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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Explosion rocks Warri Refinery NEWS Page 3

•MEND claims responsibility

News Govt to ASUU: we’ve done enough P6 Sports Omeruo to play against Ethiopia P41 Business Fidelity Bank gets new MD/CEO P55

VOL. 8, NO. 2645 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013




Lawmakers probe Oduah’s N255m bulletproof vehicles FAAN: it’s all politics House summons minister


ROM the court of public opinion and government circles, the Stella Oduah car purchase scandal revved yesterday into the National Assembly. Senators are set for a probe into the controversial N255 million armoured cars bought by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Besides, the House of Representatives is also launch-

•Ms Oduah From Onyedi Ojiabor, Victor Oluwasegun, Dele Anofi and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

ing a probe. The House last night summoned the minister to explain the matter. Aviation Committee chair Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said a public hearing would hold tomorrow. To appear with the minister at the emergency public hearing are: the Director General,

FCT: Why New PDP office must be demolished


THE QUESTIONS •Is it true NCAA bought two vehicles at N255m for Ms Oduah? •Who authorised the purchase of the cars? •Is the minister entitled to such vehicles? •Any budgetary provision for the cars? •Was the price of the vehicles inflated? •Should President Jonathan retain Oduah?

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Managing Director, Coscaharis Motors; Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service; DirectorGeneral, Bureau of Public Procurement; Managing Director, First Bank Plc; Federal Ministry of Finance and members of the public. Senate Committee on Aviation Chairman Hope Uzodinma denied yesterday that the Upper Chamber was delaying

an investigation into the alleged scam. Senator Uzodinma explained that the embattled Minister of Aviation and heads of agencies under her ministry did not appear before the Senate yesterday because his committee was yet to invite them. Speaking to reporters after plenary in Abuja, the lawmaker said the Senate had just approved the votes and proceedings of its October 8 meeting,

where it resolved to summon Ms. Oduah and heads of aviation parastatals over frequent air mishaps. Uzodinma said: “With the approval of the votes and proceedings of the last Senate session today (Tuesday), containing the summoning of the minister, our committee will now meet within the week to fix the date to invite the minister and other relevant aviaContinued on page 2

APC snubs Jonathan’s dialogue •Senate, House back conference From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


LL Progressives Congress (APC) leaders rose yesterday from their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to question the Federal Government’s credibility to organise a meaningful national conference. According to the APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, who disclosed the party’s position on the issue to journalists after the meetContinued on page 4


From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja


HE authorities of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Abubakar Baraje breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have drawn the battle line on the planned demolition of the faction’s secretariat in Abuja. The building has continued to be under siege, with riot policemen mounting guard around it. The FCT yesterday insisted that the building, located in the high brow Maitama District in Abuja, would be demolished for alleged violation of land use. FCT Director of Development Control Yahaya Yusuf said the location of the building was meant strictly for residential purposes and that converting it to a party secretariat violated the Abu•Mohammed

Continued on page 4

•The New PDP’s office marked for demolition in Maitama, Abuja...yesterday.






Inside Big •From left: Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Housing Jimoh Ajao, President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESU), Emeka Eleh, Chairman, Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN)Chidi Ubosi and Second Vice-President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyor ad Values (NIESU) Dr. Ajayi Fatunola at the inauguration of the PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI AENA in Lagos... yesterday.

Documents unearthed by The Nation shed light on how Big Tobacco plans to defeat tobacco control advocates, reports SEUN AKIOYE


• From left: Director of Hand held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa,Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas; Managing Director, Brovo Kim and Director of Consumer Electronics, IT and B2B, Mr. Sunil Kumar, all of Samsung Electronics West Africa, PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU at a news conference on Samsung’s Smart Africa Tour in Lagos.

•CEO, Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Yinka Oyinlola (right) and Managing Director, Yale World Fellows Programme Michael Cappello during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the two bodies for exchange programmes in the United States.

•From left: President, Nigerian Army Barracks Youth Foundation McDonald Otoba, President, Drug Salvation Foundation Wilson Igodalo, Movie Producer Olaide Bakare, Spoke man of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mitchell Ofoyeju, NDLEA Ambassador Yinka Lawanson and ace rapper Ruggedman during a news conference to mobilise PHOTO: ADEOLA SOLOMON support for anti-drug abuse rally tagged One million Man March Against Abuse in Lagos.

HEN a former smoker and member of the House of Representatives, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, tried to convince his colleagues to support the National Tobacco Control Bill, he asked them to close their eyes and envisage their 15-year-old child puffing away at a stick of cigarette. It worked and his bill scaled through second reading without any opposition. The Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, referred the bill to the Health and Justice committees for further deliberation. That was in March 2013. Alebiosu, who represents Kosofe Federal Constituency, Lagos, thinks the world of his bill. In an interview with The Nation in March, he said the bill would domesticate the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which was signed and ratified by Nigeria on June 28, 2004 and October 20, 2005 respectively. That is not all, he also believes his bill will help in reducing the number of young people who have taken up smoking in Nigeria; reduce the risks associated with second hand smoking by limiting the environment where smoking activities can occur in public places, including work places and ultimately reduce the number of Nigerians who will eventually die from tobacco use. On the surface, these may be lofty ideals worth fighting for and which many people may clamour for. Apparently, Alebiosu’s colleagues in the House of Representatives believed him as his bill scaled the often rigorous screening of the lawmakers. But, it seems not every ‘stakeholder’ agreed with Alebiosu’s postulations on the benefits of his bill. According to investigations conducted by The Nation, big tobacco companies with vested interests in the Nigerian cigarette market may have perfected plans to thwart and or water down the content of the proposed bill. According to The Nation’s investigations, the tobacco companies are lobbying select members of the National Assembly to plead its cause and stop what it termed a campaign to “hurt the tobacco business” in Nigeria. The grouse of big tobacco against Alebiosu’s vaunted testimonials are contained in certain sections of the proposed bill. Documents revealed that the sections the tobacco companies disagreed with include: Part One, which deals with the establishment of the National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC), number of provisions which prohibits the sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products, schedule 11, which listed areas where smoking is prohibited.


Inside Big Tobacco’s war room But the anti tobacco activists have made a dramatic comeback with the bill now sponsored by Alebiosu and which is in content and intent closely related to the bill sponsored by Mamora with a few changes. In an interview with The Nation, Alebiosu said the current bill has incorporated more licensing and prohibition of sale of cigarettes on the highway and has strengthened up the bill sponsored by Mamora. He also believes that the current bill is able to scale through and become a law thereby avoiding the fate that befell the former bill. Could Alebiosu be a lone voice expressing optimism for a tobacco bill? According to the documents exclusively obtained by The Nation, the big tobacco companies are putting forward some strong arguments against the proposed bill. For instance the document claimed the bill seeks to make cigarettes more dangerous to health by requiring health warning should be placed on every stick of cigarettes. To the tobacco manufacturers, this section “means the inclusion of more chemicals to the constituent of tobacco products.” The industry also raised eyebrows about sections which changed the rules of evidence and seek to “influence the outcome of on-going law suits.” In Section 33 (1) of the bill obtained by The Nation, it states: “The government shall be entitled to recover the cost of health care services provided to particular individuals on an aggregate basis for a population of persons on account of any tobacco related illness or at the risk of suffering from any tobacco related illnesses.” The tobacco industry has taken up a war cry in order to save its industry from what it determined is an apparent doomsday if the anti tobacco activists should have their say. According to new information shedding light on the position of the industry, the economic advantage of tobacco outweighs its perceived health risks which it says is overhyped. Therefore, the principles and belief of the industry is premised on the following points: Stopping tobacco companies from operation in Nigeria does not end smoking as those who smoke will




g Tobacco’s survival war ‘

Nigeria is not the only country where strong laws will be passed and we have seen the benefits in countries that have taken this public health stance. Nigeria cannot be different •Osibajo


have recourse to other alternative ways to get the product such as: Illegal companies without paying attention to safeguards already imposed by regulatory agencies, smuggling of tobacco products will thrive in view of our porous borders, smokers may have recourse to smoking hemp/weeds and corruption in the Customs will be on the increase as additional items are added to list of products banned. Smugglers, they say, will buy their ways out. Facts available to The Nation show that section 33 of the bill is one of the sections the vested tobacco interests would ensure its deletion. Another contentious section is what the industry calls “total ban on any form of communication between the legal industry and consumers” which it believes will only encourage smuggling and other forms of illicit trade The argument has also been used in a suit instituted in South Africa where the court had ruled that where public health and commerce clashed, the health of the people would come first. Part 1 of the bill, which created the National Tobacco Control Committee, is also one of the conten-


tious areas which the industry is fighting. According to several sources both at the National Assembly and other regulatory agencies, the creation of the NATOCC is a duplication as the responsibilities saddled on the committee are already being undertaken by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria ( APCON). Big tobacco also played up recurrent sentiments about corruption and accountability by saying: “At a time when there is so much debate about the appropriation of public funds by agencies and multiplicity of government agencies, this raises questions about the need to set up yet another agency to do what is already being done.” Instructively, the tobacco industry believes if the bill is passed in its current state, it will discourage the much needed foreign direct investment. By creating on-pack requirements for export products in part two (2) (4) (5) (6) of the bill, the “Made in Nigeria” goods will be unable to comply with regulations in other countries thereby

leading to loss of jobs and business. The industry also believes that the bill has gone beyond domesticating the FCTC by “Incorporating guidelines, which are not binding on Parties to the Convention, even going as far as being unconstitutional in certain areas.” Another important grouse is what is termed criminalisation of smokers. The industry alleged that the list of prohibited smoking areas which is under Schedule 11 of the bill makes it impossible for smokers “to smoke anywhere,” which in effect “criminalises smoking.” The document also revealed that the industry claimed there is “nowhere in the world where the smoking of tobacco products is banned.” It also alleged that this provision can lead to clashes between citizens and law enforcement agencies. However, checks by The Nation revealed that there several countries which had enacted more stringent smoke-free laws globally. These countries include: Bhutan, Chad, Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Turkey, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Zambia. All

Canadian provinces/territories and Australian states/territories have enacted such laws. Also there are 30 states in the United States that have enacted strong smoke- free laws. Also as at October 22, 177 countries have ratified the FCTC. This figure represents 88 percent. The Chairman of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), the umbrella body of all tobacco control groups in Nigeria, Nurudeen Ogbara, however insisted that “comprehensive legislation of the tobacco industry in Nigeria is what is required to stem the tide of avoidable deaths from tobacco use. “We remain uncompromised and unshakable in our resolve that a comprehensive law is what is needed. Nigeria is not the only country where strong laws will be passed and we have seen the benefits in countries that have taken this public health stance. Nigeria cannot be different, we support the regulation of the tobacco industry and say no to tobacco deaths,” Ogbara said. Other tobacco control groups told The Nation that they are more focused and prepared towards the campaign for a new tobacco control bill even though it is coming the sec-

ond time. The die is cast between the two sides, but what the two gladiators cannot deny is that this year; another six million avoidable deaths will be recorded because of the association to tobacco products. And in Nigeria, another youth will pick up a stick of cigarettes for the first time, it will happen every quarter of an hour, according to statistics.

Back to beaten track The battle over the desirability of a “reasonable regulation” canvassed by the big tobacco companies with interest in the Nigerian market and the “domestication of the FCTC” as vigorously campaigned by the anti tobacco activists, is nothing new to the two camps. The campaign to regulate the business of tobacco in Nigeria has been hard and long drawn starting effectively in 2000 with the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (FoEN) and peaking in 2011 when the National Assembly passed the tobacco bill sponsored by Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora in the sixth Assembly. In February 2008, the Senate committed a bill to regulate the manufacture, sale and sponsorship of tobacco products to its committee on health then chaired by Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello. Three years later, the Senate in a unanimous vote passed the bill on March 15, 2011 while the House of Representatives also concurred with the version passed by the Senate on May 31, 2011. But the joy in the camp of the anti tobacco organisations was short-lived as President Goodluck Jonathan declined to sign the bill thereby negating Chapter V, Section 68 sub section 4 and 5 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. On April 30, 2007, former Lagos State Attorney General, Prof. Yemi Osibajo filed the first of several cost recovery lawsuits against major tobacco industries in the country. The state asked for N2.7trillion in punitive and anticipatory damages. Other states followed in quick succession including: Oyo State N365, 540,145,911.93, Kano State N3 billion and Gombe State N600 billion. At the last count about 10 states are still locked in legal battles against the tobacco industry.

Panic as explosion rocks Warri Refinery •MEND claims responsibility •NNPC: no cause for alarm


HERE was pandemonium at the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) yesterday morning when one of the plants in the complex exploded. Eyewitness said no fewer than 30 persons suffered varying degrees of burns, some very severe, from the explosion in a section of the complex known as ‘Area 2’. The victims were taken to an undisclosed hospital, suspected to the NNPC medical centre in Edjeba, Warri. It was gathered that one of the chemical or gas equipment that was used in a routine maintenance blew up and sparked off a fire. The incident sent workers of the company and nearby Warri Depot of PPMC and inhabitants of neighbouring communities scampering for cover. Attempts by reporters to get details of the accident were frustrated by plain cloth security operatives and stern-faced soldiers deployed in the area immediately the explosion occurred.

From Shola O’Neil, Southsouth Regional Editor and Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

A cameraman with the Delta State Broadcasting in Warri was manhandled by the security operatives who also confiscated his camera. The embattled newsman got his camera back after nearly four hours later, when the security men had wiped out the entire content of the tape inside. The huge bellow of smoke that rose over the skyline of the twin cities of Effurun and Warri led to panic among residents. The quick intervention of fire-fighters of WRPC, who were joined by their counterparts from Shell Petroleum Development Company and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), ensured that the fire was put out swiftly before it spread to other parts of the company. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility for

the incident. The militant group, in an online statement by its Spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, said the attack was intended to raze the entire refining facility. MEND said as long as President Goodluck Jonathan continued to rely on an “unsustainable and fraudulent” Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, peace and security would continue to elude his government, especially in the Niger Delta. The militant group, which earlier threatened more attacks in the Niger Delta, insisted that its Hurricane Exodus was on course. The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) described the incident as a minor fire incident in the Topping Unit of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC. It said the fire was promptly brought under control through the combined effort of the Fire

Department and other staff of the Refinery. A statement by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Tumini Green, explained that the fire, which started around 11am, was successfully extinguished without any fatality. Green noted that the Unit involved was promptly isolated and shut down for safety adding that the exact cause of the fire is being investigated by the Management of the Refinery. She said appropriate steps would be taken to forestall future occurrence. The NNPC Spokesperson noted that preparations are under way for re-streaming of the affected units. Green said: “We wish to seize this opportunity to reassure members of the general public that the NNPC continues to hold sufficient stock of premium motor spirit(petrol) and other petroleum products and therefore no cause for panic buying.”




•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fourth right), his Edo State counterpart Adams Oshiomhole (third left), Fashola’s wife and chairperson, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Dame Abimbola Fashola (fifth right), Senator Oluremi Tinubu (second left), Lagos House Speaker’s wife Mrs Mayown Ikuforiji (left), COWLSO’s Inspirational Woman of the Year 2013 Award Winner – Managing Director/CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Mrs Bola Adesola (displaying plaque) (fourth left); Benue State Governor’s wife Mrs Yemisi Suswam (third right), her Ogun State counterpart Mrs Olufunso Amosun (second right) and Oyo State Deputy Governor’s wife Mrs Janet Adeyemo at the National Women’s Conference in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

FCT: Why New PDP office must be demolished Continued from page 1

ja master plan. In a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday, Yusuf said there are about 202 of such buildings in the capital city. They will be pulled down, he said. But the Baraje faction of the PDP dared the FCT authorities to demolish the building and face the legal consequences. The faction’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, who also spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said: “Let them go

ahead and demolish the building. We can assure them that we are going to rebuild it with money from the Federal Government of Nigeria. “We will sue them for wilful destruction and they will be made to know that the building belongs to a Nigerian citizen with constitutional rights to own property in any part of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory.” To Eze, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, is pushing an agenda to destroy President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that under no circum-

stances would a minister embark on such a destructive mission. He continued: “The minister has been mandated by some forces to find a way of destroying President Jonathan and he has happily embarked on that mission. That is why he is doing something that is not expected of him. “He does not have the powers he is arrogating to himself. Bala Mohammed is confused. He is undemocratic. He is being wicked. Such a person is not worthy of the position he occupies.”

The spokesman regretted that President Jonathan had failed to understand the altruistic mission of the breakaway faction, adding that “otherwise, he would not be treating a political party as if it’s a personal estate”. He recalled the case of Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko who was suspended from the PDP simply because he did not pick the telephone call from PDP Chairman Bamanga Tukur. Eze also pointed out that Governor Rotimi Amaechi Continued on page 58

National Assembly to give dialogue legal framework


HE National Assembly will provide the legal framework for the proposed national conference, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said yesterday. He also said that there were fundamental changes that must be made in the 1999 Constitution to ensure Nigeria’s progress. Ekweremadu spoke when members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue visited the National Assembly.

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

He said members of the National Assembly believed that the provision of a legal framework for the conference was their most important duty. The legal framework, he said, will support the outcome of the advisory committee’s job and that of the committee that will come after it. He said they envisaged that a national dialogue could be held, hence they proposed in

the ongoing constitution amendment a possible amendment to Section 9 of the Constitution that would provide the legal basis for a possible new Constitution. Ekweremadu noted that the proposal for amendment of Section 9 of the Constitution became necessary “because today, what we have in our Constitution in the process of amendment, there is no such provision in this Constitution that can successfully power a

new constitution”. For him, there must be legal basis before people could talk about sovereign national conference and referendum “so that you don’t wake up when you have a constitutional government in place and say you want a sovereign national conference; you impose the will of the people on everybody without a legal basis.” “We have been in the business of some constitutional reContinued on page 58

APC snubs Jonathan’s dialogue Continued from page 1

ing in Abuja, the main oppo-

sition party is not opposed to a genuine national conference. But, to APC, the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration cannot organize talks. The government, said the party, has lost control of the economy and security, adding that corruption has assumed an “unbelievable” magnitude. He said: “At this point in time, this government lacks the credibility to organise a real meaningful national conference. “ Mohammed said the APC sees the national conference as a diversionary measure. The progressive party questioned the essence of the confer-

ence, which Dr. Jonathan has already said would be subjected to the National Assembly’s approval. He said : “And in any event, we see this thing as nothing but a diversion. What are we talking about a national conference when even the President himself has said that the outcome of that conference will be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly? “So, what they have today is a constitutional amendment not a national conference and we will not be a party to it. We believe it is diversionary and not sincere.” He announced that the leadership has scheduled the party’s membership registration for next month.

NAMA: we didn’t buy Limousines


HE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has denied reports that the agency bought four Limousines along with other brands for the ministry of aviation or its leadership. In a statement by NAMA General Manager Public Affairs Supo Atobatele, the agency described the information as false, misleading and malicious . Atobatele said: “We hereby

make it categorically clear to the unsuspecting public that this evil story as being promoted, is patently false in its entirety and calculated to put the agency and the office of the minister into disrepute. For the avoidance of doubt, the said Limousines belong to a concessionaire who is running a VIP shuttle service for Non-Schedule Operators (Charter flights ). Continued on page 58

Lawmakers probe Oduah’s N255m bulletproof vehicles FAAN blames it all on political opponents

Continued from page 1

tion chiefs for questioning on the troubled sector.” On why the Senate has not probed the N255million bullet proof cars deal, Uzodinma said the upper chamber could speak only after a thorough investigation. He said: “As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, I have read a lot on the alleged scandal in the media and I believe other members of the committee are also up to date on the raging issue. “However, we cannot jump into the fray of the controversy like that on the strength of media information alone, without properly checking our records for facts and figures on whether the alleged vehicles bought were appropriated for or not by the agency that purchased them. “Our appeal to the general public for now is that they should exercise patience on the entire crisis bedevilling the aviation sector as the Senate and, in particular, its Committee on Aviation, will surely carry out a thorough investigation to unravel all issues behind the whole crisis.” Fresh from a three-week recess, the House of Representatives yesterday was livid over the two BMW armoured cars.


INISTER of Aviation Ms Stella Oduah is in Israel to sign an agreement today with Israeli officials on behalf of Nigeria. A Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to be signed, is to enable airlines from both countries fly directly to each other’s territory without stop-overs in other destinations. Oduah left Abuja yesterday ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan’s trip to Israel on pilgrimage today. The BASA agreement signing is the culmination of 12 months of negotiations between officials of the Department of Transportation of Israel and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Aviation. Three other Middle East countrieshave air services agreement with Nigeria. The aviation agencies yesterday denied that the embattled minister is involved in the the purchase of bullet proof cars. In a statement, the agencies linked the minister’s travails to the political opponents of the government. The lawmakers mandated their Committee on Aviation to probe the allegations and submit a report within one week. In spite of the admonition from Speaker Aminu Tambuwal against sentimental comments during the debate “so as not to be judgmental as the matter is still going to be investigated”,

By Kelvin Osa-Okubor

Coordinating spokesman of aviation agencies, Mr Yakubu Dati , said the purchase of official vehicles by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities (NCAA) has assumed a comical dimension as every car, bus and van in all the aviation agencies now allegedly belong to the minister of aviation.” He said:”No mention is made of the fact that, of all the documents paraded for the vehicles, none mentioned the name of the Minister of Aviation. This is not withstanding the fact that the NCAA has come out to clarify the issue that entered into the transaction. “Indeed, Nigerians are mischievously sold the lie that the cars have been paid for, meanwhile they were purchased on higher purchase and payments are yet to even commence. “Nigerians must brace up for more misinformation on this matter as very soon, pictures of trains and ships will soon be published as belonging to the minister of

the lawmakers were excited. The decision followed a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by the Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie. The committee is to find out whether: •It was correct that the purchase was made;

aviation. “Nigerians must also note that the main target of this sinister plot is President Goodluck Jonathan who must be stopped from running for re-election in 2015, in line with the dictates of the Group of Seven governors (G7), who have demanded that (Finance Minister) Okonjo Iweala, (Minister of Petroleum) Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Princess Oduah must go as a condition for a truce (?). “These same spoilers mounted and orchestrated campaign for the removal of other shinning stars. And now, they have turned their searchlight on Princess Stella Oduah, another rising star of this administration. Should they be allowed to succeed this time? “To the discerning mind, their ultimate target is not Princess Stella Oduah, or the other Ministers but the 2015 re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan. They will stop at nothing to achieve their aim.” The statement also listed the “numerous achievements” of Ms Oduah.

•The purchase was authorised by any appropriation law and if the NCAA has been complying with Fiscal Responsibilities Act on the remittance of its internally Generated Revenue; •The minister is entitled to such vehicle under any law in Nigeria; •The Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission (EFCC) and all anti- corruption agencies are not bound to investigate and prosecute all those involved if no appropriation law approved the purchase; •Whether (even if any appropriation law approved it) the President and Commander-inChief could continue to retain

•Ms Oduah

the services of the Minister and all those involved in the matter. The motion with the title: “Investigations into the purchase of $1.6 m bulletproof BMW cars by the Nigerian Civil Aviation AuContinued on page 58

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




APC governors may sue Fed Govt over loss of 40% allocation T HERE were indications yesterday that the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors would sue the Federal Government over the deductions of 40per cent of their states’ monthly earnings by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi broke the news at a meeting of the APC Governors Forum in Abuja. Fayemi said: “W e have said we will take appropriate constitutional measures as far as the illegal deduction of FAAC is concerned. Every constitutional measure, nothing is ruled in, nothing is ruled out.” “We decided to take appropriate constitutional measures in order to tackle this vibrant abuse of the Constitution and the Appropriation Act particularly of the National Assembly.” Fayemi said the Commissioners for Finance are now on the verge of pulling out of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting. The governor recalled that in the last three months, the FAAC has always illegally deducted from states allocation, adding that the APC states have lost 40per cent of

•Finance commissioners threaten to pull out of FAAC From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

their earnings to the deductions. Fayemi said something must be fishing as there was no basis for such deductions since the prices of crude oil have not fallen below the 2013 budget benchmark. According to him, the prices of crude oil have not declined to less that $110 per barrel this year. His words: “We deliberated on matters of states, matters of our party, and discussed also issues that are pertinent to national finances, particularly the Federal Allocation work. We have come to a critical juncture as FAAC has gone in the last three months. You are not unaware of what has been going on. You are also aware of what our Finance Commissioners are about to do in removing themselves from the meetings of FAAC. “And we continue to insist that we condemn the illegal

‘The Progressive Governors will not accept anything short of this. And Nigerians will not accept anything short of this-one man, one vote’ and unconstitutional deductions and averagely all of our states lost 40per cent of our normal earnings in the last two to three months from the Federal Allocation committee. And we believe that this is not defensible in anyway, we know that the benchmark that the National Assembly agreed for the budget 2013 is still very realistic because at no time this year (we are still in the month of October) that oil sold for less than $105 per

barrel, for most often than not oil has sold for $110 per barrel. So, we see no basis for the incomplete allocations that are given to the states in this regard. “ Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha said the danger posed by the recent election in Delta State unsettles the party, stressing this is “to condemn in its entirety that that was not an election at all.” He said that reports from the election are indications that it was a mere manipulation of the whole electoral process. Okorocha said: “We are worried that this may pose a big danger to 2015. From what we are seeing, we must stand up to it now or Nigeria may pay a bigger price for it in 2015.” He complained that in the Oguta election “another issue is when the winning party had over 2000 votes above the PDP. So, this has become very worrisome and it poses a big question to what 2015 will

look like.” The APC governors, said Okoracha demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) should save its name and conclude the election in Oguta. The Imo State governor quoted INEC as refusing to conduct the election until the Commissioner of Police in Oguta guarantee security. On Anambra election, he said that APC appealed that the election must be free and fair. He said: “the Progressive Governors will not accept anything short of this. And Nigerians will not accept anything short of this-one man, one vote.” Warning that there should not be a repeat of what happened in Delta in Anambra, Okorocha called on the security to stand up to defend the nation’s nascent democracy. The six Governors at the meeting were Dr. Fayemi, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, his Oyo State counterpart, Imo State’s Rochas Okorocha, Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe and Deputy Governor of Borno, Zainna Mustapha.

Jonathan for pilgrimage today From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today leave for Israel on a pilgrimage. The president, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, will also meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset,during the pilgrimage. Talks between President Jonathan’s delegation and Israeli government officials, the statement said, are expected to focus on the enhancement of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Israel in trade, economic development, infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, communications, culture, education and tourism. The President is also billed to meet with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas. Jonathan, who will be accompanied by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof Viola Onwuliri, and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, will undertake a tour of some locations in Israel which are revered by Christians because of their association with the earthly mission of Jesus Christ. He may also meet and interact with some Nigerians who are already on a pilgrimage to Israel. The statement, however, denied reports in the media that he is leading 19 governors and about 30,000 Nigerians to Israel. It said the reports are misrepresentation of facts.


•From left: Aregbesola (left); Ajimobi, Okorocha, Gaidam and Fayemi at the meeting ...yesterday


Court denies withdrawing cases against Nyame, Dariye, Audu •Judges, officials transferred From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja •Audu


HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has denied report that its Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Bukar has ordered the withdrawal of cases involving former governors from the judges handling them. The court claimed yesterday that it was impossible for such development to occur as cases are hardly withdrawn once assigned, except where either of the parties raise issue of bias. Jolly Nyame (Taraba) Joshua Dariye (Plateau) and Abubakar Audu (Kogi) are some of the ex-governors being tried. The court’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Tabita Kangiwa

said there was no iota of truth in the report. “I do not know where the on-line medium that published the false report got its information. That can never happen in this court,” she said. A senior official of the court, who pleaded not to be named, said it would be foolish for Justice Bukar to exhibit such crude bias, having just assumed office. He said the judge would be unwise not to learn from the mistake of his predecessor, who left office in a controversial circumstance. Justice Bukar’s predecessor, Justice Lawal Gummi left office suddenly before his retirement period, over allegation that he abused his office and influenced the outcome of a case in favour ot his state

governor. Although Justice Gummi retired voluntarily, the National Judicial Council (NJC), who investigated the allegation against him, found him guilty of “gross misconduct.” The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar alluded to this fact when, while swearing-in Justice Bukar on October 11 challenged him on integrity. The CJN reminded Justice Bukar that he was assuming the headship of the FCT High Court at a time when the court was experiencing its trouble time. The Nation, however, learnt that the Chief Judge has effected the transfer of some judges. Some administrative officials of the court have also been transferred. A notice to that effect was

conspicuously placed on the court’s notice boards on all floors of the court’s fourthfloor headquarters building at Maitama. When The Nation visited some of the courts handling the cases involving the exgovernors yesterday, it was discovered that they have not been withdrawn. At the FCT High Court, Gudu, where the case involving Nyame and Dariye are pending, it was learnt that, that of Nyame has been adjourned to November 1 for ruling and continuation of hearing. The next date for the Dariye case was unknown. Progress has been made impossible in the case for sometime now owning to an appeal filed by the ex-governor, which is currently stucked at the Supreme Court, ditto the case before the FCT High Court, Maitama, involving Audu.

ICPC arraigns three for alleged visa scam From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja


HE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday arraigned three men before an Abuja High Court in Maitama for their alleged complicity in visa scam. Kaka Dauda and Sunday Nweke (described as officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry) and their alleged accomplice, Tumbu Bartholomew were arraigned before Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf of Court Seven of the FCT High Court on a five-count charge. They were charged with conspiracy, forgery and making of false representation, in a bid to obtain travel visas to the United States for some others now at large. Augustine Osabohien, Obazee Osadolor, Inomwan Godfrey, Anifowoshe Abimbola, Adebisi Oluwafemi and Agunu Phillips were said to be at large. The accused in May conspired within themselves and one Dauda-all at large now, to make a false document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, titled: “ Request for note verbale “ purporting same to be from the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Abuja. Dauda and Nweke were accused of “making a false statement in the name of the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Abuja to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to obtain Note verbale dated June, 6 to officially secure visas to travel to the United States of America. They were also accused of abetting Bartholomew , and others at large “to make a false document by intentionally facilitating the processing of a false document titled: ‘Request for Note verbale,’ purporting same to be from the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Abuja to officially secure visas to travel to the United States of America. Bartholomew, in counts four and five, was said to have connived with one Obazee Osadolor to forge a staff identity card of the Ministry of Communication Technology in the name of Obazee Osadolor, a Deputy Director of the ministry, in his bid to travel to the United States of America as an official of the ministry. They were said to have committed the offences between June and July this year. The alleged offences are said to be contrary to Sections 25(1) (a), 26 (1) (a) and (c) and Section 96(1) (a) of the ICPC Act, and punishable under Sections 25(1)(b)(c), 26(1)(b) and 364 of the Act. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court granted their application for bail on learning that the ICPC had granted them administrative bail. Justice Baba-Yusuf granted the accused bail at N500,000 and a surety each. The judge ordered that both sureties must be resident within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and must produce proof of ownership of a landed property.



NEWS N963.7m subsidy 'fraud': 'Oil marketer used forged documents'


• House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha (middle); Chairman, Presidential Committee on National Dialogue, Senator Femi Okurounmu (right) and a member of the committee, Senator Khairat Gwadabe, during the committee’s visit to the National Assembly in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Fed Govt to lecturers: we've done our best •Delta to implement 'no work, no pay' •Govt to blame for strike, says exNUC chief •Police stop street protest in Bayelsa •UNILORIN VC urges ASUU, Fed Govt to resolve differences •UNN students angry


HE Federal Government yesterday restated its call that striking university lecturers should return to work in the interest of students. Minister of Information Mr Labaran Maku spoke in Abuja during the ministry's monthly media briefing. He said government had conceded to most of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Maku said the government's commitment to resolve the crisis was further demonstrated by its representation by Vice President Namadi Sambo in the dialogue. He said: "Salaries have been increased by 54.3 per cent, which is half of our monthly income. But they (lecturers) still insist on their N100 billon allowance. "The government offered N30 billion, but after a meeting with the vice president, the government promised another N10 billion, making it N40 billion. "The government has also promised N100 billion from the Education Trust Fund and the N40 billon allowance has been paid in many universities. Yet, they are still under lock and key. "We are doing infrastructure in the universities. For example, we have 38 new buildings in the University of Benin. No one would want our teachers to suffer because I have worked as a teacher, same as the President. But we

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja, Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin, Chris Oji, Enugu and Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

cannot give all that they are asking for. "No nation can move forward if we all expect the government to give a 100 per cent time and effort to our problems. We run an economy that needs attention in all phases." Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has said the policy of "no work, no pay" would be applied for the ongoing strike by the academic workers of the State University (DELSU) in Abraka. The governor spoke on Monday night in Abuja during the fund-raising of N25 billion by the Edwin Kiagbodo Clark Foundation. He said the action became necessary since several appeals to the lecturers to call off their strike did not yield any result. Uduaghan explained that the "no work, no pay" policy was adopted because ASUU's demands had no bearing with the lecturers in the state university. The governor again urged the striking lecturers to suspend the action. He said: "Let me once again appeal to ASUU to listen to the appeals of the Federal Government and Nigerians and resume work in the interest of the students and educational growth in the country."

