibru left an indelible imprimatur in the way he allowed The Guardian to serve the interests of Nigeria, far and above his own personal interest. The flagship role of The Guardian in the Nigerian media space today, points to Ibru’s commitment to his fatherland, even at the risk of losing his life. We know that, as Minister, Ibru was demanded to allow his paper to be compromised and made malleable to the whims and desires of the dictatorship he served but he refused. We know that his refusal was to lead to a near fatal and unconscionable attack on him on the streets of Lagos by agents of the regime. “Lagos ACN is saddened that Ibru has to die at a time Nigeria is floundering rudderless and when leadership is suffering great devaluation given the abject lack of principle and integrity that has beset Nigerian governance. We believed he would have made great contributions in steering the Nigerian state aright and procuring a Nigeria of our collective dreams were he privileged to live longer than he did.”

‘I was not in Ibru’s car’

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ORMER Director of Publications of The Guardian Mr. Femi Kusa yesterday denied reports that he was in the car with the late publisher, Mr. Alex Ibru when he was shot 16 years

ago. Kusa, in a statement, said: “I was not in the car with Mr Ibru when he was shot. I was in the office. Debo Adesina telephoned me that he had just heard of the shooting. And he and I rushed to St. Nicholas Hospital.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS ALEX IBRU (1945 - 2011)

He was in coma for one hour before he died, says son

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HE late publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru, was in coma for about one hour before he died, his first son, Toke, said yesterday. Toke, who spoke with reporters at the Ikoyi, Lagos home of the deceased, said that his remains may be interred on December 16 in Agbarho, near Warri, Delta State. He said: “I was there with him at his last moment at about noon on Sunday. He was in a coma for about an hour before he passed on. My mood was very cheerless. All of us, including my mother, were with him. We knew that he was going to die that day and we were there with him.” Toke went on: “Tentatively, I think the day should be Friday, December 16, 2011. It will be in the village, Agbarho, near Warri in Delta State.” He described his father as a sim-

•‘Ibru may be buried December 16’ By Tajudeen Adebanjo

ple man who lived a simple life and took everything that came his way as the will of God, adding: “My daddy was a very simple man. He had been blessed at a very young age. He took everything as the will of God.” Asked how close he was to his father, Toke responded: “I was very close to my father, especially in the last two years. We became very close and I spent most of my free time with him after work. I gained a lot of knowledge from his past experiences.” On what he will always remember his father for, he asserted: “I will remember him immensely for his love for me and contentment. So, his contentment is one of the attributes that he will be remem-

•Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo and wife

bered for. Daddy told me, ‘everything that happens to you, it’s the will of God and once you have a need, you should be very truthful about it and set a lot of time to help other people.” Toke, who is the Executive Director of The Guardian, said he will not forget his father’s advice to him. His words: “My father told me to be very humble and very content.” More Nigerians trooped in large number to the residence of the deceased yesterday to honour the departed media icon. They included former Chief of naval Staff, Vice Admiral Akin Aduwo, President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, former Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Olu Ona-

stood for values that are enduring. He built institutions and he touched many lives. “We thank God for his life. We thank God that he has an heritage. May the Lord bless his heritage. Of course, he has already immortalised himself when he was alive because we are all remembered by what we have done. So we all know what the heritage he has left behind.” Onagoruwa said: “Dear Alex, I had hoped and prayed you and I would spend more precious and lovely times together, but God always has His own plans. Rest well now and God bless you.” Onosode stated: “Indeed, the memory of the righteous is blessed. Our brother, rest in peace.” In the words of Ofonagoro, “May his soul rest in perfect peace. He will be long remembered for his pioneering role in entrenching press freedom in Nigeria.”

•Chief Arthur Mbanefo, Chief Olatokunbo Thomas and Mr. Mike Murray-Bruce

•From left: Aremo Olusegun Osoba, This Day Chairman Nduka Obaigbena and former presidential spokesman Mr. Segun Adeniyi

•Rev. Yinka Omololu and Elder Gamaliel Onosode

goruwa, former Minister of Information, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro and General Adeyinka Adebayo (retd), former Special Adviser to former President Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Umaru Dikko and Senator Bode Olajumoke. Visitors to the place also included former chairman of the First bank Plc, Mr. Oba Otudeko, a boardroom guru, Mr. Gamaliel Onasode, former Managing Director of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Felix Ohiwere, former spokesman for the former President Umar Yar’Adua, Mr. Segun Adeniyi. Otudeko said: “Those who knew Alex know that he was a very deep profound thinker, extremely strategic gentleman and a man of few words. He was a great creative and innovative strategist. From what he achieved, Alex Ibru clearly was to this nation a pillar and someone who

PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA

•Former Governor Donald Duke and Mrs Taiwo Taiwo

•From left: Felix Ibru, Chairman, Honeywell Group Mr Oba Otudeko and Mr. Goodie Ibru


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS

Osun recruits 8,554 teachers •Govt approves N48b to boost water supply

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HE Osun State Government has recruited 8,554 primary and secondary school teachers. This is one of the strategies of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration to improve the standard of education. Deputy Governor Titilayo Laoye-Tomori spoke yesterday in Osogbo at the main campus of the Osun State University, while opening a five-day orientation workshop for the new teachers. Mrs. Laoye-Tomori said 5,400 of the teachers were recruited from the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and the remaining 3,154 from Oyin Corps and Parents Teachers Association (PTA). She said the government has also provided exercise books and instructional materials worth N114 million in schools. The deputy governor said the government has started building model schools in the three senatorial districts, adding that the education sector would be overhauled under the Aregbesola administration. She said the administration inherited a myriad of problems in the sector, ranging from shortage of teachers to poor infrastructure, which are responsible for the current decay. Mrs. Laoye-Tomori said the workshop was to expose the new employees to the rudiments of teaching and the ethics of the profession. She urged the trainees to be role models to their students. Also, the government has set aside N48 billion to address the lack of water supply in the state. Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources Mrs. Tawa Williams spoke at a press conference marking the one year anniversary of the Aregbesola administration. Mrs. Williams lamented the dilapidation at the six major water works and 45 micro waterworks. She said the major waterworks, which were designed to produce 226,000 million litres of water daily, were producing only 23.724 million. She said instead of producing 13,400 million litres daily, the micro waterworks were producing only 18.6 per cent of their capacity. Mrs. Williams said the government would rehabilitate the Ede Waterworks to raise the output to 730,000 million litres daily.

•The new teachers at the workshop...yesterday From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

She said the projects would require external funding in form of grants, aids and soft loans from agencies like the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Canadian International Development Agency and European Agency to achieve the laudable programmes.

Mrs Williams said: “The government will ensure that the personnel are well equipped and trained for the maintenance of the facilities upon completion. “Also counterpart staff will be attached to each project. The government intends to work with experienced international water utility organisations and explore the possibility of private public partnership.”

Four killed in Akure bank robbery

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OBBERS invaded a new generation bank at Ondo by-pass in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday, killing four persons. Among the victims was a security man attached to the bank. It was gathered that the 15 gunmen arrived in three vehicles around 1.30pm and started shooting into the air.

•.Three suspects held From Damisi Ojo, Akure

They destroyed the security doors with dynamite and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The operation was said to have lasted for about an hour. Many customers and residents in the area, where The Nation’s Akure office is situat-

ed, were injured. An eyewitness said: “Immediately the robbers alighted from their vehicles, they started shooting. They shot the security man, Bankole. They found it difficult to enter the bank, so they blew open the bullet-proof door with dynamite. “While trying to escape af-

ter the operation, they shot sporadically at anything in sight, killing and injuring innocent people. “But fortunately, the joint team of policemen and soldiers gave them a hot chase and arrested three of them.” Police spokesman Mr. Aremu Adeniran confirmed the incident. Other banks in Akure stopped operation at about 2pm.

Daniel’s govt stole N87b, says Amosun

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GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday alleged that the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel stole N87 billion from the state. Daniel is standing trial at the State High Court in Abeokuta, the state capital, on a 16-count criminal charge of stealing, fraudulent conversion of public property into personal use and failure to truthfully declare his assets as statutorily required of him. Amosun spoke during a Town Hall meeting on the 2012 budget at the June 12 Cultural Centre in Abeokuta, the state capital. He was responding to a question regarding a publication in a national daily entitled, “Amosun in N350m APC contract scam.” The governor said: “Let me give you two or three examples, so that you can know the extent to which they have proven to everybody that they are thieves. “When I came into office, they said they were buying chlorine alum at N145, even though the taps were not running. I objected and they now

•2012 Budget: Ogun earmarks 67 per cent for capital projects From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Akinola Ajibade

buy at a maximum of N100. “When I asked why we were paying so much on petroleum, somebody said ‘when we are supplied petrol, we take some to Maryland, Ijebu–Ode, Adeniyi Jones and Sagamu.’ That was what they told me and I said no, this must stop. “We met a lot of rot here, but decided to keep quiet, because I do not want to bring the Office of the Governor to disrepute. “The said publication claimed that we inflated the

contract for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs). We are not thieves like them. They see every project as an avenue to steal money, but we are not like them. “For me, when you read anything in that newspaper, just disregard it because they think everybody will want to be like them. And in any case, that is why the good people of Ogun state decided not to follow them again because they knew they don’t mean well for them.” On the proposed 2012 budg-

et, Amosun said it would be presented to the House of Assembly on Tuesday. He said 67 per cent of it would be devoted to capital projects; education, 27.5 per cent; infrastructure, 21 per cent; health, 10 per cent; Agriculture, four per cent; and Housing, seven per cent. Amosun said next year’s budget would not be about the amount, but the efficiency and accuracy with which it would be allocated and closely supervised to meet the needs of Ogun people.

Ondo group denies being hired

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SOCIO–political group in Ondo State, Asiwaju Assembly (AA), has condemned the statement credited to the Ondo Democratic Crusaders (ODEC), which described it as “political hirelings.” Reacting to a rally by AA to condemn Senator Ajayi Boroffice’s alleged plan to dump the Labour Party (LP), ODEC described the protesters as “paid agents, who were dancing to the tune of the government.” AA described the statement as “unwarranted.” The group’s coordinator, Mr. Arodu Alfred, said AA worked for the realisation of Boroffice’s

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

senatorial ambition and has a right to comment on his political decisions. AA said: “We condemn the statement credited to ODEC, signed by Mr. Olumide Dada and Mr. Sola Richards, coordinator and secretary of the group. “It is an outburst from people who were nowhere when AA members were mobilising support for Boroffice, who was regarded as a foreigner by the people of Akoko when he made an entry into Ondo politics barely three years ago.”

No plan to dump LP, says ex-Ondo Commissioner

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ORMER Ondo State Commissioner for Information Mr. Ranti Akerele has debunked the rumour that he is planning to dump the Labour Partry (LP). Akerele urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to shun the rumour. He told reporters yesterday that he is committed to the LP. The former commissioner said: “I and a few others are irrevocably committed to the ideals of the LP, which has its root in the philosophy and principles of the great sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. “As a founding member of the LP, I am too committed to be pushed out of the party by people who are bent on feeding the governor with falsehood in order

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

to chase away his die-hard loyalists. “As the de facto spokesman of the LP, I and others successfully launched the party’s image as the toast of Nigerian progressives. “While I functioned as the Commissioner for Information, the image of the people and government of Ondo State had a meteoric rise, with my colleagues from other states coming to Ondo State to share from these best practices. “Without being immodest, the state’s mantra, ‘Ise Lo’ogun Ise,’ which we pioneered, and the logo branding have equally been emulated by other states, and Ondo State has become a reference point.”

NDLEA destroys 24.7 tons of marijuana in Ibadan From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

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HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday destroyed 24,700kg of marijuana in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The agency said it is determined to curb the increase in the production of Indian hemp in the state. NDLEA Chairman Ahmadu Giade said: “This is a must win battle. Cannabis warehouses have been detected and drugs seized. Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that tenants do not engage in illicit activities.” Deputy Governor Moses Adeyemo said any property used to store Marijuana would be seized by the state government. Adeyemo warned villagers against giving lands marijuana farmers and advised them to report such farms to the authorities. State NDLEA Commander Suleiman Jadi said: “We cannot allow cannabis plants to take over our farmlands. Oyo State will not be conducive for such criminal activities.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS Reps back Jonathan on troops deployment to Bayelsa From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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HE House of Representatives yesterday backed President Goodluck Jonathan on the deployment of troops in Bayelsa State. This followed a stiff opposition to a motion seeking the removal of armed forces drafted to the state for the maintenance of law and order by the Federal Government. Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, raised a constitutional order that the Federal Government violated provisions of Section 217 sub section 2b of the Constitution. He cited Section 217 of the Constitution which states “(1) There shall be an armed forces for the federation which shall consist of an Army, a Navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly. The lawmaker regretted that the deployment of troops which had led to the militarisation of the oil-rich State without consultation with the National Assembly. The Minority Leader was, however, guided by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who drew his attention to Section 218 provisions as stipulated in the constitution that supported the President’s action. Gbajabiamila immediately succumbed. The Section states: the powers of the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation shall include power to determine the operational use of the armed forces of the federation. The motion was thereafter put to vote and the House unanimously threw it out. Notwithstanding, the speaker reminded the Presidency that such an act is an oversight of the National Assembly and inappropriate for the Federal Government to embark on such. In another development, President Jonathan presented three letters to the House. These include the harmonisation of the retirement age of professionals in varsities,, colleges of education and Polytechnics. The second bill requested the House to look into the Act establishing the nine universities created by his administration while the third was a bill establishing the Act of the Federal University of Uyo.

Group warns police

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GROUP, Integrity Youths Movement of Nigeria (IYM), has warned the police against arresting its leaders for planning a protest at the National Assembly against the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. In a statement by its National President, Dr Tayo Komolafe, the group said it has been receiving threat messages over the plan to protest government’s policy on petroleum products. The statement reads: “We have resolved to make the Federal Government to see the reason it should not take the masses, who voted it into power, for granted and why it should not be reckless with the poor masses’ taxes. “It is on record that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration abolished toll gate following its planned removal of fuel subsidy. It was the thinking of that administration that removing fuel subsidy while still retaining toll gates would have sparked mass protest across the country…”

Landlords of robbers to forfeit property

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O V E R N O R Babatunde Fashola yesterday brought a new dimension into antirobbery crusade in the Centre of Excellence with a threat to revoke the certificate of Occupancy CofO of any property, whose owners are landlords to armed robbers. He also warned that any landord who allowed his property to be used for the perpetuation of crime would not be spared. Fashola made the declaration at the Fifth Town Hall meeting of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), held at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island. The well–attended forum had in audience a former governor of the state, BigGen Mobolaji Johnson (rtd)

By Miriam Ndikanwu

Lagos monarch, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, chief executive officers of banks and captains of industries among others. The governor recalled that the state established the LSSTF in 2007 as a response to the biggest single challenge of insecurity posed to the realisation of the administration dream. He recalled that many lives were being lost to crime on a daily basis in the traffic, bank robberies and home invasions were the order of the day. Besides, Fashola said the situation was further compounded with the inability of the law enforcement agencies to procure equipment that will enable them fight crime. Fashola, however, an-

nounced that all these were gradually fading out because the Fund has consistently provided equipment to enable the police combat crime. He recalled that the huge success recorded was due to the intervention of the LSSTF brought in bigger challenges as thousands of Nigerians had relocated to live in the st ate. He commended the individuals and corporate bodies that contributed to the fund with particular reference to some school children who he said, supported with their pocket money, while stressing that more collaboration was required as the existing structure was being over- stretched. “The vehicles have aged and need to be replaced. The

demands are new, the methods of the criminals are changing and they are investing in their business in order to put our own lives and businesses at risk.” Earlier, the state Commissioner of police, Mr Yakubu Alkali, had said that in the year under review, a total of 522 armed robbers were arrested, 164 armed robbers died during encounter swith the police, 328 arms were recovered and 3, 553 ammunitions were recovered from robbers in the state. Alkali said:“1448 vehicles (791 snatched, 622 vehicles removed from park and 35 driven away from car park) were stolen, 61 armed robbery incidents, and 319 murder cases were recorded in the last one year.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS Fuel scarcity hits Kano From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ETROL scarcity yesterday hit Kano. Long queues of buyers were seen in some filling stations. Motorists had a hectic time getting the product, where available, while some residents had spent the previous night at filling stations in anticipation getting fuel when the filling stations got their supply. The ubiquitous black marketers took advantage of the scarcity to hike the price of the product, which was sold mainly in jerry cans. Motorists blamed the scarcity on inadequate supply while some filling stations, in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega stations sold to motorists. Following the scarcity, only few commercial buses were found on the roads as majority of the buses were on queue to buy the commodity. This resulted in fare hike on some routes. The few commercial vehicles that plied the roads charged between N100 and N150 instead of the normal N50 and N70. Commercial motorcycles, called Achaba, now charge N500 and above for the same distances. They also charge N50 and N70 per trip for distances they used to charge between N150 and N200.

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Assailants kill woman in Ilorin

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NKNOWN assailants on Monday night allegedly killed a woman identified as Miss Rafat Abdulrahem. She was a nurse at Midland Hospital, Adewole, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. It was learnt that the deceased was attacked on her way home after closing from work. Police Commissioner Peter Gana, while addressing reporters, had said: “There have been complaints about people being attacked from behind by unknown persons. It is

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

true. There is no hiding from it. Based on our record we already know the mode of operation and the areas that are now prone to their activities. The areas include Kano Street in Adewole, Sabo Oke, Sani Okin/Gegele Junction and so many streets around ‘B’ Division. “They use unregistered motorcycles. They carry machetes and parade lonely streets. Once they sight their prospective victim walking alone, they

run after him and the person sitting at the back attacks and thereafter they run away. The main motive is not to rob but the rumour that it is for ritual or it is associated with politicians is not true. “We have made arrests. We know that they operate between 7pm-9pm and 4.30am-6am. In some cases when we tried to arrest them they abandon their motorcycles and machetes and run away. Two of their victims at Adewole died, one is still responding to treatment. One other died from “A” Division while another is re-

ceiving treatment like some other cases.” Eyewitness yesterday said some of the friends, co-workers and relations of the deceased were in tears when they saw her body. Police spokesperson, Ezekiel Dabo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who confirmed the incident, said the command had begun another strategy to curb the trend in the state. He urged the residents to supply information that would lead to arrest the attackers.

Suswam seeks end to election petition

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NEW Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, headed by Justice H.S. Mohammed, has begun sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. Other members of the panel hearing the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in the April poll, Prof Torkuma Ugba, challenging Governor Gabriel Suswam’s election, are: Justices M. A. Adeshola and Justice S. E. Chukuwu. At yesterday’s plenary, counsel to Suswam, D. E. Dewingwe (SAN), filed a motion seeking to terminate the petition. He said the 180 days allowed for the peti-

•New panel begins sitting in Benue From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

tion had elapsed. Lead counsel to Ugba and ACN, Rotomi Akeredoula (SAN), appealed for three days to enable him reply to Suswam’s motion on point of law. Tribunal Chairman Justice Mohammed granted the petitioner his request. He adjourned the matter till December 5 for mention. It also adjourned till December 5 the governorship election petition of the All Nigeria Peoples Party

(ANPP) candidate in the April election, Prof Daniel Saror, challenging the election of Suswam. The Supreme Court had, last week, ordered that a new tribunal be set up to hear Ugba’s petition, which was terminated by the Court of Appeal in Makurdi. The tribunal, led by Justice Munnir Ladan, had dismissed Ugba’s petition, saying it was a pre-election matter. But the Court of Appeal in

•Suswam

Makurdi, headed by Justice Tsamiya Mohammed, ordered that a new tribunal be set up to hear the petition.

Fire razes Emir’s palace in Nasarawa From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

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SECTION of the palace of the Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ahmed Hassan II, in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, was on Monday night razed by fire. The fire, which started at 7pm, was said to have destroyed the monarch’s valuables, including his medical records and certificates. The fire was said to have started when the emir, his palace guards and other members of the household were having their evening prayers. By the time they came out, the fire had reportedly taken over the entire building. Efforts to bring fire fighters to the scene proved futile because the distance between Lafia, the state capital, and Nasarawa is about 40 kilometres. Though no one died in the fire, hoodlums were said to have stolen sympathisers’ motorcycles. The victims were reportedly running from one house to another to help put out the fire with their motorcycles parked nearby.

Boko Haram, JTF clash in Borno OME residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have been feared dead in a clash between members of the Boko Haram sect and the Joint Task Force (JTF). The casualty figure could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report. The clash, which reportedly started on Monday night at the Bulumkutu Market and Gomari area of the capital city, lasted about three hours. It was learnt that three soldiers and a number of civilians, including the members of the sect, died in the clash. Many others were said to have been injured. The Nation gathered that trouble started when the JTF vehicle distributing refreshment to soldiers attached to worship centres and other strategic locations, was ambushed by members of the sect. A gun

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•Some residents feared dead From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

battle was said to have begun. Three JTF soldiers were reportedly killed. It was learnt that the exchange of gun fire attracted soldiers at the worship centres and they faced the sect members in a crossfire. Some residents were said to have been killed and others injured. An eyewitness said the sect members ran away, abandoning a Volkswagen car that conveyed them to the area when they were overpowered by the soldiers and JTF men. The eyewitness said two churches, Holy Trinity and EYN, hurriedly closed with members attending evening prayers scampering for safety.

Traders in the market also closed their shops when soldiers invaded the area shortly after the gun battle in search of members of the sect. It was learnt that the entire area was cordoned off by soldiers for the duration of the night and early hours of Tuesday. Police Commissioner Simeon Midenda told The Nation on phone that he had heard about the incident but, he is yet to get details. He directed reporters to contact JTF officials for further information. JTF Field Commander Col. Victor Ebhaleme said he was in a meeting when he was contacted. He promised to return the call but did not. When our correspondent called him again about two hours later, he did not answer the call.

Police arrest ‘notorious criminal’ in Sokoto •‘He’s a robber, rapist, killer’ • I’m not what they call me, says suspect

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HE Sokoto State Police Command has arrested a man, Aminu Disba, 23, for alleged armed robbery, homicide and

rape. Disba, who the police described as “the most notorious and wanted criminal” in the state, was reportedly apprehended in his hideout at Madatsa, Minannata area of Sokoto metropolis. He is receiving treatment at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, from gunshots wounds when he wanted to escape arrest. But the suspect denied some of the crimes the police alleged he committed. These include the allegation that some weapons and charms were recovered from him. The police said other members of his gang were at large.

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Police spokesman Sani Al-Mustapha, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said Disba was arrested by a special patrol team at 1am on Monday after shooting him in the leg when he confronted the policemen. He said the suspect had been on the police wanted list for sundry crimes. “Our men arrested him at his slaughter spot (Madatsa) located in a hideout where he carried out his nefarious activities, including rape,” al-Mustapha said. He said the suspect would be charged to court after a thorough investigation. Al-Mustapha added: “We are appealing to the public to cooperate with the police and other security agencies by giving useful information on criminals, their hideouts and strange characters.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Unfair fiscal terms for the deepwater operations, which account for 40 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production, cost the country $5 billion a year in lost revenue and contribute to the decline of the country’s foreign currency reverses. -Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor

Naira steady after CBN moves target band

Minister, NASU clash over fuel subsidy From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

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HE Naira steadied against the United States’ dollar at the interbank market yesterday. But yields on the three-year bonds fell after the Central Bank lowered its target trading band for the currency and kept benchmark interest rates on hold. The apex bank moved the band it wants the local naira to trade in to N150-160 to the US dollar, compared with N145-155 previously, due to prolonged naira weakness and high dollar demand. The unit steadied at N158.99 to the greenback at 1030 GMT, the same level it was at before the central bank’s announcement on Monday, after opening lower at N159.50. “There was an initial pressure on the naira, which has moderated,” one currency dealer said, adding that the market had already priced in the move, after the bank earlier on Monday auctioned $250 million at N155.21 to the greenback. Financial markets had closed before Monday’s announcement. By moving the band on which the naira trades at its auctions to N150-160 to the US dollar, the apex bank wants to converge the official forex rates with the interbank and narrow arbitrage opportunities. Analysts expected the Central Bank to hike rates by 25 basis points to 12.25 per cent, according to a Reuters’ poll, prompting bond holders to go short on the three-year paper, dealers said. But the apex bank left rates unchanged at 12 per cent. Yields on three-year bonds, the country’s most liquid paper, fell 100 basis points on buying pressure from investors that went short on the paper in anticipation of a rate hike.

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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $32.820b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

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0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472

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• From left: Head, Corporate Banking, National, Fidelity Bank Plc, Wale Mesioye; Managing Director/CEO, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi; Executive Chairman, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu and Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr Chimaobi Madukwe, during a courtesy visit to BUA by Fidelity Bank management team.

Budget 2012 ready early Dec., says Okonjo-Iweala T

HE Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi-OkonjoIweala, has said the 2012 Budget will soon be ready. Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this yesterday during the inauguration of a committee to monitor the ports in Abuja. She said: “The team is working very hard on the budget and we are working towards having something ready between the end of this month and early next month.” However, what is “really ongoing is that we have to do a lot of consultations with the National Assembly, and of course, we have to leave room to answer questions and clarify issues and make sure that the National Assembly feels comfortable with the parameters, so this is what we are doing right now.” The budget drafting team, “will give it the time it takes. We do not want to rush the budget if we have not satisfied the National Assembly committees and the questions they are asking. It is a collaborative process and will give it the time it will take, that is why I cannot give you the exact date because I want to give it the time that it requires and the framework we presented before remains the same as nothing has changed.” Also, she said, henceforth,

• Orders Customs, others to work 24 hours at ports

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

the men of the Nigeria Customs Service(NSC), terminal operators and shipping lines are to work 24 hours to meet the reform agenda of the Jonathan administration. She said because of the high cost of demurrage caused by delays by terminal operators during cargo clearance, terminal operators now have one day deadline to position cargo for clearance, or else demurrage charges will be forfeited. This decision is likely to take effect in two months. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala noted that government’s “ultimate aim is a 48-hour clearance time and we will do all it takes to make this happen. So, the members of the committee have been chosen for their experience, integrity, honesty and desire as patriots, to make things work in the country”. She said the committee would remain as “ our ports are not functioning in a good way. So, until we have ports that are functioning to the

satisfaction of the private sector and they are doing business quicker and we get to 48 hours clearance, we will continue to monitor the ports’performance.” Many of the reforms, she added, will take anywhere from a week to 12 months, because the committee will be looking at “a whole series of reforms, some are short term like the issue of the number of agencies at the ports being reduced, developing operational guidelines for shipping line operators, abolishing the customs task force that was seen as a source of harassment to the private sector operators, the 24-hour shifts. Some of our agencies need to be working round the clock to make the ports work more efficiently.” Other reforms that the committee will monitor are the “development of a regulatory body for port operations, working on the high cost of demurrage for the private sector if containers stay at the ports for a long time, they (private sector) end up paying high costs we have to do that.”

Other reforms that the committee will monitor their implementation, she stated, are the container policy to deal with empty containers, the multiplicity of forms that will have to be streamlined, all these, she explained, will take some months to do,” adding that pre-clearance scanning of cargo containers and the scanning methodology to make sure that it works, she said, are receiving expedited attention from the NSC. Infrastructure within the ports, particularly the roads, the minister said, will be improved, adding that the Federal Executive Council a week ago, approved a road within the port terminal. The contract was initially approved, but it was discovered that the contractor made a lot of claims and did not have the capacity to do the work, but claimed that he had done a lot of work. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC. There is also the problem of regulatory regimes at the ports. All these reforms, Okonjo-Iweala said, “will take from immediate to 24 months to deliver, and during that time, the committee will continue to function because they have to visit the ports around the country to make sure that these reforms are being carried out.”

HE Minister of Labour and Produc tivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, yesterday incurred the anger of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) as he made attempts to woo them in support of the removal of petrol subsidy. But just as a Director in the Department of Trade Union Services, Mrs. Ebere Ugwu, who represented him in Abuja at the Fifth National Delegates Conference of the union read the speech, which sought the workers’ understanding on the plan to remove the subsidy, the workers shouted a deafening, “No! No!! No!!” unanimously. The speech came soon after the President of the union, Comrade Ladi Iliya, noted that Nigerians were going through their travails because the refineries are not working. Besides, she declared that over the years, a cartel did not want them to work because its members were benefiting from subsidised importation of fuel, urging that the Federal Government should gather the courage to expose the names of the cartel which it has already claimed it knows. Her words: ”After all, it is the government that pays the so called subsidy to them. If the government fails to name them, then we should hold it liable as accessory to the crime both before and after commission of the crime.” In his remarks, the General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peter Adeyemi, said the union made significant attempts to better the lot of its members by securing agreements on some welfare packages Said he: “ Let me quickly add that in the above struggle, our push was hard, our plan sound and our manoeuvres deep. However, notwithstanding the above corporate commitment, we experienced certain impediments in the form of dishonoured agreements or partially implemented ones.”

Fed Govt undecided over deregulation, says Minister

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HE Minister of Petro leum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, yesterday said the Federal Government is yet to decide on the deregulation of the petroleum sector. She also said to mitigate against pipeline vandalism, the ministry “is at present implementing the Real Time Pipeline System Surveillance (RTPSS) project, which is aimed at detecting, locating and quantifying pipeline leaks in real time. This, she said, would prevent severe loss of lives and property in the event of pipeline ruptures.

• Pipeline repairs to cost $2b From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Speaking at the National Assembly in Abuja, the Minister said the pipeline project is 85 per cent completed for the gas system and 50 per cent completed for the liquid system. She also said the Federal Government would need to commit of $2 billion into the repairs and preventive measures on the 5000 kilometre pipeline stretch across the country due to vandalism.

The minister noted that the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is causing the nation trillions of Naira in terms of revenue loss. She said the passage of the PIB is necessary to grow reserves but also to garner additional income for the nation. She said the ministry proposed the PIB, as “an omnibus regulatory instrument intended to turn around the oil and Gas industry in Nigeria.” However, the members of the Muraina Ajibola-headed House of Representatives

Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and the Minister yesterday drew a ceasefire over their lingering altercation when the Minister apologised for standing the committee up on three occasions. She said: “Government has continued to engage various stakeholders on deregulation. While government believes that deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum, industry is in the best interest of the country, it has resolved to carry the people along in its policies. At the appropriate time, a decision will be taken.”

On the level of production in the country, she said, crude oil production stands at 2.3 million barrels per day, an increase over the 1.3 mbd against what obtained in 2008. She attributed this to the restoration of System 2c, which supplies crude oil to the Warri and Kaduna refineries as well as the success of the Amnesty Programme introduced by the Federal Government. The Chairman of the committee, Muraina Ajibola, however, expressed his disappointment with the attitude of the Minister, particularly her refusal to heed the committee’s summons thrice.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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BUSINESS NEWS Boko Haram threat forces cancellation of business forum

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HREATS of more attacks on government and public fa cilities by members of the militant Boko Haram sect is taking its toll on the nation’s drive to attract foreign direct investments. A three-legged roundtable that would have drawn local and international investors was cancelled at the last minute at the weekend by organisers of the event tagged: Canada Business Seminar. The event was aborted after the Canadian government warned its nationals against travelling to Nigeria until the security situation in the country improves. Canadian former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and onetime Secretary of State, Mr Gerry Weiner PC, was invited to educate participants on how to fast-track visa processing in six months. But for the cancellation, the events including private/general seminars and consultations, would have started on November 17 at the Radisson Blu Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos and run through November 26 at Sheraton Hotels, Abuja and Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. Before the cancellation, invitations had been sent out to prospective participants. Those who had indicated interest in meeting with the Canadian top-ranking official included investors, chief executive officers, company directors, industrialists, entrepreneurs, politicians and senior government officials, among others. They had looked forward to robbing minds with Weiner, who was expected to bring his more than two decades of political and business experience to bear on the participants. For about 20 years, Weiner served Canada as Minister of Immigration, Multiculturalism and Citizenship and as Secretary of State, among others.

Senate rejects Allison-Madueke’s explanation on fuel subsidy

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HE joint Senate Committee probing the management of fuel subsidy yesterday rejected explanations offered by Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, for the astronomical jump in fuel subsidy expenditure. It also received the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on the Investigation of the Privatisation and Commercialisation activities of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE). Members of the committee accused Allison-Madueke of not being prepared for the investigation. The Senate had mandated its joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance to investigate the management of fuel subsidy in the country. This followed a motion by Senator Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central), who drew the attention of the Senate to alleged conflicting expenditure profile of the Federal Government on fuel subsidy. The Senate said from 2010 payment of fuel subsidy has increased from N600 billion to N1.3 trillion in 2011. After her presentation yesterday, Chairman of the joint Committee, Senator Magnus Abe, told Mrs Allison-Madueke that members were not satisfied with her answers. He said: “We will let you to go but you have to come back another day because members are not satisfied with your answers.” But Mrs Allison-Madueke protested when she demanded to know

• Receives report on BPE probe From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

“what areas are you not satisfied.” Abe, however, insisted that the minister should go back, consider questions by members to enable her to prepare to offer required answers. Allison-Madueke had told the committee that in 2003, the Federal Government directed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay the prevailing international market price for fuel products. She noted that the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) was subsequently established to, in 2006, to fund purchases. The Minister said the PSF was under funded by stakeholders leading the corporation to look for other sources. She listed the continuous rise in the average consumption fuel, increase in international price of fuel and increase in exchange rate as part of the issues that gave rise to expenditure in fuel subsidy. On allegation of manipulation of fuel supply at the port, she noted that imported volumes are verified by relevant agencies. The minister said the subsidy gap had increased at the rate of N22.74 per litre of in 2006 to N37.9 per liter this year Senator Danjuma Goje asked why N245.9 billion would be provided in the 2011 budget for fuel subsidy while N1.38 trillion

would be spent. Senator Saraki demanded to know who authorised the payment of arrears of N258 billion on Kerosene. Saraki also said the claim that continuous rise in the consumption fuel was false because it was not supported by the figures supplied by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). But the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explained that the reported N245.96 billion budgetary allocation for fuel subsidy was an estimate. She noted that there are fluctuations in the claims by NNPC and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) The committee also turned down the presentation of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido. It noted that while it was asked to investigate management of the fuel subsidy, CBN’s submission dealt with removal of fuel subsidy. Represented by Deputy CBN Governor, Mr Tunde Lemo, Lamido said there various approving authorities for payment of fuel subsidy. According to him, “once we see such approvals we make funds available as banker to the government. We can only raise red flag, but explanation for payments should be made by the approving authorities.

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

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

20m jobs, 15, 000 firms coming, says RMRDC From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

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AW Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) yesterday unveiled plans to help in the creation of about 26 million jobs and the creation of about 15,000 small scale processing industries across the country over the next 10 years Director-General, Peter Onwualu, disclosed this in Abuja when the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology led by its Chairman, Akinlade Abiodun, paid an oversight visit to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja. While lamenting that over 80 per cent of the raw materials used by factories in the country are imported, he said there is the need to focus on the promotion of raw materials processing clusters. Clusters are concentration of industries in a particular location or dispersed locations, but joined by a network and carrying out similar operational activities and therefore facing common opportunities and challenges such as using the same or similar raw materials, technologies expertise and markets. Onwualu explained that the industrial cluster concept is aimed at assisting micro, small and medium scale industries to grow and overcome difficulties associated with manufacturing, noting that each cluster would include about 10 micro and small scale manufacturing firms.

