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VOL. 7, NO. 1937 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
•A roadside beggar sits soliciting alms in front of a police anti-bomb squad vehicle burnt on November 4 by members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect in Damaturu, Yobe State ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Boko Haram: Exodus in Yobe as death toll hits 150 M
ORE attacks are coming, Islamic sect Boko Haram has warned. The warning came as the death toll in last weekend’s attacks hit 50. “We will continue attacking Federal Government foundations until security forces stop their excesses on our members and vulnerable civilians,” Abdul-Qaqa, a spokesman of the group, said yesterday. The United States, also yester-
•Sect vows more attacks •Pope, Ki-Moon worried •US warns more bombings coming in Abuja •Federal Govt to publish list of terrorists, sponsors •Police inspector shot dead before his family From Joel Duku, Damarutu and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
day, warned of possible attacks in Abuja.
It says Boko Haram targets the major hotels mainly used by diplomats, politicians and the business elite visiting the capital city.
Boko Haram has twice attacked Abuja through suicide bombings at the police headquarters and the United Nations (UN) House.
Boko Haram launched coordinated attacks in Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe State as well as Maiduguri in Borno State at the weekend. The death toll increased to 150 yesterday. Ibrahim Bulama, an official of the Nigerian Red Cross humanitarian organisation, said the death toll was expected to rise as local clinics and hospitals tabulate the casualty figures from Friday’s attacks. Continued on page 2
•JOBS P17 •SPORT P24 •POLITICS P25 •CITYBEATS P31 •CEO P50
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
•President Goodluck Jonathan addressing the Muslim Ulama led by Vice President Namadi Sambo (second left), during the sallah homage visit to the President at State House Abuja and Defence Minister Haliru Mohammed (left) ... yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
•Chief ImamAbu of Lagos Central Mosque (third right),praying with former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (second left) and others during the Sallah celebration at Tinubu’s home in Lagos ... yesterday.
Boko Haram: Exodus in Yobe as death toll hits 150 Continued from page 1
As bodies piled up in the morgue in Damaturu, a rescue agency official told Agence France-Presse (AFP) the body count stood at 150. “I was involved in the evacuation of corpses to the morgue. I personally counted 150 bodies,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at the hospital. He said some families had already collected their loved ones for burial, reducing the number to 97 by end of the day. An AFP reporter counted 97 bodies still in the mortuary. The Red Cross earlier said the death toll stood at 63. The police said it was 53, of whom 11 were their men. “From our inventory, 53 people have so far been killed in the attack,” said Yobe State Police Commissioner Suleiman Lawal. An AFP reporter said no office was still standing at the police headquarters which was still smoldering, 24 hours after the attack. Three burnt cars lay in front of the building. A journalist described scenes of chaos and destruction in Damaturu. “In fact, Damaturu is looking just like Libya … burnt cars and buildings.” In a mainly Christian neighbourhood of Damaturu called Jerusalem, six churches were bombed, in addition to a police station. “A police station and a mechanical workshop of the police were attacked. Six churches in the area were also bombed,” said resident Edwin Silas, adding: “The whole city is traumatised.” Police Commissioner Lawal said the police were after the killers. He said: “We are ready for them, we are going to comb every place in the state, until we find and deal with them. Our men are ready.” He was quoted by Reuters. He gave the official death toll as 53. The unusually specific warning from the the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria identified possible targets of Boko Haram in Abuja as Transcrop Hilton, Nicon Luxury and Sheraton hotels. The embassy said the attack may come as Nigeria celebrates the Muslim holiday and that its diplomats and staff had been instructed to avoid those hotels.
Govt to publish list of terrorists, sponsors
IGERIANS will soon have a lost of terrorists and terrorists groups, it was learnt yesterday. The government will publish the list as part of measures to fight the growing scourge of terrorism. The activities of Boko Haram have taken an upward swing, leading to killings and disruption of activities in parts of the North, especially the Northeast. There is anxiety in Abuja. The group claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on the police headquarters and the United Nations (UN) office in Abuja in which 24 people were killed and many others injured. About 150 people were killed at the weekend in simultaneous attacks in Damaturu and Postikum in Yobe State and Maiduguri, Borno State. Book Haram is also believed to have links with the International terrorist group al-Qaeda. Before the Boko Haram menace, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) held sway in the Niger Delta. The Federal Government has now released a gazette on the regulations to fight terrorism. All terrorists and their sponsors risk five-year jail term and global freezing of their accounts at home and abroad, according to the gazette. Also, for the first time, the government will publish a Nigeria List of terrorists and their sponsors. These measures are contained in a Gazette of Regulations released by Attorney-General of the Federation Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), which was obtained by our correspondent. The regulations are in line with the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011, the Charter of the United Nations and UN Resolutions 1267(1999), 1333(2000), 1373(2001), 1390(2002), 1452(2002), 1455(2003), 1526(2004), 1617(2005),
Deb MacLean, an embassy spokeswoman, declined to offer further details about the threat or the source of the information yesterday. But the police assured all last night of adequate security in Abuja. Deputy Force Public Relations Officer Yemi Ajayi said there was no cause for alarm as the police have strengthened security around the capital city. Ajayi said: “I can assure you that we are fully prepared for any eventuality because the security arrangement in place is watertight. We are not leaving anything to chance and we are not taking the threat lightly. “We have acted on the intelligence report at our disposal and we are assuring the
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
1735(2006), 1822(2008), 1904(2009) and 1988(2011). With the Gazette, the government may unmask those behind increasing terror attacks in the country. The attacks recently forced the United States (US) and Canada to issue a travel warning to their citizens coming to Nigeria. While the issues surrounding the travel warning were being addressed, Boko Haram (Western education is sin) struck in Borno and Yobe states at the weekend. The Gazette reads: “An offence may be committed under these Regulations by any person (a) in Nigeria; or (b) elsewhere who is a Nigerian citizen. “A person who contravenes any of the provisions of these Regulations shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years or to a fine of not less than N1milion or to both. “Where an offence under these Regulations is committed by a designated terrorist group, every member of the group shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years. In the case of a violation of the provisions of these Regulations by an institution, entity or other body corporate, the principal officers of the Institution, entity or body corporate shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.” According to the Gazette, the government is empowered to publish the list of terrorists and their sponsors. The document adds: “Whenever the president declares that a person is a suspected international terrorist or declares a group to be an international terrorist group for reasons other than those provided for under subsections
Nigerian people that we are working round the clock to secure lives and property. We are on top of the situation.” Boko Haram also yesterday killed a police inspector in Maiduguri, the sect’s spiritual home. Sect gunmen stopped the officer’s car at gunpoint as he neared a mosque to pray with his family, Police Commissioner Simeon Midenda said. Gunmen ordered the family away, then shot the Inspector to death, Mr. Midenda said. The sect members later allowed his family to drive the car away, he said. The killing prompted a frank acknowledgment from the police commissioner, whose men remain under siege from constant assassi-
(1) (b) or 4(b) of Section 9 of the Act, the Attorney-General shall enter the name and other details of such a person or group in the Nigeria List. “The Attorney-General may remove or amend the name of a person or group or any other relevant details under the Nigeria List whenever the President revokes or amends a declaration made under Section 9 of the Act. “The Attorney-General shall cause the Nigeria List, including any revision or amendment as may be made thereto from time to time, to be disseminated for the purpose of these Regulations.” The Regulations have also mandated the government to freeze all funds held by any designated person or group. The Gazette says: “The funds or other economic resources owned, held or controlled, directly or indirectly by a designated person whose name and other details are on the Lists shall be frozen. “Freezing of funds shall be without prejudice to the rights of third parties acting in good faith. “For the purpose of sub-regulation(1) of this Regulation, in determining whether funds are controlled by a designated person, the fact that such funds are held in the name of an associate or relation is immaterial. “Where the name of a person or of an entity is confirmed to be on the Lists, the Institution shall block the funds or any other economic resources identified as belonging to or connected with the person or entity on the lists and shall ensure that the account is not operated and thereafter forward to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). “All funds and other economic resources frozen under this Regulation shall be recorded against the names of the owners and beneficial owners for proper management.”
nations by the radical sect. “Our men who live in the midst of the Boko Haram are not safe,” Mr. Midenda said. The UN Security Council described weekend’s attacks in Damaturu and Maiduguri as “criminal and unjustifiable” and asked members to help Nigerian authorities bring those responsible to justice. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon called for “an end to all violence in the area”, while offering sympathy for the victims. Pope Benedict XVI also appealed for an end to all violence, saying it only increases problems, sowing hatred and division even among the faithful. He told tourists in St. Peter’s Square that he is following with apprehension
the news from Nigeria. An Associated Press count shows the Boko Haram has killed at least 361 people this year alone. A mass exodus has hit Damaturu, the Yobe state capital following weekend’s bomb attacks. Many people mainly women and children were seeing leaving the state capital yesterday. Also, unclaimed bodies at the Gen. Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu have started decomposing. Our correspondent who visited the mogue noticed that some of the bodies that were brought to the hospital were not embalmed. It was also observed that the mortuary lacks the capacity to contend the situation. The entire section of the mortuary it was
gathered has only one employee. Police Commissioner Lawal told our correspondent on the telephone that the police are on top of the situation in the state capital and other parts of the state. He said the re-enforcement of security in the state is to ensure that innocent lives are protected. He called for calm by obeying the curfew in the state so as to avoid running into trouble with security operatives. In spite their churches being burnt, Christians in Damaturu yesterday defied the security panic and held their Sunday service in open air at the premises of their burnt churches. Eid-el-Kabir prayers observed by Islamic faithful who came out notwithstanding the precarious situation. Our correspondent observed that some Christians conducted their Sunday service either under trees at the premises of their churches or in open air. But a lot of people stayed at home due to the security situation. A member of the Living Faith Church Damaturu who does not want his name mentioned told our correspondent on the telephone that their “service though was held outside the church premises but went on hitch free”. “We had a very hitch free service. Though it was held outside but we give God the glory everything was ok,” he said. The Deputy Governor Abubakar Aliyu, commissioners, permanent secretaries and other government top functionaries observed the Eid-Kabir prayers. Chief Imam, Uztaz Goni Ideni called for peaceful coexistence of all people in the country irrespective of tribe and religion.
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THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS EID-EL KABIR CELEBRATION
•Vice President Namadi Sambo (third right); Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Hafiz Ringim (left); Defence Minister Bello Haliru; his Federal Capital Territory (FCT) counterpart Senator Bala Mohammed; vice president’s son Amir and Minister of State for Finance Dr. Yerima Ngama at the Abuja praying Ground…yesterday
•Oyo State Governor Isiaka Ajimobi (second right); Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Akin Olajide (right); former Deputy Governor Hazeem Gbolarumi (third right); Alhaji Lateef Oyelade; Alhaji Yekini Adeojo and other Muslim faithful at Agodi Praying Ground.
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (right) addressing muslim faithful at the Oke Baale Praying Ground, Osogbo.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi (left); House of Assembly Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin; Senator Babafemi Ojudu and former Deputy Governor Sikiru Tae Lawal, at the Central Praying Ground, Olokemeji, Ado-Ekiti.
•Kwara State Governor Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (left); Waziri of Ilorin, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, Senator Bukola Saraki and others at the Ilorin Praying Ground.
Alhaji Lateef Femi Okunnu (left); Sasi of Lagos, Alhaji Olaseni Sasi, Lagos monarch, Oba Riliwan Akiolu and Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Lanre Babalola at the Obalende Praying Ground in Lagos .
•Former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (right); Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Faruk Bahago, Niger State Governor Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and his deputy Ahmed Musa Ibeto at the Minna Praying Ground. PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN, FEMI ILESANMI AND NIYI ADENIRAN
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS EID-EL KABIR CELEBRATION
Jonathan calls for peace
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second left); Commissioner for Information and Strategy Yusuph Olaniyonu (second right); Amosun’s Deputy Chief of Staff Shuaibu Salisu (left) and Chief Imam of Ijaye Muslims Musa Musbau at the Lantoro Praying Ground…yesterday
HE President called for peace in the country yesterday, using the occasion of the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. He spoke when Vice President Namadi Sambo led a delegation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents to pay the traditional sallah homage on the President. Vice President Sambo and FCT Minister Bala Mohammed described peace as a prerequisite for Nigeria’s transformation agenda to sail through especially as it relates to the much-needed inflow of investment into the economy. The Sallah homage to the President by the FCT residents led by Sambo took place at House 7 within the inner precincts of the Aso Rock Villa, Asokoro, Abuja. The President was presented with a giant Sallah roll up card. Jonathan decried weekend’s violence on the eve of the EidEl-Kabir celebration. He said it is saddening for such dastardly acts to be happening in this holy period. He urged Muslims and members of other faiths to continue to pray for peace and unity of the country, adding that without peace, no investment and genuine progress would be made. The Vice President prayed Allah to shower his blessings
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
on the President, and the entire leadership of the country and the people. Muslims prayed at the Eid Prayer Ground along Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua boulevard (Airport Road) near the Abuja City Gate. Deputy Chief Imam of Abuja National mosque, Ustaz Muhammad Kabir urged them to pray and work for peace. He urged them to recognise and respect other people’s faiths by living peacefully with their neighbours according to the injunctions of Allah. In a special message, the President urged Nigerians to “seize the opportunity of the Eid-E-el-Kabir holiday to reflect on how the ideals and virtues of peace, harmony, brotherly love, selflessness, tolerance, honesty, fairness, justice and equity taught by Islam and other religions can be more extensively harnessed and deployed in addressing the developmental challenges confronting the nation. “I am certain that this administration’s plans for rapid national development will soon begin to bear fruit and fulfil the yearnings of our country men and women for qualitative changes in their lives,” President Jonathan said.
Christian women donate to Muslims From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
C •Senator Gbenga Ashafa flanked by the Chief Imam, Magodo Central Mosque, Ibrahim Abdul-Azeez Olaniyi (right) and another cleric at Magodo praying ground …yesterday
Governors to Muslims: imbibe the spirit of the season G OVERNORS have called on Muslims to imbibe the spirit of Eid-el-kabir as demonstrated by Prophet Mohammed. They called on the people to observe the spirit of sacrifice and obedience. In his message, Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime urged Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations to rededicate themselves to values and virtues that would promote tolerance, brotherhood and unity. The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, said the celebration offered Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on Allah’s love and compassion for mankind and to ensure that they share similar attitudes. He commended Muslims in the state for their contributions and sacrifices towards the development of the state, especially through their respect for the rule of law and pursuit of peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. “As we celebrate with our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith, we urge everyone to use this occasion to rededicate themselves to values and virtues that promote love, tolerance, brothers and
From Our Reporters
unity among all Nigerians,” Chime said. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi enjoined Muslim faithful to imbibe what he called the “spirit of give and take”. He said this was the essence of life as the most priceless service to God can be demonstrated by love to one’s fellow man. In Edo State, Governor Adams Oshiomhole urged Muslims to renew their prayers for the country “in the light of its multifarious crises, some of which threaten the fabric of its stability.” The governor said: “I wish to extend my felicitation to our Muslim brothers and sisters on this occasion of the Eidel-Kabir Festival. “This is an occasion to rejoice with the Muslim Ummah and identify with them on the observance of a major religious festival, with a profound spiritual essence. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday urged Nigerians to let all vices go away with the spirit of sacri-
fice that prevailed in the period of the Eid-el-Kabir. Speaking shortly after praying at the Oke Baale Praying Ground, Osogbo, the state capital, Aregbesola said Nigerians should allow the symbolic killing of rams to mark the end of all vices, including corruption, human rights violations, religious intolerance and attacks on government facilities. These vices, the governor stated, have been responsible for the many years of economic stagnation. “We should allow the symbolic slaughtering of rams to bring to an end, all our vices. “We have for long lived with corruption, which has caused us stagnation in this country. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi urged Muslims to use the period to renew their commitment to the service of Allah, love for one another and progress of the country. Fayemi, in a Sallah message in Ado-Ekiti, also reassured the people of the readiness of his administra-
tion to preserve the peace, tranquility and religious harmony that have taken root in the state. He urged them to partner the government to ensure this. Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu yesterday urged Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Kabir to strengthen the bond of friendship among tribes and ethnic groups. Aliyu, in a state broadcast to mark this year’s celebration, said Nigerians must team up and ensure peaceful coexistence, if the country must progress. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday implored Muslims to tolerate other religions and steer clear of any acts that could imperil the unity and stability of the country. Amosun said the positive change and progress Nigerians are clamouring for can only be experienced if Muslims and non-Muslims respect the rule of law and shun acts that have continued to frustrate efforts to attain peace, greatness and stability. The governor, who addressed Muslims shortly after he observed prayers in Abeokuta, the state capital, urged them to lead peaceful and exemplary life.
HRISTIAN women in Jos, Plateau State, under the aegis of Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigerian Society (CWEENS) have donated food items and rams to women, who do not have means of celebrating Sallah with their families. They said in the spirit of sacrifice, women should not just tolerate one another but relate with one another in love. Presenting the items yesterday in Jos to the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), CWEENS National Coordinator Dr. Olufunmilayo ParaMallam said the token is a show of love to Muslim women, who are in need of resources to cater for their families, especially in this time of celebration. She said: “We the members of CWEENS bring warm greetings at this time of celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. “We ask that you accept this token of two rams, four bags of rice and a carton of sugar which we present to needy members of the Muslim Ummah.”
Oyo monarch calls for peace From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
he Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, has felicitated with Muslims. He enjoined them to allow peace to reign and spread love to one another . The Soun said: “Islam is a religion that preaches peace and abhors violence. That is why the Almighty Allah replaced Ismail, son of Abraham, with a ram which we slaughter annually to appreciate Allah’s love for humanity. “Many lives have been wasted and property worth millions of naira destroyed as a result of communal clashes and disasters. “The occasion of this year’s festival should be used to embrace peace and live together to foster unity in the country.”
Cleric preaches peace
HE National President, Nawair-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Abdul-Ganiyu Adegboyega, yesterday urged Muslims to regard the Eid-El-Kabir celebration as an opportunity to pray for peace and help the lessprivileged. Adegboyega made the call in his goodwill message to commemorate the festival. He said: “The Eid-El-Kabir festival is one that calls for sober reflection in our level of faith and test of endurance. This is why all Muslims should be modest in their celebration and pray for our brethren on Hajj.” The Islamic cleric also urged the Federal Government to find lasting solution to insecurity in the country, adding that cases of extra judicial killings by the police must be investigated and culpable ones prosecuted. He reiterated his condemnation of the Boko Haram sect and called on the leadership of the sect to stop their bombing activities and embrace peace, saying violence cannot solve any problem.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS WEEKEND TERROR ATTACKS
UN Security Council condemns killings M
EMBERS of the Security Council have condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that occurred in Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe State at the weekend, which led to numerous deaths and injuries. The security council members expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of the heinous crimes and their families, and to the people and Government of Nigeria. The stand of the members of the Security Council was contained in a statement issued by its President, Mr Jose Moraes in New York on Saturday. About 67 people were said to have been killed in a wave of bombings and shootings suspected to have been carried out on Friday night by suspected Boko Haram sect. The council had swiftly issued similar statements dur-
ing the bomb blast at the UN building on Aug. 26, which killed some of its staff. The members reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed it and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. Accordingly, they also reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. They, however, reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
The members underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of the reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The group urged all states, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Nigerian authorities in this regard. Members of the council also reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations. Similarly, the UN Secretary-
General, Ban Ki-moon condemned the armed attacks and bombings. Ban in a statement by his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, expressed his sincere sympathy and condolences to the people of Nigeria and to the bereaved families. He expressed the hope that the perpetrators of these attacks would be brought to justice. The secretary-general called once again for an end to all violence in the area, while reiterating his firm conviction that no objective sought could justify this resort to violence.
Security chiefs should go, says ACN
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it is horrified at the scale of the terror attacks carried out by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Friday night, and noted it is time for security chiefs to toe the path of honour by resigning or be kicked out. In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it is now apparent that those saddled with ensuring the security of lives and property in the country are grossly incapable of doing so, hence the need to shake up the security agencies and put more capable men and women in charge. “The shake-up must not spare any of the security chiefs. This
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
is about taking responsibility. After all, they have consistently assured the nation they are capable of stopping these deadly attacks, which have now grown in number and ferocity,” it said. ACN said for a country not at war, the death of 53 people - as claimed by the police - is enough reason for any President to be concerned enough to take an urgent action to rectify the situation. The party slammed the President’s spin doctors for saying he cancelled his trip to Bayelsa for a family wedding in view of the attacks, saying that indeed is not what Nigerians want to hear at this point.
“The President’s spin doctors are so unimaginative. Why do they think Nigerians are more interested in whether or not he cancelled his social trip than in what the President is doing to stop this carnage? “In other climes, the President would have gone ahead to address his compatriots to reassure them that the government is still capable of protecting them, instead of merely telling them his cannot make a social trip,’’ it said. ACN again warned the government not to think it can use force to defeat those behind these heinous acts, adding that a more imaginative solution must be fashioned out to save the lives of innocent Nigerians and the security agents who are
daily being mowed down by Boko Haram. The party said the government must have a rethink on why what it initially considered a ragtag group is now carrying out sophisticated and well-coordinated attacks, in addition to spreading its attacks beyond Maiduguri. “The government must also consider the possibility that the whole crisis may have been hijacked by other groups. “And since it seems the government has now run out of ideas on how to tackle this crisis, we hereby repeat our earlier suggestion that the President should call a stakeholders’ meeting to help find a way out of the quagmire the country has been thrown into,” it said.
‘Zoning agitators behind radical Islamic sect’
HE President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Mr. Miabiye Kuromiema, has alleged that the agitators for zoning of the presidential slot in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are behind the dreaded Boko Haram sect. the sect, according to him, was the creation of the prime moves of the zoning arrangement. He stated that dialogue, to have the people’s constitution/true federalism, especially through the convocation of a Sovereign National Confer-
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
ence (SNC), remained the only way out of the incessant bombings and crises in the country. Kuromiema, in a telephone interview yesterday, stated that President Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw from Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, inherited the security and economic crises, which he said would not be solved overnight. He alleged: “The zoning agitators are behind the bomb blasts and crises in the North,
just to spite President Jonathan. Quite unfortunately, the sponsors of Boko Haram have lost control of their boys. “The Northerners, who were behind zoning, believe they were born to rule Nigeria forever and they are creating the security challenge to cause confusion and to create the impression that a Southsouth person cannot govern the country. “The fundamental issues affecting Nigeria should urgently be addressed. There is need for true federalism. The bomb
blasts by Boko Haram show that we are yet to have a nation. Most of the politicians are just pretending. “Nigeria should move to a new political order by the people discussing. We may have the best of economy, but we need to dialogue. We should go beyond attempts to eradicate poverty, which cannot be achieved overnight. “Until we sit down to discuss, thereby giving rise to the people’s constitution, we may not move forward as a nation. We should stop pretending.”
•A car bombed by suspected Boko Haram members in Damaturu
Activists blame Fed
UMAN Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has criticised the Federal Government for failing to adopt effective and efficient proactive security measures to check the series of targeted bomb attacks in government establishments in Damaturu and other parts of Yobe State. The multiple attacks by suspected member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect cause the death of over one hundred persons. The Rights group has also condemned the spate of targeted killings in North-east Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to either provide effective security to Nigerians or quit honorably for failing to keep to the statutory function of government, which is the protection of lives and property of the citizenry. In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media officer Miss. Zainab Yususf, the HURIWA expressed shock that armed gangs would allowed to roam the streets of a Nigerian city freely and unleashing a regime of targeted violence and killings even as the security operatives were incapable and unable to prevent this genocide of innocent civilians by armed hoodlums. The group also urged the Federal Government to seek the active assistance of the United States (U.S.)
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS WEEKEND TERROR ATTACKS
•Yobe Governor Ibrahim Gaidam
•IGP Hafiz Ringim
Timeline of attacks in Nigeria
OLLOWING is a timeline of religious and ethnic violence in Nigeria over the last 10 years: 2000 - Thousands killed in northern Nigeria as non-Muslims opposed to the introduction of Sharia (Islamic law) fight Muslims who demand its implementation in state of Sharia. Sept. 2001 - Christian-Muslim violence flares after Muslim prayers in Jos, with churches and mosques set on fire. At least 1,000 people are killed, according to Sept. 2002 report by a panel set up by Plateau state government. Nov. 2002 - Nigeria abandons Miss World contest in Abuja. Decision follows death of at least 216 people in rioting in Kaduna, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of Jos, after newspaper article suggests Prophet Mohammad would probably have married one of
mbers in Damaturu
lame Fed Govt over security lapses security forces to deploy unmanned drones to dislodge these armed hoodlums suspected to be migrating into Nigeria from neighbouring countries of Chad and Niger through the porous borders. HURIWA said that the systematic underfunding, corrupt diversion of financial resources meant for the Nigeria Police Force by successive top government officials and hierarchy of the Force, poor fighting weapons that are available to the Nigeria Police Force and the near absence of any credible and efficient training on anti terrorism as the reason officers have failed to carry out their constitutional functions of enforcement of law and order in the society. The rights group advised the Federal Government to walk the talk by effectively equipping the police and providing effective training on anti terrorism mechanisms as ways of curbing the dangerous menace of spate of bomb attacks in the Northeast. It described as regrettable that armed splinter groups and other armed religious extremists will consistently wage war against the Nigerian state and its people while the government of the day has clearly displayed gross lack of effective mechanisms to check the in flow of
small arms and weapons from the porous borders, with unarmed civilians left at the mercy of these mass murderers. The group warned the Federal Government that the patience of Nigerians was fast running out, warning that the people might result to self-help and if the government proved incapable of safeguarding their lives and property. It asked the Federal Government to enforce effective measures to stop the spate of violence across the country and especially in the Northeast to guarantee Nigerians of their safety. The statement reads: “We think it is in the self enlightened interest of the current government that everything is done to bring the ongoing spate of violence to an end and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to justice in the competent courts of law to be prosecuted by competent legal experts so that the wheel of justice may not be derailed. The government must make use of high grade technological facilities for the detection of explosives and bombs all across the Country because the manual anti terrorism measures currently in use by members of the security community have failed to curb the vicious circle of violence and targeted killings.”
the Miss World beauty queens if he were alive today. Nov. 2008 - Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs triggered by disputed local government election kill at least 700 people in Jos, according to U.S.based Human Rights Watch. Jan. 2010 - Hundreds are reported killed after clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs in Jos, most by gunfire. Police estimate death toll at 326, although some community leaders put the figure at more than 400. March 2010 - Hundreds of people are killed in clashes between Islamic pastoralists and Christian villagers in the mostly Christian villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Ratsat just south of Jos. Plateau State Commissioner for Information, Gregory Yenlong, said more than 300 people had died.
Dec. 2010 - At least 80 people are killed in Dec. 24 bombings as well as in clashes two days later between Muslim and Christian youths in Jos. Jan. 2011 - Human Rights Watch says more than 200 people killed in violence over preceding month, with many hacked to death or burned alive in attacks on villages, and reprisal killings in Plateau state. August.-September. 2011 - At least 70 people killed in clashes in central Plateau state since beginning of August. Cycle of violence started when Christian youths attacked Muslims as they gathered to celebrate end of Ramadan in Jos. Nov. 2011 - At least 90 people killed in northeast city of Damaturu when Islamist insurgents bomb churches, mosques and police stations. Boko Haram militant sect claims responsibility.
Tragedies at a glance
Casualties of another Jos crisis in January 2010
People killed on December 24, 2010 violence in Jos
Estimated number of people fell btw Aug and Sept 2011 in Jos
The number of deaths recorded in a Jos violence in March 2010
The number of deaths recorded in Jos in November 2008
The death toll in the attack in Damaturu as at last night
The number of the next set of victims violence will claim
1,000 Estimated number of people killed in Sept 2001 Jos crisis
Police have failed, says activist
CTIVIST-lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele , yesterday berated the Federal Government for insecurity in the country, saying the recent bomb blast in Yobe State is a clear indication that the police cannot secure the lives and properties of Nigerians again. Ogele, in a statement, expressed sympathy for the families of the victims. He called on retired police officers in the country to rise to security challenge and save the nation from more woes. The statement reads: “It is the right time to call the retired Inspector-Generals (IG s) of police
to come and save Nigerians. Their experience will help Nigerians. The present police authority are no more interested in providing security for Nigerians but when it comes to the invasion of media houses, they can perform well. “Of recent, President Goodluck Jonathan told the world that he has a clue to the operation of these militants. The PDP-led government is only interested in sharing monies and positions. They have left Nigerians afar. There is no doubt that if positive steps are not taken, we may not be able to sleep with our two eyes closed. From
Aljazeera’s information, 157 Nigerians have been killed within two days. “It is time for Nigerians to be security conscious and find alternative ways in providing security for themselves. Nigerians must put pressure on the Federal Government to find maximum security for them. “We need not inform the IG to resign immediately but if need be, he should resign within three days.All the Divisional Police Officers( DPOs) should put security above their activities, rather than involve in monetary gains.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7 2011
Flights: Anxiety grips foreign carriers
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
There is anxiety in the aviation industry, following the reduction in the number of British Airways flights into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and plans to reduce flights of other foreign airlines, writes
HE Ministry of Aviation plans to reduce the flight frequencies of foreign carriers into major international airports, The Nation has learnt. The ministry has started with the British Airways, reducing its flights from seven to three times daily into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The resolve to cut the flight frequencies of the major carriers follows a review of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) Nigeria signed with the countries, which put Nigerian operators at a disadvantage. It was learnt that interest groups have been lobbying officials of the Ministry of Aviation, the Presidency and the National Assembly to ensure that carriers, such as Emirates Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Royal Dutch Airline KLM, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines, which also enjoy multiple entries into Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Lagos international airports, are not affected. The Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, is said to have promised to resist any pressure from British Airways and other carriers to frustrate the government’s resolve to correct the anomaly in the bilateral air services pact. The government, it was learnt, has decided to create a competitive field for indigenous carriers, such as Arik Air, with the capacity to compete on major international routes. But it would seem Arik is restricted by certain measures in the United Kingdom that forced it to suspend flying to Heathrow from Abuja. According to an industry source, the government is so determined to cut down the flight frequencies of the major carriers that it is not swayed by the over $1.2 billion a European carrier paid to aviation
•A British Airways Boeing 747 at the MMIA tarmac
Foreign airlines frequency
Kenyan Airway’s flights from Lagos and Abuja
Virgin Airway’s flights from Lagos and PH
The number of KLM’s flights from Lagos, Kano and PH
The number of Delta Airline’s flights from Lagos and Abuja
The number of Air France’s flights from Lagos and PH
The number of BA flights from Lagos and Abuja
agencies as landing, parking and other charges for its operations into Lagos and Abuja airports last year. The government, the source added, is worried by the huge amount foreign carriers remit to their home countries from ticket sales in Nigeria, with British Airways alone sending home over N22 billion in 2009. Statistics from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) show that foreign carriers enjoy over 200 flight frequencies into Nigeria’s major international airports: Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, with only Arik Air utilising about 20 flight frequencies into routes in London, South Africa and the United States of America. An aviation expert, Mr Chris Aligbe, urged the Federal Government to engage the foreign carriers in negotiations that will improve market share for indigenous carriers. He canvassed public equity placement in the strong domestic carriers to put them on solid footing to compete with the mega carriers. The chairman of Arik Air, Sir Arumemi Ikhide, said until the Federal Government evolves protectionist policies to encourage in-
digenous airlines, as is the practice by the British Department of Transportation, the air pact Nigeria has signed with many countries will remain lopsided. He explained that efforts by Arik Air to negotiate with Ethiopian government to seek approval to fly into Addis Ababa has been frustrated by officials in the country, a development he said calls for serious intervention by the Nigerian government. According to industry records, foreign airlines repatriated a whopping N200 billion from Nigeria in 2009 alone. Of the international airlines, British Airways topped the list of “successful carriers” operating into Nigeria with tickets sold put at approximately N32 billion. It is followed closely by Emirates, grossing nearly N22 billion in tickets sales from January 2009 to December 2009. Other big earners on the lucrative Nigerian routes are: Virgin Atlantic (N11,832,010, 763.40), Air France (N10,859,450,927.40), KLM,(N10,507, 299, 275), Delta Air (N7, 001, 304, 508), Qatar Airways(N6,799, 302,758), South African Airways (N5, 775, 448,204,
Egypt Air (N4,831,799,154.60) Kenya Airways (N2,807,340, 905,00), Arik (N4,343,492,015.00 and Turkish Airlines (N1,825,406,905.40) Others in the lower category of highest earners are: Alitalia (N931, 339, 519), Iberia (N769, 187, 923), Saudi Arabian Airlines, which only operates the Kano/Jeddah route, grossed N846,133, 401, followed by China Southern Airlines with N769, 187,932, Aero Contractors (N241, 438, 780), Afriqiyah (N302,496,743) and Royal Air Maroc, which began operations a little over a year ago, made N266,627,990. Worried over the development, the Director-General of the NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren, has consistently canvassed the strengthening of Nigerian carriers to enable them have their market share of operations into international routes. It was also learnt that if British Airways is unable to reverse the cut in its flight frequency into Lagos, it may consider deploying a bigger aircraft to mitigate the loss in operations. The adjustment in its schedule into Lagos may push passengers to patronise other carriers, such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, KLM and Air France. An aviation expert Mr Simon Tumba said: “Nigeria does not operate the slot system because the airports are under-utilised, compared to London Heathrow that operates at 98 per cent capacity. “The best option is for government to seek the help of the UK government along with BA to assist Arik and any Nigerian carrier with interest in serving the UK market. “The ideal thing is for a Nigerian carrier to set up its operation and acquire its slots, either in the primary or secondary markets. The longer an airline is able to maintain its schedule, the more it is given recognition and opportunities.”
LAWMA regrets assault on The Nation reporter
ITY cleaners Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) yesterday expressed regrets over the harassment of The Nation reporter Toluwani Eniola, by some of its officials. In a letter addressed to The Nation by LAWMA Managing Director Mr Ola Oresanya, the authority described the unprovoked at-
‘Polls boosted Nigeria’s profile’
tack on the reporter at its dumpsite at Igando, as “unfortunate” and “regrettable.” Eniola was beaten up last week at the Oko Filling dumpsite ,Igando , on the outskirts of Lagos for taking photographs of a road blocked with refuse. Oresanya said the harassment was alien to the organisation’s ethics and promised to look into the case.
The letter reads: “The incident is unfortunate and regrettable considering the fact that LAWMA management is a media-friendly organisation, having built and enjoyed beneficial collaboration with the media in achieving the laudable agenda of a healthy and clean environment “We appreciate the role of the media in the overall sustainability
of the sector, hence appropriate investigation process has commenced to unravel circumstances leading to the ugly occurrence which is alien to the organisation’s ethics. “Pending the outcome of the investigation please be assured of our continued commitment to mutual respect in achieving our common goal.”
HE successful conduct of the April 2011 elections shored up the image and profile of Nigeria at the just concluded 2011 Commonwealth of Heads of States and Government (CHOGM) in Australia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, said in Abuja at the weekend. According to the statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Ogbole Amedu Ode, the minister said Nigeria was held in high esteem during this year’s CHOGM. He said: “The successful conduct of Nigeria’s general election in April 2011 and the growing democratic culture, which featured prominently during the talks, no doubt contributed to the high profile and good press reviews which our country received during the period of the visit. “The invitation by the Australian government for Mr. President to undertake an official visit on the sideline of CHOGM 2011 is a reflection of the high esteem in which the Australian government holds Nigeria.”
Support for women professionals
OMEN leaders will, on November 19, mentor younger women during a walk in nine countries. A statement by Vital Voices Global Partnership said the programme is aimed at passing knowledge. The statement reads: “As in eight other countries around the globe, several established Nigerian women leaders will be matched with young professionals to engage in dialogue as they walk through neighborhoods and city streets on Saturday, November 19 to discuss their challenges and goals for the future. As they walk, they engage in discussion regarding their challenges and successes, establishing a mentoring relationship to help rising women leaders achieve their goals and reach their full potential. “In Nigeria this year, the walks will hold in several locations in Lagos, such as Ikorodu, AmuwoOdofin, Gbagada, Lekki, Ikeja and Unilag, hosted by Idea Builders and our programme partners like KIND, Century 21st and Treasure Health Builders; outside of Lagos, walks will hold in Enugu, Uwani, Uyo, Eket, Imo, Anambra and Nassarawa, also organised by programme partners in these locations.”