A former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Munzali Jubril, yesterday blamed the Goodluck Jonathan administration for the lingering ASUU strike. The government, Jubril said, had been releasing only 34 per cent of funds meant for federal universities, following a document the NUC produced on the funding of federal universities when the last board was in place. This funding gap, he said, "now leaves ASUU as the main agitator for funding to be improved and for the funding gaps to be filled". Jubril added: "The government does not listen to its own agencies. If the executive secretaries, right under government, write 100 memos, appear before 100 committees and make 100 submissions, they will amount to nothing." The renowned professor of English and a former Provost of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) spoke in Abuja at the anniversary lecture of the NUC at 50+1. He regretted that the government always waited for ASUU to go on strike before giving universities what they deserved. The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, promised that the government would resolve the ASUU face-off. But he insisted that due process must be followed. Wike, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary

SURE-P not a scam, says Anyim


HE Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Ayim, yesterday said the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Government was not a scam. He said the programme was a fulfilment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise to improve the people’s standard of living. Anyim spoke at Amaeze Primary Healthcare Centre, Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, during the launch of the SURE-P Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) pilot programme. Over 500 women benefited from the pilot programme. Anyim said the programme was aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, especially in rural and under-served communities. He explained that the programme would accelerate the country’s progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Represented by a Federal Commissioner to Ebonyi State of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chris Okereke, the SGF urged Nigerians, especially expectant mothers, to be part of the CCT pilot programme under the SURE-P to enable them access the cash from the Federal Government for their health and that of their children. Anyim said: “This is a promise made and a promise fulfilled. You all know that during the electioneering period, President Jonathan promised that he would transform Nigeria through the Transformation Agenda. But because we are used to politicians making promises and not fulfilling them, most Nigerians thought it would be the same thing. But here we are. The promise made is not a television or radio programme.”

LAGOS High Court, Ikeja, yesterday heard that an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril, allegedly forged documents to obtain N963.7 million subsidy payment from the Federal Government. A prosecution witness, Mr Ihechukwu Ireogbu, made the accusation when he testified before the court, presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu. The witness, who is the managing director of MGI Inspection Limited, admitted that his firm had a prior business relationship with the defendant. Iroegbu, however, insisted that the company did not participate in the inspection of the 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) purportedly imported by Jubril. Jubril was charged to court with his company, Brila Energy Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Ireogbu, who was being cross-examined by the counsel to the defendant, Mr Raphael Oluyede, described as false the claim by the defendant that the company inspected the product between January 26 and 27, 2011, at offshore Cotonou in Benin Republic. Ireogbu said he instructed Felix Iweka, a worker at Port Cargo Services, a subsidiary

By Adebisi Onanuga

of the company, to go to Cotonou for the inspection. Iweka, he aid, later confirmed that he did not inspect the ship-to-ship transfer of the products between the mother vessel, MT Overseas Lima and the other vessel, MT Delphina. "He only carried out a survey on another vessel and not this particular transaction," the witness said. Another witness, Mr Akinwunmi Olarenwaju, a worker at the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), said the agency made efforts to contact the supplier of the product. Olarenwaju, who was led by the EFCC counsel, Mr Seidu Atteh, said the defendant claimed that he bought the product from Napa Petroleum Trade Incorporation in Panama. "The EFCC requested a tripartite meeting between the suppliers, the oil marketers and the PPPRA on the transactions. "We invited Napa Petroleum, Mercurial Trading and Namax Petroleum for the meeting," he said. Olanrewaju claimed that Napa Petroleum did not respond to its letter and failed to attend the said meeting. Justice Okunnu adjourned the matter till January 21, 2014, for the continuation of the trial.

EFCC ‘asks’ judge to withdraw from Bank PHB, Spring Bank ex-MDs’ trial

T •Maku

in the ministry, Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala, said: "Indeed, these are turbulent times for higher education in Nigeria, not just because of the current challenges being experienced but more importantly in terms of the direction in which higher education should be going." The police yesterday stopped a street protest organised by the Niger Delta University's (NDU's) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. Police Commissioner Hilary Opara was said to have issued the order to the leadership of ASUU-NDU to stop the protest. The aggrieved university lecturers held their protest within the university's Law Faculty in Yenagoa. The placard-carrying lecturers converted the protest to a prayer session, where they prayed to "cast and bind" all the spirits that had prevented the government from honouring its agreement with ASUU. The Chairman of ASUUNDU, Beke Sese, addressed the rally. He said the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Governor Seriake Dickson interrogated him few hours to the protest. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali, yesterday urged the striking university lecturers and the Federal Government to resolve their differences and end the strike.

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has allegedly asked a judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, to withdraw from adjudicating the trial of former Managing Directors of Bank PHB Plc and Spring Bank Plc, Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo. The trial was fixed for yesterday, but it did not go on. No new date was fixed. After a brief meeting with the judge in chambers, Atuche’s lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), came out of the court, visibly angry. Addressing reporters outside the courtroom, he accused the EFCC of “selecting” which judges would to try their cases. Idigbe said: “EFCC is choosing which judge to hear their cases.” Atuche and Ojo were among bank chiefs arraigned in 2009 for allegedly granting loans without security.

By Joseph Jibueze

It was learnt that the EFCC requested that the case be transferred to another judge because Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is from the same state (Delta) as Atuche. It was also learnt that the judge indicated that she would return the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge. When asked what transpired in the chambers, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), declined comments. He also did not elaborate when asked why the case did not go on again. He only said his witnesses, who were on subpoena, were in court. Asked if it was true that the case file would be returned to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge, Pinheiro said: “Was it announced in court?”

Medical Council inducts 333 doctors From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

HE Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria yesterday inducted 333 fresh graduates into the council. This is the highest figure the council has produced since the inception of the assessment examination about three decades ago. Of the figure, 317 are foreign-trained while 16 are graduates of the Igbenedion University, Okada, Edo State. The Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim said: “A total of 473 medical candidates and six dental candidates registered for the October 2013 assessment examination, which took place in Lagos at the University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). This is the highest number ever recorded for the assessment examination since its inception.” Ibrahim attributed the increase in foreign-trained doctors to inadequate space in Nigerian’s institutions and also the failure of most institutions to meet the requirements of the council. He said: “The increase in the number of Nigerians, who study Medicine or Dentistry abroad, was probably caused by insufficient space in Nigerian universities to accommodate the number of qualified candidates seeking admission. “The failure of some medical/dental schools to meet the minimum requirements of the council resulted in the withdrawal of accreditation.” Ibrahim urge parents of candidates seeking admission into medical/dental schools to clarify the status of institutions before applying. According to him, the council is irrevocably committed to sanitising medical training in Nigeria.





Fed Govt saves N119b from ghost workers


HE Federal Government saved about N118.9 billion from the detection and elimination of over 46,000 workers from its pay roll, the Minister of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku, has said. Maku, who made the disclosure at a World Press Conference yesterday, said the government attained the overhead savings with the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He said the system was able to detect 46, 821 ghost workers across 215 government Ministers, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). He decried a situation whereby senior public servants deliberately planted ghost workers in the public service, saying it was one of the ways of

• 58% of budget implemented From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

promoting corruption in the system. He noted that public service was meant to serve Nigerians, but regretted that it has become the other way round, a development he described as unfortunate and frustrating. On the level of budget implementation, he said, 58 per cent of the budget has so far been executed through the introduction of the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), adding that the level would rise to 79 per cent by end of the third quarter. On the recent Positive Sovereign Credit Rating of the country by Standard and Poors, Maku said the rating

has affirmed a stable outlook of the country’s economy; stressing that “it is an evaluation of the credit worthiness of a the sovereign state of the nation, and stands as a key determinant of the interest rate at which such a country (and its private sector) can borrow from the international financial markets. It also indicates the level of risk of investing in a country and, is therefore monitored closely by foreign investors. “So in spite of a challenging global economic environment in which several countries have seen their credit worthiness downgraded, that of Nigeria remains steady, and unchanged.” He said the ratings agencies are citing the solid macroeconomic

performance – including low fiscal and external debt positions, lower inflation, ample foreign reserves and strong non-oil GDP growth, as major contributory factors to this recent rating, while also recognising challenges like oil theft and infrastructure shortfalls. He explained that for Nigeria, this ratings affirmation implies that the private sector can continue to raise finance at cheap rates from the international credit markets, adding that specifically, Nigerian banks can borrow money at cheaper rates abroad in order to “unlend” to local private enterprises, as well as uphold Nigeria’s attractiveness for foreign investment, especially since the country has been the number one investment destination in Africa over the last two years.

Nigeria invests $870m in airport infrastructure upgrade


IGERIA is investing $870million on air port infrastructure upgrade, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), George Uriesi, has said. He said Nigeria is among six African nations currently infusing funds into infrastructure development and improving the lot of African airports to be at par with their counterparts worldwide. Uriesi, who spoke yesterday while presenting a paper on ‘Airport Regulation, from the Africa Perspective’ at the Airport Council International Conference and Exhibition in Lome, Togo, said the country may introduce a token developmental charge to have return for investment once the projects are done. He said many countries are investing in their infrastructure, adding that apart from Egypt and South Africa that have over 30million passengers annually, only eight African countries have a total passenger figure of above seven million. He said in the context of 43

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

African countries only five have above 10million passengers, while three have seven million, eight of those countries have between one and two million passengers. With this, he said passenger traffic in Africa is not enough to provide the funds for airport development He explained that this may have led other countries, including Tunisia, Mozambique, Togo, Tanzania and Senegal to also invest heavy funds to ensure rapid development in their airports. Reeling out airport investment figures, Uriesi said that Togo with a passenger figure of 472,000 passengers, is currently investing $150million, while Zambia, with 136 million passengers, is investing about $460million and a green field of $500million. He said Nigeria is undertaking its investment “without a corresponding airport development levy, but I can’t guarantee that we will not put a small development levy,” he added.

Fed Govt inaugurates leather sector committee


• From left: Multichoice Nigeria Customer Service Officer, Miss Nnenna Ibekwe; Branch Manager, Mrs Vivian Odenigbo and representative of Daughters of Divine Love (DDL) charity home in Enugu, Rev. Sis. Obi-Udu Margaret-Mary, with inhabitants of the home, during a donation by Multichoice Enugu to mark it’s 2013 Customers’ Week in Enugu...yesterday.

Nigeria loses over $3b yearly to foreign seafarers, says NIMASA N

IGERIA is losing over $3 billion to foreign seafarers, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Ziakede Akpobolokemi, has said. In a presentation yesterday at the capacity building workshop for Maritime reporters holding at Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, in Akwa Ibom State, Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the Deputy Director and Head of Public Relations, Isichei Osamgbi, said it is possible the figure could be higher. The NIMASA chief who advocated for increased government and stakeholders’ intervention in the development of indigenous capacity in the

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

maritime sector to check capital flight, stressed the advantages of such intervention, which include reduction in unemployment with its associated vices. He said: “The implication of retaining about $6 billion in the country annually cannot be underestimated. The standard of living will improve with the attendant vices, occasioned by minimising unemployment. This can only happen if we have the right professionals to do the job. “Besides, a lot of foreign income can also be earned from seafarers working on foreign

flagged vessels. The Asian tigers are a good case in point,” he said. He said that reports have it that out of the over $16 billion remittances into the Philippines by the overseas Filipino workers, over $7 billion is generated by Filipino seafarers, stating that if the Nigerian seafarers working overseas can attract this much into Nigeria, it would have a positive impact on the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). He said the Philippines has not been able to achieve this feat using one maritime academy or pockets of sponsorships abroad. “The Philippines has an educational

infrastructure of about 90 maritime schools, graduating an estimated 40,000 seafarers annually. “This explains why 20 per cent of global seafarers are Philippines, translating to about one in every five per cent seafarers aboard a vessel being a Filipino.” He said the Philippines don’t own the most ships, but they work aboard the most vessels. This can be replicated in Nigeria as well, adding that if Nigeria has all the vessels and doesn’t have the requisite capacity to man them, the sector will still suffer. “Therefore, it is instructive to have the people who will manage our fleet and the sector professionally for the benefit of the country as a first step,” he said.

HE Federal Govern ment yesterday inau gurated the Leather Sector Revolution Committee to develop a comprehensive strategy for the sustainable growth and development of the leather industry across the country. The Committee is headed by the Secretary of the Tanners Council, Alhaji Salisu Umar, while the Chairman, Leather and Allied Products Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (LAPAN), Alhaji Bashir Danyaro, serves as the Vice Chairman. Other members of the committee include representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, Kano State Ministry of Commerce, Aba Shoe Cluster and the United Kingdom Department For International Development, among others. While inaugurating the 17-member committee in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the terms of reference of the committee included providing guidance on government policy within the leather industry, in addition to serving as the primary advisory group on matters relating to the leather sector. He said: “The initiative was in line with the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, which is based on areas where the country has comparative and competitive advantage. “The idea behind the Nigeria Industrial Revolution

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Plan is that if we have to diversify our economy and revenue as a country, we have to do it through industrialisation, but for us to achieve the desired impact, we must work together with the private sector and all the stakeholders to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. “Already, we have identified some of the areas where we have comparative and competitive advantage in which we can be number one in Africa and then top 10 globally in terms manufacturing of value added products. So, developing the leather industry is part of our Industrial Revolution Plan due to the huge opportunities in that sector in terms of job creation, revenue and wealth creation for our people.

Nigeria Liability Insurance Pool makes N132m profit


IGERIA Liability In surance Pool has said made a profit of N132.36milion during the 2012 financial period. Its Chairman , Mr. Olutayo Borokini stated this during the firm’s 2012 Annual General Meeting held in Lagos. According to him, the pool had continued to record a steady growth since its inception in 2010, having recorded a total gross premium of N921m during the year ended 31, December 2012.

Reps investigate Agip over oil spill compensation


HE House of Repre sentatives is to inves tigate Nigerian Ag Oil Company’s (NAOC) for refusing to compensate 25 coastal communities in Delta State over a 2012 oil spill in the course of its operation in the area. The investigation was also predicated on the alleged failure of the oil company to comply with the recommen-

From Victor Oluwasegun and DeleAnofi, Abuja

dations of a joint report in its core duty to plan and implement appropriate mitigation measures to contain the resultant damages. Some of the communities devastated by the oil spillage, include Ise-Ndupu, IseOnuor, Onyaku, Ngakor, Ikashika, Aboh and 19 oth-

ers located in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion in October 2012. NAOC’s Kwali/Akiri pipeline, lying along the Agwetti Right of way ruptured and spilled unquantifiable volumes of crude oil into the creeks and

the high tidal waters of the flood-ravaged coastal communities. Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), who argued that there is a need to prevail on the oil company to pay compensation to the affected communities, observed that the spillage destroyed vast areas of cultivated farmlands, aquatic lives, fishing nets as well as contaminated

drinking water sources. He said: “A post-impact assessment conducted by representatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). NAOC and the communities revealed as implied in the ‘Field Joint Investigation report that NAOC failed in its core duty to plan and imple-

ment appropriate mitigation measures to contain the resultant damages. “It is however worrisome that in the negotiations that would have led to the pay,net of compensations, NAOC trivialized the fundamental issues at stake by offering a paltry N500,000,00 to each of the impacted communities which were promptly rejected.




•The parents...yesterday.

Ondo to establish commodity exchange market From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

THE Ondo State government yesterday approved the establishment of a state Commodity Exchange Market to cater for agro-allied products and boost the economy. Commissioner of Information Kayode Akinmade spoke with reporters after the State Executive Committee meeting in Akure, the state capital. He said the market would enable cocoa farmers and stakeholders in the agro-allied business come together and decide the price of their products. Akinmade said the market will eradicate middle men in the cocoa business, who usually strangulate the profits of the farmers. He said besides state officials, who have traveled to Ethiopia to study the workability of the market, commodity brokers would be employed to projects farmers output to enable them access government loans. The commissioner said like the commodity board in the old western state, the market would always protect the interests of cocoa farmers.

Curfew on Osun communities From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

THE Osun State government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in Oba-Oke and Oba-Ile, following a bloody clash between the communities. Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti announced this yesterday on the state-owned radio and television stations. The curfew is from 6pm to 6am everyday.

Parents rally support for Osun M school reforms EMBERS of the Osun State Parents and Guardians Association yesterday thronged to the State Secretariat in Osogbo, the state capital, to show their support for the education reforms of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. They urged the government to continue with the reforms, adding that they and their children are happy with them. The association, led by Dr. Ademola Ekundayo, told the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, that its members came to the streets to warn politicians to stop playing politics with the life of children. They carried placards with various inscriptions, such as: “politics apart, education apart”; “we are saying thank you for reviving our children’s education”; “we support re-classification and merger of schools”; and “change is inevitable, don’t politicise the future of our

.Politicians warned to stop toying with education children” among others. Ekundayo said: “We apologise for obstructing the free flow of vehicular movement around the secretariat. After observing what has been going on since the commencement of the reclassification of schools, we decided to hold a rally in appreciation of what Aregbesola is doing in schools. “Our association is coming out in the open to tell politicians not to play politics with the education of our children, as we have not had it this good until Aregbesola came on board. “We urge the government not to relent in its efforts to give our children the best. We know what it used to be in the past and we can

see the difference. Parents have been to these schools and we are very happy with the situation. “Our children are now being taught in classrooms with ceiling fans. We do not have to buy tables and chairs again. Our children in elementary schools are now feeding free of charge and every classroom now has teachers. We are grateful to Aregbesola.” Ekundayo urged the government not to be distracted by “enemies of progress” saying: “Many of the people making noise about the merger do not have children in these schools. Their children are in private schools. I am sure none of them has ever visited any of these schools, because if they have,

their conscience will tell them that what they are doing is wrong. What is the population of these people? This will go a long way to show that they are not interested in the children because their children are not there. They are only interested in themselves. Praising the parents for their orderly conduct, the deputy governor said: “I was at a function when I was called that some people were blocking the entrance to the secretariat. I was afraid, but when I got here and found that it was you parents and that you have come to tell us we are doing good, I became happy.” She said the administration’s education reforms have improved the performance of pupils in examinations. Mrs. Laoye-Tomori thanked the parents for their support and hailed teachers for their contributions to the Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge).

Demolition: Compensation is ready, says Amosun


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has told owners of buildings that were demolished to pave the way for the reconstruction of the 32km Sango-IjokoAkute-Alagbole road to come to Abeokuta, the state capital, to collect their compensation. He said the cheques are ready for collection at the Bureau of Lands. The governor spoke in Ifo at the inauguration of a poultry pen built by Ifo Local Government Chairman Oluwole Enilolobo. He said property owners were given adequate notice before the demolition began on Monday. Amosun said: “We gave residents of Ijoko, Agbado, Akute and Ojodu two years notice. The compensation has been ready for sometime but our people need to pick up their cheques at the state secretariat in Abeokuta). We paid the Central South Construction Company, which is handling the project, two months ago and are waiting

for our people to be ready. “I went to those areas on Sunday to let the people know that manpower and equipment had been mobilised to site for the commencement of work on the six-lane road the following day. All roads linking us with neighboring states would be fixed for economic development.” The governor said a shopping complex would be built on the axis for people whose shops were demolished. He expressed his administration’s determination to make Ogun a model state.

Amosun said his administration was working assiduously to taking advantage of opportunities that abound in the state. He said efforts are in top gear to develop three new towns across the state, adding that “one of them, which is the largest, would be in Ifo”. Amosun said: “We have done the design and area survey. We are almost through with the planning. The projects are in furtherance of the fulfillment of our FiveCardinal Agenda.” He said spaces had been acquired for the citing of security surveillance control


rooms across the state. Amosun said more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) would be deployed in strategic points to tighten security.

Ajimobi commiserates with Olunloyo on mum’s death OYO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has commiserated with former Governor Omololu Olunloyo on the death of his mother, Alhaja Bintu Tejumola Olunloyo. In a statement yesterday, the governor said the late Alhaja Olunloyo

lived a fulfilled life and died “at a time many mothers would desire to pass on”. Ajimobi said: “Mama, Alhaja Olunloyo, lived an exemplary life. She was supportive of her son and I am sure the support will continue, even now that

she has passed on. She was an epitome of motherhood. This was reflected in Dr. Olunloyo’s reverence for her and constant reference to her.” He urged the former governor to be consoled by the fact that his mother was “one in a million”.

Ooni to rulers: back Fayemi From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


HE Ooni of Ife, Oba O k u n a d e Sijuwade, yesterday urged monarchs in Ekiti State to support Governor Kayode Fayemi. The monarch spoke through the Apetu of Ipetumodu, Oba Elijah Oyelade, yesterday at the Second Conference of the Association of Majority Obas of Ekiti Land (MOBEL) in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Oba Sijuwade said the governor deserves another term to continue the “great work he is doing in the state”. He said: “It would be in the best interest of the state, if Fayemi is returned for another term to sustain the development process. Fayemi deserves your cooperation. I have got reports that he has been doing well for you and the people of the state. He should continue the good work. You (the Obas) should also support him to run for another term to enable him continue the work.” The Ooni urged the rulers to always value the Yoruba culture. Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu, who was represented by Chief Tale Oguntoyinbo, urged the monarchs to continue to support the administration by ensuring peace in their communities, noting that the peace in the state was responsible for the progress witnessed in the last three years.” Lamenting the dwindling use of the Yoruba language, Mrs. Adelabu urged monarchs to speak the language at their meetings. Also present were the Special Assistant to the Governor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Aderemi Ajayi and MOBEL Chairman, Oba Olufisan Ajayi, who is the Alayetoro of Ayetoro Ekiti.



NEWS Osun, NGO train entrepreneurs


•From left: Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Lamido Adamawa,Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa,Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar during the turbaning of the new Talba Adamawa, Mr Daniel Madu Bwala at the Emir’s Palace in Yola... last weekend

Bamidele resigns as Ekiti Caucus Leader in House of Reps H

OUSE of Representatives member Opeyemi Bamidele (Ifelodun/Irepodun) has resigned as the Leader of the Ekiti Caucus. Bamidele, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, said his resignation was to allow him realise his ambition to govern Ekiti State in 2014. In a letter to Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, copies of which were sent to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; House of Representatives’ Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; and Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila; Opeyemi said he could no longer tarry in responding to the yearnings of Ekiti people.

•’I want to focus on my ambition’ The letter, dated October 22, reads: “I hereby resign, with immediate effect, my appointment as the leader of the State Caucus in the House of Representatives. “This resignation has become a cogent and compelling step for me to take at this time to enable me pursue, by the special grace and uncommon favour of the Almighty God, my aspiration to be the governor of Ekiti State by 2014, based on my personal conviction and in response to the call by well-meaning Ekiti sons and daughters at home and in the Diaspora, who believe that our dear state needs a critical interven-

tion at this time, so as not to become a failed state. “I can no longer tarry in responding to the yearnings and aspirations of the violated children, the deserted youth, the disillusioned women, the unfulfilled civil and public servants, the neglected artisans, the jobless and underemployed men as well as the heart broken elder statesmen and frustrated founding fathers. “Our founding fathers genuinely desired the emergence of a rallying point (across political and ideological divides) to herald in a new and united Ekiti State, where our past glory will be

brought back from sabbatical; where integrity and strength of character, which are the hallmarks of Ekiti personality, will be celebrated again; and where job creation, food security, law and order, as well as infrastructure and human capital development with high premium in health and education will be the utmost priority as the minimum agenda for good governance in compliance with global best practices.” Sometime ago, the Ekiti Caucus in the House announced that it was removing Bamidele because of his governorship ambition, but the decision was reversed, following Tinubu’s intervention.

Shehu of Borno urges Lagos pilgrims to pray for Nigeria


HE leader of the Federal Government’s delegation to the 2013 Hajj, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Umar Al-Amin El-Kanemi, has urged Lagos State pilgrims in Mecca to pray for peace and stability in Nigeria. The monarch, who is the

From Dauda Oluwakemi, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

deputy president of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), spoke yesterday when he visited the camp of Lagos pilgrims in Mecca. He was received by the Commissioner for Home Af-

fairs and Culture, Alhaji Oyinlomo Danmole, and other members of the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Board. The Shehu said the country would improve if citizens pray to God to guide and direct those in authority. He said leaders need the people’s prayers and support


From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

ship for our people due to an increase in unemployment. In view of this problem, the council executive came up with an empowerment programme, so that our people can be self-employed to meet up with present challenges.”

Alatise urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the equipment, adding that the council would set up a committee to monitor their progress. Wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, hailed the council for the gesture and urged the beneficiaries to put the equipment to

good use. She said: “Anybody who trains unemployed youths and provides job tools for them has put food on their tables. He has taught them how to kill the fish and not just giving them fish.” Mrs. Ajimobi urged the people to continue to support the government to sustain the peace in the state.

Four arraigned for ‘rape’ in Ado-Ekiti


OUR men were yesterday arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court for alleged rape. Ogundola Dayo 24; Akomolafe Gbenga, 27; Ayeni Oluwaseun, 29; and Seye Banjo, 24, allegedly committed the crime on October 13 at Moshood road in Ikere-Ekiti. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Caleb Leranmo, told the court that Dayo aided the other suspects to gang-rape a girl, which led to her being hospitalised. The accused pleaded not guilty and their counsel,

•Man, 20, held for ‘defiling’ minor From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Chris Omokhafe, prayed the court to grant them bail. Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye granted them N100,000 bail each, with one surety in like sum, who must be a civil servant. The case was adjourned till November 15. In Ile-Ife, Osun State, a 20year-old man, Feyi Olatunji, has been arrested by the police for allegedly raping a 14year-old girl.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

ensure that every OYES graduate is self-reliant and becomes an employer of labour.” Ifaturoti said: “The government’s efforts are yielding fruits. From the OYES programme, many have developed business initiatives that have turned them into employers of labour. We are not relenting on this, as this is the way to go in a country as ours, where opportunities elude the younger generation. Osun will continue its innovative strategies.” The Managing Director, Generation Enterprise Nigeria, Mr. Bunmi Otegbade, said the six-month training is to prepare participants to stand on their own. Otegbade said investors are ready to partner his organisation to assist the graduates with equipment and capital for their businesses. He said: “The first phase of this programme started last December. The success of this batch will determine when the next set of participants will begin their training. “We have trained them for over six months and given them a token to start something. What we are doing now is to get investors, who will assist them with funds to expand their businesses.”

Ibadan businessman remanded in prison for ‘stealing’


N Ibadan businessman, Chief Olatunde Oginni, and eight others have been remanded in prison custody by an Osogbo Chief Magistrate’s Court. The suspects were arraigned on a 12-count charge of stealing and disturbing the public peace. Oginni allegedly stole bags of cocoa worth thousands of naira, a bowel pressure, a sprayer, a Nokia handset and N210,000. The prosecutor, Inspector Olorukooba, told the court that

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

on October 18, Oginni and the others breached the public peace in Odogbo by moving from house to house to beat up Oginni’s perceived opponents and fighting in a public place. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Chief Magistrate, Mr. E.O. Aluko, remanded the accused at the Ilesa prison until the next sitting slated for November 13.

GUS Episode 19: Martha, Anthony evicted

to address the violence in the country. The National Amirul Hajj said: “I am making this appeal to you on behalf of the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria. It is the responsibility of citizens to pray for our states, country and leaders.”

300 youths get N10m tools in Ibadan BADAN North East Local Government Council yesterday distributed working equipment worth N10 million to 300 youths, who just completed its vocational training programme. The youths, selected from the 12 wards in the council, were trained as computer operators, fashion designers, hair stylists, phone repairers, electrical installation and auto-mechanics. Computer systems, sewing machines, washing basins, hair dryers, mechanical and electrical tools, among others, were distributed to them at the council’s headquarters on Iwo Road, Ibadan. The council’s Transition Committee Chairman, Mr. Lukman Alatise, said the programme was aimed at reducing poverty. He said: “Unemployed youths were selected from the 12 wards and trained to be self employed. The economic recession has created more hard-

HE Osun State government and a Non-Gove r n m e n t a l Organisation (NGO), the Generation Enterprise Nigeria, have trained youths to become entrepreneurs. At the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme’s (OYES’) Business Pitch session in Osogbo, the state capital, the Director-General, Office of Economic Planning and Partnership, Dr. Charles Akinola, and the Director-General of the Bureau of Social Services, Mr. Femi Ifaturoti, said the state government would create opportunities for young entrepreneurs in their localities. The session, organised by Generation Enterprise Nigeria, featured over 60 OYES members, who specialise in 20 business ventures. Akinola said the initiative was part of OYES’ exit strategy to empower graduates of the two-year scheme. He said: “The state government is committed to reducing unemployment. That is why it wants OYES graduates to be employers of labour, having gone through the two-year training scheme. Today, we have 60 young entrepreneurs, who have been successfully trained at the programme organised by Generation Enterprise Nigeria in collaboration with the OYES. This is another testimony that the state will stop at nothing to

Police spokesperson Folashade Odoro said the girl, a virgin, was running an errand for her guardian in Ogo Oluwa area when Olatunji lured her into his mother’s shop and raped her. The incident occurred on October 12. Odoro said Olatunji later forced the victim into his brother’s shop and locked her up until the following day, when he was arrested. She said the suspect would be arraigned soon.

• TSpears Martha and Swords Kunle on the obstacle course

Martha Adeboye, the second half of the twins remaining in the jungle, and Anthony Brosu, both lost their places in the quest after they failed woefully in the ‘Snake Maze’ challenge. In the same vein Dennis Okike lost his leadership of the Hammer tribe in less than twenty four hours, thereby setting a record as the first leader with the shortest reign in the history of the Ultimate Search. The day began for the warriors on a troublesome note. They had barely woken when an angry Chidi stormed their camp, ordered them to do twenty push-ups while he pulled their shelter down. Not satisfied he ordered another twenty pushups. Their offence? The warriors, perhaps blinded by hunger pangs, had flouted instructions the previous night by assisting Kunle to kill and prepare the goat. The Council of Elders dislike disobedience and so sent Chidi to discipline and sound a note of warning to them. The result of that unscheduled visit was Dennis’ removal as camp leader and Ifunanya’s installation as interim leader having come second in the last task. In addition to his removal, Dennis would not eat for the next 48 hours. Under Ifunanya’s leadership the warriors rebuilt their shelter and prepared for the day’s task. The core of the task was riddle solving using puzzle tiles designed to test the warriors’ flexibility. To solve the riddle the warriors went through a snake maze where they hooked a rope to themselves and then wriggled their ways to the other end, to retrieve a riddle kept in a basket. They then made their ways back to the work station through the same route. At the work station the warriors opened the riddle and used the puzzle tiles to show their answers. The first warrior to accomplish that would win the challenge. Kunle and Edmund were the first to go wriggle their ways to the riddle while Martha got her rope tangled at a point and had to start afresh. Anthony was next to get to the riddle while Eddy returned to the work station first, followed by Dennis. Edmund figured the answer to the riddle first, followed by Kunle. Tracy and Ifunanya got it at the same time. Martha only retrieved her riddle after five warriors had figured out the answers. Dennis eventually got it after much effort. Anthony was clueless about the answer while Martha was still in the maze when the time stopped. Two of them were instantly evicted while leadership was handed to Eddy. For the first time in the history of the GUS, the meeting at the Place of the Talking Drum was held under a heavy down pour, a move by the Council of Elders to strongly remind the warriors why they were in the jungle.




Job seeker 'rapes' groundnut seller A job seeker, Muselium Dele, was yesterday charged with allegedly raping a 19-year-old groundnut seller at an Itire Magistrate's Court, Surulere, Lagos State. Dele, 25, who resides at Lawanson in the Surulere area, is also being tried for alleged conspiracy. The prosecutor, Inspector Olakunle Shonibare, told the court that the accused, with others at large, committed the offences on September 18 at 45, Anjorin Street, Lawanson. He said the accused lured the teenager into his apartment under the pretext of buying groundnut and raped her. The offences, Shonibare noted, contravene Sections 258 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Section 258 prescribes life imprisonment for offenders. The accused, however, pleaded innocence and the Magistrate, Mrs A. O. Gbajumo, granted him bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum. She adjourned the case till November 14 and directed that the case file should be forwarded to the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.