Flight Schedule

• From left: Chairman, Association of Issuing House of Nigeria (AIHN) Mr Bolaji Balogun; Vice-Chairman, Mr Victor Ogiemwonyi and immediate past chairman, Mr Kayode Falowo, during the Annual General Meeting of AIHN, at Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

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Reps committee queries FAAN over low revenue

HE House of Representatives Committee on Aviation yes terday asked the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) to explain why it has not attained its N35 billion revenue target for the year. It observed that the N20 billion revenue generated at the end of the third quarter is a far cry from its set target. While receiving presentations for its financial transactions for the year from FAAN management, in Lagos, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, asked the authority’s management why FAAN should not be regarded as a failed organisation in view of its inability to generate enough revenue. She lamented that despite the huge budgetary allocation to FAAN, it could not boast of any airport that has modern facilities. She wondered why it failed in re-

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

covering its huge debts. According to her, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport has the potential to boost FAAN’s revenue, saying that the reliance on aeronautical sources for revenue has not demonstrated the financial creativity of the authority. She expressed reservations over the lopsided expenditure profile of FAAN, which is weighed higher on overhead costs, running into 60 per cent, as opposed to capital projects. She asked why FAAN paid over N1.2 billion to two of its concessionaires, as against the N890 million earmarked for them. She said: “How come the concessionaires are owing FAAN and could not pay ? It is clear that FAAN lacks live cycle. It then follows that FAAN may have failed as an organisation.

This is because of the way the organisation runs, the irregularities that surround its concession agreements. It also appears there is no plan to make Nigerian airports look like what they should look like. Could it be privatised, considering the huge investment of capital in the airports, which gives the feeling that budgeting in FAAN is just like a ritual? ” She urged the Managing Director of FAAN, George Uriesi, to take responsibilityand make the system work, saying the committee would no longer accept excuses. She said: “ You have to shun directives from above and work, according to the law, because if anything happens, you will be held liable. FAAN has potential to become a huge money spinner for the government, but it is sad to note that FAAN is in the intensive care unit, which is about to die. But this committee will rescue it from dying.”

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35

11.35

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

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

08.00 18.00

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


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

13

ISSUES

• Lagos port

How the ports can thrive Before the 2006 concession, vessels that berthed at the ports could not carry more than 1,000 containers (TEUS) because of the limited draught of the channels. All this changed when Maersk Line made history by bringing in a vessel with 4,500 containers (TEUS). Maritime Correspondent OLUWAKEMI DAUDA looks at the issues that made the feat possible.

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AKING the ports work has always been a challenge to the government. It is either the channel is too shallow to take big vessels or the port is littered with wrecks and small ships waiting to berth. It is in the bid to change things that the government settled for ports concession in 2006. Five years after, it seems things are looking up in the maritime sector, but as many stakeholders will say, there is still room for improvement. The reforms undertaken by the government in 2006 led to the restructuring of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the concession of the terminals to private investors. Under the exercise, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) put the concessionaires in charge of the day-to-day running of the ports, especially cargo handling, while the NPA re-

mains the landlord. These factors, operators admitted, contributed to make the ports more user-friendly as the concessionaires embarked on measures to attract clients to their terminals.

Discovery of wrecks The joint committee of the NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Federal Ministry of Transport discovered 31 wrecks on the sea bed which pose navigational hazards to vessels coming to the Lagos ports. Twenty-four were within the areas controlled by the NPA, while seven were within the jurisdiction of NIMASA.

Removal of the wrecks for safe navigation That wrecks and derelicts constitute a risk to safe navigation is not in doubt. This explains why the management of the NPA has continued to push for the removal of wrecks and derelicts from the channels. The exercise, which is on the verge of completion at the Lagos channels, is to ensure safe navigation of ocean-going vessels into Nigeria ports. No fewer than 24 wrecks, considered ‘critical’ by international certified surveyors and marine experts have been identified and removed. • Continued on page 14


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

14

ISSUES

How the ports can thrive • Continued from page 13

The Executive Director, Badmus Shipping Company, Chief Fola Badmus and other ship owners, told The Nation that the development has made the waterways navigable all year round. It has also paved the way for more ships to patronise the seaports, leading to an increase in the volume of cargoes imported into the country, as well as increased revenue for the Federal Government. Investigation by The Nation revealed that the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) has removed about 18 of the 24 wrecks within the NPA jurisdiction. One of the wrecks was removed by the company from Commodore Pool Channel. It was a large vessel lying under the sea bed for years, preventing bigger ships from navigating into the Tin-Can port because it limited the space for manoeuvring. Another was removed from the Tin-Can turning base thereby easing navigation in that channel. Also, two were removed from NIPCO Jetty commonly referred to as North of Apapa Port. Although they were not a threat to navigation, they made dredging impossible. Since the wrecks were removed, dredging is ongoing at the jetty to create depth for vessels with higher draught like the one brought in recently by Maersk Line. Most of the wrecks were buried under the sea bed. They were exposed through constant dredging. There are other obstructions, such as cars, containers, metals on the channel, especially at the quay side, that were also removed by the NPA to promote trade within and around the port.

Dredging and infrastructure Besides successful removal of wrecks and derelicts, the government has embarked on the dredging of the channels to ensure that bigger vessels visit the seaports without any hitch. NPA has pursued the dredging of the channels steadily. Besides the removal of some of the ‘critical wrecks’ the exercise has made it possible for the Lagos ports to attain almost 13.5 metres draught.

Benefits of wrecks removal Some shipping lines have started enjoying the benefits of the dredging exercise. These include Maersk Nigeria Limited, the subsidiary of Danish logistics and port operations giant, AP Moller-Maersk Group. Already, the company has changed the route of its Far East service to West Africa, thus making Apapa Port its first port of call in February this year when MV Izmir, a vessel with a length of 232.33 metres arrived the port with 3,500 containers. As a further proof of Nigeria’s has attainment of a hub status for shipping activities in the West and Central Africa subregions, another Maersk’s ship, one of the biggest in the world, 250 metres long with a draught of 13.5 metres and named Maersk Calabar, also visited Apapa port in July this year with 4,500 containers (TEUS). This feat would not have been possible without the successful dredging of the Lagos port channels to 13.5 metres. As evidence that the exercise was not restricted to Lagos channels alone, Calabar port has started receiving the desired attention with a contract for its dredging to be awarded soon. Similarly, Onne Port is receiving necessary attention in terms of dredging. In appreciation of the authorities’ efforts, the Managing Director of Maesrk Nigeria Limited, David Skov, praised the NPA for the dredging and wrecks removal. He said the exercise would facilitate the deployment of bigger vessels in the months ahead.

•Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar

•Suleiman

• Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The management of the authority also realised the need for the improvement in ports infrastructure to enhance the success of the port reforms. It has, therefore, embarked on the rehabilitation and upgrading of port infrastructure nationwide.

Lagos Channel beginning from the far-away buoy to the Lagos Ports of Apapa and TinCan-Island, while Bonny Channel Company (BCC) was floated with another foreign firm to prepare the Port Harcourt – Bonny channel for increase commercial shipping. The result of the NPA efforts in dredging the channels and removing wrecks had translated to good fortunes for the country as increase in cargo and vessels traffic that followed it have also increased revenue generation through the port and enhanced the nation’s image within the community of maritime nations. When contacted on the efforts of the NPA, the Managing Director, Omar Suleiman, said the NPA has made remarkable progress since the inception of the ports concession. Suleiman noted that before the concession, vessels that called at the ports could not carry more than 1,000 TEUS of containers because of limited draught of the channels. He celebrated the advent of MV Calabar, a vessel with 4,500 TEUS capacity, which birthed at the Apapa Port a few months ago; a feat, he said was made possible only because the NPA had dredged the channels to a draught of close to13.5 metres, thereby enabling bigger vessels sail into the port.

percent increase over the same period of August 2010 figure of 9,437,966. Other performance indicators also indicated that the average turnaround time of vessels for all ports was 6.1 days compared to 6.6 days in August 2010. The Managing Director also told The Nation that there is an improvement in cargo throughput figure, rising from 36,000, 364 metric tonnes during the first half of 2010 to 40,653,713 metric tonnes during the corresponding period of 2011, while vessel traffic rose from 2,502 of first half of 2010 to 2,571 during the same period of 2011, an increase of 2.8 per cent.

Huge submersive oil rig in Lagos A huge submersive oil rig berthed in Lagos recently following the dredging of the port and wrecks removal. The arrival of the rig has sent positive message to the international community that the Lagos seaports are ripe for the hub status, with its positive implication on youth employment, skill development and increased revenue profile. The Executive Chairman, Sunlight Shipping and Trade Joseph Abraham, said investors were thinking of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, before they changed their mind and opted for Nigeria. Majority of investors, who initially banked on Malabo for the servicing of the oil rigs, he said, are warming up to come to the country based on the efforts targeted on channel management and wrecks removal. Over 300 Nigerians, he said, are engaged in servicing the rig.‘‘Some foreign investors in the oil rig business have reportedly cancelled an oil rig construction, which was earlier planned for Equatorial Guinea and brought it into Lagos, on the premise that business prospect in the country with developed and deepened channels would be better than in Malabo. “NPA has consistently been taking the right decisions in the dredging of channels and wrecks’ removal. But the truth is that the Federal Government took the right decision when it embarked on port reforms,’’ Abraham said.

Pro-active measures The port concession programme was initiated to improve efficiency of port operations, among several other reasons. But the NPA was proactive by putting in place measures that would assist in achieving this lofty objective of the programme. For instance, the authority went into partnership with foreigners to float two separate companies to dredge and remove wrecks and derelicts from the channel for bigger vessels to navigate into the ports, which over time could develop to become hub in the West and Central Africa. The Lagos Channel Management was consequently floated in joint venture with an Israeli firm to dredge and remove wrecks from the

Statistics and volume of goods imported Statistics recently released by the authorities showed that there is a steady improvement in the fortunes of Nigerian ports in the last five years. This is not unconnected with the fact that there is remarkable increase in their efficiency. This is borne out of improvement in their cargo dwell time (CDT), vessel turn around time, and security of cargoes, ships and personnel at the various terminals, particularly the ones situated in Lagos and Onne. Volume of goods imported into the country has continued to rise steadily with a correspondence increase in the revenue accruing to the authority. For instance, in the first half of this year, volume of goods imported into the country rose by 10.17 per cent from 36,900,364 metric tonnes in the first half to 40,653,713 metric tonnes during the first six months of this year. Also, 13,053 metric tonnes of goods were shipped into the port during the period as against 10,100 recorded last year. To demonstrate that the ports have been recording an increase in all its performance indicators, available statistics showed that the total gross tonnage of the ocean going vessels, which visited the ports in August this year stood at 10,026,813, showing a 6.2

‘As a further proof of Nigeria’s attainment of a hub status for shipping activities in the West and Central Africa sub-regions, another Maersk’s ship, one of the biggest in the world, 250 metres long with a draught of 13.5 metres and named Maersk Calabar, also visited Apapa port in July this year with 4,500 containers (TEUS)’

Gains of the reform Based on the port concession programme, the ports have started to show signs of the benefits of the exercise as they have started yielding fruits, in terms of access for bigger vessels, patronages and improved revenue for government. Since the conclusion of the port concession, NPA has continued to discharge its responsibilities as the landlord, technical regulator apart from its official marine functions. The performance of its statutory roles and responsibilities in the post-concession era has particularly made the ports to be more competitive and innovative as the terminal operators have been able to modernise port operations. Realising the immense benefits of the progress that had occurred at the ports for the benefit of the maritime sector and the economy, the Federal Government has however continued to take necessary measures to ensure that the gains are not lost. Investigation by The Nation revealed that it was in a bid to consolidate on these benefits besides improving on them to further make Nigerian ports the first choice of call for foreign ships, largely informed the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint the current Managing Director of NPA, Omar Suleiman around this time last year.

Five years after It is going to six years since the Federal Government concessioned the ports to private operators. Prior to the concessioning, the ports were characterised with limited draught, poor infrastructure, crippling bureaucracy and critical wrecks lying on the sea bed causing navigational hazards to vessels coming to the country. All these and more issues made the nation’s seaports uncompetitive and unattractive in the West African sub-region. This no doubt was antithetical to achieving the muchtrumpeted Federal Government’s Vision 20: 2020. It is a matter of fact that the gateway to the economic development of any nation is its seaport, where higher percentages of goods are moved. Many countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, among others, have developed their ports to become money spinning sectors to the extent of contributing huge revenues to their treasuries. They have been able to achieve this due to good infrastructural development, dredging of the channels, wrecked ship removal and the reduction of corruption to the barest minimum.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

16

MONEY

Banks incur CBN, NDIC’s wrath over poor customer relations S OME banks have drawn the ire of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) over their poor treatment of customers. The regulators said complaints arising from poor customer service, high bank tariffs, frauds, forgeries and bank distress, could destroy confidence in the banking system. They said the complaints were worrisome and must be addressed. Speaking at a workshop on Customer Complaints in Banks organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), CBN Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Chris Chukwu, said Section 2(d) of the CBN Act 2007 empowers the CBN to “promote” a sound financial system’ in Nigeria. In pursuit of this objective, he said, the Financial System Stability Directorate was created to ensure a sound and stable financial system. He said a key aspect of this function is the development of adequate consumer protection and enlightenment mechanisms, to not only protect consumers, but also engender confidence amongst the banking publics. Chukwu said banks are aware of whom their customers are, but expressed disappointment that many

By Collins Nweze

of them do not appreciate the need to determine their expectations and how to manage them. “The inability to manage customers coupled with the serious corporate governance issues could explain the high frequency of complaints amongst bank customers in Nigeria. To be able to determine the causes of customer complaints and design appropriate strategies for preventing and controlling it, the need to determine customer expectations and how to effectively manage them cannot be overemphasised. “The banking sector in Nigeria today and indeed in most jurisdictions rests on three pillars. In other words, the relationship is like a tripod and the collapse of one would certainly result in the total collapse of the whole sector. These pillars consist of the Service Providers, the Regulators (or Government) and the Consumers. There is no gain saying the fact that the consumers are the most important of these three pillars because without the consumers, there would be no basis for the existence of both the regulators as well

as the banks,” Chukwu stressed. Also speaking, the Managing Director of NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim, said banks are corporate entities established to make profit and are responsible first and foremost to their shareholders whose primary objective is financial. The pursuit of this objective invariably exposes consumers to tendencies of exploitation, which must be curtailed. Both regulators agreed that a lot of efforts have been made by the regulatory authorities to ensure that customers enjoy not only quality services but also protection from excessive charges and outright loss of funds. Ibrahim said it is important for operators to ensure that customer satisfaction is achieved by providing valued services and products, where value is the positive difference between customers’ actual experiences and their service delivery expectations, adding that satisfaction is also generated through high quality support services (people, information and technology) and being empowered to provide value and resolve customer complaints. He said customers are critical

stakeholders in any business, adding that “customer is the king and is always right”. It therefore means that businesses should strive hard to ensure that the needs and expectations of their customers are satisfied, he said, warning that failure to meet the needs and expectations of customers creates grounds for complaints, which if not addressed in good time could result in the rejection of products/services and sometimes leading to litigation. He said dissatisfaction of banks’ customers could lead to loss of confidence in not only the affected banks but the entire system, and subsequently, could trigger run on the affected banks as well as the entire system. He traced the genesis of customer complaints in the country’s banking system to the transformation the system witnessed over time. “Looking back at the system in the last two and a half decades, when the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was introduced in 1986, a lot of developments had taken place both in terms of the number of banks, bank branches and the services they render. The rapid growth in the num-

ber of banks, branches and products as a result of the deregulation of the system in line with the dictates of SAP, was not matched with the quality manpower to service the industry,” he argued. Furthermore, he said the introduction of the Universal Banking concept, which removed the barriers between commercial and merchant banks, heightened competition in terms of new products and business lines, some of which the banks lacked adequate skills to handle. The consequences of all these, he lamented, were that quality service delivery as well as integrity began to diminish leading to incessant complaints against banks on a daily basis by their customers. He added that customers are a major stakeholder in banking business the world over and indeed without customers, banks will cease to exist. Should there be loss of confidence in the banks by their customers especially depositors; it will not only affect the individual banks but also the entire financial system. He said a good understanding of a bank’s customer expectation entails knowing who the customers are. This is important in order to enable the banks devise strategies for preventing and controlling complaints against their services.

Keystone inaugurates ICT centres for schools

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•From left: Executive Secretary, Enugu State Economic Planning Commission, Mr Nnanyeluso Onyishi; Enugu State Commisssioner for Works, Mr Godwin Madueke and Co-ordinator, Rural Access Mobility Project, Mr Nwere Obiajulu, at a finalisation of Enugu State Works and Infrastructure Workshop in Enugu.

Police to prosecute owners of failed MFBs

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HE managing directors of the 103 microfinance banks (MfBs) axed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be prosecuted, Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim has said. The CBN revoked the licences of the banks in September last year, after they failed to fulfil obligations to customers. The measure resulted in the arrest of the affected banks’ chiefs by the police. The police, it was gathered, are preparing documents that will facilitate the banks’ chiefs appearance in court soon. Ibrahim said efforts are being made to prosecute the people that ran the banks aground. The corporation, he said is arranging with the police on how to prosecute the owners of the banks. He said: “We are arranging with the police to prosecute owners of microfinance banks that are battling with insolvency. We are using the former staff of the banks to collect the debts incurred by the banks. Such workers know those that collected the

By Akinola Ajibade

loans, hence our resolves to use them for debts collection. We are doing debt recovery across the country, to ensure the growth of the institutions”. He said NDIC has visited the branches of the failed banks to ascertain the level of financial misconducts, and further arranged with the agent banks on how to pay their depositors. Ibrahim said payment slips were given to depositors as part of verification exercise, adding that many have been paid through this means. According to him, majority of the depositors of microfinance institutions do not have more than N200, 000 deposits, and need to be taken care of. “The Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) for microfinance banks has been increased from N100, 000 to N200,000. The deposit insurance is for the poor, and not the rich that have money to hire consultants who can follow up their accounts. The new coverage level of N200, 000 was used to settle depositors of the 103 microfinance banks that closed shop in 2010”, he

said. Also, industry sources said many managing directors were quizzed by the police, immediately after their banks were declared insolvent by the apex bank. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the interrogation was done to ascertain the level of financial malpractices in those banks, and further prepare grounds for the trails of their owners. They said the affected operators were running the banks like commercial banks, and in the process burnt their fingers. Speaking on the issue, the Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB),LagosChapter,MrOlufemiBabajide, said the association was not aware of the arrest or prosecution of the owners of 103 failed banks. Babajide said the issue is beyond the association, adding that the matter is between the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said the association, in conjunction with the regulators, is making efforts to restore confidence in the sub-sector, and further make the environment conducive for the operators.

HE Executive Director, Southsouth, Southeast and Midwest, Keystone Bank Limited, Mrs. Sally UwechueMbanefo, said the bank is committed to supporting youth education. Speaking at the inauguration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres donated to four schools in Akwa Ibom State, she said the youth, who are constantly referred to as the leaders of tomorrow, deserve to have access to practical and functional education that would broaden their scope and horizon in today’s competitive and global society. “Keystone Bank’s decision to commit resources to and partner with the Inoyotoro Foundation in providing this ICT centre, was borne out of the bank’s strong commitment to being a socially responsible corporate citizen and the high regard in which we hold the owners of the foundation,” she said, adding that the ICT centres would be a source of knowledge, human capital development and a veritable channel of education for those it is intended for, as well as the teeming youths of Akwa

By Tonia Osundolire

Ibom state. “Only last month, Keystone Bank commissioned a 108-room hostel accommodation at the University of Benin in furtherance of its commitment to corporate social responsibility, as we are determined to make impact in the area of education and youth empoweMrs Uwechue-Mbanefo thanked the government and people of Akwa Ibom State and the Inoyo Toro Foundation for the opportunity given to Keystone Bank to be a part of this laudable investment in the future generation of the country. She noted that Keystone Bank is positioning to make a distinctive mark as a financial institution by making banking with us extremely pleasurable and stressfree, saying the bank thrives on an excellent information technology platform that ensures that customers have a satisfying and experiential banking encounter with the bank whether they choose to do business with the bank personally through its over 200 branches or online through ebanking platform.

Emerging markets inflows

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HE Global Emerging Markets (GEM) weekly fund flows have been on the decline over increasing risk of doing business, Renaissance Capital (RenCap) has said. RenCap, a financial analysis and investment outfit, explained in an emailed Research Alert, that the volume of funds that went outside developed economies’ coffers were rising rapidly, but emerging markets still recorded slight inflows. It said: “On the back of fairly neutral numbers for GEM funds, global international funds showed $1.1 billion of outflows and Developing Markets funds reported $1.2 billion of outflows, while the total emerging markets funds (the sum of all regions and countries) showed $183 million in outflows. “ The GEM funds recorded inflows of $101 million, although excluding exchange traded funds (ETF) which

number was negative, showing $71 million in outflows, Country-dedicated funds in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) posted inflows with $24 million into Russia funds, $3 million into Turkey funds and $0.79 million into Nigeria funds. South Africa is estimated to have lost $29 million in outflows for the week. Regional fund flows were mixed, but skewed to the negative side.” According to the research and investment firm, total emerging Asia funds reported outflows of $222 million. Pan-EM Asia funds’ outflows totalled $54 million, with South Korea outflows of $110 million, although China showed inflows of $72 million and Taiwan, $60 million. Latin American funds recorded total inflows of $15 million, while Brazil showed $57 million of inflows and the rest of the Latin America countries recorded outflows.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

17

INSURANCE

NAICOM demands underwriters’ consolidated accounts

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NDERWRITERS will, henceforth, submit their consolidated financial reports to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel, has said. Daniel told The Nation that the initiative is aimed at ascertaining the financial positions of companies, especially those with subsidiaries abroad. The report should spell out the performances of businesses undertaken by the companies, their local and foreign subsidiaries, he added. He said the commission does not have details of the foreign

Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta

subsidiaries of the firms, adding that this makes it difficult for the commission to rate their performance. Daniel said: “At prsent, insurers do not submit consolidated balance sheets to NAICOM. We are going to insist henceforth that companies with foreign operations should present to the commission a consolidated result of their performance.” He said the commission would ensure compliance with the industry’s code of corporate governance, which entails full disclosure, adding that efforts

are in top gear to move the industry forward. The change of attitude and disposition, he said, has remained a challenge to how businesses should be run.NAICOM, he said, would assist the operators in implementing the code to enhance performance. “One lesson we have learnt in the reform efforts initiated by NAICOM over the years is that it is relative easy to effect changes in legislations and rules. Far more difficult to change are engrained attitudes, dispositions and practices. One area where this fact rings true is in the way we govern our insti-

tutions. It is quite easy for us as individual practitioners and firms to point the fingers at environmental factors that constraints our businesses. It is far more difficult to take a critical look inwards to examine the way we manage these businesses and how we inadvertently shackle the corporations we manage. “This informed the current initiative of NAICOM geared towards raising the level of corporate governance in the insurance industry in Nigeria. The first major step we took in this direction was to develop a code of good corporate government

for the industry in 2009.” The code is aimed at providing guidelines for the players on governance. It acts as a regulator for the corporation and uphold the observance of best practices in its operations. It also deals with the interaction of the different actors and the ways the corporations utilise the resources at their disposal in the discharge of its mandate, he added. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Equity Assurance Plc, Industrial and General Insurance Plc, International Energy Insurance Plc have their subsidiaries in African countries.

No take off date for data bank, says NIA

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HEN will the insurance data bank take off? This puzzle may not be resolved soon, according to the Director-General of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Sunday Thomas, told The Nation that no take off data has been fixed for the bank. The project, which is aimed at synchronising customers’data base was billed to start in March, but it did not because of what operators called technical challenges. Thomas said some companies have sent their data to the NIA’s centralised data unit, adding that the association hopes to start the process with the data available to it. He said some challenges, which were not envisaged at the conception of the projects came up, but the association is grapple to tackle it. Thomas said: “When the exercise came up, we seem to have underestimated what is actually required to commence implementation, but as we got deep into the processes and procedures that we need to follow to make it a sustainable project, we observed some things we did not envisaged. What we have done so far is to run through the procedures that are required and we have observed that deeper documentations have to be made.

“We have been discussing with all the stakeholders and we have more or less got the concurrence from almost all the stakeholders. Right now, we are almost at the stage of test running the project and making sure that it works as it ought to. It is not just enough for us to start. It is not a project that we can afford to start and not continue. “So, sustainability is our major concern and we are trying to do all that is necessary to make sure we reduce human error in the process. I can tell you that we are closer to the flag-off of the initiative. “Right now, we have got some data from some of our members, but I cannot tell you that we have received data from all the members. I do not have total control of getting data from all the members, but we are talking to them. But the response is slow. We would work with whatever is available and make sure the initiative is on.” Similarly, the Chairman, NIA, Mr Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, said the association has observed some challenges in the project. He noted that it would use some firms that have uploaded their data as a pilot project to test run the efficiency of the initiative.

Sovereign Trust makes N985m profit

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OVEREIGN Trust Insurance Plc has recorded a gross premium of N5.7billion in its third quarter, its Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr Wale Onaolapo, has said. Onaolapo said this is a 41per cent rise over the N4billion it recorded in the same period last year. He noted that Profit Before Tax (PBT) rose to N985million from N795million to record a 24 per cent increase above what was posted in the same period last year, while Profit After Tax, (PAT) grew by 26 per cent from N700million to N886 million. Onaolapo said the firm will

continue to improve on its performance by meeting and surpassing its targets and also ensuring satisfactory and exceptional returns on shareholders’ investments. He maintain that the underwriting firm will continue to work hard in line with the company’s strategic focus in becoming one of the leading insurance companies in the country. Chief Finance Officer of the Company, Mr Kayode Adigun, said the underwriting firm has consistently followed through on ensuring that the targets set for this year are fully accomplished.

•From left: Chairman, Africa Re, Mr Musa El Naas; Group Managing Director, Mr Corneille Karekez;i, Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ken Aghoghovbia; Deputy Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs Cathy Echeozo, at the Africa Re’s 121st Board Meeting in Lagos.

PenCom, ICPC partner on remittance

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HE National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are collaborating to ensure employers remit workers’ pension, PENCOM Director-General Mr Muhammad Ahmad has said. Ahmad told The Nation that the deal would help reduce sharp practices and make defaulters comply with the law. The commission, he said, will also organise workshops with the ICPC to educate employers on the need for proper documentation and remittances.

He said: “In order to ensure compliance with the Pension Regulatory Act (PRA) 2004 by both self-funded public and private sectors, the commission applied various strategies ranging from public enlightenment and awareness campaigns, on-site inspection of employers, mailing of compliance letters to identified eligible organisations, collaborations with regulatory and professional bodies and application of sanction regime. “The examinations targeted insurance companies, publicly quoted companies, hotels and private hospitals.This resulted

in improved registrations by employees especially of the private sector institutions. ‘’Similarly, funding of Retirement Saving Accounts (RSAs), which was a challenge for many organisations had improved. In this regard, N5.17 billion was remitted into the unfunded RSAs of 10,068 private sector employees. ‘’Routine examination was carried out on all the 35 licensed operators. The examination was risk based and involved the assessment of the financial viability, operational efficiency and governance/management structure of the pension operators.“

Fund managers ‘hiding’ £3.1b trading costs, says report

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ENSION fund managers are creating £3.1billion in undisclosed extra costs to consumers by excessively trading assets, new research has suggested. According to Pensionnews.com, United Kingdom (UK) firm SCM Private, claimed it found pension funds hold assets for an average of nine months, with trading costs on average 0.7 per cent of the fund per year, or £3.1billion across the industry. The wealth manager said this level of trading and cost is unnecessary because similar returns can be obtained by investing in index funds, according to its research.

Watch out for ‘pay to play’ charges SCM Private said the actual, but undisclosed, cost of investing in pension funds is on average 2.34 per cent a year. Its estimate combines an average annual management charge (AMC) of 1.34 per cent, plus average administration fees of 0.3 per cent and the hidden trading cost of 0.7 per cent. With the average 15 year return on unit trusts at just 4.2 per cent, SCM said the constant trading is eroding much-needed investment growth. Alan Miller, chief investment officer at SCM, said: “The hidden pension fund dealing costs could be re-

moved simply through investing via index funds. “If we had an efficient, open and transparent savings industry in the United Kingdom (UK) maybe people could retire without having to face their later years in comparable poverty. “Levels of transparency within the savings industry are shockingly poor both in terms of transparency of fees and transparency of investments.” Miller called on the Financial Services Authority and fund management trade bodes to force fund managers to disclose the full costs of trading within pension funds.

SCM analysed 1,287 10-year-old UK individual pension funds using data from Morningstar. The firm’s analysts then calculated the average cost of buying and selling assets in terms of spreads, impact costs, commissions and taxes. A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said the body is “committed” to working with the government to ensure pension reform is a success and helps people save. Meanwhile, workers have said the pension scheme covering 5 million current and former local council staff will collapse if ministers force through plans to make mem-

bers pay more into it but receive fewer benefits, the GMB union has warned. Around 55 per cent of its members in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) will opt out of it if the government pushes through its shake-up of public sector pensions, which would raise an extra £900m in contribution increases from 2014 while also reducing the benefits, the union has said. Brian Strutton, the GMB’s national secretary for public services, said the survey of LGPS members confirmed that the proposed reforms would “destroy” the scheme by encouraging members to quit.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

18

SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

‘How to grow a business from scratch’ C

HIEF Executive Officer, Mopheth Group, Adekunle Oyegade, came up with the idea of running a refuse collection business in Victoria Island. To his colleagues, the idea was demeaning for a Pharmacy graduate. But today, Oyegade is the better for it. He says the business has given him a big break and income higher than his colleagues with whom he left the university. He found the business highly rewarding and later put his earnings to support missionary work, as well as opened a pharmacy shop in Victoria Island. As sales grew, he began selecting those to help build his company. Later, his firm charted a new course, emphasising on products and services. Oyegade has come a long way. Starting from the scratch, and supported by his wife, he has made a success of the business. Oyegade gave the advice in Lagos during the 15th edition of Success Digest Enterprise Award( SDEA), where he and his wife, Eniola were honoured as Entrepreneurial Couple of the year. He said the period has being challenging for entrepreneurs with credit evaporating and admonished entrepreneurs to maintain a can-do attitude. Miss Toyosi Akerele, an entrepreneur who runs Rise Network/Rise print, reflected on the success stories of leading entrepreneurs. She said long odds also come into play when trying to start a venture. Miss Akerele, a United Kingdom trained lawyer,who quit an oil company job, said small stumbles and all-out defeats are common for entrepreneurs and one way to surmount them is to rely on advice from others, as well as learning from past mistakes. The most important trait, she noted, is resilience and not giving up hope. She has been accustomed to

Banks urged to assist entrepreneurs

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DON , Dr Sam Guobadia, has urged banks to assist entrepreneurs with programmes that will grow the economy. Guobadia, an Associate Professor of Economics at the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, made the call at a meeting of entreprenuers from the Southsouth zone atElele in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. He said banks should locate and identify with programmes that build capacity for entrepreneurs. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should take the lead in encouraging banks in assisting entrepreneurs. “We must have a situation where banks should go out to locate and identify with programmes that build capacity for entrepreneurs. “When we have sufficiently trained these people, then, any money you throw at them, they will be able to use for useful purposes rather than throw money at people and projects that the people have not built capacity for.’’ Guobadia said in the past, funds from banks were thrown at businesses without building capacity.

‘He knew that computer software was a growing business. Undaunted, Asuku believed that ‘in the middle of difficulty lies an opportunity’. His faith, determination and passion pushed him to overcome his numerous obstacles’ •Mr and Mrs Oyegade receiving the award from Rev Felix Ovbude (left). Stories by Daniel Essiet

overcoming obstacles and don’t know of any entrepreneur who didn’t have a challenge. The Managing Director, Netop Business System, Cyril Asuku, saw an unclaimed yet promising niche in the computer industry. Though young, inexperienced and without capital, he took the leap of faith and started his company, specialising in developing software. He said starting a local software developing company gave him one of the roughest times of his life, but that he had learned some lessons. Asuku believes in the strong potential of his products, even though there are foreign software. Unfortunately, the local industry did not show any enthusiasm for the potential opportunity. The rejection of products added to his frustrations. He knew that computer software was a growing business.

•Ojeagbase

•Akerele

Undaunted, Asuku believed that “in the middle of difficulty lies an opportunity”. His faith, determination and passion pushed him to overcome his numerous obstacles. Today, his company is proud to have created a national brand which is servicing leading banks. To be successful, he said

entrepreneurs have to learn to balance the good and bad times. Looking back, Asuku has proven to be a skilled risk-taker who has demonstrated an intuitive ability to recognise unfulfilled needs in the market. During the awards, the organisation honoured nine eminent Nigerians who have distin-

guished themselves in various private endeavours. Among the awardees were two entertainers, top actress/producer, Funke Akindele and visually-impaired music producer, Cobhams Asuquo. Multi-talented Asuquo, was honoured with the Creative Business Award. Akerele was given The Young Entrepreneur award. Other honourees included: Love Oladele, chief executive officer, Today’s Leaders Internet Solutions (Alumna Enterprise Award), Cyril Asuku, Managing Director, Netop Business System (IT-driven Business award) Chief Osa Sonny Adun, chie executive, DBN Limited (Business Comeback award). Others on the revered list were: Amanda Bankole, who was recognised as the Female Entrepreneur of the year and Waheed Shonibare of Twice As Nice); her male counterpart, while the Entrepreneurial Couple award went to Adekunle Oyegade of Mopheth Group.

SMEs praise German agency for assistance

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HE German Development Corporation (GIZ) in Nigeria has assisted several businessmen in Kontagora, Niger State. Secretary, Business Development Committee (BDC) in Kontagora, Umar Magaji, made this known when officials of the German Embassy visited him. Training, workshops and seminars organised by GIZ for the enhancement of business in the town were channelled through BDC. Speaking during the visit, Magaji commended the GIZ for the assistance it rendered for the development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises in Niger, Nasarawa and Plateau states. He said the training, capacity building workshops and seminars organised by GIZ through BDC had helped businessmen in Kontagora keep proper record of their business. “The training, seminars and workshops GIZ organised for businessmen in Kontagora have helped to improve our method of keeping records. “Before the advent of GIZ, we knew nothing about book keeping, but we are more enlightened

• Beneficiaries of GIZ's programme

and more organised in our activities,” he said. Magaji also said GIZ introduced businessmen in the area to modern technologies thus enhancing their businesses. He said the activities of BDC also helped to alleviate poverty in Kontagora, as several business

organisations and provided employment for youths in the area. Earlier in his address, Karl Bruening, GIZ Country Director, said the organisation provided training for businessmen in the area on income and skill generation. Chairman, Kontagora Carpen-

ters’Association, Jibrin Tanko, who is a beneficiary of the training organised by GIZ, expressed appreciation to the organisation. “The training opened our eyes to the use of modern technologies and this has made our job easier. Before the intervention of GIZ, business was poor because it was locally made, but now we produce in higher quality because we use modern tools.” Another beneficiary, Abubakar Musa, who is the Chairman, Welders’Association, said GIZ’s intervention helped to improve his business. “Before we worked in ignorance, but with the assistance rendered by GIZ, we now know how to organise ourselves and package our products to attract customers. “I have 10 people working under me and I have graduated six boys who are doing well on their own now,” he said. BDC is the umbrella body of businessmen and women in Kontgora. The organisation was established in 2008 by GIZ to create a friendly business atmosphere among the business community in Kontagora.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

COMMENT

The case of the distracted driver

Shut out •Too many Nigerians do not access financial services

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LTHOUGH, the report that about 80 million Nigerians lack functional access to basic financial services is depressing, it did not come to many as a surprise. It is unfortunate that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed this appalling statistics about finance and access in Nigeria; but what is more worrisome is that the statistics are neither freshly illuminating nor refreshingly pointing the way forward. The truth is that the fundamentals needed to turn the table around are not here with us yet. In the first place, cultivating a banking culture within a given society is usually induced and sustained by specific socio-economic conditions and political realities. It is seldom decreed into existence; neither does it come as an expression of mere wishful thinking. Indeed, any structural scrutiny and financial analysis of the Nigerian economy, sector by sector, reveals the vicious manifestation of two opposing but not mutually exclusive economic

‘The banks in Nigeria will have to do more in terms of creative innovations that are customerfriendly to motivate depositors to do business with them. Already, the failed stories of many finance outfits are in the public domain and have further eroded public confidence in them and other finance institutions’

paradigms. Within this tradition, we recognise the prevalence of a robust tussle between the ubiquitous, ever-thriving semi-urbanised informal economy (with a distinct paradigm), and the strictly controlled formal sector that coexists with, and runs parallel to it, each trying to gain ascendancy. Therefore, it will be counter-productive for the Federal Government and the administrators of the apex bank in particular, to continue to feign ignorance of the inadequacies of the finance system in Nigeria. The disquieting puzzle rather, is the visible but sustained inability of successive leaderships in the country, especially at the federal level, to midwife a credible, workable fiscal policy, and a congenial implementation roadmap that addresses the litany of these perennial problems. Indeed, it is mindboggling that policy initiatives (contents and thrusts) of successive governments in the country when stripped of their bureaucratic rhetoric often detract from, or ignore the socio-economic and political exigencies of the collective body polity. For instance, figures supplied by the CBN suggesting that the aggregate micro-credit facilities available represent only 0.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and less than one percent of total credit to the economy is balderdash to an average poverty-stricken, able-bodied but unemployed Nigerian, struggling for subsistence. Access to financial services does not make much sense to an average man on the street. Moreover, to

imagine that the total number of operating licences/approvals given to deposit banks, micro-finance banks, community banks, etc., would translate to an increase in the banking culture and robust economic activities is an unpardonable illusion. The psycho-social trauma of the failed banks and the attendant anxiety generated among many depositors are still with us. If the truth be told, not much lending is going on in the banks consequent upon the lumpedup punitive actions of the apex bank in 2009. Secondly, nothing has improved in the infrastructure profile to warrant an impulsive drive to invest in the economy. The need to access loanable funds therefore decreases. Furthermore, although the micro-finance banks, community banks, etc., ingeniously tapped into the traditional finance structure of daily contribution schemes by the traders, most of these finance houses messed up the scheme thoroughly. The banks in Nigeria will have to do more in terms of creative innovations that are customerfriendly to motivate depositors to do business with them. Already, the failed stories of many finance outfits are in the public domain and have further eroded public confidence in them and other finance institutions. Ultimately, we are at pains to see how a largely illiterate population in a prostrate economy, and a potently hostile business environment, will access financial services. The question is: for what purpose? First, let the economy work, then the need for banking custom will follow.