Environmentalists meet in Benin
HE fourth National Environmental Consultation (NEC) organised by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) will hold from today till Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital. This year’s NEC, which will stimulate broad-based discussions, will draw participants from government representatives, civil society organisations, the academia, youths and students. Renowned international environmental campaigners - Siziwe Khanyile of Friends of the Earth South Africa and Geert Ritsemena of Friends of the Earth Netherlands will also be participating. The NEC is a build-up to the Conference of Parties (COP 17) meeting slated for November 28 –December 9, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Why I jumped ANPP ship, by Audu
HE governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, is sure his party will trounce the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 3 governorship election. Audu said he decided to take another shot at the Government House to restore the lost glory of the state under the PDP-led government. Besides, he said his decision to contest on the ACN platform was because of the pragmatic and dynamic nature of the party,which his erstwhile platform, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) lacks. He, however, said he was constitutionally qualified to contest for governorship. Audu, who unfolded his agenda to reporters in Abuja on Saturday, said he is optimistic that the ACN will win the poll. He promised to ensure that power shifts to any minority group in 2015. He said while in charge of the state as governor between 1999 and 2003, Kogi State was rated as a model of good governance. But under the outgoing Governor Idris Ibrahim, the state is now regarded as the dirtiest. He said: “Yes I have all that it takes to defeat PDP in Kogi State because the electorate judges every candidate by his pedigree and antecedents, the performance. It is where I left Kogi State in 2003 that is where the state has been till date. “I will say without any exaggeration again, that it has even gone below that, because right now there is no water in Kogi State especially in Lokoja. And in the entire state, no road, schools are not functioning because teachers are on strike,
Ekiti Federal varsity takes off in January By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor
THE Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, (FUOYE), Ekiti State, will take off in January, next year, with the admission of students into Oye and Ikole campuses. Recruitment of academic and non-academic workers has begun. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has resumed in Oye-Ekiti, which hosts the main campus. Speaking on the activities of Ekiti State government on the weekly Lagos Radio phone-in programme, ‘Ekiti Kete’, Governor Kayode Fayemi’s spokesman, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said the two towns hosting the university; Oye and Ikole, have ended their disagreement over the location of the institution. FUOYE is taking off with five faculties, namely Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Agriculture and Engineering. The Faculty of Humanities offers courses in English and Literary Studies and Theatre Arts. The Faculty of Social Sciences offers four courses; Economics and Development Studies, Demography and Statistics, Psychology and Sociology. Seven courses are available in the Science Faculty.
•Kogi ACN candidate says PDP’ll be defeated From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
local government workers are on strike, civil servants are not being paid as at when due, drugs are not available in the hospitals and clinics, with the hospitals having been reduced to mere consulting clinics for obvious reasons. “The situation in the state is really very pathetic and very sad. My heart bleeds with sorrow. I will reorganise the state. I will make sure that the state regains its lost glory.” Replying a question, he said: “My ambition is to make sure that there is power shift or power rotation i that virtually everybody in the
state has been clamouring for, especially our brothers and sisters from the west and central senatorial zones. It was a gentleman agreement in 1991 after the creation of the state that power should rotate and now, I want to actualise that. “I have been a proponent of power shift in Kogi State and I want to actualise it. I want to be the first person to practicalise it because at times it is very dangerous to solve practical problems with theoretical concepts. We want to live in peace with each other.” Audu said he opted for the ACN because the party is better than ANPP. He added: “Well as you will
readily appreciate, I was a founding member of ANPP, initially APP then later ANPP, but the electoral fortunes of ANPP kept dwindling with every passing election and there was not any serious action taken by the prime movers of that party to arrest the situation. “And since I am still interested in politics, I will always be in search of where my votes will count and be counted, where people take the business of election very seriously, the party that is dynamic and pragmatic, and I got those qualities in ACN. Their unity of purpose is most fascinating and unbelievable. That is the first attraction. And each time they are going into
election, they go into election with all seriousness. “But ANPP did not even want to win any election. They want just to participate. And that is ridiculous on the part of every serious politician. For instance initially, ANPP started with nine states, later they degenerated to six states, and today have only about three states. “So, I am not sure that in future elections that it will not come down to zero. So, I better leave the ship before it finally sinks. So, those are the compelling factors. Asked why he is contesting, Audu said the nation’s electoral environment has improved and votes will count. “In 2011, there was an improvement, courtesy of
President Goodluck Jonathan, who said that he will embark on a serious electoral reform and that led to the appointment of Prof Attahiru Jega and the reorganisation of the entire INEC.”
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS Mimiko seeks peace in oil producing communities
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has called for peace in oil producing communities in the state. Mimiko spoke at the weekend in Ode-Ugbo, during the second coronation anniversary of the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Federick Akinrutan. Ode-Ugbo is the home of the Ugbo-Ilajes. Mimiko said development can only take place in a peaceful atmosphere and urged. He said peace has been restored in the once volatile riverside since Oba Akinruntan’s coronation and urged the monarch to continue to promote unity and cooperation in the area. Mimiko said: “It is when there is peace in the entire Ilaje that meaningful development can take place. Oba Akinruntan should not relent in his effort to bring other monarchs together to de-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
liberate on actions that would develop the area and the people. “Ilaje land is not only strategic to Ondo State, but also very strategic to the nation as an oil producing area.” Oba Akinruntan said he would continue to promote human and infrastructural development in the area. Also, the Ilaje AICECUM Congress (IAC) has called for the nomination of members for a new executive committee, as the tenure of the current executive would expire on November 13. IAC is the umbrella body of oil blocs host communities, in Chevron operational area of Ilaje local government. The body negotiates with Chevron on behalf of the host communities, while the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) acts as an arbiter.
Appeal Court orders retrial of PDP candidate’s petition
HE Appeal Court in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has ordered a retrial of a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Assembly candidate in Akinyele Constituency 2, Mr. Adeleke Apapa. Apapa is challenging the election of Mr. Abiodun Adigun of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). ACN and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were joined as respondents. The lower tribunal dismissed the petition on the grounds that the petitioner filed his application for issuance of pre-hearing notice out of time. But on Friday, the appellate
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
panel, headed by Justice Gana Mshelia, ruled that the lower tribunal erred in its judgment. It said the lower tribunal failed to comply with the provision of the first schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010, and Paragraph 23 of the Federal High Court Act, 2004, on the delivery of rulings on interlocutory applications. It also said the law states that only the chairman of the panel shall give the ruling, but the three members of the tribunal, headed by Justice F. Nwizu, ruled on the petition individually. The appellate panel ordered the President of the Court of Appeal to constitute another tribunal to retry Apapa’s petition.
Ekiti Rep opposes oil subsidy removal From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
HAIRMAN of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research Opeyemi Bamidele has said the removal of oil subsidy would worsen the situation of Nigerians. The lawmaker spoke with reporters at the weekend, during the annual Iyin-Ekiti Day celebration. Opeyemi said the House of Representatives was yet to take a position on the matter. He said: “We have all resolved that we will go by the decisions of our constituencies. I have consulted with my constituents in Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ado-Ekiti Federal Constituency, and they are opposed to the removal of oil subsidy. “As an individual, a patriot and one who understands the indices of our economy, I oppose the withdrawal of oil subsidy.” Reports indicate that intense lobbying is ongoing at the National Assembly to get the lawmakers to support oil subsidy removal.
CAR President seeks Nigerian investors
ENTRAL Africa Republic (CAR) President Mr. Francois Bozizi has said he is in Nigeria to woo Nigerian businessmen to invest in CAR. Bozizi spoke yesterday when he visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Ota farm in Ogun State. The CAR President was accompanied by Governor Ibikunle Amosun and some of his commissioners. Bozizi said CAR is a fertile
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
and virgin environment. He said: “I told President Goodluck Jonathan that I want Nigerian investors in my country, because my country is a virgin territory. We are blessed with mine, diamond and many other things. “I want Africans to invest in and benefit from my country, because we know each other. Nigeria is a big country.”
From left: Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra State Mr. Ayobami Omiyale; Sector Head, Operations, Lagos, Mr. Hyginus Omeje; and Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem; during the FRSC awareness campaign for safety during Sallah, held in Lagos... on Saturday.
ACN calls for arrest of culprits in assault T on four girls HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has urged the government to bring the perpetrators of last week’s assault on four girls to book. The party was reacting to a petition by the victims to the Commissioner of Police. The petitioners alleged that a popular figure in the state, Mr. Ade Fayeun, a.k.a. Ade basket, accused them of stealing N9,000 from his hotel room and ordered his associates to strip them naked. When they didn’t find the money on the girls, they allegedly beat them up and forced them to walk naked round the hotel and some streets in Akure, the state capital. Fayeun and his boys allegedly took pictures of the naked girls and pasted them on the internet. The petitioners said they
•Ondo probes incident
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
were warned not to report the matter to the police. They said Fayeun boasted that he enjoys protection from the political class and would get away with his actions. In a statement at the weekend, ACN’s Publicity Director Gbenga Akinmoyo said it is the responsibility of government to protect the life and property of its citizenry. The party said: “What is most alarming is the reported boast by Ade Fayeun that he is untouchable because of his influence in the government of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. “We want to believe this is just a boast and the governor
will act in accordance with the Oath of Office he swore . “The wife of the governor has been a champion of fighting the cause of women and children and we would be surprised, if this ghastly act passes her notice without getting the appropriate attention.” Also, the state government has started investigating the matter. It said those responsible for the assault would not go unpunished. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs. Olayinka Alabi spoke at the weekend. Mrs. Alabi said the government would not tolerate assault on any resident. She also warned that any at-
tempt by anyone or group to denigrate womanhood would be resisted. The Commissioner said security agencies have started investigating the matter and her ministry would partner other human rights organisations to rehabilitate the victims. Commissioner for Information Mr. Kayode Akinmade said the culprits, no matter how highly placed, would be apprehended. Akinmade condemned the inhuman treatment meted out to the girls. He said the government would not condone any form of lawlessness and warned criminals parading themselves as party loyalists to beware. Akinmade urged people to always report any abuse to the appropriate authorities, irrespective of threats by their assailants.
OPC apprehends two robbery suspects in Ibadan
WO suspected robbers, who specialise in snatching motorcycles, were apprehended at the weekend by members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Ido Local Government Area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Saheed and Laide were ar-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
rested on Saturday evening during an operation at OmiAdio and over to the police at Apata Police Station. The suspects, armed with weapons, trailed dispossessed a commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Kazeem Akinfenwa, of a motorcycle marked LAGOS
QP807 KRD at Odetola Junction. It was learnt that the suspects, who were also riding a motorcycle, trailed their victim to the lonely junction and threatened to kill him if he failed to surrender the motorcycle. Akinfenwa, who is said to be a member of the OPC, aban-
doned the motorcycle and ran into the bush. He then phoned other OPC members, who blocked all escape routes. The group members, led by the OPC chairman in the area, Mr. Muritala Ifawale, apprehended the hoodlums and handed them over to the police.
Businessman joins Ondo governorship race
CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Akinola Awodeyi Akinsehinwa, at the weekend said he would contest the governorship next year. Akinsehinwa urged the people to reflect on their condition and support the push for change. He said it is sad that despite the enormous resources available to the government, many people are impoverished. The businessman said he would tackle infrastructural decay, provide employment, fight poverty and promote good governance, if elected. Akinsehinwa said: “For Ondo State to move forward, Governor Olusegun Mimiko should not stay in office beyond 2013. I am a product of the free education policy of Pa Ajasin. That was 27 years
•ACN chieftain advises new members From Leke Akeredolu, Akure and Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor
ago. “Now, I want to serve the state in return. I have the vision, intellect and experience. I have the national and international connection to attract domestic and foreign investment to the state.” Other ACN governorship aspirants in the state are ACN State Chairman Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose; her predecessor, Comrade Sola Iji; former Commissioner for Finance Chief Tayo Alasoadura; former Defence Minister Dr. Olu Agunloye; former House of Representatives member Mr. Jayeola Ajatta; former Finance Commissioners, Segun Ojo and Wale Akinterinwa; Senator Olorunnimbe Farun-
kanmi; Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Dr. Tunji Abayomi; and Mr. Akinbinu. Also at the weekend, an ACN chieftain in Ondo South Senatorial District, Dr. Paul Akintelure, urged new members to put their political ambitions aside and work towards the party’s success in the 2012 governorship election. Akintelure spoke while receiving new members into the party at Odigbo Local Government Area. He said: “What should be the first aim of our new members is how to preach the gospel of the party to the masses, on why they need to vote for ACN in the 2012 governorship election. “We still need to enlighten our people on the ideology of the ACN; why ACN remains
the best alternative to replace the ruling Labour Party (LP) government, why they need to join other Southwest progressive states and our plans for the masses.” Akintelure denied speculations that he wants to run for governorship. He said: “My aim is to maintain the popularity of the party in the Southern senatorial district of the state and ensure that we win more people.” Many chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and LP have joined ACN in the last few months. They include Alasoadura; former LP State Chairman Dr. Olaiya Oni; former LP Deputy State Chairman Senator Omololu Meroyi; a former Special Adviser to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Saka Lawal; and former Commissioner for Transport Omoniyi Omodara; among others.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
The Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act 2010 offered the insurance industry in Nigeria the leverage to expand its market to the extent of underwriting 70 per cent of the risks emanating from that sub-sector. -Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance (NAICOM)
Interbank rates drop on budget inflows
Airtel’s Q3 profit falls on forex, 3G costs
IGERIA’s interbank lending rate fell last Friday to an average of 14.83 per cent after it initially rose to a multi-year record high of 16 per cent on Thursday due to tight liquidity in the system. Traders said a portion of the September budgetary allocations hit the system on Friday, providing liquidity and helped cost of borrowing among banks to recede. “About N337 billion ($2.15 billion) budget allocation for the month of September hit the system today, helping to provide liquidity in the market,” one dealer said. Tight liquidity due to initial delay in the release of the budget funds caused acute cash shortage in the system last week and forced some lenders to discount their Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) held bonds for cash at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help fund their operations.
N132b treasury bills sold
IGERIA plans to sell N132.06 billion ($838.21 million) in 91-, 182- and 364-day treasury bills this week at its regular debt auction, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said. The regulator said it will sell N39.27 billion in 91-day paper, N45 billion in 182-day treasury bills and N47.78 billion in 364-day bills on Wednesday, using the Dutch auction system. “The bank reserves the right to vary the amount on offer in line with market realities prevailing as at the period of auction,” the bank said late on Thursday in a public notice.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112/barrel Cocoa -$2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber -¢146.37pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.747 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.82% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -10.23% Time Deposit -7% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $30.8b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.281 213.2 245.00 156.91 1.5652 245.8 40.57
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• Aganga (left) and Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu,during a visit to the Lagos State stand, after the opening of the Lagos International Trade Fair ... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Law to prosecute inferior products importers coming, says Aganga
LAW to deal with manufacturers and importers of substandard products is underway, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said. Speaking at the opening of the 25th Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos, Aganga said the Federal Government is putting measures in place to ensure that fake products are stamped out of markets. He said: “The move was part of the ministry’s renewed efforts towards increasing the patronage of made in Nigeria products , boost the productive capacity of local industries and
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
make them more competitive in the global market place. “The ministry is putting structures in place to ensure that products manufactured or imported into the country met global standards.The ministry is partnering the private sector to remove the barriers to increased productivity to create jobs, generate wealth and grow the Nigerian economy. “In line with the administration’s Transformation Agenda, the Ministry of Trade and Investment is determined to provide
friendly investment climate, which is very vital for an accelerated economic growth and development. “This administration has given priority to the provision of adequate infrastructure to stimulate sustainable and steady growth in the real sector of the economy. While the government is fully committed to a market-oriented and private sector-led economy, it also welcomes private sector partnership in provision of infrastructure facilities in the various sectors of the economy. “To achieve this, the Ministry of Trade and Investment,
through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria recently launched Operation Zero Tolerance for substandard products. And in order to ensure compliance, a consumer desk has been established in major markets in the country. Also, an enabling law is being put in place to prosecute offenders.” He said the ministry would soon set up a doing business competitiveness council in collaboration with the organised private sector to remove the barriers, which prevent the industrial sector from fully maximising its productive and installed capacities.
‘Textile imports cost N261b yearly’
IGERIAN Textile Manufacturers Asso ciation (NTMA) has said the country spends over N261 billion yearly on textile materials importation. This has led to the reduction in the number of indigenous textile firms from the 250 to less than 10. Speaking with The Nation, the Director-General, NTMA, Jaiyeola Olarewaju, said the country loses billions of naira to smugglers
By Toba Agboola
of textiles and importation of cheap and substandard fabrics from Asian countries. Olarenwaju said the textile sector is stagnated, attributing the situation to the smuggling of cheap textiles which the local industry is unable to compete, given the higher cost of production locally. He said variants of local fabrics are being produced and exported from China to
West Africa with Made-inNigeria or Made-in-Nigeria labels pasted on them. On the sacking of some agencies from the ports, he said the government should be cautious on the matter, adding that adequate policy that will protect the interest of the textile manufacturers should be put in place to check unbridled importation of textiles. “Federal Government’s decision to sack the Stan-
dards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) from the ports is going to further worsen the problems facing textile industry. We agreed that the government’s intention is to fast-track the clearing of goods, but the implication will also compound the problems of the sector, unless the government comes up with a policy that will protect the interest of the local manufacturers,” Olarenwaju, said.
Agencies get one week deadline to vacate ports
HE Federal Government has directed agencies, which were recently ordered to vacate the country’s ports, to comply within a week or face eviction. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has already issued a directive to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enforce the measure. Also, letters from the Presidency have been dispatched to the affected agencies to notify them that
From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor (Abuja)
they can no longer function at the ports unless invited to carry out specific functions after which they must leave. A statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy (Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), Mr Paul C. Nwabuikwu, said the government’s position, was recently conveyed by his boss, who chairs the Federal
Government Working Committee on Port Reforms. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated: “President Goodluck Jonathan approved the reduction of agencies operating at the nation’s ports to send a clear signal that the Federal Government is determined to implement the port reforms and improve Nigeria’s status as a business destination. “We are aware that some of the affected agencies are yet to leave the ports. But they have no choice because
it is a presidential directive. “We must forge ahead with the implementation of the ports reforms. It must be done because Nigerians deserve better.” In a related development, an independent committee of eminent persons from the private sector will soon be inaugurated to monitor the implementation of the new measures in the ports. The committee will complement government’s efforts to enhance the efficiency of the ports.
NDIA’s biggest mobile operator, Airtel, an nounced a drop in net profit as at September 30, 2011. This was attributed to foreign exchange losses and costs associated with the rollout of its 3G network. For the three months, Airtel reported net income of $209 million, down 38 per cent from INR16.61 billion, on total revenue of INR172.7 billion, up 13 per cent from INR152.3 billion. The company noted that the rollout of its 3G network has resulted in higher amortisation costs (with an impact of $36 million) and increased net interest costs ($25 million impact). Airtel noted a number of highlights for the period. It said tariff increases in India have begun to take effect, “offsetting some of the inflationary and other cost increases impacting the entire industry.” The mobile operator said that sales in its India and South Asia business continued to grow at a double-digit rate, increasing by 11.7 per cent to $2.78 billion. Chairman/Managing Director of the company, Sunil Bharti Mittal, noted that revenue from its Africa units passed $1 billion in a quarter for the first time, increasing by 22.9 per cent to $1.03 billion. In this region, the company has launched 3G services in Congo-Brazzaville and Airtel Money services in Zambia and Kenya , as well as acquiring 2G and 3G licences in Rwanda.
Canada eyes mining From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
FFORTS of the Federal Government at attract ing foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the nation’s mining industry has started yielding results as the Canadian Government has indicated interest in the development of the sector. This was made known when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Mohammed Sada, received the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter and the Deputy High Commissioner, Jean J. Gautheir, in his office. Deputy Director of Press of the ministry, Mr Marshall Gundu, disclosed this in a statement at the weekend. He said the minister, who described the meeting as timely said the Federal Government was working proactively at diversifying the economy of the country to other sectors, particularly minerals and metal sectors. Sada noted that the regulatory frameworks, which are being operated in the nation’s mining industry are Canadian-based.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
ISSUES The success of terminal markets in India Bangladesh and other countries where agriculture drives economic transformation, has paved the way for others to follow. The Lagos State Government is promoting the concept to ensure a robust future for farming communities. Its future, however, lies in highly structured, well planned and executed mandate. DANIEL ESSIET writes.
•Fresh produce at a terminal market
The coming of terminal markets D
EVELOPING business in commodities such as fresh fruits and vegetables presents great potential for growth and employment. The challenge however, lies in their effective and efficient movement to the right markets. To ensure they get there, the Lagos State Government is identifying more impact driven and practical means of creating benefits for rural farmers involved in their cultivation. One of these strategies, is the establishment of terminal markets. The terminal market operate on a hub-and-spoke format wherein the terminal market (the hub) would be linked to a number of collection centers(the spokes). The spokes would be conveniently located at key
•Lagos takes the lead to boost food production production centres to allow easy farmer access and the catchment area of each spoke would be based on meeting the convenience needs of the farmers, operational efficiency and effective capital utilisation of the investment. The beneficiaries will be farmers, traders (wholesalers, sub-wholesalers and commission agents), retailers, institutional buyers and consumers. In addition, the other beneficiaries will be the service providers, porters, financers etc. The market will cater to the specific requirements of all these stakeholders with tailor-made facilities for each one of them. Terminal market has been conceptualised to increase
the revenue base of the farmers, by reducing post harvest losses of the fruits and vegetables, as well as eliminate middlemen. The markets provide a central place for growers and producers to sell their produce directly to consumers. Across India, the introduction of terminal markets has helped the country’s green revolution. A number of states have been amended their Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, to allow farmers to directly sell their produce to the buyers. Consequently, a number of corporate players have entered into agreement with the farmers with major investment plans to tap the huge potential in this sector. India is the largest
producer of coconuts, mango, banana, cashew nuts, pulses, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. The government has taken various measures to accelerate the growth of the initiative. Several modern terminal Markets with modern infrastructure facilities have been constructed across the country. The terminal markets have showcased the horticultural wealth of India It will help in boosting exports of fruits and vegetables. When fully functional the markets will reduce post harvest losses. Around 30 per cent of fruits and vegetables in Lagos are known to have succumbed to post harvest losses. • Continued on page 13
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
The coming of terminal markets • Continued from page 12
Explaining the need for terminal markets, the Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said fruits and vegetables have assumed great importance in the recent years but the present marketing system lacks system approach. He noted that marketing of horticultural crops is quite complex and risky due to their perishable nature, seasonal production and bulkiness. He said there are major constraints in fruits and vegetable marketing such as lack of accurate weighing and packaging of the produce, lack of accurate price-sharing mechanism. This has necessitated the development of design for a modern horticulture market with backward linkages ensuring appropriate postharvest infrastructure facilities, transparency in operations and hygienic environment. Lawal said a terminal marketing structure which will provide an array of choices to the farmers for selling their produce. According to him, the structure improve the marketing efficiency by promoting direct contact with the farmers, increasing the number of buyers and sellers in the market, promoting auction system of marketing and introducing facilities and services such as cold storage, ripening chambers, warehouses etc. Such a system, he added, however, entails a high investment cost and efficient management skills, each of which can be infused by inviting private sector participation in the sector. Thus, the concept of the modern terminal markets is developed with the objective of fulfilling the above goals. Lawal said the government wants to link farmers directly to the market and provide them more alternatives to sell their produce and reduce the incidence of intermediaries. He said the project is being developed on public-private partnership (PPP) mode, to enable the private players procure directly from farmers. The commodities to be marketed at the terminal markets include perishables, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry byproducts, among others. Under the project, the government will undertake detailed market opportunities' analysis to identify the elements to be improved in the value chain. As conceived, the project would have integrated domestic production with food-processing industries, retail chains, offering premium price to farmers based on quality in a competitive environment and transparent manner. The terminal market network is emerging as the gateway an expanding spectrum of commodities leaving farms, such as, cassava, maize, yam, as well as aquaproducts. For a start, the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture has set up the Eko Farmers' Mart at Alausa. Ten other marts would be established across the state. Lawal, said the government is determined to ensure the market operates efficiently so that high quality produce can be provided to residents at competitive prices. The other task is to ensure the markets are properly maintained, so retailers and institutions will continue to use them as major sources of supply for the fresh produce. Lawal said the
•Minister of Agriculture and Rural Devevelopment, Dr Akinwumi Adesina
•With more terminal markets, Lagos graduate farmers of the Youth Empowerment Scheme have a future.
government intends to make agriculture self sustaining and curtail erratic fluctuations in price/ quality, thereby generating job opportunities in the rural areas of the state. He said the government will support private operators to provide better transport facilities to make it easy for farmers to take their produce to the markets. Highlighting the importance of the new facilities, Lawal said the farmers would avail themselves of better prices and also sell their produce in secured environments. The government is floating an e-Farm project to create a network of farmers, intermediaries, logistics providers, distributors and retailers. To boost the project, he said the government is establishing a central data base which will provide information on produce name, variety, grade and cost price at designated farm gates. By progressively linking the digital infrastructure to a physical network of farms and agro-extension services, the government is transforming the way farmers do business, and the way rural markets work. The commissioner said the market information system would give producers, processors and marketers better access to markets. The system will analyse the farmers and producers in a market chain-from input suppliers to final buyers and pro-
vide accurate and timely price information. As the market progresses, operators will need to measure market margins. Data on price will be obtained at various stages. For instance, in formulating the standard price of vegetable, operators and analysts will need information on daily variation of prices, varietal differences, grade differences, price variation over the season, the basis for averaging various grades and varieties and price differences in consumption and production areas. Sounding optimistic about the project, Lawal said there is a shift in consumption and expenditure. Some key insights which are changing the dynamics are that shoppers are concerned about the quality and opting for trusted brands. He called for concerted efforts to usher the agric-service revolution. This means a strategic vision for the agric-service sector, requiring upgrading the chains using modern technologies which will lead to demanddriven agriculture and processing industry. He said there are plans to set up grading and packing centres and controlled atmosphere (CA) stores in the state, in a bid to ensure better prospects for growers. Growers, Lawal observed, are faced with issues such as lack of air-conditioned storage facilities, poor condition of roads and
shortage of labour, and as a solution, the state government has decided to rescue the farmers from such a situation. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr Yakub Bashorun, said there is big business coming for Lagos farmers from the terminal markets as a large percentage of urban population consume vegetables. The markets serve as assembly and trading place for agricultural commodities. For sustainable agric development, an efficient marketing system is essential which not only affects the producer's income but also shapes the consumer's welfare. He explained that market efficiency does not depend only on farm production, cost and yields, but on the mechanism, wherein a product reaches a consumer from the farm gate. Regulation of these markets is governed by a market committee comprised of the government officials and representatives of growers, traders and consumers. Bashorun said in future, the markets will feature open auctions. Bashorun said Lagos has a lot to offer once the markets are in place as most agricultural surpluses are routed to the state. The farmers supply farm produce to firms and industries for processing and to retailers and shopkeepers. The terminal markets will provide fresh fruits and vegetables to
‘By progressively linking the digital infrastructure to a physical network of farms and agroextension services, the government is transforming the way farmers do business, and the way rural markets work...On the balance,the government's vision is for the markets to be firmly established as reliable hubs for the supply of high-quality agricultural products that consistently meet buyer specifications’ the geographic area's they serve. The Permanent Secretary said the terminal markets offer an opportunity for growers to sell their produce quickly and efficiently in a cost effective manner. He said the markets will create opportunities for small and marginal farmers in cultivation of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Bashorun said the government will ensure maintenance of regulated markets to help the producers get remunerative price for their produce. He said increasing the competitiveness and profitability of agricultural products are the primary objectives. He said private operators will be encouraged to set up modern cold storage facilities to enable the farmers store and sell their produce at favourable prices and help consumers get quality food products. On the balance,the government's vision is for the markets to be firmly established as reliable hubs for the supply of high-quality agricultural products that consistently meet buyer specifications. The government, he explained, is ready to link small farmers with commercial business partners, local training resources and commercial credit providers to improve farmers' understanding of and position in the market. To boost food security, the government is doing all to increase the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of small- and medium-scale enterprises in the state livestock sector. For watchers, the Lagos agriculture sector is on the verge of a revolution that will modernise the entire food chain. With the advent of terminal markets, there are excellent prospects for competitive pricing of agricultural produce. The current revolution brings along with it the opportunities of profitable investment. Rural farmers have been faced with the challenge of positioning themselves in a market place with poor supply management methods in the fresh produce system.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
JOBS THE NATION
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
e-publishing raises jobs’ prospects e-publishing has many benefits, according to experts. It expands the frontiers of knowledge as it is a readymade portal for learning which can be logged on to anytime by students and others. Besides, its potential for creating jobs is enormous, AKINOLA AJIBADE writes.
LECTRONIC publishing is becoming one of the most lucrative jobs globally as its enjoys patronage. Regarded as an area for the elite, electronic publishing has created jobs for many people, boosted their profiles, and built strong networks for them. In Europe and the United States, e-publishing is in a class on its own. There, e-publishers are regarded as computer whizkids, brilliant, witty, and innovative. Reason: they publish books that cover a wide range of subjects, create their own websites, manoeuvre the websites to accommodate only those that subscribe to their literatures, among others. Be it literatures on banking, capital market, insurance, law, aviation, politics,
mass communication, accounting, medicine, international diplomacy, religion and others, one is sure of getting materials that are appealing in contents and depth. e-publishers have built a long list of customers in such climes, as well as made money from their works. They have expanded the frontiers of knowledge; they have turned many people into walking libraries. Many can now access literatures through their mobile phones and IPAD. This means more money for e-publishers. Electronic publishers are gradually making in-roads into Nigeria. Universities, researchers, and professionals are now using materials published on the Internet. The elite use their mobile phones and IPAD to access valuable literatures, resulting in
more customers for e-publishers. Experts argue that electronic publishing is evolving in the country and capable of providing jobs for people in the future. They argue that graphic artists, writers, among other professionals, who have eyes for details would make a lot of money from electronic publishing. The Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Academy Press Limited, Mr Babs Fashanu, said electronic publishing would offer job prospects for certain Nigerians in the future. Fashanu said graphic artists stand a better chance of making money from electronic publishing. He said graphic artists have been trained to design materials, adding that it would be easier for them to design materials in electronic formats.
He said: “One must have what is called electronic graphic knowledge, otherwise known as ability to design materials in a soft version. People who have the graphic skills stand a chance of success in electronic publishing. Also, one must be able to convert the materials to portable document format. This is a format in which literatures or any other e-published materials are saved. Once you have these, publishing books electronically would not be difficult.” He said people going into electronic publishing must carefully master all the stages to achieve success. Fashanu said e-publishers must be • Continued on page 18
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
e-publishing raises jobs’ prospects • Continued from page 17
computer literate, have servers for storage of information, ecommerce software, and userfriendly websites to succeed. User-friendly websites are needed to create strong appeals for people accessing materials online. He said acrobat and micromedia are the two important softwares needed for electronic publishing. He said acrobat helps in creating Portable Document Format (PDF), while micromedia is used for web designing. Fashanu said texts and images must be captured properly in the course of publishing books in electronic format, adding that priority must be given to paginations to ensure success. “The issue of spacing is very important in e-publishing. The pages must be well spaced to create desired appeals. There is nothing like regiment approach in e-publishing. The method is flexible because the readers can manipulate a lot of things to make materials readable. The materials determine the volumes of books to be published. One can display a lot of books in a soft copy, and reach out to prospective customers across the world. “The most important thing is to make the information readily
available to the readers as and when due. e-publishing provides benefits to the readers. The benefits include getting the literatures or books that would suit their needs, assemble them to form a library, compressing them and carrying them in light packs, increasing the letters to certain degrees to ensure visibility, and increasing their knowledge”, he said. He said electronic publishers get monetary values for their works, adding that readers pay for every material they access. Also, the Managing Director, First Books Limited, Dr Dan Obidiegwu, said the future of electronic publishing is bright. Obidiewgu, however, said the idea is new in Nigeria, and would take some time to develop. He said electronic publishers require good computer skills, adding that such skills would help them in producing quality materials. He said the need to understand the rudiments of electronic publishing is important, if one is going to make headway in it. e-publishers, he said have adequate control over their works because they always pass -worded them. This prevents people from stealing their works, he said. “A password gives one access to e-published materials. Pass
• Former ICAN President, Emmanuel Ijewere
words are changed constantly to ensure that only those that have paid have access to the materials. All over the world, accessibility to electronically published materials is simultaneous. Whether in the US, Europe or Nigeria, people access such materials at the same time,” he said. Obidiewgu, the immediate past managing director of Longman Nigeria Plc, said e-publishing would create jobs when the country has the necessary infrastructure in place. He said the market for e-publishers would widen, when the energy problem is resolved. “The full potential in electronic
publishing is yet to be maximised because of infrastructure. When the infrastructure are put in place, people that engage in it would be able to maximise their returns. Many universities now pay a lot of money for materials published electronically. Also, the research centres are doing the same thing. This implies that the market for e-publishers is widening”, he added. He advised the government to start the computerisation programme at the primary school level, adding that it is the only way of harnessing the potentials in electronic publishing. He said nobody is talking about
computer education, arguing that the refusal of the government to give it priority is affecting the standards of education. He said it would not be difficult for people to tap the opportunities inherent in the information and communication technology (ICT, once they are educated. The Chief Executive Officer, Kraft Books Limited, Mr Steve Shaba, said e-publishing is lucrative going by the attention given to it all over the world. He said the idea is gaining ground in developed and developing markets, adding that it is a means of creating additional source of income for people. He said the idea would generate more jobs, arguing that it would compete alongside conventional publishing in future. He advised Nigerians to develop reading, noting that it is the only way by which e-publishing can thrive. “e-publishing cannot take roots, where there is no reading culture. Let us hope that Nigerians would have a reading culture. When this happens, people would be interested in reading the hard and soft versions of books. There would be more interest in electronically published books, and more people would go into it,” he said. Though Nigeria has joined the growing list of countries embracing the use of Information Technology (IT), the lack of infrastructure may hinder the country from realising the potentials in such facilities. This would affect people that are going into epublishing.
OU probably have attended some interviews without an offer of employment coming out of your efforts and emotional investment in the position. In the past you may have experienced this frustrating and sinking feeling that you did not do well in this or that interview. You may also have noticed the uncertainty in the faces of your interviewers, their failure to warm - up to you as the interview progresses and their eagerness to shoo you out of the interview room, barely disguised by patronizing courtesies. You then ask yourself, what went wrong? Many things could be wrong for failure of candidates to convert interviews to job offer. This week, we will consider one of the issues you may have pondered about: What do this people want? All organisations, whether for profit or otherwise, is about combining men, money and materials to achieve the organisational goals and objectives. This assertion holds for commercial companies, non-profit organizations and civil service. The key to optimisation of performance is the human capital. A wrong decision of a high level member of management can cost the organization a lot of money. At the lower level, an unproductive employee is some investment – in terms of cost of recruitment as well as in terms of salary and emoluments. So a recruitment error (an individual recruited but found to be unsuitable) at the end of the day is a drain, and usually a drag on the system. The foregoing explains why employer goes to great lengths to ensure that they offer employment to a square peg in a square hole. They are usually very clear on specification of potential employees they want. (It is not unusual for them not to get exactly what they want.) Today, we will dwell on the kind
What employers are looking for (I) By Olu Oyeniran
of employees employers desire and prefer. But before we go on, need to point these out: (i) what we will discuss is more or less general, the attributes desired by most (if not all) employers. But the priority and point of emphasis differ from industry to industry, from company to company, and from position to position. Also work circumstances and context has their own influence on the desired qualities: is it a new position? Have there been changes in technology and skills needed for the job? (ii) It is obvious that the requirements for executive positions will differ significantly from that of entry / low-level positions. We will elaborate on additional/specific requirement for senior positions. (iii) What we will say today may not apply to very junior positions: labourers artisans, factory workers and shop floor employees.
The following qualities are desired by most employees
Basic competence A candidate must indicate he knows how to do the job for which he is to be employed. A driver must show competence for his primary duty (get a vehicle moving, maneuvering in the traffic, finding his way to different locations, etc) even if he can do other things as well- ironing, operating lawn –mower, baking bread etc. You must show at least a theoretical level of competence, if you
don’t have the experience. A candidate applying for an engineering job is expected to show competence in engineering basics, at least. A sense of competence gives you confidence and given the employ the basis for comparison and performance appraisal. Nothing should be taken to mean an engineer cannot be engaged in anything aside engineering or that a biologist should look for work only in establishments that concern itself with biology.
Communication skills Employers desire employees with good communication skills. Success in most jobs requires writing, verbal and non-verbal communications abilities. Can you easily understand instructions, and pass on instructions to others. Will you be able to communication with your supervisor as well as your subordinates? How good are your writing skills? It must be realised that though communicating well has some element of talent, it can indeed be learnsist.
Inter-personal skills A one- man island organisation is probably not in existent, especially when organization must at least relate to others outside. Interpersonal skills are required to establish, build and maintain relationships that last. You are expected to do this within your unit, across departments and with your customers and suppliers. This skill is becoming more important as organisations realise that more than ever before that every employer must have the skills to interact with the customer.
Adaptability Change happens daily, and is
often resisted, even though it is better than what we have now. Change management is an important skill in this age of information and rapid technological changes. Will you be able to adapt to changes that may be required and vastly different from you previous experience? For example if a technical position requires some salesmanship, the question then is whether the candidate realizes the full implication of and accept dealing with customers.
Willingliness to learn Rapid changes in technology and an extensive availability of information make obsolescence commonplace occurrences. Skills, process, equipments, knowledge become outdated soon after they are acquired. Thus successful organization requires employee are ready, willing and able to learn in this environment of constant change and organised chaos. Do you realise that learning on-going and never ending? Is the candidate organised and predisposed to learning?
Initiative and independence The direction of human resource management is to empower each of every employee. But for the employee to successfully use his empowerment, the employer needs to be assured that the employee can take on-the -spot decisions with infrequent errors. Employers require a work force that can take on tasks and projects and get them done without having to tell them what to do every step of the way. Ability to work on your own is important in the work- place, more so in certain positions such as consultancy.
Cooperation and Collaboration In spite of the need to be independent, the fact is that significant part of work- place assignments takes place within teams. At any rate, in a number of situations, our output represents the in-put for others down the lines. The best teams are those that respect and use the talents of all their players. Employees require the skills to understand themselves and their strength within the team as well as those of other team players, in order to enhance performance through effective use of each team member. In short, employer desire employees that can work on their own, and also able to achieve within teams.