'Solution to Celestial Church crisis' THE leadership crisis rocking the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) won't end unless its leaders adhere strictly to the instructions of its late founder, Pastor Samuel Bilewu Oshoffa, by recognising the church in Porto Novo, Benin Republic, which he first established as its supreme headquarters." This was the admonition of Rev. Pastor Bennett Akande Adeogun, the church's Supreme Head Worldwide, during a sermon at this year's harvest thanksgiving held in Porto Novo. Adeogun said the crisis was occasioned by greed and selfishness on the part of some leaders of the church, especially those in the Nigerian diocese, whom he accused of flouting the laid down rules and regulations of the late Oshoffa. "Pastor/Reverend Oshoffa did the job according to how he was directed by God and what the founder planted is what we are improving

By Uyoatta Eshiet

upon. This church was established by the holy spirit and not by human wisdom, knowledge or power," he stressed, adding: "What we are doing here is in accordance with the order of the founder as commanded by God, and which must be obeyed by all faithful of the Celestial Church of Christ all over the world." Pastor Patrice Lashile, first Vice President, said unless every member recognises the Port-Novo church as the mother of all celestial churches, there will continue to be leadership crisis in the fold. He said any pastor that was not ordained by the Porto Novo church is not a bona fide member and warned pastors who claimed to have been ordained by other persons apart from Pastor Adeogun to stop doing pastoral work in the name of the church.

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Four Boko Haram suspects arraigned over 'plot' to attack Kirikiri Prison


HE Federal Government yesterday arraigned four persons at the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly belonging to the proscribed Boko Haram sect. The accused persons are: Adamu Mohammed, Mohammed Mustapha, Bura Hassaini and Mohammed Ibrahim. The first and second defendants allegedly plotted to attack the Kirikiri Maximum Prison to free their members held in custody. Security was tight at the court yesterday as armed State Security Services (SSS) officers mounted guard around the premises. The charge, numbered FHC/L/316c/13, was signed by E. K. Ugwu, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation. In the first count, the government said the four, some-

By Joseph Jibueze

time in June/July at Wasein, a hideout at Orile-Iganmu area, Apapa, Lagos, and at 3, Denton Street, Yaba, within the court's jurisdiction, were arrested by a team of security agents "for belonging to a proscribed organisation to wit: Boko Haram sect." The prosecution said the accused persons committed an offence contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 2 (3) (i), read in conjunction with Section 33 (1) (b) of the Act as amended by the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) 2013. In the second count, the government alleged that Mohammed and Mustapha, with others at large, on or about June 26 at Wasein, conspired "to com-

mit a felony to wit: act of terrorism by organising a planned attack of the Kirikiri Prison in Lagos State to free your detained members in prison custody." The alleged offence, the government said, is contrary to Section 8 (1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013 and punishable under Section 8 (1) of the same Act. The prosecution also alleged that Hassaini in 2012/2013 at Bama, Borno State, within the Federal High Court jurisdiction, "did commit a felony to wit: acts of terrorism, in that you assisted or facilitated the activities of a proscribed organisation to wit: Boko Haram sect members by monitoring the activities of the security agents and reported your findings on phone to the leadership of the Boko Haram sect

headed by one Yamodu in the area, so as to evade arrest and investigation." Following Ugwu's oral application, the charge was read in English and explained to the accused persons in Hausa language. The court, presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu, asked each of them: "Do you understand the charge read to you?" Theys all responded in the affirmative, but pleaded not guilty. "I am not guilty," each of them said. Ugwu said: "In view of the plea of the accused persons, we pray for a date for trial, while the accused persons be remanded in prison custody." Justice Saidu ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the trial till December 12.

Foundation, firm endorse Power Oil THE Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) have endorsed Power Oil vegetable oil as suitable for the heart because it is cholesterol-free. Likewise, NSN endorsed Power Oil because laboratory tests also revealed the product contains other nutrients that would improve consumers’ health. Speaking during an event in Lagos, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, Executive Director (NHF) said due to its cholesterol-free components, Power Oil was indeed ideal for the heart and would go a long way towards ensuring cardiovascular health in the country. "Our plan is to meet the World Health Organisation's target to reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths by 25 percent before 2025. Products like Power Oil will help us achieve that goal," he declared. During the media launch of Power Oil in Lagos, the National Agency for Food

By Seun Akioye

Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have also given Power Oil their backing. Engineer Fred Akingbesote, Head, MANCAP, SON, said the vegetable oil brand had scaled a very demanding tripartite test for standards and could be reckoned with in the market. The Chief Executive Officer of Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Power Oil, Mr. Deepak Singhal, said of the certification: "This certification and the huge patronage that Power Oil enjoys in the market prove it is the ideal vegetable oil brand for the health-conscious." He also assured that the heart-friendly vegetable oil would go a long way to check the consumption of adulterated oil which many Nigerians had been patronising when quality oil was still unaffordable.

Traditional ruler seeks development THE traditional ruler of Ajah community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Chief Fatai Abiodun Olumegbon has bemoaned the lack of a government secondary school in his domain. He said the state has only built a junior secondary school in the community. The monarch urged government to do more to address poverty, which he

By Joseph Jibueze

said, was the root-cause of all the indices of insecurity in the country. Olumegbon sought tolerance and understanding among Nigerians, urging them to meditate on the benefits the nation can derive from a greater display of honesty and peaceful co-existence with others.

•Brands Communications and Customer Relations Manager, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Ayotomiwa Ajewole; Brands Operation Manager, Safeguard, Chidinma ErueIfeanyi; Public Health Expert, Dr. Nkechi Olalere (Dr Safeguard), with members of Safeguard's sanitation team after the exercise at the Mushin market ... Lagos.

Tears as robbers storm community


HE residents had smiled to bed after a fulfilling day. But, just when some of them who were still "alive" should celebrate the birth of a new day, the devil struck, leaving in its wake, tears and bloodshed. It was on Sunday. Idowu Crescent, Community Road and Ariya Street - all in Adalemo, Sango area of Ogun State - were the theatre of what many a victim described as an unforgettable ordeal. Armed robbers - for the second time in a week - swooped on the neighbourhood without let. As they shot their ways into homes, beating and maiming residents, they looted valuables, especially money. Their prey could only groan in pitiable helplessness. The operation, it was gathered, began around 12am and lasted hours. Several houses, it was said, fell victim to the invasion by the unwelcomed visitors who reportedly shot sporadically into the air to scare off security agents. "They blew whistles like typical night guards while the operation lasted. So, many of us

‘...They demanded money ... I said I had none. One of them pointed gun at my daughter ... then, I said my last prayers. Another one ordered them to fire us if we refused to cooperate’ By Olalekan Ayeni

mistook them for local security guards," said a resident. A victim a landlady on Idowu Crescent, Mrs Osho a.k.a Mummy Solo, said she was thoroughly beaten when she refused to handed over her bag containing her money and gold to them. "As they came in, they demanded money and I said I had none. They asked for gold; I said I had none. One of them pointed gun at my daughter, Bose, when she too said she didn't have money and that she

was an apprentice. Then, I said my last prayers. Another one ordered them to fire us if we refused to cooperate. They vowed not to leave our house if we didn't surrender money or gold to them. To avoid wasting our lives, I handed over all I had to them," she recalled, sobbing. Another victim, who simply gave his name as Mrs Linus, said she was "mercilessly pounded" and hit with an iron in her head as she didn't have anything to offer them. "As they came into our house, about four men entered my room and ordered me to bring out my money. I replied that I had no kobo. And after thoroughly searching the room and found no penny, except my faulty mobile phone, one of them, in annoyance, smashed the phone on the floor. Another one hit my head with the iron rod of my standing fan. He said he would have fired me but for my cooperation," still in shock, Mrs Linus said. It was gathered also that another victim, Mr Akeem, who lost his wife while delivering

•Mrs Linus

a baby about three months ago, was angrily shot in the leg when nothing was found on him. He was said to have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital. It was the same tale of woes on the other affected streets. While many of them said security must be seen as a responsibility that should not be left only for night guards, most others urged government to strengthen security of lives and property, especially in the suburbs.



NEWS ANAMBRA 2013 Parties unite for Obiano

‘We’ll sue Obiano for vandalising billboards’

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


ARTIES in seven local governments of Anambra North yesterday united to choose a candidate for the zone. Addressing a news conference, Chairman of the Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation (ANWOCO) in Anambra North Chief Christopher Oranu, said the zone was qualified to produce a governor, saying they were supporting Dr. Obiano, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate . Oranu, represented by Peter Madubueze, secretary/ acting chairman, said the body, comprising people from Anambra North, would ensure that one of their own becomes the next governor. “ANWOCO members believe, as Governor Peter Obi does, that it is fair for the zone to have a first shot at the governorship, as the two other zones (Anambra Central and Anambra South) have occupied the seat for over 16 years.” he said. He urged Anambra indigenes to support Obiano in the interest of equity and fairness, saying his choice would bring peace and stability.

NNPP candidate vows to resist rigging Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HE New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate in the November 16 governorship election, Prince Leonard Uchendu, has vowed to resist rigging. He told The Nation yesterday in Awka that by next week his party would launch its campaign, adding that they had been meeting on a daily basis. According to Uchendu, “the aim of everybody participating in the poll is to win. This is why my party would make sure we win and take over the Anambra State Government House in March next year. “What NNPP will not tolerate is anybody or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) favouring a candidate or his party.”

•President Goodluck Jonathan receiving a letter of credence from the Head of the European Union in Nigeria, Mr. Michel Arrion. With them is the Minister of Foreign Affairs 1, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.


From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

•From left: Deputy Director-General, Senator Chris Ngige Campaign Organisation, Chief Ben Oranusi; Director-General of the organisation, Chief George Muoghalu; and the organisation’s Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Charles Amilo, briefing reporters in Awka...yesterday

APC decries plan to ‘disenfranchise’ voters HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said many people may be disenfranchised in the November 16 governorship election. The party alleged that in Alor Ward 2 in Idemili North Local Government, over 753 voters’ names were not in the register released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It said the situation was the same throughout the state. Briefing reporters, Director- General, Senator Chris Ngige Campaign Organisation (CNCO), Chief George Muoghalu, alleged that some people planned to unleash thugs on APC strongholds. He said:“We have come into this governorship race from the point of strength.


•Party: our silence not act of cowardice From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

We have come into this race with a brand that has been tested and we are grateful to God. “This election is not about Ngige, it is about Anambra, it is about doing things right, it is about salvaging our state, it is about changing the old order, it is about returning Anambra to where it belongs. “We have received information about a plan to make sure that materials for the November 16 election are delivered late to the areas considered as our strongholds. “They are planning to unleash thugs to frustrate the electorate and disenfranchise the public.

“We are asking those thinking towards that direction to change because we have what it takes to resist it. “We believe in the mantra of one-man, one-vote. Security agencies should do everything to ensure free, fair and credible election in Anambra State and people should note that our calm is not an act of cowardice. “INEC has released the voter register and based on the one we have received, in our stronghold, there is a systematic disenfranchisement of voters. In one of the areas, over 800 names are missing. “We believe there is a mistake somewhere by INEC and this is why we are bringing it to their notice to correct the mistake.

“This poll is not about Anambra, it is the future of the people. Any attempt to frustrate not only Ngige but APC will be resisted in accordance with the law for the benefit of our people. “In APC, we believe in law and order, but in doing it we must resist attempts to frustrate us. Nobody has a monopoly of violence. We will write a memo to INEC on these observations so that they will be corrected.” Muoghalu said APC members, including Ngige, had been provoked in many instances, “but we have remained calm. What we want is for the will of the people to prevail.” He described the dismantling of Ngige’s billboards as one of the provocations, adding that their lawyers were handling the matter.

Ngige gives traders N1m at Onitsha market


HE standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, has visited the polythene bags’ market at the Nwizu Estate in Awada, Onitsha, which was gutted by fire last weekend. Ngige, who arrived the market about 3 pm, was greeted by the chants of Onwa! Onwa! Onwa! The traders, who said they had endorsed him as the next governorm, followed

him as he was conducted round the market by the Vice-Chairman of the traders’ union, Mr. Donatus Okwudili. Okwudili told Ngige that the traders lost goods valued at N2.5 billion. The APC candidate sympathised with the traders and donated N1 million for the establishment of a trust fund. He said as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, he would ad-

vise the Enugu Zone of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to replace the wooden poles with concrete poles. Dr. Ngige assured them that if he was voted back to power, he would rebuild the market. “If I return to office, Anambra people will enjoy as they enjoyed when I was a governor. I will introduce new ideas for the development of the state. “Insecurity, lack of viable

A POLITICAL support group for Chief Ugochukwu Okeke-Enyioha, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, has threatened to sue Dr. Willie Obiano, the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate (APGA), for the vandalism of a billboard it legally acquired and erected for its principal. The group, Enyioha Campaign Organisation, in a statement in Awka yesterday, decried the vandalism. Its spokesman, Chief Ugochukwu Adilieje, condemned the APGA candidate for wilfully destroying an existing billboard and arrogated same to himself “because he is sponsored by the ruling party in the state.” But the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, said the billboards pulled down were those whose owners were owing. He urged politicians to settle their debts before erecting billboards. Adilieje, who displayed receipts by the Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency and bank deposit slips, alleged that the Obiano campaign group was using government’s fiat to intimidate and manipulate the system in its favour. He alleged: “Every time APGA had a rally, they tore it (flex on the billboard) and we replaced it. But this time round, they not only tore it, they put their candidate’s flex on it.”

Anambra begins voter education From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


industries and high school fees will become a thing of the past.” Clementina Olomu, Ngige’s media consultant, told reporters that the APC standard-bearer could not watch his people suffer. “Their pains are his pains. This is why he wants them to join hands with him to rebuild Anambra State,” she said.

ANAMBRA State government yesterday began a sensitisation tour on voter education to local governments. Coordinator of the sensitisation tour and Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation, Mr. Nduka Alor, said the exercise was to urge youths to be united, irrespective of party affiliation. He added that the voter education would enable youths, especially those in the hinterlands, to know that voting was their power, right and franchise.

Ubah compensates fire victims From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

RADERS and artisans of the Nwaizu Polythene Manufacturers Association, Awada Obosi, near Onitsha, whose goods and machines worth over N500 million were gutted by fire last weekend, yesterday got a relief from the Labour Party candidate, Ifeanyi Ubah. He donated N1 million, saying he was moved to make the donation, which he noted would act as a palliative. Ubah, who earlier visited the scene of the fire, said: “I was moved to make this donation to serve as a palliative to the victims.” He promised to end the suffering of the artisans by absorbing some of them into the civil service, if elected as a governor. The Chairman of the association, Mr. Vincent Elechi and the landlord of the estate, Chief Emma Nwaizu, hailed Ubah for his generosity and promised to work for his victory.




NEWS (SHOWBIZ) Family rekindles memory of Haruna Ishola


JEBU-IGBO, an ancienet town in Ogun State, will witness an unusual festivity as it is set to fete various Yoruba language musicians of different genres. The party, according to organisers is in memory of the legendary Apala music king, Haruna Ishola, who died 30 years ago. Ishola hailed from the town. Family of the late musician is prepared to bring his memory alive, by fixing November 9, to mark three decades of his demise. Family sources said top artistes have shown interest in joining well wishers and fans of the late Ishola to make the day a glorious one. They said a prayer session would be organised at Abusi Edumare centre, in the town. The major turning point in the life of the artiste was when he released his first LP, titled: Oroki Social Club, which was said to have sold over five million copies. Between 1971 and 1983, Ishola was known to have released several other hit records. For the socio-cultural impact of his music, the musician


was in 1981, honoured by the then president of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari with a national award of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON). Ishola, whose innovativeness influenced the music of singers like the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal and Ayinla Kollington, passed on in 1983. ‘Haruna Ishola and his Apala group’ made their first record: Orimolusi Adeboye, in honour of the reigning traditional ruler of Ijebu Igbo at that time. The record did not do well commercially, but undeterred, Ishola was said to have taken another plunge in the record-making business in 1955, with another one titled: Late Orimolusi Adeboye on DECCA records label.

World renowned chef hosts reality show in Nigeria


ERSONAL Chef to two past presidents of the United States; George Bush and Bill Clinton is in Nigeria to impact what he called certified world training through a reality cooking competition. Master Chef Edwin Sholly, who is said to have over 15 years experience cooking for President George Bush, President Bill Clinton, and the Queen of England among others, is the host of the show called “Making of a Chef Nigeria, which has already trimmed contenders to eight. Scholly said at a press conference in Surulere, Lagos Monday that it was necessary to have home-groomed chefs, who can hold their heads high anywhere in the world. He noted that the ability to cook world top dishes should be considered as one of the tourism potential of the country. He said the show, which has the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, would reward the eventual winner with $30, 000.


Organised by Rhodium Chef Global Nigeria and Anchor Digital Media, the event is a derivative and combination of ‘Top Chef’, ‘Iron Chef’ and ‘Heel’s Kitchen’ as seen on TV. The show is a live 30 episode cooking competition that showcases 20 cooks shortlisted from an entry of over 200 Nigerians. Scholly said the final 20 would be given a chef jacket and knife kits signed by him, plus a certificate of participation, while the three finalists are to travel with him to Italy, where they will be for further training on different international cuisines. The show is being supported by Chicken Republic and Spar.


IS mannerism and jagged voice depicted those of a drunken man; not of a person ‘ravaged’ by the effect of hard drugs. His crazy manner happened on the spur-of-the-moment, and one could tell, that Majek Fashek is just a jolly good fellow who is restless and could constitute nuisance. His sober state came as quick as his restiveness and within that quick solemn moment too, one could liken his face to the innocent look of a child; by this time, his real age was betrayed, and his eye balls reflected how good-looking he was in his heydays. Fashek’s composed moments appear to be the news, because they tend to happen when he is suspicious of anyone around him. If he got crazy in the presence of a stranger, it was obvious he merely chose to throw caution to the wind. This reporter noticed he was watchful like a vigilant dog. His mood changed slightly when the writer became inquisitive; at that point, he wanted to know who his acquaintance was. They had sat body-close for about three minutes, and the artiste had engaged his company with disjointed tales only a discerning mind could piece together. But when the reporter’s question moved from being interactive, he sensed probity, turned around and asked; “who are you?” without waiting for a reply, he stood up in search of a matches to light a cigarette. “I am a journalist,” and without giving a thought to the reply, he walked away, leaving an almost empty bottle of Stout behind. It was obvious he was buying time, because when he resumed his drinking all that he said before was what the reporter could take home. The Nation ran into the artiste in a club house, where his manager, Hajia Amina Dangaji and her entourage were waiting for a meeting that afternoon. They had shielded people from taking picture with him or having any formal interaction, but perhaps just so, it didn’t look like he was being policed around, and the little gap created by the singer’s restlessness was what endeared strangers to him. “Samuel was a servant of Elias... Elah...” began his incoherent tales. “So one day, when Samuel was sleeping, God called him saying, Samuel! Samuliah!! But he got afraid and ran to Elias. He said to him, Ha! Dem call me o... Dem call me o, na you call me? He was afraid, he think say na juju.” He drifted away from the story, dwelling


10 minutes with Majek Fashek Stories by Victor Akande

briefly on the subject of mysticism. “But juju na fear,” he continued, “It’s a mind game. The third time God called Elias, he had the boldness, and so he said ‘speak father, your son is listening’. God talks in voices. To work with God, you can be a mental man, if you can handle it. God is a spirit, and he who must worship God, must worship God in truth and in spirit.” He hit the butt of a cigarette against his left arm severally and set its tip on fire. “You know what? I left my house this morning... I was all alone in my house... Samuel at last, was able to listen to the voice of God. It was Samuel that anointed David abi? I know Bible. I no wan talk...” the reporter appeared lost again, struggling to keep a line of conversation. Tailoring the artiste, he praised Fashek; “I’m sure you understand the Bible than some pastors we find around these days...” The musician took a deep puff at his cigarette and burst out with a song: “Pasito na him be him be?” he tried to sing a line of one of late Fela

Anikulapo Kuti’s hits. “Anikulapo, I will never deny Anikulapo. He was an African pastor. He was an Osa (deity)” He said, releasing some spent flame. “Where you a Bible student at any point in time?” the reporter wanted to know. “I studied the Bible while growing up,” he said. “I know the Bible, but I can’t make references. But I studied the book of Moses. Then at a time, I went overboard. I began to read mystic books. And I had to stop.” He looked sober at this point. What was the implication for him? “Mystic book is very dangerous,” he said. “You’ve got to go with the rules to avoid accident. The Bible is the best. Mystic books are very dangerous. They have rules, like the native doctors rules.” “What’s your name?” he asked the reporter. Replying him, Fashek took a deep breath, acting like a parapsychologist. Perhaps there was nothing to the name, he continued. “There are several books, some can lead you astray, but the Bible will not.” He stressed with a tone of fi-

Why Genevieve missed London premiere


CTRESS Genevieve Nnaji may have been given a diminutive role in the UK/Nigeria co-production; Half of a Yellow Sun, an adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s book directed by Biyi Bandele, but her absence at the London premiere of the film appeared to be greatly felt. The first public outing of the movie at the just concluded Toronto International Film Festival witnessed a huge crowd, including Africans, who wanted to catch a glimpse of the cast, which included Nnaji and veteran musician, Onyeka Onwenu. But flying to London for the second leg of the screening, Nnaji suddenly came down with flu. Director Bandele said on his Facebook page: “Just got back from the BFI London Film Festival European premiere of Half of a Yellow Sun at the Odeon West End. Humbled and moved

by the rapturous reception the audience gave it. It was also great to see the hardest working actor on our hemisphere, Chiwetel Ejiofor, the great John Boyega, the amazing Babou Ceesay, and the one and only Onyeka Onwenu. And Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, of course… We missed Thandie, who is on location in Vancouver. We missed Genevieve, who flew in for the premiere and promptly went down with flu (mind yourself o, London weather). What a night though. What a night.” Thandie, the lead female act in the movie may have been on location for close to two months now. The actress, who is pregnant with her second baby had rushed out of the ‘Q and A’ during the Toronto premiere in September, saying she had a flight to catch to Vancouver. Half of a Yellow Sun is one of

the most eagerly awaited films to come out of Africa in recent years. The film is based on the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967 to 1970, is weaved around a love story set in the war. But media reviews for the movie, touted to have cost $8 million (about N1.2 billion) have not been positive, given lapses Associated to the director’s inexperience. It is the first time that Bandele is shooting a feature film and critics wonder why he should be experimenting with a huge budget film, with collaborative efforts of two countries. The film focuses on two wealthy sisters, Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose), who, upon returning from their UK education, choose two completely different lives. “Newton’s Olanna gives up her social status to live with the radical academic Odenigbo


(Ejiofor), whilst Rose’s Kainene becomes a successful businesswoman who falls in love with an English writer. Betrayals threaten to tear the sisters apart but soon they are both in the middle of the civil war turbulence,” says CNN in its review

of the film. Nnaji, in the movie played Ms. Adebayo, a prostitute merely appears in just two short scenes. Onwenu’s presence, could be said to be better felt as the second Nigerian in the cast.

nality. Next, he talked about his next album and video. He said it is called ‘Olodumare music’. “Jah music”, he tried to interpret. He said the work is a sole effort and not a collaboration with another artiste. “Pressman,” he called out after returning to his drink. “You know Nduka?” he asked, apparently referring to Mr. Obaigbena; publisher of Thisday newspaper. “Tell Nduka that you saw me. He is my friend. Na him bring me nah and Azuka na him arrange am wey dem bring Beyonce from South Carolina. Missy Elliot, Snoop dog… at a time I was afraid to stay in Nigeria because of the system. But God is wonderful, and having stayed in Nigeria for a year and half is a miracle. I didn’t know I could do it, but God say make I come. Our people are suffering. After Fela, it’s me. Fela gave me his power. King Benedict of Italian. I am the new Benedict; Gbabee!” he said, tapping the reporter hard, it pained. “Awon orisa... Benedict don dash me the crown. Who born their father?” he drifted again. “Fela came to meet me. He blamed me for not going to Afrika Shrine. I tell you the truth; I’m a prophet of God. Taborah de o Alleluyah.. Ajajun laja ijo wa . eho iho ayo , ekorin...,” he started a popular Yoruba language white-garment church song. “I’m a Taborah boy. I like Oyedepo; Oyedepo is the best. I’m aladura for ever, he said, singing the song again and again. Popularly called ‘The rain maker’, Fashek held sway as a Reggae musician in the 80s. His musical exploit took him to the United States, where his stardom was on the rise, until he was linked with hard drugs, which brought a setback to his music career. Several philanthropists attempted to rehabilitate the musician, but it appears the artiste is also influenced by close associates who may be benefitting from his fortune. Fashek is said to be enjoying huge royalty for most of his songs from foreign music agencies. Married with four boys, Majek’s family is in the United States. His second son, Destiny, is still in college but he is into rap music.








Foundation donates books to primary schools

Kaduna immunises residents against meningitis

N3b car loan for civil servants








Page 15


Sokoto loses 70-year-old pilgrim


•Governor Wamakko

HE death of a 70-year-old, Ahmadu Achida from Wurno Local Government Area of Sokoto State, has tempered the excitement of the state’s pilgrims after the Aliyu Wamakko administration donated N56m to the Holy Land visitors. The septuagenarian died at Muna two days after observing the Arafat, the chairman of the Publicity Committee of the state’s 2013 delegation, Labaran Dundaye, told Newsextra in a telephone interview. Dundaye, who is also the chair-

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

man of the Sokoto State council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the deceased died after a brief illness. “The incident took place at Muna, near Makkah, two days after the Arafat, after Achida complained of minor body pains and other discomforts,” he said. “Shortly after, he was confirmed dead. So far, he was the only pilgrim from the state who died during this year’s hajj. “His remains have since been

buried by the Saudi authorities at Makkah, after a funeral prayer at the Grand Mosque, the Ka’abah. “The family of the deceased have been informed about his demise,” he said. Dundaye said that the remaining pilgrims were hale and hearty. The governor’s donation did much to lift the spirits of the pilgrims but the death brought considerable despair. The state has 6,170 pilgrims in this year’s hajj. The state’s publicity committee sub-chairman on the 2013 hajj,

Dundaye, said the donation was announced by the leader of the delegation (Amirul Hajj), Senator Jubril Gada, in Makkah. Dundaye said: “Wamakko made the donation when he visited the office of the state’s Pilgrim’s Welfare Agency, Makkah,” he added. Dundaye said each of the 6,170 pilgrims got 200 Saudi Riyals, equivalent of about N 9,000. “The gesture was an annual ex•Continued from Page 14


HERE is a lift in infrastructure in Rivers State. Schools are wearing a bold new look, unrecognisable from what used to be. Yet, Governor Chibuike Amaechi says his administration still prioritises infrastructure and that the plan to transform the state is still on course. To help realise this vision, Amaechi has engaged GIBB, a renowned construction firm with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. Amaechi who spoke in Port Harcourt, recalled the poor state of infrastructure he met in 2007 when he assumed office. That is why his administration “is engaging a world-class firm like GIBB to deliver worldclass projects,” he said. The governor spoke through the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Mrs Aleruchi Cookey-Gam at a dinner organised by the construction giant to showcase the multi-disciplinary and mega-projects it has been executing across many African countries. One of the projects executed by GIBB in Rivers is the monorail. Amaechi added that six years down the road, he is happy that his vision is on track. While admitting that Port Harcourt is still facing traffic congestion, the governor said that parts of the state capital are “locked up because we did not plan for the future”. There is a way out. GIBB has advised that “one of the things that will unlock the city of Port Harcourt is to run a road from Woji River to Elelenwo to take away traffic from Aba Road.” To unlock the Diobu axis of the metropolis, he said that a road would be built to link the old city of Port Harcourt to the new city and this road would connect Eagle Island, Ada George Road, Obiri Ikwerre

•A model school in Oginigba, Port Harcourt

Infrastructure a priority in Rivers Roads to mop up traffic gridlock From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

and join Port Harcourt International Airport. The governor also said that he is passionate about unlocking these roads to save people from “heart attack” occasioned by traffic congestion. While expressing the hope that GIBB would be able to deliver the first phase of the new city of Port

Harcourt, the governor also commended the company for wanting to partner with Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt in skills development but urged it to also consider “partnering with government in project delivery and building capacity of the people.” On the mono-rail, a project his government started during his first tenure and which is now being handled by GIBB, the gov-

ernor said that it “is real, the first of its kind in Nigeria.” He added that it is one of the visionary goals of his administration. The Chief Executive Officer of GIBB, Mr Richard Vries gave an insight into the company which he said was established in 1923 while the South African office opened in 1956. Vries also said that his company which opened its Nigerian office in 2008 is independently

rated as a market leader in consulting engineering and it is in operation in many countries of Africa. The GIBB boss who described Nigeria as “one of the 10 fastest growing economies of the world”, also used the opportunity to disclose the kind of projects they would be executing in the state, one of which is to partner with RSUST on skills development. He stressed that “investment in infrastructure will lead to employment and eradication of poverty.”




Gombe to inaugurate dialysis centre


•Governor Dankwabo

HE Gombe State government says that the newly constructed Kidney Dialysis Centre at the State Specialist Hospital, Gombe, will begin operation in December. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Kennedy Ishaya, said this in an interview with journalists in Gombe. He said that the state government had placed order for four machines and beds, among other equipment, for the centre. Ishaya said that the centre would be wellequipped to serve the whole state and neighbouring states efficiently. According to him, the only hospital with a dialysis centre in the state is the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe.

Kaduna immunises residents against meningitis


Ishaya said that it became expedient for the state government to construct the new dialysis centre, as several patients were compelled to travel to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) and other neighbouring states for dialysis. “With the new centre, I am sure the problem will be a thing of the past. “When completed, the centre will be one of the best dialysis centres in the country. “We want to have enough manpower in the centre; hence the need to send some nurses for training,’’ he said. Ishaya also praised Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo for the infrastructural development of the state. •Members of Save Our Soul showing solidarity with APC at the event.

Sokoto to spend N2.86b on education


HE Sokoto State government has said that it would spend over N2.86 billion on various projects in primary and junior secondary education sub-sectors. The Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Ibrahim Dingyadi, said this in an interview with journalists in Sokoto. Dingyadi said all the projects would be executed under the 2012/2013 FGN/ Sokoto State Government Intervention Funds initiative. He said N1.95 billion would be spent on the construction of three model primary schools in Sokoto city and its environs. The project, he said, was to further decongest the existing primary schools in Sokoto metropolis and its environs. He said the schools would be located at the old Kara market on Dallatu road and on Emir Yahayya road, all within the metropolis. Dingyadi also said that each of the three new primary schools would cost N649 mil-

lion, including the cost of furniture. “Each of the schools will be in a form of a storey-building, comprising 24 blocks of classrooms. “Each of the schools will also have a library, canteen, offices, hostels and staff quarters among others,” he said. He said all the necessary facilities required for effective teaching and learning would be provided in the schools. Dingyadi gave an assurance that the state government would pay compensation to the owners of property that may be affected by the projects. “The compensation would be paid as soon as possible as it is being assessed,” he said. He also said N295 million would be spent under the primary and junior secondary schools renovation project. Schools to be renovated, he said, included Yakubu Muazu Science Model School, Yahaya Abdulkareem Primary School and

Halliru Sarkin Gona Primary School, all in Sokoto metropolis. The rest are Junior Secondary School, Wamakko and Kajiji Primary School in Kajiji, Shagari Local Government Area. Dingyadi also said N51.2 million was to be spent on additional renovation and expansion of 73 primary schools in the 23 local governments while N567 million would be spent on the renovation of 128 blocks of 361 classrooms. “All these efforts are aimed at making sure that the existing 1,965 primary schools across the state are made conducive for effective teaching and learning,” Dingyadi said.