Bayelsa brigandage • The PDP showed lack of democratic conscience in organising primary against court order

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HE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lived up to public perception of being one of the most ruthless political parties in the country on November 19. The party, in a brazen contempt for the rule of law, went ahead to conduct its highly controversial governorship primary. Surprisingly, the primary cannot be robed in any garb of legitimacy as a result of poor attendance at the Peace Park venue for the accreditation of delegates. President Goodluck Jonathan, an indigene of the state and national leader of the party, was conspicuously absent. Others that boycotted the governorship primaries were Chief Werinipre Seibarugu, incumbent deputy governor of the state, National Assembly members representing the state, lawmakers from the state House of Assembly, local government chairmen and councillors and three of the seven governorship aspirants, among others, that are statutorily entitled to vote at the primaries. We ask: Where is the voice of the people and genuine party men in this reportedly flawed primary? Messrs Enai Christopher Fullpower, Orufa Justin Boloubo and Austin Febo, all aspirants at the primaries staged a walk-out when it became apparent that the governorship primary committee, headed by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd.) was not ready to resolve the contentious issues of ward congress and the absence of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at the venue. Out of the 411 accredited delegates, 384

voted. Francis Ekiyegha Korobido and Austin Febo polled two votes each while Francis Doukpola and Kalango Michael Youppele scored one vote each. Boloubo and Fullpower scored no vote while 13 of the votes were voided. Henry Seriake Dickson scored 365 votes to emerge winner of the largely boycotted primaries. We are aware that Governor Timipre Sylva of the state had approached the court to abort the primaries, following his disqualification by the PDP. This move brought in the legal angle to the entire issue. We deprecate the PDP’s decision to go ahead with the primaries despite the subsistence of a court order putting it on hold. The party’s argument that it was not served a court order but with a motion on notice to explain ‘within 72 hours of being served with the motion of notice why the plaintiff (Sylva) shall not be entitled to the preservative orders as prayed in the ex-parte motion’ is well taken. But the party did not demonstrate that it was able to show ‘such reasonable and or just cause’ why the orders shall not be made or sustained. The PDP would have justified as the ruling party, its Federal Governmentcontrolled avowed respect for the rule of law by waiting on the court to determine the merit of its response before conducting the primaries. After all, in deference to the court order, INEC, also joined in the action, maintained a safe distance from the venue of the primaries. Why is it that only the PDP and its national chairman showed, though erroneously, more knowledge of the law than

the court? The Bayelsa State case should serve as a litmus test for the judiciary to rein in the fact that politicians should learn to respect the law. The Bayelsa governorship primary was an affront to the tenets of democracy and the rule of law. It was a show of force and impunity. All departments of the armed forces were unleashed in the state, signposting official impunity. The primaries lacked legitimacy as obviously leading members of the party who ought to vote as delegates stayed away from the venue as a mark of protest against the overbearing illegality of the national PDP. The nation must not allow this act of brigandage to prosper. It is a shame that President Jonathan stamped his approval on this travesty of democracy.

‘The Bayelsa governorship primary was an affront to the tenets of democracy and the rule of law. It was a show of force and impunity. All departments of the armed forces were unleashed in the state, signposting official impunity. The primaries lacked legitimacy as obviously leading members of the party who ought to vote as delegates stayed away from the venue as a mark of protest against the overbearing illegality of the national PDP’

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ERE is a quick quiz. In states where it is illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving, talking when you are paused at a red traffic light is: a) legal because driving means you are moving b) illegal because the law covers operating a car as well as driving c) illegal because driving includes stopping If you chose b) or c) and drive accordingly, thank you. You are not going to sneak in a quick call at a stoplight and let up on the brake without realizing it, or step on the gas without looking when the light turns green. Driving while using a hand-held phone is banned in 10 states plus Washington, D.C. A California appellate court said last week that the ban there also applies when drivers are stopped at a red light, and its ruling makes clear why talking and driving should be banned everywhere. Carl Nelson insisted there was a red-light exemption, after he was cited for an infraction of California Vehicle Code section 23123 — Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited Use. Mr. Nelson’s car was stopped at a red light when a motorcycle policeman pulled up beside him and watched him dial a phone and put it to his ear — until he noticed the officer and turned it off. A traffic commissioner found Mr. Nelson guilty (fine and other penalties: $103). He appealed. His conviction was affirmed by a superior court judge. He then took his case to the Court of Appeal of the State of California for it to decide “whether the term ‘driving’ as used in section 23123 requires contemporaneous volitional movement of the motor vehicle as an element of the offense.” A panel of three judges voted to uphold his conviction. Two said it was because of b) — no red-light exemption — and one c) — driving includes stopping. Too bad the ruling does not lay down the law in the rest of the country. – The New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho

•Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli

•Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•Managing Editor Waheed Odusile •Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu

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•Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga

•Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi

•Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: Most of the commentaries in either print or electronic media on the planned privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria have always come in the forms of tantrums, grandstanding, name calling, intimidation and propaganda to ‘’impress.’’ This unwittingly robs the general public of the chance to consciously and objectively appreciate the kernel of the matter and take a stand. Let’s Tame the Power Sector Monster, an opinion of one Emma Agu; featured on page 22 of The Nation of November 21 is one of sort. It insulted, intimidated, warned, alleged all forms of sins and torn into shreds any reason for PHCN staff to embark on industrial action. The combustible force and energy exerted in arranging this piece failed to sum up the feelings of many Nigerians: largely because it contemptuously defied the essence of objective and fair journalism. It is more or less the prosecutor and the judge in the case in question. Unfortunately, only the court has this prerogative. Anybody who has closely and objectively monitored the unfolding events in the power sector knows where the problem lies. Needless to say that Agu’s piece qualifies as one of those efforts aimed at cajoling the public into believing that PHCN staff and the in house unions are villains and stumbling blocks to privatisation. This is farther from the truth! While it still remains incontrovertible that the prevailing general inefficiency and corruption are plausible problems of PHCN, it stands to reason that only a transparent and well implemented privatisation of PHCN devoid of arm twisting will guarantee stable power supply and economic growth. This is the position of staff and union. Power Sector Reform Act of 2004 has no doubt bequeathed on the government the power to unbundle and privatise PHCN. It will be prejudicial for anybody including the union to stand on the way of the law. But it should be noted that the rights

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Re: let’s tame the power sector monster of thousands of PHCN staff to decide their fate should not be suppressed or denied, toyed with or sold at the behest of government. If staff bio data exercise and deployment of soldiers in this context were sincere engagements, nobody would have embarked on any industrial action. The crux of the matter remains the surreptitious way and manner the privatisation process is being implemented. Union envisages no fair deal coming the way of staff and the only conventional way of passing its message across was to embark on strike. It is incumbent on government and those representing it to show evidences of good intention. Industrial action no matter how old fashioned is one dependable tool

universally employed by labour unions to drive home their demands. It is surprising, therefore, that a demand for fairness, transparency and justice in the privatisation exercise as it affects PHCN staff could in this context be termed ‘’selfish’’ and a ‘’bare faced sabotage.’’ It is only in the imagination of Agu that the quest for justice and fairness is misconstrued as an economic sabotage. It is no offence as no law has prohibited it. There is no doubt that remarkable achievements have been recorded in the power industry within one year. Providing stable power supply to Nigerians was one promise made by President Jonathan before he was elected into office. Therefore he should be seen as fulfilling part of his social contracts with Nigerians.

Payment of monetisation benefits to staff of PHCN was a welcomed development, however, it was a seven years entitlement belatedly paid under duress and should not be seen as a presidential favour. It needs to be re-emphasised that nobody can stop privatisation of PHCN, not even the union but vital contending issues needs be addressed. First was that the union is not and will not be against privatisation of the company provided all industrial issues are resolved. These include the settlement of all staff entitlements. This demand was predicated on the sad experience of NITEL staff who today have lost their entitlements to privatisation. Second was that Nigerians who have been working as casual staff for

Plea bargain, a necessary evil

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IR: Recently Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Dahiru Mustapha was reported to have said that plea bargain was not part of our legal system and was fraudulent. It is true that generally there is no provision for plea bargain in our legal system. Criminal procedure Act applicable in the southern part of Nigeria and criminal procedure code applicable in the Northern part of Nigeria do not have specific provision for plea bargain. What exists under these two codes are ‘plea of guilty’ and ‘plea of not guilty’. Where an accused pleads guilty, the facts of the case will be read in the open court and if the accused admits the facts as they were and the

court also finds that the essential elements of the offence [s] exist therein, the court will convict the accused accordingly. However, it should be noted that plea bargain is not completely absent in our legal systems. In 2008 Lagos State enacted a law tilled “Administration of Criminal Justice law” which provides for the procedures for plea bargain. Besides, section 14 [2] of the EFCC [Establishment] Act, 2004 empowers EFCC to compound offences. The introduction of plea bargain by the anti -graft agencies particularly EFCC is to get round unwarranted delay in the prosecution of corruption cases. The reason being that most people charged for corruption and

fraud related offences are politically exposed persons [PEP]. These people include not only top government officials but also captains of industries. They have stupendous wealth and influence. As a result they are always ready to deplore everything they have to frustrate and ‘kill’ trials. Their lawyers also employ all sorts of tactics to frustrate trials. Unfortunately most judges go along with them because of the belief that our legal systems favour the accused than the complainant. The right to fair hearing and presumption of innocence are cliché cited to support this belief. Part of the tactics used by the lawyers for frustrate trials is to raise pre-

Abia roads to wear new looks? IR: Governor T A. Orji of Abia State recently ordered contractors handling public projects in the state to go back to site or face the wrath of the government. The governor made the remark when he held a meeting with the contractors in Umuahia. He told them that the dry season would soon start, and that since the season does not last for up to three months, they should make use of the opportunity and act fast. The governor assured the contractors that funds have been set aside from the State/Local Government Joint Account to settle them.

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years in PHCN should be regularised. An agreement was signed by both PHCN in house unions and representatives of government; however, the devil at work has made it impossible for government to fulfill part of this bargain. Therefore, the union and staff they represent are left with no option than to view any move made by government with utmost suspicion. Constant power supply has been identified as a catalyst to both economic and industrial development of nations. The age long dreams of Nigerians including the unions is for this dream to come to fruition. To achieve this dream, power sector reform requires good understanding, pragmatic, transparent and all inclusive effort of all the stakeholders for it to succeed. No war has ever been won in the battle field. In the interest of Nigerians both government and labour should return to negotiating table because to jawjaw is better to war-war. • Sunday Onyemaechi Eze sunnyeze02@yahoo.com

Although the governor laid emphasis on roads construction and maintenance, housing, agriculture, education, etc., he stated that without a good road network, other amenities may be difficult to access. According to him, his administration’s target is to construct at least one road in each of the 17 Local Government Areas in the state within the next three years. It is heartwarming that the Abia governor recognizes the strategic role of roads in the development of God’s Own State. In fact without good roads, the efforts of subsistence farmers in remote parts of the

state have been most distressing, as most of the farmers battle with bumpy narrow parts to get their products to the closest markets. Being a state with a large population of small scale farmers, the governor’s promise to construct at least one road in each of the 17 LGs in the state is most welcome. The governor should, however, also make sure that ongoing road rehabilitation projects in Umuahia, the state capital, and other major towns in the state, especially the commercial city of Aba, as well as other state roads, are not forgotten in the new initiative. He must en-

sure that the contractors delivered good quality jobs through proper monitoring of road projects. It is not good enough to assume that the contractors would do a good job. Without proper monitoring, there are 50:50 chances that they may deliver poor quality jobs and in the end. It is the governor and members of his administration that will take the blame and bashing. The governor should also mount pressure on the Federal Government to rehabilitate all federal roads in the state, which have now become death traps. • Onyebuchi Nwokenta Ekeakpara, Osisioma LGA. Abia State

liminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court on frivolous grounds from the High Court to the Supreme Court. This preliminary matter may take four to five years to conclude. This is one of the reasons why most cases involving PEPs in Nigeria have not got anywhere. If there is a method to get round all the foregoing negativities, get the accused punished and recover the stolen asset, what is as good as that?. Plea bargain or arrangement has been found and adjudged to be one of the modern methods to obviate these challenges. It is a modern system and one of the best practices. Article 37 [2] of the United Nations Convention against Corruption [UNCAC] of which Nigeria is signatory provides that state parties should consider the possibility of mitigating the punishment of an accused person that cooperates in the investigation or prosecution of corruption cases. Nigeria should not condemn or jettison plea bargain, rather we should come up with procedures or rules the parties and the courts will follow when an accused is ready to plea bargain. The public is interested in quick disposal of corruption cases. The public is interested in seeing corrupt people punished and the illicit assets recovered fully. The public are not bothered how these could be achieved whether through plea bargain or full trial. • Adesina Raheem Esq. ICPC, Abuja.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 , 2011

EDITORIAL/OPINION

Honours; $17.5b; CNN’s ‘Death’; Senate deafness; BA overpricing; NURTW: ‘licence to kill’

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HE rejection of N a t i o n a l Honours is well within the rights of any individual. If such a rejection occurred under a military regime ‘the Tony rejectors’ would have Marinho been hailed as heroes. So why not now? According to Forbes, seven Nigerians own $17,500,000,000 or N2,600,000,000,000 or N20,000+/Nigerian. They were businessmen when sugar and cement prices skyrocketed under monopolies, bank CEOs when interest rates were 24% and the naira collapsed and oil well-sellers. This makes nauseating reading and paradoxically begs the question of why the rest of us are so poor in a country where 70% earn less than $2/day. Certain ex-heads of state and top civil servants are glaringly missing from the list. Sorry sirs! What an insult! Forbes may have to re-research this and apologise! Nigeria ‘loves’ its billionaires!!! One man’s riches are another man’ poverty! The story of the Lagos State representative on the National Population Commission speaks volumes for the levity and corruption of governance. Television proved that the serving president of Nigeria’s Senate is severely handicapped being partially deaf. He needs medical examination and a hearing aid which distinguishes between ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’. Why is electronic counting or even manual counting not done? Everyone I have asked agreed that ‘nay’ was louder. Yet the rule of law and democracy Senate President, said ‘the ayes have it’. It is not a manipulation or a joke but a crime against Nigerian democracy! The NPC post is important given that Lagos State stands disadvantaged with 20 recognised LGAs Versus 44 for Kano and the disputed population figures for Lagos. Is this fraud or another manipulation against Lagos State? If the non PDP supporters, who voted President Jonathan in, had realised that this would be their reward from

Jonathan, then he would probably never have been elected President. The CNN Anti-Slavery Project’s program Death in the Desert details the capture by Sahara and Sinai desert Bedouins of black refugees en route Israel from Ethiopia and Eritrea and their enslavement, torture, kidnap, ransom and organ harvesting of corneas and kidneys and livers, leaving them for dead. What a reward for struggling for a better life. A human cannot live if both kidneys or the liver are removed. What kind of doctor would operate on a fellow human being with no survival strategy except to take an organ? The captured black refugees are mere organ donors/carriers, like bags. We learn of the heroic efforts of Hamdi Azazazi to rescue the living and give the dead black people a burial. He deserves a Humanitarian Medal of Honour by the AU and the UN and a Nobel Humanitarian Prize. And CNN and BBC should receive UN MDG Media Awards. Remember the efforts of Sorious Samura to bring to the world the plight of child soldiers, these same economic refugees and the matter of blood diamonds? His heart-rending programmes were aired only on Cable TV and never on Africa’s local channels to educate the youth of Africa who ‘watch’ music all the time. A billionaire could pay for this development MDG airtime. This world changing CNN anti-slavery project is a lesson to the thousand plus African TV and media stations for emulation. Like Africa’s banks, Africa’s media is far too greedily concerned with profit and pays too little attention to social, citizens and customers’ and ‘education for national survival’. Beyond being propaganda mouthpieces of AGIP, Any Government In Power, the media has failed and must realise and fulfil its responsibility to use its reach and power to ‘win the ignorance war’ and inform and to intervene in the world. Do not wait for the revolution, pre-empt it! Each of the 1000+ African TV and Radio stations should democratically chose ‘A Humanitarian/ MDG Media Theme For 2012 Development’ based on a local problem and plan to investigate, expose, educate and improve society in the chosen thematic area. The theme would be

evaluated and renewable annually. Imagine 1000 new African interactive media-driven social projects in 2012! The BBC chose ‘Global Challenge’ for development, highlighting NGOS. Programs like the CNN Anti-Slavery Project and BBC’s Global Challenge could be more beneficial to Africa’s youth who do not have Cable access. Africa’s media moguls, information ministers and programme directors should be scouring foreign media for such gem programmes. Negotiations with foreign media houses like CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc for such important international programmes will allow them to be re-broadcast, on licence, through local TV and radio and community radio in a foreign-local media partnership to help empower, inform and educate the youth in every African village and town yearning for a good idea to execute or apply or thinking of becoming an EU economic refugee, worker or prostitute. Miraculously the federal government is ‘protecting the Nigerian consumer from exploitation’. Wow! Pinch me awake someone. Is it true that Virgin Atlantic introductory fares were 30% of British Airways prices but the Nigerian partners insisted on upping the fee to a few dollars less then BA? Strangely it is cheaper to fly to the UK through EU, than direct, though the route via Europe requires landing, change of plane and take off within the EU twice extra. Will the federal and state governments urgently rescue Nigeria from the NURTW, a murderous third violent political force? The NURTW has a ‘licence to kill’ their passengers and kill you during political elections. Who is next? Enough is enough! End political protection.

‘Is it true that Virgin Atlantic introductory fares were 30% of British Airways prices but the Nigerian partners insisted on upping the fee to a few dollars less then BA?’

Random Musings

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E have a few days to go into the last month of the year 2011, the month of my birth many years ago. It is the month people take stock of what they have achieved or could not achieve in the year. As a Nigerian, I am both sad and worried. The indicators are not encouraging at all. As a country, I think the year 2011 has been one of the most traumatic years in the nation’s history. The political horizon is foggy and holds no assurance of a better tomorrow. The economic indices are frightening as the naira continues to be on a steady slide in spite of measures put in place to firm it up. Besides, most of the industries have crumbled. The education sector is in shambles. On the social front, there is hardly anything to cheer. Public infrastructures and utilities are all lying in either waste or outright ruin. The roads have become a place where citizens get one-way ticket to the great beyond even without asking for it. The hospitals are still glorified consulting clinics as painted by late General Sani Abacha in his coup-day broadcast of December 31, 1983. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse and are still deteriorating. As if all these burdens are not enough, the whole country has been put under the crushing weight of terrorism unleashed mercilessly by the Boko Haram sect. The sect’s ambitions are growing and its attacks, deadly as ever, are becoming even more sophisti-

cated. They plan, execute and hit their targets with measured precision while inflicting maximum damage. In June, a car bomb was successfully detonated at the car park inside the police headquarters in Abuja, and almost all the cars parked at the premises went up in flames. Two months later, the sect made international news headlines when it rammed a bomb-laden car into the United Nations headquarters, also in Abuja, destroyed part of the building and killed at least 24 people. After the August blast, the sect concentrated its attacks on the north-east of the country with occasional forays into security agents’ sanctuaries and fortresses which they attempt to bring down each time. Also, selective assassination of perceived enemies by the sect has become too rampant for comfort. Even a television journalist was not spared, including a relation of Muhammed Yusuf, the leader of the sect, who ventured to meet former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Maiduguri on a proposed peace meeting. He was summarily ‘executed’, as it were, barely a few days later. Again, the sect caused uproar early this month when it attacked targets in Yobe State. A female youth corps member also became a victim, adding to the lengthening list of National Youth Service Corps’ casualties in the northern part of the country in recent time. However, while Boko Haram is killing and maiming, the police too are not sparing anyone. On a

‘Where is Rueben Abati? I am afraid there is the possibility that he may have been sucked in by the system. Hello, hello Abati... It seems there is permanent network failure! God help us’

daily basis, in national dailies, we read of one victim of police brutality or another. Nigerians, in their prime, are being sent to their early graves by lawless policemen who have constituted themselves into killer squads. At the least prompting, the bullet is let go. Many families are today struggling hard to come to terms with the reality of the sudden loss of their loved ones and/or breadwinners through police’s extrajudicial killings. Yet many of the culprits are often shielded by their superiors for reasons other than national interest. The scourge has assumed the toga of an epidemic. Remember, it was one of those senseless killings that bred ‘Boko Haram’ insurgency that is threatening the foundation of the country at the moment. But how did we get to this sorry pass? A combination of factors is responsible. But by far the greatest one is the fact that, as a nation, we have either lost focus or have had no focus all along. From the ordinary man on the street to the highly placed person, our focus seems to have been narrowed down to money making. While the ordinary man daily looks around for any loophole to make money and make ends meet, the highly placed person or privileged person looks for ways to make more money to spend even on frivolities as if money is running out of circulation. Yet a society determines how it is run or administered. We all complain about the political class. We have forgotten that the people there are Nigerians. Politics in Nigeria is the ‘art’ of making money, plenty money and that is all about it. If you talk about selfless service, unless in a few exceptional cases, you can as well tell that to the marines. Yet, it is the nation and its people that suf-

fer. And this suffering seems to be endless. Nigeria is moving on like a rudderless ship heading for disaster. Look at the drama that is playing itself out in Bayelsa State. Such inanities can only happen in Nigeria or let me say Africa, where might is right. The state is under siege. People say Sylva has not lived up to expectations; his handlers say the story is not correct. No matter who is right or wrong, there are civilized ways to do things. Bayelsa is an unfortunate state. With all the big names on its roll-call, the state has not been blessed with good governance. When the 2012 governorship issue became a tussle among the contending groups, I knew it was going to be a roforofo fight. Roforofo was used by the late Afrobeat king, Fela AnikulapoKuti, to describe an untidy, messy conflict in which everything and practically everything could become a handy missile. I was amused at the point when all the so-called aspirants started singing “I have been endorsed by the President” or “the President has given me the nod.” How can? What is the President’s own in this matter? That he comes from the state does not confer on him the prerogative to anoint anybody as governor. I think he has a bigger cross weighing down his shoulders at the moment. All this confusion could have been avoided. The President cannot afford a ‘civil war’ in his own state. As it is, Sylva is going for broke. He has been emboldened by some members of the cult-like Governors’ Forum who are afraid of the possibility of a re-enactment of the ugly scenario in their states in the nearest future. They have a point, but Sylva cannot hold out for too long. There is also no way the President can absolve himself

Dele Agekameh of the lingering imbroglio and the likely catastrophic consequence that may arise. And of course, that reminds me of the President’s 21-man Constitution Review Committee. Yes, everybody can vouch for Justice Alfa Belgore and a few other members. But the committee is tainted with some people who have no business in constitution making. I am sure the President does not have any deep knowledge of the antecedents of some of them or their public ratings. In any case, the issue of constitution formulation or amendment is beyond what one person can sit down and decide on how to go about it. There are many issues confronting the various nationalities in the Nigerian federation which must be properly addressed. Those issues are beyond any 21-member committee. Let us be serious for once. Time is no longer on our side. By the way, where is Rueben Abati? I am afraid there is the possibility that he may have been sucked in by the system. Hello, hello Abati... It seems there is permanent network failure! God help us. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION FROM THE CELL PHONE ‘Until we revert to fiscal federalism, the economy will continue to suffer as all components of the federation will continue to be cake sharers instead of cake bakers. That is the real issue and not fuel subsidy or the lack of it. The President needs to be courageous and take measures and collaborate with all of us to take us to the part of fiscal federalism - resource control. That is what will resurrect te groundnut pyramids in Kano, cocoa and the West, palm oil and the East...’ revert to fiscal federalism, the economy will continue to suffer as all components of the federation will continue to be cake sharers instead of cake bakers. That is the real issue and not fuel subsidy or the lack of it. The President needs to be courageous and take measures and collaborate with all of us to take us to the part of fiscal federalism resource control. That is what will resurrect the groundnut pyramids in Kano, cocoa and the West, palm oil and the East and propel our Igbo brothers to exploit thier tecnological acumen and transform Nigeria to the Japan of Africa. From Abraham-Francis, Degema, Rivers.

For Olatunji Dare

• Jonathan

For Gbenga Omotoso “Missing in Abuja”. Did you forget the inept Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which employed Siasia in the first place? From Olajide Obafemi. Hilarious, thought provoking, satiric but a frank absurdity of a leadership somersault. From Don Kester Oshioreame, Port Harcourt. I read your piece and was so disappointed when I did not see names, such as Tompolo, Boyloaf, Gen Togo and the late Sagama on the list. I have contacted my lawyers and Justice Belgore and the President should sharpen their legal sword! Anonymous Baba Suwe sure deserves an award for bringing to our consciousness, albeit, unconsciously, the fact that our law enforcement methods are still, at their best, primitive. Today, all Nigerians are familiar with the ‘’s**t more’’ investigation and interrogation technique! Anonymous. I hope President Johnathan and his friends will read this. Anonymous It is very sad that Gen Benjamin Maja Adekunle is alive in Surulere, Lagos and no one remembers him for an award. Let the jesters continue to award medals to other jesters. Nigeria, we hail (I mean fail) thee! From Mike Aiyemo, Abuja. Your piece is very rich. Please, keep it up. God bless you. From Abdulsalam Suleiman, Sokoto. Re:“Missing in Abuja”. Significant proportions of the national honours awarded, by my own estimation, were political gifts. Which traditional ruler had actually done what, nationally? Insecurity earning our IG a medal? The honorary awards were jokes directed at the chairman, Alfa Belgore! The jokes were carried too far. A nation hardly grows that way whereas awardees could not have been more than 100 this year and Nigerians would have been convinced of the awardees’ achievement the previous and current years. Anonymous Your write-up in The Nation newspaper of November 17, 2011 was a marvel. But you forgot to include your name in the award. May your pen never lack ink. From Mike, Warri. Thanks for the piece entitled “Missing in Abuja.” My contribution is that, until we

Gadaffi chewed more than he could swallow in refusing to quit office after 42 years of his rulership. Other leaders should learn from Gadaffi’s evil act. From Nnorom Gordon. Re: “Gaddafi and other matters arising.” The double-standard game of the United States, the United Kingdom and France should not be new to anyone. What can they do, today, with North-Korea, Syria and Israel? Even Saudi-Arabia with monarchy, was she chased? Although the late Gaddafi failed to quit when the ovation was loudest, he was, nevertheless, far better than those quitting every four years in Nigeria and, indeed, in Africa. From Lanre Oseni, Lagos. I appreciate your humane candour, objectivity and literary precision, in defining the crass domineering hypocrisy of America. From M. M. Omokide. Americans killed Col. Gaddafi and destroyed his country with hatred and impunity. The Libyan stooges bought the imperialists’ democracy and freedom without knowing they have sold thier birth rights to the scavengers. The reality and price of demon crass will soon dawn on them. The war has just begun in Libya. From Dave Blankson. You failed to mention the carnage in Bahrain and Yemen in your article. Why? Anonymous. I observed that you tactically refrained from muddling the intellectual spring with names that might have made Omatseye bask in your orbit (he is brilliant, no doubt), especially if what you alluded to is the last Local Govt election in Lagos State (the last paragraph refers) why Lenin had his Stalin. From Tope Kuku. Your write-up on Libya and the Arab World rightly depicts what is going on in that area presently. Most non-Muslim Nigerian writers are sentimental when writing about the Arab World. The fact is that the area is undergoing tremendous subjugation and recolonisation that is capable of rewriting the history of the world. Well, time will tell. From Binyamin Yusuf, Zaria. My comment ìs that Gaddafi is dead as well as peace in Libya and North Africa.

Anonymous. Thank you for your article on “Gaddafi and other matters arising”. Opinion will continue to differ on the murder of Col. Gaddafi by the Western powers and the motive behind it; to help plant democracy or opening up Libyan resources to be grabbed by Western predators. One fact that is indisputable is that imperialism has begun in earnest. Africa, through modern fashion of indirect rule whereby IMF, World bank and other Bretton Wood agencies in collaboration with the Western powers, install their agents in an election as it happened in Ivory Coast, Liberia and through regime change as in Libya or planting their agents in vital governmental organs as witnessed in Nigeria, for the sole purpose of exploiting mineral resources of these helpless countries, stifle their development and deepening their dependecy on the West for survival. May God save Africa. Anonymous. You failed to tell us why Gowon and Awo did not allow Biafra to be. The obvious answer is interest - oil. So, Israel and America still do the same. Gaddafi must be used to compare with Syria in crime against humanity though both are comdemnable. Anonymous. Having failed miserably to discuss national issues, you have now gone international - a less controversial area. It is an old trick, it never fails! Anonymous. What right had NATO to intervene in Libya? Indeed, the world is ruled by those who have brute force. Anonymous. Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. From Pres Benjamin Franklin. Given the destruction in Libya, what is the net worth of the late Gaddafi? The Transition Council must answer to be accountable. Secondly, was the UN a peacemaker or warrior in the internal affairs of Libya. From Gracias, Ali Ben Musa, Kano. It is becoming increasingly difficult to fathom who the real public is in this awful politics of public interest that has beclouded the ‘oil subsidy’. But I can see clearly masochists fox-trotting ever so gallantly, some would say, awkwardly, around this genuinely national question for selfish reasons. From Ohas T.

For Tunji Adegboyega “To whom honour is not due” (The Nation of November 20) was interestingly nice. All I can add to it is that you too should wait for your turn of award. I dey laugh O! From Daniels, Ojoo, Lagos. Your write-up “To whom honour is not due”was a piece of journalistic excellence. Don’t mind Jona’s ‘morbid, unpatriotic’ critics who do not know that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Who does not know that Nigerians are now living a utopia

‘Thanks for reminding me of those days before Ibrahim Babangida when I used to reserve N100 for fuel for a month. If Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) deductions of 10 per cent from our salaries did not kill us, we shall not die. Please, let us pray for our leaders since all authorities come from God’

•Ghadafi

type of life with jobs in abundance, security of lives and property, etc. I thank you for the satirical ‘A o m’erin joba’ piece. Those who have ears, let them hear. From Ch. Soji Oloketuyi, Ijabo Street, Igbemo-Ekiti. Your article is great; a very interesting. From Etienne Bob, Onna LGA. Your humour is infectious. Thanks for reminding me of those days before Ibrahim Babangida when I used to reserve N100 for fuel for a whole month. If Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) deductions of 10 percent from our salaries did not kill us, we shall not die. Please, let us pray for our leaders since all authorities come from God. From B.B. Imokhai. Your topic best fits (?) who lacks character and integrity, somebody who derives pleasure all the time in owing people who rendered services to him. For over a year, he’s been owing us, surveyors and others working for him. All we have are failed promises from him; he doesn’t deserve the award. From Chibuzor. National honours award is not complete since the names of performing governors like Fashola, Goje, Mimiko and Chime were missing on the list. The committee that nominated people should go back to the drawing board and recommend these people. From Gordon Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. What a refreshing piece. Tunji, you deserve a place for a missing medal in the national honours list. Hahahaha! From D. You really got it. Your column this morning said it all. I hope Jonathan and his men read it. Anyway, they may believe you are speaking for them. On a lighter note, I enjoyed the write-up. Please, keep the flag flying. Anonymous. “To whom honour is not due “is a masterpiece on our clueless Federal Government headed by an ill-prepared president. From Anonymous. On the national honours, all the awardees deserved it. We don’t have a perfect situation anywhere. Meanwhile, I appreciate your comments. From Pele. Vote Umbella! Ah G.O. ika ni e! I won’t pity you if they send the Kogi Commissioner, Omo-nana Ibaakosikangga to go and flog you at the stadium. Some people should be living in the zoo. Anonymous


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NATION SPORT Heineken Champions Planet ready for Milan, Barca Duel

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XPECTEDLY, all the exciting moments of the AC Milan and FC Barcelona will be the main attraction this evening for all visitors at the Heineken Champions Planet as the battle for the soul of group H as been narrowed to these two European giants. Just as the 80, 000 spectators at the San Siro stadium are waiting for the gladiators to contest the in battle of supremacy in the group, the Champions Planet located on the up scale Lagos Island is the place to be with exciting moments and fun await all the visitors tonight. The visitors, mainly drawn from the facebook fan page have been involved in Heineken’s new UEFA Champions League campaign titled ‘Legendary Football’ which centred around two new films featuring five legends of the competition: Gianluigi Buffon, Rene Adler, Patrick Vieira, Clarence Seedorf and Ruud van Nistelrooy which was launched at the commencement of this season. The Heineken brand in partnership with UEFA continues to partner to create spectacular artistry that fans around the world can enjoy and in Nigeria, the Champions Planet continues to capture the imagination of visitors and consumers on match days of the Champions League season.

Aside the Milan, Barcelona buster this evening, all the visitors will capture the proceedings of other matches including how in-form Arsenal aim to consolidate on their performance when they host Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium while Olympique Marseille will host Olympiacos in the other group match. In other matches, Zenith St. Petersburg will host APOEL Nicosia while BATE Borisov will take on Viktoria Plzen while Valencia CF will be up against Racing Genk just as Bayer Leverkusen will host Chelsea and Shakhtar Donestsk will be up against FC Porto. The Senior Brand Manager Heineken, Jacqueline van Faassen, explained that Heineken will continue to offer fans in Nigeria the opportunity to experience Legendary Football by bringing the matches to all Nigerians through the renewed terrestrial TV sponsorship. “The Champions Planet has continued to offer more consumer engagement by introducing other games like StarPlayer and Predict & Win and through digital media we have been engaging the consumers more with the Heineken Facebook fan page which is active with over 45, 000 Heineken fans and via this medium, we interact and invite fans for a legendary experience in the house,” she explained.