Motivation What is driving you towards achievement of your goals and excellence, and where is this force coming from? How much enthusiasm can you put to your job? Highly motivated employee don’t need to be pushed to do them work, and to do it well. Motivation shows as eagerness to progress, gain promotion, doing something productive instead of just sitting down, etc. Employers desire candidates with a high level of self-motivation and inner strength to do well. Bye for now. We will continue next week.
Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: www.jobsearchhow.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Washington should dissuade Egyptian military’s bid to perpetuate power
Scandalous •That power equipment and other items rot at the ports five years after is worrisome
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), federal ministries of agriculture, works, power and steel, Delta Steel Mills and some other federal and state governments’ agencies have abandoned about 500 containers of imported items at the Lagos Ports. The surprising aspect is that some of these containers may have arrived the country as far back as 2006. Media reports further stated that the items abandoned include no fewer than 250 container loads of energy equipment imported to boost power generation. If the ultimate ends of politics and the target of public administration is to ensure an effective and efficient service delivery system that serves the interest of the majority of the people, then the government agencies that imported these containers and, by extension, their re-
‘In many other countries, this report alone should have provoked public outrage and generated intense debate in the National Assembly, whose members would have summoned the public servants responsible for this messy scandal. A serious Presidency too should be uncomfortable. Ministers in charge of these various government parastatals should by now be issuing their official responses to the raised scandal’
spective governments, have failed abysmally. But beyond the institutional failure of the concerned bureaucracies, and by implication the public administration, this mind-boggling scandal has also shown that the country’s leadership may have no clue whatsoever as regards solving the numerous problems that the country is facing. Two issues will suffice as veritable proof. First, within the time stipulated above, that is 2006 till date, the Federal Government has set up (at least twice) special task forces or committees to decongest the ports at huge costs to the national treasury. In retrospect, it would appear that each time the exercise was carried out, it was not done with any genuine intentions but as a way of creating jobs for the boys. The implication is that no one is thinking Nigeria; for even if the ports’ decongestion were to be a necessity meant to create jobs for the boys, it could still have been done well. Secondly, it is baffling to recall that under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, all committees and commissions on energy reported directly to President Goodluck Jonathan as vice-president then. Therefore, it would appear a little too late for President Jonathan to feign ignorance of happenings and developments in the energy sector. It is inconceivable that equipment meant to boost energy production should be abandoned somewhere in a country groaning under inadequate supply of electricity. In the same vein, how can the government justify having the Federal Ministry
of Agriculture among those with abandoned containers, when we consider the huge amount that we allegedly spend yearly on food importation? In many other countries, this report alone should have provoked public outrage and generated intense debate in the National Assembly, whose members would have summoned the public servants responsible for this messy scandal. A serious Presidency too should be uncomfortable. Ministers in charge of these various government parastatals should by now be issuing their official responses to the raised scandal. Apart from this serving as a damage-control mechanism, it will also portray the government as working and in touch with the reality of its immediate environment. But, alas, the reverse is the case. The usual casual approach of government to this type of issue is worrisome. By the time the dust settles, and the goods are directed to be cleared, chances are that many of the items would have become obsolete. Yet, no public servant would be punished, no institution sanctioned and the goods could as well appear as newly imported or sold through the back door. Issues such as these are responsible for the persistence of the speculation making the rounds that top government officials in collaboration with generator dealers will never allow the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to work because of corruption. All relevant government agencies involved should get cracking immediately on this wicked scandal and any Nigerian found guilty, no matter how highly placed, should be brought to book.
Watch it! •Those who want EFCC unleashed on states must be mindful of federal principle EYOND crass emotions and scoring of political points, there is hardly any merit in the call by functionaries of two opposition parties for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe state spending, referring to the claim by Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that most of the states were broke. Mr. Sanusi made the damning statement, the truth of which the jury is still out, given the strenuous denials of such parlous situations by the states mentioned. But the functionaries of the two parties, Asuekwe Iko-Awaji, national vice-chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Jackson Omenazu, national secretary of the African Renaissance Party (ARP), pointed fingers and came to conclusion, without any proof, that states were allegedly broke because those running those states were financially reckless. The states might indeed be reckless and, to be sure, many would rather take this allegation of financial recklessness as self-evident – which is just as well. But to now start pointing fingers of guilt, exclusively in a partisan direction, fatally damns the claim as a worthwhile public discourse based on reason, not emotions. There is hardly any logic in this claim by Chief Iko-Awaji, beyond partisan grandstanding: “Most of the PDP states are rich in terms of their monthly allocations and internally generated revenues. But there is nothing to show for it as the governors put the funds where they will not be useful to the people.” Many, in fact some people would claim
most of the governors are guilty of this charge – which could well be true. But hardly anyone can prove it is strictly a partisan affair, though it would be fair to state that the ruling party, with a majority of state governors and national and state legislators, aside from controlling the federal government could lead better by example. To be sure, every development-minded person should abhor corruption and its attendant poverty and want; and condemn the greed of a few which effectively beggars the majority. To that extent, any suggestion that proposes how to solve the problem ought to be given a listening ear. Viewed that way, the suggestion that EFCC probes financially reckless states is not totally out of place. In any case, that is what EFCC has always done since its inception. Still, the creation of the EFCC itself resulted from the grand failure of the police as the prime civil security agency. If the anti-graft section of the police had not failed over the years, it would easily have handled, and with distinction, what EFCC does now. Besides, there is clear danger in introducing EFCC as a gung-ho god-to-solveall-graft problems, especially in a federal set-up like Nigeria. That danger was stark during the Olusegun Obasanjo imperial presidency, when that organ became a soulless tool against presidential rivals inside the ruling PDP and political opponents outside it. That vengeful spirit is still not completely dead; so the socalled opposition had better be careful of what they wished for, lest they become
grand victims of impunity when the chips are down. But even more dangerous for democratic institutions, not to talk of the federal principle: to prevent governors getting reckless with public funds, it is best to checkmate them with their respective state legislatures in the best principles of separation of power in a presidential system. That would have the additional merit of cleaning up the whole political system: for a House must be above board before checkmating an errant governor. To curtail sleaze, therefore, the strengthening of democratic institutions is what concerned citizens and political parties should canvass, not the knee-jerk EFCC option which though is emotionally satisfying in the short run, is ruinous for the federal principle and is certainly fatal to institution deepening.
‘To curtail sleaze, therefore, the strengthening of democratic institutions is what concerned citizens and political parties should canvass, not the knee-jerk EFCC option which though is emotionally satisfying in the short run, is ruinous for the federal principle and is certainly fatal for institution deepening’
GYPT’S MILITARY rulers, who pledged in February to replace the autocracy of Hosni Mubarak with a liberal democracy, have taken another big step toward betraying that promise. On Tuesday the interim government appointed by the generals disclosed plans to impose a 22-article charter of “principles” that would bind a constituent assembly as it drafts a new constitution. Among other things, it would prohibit parliament from supervising the military’s budget, which would remain secret, and give the armed forces a check on any government by declaring them the protector of “constitutional legitimacy.” The military also radically revised plans for the constitution-drafting assembly. Under the new plan only 20 of its 100 members would come from the parliament to be elected beginning later this month; the other 80 would be chosen by the military. This provision, which violates a charter approved by Egyptians in a national referendum in March, was accompanied by others giving the army the right to reject any constitutional article it disapproves of and to dissolve the constituent assembly if it does not produce a document acceptable to the generals in six months. If sustained, the new “constitutional principles” will go a long way toward preserving the militarybacked regime that has ruled Egypt since 1952 — and that Egyptians thought they had ended with their 18-day uprising. It will render the scheduled democratic elections virtually meaningless, since those elected will not have the right either to govern the country or prepare its new constitution. And it could prompt another uprising; angry political parties already have called mass demonstrations for later this month. The United States, which has more leverage over the Egyptian military than any other outside party, should use it to reverse what amounts to a coup. The generals’ justification for their proposed decree will sound familiar to any student of the Mubarak regime: They claim to be protecting the country from Islamic fundamentalists, who appear likely to capture a plurality of seats in parliament. In fact some Egyptian secular parties unwisely encouraged the supra-constitutional articles in the hope they would guarantee civil liberties and a secular state. Yet while offering a nod in that direction, the proposed charter mainly serves to lock in the military’s overweening power, including control over a large part of the economy. During eight months of interim rule, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has shown contempt for the freedoms it claims to be protecting. Some 12,000 civilians have been subjected to summary trials in military courts. On Sunday one of the heroes of the revolution, blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, was summoned by a military prosecutor after he published an article detailing the military’s responsibility for violence against a march of Christians in Cairo last month. When Mr. Fattah refused to cooperate, he was jailed. The Obama administration demonstrated during the revolution that it can sway Egypt’s generals: Washington successfully insisted that violence not be used to end the uprising and that Mubarak be forced to step down from the presidency. Now the administration — and Congress, if necessary — must insist that the armed forces respect their promise of a democratic transition. Egypt’s constituent assembly must have democratic legitimacy; Mr. Fattah and other political prisoners must be released. Above all, Egypt’s army should not be allowed to perpetuate its role as an unaccountable authority while still receiving billions in U.S. aid. – Washington Post
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THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
IR: Nigeria’s underdevelopment in spite of her vast human and material resources is caused by an abysmally inept leadership. Malaysia is less endowed than Nigeria, and took her first palm seedlings from Nigeria; however, today, it has surpassed Nigeria in economic advancement. The plague of corruption and inept political leadership is de-liberating our country. Our leaders’ perception of leadership is the looting of public treasury to satisfy their selfish needs and cravings. Knowing that we lack strong institutions that will give them their comeuppance when they leave office, they’ve become brazen in their despicable acts of destroying ends our economy for their selfish ends. Some former governors and legislators were arraigned in courts for financial crime. But, is it not a moral humbug to deceive us and the white people into believing that we are intolerant of financial corruption? We are eagerly waiting with bated breath to see the day those standing trial for financial crimes will become guests at prisons as Bode George was in the recent past. Incredibly, our leaders’ flamboyance, and display of their ill-gotten wealth while we’re suffering has not caused anger to well up in our hearts. Cameroon, our neighbour, has a political system that is characterized by sit-tightism. Why the down-trodden on whom are inflicted bad leadership have not revolted baffles me. But, Hosni Mubarack of Egypt, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Muamar Gaddafi of Libya were swept out of power by revo-
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The crisis of leadership lution engineered by the angry masses. Although Nigerians are suffering in the midst of wealth because of maladministration, they have not revolted. My uncle, a former man of the cloth said this to me: if Nigeria were to be a European country or an Arab nation, the masses would march to Aso Rock, and sack our thieving, incompetent and unfeeling leaders. Rather, here, our youths without political and economic ideologies and scruples, who have twisted minds, feel that those occupying positions of power have been offered opportu-
nity by God to accumulate wealth via pillaging of our financial treasury. These youths are eagerly waiting their turn to occupy political post, and then loot the economy. Maladministration, which is at the root of our national problems, has not asked our leaders to account for their stewardship. That is the reason Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State sacked civil servants in Abia who are not indigenes of the state and spontaneous violent riot has not greeted it. Whatever reasons he adduced for his action is untenable and un-
acceptable in the context of Nigeria’s federalism. He pleaded scarcity of fund for the implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage as the reason for relieving non-indigenes in his state of their jobs. The workers affected by Governor Orji’s policy, who hail from Anambra State, thronged the Government House, Awka, to narrate their plight to the governor, Mr. Peter Obi. It was a piteous sight to behold. I was moved to tears as I watched them on television asking the Anambra State government to absorb them in the state
Siasia: it’s all in our national character
IR: People should stop blaming Siasia for our Nations Cup ouster. Neither should they blame the players. I don’t think, they should totally blame Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) either because they gave the Super Eagles the necessities to play and win. My take on the issue is simply that the government at all tiers and all arms are in shambles. Even all of us as citizens of this country perpetrate our own evil acts of fraud and fighting to bring each other down. Evil looms over this coun-
try and we do not deserve the smallest occasion to be proud of any achievement. Therefore, even if Jose Mourinho is employed and the Super Eagles decide to become dedicated, we shouldn’t still qualify because we are surrounded by evil and so good can never thrive. Apart from poverty, unemployment and Nigeria’s other numerous problems the government has paid deaf ears to, the average Nigerian lacks integrity; the trader in the market seizes every opportunity to exploit. Even the university system with all the educated
men and women is characterized by victimization. Is it the killing of innocent people by the most dreaded sect of mediocre people? With all these, do we actually deserve to be in the Nations Cup? A columnist in your newspaper described the average Nigerian as an ignoramus. Look at our voting pattern, it was totally polarized between the North and South. Nigerians voted based on ethnicity especially southerners. That’s total mediocrity. We keep eulogizing our entertainment industry when
Nigeria as one of the wheat producing nations in the world. Also the country has been importing large quantities of tomato paste from Italy and China for so many years. I am appealing to the Minister to initiate moves to
ban the wheat importation for now and encourgage our farmers to grow the crop. Also a variety of tomato paste can be developed in the country by our researchers. • S.A. Dabiri Akute, Ogun State.
Wheat imports: note to agriculture minister
IR: I am sure the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural development is aware that Nigeria imported N635 billion of wheat last year. This is not good enough for the country despite its agricultural potential.
civil service in order for them to feed their children and pay their school fees. While doing my NYSC primary assignment at Abubakar Dada Secondary School, Paiko, Niger State, I worked with five teachers in the school who are of Ibo extraction. Ibos, some of whom are Abia indigenes, are in the employ of the Niger State government. If other states in Nigeria were to send all workers of Abia origin who are in their employ back to Abia State, would Governor Orji be able to absorb them all? Would he be able to pay them monthly salaries, now that he is complaining about paucity of fund to implement the minimum wage? I urge the Governor Orji, himelf a former civil servant, to reverse his action, and recall the disengaged workers. Doesn’t he know that his action undermines national unity and integration? • Chiedu Uche Okoye Umowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.
This crop was banned and successfully grown by our farmers during President Babangida regime. The varieties grown were developed by Nigerian researchers and were better than the imported ones. This made the FAO to enlist
most of our artists lack lyrical creativity among other flaws and they are praised to the high heavens. The scripts of our best movies are still flawed and they enjoy popularity. The difference between the sound and video quality of our private television stations including those that have existed for many decades and channels in South Africa is so clear cut. In spite of all the profits they rake in every year, they have never bothered over the years to improve quality. Quality that is not far-fetched. Majority of Nigerians consume mediocre products, perform mediocre acts, have mediocre governments etc. I wonder why Nigerians are all of a sudden demanding sterling performances from the Super Eagles ? Performances they do not even deserve. • Nwosu Chibueze Umuahia
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Siasia, NFF and Nigerian soccer
THE story of Samson Siasia as the coach of various categories of national football teams is another eye opener to the temperament of our society: today they shout hosanna, tomorrow they holler crucify him. Once upon a time, Siasia was a hero as a coach of the junior teams. Even as he never won a trophy, his leading the teams to the finals drew accolades to his competence and commitment. When last year he was named Super Eagles chief coach, there was a national relief with great expectation of rebuilding a worthy national football team. His employers, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) gave him terms of agreement upon which some mandates were spelt out for attainment. With whooping million naira emoluments in a nation where N18,000 has become thorny to pay as minimum wage, he was expected to lead the Super eagles to at least the semi final of next year’s African Cup of Nations tournament. Well, we all know the rest of the tale. Siasia has to be fired for failing to do what he was supposed to do. In a counter move, Siasia too has chosen to go to court to challenge NFF for failing to do what it is supposed to do as well. And the people’s anger has been more on the once celebrated Siasia who has now been replaced with ex-national captain, ‘Big boss’ Stephen Keshi. How has our football degenerated into so sorry state that Nigeria keeps going down in the comity of soccer nations? The answer is not far-fetched. Every facet of the nation that once showed promise is today in fast retreat, in fact in doublequick sprint to decay. And so it has been with our sports development. As I once wrote, when fish wants to rot, the wise would say, it starts from the head. The nation is undergoing tolerable administration at its minimum. Nothing except bullish arrogance and national strangulation is working. It is the backward tendency that has unhappily filtered into the house of soccer where administration is walking on its head. Sacking of coach might not solve the problem. It would be futile finding solution to our football quandary if NFF is being ran the way it is. There is no visible plan to develop football at school and club levels. We depend on those who go abroad to make money and would only come to play for the country merely to secure their stay with their foreign countries. Nigerian soccer fans too are more excited about the foreign clubs than the local ones that used to be our pride. Since the once-successful Siasia could not be given a second
UR government officials are at it again! Instead of fashioning out an effective strategy to mend the broken walls of our educational system, they are warming up for another round of talk show. And to think that these talk shows are not organised with peanuts! The Minister of Education recently announced that the ministry wants to organize a conference/summit to discuss the massive failure in NECO and WAEC. Not that it is a bad idea, prima facie; but the truth is that, many such conferences and summits have been organised in the past without anything to show for it in the quality of teaching and acculturation in our public schools. The challenges bedevilling our education system are not hidden; it does not require the ingenuity of an Einstein to identify them. They are very visible at every turn. The millions of naira being budgeted for this summit by the minister to check mass failure in WAEC and NECO will only amount to another of our characteristic waste of public funds. In fact, the conference may well be an addition to the layer of rot piled on our already decomposed education sector. Why? Because cash-strapped commissions, such as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), will be the ones mandated to raise this fund! The reasons students are failing in WAEC and NECO exams are obvious: there are no classrooms, no chairs, teachers are not motivated, no libraries and books, schools are inadequately funded; there is poor implementation and monitoring of recommendations of past conferences. You do not need another summit to articulate, understand and solve any of these problems. And engaging a consultant at heavy fee just to organise a conference to discuss the obvious is even a more pathetic misplacement of priorities. Rather than engage in frivolous summits, the ministry of education should focus more attention on resolving the longstanding issues that make the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and other such academic bodies, down tools every given time. It is worthy of note that during late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration, an education summit was also held. All the dignitaries that attended the summit took turns to lament the sorry state of our educational system. Senate President, David Mark and former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, were also prominent voices in the lamentation party. They all expressed sadness at the high number of school age children that are out of schools, the rotten education sector and its implication on the country’s vision to be among the 20 most industrialised nations by the year 2020. Years down the line, it is the same old story of mass failure in WAEC, NECO and JAMB. Our universities and polytechnics graduates are half-baked – that is if they ever get baked at all. So, the causes of this national shame are obvious. Successive governments have paid lip service to raising the standard of education in Nigeria. But their rhetoric has not been matched
chance, Keshi who has been mandated to take Nigeria to the Brazil 2014 quarter-finals of the World Cup should be ready to face a sack too if he fails. Then people would not look at the inefficiency of the administrators but the failure of the coach. As the NFF now read the terms of contract, let the federation officials also read out how much it owes all our national team coaches as well as the accruing estacodes for its officials, and let’s see if they owe themselves anything. John Obuh is being owed for 13 months with nobody saying anything. Ex-Falcons’ Uche Eucharia is also owed for months, yet the glass house see it as no issue. Can any of the NFF officials be owed a dime? It is time NFF started keeping to its own terms of signed bond. As for Siasia, he too should not forget that he was part of the mafia squad in his days as a national team player. What he is experiencing might just his reaping of what he sowed. If only he would recollect how Shuaibu Amodu and Austin Eguavoen were chucked out in spite of their patriotic efforts, he should be consoled that, sooner or later, Keshi too might go the same way. Amodu who qualified the nation to World Cup twice was fired and his salary of nine months withheld for about two years. Since the tough-earned successful tenure of Clemens Westerhof, many internationally acknowledged technical advisers have come and failed because of our non-working system. Ask Bonfrere Jo, Carlos Alberto Torres and Berti Voghts, Nigeria became a negative turning point in their coaching careers. Keshi has tried more than twice and failed as many times. If NFF’s unimaginative and unproductive bureaucratic-laden administrative structure remains unchanged, he is bound to fail again - and the same mouth Nigerians used to praise him during his creative exploits in Togo and Mali are hanging to be used to chastise him again.
FEEDBACK I read your article “Never take the people for granted”. I admire your writing prowess. I apply to become a disciple under you as it will enhance my career in writing proficiently with gladness of heart. – Omonigho, Delta State Sir, the Lemu panel and your article have said it all. I blame myself for voting Obasanjo into office the third time. Look at everything – the slap on The Nation newspaper and plan to add money to the pump price of petrol - nothing to show for being in power for over one year. Now everything smells OBJ. I’m suspecting that some people are only misleading GEJ so that when he is rejected by the people, nobody will cry for him. – Ugwuoke, Enugu Your write up against President Goodluck Jonathan is worse than a gunshot. Are you sure you are wishing our beloved country Nigeria well or are you gradually inviting us to anarchy? Yes, I know there are people that derive great benefits in crises even to the detriment of our conscience, religion, mother, children and wives. But I strongly believe too that nemesis will
Enough of education summits By Bolaji A. Adeyemi with the political will to create an effective change in the sector. Instead, the sector is perennially drained of funds, and where the funds are available, unscrupulous persons at the helms of affairs would embezzle them. Consequently, many schools are short of classrooms. Students are cramped into poorly ventilated and leaky contraptions, in the name of classrooms. In classic instances, more than 80 pupils are crammed in a class, whilst some so-called classrooms are right under the tree, and worn-out automobile tyres used as chairs in some schools! As a result, the proprietors of private schools smile to the bank, as many parents prefer to enrol their wards in private schools, where they can, at least, be assured of manageable educational facilities. When the welfare of teachers is not adequately attended to, they look for other means to make ends meet. There are countless accounts of teachers - the very custodians of morals – soliciting money from their pupils in order to inflate their scores and promote them to higher class. The mere sight of some public schools’ teachers is enough testimony of a squalid system. Many of them are the epitome of poverty. At a recently held Teachers’ Day celebration in Abuja, one could see poverty, dejection and nonchalance written on the teachers’ faces - the faces that should ideally beam our national pride. Little wonder then that they refused to attend the dinner organised “in their honour” by the ministry at the highbrow Sheraton Hotel and Towers later that day. It is high time the helmsmen at the ministry of education knew that repositioning the sector goes beyond huddling in conference rooms and presenting eye-catching slides. It goes beyond stacking proposals from local and international experts. It goes beyond empty rhetoric that is only read on the pages of the dailies and not reflected in the proceeds channelled to the sector. The Minister of Education needs to get out there and have a firsthand experience of what is going on. We do not need another talk show before we fix the rot in the system. I was impressed by the action of the Minister of State for Education who visited some Unity schools, shortly after being sworn in, and saw the pathetic state of these hitherto centres of excellence now turned hospice of derelict. He promised on national television to do something about the pathetic state of the institutions. We are still waiting to see the promises turned into actions. But, at least this is the right
never forgive them. This is beyond politics of opposition. It’s a practical incitement against the state. Is President Jonathan an importer of petroleum products? If not, write about the people that killed all our references. – Pastor Brown, PH What is wrong if Jonathan reduces its overheads, reduces the legions of sycophants called aides, cut down the 25% spending by NASS - ditto for all the 36 states, and fight corruption with a patriotic zeal. The money saved from these extravagancies can help build the capital projects he wants to remove fuel subsidy for. We are not fools and it doesn’t take a London economist to know that it’s anti-people policy to remove the so-called subsidy. Send the message to other intelligent friends: We must resist this madness. Thank. – Emmnauel, Taraba State Soji, I just went through your write up. Nigerians can be taken for granted because people believe so much in tribalism, religion and deception. Jonathan came because you people voted for him because he is from the southern region; but me, I voted Buhari cos I trusted and I’m from the eastern region. Our people will keep hoping upon hope by thinking that God will come down to help them - which is not possible. – 2348038643922 Soji, you captured it. All those who have ears let them hear. Those who have eyes let them see. – Edun Ab, Ilorin I commend your exciting article. I’m in love with the statement, thus: “It is very clear that by attempting to increase the fuel pump price, government is visiting its inefficiency on Nigerians”. – Paul, Enugu Soji,your piece is timely. A Bini proverb says when a child who has parents is being advised, one who has none picks with his ears…’ A lot has been said by wise men, patriots and even so-called enemies; but it seems the case of the dog that no longer hears his master’s whistle, and everyone knows the end therein. Let’s wait and see. – Samin Amaddin, Gombe Sir, thank you for your comprehensive view on Government taking people for granted. With more of this, I hope Jonathan may wake up or continue his afternoon hot sun sleeping. – Innocent. Soji, don’t preach to them. Let them take the people for granted. They have forgotten not everybody has access to stealing billions of naira. Weekly, they award contracts worth billions of Naira that will not be executed. We shall meet come January 2012! – Barr. A. Morenikeji
‘Siasia has to be fired for failing to do what he was supposed to do. In a counter move, Siasia too has chosen to go to court to challenge NFF for failing to do what it is supposed to do as well’ step in the right direction. All colleges of education, polytechnics and universities must be visited by the minister to ascertain their needs. Stakeholders in these institutions must be parleyed to state their peculiar challenges. Such firsthand experiences are worth much more than a thousand conferences, summits and lorry loads of proposals put together. The report of the Presidential Visitation Panel, which assessed the academic infrastructure in federal universities between 1999 and 2003, should be implemented. The report has it that “equipment, where they exist, are old and obsolete. Some universities, such as the Ahmadu Bello University, have not purchased any equipment for teaching since 1976.” Initiatives as the ‘Back-to-School’ project designed to equip libraries with books and encourage reading amongst the students should be intensified. Education Trust Fund (ETF), Universal Basic Education (UBE) and other such statutory bodies should be refocused for strict adherence to the principles behind their establishment; whilst public schools, at all levels, should be adequately refurbished and furnished with modern equipment and tools. Teachers’ welfare should be put on the front burner. They need to be trained and retrained to get them abreast of evolving trends in the academia. Of course, it is not enough to train them, improved infrastructure is also very important. Teachers and students alike need a conducive atmosphere to work and learn. The government is behoved to make the learning dispensed in all educational institutions in our nation qualitative and functional. They should also ensure that the cancer of corruption eating deep into the flesh of our education sector is stopped. In 2007, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) reported that between 2005 and 2006, state government officials embezzled and diverted a whooping N3.32 billion UBE funds. Every conduits used to siphon such funds should be blocked. Anti-corruption agencies should continue to beam their searchlight on the sector. Anyone caught soiling his or her hands in education funds should be prosecuted and jailed. Besides, the Minister of State for Education recently organised a similar summit where all the state commissioners for education, SUBEC chairpersons, NECO, WAEC, and other stakeholders attended and came up with resolutions they felt would move our educational system forward. So why host another summit? It is a sad testimony of our national priority system when one considers that such hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money being budgeted for a jamboree-like talk shop, as this, would suffice to build and equip more than 30 public schools than all the droning at a summit would do in a number of years. For us to stem the tide of mass failure of students in national and regional examinations, and for our education sector to take a dramatic u-turn in fortune and regain its pride of place, what we need is organised action, not more summits!
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
ECENT views credited to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the imperative of restructuring the polity are not entirely new. Perhaps, what marks them out is the fact that they are coming for the first time, from an official of the government of the day who availed himself of the surplus financial data available to his organization to buttress his point. Before now, such views have been variously canvassed by those the authorities are quick to dub the opposition. Coming from such a high ranking government official, it is not surprising that his proposition is bound to reopen the debate on the vexed issue. In a recent paper, Sanusi suggested the need to restructure the polity to something more manageable than the current number of ministries, state and local governments. He went further to illustrate his proposal with statistics showing the inadvisability of retaining the 36-state structure in which each state on the average devotes 96 per cent of its revenue to pay civil servants. The federal government, he said, also spends about 70 per cent of its revenue on staff salaries and overhead with only about 30 per cent of revenue left for the rest of the country, some 150 million people. The issues raised here are not novel. Before now, the structure of the federation has been a source of worry to those who have cared to take some interest in the affairs of this country. It was largely on account of the inequities of this structural imbalance that agitations have been rife for the convocation of a national conference or its sovereign variant where Nigerians of diverse nationalities will have to determine their destiny. It is for the same reason that since the return to democratic governance in 1999, there have been strident demands for us to address the nagging national questions through constitutional amendment. The current attempt to amend the constitution and the ones before it are a direct response to those demands. Encapsulated in these national questions is the structure of the federal unit vis-à-vis the state and local governments. The point has been made time without number that the awesome powers conferred on the federal unit by the constitution raises serious questions as to the type of federal arrangement we operate. Before now also, there have been serious calls for the devolution of powers such that the states and local governments will assume some of the powers which hitherto were the exclusive preserve of the federal government. Such conten-
Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com
Sanusi’s restructuring proposal tious issues as the revenue sharing formula, resource control, creation of additional states and local governments and residency factor have been at the center of those structural imperfections that needed to be redressed. If the restructuring Sanusi has in mind is along these lines, then he is walking on a familiar path. Take the case of the agitation for the creation of additional states for instance; the resurgence of such demands is on account of the inequities of the subsisting order. In a situation where revenue sharing, appointments to federal jobs and representation in the National Assembly are based on statism, it will be uncharitable to expect zones that feel shortchanged by the extant order to live with it. So it is either we expand the current size of states to ensure fairness and equity among the constituents or we reduce them altogether taking into account the imperative for equity and balance among the zones. Before now also, suggestions have been rife for the restructuring of the country such that the zone becomes the units of representation and revenue sharing. That could equally be a convenient way out. Thus, collapsing the current 36state structure as suggested by the CBN helmsman is just an option amongst several others. Even then, that option is very unlikely to command the support of a broad spectrum of the Nigerian people. This is more so given the reasons he adduced to buttress his proposition. Sanusi is worried that states and local governments spend 96 per cent of their revenue in paying salaries and does not see how they can survive under such a situation.
He may be right. But he does not appear to have taken into account why this is so. He has not told us why the cost of running government is so high in this clime. He failed to draw parallels between this phenomenon and the type of government we operate. One would have expected him to have told us the correlation between these high wage bills and the cost of running a presidential system of government. It could well be that the problem identified by Sanusi is not as much with the so-called bloated structure of the states as to the very expensive nature of the presidential system of government we operate. We needed to be told what percentage of this wage bill goes to elected representatives at both the state and local government levels. We needed to draw comparison between the salaries and allowances of legislators at both the federal, state and local government levels and that of public servants. It will not be surprising that much of it goes to the coffers of legislators despite the fact that public servants by far outnumber them. Thus, if we intend to cut down the salaries of civil servants without taking cognizance of the very expensive nature of the presidential system, we might just be scratching the surface of the matter. And that is the real issue. Even then, what we spend paying civil servants will pale into insignificance when compared with the unbridled profligacy and monumental waste that have become the bane of all levels of government. Instead of our collective patrimony being looted by sundry buccaneers who parade themselves as leaders, is it not bet-
ter that our suffering people receive some of them as salaries and wages? It is the same logic that has in the main been the reason for the stiff resistance the so-called removal of fuel subsidy has been receiving. Despite the alluring argument that the removal of the subsidy will result in huge savings which will be deployed to rehabilitate decadent infrastructure, not many a Nigerian is persuaded. They do not see any guarantee in the type of leadership at all levels to suggest that whatever revenue accruals from the subsidy removal will not be frittered away as usual. For them, it is better to allow the subsidy stay so that the ordinarily people can also benefit from the endowment nature has bountifully placed at their backyard. For them, that could as well be their own share of the national cake. The point being made here is clear. And it is that it is incongruous to reason that all it takes to free more resources for development is to reduce the number of states and civil servants. Whereas these could also help, the proper and more lasting approach to it is to take a holistic perspective of the structure of the federation. We need to satisfy ourselves that we can continue to run the presidential system of government in its current form. We need to address the issue of whether legislative job should be on a full time or part time basis. We need to re-examine the cost of executing contracts on these shores and all sources of the large scale waste that is associated with civic structures. In effect, the value of Sanusi’s recommendations is in drawing attention to the irreducible fact that we need to re-examine the fundamentals of our federal structure. This is very imperative. Whether it is by way of the ongoing constitutional amendment or through the convocation of a national conference, we do not seem to have a choice in the matter.
‘The federal government, he said, also spends about 70 per cent of its revenue on staff salaries and overhead with only about 30 per cent of revenue left for the rest of the country, some 150 million people’
VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS
Dictators get the deaths they deserve
LL political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” wrote Enoch Powell, the controversial but often perspicacious British politician, “because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.” But the political lives of tyrants play out human affairs with a special intensity: the death of a democratic leader long after his retirement is a private matter, but the death of a tyrant is always a political act that reflects the character of his power. If a tyrant dies peacefully in bed in the full resplendence of his rule, his death is a theater of that power; if a tyrant is executed while crying for mercy in the dust, then that, too, is a reflection of the nature of a fallen regime and the reaction of an oppressed people. This was never truer than in the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The only difference between his death and those of so many other tyrants across history was that it was filmed with mobile phones, a facility unavailable to contemporaries of, say, the Roman emperor Caligula. Despite brandished phones and pistols, there was something Biblical in the wild scene, as elemental as the deaths of King Ahab (“the dogs licked up his blood”) and Queen Jezebel (thrown off a palace balcony). It was certainly not as terrible as the death of the Byzantine emperor Andronicus I, who was beaten and dismembered, his hair and teeth pulled out by the mob, his handsome face burned with boiling water. In modern times, it was more frenzied than the semiformal execution, in 1989, of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, but not as terrible as the ghastly lynching, in 1958, of the innocent King Faisal II of Iraq (age 23) and his hated uncle, who were supposedly impaled and dismembered, their heads used as soccer balls. In 1996, the pro-Soviet former president of Afghanistan, Najibullah, was castrated, dragged through the streets and hanged.
By Simon Sebag Montefiore Western leaders and intellectuals find Colonel Qaddafi’s lynching distasteful — BernardHenri Lévy worried it would “pollute the essential morality of an insurrection” — yet there are sound political reasons for the public culling of the self-proclaimed king of kings. Colonel Qaddafi’s tyranny was absolutist, monarchical and personal. The problem with such dictatorships is that as long as the tyrant lives, he reigns and terrorizes. As Churchill put it, “dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount.” Only death can end both the spell to bewitch and the prerogative to dominate — and sometimes, not even death can snuff out power. “The terror inspired by Caligula’s reign,” wrote Suetonius, “could be judged by the sequel.” Romans were so terrified of the emperor that it was not enough to assassinate him. They wanted to see him dead: fearing it was a trick and lacking cellphone footage, they had to be convinced. The mile-long line of Libyans who were keen to see Colonel Qaddafi’s cadaver in its shop-refrigerator-tomb would understand this perfectly. But such comebacks may be history: the cellphone videos, which show Colonel Qaddafi being beaten, and later, the bullet holes in his dead body, rob his last followers of the mystique necessary to lead an insurgency in his name, charged with all the excitement of a (Saddam Hussein-style) heroic leader on the run. His preposterously exuberant cult of personality was surely shattered by the spectacle of his pathetic demolition. For someone who so thrived in the age of television, an impresario of many a circus of public violence, Colonel Qaddafi faced an entirely fitting end. When he asked his frenzied killers, who had known no other ruler in their lives, “Do you not know the difference between right and wrong?” he had al-
ready taught them the answer. We may call this auto-tyrannicide. The manically terrifying but ruthlessly brilliant Mamluk sultan Baibars I, was more literally a victim: according to some accounts, he regularly poisoned his guests until, in 1277, he absentmindedly downed a glass of poisoned fermented camel’s milk himself. During the Crusades, the Atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo (in today’s Iraq and part of Syria), Zangi, who liked to castrate the children of enemies, and possibly his boy lovers as well, was supposedly stabbed in his bed by one of those humiliated eunuchs. When Stalin suffered a stroke in 1953, he had recently arrested dozens of doctors for treason. He lay in his own urine for more than 12 hours before his henchmen dared to call a doctor. He was not murdered — like Colonel Qaddafi, he was the author of his own destruction. There is no greater achievement for the tyrant — short of immortality — than to die in his own bed. He must control the time, place and consequence of death. Unlike monarchs, who pass power to their heirs at the moment of death to ensure the survival of the regime, tyrants must simply survive as long as possible. Hence inhumane struggles by indefatigable doctors to keep ailing dictators — Chairman Mao, Leonid I. Brezhnev, Marshal Tito, General Franco — alive. Only the ingenious North Koreans have solved this problem by declaring Kim Il-sung immortal, perpetual president. The courtiers of modern tyrants have sought to avoid the inconvenience of death by creating new hereditary monarchies. Outside the Arab world, the Kims of North Korea, Kadyrovs of Chechnya, Kabilas of Congo and Aliyevs of Azerbaijan all achieved this dictator’s dream. Few in the Arab world have done the same. Hafez al-Assad of Syria, who ruled from 1970, died in his bed in 2000, passing the presidency to his son Bashar. Colonel Qaddafi, Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Hussein all
dreamed of it. But the spoiled heirs of such hereditary tyrannies usually lack the talent of their fathers. ALL tyrannies are virtuoso displays over many years of cunning, risk-taking, terror, delusion, narcissism, showmanship and charm, distilled into a spectacle of total personal control. Tyrants are the greatest of all actor-managers — omnipotent impresarios. They will last only as long as prestige, prosperity and a vestige of justice are maintained. Uninhibited bloodletting can also work — as Bashar al-Assad and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have demonstrated — until luck eventually runs out in the shape of treason, outside interference or a tsunami of rebellion like the Arab Spring. It is hard to imagine that there would be anything but giblets left if those two now fell into the hands of their people. If a tyrant cannot die in his own bed, the best he can do is try to stage manage his downfall, because such characters find it unthinkable to exist without ruling. Colonel Qaddafi, like many others, was so narcissistic that he first denied the fact of the revolution before embracing his own reckless, heroic role, the drama of the last stand: “I have set my life upon a cast,” says Shakespeare’s Richard III, “and I will stand the hazard of the die.” Colonel Qaddafi could have saved his family and thousands of lives by retiring to a villa and later facing the International Criminal Court. Yet the narcissist envisages his downfall only as a mise-en-scène featuring his followers, family and country, consumed in his bonfire of egomaniacal nihilism. Colonel Qaddafi must have planned to die in battle like Richard III and Macbeth, or to kill himself. Yet this monstrous poseur totally bungled his own death. Simon Sebag Montefiore is the author of “Jerusalem: The Biography.” International Herald Tribune
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Ujah demands release Dream Team V arrives for Dream Team V N Ghana IGERIA’S national U-23 side on Saturday touched down at the Kotoko International Airport, Accra, Ghana to commence the final phase of camping ahead of the Confederation of African Football U23 championship slated for Morocco. The team touched down at about 20:05pm with a 35-man contingent led by the first assistant coach Stanley Eguma and comprising 26 players and 9 officials. Head coach of the Dream Team V, Austin Eguavoen, who formed the advance party to inspect the Lizzy Sports Complex, will join the rest of the team.