APC seeks programmes for youth development


HE initiator of the Seed of Hope, Chief Busayo Adebayo, has called for a format to develop Nigerian youths, even as he has urged well-meaning Nigerians to invest in their future. Speaking during the enlightenment campaign of the group in Lagos, he noted that Nigerian youths have been constrained by

Borno pays N270m for WAEC, NECO exams HE Borno State government has paid more than N270 million to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) as 2012/2013 examination fees of 33,000 students. The Commissioner for Education, Malam Inuwa Kubo, presented the cheques for the amount to the organisations at a ceremony in Maiduguri. He said that the amount represented 75 per cent of the registration fees for the examinations. “Today’s event marks another milestone in government’s efforts to develop the education sector in the state. “Government is paying to both WAEC and NECO to cover the registration fees of


the estimated 33,000 students who registered for the examinations in the state. “The amount covers 75 percent of the total registration fees as parents had already paid the 25 percent of the fees earlier,” Kubo said. He said that the examinations had been conducted successfully in most part of the state, but lamented that some centres could not hold the examinations for security reasons. Kubo praised the organisations for accepting to conduct fresh examinations for the affected students. He urged both the organisations to ensure that all the students accessed their results as soon as possible, to enable them to secure admission into tertiary institutions.

harsh socio- economic challenges with very little hope under the present leadership in the country. He explained that the group was inaugurated to garner support for the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He said: “Our hope is first of all to have good governance throughout Nigeria. We want a government that will take into consideration the interest of the downtrodden, the joblessness of our youths and provide solution. “A nation that deprives its youths the necessary support to break even has missed the point. It is the youth that will take over the leadership, who will rule in future and who will defend our collective interest in the face of internal and external threats.” The group is meant to correct the misconception within and outside the party that some people were not being carried along. It would do everything possible within the law to guide youths on the path of progress because without them the country is doomed. “If we don’t take care of the youth or invest in them, it means we have no future. So, our aim is to control the centre and prepare our youths to take up their rightful place in the country. You don’t hold your arms and look at your youth degenerate in strength. “The schools have been closed for about three months now without solution to the lingering ASUU strike, this is killing the future of our country and it is time we rise to solve these problems. In a good society, they would have provided solution to this challenge by now. I want to point out that APC is not bereft of ideas and will tackle these problems,” he said.

Bank donates to orphanage


•Chief Imam Shababul Hujaj Society of Nigeria Central Mosque, Alhaji Bamidele Sauban (left), with Chairman, Agege Local Government, Alhaji Jubreel Abdulkareem during a prayer at the Shababul Hujaj Society of Nigeria Central Mosque, Fagba, Lagos

By Tonia ‘Diyan

organisations to always understand the need of the community so that people could feel the impact of CSR in the community. He said FinaTrust Bank is committed to the growth of its host community as a standard practice. The Chairman of the bank, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo,said during the fourth year anniversary thanksgiving service at the corporate head office, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, that the confidence reposed in the bank by customers is one reason responsible for its success which is God’s work . ”We thank God for building the business on solid ground.God has helped us to recruit some of the best workers ,” he said. Ituah said further that the vision of the bank is very clear and with the performance of the bank so far in the last four years, Fina Trust is expected to go far, adding that despite closure of micro finance banks, Fina Trust has continued to wax stronger.

last year and we hope to reduce it this year, that is why we are starting the immunisation exercise early.” He noted that the disease is very common during dry season and affects all age groups. Ikara appealed to traditional and religious leaders to assist in sensitising the people to turn up for the immunisation, so as to ensure its success. He also urged those targeted “to respond massively to the exercise to avert any outbreak of the disease”. The official said the immunisation would not be conducted from house to house, but at designated centres, including the 540 clinics in the state, major markets and some mobile stations to be provided by the agency.

•Some women of the church on parade

•Governor Yero

Church launches N100m building project By Chinaka Okoro


By Musa Odoshimokhe

•Mrs Kayode receiving a cheque from a director of the bank, Mr Kunle Adeoye. With them is the Managing Director, Mr Popoola.

S part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, FinaTrust Micro Finance Bank Ltd, a leading microfinance bank, has made donations of food and money to Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School. During a visit by its Managing Director, Mr. Deji Popoola, the Principal of the school Mrs. Florence Kayode, said the bank’s top management including the chairman, Pastor Ituha Ighodalo, have constantly supported the school in various ways in the past. Popoola expressed the bank’s commitment to give back to the society as it marks its four years of growth and operation in the Nigerian micro-finance banking sector. “We have observed some of the other challenges being faced by the Homes besides the donations of cheque and foods to the children and we will ensure we continue to give our support in those regards,” said Popoola. Adeoye also admonished corporate

TOTAL of 5.24 million people will be immunised against meningitis in Kaduna State, an official of the state Primary Healthcare Agency, has said. Alhaji Hamza Ikara, the Health Educator of the agency, told journalists in Kaduna that the immunisation would run for 10 days, from November 2. He said that 631 health workers had been trained to conduct the exercise across the 23 local government areas,and would target people from the age of one to 29 years. Ikara said adequate vaccines had been received for the immunisation, adding that the measure was to forestall any outbreak as witnessed in 2012. “We have recorded cases of meningitis

•From left: Rev. Fr. Kenneth Ukah, Rev. Fr. Olanrewaju, Mr Adentuji and Vice-Chairman Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of the church, Mr Martins Nwabuwa during the press briefing

530 pilgrims return to Katsina


HE first batch of 530 pilgrims from Katsina State, who performed this year’s Hajj, has returned from Saudi Arabia. The pilgrims arrived at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport, Katsina, on board a Boeing 747 aircraft of the Max Airline at 11.30 p.m. on Sunday. They are from Kankia zone which comprised Kankia, Matazu, Musawa, Ingawa and Kusada local government areas of the state. The batch also included Governor Aliyu

Wamako of Sokoto State and his entourage. The pilgrims looked happy as they disembarked from the plane. One of them, Alhaji Zubairu Idris, thanked Allah for the journey mercies and praised officials of the state pilgrims board and Max Air “for a job well done”. He also prayed Allah to give opportunity for every Muslim to perform next year’s Hajj.

Church holds women convention


T was a beautiful end to a remarkable event recently as the Women of Victory of the Spoken Word End Time Ministry, rounded up activities marking its third women convention.The theme of the event was:Arise,shine for our light is come and

venue 5,Umuago Street,off Mosalashi Street,opposite OjoMilitary Cantonment, Barracks bus stop,Ojo,Lagos. The convention kicked off on Thursday, September 19 at 5.30pm with praise and worship, followed bible recitation and special songs by some women to appreciate God. Bro Anthony Guinea gave little exhortation entitled: The qualities of a virtuous woman. He outlined the qualities of a good marriage to include, obedience, humility, patience, love and prayers. He further stated that the light of God can only shine in a vessel (woman) that is sanctified and any woman that must shine, it must reflect in the life of her husband and children. The host Pastor,Chris Nmezi,Pastor Akajehovah Lojiji and Pastor Stephen, prayed for restoration of life to battered marriages. The ministers also gave secrets to a successful and lasting marriage. The grand finale of the programme took place on September 22. The women had white T-shirts with the inscrisption, Women of Victory and black skirts to match. They rendered soul-lifting songs to appreciate God for his mercy. Sister Blessing Nmezi, the women coordinator and Pastor’s wife gave the opening address after which the occasion was declared open. There were other side attractions such as news casting, parade, Bible quiz and drama presentation. Pastor Nmezi anointed the wedding fingers of all the couples present and they shared apples in unison.

RRANGEMENTS have been concluded for the launch of N100 million ultra-modern church building for Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun in Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State on Saturday, October 26. Addressing newsmen at the Anthony Cardinal Okogie Multi-purpose Hall at the church’s premises on the efforts being made by the Church Council to develop the church community, the Parish Priest Rev. Fr Gasper Olanrewaju said that “apart from our church’s less befitting look, the worshipping community is growing by the day, and the Church building is becoming less spacious for the large crowd which makes our yearning for a new building even more necessary and urgent.” He added that the current church building could hardly contain the ever-rising number of worshippers which hits over 3, 000 every Sunday. In the circumstances, therefore, the cleric has made a clarion call to public-spirited Nigerians and corporate organisations to help it raise N100 million for the building of a befitting shelter for God Almighty. In the circumstances therefore, he invites individuals and corporate organisations to answer the church’s clarion call on Saturday, October 26, for special luncheon/N100 million fund raising “for our ultra-modern church building,” even as he said: “Over the years, even right from ancient times, people who know and love God, have always been committed to any cause that has to do with Him. The blessings of God can, as well, be the lot of every man and woman who joins us in this spiritual exercise of building for the Lord. The required amount may seem scary and very huge, but with your effort, my effort and that of other brothers and sisters, we will get it done in good time.” On the events details of the day, Engr Michael Oluwatoyin Adetunji and Mr John Chukwudi Olisah; chairman and secretary of the organising committee respectively disclosed that the occasion would be chaired by Sir (Chief) Molade Okoya-Thomas, the Asoju Oba of Lagos while wife of Lagos State Governor Dame Abimbola Fashola would be the Special Guest of Honour. They also said that Father and Mother of the Day would be one-time governor of Lagos State Sir and Lady Michael Otedola while onetime presidential aspirant Professor Patrick Utomi would be the Pre-launch Speaker.

Church programme THE quarterly seven-day revival programme of All Power In Christ Church has begun.The venue is Prayer House Elegbeleye Street, Ikosi-Ketu, in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. It will end on Sunday, October 27. The programme runs from 6:00pm to 8:00pm daily with the theme: And in the Morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord”. Speaking on the programme, the chief host, Pastor B. Elusope said that attendees will receive God’s glory and their lives will never remain the same again.









Computer prodigy •A nine-year-old boy shows Nigerian potential with his Microsoft certification


IGERIA’S education system may not be as bleak as circumstances suggest, with the report of the distinction of a nine-year-old computer whizz-kid, Jomiloju Tunde-Oladipo, who has set a record as the country’s youngest Microsoft certified professional. He is now a Microsoft office specialist in Office Word 2010. With an examination score of 769 out of 1,000, Jomiloju outclassed 20 others, performing excellently in Sharing and Maintaining Documents, Formatting Content, Applying Page Layout and Reusable Content, among other subjects. It is noteworthy that Microsoft Certified Professional, a certification programme of the reputable Microsoft Corporation, is aimed at building skills on Microsoft business solutions, focusing on client-end operating systems such as Windows XP,

‘The prodigy’s story is even more remarkable because he had previously taken the test last year as a Primary Five pupil. “I did not make it then,” he said, adding, “But I remained focused and I put in a lot of hard work.” According to him, “At home and in school, I am always on the computer. After school hours, if I am not doing anything, I will go to my Information Communication Technology teacher, to learn more’

Vista and Windows 7, among others. Also worth mentioning is the international status of the certification. Young Jomiloju’s accomplishment is particularly significant in the Computer Age, with the heart-warming implication that the country may not be such a terrible laggard, after all. His success placed him in the company of brainy peers who are equally Microsoft certified, including Nigeria’s 10-year-old Anjolaoluwa SeyiOjo, an eight-year-old Indian, Lavishnashree, and two Pakistanis, Arfa and Thobani. The prodigy’s story is even more remarkable because he had previously taken the test last year as a Primary Five pupil. “I did not make it then,” he said, adding, “But I remained focused and I put in a lot of hard work.” According to him, “At home and in school, I am always on the computer. After school hours, if I am not doing anything, I will go to my Information Communication Technology teacher, to learn more.” Such studiousness deserves commendation, especially considering his age, when playfulness would have been perfectly understandable. It is a testimony to the depth of his interest in the subject as well as his concentration that he eventually cleared the hurdle. However, even more praiseworthy is his ambition. He was quoted as saying, “I still want to sit for more examinations. I will still do Excel and Power point.” There is no doubt that his obvious fascination with the computer would benefit greatly from enlightened support and informed guidance. Kudos must be given not only to his parents, but also to his school, Role Model School, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, for recognising his gift and providing inspiration,

encouragement and learning. It is important to note that he reportedly said his parents bought him “the latest Dell laptop.” Certainly, parental and institutional influences played key roles in his success story, which is a big lesson. Of relevance are the ambitious computer schemes of some state governments, notably, Ekiti and Osun states. In the former, Governor Kayode Fayemi is focused on the distribution of 33,000 laptops to students and teachers in public secondary schools under the administration’s e-School Project. In the latter, the groundbreaking computer-based educational project for public secondary schools, known as Opon Imo, introduced by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, promises a revolution in learning methods. These examples bring hope; and when considered in the context of Jomiloju’s feat, which he achieved within the private school system, the picture is of optimism. In contrast, it is pertinent to revisit the spectacular case of the negatively adventurous Daniel Oikhena, the teenager who in August made news as a stowaway when he secretly slipped into the landing gear compartment of a Lagos-bound Arik Air aircraft on the runway of the Benin Airport in Edo State. In a sense, his escapade, motivated by an incredible dream to fly to America, mirrored the mentality of a large number of youths who, sadly, have lost hope in the country. Perhaps the basic moral of Jomiloju’s example is that the structures of socialisation, in this case, parents and schools, have a major responsibility in the raising of the proverbial leaders of tomorrow. Society must not fail them.

Jungle justice •Nigeria’s security forces should not imitate Boko Haram’s brutality


MNESTY International’s recent allegation that an estimated 950 Boko Haram suspects died in custody during the first half of 2013 is a troubling reminder of the fact that a scorched-earth policy cannot guarantee an effective end to the militant Islamic insurgency plaguing Nigeria. The human rights body claimed that a senior officer in the Nigerian Army had revealed that the suspects, held in detention centres in Borno and Yobe states, were dying of starvation, lack of treatment after beatings and torture, and extra-judicial executions. Amnesty researchers claim to have seen the emaciated corpses of suspects in a government-run hospital in Maiduguri, brought there by members of the Joint Task Force. It is disheartening that these allegations have arisen even as the JTF is being lauded for strategic successes against Boko Haram and other militants whose indiscriminate acts of mass violence have shocked the nation and the world. Regardless of whether the specific accusations levied by Amnesty International against the JTF are true or not, there has always been the feeling that the rules of engagement under which the task force operates have suffered from a troubling lack of clarity. Indigenes of Borno State have continually complained that the JTF’s tactics in its war against the militants leaves a lot to be desired. Mass arrests have led to the disappearance of many young men who have never been seen alive again. The demolition of buildings has rendered many innocent citizens homeless and destitute. There appear to be no restrictions on what members of the task force

can do, even when some of their actions clearly violate the fundamental human rights of citizens. Although the JTF is unlikely to accept Amnesty’s accusations wholeheartedly, it cannot be denied that this type of behaviour is not a sadly familiar phenomenon in Nigerian life. The country’s history is littered with extra-judicial killings and human-rights abuses routinely perpetrated by the police, the military and other agencies ostensibly entrusted with the protection of the citizenry. Long-distance traders, students, unionists and ordinary citizens have all been victims of the excessive use of force by individuals who consider themselves above the law. Indeed, the Boko Haram insurgency attained new levels of violence precisely because of the extra-judicial killing of its thenleader, Mohammed Yusuf. The perpetration of human-rights violations by security agencies poses a great danger to the fight against Islamic insurgency in the country. First, it makes it all the more difficult to win the battle against the insurgents. Excessive brutality by the JTF and other security agencies will only offer the militants the handy excuse that they are fighting against “oppressors” and will help to accelerate the recruitment of disaffected youths into their ranks. Intelligence-gathering is hampered, the insurgents are hardened, and host communities are alienated. Secondly, the growing perception that the methods of the JTF are no different from those of Boko Haram and other militants will cost Nigeria dear in terms of local and global credibility in its war against Islamic insurgency. The international and domestic support that is so vital to win-

ning the fight against terrorists will be negatively affected, and the nation’s capacity to garner logistical and other assistance will be correspondingly hampered. Nigeria’s security agencies must resist the temptation to descend to the same level as their militant adversaries, even while remaining committed to the necessity of meeting force with force. If indeed Amnesty International’s allegations are without foundation, then there should be nothing to hide. A comprehensive investigation should be carried out into the treatment of suspects. Humane rules of engagement should be drawn up and made clear to all security operatives and host communities. All violations of human rights must be thoroughly dealt with. It would be tragic if the nation’s gallant armed forces ultimately come to be seen in the same light as its murderous adversaries.

‘Nigeria’s security agencies must resist the temptation to descend to the same level as their militant adversaries, even while remaining committed to the necessity of meeting force with force. If indeed Amnesty International’s allegations are without foundation, then there should be nothing to hide ... Humane rules of engagement should be drawn up and made clear to all security operatives and host communities’

Beijing’s assault on academic freedom


EKING University’s decision last week to dismiss Professor Xia Yeliang, an economist and advocate of the free market, is making news around the world. The dismissal could hurt Peking University’s connections with American and European universities, and tarnish its reputation. In the spirit of academic freedom, universities that have collaborative relations with Peking University — Stanford, Cornell, Yale, the London School of Economics and many others — should be putting pressure on China’s leading university to reinstate Mr. Xia. In September, 130 faculty members at Wellesley College urged in a letter to the president of Peking University not to fire Mr. Xia “based solely on his political and philosophical views.” They said that if he is fired, they would ask Wellesley College to reconsider the formal academic relationship it signed with Peking University in June. A recent editorial in the state-run Global Times castigated Mr. Xia as an “extreme liberal” advocating “freedom and democracy.” His troubles with state and university authorities began when he signed a petition urging democratic change in 2008. The primary author of the petition, known as Charter 08, is the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion. Yet this month, Peking University was one of nine Chinese universities to sign a pact to uphold academic freedom along with the League of European Research Universities, Australia’s Group of Eight universities, and the Association of American Universities. Peking University has been trying to enhance its mark as an internationally recognized center of learning. But the government’s ideological and political hold over the university makes a mockery of its claim to academic freedom. The dismissal of Professor Xia is part of a wide crackdown on scholars, lawyers and writers who have discussed democracy and freedom. In recent months, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been leading a campaign of “ideological purification” to suppress dissent. On Sunday, a prominent Chinese businessman, Wang Gongquan, who has supported human rights causes, was arrested in Beijing for “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The rising number of arrests has one aim: to instill fear. As the editor in chief of a prominent publishing house in Beijing said in an interview with The Times: “Self-censorship has become the most effective weapon. If you let something slip through that catches the attention of a higher-up, it can be a career killer.” Peking University’s treatment of Professor Xia sends a message to the entire academic community that destroys free inquiry and has severe societal consequences. – New York Times

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IR: I write in respect of the current/ongoing strike embarked on by Nigerian universities. I am an academic with deep passion for the development of Nigeria in all its facets and sectors – education, health, water, roads, housing, transportation (infrastructure in general). I am saddened that education which is the most vital sector of our economy is allowed to decay monumentally. For example, in the University of Calabar the same set of hostels we used in my school days Halls 4, 5 and 6 for males and 7 and 8 for females are still the hostels we have for students 34 years after. I am ashamed as a Nigerian that things have not improved as it should in the education sector. ASUU is on strike not because of earned allowances but because of infrastructural decay and the inadequacies in our tertiary institutions. Matters have been made worse by the federal government’s refusal to honour the agreement it willfully entered into with the union four years ago. When President



Don’t kill the man who tells you the truth Jonathan came on board as a former constituent of the ivory tower, we rejoiced that the dawn of a new era for education sector have set in. In fact, President Jonathan was the only contestant in that year’s election I voted for. I feel very much frustrated that with him also education will not receive a new lease of life. I expected him to wade in in a decisive manner to honour the said agreement. On Monday, ASUU University of Calabar was prevented from embarking on its scheduled enlightenment campaign around Calabar metropolis. Government Police (hordes of them) were mobilized to nip this campaign in the bud. I am asking: is Nigeria now a police

state? Have we abrogated from our constitution freedoms of speech and movement? Then, if this is so, whither the Nigeria of our dream? To have been denied of three months salary is enough sacrifice and shows that ASUU is serious with her present cause. We call on the federal government to show more commitment to the agreement not just by releasing money to the universities, but by ensuring that the monies are used for the infrastructural development for which the money is meant. - We are asking for more decent hostels for our students. - More lecture halls, auditoria in our public universities. - Better equipped laboratories for

our science based disciplines. - Constant power supply. - Comfortable offices for lecturers and a conducive learning environment in all our tertiary institutions. Of concern to me is the studied silence (conspiracy of silence) observed from the members of the National Assembly. Could it be that they are incensed that members of the Ivory Tower have been exposing the jumbo salary and allowances they are receiving? It is only fair that they fight along with us because what is good for the goose is good for the gander. They are elected to mediate in all critical matters that concern our nation. They seem to have failed woefully

National Conference as jamboree

IR: The proposed National Conference will not succeed beyond Aso Rock and other selected venues where it will take place. For the avoidance of doubt, the proposed exercise shares striking similarities with the previous charades by the leadership of this country as part of their usual grandstanding and thoughtless bids towards addressing the myriad problems dogging Nigeria since the 1914 Amagalmation. When in hisOctober 1, Independence nationwide broadcast, President Jonathan Goodluck announced the proposed National Conference, which according to him, is targeted at finding solutions to Nigeria’s many challenges, some of us were sceptical about the effectiveness of such exercise in the light of the barriers imposed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on its outcomes. Accordingly, that cynicism has been justified by the President’s recent remarks on the proposed exercise, where he was reported to have said that the decisions of the conference would be

sent to the National Assembly for ratification and possible incorporation into the on-going Constitution Amendment exercise. It is important we do not lose sight of the position of our extant laws on the proposed exercise, however attractive this option (National Conference) might appear. We need to draw our attention to the provisions of Section 4 (2) and Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). To be sure, the said provisions empower the National Assembly and their counterparts at the 36 state Houses of Assembly to make laws as well as alter any part of the Constitution in manners clearly stated therein. It is my firm submission, with regards to the foregoing provisions, that any outcome reached at the proposed conference MUST receive the endorsement of the lawmakers before it can become implementable. Meanwhile, it is germane to note that the proposed conference is no different from the previous ones. The Ibadan 1950, Lagos 1952, London 1957 and 1989 conferences

yielded no consequences in finding solutions to the problems and challenges confronting the country. Similarly, the 2005 National Dialogue convened by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo is worthy of mention here. The outcomes of that exercise suffered fatal rejection from the National Assembly, which relied heavily on the aforementioned sections in refusing to deliberate on the proposals. There is no guarantee that the proposed conference would not suffer similar fate like the previous exercises, as much as the decisions reached at the conference would have to pass through the lawmakers for implementation. Much as one is not averse to Nigerians coming together to brainstorm on the way forward for the country, it needs be expressly stated that such discourse must be conducted within an appropriate platform and with the highest degree of sincerity from the conveners. If the Presidency is serious and strongly desirous to finding a lasting solutions to the country’s chal-

lenges, then it must convene a Sovereign National Conference. He can invoke Section 14 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which confers sovereignty on the Nigeria people, to do this. The country can also learn from the experiences of Benin Republic (1989) and Congo Brazzville (1991) respectively, that successfully convoked sovereign national conferences to address problems and difficulties confronting their countries at those periods. Rather than embark on this wild goose chase and further deplete the nation’s already leaned national purse, the outcomes reached at the previous (as suggested by the APC National leader, Senator Bola Tinubu) conferences should be dusted and forwarded to the appropriate authorities for possible implementation until such a time when we are prepared for the people genuine discourse-the Sovereign National Conference. • Barrister Okoro Gabriel, Lagos

in this respect. They are enjoined to wake up from their slumber before the present imbroglio escalates beyond manageable proportions. Government should show sincerity and honest commitment. They should also monitor and supervise projects in the universities to avoid the money going down the drains. ASUU is not insisting that all the money should be provided in one fell swoop but that genuine commitment should be made by government as they mobilize to start work in our universities to stem imminent collapse. • Prof. G. O. Ozumba University of Calabar Calabar – Nigeria.

FG should give lecturers their due


IR: The ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), strike has, indeed, shown the federal government’s carefree attitude to education. The Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria’s economy will collapse if the federal government implements the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement. But the question is; if the economy did not collapse with the huge salaries being earned by political office holders, why should the economy collapse because of the peanuts the lecturers are asking for? If the federal government insists that there is no money to meet ASUU demands, I suggest that they slash the salaries of political office holders by 50%, at least, in the interest of students. Not only that but the unnecessary appointments made by the President should also be terminated. All these appointments are only meant to keep party members on payroll thereby wasting our resources. Also, the ministry of police affairs is uncalled for since we have the ministry of defence and the police service commission. Idowu Esho Jamiu, Eruwa, Oyo State




No clap for FERMA’s cruel joke; Ipadeola; Sovereign citizen, Politician is paid servant


RE we a nation lacking good parents? After unimaginable suffering with delays and death on the Lagos-Ibadan road, misnamed expressway, the FERMA dares to Tony congratulate itself for Marinho ‘intervening to save road users’. An arrogant and cruel FERMA joke? Rubbish. Where was FERMA when potholes were begging to be filled? FERMA last did petty work on that road when the President visited Abeokuta 3+ years ago. We are all presidents and the S-NC will prove it! FERMA should be ashamed as it is responsible for the negligence turning roads into dirt tracks. Is this the road the Aviation Minister will drive her bomb-proof cars valued at N250m? It is too late for Nigerians to say ‘thank you’. What type of Nigerian government has FERMA and equipment but stands aside, witnessing more death, damage and suffering for years? Is that political, administrative, engineering or corruption failure? Shame on FERMA! Shamefully for Africa in 2013 and Nigeria and its 4th UN Security Council Non-Permanent Seat, government acts as if only foreigner contractors can fill potholes. Is FERMA a salary-for-nothing joke just ‘discovering’ the road like David Livingstone? If so, it is a deadly joke and Nigerian road users are maxi-angry! Once again government treats Nigerians like idiot children with negligent irresponsible parents. We will not clap for FERMA! Why are citizens allowed to feel bastards in a country which tars roads for presidents and visitors but makes potholes for its citizens? Mad priorities, abi? Congratulations and gbosas to the unassuming Tade Ipadeola LLB on winning the 2013 LNG Prize for Literature for The Sahara Testaments published by Hornbill African Poets after winning the Delphic Laurel in Poetry from South Korea recently which he showed me then. I also submitted my work The Laterite Road -an African Travel Odyssey published by Evans for the NLG Prize but did not even make the long list. I am therefore definitely jealous and envious in the nicest possible way. Tade’s book, which I am now reading, is an intellectual masterpiece, demonstrating rhyme and reason in


OR quite some time now, Stella Oduah, the masculine and wrestler-built Nigeria’s minister of aviation, seems to be permanently hooked to scandals of various dimensions and magnitude. Her 27-month tenure as minister has been dogged by several controversies and scandals. Not only this, the aviation industry under her watch has witnessed two major air disasters leading to the loss of no fewer than 200 precious lives. The latest scandal involving the minister has to do with the purchase of two BMW 760 Li luxury cars which were recently purchased for her by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. The way and manner the cars were procured as well as the exorbitant price tag placed on them seems to have compounded the integrity issues confronting her. The minister has come under severe criticisms from notable members of the public following the revelation that the NCAA bought the two bullet-proof vehicles for a whopping $1.6 million or N255 million. The armoured vehicles were reportedly delivered to her in August this year. The BMW is a fast-moving car with all the accompanied luxuries. For those who prefer a quick dash all around, any make of the BMW series could satisfy their sartorial taste. Findings on the BMW website indicate that the 760 Li HSS model purchased for the exclusive use of the minister has a shelf price of $186,000 or N29, 760,000 (at N160 per dollar). However, the price varies, depending on options, that is, the aesthetics – both the interior and exterior finishing of the luxury car. It is purposely built to meet the highest and most demanding security requirements. The 760Li High Security model has been tested by a German bullet and firing inspection authority. With its 6.0 cm bullet-

and out of season. In some parts it requires a large dictionary or internet access to wikipedia and more while reading, for full comprehension. It is a living breathing look at our Africa….an excerpt… Listen, the desert is singing, singing, just singing. It is a duet, a duet with the breeze and Is taboo. They stay attached like Nigerian inflation Of which Fela sang with his tenor saxophone. An excerpt from my work The Laterite Road anticipates the recent over 500 deaths at Lampedusa Survivors of the desert sea storm Destined for Mediterranean thirst and drowning, In leaking boats bent on sinking. Forcing entry into Fortress Europe, Burning in the Sahara, Or drowning in the Mediterranean Destined for Melilla, Lampedusa, Sicily, Italy. Young bodies beaten black and blue, Crushed on Europe’s wet rocks. More lost young African building blocks Taken from the African Renaissance Building On the laterite road. You can celebrate this success. Buy Tade’s book and mine as a present for someone today, to improve the reading culture and make a new generation of Nigerians authors into household names. All those who have strangled Nigeria through ‘Nigeria’s 40 Years of the Locust’ and installed a ‘Paradise Lost’ have nothing to offer the new S-National Conference. There will be a S-NC but is S ‘Stupid or Sovereign’, ‘Silly or Serious’? Let the over-50s leave the stage with their ‘wisdom’ that left Nigeria waterless, powerless, education-less, health-less, train-less, road-less, naira-worthless and nearly futureless. The over-50s should ignore ‘overpowering desires to “serve”, yet again’. The people are sovereign, delegating authority to the political class. But the S-NC is much more than ‘politics’ and politicians do not have a moral track record of putting the nation above greed. The citizens suffer ‘A VIOLENT DEMOCRACY’ and ’DEMOCRATIC RAPE’. The politicians are the expensive employees of the people. So how dare

politicians claim sovereignty? The statements from NASS on ‘final sovereignty’ are military and darkly dangerous. Parliaments which disregard people’s power ALWAYS fall. Politicians must ‘take a bow’ or face oblivion. Can they not see the great power of this ‘2013 MOVEMENT’? Get on board or be side-lined. Allowing the NASS final say is a denial of the Nigerian citizen’s sovereignty. How can a servant, paid to occupy a house by his master, claim that he owns the house and the master? WE DEMAND A REFERENDUM. Can Nigerian politicians be trusted to work for Nigeria? Can they abolish one house of the National Assembly, NASS and go British parliamentary in their ‘Eternal Retirement Home’. Can they implement needed salaries and perks cuts which SAP Nigeria dry and catalyse the impending economic destruction of Nigeria in the next five years? As merely another interest group in Nigeria numerically less than 0.01% but 100% noisy in the media, politicians and political parties should step aside and watch 99.99% of Nigerians take the stage. It is time to tame the politician made into a monster by himself, people and the press! The Guild of Editors, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ and the media should meet to restrategise for the S-NC and institute policy and interview strategies to give space to Nigerians and ignore politicians. It is the politicians past actions and their future employment terms and conditions that are for assessment and decisions by the ‘exam body’ comprising all Nigerians at the S-NC. Politicians should await the Nation’s Examination Result. To be continued.

‘Can Nigerian politicians be trusted to work for Nigeria? Can they abolish one house of the National Assembly, NASS and go British parliamentary in their ‘Eternal Retirement Home’. Can they implement needed salaries and perks cuts which SAP Nigeria dry and catalyse the impending economic destruction of Nigeria in the next five years?’

Stella Oduah’s romance with scandals proof glass, the car can withstand attacks with explosives or bullets of the armour-breaking 7.62x54R API calibre often used by terrorist organizations such as the rampaging Boko Haram insurgents currently ravaging the north-eastern part of the country. It has a reinforced body and explosion-resistant undercarriage that meets the higher VR9 standard. Even if it is hit by a high velocity impact such that could lead to a sudden loss of tyre pressure, the vehicle can run on flat tyres for an upward of 50 kilometres at an average speed of 80 kilometres per hour. The car’s emergency exit is conveniently situated around the front wide screen. There are other security features and relaxation ambience that come with the car. Its long-distance infrared technology can pick out people on the carriageway in poor visibility or at night at a distance of up to 300 metres. The optional rear-seat entertainment system allows two passengers to watch the same or different DVDs at the same time. It also allows the occupants of the back to follow the car’s progress on the navigation system, or even go on the internet as they cruise along. This is possible because two distinct and independent 9.2-inch colour screens are built into the front headrests. To complete this out-of-this-world luxury, in case the owner or occupant desires a good massage to emerge from exhaustion, tiredness or boredom, the car provides optional massage function in the rearseat backrests. The latest revelation has come at a time when certain events in the aviation industry, which Oduah supervises, have become a cause for

‘Except in Nigeria where anything goes, it is absolutely unethical for the minister to have accepted ‘gifts’ from the NCAA, an agency she supervises’

concern and embarrassment, not just for Nigerian air travellers, but also for the world at large. The first was the Dana Air crash in Lagos on June 3, 2012 barely one year after she took over as Aviation Minister, in which 159 people died. Another one was the Associated Airlines crash of October 3, also in Lagos, which claimed 15 lives. Apart from the two fatalities, many air passengers had escaped death by the whiskers on some other occasions. One of such happened a day after the Associated Airline’s crash, when a Kabo Airline’s Boeing 747-400 plane, which was taking an estimated 512 pilgrims for this year’s Hajj to Saudi Arabia, made an emergency landing at the Sokoto airport after suffering deflated tyres. The emergency landing caused some damages to the airport’s Instrument Landing System. A few days after this near-tragedy, an IRS Airlines Fokker-100 plane carrying 99 passengers also made an emergency landing at the Kaduna airport after developing hydraulic problem mid-air. The nation’s embarrassment is not limited to the Nigerian airspace though, as a Nigerian registered cargo airplane had also crashed in Accra, Ghana, on June 2, 2012, a day before the Dana crash. In the wake of the Associated Airline’s crash, the unrepentant aviation minister had stirred the hornet’s nest in an ill-informed press conference she addressed after the incident. Oduah had incurred severe public criticism for describing the two major air crashes as “inevitable acts of God.” She said that, as minister, her job was to provide leadership and ensure that the right policies were in place for the aviation sector to run efficiently. She passed the buck on safety and industry regulation to the heads of the agencies in the sector, such as the NCAA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority.