Lagos maintains lead on medals' table

NATION SPORT

AFN: We took ‘tired legs’ to Maputo C

ALL it a true confession; you may not be mistaken, as the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Solomon Ogba has declared that Nigeria would have been disgraced in the just ended All African Games in Maputo Mozambique if not for disabled athletes.

From Andrew Abah, Abuja

Revealing this in Abuja, Ogba said: “What we are celebrating as a very good position in the Games was made possible by the disabled athletes who came to the rescue of the country, winning various medals to take us to the position we finished in. We took tired legs to the games, and the outcome would have been disastrous if not for those patriots that came to our rescue”. He said that his Federation would carry these athletes along in their various activities. He further revealed that in the 2012 AFN Golden League which would be in six phases, that any athlete that returns a time of 9 seconds in 100 meters, would get $10,000 From the Federation, same would be applicable to those that return a time of 22 seconds in200 meters. He said in the next season, that transfer fees would be introduced to stop athletes cross carpeting from club to another.

NSC awaits budget for London 2012 Olympics T

HOSE expecting the country to do well in the London 2012 Olympic Games, should start thinking twice, as the Deputy House of Representative Committee Chairman Ibrahim Gusau has revealed that few months to the games, that the NSC budget for the games has not reached the National Assembly. The Honorable member who is the

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja Vice President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria said it is only when the budget proposal gets to the House that they can fast track its release for early preparation for the games. He was emphatic to declare that the delay would have a devastating effect on the country’s

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volleyball event with two gold, and two bronze medals, while Niger has one gold and two silver medals. Niger has one gold while Kano won two silver medals. Edo emerged the overall champion in the taekwondo event with seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals, while Anambra came second with six gold, two silver and 14 bronze medals. Host team, Cross River has five gold, four silver and six bronze medals with Lagos having four gold, six silver and six bronze medals. Ebonyi has four gold, three silver and seven bronze medals, while other teams on the medals’ table are Kano, Niger, Ogun and Oyo. Lagos beat Cross River and Anambra to second and third places respectively in the karate event with the team amassing four gold, five silver and two bronze medals. Cross River has four gold, four silver and three bronze medals while Anambra has four gold and three silver medals. Edo also won three gold and three silver medals.

Tennis: I’m not scared of Champion N eighteen-year-old three –Aminat Quadri hundred level student of the

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University of Port Harcourt, Aminat Quadri at the ongoing Dala Lawn Tennis tournament yesterday in Kano declared that she is not scared of the defending champion, Fatima Abinu, as she is set to upstage her. Speaking to NationSport in Kano , shortly after defeating former Nigeria ’s No 1 and three-time champion of the tournament, Omotayo Ibrahim, 6/3,6/ 2 in her first match in wild card qualifier said she is confident of advancing to the final stage of the championship. According to her, “Let me tell you, I am here in Kano to win the female singles, with a mouth-watering prize money of N500, 000. I have trained very hard to enable me actualize my dream and by the grace of God, I will accomplish my mission.” “Look, I am not afraid of the defending champion, Fatima Abinu, I have the strokes and the power, as well as the skill to upstage her when ever we clash, though she won me in the quarter final stage last year but this time round, I will not concede defeat.” Quadri, explained that when ever we meet again, it will be a difficult ball game, as I would not allow this opportunity to elude me, so I am sounding a note of warning to the defending champion to be wary of me.

preparation performance at the games. Elaborating further, the President of the Federation Solomon Ogba said over 34 Nigerian athletes have already qualified for the Olympics on the A and B standards. He said that he cannot guarantee the type of medal that the country would win at the games, saying that the games was not for the lilylivered. He said that if adequate funds are released to them in time; that the country would do well.

Igiebor doubtful for Olympic qualifier

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OSA Igiebor is a major doubt for Nigeria’s opening Olympic qualifier against host nation Morocco Saturday as his Israeli club are yet to release him for the tournament. “We are in talks with his club over his release. The club want him to play for them this weekend and we

have also told them we need him for our first game,” Nigeria Olympic team spokesman Arafat Aliu told MTNFootball.com “It’s still a developing situation and we should have a clearer picture of things very soon.” The Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel star is also yet to get his entry visa to

•Ogba

•As Cross River sweeps swimming medals ESPITE losing the swimming event to Cross River and Ondo States, Team Lagos still maintains its lead on the medals table with 44gold, 37 silver and 34 bronze medals in the ongoing Calabar 2011 National School Sports Festival. Lagos garnered its medals from gymnastics, swimming, taekwondo, boxing and karate, while host team, Cross River amassed 41 gold, 30 silver and 26 silver medals from same events. However, Cross River confirmed its superiority in the swimming event after beating Ondo State to second place with 26 gold, 17 silver and 13 bronze medals. Ondo has 21 gold, 30 silver and 27 bronze medals, while Lagos came third with 19 gold, 19 silver and 19 bronze medals. Edo won five gold, one silver and three bronze medals. Other teams on the medals table are Ebonyi, which has two gold, two silver and six bronze medals, while Kaduna won four silver and five bronze medals. Cross River also dominated the

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Birthday boy Yak gets Kean’s praise

Morocco. Igiebor has been locked in a battle with Hapoel Tel Aviv over his release for the final Olympic qualifiers, which begin in Tanger, Morocco, this weekend. “My club are proving a little difficult, they are saying we have some important derbies to play. But I have asked them to allow me go even if just for a game or two,” said Igiebor. “My heart is at the tournament and I will very much want to be there. So, I’m still hoping for the best way out of this situation.” Standout Nigeria Olympic star Igiebor was a last-minute inclusion on the final 21-man squad for the qualifiers after he insisted on being on the list. A central or attacking midfielder, he has scored a total of six goals in all competitions for the Olympic team.

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BUDU international mountain race defending champions,Ethiopia's Abebe Dinkesa and Meselech Mekamu will be among the over 40 foreign athletes who are billed to arive Nigeria on Thursday for the 7th Obudu international mountain race and the third African mountain running championships which will hold on Monday at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu,Cross River state. Also expected in the party of the elite cast that will fight their Nigerian counterparts for the $50,000 top prize on offer, according to Patrick Ugbe,the Cross River state Commissioner for Information, are reigning European mountain race champion,Arslan Ahmet and Azmeraw Bekele Molalign,a member of the bronze-winning Ethiopian team to the 2010 IAAF Cross Country championships. 'We also have Neutel Marcel from Cameroun,Habeya Richard from Malaysia as well as Uganda's Kibet James who finished in the eighth position at the 27th World Mountain Running Championships in Tirana,Albania last Sptember among those we are expecting to touch down in Lagos on Thursday',said Ugbe. Ugbe disclosed further that the athletes will be accommodated in Lagos for one night before flying to Calabar on Friday where they are also expected to be accommodated for the night before setting out for the journey to the

I’m in Morocco to watch U-23s - Keshi

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IGERIA striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has received praise from his manager at Blackburn Rovers, Steve Kean following his heroics in the 3-3 draw at Wigan on Saturday. The Yak scored twice and involved in the other as Blackburn battled to a draw at the DW Stadium. Kean said the ‘Yak’ displayed highly commendable predatory instincts which helped the struggling side avoid defeat in the crucial game. “He’s calm and cool as cucumber. I thought he was tremendous (in Saturday’s) game,” Kean said. Aiyegbeni who celebrates his 29th birthday on Tuesday is touted to make a return to the Nigeria team after Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi praised his performance against Wigan Athletic. Keshi said Yakubu’s experience could prove crucial to the tea

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TEPHEN Keshi, has said he will not be part of the coaching team of the Nigerian Under-23 scheduled to compete in the Olympic qualification in Morocco. Keshi has been seconded to the Under-23s in an advisory capacity by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). But the Super Eagles’ head coach told SuperSport.com that he is heading to Morocco to perform monitory and advisory roles to the Dream Team V. “No I’m not going there to coach the team. The team already has a coach in Austin Eguavoen, who is very capable,” said Keshi clearing the air on his mission to Morocco. “I’m going to be in Morocco to look at the team and see if I can find two or

three players that can be part of the Super Eagles. You know this team is next to the Super Eagles so I can’t ignore them. “And also, I won’t be making any contribution as a coach to the team except Austin (Eguavoen) approaches me for advice. I believe in his coaching abilities and I will be glad to be of help to him and his team in any capacity,” said the 49-year-old Nigerian manager. Nigeria’s Under-23s will get their quest to qualify for the 2012 Olympics underway this Saturday when they face hosts, Morocco.

Obudu Ranch on Saturdayday together with other invited guests and officials. As many as 7 foreign nations,according to Ugbe will be represented at the event this year with Kenya and Ethiopia providing the bulk of the athletes to fight for both the individual and the team honours and cash. Ugbe assured this year's race will be the best ever in terms of the technical organisation of the race adding that the local organising committee headed by Sir William Archibong are in constant touch with the relevant authorities necessary to ensure a flawless competition. ''We are in constant touch with the President of the World Mountain Running Association WMRA, Bruno Gozzelini and officials of the AFN to ensure that the event is hitchfree',he revealed. The Obudu Mountain Race covers a distance of 11 kilometres uphill, to an altitude of 1,575 metres above sea level, taking you to one of the finest destinations in the world, the Obudu Ranch Resort. The Ranch in Obudu,located in the highlands of Cross River State in South Eastern Nigeria is only 45 miles from the border with Cameroon. It possesses a temperate climate due to its high altitude. It has a cable car installed which brings guestsfrom the base camp or bottom hill' to the summit of the ranch. The ranch is about a 35 minute drive from Obudu town which is about five hours from Calabar, the Cross River State capital. The Obudu ranch has a helipad and a small airport for access by air. At the base of the hills on which the ranch is located lies a worldclass water park with state-of-art swimming facilities and water slides for children, teens and adults. The hilltop (cattle ranch) is about 11 km of winded road from the base and can be accessed by either the cablecar or the road. The Obudu International Mountain race remains the highest paying Mountain Race in the World, with a star prize of $50,000 for both men and women.

Amokachi tasks ‘incredible’ John Utaka Aluko close to N

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Rangers’ deal

Recalling that she started playing tennis at the age of nine, following the inspiration she got from her dad acknowledged that this year’s championship has tremendously improved, with the increased prize money and hopes to pocket it. However, she commended the organizers and sponsors for devoting their time in encouraging youths from across to participate in the week-long championship at the Kano club. The former defending champion, Omotayo blamed her defeat on the weather of Kano , which she described as harsh and unfriendly. Ibrahim, said: “I was leading 3/1 but suddenly I lost concentration, my head became very heavy, coupled with dripping nose, which resulted in dizziness, as a result of the dry and dusty harmattan weather. Meanwhile, in the Men’s double event, Michael/Paul beat Ali/Isa 6/16/1, while Bikom/Tyav defeated Dickson/Osinachi 6/4/6/4, Madueke/Onyjiaka thrashed Badamasi/Dauda 6/26/2 t advance to the next stage of the championship in the Men’s Doubles category.

ONE Aluko is reportedly one trial game away from landing a deal with Rangers but the Glasgow giants may have to stump up a compensation fee to his former club Aberdeen. The 22-year old attacker is set to play in a closed doors match against St Mirren today as Ally McCoist seeks a replacement for the injured Steven Naismith. A deal looks likely although McCoist is worried about a possible compensation fee ‘Gers may have to pay to Aberdeen – the club Aluko departed at the end of last season. The Dons insist they would be due around £250,000 for ‘development compensation’ if Aluko signs for a club outside Scotland and feel that Rangers should be forced to pay a similar sum. However, Aluko’s representatives say that this is not the case as Aberdeen signed him from Birmingham City and threw him straight into the first team, thwarting the ‘development’ part of the deal.

S •Aiyegbeni

Top stars arrive for Obudu Thursday

•Lukman Haruna

IGERIA assistant coach Daniel Amokachi has tasked “incredible” John Utaka to reproduce his form at French club Montpellier for country. “John Utaka was incredible against Marseille (this past weekend). For the whole 90 minutes, he was running back and forth and shooting on target,” praised Amokachi. “What I want him to do is that he should not do this just for his club, but for his country as well. He should give us what he is giving Montpellier.” Montpellier beat Marseille 1-0 at home and are second on the table behind Paris Saint-Germaine with 30 points from 12 matches. Former Portsmouth of England star Utaka was last involved with the national team at last year’s World Cup in South Africa, but he is now likely to be one of several experienced internationals like Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Sani Kaita set to return to the team under new coach Stephen Keshi. The 29-year-old Utaka, who also featured at the 2002 World Cup, has always insisted that he has a future in the Super Eagles. Amokachi also disclosed that Keshi is very committed to working more closely with players from the local league. “He did this successfully with Togo

and Mali and there is no reason why he cannot do it in Nigeria, where we have an abundance of talents,” said Amokachi. “We are going to get these players who will come and fight for shirts with the foreign-based pros.”

•John Utaka

Rangers fire CEO in clear out

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HIEF executive officer of Enugu Rangers Paul Chibuzor has been asked to vacate his office in a move that will set the tone for a massive clear out at the underachieving Nigeria Premier League club. It has specially been gathered that a letter from the Enugu State government has been dispatched to Paul Chibuzor to quit after four seasons during which ‘The Flying Antelopes’ failed to win anything of note. Early this week, the CEO was making frantic efforts to overturn this decision, but a top source informed MTNFootball.com that these moves have so far come to naught as one of the contacts Chibuzor approached gave him a dressing down inside the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. The fear of the unknown has therefore gripped top officials and coaches at the club that they are also in line for the sack. The biggest undoing of the Chibuzor-led board is that they have failed to get the club to play major international football in the four years they have been in office. Rangers finished sixth in the NPL this past season and have qualified for the semi-finals of the sub-regional WAFU Cup, which will be played in Lome, Togo, from December 9. Rangers spokesman Foster Chime said he could not confirm or deny the directive issued to the CEO. “I am not aware of such but like you know, this is a government club and they may decide to take any action they deem fit for the club at any time. It may be possible and it may not be possible,” he said.

Heartland to hold trials today

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HE much-anticipated trials of new players at the NPL side, Heartland come up on Wednesday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri. Already the team’s Dutch technical adviser, Lodewijk de Kruif is in town for the crucial exercise preparatory for the start of the 2011/2012 season in January. Heartland who won the 2011 Federation Cup and earned the CAF Confederation Cup ticket finished 11th on the elite league log with 52 points from 38 matches. Spokesman of the side, Cajetan Nkwopara told SuperSport.com that the exercise is meant to pick players in key areas aimed at strengthening the team for its league and continental assignments. “We’ll have our trials for invited new players and those that came on their own this week starting on Wednesday. “Our technical adviser, De Kruif will be on hand to conduct the exercise. “We have major assignments next year, we want to pick players in key areas and fortified the team for those assignments.” Nkwopara informed SuperSport.com that the team’s key players will not be part of the trials. “Our regular players are still on break and won’t be part of the exercise. “In week’s time they will resume camp to start training for the new season.” The spokesman declined to comment on the players that will be dropped from the team. “We do things in stages, now we want to hold trials after that we move to the next stage. “Sure, you can’t retain player(s) who add no value to your programme,” he said.


INCENTIVE

SOS

PEACE

Nyako votes N200m for free books, uniforms

This boy needs N2m

Taraba celebrates truce

Adamawa

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Oyo

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Taraba

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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HE leadership of Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State has adopted a unique strategy in tackling the violence that has projected it and the state in bad light. Deciding not to indulge in propaganda of denial in the media, it has seized every opportunity to encourage unity among its constituents. But its outstanding method of dousing tension is providing what the people need. That is what Hon. Timothy Gyang Buba, chairman of the council said he and his team have been doing in Jos North. As chairman of the council, Buba said his duty is simple: “to ensure that [his] people do not lack basic social amenities so as to remain peaceful, and also to continue to encourage the people here to maintain this culture of tolerance and hospitality so that the state will remain the home of peace and tourism. “I believe it is only through peaceful coexistence that development can be achieved and the society grows.” For over a decade, crisis has engulfed the state, with Jos North being a flashpoint. The violence has given the state a bad image. But Buba said this negative perception does not quite reflect the reality on the ground. For instance he said residents of the council and the state capital know that things are not as bad as they are portrayed. The Commander of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises Major Gen Oluwaseun Olayinka Oshinawo, who assumed office in August 2011, concurred. “The brief I received from Abuja about the happening in Jos and my assignment here is entirely different from what I met on the ground,” he said. “I can see normal life going on everywhere; what has been reported as violence only happened in

•One of the newly renovated primary health care clinics in Tudunwada, Jos North

Plateau council tackles crisis with essential services Jos North provides health facilities, roads, water Runs peaceful, multi-party legislature From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

a particular community and not the entire Jos.” However, the Jos North coun-

cil chair, elected about three years ago, said he will not mount a denial campaign, but rather concentrate on providing services that lift his constituents. This, he said, is a good way not only to

take their attention away from crisis but also to give them what they really want. Those services include health centres, rehabilitation of schools, roads, potable water, amongst others.

The council boss said he has provided essential services in such Hausa-Muslim dominated areas as Nasarawa Gwom, Angwa-Rogo, Sarkin Arab, Alikazaure, Gangeri Sabon Layi, among others. In each of these wards, Buba said, you find three major projects: primary health clinics, •Continued on Page 26

Wamakko rallies corps members

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•Wamakko

OKOTO State Governor Aliyu Wamakko has addressed members of the Batch C of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Sokoto, the state capital. He reminded them of the goal of the scheme at inception which, among other things, was to foster unity and produce a sound crop of young professionals to beef up the national work force. Wamakko told the corps members that they are expected to be

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

change agents in the rural areas where they are posted. The governor spoke at the inauguration of the 2011 NYSC Batch ‘’C ‘’ orientation course at the Farfaru Technical College, a temporary orientation camp at the seat of the caliphate. He told them the national service scheme was designed to play a key role in the achievement of national integration, social de-

velopment and a just and egalitatrian society. “You should see yourselves as agents of achieving these set objectives,” he said. “Therefore, the primary objective of your service is to fulfil in a special way the hopes and aspirations of the nation which puts great premium in the moral and physical development of its youths for a better and greater tomorrow.” He said further: “The year of national service calls for sacri-

fice, selfless and dedicated service to humanity. You are expected to commit yourselves to the ideals of the NYSC scheme as spelt out in the enabling Act.” The 1691 corps members comprising 968 males and 723 females were sworn in by Justice Bello Abbas who represented the state Chief Judge, Justice Aisha Suka. •Continued on Page 26


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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Plateau council tackles crisis with essential services •Continued from Page 25

bridges/culverts and boreholes. Buba also said his administration has provided similar facilities in Christian-dominated parts of Jos as well. Those areas include Angwa Rukuba, Tina, Maza, Jenta Adamu, Jenta Magoro, Gadabiu, Kabong, Tudunwada and Alheri. Same work, he added, has been done in areas where Igbo outnumber other tribes. Two of such areas are Apata and Vandapuye. “In spite of the security problems we have, I have been able to execute numerous developmental projects,” Buba said. There is also something quite striking about Jos North that may not be apparent to many, especially those outside the state. It has 20 councilors, 10 of whom are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); others are drawn from the other parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Buba said he has managed the council without any internal wrangling between him and his multi-party legislature.

•One of the boreholes sunk by the council

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OVERNOR Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State has inaugurated an electricity transformer at the state High Court headquarters. He has also opened a cybercafe. The occasion, which marked the first legal year of the state judiciary, was attended by the Speaker of the state Assembly, Musa Ahmed Muhammed, Secretary to the State Government, Hamza Elayo, commissionernominees and other top government dignitaries. The inauguration of the transformer was a momentous occa-

He told Newsextra: “You will appreciate the fact that every local government has its own dynamics; may be that of Jos North is part of the reason we operate with a sense of unity. We have sat down and agreed that for us to achieve anything we need to work together as a legislature and executive of one government, putting into consideration the problems we have to face in the local government. If we will allow conflict to come between us then we will worsen the situation in Jos; if we fight ourselves, the people at the grassroots will suffer, so for us to make a change in our society everybody will put his ego and personal interest aside and work collectively for the local government. If you look at it critically Jos North is supposed to be the most troublesome legislature because in the 20 councilors we have, there are only 10 of the PDP and the other 10 comprise other political parties. I am a PDP man and I am the chairman. So you see, if we don’t cooperate we will spend our tenure quarrelling and as we quarrel our people at the grassroots suffer.” This unity fostered the projects executed by the council administration. This can been seen in the area of health services, rural electrification, rural and township roads, bridges, culverts, market stalls, provision of potable drinking water and massive education of children and the training of youths in skills. Buba said: “And because of the vast and complex nature of the local government, most of our projects are not being appreciated by the people; at times people see our project and say it is that of the state government.” However, he said the council leadership has prioritised its projects, knowing that it cannot solve every problem. “This is why we have a good number of health care centres, primary health clinics spread in every nooks and cranny of the local government,” he said. “There were some clinics we had to build newly and there

•A bridge constructed by Buba

There were some clinics we had to build newly and there were some that we met in a bad shape and had to renovate. We built new ones in Kabong and Vandapuye. We have comprehensive health care centres in Sarkin Arab ward, Jos Jarawa, Fudawa were some that we met in a bad shape and had to renovate. We built new ones in Kabong and Vandapuye. We have comprehensive health care centres in Sarkin Arab ward, Jos Jarawa, Fudawa. All these have been completed and are already rendering services to the people.” Jos North, the council hosting the state capital, faces electricity challenges. As a way of solving this problem, the council management established an independent power supply system. “We found out that we have to extend some of the basic social amenities being enjoyed in the city centre to the rural areas, hence we were

Almakura inaugurates facilities From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

sion for the legal professionals working in Lafia, the state capital, because power supply has

remained a major challenge. So also was the opening of cybercafe which will offer people the opprotunity to tap into the services and opprtunities

The inauguration of the transformer was a momentous occasion for the legal professionals working in Lafia, the state capital, because power supply has remained a major challenge. So also was the opening of cybercafe

Wamakko rallies corps members •Continued from Page 25

Wamakko told them to lay emphasis on education, healthcare, legal aid, social mobilisation and enlightenment campaigns towards complementing government’s effort at improving the welfare of mass rural dwellers. “This is because the bulk of our population with pressing needs, aspirations and prospects are rural-based,” the govenor said. Chairman of the state NYSC Governing Board, Alhaji Ahmed

able to provide transformers to several communities especially in Gangeri, Alikazaure, Laranto, Jenta Adamu and Jenta Magoro,” said Buba. Also, the terrain of the local government is bad, making it difficult to access some of the villages. Most of the villages are separated from one another by gullies, streams, rivers and hills. As farmers, these rural dwellers find it difficult to transport their produce to the city markets. The council boss has almost solved that problem by creating access roads and building bridges and culverts where necessary. Buba also spoke on the chal-

Aliyu, represented by Abdullahi Miashanu, admonished the corps members to obey the rules and regulations guiding the exercise. He urged them to actively parcipate in all routine activities during the orientatioan course. He said there is need for youths to develop themselves and harness their potentials. The state NYSC Coordinator, Abdu Salisu Taura called on the corps members to avail themselves of the opportunity of the service year and the facilities at

the camp to make the orientation course and service year a worthy experience. He said the state NYSC has mobilised necessary facilities for their comfort during the orientation period. “Feel free and make judicious use of the facilities on the camp,” he said. While the state NYSC coordinator appreciated the government’s support, he also asked Wamakko to do more, especially in the area of feeding.

that many across the country have since taken for granted. The event which was meant to enable the legal community take stock and review its performance in the past one year, also provided an opportunity for the executive, judiciary and the legislature to interact and share ideas. It is believed that a few knotty issues were straightened out at the event. Almakura said he hoped the occasion offered the legal minds a platform to assess and strengthen itself for greater performance. He said no meaningful devel-

lenges of establishing a viable healthcare system in a place like Jos. “Talking of health delivery services, it can be very expensive in a local government that serves as the council headquarters,” he said. “Apart from its dense population, the city is so central to travellers and transporters. A lot of people pass through Jos to other states and this makes the city prone to communicable diseases. This on its own makes regular immunisation very necessary, else we will have serious epidemics. So it is taking us so much funds to make sure we administer regular immunisation to protect people from all manners of health hazards. Buba’s efforts are applauded. Even he believes he has served his people well. “I think I have done what the people expected of me so far,” he said. “But if the people feel they still need me to serve them again I will not abandon them; I will accept to serve my community any time I’m needed. But I must confess to you that the people are the brain behind our success and I give them due credit,” said Buba.

opment can take place without cooperation among the three arms of government. “It is for this reason that the principles of the rule of law and separation of powers have been enshrined in our statutes. “The inter-relationship notwithstanding, the importance of the independence of the judiciary cannot be over-emphasised. Unless the judiciary is allowed to exercise its full independence, it cannot guarantee objective interpretation of the law, adjudication of disputes and equitable dispensation of justice. Almakura acknowledged the need for autonomy of the judici•Continued on Page 27


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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HAIRMAN House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, has decried the manner in which the N200b agricultural loan scheme was disbursed to farmers, saying the situation where farmers are asked to bring collaterals before such loan could be given to them is wrong. Speaking in Jos after inspecting the level of development at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom Monguno further condemned late releases of funds to agencies and departments under the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Lawmaker decries disbursement of agric loans From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

He maintained that the lateness hampers the developmental efforts of such departments. The chairman stated that the stringent condition attached to the disbursement of the agricultural loan is not favourable to the peasant farmers for which the loan was meant. He said the situation had not changed even after the House had

With adequate funding and deployment of adequate resources, the sky is their limit. We have also seen their challenges in the programmes they have embarked upon for which they are facing some financial challenges

invited the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to explain the rationale behind asking for collaterals. Continuing, he said: “We are not impressed with the level of disbursement of the N200b agricultural loan scheme because of the stringent conditions attached to the disbursement of the funds. “We had had cause to invite the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to come and brief us on the level of disbursement of these funds and we are not impressed with the explanations because banks that are supposed to give the loans are asking for collaterals which most of our poor farmers, who are mostly subsistent farmers could not provide. It has become very difficult for them to access these funds and we are looking for ways and means of softpedaling so that farmers can have access to these funds.” Munguno advocated that the issue of collateral to be done away with saying: “The Nigerian Agri-

cultural Insurance Corporation should handle the money to insure the loan or serve as guarantors to the farmers so that they do not necessarily have to go through the rigours of procedure like the collaterals they are usually required to provide.” While applauding the developmental strides of the NVRI in the face of paucity of funds, he said: “With the level of funding and what they have done so far, we are impressed. But we are not impressed with the level of releases. So, we have to work in collaboration with the executive arm of government to see how they can, as quickly as possible, release these funds to them so that they can carry out their programmes. But with regard to the funds at their disposal and what they have done with it so far, they deserve a pat on the back. “With adequate funding and deployment of adequate resources, the sky is their limit. We have also seen their challenges in the programmes they have embarked

upon. They are experiencing some financial challenges. We intend to, by way of appropriation, assist them so that they can execute the projects.” He assured the House will strengthen the Procurement Act to make it more effective. He said: “As a House, we have to strengthen the procurement Act and make it very effective. I think on two occasions we have amended the Act to make sure that the process of procurement is as quickly as possible. But bureaucracy being what it is, it has been the major reason why there are delays in the release of funds. We will talk with the government and especially, the Minister of Agriculture and implore him to release the funds as quickly as possible so that they can carry out their responsibilities. Earlier, the Executive Director of NVRI, Dr. Sanni Ahmed, while conducting members of the committee round the institute, said that the activities of the institute have been hampered by late release of funds.

and presentations made in court.” These, according to him, have, in no small measure, developed

their jurisprudence. He expressed the hope that the relationship will continue to blossom.

Almakura inaugurates facilities •Continued from Page 26

ary, saying he is an ardent believer in its sanctity. Almakura said he is planning to carve out a befitting space for the entire three arms zone in Lafia, the state capital. He said for that purpose, the present School of Nursing Complex located close to the headquarters of the Nasarawa State High Court may be relocated to give way for the comfort of the three arms zone. He said that “the school of nursing may be moved away so that we can create an environment conducive to the comfort of the judiciary and which will give the three arms zone the comfort and beauty that it deserves.” The Governor, who said this arrangement is obtainable in other parts of the world and Abuja, added that “we are trying to replicate that in Nasarawa State so that both the executive, legislature and the judiciary not only find comfort within the same vicinity but also with structures and edifices that befit the honour and respect they deserve from the public. In order to solve the accommodation problems of the Chief Justice in the state, the governor said that a situation where a Judge is living as a tenant in a landlord’s house whose case may be before him is not healthy, saying that it is his responsibility to protect and honour the lives of judges. He said his administration is looking at the prospect of finding a comfortable accommodation befitting the newly appointed Justices within the offices they provided in Karu axes which is housing the courts. On the issue of autonomy, the governor explained that it might be easy for the other arms to blame some of the lapses on the executive but affirmed that the sole responsibility of shaping, supervising and accounting for the way and manner funds are

•Almakura inaugurating the transformer

dispensed lies solely on the executive. He however said that despite all these; when issues that border on security and the well-being of the people surface, any matter at hand may have to be deferred until such security matters are disposed of first, even as he said it doesn’t always happen all the time. He therefore gave the assurance that there will be an effective independence as it regards financial transactions between the executive, legislature and the judiciary. In his speech, the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Badamasi

Maina said that no democracy can thrive in a system where the process of adjudication is impended by problems whose solutions are not insurmountable. “We therefore call on the state government to rescue the state judiciary from these problems so that we can positively give effect to our dream of nurturing true democracy in this country.” Justice Maina, who thanked both the legislature and the Bar said that “the legislature has always given due consideration to our budgetary requests while the Bar has always been in partnership with us in all legal endavours, forensic research


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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Nyako votes N200m for free books, uniforms

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DAMAWA State Governor Murtala Nyako has released N200 million for the purchase of books, pens and other learning materials for primary school pupils in the state. Chairman, Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB),Dr Salihu Bakari, told journalists in Yola that the gesture was part of government’s effort for the implementation of free primary education. •Nyako

Kwara to compensate owners of demolished buildings HE Kwara State government has promised to pay adequate compensations to owners of any demolished building in the course of the ongoing road construction and rehabilitation across the state. The Commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr Abubakar Kannike, made the promise during an inspection of ongoing road projects within Ilorin metropolis. Kannike said the assurance became expedient in order to allay fears of the owners of the demolished property across the state. He solicited for their support in government’s efforts at making life meaningful for residents and all road users. He said infrastructure development formed part of the cardinal objectives of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to achieve even development in the state. “Road construction anywhere in the world, is supposed to bring development in terms of value added on land. “The government is, therefore, determined

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Kwara to open up more communities through construction of roads”, Kannike said. The commissioner reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring speedy completion of all ongoing road projects within and outside the state capital without compromising standard. Kannike also assured the people that the present administration would deliver on all its electioneering promises. Some of the road projects inspected included the recently awarded Sango-Oyun bridge road extension, Sango-Akerebiata road, Amilegbe-Mubo-GSS bye-pass road, Dangote-Offa Garage road, Lubcon-Wara road and Pakata-Sohoto road, all in lorin. Kannike expressed satisfaction with the quality of project execution and urged the various contractors to expedite work, warning that government would not accept any shoddy job.

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Adamawa “Nyako has released N200 million for the purchase of exercise books, pens, mathematical sets among others to be distributed free to all primary school pupils across the state. “And in the next two weeks we are going to distribute free uniforms from primary one to six both for boys and girls,” Salihu said. He said that the board had accurate statistics of all pupils in the 1,800 primary schools in Adamawa State and challenged parents, whose wards were not in schools on account of books and uniform to return such pupils to school. “If your child is not in school because of lack of uniform let him or her go to school, because government has provided enough uniforms and class working materials to be distributed free to all pupils,” he added. He advised parents not to pay for any materials demanded by school authorities because primary education in the state was free.

•Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak (left), with the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farouk during his courtesy visits to NOA in Abuja

Mubi South council builds ultra modern hospital

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HE Mubi South Local Government in Adamawa State has begun the construction of an ultra modern hospital . The project, at Yadafa village was designed with four vital sections including paediatrics,

Group lauds removal of fertiliser subsidy T

HE National Financial Secretary of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Dr Tunde Arosanyin, has praised the Federal Government for the removal of subsidy on fertiliser. Arosanyin told journalists in Lokoja that the removal was a welcome development because the proceeds would be used to aid the peasant farmers. He said the revelation that less than 11 per cent of farmers were benefiting from the subsidy was well-researched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. “I have been engaged in commercial agriculture since 1983 and I quite agree with that submission,’’ the AFAN official said. He said the arrangement to channel the money spent on the subsidy to 50,000 genuine farmers nationwide through credit facilities was laudable. Arosanyin said it would address the leakages that rendered fertiliser distribution ineffective. “I understand that each of the 50,000 farmers in the pilot phase of the programme

Lagos

will be granted about N100,000 for agricultural services. “This will make all sectors to be accorded common privilege.This time around, I am convinced that the subsidy is well-directed since it is the peasant farmers that will get the fund directly. “So, by this arrangement, a lot of improvement will happen to agriculture in Nigeria. “The attempt now is to manage agriculture holistically and not give advantage to crops over livestock. It’s a complete package for agricultural development in the country and even at the states’ level,’’ he explained. The AFAN official then appealed to farmers to make judicious use of all agricultural facilities. He also urged government to provide adequate market opportunities to mop up the anticipated farm produce.

•From left: Mr Lani Baderin, Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam; Remi Kolajo; Hon Bamisayemi; Hon Debo Akanbi when the speaker bagged award of Alumnus of the year from the Political Science Students Association, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife

•.....Motorist queuing for fuel at Total Filling Station, Wuze Zone 3 Abuja as the fuel queue resurfaced in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

NGO supports plan to re-introduce toll gates

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N NGO, the Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has praised the decision to reintroduce toll gates in the country. A toll is a charge that is payable for permission to allow people use a particular bridge or road. Mr Auwal Musa, the Executive Director of CISLAC, made this known in Abuja in an interview with journalists. CISLAC is a civil organisation that advocates fight against corruption and injustice in Nigeria. He said that the reintroduction of toll gates was important in terms of its relevance to enhance the beefing up of security and the demarcation of communities in Nigeria. “It is necessary to reintroduce toll gates; toll gates are an important structure for security reason because it will help to detect criminal acts as they occur in the society. “It will help to serve as demarcation between two different towns; it will enable a visitor to know the beginning and end of a particular town,’’ Musa said. He decried abuse of toll gates in the past in some parts of the country as means of extorting motorists and urged government to put mechanism in place to find lasting solution. “Although toll gates have been used by miscreants to rob innocent people. We believe that there are merits for toll gates to be restored.

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“Government must put measure in place to ensure that toll gates are maintained to control movements of person in and out of the community in Nigeria,” he said. According to him, money that is derived from toll gates should be used to repair damaged roads to enhance growth in the country.

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Adamawa maternity, male and female wards. The Acting Administrator, Mr Simon Tonpeyo, said that the project would be executed in collaboration with the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON). He spoke after he had inspected the project,. Tonpeyo said the council had contributed a plot of land to ALGON for the construction of the comprehensive health care centre in the area. According to him, the construction of the hospital at Yadafa village, which hitherto had no clinic, was part of measures to enhance access to quality healthcare in the rural areas. Tonpeyo reiterated the council’s readiness to ensure the early completion of the project. He urged the benefiting communities to protect facilities provided at the site and cooperate with the contractors. In his remarks, Alhaji Baba Galadima, a community elder, commended the council’s gesture, adding that the project would enhance reproductive health services in the area. “This noble gesture by ALGON will ease difficulty experienced by the communities in accessing healthcare. “The establishment of the maternity will enable more women attend ante-natal and reduce maternal mortality in the communities,’’ he said. Galadima also urged the local government council to rehabilitate the Mugulvu-YadafaFali feeder road to ease transportation in the area.