• Starts training today “This is a good camping facility, the environment is excellent and with over six training pitches and flood lights; we will be able to try out a lot of techniques in the next ten days” stated Coach Stanley Eguma on the team’s arrival to the Sports Complex. The Olympic Eagles observed yesterday as rest day with field work scheduled to begin on Monday morning.
Armed Forces Games ends • As training Command KD emerged Champions
• Ujah (r) with Mainz teammate
RAINING Command (Team TC), Kaduna at the weekend emerged CHAMPIONS at the 7th Nigerian Air Force Games held in Calabar/Uyo. Training Command topped the medals table with; 50 Gold medals, 34 Silver medals, 30 Bronze medals. Team HQ NAF, Abuja came second with 37 Gold medals,38 Silver medals,32 Bronze medals. Logistics Command (Team LC), Lagos came third with 26 Gold medals, 12 Silver medals, 27 Bronze medals. Mobility Command (Team MC), Yenagoa was fourth with 15 Gold medals, 25 Silver medals, 21 Bronze medals - Tactical Air Command (Team TAC), Makurdi came last with 14 Gold medals, 20 Silver medals 35 Bronze
From Patrick Ngwaogu medals. The climax of the event was the football match finals, where Team HQ NAF over powered Team Training Command by 2-1 to chart home the most prestigious medal event decided at UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar
Taye Taiwo benched in AC Milan’s win S
UPER Eagles’ left-back Taye Imaila Taiwo stayed on the bench for all 90 minutes when his Serie A side AC Milan yesterday white-washed Catania 4-0 at the San Siro. Taiwo has had to struggle for regular playing times at the Italian traditional club side since joining from Marseille in the French League 1 in the last transfer window. The former Lobi Stars defender was again missing in action as he sat watching his teammates run through Catania in a league cracker as coach Massimiliano Allegri preferred returnee Luca Antonini, who successfully recover from his ankle injury, ahead of Taye Taiwo at leftback.. The Serie A giants made it a total of five wins on the bounce with the
L AGOS T/TENNIS LEA GUE LEAGUE
IGERIAN striker Anthony Ujah has specially told MTNFootball.com that he has asked his German club Mainz to release him for the final Olympic qualifiers in Morocco later this month. A club versus country row threatens to rob Nigeria’s Olympic team, or Dream Team V, of their top stars in Europe as the qualifiers are not on the FIFA calendar and so it is left to the clubs to decide whether or not to release their players for the U23 competition. “I've made my intentions known to the club, which is to let me go as I have the desire to pursue my national team ambitions, but I don't know if they will release me as we are going through a difficult time in the league,” Ujah informed MTNFootball.com just hours after his brace gave his club their first win in nine matches in the German Bundesliga against VfB Stuttgart. Ujah, who moved to the German top flight in the summer after a harvest of goals with Lillestrom in the Norwegian league, made his Dream Team debut in the Olympic qualifier away in Tanzania earlier this year. The former Warri Wolves striker also speaks on coping with his new life in Germany and the switch from Norwegian football.
How important were your two goals on Friday against VfB Stuttgart in your career in Germany? They were very important because we have not won in the last nine games and this was only my second start in the league, so it will help me feel more relaxed and have more confidence going into our next games. Are these goals the beginning of more to come from you and Mainz? I believe the victory will help us a lot because we have been playing well but losing games, so I hope we could capitalise on this win and get more points. How difficult has it been adjusting to a new life in Germany? It's normal for every player to try to adapt to a new environment, some find it easy and some don't, but my coming to Mainz is to develop further and I've really achieved a lot since I've been here and looking forward to doing even more. What could have been behind your slow start to the German Bundesliga knowing how prolific you were in
Norway? The football, the weather, pressure to prove yourself or team rotation? Football in Germany without doubt is bigger than what you have in Norway in every way with the tempo and style of play. And of course the rotational system at my club, where we have six quality strikers in the team, has meant I have had to bid my time. Did you ever doubt yourself when you were not getting enough playing time? I never doubted myself, I knew the challenge before I took it and the desire to learn and be a better player made me come to Germany. Will you be available to feature for Nigeria at the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Morocco from November 26? I've made my intentions known to the club, which is for them to let me go as I have the desire to pursue my national team ambitions, but I don't know if they will release me as we are going through a difficult time in the league.
Union Bank dominates week one
down by Lanzafame. Ibrahimovic’s subsequent spot kick was by no means brilliant but it had sufficient power to sneak under the midriff of Mariano Andujar. Catania were growing in confidence, with Alejandro Gomez’s clever running from deep asking plenty of questions of the Milan defence, but the visitors were still struggling to cope with the movement and ingenuity of Ibrahimovic and Robinho and the dynamic duo teamed up wonderfully well again for a second goal on 24 minutes. Ibrahimovic, with his back to goal, controlled the ball on halfway before spinning swiftly and volleying the ball through for Robinho. The Brazilian, picking the ball up wide on the left, cut inside Giuseppe Bellusci, leaving the Catania defender on his backside in the process, before finding the far corner with a precise side-footed finish. The home side looked a tad lethargic in the second half but they finally put the result beyond doubt on 69 minutes, Ibrahimovic again picking out Robinho with a measured pass and the former Manchester City man then seeing his subsequent shot bundled into the net by the unlucky Lodi. Just over two minutes later it was 4-0, Zambrotta left with a simple task after Andujar had spilled Aquilani’s well-struck free kick.
PL goals record breaker Jude Aneke has told MTNFootball.com he is only two games away from getting a pro contract at Belgian club Gent. On Wednesday, Kaduna United striker Aneke made history when his hat-trick against Niger Tornadoes brought his goals tally this season to 20 goals, two more than the all-time record set by Ahmed Musa last season. The 21-year-old striker told MTNFootball.com that he would already have signed up for Gent, but sporting director of the Belgian club missed his club’s NPL match at Enugu Rangers no thanks to a visa hitch. It was therefore only his Belgian agent, Andre de Nul, who watched him score his 17th goal at Enyimba and then fire blanks in the 3-0 loss by Kaduna united at Enugu Rangers. “The sporting director was to have watched me in those two games and
AJORITY Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly and Chairman House Committee
on sports, Hon. Phillip Shuaibu has hailed the appointment of Steven Keshi as coach of the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF). Hon Shuaibu, however, said Samson Siasia was ‘too inexperienced’ to handle the Super Eagles. Shuaibu who spoke in an interview with newsmen yesterday said the NFF should pacify erstwhile Super Eagles players it summarily dismissed. He said that if he had not been a legislator, he would have applied for the job then, and would have done better than Siasia.
after that offer me a contract, but he could not because of a hitch with his visa to Nigeria,” Aneke told MTNFootball.com “Because of that, I now have to play two matches in Belgium to get my contract.” Last October, Ahmed Musa cashed his NPL goals with a transfer to Dutch club VVV Venlo. Aneke has credited his Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman for his harvest of goals this term. “He was a striker in his own playing days and he has really improved my positioning,” the robust playing centre-forward revealed. The former Ebonyi Angels star could now improve on his 20-goal tally as his club have two more matches before the end of the season. They host Sharks on Wednesday and then visit Gombe United for their final league tie.
McLeish tips Agbonlahor for England cut
LEX McLeish hailed Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor who he believes will have "caught the eye" of England head coach Fabio Capello with his recent performances. Agbonlahor scored once and set up a double for Darren Bent in Villa's 32 home win over Norwich. McLeish confirmed Agbonlahor had
Edo majority leader hails Keshi’s appointment
NION Bank Sports Club confirms why they are still the best team in the country when the Jide Ogidiolu-inspired team dominated the week one of the Lagos table tennis league. Besides dominating in the men and women events, the bankers team has continued to churn out players for the country despite the little support given to the game by the financial institution management. Even the technical coordinator of the competition, John Peters believes if the Samson Ajayi-tutored side have more backing, they would rival the best in the continent. However, at the eight-week league, which served off last Thursday, Ogidiolu defeated his teammate, Sola Oyetayo 3-2 in an entertaining final, while latest discovery in women category, Aminat Fashola dismissed experienced Fatimo Bello to become the week one champion. The encounter between Ogidiolu and Oyetayo brought out the best in the players to the admiration of the fans at the Mobolaji Sports Centre, Rowe Park in Yaba, venue of the tournament. Also the dynamism of the sport came to the force as Kazeem Makanjuola, who recently won a national competition was shown the exit in the semifinal by Oyetayo. According to Peters, the turn out of players really showed that with such tournament, it would help the athletes to be in top form for major championships. “I think this is a very good development for the game in the state especially for the state in its preparation for the next National Sports Festival. We believe that when the competition ends in December most of the players will surely be in good shape for any tournament”, Peters explained. 31 male and 13 female featured in the first week of the league, while the organisers hope the turnout would improve with more players expected to be part of the tournament.
victory over Catania at San Siro on yesterday afternoon. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Robinho had been felled by Davide Lanzafame and the Brazilian doubled their advantage with a sublime finish midway through the first half after being released by his Swedish strike partner.Francesco Lodi then put through his own net on 69 minutes as he attempted to clear Robinho’s goal-bound effort before Gianluca Zambrotta completed the rout moments later when he pounced on a rebound from Alberto Aquilani’s free kick. Consequently, it came as no surprise when they linked up to earn the home side a penalty just seven minutes in, Ibrahimovic slipping in Robinho, who was clumsily taken
'Aneke two games from Euro contract' N
From Osagie Otabor, Benin The former FCT academicals player noted that Keshi can only succeed if NFF removed politics out of football and revisit how they won CODAR under-16 World Cup in 1985. He expressed optimism that Keshi will succeed in taking Nigeria’s football to enviable heights if provided the necessary tools to work with. “He is the first indigenous coach who has gone out of the shores of this country. Keshi will only succeed “Nigerians have lost hope and interest in the support for our Nigeria teams. We must begin to get involved in international friendlies”. He added.
been named in Capello's provisional squad for the forthcoming internationals with Spain and Sweden, and said: "In that kind of form, Gabby has got to have caught the eye (of Capello)." He added: "Benty has already established himself and scored some goals for England. "But Gabby has got to take confidence from the way he has been playing and the expectation levels are now on him to deliver in every game. That is what you expect of a top player. He is still young and has been really consistent this season. His performances this season have been exceptional." Norwich boss Paul Lambert lamented his side's defending, particularly for Villa's second goal from Agbonlahor after latching onto a Leon Barnett back pass. He said: "The good thing about us is we don't stop, we keep going, but we can't give goals away like that. "We get a foothold in the game at 11 and lose a silly goal just after halftime. "The ball should have gone into row Z of the stand. It puts you on the back foot and then you are down to 3-1. "We came to try and win and the first goal was a world-class goal. But Villa are a very good side especially here with the crowd they've got."
Lagos Tertiary Games to hold Nov 16-25
N order to improve preparations of the institutions and ensure that the problem of logistics is solved, the Local Organising Committee, LOC, of the Lagos Tertiary Games has shifted by a week the dates for the 3rd edition of the championship. The championship, which was initially fixed to hold from 10-19 November, will now hold from Thursday, 16 to Friday, 25 November. Chairman of the LOC, Prince ‘Wale Oladunjoye, said that “in our concerted effort to further improve on the performances of the participating institutions in ensuring that they are technically conditioned to get the best athletes to represent each school, as well as getting the logistics right, the 3rd Lagos Tertiary Games 2011, has now been shifted by a week. It will roll out from 16-25 November.” Prince Oladunjoye, who is also the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, disclosed that entries of athletes by sports/names are now to be submitted on or before 10 November for easy issuance of identity cards before the commencement of the tournament, which will feature 17 of 20federal/state/private-institutions in
Lagos. He further disclosed that the LOC has been receiving bids from institutions, which want their schools to be used as venues for the tournament. According to the LOC boss, who is the Tournament Director of the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, “except for the finals, participating institutions will be used as venues for matches during the 10 days competition. We will give the institutions taking part in this competition the chance to be venues as a way of bringing the tournament
closer to the students. We have been receiving bids to this effect from interested schools. But the finals of football event and sprints will be held during the closing ceremony scheduled for Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Friday, 25 November,” he said. The sporting events to be competed for include Athletics (100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100 and 4x400m), Basketball (men and women), Soccer (men), Table Tennis (singles-men and women), Volleyball (men and women) and Beach Volleyball (men and women).
ASCON Oil U- 17 final postponed
RGANISERS of ASCON Oil U17 football championship, Dream Team Football Academy (DTFA), Asaba, Delta State, have announced a slight change to the calendar of this year’s event as the final/third place matches which had earlier been scheduled to take place on November 6 has been shifted to November 13. Explaining the motive behind the shift, Matthew Ossai, head of the organizing committee, cited logistic hitches and promised to put things in the proper perspective to ensure a hitch-free grand finale. Meanwhile, in the quarter
final matches played at the three designated centres, defending champions, Oshimili North maintained their status as favourites as they dismissed Aniocha South 10 – 9 in an energy-sapping penalty shootout encounter at the Jay Jay Okocha stadium, Ogwashi Uku. At the Oleh centre, it was a thriller as nine-man Isoko South sent Bomadi packing in another penalty decider which ended 3-1. Both teams had earlier ended their tie 1-1 after 90 minutes. Ethiope West were ruthless as they mauled Ovwie 2- 0 to book a semi final place. The match took place at the Ughelli centre.
Our luck has got to change —Moses VICTOR Moses reckons Wigan’s ability to post a victory has been hindered by the woodwork. Latics players have struck the frame of the goal an astonishing SIX times already this season – that’s as many times as they have scored goals this term. And Moses said: “It’s the way it’s going for us at the moment, our luck has got to change soon.” The forward is ready for today’s clash with Wolves and hopes a win will get Wigan’s campaign on track. He added: “It’s early days and we are confident of turning it round. “The Wolves game will be big – but we are more than capable of getting the three points. “Nobody’s looking at the league table at the moment. All we’re concentrating on is working hard.”
Final Score clocks one
INAL Score, a popular radio program on City 105.1 FM is celebrating its first year of broadcast. In just a year of broadcast, the show has carved a niche for itself for its focus on in-depth analysis and well articulated perspective on football games and other topical issues making the rounds. Fondly referred to as the best 30 minutes of football anywhere on radio, the show enjoys massive followership as it is the leading drive time football show on radio in the Lagos area. Anchored by the duo of ‘Biola Kazeem and Bada Akintunde Johnson, both known for their knowledge, deep insight and articulate delivery, the show also features Oma Akatugba , Emmanuel Etim and Rotimi Akindele. “We are really proud of what we have achieved so far in just one year. The feedback has been fantastic and we have enjoyed every bit of the journey so far. We plan to work even harder over the next year as our listeners won’t expect any less. We are fully focused on building the Final Score brand to become the benchmark for sports broadcasting” said Biola Kazeem. “With a year’s worth of experience behind us, we are poised to do even more over the next one year. We are presently working on adding other exciting segments to the already known playing at home, playing away and throw-in segments of the show. We can’t thank our listeners enough and we will continue to do all we can to satisfy their yearnings” submitted Bada Akintunde Johnson. A series of guest appearances by seasoned sports journalists have been lined up to mark the milestone.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
Shortly after the All Progressives Grand Alliance won the governorship election in Imo State, there was a spate of defections from the Peoples Democratic Party. Rather than strengthen APGA, the defections led to a protracted crisis. It is a house divided against itself, reports Correspondent EMMA MGBEAHURIKE.
How peace has eluded Imo APGA T
HE crisis of confidence rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), from the National level seems to have spread across the states, as Imo State seems to have been caught in the web of the problem rocking the party. The APGA which was relatively unknown seems to be in the news not for the number of states it has won but the perceived acceptability among a large section of the people of the state. Observers have said that people are looking towards the direction of the party because it has managed to take charge of Imo and Anambra States. This has boosted the standing of APGA in the southeast, raising the prospect that it could take over the region from the more strategically positioned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The scenario probably prompted the factionalisation of the party. In Imo state is not left out; the party has been divided into two factions. One led by Prince Cletus Nwaka, and another by Hon. Udo Agoha who originally was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) before he defected to APGA during elections. While Prince Nwaka claims that his faction is the original APGA, Hon. Agoha believes that they have come to inject new blood into the system and make the party viable. He stressed that the APGA led by Nwaka lacks vision and has no capacity to move the party forward. Nwaka made it known that some people wanted to reap where they did not sow. Defending his cause, the Agoha led faction stressed that he was duly elected by a resolution of national stakeholders held on August 22, 2011. Nwaka claims that there is nothing like that in the constitution of the party. He made it known that it does not exist. Speaking with The Nation, Nwaka said that APGA had become so great that people would want to be the National Chairman, State Chairman, Local Government Chairman even the ward Chairman. He explained that they had forgotten that a political party chairman must emerge through a process in accordance with its constitution. He said: “There is no organ of APGA known as National Stateholders Forum that can convert itself into a party congress. It is not a party organ, what we have is the National Working Committee, the National Executive committee, the State Working Committee, State Executive and at the ward level. “There is nowhere in our constitution where we have such a structure. Nothing like interim national working committee as an organ of the party.” According to him, those who hunger for position in APGA try to create these organs that they want to fill in. He insisted that there is no rift in the party because the structure of APGA is intact in the state with an executive headed by him, with the LGA Executives intact and also the ward Executives in all the 27 LGAs and the 305 wards. “So we don’t have any problem, the National Chairman still remains Sir. Victor
Umeh.” Asked the relationship of his faction with Governor rochas Okorocha and the national leadership, Nwaka said. Umeh party had made it clear to the government that the APGA structure that brought him to position during the election is the APGA structure in Imo State. Answering question on how the party was able to secure the finances that gave them the new magnificent structure , he said the government is not involved in financing the party structure and hiring of a befitting office. “I have always said that all Igbos belong to APGA”. “The APGA people secured this structure and they are also furnishing it and would help in inaugurating it.” I have not got any government input, we however hope that Governor Rochas Okorocha would open the place and accept it as the party secretariat.” Explaining that there is no election where only party members vote, Imo people voted during the election and the candidate who contested on the platform of APGA won. “So the whole of Imo state voted. The important thing is on what platform he contested and won.” That the party is being by those who just teamed up with it from the PDP, Nwaka asked where the famed PDP vibrancy had brought them to. Speaking in respect of the prospect of APGA, described it as very bright. He urged his members to be steadfast while appreciating their implicit confidence in the state executive of the party. “It is APGA that presented the better platform for the governor to win”. But, also responding, the state factional interim chairman Hon. Agoha said that he was part of PDP until the LGA primaries were conducted in Owerri zone. According to him, the PDP did not allow equity, justice and peace to reign. Explaining why he joined APGA, Agoha said he was part of the Okorocha structure and chairman of the campaign council for Owerri North. Agoha, a public analyst and lawyer confirmed that there was a problem in APGA. He reiterated that his position as the chairman came when the Stakeholders met in Abuja and decided to invoke the doctrine of necessity to restructure the party because, according to him, there was no substantive National Chairman in the party. He also claimed that the stakeholders invoked the doctrine of necessity recently to dissolve all the offices and structures from the National, states, Local governments and wards, saying that they then reconstituted the National and states offices. On the position of the state chairman he stated that, “ I am not expecting Prince Nwaka to act differently from the way he is reacting now, because he is being led by those who have no vision”. “Mine is led by vision that is supported by Mission.” He, however, said t hat but insisted that there is no faction in APGA , “mine is the authentic leadership of the party in the state.” Today he said, APGA can talk and people will hear because they have repositioned
‘There is no organ of APGA known as National Stakeholders Forum that can convert itself into a party congress. It is not a party organ, what we have is the National Working Committee, the National Executive committee, the State Working Committee, State Executive and at the ward level’ - Nwaka
‘APGA had won many elections, were they able to protect their result? We came out from Owerri zone and gave strength to APGA. Where was he when we won the National Assembly election in Owerriwest; did he win any election in his booth and his local government’ - Agoha
the party to an enviable one. On the purported involvement of the governor in the crisis, Agoha said that Governor Okorocha never knew when he was elected the interim state chairman of the party. “Prince Nwaka led the party for six years without any result, should he continue so that the party would die? Is it proper? “Nobody has sacked anybody, if after the restructuring in six months Prince Nwaka is found worthy of occupying the position, no doubt, he would stand for election”. Reacting to Nwaka’s position that the Agoha faction made PDP unattractive and unelectable in the state, he said: “APGA had won many elections, were they able to protect their result? We came out from Owerri zone and gave strength to APGA. Where was he when we won the National Assembly election in Owerriwest; did he win any election in his booth and his local government?”
Throwing jibes, Agoha said anybody supporting Nwaka has no vision for the party and the state. He made it known that Prince Nwaka is only buying time by trying to stay where he is. “The state government knows that we have come to give the party strength, Prince Nwaka has not reacted to any criticism against the party”. Indicating that Prince Nwaka was not seen during the last House of Assembly re-run held in the state, he wondered where he is drawing his strength from as the chairman of the party. At the moment, APGA has won the battle for Imo. It not only won the governorship, but succeeded in getting some members of PDP in the House of Assembly to defect after the inauguration, including the Speaker and his deputy, thus handing the party control of both the executive and legislative branches of government. Although it won a tough war, can it win the peace? The divided against iself.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Battle to remove Suswam in Benue
OVERNOR Gabriel Suswam is now, in Benue State, regarded as the proverbial cat with nine lives. The description stems from proceedings at the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, and the spate of litigations against his key lieutenants in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Perhaps, a chronicle of events leading to the 2011 governorship election and the battle to oust the governor would help give a better understanding of how Suswam has been battling for his political life. Since he got involved in politics in 1999, his attempts at reelection, have been met with stiff opposition. It was the case when he sought to contest for a second term in Ukum, Logo, Katsina-Ala federal constituency. All odds were against him when he came out victoriously in 2003; his opponent, the late Mahmud Akiga had challenged his election at the tribunal to the Appeal Court in Jos. He overcame the challenge. Suswam was also in the news when President Olusegun Obasanjo in a national broadcast accused him of soiling his hands with education funds, the education minister then, Prof. Fabian Osiji, was forced to resign because of the allegation but Governor Suswam survived. The allegations came fews days to the 2007 general election where Suswam was a strong contender, he participated in the primaries alongside 10 other aspirants on the platform of the PDP and won. He went ahead to defeat Prof Daniel Saror of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2007 to become the governor. Saror went to the tribunal but, owing to a legion of factors, Saror one withdrew his petition against Suswam even before hearing commenced. 2011 presented another opportunity and there was another stiff opposition, but Suswam never anticipated that there would be such huge opposition to his re-election because he thought that, since his predecessor, Senator George Akume, served eight years of two terms he also had a right to a second term. It was not so simple, after all.
• Suswam From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
He emerged as party flag bearer, after contesting against a relatively unknown Terver Kakih. The next thing to follow was a series of litigation against Governor Suswam, even before the election . First, was a suit filed by Kakih against Suswam for allegedly parading a fake WAEC certificate. The matter dragged on until the election and the pre-election matter is still pending before a Jos Federal High Court. Shortly after the governorship election that Suswam again won, Saror who was again presented as the ANPP candidate and Prof Tokuma Ugba of Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) challenged his victory at the tribunal. While Saror’s petition was predicated on alleged certificate forgery, that of Ugba was both on the results from some local government areas and the alleged certificate forgery. The battle to upturn the election of Governor Suswam was fierce, however, with the first Chairman Justice Daisy Okocha, fleeing Makurdi for fear for her life. Then another chairman, Justice Mumir Ladan, took over. After few rulings,Justice Ladan, like his predecessor,ran to Abuja after telling the world that he faced security challenges. When he return to Makurdi after two
weeks, he commenced hearing of the petition.. But two days to the hearing of ACN candidate’s petition, the unexpected happened as the Court of Appeal in Makurdi, presided by Justice Mohammed Tsamiya in an Appeal by PDP ruled that Ugba was assumed to have abandoned his petition and it should be struck out. Armed with the ruling of a superior court, lawyers to Suswam and PDP served the Benue State Governorship Election Tribunal and immediately the pet ion against Suswam was struck out. Fews days later, that Saror suffered the same fate as the Tribunal ruled the issue of certificate forgery was a pre -election matter. Saror, not satisfied with the ruling of the tribunal, went to Appeal Court and got judgment in his favour as the court ordered that another tribunal be constituted to hear the ANPP candidate’s petition Justice Tsamiya said: ‘That the presentation of a certificate to INEC is mandatory and a prima facie evidence that the candidate is qualified and has met the constitutional requirement for the office he is seeking into. This implies that, if a candidate has failed,refused or neglected to present a certificate to INEC during screening or has presented a forged certificate ,such a candidate has no business in office.” While the new tribunal ordered by the Court of Appeal to hear the petition of Saror against Suswam is yet to resume, there is another battle against him at the Federal High Court in Jos, over alleged certificate forgery by his opponent in the PDP primaries, Terver Kakih. Prof Ugba has also challenged the decision of the court of Appeal in Makurdi which terminated his petition against Suswam. The battle against Governor Suswam is coming from all corners. Will the “Civilian General” as Suswam is called survive the onslaught like he did in the previous battle? Governor Suswam told his audience at a recent public function that: “I swam in a sea, but came out unscratch, so I will soon survive the stream.” Events continue to unfold. Whether Suswan actually has nine lives, the outcome of the pending trials and appeals will determine.
• From right: Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Prof. Charles Soludo, Senator Chris Ngige, Gov. Peter Obi, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, Sir Victor Umeh, Sir Jude Agbaso and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu cutting the cake to mark the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) National Leader, Chief Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu’s 78th birthday in Enugu on Saturday.
On May 29, Taraba State Governor Dambaba Suntai was sworn in for another term of four years. However, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate Senator Joel Ikenya is challenging the victory at the tribunal. Who wins? Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the claims and counter-claims of the rival politicians.
Taraba PDP, ACN in battle of wits at tribunal
HE governorship election held in April in Taraba State. But the exercise is still inconclusive. Since Governor Dambaba Suntai, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) assumed the reins, he has not slept with the two eyes closed. His victory has been a subject of dispute at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jalingo, the state capital. The ruling party has claimed that the poll was free and fair and Suitai was the choice of Tarabians. But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Senator Joel Ikenya, disagreed, saying that it was grossly rigged by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of PDP, which he described as the highest bidder. In a suit filed by their counsel, F.K Idepefo, Senator Ikenya and his running mate, Hon. Isa Ajiya, claimed that the exercise violated the Electoral Act and the Constitution. Respondents include Suntai, his deputy, Abubakar Danladi, and INEC. The counsel prayed the tribunal chaired by Justice L.D. Abba to quash the victory of the governor. He canvassed three grounds. These are the lack of accreditation, discrepancy in the result sheets and falsification of figures. However, counsel to the respondents; E.A. Aremo, Q.E.B Offiong (SAN) and A.J. Akanmode (SAN), countered the claims. They maintained that the PDP won the election, adding that the conduct of the exercise conformed substantially with the laid down laws. In his petition, Ikenya insisted that “the poll was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provision of the amended Electoral Act 2010. He said: “Considering the terrain and landmass of Taraba State, it was not possible for INEC to have conducted election on April 26 and declare a winner the next day”. He pointed out that Forms EC8As had figures that were predicated, adding that the ballot papers were subjected to assault through multiple voting and multiple thumb-printing. The ACN candidate called 12 witnesses. The respondent called nine. Aremo submitted that, on ground of violation of the component part of voting, especially accreditation, collation of results and declaration of results, Suitai’s victory was null and void. Quoting the Court of Appeal verdict in the case between Kayode Fayemi and Segun Oni, he said: “The concept of election denotes a process constituting accreditation, voting, collation, recording on all relevant INEC forms and declaration of results. The collation of all results of the polling unit making up the wards and the declaration of results are the constituents elements of an election as known”. The counsel sited specific local governments, where he alleged that discrepancies existed in in figures recorded and ballot papers and boxes issues out. An example is Gassol Council, where it is alleged that the hard score of candidates were not recorded and presiding officers failed to stamp and sign them. In fact, the counsel alleged that elections did not hold in some wards, due to the difficult terrain. Examples he cited were Sardauna local government, Gashaka Local government, Bali local government and Kurmi local government. According to him, in respect of multiple voting or thumb=printing, “the production of the voters’ register showing that the number of votes cast is in excess of the number of voters accredited on the voters’ register is a conclusive proof of the fact of multiple voting or multiple thumb-printing”. Outside the court. Suntai and Ikenya have been trading words. The camp of the governor believe that he won the votes of the people, based on his performance in office. But Ikenya objected to this view, saying that the state has been badly misgoverned. He said: “PDP has ruined Taraba State and that is why the ;party was rejected at the polls. The verdict of the tribunal will put an end to the battle of wits inside and outside the court.
GOVERNANCE ‘Rescue mission on course’
Cycle to protect environment Lagos
Ijebu town celebrates its day
MONDAY NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Southwest farmers tackle food shortage Poultry producers meet in Abeokuta Amosun says region will transform agric
ARMERS in the Southwest have gathered in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to seek answers to the enduring food challenges facing the entire country. They came with a list of questions. They also came with suggestions. Why, they asked, should the country be blessed with such vast, arable land, yet it struggles to feed itself? Why does government not support farmers adequately? Is it hard to see that a developed agric sector can absorb most of the nation’s unemployed youths? Those were some of the questions embedded in the presentations of the farmers who converged for the first poultry exhibition in the Southwest. The event witnessed a large turnout of land-based producers across the country and attracted investors from the United States of America, Chad, China, India, among others. Southwest chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Ayo Oduntan said the nation’s potentials in the agric sector have not been properly exploited, adding that Nigeria still imports fruits and other farm produce in spite of its endowments. He stressed that Nigeria could produce more than enough chicken for local consumption if efforts are made to N Oyo State-based pharmaceutical company, Bond Chemicals, has donated drugs to the state Ministry of Health in a move aimed at strengthening the healthcare delivery system of the present administration in the state. The consignment consisiting of blood tonic medications, was delivered to the Commissioner or Health Dr Lateef Olopoenia at the state Secretariat, Ibadan. They were valued at about N1.5 million. Delivering the drugs, the
By Miriam Ndikanwu
increase the production of maize and soya used to feed the livestock. “We need maize; we need soya,” Oduntan said. “Let the Federal Government help solve the problem of maize within the next 12 months. Make two and half million tons of maize available and there will be improvement in the output, and you have solved 70% of our problems.” The Southwest poultry farmers’ chief also said the agric sector, if properly developed exploited, could solve the problem of youth unemployment in the country. “Several countries now generate their electricity from manure,” he said further. “We can do the same in Nigeria. There is a place in China where sea bamboo was beautifully planted, making agriculture a tourist attraction and source of revenue for the country. There is hardly anything in the world today that one can do without agriculture. Unless Nigeria goes back to the farm we may not progress as a nation. “In Brazil 50% of their petrol is made from sugar-cane and ethanol. A lot of drugs are now produced using raw materials from the farm. Omega H3 and other vitamins are products of farm materials.” •Continued on Page 28
•From left: National Vice President, Southwest zone, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Dr Ayoola Oduntan, his counterpart from Northwest zone, Alhaji Aminu Adamu, Managing Director/CEO Food Concept Lts, Mr Deji Akinyanju and chairman, Ogun State chapter, Dr Femi Faniyi at the exhibition
•Some of farm products at the exhibition
Firm donates drugs to Oyo govt long way in promoting the health of the aged, expectant women and children in the state. Head of Sales and Marketing of His words: “The purpose of the the company, Mr Sanjo Oyeniyi donation of the blood tonic is to said the reason for the donation complement the efforts of the of the blood tonic was to comple- Ajimobi administration in the ment the effort of Governor Abiola provision of quality health care Ajimobi’s administration in the delivery system in the state. The provision of qualitative health Ferrotogen would go a long way care in the state. in promoting the health of the Oyeniyi noted that the blood aged, pregnant women and the tonic, Ferrotogen, would go a children in the state with respect From Bisi Oladele and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
to better mental and physical well-being of the people.” While receiving the consignment of the blood tonic in Ibadan on behalf of the state government, Dr Olopoenia stated that the government was ready to partner with organisations and companies to improve health care delivery. He said: “Arrangements have been concluded by the by the Ministry to embark on on-the-spot as-
sessment of all the health facilities and Primary Health Units across the State, adding that the purpose of the assessment would be to examine the status of all the health facilities in respect to manpower, equipment, structure and its functionality.” Olopoenia appreciated the gesture of the management of Bond Pharmaceuticals limited for being responsive and partnering with the state government.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Firm to empower entrepreneurs
Oyo awards N250m motor parks contract
NGO to finance 15 women after training
HE Oyo State government has awarded the contract for the construction of ultra-modern inter-city motor parks at the cost of N250 million.The aim is to curb traffic congestion within the Ibadan metropolis. The state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of the state executive council meeting, said that the projects would be completed within the next 30 days. The first phase of the motor parks will involve resurfacing and drainage while the second phase of the project will include structural and civil works, provision of infrastructure including police post, kiosks, toilets and boreholes. "The idea is to ease transportation. This government has zero tolerance for illegal parking. Government spent a lot of money to dualise some of our roads, not for parking purposes but to give the privilege of having free flow of traffic on the roads,'' Akintunde said. He explained that all the motor parks along the Iwo Road interchange would be relocated to Temidire Park along New Ife Road, while all motor parks along Beere-Molete-Challenge would also be relocated to Podo Park on the
Oyo Old Lagos Road. He added that the idea was to decongest the Ibadan metropolis of the usual heavy traffic along Iwo Road interchange and other densely populated areas of Ibadan. The commissioner noted that Temidire Motor Park alone was about 19,206 square metres and it is expected to be completed within one month. The state government team, led by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Moses Alake Adeyemo, had earlier inspected the construction work at the park in Ibadan. Also speaking, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Adeolu Akande, revealed that the state government had given approval for the auditing of transformers procured by the immediate past administration. He explained that despite the claim by the past government to have spent over N1 billion on the procurement of 15 units of transformers for each of the 33 local government councils in the state, residents of the state are still complaining of irregular power supply, necessitated by shortage of transformers.
•From Left: Director-General, Lagos State Safety Corps, Mrs Dominga Adebunmi; Head of Quality and Sustainability, Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC), Mr Doyin Adiru; Chairman, Motorocycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS), Mr Tijani Perkis and Zonal Sector Commander Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Jonas Agwu at the presentation of helmet to motorcyle riders as part of celebration of 2011 Health and Safety Week by NBC in Lagos
Intending pilgrims warned
By Nneka Nwaneri
BRAND management firm, Sayitbetter Corporate Communications, has concluded plans to empower five entrepreneurs through loans to help start their businesses. Its Managing Director, Paul-Kayode Joash, told reporters that those interested in the loans would present their business plans at the Mydoubledouble Conference. He said the conference to be held on November 12 at the Main Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, by 9am, is a way of contributing to change. "I believe that Nigeria will change and it is changing. What is needed is a revolution of the mind. This year's MyDoubleDouble Conference will focus on helping attendees create lasting personal and professional changes. "It will challenge self-limiting beliefs or practices and provide tools and techniques that will help you become all that you are made to be," Joash said. He added that interested participants need to register in advance by sending their names to 08102459676 or online at www.facebook.com/mydoubledouble. After the conference in the morning, the Rainmaker Seminar will begin, where attendees will get strategic email marketing software, sales and marketing programmes, access to online training programme and certificate of attendance. "It will be about getting and keeping extremely profitable customer and clients. It is for anyone involved in sales and marketing. It is a special place to bring your sales and marketing team for a turnaround experience. "After the programme your organisation will see more measurable and sustainable improvements in business and sales/marketing outcomes," Joash told a press conference. Standard registration fee is N10,000 for the seminar, he said. Speakers at the conference will include Chief Technical Officer, Tigo Telecom, Ghana, Obafemi Banigbe and Chief Executive Officer, Make Impact Enterprise, United Kingdom. Comedian SACO will be the master of ceremony.