While ‘natural’ disasters may not necessarily be anyone’s doing, the fact remains that with the controversy thrown up by the recent air disasters in the country, it is quite obvious that many things are wrong with the nation’s aviation industry. And from the look of things, coupled with the minister’s vague admission that air accidents are acts of God, it seems that the minister may be ill-equipped to deal with the situation decisively. Based on the fatal accidents and near-mishaps that we have witnessed in recent times, one wonders if the Nigerian aviation sector has excellent standards and maintenance regulations for domestic airlines. If there are, they don’t seem to be enforced. Again, the minister had said the aviation sector needed injection of funds if air travel must be safe and secure. if this is true (and we all know this), isn’t it then a contradiction that the same minister that desperately shops for operating funds is now engaged in a spending spree, compelling parastatals under her supervision to be buying amoured cars and other gifts for her? This is a dent on the integrity of the aviation minister. Except in Nigeria where anything goes, it is absolutely unethical for the minister to have accepted ‘gifts’ from the NCAA, an agency she supervises. If there were threats to her life as she claims, there are constitutional provisions for that, as a bona fide Nigerian, even if she is not occupying public office. She should have exploited that means instead of accepting gifts from an agency whose shoddy handling of the aviation sector, many believe, has contributed enormously to the death of innocent people. Certainly, Oduah may not be the only minister who breathes down too heavily on the parastatals they supervise. It is common knowledge that many of her mates compel such agencies to foot the bills of their transport, accommodation, feeding

Dele Agekameh and more, each time they have to attend one function or the other. Even bills of family members, distant relations and other acquaintances are forced to be picked up by such agencies without a whimper from any of them. This is a corrupt practice that only a country like Nigeria, where ethical issues are taken with levity, condones. As usual, rather than cover their faces in shame and or make atonement for the unbridled corruption involved in the purchase of the cars, including the highly inflated figures presented to the public, the management of the NCAA is busy chasing shadows. Now, they are busy hunting for the whistleblower, while the minister is sitting tight in office. Is this how we will continue to run the affairs of this country? The answer is no. Something must definitely give way. It is either the government shows a firm commitment to fighting corruption in all ramification or the citizens resort to self-help, which may take the form of pelting thieving officials with stones and other available objects on the streets. If the chaos this will precipitate will force our leaders to redress the endemic anomalies in the system, so be it! Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)





HE Punch columnist Abimbola Adelakun on Thursday October 17, once again regaled readers with her article captioned The Christians against Aregbesola in which she allowed sentiments and lack of proper appreciation of facts and law to interfere with her regular no-nonsense style. It would appear that the central thesis of her write-up is that Aregbesola should take a stand in favour of a particular religion. According to her, “Aregbesola tries too hard to pander to every existing religious belief in Osun State… this kind of politics is confusing as it is unimpressive…he does all these without any coherence or stating where he stands in the whole affair”. Ms Adelakun appears to be confusing the position of a private person and that of an elected governor who has sworn to uphold the Nigerian Constitution. Whereas a private person can take a standpoint in favour and patronage of a particular religion, doing so by Aregbesola, a governor that ought to uphold the Nigerian Constitution will be unconstitutional. Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) entitles every citizen to his/her right of thought, conscience and religion. A governor is also oath-bound ‘to do right to all manner of people, according to law,

‘While the pristine lectern of a newspaper back page is a secured refuge from which the author can magisterially shut down people’s rights just because she feels so, the position of a governor is not so easy. A serious government must respect all shades of opinion while striving to leave its footprints on the sands of time’


YRIADS of news abound today about the different natural disasters that incessantly threaten the life of people across Europe. While many have been rendered homeless and displaced, some have had their earthly existence abruptly terminated. As a result, many are languishing in pain and lament as the cry for help roars increasingly. Earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami and the like, more often than not, invade the people as unwanted visitors. When they come, they wrought fear and unleash terror on their victims. However we as Nigerians have been so favoured by nature. We are immune to natural disaster. We are not victims of earthquake, hurricane, and tsunami as the case may be, but our detestable lot and portion is rather a moral disaster. We have become so engrossed in a colossal moral disaster known as corruption. While other natural disasters occur once in a while, our own brand of disaster has become so immanent. Devoid of any form of exaggeration, corruption as it were has become part and parcel of our nature. It has assumed an ontological status and considerably synonymous with our identity as a people. So bad it is that we not only practice corruption, but it is the case that it has become the air we breathe and the ocean we swim in. In fact to say the very least, corruption which is a social vice, is now shamelessly celebrated. We have gotten to the zenith where corruption becomes our food and drink, a milky way of life, and the fastest and easiest means of self-enrichment. Without any iota of deception, it is definitely accurate to assert that what we witness in Nigeria as a people is an institutionalized brand of corruption wherein the very corrupt have the say in the society. In this case, corruption is used as a political arsenal cum sponsor. We have domesticated and adopted a wild poisonous animal in our society. It is pathetic to discover

Christians against Aregbesola? By Ajibola Basiru without fear or favour or ill-will.’ What appears to be confusing to the writer is simply the fact that Aregbesola, though a Muslim by faith, has decided to respect and give accommodation to all religions and beliefs as stipulated in the constitution. Being committed to upholding the constitution, he has decided to be more openhearted to other religious views while ensuring that all faiths are treated equally. The Constitution of Nigeria does not denude a man of his religious faith just because he has attained certain public office, yet the constitution is grossly antagonistic of any attempt to prefer one faith to the other using public machinery. Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu was governor of Benue State between January 1991 and November 1992 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). While in office, the catholic priest wore his cassock throughout without any hue or cry. Another grave lie being bandied about is that the Osun government has introduced Ifa studies into the curriculum. There appears to be some confusion on this allegation coming from the same writer who eloquently debunked the jaundiced view on traditional religion and advocated the teaching of comparative religious studies. How would her expectation of the teaching of comparative religious studies be accomplished if there should be no reference to Ifa? In any event, it should be expected that a writer of such repute should make simple research before putting pen on paper. Page 399 of the West African Examinations Council Regulations and Syllabuses 2009-2012 lists Wande Abimbola’s Awon Oju Odu Mereerindinlogun (UPL Ibadan 1978) as one of the recommended texts to study for poetry to be examined in

Yoruba. One hopes the writer will get a copy of this book recommended by the West African Regional Examination body to discover that this book, among many others in the WAEC syllabus, purely contains the teaching of Ifa. How can Aregbesola now be guilty of introducing something which has been part and parcel of the West African Region examiners syllabus for decades? The writer went further to say “…he (Aregbesola) is busy throwing his religion in your face with billboards that announce his private devotions”. This allegation must be put in proper perspective. The truth of the matter is that, in 2011, Governor Aregbesola travelled for lesser hajj to Mecca. Some political desperadoes went to town saying he was receiving treatment for cancer. Some political enthusiasts, who felt that the wicked lies should be debunked, quickly got pictures of him at the pilgrimage and displayed it on billboards to counter the falsehood. On arrival, the governor ordered the immediate removal of all such boards. Apart from that isolated 2011 incident, one is compelled to ask the writer to disclose the locations of those billboards that she eloquently alleged to be in existence in 2013. It is unfortunate that a respected columnist with unfettered access to information from a government office would derisively tag a revolutionary and well thought-out educational policy as madcap! It is also unfortunate that a clearly thought-out educational policy and programs of the government will be so dismissed in a derisive and laconic manner. What is madcap about providing school uniforms for 750,000 students and pupils? What is madcap about feeding about 300,000 pu-

Nigeria in search of healing By Peter Adeiza Ariko that this monster has become a stakeholder in the corridors of power; a vampire has become the counsellor of our political leaders as it takes over their consciences. I gasp and pant in dismay when I see that this deadly ghost of corruption is the source of anointing of many of our leaders. The future appears very bleak when I realize that many of our leaders have turned professors not in leadership skills, not in human sensitivity, not in economic development, not in profound philosophy of administration, but in the different gimmicks and tricks of corruption. Like a rampaging cancer, we are all witnesses to the effects of corruption. It is so crude that its effects are felt quite immediately. First and foremost, every corrupt society is a fertile ground for the thriving of selfishness, greed, shady practices, lack of accountability, hatred, and a harbour for unpatriotic leaders cum citizens. It is only in this kind of society that the innocents can be killed by way of ritual, accidents resulting from abandoned roads for which several contracts have been awarded and paid for, curable diseases which drugs have been confiscated, pensioners whose monthly pensions have been embezzled and so on. To this end, we are confronted with a leadership that is insensitive to the plight of the populace; our leaders are crippled in the war against the monstrous giant of corruption as a good number of them are very unpatriotic and mere saboteurs. As such, they are often blindfolded and ren-

dered visionless in the face of the dark cloud covering all aspects of administration. On the other hand, the masses have been instigated to anger, resulting into terrorism. The motherland is therefore polluted and desecrated with injustice, corruption, bribery, sexual perversion, religious bigotry, anxiety, maiming, cultism and their ilk. To state further, it is in a corrupt society like Nigeria that we can have her citizenry crying of hunger in the midst of abundance because of the endless crave to satisfy greed which is insatiable. I weep relentlessly when I see the ill wind of homosexuality blowing across young men and boys of today, not solely because they lack the proper sense of nature but because they have been compelled by hardship to fall victim to the corrupt gongs who also make recourse to same sex as a ritual to fuel and sustain their shady and corrupt practices. Or is there an end to the pain evoked by knowing that many young girls and ladies have turned prostitutes just because that is the only means by which they can tap from the treasury of the corrupt? From the foregoing, it is quite obvious that we are in need of healing. Where shall we go for help as we stand condemned before our heroes past, as the blood of the dead victims of corruption cum terrorism irrigate our land in utmost cry for vengeance and thirst for justice, as the cry and lament of the poor pierces the heavenly realms, as the faces of the masses are veiled

pils daily with nutritious home-grown foods?; What is madcap about distributing 150,000 e-learning device to students where all the recommended books and past questions are stored for use? Please let us be told what is madcap about employment of over 3750 teachers in one fell swoop and massive teacher training? What is madcap about building and equipping of 170 new schools in a state hitherto famous for acute shortage of educational infrastructure? What is madcap about an educational intervention that has seen the state moving from number 32 out of the 36 states to number eight in the rating of performance in external examination? We find it distasteful for a writer, who having abdicated her role of investigation and balanced analysis, resorted to sitting in the comfort of one cool house in a foreign land to cast so many aspersions on the personality of a head of government without factual or legal basis. Perhaps, there may be the impression by a perceptive reader of Adelakun’s column that she is a die-hard secularist who sees no good in any religion. While she is entitled to her opinion, it is however unjust to seek to railroad a governor to proscribe a practice that the constitution freely allows a person to observe. While the pristine lectern of a newspaper back page is a secured refuge from which the author can magisterially shut down people’s rights just because she feels so, the position of a governor is not so easy. A serious government must respect all shades of opinion while striving to leave its foot-prints on the sands of time. Perhaps, what is looking strange to Ms. Adelakun is the fact that apart from Aregbesola’s compliance with the provisions of the constitution to be even handed among all beliefs he has also decided to remain fidel to the injunction of his faith as enshrined in the Quran 16:90 to wit”Verily Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression”. • Basiru is Regional Integration and Special Duties Commissioner in the State of Osun

with misery, as many of our leaders have taken diabolical oaths in demonic shrines and satanic cults and thousands of souls are being offered as sacrifices to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for blood? Given the enormity of the havoc wrecked by the evil of corruption, it then means that there is a dire need for a national conversion. We have to atone for our sins as a nation. A presidential pardon cannot achieve this for us; rather it may be a subtle way of legalizing corruption. And if it must be of any help, it must have been preceded by a public remorse, atonement and reparation on the part of the offender. In essence, there is a clarion call for a national conversion. As a nation, we have to make reparation for the evil we have done. We have to repay hatred with love, we have to embrace transparency in our dealings, we need to imbibe the spirit of the common good and jettison selfishness and greed, we just have to make a return to land of mutual concern as entrenched in communal living and bid farewell to our failed individualism, yes, we must have concern for the other and not just the self alone. It is by so doing that we can be delivered from the hands of this demon called corruption. • Rev. Ariko writes from Lokoja, Kogi State

‘Is there an end to the pain evoked by knowing that many young girls and ladies have turned prostitutes just because that is the only means by which they can tap from the treasury of the corrupt?’

Pg. 24




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In Ekiti, The Drums of Peace beats

– Page 27

Nigeria, Turkey fashion live in Lagos – Page 28

How Fragment of Unity won LIMCAF top prize – Page 39




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• Some of the cultural ambassaddors with Governor Fayemi and his wife.

At last, Ikogosi joins the big league There was excitement everywhere. The mood was infectious. In fact, the colourful dress (well designed native attires or branded wears) of most guests and their countenance tell the full story - celebration of a world-class resort. Many local residents, including school pupils, kept waving Nigeria’s green-white-green flag as salutation to visitors to Ikogosi, home of the popular and newly-developed Ikogosi Warm Spring Resorts, which was inaugurated last Saturday by Governor Kayode Fayemi, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.


OW can I pay N200 to take me from here to Ikogosi town? Is the road bad or what? You better move your bike away from here now,” a plain-cloth police officer who was anxious to get back to town said in a harsh tone to a bike rider. “You can’t force me out of here, because I am doing my business and my customers are not complaining. What is your own?” A motor cycle rider, simply known as Kunle, replied. For him, its the peak period to meet demands of guests who continued to throng the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort last Saturday. That was a mild drama that took place shortly before the three-in-one event: inauguration of the phase one of the resort, book presentation and awards to cultural ambassadors at the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort. With less than two years of massive re-construction and remodelling works by Ekiti Stage government, the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort has joined the big league of tourist attractions. It now ranks among top resorts such as the Whispering Palms, La Campagne Tropicana Beach, Abraka River Resort Motel, Obudu Mountain Resort and Nike Lake Resort. With the successful hosting of top- flight event such as the launch of Governor Fayemi’s book, Regaining the Legacy; Three Years in the Saddle last Saturday, Ikogosi has etched its name as a choice event centre in the state. Little wonder Governor Kayode Fayemi promised the continuous development of tourism potential in the state to make it a hub of tourism in the Southwest and for economic benefits of Ekiti people. Fayemi, who spoke at the inauguration of the resort, said his administration considered tourism development and environmental sustainability as one of the key agenda through which he intended to make Ekiti State a most attractive destination for relaxation and holidays in addition to building a heliport, world-class hotel and accommodation facilities and developing Efon, Okemesi, Ikogosi, Ipole Iloro tourism corridor.

TOURISM He added that the development of Ikogosi is beyond the reconstruction of the sites and well-furnished 100-room accommodation with facilities for conference, seminars and others. It would also include a game village, cable car that will carry people from Arinta Water Fall, Ipole Iloro to Ikogosi and others, to make it a world-class tourism centre and one of the best in the world. He, however, tasked the hosting community and the people of the state to continue to support the government to bring more developments to the state, noting that the economy of the state would be boosted if such developments are constant. The Commissioner for Art, Culture and Tourism, Chief Ronke Okusanya,said: “Ikogosi warm and cold spring which exists in its natural self suffered neglect from the past administrations.” She added: “The massive infrastructural development being witness today is a vision of Governor John Kayode Fayemi, who is poised to give Ekiti tourism a facelift for economic development.”

According to her, the development has afforded the spring to be enlisted among the Seven Natural wonders in Nigeria. Spokesperson for the hosting community Pa Benjamin Adeniji praised the resuscitation of Ikogosi Warm Spring by Fayemi-led administration through the massive construction of infrastructure and other facilities. He noted that the gesture has been positively affecting the economic activities of Ikogosi and its environs, saying: “We are feeling the impact of the redevelopment of the spring which is our pride and we belief that we are going to get more from the government.” Pa Adeniji assured the continuous support of the community for Dr Kayode Fayemi led administration to extend beyond 2014. In his remark at the launch of his book, Regaining the Legacy; Three Years in the Saddle, which was reviewed by Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation, Mr. Sam Omatseye, Fayemi said one of the objectives of publishing the book was to broaden the audience beyond the catchment of those who were physically present at the various fora where the papers were delivered and “who heard me speak the same words which are in the

‘I am also hopeful that my humble contributions to the contestation of ideas on how to tackle our challenges and move our great nation forward, would meet with due contemplation in your hearts and minds when you read this book. I would be extremely delighted and adequately compensated for the considerable exertions that have gone into the publishing of this book, if it succeeds in motivating as many patriots as possible, to enlist in the corps of those battling for the soul of our nation’

book.” He noted that though he would not have the opportunity of real-time feedback and robust cross-fertilisation of perspectives that characterised most of the speaking engagements, he was optimistic that regardless of the convergence of viewpoints or otherwise, “your study of this book would give you a better understanding of the magnitude and complexity of the challenges we now confront.” “I am also hopeful that my humble contributions to the contestation of ideas on how to tackle our challenges and move our great nation forward, would meet with due contemplation in your hearts and minds when you read this book. I would be extremely delighted and adequately compensated for the considerable exertions that have gone into the publishing of this book, if it succeeds in motivating as many patriots as possible, to enlist in the corps of those battling for the soul of our nation. “The battle is a collective one. We must therefore join hands to succeed together. The choice that confronts us is between a society that tells you that you are on your own and one in which my prosperity is your prosperity because we share the burden of development and the joy of achievement together. It is a clear choice. “On our part, we are committed to building a society in which no one is left behind because we recognize that as Martin Luther King said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” he said. According to the governor, the ideal of rectitude and righteousness is entwined with a perspective that is mindful not just of the present but also of the future. “Our ancestors understood that planting a tree in their time was an investment in the nourishment of their children who would •Continued on page 27



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Ikogosi joins the big league •Continued from page 26

reap its fruits. As a true progressive, I am not just striving for the practical betterment of society today, I recognise that prosperity and posterity are bound together. True prosperity occurs when we look beyond the next election and the horizon of self-interest and begin to address the fate of the next generation, not just our own,” he noted. This, he added, is the essence of the book which has taken considerable exertions to produce. Among artistes honoured by Ekiti State government were Dr Yinka Ayefele, Mr Peter Fatomilola, Chief Jimoh Aliu, Professor Ojo Bakare, Peju Ogunmola, Mr Akin Onipede, Funmi Ajila, Chief Micho Ade, Moji Olaiya, Odunlade Adekola, Foluke Daramola, Akinade Ibuoye (Gaze Baba) and Sasha Ibrahim. Today, the once-abandoned resort, tucked away at Ikogosi, in Ekiti West Local Government Area and surrounded by lush greenery, has been transformed into a modern spectacle. The old, decrepit road leading to the resort has now been tarred; a foot-path, of about a kilometer, has now been constructed to ease walking to the spring; an amphitheatre, which can accommodate about 600 people, has also been constructed. Also tucked away within the resort is a swimming pool, a cozy bar and an eatery, where visitors can rest after their sight-seeing. The resort can also boast of a 105-room chalet with VIP/ Executive suites. The re-modeling works of the resort include upgrade of less than 60 rooms to standard 100 rooms including suites and conference facilities. With all these developments,

•Sasha and Governor Fayemi.

Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort can stand at par with other leisure and holiday resorts like the Obudu Mountain Resort, which has become the most preferred tourist haven in Nigeria. According to the Bureau of Tourism Development, the development was part of the resolve of the Fayemi administration to turn the State to the most attractive destination for relaxation and investment opportunities. According to the statement, the re-development of the Warm Spring and Resort would also provide employment opportunities for youths and boost the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Facilities at the resort include 100 chalets including one executive and 16 VIP chalets that have been upgraded into a five-star hotel standard, 43 three-star chalets, a 300-seater amphitheatre, a 450 sitting capacity conference hall, two swimming pools, a shopping mall, a dining hall, a multipurpose hall and two warehouses. The spring first came to the fore in the 1960s with a visit from the late author, Tai Solarin, who brought his students for an excursion after he heard about the spring and its mysterious tales. Later on, Rev. McGee, also visited and helped erect a chapel (now known as the McGee Conference Hall) and hostels within the area. No further improvement was recorded after that. Until now, visits to the resort where always tortuous as tourists had to endure passing through dusty, un-tarred roads before arriving the destination and even within the destination, reaching up to the spring was another arduous task as no footpaths existed. The newly developed resort will not only attract tourism, but also create employment and generate income for the state.

There was suspense in the hall. Curious audience – mainly adults – had taken their seats by 7pm. Reminiscent of the good old days, they were ready for some 63 pupils assembled from public primary and junior secondary schools. Two hours after the cast took the stage, the pupils had become heroes and heroines with their “Drums of Peace”, reports BUNMI OGUNMODEDE.

In Ekiti, The Drums of Peace beats


SPECTACULAR performance by some pupils of public primary and junior secondary schools in Ekiti State ‘arrested the attention’ of their audience for two hours last Friday at the Adetiloye Hall, Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti. The pupils, numbering 81, held the audience in the filled hall spellbound with brilliant displays of the rich Nigerian culture and youthful talents in a play entitled: “The Drums of Peace”. It was a command performance organised by the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) as part of activities to commemorate the third anniversary of the Dr. Kayode Fayemiled administration in the Land of Honour State. Among the audience were: Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu, who doubles as the Chairman of SUBEB chairman, Governor Fayemi’s wife, Olabisi, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Gender Empowerment Mrs Fola Richie-Adewusi, her colleague in the Environment Ministry Dr Eniola Ajayi, Chief of Staff Yemi Adaramodu, Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor Bamitale Oguntoyinbo and leading lights of the movie industry, who also spiced up the night with a performance. Staged in the late evening, “The Drums of Peace” was an adaptation of a satire - “The Drums of War”, written by Rasaki Ojo Bakare, a professor of Theatre Aesthetics. Prof Bakare also directed the adapted play. The metaphoric play depicted a community under the yoke of a dictatorial leadership and war-mongers. It portrayed the picture of a monarch who relished the abuse of existing norms. Rather than succumb to the advice of peaceloving women that it was needless engaging in hostilities with neighbouring communities, the king heeded a wrong counsel by one of his chiefs and dispatched the only heir to his throne to the war front.

•The cast on stage during the play

DRAMA Hit by the death of her only son in the war, the queen committed suicide. With his only son and quen dead, the king was forced by his subjects to abdicate the throne, a verdict that forced him to commit suicide. In the midst of the confusion created by the exit, peace returned to the community with the entrance of an agent of change and development and the people forgot their years of anguish and pains. In a brief remark before the auditorium turned to a make-shift theatre with the effects of the halogen light and other costume, Prof Adelabu, who donned her SUBEB chair cap, said the performance was another effort by the board to identify drama-endowed children. She said: “No doubt, the abilities of these children (casts) will be built in oration and self-confidence. Just like sporting activities, it will equally develop social interaction and

encourage vocational literacy.” Prof Adelabu said the era when theatre was looked down upon was gone for good. “Today, theatre/drama has produced many celebrities, who are only contributing their quotas to the entertainment industry, but making indelible marks in the society,” she said. According to her, she muted the idea to organize a theatre workshop for pupils during the long vacation as a way of constructively engage the children from roaming the streets. Assuring that such workshops will be organised regularly by SUBEB to help pupils in public schools to fully develop their potentials, the deputy governor restated the Fayemi-led administration’s interest in the total development of children in the state. In her own remarks, Mrs Adeleye-Fayemi described the performance as amazing and parents to in addition to educational development of the children, encourage their wards to develop their talents. “Parents should nurture the talents of their

wards. What happened here tonight is the beginning of future careers,” she said. Explaining what spurred him to take up the challenge of sharpening the drama skills of the children, Prof Bakare said it is a way of re-orientating the children and inculcating in them the I-can-do-it-spirit. He noted that many talented adults missed it in the past because they had no one to encourage them, hence many of them who could have been self-dependent became liabilities. According to him, the Ekiti State Children’s Theatre Workshop was borne out of government’s desire to explore, tap and develop the raw talents and potentials of children in public primary and junior secondary schools towards inventing creativity and self-reliance. His words: “This catch-them-young workshop is also geared towards awakening the consciousness of children towards appreciating the positive values of their indigenous arts and culture as well as the various cultural templates of other ethnic groups.”



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Nigerian designers are making bold statements through fashion. Along with their Turkey counterparts they enlivened the Eko Hotel with fashion traditions from two continents - Africa and the United Kingdom. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Nigeria, Turkey fashion live in Lagos


HIS year’s Lagos International Fashion Exhibition ended on a sassy note. Fashion lovers got the luxury of enjoying fashion traditions from two continents - Africa and the United Kingdom. The fair, which was the maiden edition, featured over 70 top fashion designers from Nigeria and Turkey. It was organised by Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) with Turkey Fashion Designers. Walking into the fashion fair gave visitors a feel of strolling into a garden adorned with beautiful clothings. The collections were truly eye-catching. There was so much in store to meet every need. The designers were at their best. There were large collections of designer clothings, bags, shoes and fashion accessories, giving fashionistas ma,y brands to choose from. As designers sought to catch the eyes of guests, one - Modela Couture – and his design stood out. His was a major highlight. His design caught the eyes of guests. He had a skirt and blouse and neck-band made from different recharge cards of the Nigerian network providers, protesting their poor service delivery. “I believe in using fashion to make a statement. I am using the design to call the attention of government to the plight of Nigerian telecommunication consumers. We are paying so much and getting so little. The services are too slow and the charges are high. I am protesting against the poor quality of services that consumers are getting from network providers,” Modela Couture Consultant and Designer Bayo Adegbe said.

• Modela and his unique design

To showcase the richness of Nigerian cultural heritage, the Nigerian designers had a lavish display of Adire fabrics made into all sorts of beautiful wears for every occasion. There were also hand-made beauty accessories such as

necklaces, earrings, wristwatches and bracelets, etc. For the Turkey designers, coming into the Nigerian market had been a long-time dream. According to them, Nigerians are

Theatre critics call for review of Censor’s Board Act


HE National Theatre and Film Critics Association has called for the review of the Act establishing the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Boards (NFVCB) in line with global standards as a classification body consisting of professionally-trained personnel. According to a communiqué issued at the end of a roundtable orgsanised by Nigeria Section of the UNESCO-founded International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) Redeemers University, Mowe, Ogun State, recently, the group also resolved that there should be a more robust interface between the production component of Nigerian theatre/film and professional criticism to further project the creativity of writers and producers. It added that professional theatre and film guilds should build capacity through collaborations with research and training institutions within and outside the country. “Academic institutions should be encouraged to embrace the artistes-in-residence programme to enrich the interface between the town and gown. IATC should provide an interactive platform for the production

highly fashionable and willing to spend to look good, hence, a potential market for their products. And so, the owners of CRUNZO, dealers on men wears, like other designers, sought wholesale buyers, distributors and boutique owners. With the Nigeria entertainment industry being internationally-acclaimed, other designers sought Nigerian celebrities in the industry and outside. Coming into the Nigerian market with its designs, celebrity designer, Majed Baroudy of Fouad Sarkis, said, was an exciting option that the company was willing to take. They had cocktail wears of all shapes and sizes made from mixtures of fabrics produced by the company. “Our designs are unique. They are not everyday wears. We dress many celebrities in design in Turkey and the Arab countries. And we feel we have what the high and fashion lovers in Nigeria would like. That is why we are here,” he said. The event, according to FADAN National President, Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, is part of FADAN’s contribution to the development of the industry in Nigeria. She added that it is one of the collaborations that the industry will be witnessing soon. In her view, the Nigerian Fashion Industry has come of age, but a lot still has to be done to boost the sector. Unlike its Turkey counterparts whose designs are made from indigenously-produced fabrics, she observed that Nigerian designers still have to spend huge amount buying imported fabrics. She called on the government to develop factories that would help with the mass production of fabrics and designs, noting that the industry holds a goldmine, adding that if given the right attention by stakeholders, it would generate huge revenue for the nation’s treasury. She said: “We are set to begin to make a statement through fashion as we join our hands to the development of the nation. The event was organised to promote the textile and fashion designing in Nigeria. Before now, Nigerian designs and designers have been gracing the runaway across the world and winning international awards for the works. This is bringing our greatness closer-to-home. “With the Lagos International Fashion Exhibition featuring designers from Nigeria and Turkey, fashionistas, the stakeholders, especially the government, can compare and have a feel of the stuff our designers are made. Nigerian Fashion Designers are making designs that are internationally-acclaimed; it is high time the government begin to invest massively in the industry to boost the sector.” FADAN National Secretary, Mrs Temitope Olanse-Alade, reiterated the president words, saying the industry is a major employer of labour. According to her, “It has the potential of creating employment opportunities for the teeming youth population.” The designers included Ibile Vogue (Nigeria), Fouad Sarkis (Turkey), Modela Couture (Nigeria), CRUNZO (Turkey), Brismol Bridals and Fashion (Nigeria), Belinda Bazzetto(Turkey), Ejiro Amos Tafari (Nigeria), Gabriel Moon (Turkey) and Aibakena Couture (Nigeria), among others. FADAN also had a stand of members’ collections.

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

AWARD of greater understanding and collaboration between Nollywood practitioners and scholars. “IATC should initiate the introduction of industry specific training programmes to enrich the existing Theatre and Film curricula and manpower development in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. Proper documentation of theatre and film productions should be enhanced in order to facilitate more robust research based scholarship,” the statement said. The group also resolved that there should be synergy between theatre and film critics and scholars on the one hand, and theatre and film practitioners on the other hand. The IATC, it said, should facilitate the production and dissemination of studies on film and theatre in the country, adding that theatre and film criticism should be given the needed pride of place in the curricula of all tertiary institutions.

• Prof Saint Gbilekaa, Prof Yerima, Prof Olu Obafemi and Prof Dandaura at the event.

“There is an urgent need to strengthen arts desks in newspapers and ensure that they are manned by well-trained staff,” it added. The national congress of the International Association of Theatre Critics also held after the roundtable, which witnessed the election of new officers of the association. In attendance were the Vice Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Prof Z.A. Adeyewa, Director Research, National Institute of Strategic Studies, Kuru, Prof Olu Obafemi, Chief of Staff to Benue State Government Prof Saint Gbilekaa, President of IATC-Nigeria, Prof Emmanuel Dandaura and the multi award-winning playwright, Prof Ahmed

Yerima. Among the new officers elected were Prof Emmanuel Dandaura as (President), Lancelot Emasuen and Julie Umukoro as Vice-Presidents, Prof Alex Asigbo, Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh and Emmanuel Emasealu as Secretary-General, Treasurer and Financial Secretary respectively. Sunny McDon, Ozolua Uhakheme, Taiwo Adeyemi and Steve James were elected Public Relations Officer, Welfare Officer, Assistant Secretary-General and Auditor respectively. Prof Obafemi was appointed Chairman of the National Mobilization Committee towards the hosting of the IATC World Congress in Abuja, 2016.





Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

Banks’ credit to private sector


ANKING system’s credit to the private sector monthly grew by 1.9 per cent to N16.1 trillion in August, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. According to data obtained from the CBN website, the figure compared with the increase of 0.7 per cent at the end of the preceding month. However, relative to the level at of last year, banking system credit to the private sector rose by 6.3 per cent, compared with the 4.3 and 3.7 per cent increase at the end of the preceding period and the corresponding period of last year. The report, however, showed that aggregate banking system credit to the domestic economy decreased by 4.6 per cent to N13.1 trillion, showing a contrast to the growth of four per cent at the end of the preceding month. The CBN said the development reflected,

N150m support coming for SMEs

rises to N16tr By Collins Nweze

largely, the decrease of 47.4 per cent in claims on the Federal Government attributed to the 14.2 and 0.8 per cent decline in banking system’s holding of treasury bills and bonds, respectively. Banking system’s credit (net) to the Federal Government, on month-onmonth basis, contracted by 47.4 per cent to negative N2.9 trillion, in contrast to the growth of 17.6 and 2.4 per cent at the end of the preceding month and the corresponding period of last year. The regulator however noted that credit to the Federal Government fell by 18.8 per cent, reflecting, largely, the 25.8 per cent decrease in the banking system’s holding of Federal Government bonds. It also

reflected the 6.2 per cent increase in claims on the core private sector. Also, at N8.9 trillion, foreign assets of the banking system increased by 0.9 per cent, on monthly basis, in contrast to a decline of 1.2 per cent at the end of the preceding month. The development was attributed to the 3.5 per cent increase in banks’ holdings of foreign assets. Over the level at endDecember last year, foreign assets fell by 0.6 per cent, compared with the decline of 1.5 and 13.0 per cent at the end of the preceding month and the corresponding period of last year. Other assets (net) of the banking system, on a monthon-month basis, rose by 4.5 per cent to negative N7.5 trillion, at the end of the review period, in contrast to the decline of 17.83 per cent

at the end of the preceding month, reflecting the increase in other assets of the apex bank. It showed further that over the level at end of December, last year, other assets of the banking system fell by 20.8 per cent at the end of the review period. According to the report, key monetary aggregate decelerated at the end of August last year. On monthon-month basis, broad money (M2) fell by 1.3 per cent, a development that reflected the decline of 4.6 per cent in the domestic credit (net) of the banking sector, which more than offset the 0.9 and 4.5 per cent growth in foreign assets (net) and other assets (net) of the banking system. Also, narrow money (M1) fell by 3.9 per cent, compared with the decline of six and 2.5 per cent at the end of the preceding month and the corresponding period of last year respectively. The development was attributed

entirely to the 4.9 per cent decline in its demand deposit component. Over the level at end-December last year, M2 and M1 contracted by 5.6 and 15.5 per cent. Reserve money (RM) rose by 9.1 per cent above its level in the preceding month. CBN’s report showed that banks’ deposit and lending rates generally trended upward during the review month adding that the spread between the weighted average term deposit and maximum lending rates widened by 0.39 percentage point to 17.28 per cent. Similarly, the margin between the average savings deposit and maximum lending rates widened by 0.66 percentage point to 21.26 per cent at the end of the review month. The weighted average inter-bank call rate rose to 15.13 per cent from 10.61 per cent in the preceding month, reflecting the liquidity condition in the interbank funds market.

By Daniel Essiet


GROUP, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria(ASBON) is raising N150 million to support new and existing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Its President, Dr Femi Egbesola, said the fund will finance companies in the form of co-investments to encourage the growth of the sector said to be the engine room of the economy. Speaking with The Nation, Egbesola said the fund which will take off in January next year, would address the problem of resource crunch for startup companies across the country. He said the association will also work with interesting investors to increase investment into small companies in the seed, early or growth stage. According to him, this translates to seeing a larger number of high quality small companies coming into the economy. Egbesola said the fund was open to participation by individual investors, aiming to raise more capital for startups. According to him, the group believes startups are growing and therefore require more capital than is currently available within the financial community.

CBN’s N2.4tr for banks, discount houses - P 30

•From left: Executive Director, Lagos Businesses, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie; Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki shaking hands with Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti; and Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Larry Annetts, during a partnership meeting between MTN and Diamond Bank in Lagos.


Fed Govt, ISACA to unveil ICT framework

ANITY will soon be restored in the use and management of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has assured. Its Director-General, Dr Ashiru Daura, said the Federal Government is collaborating with the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to unveil a new mechanism, which he called the Control Objective for Information Technology (COBIT5). According to him, it is a

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

mechanism that guides the deployment of ICT which many countries have already adopted on the continent. Daura, who addressed some journalists alongside National President of ISACA, Peter Ene, said the platform, which will soon come on stream will also help address the security challenges facing the country. He revealed that arrangements to ensure that COBIT5 take off in the country by 2015 have been put in place. Daura and Ene added that Nigeria’s intelligence com-

Mixed reactions trail stock market’s biometric rules

- P33

munity could key into COBIT 5, as it is capable of solving the endemic security problem in the country. “If the police have a proper IT infrastructure, we will have a proper mechanism that will checkmate insurgencies in the country. COBIT 5 will also address this,”Ene stated. On how far the agency has gone to achieve this, he said NITDA alongside ISACA were “still trying to create awareness. We need to sensitise the stakeholders. IT has come to stay. Once COBIT5 is more effective, IT will be more effective and the economy will grow.

Government agencies will begin to realise how they duplicate things and that problem will be resolved”. Stressing the role of NITDA in regulating IT management in the country, Daura said: “NITDA is responsible for the regulatory framework of IT-related issues in Nigeria. One of the steps we are taking is the collaboration with ISACA. It is an international organisation focusing on security. Their standard is accepted internationally. We want to have a coordinated and standard IT in the country.”

How an old soldier became an entrepreneur - P35




CBN’s N2.46tr for banks, discount houses to shore up liquidity


BOUT N2.46 trillion has been advanced to commercial and merchant banks including discount houses by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost liquidity in the financial system, The Nation has learnt. The fund, which came as Standing Lending Facility (SLF) in August, was given at 14 per cent. The SLF is an overnight credit available on banking days between 2 pm and 3.30 pm, with settlement done on same day value. The daily lending average was N123.29 billion for the 20 working days in the review month, compared with N793.08 billion with a daily average of N34.48 billion recorded in the preceding month. According to the CBN Economic Report for August, the increase is dueto reduction in liquidity following the debit of N896.43 bil-

Stories by Collins Nweze

lion Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) in August. Interest received on SLF stood at N1.59 billion, compared with N0.36 billion in the preceding month. Also, the report said the aggregate Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) stood at N5.2 trillion. This represented a daily average of N264.16 billion for the 20 working days in the month, reflecting a decline of 166.83 per cent from the level in the preceding month. Interest paid on SDF stood at N2.11 billion against N2.33 billion in the preceding month. The CBN said the slight reduction, despite the liquidity squeeze in the review period, was attributable to its non-intervention at the Open Market Operation segment, except for the last day of the month, and the late

disbursement of July fiscal allocation. The CBN had at the August Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting maintained the monetary policy rate (MPR) at 12 per cent, and kept the symmetric corridor of plus two per cent around the MPR for SLF. However, the SLFs are available only to banks and discount houses that have executed the Nigerian Master Repurchase Agreement (NMRA) with the regulator. The NMRA covers the operations of the SLF and addresses issues relating to pricing, duration, custodian as well as default resolution in lending. Accowrding to the report, the aggregate banking system credit (net) to the domestic economy decreased by 4.6 per cent to N13.1 trillion, on month-on-month basis, in contrast to the growth of four per

cent at the end of the preceding month. The development reflected, largely, the decrease of 47.4 per cent in claims on the Federal Government (net) attributed to the 14.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent decline in banking system’s holding of treasury bills and Federal Government bonds. Over the level at end-December 2012, aggregate banking system credit (net) to the domestic economy rose by 3.9 per cent, due largely to the increase of 6.3 per cent in claims on private sector. Banking system’s credit (net) to the FederalGovernment, on month-on-month basis, contracted by 47.4 per cent to negative N2.9 trillion, in contrast to the growth of 17.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent at the end of the preceding month.

Banking system’s credit to the private sector, on month on-month basis, in August, grew by 1.9 per cent to N16.1 trillion, compared with the increase of 0.7 per cent at the end of July. Also, banks’ foreign assets stood at N8.9 trillion, which constituted a 0.9 per cent increase, on monthon-month basis, in contrast to a decline of 1.2 per cent at the end of the preceding month. The development was attributed largely, to the 3.5 per cent increase in banks holdings of foreign assets. Other assets (net) of the banking system, on a month-on-month basis, rose by 4.5 per cent to negative N7.5 trillion at the end of the review period, in contrast to the decline of 17.83 per cent at the end of the preceding month, reflecting the increase in other assets of the CBN.

MDAs to use e-channels in salaries, pensions’ remittances


O address revenue leakages in the government and private sectors of the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is encouraging ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure salaries, pensions, suppliers and taxes payment are done with e-payment channels. The policy, however, applies to organisations with more than 50 employees. The CBN in a circular said the process will reduce time and costs of transactions, minimise leakages in government revenue receipts and provide reliable audit trails, thereby making the payments system comply with global standards. The is to save cost, promote transparency and accountability in governance and increase internally generated revenue (IGR). The e-payment policy is also expected to ensure confidentiality of information of e-payment of taxes, salary, pension and suppliers. It said, henceforth, payment instructions and associated schedules are no longer to be transmitted to banks by public and private sector organisations through unsecured channels such as paper-based mandates, flash drives, compact discs and email attachments, among others. The transactions must be routed •From left: Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Mr Uche Orji congratulates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who won the Best Central Bank Governor of the Year for Sub-Sharan Africa, during the Emerging Market Award night in Washington DC, United States.

Nigeria has highest CRR in Africa, says RenCap •100% hike in CRR likely


CROSS sub-Saharan countries, Nigeria’s banking sector has the highest Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), with 12 per cent for private-sector deposits and 50 per cent for public sector deposits, a report by Renaissance Capital (RenCap), has said. RenCap, an investment and research firm, said in a report titled: ‘Nigerian banks - Killing me softly: The impact of tougher regulation,’ that countries such as Kenya has a CRR of 5.25 per cent, Rwanda, five per cent and Ghana, nine per cent. RenCap said it cannot rule out the possibility of a further CRR hike as the regulator appears to be using the CRR as the primary monetary tool for mopping up excess liquidity. “Our reading of the above is that the risk of a further hike in the CRR cannot be ruled out if the Monetary Policy Committee sees renewed pressure on the naira. The worst-case scenario, we believe, is that the CRR on public-sector deposits could be raised as high as 100 per cent, increasing our estimate of the blended CRR in Ni-

geria to 23 per cent. On our numbers, the hit to interest income over a year would increase to three - 14 per cent,” it said. “What the above suggests is that Nigerian banks are setting aside over twice (2x) the cash set aside by Kenyan banks for every $1 (in local currency) of customer deposits. In addition, Nigerians are setting aside 10x (10 times) the cash set aside by Kenyan peers for every $1 of public sector deposits. “From our discussions with the banks, the average exposure to public sector deposits is about 13 per cent. Using this figure, we estimate our weighted/blended CRR for Nigeria at about 17 per cent – well ahead of regional peers. We estimate that the increase in the public sector CRR to 50 per cent will reduce annual interest income for the banks by one to six per cent, holding all other factors constant,” it said. The CBN had, in August, withdrawn about N1.3 trillion from the banking system as a result of the increased CRR for public sector funds. Also, the AMCON levy was recently

paid by banks into the sinking fund, with both exercises draining huge liquidity out of lenders’ balance sheets. “We note that as of 2013, the AMCON levy was raised from 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent of the previous year’s total assets (including some offbalance-sheet assets). Our understanding is that AMCON debited the banks around September 18, hence, more cash left the coffers of each bank,” it said. The firm said it estimated that the increase in the public-sector CRR to 50 per cent will reduce interest income for the banks by one to six per cent annually. It said the least vulnerable banks to the policy are Stanbic IBTC and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), with exposure to public sector funds at five per cent and eight per cent respectively. The remaining banks are in the 10 to 16 per cent range. “Of the Tier Two banks, Diamond, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Skye were the most affected, while Stanbic IBTC and Fidelity were the least,” it said. The report also noted that the reduction in Commission on Turnover (CoT) fees and increase in the AMCON levy are to adversely impact banks’ cost of operations.

through bank approved electronic platform which transmits the instruction to debit a payer’s account and credit a beneficiary’s bank account, mobile account, electronic wallet or any other electronic channels. It shall include the ability of a payer to independently monitor and obtain electronic feedback on the status of any payment, at any time without depending on any third party, manual or semi-manual means. Draft guidelines that will ratify the policy have been sent to commercial banks and payment service providers. The exercise is in line with its powers as provided in the CBN Act, 2007, Section 47, Sub-section 2(2d). It said the policy fully aligns with the core objectives of the National Payment Systems Vision 2020 (NPSV) which is to ensure the availability of safe and effective mechanisms for conveniently making and receiving all types of payments from any location and at any time through multiple channels. The CBN said all public and private sector organisations who maintain relationship with employees, pensioners, suppliers and taxpayers and other entities are considered as relevant stakeholders required to work together for the success of the policy.

StanChart index x-rays income distribution in Nigeria, others


TANDARD Chartered Bank has launched the Standard Chartered Development Index (SCDI), meant to address issues around distribution of income and meeting the need for environmental sustainability across many of its markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. According to the bank, the report, entitled, “Measuring sustainable development’ seeks to provide answers for global policy makers who are increasingly looking beyond maximising economic growth and seeking ways to define, quantify and achieve sustainable development even as they try and relate economic development with the quest for human ‘well-being’ and ‘happiness’. It said the SCDI measures the change in various development indicators from 2000 to 2012 using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, years of education, life expectancy, environmental health, ecosystem vitality among other factor. Ghana, Uganda, Korea, Bangladesh and Singapore emerged as the best performers in the in-

augural SCDI, with Egypt, Nigeria, India, Brazil and Indonesia making up the remainder of the top 10. John Calverley, Head of Macroeconomic Research and the author of the report, said: “The idea that GDP growth is not the only thing worth pursuing is far from new but it has become much more widely recognised and researched in recent decades”. He said the report and the measures within the SCDI highlight the point that as countries become more wealthy and middle classes grow, these issues naturally become higher priorities and are implemented via regulations, government spending or stakeholder insistence. “Issues remain around distribution of income and meeting the need for environmental sustainability across many of our markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” he said. The report covers 31 economies, both from the developing and developed world. The majority of the economies in the sample, particularly emerging markets, have seen progress across most of the five factors of sustainable growth.





‘Why the ports enjoy more patronage’ D ESPITE the high cost of cargo clearance, Nigeria’s ports are busier than those in neighbouring countries because of the viability of the economy, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime, Olugbenga Leke Oyewole. He said this in Lagos while responding to allegations by shippers that the cost of cargo clearance is higher at the ports than what obtains in the ports of adjoining countries, such as Cotonou in Niger Republic, adding that the economy is doing well. He said: “We have the largest population in the sub-region, therefore, more things are likeliy to come here. For instance, if a ship takes a car to Cotonou and another one to Nigeria, the one that comes to Nigeria takes $300 more than the one to Cotonou. That shows it is fertile and it is good for them to continue to blackmail this country to ensure that government stops collecting this money.” Besides, he said unlike in past when there were security concerns in the Nigerian waters, the government has put the issue of sea

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor

piracy under control. “When last did you hear about piracy in our waters? Two or three times in about five months as against the regular basis, which it occurs before. President Goodluck Jonathan has tried in that regard, so are we not qualified to be removed from such list of high piracy zone. We also need to move against them to remove our name, he added. Oyewole also commented on the inaccessibility of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) by operators. He said discussions were ongoing on the matter in Abuja. He said: “There are ongoing efforts to ensure that people get this loan.” The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, also said the Federal Government has approved six firms as beneficiaries of the CVFF, but that nothing has come out of it. The minister said: “Realising the importance of the participation of the indigenous operators in the achievement of sustainable

•Apapa port

development and enhancement of indigenous capacity, the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act (Cabotage Act) was enacted and provides for the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund. This is intended to assist indigenous operators to acquire vessels. For purposes of disbursements, four primary lending institutions namely Diamond Bank,

Port partners private investors


HE Lagos Port is partnering the private sector to boost service delivery. Also, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) said it wants its customer service week, celebrated worldwide in every first week of October, to be remarkable. Speaking to reporters at a forum to mark the event, Manager, Lagos Port, Mr Nasir Anas Mohammed, said: “We are looking beyond just observing this event on an annual basis. We want to see how we can add value to the community. “The Apapa Local Government is very disposed towards this arrangement and they are really encouraging us. We are observing this year’s

programme together.” On efforts to remove rickety trucks from the ports, he explained: “We are engaging some private partners who are going to bring in brand new trucks. “They will operate a consolidated truck management system, whereby only these new trucks will have access to the ports. This will also bring about peace of mind on the part of shippers concerning their cargoes.” He continued: “This will also erase the issue of traffic bottlenecks that usually arise due to bad and old trucks coming into the ports. “Our safety department has been discussing with the truck drivers on the minim um safety standard

of the type of trucks that should come in the ports. We want to make them see that it is for their own good.” He added: “The new trucks will become operational within the next one year. We are trying to ensure that the various truck associations come together and consolidate to form one or three holding companies so that they can source these vehicles that are being provided by the private companies. “Because when they consolidate, it will be easier for them to get loans or support from other agencies of government which help’s them to dispose the rickety and old trucks they are using.”

Stick to your desk, Customs officials urged


OUNDER, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has charged officers of the Nigeria Customs Service to mind their areas of specialisation. He spoke at a lecture titled: Integrity and professionalism – A panacea for effective customs duty, for new Customs recruits at the Apapa Area Command.

He said each custom officer has an area of comparative competence for which he has been specially trained, lamenting that most customs officers abandon their specialised areas. “What we find today is that most of the officers and men, for example, who should show professionalism in their jobs jettison this to dabble into areas that they are not best trained or assigned to.

‘’Many officers want to perform the function of a valuation officer as a good example. This arises from the fact that they believe that these are the areas that the “gravy” is. Integrity and professionalism is thrown to the dogs,” he said. He said customs officers, who do this, create a clog in the laid down cargo clearance procedures and hinder efficient trade facilitation.

NIMASA asked to prioritise seafarers’ training


MARINER, Capt. Dennis Osah, has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to give more attention to training of seafarers at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom. He said in Lagos that the academy should be the first institution to be considered by NIMASA for the Nigerian Seafarers Devel-

opment Programme (NSDP). He said the academy deserved to be adequately equipped to train cadets to have sea-time experience and to acquire the needed international standards. Osah, who is the first President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), said: “All things being equal, the MAN should be at the heart of the development programme for

the seafarers.’’ The mariner commended the initiative of NIMASA in sending cadets abroad under the NSDP, but insisted that the MAN, Oron, must be given the needed attention by the government. He advised the Federal Government to resuscitate the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and concession it to private operators.

Fidelity Bank, Skye Bank and Sterling Bank have been appointed. “Out of the several applications received for the CVFF facility, six applications have been processed and endorsed by these aforementioned Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) and accordingly recommended by the management of NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency)

to the ministry and are being evaluated for approval.” The CVFF is funded by the two per cent of the contract sum performed by any vessel engaged in the coastal trade which is collected the NIMASA. The fund is meant to be disbursed to enable purchase of more vessels to boost the nation’s local fleet.

FIATA okays CRFFN for HND award


HE International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has okayed the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to award Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management. The CRFFN’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Uromta Chinyere, said the accreditation was done in Singapore. In a statement, Uromata said: “Nigeria has recorded another milestone in the history of the freight forwarding industry in the country as the world body of freight forwarders, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), handed over accreditation certificate to Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria for the Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management at a session of the Advisory Board on Vocational Training in Singapore. The CRFFN Registrar, Sir Mike Jukwe: “It would be recalled that earlier in the week, the CRFFN Registrar, Sir Mike Jukwe, had successfully defended Nigeria/


CRFFN’s submission to FIATA for the accreditation of the Higher Diploma in supply chain Management in the ongoing FIATA World Congress in Singapore. “Nigeria has, therefore, become one of the three African countries to record this milestone. Other countries that scaled through the defence were Egypt and South Africa. “In the same vein, the Professional Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply chain Management had also been accredited by FIATA in October 2012, in a FIATA World Congress in Los Angeles, United States after its successful defence by Jukwe.” Uromta also said the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has given approval to the Council for the CRFFN to conduct FIATA Diploma programmes. These achievements have brought a new dawn to the sector as one of the core mandates of CRFFN, of ensuring professionalism through education and training of the people of the industry is being actualised, he added.

Nuhu tasks agents on trade

USTOMS Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Isa Nuhu, has said when clearing agents, importers and customs officers play their roles in international trade, it will help facilitate trade in the country. He stated this when executives of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Airport Chapter, led by its Chairman, Segun Musa, paid a courtesy visit to his office. Speaking after a closed door meeting with the NAGAFF airport team, Nuhu said when importers

and their agents learn to give honest declaratons in their customs documentation, trade will be facilitated and will be devoid of hitches. He said the unit will only pledge its support to any association that is ready to be complaint and do the right thing. “Everybody has his own responsibility; responsibility of the importers, agents and customs officers. If everybody plays his (sic) own role, we will have a smooth working operations. It is when somebody decides to play against the rule, that is when you will begin to have hitches,” he added.





South African firm in N3.16b take-over bid for Dangote Flour’s minority shares

IGER Brands Limited, a leading South African fast moving consumer goods company, which had bought majority equity stake in Dangote Flour Mills (DFM) Plc, is seeking to acquire additional shares worth N3.16 billion from minority shareholders of the company. A regulatory filing at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) obtained by The Nation showed that Tiger Brands Limited is seeking to takeover up to 332.5 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at a price of N9.50 per share from minority shareholders of DFM. DFM opened yesterday at the N9.50, implying that the offering price is reflective of the market valuation of the company. The transaction has already secured provisional approval of the NSE. The transaction will add 6.65 per cent equity stake to the majority equity stake of Tiger Brands, raising the majority controlling equity stake of the South African firm to 70 per cent. DFM currently has 5.0 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each outstanding share capital. The details of the minority shareholders

Stories by Taofik Salako

and the modus operandi for the take-over are still uncertain. Tiger Brands can pursue the acquisition through scheme document, tender offer or secondary market transaction. Some shareholders yesterday said they did not received any advance notification or consultation on the transaction. Dangote Group’s Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) had sold 63.35 of its equity stake in DFM to Tiger Brands in a $181.9 million. The deal saw transfer of3.17 billion ordinary shares out of Dangote Group’s 3.67 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in DFM to the Tigers Brand. The transaction however still provided for Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Group to retain his chairmanship of the board of the flour mills. The executed Share Sales Purchase Agreement (SSPA), which articulates the terms under which the Sale was consummated with Tiger Brands, provided that DIL will retain a strategic interest of 10 per cent of the total issued ordinary share

capital of DFM for a minimum period of five years after implementation of the transaction during which the Group will have the right to appoint two directors to the board of DFM, with Alhaji Aliko Dangote continuing as chairman of the company. Dangote Group had explained that the decision to divest is in furtherance of DIL’s on-going optimisation and diversification objective and relates specifically to its going forward strategies for DFM. Under the extant rule, a 70 per cent controlling equity stake would enable Tiger Brands to pursue strategic changes with little supports from minority shareholders. Extant Nigerian laws require 75 per cent shareholdings to approve such major changes. DFM has struggled with declining bottom-line over the years. It lost N3.8 billion during the first half of this year. Interim report and accounts for the six-month period ended June 30, 2013 showed that turnover inched up by 1.7 per cent, the company witnessed top-down

cost pressures, which shaved 39.3 per cent off the gross profit and pushed the company to its worst loss over the years. Dangote Flour’s turnover stood at N29.38 billion in first half 2013 as against N28.89 billion in comparable period of 2012. Gross profit dropped from N4.13 billion to N2.50 billion. With operating expenses rising from N3.43 billion to N4.04 billion and financing costs of N2.10 billion in 2013 as against N1.68 billion in 2012, loss before tax ballooned from N749.05 million in 2012 to N3.77 billion in 2013. After taxes, net loss leapt from N464.53 million in 2012 to N2.30 billion. Loss per share thus increased from about 26 kobo in 2012 to about 108 kobo in 2013. The streak of losses further eroded the equity base of the company as shareholders’ funds dropped from N27.55 billion to N23.02 billion. Directors of the company blamed the worsening performance on what they described as significant challenges being faced by the business in the short term. According to the board of direc-

‘$1. 94tr hedge funds target equities’


SURVEY by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has found that the single most represented strategy among active hedge funds globally is equity-oriented. The Second IOSCO Hedge Fund Survey, released on Monday, gathered data on 1,044 qualifying hedge funds with assets under management of about $1.94 trillion. According to the report, although several hedge funds had significant macro-oriented and multi-strategy investment strategies, the single mostrepresented investment strategy was equity-oriented. The United States and United Kingdom (UK) are the two predominant regions where hedge fund managers advisers are located while funds are usually domiciled in offshore jurisdictions in order to benefit from more favorable tax and regulatory regimes. The Cayman Islands have been the predominant domicile for these funds. The report described the comprehensive and global effort by relevant regulators to better understand the hedge fund industry and its salient features and it aimed to gather data from hedge fund managers and advisers about the markets in which they operate, their trading activities, leverage, funding and counterparty information. The report is part of IOSCO’s efforts to support the G 0 initiative to mitigate risk associated with hedge fund trading and traditional opacity. IOSCO noted that in spite of some limitations, the survey has proven to be a useful tool for examining the hedge funds segment of the market, particularly considering the limited amount of publicly available hedge fund data. “As hedge funds tend to operate across multiple jurisdictions, this initiative offers a unique perspective on the global nature of these funds,” IOSCO stated. The report found that financial leverage was used by firms to increase their market exposure, a situation that was at the core of the systemic risk analysis that regulators aim to better understand and capture. The survey also indicated that under current market conditions few funds actually need to restrict investor liquidity, underlining the liquid-

ity risk, a key measure by which regulators try to gauge a fund’s propensity to experience financial distress. According to the report, the survey also seeks to facilitate the exchange of consistent and comparable data among relevant regulators for the purpose of facilitating international cooperation regarding possible systemic risks in this sector; providing a forum for the discussion of potential regulatory options if these are required; and gaining a better insight into the global hedge fund industry. Secretary General, International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), David Wright, said the survey was an essential building block to develop a more transparent and open global financial system. “It is essential that regulators have the full picture of all parts of the market from which to make appropriate policy judgments,” Wright stated. However, the report acknowledged the limitations involved in the data collection exercise, which prevented definitive conclusions to be reached on the risk to the financial system. Going forward, IOSCO will continue to promote the collection of comparable hedge fund data among regulators with the aim of fostering an internationally consistent approach to measuring risks and improving data quality and reliability. IOSCO expects to conduct its next survey with a data collection as of September 2014. IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and is recognised as the global standard setter for securities regulation. The organisation’s membership regulates more than 95 per cent of the world’s securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions, including Nigeria. Nigeria is a member of 32-member IOSCO Board, the governing and standard-setting body of global body. Other members included securities regulatory authorities of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Ontario, Pakistan, Portugal, Quebec, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and the United States.

tors, sales volumes were impacted by intense competition arising from over-capacity of supply in the flour milling sector as well as unresolved debt issues, which have resulted in the moderation of credit extension to customers. The company stated that profitability was adversely affected by pricing pressures resulting from significant input cost inflation in the raw material cost of wheat, which has increased by 17 per cent and 15 per cent wheat levy imposed, which took effect on July 1, last year. The company added that the results also reflected a one-off cost of N796 million due to the new management team’s focus on right-sizing of the business and the optimisation of supply chain efficiencies and product quality. “Management continues to focus on improving service levels and driving demand to improve capacity utilisation and sales volumes, whilst managing margin pressures to ensure an improved profit performance. Progress is being achieved in improving the group’s internal controls and business systems,” the board stated in a complementary note to the results.

•From left: Head, Corporate Services Division, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Bola Adeeko; Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema; The United States (U.S) Consul General, Mr Jeffrey Hawkins and Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, NSE, Mr Ade Bajomo’ during the Bell Ringing Ceremony at the Exchange ... on Monday.

Two new listings to add N20.1b to NSE


HE quotation committee of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has approved the listing of two new companies, new transactions that will add about N20.1 billion to the market capitalisation of the equities market. Regulatory filings showed that two companies- Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc and Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) are scheduled for listing by introduction, a reference that the companies will be listing previously issued shares. Infinity Trust would be listing its entire issued share capital of 4.17 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1.50 per share. This implies addition of about N6.26 billion to the market capitalisation. Lead Securities & Investment Limited is the stockbroker to the listing of Infinity Trust. Also, CWG would be listing 2.52 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N5.48 per share, implying a market capitalisation of N13.84 billion. The listing of the two companies is expected to boost the stock market, with the CWG becoming the segment leader for the information and communication sector while Infinity Trust will become the second most capitalised stock in the mortgage subsector of the financial services sector. Infinity Trust was incorporated in

2002 and commenced business operations in Abuja in March 2003. Though its primary mortgage banking business started in 2003, it had been licensed in 1992 as ABS Building Society, and later to ABS Savings and Loans Limited to carry on mortgage businesses amongst others. It adopted its name in 2002 when new dynamic investors took over and injected more capital. The company indicated that the change in name was a reflection of the strong desire of the restructured primary mortgage bank to create endless opportunities for shelters for every category of Nigerians, a dream that reflects on its registered trade mark-Infinity Homes. According to the company, Infinity Homes is well-capitalised with fully paid capital of N4.5billion as at September this year. Plans are in the top gear to improve the capital base of the company as sufficient capital is central to creating endless opportunities of housing for workers. The company indicated that for five years running, it has been consistent in increasing returns on investment and declaration of dividends to the shareholders, while not reneging on the discharge of its social and corporate responsibilities. A pan-African information communications technology (ICT) firm, CWG, has regional operations in

Ghana, Cameroon and Uganda. It was incorporated in February 2005, as a holding company for CWL Systems Limited, DCC Networks Limited and ExpertEdge Software Limited. The company benefits from a diversified revenue base generated across the ICT industry value chain comprising communications, hardware and software. CWG is said have long standing partnerships with leading global ICT players such as Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft and Symantec

•MD, Infinity Trust Savings & Loans, Olabanjo Obaleye




Mixed reactions trail stock market’s biometric rules C APITAL market operators and investors are worried about the possible negative effects of the bid by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to make biometrics preconditions for transacting on the secondary market. The Nation had reported that a draft copy of amendments to rules governing operations and operators at the stock market undergoing review indicated that stockbrokers will be required to obtain the biometrics of all their clients. Individual and institutional investors will, henceforth, have to submit for biometric identification before they could buy or sell shares at the Nigerian stock market, according to new rules being proposed by the NSE. NSE indicated biometric identifiers to be obtained “shall include finger prints and iris recognition and the information collected shall be applied towards confirming clients’ identities”. Besides, while individual investors will have to provide biometrics on every account, corporate entities will provide corporate information as well as biometrics of the authorised signatories to their share trading accounts. Market stakeholders said though the introduction of biometrics may enhance the know-your-client

Stories by Taofik Salako

(KYC) status of the market and help to forestall financial crimes, the implementation of the rule may encumber market penetration and participation. Stakeholders said the new rule on biometrics will contradict the popular campaign for wider participation in Nigerian stock market given the state of national and market infrastructure. Less than five per cent of Nigerian population participate in the nation’s capital market while about 250,000 investors participate in collective investment schemes, according to official records. Managing Director, GTI Securities, Mr Tunde Oyekunle, said the negative effects of the biometrics requirement outweigh the possible benefits from the initiative. According to him, while the biometric rule will lead to a more transparent market, the stress of compliance and required resources for effective implementation should be considered seriously. “As much as I believe that the rule will lead to a more transparent market, I think the stress of complying should be considered. Investors will have to be physically present to open stock accounts, which negates the convenience of e-service and e-marketing. For ex-

McNichols, Omoluabi Savings plan N2b IPOs


HE dormant new issue segment of the capital market will soon come alive with new initial public offerings (IPOs) as two emerging companies - McNichols Consolidated Plc and Omoluabi Savings & Loans Plc, seek to raise new equity funds. McNichols Consolidated, a company listed by way of introduction on the second tier market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), plans to float an initial public offering (IPO) of 230 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1.55 per share. A new company, Omoluabi Savings & Loans Plc plans to float an IPO of three billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 55 kobo per share. It will subsequently list its entire issued share capital on the NSE. The IPOs will signal the beginning of recovery at the primary market. From a whooping N1.3 trillion in 2007, the recession that started in 2008 had withered enthusiasms for new issues, especially equities, as new issues dropped to about N86 billion


in 2009. It has since declined consecutively with the few new equity issues in recent years largely rights issues motivated by large core investors seeking to recapitalize their companies. However, many companies that had shelved plans to raise new capital from the capital market due to the lingered recession have restarted discussions about prospects of accessing new equity funds from the market. Investment banking sources said there were indications of renewed interests in the new issue market following sustained recovery in the stock market, which has seen considerable restoration of equities’ values and investors’ confidence in recent period. Several companies had earlier indicated plans for supplementary equity issues and initial public offering (IPO) but suspended the plans due to what they described as unfavourable situation at the primary market.

ample, international clients that have interest in our markets would be discouraged since coming over to Nigeria for biometric will be too much a cost to bear in opening an account,” Oyekunle said. He noted that lack of adequate and accessible road network and attendant traffic jams in most developed cities and the poor information and communication technology (ICT) connections in remote areas in Nigeria would constrain Nigerian shareholders. “This is likely to make accountopening process to be cumbersome for average Nigerian investors who want to invest to take advantage of market opportunities,” Oykunle said. A shareholder activist and leader, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo said the NSE needs to consider the cost implication and resources to implement such initiative. According to him, the posers that should concern the NSE should include the cost implication and cost transfer, technological capabilities of the stockbroking firms and the timeline for such implementation if the NSE eventually decided to go ahead with the initiative. “My advice to the regulatory agencies is to look at the above questions and many others grey areas make sure that investors do not suffer in the process,”


Group deputy managing director, BGL Plc, Mr Chibundu Edozie said the biometric rule is an extension of the Know Your Customer (KYC) guideline that has been adopted by market participants noting that already, there is a minimum identification requirement for every investor that dealing members are expected to obtain before opening or operating accounts for investors. According to him, with the current spate of insecurity, identity fraud and a host of malpractices, adding another layer of security through the biometric data of investors should be a good idea. “While implementation may be difficult initially, it portends improved transparency on the part of investors, the brokers and dealers and the security issuers,” Edozie said. A market stakeholder, who craved anonymity, said the requirement for biometric was unnecessary given that NSE already has several identification requirements that contain biometrics. The stakeholder noted that the rule on biometric was unnecessary duplication under the new client’s scoring process being proposed by the NSE in the same draft. According to the stakeholder, with international passport,

driver’s licence, tax identification card and voter’s card as various requirements for opening accounts, the demand for fresh biometric by stockbrokers is excessive given that these identifications already contain biometrics. Under one of the new rules being proposed, an investor will have to provide a minimum of three identifications to meet the new scorebased criteria for opening of account. NSE is proposing a clients points system under which stockbrokers will have to ensure that an investor score a minimum of 10 points to be eligible to hold an account. In obtaining the data of its clients for identification purposes, every dealing member is expected to apply the “Clients Points System”, with the points awarded according to predetermined grade of the Exchange. According to the rules, international passport caries the highest grade of five points, national identity card carries four points, driver’s license obtains two points, utility bill accrues two points, voters card entitles to a point while employee’s photo identification card issued by recognised employer with employer’s tax identification from the Federal Inland Revenue Service obtains two points.