HE Darazo Local Government Area in Bauchi State has plan to vaccinate 90,861 children against poliomyelitis during the on-going Polio Plus Immunisation Programme. Hajiya Halima Husseini, the World Health Organization (WHO) facilitator, made this known to journalists in Darazo, the headquarters of the local government area. She further disclosed that 321 personnel, comprising ward focal persons, team supervisors, house-to-house vaccinators, recorders and community leaders, have been recruited for the exercise. “Others recruited are the special team vaccinators and fixed posts vaccinators who are currently carrying out the exercise in all the 17 wards,’’ Husseini said. The WHO official said 30 personnel, comprising team vaccinators, town criers and recorders, were also conducting the street-to-street and house-to- house exer-

Committee on Qu’ranic schools reforms seeks support

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VER 21,000 members of the Nigeria Police Force have so far benefited from the on-going Police Reform Training Programme to address the current security challenges across the country.

Borno From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

tude that Canada has considered Taraba -a remotely reclusive state, for investment. He added that the state is backward, but heavily endowed with mineral deposits and huge tourism potentials. The governor said: "River Benue has the longest stretch in Taraba, among all the states in Nigeria. Gembu, Kurmi and Ussa areas brim with huge natural resources which investors would be delighted to explore and exploit". Suntai noted that a satellite study on solid minerals was being undertaken by his government and as soon as that was completed he would inform Canada on the need for investors to come quickly and invest in the state. The weather and security, he also noted, were clement for investment. "Within the four years, we have worked very hard to reduce crime and Taraba is on the first three peaceful states in Nigeria," he assured.

Bauchi cise. “To ensure the success of the exercise, we trap migrating herdsmen and fishermen a night to the commencement of the exercise and immunise them during the early parts of the day before they set out for their daily activities. “About 95,600 doses of vaccines have been procured for the exercise but, I am afraid, the doses may not be enough for the exercise as we are in the second day of a four-day exercise. “We needed additional 3,000 doses to enable us vaccinate all the children within the council and, I am afraid, if no further supply is made some of them may not be immunised,” she said. The WHO official expressed dismay over persistent cases of non-compliance recorded in 10 wards out of the 17 wards within the area. According to statistics made available,

•Yuguda

Darazo West and East, Konkyal East and Sade East wards areas were identified by health experts as having the Very High Risks (VHR) of the menace. Gabari North, Tauya East, Lanzai East and Lauga West are areas identified as having High Risk (HR) of the scourge. Wailu, Papa South, Sade West, Papa North, Yautari and Gascheriyari, all within the area, are also identified as having Potential High Risk (PHR).

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HE Kano State government has implored the Muslim faithful to support its initiative toward integrating the Qu’ranic School (tsangaya) into formal education. The Chairman of the committee charged with the responsibility, retired Justice Abubakar Wali made the call when he visited the leader of Tijjaniyya sect,Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu. He said the committee was determined to find viable ways of enhancing Qu’ranic education so as to reduce the number of child beggars. Abubakar also noted that under the proposed arrangement, parents would be discouraged from sending under-age children to learn the Qu’ran in far away places. He assured the public that government would not abolish the Qu’ranic school system, saying it would further be standardised. The chairman said the students of Qu’ranic schools under the new arrangement would as well acquire western education along and be trained in various skills. In his response, Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu expressed support for the initiative, assuring the committee that he would always welcome laudable measures geared toward promoting Islam.

21,000 policemen get training

Canada to invest in Taraba

HE government of Canada is partnering with Taraba to help develop the state economy. Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Kris Skutter said his country will invest in mineral deposit mining, agriculture, infrastructure (roads and hydro-electricity projects), vocational education and tourism. Skutter said this during his courtesy call on the governor, Danbaba Suntai at Government House, Jalingo . His visit will last a few days. The High Commissioner said Canada is the second largest mining country in Africa, with about 250 mining sites across the continent. "Canada has the expertise to mine the solid minerals that abound in Taraba State. We shall partner the state government in the training of farmers and food processing", he said. According Skutter, Canada has over 40 years of tourism experience, which would be deployed to help develop the vast tourism potentials of Taraba State . The Canadian expressed worry over the security situation in Northern Nigeria, but however said the situation was different in Taraba. Replyin, Governor Suntai expressed grati-

Council to immunise 90,861 kids

The Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd.), made this known to journalists in Abuja . He said the affected personnel were both trained locally and abroad as part of government efforts to beef up security. Olubolade expressed optimism that the training would enable the police utilise more effectively some of the newly-acquired security equipment, including helicopters and communication gadgets. He, however, stated that the police needed additional funds to tackle emerging terrorism and other emerging violent crimes in the country. “The new wave of terrorism will require that such funding be increased, as well as the training and welfare of the men. “This is because, no matter the acquisition of the weaponry that is needed, the men must be comfortable and their welfare must be looked at. “So, we want to pick it up also from that angle, to improve their welfare so that they will be very willing and very agile to go,” the minister said. He assured that his ministry, in collaboration with the Police Reform Committee, would ensure a smooth implementation of the strategic plan for the police reform. “This is to bring it in tune with the modern realities,’’ Olubolade said.

•Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs Idiat Adebule flanked by Commissioner for Establishment, Mrs Florence Oguntuase and Head of Service, Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe during a 3-Day summit of the Heads of Service in the South -West Geo-political Zone at the state Public Service Staff Development Centre, Magodo GRA, Lagos

NAPTIP hails donors

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HE Executive Secretary of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person and other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, has promised to make judicious use of the equipment donated by the government of Italy, Netherlands and Norway to its Zonal office in Lagos. The executive secretary who made the promise in Lagos recently, stated that NAPTIP under the Counter Trafficking Initiatives project would put the equipment into proper use in order to achieve the purpose for which they were given. Jedy-Agba said: “I want to sincerely commend the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for being supportive and committed to the cause of NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking both nationally

By Musa Odoshimokhe

and internationally.” She remarked that no single agency or individual could effectively handle the problems associated with human trafficking. “The agency, in no small measure, has benefited tremendously from collaborating with IOM. Most of the landmark achievements of the agency particularly in the area of victim’s rehabilitation have been engineered through collaboration with IOM.” She further said: “I would like to thank all our partners in the CTI-project, the Rehoboth Homes, COSUDOW, Women Advocate Research and Development Centre (WARDC) and the members of observatory team comprising the Universities of Lagos and Benin for their unflinching support in making the project a success.”

•Officials of NAPTIP receiving items donated by IOM


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Text only: 08023058761

•Governor Babangida Aliyu receiving a Certificate of Name from former ANA President Abubakar Gimba. With them is BUK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rasheed

Making of an intellectual capital ‘It is great to have a leader who is committed to the intellectual and literary development of the state. Niger State may soon become the literary and intellectual capital of Nigeria’ • SEE PAGE 30

Going green with fashion

Collectors’ series opens for the soul of art

– Page 32

– Page 34


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Making of an intellectual capital •Writers’ resort named after Niger governor

It was his birthday and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu chose a literary and intellectual feast to mark the day. It was a meeting of great minds as judges, politicians, students, notable scholars and writers sat with the governor last Saturday at Minna, the state capital to brainstorm, on Building Intellectual Power to Fix Nigeria. The one-day event raised dust over the state of the Nigerian polity, reports EVELYN OSAGIE.

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•Ofeimun (left), Deputy Governor Ahmed Musa Ibeto and Aliyu

CHOLARS, writers, judges, politicians, students, indigenes of Niger State, among others, thronged the Justice Idris Kutigi International Conference Centre in Minna, the capital, last Saturday to celebrate and redefine intellect and pathway to the

nation’s development. They came for the first national round-table tagged: 1st MBA (Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu) National Colloquium, an initiative of the state government and the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Niger State branch. The event was sponsored by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. Last year, he unveiled 10 titles by writers in the state to mark his birthday. “This year, he asked to make it a national and annual colloquium dedicated to Nigerian writers and intellectualism. Henceforth, it will be annual and around his birthday,” the colloquium co-ordinator, Baba Muhammad Dzukogi said. The conference aims at placing intellectualism at the heart of discoveries in the arts, philosophy and science for economic advancement. Speaking on the theme: Building intellectual power to fix Nigeria, the guest speaker, activist poet Odia Ofeimun noted the country’s socio-economic problems. He praised the governor’s recognition of the pen and intellectuals, saying this will point the nation away from catastrophe. Ofeimun lamented the state of education, indigenous language, and insecurity, pointing out that no nation can forge ahead if they are not addressed. He highlighted the importance of education even as he noted that indigenous language should be given pride of place: the national affairs. “We have abandoned the things that make it possible for us to govern ourselves. Education should not be what people should be paying for because uneducated people cannot interact with one another. And we have the means to put every child in at school… the resources in available. We spend our money where we should not. The onus is on the intellectuals dispense the metaphors of life to society. It is exciting to note that the chief servant is the best advertisement of an intellectual leader seeking development in his state. This colloquium is a challenge to other state governments. “The reason Nigeria is not progressing is we don’t respect the knowledge; particularly the knowledge content of our indigenous language. While developing intellectually, we have abandoned our languages instead of developing it by documenting it. You would be shocked to know that we still have things in medicine and science that the world does not yet know about. White men would come here; learn about it and go work on it and bring here to us and we would be buying it, in the case of the medicinal qualities our herbs,” he said. He urged the government to revisit its national policy on language, saying: “We need more than one language policy.” Prof. Tanimu Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), re-echoed Ofeimun’s words on importance of education, saying: “In the 21st century learning is the minimum condition for survival. And those in position should realise that.” Dr Salihu Bappa urged the government to invest more in youths and children, noting that they are the power house of

•Dr Greg Mbajiorgu (left) and Yahaya Dagana.

Nigeria’s future. Northern scholars and writers praised the governor for his support for creative writing and the literati in his state. The proposed writers’ resort in the state was named after him, in appreciation of his contribution to creative writing. Former ANA President Alhaji Abubakar Gimba, while presenting Aliyu the Certificate of Name (CON), recalled the governor’s gesture towards his (Gimba’) recuperation. “This is the first public appearance I am making in eight to nine month because I had been ill. My first love is writing and anyone who supports writing is my brother. The chief servant is my brother because he has done so many things for writers in the state. He was very supportive when I was ill. You gave us the Certificate of Occupancy to the ANA Secretariat, we are giving you the CON for your support. Happy birthday, your excellency! And thank you!” With the colloquium, the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who chaired the event, said Niger is gradually becoming the literary and intellectual capital of Nigeria. “It is great to have a leader who is committed to the intellectual and literary development of the state. Niger State may soon become the literary and intellectual capital of Nigeria,” he said. Dr. Aliyu thanked the writers for their words, saying his administration is committed to the intellectual development

‘We have abandoned the things that make it possible for us to govern ourselves. Education should not be what people should be paying for because uneducated people cannot interact with each other. And we have the means to put every child in at school… the resources in available’

PHOTO:EVELYN OSAGIE

of the citizenry. He recalled his youthful days when his thirst for knowledge drove him to read. “In my younger days, especially in college, I realised that the more I read, the more I understood and realised what was happening around me and the world. And reading has influenced my thought and my world view. We have seen what China and India have done with population. So like Odia said it is the quality of the population. And that is our concern. For us, knowledge is very important for development. There are many who have achieved a lot financially and in life but would find that they are unsatisfied with themselves because they failed to learn and understand certain things at the time they should. Today about 1.17 million students are enrolled in the state’s primary and secondary schools as against about 600,000 when we took over. And we are not relenting in our efforts. Thank you for reminding me that I can do better. I will carry your message to the Governors’ Forum.” The literary feast also featured poetic and creative performances by writers and students. Six sessions of the literary parley were held, with 30 minutes break in between sessions. The first session was on Defining poetry: the chaos of perceptions in the Nigerian literature. In this session, panellists: Ahmed Maiwada, Jumoke Verissimo, Dr Emmanuel Sule, Akeem Lasisi examined the definition of ideal poetry, countering the divergent views of the schools that set a pace for the criteria of poetry as it relates to the ideological variations among poets, critics and readers of poetry in Nigeria. It was moderated by Alkasim Abdulkadir The second session, Fiction and the Philistines: Revisiting the arts for art’s sake proposition, highlighted the goals of writing for the society; the choice of audience and a writer’s burden between serving humanity and the aesthetics of prose and other genres of literature. The panellists were Jude Dibia, Onyeka Nwelue, former ANA President Dr Wale Okediran, Dr Vicky Sylvester, Abdullahi Ismail Ahmed. Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar moderated it. The Babel of a nation: the future of writing in indigenous languages was the theme of the third session. Scholars looked at the obstacles faced by the writers who are writing in Nigerian indigenous languages, set before an audience of over 250 ethnic groups. Moderated by Odoh Diego Okenyodo, it had Moses Tsenongu, Zaharadeen Kano, Ndagi Abdullahi, among •Continued on page 31


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Conserving culture for national growth The need to conserve the nation’s diverse cultural expressions for national development, took the centre stage at a conference on culture and politics in Copenhagen, Denmark. OZOLUA UHAKHEME, Assistant Editor (Arts), reports.

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OR Deputy Director, National Council for Arts and Culture, (NCAC), Mrs. Chinyere Abara, Nigerians are ignorant about the

q uality, worth and significance of their material culture. This ignorance affects the appreciation and economic value of culture. Mrs Abara observed that many are misinformed about the nation’s cultural heritage because of the legacy of colonialism-religion and formal western education. Artifacts, festivals and cultural practices, she said, have been undermined and perceived as products of fetishism, paganism and backwardness. Abara, who presented a paper, Conservation of the diversity of cultural expression for national development, at conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, said through educational and public awareness programming, promotion and understanding of the importance for the protection of diversity of cultural expressions would be achieved. “Despite various policies, programmes pursued to develop our infrastructure, economy, education etc, most of these efforts have largely failed to yield appropriate result. “This is because the basic fact that culture, which should define, qualify and invigorate the process, quality and relevance of education, has largely been miscomprehended, neglected and misapplied. This neglect of the role of culture in education and development has been a major set back,” she said. According to her, the consequence is that the fate of a citizen will continue to be decided from outside and in this way, his progress can be retarded as his production and consumption patterns will be fashioned out in accordance with the needs and values of an alien culture.

•Queen Idia mask head

•An artefact

She stressed that people should be left the way they are and assisted to promote a free flow of ideas and contribution to human and national development. “The important question that confronts us is: What are the indigenous options available to build authenticity and pride to minimise dislocations? The economic cost of not asking this fundamental question is perhaps the greatest price we are paying today as a nation whose material and financial investments have not been matched by the returns. The heritage of Nigeria is a holistic one. For our polity to reflect a holistic attitude, we need to know how museums can energise our system.” She explained that the politics and democracy of our dream would engineer a political leadership that sees our cultural diversity in the right perspectives. She noted that museums across the world would continue to teach the public, serve as historical monuments and a resource centre for research and documentation. Abara cited the National War Museum, Umuahia and the National Museum,

Onikan in Lagos as repository of modern history, especially the civil war experiences. How can museums impact positively in our politics? The cultural policy according to her provides the answers thus: “The state shall establish museums as repositories of relics of our past achievements and as sources of inspiration to the present generation”. Abara said as the repository of knowledge and information, museums contain artifacts and preserve monuments, which are immovable artifacts and evidence of landmarks of history that are symbolic and important. She described museum as the heart of cultural promotions because bulk of arts and past history are recorded and preserved in the museums, galleries and libraries for posterity. The transmission of such records, she said, could only be done through research and learning from such cultural heritage. Continuing, she said: “In this wise it is important for people to develop interest in visiting the museum as it promotes tolerance, understanding and cultural diversity. Besides, museums convey messages that break down ethnic barriers and promote

‘The important question that confronts us is: What are the indigenous options available to build authenticity and pride to minimise dislocations? The economic cost of not asking this fundamental question is perhaps the greatest price we are paying today as a nation whose material and financial investments have not been matched by the returns’

unifying factors in intercultural awareness, through exhibitions and other museum programmes… “Today, as in the entire history of man, knowledge, education and learning are keys to development. The learning however depends on the question we put to the past in order to understand and find solutions to present day problems. We therefore need not only encourage preservation in the museums but also build relevant research programmers’ around them.” She observed that to ensure the effectiveness of museum in national development three major considerations should be borne in mind; rehabilitation, activation and propagation, adding that to rehabilitate culture, it must be studied to the highest level scientifically and subject it to most modern research methods and expertise. “The cultural promotion agencies at the local, state and federal government levels, education institutions, mass media, Arts Councils and other government parastatals should work hand in hand to achieve maximum result,” she stressed. The establishment of a National Endowment Fund for the Arts to which corporate bodies and individuals will contribute will ensure that ‘we enrich the inheritance bequeathed to us and assure that the future will not through our inaction, be steadily divorced from our greatest asset.’ Already, museums across the country house some cultural industries where artisans and artists learn to make a living and excel. Museums among others, have become function of economy as well as driving force to tourism, social welfare, understanding and peaceful co-existence among the citizens.

Making of an intellectual capital •Continued from page 30

others as panellists. The fourth session was on Playing around the stage: the fate of drama in modern literature. The discussants tackled the argument that while poetry is considered abused by certain poets, play is marginalised, not just by the playwrights but audience, in contemporary times. It was moderated by Ezekiel Fajenyo. The panelists, who included Yahaya Dangana, Bose Tsevende, Almamun Mallam, examined issues bordering on the fate of dramatic texts in modern literature. Printing to the digits: Publishing in the digital age was the fifth

session. In this session, a comparative analysis of printed books and e-books was highlighted by key players, alongside readers demand. The session, moderated by Onyew Bongos Ikwue, had as panellists Hyacinth Obunseh, Steve Shaba and Ahmed Maiwada. It was observed that particpants were not given the opportunity to ask questions. The pupils said the organisers should allocate more days to colloquium in subsequent editions, to allow for thorough delibration and brainstorming.

•Pupils of Government Secondary School, Minna, rendering a song to the governor


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•Oluchi displaying her gems for all to see

•Mrs Ezindu on the NFW red carpet

•Models Going green on the runway

For fashionistas, it was a sparkling moment at the Nigerian Fashion Week (NFW) held at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Going green was the connecting thread in this year’s edition, reports EVELYN OSAGIE.

Going green with fashion C

HAMPIONS of environment protection won new converts at the Nigerian Fashion Week (NFW) in Lagos. The designers went green on the runway at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The special Going green collection show was the main highlight of the fashion fiesta. The show, which was opened by Modela Contour with other designers, featured designs with a touch of green here and there. With its theme Going Green, the organiser, Legendary Gold Limited said the show was staged to call attention to the global environmental degradation. It drew fashion enthusiasts, celebrities, such as Erelu Abiola Dosumu, Mrs Fifi Ezindu, Chief Margaret Bola Fabiyi, Cobhams Asuquo, Zaaki Azzay, among others. In campaigninging for nature, which is symbolised the colour green, designers were in their creative best. Designers, particularly Nigeria’s, showcased expressive designs using trees, plants, vegetable, fruits including recycled materials to design their classical pieces. The models were dressed in green leaves, vegetables, fruits and more. Although subtle, the designs came as a refreshing campaign to dazzle the audience. The expressive outfits spelt ‘save our environment’ in all regard. Federal Road Safety Corps and the Ministry of Environment representatives were in attendance. NFW Director Lexy Mojo Iyez, said: “It is meant to draw

attention to climate change by encouraging values that will ensure a sustainable environment. The Going Green show, is dedicated to drawing awareness to climate change.During this show segment, designers made use recycled materials to prepare their collection.” Reviving African culture through fashion Aside the Going green show, NFW also featured elaborate displays of classic and contemporary designs, creative exhi-

‘It is meant to draw attention to climate change by encouraging values that will ensure a sustainable environment. The Going Green show is dedicated to drawing awareness to climate change’

bitions on stand and runway shows, workshops and afterevent parties. Each day featured two shows. The morning shows began at noon and the evening at 6pm. The fashion fiesta was organised by Legendary Gold Limited in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the World Fashion Organisation. The NFW, Iyez said, is aimed at reviving the African culture and encouraging tourism through fashion. “It seeks to promote the African culture and tourism, open new windows of business opportunities, encourage indigenous fashion designers, and encouraging the exportation of Nigerian designs. The Nigeria Fashion Week (NFW) provides the most appropriate atmosphere and opportunity for fashion, beauty and hair products and accessories to meet with both local and international wholesalers, buyers, retailers, end users, distributors and fashion press,” he said. The fashion feast, according to the organisers, featured over 32 local designers and international designers, jewellers, shoe cobblers, cosmetic merchants, among others. They include Lagos-based Frank Osodi, O’mak designs (Washington DC), Aremu Couture (Johannesburg), Ama Glow (Amsterdam), and Amakdesign (London), Zizi Cardow (Lagos), Beldies La Mode (Abuja), Chrystalix (Cameroun), House of Misiano, Fed Eboka, Modela (Nigeria), Tangerine (Nigeria), Debby Stitches, Roffiany, Oluchi Gems and Beads,


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•Tote and her bags on display

•Model on the Going Green show

Pushxclusive, Tote collection among others. Designers said they came seeking new market for their wears. Men and women shoes sold for between N10, 000 andN50, 000. While clothes went for N5, 000 and N100, 000. For the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pushxclusive, a shoemaker, said: “I want my shoes to be source of inspiration globally.” Oluchi Gems and Beads Creative Director, Oluchi Esther called for more collaboration in the industry. Government agencies were also on ground, showcasing their products and services. The National Council for Arts and Culture had a rich display of Adire fabrics, in addition to art works by Nigerian artists. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council’s (NEPC) stand came as a classroom of a sort to designers as they were given tips on how to becoming an international brand at the stand. NEPC Chief Trade Promotion Officer, Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, said: “Nigeria is blessed with talented human resources and our fashion industry is thriving. However, there are lots incentives available for the fashion designers by the government. We are here to sensitise fashion designers and key players in the fashion industry, including new brands and small scale businesses on how they can key into government incentives for them to be able to tap into the global market. And our agency helps in this regard.” Exotic fashion… Each designer had its own unique brand. Some, like House of Misiano, were daring. They made erotic and crazy designs from African prints and local fabrics. With the way guests cringed at the very daring clothing worn by some models, exposing their cleavages, it was obvious that some Nigerian fashionisters still held a conservative view on what fashion was about. For Erelu Dosumu, being fashionable is

not all about nudity. “I like how designers are making contemporary designs from our local fabrics. I commend our designers; they are doing a lot in promoting our prints and local fabrics. But like I always say to designers and fashion lovers, interpret your style in whichever way you want as long as it is decent.” She called for the support of corporate bodies, saying it will help boost the fashion industry. “The private sector should promote our fashion designers –give them an opportunity to shine, give the fashion industry a boost.” Designers worked magic with African prints and traditional clothing, such as Aso Oke, Kente, etc. Debby Stitches stitched African prints into classy exotic gowns and space-look outfits. Daring folks would find her designs very expressive. While some designers, such as Zizi Cardow, blended classic and contemporary feel into their designs using foreign and African print. Women with classy taste would find her designs elegant. The President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Nigeria Chapter, Chief Fabiyi also commended the originality, however, she noted that more innovations need to be added to attract international tourists. “They need to explore new innovations. For example I was expecting to see such new innovations that will attract international tourists enmasse to the industry. I would like to see various bikini designs in our local fabrics and Ankara prints.” Nigerian fashion gone international The fashion feast, the organisers said, is an affiliate event to the World Fashion Week organised by the World Fashion Organisation. Thus, the president of the World Fashion Week, Paco De Jaimes also attended the fiesta alongside other top officials of the World Fashion governing body and International Fashion Press to

•Erelu Dosumu at the event

Lagos. The rich display of beautiful designs with African prints by Nigerian designers came as an exciting experience for Charlet Duboc, a presenter with UK Vice.com TV’s international fashion television programme, Fashion Week Internationale, who was visiting the country for the first time. She showed excitement all through the event. She was seen interviewing designers and guests on their take on Nigerian fashion. The most exciting of her experience, according to her, was the uniqueness and originality of the designs. On Nigeria’s fashion designers and their designs, she said: “With what I have seen

• Model on the runway.

PHOTO:GBENGA KUTELU

here, Nigeria’s fashion industry is exciting and unique. I love the designers and their designs. I can feel the spirit woven in their designs. My word for them is never you forget Naija! It is what makes you special… unique Naija flavour! I also love the fact that some Nigerian designers do not have to go to designing schools to make beautiful designs and lovely clothes.” Andy Capper, Fashion Week Internationale producer, said Nigeria’s fashion has not been given the coverage it deserved. He urged the Nigerian media to promote Nigerian designers and designs, noting they can compete with designers in the international markets.

Govt urged to partner genuine NGOs PRESIDENT, Oak of Joy Women and Children Empowerment Initiatives Mrs. Victoria Ejim, has urged the government to partner with civil society organisations with genuine goals to address the problems of women and children. Mrs. Ejim, wife of Rev Ejikeme Ejim, Lagos Mainland District Superintendent, Assemblies of God, Nigeria (AGN), said this while presenting some clothes and other items to Evangelist Godia Hajia, President, Praying Mothers, Kaduna on behalf of displaced victims of Kaduna bomb blast. Admitting that the government cannot reach out to the indigents alone, she insisted the genuine CSOs who are directly at the grassroots can do so effectively through government’s collaboration. She said: “I think the government can assist Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) that are genuine. Some NGOs are genuine, some of us are genuine and government should identify with those of us that are

genuine. They should be able to provide funds to help us. This is because government may not be able to reach these people; it is those of us who are at the grassroots level that know the people that are involved. And so we want to appeal to the government to assist us with funds to help the indigent that is within our societies.” Mrs. Ejim assured that rising social vices, crime, drug-trafficking and violence in the society would be curtailed if the needs of indigent children and youths are addressed. Mrs. Ejim also the Co-ordinator, Women Ministries, Lagos Mainland District, Assemblies of God, Nigeria (AGN), explained that the vision of the Oak of Joy Women and Children Empowerment Ministry is to identify with women and children that are indigent. She said: “We want to empower women that are indigent, whether they are widows or women who are financially challenged. We also empower children that are indigent, and we want to help in alleviating their problems.


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The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

•Tangled by Yetunde

Collectors’ series opens for the soul of art

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SELECT collection of paintings, sketches and photographs by three contemporary artists; Duke Asidere, Kelechi Amadi-Obi and Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko made the maiden edition of Collectors’ Series exhibition, Lagos. The first leg ran from November 13 to 16, while the second has been slated for between November 22 and 30. The artists featured diverse works ranging from drawings, to mixed media, and photographs that depict different creative experiences. The Collectors’Series is an initiative to increase art appreciation, strengthen and showcase Nigerian artists as well as invest in the growth and expansion of the art industry. Its vision includes collaboration, celebration of Nigeria’s creativity and capacity building especially in the area of documentation. Asidere showcased 24 pieces that include works from his face, portrait, and spray series, which tell of his artistic interpretations of happenings around him. His spray series in particular is part of his unusual way of painting. Some of the drawings and paintings reveal that aspect of the artist not known to many-political views on topical issues in the society such as the last general election. Aesthetically, Asidere’s works complement the 21 photographs by the duo of Kelechi and Yetunde. Kelechi featured select collection of his emotion series and gele in bloom series that dwell on the vibrantly elaborate head tie. His emotion series is to develop a language for emotions, especially among women. He plays on light and shade to achieve some movements of body parts to create unique message. But the gele in bloom series depicts photographed models in nude and

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REATIVE Director of Nimbus Art Gallery Chike Nwagbogu has said the nation can develop through effective use of arts. Addressing reporters on his company’s art fair slated for November 27 to December 9 in Lagos, he said: “Nigeria can achieve more if it invests in art. We want to change Nigeria through art, take it from a creative point of view. We cannot take

By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

decked in head ties that wear contrasting colours. Yetunde offered photographs that reflect the other sides of women, how they feel and those naughty things women are capable of doing. For instance, she captures a portrait of a lady smoking cigarette to mirror some habits society like Nigeria frowns at. The common thread that runs through all of Yetunde’s photographs is the theme of women’s beauty, sensitivity and power from a woman’s perspective. Little wonder she flaunts some symbolic items as captured in Ready for battle, Protection, Amazon and Tangled and Keeping your senses. This maiden outing is supported by two art patrons; oil and gas entrepreneur Joe Obiago, and Robert Mbonu, a veteran banker. Both have supported art initiatives over the years and are passionate about expanding the boundaries of the local art. The Collectors Series began two years ago when 35 Nigerian collectors and curators met and agreed to share their experiences in growing and exhibiting private collections. According to the founder of the series, Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, the Collectors’ Series is a new business model that draws upon the expertise of the hospitality industry, the art curatorial network as well as provides an enabling platform for artists. “We will be holding quarterly exhibitions at Wheatbaker Hotel, our hospitality partner, which will be curated by me and our art partner, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos,” she added. Ten per cent of the income generated from the sale of works will be invested in a special art fund for fostering the production of new, cutting edge work,

By Amidu Arije

• Red Gele by Kelechi

Seun Kuti at Shrine Saturday

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FTER a successful tour of Japan, Europe, South K o r e a and Brazil, promoting his second album From Africa With Fury

RISE, Seun Anikulapo Kuti and Fela’s Egypt-80 Band will be performing live at the New African Shrine on Saturday. The Egypt 80 Band, currently rated as one of the most travelled band in Africa, has performed at virtually all the major concert and festival venues across the world. Seun will on be presented with an award at this year’s edition of the Nigerian Music Video Award. The show promises to be exciting, with heavy Afrobeat vibes from Seun’s second album and Fela’s repertoire. Seun has promised to sensitise Afro Beat fans to resist the planned removal of fuel.

• Seun

Nimbus to host art fair

away art from religion, as we are ambassador of our nation. All of us can collectively change our nation, but this has to be done through a creative mind set.” He noted that the art fair is meant to regenerate the nation through art by bringing new

artists together to think on how to make Nigeria great through art. “The art fa i r i s m e a n t t o regenerate the nation through art and culture; and we are advocating a situation where the active driver can perform with the work of art,” he said. He

explained that the idea is to encourage young Nigerians to start learning how to collect arts. “The idea of the fair is to encourage people to start collecting arts, the young artists will be encouraged bringing their art works for

d i s p l a y . T h e a f f o r dable art fair is going to introduce new artists into the world of arts and bring the artists together,” he said. The fair which has as theme ‘New beginning and change’ will feature collections over 400 works from different artists. It will also feature musicals to make the occasion livelier for visitors.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

NLNG rekindles creative light of Bonny youths H

UNDREDS of students and pupils of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas School, and six other secondary schools in Bonny Island, Rivers State got their creative light rekindled at a two-day interactive event, Meet The Author held at the NLNG School Hall and Ibanise Hall, in Bonny Island, Rivers State, on Thursday and Friday last week. The guest speakers were Prof. Akachi Adimorah–Ezeigbo, author of My Cousin Sammy, and renowned painter and illustrator, Mr Sam Ovraiti. The schools included Govt Girls Secondary School, (Senior), Finima, Govt Girls Secondary School, (Junior), Finima, Bonny National Grammar School, (Junior), Bonny National Grammar School, (Senior), Community Secondary School, (Junior) and Community Secondary School (Senior), Bonny. The interactive programme was organised by the NLNG as part of efforts to take literature to children as well as to promote reading and writing among the children. Setting the tone for the interaction on the opening day, the Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs of NLNG, Mr Ifeanyi Mbanefo said: “The programme is dedicated to bringing the joys of reading, and indeed, writing to students whatever their circumstances or background may be. We believe the best way to get children excited about books is to provide them with opportunities to met authors and hear them talk about their work, their lives and their views of the world.” He told the children that NLNG embarked on the event because ‘we believe our company has generous men and women willing to tackle nuances and complex problems; willing to from time to time point the nation to the right path.’ Specifically, Mbanefo explained that the main reason for organising the event was that ‘we cannot run away from the fact that children in Nigeria are disadvantaged. Our greatest tragedy is dearth of literature. And in a few cases where they are found, they do not serve the most basic need of our children, which is to help them to make sense of their world.’ For two days, the guest speakers took the children on a journey into the world of books,

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts) illustrations and counselling. Prof. Adimorah-Ezeigbo, who was joint-winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2007 and chief judge for 2011 edition, described teachers and parents as the most important personalities in the life of every child. She urged the children to read, adding that her children’s interest in reading foreign books spurred her into writing books for children. “I have written about 20 books, and I wrote them so that my children can read about their culture. Books entertain you as pleasure, and you gain information and knowledge about people and places. And I am glad you have strong interest in reading…If you want to be a good writer, you must be very observant of peoples’ experiences, street experiences and school life,” she urged the children. Adimorah-Ezeigbo did not stop at reading books. She counselled the children that they could speak many languages before they reach the age of 12. She told them that their mother tongue is a carrier of their culture and that they could speak English and their mother tongue well. The illustration session of the event, which was guided by Ovraiti, saw the children freely expressing the visual images they had of the characters and scenes in My Cousin Sammy on papers using pencil. Also, brief drama sketches of some scenes of the book were presented on stage by the children. Mr. Emmanuel Eshiet, who stood in for Mr. Aka Nwokedi of the HR and Services, Bonny, described the event as interesting and challenging, noting that it would be hosted in the future to bring in other authors. “It is a very good start to challenge us to read and write. We hope we will have good writers from the children in future,’ he said. One of the teachers, Meg Soberekon, said the children are happy to interact with the author and that they looked forward to more of such events. “Who knows one of them can become a great author tomorrow. In fact, through this, the kids’ interest in books has been aroused. And they have performed one of the dances in the book. Their minds are so blank and open to fresh ideas,” Soberekon added.

•Some of the students illustrating

•Prof. Adimorah-Ezeigbo

•Soberekon

Nine year-old Ahmed Farouk, a Primary four pupil at NLNG School, said he felt fulfilled to have interacted with the author as he has never met an author before now. He spoke of the lessons he learnt from the book: “When you are from different places, it does not mean you are different from the other person. When I started reading the book, I thought I would not like Ada but I later found him interesting by the

way he threats Sam.” But asked what he wants to become in future, he said: I want to be an engineer but also to be writing books. And the most interesting book I have read is Mr. Majeika. The Ibanise Hall leg of the Meet The Author was spiced by drama sketches and pep talk by the three art writers from Lagos - Ozolua Uhakheme, McPhilips Nweachukwu and Anote Ajolouruo.

Women society honours members

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•Mrs Fashola (left) and Mrs Aqua-Umoren

MAZONS, seasoned professionals and renowned career women all came out in colourful attires for one purpose: To honour the some deserved ones in the society. This was at the lunch and humanitarian of the year awards at the Landmark Village, Lagos, organised by the International Women’s Society Nigeria, (IWS) led by Mrs Ima Cecilia Aqua-Umoren, a lawyer. Indeed, it was a spectacular evening of dedication, honour, happy re–union and stocktaking. At the dedication, the late Kenyan Nobel Laureate Wangari Manthai’s positive impact on the lives of the women folks was brought to the fore to encourage and spur others to action for the benefit of the global community with woman and child as focus. Wangari Maathai, a woman with a soft heart of gold, lived this dream through her tree planting project resulting in an immense economic empowerment of women across Africa. Thus, IWS adopted the leaf motif as this year’s event brand manifestation. The awardees list included Mrs. Amina Titi Abubakar, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Miss Teresa Clarke, Miss Kate Henshaw, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, Mrs Jean Obi, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Ms Ufuoma Emerhor and Mrs. Maryam Uwais, among others. Honorary awards were given to Mrs Akimbo Facial, First Lady of Lagos State and her predecessor Senator Remi Bola Tinubu. IWS is out to foster and promote mutual understanding, work for the advancement of the women and children across barriers,

By Nsikakabasi Daniels

embark on novel welfare and charitable projects. Mrs Ima Cecilia Aqua–Umoren called for actions stating: ‘Africa’s greatest challenge is poverty. And none of our dreams of development are realisable without eradicating poverty. In Nigeria that is lacking in social security policies, where the gap between ‘the haves and the haves nots’ is getting wider by the day, we have an unstated responsibility to the underprivileged and underserved’. She added that the society would be better, peaceful and safer if ‘we help those who truly cannot help themselves. She noted that no matter how small, such help would go a long way to make a significant difference. Wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke, stressed the need to go beyond the ordinary to bring succour to the people through social development approach, which is yielding positive results in Cross River State, where over a 100 children are fully benefiting from the idea. She said human development is key to political and economic development and stability, noting that as agents of change, ‘we must not depend on government alone, our vision, mission, ideals and objectives must soundly be articulated such that it will become the radar that will safely lead us to our anchoring point and making the best use of our resources will give us an edge.’ Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, commended IWS’s initiative and wished them well.