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has warned intending pilgrims from the state to this year's holy pilgrimage to Israel against absconding to other places. The governor gave the warning during the opening ceremony of a one-day pre-pilgrimage retreat in Akure, the state capital. At the ceremony, over 300 intending pilgrims from the 18 local government areas of the state were present. The retreat was organised to educate them on the need to maintain good conduct during their stay in the holy land. It was put together by the state Christian Welfare Board was also designed to ensure that the intending pilgrims are in good condition of health. Governor Mimiko warned them against vices such as drug trafficking, prostitution and
Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure other wide misdemeanors which he noted were against both local and international legislation. Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Olayinka Alabi, Mimiko tasked them to be worthy ambassadors of the state in the holy land. He also challenged them to shun all acts and behaviours capable of bringing the good name of their families and state into disrepute. The state Chairman of the Christian Welfare Board, Deji Asabia whose speech was laced with the words from the scriptures, also admonished the intending pilgrims to be God fearing.
Pupils off to Dubai after competition • Councilors in Mosan-Okunola LCDA,Lagos State, taking oath of office. Princess Adenike Olusoga from Abesan ward emerged Leader of the House
NEMA to introduce emergency toll-free line
HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) would acquire tollfree emergency numbers and create call centre in the first quarter of 2012 for contacts by people in distress to call for necessary assistance from response agencies. The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, disclosed this in Abuja while receiving a report submitted by Media and Information Committee on Emergency Management (MICEM) in his office. He said the new number which is toll-free will be unveiled early next year to avail the opportunities of assistance under distress situations. He said the NEMA call centres were being upgraded as centre points for transfer of distress signals to the relevant organs for necessary actions to save lives and property.
Alhaji Sani-Sidi said NEMA was determined to utilise all available technology and resources for efficient and effective disaster management in the country. He solicited continued cooperation and support of the stakeholders. The NEMA chief thanked the MICEM members for partnering with NEMA and promised to consider the reports for implementation within the confines of the mandates of the agency. Earlier, the Chairman of MICEM and Director of Defence Information, Colonel Muhammad Yerima said the committee after painstakingly studying the structure and overall NEMA intervention framework, submitted some new initiatives to guide in disaster management in the country.
MBASSADORS College, Ile-Ife, Osun State has emerged winner at the maiden National Robotic Competition organised by the Arc Light Limited. The contest held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos recently would see representatives of Ambassadors College travelling to way to Dubai in the United Arab Emirate where it will represent Nigeria at the Robotic Competition (WRO) coming up from November 18 to 20 this year. The representatives of Ambassadors were - Master Valentine Agbawuru, Miss Flyinfoluwa Soyoye, Kehinde Faleye and Kolawole Heyward-Rotimi, a pupil of Teak Academy, Ile-Ife who will also join the team owing to his exceptional performance. One of the pupils, Fiyinfoluwa Soyoye told Newsextra that the team would not disappoint Nigeria as it would work much
‘Better days ahead for Ondo residents’
•From right: Special Guest of Honour, Mr Femi Ekundayo; Mrs Femi Osanyitolu, Author of the book, Mr Oladele Oke and Guest of Honour, Mr Femi Osanyintolu at the public presentation of a book entitled: Reflections, written by Mr Oke in Lagos
ORMER member of House of Representatives Dr Jayeola Ajatta and Lagos businessman Akinola AwodeyiAkinsehinwa have declared their intention to run for governorship in Ondo State in 2012 on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Ajatta, who represented Oshodi/Isolo Constituency for eight years has set up political structures in the state. He said that he would bring to bear on governance his age, maturity and experience as a banker, financial expert, businessman and grassroots politician. At 72, he is the oldest in the state. His fans said old people have done the state proud while in power, citing the achievements of the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin and Chief Adebayo Adefarati. Akinsehinwa, who visited the Lagos Corporate Head Office of The Nation promised to generate 100,000 jobs within his first year in office. He spoke on selfless service, saying that he would not take sal-
By Emmanuel Oladesu
ary and security vote as governor. The politician declared that Governor Olusegun Mimiko has derailed, stressing that his successor must be an intelligent technocrat and businessman , who can also drive the state’s economy. Akinsehinwa said that he has wide national and international connection to attract investors, adding that what is required is the right atmosphere for business to thrive. He added: “I am the first to declare my intention. My motive is to fight poverty in Ondo State. In spite of the enormous natural resources we have, our people still wallow in poverty. In the last five years, the state has not been governed by the right people. With Ajasin’s free education, I conquered poverty. I went into business and achieved success. I am in politics to give back to my people what society gave to me through free education”.
By Seun Olalude
harder ahead of the Abu Dhabi competition. She said : "I'm happy to be one of those that will represent the country at an international competition. Though it was not easy to come atop at this one, but we will go home to prepare." Managing Director, Arc Light Limited, Mr Tayo Obasanya said robotic as one form of games, helps to develop high level of science and technology. "The programme is for children between the ages of 10 and 19, we have over 20 schools that participated. This is to show the world that our children can actually compete on a high level of science and technology, engineering, mathematics similar to what obtains in Asia, America or Europe,”he said.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO), Healing Heart Foundation (HHF), is set to empower 15 women to be trained at a four-day skill acquisition programme tagged: Let Your Hands be Useful. The women are to learn how to produce toilet roll, perfume, exercise book, chalk, candle, mentholated spirit, and stove-thread making,. hat and accessories, bead work, among others. The programme is scheduled to take place on Saturdays that fall within October 29 and November 19 at Estate Primary School Ile-Iwe Meta in Isolo, Lagos State. The president of the organisation, Mrs Sophy Mbanisi, who spoke to journalists, said: "Out of the 250 women expected to be trained, 15 lucky women would be provided resources to set up their skill-based businesses." According to her, the criteria that the facilitators will consider to fulfill this promise would be based on the participants' desires to succeed. This, she said, would be executed by observing the participants, adding that, "we will not entertain lateness, and any person who reported late would be replaced." She said: "We will conduct a theory and practical tests for them at the end of the day." Mbanisi added that “financial assistance would be provided for the lucky participants to start something by themselves in their various skills after the training to enable them to practise what they learned. We will monitor them; we might even get the materials for them." Mbanisi further said that some of the women that had participated in similar training from their organisation in the past have started producing and distributing their hand-made prod-
Lagos By Sulaiman Gbenga Idowu
ucts to companies, while others lecture at some institutes. She said: "Many of our women make mentholated air freshener, powder among other products. The idea is to teach them how to catch fish as an extreme way out of poverty. We are to see how people can improve their standard of living and that of their family. No matter how small they start, God will bless them with it." Mabanisi said the programme is solely designed for women ranging from youths, indigent women to the widows, although men
Council chief advises youths
HE Caretaker Chairman, Iseyin Local Government, Iseyin, Oyo State, Hon. Adejare Yusuff Alaran, has called on the pupils of Baptist Primary School, Ilado in Iseyin Local Government area of the state to take their studies seriously. He gave this advice during the flag-off of the distribution of free exercise books to the public primary schools in Iseyin. The chairman restated his commitment to the free and qualitative education policy of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi-led administration in Oyo State. The chairman pledged equal development to
every nook and cranny in the council saying that he was determined to offer the best in the areas of free health services, rural integration, poverty alleviation, provision of infrastructure and social amenities among others. He enjoined the pupils to make the best use of materials given to them and implored the school management to complement the efforts of his administration through proper monitoring of all the educational materials in their custody. Among those present at the occasion were Director of Personal Management (DPM) Alhaji H.O.D Oyewo, Hon. Adetunji Fatai Salam, Chairman, parliamentary causus, ACN chieftain, Mr. Layi Omokanmi.
Councillors urged to work hard N what appeared to be a departure from the norms, a councilor in Apapa Local Government of Lagos State offer to swear with a cutlass during the last inauguration of councilors. When it was his turn to take his oath as prescribed by the constitution, Hon. Samson Aromire, representing Apapa Ward E indicated his interest to swear with the god of iron. Earlier, the chairman of the council, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, had appealed to the councillors to live up to the expectations of the electorate by discharging their duties to the best of their abilities. He counselled them to cooperate with the executive so that the effect of the administration can be properly felt by residents of Apapa Local Government Area. He promised to use the new three years to better the lives of the people by improving on the achievement recorded in the first term. Present at the occasion were the Ojora of Ijora Land, Oba Fatai Aromire, the Vice Chairman, Hon. Bola Dada, Hon. S.O.K. Aro, Hon. Wale Babatunde, representing Apapa Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Toyin Olajide, Hon. Yinka Idowu, Hon. Saheed Dananmodan, Hon. Gambo Manzo, Mr Oladele Williams, the Council Manager and a host of others. When the councillors later in the day conducted its first sitting, Hon. Saheed Dananmodan emerged the Leader while Hon. Gambo Manzo was elected the Deputy Leader.
•Pupils receiving their books from the chairman and council officials
Council boss inaugurates legislature
HE Chairman of Agbado/Oke Odo Local Council Dveleopment Area, Hon Augustus Arogundade has sworn in the newly elected councillors of the council . At the inauguration of the five legislators held at the council secretariat, Arogundade charged the lawmakers to ensure good legislation that would bring development to the council area. He said:" I want to advise that we come up with good legislation that could impact in the development of this council area and up-
Council to help children
HE Transition Committee Chairman of Oyo West Local Government, Hon. Adesoji Richard Ojoawo, has inaugurated a Child Rights Implementation Committee in the council. Speaking during the inauguration, Ojoawo said the committee would help enforce children’s rights because they play a very great role in the development of any nation and because they are the future of the country. He urged the third tier of government to protect and jealously guide the rights of the child. He enjoined the committee to discharge their duties well. He said: “This committee is expected to deliberate on issues pertaining to the welfare of children and make resolutions for necessary actions. They are also expected to provide an avenue for the children to share ideas and interact with one another, regardless of their social status and to protect the rights of the child”.
•Mrs Risikat Akiyode
•Hon Arogundade (left) and Leader of the House, Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA Hon Ganiu Ajose
Lagos By Kunle Akinrinade
lift the life of residents. We cannot afford to disappoint teeming residents who are looking up to us for a turn around in infrastructural development, basic amenities among others. It is my belief that you will not disappoint the people who have elected you as their representatives." Hon. Arogundade used the occasion to unveil his programme for the council area while asking for patience and understanding on the part of the residents. "My vision is to transform this council area into a better council area that would not only take care of the yearnings and aspirations of its large population but one that will provide an enabling environment for peaceful coexistence, friendly atmosphere for business and commercial activities and above all massive infrastructural development." At the inauguration were the Vice Chairman of the council area, Hon. Sola Akande, top members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the council area, friends and associates of the councillors among others. The inauguration witnessed the emergence of Hon. Ajose Ganiyu as Leader of the House, Hon. Adesina Alfred became Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Banjoko Rasheed, Majority Leader, Hon. Babatunde Aremu, Chief Whip while Hon. Sunday Orihia was elected as Deputy Chief Whip. Hon. Ajose promised that the legislative house would provide robust legislation that would change the face of the council area, adding that their legislative agenda will focus on people-oriented programmes.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Firm promotes cycling to protect environment
O contain the effects of climate change and global warming, a firm has organised a bicycle ride in Lagos as a way of encouraging less gas emission. The ride organised by Ymedia & Global BrandsComm Ltd, featured youths and artistes. Managing Director of Ymedia, Kemi Olasupo, told reporters that the annual event was packaged with the primary goal of promoting alternative transportation, healthy living and an environment-friendly future. The event attracted over 500 participants including children who rode from Etim Inyang Crescent to Silverbird Galleria on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island. “The two-hour ride provided the participants including celebrities, actresses, comedians and organisations a platform to be actively involved in the ongoing campaign to conserve and protect the environment,” Olasupo said. She noted that the concept is conceived as a going-green corporate social responsibility
•The cyclists By Miriam Ndikanwu
and environment-friendly advocacy. “This going-green initiative is also focused on increasing the involvement of schools and parents in this advocacy.
Children between the ages of 8 and 14 were encouraged to write an essay on the advantages of going green,” she said. “Children and adults were awarded medals and brand new bicycles after the ride by the event’s sponsors.”
Ondo ACN consolidates
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has organised a one-day sensitisation workshop ahead of 2013 governorship election. The party members who attended the workshop were drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state. Two guest lecturers, Dr. Orobola Fasehun, a consultant on internal affairs and Mr. Theo Adebowale of the Political Science and Public Administration of the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU) Akungba-Akoko, presented papers. The workshop was chaired by Chief Erastus Akeju. Delivering his paper entitled “Winning and governing on a progessive agenda, Dr. Fasehun noted that progressive politicians are being faced with the herculean task of translating promises into action. Such politicians, he urged, should embark on projects that will benefit the people. Fasehun particularly pointed out that infrastructure such as good roads, water, transportation and
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
power with security and qualitative education among others should be prioritised. “A progressive executive must also streamline the cost of governance through reduction of Special Assistants and Advisers”. “Capital projects that have longterm benefits should be given priority over recurrent expenditure that benefits only a few; they should not feed fat in the house of patronage to loot the state treasury. He expressed the need for progressives in the Southwest to mount and sustain a nationwide campaign aimed at enthroning a purely democratic and just society. Dr. Fasehun noted that Nigeria needs a progressive government of transparency in the mould of the late Obafemi Awolowo. He lamented that the only time the progressives would have ruled the country was in 1993 but the opportunity was lost through the an-
nulment of the election won by the late MKO Abiola. Another lecturer, Adebowale, said: “ACN is with the people and in the spirit already, and must be well positioned from the ward to the local council levels all over the state.” Adebowale advised ACN members in the state to show rugged determination, and use the advantage of sophisticated gadgets offered by ICT to minimise electoral fraud. At the seminar were ACN state Chairman, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Secretary, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Dr. Olu Agunloye, Senator Olorunnimbe Farukanmi and Dr. Bayo Ademodi. Also present at the seminar were Chief F. O. Ayegbusi, Hon. Wale Akintimehin, Mr. Ade Adetimehin and Chief Tayo Alasoadura represented by Hon. Olusola Akinmayowa, among many others.
•From left: Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Managing Director Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mr Seyi Sijuwade; District Manager, Mr Rasheed Gbadamosi at the signing of MoU between Osun State Government and Nigeria Railway Corporation in Osogbo
Olasupo also noted that the advocacy is also involved in educating the riders and members of the public on what sponsor organisations like Malta Gold, Cool FM, Park n Shop, Nigerian Bottling Company, Beat FM, Deluxe Cinemas, May Clinics,
Silverbird Cinemas, Inspiration, Spar, Cassasolida, Wazobia FM, Power Generators, Classic FM, Silverbird Galleria, Akotex Potato flakes and Lagos State government have been doing to protect the environment from waste, pollution, unhealthy living.
•Continued from Page 27
Southwest farmers tackle food shortage
PAN National President, Mr. Kabiru Baskari, an architect, appealed to the Federal Government to bail out the nation’s agricultural sector with N600b in order to enhance the economy and address the challenges of food security. He urged the government to give priority attention to agricultural sector, saying the sector is the way forward for the country. He explained that if the Federal Government could intervene with huge sums of money in the textile and entertainment industries doling out $200 Million to Nollywood it could reciprocate the same feat in the agricultural sector to empower the farmers. Baskari who was represented by his deputy Alhaji Aminu Adamu said it is depressing for Nigeria with vast arable land needed for various kinds of cultivation and other forms of farming to be importing food. Also speaking, the Minister of Science and Technology Professor Ita Okon Bassey Ewa lamented that most of the farm produce in the country are being wasted because of lack of storage facility. The minister said there is urgent need for concerted efforts between the government and the farmers to work out the modality of preserving the produce, saying the Ministry of Science and Technology is already working out modern technologi-
cal way of preserving the farm produce. Declaring the exhibition open the Ogun State Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosu said the Poultry Show is an initiatives put together by the South –Western states government to transform agricultural sector and bring poultry farm produce nearer to the people at reasonable prices. The governor represented by the Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture Engineer Ayo Oluborin said the state government had refused to see the agricultural sector as a channel of providing food alone for the people saying it could also be used to supply raw materials needed in the industries. He said the show would enable the farmers to bring their produce and services directly to the exhibition ground, urging the stakeholders to be proactive in the preservation of farm produce perishable farm produce. He said the state government would ensure that a significant amount of farm products are not wasted due to lack of preservation facilities to ensure price stability of food throughout the years.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Union seeks better welfare
HE federal government has been urged to ensure that its reform programme is carried out in such a way as to strengthen the operations of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in the interest of its staff and the entire Nigerians. The Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transport and Corporation (SSACTAC) NIPOST Branch took the above position, maintaining that it was in support of the reform exercise, especially if it satisfies the prin-
By Dada Aladelokun
ciple of fairness. “That Labour is not against the ongoing reform process provided it will engender expansion and employment generation and make the NPS more viable, efficient and meets its social service obligations,” SSACTAC President, Comrade Daniel. O. Apeh, told Newsextra, adding however that “the union will stoutly oppose any reform process that is tailored towards reduction of the
Labour is not against the ongoing reform process provided it will engender expansion and employment generation and make the NPS more viable, efficient and meets its social service obligations
workforce, sale of NIPOST properties and giving undue advantages to the private sector who may engage in cherry picking as was the case in NITEL.” The communiqué, according to Apeh, also wants the reform process to accommodate the provision of post offices in about 300 local government headquarters existing without any, adding that the federal government should urgently release take-off grant to NIPOST to enable it cope with the challenges of providing the needed infrastructural facilities, training and staff emolument for a period of not less than ten years for the NIPOST to compete favourably in a liberalised postal industry. It wants the management of NIPOST to immediately commence action on the establishment of more strategic business units to further boost its relevance and revenue generation capacity of the organisation while the existing Products/
Services should be re-packaged to bring about customer satisfaction with full integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Apeh, whose submission was echoed by the association’s secretary, Comrade B. U. Ntagbu, also condemned the delay often experienced by transferred workers to various stations, insisting on the payment of transfer allowances within one month from the date of resumption at the new station. Also, the union urges NIPOST management to urgently put in place a transfer/ posting policy for the organisation. The communiqué, according to Apeh, also considered the difficulty experienced by staff on part-time studies in securing letter of admission within three months of the commencement of their programme and urged the management to do a re-think with a view to extending the period.
Ado-Ekiti and Ijero-Ekiti have also adequately funded. Worthy of note is the state ambulance service, which has helped in prevention of sudden death arising from emergency health cases. The ministry has also not relented in sensitisation programme aimed at stemming the effects of malaria and polio. Ekiti is an agrarian state and farming is the main occupation. Support for this critical sector has manifested in improved and consistent financial and logistic investment. Fayemi’s motive is to resuscitate the farm settlements of Awolowo era. To reduced unemployment in the state, about 20,000 youths were mobilised with credit facilities to till the ground. In the past, Ekiti was renowned for growing rice, cocoa and tobacco. Efforts have been on to return to the basics. Modern agricultural tools; tractors, fertilizers, seedlings have been procured for farmers. Promotion of animal husbandry and large-scale farming has also been encouraged through the provision of land for these activities by the local governments. The governor has also fought the infrastructure battle in the state. The administration adopted two approaches. He had embarked on numerous trips to Abuja, the seat of the federal government, to draw the attention of the Minister of Works to
the abandoned federal roads in the state. The Efon-Alaaye/Itawure/ Aramoko/ Ado road, which were later rehabilitated is one of the products of that constructive engagements with federal ministries, boards and parastatals. Moreover, Fayemi Administration has also undertaken the construction of intra-state roads. They include Ayede-Gede-Omu, ErijiyanIlawe, Ijero-Ikoro-Okemesi, IyinIlawe Bye-pass, and Igede-Ilawe Roads. Ado, the capital, has been given a face-lift. Many of the township roads have been repaired and under the beautification programmes, the state is accorded a top most priority. To alleviate transportation problems in the state, the government distributed branded Suzuki cars and Nissan buses to major trans-
To cope with the challenges of change, particularly during the reform process, the union called on the management to organize enlightenment, training and manpower towards the ultimate birth a new NIPOST.
Ekiti rescue mission alive and well
YEAR ago, Ekiti State was in a joyous mood. The Court of Appeal had deposed an illegal governor and the mandate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Governor Kayode Fayemi was restored. Across the 16 local governments, people heaved a sigh of relief. A heavy burden rested on the shoulders of the pro-democracy activistturned politician. Expectations were high about the new dawn. During the 2007 campaigns, Fayemi had told the people of the agrarian state that he intended to embark on a rescue mission, with a view to waging an unrelenting war against poverty. On assumption of office, the governor rolled out the machinery for the implementation of his eight-point agenda. The comprehensive agenda encompasses good governance, infrastructure development, modernisation of agriculture, education and capital development. Others are industrial development, tourism and gender equality and empowerment. Commissioner for Information Funminiyi Afuye said that these programmes were critical to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “The feat recorded by this administration was possible because Governor Kayode Fayemi promoted an atmosphere of peace and security in Ekiti State. With peace and security, progress had to follow,” he added. What has really distinguished Fayemi Administration from the previous governments is its frugality. Leakages and loopholes are effectively blocked. Having waged war against the inept and corrupt military and civilian administrations in the past as a right activist, the governor, who has shunned the peculiar wealth accumulation, has succeeded
• By Emmanuel Oladesu
in presiding over an open and transparent administration. A year after, Ekiti is counting its blessings. One of the sectors which the government kick-started is health. Before he assumed the reins, Fayemi had personally sponsored a health mission, which catered for the health needs of the people. The mission was re-invigorated. Across the 34 primary health centres, children, pregnant women and old people have treated at no cost to them. According to statistics by the Ministry of Health, no fewer that 146, 573 patients have benefitted from the administration’s free education programme. Drugs, consumables and medical personnel are no more in short supply in public hospitals and health centres. Health schools and related institutions in
The feat recorded by this administration was possible because Governor Kayode Fayemi promoted an atmosphere of peace and security in Ekiti State. With peace and security, progress had to follow
1 Caption L-R: Mrs Tara Durotoye CEO House of Tara, Nollywood Actress Stephie Okereke, Architect Mrs Olajumoke Adenowo Founder of the Awesome Treasure Foundation & CEO AD Consulting and Mrs Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi Renowned Designer at the unveiling of the revised and updated edition of Lifespring Mothers’ prayer manual in Lagos.
port unions. Ekiti is reputed as the ‘Fountain of Knowledge’. Therefore, Fayemi Administration has defended this critical sector. According to the Commissioner for Education, Dr Eniola Ajayi, it is one of the sectors receiving utmost attention in terms of funding. The governor’s intervention kickedoff with an Education Summit, where stakeholders set the standard. Following the forum, the three paper-weight universities were merged into one, now called Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. The state chapter of peoples Democratic Party (PDP) frowned at the merger, saying that it is retrogressive. But Afuye government was guided by the reality on ground. Tui•Continued on Page 36
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CITYBEATS THE NATION
Living next to dumpsites T
HEY covered their noses with their hands and ran past the area as if they were being chased. Some spat repeatedly. They frowned as they used their hands to drive away the pesky flies buzzing over their heads. This drama plays out daily in Igando, a Lagos suburb. For residents of Igando, living in the precinct of the three dump sites in the area, life could not be more hellish. Some years ago, they lived a normal life. The atmosphere was conducive and serene. But the story changed, with the establishment of the dump sites managed by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). Over the past four years, they have been contending with the odour from the refuse dump sites on the LASU/Iyana-Iba Express
By Toluwani Eniola
Road. The Alimosho General Hospital also shares a wall with one of the dump sites. Despite public outcry and the looming epidemic in the area, nothing has been done about the sorry state of the sites. Worse hit are the residents of Odubanjo Street, close to the Oko Filling Bus stop. Many landlords who dug boreholes have abandoned them. They alleged that they were left with no choice because the smelly water seeping have been contaminated by the dump sites. Besides, the road leading to the community has been blocked by a huge refuse dump. When this reporter visited the street, there was a long line of waste disposal trucks waiting to off load. Because of the long queue
•SEE PAGE 32
• Top and bottom: The overflowing refuse at Igando
PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
Govt orders demolition of defective structures
LAWMA to generate energy from waste
Pay your tax, Fashola urges Lagosians
OWNERS of marked defective structures have been directed to demolish them or risk tougher sanctions if done by the Lagos State Government. Also, it has become an offence to rent out structures under construction. The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Olutoyin Ayinde, gave the warning while receiving the management of International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc in his office. He said his ministry had concluded an update on its records and would soon publish a list of all identified structures marked for demolition after which owners would be given less than 48 hours to demolish them.
THE Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) would by next month generate energy from waste at its Olusosun landfill site. LAWMA Managing Director Mr Ola Oresanya said the agency has developed no fewer than 10 wells to capture gas that would be utilised for the purpose. "We are determined to generate alternative source of energy (renewable energy) by retaining energy from the land fill at the dump site. “We will retain the methane we are capturing in our wells and convert them into energy and this would begin by December. As a pilot scheme, we are going to power the dump site with a power plant," Oresanya said.
LAGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has advised Nigerians to pay their tax and help the Ministry of Environment by keeping their surroundings clean. Fashola spoke at a prayer conference organised by the Ministers of God Prayer Network International at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Lagos. Fashola represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Religious Affairs, Rev Akintoye Buraimoh, said the effect of prayers is obvious. "We need to be grateful to God who has been sustaining the state despite the recent bombings; political crisis and challenges of climate change,” he said.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
• Scavengers’ site at Igando. Inset: Gbologe
•Continued from page 31 of the trucks belonging to the Private Sector Participants (PSP), entering and leaving the dumpsites, there is always traffic gridlock on the LASU-Iyana Iba Expressway. This, our reporter learnt, led to an accident recently. Motorists have to maintain a lane to avoid the trucks. A group of scavengers was also busy sorting out useful materials from the dumps, unmindful of the stench. Some communities, under the aegis of Model Community Development Association (CDA), Igando expressed their grievances. A former Zonal Chairman of the association, Chief Michael Ofe, a retired naval officer, described the dump sites as a strange establish-
PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
• Odubanjo Street blocked by refuse
Living next to dumpsites ment. He said : "I have travelled all over the world, I have not seen something like this in a community where people are living. In advanced countries, dump sites such as these are sited on a virgin land. But, here in Lagos, the reverse is the case. As you can see, the sites are some metres away from the Alimosho General Hospital, to show you the government doesn't care for the citizenry. "If it does, it shouldn’t have sited the refuse dumps near a hospital. When you go to a hospital, you want to recover from an illness. Instead of being relieved, you take another illness to your house. With this
stench, you cannot stay here for 20 minutes. We have tried our best possible. We have complained to LAWMA , but all we get are promises,” he said. Despite the stench, many local food vendors pitch their tents close to the dump sites. Their patrons stare at the dump sites while driving away flies as they eat. According to a food vendor, who identified herself as Mrs Grace, residents of the area are used to the stench. She said: "There is nothing we can do. We are used to the smell. I can tell you that it affects my business because some strangers don't come here because of the foul odour.” The Chairman, Afenifere
Community Development Association, Igando, Mr Sola Gbologe, said since they started dumping refuse on the sites about five years ago, life has been hell for the residents. According to him, Afenifere CDA, which comprises Gbologe Crescent, Ademola Nelson Bassey, Ajiboro, Naiyeju, Onigbinde and Salvation Avenue, has met several times to petition the state government but nothing significant has been done. Gbologe also lamented the upsurge of illness in the area, saying the dumps breed mosquitoes. He said: "We even went to the Alimosho General Hospital over the matter. They
Winner emerges in Onga cooking competition
NGA seasoning powder, a brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, has produced a star prize winner in the grand finals of its National Campus Cooking Competition held at the University of Lagos. The winner was a 400 level student of the Land Survey Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Univeristy, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Miss Ossai Josephine. Her parents reside in Jos, the capital of Plateau State and hail from Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. She clinched the star prize of a brand new Kia Rio car, after a tense cooking competition involving 14 contestants from across 14 tertiary institutions nationwide. The competition, which took off about four months ago, cut across 14 national higher institutions with one winner emerging from each to participate in the grand finals of the competition.
1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 08023321770; 080-56374036.
PHOTO: TOLUWANI ENIOLA
•From left: Mr. Kachi Onubogu, Miss Josephine, winner, Mrs. Biola Inawo, and Mr. Stephen Opayemi, at the finals of the Onga National Campus Cooking competition. By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha
Other winners who won second, third and fourth positions were Idiaro Kikelomo Baliqis, a 200 level Law student of Bayero University Kano; Emma Edwin, a student of Nursing Science, University of Calabar and Nkechi Chioma, a 500 level Law student of the host school, University of Lagos. While fielding questions from journalists, Josephine
expressed gratitude to Promasidor for creating programmes that assist youth to develop their culinary skills through the use of Onga seasoning powder, adding that, the competition has afforded her the privilege of meeting other people from other tribes and learning how to cook their cuisines. "A big thank you to Onga, and thanks to my fellow contestants. With this, I know that many students will go
2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No: 080-77690200; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-776909201; 01-2881304 FRSC Emergency No: 070-022553772
for Onga because Onga is trying to let us know that apart from the normal food we cook, Onga can be used to cook big soup because what I prepared was a very big soup and I used Onga soup flavor. I have met with friends, 14 of us, we stayed in the same hotel, we mingled and for the first time I am in UNILAG and I am so happy, it's just a good thing," she cooed.
promised to look into it. But, since that time, nothing has been done. We were told sometime ago that they wanted to pour some chemicals to cushion the effect but the odour has not reduced. "There was a time the communities met to present the matter to the chairman, Ikotun-Igando Local Council Development Area (LCDA). We have heard of complaints from residents because people are visiting the hospitals regularly. The LAWMA staff are not helping matters as the PSP trucks are parked indiscriminately on the roads. As you can see, it causes accidents and traffic gridlock. There was even an accident recently. A fast moving vehicle rammed into one of the trucks. The driver of the vehicle is still in a critical condition, if not even dead.” A resident, who doesn't want his name published, told CityBeats that he doesn't open the windows of his apartment because of the odour. The man, who claimed he relocated to Igando because of affordable accommodation, said he was regretting his action. His words: "This situation is appalling. More frustrating is the fact that nothing is being done. I don't open my windows, even for a second, all day because no one can stand the stench from the dump. "The only thing they can do is for the government
EMERGENCY LINES 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 080-75005411; 080-60152462 080-23111742; 080-29728371 080-23909364; 080-77551000 01-7904983
4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 070-35068242 080-79279349; 080-63299264 070-55462708; 080-65154338
to hasten the LAWMA operatives up. Let them level it up in time and use some sand to cover the refuse. They should also use some sanitary chemicals to reduce the odour. They can, thereafter, convert the sites to a school or market. Another community leader, who doesn't want his name in print, also decried the situation. He said: “It is like we are living in toilets. Nobody can open their windows because of the stench. We have complained to LAWMA, but nothing has been done. It is affecting the health of people living here. We have also written letters to the Lagos State Government to come to our aid. We are pleading with the government to do something about this situation.” Ofe said the condition of living nearly caused pandemonium in the area when some youth groups wanted to protest. The youth, according to him, wanted to damage the trucks to express their grievances. "They informed me. I was able to pacify them. But how long are we going to suffer?” Advising the government, he said: "One, we need drainage.Two, the access road to the community is bad, there is nothing to write home about it. The operators don't help matters. If you have a borehole here, you can't enjoy it because the water is polluted. “The water goes right down the earth, once it gets to your borehole, forget about it. We buy water, which is not supposed to be so. The bill from the water corporation is too much if you use their service. Those are the things we want the government to address. They should level up this place.” A commercial driver, who also pleaded anonymity, urged the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to curb the indiscriminate parking of trucks on the road.
767 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CITYBEATS FROM THE GRASSROOTS
Council chief assures residents on good roads
HE Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, has promised residents of the area good roads during his second term in office. He gave the assurance during the swearing-in of six newly elected councillors. At the ceremony, held at the council secretariat, Bamigbetan said his major focus will be the rehabilitation of 30 major roads. He said: "Our administration has resolved to work seriously on our roads, to put them in a good condition. In achieving this goal, we are going to chan-
By Duro Babayemi
nel most of our resources towards providing concrete drainages on the roads and laying asphalt on them." Bamigbetan added that 10 of such major roads would be rehabilitated yearly during the three years he will spend in office. Other major projects, which the chairman promised the people include: the construction of a N25billion Ejigbo-Ajao Link bridge, which, on completion, will reduce, to a large extent, the traffic problem faced by the people going in and out of the LCDA daily.
The launch of a jetty next month to ferry people from Ejigbo to the Island, within a very short time, thereby serving as an alternative means of transportation, and the creation of employment for youths. The council boss assured residents that his administration would vigorously pursue the actualisation of these projects, while continuing with his free health and education programmes started in his first tenure. Bamigbetan solicited the co-operation of all residents and appealed to them to pray for the success of his administration. He reminded them that he would continue with his transparency and accountability policy.
• From left: Prof Oyekanmi; Dr Biodun Oluwole, co-ordinator and Dr Onaolapo Soleye, Board Chairman, Ageing With Grace and Diginity, at the event. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
PPROPRIATE authorities have been urged to provide sustainable social security for the aged and disadvantaged people. A teacher in the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Prof Felicia Durojaiye Oyekanmi,gave the advice at a a symposium organised by Aging with Grace and Dignity (AGRAD), a nongovernmental organisation, to commemorate the World Day for Older Persons in Lagos. She said such a facility would cushion the effects of life on them, because, according to her, they are faced with economic, social, environmental and health issues, adding that the majority of them do not have money for nutritious and balanced diet. Prof Oyekanmi, who presented a paper entitled
Don advocates social benefits for the aged By Wale Adepoju
:Growing opportunities and challenges of ageing, said those living in rented apartments fin d it hard to pay their rents, adding that those with health challenges cannot pay for health care. She said: "Ageing is an inevitable part of life as long as man is alive. The opportunities that older people have include experience and coping with strategies, wisdom and self-esteem, especially the ability to define one's existence within the limited space for self actualisation and net flow of wealth from the children." Oyekanmi said the old should be consulted, at the community level, for their
input into projects and programmes being planned to ensure human-centred and sustainable development for all persons. She said at the moment, there is no United Nations standard numerical criterion for who an old person is, adding that it agreed to refer to people from 60 years and above as the elderly group. "As of 2010, 11 per cent of world population was aged 60 years and above and by 2050 the population will be 22 per cent. In other words about one-fifth of the world's population is estimated to be 60 years and above by 2050. For Africa five per cent and 11 per cent of the population in 2010 and 2050 respectively are 60 plus years," she said.
•Bamigbetan and ACN chairman, Ejigbo, Michael Adegoke, during the event.
‘More democratic dividends coming’
HE Chairman of ItireIkate Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon Hakeem Bamgbola, has promised to surpass the achievements recorded during his first tenure. Bamgbola said the people would enjoy more dividends of democracy. He spoke during the inauguration of the council's legislative arm, comprising seven councillors representing Agunbiade, Airways, Baruwa, Karonuwi, Odolowu, Ramoni and Sanusi wards. The councillors took the oath of office last Monday
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
at the council secretariat, Baruwa. Bamgbola thanked the last legislature for their resilience and hard work. He charged the councillors to see the administration as a joint enterprise, comprising members of the executive committee and the people of the area who chose them to pilot their affairs. He also urged them to see the Lagos State House of Assembly as a model. "I urge you to tap from the experience of the Lagos State House of Assembly by ensuring mutual co-opera-
Local govt chair thanks all
HE chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Comrade Kamaldeen Salau-Bashua, has expressed appreciation to stakeholders, fellow elected office holders and the residents for their support during the election. Salau-Bashua hailed the people for their support, saying: "To my party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), my party leaders, all stakeholders, party faithful, our esteemed supporters and the good people of Lagos Island East LCDA, I say thank you," he said.
By Amidu Arije
Confirming the challenges ahead of his administration, he restated his commitment to working towards the development of youth and the council. "I know the challenges are enormous but, I am up to the task and my party ACN is up to the task. I will not let you down and my experience will translate into action, performance, achievement, service to humanity and continuity of my predecessor's transformational and developmental ideas in Lagos Island East LCDA," he said.
tion with the executives," he said. He disclosed his plans for the council before and pleaded with them to support his policies and programmes to uplift the community, adding that it is important to the success of his administration. "The success of this administration is of great importance to us. We were reelected because of the people's belief in our party and we cannot afford to let them down. I'm imploring you to join me in executing p e o p l e- o r i e n t e d programmes. Always remember that you were voted in because the people entrusted you with their welfare," Bamgbola told the councillors. The council boss promised to upgrade roads and continue the mass literacy programme. Meanwhile. the House has elected Hon Shina Mustapha from Airways Ward as Leader and Hon Taofik Gbolahan from Karounwi Ward as the Deputy Leader. Mustapha thanked the outgone legislative and executive members for their effort in developing the council. He expressed joy that the people entrusted him with the mantle of leadership and promised to account for things in his care.
• LSPWC men at work
Agency assures on road rehabilitation
HE Chairman of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), Mr Gbenga Akintola, has assured residents that the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads will begin soon. Akintola, who gave the assurance at a forum to flag sensitisation campaigns among students, said it was necessary for the corporation to limit to the barest minimum its routine maintenance , due to torrential rainfall which has been predicted to extend till the end of the last quarter of this
By Miriam Ndikanwu
year. He explained that the corporation is stockpiling equipment, adding that the asphalt production plant is receiving turnaround maintenance to enable it to serve effectively when the need arises. "We will be finishing up in about two weeks we are expecting more equipment in another two or three weeks.They include pothole patchers, bitumen spreading machines; we are battle ready and the people are ready and we are
equally outsourcing local governments that are far from us to extend repairs of roads to every part of the state. "At the corporation we have had several meetings on how to let the people know the impact of climate change. It has been said several times and just last year , we witnessed rainfall on Christmas Day. I lived all my life in Lagos and I have never witnessed rain on Christmas Day until last year, and this year again we were told that the rains will be more.”