•From left: Renowned Pianist, Ayo Bankole Jnr; Head, High Value Events and Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi, and General Manager, Muson Centre, Mr Gboyega Banjo, at a classical concert during the Muson Music Festival at the centre in Lagos.

Foreign investors stake N747b on Nigerian equities in eight months

OREIGN investors staked N747.23 billion on Nigerian equities within the first eight months of this year, accounting for about 51 per cent of the total market turnover during the period. The latest report on the foreign portfolio investment low by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that foreign investors dominated transactions at the NSE in five out of the eight months, although the quantum of flow has reduced successively in recent months. The report indicated that total transaction at the NSE within the period stood at N1.47 trillion, with foreign portfolio investors accounting for N747.23 billion while domestic investors accounted for N721.60 billion. Foreign portfolio investors thus accounted for 50.87 per cent while domestic investors accounted for 49.13 per cent within the eight-month period. Investment flow in the past three tracked months has followed the same pattern, with more outflow than inflow. The foreign portfolio investment report showed considerable month-on-month slowdown in both the total foreign transactions

and foreign portfolio inflow while there was an increase in outflow during the period. In August, foreign inflow stood at N31.12 billion as against outflow of N39.76 billion. Total foreign transactions thus stood at N70.88 billion, 52.26 per cent of the total turnover of N135.63 billion recorded for the month. Foreign investors had took out nearly a double of every penny they invested in the Nigerian stock market in July, unusually high disparity between foreign portfolio inflow and outflow, which led to significant decline in net foreign investment in the Nigerian stock market. The seven-month report for the period ended July 2013 had indicated that total foreign inflow stood at N31.81 billion as against outflow of N61.90 billion in July, showing the widest divergence between inflow and outflow so far this year. Total foreign transactions thus slowed to N93.71 billion in July as against N150.24 billion in the previous month. However, foreign investors remained dominant in stock market’s transactions with 62.53 per

cent of the aggregate foreign-domestic transactions in July, an increase on 51.13 per cent recorded by foreign investors in June. With the outflow in July, net foreign investment declined from about N73 billion by June to N42.59 billion by July. Total foreign inflow had risen to N90.15 billion while outflow stood at N60.09 billion as total foreign transactions increased to N150.24 billion in June. Total foreign transactions in the Nigerian market for the sevenmonth period stood at N676.25 billion, 50.73 per cent of aggregate transactions of N1.33 trillion by foreign and domestic investors during the period. Breakdown of foreign transactions during the seven-month period showed inflow of N359.47 billion as against outflow of N316.88 billion. Nigerian investors accounted for N656.85 billion over the seven months. Foreign investors had capitalised on general market optimism in July ahead of the release of the first half earnings reports of quoted

companies to monetize and rebalance their portfolios. Nigerian equities had consolidated their bullish rally in July with capital gains of some N581 billion. Aggregate market value of all equities closed July at N12.007 trillion as against its opening value of N11.426 trillion for the month. The All Share Index (ASI), which doubles as benchmark index for all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and country index for Nigeria, also rose from month’s opening index of 36,164.31 points to close at 37,914.33 points, a month-month average positive return of 5.08 per cent. First-half report on foreign portfolio investment flow had shown that total transactions-including buy and sell deals, by foreign investors totaled N582.64 billion, accounting for 49.24 per cent of total turnover at the NSE during the period. The report had indicated that in most instances, foreign investors flowed in more funds than they took out, leaving the stock market with a positive net foreign investment of about N73 billion within the period. Foreign portfolio inflow stood at

N327.66 billion as against outflow of N254.98 billion. Total turnover value at the NSE during the first half was N1.18 trillion with both foreign investors and domestic investors dominating transactions in three months each. But while foreign investors had maintained gradual and steady increase and decline in portfolio adjustments, Nigerian investors showed large fluctuations. Nigerian investors dominated the market within the first two months and were supplanted by foreign investors in March and April. Nigerian investors regained dominance in May and were equally displaced by foreign investors in June. Foreign investors accounted for 36.89 per cent, 39.65 per cent, 52.78 per cent, 64.48 per cent, 48.68 per cent and 51.13 per cent in January, February, March, April, May and June respectively. Portfolio transactions by foreign investors totaled N61.46 billion, N75.97 billion, N80.14 billion, N122.97 billion, N91.86 billion and N150.24 billion in January, February, March, April, May and June respectively.





ENSIONERS in Lagos State under the ‘Pay As You Go’ (PAYG) schemeshave appealed to the Federal Government to take the non-payment of their pension seriously. An 89-year-old pensioner, Chief Joseph Odunuga, who spoke to The Nation after the Lagos State Civil Service Commission gave him a wheel chair during a verification in Lagos, said he had not received his pension arrears in three years. The pensioner, who said he has written a petition to the Federal Government, sought for the payment of his pension arrears. He said he worked for the Federal Government for 28 years and Lagos State for seven years. He said: “I am not happy with

‘Pay our pension arrears’ Stories by OmobolaTolu-Kusimo

the government because in the past three years, they have not paid me. I have written a petition the government, but I have not received any reply”. ‘’I serve with the Federal Government for 28 years and state government for seven years. I have been getting my federal share regularly but at present, I don’t get any pension from both the Federal and state government. Chief Collins Ayoade, who worked in the Ministry of Finance

and retired in 1989, said the government promised it would pay pension arrears but the promises were not fulfilled. He noted that most pensioners did not get their pension since 2001 except for a few people. “Each time we go to the pension office, the government keep telling us there is no money. The pensioners, who retired before 2001 are getting their pension but those who retire from 2001, when the Federal Government said it would not be involved in pension payment are not getting their

money. “A lot of pension money is hanging with Federal Government and they have refused to pay to the states and we are praying to God so that they can pay us our entitlements,” he said. Commissioner for Establishment, Lagos Civil Service Pensions Office, Mrs. Modupe Oguntuase, said the state government had been fulfilling her obligation to the pensioners in the two schemes. She said the state issued N18.9

billion cheque for the payment of retirement benefits to its pensioners. She stressed that on assumption of office in 2011, representations through letters and visits, were made by the ministry to the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation in Abuja on the matter. “It is noteworthy to state that the Senate Public Hearing on pension that sat at the Airport Hotel where our positions were highlighted through submission of relevant document is yet to receive any attention,” she added.

Nnamdi Azikiwe varsity retirees urge govt to revert to old scheme


OME NnamdiAzikiwe University retirees have called on the Federal Government to revert to the old pension scheme. According to the retirees who consist mostly junior staff and are retirees from 2007 to date, the old pension system ensures a substantial payment of gratuity. In a statement signed by their Chairman of the group, Mr Patrick Okafor, said many of them died because of lack of money. He noted that the only advantage of the new scheme is that pension managers pay retirees only half of their gratuities, while the other half is kept with the managers while under the old system the retirees received a substantial amount of money as gratuity. The retirees, however, condemn

the situation where some pension managers give only a third of the gratuity to retirees and do business to enrich themselves with the remaining two-thirds. The retirees said it was embarrassing to them as retired civil servants, who had served in various capacities to better the country to be treated shabbily. “By the new pension scheme, the Federal Government failed to realise that not all retired civil servants were able to build a home for themselves before retirement.We never had any agreement with the government nor with the pension managers that our benefits be kept with pension managers to do business. We are begging the Federal Government to look into our pitiable case and kindly bring back the old pension system,” they added.

IAIS to help identify global systemically important insurers

• From left: Company Secretary, Nigeria Liability Insurance Pool, Alhaji Musilu Laguda; Chairman, Mr Richard O. Borokini and General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

Pension practice not yet ideal, says group


PENSION advocacy and non-governmental organisation, Ayobola Foundation, has said pension in the country is far from ideal compared to other developing and developed countries. The Chief Executive Officer of the 21- year-old organisation, Mr Stephen Enada, who spoke during a verification in Lagos, said it is important for the Federal Government to review pension benefits from periodically to pave way for inflation trend. Decrying the non-challant attitude of some state governments toward the Contributory pension Scheme (CPS), he said it was unfortunate that many states have not implemented the new scheme. Lagos, he added, has keyed into the scheme while Kwara State has not. He warned governments to be careful in how pensioners were treated in order not to frustrate workers. He said: “Our research and assessment on how pensioners are treated in other states is so bad. We have related with some states, including Kwara so far and what we see there is horrible for pensioners. Lagos State, on its part, is improving and you have to give them some kind of credit because they are listening and improving themselves on how to better the life’s of the pensioners. “As an advocacy group, we are abreast with the situations of pen-

• Enada

sioners across the country. We are therefore advising and will continue to call for a balance and objective views about pensioners and their plight entitlement in Nigeria. “Governments should pay pensioners their money as when due and even review it from time to time. For us, pension administration is far from being perfect and the foundation is advocating, mobilising so that every stakeholder would see that the fundamental human right of pensioners and senior citizen must be respected by government players and agency.” Enada said pensions were being reviewed, but has not been

paid, adduing that this was wrong. “We have to be very careful to play with old folks because they are part of our society. “The fact remains that pension in this country is still far from what it should be when compared with the kind of global support for seniors and even pensioners who have worked.It is not debatableand cannot be negotiated because it is their right. What we ought to be negotiating is how their entitlement will be reviewed base on the inflationary trend so that they will be able to cope with the trend of the day.” Speaking further on the activities of the group, Enada said they were able to support over 500 pensioners who have problems with their sight with glasses and other treatment, including nutrition package periodically in collaboration with state Ministry of Health. He added that the foundation was established to highlight the plight and frustrations of the average pensioner to bring about a change in their fortune. It also aimed at promoting the ideals that characterised the lifestyle of Mrs. Elizabeth Ayobola Afolabi as she impacted lives; particularly of the less-privileged in the society where she lived, before she died in a car accident while pursuing her pension verification with NITEL on December 2, 2010.


PANEL from the global insurance supervisors, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), has focused on the association’s recent work to help identify global systemically important insurers and develop policy measures that apply to them. This was made known at the justconcluded 20th Annual Conference of the IAIS which gathered more than 600 members, observers and interested parties in Chinese Taipei for two days of lively discussion. The annual conference provides a forum for insurance supervisors to strengthen commitments, share insights and develop new mechanisms to work together. It also provides stakeholders with insights into the on-going work of the IAIS and the future direction of insurance supervision. Peter Braumüller, Chair of the IAIS Executive Committee said they are glad to have been able to welcome over 600 supervisors, government officials and insurance professionals for two days of lively discussion and debate on many issues of critical importance within the insurance sector.” He stated that with the theme of the conference, ‘Building Sustainable Insurance Supervision in a Changing World’ panels on the ageing of populations were included. According to him, this is to help understand potential opportunities and challenges, this panel examined what implications the ageing of populations will have for insurance markets, pension systems and the macro-economy. The panel discussed how to implement most effectively the new

Coordinated Implementation Framework, including an increased regional focus, and whether there are certain basic requirements that the IAIS should assist all jurisdictions to put in place. He said: “Panelists also discussed the A2ii’s new strategic direction and how our partnership will assist IAIS Members implement the Insurance Core Principles in a proportionate manner that creates a path toward increased access to insurance. “Once in place, ComFrame will allow supervisors to efficiently and effectively cooperate and coordinate by providing a basis for comparing regulatory and supervisory processes of internationally active insurance groups. As one of the IAIS’ most significant projects, focus was given to ComFrame’s status and the next steps in its development and field testing. Other issues discussed according to him are the impacts of global climate change and Consumer protection frameworks and guarantee funds and Consumer protection frameworks and guarantee funds.. “Panelists discussed matters such as how to improve catastrophic risk management and enhance risk diversification through cross-border cooperation. This session focused on the variety of consumer protection frameworks and approaches to guarantee funds, how these funds operate in jurisdictions around the globe and the role of these frameworks and funds in the overall approach to insurance supervision and consumer protection, especially as part of effective resolution? •Culled from the Telegraph




How an old soldier became an entrepreneur Upon quitting the Army, an old soldier,Anthony Ugbogbo set up a firm that manufactures pesticides and airfresheners. In this report,DANIEL ESSIET says he is doing well.


T a time the number of exservice men are swelling in the employment market, Anthony Ugbogbo is utilising the lessons he learnt as a young soldier to run a thriving business . A veteran soldier, Ugbogbo spent many years on active duty in Ibadan, Jos and Liberia. On his retirement, he came up with the idea of producing pesticides and air fresheners on a small scale. To acquire the prerequisite skill, he enrolled for a training programme. He started with N20,000. Today, the business is worth over N500,000. From a home-based company, he has secured a place at the In-


dustrial Development Centre (IDC) in Ikorodu, Lagos. His company offers Action insecticide and air freshener. His products are in demand. He is planning to open more sales outlets. Pesticides production has become a big business for him as he has been able to earn a living from it. Ugbogbo said the business is lucrative and patronage is high. He linked the high patronage to the fact that people realised the effectiveness of his products over imported brands. For him, before one starts a small business, he must perserve . Ugbogbo always had an inner desire to become an entrepreneur. He loves to change the world

around him, while challenging himself. He loves independence and the idea of being open to new ways of doing business – without having to explain to a boss why he thinks the product, project or business is not impossible. There were many problems along his journey.His training showed him how to get through a problem, and work his way through some of the challenges he has run into as a business owner. His experience of more than two decades in the military is responsible for the business success he has found himself after life in the armed forces. The skills he came received were important, but discipline and focus were the biggest


Why SMEs are not growing fast

ANY small businesses are not experiencing growth because of their inability to invest in automated technologies to drive down costs and improve efficiencies. The President, Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN) Prince Saviour Iche told The Nation that there is increased consumer demands for rapid order delivery. For this reason, Iche said ecommerce is the most obvious trend driving business and this requires companies to take new approaches to fulfill customer demands. Small businesses, he explained, cannot compete with big firms which are prepare to spend money to meet the challenge of explor-

ing multi-channel distribution networks where customers can be served from traditional as well as online marketing platforms. The growth of e-commerce, according to him, has changed consumer expectations. Because of this, he said there was increased appetite for technology to boost efficiencies, whether in throughput, order accuracy and marketing. He also said small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of the economy and one of the nation’s greatest assets, adding they have been responsible for creating new jobs. He noted, however, that the businesses were struggling under the weight of the worst economic crisis.

•Trainees on phone repair during an empowerment programme in Abuja

Group calls for knowledge economy

Cassava chips, pellets processing


things he learnt from the military. As a former military man, he knows how to handle difficulties that came his way, especially competitions. And in every stage of the project, he continues to draw on the lessons he learnt while in uniform. He praised the Association of Microentrepreneurs of Nigeria(AMEN) for building a culture of entrepreneurship among Nigerians. He has no regret going into small business. Looking back, the company’s biggest challenge is how to make a name for itself within the congested market. But he has a solution: diversifying the business.

ASSAVA chips and pellets are used for chemicals manufacturing. These include ethanol, animal feeds and other industrial raw materials. Cassava as substitute resources in livestock feeds production is attracting buyers because of its relative cheapness compared with grains especially corn. This accounts for its high demand in Nigeria and the international market. Cassava roots or tubes is the main raw materials for chips and pellets production. Cleaned roots are cut into smaller pieces and chipped before they are further processed into chips and pellets. A functional plant consists a peeler, automatic washing machine. automatic chipping system machine, dryer, weighing scale and other miscellaneous tools. Cassava chips and pallets can be produced at home as well as on large mechanised scale. The process of producing cassava chips and pallets are virtually the same. The products undergo the following stages: The raw tubers procured from local farmers are put into the automatic peeler. Its sharp blade cut off large chunks of the tubers. Peeled cassava is washed thoroughly either with the aid of washing machine or manual. Washed parts are passed into the chipping machine and the outcome is chips while the one put into the pelleting machine come out as pellets. The chips or pellets are then passed into the dryer, and the end product ready for packaging. Packaging is done in 50kg jute bags. The project is better located in the rural or semi-urban area where the land is arable and the inhabitants

By Edwin Agbaike Projects/ Financial Consultant

are agrarian, cultivating lot of cassava. This will produce the muchneeded raw materials for continuous operation of the plant. An open spaced building housing the machineries in a fenced area of land will be ideal for factory site. The cost of setting up a cassava chips and pellet plant depends on the scale. A small scale plant ranges from about N450,000 to N1.5 million, depending on expected outputs. The viability of this project is not in doubt. Moreover, the returns are high with very short payback period. There is a substantial market for cassava chips and pellets in Nigeria, Economic Community of West African(ECOWAS) sub-region, Europe and the Far East. The local demand and high export potential is due to its numerous uses as raw materials for industrial chemicals. In Nigeria, the recognised buyers are the pharmaceutical/ chemical companies, livestock companies, etc. Distributors can be appointed as market outlets for the products. Alternatively, the promoter could embark upon direct export marketing to earn hard currencies. This project is highly recommended for entrepreneurs who have vast areas of arable land, and interested in cassava cultivation. This bring into operation-integrated project that will result in higher profit margin. This project is capable of offering employment to about 10 personnel, most of who will be unskilled and casual workers on a daily pay. For more information contact or call 08023381900.



HE Knowledge Economy Group (KEG) has said the development of any economy is based on the level of knowledge at its disposal, Dean,School of Media and Communication, Pan Altantic University, Lekki,Lagos, Prof Emevwo Biakolo has said. Biakolo,who is also a member of the group,spoke at the KEG’s inaugural roundtable conference in Lagos. He said achieving a knowledgebased economy requires acquisition and development of right skills. He said a knowledge economy is where production and entire process of ideas are put together to enhance productivity. He noted that the knowledge economy embraces more dimensional concept, adding that while a knowledge-based economy is a theoretical, knowledge economy is practical as it leads to productivity. Biakolo further said the concept of the knowledge economy came as

•Nweze By Christopher Eboh

a result of the shift that occurred in 1999 in the United States when the information technology was opened to the public. Stating that before 1999, there was a shift in balance between knowledge and natural resources,knowledge, he said, is the driving force behind the development of natural resources. However, many African countries, including Nigeria, have given more prominence to natural resources than knowledge, and this has been the major cause of African under development. He said Nigerians should begin to develop their natural resources with knowledge instead of depending too much on oil revenue. He pointed out that most industrialised countries are not even blessed with many natural resources as African countries, yet, they became developed because they invested heavily on

knowledge and human empowerment. Biakolo further stressed that in a production economy, what is being produced is not the product but the knowledge of an individual. He therefore noted that technology and information are needed for economy repositioning of the nation. Dr. Austin Nweze of the Lagos Business School said skill acquisition and development will lead to creation of services and wealth, which will thus, lead to an industrialised economy. He said most African countries, including Nigeria are under developed because they do not value knowledge based economy strategies. He said from the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy index, Africa is not placed anywhere. He added that the west has been encouraging Africans to export their resources to enable them to create a value chain in the finished product, nothing that this is detrimental to Africa’s economy. Nweze added that the major reason for the decline in the African Eeconomy is because businesses were filled with unskilled and semi-skilled workforce and that the world is changing very fast. He noted that the world is even becoming smaller. “For instance, Information Technology (IT),he said, is being dispersed vastly making the world a global village. Also, food, which used to be prepared and eaten only at home years back can now be eaten in food café; outside homes.” Nweze added that KE creates comfort in an ever- changing environment. He added that it is driven by the environment, such as culture, policies, and investment structure.




EU to impose 100m euro fine on data protection laws violators A


HE European Parliament has voted to strengthen Europe’s data protection laws, including plans to impose fines of up to 100million euro on companies, such as Yahoo!, Facebook or Google if they break the rules. The vote in parliament’s civil liberties committee opens the way for further negotiations with EU countries and the European Commission on the plans, the first revision to Europe’s data laws since 1995. In the nearly two decades since then, vast changes have taken place in how data is generated, stored, shared and viewed, leaving lawmakers determined to get ahead of the game and draft rules that they say will better protect individuals. “The European Parliament has just given its full backing to a strong and uniform European data protection law that will cut costs for business and strengthen the protection of our citizens: one continent, one law,” said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. In its legislative proposal unveiled in early 2012, the Commission suggested sanctions of up to two per cent of global turnover on companies that violate the rules, and said consumers should have the “right to be forgotten” – that they should be able to remove their entire digital traces from

the Internet. The parliament’s civil liberties committee has come up with nearly 4,000 amendments to the original plan, including increasing the fine to five per cent of yearly worldwide turnover or 100million euro, whichever is greater. The changes also mean the replacement of the “right to be forgotten” with “the right of erasure,” seen as a lesser obligation. Officials said the change in language was necessary as consultations with technology companies had made clear that it would impossible to entirely remove someone’s traces from the Internet. Individuals should not be promised something that could not be achieved, the officials said. The regulation on data in the 28 countries that make up the European Union will establish, when finalised, a single, pan-European law for data protection, replacing the current inconsistent patchwork of national laws. Companies will deal with one law, not 28. “The benefits are estimated at 2.3billion euro per year,” the Commission said in a statement. Parliament, in line with the Commission’s proposals, also wants to impose strict rules on how data is shared or transferred to non-EU countries.

For example, if the United States wants access to information held by Google or Yahoo! about a European citizen based in Europe, the firm would have to seek authorisation from a European data authority first. That would establish an extra, EUcontrolled gateway that might go some way to assuaging the profound concerns raised in Europe about US data spying activities revealed via the leaks from former US data analyst Edward Snowden. Facebook, Yahoo!, Google and other Internet-based firms, the vast majority of them American, have lobbied against the Commission’s proposal, concerned it will damage their business model by imposing an extra, costly burden on how they handle data, and limit their ability to target goods at consumers. U.S. authorities are also worried that if Europe establishes strict new data rules, countries in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia will tend towards the European model, setting a higher global data-protection threshold. That would leave the US either having to offer the same protections or lobbying to get countries to adopt its less rigid code of protection, creating an uneven playing field that could dent the competitiveness of US firms.

• United States President Barack Obama with Affordable Care Act registrants and beneficiaries at the Rose Garden, White House in Washington.

Mexico budget airline orders 52 Airbus jets worth $5.1b


EXICAN budget airline VivaAerobus has ordered 52 Airbus A320family jets from Airbus, an official at the European plane maker said, in a deal worth $5.1billion. The order includes 40 A320neo jets, said Rafael Alonso, Airbus executive vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean. The 40 A320neo planes have a combined list price of $4billion. Airbus said VivaAerobus, which has previously used Boeing aircraft, had also ordered 12 A320ceo, with a combined catalogue price of $1.1billion. The defection of VivaAerobus to a new supplier follows a bitterly fought contest between the industry giants as the Mexican low-cost airline becomes the latest to compare the newest fuel-saving models offered by both plane makers. The first plane will be delivered in April, next year, and the last in 2021, VivaAerobus chief executive

Juan Carlos Zuazua told a news conference. The Mexican airline said it also has an option to buy another 40 Airbus A320neo planes in the future. Zuazua said the “optimum mix” would be to split the deal between 60-per-cent purchased and 40-percent leased, and noted that the financing had not yet been finalized. Many airlines reduce the burden of new aircraft on their balance sheets by selling their newly purchased aircraft on to third parties and then renting them back, an operation known as a sale-andleaseback. Industry sources have said United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney, whose engines compete with GE/Safran venture CFM, could power the A320 jets. However VivaAerobus said the decision on the engines would be made within a month. The arrival of a new generation of jet engines boasting double-

digit percentage gains in fuel efficiency prompted both Airbus and Boeing to revamp their mediumhaul, narrow-body models and triggered a worldwide battle for market share. VivaAerobus, which launched in 2006, is a venture between Mexican transport company Grupo IAMSA and the family behind Irish low-cost airline Ryanair. Roberto Alcantara, chairman of VivaAerobus, declined to comment when asked about reports that the airline is considering an initial public offering. Monterrey-based VivaAerobus, whose existing fleet comprises 19 Boeing 737-300 aircraft, operates 51 routes in Mexico and two to the United States, according to the company. VivaAerobus currently has about 12 per cent of the market for flights in Mexico and just 1 per cent of the market for international flights.

Ex-UBS banker wanted in U.S. tax probe arrested in Italy

FORMER top executive at Swiss bank UBS AG has been arrested in Italy and faces possible extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for allegedly helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes. Raoul Weil, a Swiss citizen and former head of UBS’s global wealth management business, was arrested in the northern Italian city of Bologna early on Saturday, police have said. Weil will remain in jail in Italy until the justice ministry decides whether to extradite him to the United States, police and local judicial sources said. He will not be able to apply for bail, the sources said. Weil was charged in the United States in November 2008 for conspiring to help 17,000 Americans hide assets worth $20-billion (U.S.) in Swiss bank accounts and declared a fugitive a few months later after failing to surrender to authorities. In 2009 UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager by assets, was fined $780million and agreed to hand over the names of U.S. clients

with secret Swiss bank accounts to avoid facing criminal charges. The deal with the United States marked a historic break with Switzerland’s tradition of bank secrecy. Reuss Private Group, a Swiss wealth manager where Weil is chief executive officer, said on Monday that the banker had been arrested while on a private visit to Italy. “He has been detained on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the U.S. judiciary in 2008 in connection with allegations of aiding and abetting tax evasion during the time Raoul Weil was with UBS, which he left in 2009. Raoul Weil disputes these allegations,” Reuss said. Police sources told Reuters that Weil, 53, was arrested at the I Portici hotel in central Bologna and taken to the city’s Dozza prison. Reuters was not immediately able to contact Weil or his Italian lawyers. His legal representative in the U.S. did not immediately respond to requests for comment. When Weil was indicted in 2008, his U.S. attorney said he was innocent and called the indictment against him “totally unjustified.”

Despite $13b settlement, JPMorgan can’t end criminal probe


PMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon has pleaded with and complained to the United States Justice Department but cannot convince the government to end its criminal probe of his bank because prosecutors are not yet certain of their findings, people familiar with the matter said. Dimon has negotiated a tentative $13billion deal to settle many of the US investigations into mortgage bonds that JPMorgan – and the banks it bought during the financial crisis – sold to investors. But the criminal investigation proved to be a sticking point during negotiations, the sources said, and Dimon’s inability to win this point underscores the breadth of the problems his bank faces even after it resolves these mortgage suits. The criminal probe relates to whether JPMorgan misrepresented the quality of the mortgages it was packaging into bonds and selling to investors. While JPMorgan was not about to admit wrongdoing, Dimon suspected that ending the criminal probe was a long shot and the bank was not interested in holding up all the other settlements to wait for that, one of the sources said. Civil

cases require a lower burden of proof than criminal cases, and can often be wrapped up quicker than parallel criminal proceedings. JPMorgan has set aside a total of $23billion to pay for legal issues, and faces more than a dozen probes globally. Prosecutors did not want to end the criminal probe before they were sure of its findings, said several people familiar with the probe and other investigations of the banks. They said the investigation could take another several months. US President Barack Obama’s administration has faced extensive criticism for its failure to prosecute bankers criminally for behavior that led to the financial crisis, which by some estimates has cost the United States economy nearly as much as it earns in a year. Obama has set up a task force to investigate fraud and other activity that led to the meltdown. Former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers not involved with the talks said that ending an early-stage criminal inquiry as part of the broader settlement could have created the appearance that JPMorgan was buying the right to flout the law.

Royal Mail’s IPO success triggers envy in Ottawa


HARES in Britain’s 500-yearold postal service soared as high as 50 per cent over their initial offering price in the days after being listed this month, proving that a very mature business can still excite investors. That has triggered a sense of postal envy in Ottawa. This could have been Canada Post’s big payday. “I think Ottawa missed the boat,” lamented Michael Warren, a former Canada Post chief executive and long-time proponent of privatising the Crown Corporation. “Timing is everything in business.” The federal government quietly shelved plans to privatise Canada Post soon after taking power in 2006. Now, Canada Post finds itself at risk of becoming irrelevant – squeezed between a government mandate that requires it to deliver mail to every Canadian address and a population that no longer sees the post office as a vital method of communication. The postal service is now delivering a billion fewer pieces of mail than it was just six years ago.

Add in heavy pension, health and benefit obligations, and the picture is grim. Canada Post is losing money, and by its own estimation, will run out of cash by next summer. Instead of a big payoff for taxpayers, the post office risks becoming a growing financial burden on the government. If nothing is done to fix its broken business model Canada Post says it will be losing nearly $1billion a year by 2020. This financial mess could easily turn into a public relations fiasco for the Conservative government. None of the proposed options for fixing the post office are very palatable. They include moving all Canadians to community mailboxes, going to three-day-a week delivery from the current five, franchising more post offices, raising stamp prices and slowing mail delivery, according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report commissioned by the post office. “Given its financial position and outlook, Canada Post believes changes must be implemented as quickly as possible,” the company said bluntly in late August.