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This boy needs N2m to close a hole in his heart Baby Joseph Akinkunmi, a one-year-old patient at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan must undergo a life saving surgery, writes BISI OLADELE

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E looked malnourished as he lay helplessly on the sick bed at the Children’s Ward of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. But Joseph is not suffering from poor nutrition in any way. Neither is he suffering from lack of parental care. Rather, he suffers constant insufficient blood in his system due to a hole in his heart. His situation leads to weight loss, inability to sit, eat solid food, play, walk or even talk. Joseph’s ill health, which was discovered when he was four months old, has brought untold hardship to the young parents who are merely labouring to get something out of life through hard work. The second child of a young couple – the Akinkunmis, Joseph’s ill-health was discovered last December. Since then, the poor baby has not only been living in pains and discomfort, his case has thrown his parents into an experience they will never wish anyone. It ranges from psychological to financial and affects their entire well-being According to the mother, Mrs Yemisi Akinkunmi, a petty fashion designer in Ibadan, Joseph was taken for immunization at the UCH where he was born on August 9 last year when it was discovered that he weighed far below his age. Said she: “When he was four months old, I took him for immunization. After examining her, the medical workers asked me to take

him to the Children Outpatient Clinic because they saw that his weight was too low for his age. There I saw a consultant who recommended tests such as ECG and ECO. It was then they discovered that he had a hole in the heart (Complete AVSD).” Sobbing, Mrs Akinkunmi told Newsextra that the pronouncement was a bomb-shell that threw her and the husband off balance psychologically because they never expected it. The thought of money, time and hope of remedy has been a recurring challenge since then, according to her. Since then, the mother of two explained that Joseph has been experiencing crisis leading to admission at the hospital on monthly basis. She added that he receives blood each time he is admitted thereby draining the family’s meager income aside taking the mother off work. Sometimes, he is transfused twice, she said. “We can’t query God. I don’t know what God wants to bring out of this. It has been traumatic. I can’t even work again but I know it is well.” She lamented. The consultant handling Joseph’s case, Dr Oluwatoyin Ogunkunle, said Joseph needs an open heart surgery to close the hole. She said: “This baby has a hole in the heart which is unlikely to close on its own. The surgery will be done abroad. The recommendation is that he will need to go to India.”

•Joseph Yet, the couple faces an uphill task raising the huge amount. Mr Akinkunmi is a private school teacher while the wife is a petty fashion designer whose business has been paralyzed by the amount of time and money being expended on treating Joseph. Already, Mr Akinkunmi said the couple has coughed out over N200,000 since December when the treatment started. “That money is like scratching one’s body to get out blood because our income is so low we were only managing to survive.” He said. He added: “This boy does not sleep well. He keeps us awake almost every night. He cannot swallow solid food. He cannot sit on his

won, talk or walk. He hardly plays. “We are appealing to Nigerians to assist us financially for this surgery. Since the problem started, my wife has not been able to concentrate on her job. We have been having sleepless nights because he does not have sound sleep. He cries a lot, particularly whenever he experiences this shortage of blood. The sickness has inflicted a serious hardship on our purse even with the meager income we have as a family. It is traumatic handling this situation. Willing to assist? Kindly contact Mr Akinkunle on his telephone number: 08058525609 or Bisi Oladele on 08095217402

Brazilian women shop for African fabrics

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HE issues of slavery, slave trade and the resultant consequence in the lives of Africans and Africa Diaspora will continue to general heat and arouse the interest of the world for a long time to come. But beyond the ever-troubling issue of the place of the black man in world affairs and what he must do to continually contribute his quota to the total development and emancipation of humanity, is the place of multiculturalism and the prospects for Africa and African Diaspora development in a globalised world. This was the topic that occupied the minds and attention of scholars from all over the world for four days in Salvador – Bahia, Brazil with the theme Multiculturalism and the Prospects for Africa and African Diaspora Development, scholars agreed that no society or race can go it alone without first borrowing from and then adapting other peoples cultural values in order to make the necessary progress and development in social, economic, political and religions areas of their lives. Organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) in collaboration with Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANASTRAG) and held at the State

•Brazilians buying African clothing at the event have to continue to draw world By Edozie Udeze attention to who we are and to make all of us know that no culUniversity of Bahia, Salvadorture is ever static,” was how ProBahia, Brazil, the theme was purfessor Tunde Babawale, Directorposely created to show how the inGeneral of CBAAC described the termingling of various cultural elessence of the international conferements over time have helped to ence. bridge multi-racial misunderIn her paper entitled Repatriating standings across the globe. “We Historic Recordings of Afro-Brazilian Religious Songs as a Means for Revitalizing African languages, Dr. Lisa Earl Castillo of the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, traced the routes of the slave trade across the Atlantic and why Africans are the ones that dominate the population of the state of Bahia today. It is for this that African culture, although intermingling with a lot of what the people met on ground have continued to predominate in Salvador and elsewhere. In Salvador, the slaves evolved their own

Culture is dynamic and all-embracing; it has no room for restrictions. Today, in Brazil, the people still fry akara balls, cook moi-moi and maintain their African hairdo. It is all to show that together, cultures can make a society develop to accommodate others

pattern of life along ethnic groups. Today, there are plenty of the mixture of different African languages in the peoples day-today social interactions that often make conversation unintelligible to the uninitiated” she stated. Based on this, it was easy to discover also that most Black slaves in Diaspora opposed oppression and dehumanisation through the vehicles of language, songs, dances and theatre. “These gave them total cohesion and strength. Even those who came from Angola, Congo, Nigeria and the Bight of Benin were able to cooperate in this regard; Castillo said. So, by the time slave trade was abolished in 1888, the issues of food, songs and dressing brought into the new worlds by the Blacks had permeated other countries where Blacks domiciled. A good example was given by Dr.

Chukwuemeka Okpara of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, who argued that no one exists without resorting to the exchange of cultural values. “There is an artist in everyone of us”, he said. With his topic as Multiculturalism and the Development of Nigerian Contemporary Art: Issues of Meaning, Content and Acceptability Amongst Nigerians and other people of African Descent”, he posited that exchange of culture is a natural way of life. “If you give me your culture, I give you mine; this will help all of us as artists. Therefore, multicultural exchange and adaptation have changed the world’s demography and interactions over time. Artists move to other parts of the world, interact with them there and copy from them. Others also leave behind some salient aspects of what they have, so that together different new dimensions are infused into people’s ideas and elements”. For Professor Ibrahim Waziri of the Department of History, the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, culture is the totality of the embodiment of man, humanity and the world. “It makes us who we are. Therefore it behoves on all of us to establish the necessary institutions to make our cultures work. The cultures of Africans have endured over the years and it is with this they have been able to indoctrinate new ideas and ideals to every part of the world where they find themselves. This is so, because culture is dynamic and all-embracing; it has no room for restrictions. Today, in Brazil, the people still fry akara balls, cook moi-moi and maintain their African hair-do. It is all to show that together, cultures can make a society develop to accommodate others” he said. Kofi Anyidoho, renowned Ghanaian poet who dwelt on the topic: A special Interactive Session: A dialogue with Papa Paul Middelin (Surinamese Master Story teller and performance poet), traced the history of this Africa Surinamese who resides in Rotterdam, Netherland, where he keeps the African spirit of story-telling ever alive. Paul, •Continued on Page 40


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•Mrs Toki Mabogunje, Eniola Mafe and Ayoola Sonuga

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DEA Builders Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised an empowerment programme in Lagos. The NGO, which was established by Lucy Kanu, aims at giving women the opportunity to attain their full potential. The theme for this year’s symposium was “My Life, My Future, My Choice,” chosen with the aim of building genderbalanced businesses. Presenting a paper at the event which looked at business and politics, the guest speaker, Mr Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River State, examined the changes that took place between the medieval era and the present period in terms of development of women. “We have a clash of cultures in Nigeria,” Duke said. “In the medieval times when there were lots of wars, women’s role was to stay behind and look after casualties. As society progressed and there were lesser wars, women’s roles changed and they were seen as role models in families. The only way women can get a place in the society is to organise themselves. “This though may not be possible because of some cultural inhibitions that

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NDIGENES of Ilaje in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State have appealed to the state government to find a solution to what they called the continuous slide in the standard of education in the riverside areas of the state. Making the appeal under the aegis of Marine Klub of Ilajeland (MKI), they said the government needs to put infrastructures in place that will make teaching and learning convenient in the both primary and secondary schools in the area. Speaking during the 10th anniversary of the club and 2011 Annual Scholarship Award in Igbokoda, the Headquarters of the local government, its President, Mr Goke Jatuwase said the general assessment of the students of the area in awarding the scholarship showed that their performances were dropping on a yearly basis. At the ceremony where educational materials were presented to some indigent secondary

PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

NGO holds women empowerment seminar By Osas Robert and Hameed Yekini

do not allow women out. If you keep women in the background, you are keeping half of the country’s resource in the background and that way, we will never develop. “We need a Nigerian mother to show Nigerians the way to development. Domestic violence and sexual harassment are the leading causes of women in businesses and professions quitting their jobs. Women constitute a greater percentage of the world and when you invest in a woman, you are investing in the future, her children and the society. If they are ignored, the society suffers from lack of development Josephine Nzerem, country’s representative for Ashoka blamed women’s inactive roles in politics on timing. She

enjoined women to embrace and support one another. “Politics is not friendly to women because of the times of meeting usually scheduled for 3:00 am and women on the other hand don’t support women. I want all of us to rise up because it is not in any constitution that women cannot vie for sensitive positions. If you want to kill a system build another beside it. Before you know it, the old one becomes obsolete. In a keynote addres, Ayoola Sonuga the business development director of A-Z Logistix emphasised what it takes to be a woman. She said a woman needs spirituality, cultural integrity and self esteem to be balanced. “Being a woman is terribly difficult because they have to deal with men and I recommend that for those of us facing emotional stress to read proverbs 31. Remember that reading the Word and com-

municating with God is the easiest way to heal emotional stress,” she advised. On the issue of domestic violence, it was estimated that a good percentage of battered victims shy away from reporting rapes and other sexual harassment because of the stigma people attach to victims. Chioma Ogwuegbu, a freelance researcher and consultant on women and youth programmes however advised all women to join a social network like twitter or face book to report violence done to them and heal up while maintaining their anonymity. Dr Eno Attah urged rape victims to be courageous and report to appropriate authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. She added that medical care is needed as part of the healing process that victims need. “Rape has become a common problem but once the deed is done, what we must now do is to establish rape crisis centres. Once raped, the first thing the victim must do is to report it and then go to the hospital for clean up. Swap tests will be conducted to ensure STD diseases are prevented. DNA test can be conducted and linked to the culprit.”

Ondo community bemoans poor education standards From Damisi Ojo, Akure

school students in the local government, Jatuwase attributed the problem to the inability of students to access good study materials and conducive learning environment in the schools of the oil-producing communities. He said: “The inability of the students to have access to study

materials and a conducive study environment has negatively affected the performance of our students. It is equally of note that most of our teachers that are constitutionally engaged to teach the students have abandoned their duty post for politics. “By this singular act, the concentration required in each of the students has fallen and subse-

The inability of the students to have access to study materials and a conducive study environment has negatively affected the performance of our students

quently resulted in poor academic performance. The concept of neutrality that is supposed to exist in the ranks of the teachers as public servants has eroded,” he lamented According to him, the available teachers of public schools in the state, the indigenes of the communities inclusive, are not willing to go to the riverside areas for lack of good teaching incentives. He said: “As a deliberate policy, the government should make rural posting compulsory for a duration of not less than two years in the career of every teacher in order to attract qualified teachers to serve in schools in the riverine areas. And to ensure their retention, substantial inducement and hazard allowances must be paid to teaching and non-teaching staff.“ A member of the state House of Assembly, Hon Oyebo Aladetan disclosed that the state govern-

ment is very proactive in raising the standard of education in the state , saying steps are being taken to ensure comfort for teachers in the riverside areas. Commending the MKI for the gesture, Aladetan said to turning education around in the country is the responsibility of everybody and not that of the government alone. He also urged the students not to use the current state of education in the area as an excuse for failure, noting that he and many other notable indigenes of the communities passed through the same system, yet they succeeded in life. The chairman of the occasion, who is a former chairman of Ilaje/ Ese Odo Local Government, Rev Benson Ekujumi also advised the beneficiaries to make proper use of the learning materials at their disposal if they want to make progress.


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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

When people stand up to say thank you to God, I believe they are seeking more showers of blessing from the Lord HE people of Southern Taraba have celebrated sustained truce after years of bloodbath in their land. They rolled out the drums at Rimi Primary School, Takum. The occasion, which was organised by the Kuteb ethnic group, took the form of thanksgiving service and was well attended by all the neighbouring ethnic groups in the area. Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai congratulated the people of Kuteb for remembering to thank God, and organising the all-important occasion. Suntai said: “When people stand up to say thank you to God, I believe they are seeking more showers of blessing from the Lord. “Until the people could start to respect God, we are yet to begin the journey of life on this earth.” Special Guest at the occasion, Prof. Jerry Gana, who spoke through a representative, Mr. Bulus Miyaki, urged the people of Kuteb and their neighbouring communities to chant “peace, more peace and peace. “To be thankful is to be fruitful, to be thankless is to be fruitless. Until we learn to be thankful, we can never be fruitful,” Gana said. Rev. Risae Yakubu Shamaki, in his welcome address stated that the idea of the thanksgiving (to God) came from the Kuteb traditional rulers and was embraced by the Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria (KYN) and the church. Guest Speaker, Rev. Caleb Ahima, in his sermon, prophesied that the ruins of the area would be rebuilt again. Quoting copiously from Psalms 105:1, he urged the people to sing praises to God and seek His love and wonders. Ahina said: “Giving thanks to God is a covenant culture and an attitude of the heart, and we are a covenant people.” Fierce war erupted in Takum and spilled to other parts of Southern Taraba in 1997 and lasted for a decade. From 1997 to 1999, the Jukunspeaking people took up arms to engage the Kuteb. From 2001 to

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•Member of House of Representative and Kuteb illustrious son, Hon. Sam Tsokwa dancing and praising God with the women during the

Taraba celebrates truce From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

2003, it was Tiv versus Jukun. And from 2005 to 2006, it was Kuteb versus Tiv. On December 27, 2007, the vicious Kuteb-Jukun and Chamba crisis resurfaced and lasted for three months. Jukun and Kuteb fought over the

traditional stool of Takum, the Ukwe Takum, while the crises involving Tiv and any other ethnic groups in the state were not unconnected with land matters, even though the wars were said to be politically motivated. The crises often broke out at the slightest provocation, Newsextra learnt. During the periods of the crises,

hundreds of people-the old and young- were killed while thousands were displaced, even as properties worth several millions of Naira were destroyed. The area became impoverished, as peace eluded it. Socio-economic, academic and political ruins were felt. The fat tubers of yam and cassava, chubby grains of maize and corn could no

longer yield well. Above all, the war elicited anxiety in the state. Cessation however, came in March, 2008, and since then, the various communities are learning to put the past behind them in order to co-exist in harmony. Newsextra gathered that the hitherto warring ethnic groups share an ancestral origin and even intermarry. Concerned citizens and constituted authorities had always condemned the crises in Southern Taraba, dubbing it a “brother-onbrother fight.”

Traditional ruler stops vaccine resistance

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A

•Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa (third left) and other scholars at the conference

Brazilian women shop for African fabrics •Continued from Page 38 he said, regularly performs his lyrics accompanied by Jazz guitarist Robby Alberga. Together, the two have interspersed the African cultural tendencies with what obtains in the new world”. But how does this make for a cultural evolution, necessary for the interaction of Africans all over the world? In an interaction with him, Anyidoho discovered that Paul has indeed enriched African cultures in all facets with his music and craft. After series of calls to return to

Surinam, a country that had one of the bitterest slave experiences in the world, Paul has gone home to establish Srinan Tori Academic for the purpose of re-inventing ancient African Art into the curricula of the educational system. Today that dream is a reality and AfricanSurinamese now feel a sense of fulfillment in seeing part of their African history at work”, he said. With over 50 papers on the diverse areas of cultural embellishments in the annals of Africa and the Diaspora, most Brazilians present were able to rethink Africa

and flashed their minds back to what their grand-parents told them about African history and culture. A Brazilian dance troupe named Filhos de Ghandi (Children of Ghandhi) that performed to welcome guests had a mixture of Portuguese and African dance steps in place. Their songs were strange, they were neither African nor Portuguese. “It is the language of our dance troupe”, Andriano, one of them explained through an interpreter. Nevertheless, the dances had some semblance of Orisa and Sango which still constitute part of

their beliefs and norms as Blacks in Bahia. Some scholars from Nigeria who attended the conference included Professors Femi Mimiko, Dele Layiwola, Union Edebiri, Siyan Oyeweso, Funso Aiyejina and many more. Scholars also came from Canada, Brazil, USA, England, Haiti, Cuba and many African countries. There were also representatives of UNESCO, AU, and other agencies responsible for the promotion of racial equality the world over.

LHAJI Adamu Yakubu, the Emir of Pindiga in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State has said he helped to persuade the people in two districts to embrace polio vaccines. Yakubu told reporter in Pindiga that he achieved the feat with the assistance of traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the districts, including Kashare. He attributed the problem of resistance by the people to communication gaps between the traditional rulers and their subjects. “We organised awareness campaigns several times in this emirate in order to reach out to the people and we were able to make them understand the importance of immunisation,” he said. “Children are gifts from God and it is our responsibility to nurture them from infancy to maturity and if we don’t do that, definitely God will ask us questions. “I tried to let them understand that it is not good for us to destroy the future of our children with our own hands.” Yakubu said the turnout of women and children in his domain in the ongoing immunisation in the emirate has been impressive.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

KOGI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION 2011

• ACN enthusiasts at a rally addressed by Audu in Lokoja. Inset: Fashola, Akande and Audu.

Eleven days to the December 3 governorship election in Kogi State, the two major parties, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have stepped up their campaigns. ACN governors and leaders gathered in the state last Sunday to rally support for the party’s candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu. They bade the ruling PDP farewell. JOSEPH JIBUEZE reports from Lokoja.

When ACN chiefs stormed Lokoja for Audu T

HE surging crowd could not have come for a soccer duel. It was huge and unusual at the Township Stadium in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. The mammoth crowd was that of party faithful who came to support Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN) governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu. Even the blind could feel the excitement of the moment. For the supporters, change was imminent. Watching the crowd were governors of states controlled by the party Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun). Led by the party’s National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and its National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, the governors were there to rally support for Audu, a prince and former governor who is raring to rule the state once again. So strong was their faith in victory that they bade the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) farewell. Just as in other states, ACN hopes to “sweep” the PDP away from Kogi. As if it was certain that the ruling party was “dead and buried”, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Dino Melaye, who hails from Kogi, called for a minutes silence for PDP, a show of reverence for the “departed” party. In hearty response to Melaye’s call, everyone chorused: “And may their soul rest in pieces!” The ACN governors’ speeches were greeted with resounding applause by the teeming party supporters. Obviously, they wished for a replication in

Kogi of progressive politics of the ACN states. But for their dreams to be realised, it was preached in unison, they would have to vote for the party and fight even harder to defend their ballot. Akande, a former Osun governor, urged the Kogi people to cast their votes fearlessly for Audu, whom he assured, would provide good roads, electricity, water and quality education for their children as other ACN governors have done and are doing in their states. Alleging that the PDP was stockpiling arms and sewing soldiers’ uniforms to be worn by thugs to intimidate voters and rig the election allegations which the party has denied - Akande assured the supporters of God’s protection. But he called for vigilance. His words: “What we are saying and which we have been telling you is that we are going to send your children to school. But they are piling guns to fight you. Are you going to fight them? Are you going to vote for killers? Don’t be afraid of their guns. Your God is bigger than all the arsenals they are piling together. “They have enough money to buy guns because they stole your money.

The money is there. When we are in control, we will spend the money for you. In Lagos, we spend the money for the people. In Edo, we spend the money for the people. Am I lying? In Ekiti, we spend the money for the people of the state. Is that not true?” To Tinubu, the supporters needed to be courageous and free themselves from poverty. He said it took the courage of David to kill Goliath, and the bravery of Moses to liberate the Israelites from the Egyptians. ACN, he said, has shown that it is possible to defeat the “powerful”, as it brushed aside the likes of former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was a soldier; former General Olusegun Obasanjo and former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, a policeman. “Don’t be afraid. They don’t want you to come out on the Election Day; that is why they said they had bought guns. It is a lie. The police and army have brothers and sisters among you,” he further said. Tinubu assured the supporters that with their support, the ACN would embark on the broom revolution on December 3, no matter the number of arms assembled by the PDP. Tinubu vowed that as soon as Audu

‘I have only four years and after that I will make sure there is power shift. But the PDP candidate is said to be Gov. Ibrahim Idris’ in-law, who may be succeeded by the governor’s son should he win’ - Audu

is installed governor, the ACN-led administration would provide 25,000 jobs and pay civil servants and retirees their outstanding allowances. Audu continued with the broom revolution message on Monday. He began a tour of the local government areas promising a reversal of fortune, which he claimed the state had suffered since he left office in 2003 after four years as governor. He promised to return the state to the path of development, if voted in. Audu is billed to face a stern challenge from the PDP, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) whose candidates - Captain Idris Wada, Elder Itodpo Okpanachi (ANPP) and James Ocholi (SAN) - believe they can lead Kogi to the Promised Land. They all hail from Kogi East Senatorial District, populated by the Igala, the dominant ethnic group in the state. Interestingly, all their running mates are from Kogi West. As votes will be shared in the east and west, it is believed that whoever gets most votes from Kogi Central can win the election. Further narrowed down and all considered, it will be a fight between the ACN and the PDP. All the councils are controlled by the

‘They are the ones ready to cause trouble, but we will not allow them to do that. We have the duty to and we will protect our people’ - Governor’s spokesman

PDP, which also has federal backing, with prominent government officials such as the Vice President, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives gracing its candidate’s campaigns. But the party’s leadership will have to mend the disaffection in the party if it will make any impact at the polls. Audu is now widely regarded as PDP’s major threat. Having been a governor under the ANPP, it is now being said that he understands the terrain and what is needed to win. Now, he has an even stronger external backing in ACN, a party that has shown that it can take on federal might and win. The west is said to favour power shift, and they see that happening with Audu in government. He has just four years. He has also vowed: “I have only four years and after that I will make sure there is power shift,” he said. But the PDP candidate is said to be Gov. IbrahimIdris’in-law,whomaybesucceeded by the governor’s son should he win. Meanwhile, the government has debunked ACN’s allegation of arms stockpiling and sewing of army uniforms, saying the opposition party should rather be accused of the offence. The Director-General, Media and Strategy to the governor, Mr. Farouk Adejoh, said the allegation was a lie. “They are the ones ready to cause trouble, but we will not allow them to do that. We have the duty to and we will protect our people,” he said Also at the ACN rally were ACN General Secretary Senator Lawal Shuaibu; Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, and former Minister of Labour and Productivity Isah Gwadabe.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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POLITICS When will enduring peace return to the politically volatile Central Senatorial District of Anambra State? This is the question leaders of the crisis-torn state are asking. Correspondent NWANOSIKE ONU takes a look at happenings in the state, especially after the April elections.

Peace still alien to Anambra Central

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HE political battle in the central senatorial zone of Anambra State became more pronounced during the April senatorial election in the area, more so because of the players involved in the contest. They are former governor of the state, Dr Chris Ngige, former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili and the then incumbent, Senator Annie Okonkwo. Moreover, the zone comprises seven local government areas Anaocha, Njikoka, Dunukofia( Idemili Lorth, Idemili South, Awka North and Aska South. There were others like Hon Chudi Offodile, Chief Ogugua Okoye, both from the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), vying for the party’s candidature even after it had tactically schemed out Christy, wife of the ex-minister of the Federal Capital Territory, late Chief Mike Okoye. What actually heightened the contest were the dramatis personae and the political parties involved. With the number of contestants including Chukwuwike Aduekwe of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) breathing down the neck of the popular candidates, the contest is getting more interesting. For Prof Akunyili, who later dumped the party that made her politically – the PDP - for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), it has turned out to be a suicide mission. Akunyili’s choice of APGA stemmed from the fact that the incumbent Governor Peter Obi is of the same party and hence, he persuaded her to dump her juicy appointment for senatorial slot. Besides, the national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh who has equally become a power broker in the politics of the state with his position is equally from the central zone. Umeh’s attempt to lure Ngige to APGA was vehemently resisted by Obi, Ngige, who is seen as a cult hero in Anambra politics has brought colour and relevance to the ACN, thus making the state a threeparty political theatre. Besides Obi and Umeh of APGA in the central zone, there are other formidable political forces from the zone including the member representing Njikoka, Dunukofia, Anambra Federal Constituency at the House of representatives, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife; former member of the State House of Assembly in 1979, Chief Sylvester Nwobu Alor and many others, while Senator Joy Emodi, though married to an Onitsha man, hails from the area too. But Ngige, who is seen by many as “half human, half spirit” in the state was like a lone voice in the wilderness with his party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which was being referred to by other political parties as a south west party. Before the elections, the diminutive white-bearded politician had fought some battles in the state during his tenure as the governor with the enfant terrible of Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba and his allied forces, Ngige triumphed. Meanwhile, most people had written off PDP candidates, Hon. Chudi Offodile and Ogugua Okoye, including Senator, Annie Okonkwo, who dumped PDP for Accord with his followers, despite their political clout in the state. The trio had before now impacted positively on the lives of so many less-privileged individuals in the state.

• Akunyili

• Ngige

Because of Okonkwo’s large heart, most of the politicians could not abandon him and that led to Accord winning a lone seat at the State House of Assembly to represent Onitsha North. But for PDP’s Ogugua and Offodile, it was like a closed chapter, not as individuals, but because of their party. And people were confused on who to vote for during the election as their tickets were shrouded in controversy. PDP parades an array of wonderful politicians in the zone, such as Senator Ben Obi, now Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Affairs and Mrs. Christy Okoye. She is from Umunachi, but was denied the Senatorial ticket and the oil magnate, Prince Arthur Eze. At a point, people saw the PDP as a private enterprise of Chris Uba and got disenchanted with the party. While some of them joined APGA, others teamed up with Ngige in ACN and this has reduced the popularity of the party in the zone. With the election concluded, the battle shifted to the tribunal. Akunyili had before then told the people that she was not interested in challenging Ngige’s victory at the tribunal. However, the party insisted, prompting her to reverse her decision. At the election petition tribunal in Awka, headed by Hon. Justice Onajite Kuejubola, her petition was thrown out sequel to an application brought by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to continue the hearing of the petition following the failure of the petitioner to file a statutory form TF008 as required by the Electoral Act. That form, The Nation learnt, contains questions which the petitioner must answer to guide the tribunal in the course of the pre-hearing session. The tribunal held that in the absence of that form, all the pre-hearing sessions which they had conducted in the matter had become null and void, thereby disabling their proceeding further in the matter. Not satisfied with the tribunal’s decision, Akunyili moved to the Appeal Court sitting in Enugu to challenge the lower tribunal’s judgment. And last week, the Appeal Court ruled that the matter should be tried on its merit. While reacting, Akunyili said she was very happy, adding that the ruling had re-

kindled her faith and love for Nigerian judiciary. Hear her: “Now, the case can be heard on its merit, whoever at the end, comes out with the highest number of valid votes, should become a legitimate winner.” Even with the decision of the Appeal Court, Ngige told The Nation that there was nothing to worry about. Counsel to ACN, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) said that there should be nothing to be afraid of because, according to him, the petition was wrongly instituted against his client without joining (ACN), the sponsor of the candidate and who, by the decision in the Amaechi case, is the owner of the votes cast for the candidate in the election. Again, he said that the pre-hearing session was wrongly kickstarted by the petitioners through a letter without any payment while the requisite form TF008 was not filed. According to a member of PDP, “there is no basis for Akunyili or APGA to challenge Ngige’s victory at all because this was an election that was held twice with also different returning officers”. “The first returning officer, Alex Anene, was removed by INEC just to favour one party, yet the God of election was on someone else’s side despite INEC appointing a surrogate of a particular candidate. God works in a miraculous ways; all these things are happening because it is Anambra,” the PDP chieftain said. However, with the controversies that trailed the Anambra Central Senatorial zone during the April election, how soon will disruptive controversies end in the state? Meanwhile, the lingering crisis has a cost-peace.

Lagos ACN slams Bode George By Musa Odoshimokhe

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HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)has described the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George, as a soiled blackmailer that will never be allowed to cart away Lagos for his selfish political interests. The party was reacting to Bode George’s recent interview where he claimed that his party won most of the local councils in Lagos but was denied by Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), a claim Lagos ACN denied as the half-clever means by George to stave off the allegation by a faction of the PDP that he misused the funds given for the party by the national PDP and merely made ludicrous claims of victory when he failed woefully in the last election. In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party described Bode George as a soiled and desperate man who is not fit to lead any political party that has its eyes trained on honour and integrity; needed criteria to win election in state like Lagos. The party said George should be taken for a joker. It advised George to stop anchoring their inordinate desire to conscript Lagos on wild and spurious claims that are as awkward as the rag tag party he leads in Lagos. The statement said: “We are not surprised that instead of answering to the damning allegation by Adeseye Ogunlewe that he misappropriated the N50 million war chest released by his party’s national headquarters to do the impossible job of winning Lagos councils after the grand failure in April, Bode George is trying to advance very outlandish and ludicrous claims that the PDP won most of the local councils in Lagos during the local government election recently. That Bode George continues desperately to paint LASIEC and ACN in bad lights and has refrained from proving his claims in court shows that he is a finished blackmailer that lives on petty gossips and trading on falsity for political gains. “When Bode George and his co-revelers realized they had failed woefully again during the last council election, and felt that organizing stage-managed demonstrations was the best way to get what he never earned, we asked them to go to court since he said he and his party had clear evidences of being rigged out in the election. This was before Ogunlewe revealed that George collected huge sums of money for the election from Abuja and merely pocketed it and never worked for the success of his party but merely waited to make spacious claims and employ this to organise demonstrations, claiming that he miraculously won Lagos. “We wonder why Bode George, and his party are refraining from going to court with the hefty evidences they claim to have gathered and we are left with no option than to re-state that Bode George, to whom honour means little, is now fully stuck in the most infantile blackmail for puerile political gains. As we maintained when this childish game was going on, PDP knows it has no evidence for losing elections in a state it had never won any election in its entire history, but hoped that by alleging rigging, they will get some concessions for offices they don’t deserve. “Bode George is a damaged product any political party with image problem should not touch with a ten feet pole and in his desperation to play himself to a field he does not deserve to even play, Bode George has become an irritating fairy tale bearer and does not do anything better than the palace jester he was during the Obasanjo years for which he got choice patronage and stole the Nigerian Ports Authority to stupor. For him to make infantile allegations speak of the morass that has hit our polity and we tell George to come out open to prove his wild and reckless allegation or keep permanently quiet. “We want to let Bode George know that he had to win Lagos on fair terms and not through threats and blackmail. We want to let him know that Lagos voters are the most sophisticated in Nigeria and know where their interests are best served. They can neither be commandeered nor blackmailed as the PDP and Bode George think but can be persuaded to support any political party that best meets their aspiration. He should quit playing the childish game he is indulging in at present and face the reality, which is that with his well known soiled personality, he cannot lead any party to electoral success in Lagos.” • George

• From left: INEC Deputy Director Public Affairs, Mr Nick Dazang; National Director Public Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Umenger; and Administrative Secretary, INEC Adamawa, Alhaji Usman Bukar, during a news conference on voters registration exercise in Yola ... yesterday.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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NEWS

•From left: Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University, Prof Sola Akinrinade; Deputy Governor Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Olubukola Opakunle; and Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) Commandant, Colonel Enibukun Oyewole (rtd), at a five-day Orientation Workshop in Osogbo •A cross-section of Eyo Ikolaba Ekun at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola in preparation for the Eyo Festival on November 26. INSET: Fashola (second right); Commissioner for Waterfront & Infrastructure Development, Mr. Segun Oniru (right) Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Disun Holloway (second left); and his Agriculture & Cooperatives counterpart, Prince Gbolahan Lawal

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (right); the Alaaye of Efon-Alaaye, Oba Emmanuel Aladejare, his wife, Olori Roseline; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Ganiyu Owolabi; and former Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Adio Folayan; at the flag-off of the Ikogosi/Ipole Iloro/Efon Alaaye road. •From left: Chairman of the Osun State House Committee on Health Leke Ogunsola; Commissioner for Health, Dr Temitope Ilori; wife of the governor Sherifat Aregbesola; wife of the Chief of Staff Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola; the Iyaloja of Oroki Market, Chief Sidikatu Abidogun and Aare Iyaloja, Chief Oyebamji Asindemade, during the 2011 World Malaria Day Celebration and presentation of treated mosquito nets in Osogbo

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left); President of Ibadan Descendants’ Union in United States of America, Dr. Gabriel Isioye (right); and President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Bayo Oyero, when members of the union visited the governor in Ibadan.

•Vice-President Namadi Sambo (left) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Alhaji Kawu Baraje (second left) presenting a 54th Birthday Congratulation Letter and Card to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.

•Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and President of the American University of Nigeria Dr Margee Ensign at the the 2011 Founder’s Day celebration of AUN in Yola.

•From left: Representative of Health Minister, Prof. Olusanya Adejuyigbe; Director, Federal Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr. Yewande Jinadu; and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Isaac Adewole, at a Dinner/Award Night of the University College Hospital in Ibadan

•From left: Guest Speaker, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Emma Anyanwu and Rivers State Commissioner for Information & Communication, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari at the Press Week of the state Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt PHOTO: BISI OLANIYI


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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THE NATION

INVESTORS Stock Exchange moves against brokers T

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has rolled out fresh sanctions to check perceived excesses of stock brokers. The sanctions are to forestall market infractions and ensure brokers’ “utmost” compliance with beat practices. In a new rules regime known as Policy No 01 NSE, obtained by The Nation, brokers will, henceforth, be penalised for these infractions; unauthorised sales of securities; misappropriation of client's funds, unlawful share verification; payment to a third party; non-separation of clients' accounts from broker's account and failure to render periodic financial statements. Besides appropriate restitution in the case of unauthorised sale, misappropriation and payment to a third party, stockbrokers risk losing their licence in addition to forfeiture of all profits related to the transaction. The draft new policy was made in August and subsequently ex-

•Unveils stiff malpractice rules Stories by Taofik Salako

posed to stockbrokers. It has proposed effective date of November, this year. A source confirmed that the Exchange has started implementation of the policy, otherwise known as Penalties for Breaches of the Rules Governing Dealing Members. It was made pursuant to Articles 13, 15(c), 15 (h), 45, 59(e), 59(v), 102 (c)(ii), 106, 139(b) and 143(b) of the Rules and Regulations Governing Dealing Members. The policy states: “A dealing member shall in no circumstance sell securities without the authorisation of the owner and any member that does so, shall be required to buy back the securities and where the sale transaction is N5 million and below in value, the member will be liable to pay a fine of N100,000 and N5,000 for every

day from the day of the unauthorised sale until the day the member completes buying back the shares for the owner. "Where the sale transaction is above N5 million in value or the dealing member had engaged in such unauthorised sale of securities on a previous occasion, it shall have its dealing license withdrawn by the Council of The Exchange and shall in addition pay a fine of N100, 000 and N5, 000 for every day from the day of the unauthorised sale until the day the dealing member completes buying back the shares for the owner." Any stockbroking firm that misappropriates a client's funds shall be liable to return the misappropriated funds with interest at 2.0 per cent above the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) where the funds are N5 million and below in value. But where the dealing member

engaged in such misappropriation on a previous occasion or the funds misappropriated are above N5 million, its dealing licence shall be withdrawn by the NSE in addition to returning the misappropriated funds with interest at two per cent above the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Also, any broker that connived in the verification of another person's shares shall be liable to N50,000 fine just as any broker that delivers the proceeds of sale of a client's securities to a third party shall on demand of the client immediately buy back such securities. Brokers are also required to keep and hold all money on be-

Suspended firms get reprieve

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•L-R: Group Managing Director, BGL Plc, Chibundu Edozie, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, Group Managing Director, BGL Plc, Albert Okumagba and General Counsel, BGL Plc, Lorratto Onyenorah at the BGL Quarterly Interactive Forum in Lagos.