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The only thing that will stop me from releasing him immediately and unconditionally is the Federal High Court order permitting the respondent to detain him for 15 days.”
Justice Yetunde Idowu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, granting popular comedian Babatunde Omidina (Baba Suwe) bail last week.
Doherty's glorious moment
challenge all our critics to go round all the projects I have documented as my achievements to fault all our claims. Let them go to all these places and verify the state of the projects we are laying claims to. With the limited resources available to us, we have been able to touch lives and fulfilled our entire mandate." These were the words of Mr Demola Doherty, former Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area, at a valedictory at the Events Centre, Area Office of the council penultimate Friday. Giving the scorecard of his administration in the past three years, Doherty, who also distributed Glo business pack, 52 safety helmets, grinding machine, deep freezer, sewing machine, popcorn machine, and hair attachments as part of his poverty alleviation and empowerment scheme, said he was proud to be leaving an unmatched legacy in the council. According to him, his achievements remain unmatched in education, provision of potable water, roads and other infrastructure, drainage and culvert construction, health care, staff welfare and development, among others. Listing his achievements in education, he said his administration among others purchased 114 chairs and tables for kindergarten, rehabilitated Bishop Oluwole Primary School, constructed a block of six classrooms at St Kizito's Primary School, Fred Williams Primary School and another at Ogundimu Primary School, all at Iju-Ishaga, while he built a model school that has 12 classrooms, a computer centre, library, sick bay, staff room and toilets, to replace the dilapidated one inherited from the Ogun State government at Ajuwon, a border community. He also provided toilets from some primary schools, apart from presenting stationery packs, textbooks and school bags, while also giving bursary to all eligible students. He also gave free GCE and JAMB forms to indigent students and organised free booster classes for them. On water, he said his government constructed a borehole in each of the seven wards of the local government, partnered with Guinness Nig Plc to
•Onifako of Ifakoland , Oba Obawole (with scissors, middle), flanked (on his immediate right) by wife of Ifako Ijaiye council chairman, Mrs Motolani Doherty, Hon. Doherty, Alhaji Rafiu Ajibade and other council functionaries, at the inauguration of Mojisola Street. By Yinka Aderibigbe
provide a 50 million mini-water works for the over 100,000 residents of Obawole, Iju and environs. On roads, Doherty listed the construction of Abu Alfred Street, Oladire Street, Gospel Crusader and adjoining Haruna, Mojisola Street, Bishop Hughes, Ogundimu Street, Moyo Agoro, Soretire Street, among others, among projects handled by his government. According to him, 20 drainages were also initiated and nearing completion while no fewer than 48 culverts have been completed. On health, Doherty said he initiated a 24-hour health care delivery in all existing health care centres in the council, while he also built a new primary one at Obawole, besides regular provision of free drugs to the aged, pregnant women and infants. All these are besides the utility and staff buses he purchased for the use of staff, the building of legislative chamber and a new secretariat which is almost completed. Doherty later presented the poverty alleviation items to some beneficiaries, who took turns to extol his benevolence and prayed God to open better doors for him as he stepped aside. One of the beneficiaries, Mr Solomon Fashakin, who received a
protective helmet from Doherty thanked him for the gesture. "This is the first time okada riders would be benefiting anything from any government in Ifako Ijaiye.We are happy for this and we want to thank Doherty and pray that the good Lord would continue to be with him and bless all his endeavours. A resident, Mr Kunle Fadipe said he was surprised at the achievements listed by Doherty. Fadipe, a lawyer, who has been one of Doherty's critics, blamed the council chief for the poor visibility that trailed his efforts in the council. He said: "I can only advise the incoming chairman to learn from the errors of his predecessor and carry
everyone along. It is a pity that quite a large number of residents have a very bad impression of him (Doherty). Well, let Oloruntoba Oke learn from that. Let him circulate well. Certainly, he has to do more, roads remains a major drawback in the council.We would be waiting to see what magic wand he would deploy." Mr Saka Fafunmi, a member of the House of Assembly, described Doherty as a man of character and integrity. He said: "Looking through all he has achieved, one could just imagine what he would have done if he has more funds. He has done well and acquitted himself. He has justified the confidence reposed in
him by our great party." Also speaking shortly after cutting the tape to open some of the water and road projects, the Onifako of Ifakoland Oba Taofeek FatusiObawole, said he is still amazed that the projects were actualised by the Doherty administration. He said: "I am still amazed that all these projects were handled by the Doherty administration. I never knew these projects were sited here. The incoming man should learn from this and inform the people before commencing any project. Overall, I can say Doherty is leaving Ifako Ijaiye better than he met it."
Ministry moves to promote family values
HE decline in moral values in the society has been linked to the breakdown in family structures. Unlike in the past where the father was the bread winner of the home, leaving the mother with the responsibility of ensuring that the children are properly brought up, the socio-economic situation today has forced both parents to the harsh reality of seeking for employment in order to meet the family's needs. This situation has given rise to a sharp decline in moral values in
• From left: Director, Office of Finance and Administration, Mr Lekan Akoju, Dr. Badru and Mr Junaid at the event.
By Miriam Ndikanwu
families, leading to a rise in divorce, abuses and several other social vices among youths. It was to arrest moral decadence in the family unit, that the Office of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development held the first Family Town Hall Meeting recently. The event with the theme: Promoting Ideal Family Values in Lagos State was held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat, Alausa, and attended by stakeholders in child development and parenting. Permanent Secretary, Office of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Kamol Junaid, said the event was meant to create an avenue for families to deliberate and voice their opinions on ways to strengthen the family as a social unit, create more awareness about the services of the office to Lagosians. "From time immemorial, the family unit has always been an agent of socialisation and civilisation. These unique roles must be maintained if we are to ensure the development of healthy individuals and a united nation. Proper family values must be inculcated in our children from birth," he said. Junaid stated that the theme of the event aptly captured the need for the family unit to reposition itself as the conscience of the nation by promoting our values and motivate the young ones to emulate good moral and spiritual values of our land.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, said: "Children of stable families are less predisposed to crime, less divorce and less emotional problems. This is all we have to work to leave a lasting legacy for our children and generation yet unborn. "The teaching of family values in this respect will help create a foundation which allows children to make healthy choices of their own. The values we espouse become our children's moral guide and form the cornerstone of their conscience." Badru lamented that the abdication of parental responsibilities by many families had contributed immensely to many of the social vices being witnessed in the community. "Social vices, which some few years back were strangers to our communities, have come to our families. These are homosexuality, illicit sex, incest, negligence, illicit drugs abuse, divorce, smoking, among others. "There is the need for cultural re-orientation for the young ones to appreciate our norms and cultural values. This will assist our families to share with our children and the generation yet unborn to learn our ways of life and help in rebuilding a morally and ethically sound individuals in order for family units to continually play its eminent role in ensuring societal stability and development," he added.
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THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Nigerians urged to embrace family planning
S the world’s population hits seven billion, Nigerians have been urged to plan their families in order to prevent population explosion. Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Public Health Matters Dr. Yewande Adesina said it is important that Lagos State and United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) promote family planning to ensure the provision of adequate infrastructure and social amenities. Adesina, who spoke to reporters at the event marking the World Population Day at IfakoIjaiye General Hospital, Lagos, said by in the next 10 years the world would have added another one billion to its population.
By Wale Adepoju
“If the population explosion is not addressed it may constitute danger to the health of the people,” she said. She said the Lagos State’s estimated population of 20 million has affected the provision of social infrastructure, adding that the government needs the collaboration of people and private organisations. “Overpopulation causes poor health and education because the more the population the less the finance to implement public projects. I know people do not need permission to bear children but the government is appealing that people should reduce the way they procreate,” she added. Adesina said there are health
Overpopulation causes poor health and education because the more the population the less the finance to implement public projects •Continued from Page 29 tion fees for tertiary students were drastically pegged, new school buildings were constructed for primary and secondary schools. Capital projects, aimed at addressing infrastructure decay in the schools, colleges and institutions, were also undertaken. To make Ekiti a tourist haven, the Ikogosi Warm Springs have been receiving special attention. In this years’s budget, N146m was allocated to tourism development. An expert, Segun Ologunleko, the Director of Tinapa Project, Cross River State, who is now the Ekiti Tourism Adviser, has been exploring the possibility of tapping all the tourism potentials across the 16 councils. Faymi’s first year anniversary was marked by festivals of project commissioning. At the flag off of the “Operation Renovate All Schools in Ekiti State”, he commissioned the six classrooms storey building at AUD Nursery/Primary School, Irona, Ado-Ekiti. There, he reiterated his determination to upgrade the physical structures in
centres where free birth control pills are distributed, adding that husbands should permit their wives to take pills. “There are beads which women can use to count the number of safe periods. Also, there is intrauterine device (IUD) which women can use for between five and 10 years to control birth. The babies are surviving now more unlike in the past when they died from diseases,” she said. Advising new mothers at the Paediatric Ward of the hospital, Adesina said they should plan their family. She presented the state’s gift to Mrs Gbemisola Ibikunle, the woman who delivered on the day the world’s seven billionth baby was born. “Babies are bundles of joy, but we must limit how we produce them so that we can take care of them effectively as government and individuals,” she said. Another proud new mother, Mrs Adebukola Oguntayo, who delivered the day before, thanked Dr. Adesina for her advice. The UNFPA said Lagos State needs to encourage family planning because the population is growing by the day. According to UNFPA’s Reproductive Health Focal Person in
•Dr Adesina presenting a gift to Mrs Ibikunle at the event
Lagos, Dr Olubunmi Asa, the state is 40 per cent water with fixed land mass, adding that it may be challenged in the provision of social amenities due to increase in population. “The government may not be able to formulate policy that would be public-oriented be-
cause of the population increase,” she said. Asa said the day is significant to assert people’s fundamental human rights so that they can fulfil their potentials, adding that it is also used to count on one another to make the world a better place to live in.
Ekiti rescue mission alive and well public schools. However, the governor could not hide the fact that education, being a joint enterprise, should require the active participation of everybody. He said: “Since government cannot do it alone, we solicit the support of all and sundry, philanthropists, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to assist government in our bold steps of giving a facelift to our schools”. Fayemi Administration is also welfarist in nature. A proof of this is the care for the aged, who now receive monthly stipends. But it is a nononsense government as well. Ghost workers in the state and local government service are being targeted for penalty. Indolence, the hallmark of the civil service, is also not condoned. “It is not going to be business as usual. All forms of laxity and indiscipline must give way”, Afuye
said. At the commissioning of the Odu’a Enterprise Development Centre, which comprises builders’ mart, skill acquisition centre, artisans’ village and industrial park, Fayemi said it was about time Ekiti started taping its potentials for economic rejuvenation. The builders’ mart, he said, would support government’s urban renewal programme aimed at beautifying the state, adding that the acquisition centre, established by the Ekiti State Enterprise Development Agency (EEDA), Agency for Job Creation and Odu’a Investment Company Limited, would produce 5,000 selfemployed youths in various fields of endeavours. In a bid to make Ekiti an industrial hub, the board of Fountain Investment Holdings Limited, was also inaugurated. It is chaired by an expert,
•Newly sworn in Leader of Legislative Council, Isolo Local Council Development Area, Lagos, Hon. Adedoyin Pikuda (left) being congratulated by the state chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Otunba Oladele Ajomale. With him is the council chairman, Hon Shamsudeen Olaleye. PHOTO: EMMANUEL OLADESU
Gbenga Oyebode. The task before the board is to pursuit private-public partnership, turn around the fortunes of Ire Burnt Bricks ltd, Ikun Farm Diary and ROMACO. At the Ekiti State Economic Development Summit held in Ado-Ekiti, the governor advertised the economic potentials of the state to the outside world, urging foreign and domestic investors to savour the conducive environment for business operation. “Ekiti people are generally hospitable. They love visitors and have unassailable history of protecting visitors, even at the risk of sacrificing their own lives. The ultimate dealth of our hero, Col. Adekunle Fajuyim who had to lay down his life to protect late Major-Gen. Aguiyi ironsi, who was his guest in Ibadan in 1967, points to this fact. That incident was not an isolated case. it is Ekiti spirit that is working in us”. Fayemi allayed the fear of insecurity that is rampant in the country, pointing out that Ekiti is relatively secure. He spoke on efforts by his administration to foster community policing through support logistic support for law enforcement agencies and establishment of crime detection mechanisms at Police Command headquarters and other designated divisional police offices. “Our legislature has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Law and Freedom of Information Law. These structures are enough assurance to genuine investors that Ekiti State is safe in the eyes of the law to do business. This is because every legitimate investment is adequately protected by our laws”, he added. Fayemi listed the investment opportunities. Agriculture topped the list. Apart from agro-processing of crops, fishery, poultry and livestock, timber extraction and provision of storage facilities appear novel. Opportunities in tourism are more captivating. The resources in this sector include cold and warm springs complex at Erinjiyan, waterfalls at Ipole Iloro, traditional sites at Ado, Ire, Okemesi, Olosunta Ikere, Irele, and Omuo. Many Christians, especially the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC)
adherents also believe that the tomb of Apostle Ayodele Babalola and Holy River Oni in Efon-Alaaye are tourist sites. However, there are certain constraints. “Our main challenges are in the areas of poor power supply and bad road network”, Fayemi acknowledged. However, he said government has not folded its arm, adding that many transformers have been purchased and distributed to towns and communities. The governor said more roads would be constructed. He announced some incentives to would-be investors. These include periods of moratorium and early issuance of land documents, especially certificates of occupancy. In Fayemi’s second year in office, there are more daunting challenges. One of them is the minimum wage debacle, which has created tension between government and labour. Ekiti is one of the poorest state in the country. Government officials have said that payment would mean the suspension of funding for important projects in the interest of the generality of the people. Tertiary students are also in a hurry. They clamour for free tuition, although it not feasible for now. Sources said that civil servants are blocking the push for staff audit through forensic method. There are also some big people who perceive government as the sharer of money to party supporters. In the absence of spurious contract awards, they feel they are left in the cold. In the last eight years, election has been war in Ekitiland. Another challenge therefore, is the proposed local government elections scheduled for early next year. This is non-negotiable because, according to the constitution, there must be democratically elected local government at the grassroots. The poll may be followed by reforms of the local government administration. Afuye assured that the government, which is currently on the right path, would sustain the tempo. “This is a legitimate government. It is the product of the people’s wish. We will not fail Ekiti”, he added.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Ijebu town celebrates its day The Imodi Market square was not large enough for all indigenes and visitors of Imodi-Ijebu, Ogun State when they converged for the 2011 Olumodi Day, on October 8. RISIKAT RAMONI witnessed the event.
T is an event every indigene of the town always look forward to yearly. The Olumodi Day usually brings indigenes and visitors together. For the first time in the history of the day, a top governmental official, Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Suraju Adekanbi was in attendance. It featured traditional dances, awards of excellence to some indigenes who have made their fatherland proud. The day also served as a platform for fundraising as a substantial amount of money was raised for the town’s hall project. The awardees and their guests all contributed towards the realisation of the N150 million development fund. The presence of the Olumodi, Chief Adebisi Lawal, enlivened the event as both indigenes and guests stood to give him a resounding ovation. It was a joyous occasion for all and their mood reflected it. All groups and clubs in the town were present. Their members each looked dashing in their various Ankara dresses. The women completed the day with their attires sewn in different styles. Some went for the popular Iro and Buba with matching headgear beautifully tied. The high chiefs were not left out. They wore caps with their titles inscribed on them. Many souvenirs, such as caps, clothes, umbrellas, polythene bags, with the 2011 Olumodi Day inscription on them, were on display.
LDERS of Ido-Ekiti in Ekiti North Local Government led by Chief Adejuwon Afunbiowo have affirmed that Barrister Agboola Akomolafe is no longer the Obanla of Ido-Ekiti. Rising from a meeting at the White House, Ayegunle Quarters, IdoEkiti, they berated Akomolafe for allegedly acting against the content of a letter he is said to have personally written, signed and circulated in which he reportedly relinquished the position. The elders also cited the court judgments, which were said to have later validated his removal from the traditional stool. According to Chief Afunbiowo,
We are all happy that many people came to celebrate with us. We are happy about how the event has turned out and we know things will get better •Chief Lawal flanked by Chief Musibau Okusajo (left) and Hon Adekanbi The Chairman of Imodi Community Development Association, Alhaji Olumide Olufowobi, thanked all for attending the event. Olufowobi said the community has produced many dignitaries. He urged the Speaker to do something for the town, which would be remembered for life. Adekanbi said he was honoured to be among the people. He urged them to be considerate and wait patiently for the Amosun-led administration to fulfill its promises. He wished the Olumodi many more fruitful years, congratulating the organisers for the success of the event. Chief Lawal, who has been on the throne for 31 years, described this year’s celebration as spectacular. He said it was different from pre-
vious ones. “We are all happy that we got many people around coming to celebrate with us. “We are happy about how the event has turned out and we know things will get better,” Chief Lawal said. He called on the sons and daughters of the town to assist in its development. One of the daughters, Kehinde Okenla, an international table tennis star, was delighted to be at the event. She promised to support the town’s sports re-birth drive. The leader of the Twelve Brothers Club, Alhaji Shafe Adenola, said with the cooperation of all, they would achieve their aim of
taking Imodi to an enviable height. He expressed the hope that the government would fulfill its promises by putting Imodi and Ogun as a whole, in a better situation by providing a good road network among other infrastructure. Some other dignitaries who attended the event were Ogun State East District Senator, Alhaji Gbenga Kaka, who was represented by Mr Ajibola Kaka; ViceChairman of Odogbolu Local Government, Mr Wasiu Alausa; Managing Director of MIC connect, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; Chairman, Autoland Motors, Prince Segun Odutayo; sports stars Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo; Bunmi Green; Tajudeen Disu and Raymond King.
‘Ekiti community Prime Minister deposed’ From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
Obanla who can be regarded as the traditional prime minister of the town, is the next in rank to Olojudo, who is king of Ido-Ekiti and ranks highest among the kingmakers in the town. Chief Adejuwon Afunbiowo, head of the Afunbiowo royal family said: “It remains a wonder that an educated person can be acting the way
Barrister Akomolafe is acting. We did not write the letter he wrote to tell the world he was no longer interested in being the Obanla. He wrote it himself. “Neither were we the Appeal Court that sat in Ilorin nor the Supreme Court which again sat in Abuja, separately ruling against his inexplicable quest and nullifying his bid to return to the Obanla position.” According to the said judgments, copies of which were made available to journalists, Chief Akomolafe was
•From left: Member, House of Rep, hon Aliu Kazeem; Secretary to Itire-Ikate LCDA, Mr Gbenga Oyebode; Chief Whip, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Rasaq Balogun and chairman, Itire-Ikate LCDA, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola during the victory party organsied for Bamgbola
actually removed from the Obanla stool. The removal was also affirmed in another letter made available to journalists titled Agboola Akomolafe vs. Princess (Mrs.) Grace Yemisi Olatilu (Appeal No. CA/IL/64/2008) dated June 1, 2010 issued from the Chambers of V.A. Odunaiya & Co. which sought to inform the Ekiti State Government of Akomolafe’s removal. The letter read in part: Akomolafe “having renounced and abdicated his erstwhile position as the Obanla of Ido-Ekiti by a letter dated 29 August 2000 and same having been confirmed and accepted by Ido community vide a Memorandum dated 24 October 2000, is no longer the Obanla of Ido-Ekiti and as such cannot continue to hold that position and perform the duties required of a holder thereof or lay claim to any benefits, entitlements, stipends and remuneration by virtue of that position. “The plaintif/respondent (Agboola Akomolafe) is hereby restrained from parading and/or holding himself out as Obanla of Ido-Ekiti under Native Law and Custom of Ido-Ekiti, howsoever, and/or in any manner whatsoever forthwith,” the letter stated. The letter further stated that con-
sequent upon the development, it was no longer possible for Mr. Agboola Akomolafe “to parade/ hold himself out as Obanla of IdoEkiti which means that he is no longer a kingmaker; he cannot sit as Chief with the Oba or call himself a chief in Ido-Ekiti or anywhere else. He is equally not entitled to the payment of any stipend whatsoever”. The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja, regarding same case through a judgment delivered by Justice Dahiru Musdapher, stated in its ruling of Wednesday, June 15, 2011 that “This is an application filed on 22/ 11/2010 praying the court for leave to appeal in respect of certain grounds of appeal of a judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 12/5/2010. The application is incompetent and is accordingly struck out”. Chief Adejuwon said “Barrister Akomolafe is hereby warned in the strongest of terms and in the spirit of sportsmanship to desist from parading himself as the Obanla and anyone who is expected to know but is caught dealing with him in tacit recognition of his still being the Obanla will equally be seriously sanctioned by the community and may be sued for opposing a subsisting court judgment”.
The plaintif/respondent is hereby restrained from parading and/or holding himself out as Obanla of Ido-Ekiti under Native Law and Custom of Ido-Ekiti, howsoever, and/or in any manner whatsoever forthwith
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
OTORISTS and other road users have urged the Federal Roads Maintenace Agency (FERMA) to rehabilitate the Kaduna-Kano road to ease their pains. A motorist, Alhaji Ali Tamburawa, lamented the number of lives lost in road accidents on the Kaduna-Kano highway. He appealed to the agency to respond to the emergency reports on the potholes and craters which litter the road, particularly on the bridge at Tamburawa town in Kano State. Similarly, the District Head of Dawakin Kudu, Alhaji Yusuf Bayero, also stressed the need for the state government to rehabilitate the Tamburawa Bridge on the highway. While reacting to the accident which claimed five lives recently, he said he was deeply touched by incessant reports of accidents on the bridge. Bayero said the bridge, which is on a federal highway, needs urgent government’s intervention. Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, while flagging off the programme, said the initiative would give practical expression to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. Onolememen said the road surveillance and preventive maintenance programme aims to deliver year-round serviceability on all Federal roads in the coun-
‘Rehabilitate Kaduna-Kano highway’ By Tajudeen Adebanjo try. According to him, while it is understandable that many Nigerians are frustrated by the state of federal roads, the fact FERMA is facing daunting challenges in maintaining them. He identifies one of these challenges as “the near criminal neglect” of Federal roads without maintenance over several years. “In a country where about 90 per cent of freights and passengers are conveyed on the road, and other modes of transportation in near comatose state, it behoves Nigerians to ensure that effective mechanisms are put in place to keep all arterial roads in serviceable condition year-round,” he said. This, he said, will enable the roads to play the role of prime drivers of economic develop-
carelessness. “We have been speaking with the authorities concerned to provide more parks so that every commercial driver will find a space to park his vehicle and it will guard against the habit of picking passengers by the roads side,” he said. He pointed out that NURTW would soon embark on the enlightenment of its members through the use of jingles on radio and television to imbibe decent driving culture. Adamu said the union would also seek the assistance of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the government to remove temporary motor parks in Bauchi, especially those on Jos and Maiduguri roads.
Govt, Kwara partner on road commended the Federal Governrehabilitation and ment for reimbursing the state govWARA State Governor, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed, has pledged his administration’s readiness to partner with the Federal Government on the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state. In a statement the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, in Ilorin, stated that the governor made the pledge when he paid a visit to the Minister of Works, Chief Mike Onolememen in Abuja. It said the governor’s visit was to make a case for the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state. Ahmed called for the urgent rehabilitation of federal roads in the state,
ernment by 30 per cent of the expenditure recorded on the rehabilitation of the roads. He said the state government had been intervening in the rehabilitation of federal roads in the past, stressing that the state served as the link between the northern and southern parts of the country. Responding, Onolememen assured the governor that his ministry would collaborate with the state government in road construction and rehabilitation for unhindered movement of goods and services. He assured the governor that money spent by the state government on rehabilitation of federal roads would be reimbursed by the Federal Government.
Osun seeks speedy completion of roads
HE Osun State government on Monday has given a construction company handling some projects for the state, six months to rehabilitate some roads. The state Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Mr Sabitu Amudah, gave the ultimatum while signing the contract agreement with the company’s representatives. Amudah signed the contract on behalf of the state government while Mr
ment, job creation and poverty reduction. The Minister said under the road
‘In a country where about 90 per cent of freights and passengers are conveyed on the road, and other modes of transportation in near comatose state, it behoves Nigerians to ensure that effective mechanisms are put in place to keep all arterial roads in serviceable condition year-round,
FRSC urged to nab drivers carrying passengers in boots HE National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Bauchi State has said drivers who carry passengers in boots are not from designated motor parks. He, therefore, asked the government to deal with such drivers. “We, in the NURTW, are against carrying passengers in the boot as it is inhuman and degrading, drivers who are engaging in such activity do not make use of the motor parks,’’ he said. He warned drivers against recklessness during festivities, such as Sallah, saying the periods are meant to be a time for joy. Drivers, he said, should not make the relations and friends of passengers to be sorrowful as a result of their
Alao Bashir signed for the company. Aregbesola said the project would cost the state government over N1 billion and warned the contractor to complete the projects on schedule. According to him, the projects will cover state, federal road and local government roads while 75 kilometres of roads across the s t a t e wo u l d al s o o n r e h ab i l i tated. Bashir assured the government that the contract would be completed on time.
surveillance and preventive maintenance programme the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA will ensure sustainable maintenance of all federal roads in the geo-political zones in the country, as well as empower our teeming youths through creation of new jobs in the roads sub-sector. He called on the National Assembly to partner with the ministry to actualise the government’s vision of reducing transit time on roads, cost of transportation and additional repairs of vehicles due to bad roads and loss of lives and property through accidents. Chairman of Senate Committee on Works, Senator Ayogu Eze, said his presence on the occasion with the Chairman of House Committee on FERMA, Hon Ofor Chukwuegbo, is an affirmation of National Assembly’s commitment and support for the programme. Senator Eze said the leadership and members of the National Assembly are aware of the many challenges facing FERMA and are willing to collaborate with the agency and ministry to ensure that the transformation agenda of Mr President finds practical expression in efficient roads service delivery. He said the conditions of roads
calls for the declaration of emergency in the interest of Nigerians. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FERMA, Mr Gabriel Amuchi, said the establishment of the Road Surveillance and Preventive Maintenance Unit marks a policy shift in the agency where emphasis will be on ensuring that small cracks are patched and fixed early, rather than letting them degenerate into major potholes before carrying out repairs and rehabilitation. He enjoined members of the public to see roads as assets that members of the public must use properly. He implored Nigerians to desist from vandalising road furniture and dumping refuse on our highways, a problem which leads to blockage of drains and damage to the carriageway. Amuchi said the programme is a pi l o t s c h e m e t o b e c a r r i e d out on some roads which are currently in fair condition, to ensure that they do not go bad. Roads envisaged in the pilot scheme include Benin-Warri road, Benin Bypass, LagosShagamu- Benin – Onitsha road, Abuja- Kaduna, KadunaKano, Owerri- Onitsha road and Jos-Bauchi, among others.
Group to hold truck exhibition
HE second edition of the Truck and Equipment Exhibition-Africa (TRACCON Africa) has been fixed for November 23 -25. In a statement signed by the Publisher of On Wheels Magazine, Jabez Aina-Scott, the organisers said the international exhibition, which will also feature a conference for the haulage/logistics sector will hold at the Ocean View Grounds, Victoria Island, Lagos. This year’s theme, The relevance of the UN Decade of Action on Africa’s
By Tajudeen Adebanjo Haulage and Logistics Industry, according to Aina-Scott, is a followup to the objectives for setting up the conference. He described as a welcome development, the United Nations (UN) partnership with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to develop an extensive transport system that would reduce the rate of accidents involving articulated lorries on the highway. The development of good
transportation system, he said, will act as a stimulus to the economy than anything else. Aina-Scott also said this year’s theme is apt in setting standard for the industry. “Our vision is to highlight the place of the truck and its allied businesses in successful emergence of a developing economy in Africa with the hope of expanding the market, boosting the economy and consequently increasing employment opportunities for the people,” he explained.
Firm launches new motorcycles
LINK Nigeria Limited, marketers of motorcycles in Nigeria, has launched the Gunner and Cruiser models into the market with a tour of the Southwestern zone region. The two models were launched into Kwara, Lagos and Ogun markets with roadshows across major towns. The tour Co-ordinator, Ms Ifeoluwa George, said the firm embarked on a survey of the motorcycle markets to identify the needs of the consumers, hence, came up with the Gunner and Cruiser models.
HE management of Tata Motors in Nigeria, Tata West Africa, has announced some promotions for the festive season. The promotion, a yearly event, is in partnership with Stanbic IBTC. The company’s management said it is a way of thanking customers for their patronage. General Manager of Tata Nigeria, Gerard Nayagam said this year’s promo would be different – as everyone will be a winner. The choice of the last three months of the year, Nayagam said, is strategic because it coincides with the Yuletide and the Eld-il-Kabir festival. Tata Nigeria, which started operations in the country two years ago, said Nigeria has been a very supportive market, and tends to give back to the country by providing jobs and income. “Just like our slogan goes, we take care of every need. Our brand is do-
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
According to Ms George, they are made with ‘A’ grade component to international quality standards to suit Nigeria roads and markets. “They come with long and wide seats, strong and durable engines, big tanks, long silencers and shock absorbers made to withstand the toughness of Nigerian roads,” she said. Sales/Marketing Manager, Mr Abass Oludare, said the company does not intend to relinquish her leadership po-
sition in the motorcycle market, hence her efforts at meeting the needs of her loyal customers. Oludare said the models are unique and unrivalled in quality and comfort offered to the consumers. According to him, both models provide riders with comfortable leg rest as could be seen in the design of the tanks. Not only that, they are very economical as they consume less fuel. In all, they offer consumer real value for money.
Tata Motors begins promo By Nneka Nwaneri ing well when our customers are happy. So, we are ensuring satisfaction and that the cost of spare parts and servicing are more cost effective and we are also increasing the warranty time on all vehicles from 0-30kilometres. Due to Nigerian roads, the warranty becomes relevant as the suspension parts are of-
ten damaged. We are a huge automobile market and so we are using these medium to show others how it is to be clean and transparent in conducting business in Nigeria, making sure we penetrate the pan- Nigerian aspect,” Nayagam said. He urged government’s consistent policies to enable companies to have a level playing field.
‘We are a huge automobile market and so we are using these medium to show others how it is to be clean and transparent in conducting business in Nigeria, making sure we penetrate the pan-Nigerian aspect’
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
‘Meteorological workers’ strike may affect weather data’ W
ORKERS of the Meteorological Agency would begin a nationwide strike on Wednesday. The industrial action, which would have started tomorrow, is pushed forward because of the public holiday. On commencement, the strike may affect whether forecast services to airlines, ships, oil rigs and agricultural enterprises. The bone of contention, according to the workers, under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical And Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), is to the non-implementation of the relativity salary increase circular SWC/04/V111/298 dated July 1, 2010 which has been implemented for all other parastatals. It was negotiated in June last year. Acting General Secretary of the union, Comrade Philip Agbonkonkon, said the relativity salary increase of 53.37 per cent to every worker in the core civil service and other sub-sectors of the
Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
public service was funded from the Treasury. The union said, having exhausted the stipulated dispute warning guidelines by giving 21 days and seven days notices to the management of NIMET, it would not go back on its decision to embark on strike on Tuesday. However, the date of the strike commencement has been changed to Wednesday because of Tuesday’s Eid el Kabir holiday. The 1,500 workers of NIMET across the country have, therefore, been directed to stay off work from that date. “Virtually, all relevant government agencies agreed that the 2010
•Comrades Geofrey Ibe and Agbonkonkon at the briefing
relativity circular on salary increase in the core civil service and parastatals funded from Treasury,
applies to staff of NIMET. It is therefore difficult to contemplate why the implementation has been
‘This rightly explains and justifies the imminent industrial crisis and action by NIMET workers, but for the staff and the union’s patriotic considerations, weather forecast services to airlines could have been withheld, in particular during the organised Hajj flights to Mecca which ended on October 29’
delayed for over 15 months. “This rightly explains and justifies the imminent industrial crisis and action by NIMET workers, but for the staff and the union’s patriotic considerations, weather forecast services to airlines could have been withheld, in particular during the organised Hajj flights to Mecca which ended on October 29,” the union’s scribe said.
Union blames Enugu for labour leader’s arraignment •We have no hand in it, says Chime
•Enugu State Governor Chime
•NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar
HE arrest, brutalisation and subsequent arraignment of Enugu State Nigeria Laour Congress (NLC) Chairman, Comrade Osmond Ugwu has been described by the Labour community as “a neofascist approach on the part of the state government.” The state Governor, Sullivan Chime, however, said his government has no hand in the arrest and arraignment. Chime said in a statement that those who are asking him to order the release of Ugwu are ignorant of the law. Calling for the release of Ugwu
and dropping of charges against him, the Acting General Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical And Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Philip Agbonkonkon, urged the state government to re-consider its stance on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage. “In our opinion, the manner of arrest and brutalisation of Comrade Osmond Ugwu is tantamount to neo-fascist approach on the part of the state govern-
ment in handling industrial relations problems. “In the circumstance, we call on the governor to reconsider his stance on the agitation for the implementation of the minimum wage and order the release of Comrade Osmond Ugwu and drop charges against him. Agbonkonkon alleged that the governor ordered the army and police to arrest and brutalise Ugwu while addressing workers at the NLC premises in Enugu. He was charged to court the next day for murder, and remanded in Enugu prison.
Nigerians in diaspora, housewives, others on Council pay roll
HE Sokoto North Local Government Council has discovered about 1,000 ghost workers on its pay roll. The Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan, said in a statement, that his administration discovered the ghost workers after a recent staff verification. He said those on the pay roll include secondary school pupils, housewives, political thugs and Nigerians in the diaspora. He added that his administration has also recovered more than N13 million, as a result of the exercise. He said:“We have discovered that some of the ghost workers, who were hitherto on the payroll of the local government, were even working in other public and private organisations. “Some of them were even housewives, secondary school students, political thugs and even some of them are staying outside the shores of Nigeria.” According to Hassan, the ghost
workers collect their salaries at the end of the month for doing nothing. “This was how the funds of the local government were hitherto squandered to the detriment of the people of the area. “In this type of situation, the local government could not execute the needed dividends of democracy,” he said. Hassan further disclosed that the local government inherited more than 4,000 staff, as well as more than N40 million as its average monthly wage bill. “This bill has been reduced to about N29 million including N9 million being paid as monthly allowances and imprests. “We embarked on the verification to block all loopholes, as well as effectively implement the new N18,000 national minimum wage,” he said. Hassan said the exercise was not meant to witchhunt; rather it was aimed at making the local government financially strong.
•From left: Labour Minister Emeka Wogu and PENGASSAN President Babatunde Ogun, during a visit to the minister’s office.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
•Oshinowo, Agary, Mohammed, Salisu, Ogun and former NLC President Pascal Bafyau at the roundtable in Abuja
PHOTO: DUPE OLAOYE-OSINKOLU
Fuel subsidy: Stakeholders proffer long-term solution
NEW group, formed to intervene in the fuel subsidy imbroglio among the Federal Government, Labour, civil society and Nigerians known as - Initiative for Peace and Industrial Harmony (IPIA) – has appealed to stakeholders to embrace dialogue to avoid social disharmony. In response to the call, stakeholders gathered in Abuja and suggested ways to resolve the nation’s fuel problems. Looking at the resolutions of all fuel price increase disputes since 2000 on deregulation, the Group said the missing element is strong enlightenment and engagement at the initial stage. It reminds the Federal Government of the 2005 report of Mantu Committee on palliatives, saying it is the only way for stakeholders to depart from cycle of policy announcement – opposition and ultimatum by Nigerian trade unions – possible last minute negotiations – strike – negotiations – agreement – strike called off. Having been part of so many Government/Labour resolution processes, Convener of the IPIH, Dr Timiebi Koripamo Agary, former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity issue of fuel pricing should not be allowed to degenerate into strikes. That informed the roundtable forum where stakeholders in the nations economy were brought together to “facilitate expression of candid opinions on the planned withdrawal of fuel subsidy”. The Director General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Olusegun Oshinowo said the nation’s fuel problems would be solved should Federal Government implement 65 per cent of Mantu Committee on palliatives. President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Babatunde Ogun, said local refining of petroleum products, and a law, to make importation of refined petroleum products a criminal offence should be considered as some options. Also, he suhggested the dredging of seaports and and expansion of receiving facilities to cut demurrage costs.
Date June 1, 2000
Cause of Strike and Resolution Prices of petrol increased to N30/litre from N11. This was reduced to N20 June 16, 2002 Price increase from N20/litre to N26/litre. Strikes declared illegal and union leaders arrested and charged to court June 30 – July 8 2003 Price increase from N26/litre to N40/litre. This was reduced to N34/litre after 8 days of strike. June 9, 2004 Price increase from N34/litre to about N50/litre. Federal High Court Abuja gave a ruling for a return to status quo i.e. price reversal to N34/litre. Notwithstanding the court ruling, NLC and government agreed to a new price of N42/litre. October 11, 2004 Price increase from N42/litre to N52/litre. Government appointed the 19-member Sen. Ibrahim Mantu Committee on palliatives. September 2005 Price increase from N52/litre to N65. Mass protests organised by NLC and coalition of civil society resulted in decrease June 20, 2007
Price increase from N65 to N70/litre. Negotiation between government and labour resulted in a price reduction to N65/litre
Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
He added that Guidelines for Greenfield refineries to be established. Should subsidy be withdrawn however, he said the government should forget about sharing any fund, and target the funds instead at aggressive infrastructural development. Nigeria Labour Congress’s Chief Economist, Dr Ozo Ezon, in his own submission said: “Our argument is based on economic theory that is irrefutable. Looking at the various sectors of our economy and factors militating against the success of the real sector, failure of government to provide energy and adequate infrastructure has weakened the structure and capacity of real sector over the years. Diesel has been deregulated and the impact of the policy has been the closure of factories and job losses. This is because deregulation drove up the price of diesel to a level that made it impossible for many companies to survive and as such many of them relocated to other African countries. “Our argument is that diesel is not the energy of choice of the huge
informal sector and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which account for over 90 per cent of employers but PMS. Now the government wants to raise the price of petrol so that what happened to the real sector would create social chaos in the country because the government want more money to share. What have they done with the huge allocation but they have looted the resources of this country. The government has done nothing to stop the direct stealing of crude oil because those involve are agents of government. So, our position is that subsidy is something that needs to be a feature of petroleum products. If the government fail on this, then the debate will be on how to deregulate government to make it function as it ought to be,”he said. In one of its documents, the IPIH noted that the challenge of fuel subsidy withdrawal is to identify the appropriate approach and given present realities recommend the way forward. “To do that, it will be important to highlight the fact that since 1999, this is one issue that has dominated Nigeria’s policy environment. Almost on annual basis, the nation and its citizens continue to debate,
Duration of Strike 8 Days 2 Days 8 Days
3 Days Mass protests, no strikes
negotiate and arrive almost all the time to a short-term agreement. The group also presented a table to illustrate past strikes and their effect on the economy. The group also said this record shows that Nigeria has lost productive time and resources through strikes. It expresses the fear that the cycle is about to be repeated with the current government, labour disagreement. It noted that the first chain in the cycle - the announcement - has been accomplished. The second chain, opposition by Nigerian trade unions and other groups, has also been expressed. From all indications, as things are and based on past experiences, it will grow into ultimatum and possibly strikes, completing the second and third chain by January 2012 when the policy is scheduled to come into effect. “Can we, as a nation, break the chain and perhaps have announcement of policy intention – consultation/negotiations with broad stakeholders – agreement on the new policy – implementation? This way, government would have given stakeholders the opportunity to express themselves freely, and thus, positively influence the
•NARTO National Co-ordinator, Lawal Isa, at the forum
content of the emerging policy. Secondly, by proceeding in this way, it will allow our nation, difficult as it would appear, to transform policy design tradition into one that goes through appropriate all-inclusive consultative and negotiations framework. “In making this submission, we do so honestly believing that strikes could be averted based on adoption of courageous initiative towards openly engaging and negotiating all developmental policies. We hasten to recognise that negotiations are not new to governments in Nigeria, neither are they new to labour and civil society leaders. The only new element we are canvassing is that negotiations should precede policy implementation and should have the broad objective of enriching policy content and implementation framework. It argues that the spirit of section 14 (2) (a - c) of the Nigerian Constitution requires more than announcement. “It would appear that at the centre of what appears to be the grievances of Nigerians is the inability of the Federal Government to carry citizens along in its policy conception, design and implementation. The act of carrying citizens along is what would truly demonstrate that ‘sovereignty belongs to the people’.”
Civil service seeks capacity building training in NIPSS
HE National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) has been urged to incorporate courses that will enhance capacity building in the public service. Head, Civil Service of the Federation Alhaji Isah Sali, made the suggestion in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Tope
Ajakaiye, in Abuja. It was during a visit to the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation by members of NIPSS Executive Course 33. Sali said such courses would enable the public service to meet the challenges of the 21st century. He said recent national discourse on the civil
service centred on weakness in policy and strategy for national development. He added that the institute could assist in addressing the problem, especially in policy development and analyses, strategic planning, among others. The head of service said the government placed a lot of emphasis on handwork, integrity
and professionalism. “We frown at indolence, apathy, lethargy and corruption as we set out to reposition the service to meet the government’s Transformation Agenda.’’ Prof Tijjani MuhammadBande, the Acting Director-General of the institute, had informed the Head of Service that the par-
ticipants at a recent forum of the institute were tasked to proffer solutions on how to attain sustainable peace in Nigeria. He said the solutions would be forwarded to Mr President for consideration and implementation. The director-general also informed the head of service of the deteriorating state of the Institute.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Diversified portfolio of an entrepreneur
ROM manufacturing to banking and trading, Chief Samuel Bolarinde has built a multimillion naira portfolio across key sectors of the economy. Through steady and focused investment strategy, he successfully transited from being an employee to majority shareholder in Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. Over a course of 35 years as an employee at Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Bolarinde was unwavering in his focus and commitment on investments and future of the cushion company. Now, he is the chairman and single largest shareholder of the company. With about 13 per equity stake in Vitafoam Nigeria, Bolarinde’s gross dividend totaled N32 million in 2010, about 19 per cent increase on N27 million received in 2009. Vitafoam Nigeria has maintained a stable dividend payment trend over the years, with unbroken record of 14 years, distributing 25 kobo, 30 kobo, 25
kobo and 30 kobo per share for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively. Bolarinde’s high-profile led to his appointment as chairman of Wema Bank Plc in June 2010. Although he has no declared interests in shares of the bank, he is believed to hold significant influence. Besides, his emoluments as chairman of both Vitafoam Nigeria and Wema Bank ensure his nest egg continues to increase while enjoying a lush retirement. Bolarinde also sits on the board of UAC of Nigeria (UACN) Plc, arguably Nigeria’s most virile conglomerate. Companies under the UACN Group included three quoted companiesUACN, UACN Property Development Company Plc and CAP Plc. With the recent acquisition of majority shareholding in Vono Products Plc by Vitafoam Nigeria, Bolarinde’s influence became more predominant as the largest investor in the foam manufacturing busi-
ness in Nigeria. An industrial chemist and astute manager, Bolarinde graduated in industrial chemistry from John Daton College, Manchester, England and obtained Master of Science (Msc)in Material Engineering from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. He served as managing director and chief executive of Vitafoam Nigeria for 19 years, having joined the board six years earlier. Bolarinde is a perfect example of how a stable career and steady investments can lead to an enviable personal financial standing.
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ALUE investment is an investment ap proach that emphasises the inherent fundamental values of a company in investment decisionmaking. Value approach looks at companies with strong balance sheets although their secondary market
What is value investment? valuations may belie these strengths. In other words, a value investor scouts for undervalued stocks with good fundamental outlook rather than following the stock market trend.
Value investment approach however, requires rigorous fundamental analysis and it mostly suits medium-to-long term investment horizons. Most analysts consider value investors as quintessential investors.
Ways and Means
Managing risks with life insurance (2)
EATH is particularly the scariest risk given the inability of man to comprehend many uncertainties surrounding it. No man knows the time of his death, the place and the type of death; three uncertainties that confound man’s knowledge. While temporary and permanent disabilities may leave the affected person with other beneficial attributes and a person can work to regain economic and social status, the nature of death as a full transition of all the physical usefulness of man into a state of uselessness adds to the state of death as the riskiest of all risks. But man has learnt to manage the aftershocks of death by building the uncertainties into financial planning. This has led to emergence of several modes of life insurance. Generally, insurance is the generic term for any type of risk management that hedges against contingent and uncertain loss. Given that death, though certain in terms of occurrence, is shroud in uncertainties, life insurance seeks to hedge against losses or pains that may arise from death. Technically, life insurance is a contract between the policy holder and the insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money-known as “benefits”,
upon the death of the insured person in exchange for regular payment of agreed amount by the policy holder. Besides death, several life policies take cognizance of such death-like events such as terminal illness or critical illness. Life insurance mitigates the sense of loss that comes with death, especially with regard to sustenance and retention of economic status; to some extent. But with religious beliefs and economic status serving as barriers to life insurance, insurance companies have devised new products with several value-added benefits to promote life insurance. With better habits of savings and investments, several insurance companies are offering combined saving-insurance plan or three-in-one saving-investment-insurance plan. One of such products, the GT Life Savings Plus, introduced by Guaranty Trust Assurance (GTAssur), provides all categories of savers with the opportunities to earn interest on their savings in addition to free life assurance. With a minimum investment period of two years, a small saver with monthly deposit of between N2,000 to N9,999 will be entitled to interest equivalent to the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) less
Share certificate, dematerialisation and other issues (1)
four percentage points. At the current MPR of 12 per cent, this translates to eight per cent. This category of saver will also be entitled to free life cover up to N250,000. Savers with monthly deposit of N10,000 to N24,999 will be entitled to interest of MPR-3, which translates to 9.0 per cent, alongside life cover of up to N500,000. The third category of savers with monthly savings of between N25,000 and N49,999 will receive interest yield of MPR-2, or 10 per cent at current rate, in addition to life cover up to N750,000. At the premium category, savers with monthly savings of between N50,000 and above will be entitled to interest of MPR-1 or 11 per cent at current rate with additional benefit of life cover up to N1 million. Besides, the account holder can use such account as collateral for loan up to 70 per cent of the account balance. However, there will not be any interest payment on early withdrawals in line with the nature of the savings plan as a medium to long-term financial plan. By taking time to review financial products and services, people can optimise their savings and investment plans through several added-values being used by companies to attract customers.
OST complaints from shareholders centre on either share certificate or dividend warrant, underlining the importance of understanding basic issues around these functions. A share certificate is the bonafide evidence of ownership of shares in a certain company and as such the importance attached to the correctness of all details therein. Although the gradual transition of the Nigerian capital market to electronic allotment and direct lodgement in the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), the depository of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has reduced the influence of share certificate in recent time, share certificate remains the most popular and most recurring investment issue in the Nigerian market. Issuance of new share certificates, replacement of such to shareholders and bondholders and in electronic lodgement; transfer of holdings through diskette to the CSCS and notification of investors of such transfer remain some of the core functions of a Registrar. A share certificate as evidence of ownership must contain the full names of the shareholder properly written as indicated in the application form, the (postal) address, number of shareholding written both in words and figures, the shareholder’s account number, the share certificate number, the name and logo of the issuing company, authorising signatures; usually that of company secretary and a director. Also included are company seal, the description of the share; either ordinary or otherwise, and the nominal value, date of issuance, the mode of issuance of the shares (public offer, rights issue, private placement, initial public offering, bonus issue, stock split, mergers and acquisitions etc) and details of the Registrar. The issuance of share certificate usually is a joint function between the Registrar and the company secretary. In any instance of capital issue, the Registrar prepares the share certificate and forwards it to the company secretary for signature(s) and company seal, as applicable. After necessary signature(s) and sealing, the company secretary returns the share certificate to the Registrar, who then has all responsibilities with regard to remittance of the certificate to shareholder and other issues arising therefrom. This is the reason why
By Taofik Salako
share certificate only bears the address and contacts of the Registrar, since he is the mediator between the shareholder and the company. Because the main responsibilities of shareholders relationship lie with the Registrar, many shareholders do wrongly lay all blames regarding share certificate, for instance delay, on the doorstep of the Registrar. However, the simple issuance process enunciated above actually shows that the delay may be due to signatories to the share certificate. Registrars, it should be emphasised, gain nothing from share certificate delay or delay of whatever nature since the earlier one pushes out the materials the more efficient one system becomes. This however, does not absolve Registrars totally from the blames of delay of investment instruments. The handling capacity of each Registrar usually comes into play in the processing of documents and some with less capacity may be overwhelmed by the volume of materials at hand, as witnessed with the recent hugely oversubscribed offers. Fortunately, Union Registrars, the largest Registrar in Nigeria, has the experience, technology and human resources to take on any issuance efficiently. From the point of return of share certificate from the company secretary and postage to shareholder, the Registrar still perform many responsibilities to serve the interest of the shareholder. These include issuance of duplicate certificate, amalgamation certificates, safety of unclaimed certificate and provision of such upon request and correction of defective share certificate. The need for a duplicate share certificate may arise where the original share certificate is either stolen, missing, lost or become irreparably defective such as one attacked by termites. The process of issuance of a duplicate share certificate starts with the shareholder writing a letter intimating the Registrar of the state of the original certificate and requesting for a duplicate. Upon receipt of the letter, the Registrar shall verify the signature on the letter to ascertain its genuineness and thereafter check the computer system to ascertain the state of the shares on the original certificate to ensure they have not been sold off. The Registrar then issues a letter of indemnity to the
shareholder as a form of collateral against any possible negative fallout in the event of issuance of a duplicate. The letter of indemnity must be duly executed by a bank or insurance company. The Registrar shall verify signature(s) of bank official(s) and common seal to confirm the authenticity of the indemnity and if satisfied, issue a duplicate and update his records accordingly. The Registrar will thereafter send the duplicate certificate to the company secretary for the appropriate signature(s) and seal. Upon return of the duplicate certificate from the company secretary, the Registrar then posts the duplicate to the shareholder. Besides issuance of new share certificates and duplicates, the concepts and process of amalgamation of share certificates and consolidation of accounts are some of the many misunderstood processes in share registration. These problems particularly have been exacerbated by the growing instances of multiple applications, especially in recent time when many investors want to outsmart the allotment process in the event of oversubscription and return of monies. Besides the fact that having splinters of shares of the same company in many share certificates under same account heading or in different accounts creates enormous management problem for the company, the shareholder and the Registrar, it increases costs to all parties and thus reduce returns accruable from the investment. However, problems of multiple share certificates and accounts may arise in the natural process of transactions. For instance, bonus issues over the years may lead to accumulation of share certificates while different modes of purchase, primary or secondary market as well as using many stockbrokers many lead to multiple accounts for shares of same company. Amalgamation of share certificates is by definition the process of merging many share certificates under the same account heading into a single share certificate. Every initial share purchase generates an account number, which subsequent new issues (such as bonus, rights, stock splits etc) relating to that initial purchase also bears. The distinction here is that all the share certificates bear the same account number, although every share certificate has its own distinct share certificate number.
‘Every initial share purchase generates an account number, which subsequent new issues (such as bonus, rights, stock splits etc) relating to that initial purchase also bears’
Mac 72 - 58-59 - CAPITAL MARKET
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
The Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Mr. Mohammad Ahmad, in this interview with Assistant Editor NDUKA CHIEJINA, speaks on the accusations levelled against the commission by some Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), the death of pensioners during verification and other issues.
‘It’s illegal to pick PFAs for workers’ T
HERE is an allegation that PENCOM collects contributions on behalf of public servants, holds on to it for a while before remitting the money to the Pension Fund Administrator (PFAs)? That is not true. In July 2004, after the enactment of the Pension Reform Act, the Federal Government decided to deduct at source the pension contributions of its employees. As at June 2004, there was no PENCOM, there was no pension industry, there were also no pension fund operators either custodians or administrators neither was there any registered contributor. The old scheme was terminated in June when the law first came into being and if there was any delay in remitting the contribution, the employees would suffer. Therefore, it was immediately decided to deduct the contribution at source by the Budget Office. In other words, for the core personnel costs of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the Budget Office would deduct what is specified from the personnel cost and also add the employer’s contribution, and they opened an escrow account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) called the pension contribution account where that money was being kept. It was not until December 2004, that the board of the National PENCOM was constituted. It was not also until February, 2006 that PFAs were licensed, and as soon as they were licensed they started registering employees of the Federal Government and the private sector. The registration could not start until the middle of 2006. What was your role? As the regulator and supervisor, the government asked us to assist it ensure that the money kept with the CBN is transferred into the retirement savings account of the employees, after confirming that the employee to be credited must be a bona fide employee of the Federal Government. That was the role we were given. The money is not kept in PENCOM neither does PENCOM spend the money. In fact, it is kept away from PENCOM. What we did was to ask the MDAs to give us their nominal rolls with specific details. That took us a long time, some responded, some did not. We used the office of the Head of Service to demand for the nominal rolls of the MDAs within two weeks. Some MDAs have not submitted their nominal rolls since 2006. We also asked employees to give us details; that also became an issue. We now went back to design a different format entirely that captures their salaries as well as their nominal roll in a very simplified way. Of about 470 less than 400 have submitted their nominal rolls. Of course, the balance includes those who have submitted with incorrect information in their nominal roll. The commission as a responsible organisation cannot transfer money
• Ahmad into an account of an individual we cannot vouch for because anybody can open an account and say he is a staff of the Ministry of Defence. We have tried all we could like sensitisation and seminars with MDAs and
meetings with pension desk officers but, maybe because retirement for most people is not something that is immediate, therefore, they don’t look at it as an issue. Those that are serious made sure they got all the
The commission did not approve the selection of PFAs by private sector employers and we are not aware that private sector employers are shortlisting. I will clearly implore and inform employees either through our various interactions with unions and other agencies that an employee has the right to choose his/her PFA
necessary documents. As of today, we have over 700,000 employees’ accounts that are being credited regularly and they have been paid up till September. So those that have submitted correct information have been paid. In addition, they are required to submit their nominal rolls twice a year because during that period an individual may have been promoted. Some are doing it; others are not. Sometime, with the support of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), we are going to hold a workshop with them. Maybe we can get more MDAs • Continued on page 51
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
‘It’s illegal to pick PFAs for workers’ • Continued from page 50
to do that. Substantial number of MDAs have complied. A few that are yet to for whatever reasons. So it is not true that this money is being kept by PENCOM and PENCOM is using the money. But doesn’t PENCOM act as a collecting agent on behalf of the government? Not at all! We don’t collect pensions because this money is appropriated by the Budget Office and cash backed by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and paid into a CBN account. All we do is that if the MDAs submit their records we review and say yes we agree the computation is correct and CBN transfers the amount to the RSA accounts. That is all we do. Already of the MDAs, 34 fall under IPPIS which is the integrated personnel payroll system. The deduction is not being done at source, they are being paid directly when the Federal Government computerises the payroll of other agencies, that central deduction will continue and PENCOM will not be involved in that responsibility. In fact, IPPIS was started in 2007 and if it had been completed, we probably won’t be talking about this now because all MDAs would have had computerised payrolls, therefore, deductions will be like in the tax system and pensions would be paid directly. But because many of them are not computerised, it is not possible for the Budget Office to stop the deduction at source. This is a temporary responsibility, which we believe will sooner than later be history. There is the national embarrassment of pensioners dying every time they go for verification. What is PENCOM doing to alleviate their suffering? In conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office we undertook an exercise in 2006, which was concluded in 2007. The data was ready for the police pension, civilian pension, military pension, customs and immigration pension, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), State Security Service, about six pension services. The idea then was that with that verification we would never have any exercise to conduct again. We would have computerised the system. Along the way the Budget Office and the National Pension Commission were frustrated. The data was never used by any pension department, they went ahead and on annual basis they have been conducting verification. Of course, they get money because it is being appropriated for them. That’s basically the point, it is quite embarrassing particularly with the civilian pension department. Except for the current Head of Service we have engaged previous Heads of Service telling them these are independent pension departments, they are supposed to be supervised by the National Pension Commission. We set up a technical committee and we were having meetings and all of a sudden they stopped coming to our meetings and they stopped sending returns to us. We did a comprehensive review of all the steps that we needed to take along the line, all these were frustrated. We are hoping and praying that we will raise the issue with the Federal Ministry of Finance to streamline the process; perhaps we will have sanity in the pension departments. It is embarrassing not only to the commission but to all Nigerians. Why did PENCOM sanction the shortlisting of PFAs by some state governments and private companies? The commission did not approve the selection of PFAs by private sector employers and we are not aware that private sector employers are shortlisting. I will clearly implore and inform employees either through our various interactions with unions and other agencies that an employee has the right to choose his/her PFA. However, with the states it is slightly different. As you are aware, states are allowed to enact their own laws for the contributory pension scheme. What we did for the states that have already enacted
their own laws was to advise them on the process and give them model laws. We could not compel them to adopt a particular structure and because of that some of them concluded that they can select PFAs. We approached some of them, and told them that was not possible but the agreement was that yes they have the power to make such laws but over time when the system stabilises they should allow their workers to select their own PFAs. For the states that is the main reason but for the private sector there is no reason whatsoever. Anybody that does that is illegal and we will take action against such company. Some weeks back there was a press statement from the South African High Commission expressing displeasure that PENCOM may be disobeying court orders and that a South African national was relieved of his duties on the board of the company. Can you tell us your side of the story? This is a case that is in court and I would like to reserve my comments. Talking about the South African High Commission, the High Commissioner was here two Mondays ago seeking information about what happened and we took time to explain every detail to him. These are the steps we took as an institution. We tried to use moral suasion to resolve issues among shareholders. How can you use moral suasion to resolve certain infractions without imposing sanctions. He was shocked with the information we gave him which was different from what he was told. We also told him that as a responsible institution we would not persecute anybody let alone a foreigner; we have no reason to do that and anybody who knows National Pension Commission knows that we have consistently adopted a very consultative position. Every regulation that was issued in the pension industry was collectively issued by all the stakeholders. We even put it on our website so that wherever you are in the world you can make contributions about what we intend to do. Our examination process is also consultative. We approach you, review your operations and tell you that this is what we have found out and what do you want to do about it and we get a commitment from you and note what you have agreed to do and do follow up so that whatever we do we take people into consideration. You can ask any of our operators and without sounding immodest they will tell you that is the process we follow. Therefore, no PFA can be an exception, incidentally the PFA we are talking about is not even among the big ones, so we can’t say that someone wants to bring them down for whatever reason. In any case, we realised that some people are just trying to be mischievous because this issue had reached a particular level and the next option is to castigate and put people in bad light. We have a responsibility to the pension industry, we have a responsibility to the 4.8 million people employed that have registered and those who have contributed N2.4 trillion pension assets to make sure that whatever we are going to do we must ensure that we
• Ahmad have fit and proper persons that will manage the pension industry. It is a very challenging issue when we are talking of fit and proper persons because it is a continuous process. Somebody may be fit and proper today but in the process he may change. For that reason, we have to consistently monitor individuals to ensure that they remain who they are and ensure that we don’t abuse that trust. That is the challenge not just in the pension industry but in the entire financial services industry. How do we ensure consistently that the people we entrust with public funds remain faithful and operate strong corporate governance? This is the challenge. This is something as regulators that we will continue to pursue until we have a safe and sound industry. There is also the allegation that the interim management committee constituted to manage (First Guarantee Pension Limited) withdrew N164 million just a few days after assuming office and they were unable to pay the September salary of the workers. Is PENCOM aware of this? I am not a lawyer so I need to be extremely careful how I answer these questions. For the payment of salaries please just ask any of them whether their salaries have been paid or not. On the issue of withdrawal this is one of the smallest PFAs, we are talking about the company’s assets, not
‘How do we ensure consistently that the people we entrust with public funds remain faithful and operate strong corporate governance? This is the challenge. This is something as regulators that we will continue to pursue until we have a safe and sound industry’
pension assets. It is a small amount by any indication and the people that are managing the company where will they take the money to? It is not true that the money has been diverted; go to the interim management committee and ask for the audited account and see the size of the PFA, that will give you an idea. The chairman of the interim management committee is the vice chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu. I can vouch for this gentleman any time any day, there is no way this money will go anywhere. Even before this incident, on a daily basis they have been put under close supervision. Every transaction is reported to the commission, there is no reason to steal their money and basically if we have not stolen N2.4 trillion what will we do with a small PFAs shareholders fund? The case is before the court and we will pursue that. We have not taken anybody to court rather we were taken to court and since we are in court we will go and defend ourselves, it’s as simple as that. PENCOM is said to be spending about N500 million annually to upgrade its information technology (IT) facility. Why is it difficult for contributors and operators to transfer contributions from one operator to the other as it operates in the banking sector? It is not true that we spend N500 million on IT upgrade. As a commission, we publish our accounts as required by law. Talking about the transfer window, it is the collective responsibility of the industry and there are steps to be taken to ensure that this window remains open. First and foremost we must have a comprehensive and clean data, this is the process we have been going through with the PFAs, they went out and registered, and one way or another there were mix ups in the names, you need to go and clean that up or perhaps the finger prints were not properly captured. All these would need to be tidied up one way or another for us to be in a position to say that we have a comprehensive data base and to ensure that individuals are who they really are as captured in the data base before you can transfer their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one PFA to another, it is a process we are still working on.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 4-11-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES
Investors raise stakes on bonds as equities fluctuate
NVESTORS upped stakes on sovereign bonds last week as concerns over the stability of the equity market and attractive yield in the fixed-income market skewed assets allocation in favour of low-risk bonds. Turnover at the Over-the Counter (OTC) bond market, the secondary market for trading of bonds issued by Federal Government; otherwise known as sovereign bonds, rose by 70.4 per cent last week with investors staking N165.80 billion on 202 million bond units in 1,658 deals. Turnover on the OTC had in the previous week stood at N97.30 billion for 117.35 million units in 650 deals. The upswing in bond investments came on the heels of continuing fluctuation at the equities market. In spite of mostly impressive corporate earnings reports, equities indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were generally on the downtrend. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark value index that measures changes in prices of all quoted companies and which also doubles as Nigeriaâ€™s stock market country index, dropped by 1.8 per cent last week to 20,532.41 per cent. This indicated a year-to-date negative return of 17.11 per cent. With the exception of the insurance sector index, all other tracked groups at the NSE closed on the downside indicating the widespread bearishness that had characterised trading in the early days of the week. The NSE-30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies, depreciated by 1.8 per cent to 914.99 point. Both the ASI and NSE-30 Indices had in the pre-
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
vious week appreciated by 3.2 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively. The NSE Food and Beverages Index also declined by 2.3 per cent to close at 618.77 points. The NSE Banking Index lost 1.65 per cent to close at 296.06 points while the NSE Oil and Gas Index depreciated 3.1 per cent to close at 237.74 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 1.1 per cent to close at 151.93 points. With 37 decliners to 25 advancers, the downtrend at the NSE was driven both by the larger number of losers as well as the weights of the declining stocks. Dangote Cement Plc, stock marketâ€™s most capitalised company, led the decliners with a loss of N4 to close at N103.00 per share. Lafarge WAPCO Cement Plc trailed with a loss of N3.50 to close at N38.50 per share while Oando dropped by N3.30 to close at N25.60 per share. Market analysts said high rates in the fixed-income market have made the equity market relatively unattractive, although impressive earnings continued to be strong pulls for valueminded investors. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC), Mr Bismarck Rewane pointed out that in spite of the increase in average dividend yield from 2.93 per cent to 3.73 per cent, current Treasury-bill rates of 15.3 per cent and FGN bonds of 16 per cent have withered the attraction of the equity market.
Analysts were however, unanimous on the medium to long-term values at the stock market, citing corporate earnings reports and expected stability in the period ahead. On the positive side, Guinness Nigeria led the bullish stocks with a gain of N8 to close at N210 per share. UAC of Nigeria added N2 to close at N31 while NCR Nigeria chalked up N1.48 to close at N8.45 per share. Further analysis of the securities market showed that the 7th FGN Bond July 2030 Series 3 with coupon of 10 per cent remained the most active bond on the OTC bond market recording a turnover of 75.7 million units valued at N57.81 billion in 677 deals. This was followed by the 7th FGN BOND 2013 Series 1 with a turnover of 41.145 million units valued at N37.9 billion in 332 deals. The trading basket however, remained unchanged with 13 out of 27 listed FGN bonds on the activity chart, the same as in the previous week. At the equity market, turnover stood at 1.31 billion shares worth N12 billion in 17,863 deals as against a total of 8.5 billion shares valued at N24.5 billion exchanged in 19,706 deals in the previous week. However, it should be noted that turnover two weeks ago was driven by cross deals due to divestiture of a bank from its subsidiary. The banking subsector returned to the top of activity chart with a turnover of 929.9 billion shares worth N8.34 billion in 9,436 deals. The insurance subsector was second with a turnover of 178.94 million shares valued at N117.71 million traded in 1,202 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 4-11-11
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
MONEY LINK e-payment crucial to sustainable economic growth, says CBN
By Collins Nweze
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that adoption and full implementation of electronic payment schemes will attract huge benefits to the banks, customers and the economy. CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo said the policy will drop banks’ cost of operations substantially, lead to cheaper loans for the customers and stronger economy for the nation. Speaking during the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) 45th Annual Bankers’ Dinner held in Lagos at the weekend, Lemo said a sustainable economic growth requires a well functioning, efficient payment system. According to him,
such system will also engender stability of the domestic currency, financial markets and reduce high operational costs for institutions. He said the CBN has instituted a payment system Vision 2020 that takes special consideration on the infrastructure, initiatives and other apparatus that will ease means of payment in the country. According to him, the apex bank will going forward, focus on ways of strengthening institutional framework, and pay more attention to financial inclusion to see more people go into virtual accounts both in urban towns and rural areas. In terms of infrastructure, the
CBN has has appointed four manufacturers for the provision of Pointof-Sale (PoS) terminals for the Nigerian market. PAX Technology, Bitel, Ingenico and Verifone the four firms that made the list were selected after a thorough process by a committee comprising of key stakeholders in the payments system value chain. He reaffirmed the commitment of banks with support from the CBN, to deploy over 40,000 PoS terminals in Lagos by the end of December, to enable the process start on January 1, 2012. It said that the deployment is expected to create an enabling environment for the take-off of the new cash policy in Lagos state. He said unless the move by the
apex bank to reduce the dominance of cash in the system is embraced, the cost of managing cash in the Nigerian economy may increase to N192 billion by 2012. According to him, the cost of managing cash by the apex bank and commercials banks in the country stood at N114.5 billion as at 2009. He insisted that the cost of cash to Nigeria’s financial system was high and increasing. “The target is getting the cost reduced by 30 per cent in three years; through enforcement of fourpronged initiatives namely reduction in cash management cost, enhanced electronic payment system, Information Technology and centralised back-office systems,” he said. The CBN instituted a policy limiting daily cash withdrawal and lodgments in a bank to N150,000 by individuals and N1 million by a
BPP to recommend prosecution of errant contractors W ORRIED over the spate of failed contracts execution in Nigeria , the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement( BPP), Engineer Emeka Ezeh has disclosed that the Bureau will recommend for prosecution contractors who bid for government contracts with fake documents to scale through the procurement process. Ezeh explained that such criminal practice by desperate bidders will not be tolerated as the bureau has secured the understanding of law enforcement agencies to use the full weight of the law to deal with such contractors who deny qualified Nigerians the opportunity to secure contracts that will add value to the economy and provide jobs for Nigeria through its execution. The BPP boss, who spoke in Lagos to reporters after a meeting with the British- Nigerian Chamber of Commerce , explained that the bureau will use every available instrument at its disposal to prosecution such contractors.
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
He explained that the bureau has reached an understanding with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), to ensure that such errant contractors are prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others who are poised to frustrate the efforts of the Bureau at ensuring that only competent and transparent contractors are awarded jobs. He explained that the BPP will continue to seek international collaboration on how to bring about a transparent contract procurement process, insisting projects are expensive in Nigeria due to lack of physical planning, with the contractors not carrying out the technical survey and feasibility, and other components that could affect human lives where such projects are located. Ezeh explained that it is for this reason that the Federal Government continue to insist that only
projects that have economic benefits for Nigerians in terms of creating jobs that will receive accelerated processing, even as he said the the Bureau continues to grapple with the evil of contractors making multiple entry for contract bids to shortchange the system. He explained such negative developments emerge when public officials collude with contract bidders to flout the rules governing the procurement process. He however called on the business community to support the BPP, to ensure that there is adequate sanctions for erring contractors, as all stakeholders suffer from the ills of failed procurement processes. Ezeh also gave reasons why the contract procurement processes in Nigeria is flawed, because some indigenous contractors, who bid for jobs either do not have the requisite technical experience to handle the jobs, or do not have the required funds to execute a globally acceptable jobs, even as he said mobilisation of funds to contractors is not competitive.
HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states have said implementation of the commission’s Macroeconomic Convergence geared towards single monetary plan will assist in development of the region. A statement from ECOWAS Commission, said series of workshops had been held in Lomé, Lagos and Abidjan to examine and validate the union’s database to that effect. The Information Officer in the Commission, Uwem Thompson, said in a statement that the methods of data retrieval from each ECOWAS member state were also discussed in the workshop. “Member states, experts and other regional institutions have called on the commission to accelerate the process for the operationalisation of the
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 4-11-11 SYMBOL NCR IKEJAHOTEL CUSTODYINS AIICO WEMABANK UAC-PROP STERLNBANK NASCON FIRSTBANK ABCTRANS
O/PRICE 8.05 2.27 2.78 0.51 0.58 11.95 1.26 4.28 10.00 0.51
C/PRICE 8.45 2.38 2.91 0.53 0.60 12.35 1.30 4.40 10.25 0.52
CHANGE 0.40 0.11 0.13 0.02 0.02 0.40 0.04 0.12 0.25 0.01
LOSER AS AT 4-11-11 SYMBOL CONTINSURE JOHNHOLT MULTITREX CILEASING JAPAULOIL CAP TRANSCORP ETERNAOIL GTASSURE DANGSUGAR
O/PRICE 1.00 6.19 1.47 0.89 0.75 16.56 0.61 4.34 1.40 5.15
C/PRICE 0.95 5.89 1.40 0.85 0.72 15.95 0.59 4.20 1.36 5.02
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
ECOWAS Macroeconomic Convergence,’’ the statement said. It said further that the commission reiterated its commitment to the operation of the database to facilitate macroeconomic activities of the member states. The ECOMAC database is expected to be launched in July. The database will focus on generalities and country-specific guides which were developed to address challenges in each of the member states. The general and country-specific guides will be prepared in the three ECOWAS official languages comprising English, French and Portuguese. The ECOWAS member states are the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
OBB Rate Call Rate
companies, effective June 1, 2012. But Lemo explained that the industry proposal was not to place limit on cash transactions, but ensure customers that make high volume cash transactions bear the associated cost, if they chose to ignore electronic payment channels.
ECOWAS single monetary plan to assist devt
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)
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
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
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%
9.17 1.00 118.85 100.28 0.77 1.03 0.89 1,639.36 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,251.90 193.00
9.08 1.00 118.69 99.71 0.74 1.03 0.88 1,634.12 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED
CHANGE 0.05 0.30 0.37 0.04 0.03 0.61 0.02 0.14 0.04 0.13
• 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%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2011
07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CAPITAL MARKET Banking claims 71% of NSE’s activities
ANKING sector accounted for 71 per cent of the total volume of transaction that exchanged hands at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week. This indicates a dip of 54 per cent against the previous figures. Traders exchanged 0.80 billion units’ worth N7.12 billion in 7,815 deals as against 1.13 billion units valued at N7.40 billion in 8,346 deals a fortnight ago. This depicts that the banking stocks were passively traded at the Exchange compared to 54 per cent the penultimate week. Returns on banking volume rose by 17 per cent and the value of money spent on banking stocks stood at 73.75 per cent. While Insurance sector occupied the first runner up with 163.84 million units worth N 103.09 million in 1,011 deals. On average evaluation, the Insurance sub-sector claimed approximately 15 per cent of the total activity and 1.06 per cent of the total funds invested at the Exchange during the week under review. Transactional volume shows that the Conglomerates sub-sector’s performance improved by 1.79 per cent last week. The total weekly value of stocks in this sub-sector stood at N415.21 million. Activities at the Exchange experienced bearish return last week as market index namely the All Share Index (ALSI) fell by 0.41 per cent as against the previous week’s performance of 1.72 per cent increase; the slight decrease was as a result of the recent restructuring in the stock market. The bullish return in our analysis is temporary as prices of stocks still dwindled across stocks during the week. Overall market performance instruments i.e. the Market Capitalisation, All share Index and the braIndex® fell by 0.15 per cent, 0.41 per cent and 0.67 per cent respectively. Shares of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, and First Bank of Nigeria Plc were the toast of investors as they were actively traded in terms of volume and total investment. The market capitalisation, which measures the share price movement fell from N6.52 trillion a fortnight ago to N 6.51 trillion last week; the All Share Index also decreased to 20,521.31 from 20,607.37 representing a 0.41 per cent decline on weekly assessment. Apparently, the braIndex® also rose by 0.67 per cent. All the three market indicators slightly dropped last week showing that overall activities in terms of volume and fund invested also fell. The direction in returns on both benchmarks was less than one per cent. On a year-to-date basis, both benchmarks - the NSE All-Share Index and the braIndex® - showed losses of 5.58 per cent and 5.87 per cent. Stock Market Sectoral Performance Investors in the stocks of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc exchanged 190.26 million units in 1941 deals worth N 2.77 billion. The average number of deals remained well over 388 deals per day during the week. Zenith Bank Plc was second with 168.39 million shares worth N 2.15 billion. In the Insurance sub-sector, Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc led with 60.01 million shares worth N30.01 million. The sectoral volume amounted to almost 163.84 million units and constituted over 15 per cent of the sector’s trading volume. Companies Appraisal Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active company in the Banking subsector with 190.26 million units, while Zenith Bank was the first runner up in the sector. Zenith Bank
Table 1: A Five-Day Moving Average Data of the Market Indices Change(%)
Market Capitalisation (%)
Average Weekly Depth
Year To Date (YTD)
Month To Date (MTD) Week To Date(WTD)
Market Cap(trillion Naira)
As of closing on November 03, 2011
Source: NSE & bra Limited Table 2: Stock Market Summary Statistics for the week ending Nov. 03, 2011. Period Market Capitalisation (Trillion) 27/10/2011 6.52 28/10/2011 6.61 31/10/2011 6.62 01/11/2011 6.61 02/11/2011 6.50 03/11/2011 6.51 Source: NSE & Bra Limited
All-Share Index (Base Points) 20,607.37 20,903.16 20,934.96 20,837.58 20,502.13 20,521.31
braIndex® (Base Points) 13.40 13.54 13.56 13.44 13.43 13.49
Table 3: Statistics on Weekly Sectoral Contribution Sectors Banking Hotel and Restaurants Food, Beverages and Tobacco Conglomerates Insurance Source: bra Limited
% of Total Trading Net Worth 73.74% 0.75% 4.23% 4.29% 1.06%
Trading Net Worth(in Naira Millions ) 7,125.03 72.51 409.43 415.21 103.09
Figure 1a: The All Share Index and braIndex® Performance at a Glance
Source: BRA Computation
Source: BRA Computation
closed the week with N2.15 billion in 976 deals. Among the most active companies in the Insurance subsector were Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, Continental ReIsurance Plc, Niger Insurance Plc, Guinea Insurance Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc and Unity Capital Insurance Plc. In the Insurance Industry, Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc claimed to be the most active company in the sector. In the Conglomerates Industry, share of the industry were actively traded in terms of the market
volume. Transnational Corporation Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and PZ Cussons Plc were some of the most active stocks in the sub-sector. Last week, shareholders of PZ Cussons Plc, NCR Plc, PRESCO Plc, Zenith Bank and Ecobank Transnational Plc saw the value of their investments earning profit less than five per cent while investors in Oando Plc, Chellarams Plc, Stanbic IBTC Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc made less than 5 per cent loss on a daily basis.