Firm grows net profit by 172% CEMENT Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) Plc more than doubled its average profit per unit of sale as net earnings rose by 172 per cent in the third quarter. Interim report and accounts of CCNN for the third quarter ended September 30, showed significant growths in all profit and loss items, with profit after tax rising from N574.84 million to N1.57 billion in 2011. The report indicated a turnover of N9.76 billion as against N8.39 billion in the corresponding period of last year, while profit before tax rose from N934.84 million to N2.30 billion. Underscoring the improvement in the profit-making capacity of the company, pre-tax profit margin

doubled to 23.5 per cent as against 11.1 per cent in comparable period of 2010. The third quarter reflected management's cost-saving strategy and deleverage of the company. With short term borrowing down at N180.5 million as against N1.1 billion, interest expense dropped from N236.93 N585.89 million compared with N6.49 million. A higher gross margin and relatively lower operating expense-turnover ratio also indicated gains from cost management. CCNN's shareholders' funds increased to N6.79 billion as against N4.85 billion in third quarter 2010.

OME companies suspended for flouting stock trading regulations won’t be delisted, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has said. The companies were technically suspended in July and given an ultimatum to submit their periodic operational reports. Twenty-four failed to meet the deadline and their punishment was upgraded to full suspension. With technical suspension, trading is allowed on the shares of the company, though its share price remains static. Full suspension is a state of total inactivity wherein neither transaction nor price movement is allowed. While some companies have since complied and submitted their reports, others remain under full suspension, a state of inertia between listing and delisting. The NSE confirmed that the companies wrote to seek consideration and explain efforts they were making to meet the requirements. Spokesman for the NSE, Mr Wole Tokede, said the NSE was exercising caution and mindful of just delisting the suspended companies because of the implications on the shareholders.

Experts, stakeholders to tackle corporate governance IN pursuit of the development of corporate governance in the country, plans are afoot by the regulator and stakeholders in the financial services sector to discuss some challenges associated with the implementation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the Director and fellow of Society for Corporate Governance, Mr Fabian Ajogwu, at a briefing in Lagos, the yearly Roundtable on Corporate Governance is scheduled for tomorrow by 10 am at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, where experts expected to address the 2003 SEC Corporate Challenges Code. He added that contemporary

half of clients in a bank account separate from their own money and any broker who fails to do this shall be suspended immediately in addition to a fine of N500, 000. The policy also requires brokers to keep at least a compliance officer whose role shall be separate and distinct from the internal auditor or any other similar roles and who shall be responsible for ensuring that transactions comply with extant laws and rules of the market. Brokers also risk being fined or suspended for failure to submit their quarterly returns and audited financial statements to the NSE as when due. Market analysts said the policy might make brokers to tighten requirements for share verification and placement of transaction orders.

By Paul Oluwakoya

issues in corporate governance and the roles of stakeholders in ensuring compliance with the Code will be discussed. Fabian, who said the theme of the event is Taking responsibility for the New Code of Corporate Governance, noted: "Prior to this period, issues on corporate governance were just mere talks. But now, the regulator has not just got a stick, but can use it on anybody. "Corporate governance has improved in the banking sector, but there is still room for improvement when you compare it with what is obtainable globally.”

He said by placing them on full suspension, NSE has done its duty of care to investors by tagging the companies as non-complying stocks as red alert to investors. Companies that remain under full suspension include Premier Paints Plc, PS Mandrides Plc, Union Dicon Salt Plc, Lennards Plc, W.A. Glass Plc and Afroil Plc. Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had reiterated the commitment of the NSE to enforcing its rules. According to him, non-submission of accounts as at when due violates the post-listing rules of NSE which states that audited annual accounts of companies ought to be submitted within three months of year end. NSE noted that the investing public and the market need timely financial information from listed companies in other to facilitate stock transactions that are based on market fundamentals. The Exchange pointed out that the zero tolerance to non-compliance with listing rules has impacted positively on overall compliance status at the stock market with more than three-quarter of quoted companies rendering returns as at when due.

Forecasts Q4 BECO PETROLEUM Turnover N860.84 million Profit after tax N8.156 million (H1 ending Jan 31, 2012) LAFARGE CEMENT WAPCO Turnover N18.658 billion Profit after tax of N1.02 billion BOC GASES PLC Turnover N2.28 billion Profit after tax N359.6 million ACADEMY PRESS Turnover N591.142 million Profit after tax N8.91 million CHAMS PLC Turnover N2.34 billion Profit after tax N238.1 million


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

48

THE NATION INVESTORS

H

ONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) is focusing on capacity expansion and aggressive marketing to take advantage of its products appeal to consumers. According to the company, a 60 per cent increase in production will take daily capacity from 1,610 metric tonnes to 2,610 metric tonnes. The realisation of the capacity increase is on track for the second quarter of year 2012. In its half year unaudited financial results ending on September 30 released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the company recorded a turnover of N18.6 billion, representing an increase of three per cent on the N18.2 billion recorded in the comparative period in 2010.

Honeywell records N18.6b turnover By Tonia Osundolire

optimisation initiatives will continue. In a period occasioned by global economic uncertainty leading to a depreciating Naira and rising interest rates, the Company was able to reduce finance costs through better treasury management. HFMP grew its total assets by over N6 billion, a 19 per cent year-on-year increase, from N31.2 billion as at 30th September, 2010 to N37.3 billion as at 30th September, 2011. Its net assets also grew 11 per cent to reach N15billion from N13.5 billion between the comparative periods.

Through prudent management of resources and strict implementation of internally developed cost reduction programmes, the company recorded profit before tax of N1.3 billion for the six-months ended September, 2011, eight per cent higher than forecast while net profit of N941 million was 13 per cent higher than forecast. The company also reduced its operating expenses by two per cent from N1.8 billion to N1.7 billion, year-on-year. The management of the company has assured that these cost

FACTS

A

SHAKA Cement Plc and Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc are subsidiaries of the same parent company- Lafarge; world's largest building materials company. It holds the majority controlling equity stakes in both companies and they accounted for the bulk of Lafarge's operations in Nigeria. With cement works in Ewekoro and Sagamu, Ogun State, Lafarge Wapco - the older of the two companies, could be referred to as the southern operations of the building materials group. With equity funds in excess of N53 billion, Lafarge Wapco is also the larger of the two businesses. Established in 1974, Ashakacem came 13 years after the operations of Lafarge Wapco. Located in Gombe State, Ashakacem is the largest cement producer in northern Nigeria and has been operating continuously since 1979. Though under the same parent company, the performances of the two companies appeared to be as divergent as the north and south. While the two companies had witnessed considerable decline in profitability in 2009, Ashakacem showed quicker recovery and quantum leap in all key indices in the recent year and generally sustained better returns than Lafarge Wapco. Sales Generation The top-line performance of both companies fluctuated between decline and recovery with Lafarge Wapco leading on the averages. Ashakacem's sales grew by 11.4 per cent in 2010 as against a decline of about 20 per cent in 2009, indicating a negative two-year average of 4.1 per cent. However, Lafarge Wapco witnessed a marginal contraction of 3.8 per cent in sales in 2010 compared with modest increase of 5.4 per cent in sales in 2009. The reversal in 2010 saw that the change in the top-line of Lafarge Wapco in the past two years was almost negligible, although better than its competitor. Profitability Ashakacem has emerged as the more profitable company of the two subsidiaries with considerable growth in actual and underlying profitability, both in the immediate past year and over the two-year period. While pre and post tax profits had declined by 31 per cent and 54 per cent respectively in 2009, pre and post tax profits rose by 86 per cent and 218 per cent in 2010. These indicated average growth rate of 27 .3 per cent and 81.9 per cent for profit before tax and profit after tax respectively. There has also been significant improvement in the underlying profitability of the company. Pre-tax profit margin increased from 14 per cent in 2009 to 23 per cent in 2010, indicating average pre-tax profit margin of 18.4

TO

The company was able to leverage its operating efficiencies to surmount existing infrastructural and economic challenges occasioned by bad roads, poor electricity supply and rising cost of living in order to deliver on the expectations of shareholders. Achieving this strong performance was not without its challenges. Cost of sales rose 10 per cent from N14.3 billion to N15.6 billion. This increase was driven, largely, by cost of raw materials, mainly wheat, and international freight costs. These results further attest to the quality and appeal of the

FACTS returned 4.1 per cent on total assets in 2010, lower than 5.8 per cent returned in 2009 and two-year average of 4.95 per cent. Return on equity also dwindled below average to 10.1 per cent in 2010 compared with 11.6 per cent in 2009. Average return on equity funds thus stood at 10.85 per cent.

Ashakacem vs Lafarge Wapco: Between North and South By Taofik Salako

per cent. However, Lafarge Wapco has witnessed sustained decline in profitability. Gross profit dropped by 19 per cent in 2009 and dwindled further by 11.3 per cent in 2010, indicating average decline of 15 per cent over the years. Profit before tax dropped by 8.4 per cent in 2010 as against decline of 29 per cent in 2009, representing average decline of about 19 per cent over the twoyear period. Also, profit after tax contracted by 3.4 per cent in 2010, albeit a better performance than a decrease of 55 per cent in 2009, indicating a two-year average decline of 29 per cent. Beyond the surface, the underlying profitability of Lafarge Wapco has weakened considerably over the years. Gross profit margin dropped below two-year average of 28.5 per cent to 27 per cent in 2010 as against about 30 per cent in 2009. Pre-tax profit margin also dropped from 20.3 per cent in 2009 to 19.3 per cent in 2010, indicating average decline of 19.8 per cent over the years.

FACTS TO FACTS

Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

Company's products, the professional character of its management team and the loyalty of its customers and partners. Overall, the company recorded an impressive performance and barring unforeseen circumstances, management expects this improving trend to continue till the end of the financial year. In the market, the company is a leading producer of bread flour and other wheat based products. Its Honeywell Superfine Flour is preferred by bakers while it's Semolina, Honeywell Whole Wheat meal, Honeywell Instant Noodles and Pasta products have become popular in many households with many new consumers joining the fold of happy consumers' everyday.

•MD, Lafarge Wapco, Mr Samy Abdelkader

•Chairman, Ashakacem, Emmanuel Ikwue (Rtd)

Actual Returns Ashakacem has also taken the lead in terms of returns with higher averages as well as returns for the immediate past year, a sharp contrast to the decline suffered by Lafarge Wapco. Ashakacem returned about 11 per cent on total

assets in 2010 as against 3.7 per cent in 2009, averaging 7.2 per cent over the years. To providers of equity funds, the cement company improved return from 7.2 per cent in 2009 to 18.6 per cent in 2010, indicating an average of 12.9 per cent. On the other hand, Lafarge Wapco

Brig.

The Bottom-line The outlook for the cement industry in Nigeria is a mixture of huge market opportunity and equally daunting infrastructural challenges. While the wide supply-demand gap presents ready market for cement manufacturers, they contend with epileptic public power supply, which has necessitated recourse to costlier self-generated power supply. Most often, power supply makes the difference between profit and loss as well as degree of profitability in the industry. Ashakacem obviously benefitted from earlier investments in coal power system and upgrades of its facilities. Lafarge Wapco has also made considerable investments in capacity expansion and power supply, but the leveraged finance used for these investments might slow down the immediate impact of such investments. But with the planned refinancing of its interest-based debts, Lafarge Wapco could gather more momentum in the period ahead.

Wapco

Ashakacem 2010 %

2009 %

Average %

11.4

-19.6

85.5

-31

22.9 218.2 10.7 18.6

13.8 -54.4 3.7 7.2

-4.1 0 27.25 0 18.35 81.9 7.2 12.9

Pre-tax profit margin (Ashakacem)

Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

2010 %

2009 %

Average %

-3.8 -11.3 -8.4 27.3 19.3 -3.4 4.1 10.1

5.4 -19 -29 29.6 20.3 -55.1 5.8 11.6

0.8 -15.15 -18.7 28.45 19.8 -29.25 4.95 10.85

Pre-tax profit margin (Wapco)


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE

Cement stocks lift stock market

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-11-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name JULI PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 0.50 22 0.50 5 7.37 28

Company Name FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

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

AIR SERVICES No of Deals 16 41 57

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

Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC NIGERIAN-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC PAINTS AND COATINGS MANUFACTURES PLC Sector Totals Company Name RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals Company Name NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. Sector Totals

Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 9,000 4,500.00 86,659 115,941.41 95,659 120,441.41

BREWERIES No of Deals 66 9 1 170 16 262

Quotation(N) 202.00 6.00 2.15 91.90 0.93

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 104,771 21,355,871.83 31,350 178,695.00 50,000 107,500.00 1,730,895 158,956,842.35 23,520,682 21,876,234.26 25,437,698 202,475,143.44

CHEMICAL & PAINTS No of Deals 8 28 1 1 38

Quotation(N) 8.55 16.11 9.04 0.55

Quantity Traded Value 330,835 40,880 58,867 638,452 1,069,034

of Shares (N) 4,622,172.10 194,717.00 6,141,346.29 24,616,029.49 35,574,264.88

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 44,640 363,369.60 258,646 4,220,223.10 375 3,221.25 165,552 91,053.60 469,213 4,677,867.55

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES No of Deals Quotation(N) 16 2.18 16

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 398,136 877,442.08 398,136 877,442.08

COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 8.45 1

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,900 16,853.00 1,900 16,853.00

Quotation(N) 5.89 30.00 5.81 0.66 29.70 26.00

Quantity Traded Value 4,056 267,597 488 3,222,842 347,813 731,948 4,574,744

Quotation(N) 38.43 7.17

of Shares (N) 22,713.60 8,015,738.40 2,693.76 2,124,691.44 10,407,461.33 19,030,840.74 39,604,139.27

G

AINS by cement manufacturing com panies and a handful of highly capitalised stocks moderated the downtrend at the Nigerian stock market yesterday. This resulted in erasing the largely negative pricing trend that saw nearly two in every stocks closing on the negative. Overall market position improved marginally with the All Share Index (ASI) and aggregate market capitalisation inching upward by 0.06 per cent and 0.04 per cent respectively. ASI inched up to 20,298.85 points as against its opening index of 20,286.44 points while market capitalisation of equities added N4 billion to close at N6.388 trillion as against opening value of N6.384 trillion. The positive overall market position was largely due to the bullish rally in the building materials subsector. Dangote Cement added 90 kobo to close at N104 per share. Forte Oil followed with a gain of 67 kobo to close at N14.09. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria gained 50 kobo to close at N38.60. Ashaka Cement rallied 40 kobo to close

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

at N14. CAP gained 20 kobo to close at N16.11. First City Monument Bank gained 14 kobo to close at N4.41. National Salt Company of Nigeria rose by 11 kobo to N4.16 while Dangote Sugar Refinery and Flour Mills of Nigeria added 10 kobo each to close at N5 and N62.10 respectively. Beyond the surface, the market remained generally bearish with four out of the five group indices closing on the downside. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised stocks, slipped from 905.27 points to 905.10 points. The NSE Food and Beverages Index dropped from 569.72 points to 569.28 points. NSE Banking Index closed lower at 284.85 points as against its opening index of 285.98 points. NSE Insurance Index also slipped from 149.05 points to 147.08 points. However, the NSE Oil and Gas Index improved marginally from 243.06 points to 243.91 points, reflecting the gains recorded by Forte Oil. UAC of Nigeria topped the

27-stock losers’ list with a drop of 80 kobo to close at N29.70. Cadbury Nigeria followed with a loss of 34 kobo to close at N12.34. Longman Nigeria fell by 21 kobo to close at N3.99. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated lost 19 kobo to close at N11. Zenith Bank lost 17 kobo to close at N12. Ikeja Hotel dropped by 16 kobo to close at N3.22. Honeywell Flour Mills lost 14 kobo to close at N2.94. IHS dropped by 13 kobo to close at N2.47. Jos Breweries dipped by 11 kobo to close at N2.15 while Ecobank Nigeria lost 10 kobo to close at N2.04 per share. Investors staked a total of N1.49 billion on 193.77 million shares in 3,533 deals. Banking subsector topped the activity chart with a turnover of 106.18 million shares valued at N828.85 million in 1,830 deals. Insurance subsector placed a distant second with a turnover of 29.28 million shares valued at N16.05 million in 128 deals. Breweries subsector followed with a turnover of 25.44 million shares worth N202.48 million in 262 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-11-11 Sector Totals

2

250,000

223,500.00

INSURANCE Company Name No of Deals AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 45 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 10 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. 1 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC 7 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 3 GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC 5 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC 4 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 1 LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. 2 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC 11 N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. 4 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. 4 UNIC INSURANCE PLC. 1 UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC 2 INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC 28 Sector Totals 128

Quotation(N) 0.52 0.89 0.50 2.44 0.53 1.45 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.00 0.50 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value 3,067,824 1,779,799 5,000 17,250 80,000 109,176 24,443 40,000 70,000 282,036 2,056,530 911,500 744 55,876 20,782,715 29,282,893

MARITIME No of Deals 85 85

Quotation(N) 0.72

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,895,589 3,498,875.45 4,895,589 3,498,875.45

Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals

of Shares (N) 1,586,180.14 1,648,011.06 2,500.00 41,036.00 42,500.00 158,820.20 12,221.50 20,000.00 35,000.00 141,018.00 1,028,265.00 912,250.00 372.00 27,938.00 10,391,357.50 16,047,469.40

MORTGAGE COMPANIES No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 1.44 1 0.50 2

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,000 2,740.00 2,000 1,000.00 4,000 3,740.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,338 395,008.13 546 3,914.82 10,884 398,922.95

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND TRUST PLC 3 2.02 Sector Totals 3

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 54,000 109,080.00 54,000 109,080.00

ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 1.62 1

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200,000 324,000.00 200,000 324,000.00

Company Name AVON CROWNCAPS & CONTAINERS PLC. NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO No of Deals Quotation(N) 19 48.00 29 12.34 78 5.60 91 5.00 39 62.10 6 2.94 17 4.16 79 405.00 5 21.48 1 0.50 364

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 102,198 4,853,596.50 365,807 4,481,892.58 609,647 3,388,425.84 6,980,047 34,893,217.26 1,698,110 105,343,397.53 112,255 331,355.00 379,856 1,565,503.36 172,050 69,826,698.78 32,357 660,406.37 21,000 10,500.00 10,473,327 225,354,993.22

HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals EVANS MEDICALPLC. 2 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 7 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 8 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 10 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 11 Sector Totals 38

Company Name CHAMS PLC IHS NIGERIA PLC

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 263,000 535,690.00 188,229 984,230.63 451,229 1,519,920.63

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 22,416,907 109,755,957.96 971,352 2,913,733.98 347,500 715,102.00 1,441,604 6,255,525.34 1,663,252 2,413,259.03 41,133,028 397,706,506.11 10,311,937 149,616,488.35 1,660,550 13,286,400.00 6,273,138 28,733,906.14 4,044,703 4,084,764.52 6,511,874 18,318,584.28 36,000 19,800.00 1,470,104 809,479.20 7,414,282 88,894,566.36 105,696,231 823,524,073.27

CONSTRUCTION No of Deals 8 2 10

Company Name CUTIX PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 150,000 75,000.00 2,039,530 1,019,765.00 15,401 113,451.36 2,204,931 1,208,216.36

Quotation(N) 4.90 3.07 2.04 4.41 1.45 9.70 14.51 8.00 4.64 1.05 2.81 0.57 0.55 12.00

CONGLOMERATES Company Name No of Deals JOHN HOLT PLC 1 PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC 28 SCOA NIGERIA PLC 1 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 44 UAC OF NIGERIA PLC 36 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC 41 Sector Totals 151 Company Name JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC ROADS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200 552.00 200 552.00

BANKING No of Deals 137 40 17 44 61 608 356 33 61 49 156 1 18 216 1,797

BUILDING MATERIALS No of Deals Quotation(N) 28 14.00 8 4.75 13 104.00 31 38.60 80

Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals

Company Name B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

Quotation(N) 2.08 5.29

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 0.50 12 1.40 13

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

Company Name IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals

Quotation(N) 2.90

HOTEL & TOURISM No of Deals 31 31

Quotation(N) 5.94 1.72

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 500 2,825.00 624,168 1,066,623.35 624,668 1,069,448.35

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) No of Deals Quotation(N) 18 63.86 21 35.00 14 3.61 16 14.09 36 141.00 176 26.00 12 200.00 293

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 111,777 7,095,462.10 99,929 3,332,324.18 220,355 764,269.75 85,989 1,211,585.01 55,631 7,790,740.53 3,774,839 95,451,932.50 16,252 3,087,948.65 4,364,772 118,734,262.72

Company Name LEARN AFRICA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals

PRINTING & PUBLISHING No of Deals Quotation(N) 2 3.99 5 3.70 7

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100,000 399,000.00 71,507 264,715.90 171,507 663,715.90

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 352,000 267,520.00 194,100 227,097.00 5,839 149,772.57 84,050 176,927.50 424,623 577,487.28 1,060,612 1,398,804.35

Quotation(N) 3.22

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,247,704 4,023,242.88 1,247,704 4,023,242.88

Company Name SKYE SHELTER FUND Sector Totals

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 25,788 175,698.40 1,000 34,390.00 87,204 442,238.36 113,992 652,326.76

Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

TECHNOLOGY Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 200,000 100,000.00 2.47 50,000 123,500.00

PACKAGING No of Deals 1 47 48

Company Name MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

Quotation(N) 0.76 1.17 27.00 2.17 1.36

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS No of Deals Quotation(N) 3 6.80 1 36.19 16 5.30 20 INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION No of Deals 1 1

Company Name ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals

REAL ESTATE No of Deals 9 9

Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 54,050 667,329.62 54,050 667,329.62

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST No of Deals Quotation(N) 2 100.00 2

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 965 96,500.00 965 96,500.00

ROAD TRANSPORTATION No of Deals Quotation(N) 2 0.56 2

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,000 1,080.00 2,000 1,080.00

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS No of Deals Quotation(N) 33 11.00 33

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 484,870 5,324,118.90 484,870 5,324,118.90

Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals

Quotation(N) 12.90

3,522

193,694,808

1,488,190,324.39


55

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

MONEY LINK

T

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has released guidelines for the operations of market makers in the Nigerian stock market. Market makers are expected to provide liquidity and ensure continuous trading in the securities under their allotments. In the guidelines addressed to chief executive of stockbroking firms, NSE pegged the minimum capital requirement for each of the market makers at N500 million but it said might increase the required capital, where necessary, based on the risk profile of a market maker. According to the guideline, NSE shall appoint a Primary Market Maker and two Supplemental Market Makers per security, who will be expected to provide a two-way quote for 90 per cent of the time in a trading day, while a supplemental market maker will be required to provide quote for 60 per cent of the time in a trading day, respectively. To this end, the NSE has divided all the listed equities into 10 baskets, meaning it will be licensing 10 primary market makers and 20 supplemental market makers to cater for the 10 equities basket. The Exchange said dealing member firms seeking to act as market makers are expected to apply to it in writing and will be required to meet certain criteria. The criteria include that the potential market maker must be a licensed broker-dealer, be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and Central Securities Clearing System, CSCS, and must meet the minimum capital requirement. Other requirements include that the potential market maker must be experience, show expertise and past performance, display operational capability in terms of appropriate staffing, technology and risk management tools and have a good disciplinary history, and it must also be in good standing with SEC, NSE and CSCS. The NSE said it hopes to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to explore the possibility of banks providing the necessary financing for the FGN BONDS

NSE releases guidelines on market By Tonia Osundolire

market makers. According to the guideline, the NSE shall in conjunction with the CBN explore the possibility of the settlement banks providing funds to the market makers and creating corresponding lien on the shares held/traded by the marker makers. The NSE added that it shall closely monitor the activities of the market

makers, ensuring that disciplinary actions are taken against any of the market makers in any event of a violation of its requirements. The guideline stated that the minimum size of the quote to be provided by the market markets shall be “100,000 units or the volume available for trade, whichever is lower; the Execution of the order at the quoted price and quantity must be guaranteed by the Marker

Maker; the market maker will be eligible to change quotes even if no transaction has been executed at the displayed quote; the quote shall be provided in such a way that the quotes are not absent from the screen for more than 15 minutes at a time. “The Supplemental market makers may compete with the primary market maker for better quotes to the investors. Where the supplemental mar-

CBN urged to handle supervision with caution

T

HE financial sector stability can only be guaranteed when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fully provides macro- prudential supervision. This was the submission of the Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof Akpan Ekpo. He spoke during a workshop titled, ‘Advanced Banking Supervision and Financial Stability’ organised by the Institute in Lagos. He said macro-prudential supervision plays a crucial role in the financial system in particular and the country in general. Expo said: “With increasing number of financial institutions now active in

C

By Akinola Ajibade

“Some of these vulnerabilities have macro-economic dimension, such as changes in the condition of household and corporate sector balance sheets and developments in credit and asset markets, all of which have the potential to affect the level of distribution of financial risk within the economy,” he stated. He added that other vulnerabilities relate to the way in which financial intermediaries and financial market participants price manage their various risks. Ekpo explained that a resilient financial system is one in which there are well developed crisis management arrangements for handing distressed financial institutions, in such a way that

the continent, global financial stability has become more important. A stable financial system is one in which, financial intermediaries, markets and market infrastructure facilitate the smooth flow of funds between savers and investors, and by so doing, help promote growth in economic activity. “Conversely, financial instability is a material disruption to this intermediation process with potentially damaging implications for the real economy.” He said financial system policy must be forward-looking, one that seeks to identify vulnerabilities, and where possible, takes mitigation action.

URRENT public sector financial reporting is not detailed to give true and fair picture of government activities, the President Institute of Chartered Accountant s of Nigeria(ICAN),Prof Francis Ojaide has said . Delivering in a key note address at a two –day workshop on “The Challenges of IFRS/IPSAS adoption on financial statements Preparation in the Public Sector “ in Lagos, Ojaide said this has raised major concerns on financial statements preparation in the public sector. Calling for appropriate accounting system to be applied to all types of government operations so as to con-

By

the resource allocation decisions made by governments thereby increasing transparency and accountability. Ojaide said since the pronouncement by the Federal Government of Nigerian for adoption of IFRS with effect from January 1, 2012, efforts are being made by various entities particularly those the Federal Government’s roadmap for the adoption of IFRS identifies as Public Listed Entities (PLEs) and Significant Public Interest Entities (SPIEs) that are in the first phase of the IFRS implementation in Nigeria. He said the challenges for IFRS/ IPSAS adoption differ between nations and these are primarily due to differences in the local Generally Accepted

Daniel Essiet

tribute to better decision-making or improved public information, he said public sector financial reporting has not been subject of major public scrutiny. This he noted, necessitated the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to ensure sound financial management and help the government in the allocation of resources in support of national strategic objectives. He said IPSAS aims to improve the quality of general purpose financial reporting by public sector entities, leading to better informed assessment of

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

GAINERS AS AT 22-11-11 SYMBOL FO AIRSERVICE JAPAULOIL BAGCO FCMB ASHAKACEM NASCON DANSUGAR TRANSCORP WAPCO

O/PRICE 13.42 1.99 0.69 1.65 4.27 13.60 4.05 4.90 0.65 38.60

C/PRICE 14.09 2.08 0.72 1.72 4.41 14.00 4.16 5.00 0.66 38.60

CHANGE 0.67 0.09 0.03 0.07 0.14 0.40 0.11 0.10 0.01 0.60

LOSER AS AT 22-11-11 SYMBOL LONGMAN IHS NEIMETH FIDSON JOSBREW IKEJAHOTEL CUTIX ECOBANK HONYFLOUR FIDELITYBK

O/PRICE 4.20 2.60 1.43 1.23 2.26 3.38 1.70 2.14 3.08 1.51

C/PRICE 3.99 2.47 1.36 1.17 2.15 3.22 1.62 2.04 2.94 1.45

Amount

Offered ($) Demanded ($)

MANAGED FUNDS

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements when compared to the IFRS/ IPSAS requirements. He said the Federal Government roadmap on IFRS adoption in Nigeria identifies the first batch of entities to implement IFRS in January, 2012 to include Public Listed Entities (PLEs) and Significant Public Interest Entities (SPIEs). The ICAN boss said Public Listed Entities being those that are quoted on any stock exchange but the Significant Public Interest Entities as defined in the roadmap include Government Business Entities (GBEs). This includes the three tiers of government i.e. federal, state and local.

DATA BANK

Amount N

OBB Rate Call Rate

public confidence in the financial system will not be undermined. He said supervisory authorities can only fulfill their mandate of promoting financial stability, when they mitigate systemic risks in the banking industry. “Supervisory authorities can reduce financial instability through macroprudential supervision and regulation. “A fundamental conclusion drawn from the financial crisis is that the supervision and regulation of financial firms in isolation, which are purely micro-prudential approaches, are not sufficient to maintain financial stability”, he said.

ICAN boss flays public sector financial reporting

Tenor

NIDF NESF

ket maker outperformed primary market maker four months out of six months; the supplemental market maker shall have the right to apply to be upgraded to be the primary market maker for the security in question. “Once a Broker-Dealer application for Market maker is approved, the company has to start providing quotes within five trading days of registration.”

Amount

Exchange

Sold ($)

Rate (N)

Date

450m

452.7m

450m

150.8

08-8-11

250m

313.5m

250m

150.8

03-8-11

400m

443m

400m

150.7

01-8-11

EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

-2.11

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

245.6422

-2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

Parallel Market

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NSE CAP Index

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

(S/N)

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Aug ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

8.75%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.77 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,251.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.74 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08

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

CHANGE 0.21 0.13 0.07 0.06 0.11 0.16 0.08 0.10 0.14 0.06

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

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


57

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

NEWS FERMA to rehabilitate federal roads

Orji okays N20,000 minimum wage

A

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has approved N20,100 as the new minimum wage for workers in the state. The directive from the office of the governor in Umuahia followed a meeting between the state government and labour union. Orji’s Chief Press Secretary Ugochukwu Emezue said the governor would ensure that the workers are fairly treated. According to the governor, the payment of the new minimum wage would begin on December 1, while the arrears would be paid in January. Emezue explained that the payment of the arrears

T

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

would be spread for a period of 12 months, adding: “The endorsement of the new minimum wage by my boss is a clear indication of his love for Abia workers”. “The governor, who was a civil servant, will go the extra mile to improve the welfare of Abia workers, even as he called for support from all Abians,” he said. Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Silvanus Eyeh, hailed the state government’s gesture. Eyeh said the modalities to be adopted for the implementation of the minimum wage would cut across board for all

•Orji

workers. Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council, Chris Okoro, hailed the government gesture.

National Assembly urged to check govt excesses

T

HE Secretary-General of the Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, a pan-cultural organisation, Akin Malaolu, has urged the National Assembly to check government excesses and policies. In a statement, Malaolu decried the slow infrastructural development of the country.

By Musa Odoshimokhe

“The repairs on physical infrastructure are ridiculously slow, there are feelings of distress and ill-ease. There are no records of President Goodluck Jonathan’s frugal spending or financial discipline,” he said. Malaolu alleged that government agencies are cor-

HE Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) will repair all Federal Government roads before the yuletide, Executive Director of Operations Patrick Ikpenwa has said. The FERMA chief spoke in Umuahia, Abia State, during the inspection of Enugu-Port Harcourt road being rehabilitated by the agency. Ikpenwa said the agency has identified all the bad portions of the federal highway in Abia State. His words: “We are trying to identify all the bad portions of federal roads across the country and maintain same before the Yuletide. Our people must have good roads to drive and move about, whether it is Christmas or not”. The Executive Director said they have started parching all potholes on the roads. He said there are hot lines for people to call FERMA once pothole is identified. Ikpenwa gave the hotlines as: ‘FERMA hotlines 08129999936, 08155555889, 08092656666 and 07067779775. According to him, all the contractors working for them have been mobilised. “It is because of the se-

rupt. “Except in a few cases, many grants, loans and funds find their way into the pockets of government officials. “The National Assembly members should beam their searchlight on the cost of contracts and policy implementation and tackle the country’s socio-economic challenges,” he said.

Fed Govt to pay Abia N9b spent on roads HE Federal Government is to pay Abia State the N9 billion it spent on federal roads in the state,Minister of Works Mike Onolememen has said. The minister expressed satisfaction with the quality of the roads. Abia State Commissioner for Works Kingsley Mgbeahuru spoke in Umuahia yes-

T

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

terday. He explained that the state government has rehabilitated Bende-Ohafia-Arochukwu, Umuahia-OhafiaArochukwu, Aba-Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ubakala and Ossah federal roads. The commissioner stated that the state government

would establish a Road Maintenance Agency, adding that the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency (ABROMA) would ensure that all the roads are in good condition. “All the contractors are back to site after their meeting with Governor Theodore Orji and all the logistics they require have been provided

for them,” he said. He said the road to Agbama Housing Estate in Umuahia would be inaugurated before the Yuletide. Mgbeahuru assured that the state government would tackle the blocked drainage in Aba. He said the government has awarded contract for the de-silting of all the blocked drainages in Aba.

New APGA leader emerges in Enugu

T

HE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Enugu State chapter, has adopted Dr Emmanuel Ozoene as leader of the party. Ozoene’s adoption is part of the party’s strategies to expand its influence in South-

east. Ozoene has been mandated to strengthen the party’s structure. His adoption followed a meeting in Enugu to discuss the party’s future. Ozoene, a US-based Information security engineer,

said his election was in appreciation of his contribution to the party. The party executives commended him for bearing the cost of the local government elections, “…among the hosts of persons that ran for the (last) elections on the

Suspected child trafficker paraded in Imo

T

HE Imo State Police Command has paraded a 23-year- old pregnant woman Mrs Lilian Mba for child trafficking. Mrs Mba hails from Atta

Church holds prayer conference THE New Covenant Baptist Church, Heritage Estate, Akute, Ogun State has flagged off a national intercessory prayer conference. According to the church, “There is an urgent need for the church of God in Nigeria to plead for God’s mercy over the land”. Revs.Olu Omotosho, Segun Babalola and Adetoyese Adedeji will minister at the conference.

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Ikeduru Local Government of Imo State. She allegedly promised to supply a three- year- old child to a Lagos resident, simply

identified as Angel. But she was arrested by the police in Lagos with the child. According to the police in Owerri, Mrs Mba was involved in child trafficking last year.

N160m for poverty eradication From Adimike George, Onitsha

T

HE Anambra State Government will spend about N160m on the National Poverty Eradication Pro-

gramme (NAPEP), Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Development Mrs. Ego Uzoezie has said. The state government is working in collaboration with the Federal Government’s Programme Care of People (COPE) to eradicate poverty in the state. Uzoezie appealed to the beneficiaries to be committed to the programme. She urged them to open bank accounts to enable then access the fund. A beneficiary, Mrs. Nkiru Uchechukwu, hailed Governor Peter Obi for the gesture.

platform of APGA in Enugu State, you are the only distinguished person that still identifies with our great party in all ramifications.” Ozoene promised to lead the party to victory.