Points to note: The weekly stock market analysis reports the current position of the outlook of the stock of the companies listed on the Exchange and the aggregate market. The NSE closed the 44th trading week on a bearish note on weekly assessment. Historical analysis of trading volume shows that in the new week, the Banking, Insurance and Conglomerates stocks are likely to continue to be the toast of investors. Disclaimer This report has been prepared for
information purposes only and for private use. Whilst reasonable care had been taken in its production, bra Limited does not guarantee the correctness of its contents nor does the company accept liability for any loss arising from a reliance on its contents. Kindly note that our suggested recommendations and other tactical actions are based on bra Limited best estimates which are guided by generally available information and our Proprietary Tools. This is not an invitation or a solicitation to deal in any stocks and we do not guarantee the future outcome of such recommendation.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CAPITAL MARKET Bond and Money Market Review
OND prices dwindled throughout last week, which raised concentric reactions among investors. Yield of most short-term instruments increased slightly. The turnaround of the bearish returns may result in a stable market performance in the coming week. Stock market index increased by 0.43 per cent and capitalisation rose by 0.42 per cent to stand at N1.73 trillion up from N1.72 trillion recorded penultimate week. The market declined by 0.05 per cent in value on daily evaluation. Fortnight ago, the market depreciated by 0.71 per cent showing the magnitude of the bearish trading experienced penultimate week. The weekly increase in performance was as a result of slight increase in prices of all short and long term instruments, relative to what was experienced penultimate week. The FGN bond Index began the week at 1,421.42 and closed at 1,427.42 points, rising by 6 basis points in support of an increase of 385 basis points a fortnight ago. It ended the week at 1,427.42 points. Average index stayed at 1,427.18 points, compared to 1,404.97 points the previous week. The 30-day and 60-day and 90-day indices fell by 0.26 per cent, 0.33 per cent and 0.29 per cent to claim 17.65 per cent, 17.95 per cent and 18.25 per cent respectively. The volume of market transaction increased from N1.72 trillion to N1.73 trillion, while the index on the other side close dat 1,427.42 points, as it started the week with 1,421.42 points. Market capitalisation closed with N 1.73 trillion to end last week transaction as against N 1.72 trillion observed penultimate week. The daily changes in the index decreased slightly . The index increased slightly due to rise in price of some short and long term instruments for foreign exchange financing. These price changes in cited instruments were the major drivers of the market performance a fortnight ago. Among the 15 traded bonds, almost all of the bonds hadtheir price decline while some had their price remain unchanged throughout the last week trading activities. Surprisingly, the prices of short-term instruments witnessed depreciation throughout the trading week. The top price losers was the 20-year bond, 15.00 per cent FGN Nov 2028, which appreciated by N4.07 to close at 105.51. However, the 5-year bond, 10.50 per cent FGN Mar 2018 also declined by N2.11 to end the week at 91.94. Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold foreign exchange worth $180 million to authorised dealers at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) window as against $345.12 million a fortnight ago. The dealers had demanded $262.95 million before the auction while the actual amount offered stood at $180 million. At the foreign exchange market, the naira depreciates by 0.41 per cent as the lowest bid rate stood at N150.56. Figure 23 illustrates the year-todate change in the bra FGN bond Index. The bra FGN bond index is a market value weighted index and is designed to measure the performance of the Nigerian investment-grade fixed income market. Although the index stabilised during most periods of January and February as shown, it recorded a sharp drop in March as investor outlook turned negative in the bond market in anticipation of elections. The FGN index recorded its biggest decline (108 points) in March losing roughly seven per cent of its value. We observe the stabilisation of the declining trend in April and a gradual recovery in May and June.
Capitalisation hits N1.73tr Table 4: Key Statistics of Market’s Stock Performance as of Nov. 03, 2011 S/N
Share Price Gain (‘N)
% of Shares’ Gain by Investors
TOP FIVE GAINERS BY PRICE 01
PZ Cussons Plc
Zenith Bank Plc
Ecobank Transnational Plc
Eternal Oil and Gas Plc
Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc
Stanbic IBTC Plc
TOP FIVE LOSERS BY PRICE 01
Source: NSE and bra Limited Indicator Turnover Value Deals FGN Bond Index Market Capitalization Index Weekly Returns (%) Index Year-to-Date Returns (%) 1-Month Returns (%) 3-Month Returns (%) 12-Month Returns (%)
CurrentWeek 197.8 million N160.43 billion 1,301 1,427.42 N1.73 trillion 2.81 5.39 0.62 4.31 3.14
PreviousWeek 192.8 million N157.84 billion 1,296 1,421.42 N1.62 trillion 2.79 5.35 0.53 4.20 3.07
% Change 2.59 1.64 0.43 0.42 0.02 0.04 0.09 0.11 0.07
Source: BRA Figure 1: FGN Bond Index
Figure 2: Nigerian T-bill Primary Market Auctions
Primary Market Auction
Source: Financial Markets Dealers Association The month of July followed this recovery trend with index values reaching their March levels. The index stabilised in August closing at 1512 points on Aug 26 compared with 1517 points on July 30. Besides the sharp drop witnessed in August 23, the index sustained rise, which peaked at 1525.26 points on September 22 to end the month low at 1497.69 points. Noticeably, the index recorded a consistent decline in the month of October but later closed higher at 1434.34 points with a negative growth of 4.23 per cent over the preceding month’s value.
The over-the-counter bond market notched up by 2.59 per cent last week, yielding N160.43 billion with a turnover of 197.8 million units in 1,301 deals. The amount compared favourably with the N157.84 billion invested on 192.8 million units in 1,296 deals a fortnight ago. The activity was boosted by the 20-year bond due in July 2030 with 10.0 per cent coupon rate. It traded 41.95 million units valued at N31.30 billion in 316 deals. This was followed by the three-year bond, 5.5 per cent FGN Feb 2013, which traded 33.55 million units valued at N30.04 billion in 281 deals. Sixteen of the available 34 FGN bonds
were traded during the week, compared with 12 the previous week. In the NTB Primary Market, there were three new issues of NTBs with 364, 182 and 91 days maturities with annual true yields of 19.35, 17.39 and 15.58 respectively. These yields are significantly above the previous month’s treasury bill auction with true yields of 12.67 for 364 days issue, 11.47 yields on the 182 days issue and 10.50 on the 91 days issue. In terms of FGN bonds, there was no issue at all in the month of October. More explicitly, the volume of NTB primary auctions issued in October declined by eight per cent
from the total auction in November. However, in terms of FGN bonds, there were no issue at all in the month of October. The market only traded on existing instrument. Nigerian Yield Curves Overall we observe an increase in NITTY yields on short term treasuries had been on the rise since September. This suggests that investors are relatively selling their stake to have adequate liquidity to edge the liquidity squeeze brought about by the recent monetary tightening. Hence, investors currently prefer other alternatives to both short-term instruments.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Southeast leaders meet in Enugu
ONE- day meeting of Southeast governors and political leaders ended in Enugu yesterday, without a communique. Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State said the issues they discussed bordered on Ndgbo’s interest. Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha said the meeting was successful, adding that they would synegise
Christian pilgrims urged to P pray for Nigeria
From Chris Oji, Enugu
to take Southeast to a greater height. Sullivan Chime of Enugu and Martin Elechi of Ebonyi attended the meeting. Others present are Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Power, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, among others. Governors Theodore Orji
(Abia) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) were absent at the meeting.
‘Fed Govt must not use PPP for Niger Bridge’
EMBERS of the National Assembly from Anambra State at the weekend opposed the construction of the second Niger Bridge through Public Private Partnership (PPP). They said such projects were done by the Federal Government in other parts of the country. Their leader, Uche Ekwunife, spoke during the flag off of Afam Ogene Unity Cup at Atani, Ogbaru Local Government. Ekwunife said they would
From Adimike George, Onitsha
resist any plan to execute the project under PPP. The lawmaker, who represents Dunukofia/ Anaocha/ Njikoka Federal constituency, said the execution of the second Niger Bridge under PPP would delay the construction of the bridge. “The second Niger Bridge was one of the promises Mr. President made to the Southeast during his electioneering campaign. I can tell you that he is keeping to the promise,
Abia partners Nigerian Shippers Council
BIA State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to partner Nigerian Shippers Council to ensure the speedy realisation of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Isiala Ngwa North Local Government. Deputy Governor Sir Emeka Ananaba spoke during the Nigerian Shippers Councl’s visit to the state.The delegation was led by the Executive Secretary of the Council, Capt. Adamu Biu. The deputy governor said the state has lost huge revenue and employment opportunities because of the delay in the take-off of the Isiala Ngwa dry port, saying economic activities are now being transferred to other dry ports in the country. He hoped that the visit would identify and solve the problems militating against the speedy realization of the project which was first mooted about a decade ago. Ananaba urged the Federal Government, Nigeria Shippers Council, contractors and concessionaires to work towards the actualisation of the project. The deputy governor hailed the Federal Government and its agencies for choosing Abia for the project. Leader of the delegation and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council Adamu Biu said they were in the state to access the level of work at the Isiala Ngwa
Church celebrates anniversary WORLD New Revival Ministries International will celebrate its 13th anniversary on November 9 at 5 Pipeline Road, Orilowo Ejigbo, Lagos. The theme of the anniversary is ‘imparting your generation’. Activities lined up for the anniversary include workshop, symposium, praise and worship.
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
ICD. Biu urged the state government to ensure the successful take-off of the project.
but some of us in the National Assembly from the Southeast are going to ensure that the second Niger Bridge is built by the Federal Government and not through PPP. “We object to that PPP, we are going to reject it, we are going to object to it with whatever it is going to take to reject it, and we will do it. Federal Government must come out to give us a second Niger Bridge. They did similar things in other zones and those projects were not done under PPP and that of the second Niger Bridge cannot be done by PPP. We are going to reject that,” she said. The donor of the cup and member representing Ogbaru said he was touched by the deplorable condition of sports in the country. Ogene said he organised the football competition to discover talented footballers from the area and foster unity among the people.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerian pilgrims to Israel to pray for peace and progress in the country. Jonathan spoke while flagging off the inaugural flight at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at the weekend. He commended the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) for the good organisation of the exercise. Information Minister Labaran Maku said the good performance of NCPC can be seen from the increasing number of pilgrims in recent years, from about 2,000 pilgrims to 30,000. He attributed this to increased advocacy and sensitisation carried out by the NCPC. The President further commended the Commission and the State Christian Piligrim Welfare Boards (CPWB) for achieving zero
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
abscondment in recent years. He also hailed the Niger State Government for the increased number of government sponsored pilgrims from the state. He described pilgrimage as a sacred duty for those who could afford it, adding: “As you go, pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria”. He also spoke on the need to have a direct flight from Nigeria to Israel and affirmed that the Federal Government would sign the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Israel to reduce the cost of flight and unnecessary delay. Executive Secretary of
NCPC John Kennedy Opara hailed Niger State as the first to send pilgrims for this year’s pilgrimage. He thanked the state government for making it possible. Okpara appealed to the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country. “We believe that all of you are fully prepared for this spiritual journey. “It is my prayer that the Lord Almighty will take you there safely and bring you back safely”, he said. The November 5 flag-off ceremony marked the beginning of this year’s Christian pilgrimage operations to Israel and Rome. The theme for this year’s Christian pilgrimage is “Pilgrimage As a Tool for National Transformation”.
Fed Govt demolishes airport terminal
HE transformation agenda of the Federal Government for the aviation sector received a boost at the weekend, as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday began the demolition of a section of the old domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA), Ikeja, Lagos. The demolition will pave the way for the redevelopment of the facility to multi- storey terminal billed for completion within three months. The construction of a section of the old domestic terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos was part of the N19 billion airport remodelling project embarked upon by Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Oduah Ogiemwonyi.
By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor
Speaking in an interactive session with reporters, the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr George Ureisi had said the remodeling of a section of the terminal was trimmed from N90 billion to about N19 billion. At the general aviation terminal of the Lagos Airport, the old departure hall had been pulled down, even as FAAN had evacuated a commercial bank and eatery operating at the terminal. Cargo operators were ordered to relocate their operations. According to an official of FAAN, who pleaded anonymity, the redevelopment of the facility will be carried out in three phases.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
NEWS Fed Govt hails Edo
HE Federal Government has hailed the Edo State Government for its efforts in combating environmental problems. Minister of the Environment Mrs. Hadija Ibrahim Mailafia gave the commendation at the weekend when she visited Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Benin. She said: “I want to seize this opportunity to thank you on behalf of Nigerians for the remarkable work you are doing in relation to the environment. “We note with a lot of interest, how clean the city is and we note your numerous contributions in terms of addressing erosion sites. “We also note that this is one of the commendable states because it has a Storm Water Master Plan.” Mrs. Mailafia said flood control needs a holistic approach, adding that this is what should be done at the federal level. “I am pleased to inform you that as the chairman of the National Committee on ecological problem that we are looking closely at your request. “With what I have seen on ground, I am more invigorated to really see that the Federal Government makes appreciable contribution to Edo State,” she added.
State builds underground drains
HE Edo State Government is building an underground drainage system to deflood the New Lagos road in Benin. Governor Adams Oshiomhole said this when he addressed some Catholic faithfuls at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital during a threeday pilgrimage with the relic of Blessed Michael Iwere Tansi. Oshiomhole said the hardship experienced by motorists whenever it rains on the Ugbowo axis of the New Lagos Road would soon be over. The governor said: “I appreciate that it was difficult getting across be-
cause of the challenge of flooding that we still face in several parts of Benin in spite of all the efforts we are making and in spite of all the investment we have made in flood control. “I saw the difficulties people went through passing through Tom Line and all the way to Adolo Junction. “Let me assure you that we have since awarded the contract to RCC. “As you would have seen, they are already working on both sides of the road which is intended to decongest the road and when they are done with the underground drain; I can assure you that by this time next year, yo u won’t experience any flooding in this area.”
How to stop corruption, by Alele-Williams, Clark
Flood takes over Makurdi
IRST woman Vice Chancellor Prof Grace Alele-Williams, renowned writer Prof John Pepper-Clark and former Niger Development Commission (NDDC) Executive Director Power Aginighan have called for an assessment process for public office holders during and after their tenures. The trio spoke in Lagos at the weekend during the BiAnnual Conference/Distinguished Award Conferment on Aginighan by the National Association of Ijaw Female Students (NAIFS). They said this is the only way to stop corruption. Profs Alele-Williams and Clark, who were the mother and father of the day, described the celebration of public office holders while in office as an aberration that breeds corruption. Aginighan said he was offering himself to the public for scrutiny and assessment, even as he challenged others to follow suit. The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) said: “Transparency and accountability are two principal components of public service all over the world and when these cardinal elements are missing, society suffers stagnation. “There is a general mistrust about public office holders in Nigeria because of the
•Mrs. Alele Williams with Ben Murray Bruce. With them is the Co-ordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Joseph Evah...yesterday PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
scandalous and unedifying antecedents of many individuals who often face corruption charges after leaving office. “These trends seem to be undermining the credibility of the few exemplary individuals, who have maintained sufficient moral recti-
tude in discharging their public responsibilities.” Clark said sycophants have taken over the polity as they usually find allies in public office holders who take delight in receiving awards, using public funds. “The general public has a role to play in ensuring that
corruption is eradicated in the society; they should not just celebrate people because they are in public office; it is their right to assess public office holders when they are in office and not to run after them with awards they do not deserve in the first place.”
Banigo makes case for Sylva •’Let him run for second term’
HE new King of Okpoama Kingdom in Bayelsa State, Ebitimi Banigo, has appealed to politicians to allow Governor Timipre Sylva run for a second term. Okpoama is Sylva’s birth place. This, the monarch said, would enable him complete his numerous laudable plans for the progress of the state. Banigo, a former banker, noted that Sylva has followed the footsteps of his successor, the then Governor Goodluck Jonathan, to lay a solid foundation for the accelerated development of Bayelsa State, and therefore should be
From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
allowed to finish his assignment. “Our gratitude also goes to the governor. He has continued with the good works of President Goodluck Jonathan and has laid the foundation for the accelerated development of the state. “There is no doubt in every body’s mind that he must complete his job, nobody can get away with it, he must finish his work and complete all those plans he has for the benefit and glory of Bayelsa State.”
Akpabio inaugurates 147 projects
KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has assured the people that he is committed to the total transformation of the state. The governor’s position was revealed during the ongoing inauguration of over 700 projects executed by his administration through the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
The inauguration, which has so far covered nine-local governments, witnessed the opening of 147 projects by the governor. Nine projects were inaugurated for the people of Esit Eket Local Government. The projects are an open stall in Urua Afaha Etebi; one open stall in Urua Nka Etebi; ward annex and a walkway in Polyclinic Uquo, threebedroom semi detached
bungalow in Modern High School Ekpene Obo; Theatre block and walkway in Polyclinic, a six-classroom block in Government School Ikpa, doctors quarters and a new two bedroom semi detached bungalow staff quarters also at the Polyclinic in Uquo. The Chairman of Esit Eket, Friday Nelson Inwang, thanked the governor for his gestures to the people.
Edo SSG predicts victory for ACN
ECRETARY to the Edo State Government Dr. Simon Imuekhemen has predicted victory for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in next year’s governorship election. Imuekhemen said the election would be based on
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
performance and issues and not persons or tribe. The SSG spoke at the weekend when he was hosted to a reception by his kinsmen in Ikabigbo community of Estako West Local Government of Edo State.
Imuekhemen told the gathering that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has performed above 100 per cent to be elected for a second term. He urged the people to vote massively for the party to enable the governor complete on-going projects as well as embark on new ones.
NIPOST, Glo offices sealed off
DO State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed off the premises of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) and telecommunications giant Globacom over alleged failure to remit the Pay As You Earn Tax (PAYE). It was learnt that business activities has been paralysed for one week now since the revenue board sealed off the companies. Chairman of the Board Oseni Elamah said the com-
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
panies are indebted to the tune of N233million. He said Globacom owed N211million while NIPOST owed N12million. Sources said some NIPOST officials were arrested by policemen for operating behind the specialists’ hospital morgue when their office was under lock and key.
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Japanese emperor hospitalised
•Liberian mothers stage a peaceful demonstration to discourage violence during the run-off presidential elections
New coalition govt in Greece
REEK leaders at crisis talks in Athens have agreed to form a new coalition government, the president’s office says. Beleaguered Prime Minister George Papandreou has
agreed that he will not lead the coalition, the statement said. He and main opposition leader Antonis Samaras attended the talks, hosted by President Karolos Papoulias.
More talks will take place in the morning to decide who will lead the coalition. The announcement follows a week of political turmoil over Greece’s debt crisis.
Eight killed in Baghdad blasts
T least eight people have been killed by a series of blasts at a market in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, say reports. Three explosions went off in the commercial district of Shurja, as people were buying food for the major Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. At least 21 people were injured in the attack, police told the Associated Press news
agency. Overall violence in Iraq has declined since a peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks on civilians remain common. The latest explosions came despite the extra security measures put in place across Iraq for the Eid holiday. The bombs are believed to have been planted throughout the sprawling Shurja market, one of the oldest and best-
known markets in Iraq. “I can see fire and black smoke mounting and a large number of fire engines, ambulances and police patrols rushing to the market,” one witness told Reuters. Interior and defence ministry officials said parts of the historic market had been set on fire, the AFP news agency reports.
Defence minister for Saudi
AUDI Arabia has named a new defence minister after the death of Crown Prince Sultan, who had held the defence position for some 50 years. Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is 76, will take the defence post, state television al-Ekhbariya announced.
He is currently governor of Riyadh and is the half-brother of King Abdullah. Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz had already been named as crown prince and Prince Sutam bin Abdul Aziz will become Riyadh’s new governor. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s biggest arms
spenders, and Prince Salman is expected to continue building strong ties with Western allies. One former diplomat has described him as “intelligent, political, in touch with the conservative base, but also quite modern-minded,” Reuters news agency reported.
APAN’S Emperor Akihito has been admitted to hospital in Tokyo. The Emperor, who turns 78 next month, was suffering from a cold, fever and symptoms of bronchitis, the Imperial Household Agency said. An official said the emperor was taken to the University of Tokyo Hospital yesterday evening as a precaution because of the bronchitis. Crown Prince Naruhito will temporarily take over the emperor’s official duties. Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne after the death of his father Emperor Hirohito in 1989. Earlier this year, after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the main island
of Honshu, Emperor Akihito made a rare public televised address; the following month, he and Empress Michiko, 77, travelled to the disaster area. Emperor Akihito had surgery for prostate cancer in 2003 and suffered stress-related health issues in late 2008, including irregular pulse and stomach bleeding. The following year, the royal agency said he would cut back on official duties such as speeches and meeting foreign dignitaries. The palace official said the emperor developed a fever Thursday and had refrained from royal duties since then. As the titular head of state, he plays a largely ceremonial role, but is held in deep respect by many Japanese.
‘Don’t boycott Presidential run-off election’
ITH less than 48 hours to the Presidential run-off elections in Liberia, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday appealed to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and other Liberians not to boycott the election. The standard bearer of the CDC Winston Tubman had called for boycott of the run-off election, claiming that complaints of irregularities in the October 11 first round of the election were not addressed, especially after meeting with the ECOWAS Chairman, President Goodluck Jonathan, on the matter. But a statement yesterday by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, James Victor Gbeho, said the CDC statement is aimed at undermining the election and the democratic process so far gained by Liberians. The statement reads: “The Commission seize this occasion to launch a final appeal to the CDC, and indeed all Liberian stakeholders, not to miss this historic opportunity of consolidating democracy and peace in the country, and to actively participate in the November 8 poll. They are equally urged to refrain from all unconstitutional practices that may mar the concluding phase of the electoral process. “The Commission wishes once more to caution that political leaders and any individual or group of persons adjudged to be instigating their fellow citizens to violence will be held individually and collectively accountable for their actions.” On CDC statement, he said: “The ECOWAS Commission regards this statement as unfortunate, as it is intended to undermine the election and the democratic process that
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
Liberians are striving hard to consolidate. It also goes against the grain of the discussions that Ambassador Tubman held with the Chairman of the Authority. “In that meeting, the Chairman advised the CDC leadership against boycotting the remainder of the electoral process, and impressed upon them that it was too late in the day, and quite against the relevant ECOWAS Protocols, for the CDC to demand changes that would require a consensual constitutional process of amending relevant electoral laws. “The ECOWAS Commission deeply regrets the retrogressive tone of Tubman’s statement, which seeks to disrupt the concluding phase of the 2011 presidential election. “The Commission wishes, therefore, to reiterate that, for its part, provided the preparations and conduct of the second round of the presidential election are adjudged by the competent authorities and endorsed by credible observers to be in accordance with the electoral laws of Liberia, the Community will proceed to recognise the verdict of the Liberian people.” He also said the Head of ECOWAS 200-strong Election Observation Mission to Liberia, Prof Attahiru Jega, is already on ground in Monrovia for the run-off election. He said: “Final results released by Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC), showed that none of the 16 presidential candidates that contested the October 11 first round balloting got the constitutional 50 per cent plus one vote. “The run-off is between the two front runners, incumbent President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the United Party (UP) and Winston Tubman of the CDC.”
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
AC Milan set to swoop for Drogba
C Milan are ready to make a move for Chelsea’s Didier Drogba as soon as January according to a report in The Metro. Apparently Ac Milan want Drogba to replace Antonio Cassano who is out for the season after suffering a stroke recently against Roma, Milan see Drogba as the perfect replacement for Cassano and are ready to pay cash in January to land the 33 year old as opposed to waiting until the end of the season when the big man will be available on a free. Chelsea have refused to give Drogba the contract he is seeking, a two year extension and it is almost certain that Drogba will leave Stamford Bridge either in January or next Summer. If Drogba is not sold this winter then the likes of Bayern Munich, who have also been linked with Drogba, will enter
the fray, but as things stand today only AC Milan look prepared to make an offer this January, the rest will wait until he becomes available on a free next July.
Dortmund's Subotic undergoes surgery
ORUSSIA Dortmund defender Neven Subotic has undergone surgery on facial fractures he sustained in a Bundesliga match, the club said on Sunday. Dortmund said that Subotic had three plates inserted into the upper jaw and another into the eye socket during a twohour operation on Saturday night. Subotic, 22, is out for the rest of the year after sustaining the injury during Saturday's 5-1 victory against Wolfsburg when he was hit in the face in
an aerial duel by the elbow of Wolfsburg defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos. His absence is a bad blow for the Bundesliga champions Dortmund, who next face leaders Bayern Munich and arch-rivals Schalke in the league, as well as Arsenal and Olympique Marseille in the Champions League. Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp spoke of a "deeply tarnished" victory against Wolfsburg and is expected to replace Subotic with Felipe Santana in central defence.
Pellegrini satisfied despite stalemate at Real Betis
Guardiola: Cesc’s arrival has lifted team spirit B
ARCELONA boss Pep Guardiola admits the arrival of former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has lifted the spirit
inside the squad. Cesc has returned to Barca after playing with the likes of Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi as a junior.
"There's always been a good atmosphere and the players have always got on together fantastically." However, he confirmed that this year it's
even better: "There are people here who apart from getting on together, are very close friends. Their behaviour is excellent."
Ronaldo hails Ferguson's influence
EAL Madrid and former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has lavished praise on manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is celebrating 25 years in charge at Old Trafford, for the influence the Scot has had on his career. "Sir Alex has a special place in my life," Ronaldo told The Daily Mirror. "In fact, he was the main man. I was not famous, I was not a star. I arrived at Old Trafford as just another young talent. He was the one who
told me to do all the right things. He gave me the opportunity to play in one of the biggest clubs in the world. So he is one of the most important people in the world for me." The 26-year-old did not wish to make a judgement on whether he is better than Jose Mourinho, his current boss at the Bernabeu, insisting that both men are "special". Ronaldo arrived at United in 2003, as the Red Devils' first Portuguese signing, for a mere 12.25 million pounds. Six years later, the club sold him to Madrid for a world record 80 million pounds. "You can’t tell the difference [in terms of their ability],"
Ronaldo said of his two latest bosses. "They are -incomparable. They have different ideas, -different opinions. For me they are both the best in the world. I worked with Sir Alex for a few years and I know he deserves -everything that he has achieved in his career. He works so hard, he is clever, he has experience, he is a human guy. "Mourinho is similar, but he is younger. I have worked for a while with Mourinho now too so I’m entitled to say they are both very special. It’s not just Mourinho who’s special. They’re both -special! This is why I like them both so much."
ITH Real Betis having scored just once in the last six games and Málaga failing to find the target in their previous three away games, there was perhaps an air of inevitability that Saturday’s game between the sides at the Benito Villamarín would end in a 0-0 stalemate. Both teams had chances to have won the game, with José Salomón Rondón having the best of them on 55 minutes when he saw his header well saved by Casto in the Betis goal. However, Málaga boss Manuel Pellegrini thought his men had done enough to have taken all three points: “The first half was evenly balanced, with good spells for both teams, but in the second half
we had three or four clear-cut opportunities to settle the match but could not take them. We had one from Rondón, Santi Cazorla had one and also Joaquín, but we could not convert them. Still, I was satisfied with my team’s attitude and in the difference in football we played with respect to other games,” added the Chilean. For his part Betis boss Pepe Mel was content with the point which broke a run of six straight defeats, saying: “In the last seven games we have only been inferior in one,” referring to the 4-1 defeat at Real Madrid. “I wouldn’t like to say if the draw was a fair result or not but what it proves is that this team has spirit.”
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
RIPPLES FED GOVT TO REINTRODUCE TOLL GATES NEXT YEAR–News
...You mean POLICE CHECK POINTS
VOL.7, NO. 1,937
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
STILL recall with glee when I received the letter in Ibadan that I had been invited for an interview/examination for admission to Government College, Ughelli in the 1970s. The letter arrived late, no thanks to the tardy mail system. My father Moses was so delighted that he immediately put everything in gear for our journey from Ibadan to Ughelli. The snag though was that he was out of work and out of money. He promptly secured loans for the journey, and we had to scrap for existence during the journey and interview that lasted about a week. How tragic it would have been if the exercise was a dud and we came back to Ibadan without the admission slip from J.E. Jones, the stern and thorough principal at the time. All through my education in Ughelli and later at the University of Ife was a struggle for money, with occasional islands of abundance, especially when the Ambrose Alli government gave us bursary. My last semester at Ife almost never fructified as some of my father’s friends in the church – God’s Kingdom Society - had to put cash together to enable me complete school. That was how tough it was for some of us to waddle through the portals of education. In my decade in the United States, I discovered that education is no tea party, especially at the university level. University education, if it must be worth its while, must have certain pillars. They include a high level of staff, first-class infrastructure and facilities as well as time-tested vision. Most of our universities do not have these. They pretend to have them, and what we have these days are glorified secondary schools. In the United States, community colleges are the lowest tier in the tertiary school ranking. Even those schools will dwarf the best of our universities in staffing, equipment and general infrastructure. In a recent visit to one of the private universities, I was appalled. It looked like a secondary school. In Government College, Ughelli, we learned in an atmosphere that no university in Nigeria today can approximate. I say this with all sense of responsibility. At the level of staffing, equipment, learning and recreational facilities and pride of belonging, I still look back to those years when I was formed. I have not visited the school in many years and I understand that things have fallen as they have everywhere else in the country. In those days standards were high even though some of our parents thought we did not match them in lucubration and rigour, and that we were too enmeshed in the epicurean delights of the day. Today things are worse, and we see the evidence everywhere. The results of NECO and WAEC can bring tears to anybody. The university system is so corrupt that students
WHO SAID WHAT
‘Transparency and accountability are two principal components of public service all over the world and when these cardinal elements are missing, society suffers stagnation’
firstname.lastname@example.org 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009 (D.A.M.E) •Columnist of the Year 2009 (NMMA)
LASU fees and the state of our schools
now buy their degrees. It is a brazen bonanza that has replaced the hard work and dedication that education used to be. The young no longer pride themselves on what they know. That was our currency as youths. In Ife, I recall how I always clutched Time and Newsweek magazines, and prided myself on the books I was reading. It was a competition among friends. Femi Ojudu (now senator), Austin Onuoha, Gboyega Oguntuwase, Paul Akinsola, Osagiator Ojo, Tokunbo Ayoola, Tive Denedo, and a few
others were my friends and we tried to outdo each other in how much we read and basked in the sublime vainglory of knowing something the others did not. The rivalry ennobled us. These days it is different. They just want to make money. They want degrees, not knowledge. That is why some of the students want to travel to the United States or Britain to earn master’s degrees if they cannot get their first degrees there. Many of them come from indigent homes, but they know that those who come to the job market with Western endorsements stand better chances. This has meant that we spend billions of naira to educate Nigerians abroad while the facilities and cerebral standards fall at home. If we had good standards at home, we will have Nigerian graduates. When they come back they are not taught medical science for the Nigerian environment, nor law nor English literature for our milieu. They are not Nigerian graduates, but the market craves them. Even the present schools here are churning out half-baked Nigerian graduates. This is what Americans call double whammy. That perhaps has informed the decision of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to experiment with the increase of fees at the Lagos State University. This is a response to the crisis of education. We want to raise the standards, but at the university level we cannot do it without money. A visitation panel to LASU recommended the increase of fees from 12 percent
to 35 percent, and they did that with the sense that education at that level is not possible unless we want to create warped minds. Such persons are half knowledgeable, half clueless, which is the kind of products the country suffers at the moment. What has necessitated this? The revenue formula that gives the Federal Government so much idle money spent in indulgences and corruption, while states cannot pursue worthy ventures. The federal universities also are short of funds, and they have to scrap for existence. Universities are nothing without research. We don’t have research universities in Nigeria. I don’t know of one. They have lost all that is left of their intellectual traditions. I recall the thriving of the Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria and I felt some spurts of pride when my teacher, Professor Oloruntimehin, was the editor. The Literature in English department was the most vibrant in the country then with such heroes as Biodun Jeyifo, Adebayo Williams, Ropo Sekoni, Chima Anyadike, Tess Onwueme, Foxx and G.G. Darah. LASU is benefitting from the Lagos State Hospital because of its state-of-the-art facilities, and that is why it has the best medical school in the country today. It is an effort of billions of naira in investment. But the more fundamental issue is the failure of Nigeria as a society to invest in education. The issuance of scholarship, grants and bursaries is intended to mitigate the fee increase but I am not sure how far that will go for indigent students. In the United States and Britain, the fees are phenomenally high and most students cannot afford them on their parents’ incomes. But individuals of means dedicate parts of their excesses to a slew of scholarships and grants and there are a number of loans available. A friend of mine’s son secured admission to a tony university in Texas even though he could not afford the fees which amounted to about $40,000 a year. He is a Nigerian resident in the U.S. His son is bright and the school offered the student up to $30,000 in scholarship. Although fees are high, some of them enjoy close to free education because the rich offer helping hands. The rich in our society must understand that education is the best they can provide for posterity and not the extravagant spending on marriages and sundry parties abroad. I am sure that the wasteful spending of the rich will provide more than half of required facilities for our universities. Such decisions would mitigate the burden of fees, such as Gov. Fashola is compelled to ask LASU students to pay.
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Baba Suwe: Sherlock Holmes to NDLEA’s rescue
O possess the capacity to make nostalgic reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s eponymous hero, Sherlock Holmes, is an honour this columnist will not trade for silver or gold. The story of Mr Holmes as a detective, the decoy role played by his sidekick, Dr Watson, and both protagonists’ irrepressible escapades should form an integral part of the development of any youth – of course along with Mark Twain’s universal novel, Huckleberry Finn, and Harper Lee’s To kill a Mocking Bird. Great books do not just help imbue a person the urbaneness and cosmopolitan character he requires for community leaving, they can also come in handy on occasions when a real life situation such as the battle between Baba Suwe and NDLEA draws inspiration from the literary prescience. To the rescue, then, Mr Holmes! Baba Suwe, we all recall, is a notable Nigerian comedian whose real name is Babatunde Omidina. He was arrested by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency early last month on suspicion of ferrying drugs of indeterminate origin in his stomach on his way to France for a social cum economic engagement. His stomach was said to have been scanned and found to contain the said drugs. He denied the accusation. Since he was expected to have excreted the alleged drugs after some days, he was kept un-
der observation far beyond the legal limit. After nearly two weeks incarceration, and with no prospect of excreting anything but ordinary faeces, the NDLEA applied to court for an extension of the observation period. It was granted. In the interim, Baba Suwe’s lawyers also applied to court to help restore the rights of the comedian. That too was granted subject to a few days extension. Finally, last Friday, after 24 days in detention, the comedian walked out a free man having excreted close to 30 times, according to his own claims, nearly 10 of which were induced by anus and mouth enema. There was still no trace of drugs. Comedy failed the comedian as his reputation was tossed in the air for nearly a month, while mystery and myth also enveloped the drama of his arrest, detention, and serial excretions. The NDLEA appeared, to the last day, convinced the scan results were right, and that a great mystery must be responsible for keeping the drugs safe and sound in the comedian’s stomach. Does he perhaps have a false stomach, or a camel’s pouch, or maybe he chews the cud? This no doubt is a job for the crack detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his logical reasoning and forensic science. Recall that while the comedian was still in detention stories had begun to make
the rounds about his supposed efficacious juju, which they said made it impossible for him to excrete the alleged drugs. Indeed, when he was admitted to bail, he was reportedly carried shoulder-high, accompanied by a dithyramb appropriately entitled O yagbe ti (the man who could not be compelled to excrete against his will) composed to celebrate his assumed juju prowess. The ensuing battle between science and magic has left many educated people stumped. On one hand, they do not doubt the accuracy of the scanning machines, about three of which returned positive results. On the other hand, though they are educated, they are still sufficiently Nigerian enough to believe in magic. Book lovers will remember that once, by public demand, Arthur Conan Doyle (in The Last Bow) was compelled to resuscitate Mr Holmes who had perished on one of his dangerous missions. The time is here again to demand the famous detective’s resurrection. Surely, this ingested drugs matter cannot be as mysterious as we or the NDLEA have made it. If it was juju, let it be established. If the scanning machines were right, then let it also be established. Obviously, the two cannot be right; or can they, Mr Holmes?
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The Nation November 07, 2011