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

riousness we attach to the directive given to us by our managing director that I am in the state to see things for myself and I am happy as all our field engineers are doing very well,” he said. At the Umuahia Ikot-Ek-

pene road, one of the engineers of Arab Contractors handling the roads assured of completing the roads before the yuletide. FERMA Field engineer in Abia State Alex Mazoya said his team had rehabilitated a lot of roads, adding that the erosion site on Bende-OhafiaArochukwu road would soon be completed.

Traders petition Obi over dissolution of association

T

HE Uwakwe Timber Dealers Association in Awka, Anambra State, has petitioned Governor Peter Obi over the dissolution of the association by the Transition Committee chairman. The petition was signed by chairman of the market Okwuchukwu Agbata and the, secretary Peter Inyiagu. The traders blamed the Awka South Transition Committee chairman for dissolving the association without consulting them. The petition reads: “We appeal to you to intervene and reverse the dissolution

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

of the executive of the market.Your intervention is necessary to avert anarchy in the area. “During the election that brought the present executive on March 22, there was no opposition, but the transition chairman dissolved the association”. A source accused the market executive of extortion. The Transition Chairman has ordered the closure of the market. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwemeka declined comments.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public of the Loss of the Original Copy of Deed of Assignment registered as No. 32 at Page 32 in Volume 571 at the Bureau of Lands and survey Deeds Registry Abeokuta, Ogun State, covering all that piece or parcel of land and 1 wing of 3-bedroom Duplex known as No. 10 Ilorin Crescent, Agbara Ogun State, belonging to Samuel O. Odumodu. General Public to please take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public of the Loss of the Original Copy of Deed of Sublease dated 24th January, 2008 and registered as No. 9 at Page 9 in Volume 2192 at the Lagos State Lands Registry Office, Ikeja, covering all that dwelling house at LSDPC housing scheme, lying and being at No 13, Sanya Street, Surulere, Lagos State belonging to Lawrence Okhiria. General Public to please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE SANNI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss. Sanni Sekinat Omolara now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Kareem Sekinat Omolara. All formal document remain valid. General public should take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE SANNI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Darlene Joesam Enoima now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Darlene Christopher Uche. All formal document remain valid. General public should take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public of the Loss of the Original Copy of Deed of Conveyance dated 27th November, 1967 and registered as No. 28 at Page 28 in Volume 995 at the Lands Registry in the Office at Ibadan (now Lagos), covering all that property situate at Shomolu Scheme, and known as plot No. S.20, Shomolu Layout, Lagos belonging to Madam Jane Okuneye. General Public to please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE NWALIE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwalie Nneka Naomi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ejogbamu Nneka Naomi. All formal document remain valid. NYSC and General public should take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE AYODEJI I, formerly known and addressed as Ayodeji Fatimoh Bintu now wish to be known and addressed as Lateef Fatimoh Bintu. All formal document remain valid. General public should take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public of the Loss of the Original Copy of Deed of Conveyance dated 24th November, 1969 and registered as No. 81 at Page 81 in Volume 1303 at the Lagos State Lands Registry Office, Ikeja, covering all that property at Onigbongbo Ikeja Area of Lagos State belonging to Benjamin Olaniyi Odusola. General Public to please take note.


58

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

59

NEWS

T

River Assembly to probe crisis in RSUST PG School

HE Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) has directed its Committee on Education, headed by Augustine Ngo (Abua/Odual), to investigate the perceived crisis at the Post graduate School of the University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt. The Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, who gave the directive yesterday, asked the committee to submit its report in three weeks. The House took this decision following a motion by House Leader Chidi Llyod (Emohua) that the university has not graduated any post graduate student in three years or admitted fresh students in the past two

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

years. Lloyd said: “The university is at the lowest in the academic rating, it is disheartening that the Postgraduate school is in crisis. “For three years the school has not graduated any student and has offered no admission in two years. “This negative implication on this development is grave and if not checked, it risks the future of the state.” The House Leader called for an investigation into the matter. But the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barineme Fakae, yester-

day denied the crisis on the floor of the House. Fakae said: “If two percent of students had a specific problem it may not be right to characterise the system by the minor population. “In every system, there are always some unfortunate persons and events and our approach should be to seek solution and not to generalise the matter or to characterise the situation as a crisis.” Fakae recalled that this plethora of irregularities necessitated the setting up of Prof Muzail Jubril Visitation Panel by the Rivers State Government in 2005 and six

years after that, the White Paper is yet to be released. The release of the White Paper, he explained, would help in solving most of the systemic problems “because some persons are still operating in the university as if it were a civil service where targets may not be expected.” Fakea also said he and members of the Governing Council headed by Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte (rtd) have almost cleaned up the mess. This, he stated, was what made the governor to declare “things are getting better!” during the 19th-23rd combined convocation. About 25,917 students graduated, of which 3,552 were Postgraduate students.

Community vows to disrupt project inauguration From Osagie Otabor, Benin

U

GBOHA community in Esan South East Local Government of Edo State has threatened to disrupt the inauguration of a water project built by the Federal Government to provide water for Uromi community. The project is expected to be inaugurated by Vice-President Namadi Sambo at a ceremony in Uromi on November 28. The community issued a communiqué at the end of its emergency national conference. It was signed by the union’s national president, Elder Ejemen Ikhayere and seven others. The communiqué said the Obhu River dam is located in their community. It demanded that the water be connected and distributed to serve Ugboha community as well as a change of the water project name to Ishan Northern Water Scheme, Ugboha, to reflect the proper name where the project is located. The community is also asking to be compensated for economic crops and fish farming destroyed during the construction of the dam and for its youths to be employed.

Delsu ASUU issues ultimatum

T

• Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Governors Forum Rotimi Amaechi (right) discussing with his Cross River State counterpart Liyel Imoke (middle) and Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva at a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa...yesterday PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

Group decries kidnapping in Edo THE Edo State Government has been enjoined to tackle the growing insecurity of life and property in the state. UNUEDO Foundation, a non-partisan pan-Edo organisation, comprising professionals of Edo extraction, lamented that Benin City and other towns in the state have been overrun by criminals in the past two years. The group, at the end of its last quarterly meeting, urged the government and security services to check the unbridled activities of kidnappers and armed bandits who rob, maim, kidnap and kill inhabitants of the state at will. In a communiqué by Chief Lawson Omokhodion and Osaze Ighomwenghian, its chairman and secretary, UNUEDO regretted that indigenes of the state now fear to visit home for fear of being kidnapped. “Edo is under siege and the criminals have been emboldened . “This is really worrisome.”

PDP chieftain berates aspirant’s offer to Benin monarch

T

HE offer to sponsor the publication of the speeches of the Bini Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, during the Igue festival by former Commander, Corps of Army Finance and Accounts in the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), has been described as “a Greek gift laced with political undertone.” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Ogbebor Ekowenren Oghowan stated this in a statement yesterday. He was responding to PDP candidate Gen. Charles Airhiavbere’s request to sponsor the publication. Oghowan said: “I sincerely think Airhiavbere should keep his money because he

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

does not have the interest of the Binis at heart. “Where was he before now? How much commitment, interest and participation did he show towards the Oba and his subjects before his interest in contesting the governorship election in the state? “How many sons and daughters of Bini origin did he assist to get jobs when he was in the service? “Why the sudden interest in the activities of the palace? We suspect a foul play somewhere as this style of politicking suggests that it is an end in itself instead of a means to an end. “Politicians tend to abuse

the sensibilities of the people whenever they need their mandate by offering Greek gifts to curry underserved favour to achieve their aims and this has come to play in Airhiavbere’s quest towards the palace and his ambition. “There is, however, nothing bad in offering goodwill assistance by way of taking up people-oriented projects, especially in an electioneering time like this. “So, we call on the people of Edo State to watch out for emergency latter-day saints and be able to decipher between their sincerity and genuineness for service from mere political offerings.”

Jonathan advises Army

P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Army to intensify efforts in devising new ways to address security challenges in the country. The President spoke yesterday in Benin, Edo State, at the opening of the year’s Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference. President Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Bello, urged the

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Army to collaborate with other security agencies in dealing with the various threats confronting the nation. He noted that the theme of the conference “The Nigeria Army in the National Transformation Agenda” was an indication that the Army was abreast with issues of national concern and currency. Jonathan said kidnap-

ping, robbery and threats from Boko Haram demanded an integrated approach from security agencies. The President implored the Army chiefs to sharpen their skills and aptitude in intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism and evolved new approaches to the current security challenges, including greater cooperation with other nations engaged in the global war against terrorism.

HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Delta State University, Abraka branch yesterday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to government and security agencies to secure the release of its chairman’s wife Mrs Edna Mordi and a worker, John Atori. Mrs. Mordi, Atori and some children were whisked away by abductors who went on rampage on Sunday in separate kidnap incidents. The hoodlums are demanding N60million. It was learnt that the abductors stole a Toyota Camry and a Volkswagen Passat belonging to Mordi and Atori. A statement by the union’s Vice Chairman, Dr. Laz Etemike and Secretary Comrade Ufuophu, condemned the incidents.

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

“The union would no longer compromise the security of its members and their families.” It said the incident has shown the state of insecurity within the university and Abraka. The statement demanded the immediate release of the victims and called on the University administration, security agencies and the government to to secure their release. It urged the state to tackle insecurity or the union will ask its members to stay at home. Former Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Prof Andy Egwunyenga described the incident as "anti-intellectual and capable of creating an environment that is not conducive for learning"

PUBLIC NOTICE PATRATOR INTERNATIONAL CLUB This is to inform the general public that the above named club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja, for the registration under Part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act N0. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Adepoju Adebayo Adisa 2. Omololu Folarin 3. Agboola Bolaji Tajudeen 4. Akintunde Ewebode 5. Basorun Kehinde Ajibola 6. Awe Ibrahim

-President -Vice President -Secretary General -Fin. Secretary -Treasurer -Social Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To advocate or quality education and eradication of poverty 2. To advocate against terrorism and related issues 3. To promote activities that will protect our environment 4. To promote political ideology that will sustain our democracy 5. Education on health issues 6. The welfare of members Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar –General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris, Abuja. Advertiser ADEPOJU ADEBAYO ADISA Block 5, Rabiatu Thompson Crescent, Surulere, Lagos.

SALES! SALES!! SALES!!! CLEARANCE SALES RICE AND VEGEGABLE OIL PRICE N4,500.00 PER BAG OIL N4, 000.00 PER BIG GALLON CONTACT US HADJIA ZAINAB QUAITIER DIDJA COTONOU DIDJE NANGASSA TEL:07060680937, 08059895430


60

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

FOREIGN NEWS

Egypt’s military agrees to speed up handover

E

GYPT’S military rulers have agreed to hand over power to a civilian government by July 2012 after four days of clashes between police and protesters demanding the army ends its hold over the political system. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces held talks with politicians from across the political spectrum after the entire military-appointed cabinet resigned expressing its “deep regret” over the violence, which has left at least 36 people dead. “We agreed July as the month to transfer power to a civilian president,” Emad Abdel Ghafour of the Nour party said. Selim al-Awwa, a presidential candidate, told the state MENA news agency that

it was also agreed that a government of “national salvation” would be appointed to rule while elections take place. As the talks took place, tens of thousands of Egyptians defied police firing tear gas and rubber-coated bullets in the capital’s Tahrir Square after organisers called for a “million man march”. They appeared to signal their immediate rejection of the proposal, beginning a chant of “We are not leaving, he leaves,” referring to the country’’s de facto ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Khaled El-Sayed, a member of the Youth Revolution Coalition and a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election, said: “Our demands are clear. We want the military council to step down and hand over authority to a national

South African MPs pass controversial ‘secrecy bill’

S

OUTH African MPs have overwhelmingly approved a controversial media bill despite widespread criticism of it. Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu called it “insulting” and warned it could be used to outlaw “whistle-blowing and investigative journalism”. South African journalists wearing black have staged a protest against the so-called “secrecy bill” outside the headquarters of the governing ANC. The ANC says the law will safeguard state secrets and national security. The African National Congress has a two-thirds majority in 400-seat National Assembly - the bill passed by 229 votes to 107, with two MPs choosing not to vote. The bill has still to be passed by the upper house likely to happen next year and signed by the president before becoming law. The office of Nelson Man-

dela, South Africa’s first postapartheid president and also a Nobel peace laureate, also has expressed reservations about the bill. The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory said the bill failed to strike a balance between free speech and protecting legitimate state secrets. The main opposition Democratic Alliance told parliament that it would petition the Constitutional Court to have the bill declared unconstitutional if the president signed it in its current form. Although some elements have been watered down, the Protection of State Information Bill still proposes tough sentences of up to 25 years for anyone possessing classified government documents, with no defence of acting in the public interest. The BBC correspondent says the bill’s critics see it as an assault on a vigorous media, which has drawn attention to allegations of corruption by senior ANC officials.

salvation government with full authority.” Tantawi was expected to address the nation on the situation, state television said. Earlier in Tahrir Square, some protesters hanged an effigy of Tantawi from a lamp post, while others waved banners reading “Save Egypt from thieves and the military”. “Come to Tahrir, tomorrow we will overthrow the field marshal!” protesters chanted. The crisis has threatened to derail parliamentary elections scheduled to begin on November 28 - the first democratic step since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February after a violent crackdown on protests against his decades-long rule.

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam to face trial in Libya

T

HE International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has accepted that Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam will be tried in Libya, not The Hague. Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the ICC had issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam on war crimes charges because Libya’s justice system was not up to it. He said this was no longer the case, but that the ICC would help. The visit comes as a new cabinet is expected to be announced. It will be the first step to forming an elected government. Libya’s transitional authority is tasked with drafting a constitution and holding democratic elections. Prime minister-designate Abdurrahim al-Keib said all of Libya’s regions would be represented. Mr Keib was elected prime minister by the National Transitional Council (NTC) last month.

Tunisia coalition shares top govt posts

T

UNISIA’S three main parties have decided on who will hold the top posts in a power-sharing government. Hamadi Jebali, from the Islamist Ennahda party, is to be prime minister. Moncef Marzouki from Congress for the Republic is to be president while Ettakol’s Mustafa Ben Jaafar is to be the new assembly’s speaker. Ennahda won last month’s elections, Tunisia’s first free

polls since Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in January after 23 years in power. Mr Ben Ali’s ousting as president followed the first in a wave of popular uprisings across the Middle East that has reshaped the politics of the region. The moderately Islamist Ennahda took 89 seats in the 217-member assembly, while the Congress for the Republic won 29 seats, and centre-right party Ettakatol gained 21. The assembly has been

charged with drafting a new constitution. It is to meet on Tuesday for the first time to confirm the posts, says AFP news agency. “We have an agreement to organise elections within a period of not more than a year,” said Nourdine Bhiri, spokesman for Ennahda. The nominations will require the approval of the constitutional assembly itself. All three men have a history of opposition to Mr Ben Ali.

Pakistan’s envoy to US resigns over memo scandal

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AKISTAN’S envoy to the United States resigned yesterday, losing a bruising battle with the country’s powerful generals to keep his job over allegations he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help to stop them from carrying out a supposed coup. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s envoy to Washington, has denied claims he was behind a memo to the U.S. military chief asking for help in installing a “new security team” in Islamabad that would be friendly to Washington.

Husain Haqqani said he stood by earlier denials, insisting he had nothing to do with the memo that was sent to then-U.S. military chief Adm. Mike Mullen in May. The prime minister promised an investigation into the affair, which has raised tensions between the country’s civilian government and the army at a vital stage in the 10-year old Afghan war next door. Haqqani is a key ally of President Asif Ali Zardari and was generally well regarded in Washington, where he had a difficult job representing Pa-

kistan during several crises, including the aftermath of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May. It was not immediately known who would replace Haqqani in a post considered crucial, given Washington’s desire to work with Pakistan to defeat al-Qaeda and negotiate a way out of the Afghan war. Relations between the two countries have soured badly over the last year, especially over the bin Laden raid, with the U.S. carried out without informing Pakistan in advance.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

61

SPORT EXTRA UEF A CHAMPIONS LEA GUE UEFA LEAGUE

United frustrated by Benfica

•Lille's Aurelien Chedjou (R) jumps ahead of teammate Franck Beria (L) and CSKA Moscow's Pavel Mamaev during their Champions League Group B match at Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on Tuesday.

M

ANCHESTER United have left themselves a job to do in their final UEFA Champions League group game after being pegged to a 2-2 draw at home to Benfica on Tuesday night. Sir Alex Ferguson's men could have sealed a spot in the last 16 of the competition with three points against the Portuguese side but instead dropped into second place in Group C on goal difference after the visitors came from behind for a share of the spoils. The point was enough for Benfica to book a place in the knockout rounds and their focus will now be on sealing

the top spot. The home side made a disastrous start at Old Trafford when Phil Jones scored an owngoal in just the fourth minute, but Dimitar Berbatov nodded home a Nani cross to even things up before the break and mark his first Champions League goal in three years. United took the lead through Darren Fletcher not long after the restart but Pablo Aimar replied for the visitors just a minute later to hand them a crucial point. The Red Devils must now secure a result from their trip to Basel next month if they are to avoid being dumped out of the competition at the group stage.

•Benfica's Javi Garcia (l) tackles Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Nani (r) during the UEFA Champions League, Group C

FALCONS’ COACH

NFF to be discreet –Green

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IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) has said they want to shock Nigerians with the time to name the new Super Falcons' coach. The nation's women senior national team is without a substantive coach after coach Eucharia Uche was sacked following her failure to qualify Nigeria for the London 2012 Olympics. The NFF board in their last emergency meeting asked its technical sub-committee to shop for new coach. And its head, Barrister Chris Green told SuperSport.com that they want to be discreet and avoid too much public attention in their search job. "We are consulting widely

and thoroughly for a capable coach who will help us to rebuild the team. "Not those who after playing want to coach without the requisite coaching experience. "We hope to tidy up our work before the end of the year. "We want people to relax, pressure is too much on us. "We won't give out a particular time to name the coach, we will do it when people least expect it, we want to make it a surprise." The NFF board member hinted that the search for coach Uche's replacement will be more inward. "We're looking inward for the coach, where we can't find a good one we will go outside.

We must get it right this time around," he said.

•Eucharia

FIDELITY NO MATCH TO UNITY

Unity Stars 3, Fidelity 2 in Bankers Soccer

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EW found sensation, Aliyu Mohammed netted three goals that gave Unity Stars a 3-2 victory over Fidelity Bank in the ongoing Lisadeen Bankers Soccer championship last Saturday. The goal machine fired the opener in the 22nd minute through a combined assist from Sunday Moses and Abubakar Shehu that set him up for a perfect finish. Fidelity tried to respond but on all occasions met stiff resistance of Unity Stars’ defence led by Ibrahim Mohammed. They, however, lost a couple of chances in the same way Unity Stars lost a handful until the end of the first half. When the second half resumed, Unity Stars struggled for the next 15 minutes before they could increase the tally by

feeding Aliyu to execute and this time with Tukur and Moses initiating the process. With the match appeared to be going one sided, Aminu Iliyasu stretched his hand to block an on-rushing Fidelity attacker in the vital area and in the process, the ball touched his hand and the referee awarded a penalty which was neatly converted by Fidelity. With the score line now 2-1, Fidelity players got the tonic to pile more pressure but failed to balance the equation. However, in the 72nd minute, full back Isma’il Adulkarim took a calculated risk which backfired. After neatly beating a Fidelity attacker, Isma’il chose not to clear the ball away from his edge and decided to pass to Ibrahim Yakubu which was intercepted by a Fidelity

player who, without waste of time, hit the net beyond what goalkeeper Henry could do to save situation. As they tried to settle for a draw with various tactics, Fidelity were caught unawares in the 83rd minute when midfield dynamo, Haruna Hamisu located an unmarked Aliyu Mohammed with a killer pass which he utilized to extend his goals tally to seven that placed him as the leading goal scorer in the tournament so far. In the other match, Fortis were said to have drawn their game with FMBN in the second match played last Sunday. With this result therefore, Unity Stars lead the league game with 12 points and are to meet the third on the table which incidentally is Fidelity Bank in the semi final cracker at the weekend.

Siasia furious with Onigbinde

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ORMER Super Eagles' head coach, Samson Siasia, has expressed unhappiness with a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde. Siasia's unhappiness with the CAF instructor stems from a report credited to Onigbinde in Monday's edition of a national newspaper, not The Nation in which he queried the competence of the immediate past Super Eagles' coach. "As a coach, I fault the competence of Siasia. Yes I do. When Siasia was a player, we know his level of performance, we also know his level of discipline. When he retired from football up till now, I don't know where he trained as a coach. I understand he has some certificates but it couldn't have been a major coaching training and that is one of the problems with Nigerian football," Onigbinde was quoted by the newspaper. However, Siasia, 44, said on Tuesday from the Heathrow Airport in London while heading to the USA that Onigbinde should leave him alone. He launched an attack on the Modakeke High Chief for his volte-face after being part of the committee that appointed him as Nigeria's head coach over a year ago. "I respect chief a lot and I don't expect him of all people to be attacking me. He should just leave me alone. I don't want to be exchanging words with him on the pages of newspaper. He should just leave me alone.

•Napoli's Argentine defender Hugo Armando Campagnaro (L) fights for the ball with Manchester City's English forward Alex Nimely during the Champions League group A football match SSC at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.

Cavani’s double floors Man City E DINSON Cavani scored twice to give Napoli a 2-1 win over Manchester City which moved them ahead of their big-spending opponents in Champions League Group A on Tuesday. Mario Balotelli replied for City who had lots of possession but failed to make it count. Cavani put the Serie A side ahead from a corner in the 18th minute and side-footed the winner early in the second half in front of a passionate San Paolo crowd

to put Napoli in second place, a point ahead of City, with one game remaining and both clubs still in the hunt to reach the knockout phase. Balotelli replied for City in the 33rd minute in a generally subdued performance by his standards and also had a late effort stopped by Morgan De Sanctis.

RESULTS CSKA Moskva 0-2 Lille Napoli 2-1 Man City Bayern 3-1Villarreal Trabzonspor 1-1 Inter Otelul Galati 2-3 Basel Man United 2-2 Benfica Real Madrid 6-2 Dinamo Lyon 0-0 Ajax

•Cavani


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

62

SPORT EXTRA

Court denies Mikel's dad’s abductors bail A

Nigerian federal high court on Monday refused bail for seven suspects, including two former soldiers, facing charges of kidnapping Chelsea footballer John Obi Mikel's father in August. The seven suspects had earlier pleaded not guilty to the three-counts charge of conspiracy and terrorism leveled against them in the court, in central city of Jos. Michael Obi, father of the soccer star, was abducted in Jos on August 12 and freed 10 days later in a Nigerian police raid. At the resumed hearing on Monday, the defence counsel urged the court to grant the accused persons bail, a plea opposed by the prosecution counsel. Judge Ambrose Alagoa dismissed the bail application and adjourned the case till December 6.

Earlier, Pa Michael Obi told the court that on the evening of August 12, he was abducted by men who came to his house in a van, dressed in army uniforms and forcefully took

him to Kano city, hundreds of kilometres (miles) away from Jos. The Nigerian Army authority said in September that it had dismissed private

Jaduwa Thlama, one of the soldiers involved. Thlama and his accomplice, Sergeant Victor Essien, were charged with five other suspects over the crime.

Ladipo bags Ibadan honour T HE President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Olalere Ladipo in Ibadan over the weekend along with other eminent sons and daughters of Ibadan, was conferred with

Ogba condemns National Sports Festival

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HE President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Solomon Ogba has berated the National Sports Commission and its pet baby the National Sports Festival, describing it as a “glorified inter house sports” Ogba who spoke in Abuja said his Federation can never discover any athlete from the Festival, while advising that the Festival should be opened up for all to participate, to bring out the glamour therein “this is supposed to be our Olympics. This is where all our National records are supposed to be broken. We have

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja advised the NSC on this severally, but they are very adamant on this. Everyone was evidently clear of what happened when Ogun state hosted the game, we all saw that most of the records we have today were broken there. But what do we have today, it is nothing but a glorified inert house sports where school children are gathered together in the name of a festival”. He said that States Sports Councils are dead, and are not ready to do anything meaningful to help the plight of athletes in the country.

“To this end, we have decided to engage the services of the former Olympians who would be deployed to the states to assist in developing athletes that are based in the states. Innocent Egbunike is expected to be their head Coach. This is how it is done in other countries, lets replicate it here. Ideally, this is supposed to be job of those at the sports councils, but since they are not functioning, we should not wait for them”. The former Delta state Commissioner for Sports said that the country would need about N315 million to do well in its various activities lined up for

the 2012 athletics season. He explained that gone are days when the country would participate in athletic event for the fun of it ‘we don’t want to be participants in any event again, we want to be competitors. Any event that we would not make up to the semi finals, we would not take part in it”. The AFN Boss used the opportunity to unveil the Federation programs of activities running from January to December 2012, while calling on corporate bodies to assist the Federation to return the country base to her former enviable position in track and field events.

a distinguished merit award by the Central Council of Ibadan Indigene CCII. Oladipo who claimed to have received almost 365 various awards and honours from different parts of the world, described the CCII awards as his most precious of all, being from his kinsmen. Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu, the Oyo State Head of Services who presented the beautiful shield to Dr. and Mrs. Ladipo, expressed his delight over the efforts of the recipient in positively projecting the good image of the nation and especially that of Ibadan to the whole world through football supporters club. Saying “all Ibadan indigenes are always happy and proud to indentify with you each time you lead members of Nigeria Supporters Club out to cheer our national teams, you have indeed made us proud”.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

63


Tomorrow in THE NATION

www.thenationonlineng.net

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL.7 NO.1953

‘How do we start planning replacement for the ponderous Jonathan by young people who see politics as ‘audacity of hope’ through which in spite of inherent dangers and hardship, Nigerians can be inspired to become miracle JIDE OLUWAJUYITAN workers instead of slaves’

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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HE title of this piece is not original. I’ve adapted it from that of a 2007 collection of essays by ten left-wing writers of various nationalities whose commonality is an abhorrence of the gratuitous use of violence by the State to solve problems in society or between nations. Among them is Naomi Klein, journalist, writer, film maker and author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, her 2007 book in which she showed how the neoconservative forces that have taken over America and much of the West have used, in the words of the book’s blurb, “public disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters – to push through highly unpopular economic shock therapy.” In her own contribution entitled “Building a Booming Economy Based on War with No End; The Lessons of Israel”, in the collection in question, Klein tried to answer the puzzle about how the Israeli economy has boomed in the midst of the chaos and carnage in its region. The New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, had offered the explanation that it was because the Israeli education system and its broader society “nurtures and rewards individual imagination.” Israel, Friedman said, “had discovered oil” not literally but metaphorically in the minds of the country’s “young innovators and venture capitalists.” Right answer if you only looked at the surface only, countered Klein, but wrong if you looked deeper. Israel, she argued, was booming because “perhaps more than any other country, (it) has learnt to build an economy based on never ending war.” Yes, Friedman was in a way right that Israel had struck oil, she said, but that oil was not the imagination of its clever young “techies.” Rather the oil was “the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless demand for the devices that watch, listen, contain and target suspects. And fear, unlike oil, is the ultimate renewable resource.” Klein supported her theory with statistics that showed how the Israeli economy has come to depend on the West’s never ending war on terror. The country’s technology sector, much of it linked to security, she said, grew by 16% in 2006 alone and made up 60% of all its exports. In the same year, she said, the country exported US $3.4 billion in defence products, “well over a billion more than it received in US military aid.” This, she said, made Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain. Israel’s high level tech-dependency – it is believed to be the most tech-dependent in the world, indeed twice as dependent as the US, the next highest tech-dependent country - she said, had left its economy so unprotected that it came as no surprise when the dot-com bubble burst of 2000 led to its collapse such that

People and Politics By MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

Boko Haram:‘War’ with no end?

•President Goodluck Jonathan

by 2002, the Tel Aviv business newspaper, Globes, was declaring the year as “the worst for the Israeli economy since 1953.” Yet, somehow, by 2003, the country was already making a “stunning” recovery and by 2004, as if by some miracle, it was, Klein said, already performing better than almost any Western economy. What saved the country, she said, was 9/11, followed by bombings in Bali, Madrid, London, etc. “What,” she said, “saved Israel’s economy was the realisation by its business and political leaders that 9/11 had opened up a new potential market niche for the country, as the world’s leading supplier of ‘counter-terrorism’ tools and services.” Predictably the novelty of Boko Haram’s suicide bombing in Nigeria and its targeted attacks on state security outfits, churches and even on the United Nations building in Abuja, the Federal capital, following the Federal Government’s 2009 attempt to wipe out the Islamic sect from its redoubt in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, has provided the Israelis the opportunity to expand their well-known and already widespread presence in the country’s security sector. Only the other day the authorities announced they would be spending over N10 billion to fight Boko Haram. You can be sure that a huge chunk of that princely sum will go to Israeli firms providing security goods

and services. Of course, the Israelis would not be the only beneficiaries. Others would include the British, our former colonial masters, and the Americans whose invitation as military and security advisers embedded in our military establishments, the reader may recall, eventually led to the sack of General Victor Malu as army chief several years ago for protesting their presence in our military barracks. The Boko Haram terrorism is obviously bad for the country’s economy and, needless to say, very bad for ordinary Nigerians who now live in fear of falling victims in the crossfire between the sect and the authorities. However, it is bad for Nigeria and Nigerians not only because the economy suffers and innocent Nigerians also suffer or even die as a result. It is bad also because it poses the distinct danger that, like those outsiders who profit from chaos and mayhem, our own politicians and military and security forces, along with their contractors, may develop the attitude of preferring the dividends of war to those of peace. There are signs that this may already be the

On celebrating Magaji Dambatta at 80

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OUR column last week is what I wish I had written as a tribute to Malam Magaji for what I learnt by associating with him and as a token of gratitude for his liberality with his time, ideas and resources and for that indescribably genuine, self-effacing humility that is uniquely his. And for his being great. But there are two mistakes and I think I should tell you before others do: Dambatta is spelt with an ‘m’ and not an ‘n,’ as I discovered to my chagrin while writing with him; and for Morningsiders like us, a person’s or a town’s name is as they spell it. And the autobiography is ‘The Pull of Fate’ not Faith. Adamu Adamu, Abuja. Thanks for your usual “Wednesday- Wednesday” tonic. Just wish to inform you that the Cameroon plebiscite took place in 1962 when yours sincerely was in Form 2. And to the best of my little knowledge, the Makaman Bida was at various times Minister of Education and later, Finance, but never of Health. Shehu Kaikai, Kaduna.

HARDBALL

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T is not hard to see why Nigeria is on the horns of a dilemma. It needs to make drastic changes both to the way the country is governed and how its economy is run. But these changes may be coming at a time of increasing turbulence in world politics and economy, a turbulence that is bound to have effects, sometimes deleteriously, on whatever decisions Nigeria wants to make in the coming months. Let us first look at the decisions that have to be made. President Goodluck Jonathan has indicated that he is interested in making some key changes in the economy. One of the changes — in fact the main change — concerns the oil sector, where he says fuel products are not appropriately priced. As a result, he says, he wants to remove what he describes as subsidy. If the subsidy is not removed, he concludes apocalyptically, the economy will collapse. Analysts and opinion leaders have challenged him to present facts and figures on the subsidy, for as they say, they have done their own calculations and could not find the subsidy the president glibly talks about. The second decision is in the political arena. The president is gearing up for a constitutional review, which he says is part

Hard decisions ahead for Nigeria of his transformation agenda. Everybody doubtless wants transformation, but the problem with the president’s transformation agenda is that it is not farreaching enough, say opinion leaders. They want a sovereign national conference, or at least a forum to discuss the restructuring of the country. Except those in government, most Nigerians seem to think that the country is badly and poorly arranged, a leprous arrangement they sneeringly describe as a colonial relic. The government is prepared only for tinkering — nothing revolutionary, nothing to upset the apple cart. Like previous governments before it, the Jonathan government has sworn that it would not allow the unity and stability of the country to be threatened. In government rhetoric, sovereign conference is a threat. But it is not so much the decisions that are to be taken in the next few months that are giving everyone the jitters as the international context within which these decisions are to be made. First, of course, is the Maghrebian and Middle Eastern

case. Even the most casual observer of our roads and highways would have noticed, for example, that for the first time since the Federal Government’s Low Profile Policy of 1976 which made Peugeot the general official car, senior military officers lately cruise around in Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps and top of the line BMWs as official cars. Behind and beyond this gratuitous show of extravagance, there are rumours of unhealthy turf wars among the security forces, especially between the military and the police, on who should handle the procurement of what security products and services. There are also rumours that our Minister of Finance and chief coordinator of the economy, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, is becoming so concerned about the way money is being appropriated – misappropriated is probably more like it - in the name of fighting Boko Haram in particular and security in general that she’s seriously contemplating resigning her super-ministerial job. Credible or not, these rumours underscore the danger that Boko Haram may be seized upon – that is if it has not already been seized upon - as an opportunity by Klein’s “disaster capitalists” abroad and their henchmen in mufti or khaki here at home to militarise Nigeria’s economy and society for good. The early signs of this are here already in the almost meaningless military and police checkpoints that have made travelling around the country and commuting within our towns and cities absolutely miserable. The lesson of violence with no end as we have witnessed in the Middle East, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Somalia and wherever disaster capitalism has sought to get take control of, is that it is foolish and futile to rely more on the instruments of violence than on dialogue for the resolution of disagreements in society no matter how deep.

reactions to stifling political arrangements, appropriately described as the Arab Spring. Begun in Tunisia, protests against unfair and unpopular governments have swept through North Africa and the Middle East leading to the toppling of many governments and the killing, so far, of one. As Egypt is showing, the revolts are continuing even after the unpopular Hosni Mubarak had long been toppled. Egyptians are insisting on an arrangement that pleases them, not the one that satisfies Egypt’s military rulers. Is Jonathan sure that his political agenda is farreaching and transformative enough? He will probably say yes; but that answer would be insincere and misleading. Anything short of full restructuring would be inadequate for Nigeria’s present and future needs. The second is the Greco-Roman reaction to economic unfairness and inequalities. It is true that Nigeria has serious financial crisis brewing, just like Greece and Italy have had a very bad season of unmanageable debt and an even worse season of trying to manage those debts. While many European countries are waiting with bated breath for their own economic crisis to

January 15, 1966 was a Saturday and NCNC was the National Council [not Congress] of Nigeria and Cameroons, and later of Nigerian Citizens. Felix Adenaike, Ibadan. Makaman Bida was finance minister and Ahman Pategi that of health. I also think the (Cameroonian) plebiscite took place in the two parts of the Cameroons at the same time in1961, not separately. Northern Cameroun became Sardauna Province, the North’s thirteenth. M. T. Usman, Kaduna. I have read your article on the subject matter above so also Magaji’s autobiography. It was not MUSTAPHA (Magaji’s brother) that contested against him as you said. But Mustapha supported his friend ALTO DAMBATTA, a PRP candidate that defeated Magaji DAMBATTA who contested in NPN. Murtala Uba, Kano. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above spiral into austerity measures, the situation in Greece is yet to abate with two heavy bailouts. Jonathan’s government is neither really popular and inspiring nor has it convinced the country that it even has a proper understanding of the nature of our economic crisis or its prognosis. When the president took the subsidy case before the National Assembly, sources told the media that the president did not appear to have a very deep understanding of the issues involved. Can the Jonathan government, therefore, stand what is certain to be a very harsh public reaction to his subsidy war? It is doubtful. There is no concise programme to cushion the subsidy withdrawal pain, and one may not be forthcoming for more than a year even if the government is persuaded to draw it up. The auguries for Nigeria are certainly not good. From all indications, if the Jonathan government escapes the Maghrebian apocalypse, it will run smack into the GrecoRoman ogre. Worse, it could find itself confronted by two apocalyptic horses, and sandwiched between them. Is Jonathan sure there is no other way of doing things? Is he sure he is not gambling everything with a throw of the dice?

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The Nation November 23, 2011