The Midweek Magazine



O fewer than 14 renowned artistes of Ekiti State were decorated as cultural ambassadors of the state by Governor Kayode Fayemi last Saturday. The artistes include gospel musician, Dr. Yinka Ayefele, talented actor, Mr Peter Fatomilola, veteran actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu, Prof. Ojo Bakare, Chief Elemure Ogunyemi, Peju Ogunmola, and Mr Akin Onipede. Others are juju musician Chief Micho Ade, ace designer, Funmi Ajila, Mr. Odunlade Adekola, Nollywood actress Foluke Daramola, Mr Akinade Ibuoye (Gaze Baba) and Hip hop singer and rapper Sasha Ibrahim. The honour was conferred on the artistes during the inauguration of the re-modeled Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ikogosi. The award was in recognition of the artistes’ contributions to the growth of culture, especially for adding value to drama, art, theatre, and entertainment in the country. Governor Fayemi said the 14 recipients were specially honoured by the state for maintaining a controversy-free career as indigenes of Ekiti state. Dr. Yinka Ayefele Yinka Ayefele was born without a surgical scalpel over four decades ago. The first child of his parents, Yinka hails from Ipoti Ekiti where he had his elementary education at Our Saviors Anglican Primary School and Ipoti Community Secondary School, Ipoti Ekiti and later proceeded to Ondo State College of Arts and Science, (OSCAS) Ikare Akoko, Ondo state. His desire to make it in life brought him to Ibadan in the 80s where he did several menial jobs before he had opportunity to practice his heart’s desire-broadcasting. For many years, he worked as a freelance broadcaster at Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan where he presented programs like Olongo, Agunmu Owo, Lagbo Faaji, Big Beats etc. Somewhere along the line, he became a renowned and the most sought-after jingle producer by advertisers. He had a date with destiny in December 12, 1997 when he involved in an accident with his Volkswagen ‘beetle’ car. The crash turned out to be a watershed which later became the compass that gave his life and career a direction. Not new to music though, the car crash played a major role in honing his skills in music when just a year after the accident he produced the album titled Bitter Experience launched at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan. His music, a fusion of gospel garnished with juju flavor in a hot ‘tungba’ sauce beautifully delivered in a sonorous, yet velvet voice that is uniquely distinct. The wide acceptability of bitter experience marked the turning point in his life, with the subsequent release of another monster hit follow-up album, sweet experience, thus giving birth to seemingly the hottest and most widely travelled band in the country today –Yinka Ayefele and the merry makers band. The band has produced other well-accepted albums such as Something Else, Divine Intervention, Absolute Praise, Fun Fair, New Dawn, Aspiration, Divine Intervention, etc in no particular order. His efforts and contributions to the entertainment industry were adequately rewarded by the Federal Government when he was listed as a recipient of the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2009. A recipient of over 200 awards and honors, Ayefele is a honorary citizen of the State of Georgia, Rhode Island, Boston and Miami in the United States. During his first tour of the United States in 2008, Ayefele and the Merry-makers toured 30 out of the 50 states in that country, thus making him the first Nigerian artiste to achieve the feat. Ayefele has visited countries like Malaysia, Republic of Ireland, UAE, UK, Canada and several other African countries. A highly resourceful entrepreneur, Ayefele owns the 27-room Down Town Hotel and Suites in Ibadan and Optimum Rezolutions, a first-class printing and

•Prof. Bakare receiving a plaque from Governor Fayemi.

14 bag Ekiti cultural ambassador awards By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

AWARD communication outfit located inside his sprawling music house in Ibadan, Oyo state. Mr Peter Fatomilola The Saloro of Ifishin Ekiti, Ekiti State. The Osi Amuludun of the Source, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Ifishin- Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government, Ekiti State. He was born on the January 16, 1946, married with children. Chief Peter Oladele Fatomilola, joined the service of Obafemi Awolowo University as Actor-in-Training on March 1, 1973 in what was then the UNIFE THEATRE(now AWOVARSITY Theatre) under the Directorship of Ola Rotimi and later Wole Soyinka, in the Department of Dramatic Arts. Chief Fatomilola attended The Apostolic Primary School, Iwaro-Ilesha from 19591962; Methodist Secondary Modern School, Ifaki-Ekiti from 1965-1966; Ife City Commercial College from 1968-1971 and the University of Ife in 1977/1978 and in 1981/1982. He obtained the certificate in Dramatic Arts (C.D.A) from the Department of Dramatic Arts in 1978 and the certificate in Yoruba Oral Literature from the Department of African Languages and Literature in 1982. Chief Fatomilola is a virtuoso artist. Over more than forty years of committed professionalism, he has written and directed innumerable plays in Yoruba language expression for both the stage and screen. His strength is in the importance area of stage and screen acting. Chief Fatomilola continues to display a mature committed and professional attitude to his work. He has featured in countless numbers of film productions, which include but not limited to Papa Ajasco and company, where he acted as Papa Ajasco; Rere Run where he acted as Lawuwo; Agogo Eewo and Saworo Ide, where he acted as Baba Amawomaro; Oduduwa, where he acted as Agbonniregun; Afonja, where he acted as Afonja; Lawyer Coker, where he acted as Lawyer Coker; Koseegbe, where he acted as the Commissioner of Police; Oleku, where he acted as the palm wine tapper and also his own personal production; Aiyelujara, where he acted as the Oluwo.

Chief Jimoh Aliu Jimoh Aliu is a highly respected classical theatre practitioner with a passionate interest in the life of the community and its cultural heritage as well as a commentator on Nigerian culture abroad. Chief Jimoh Aliu forms a bridge between the old and the new Nigeria. He is an actor, script writer, producer/director, dancer and make-up artist, costumes and location designers. He was born in 1936 in Okemesi Ekiti. In 1959, Jimoh Aliu joined the Ogungbe Theatre and toured the old Western Region with the troupe. He left in 1966 and formed the Jimoh Aliu Concert party based in Ikare Akoko in Ondo State. He joined the Nigerian Army in 1967 and used Pidgin English to communicate when performing in places like Uyo, Eket, Enugu, Northern Nigeria etc. He retired in 1975 to carry out on as an independent artist, touring Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara etc, performing many plays; Atoka series, some radio plays and several television productions like Ma baraje, Afopina, Odu-Ifa, Igba oro, Orunmila, etc. Prof Ojo Bakare Born in Aramoko Ekiti on November 8th 1964, Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare is Nigeria’s first professor of Choreography and Performing Aesthetics. From the humble beginning of being a theatre apprentice under Chief Jimoh Aliu and late Hubert Ogunde, Rasaki has grown to become a global personality in Theatre Scholarship Practice. A holder of B.A(hons) Theatre Arts, UNICAL, M.A Play Directing and Playwriting (UNICAL) and Ph.D in Choreography and Dance Studies from ABU, Zaria, Prof Bakare is a career as a University Teacher. A multi-talented award-winning ArtisteScholar, Prof. Bakare has handled over 200 major command performances both nationally and internationally. He directed the command performances for the presidential inaugurations of Chief Obasanjo, Alhaji Yar’Adua and his successor Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the opening ceremonies of National Sports Festival 2004, Under 17 World Cup 2009, NUGA 2008, NAFEST 2005 and others. Chief Elemure Ogunyemi He was born on August 25, 1948 to the family of Chief Ogunyemi. Though

a native of Isaba, Ikole Ekiti, he was born at Emure Ekiti. He attended St. Paul Catholic Primary School, Ikole Ekiti in 1954. He started his secondary modern school at Michael Catholic Modern School, Ikole Ekiti in 1960 and let in 1963.he started his musical career in 1972 and released his first album titiled “Berekete Olobereye” in 1974. Chief Elemure has got so many feathers to his name such as; Ekiti Music Ambassador E.M.A at Yaba Tech. 1989, Grand Commander Ekiti Music, Lagos University in 1993 and Ekiti Parapo Marif Award in 1994. Peju Ogunmola A legend that has been born in existence since birth, this popular actress was into show business many years ago into the family of popular Late Kola Ogunmola who was one of the pioneers of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners. She is also theatre arts graduate from the popular Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She has won lots of awards to her credit namely the Afro Hollywood award in United Kingdom as the best actress. She has travelled to many countries to receive awards because of her work. She is a matron to many organisations in the country. Mr Akin Onipede He was born in Ayedun Ekiti in Ikole local government area in 1965 to chief Abraham Olanrewajo and Mrs. Marian Onipede (Mama Eji). He attended Methodist Primary School, Ayedun Ekiti (1969- 75) and Christ’s School Ado Ekiti, (1976- 80). For university education, he attended the University of Benin (1982-1986) and graduated with honours degree in Fine Arts. He also attended the University of Lagos where he presently teaches, for his post graduate studies. He ventured into journalism and worked with Independent Communication Nigeria Limited, Publishers of the the News magazine and PM News. He joined the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) in 2009. He is a well-exhibited artist with over thirty shows.



The Midweek Magazine



N any theatre of life with which he is identified, every one of us has an orientation…If you meet a politician who is unwilling or unable to declare and, as precisely as possible, describe his position in relation to the cardinal points of political compass, you will feel strongly tempted to denounce him as a fraud, a total misfit, or a hopeless drifter”. These were the words of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his essay titled “Case For Ideological Orientation”. Affirming his own ideological commitment to democratic socialism, Awolowo contends that the aim of any progressive government must “include social justice, equal opportunity for all, respect for human dignity, and the welfare and happiness of all, regardless of creed, parentage and station in life”. One politician in this dispensation who, like Awo, clearly does not operate in an ideological vacuum is Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of the state of Osun. Whether or not you agree with his politics and his style, what is beyond dispute is that within a span of three short years, Aregbesola has recorded unprecedented developmental strides in a state, hitherto regarded as one of the poorest and least resource-endowed in Nigeria. A new book titled: ‘Work In Progress’, published by a progressive group, Osun Development Agenda, offers fresh insights and perspectives into the mind and persona of Aregbesola, his ideological disposition and the philosophical bases of his administration’s policies and programmes. The Osun Development Agenda is a group of left-oriented activists, politicians, administrators and scholars with Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State as Convener and Mr Shenge Rahman Akanbi, a lawyer and campaigner for the rights of nationalities as Deputy Convener. It is thus not surprising that this work, which runs into almost 200 pages and is divided into eight chapters, is not your run of the mill hagiographic offering. Rather, it is a rigorous intellectual dissection of achievements, problems and challenges of an administration that is valiantly striving to summon the power of ideas to surmount the obstacles to the peace, progress and prosperity of the long-suffering people within its sphere of jurisdiction. As expected, the book provides detailed information as regards the successes recorded so far in the actualization of the Aregbesola administration’s Six-Point Integral Action Plan – Banishing poverty, banishing hunger, Banishing unemployment, Restoring healthy living, Promoting functional education and enhancing communal peace and progress. Thus, we have a meticulous itemisation of the administration’s initiatives and achievements in

Ideology, Aregbesola and transformation in Osun

diverse sectors including food and agriculture, tourism, transportation, road construction, job creation, improvement in health care facilities, the environment, water provision, education, housing, security and electricity among several others. Of course, as the title of the book suggests, this is only an interim report as it is all still work in progress. However, the most important contribution of this book, which utilises the radical political economy mode of analysis, is its effectively situating the successes of and challenges confronting the Aregbesola administration within the appropriate historical, economic, political and ideological contexts. It offers an overview of the political economy of the State of Osun as a component of the larger political economy of dependency and underdevelopment in Nigeria. Ever before the imposition of PAX BRITANNICA, the authors note, the peoples and Kingdoms that make up the area today demarcated as Osun – Ife, Ijesha, Osogbo, Iwo, Ila, Ede etc - had existed for centuries. By the 17th century, they had established strong monarchical political systems, a prosperous commercial economy, a land tenure system upon which thrived a vibrant and self-sustaining agricultural sector producing a variety of food crops and an effective health care system predicated on traditional pharmacology. All these were nourished culturally and spiritually by the Ifa Corpus, which was “the indigenous divination system that serves as compendium of Yoruba history and culture”. However, as the authors note, these politically stable, economically viable, and spiritually cohesive societies were sabotaged by the colonial intrusion and the subsequent imposition, directly and indirectly, of alien political, economic, social as well as cultural structures and values. Hence, Osun like other parts of Nigeria became “gradually incorpo-

rated and finally integrated into te global imperialist system as a dependent, peripheral entity”. This was best illustrated by the forced displacement of the traditional agricultural system based on food crop production by the growing and selling of cash crops to European trading firms with the consequent “promotion and expansion of European manufacturing industries and the decline of indigenous production”. Administratively, Osun was part of the Western Region in the First Republic. It became part of Oyo state when Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states were created out of the Western region in 1976. The area finally emerged as an autonomous state on August 27th, 1991. At its creation, the authors note, the character of the state was still neo-colonial with “disarticulated infrastructures, externally-oriented, rentier system of crude oil appropriation leaving 70 per cent of the people in rural areas in poverty”. Almost a decade after the creation of the state in 1999, its dependent, povertystricken, underdeveloped status of neo-colonialism had hardly changed. With a meagre annual federal allocation fluctuating between N6 billion and N7 billion annually, the Chief Bisi Akande administration between 1999 and 2003 took remarkable steps to lay a viable foundation for the transformation of the state. The authors however note with regret that the impressive gains made by the state under Akande in various areas including road construction/rehabilitation, free education and rehabilitation of schools, free health services and direct engagement of indigenous artisans and technicians in public projects, were reversed during the seven and a half years of the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration. The latter indeed left a debt burden of N18.38 billion, which was inherited by Aregbesola. Confronted with the monstrous scale of

poverty and underdevelopment in Osun, the Aregbesola administration had to think outside the box and adopt what amounts to revolutionary strategies and policies to commence the liberation of the state from the throes of underdevelopment. The authors contend that Aregbesola’s ideology of governance and development rests on a tripod of Black Nationalism, Marxism and Spirituality. They arrive at this conclusion after an examination of Aregbesola’s intellectual and ideological antecedents. As a student at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Aregbesola was the President of the Black Nationalist Movement. Inspired by Martin Delany and Marcus Garvey in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively, the movement championed the restoration of the pride and dignity of the black man. Some of their objectives included campaign for the return of blacks in the diaspora to the African homeland as well as fighting for the rights of the Negros in America. This background of consciousness of the value of African culture partly explains continuing efforts by the Aregbesola administration to “retrieve the concept of Omoluabi from the moral philosophy of Yoruba civilization” and utilising it as a tool “to re-mould the people to develop a new consciousness without which the revolutionary programmes would fail”. According to the authors, Aregbesola was later to gravitate from Black Nationalist ideology towards revolutionary Marxism under the influence of the late Marxist theoretician and economist, Comrade Ola Oni. This was because “Black Nationalism proved an inadequate paradigm to apprehend the complexity and contradictions of the international capitalist system for the young Raufu”. Here again we can trace the roots of the progressive, welfarist orientation of his administration given the constitutional and political limitations of Nigeria’s neocolonial bourgeois order. The third strand of Aregbesola’s ideological orientation, the authors contend, lies in the realm of the spiritual. He was brought up as a Muslim in the ‘spiritually dense’ Ikare community of Ondo State but was also influenced by the liberal and tolerant religious outlook of the Yoruba of the South West. But how would Aregbesola reconcile the materialist basis of Marxist thought with the ideational, mystical emphasis of religion? The authors believe that such contradictions were resolved for the young Aregbesola in the mid-70s with the emergence of liberation theology both of the Christian and Musilm varieties “that brought religion to the service of change”. According to the authors, “It is the totality of these values…that has conditioned the elaboration of a new path of dignity, self-reliance and peace for the people of the State of Osun”.

‘Cerebral palsy is not a disease’


HE hall was beautifully decorated. Gold was the colour of the day. It was a cocktail party at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. Cool music was playing in the background. It was an unusual gathering - the mingling of state ambassadors and emerging thematic ambassadors. And then came the announcement - survivors of cerebral palsy, who are adding value to the society - Uchenna Ogochukwu Madueke and Oluwabusola Claudia Akinsola are now cerebral palsy ambassadors. The audience applauded as guests congratulated the two. “Cerebral palsy is not a disease but a condition. One can achieve whatever he wants in life,” the two said. Cerebral palsy is a general term describing a group of chronic non-progressive neurological symptoms which cause impaired control of movement and which are evident in the first few years of life, usually before age three. The disorders are induced by damage or faulty development of the motor areas in the brain, disrupting the patient’s ability to control movement and posture. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include difficulty with fine motor tasks such as writing, poor balance and walking, and involuntary movements. The exact combination of symptoms differs from patient to patient and may vary over time. Akinsola, a project officer with Children Development Centre (CDC), Surulere and Madueke, a teacher at Open Doors Special Education Centre, Jos, Plateau State, thanked Benola for making them ambassadors. Their message was simple - discrimination or stigmatisation of persons with cerebral palsy should be curtailed. “We are grateful to Benola, our employers and our families. Cerebral palsy is not a dis-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

CELEBRATION ease but a condition. You can always manage a condition. People should not run from people with cerebral palsy. They should support them,” they appealed. The brains behind the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, that gave them the award, Air Vice Marshal Femi Gbadebo (rtd) and his wife Mrs Alaba Gbadebo were all smiles. AVM Gbadebo explained: “In Nigeria there are about 700,000 children with CP while about 3.5 million people- parents, siblings, care-givers are directly affected by CP. Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission in February this year sets out as a non-profit organisation committed to change and progress for persons with Cerebral palsy. With a Vision of an inclusive Africa in which those living with Cerebral palsy get proper recognition and are given equal opportunity to develop and fully exploit their potentials and a mission to become the lead supportive agency on Cerebral Palsy in Africa and a leading advocate for the rights of those living with limitations, the initiative is working to ensure the inclusion of everyone living with limitations into society in order to help them live their lives to the fullest.” He added: “I have a son Olaoluwa, “living with the condition and if with our level of education and as widely travelled as we are, we faced challenges in his care how much more those without of our kind of wherewithal. With this NGO, there are future Plans. In the short term we want to present a document titled, “A

• Uchenna and Oluwabusola

Roadmap for Early Detection and effective management regime for Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria” ; create a database for Cerebral Palsy patients, relevant experts/agencies in view of managing the condition; organise awareness campaigns to help increase the knowledge base of Nigerians on Cerebral Palsy; set up Support groups for families of persons with Cerebral Palsy and organise workshops and conferences to help build capacity for various levels of health professionals. “In the long term, we want to build model Cerebral Palsy Centres in Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin and Port Harcourt, each with the following facilities: Counseling and Referral unit; Physiotherapy unit; occupational therapy unit; welfare unit; Assistive Technology Unit; conference/seminar rooms and an Administrative Unit and Relevant Offices,” he stated.

He said the two ambassadors are chosen to demonstrate that people with CP are humans and not to be discrinated against. “For now, there is no known cure, but the condition which in itself does not get worse, can be managed to reduce the resulting side-effects. There is ample evidence to show that early and proper management often results in a marked improvement in the child’s abilities and quality of life. With timely and proper management, many children with Cerebral Palsy grow to live near-normal adult lives. “Issues in management are many, especially stigmatisation and fear. But the reality is that most causes are preventable and can be reduced with improved Primary Health Services. A diverse group of experts are required for proper management of Cerebral Palsy, covering the fields of Medicine, care and Education,” he said.



The Midweek Magazine The Babangida mystique (II)


HE military incursion into Nigerian politics paved the way for Babaginda’s involvement in the political life of the nation. For someone who had ambition to be an engineer, political power, either through the barrel of the gun or the ballot box would have been far from his thoughts. Was it therefore serendipitous that Babangida was assigned the task to crush the coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Dimka on February 13, 1976? His friend, Colonel Abdul Wya was one of those executed for their involvement in the Dimka coup. Babangida’s bravery in the putting down of the Dimka putsch spawned several stories. But his classmate and friend from Bida, Colonel Sani Sami, who was Commander of the Brigade of Guards felt that stories about Babangida went over the top. No matter, Babaginda assumed a larger than life image which stood to his benefit when in August 1985, he toppled Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. Nigerians, who thought the military had gone for good in 1979, welcomed the coup which deposed the civilian President Shehu Shagari. Shagari’s administration was beset with economic and political crises which came to a head with the grotesquely rigged 1983 elections. So, when the stiff duo of Buhari and the sober-sided, Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon took over on December 31st, 1983, much hope was placed on the regime. But the draconian decrees of Buhari soon made the regime unpopular. The cleavages within the hierarchy of the Buhari regime was an open secret as increasingly, Babangida, who was Chief of Army Staff, was sidelined to the extent he and his loyalists had to move to preempt being retired by Buhari. The difference between Buhari and Idiagbon on the one hand and Babangida on the other could not have been more stark. Babangida was genial and folksy as opposed to the forbidding twosome. What was more, he promised to be different not only in style but also in substance. “Babangida took on the trademark of the constant, toothy smile. Nigerians

U S V A IL Title:


BOOK REVIEW Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, politics and power in Nigeria

Author: Dan Agbese Reviewer: Clem Baiye Publisher: Adonis & Abbey Publishers



found his smug disposition wonderful and refreshing. He was evidently generous with his friendship. The doors to his office and home were opened to all comers.” writes Agbese. Twenty three officers drawn from army, navy and airforce planned and executed the coup which brought Babangida to power. Agbese interviewed some of them, including Brigadier General Haliru Akilu, and Major Abubakar Umar. Both officers argue that their senior friend was reluctant to seize power from Buhari. Umar added that Babangida’s reluctance led to the coup date being postponed several times. Agbese has a different but credible view. “Babangida played the reluctant leader to a dramatic effect. He gave the impression he was allowing his subordinates to pressurize him into staging the coup. He did not want the coup to be seen as a solution to his personal problems with the administration. …..He wanted the coup to be seen as a patriotic act.” Unfortunately, though Agbese spoke to many people relevant to the coup, one of the most important, and by most accounts, the closest officer to Babangida, Lieutenant General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau declined to be interviewed for this book. It is believed that Buhari’s firm decision to retire Gusau was the signal for Babangida to act perceiving that he could be next. He took on the title of president and restructured the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC). General Dimkat Bali; a rather quiet officer from Plateau State was appointed chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Crucially, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, a naval officer was appointed Chief of General Staff, head of government. “There was every indication he had planned for this carefully; evidence that he had studied other leaders before him, learned from their mistakes and inadequacies, evidence he knew how to approach Nigerians and win them over to his side. The Babaginda mystique which was but a tiny

seed in Minna and Bida, had now begun to blossom in a thousand petals with the colours of the rainbow.” In his early days as President, Babangida went on a charm offensive. He mollified the Nigerian Bar Association by appointing Prince Bola Ajibola, its president, as attorney general and minister of justice. Traditional rulers were cock-a-hoop as he bridged the gap which arose from the suspension of the Emir of Kano and the Oni of Ife by Buhari’s regime. But it did not take too long for challenges to erupt. Barely four months after he seized power, Babangida’s friend and erstwhile colleague, Major General Mamman J. Vasta, was arrested for plotting a coup. Vatsa and his alleged co-conspirators were tried by a Special Military Tribunal. On March 5th, 1986, Vasta, and nine officers were executed by firing squad. What did Babangida make of the execution of his boyhood friend?

“Deep inside me, I knew that if I should be given the chance, I would not have put him (Vasta) on the stake to get him fired….. It was one of the most painful things I have ever done, God knows. So painful…” As part of its “listening” attitude, Babangida’s administration set up a panel headed by Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir, Chief Executive of Nigerian Industrial Development Bank to collate the views of Nigerians on whether to take a standby facility from the International Monetary Fund. Any recourse to the IMF usually came with austere measures which included a slash in public spending, withdrawal of subsidies on food, petroleum and electricity, where applicable. It could also mean a cut in wages and in number of workers in the public sector. It usually portends industrial and political unrest. There was a rigorous public debate between proponents and opponents of the IMF and its solutions for tackling the nation’s economic woes. Though Babangida discontinued negotiations with the IMF because it was “clearly against the will of majority of our people” he launched the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). He had declared a 15 month economic emergency to coincide with the IMF debate. His economic emergency was a precursor to “touch economic measures” as enunciated in his 1986 budget. The three main planks were restructuring and diversification of the nation’s productive base to reduce the dependence on crude oil exports and on importation of consumer and capital goods; fiscal rectitude and insurance of a consistent growth and an increase in the role of the private sector. It seemed as if the IMF and World Bank’s ideas were thrown out through the front door but let in through the back door. In particular, the devaluation of the naira was welcome in the corridors of the two institutions. Criticism of SAP became more and more trenchant even as Babangida and his close advisers continued to defend it. General Obansanjo, a notable critic, said “adjustment must have human face, human heart and milk of human kindness and must not ignore what I call human survival, and dignity; issues of employment, food, shelter, education and health.” As anti-SAP riots broke out in Lagos and other cities, Babangida claimed that “the prevailing situation in Nigeria is far better than in any African country.” •To be continued

How Fragment of Unity won LIMCAF top prize In the past few weeks, one common news item that made the headline in the media is the national conference, which has been described as a ‘Greek gift’ from President Goodluck Jonathan. Fragment of Unity (oil on canvas measuring 45x45), an award-winningpainting by Henry Eghosa at the recent Life In My City Art Festival in Enugu, is a visual representation of key characters for the national dialogue on how to put together the fragments of unity, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.


FTER a series of screenings at 12 zonal centres across the country, picking the prize-winning entries from 123 works showcased at the Life In My City Art Festival’s award night in Enugu was a daunting task for the jury. However, eight artists got the winning prizes ranging betwen N500,000 and N50,000 while 12 others got the consolation prize of N20, 000 each. The seven-man jury led by Prof Chike Aniakor said selecting the winners of the various prizes was a difficult decision in some cases. According to the jury, based on the theme of the festival, Out of the frame, out of the box, its mandate was to select 25 outstanding works from a total of 123 that engaged with the theme and made it to the grand finale from the various zonal finals held in Enugu, Lagos, Calabar, Auchi, Kaduna, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt. From this number, an overall winner was to emerge, along with the best in the categories of painting/mixed-media/ drawing, sculpture/installation /ceramics, photography/multimedia and textile/graphics. There were also two sponsored prizes to be determined by the jury at the grand finale. These were the Justice Anthony Aniagolu prize for originality and the Art is everywhere prize for best waste–to-art piece. The remaining works from the shortlist of 25 were to be awarded consolation prizes. In its final report, the jury said: “The judges had a difficult task short listing 25 works and determining the prize winner from the whole lot. To arrive at a fairly accurate judgment their work was carried out in three stages. in the first stages, each of the seven judges had

• Eghosa’s Fragment of unity

VISUAL ART the liberty to critically study all the works on display and select up to 25 pieces based primarily on the artist originality of thought, creative handling of materials /media and conceptual engagement with the theme, out of the box. The judges compared note from each person shortlist and found that they had 27

most re occurring pieces. They returned as a group to the exhibition ground and pruned the shortlist to 25 through a long critical discussion. “In the second stage, members of the jury shortlisted their best four works out of the 25. From these, 10 works emerged as possible prize winner. The third and fin al stage involved critique session on al 10 works, one after the other. Based on the group discussion, the jury finally arrived at a consensus

position on the overall prize winner, the category prize winner and the sponsored prize winner. “Fragment of unity, an oil on canvas painting by Osaretin Eghosa Henry, emerged as the jury’s overall best based on its towering sardonic wit. Presented in a rectangular format, Osarenti’s fragment of unity depicts a roundtable conference in which a bespectacled dog spotting an Ijaw cap sits at the center, flanked on a both sides by a variety of mainly domestic animals, rodent, insects and birds. A mysterious source of light illuminates the picture at the centre. With table cloth drawn half way backwards, there comes a revelation not only of the identity of each of the creatures surrounding the table but also those but also those huddling under and around the table. Some of the animals are adorned in caps or in headgears representative of the major Nigeria ethnic groups. The Nigerian flag by the right of the chairman (or chair animal?) and what looks like the flag of the United Nations by its left appear to lean like an animal horn on a cracked wall behind,with further iconic to fallen or fallen seats, branded press microphones, dramatic lightning and lines of sight from the surrounding animals to the central figure sited on an unroyal throne, jury found layer of meaning in Osaretin’s painting that keeps unfolding as one contemplates the piece. Created before the Nigerian president ‘s announcement of its government willingness to convene a national conference our young artist appear to come through as a visionary, offering us a layering of insight into what the conference is likely going to be.”



The Midweek Magazine


Inspiring change through photography


Tola Wewe and a friend at a conference in Germany.

Arts, crafts trade show makes debut By Ekekwe Chinasa

THE first Nigerian Arts and Crafts Trade Show (NACTS Lagos) will hold between November 1 and 8 at the exhibition ground, Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Ikeja, Lagos. With the theme, “Arts Craft for Peace and Economic Emancipation”, the event is organised to improve the poor patronage of Nigeria’s cultural products. According to a statement by the organisers, cultural industries played critical roles in fast-tracking the growth of rural economics in pre-colonial days through abundant array of crafts and an ancillary industry that served as an addition to farming. “These craft products were made in different parts of the country and distributed largely by itinerant traders in what then served as long-distance trade. Unfortunately, the disarticulation caused by both the advent of colonialism and subsequent discovery of oil relegated the once-thriving industry to the background,” it added. The NACTS Lagos will host no fewer than 150 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria and attract over 250,000 visitors during the 8-day fair and it will showcase the talents of Nigerian artisans while also raising money for the needy.

Made in Warri for re-launch MADE In Warri comedy show initiated by Barr. Richard Mofe Damijo, will return soon and will be spiced by the unfamiliar surprises. At a pre-event media forum in Lagos recently, the Chief Executive Officer, WhiteWater Limited, Mr. Nsikak Daniels disclosed that plans are underway to re-launch the Made-in-Warri brand in a sombre, but a grandeur style. This, he said, is due to the popular demand of the strong followership of a brand that has helped so much in growing capacity and developing talents for the industry. The platform brought to lime light the likes of AY, Ogus Baba, DC Envoy, Gordons, and Bovi The project manager, Miss Inemmi Abasiama, said that the new Made-In-Warri scheduled for the early part of the December in Lagos, Asaba and Warri tagged ‘Wholly Revival’ will feature well known and new entrants in the comedy and music sphere of the sectors. The new levels will include a well scripted comic drama ever staged in this part of the world. The three folds event will hold at the most prestigious venue in the designated cities and is anticipated to be the most memorable entertaining event of the year.

Plateau Film Festival opens tomorrow PLATEAU International Film Festival will hold between October 24 and 26, at the National Film Institute, Jos. It will feature building relationship, through film screening, panel discussions, workshops, lecture life performances and exhibition.

RGANISERS of the yearly LagosPhoto Festival, LagosPhoto Foundation, have launched the ‘LagosPhoto Mobile App’ on Android devices. The application, supported by Etisalat Nigeria, enables visitors to access information on the activities to mark this year’s LagosPhoto Festival in terms of exhibitions, artists and satellite projects. Leading the pack of participants for this year’s festival is internationally-acclaimed photographer Martin Parr, who will participate in public programming during the festival. LagosPhoto festival presents photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary issues, the sharing of cultural practices, and the promotion of social programmes. The festival, which opens this Saturday, at Ocean View, Victoria Island, Lagos, will feature over 50 photographers from 15 countries. It will also run at Satellite venues such as Omenka Gallery, Nimbus Gallery, African Artists’ Foundation, Goethe Institut, British Council, Lagos City Hall, A White Space, and Stranger. Outdoor exhibitions in public spaces in Lagos will take place at Falomo Roundabout, Muri Okunola Park, Freedom Park (Lagos Island), Oworonshoki/Alapere Median, Freedom Park (Ojota), and MKO Abiola Park.. Goethe Institut activities at the grand finale include Master Class Exhibitio entitled, Incursions - singing the blues in Lagos. The Photo Master Class exhibition will feature works produced during a photography workshop facilitated by Berlin-based Nigerian photographer and curator Akinbode Akinbiyi as well as works by Aderemi Adegbite, TY Bello, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Adeola Olagunju, Dapo Ogunsanya, and Emmanuel Osodi. The images for the exhibition will focus on people, places and things around and about the city of Lagos. It will open at 2pm next Saturday, at the City Hall, Lagos. Witness Exhibition which will showcase a selection of works created by African participants and photographers: Sammy Baloji (DRC), Monique Pelser (South Africa), Calvin Dondo (Zimbabwe), Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa), Abraham Oghobase (Nigeria) and Michael Tsegaye (Ethiopia). The collection gives an impression of how the group of emerging photographers performs the role of onlookers and actively surveys their immediate environments. The works, by extension, become historical records and evidence reflecting the constantly shifting history, inherited cultures and social issues across the African continent. It will open on Sunday at Goethe-Institut, Lagos City Hal. Voyage/Retour Exhibition focuses on the in-

By Chinasa Ekekwe

FESTIVAL teractions and changes in perspectives between Africa and Europe as occurred during the 1920s through decolonization up till independence portrayed via photography.Voyage/Retour is the Museum Folkwang’s first photography exhibition in Africa. The exhibition will feature images by Nigerian photographer, J. D. Ojeikhere and photographs from Folkwang’s collection by Rolf Gillhausen, Germaine Krull, Robert Lebeck, MalickSidibé and Wolfgang Weber. It will also include images from the photo archive of the Federal Ministry of Information, Nigeria. It opens at the Federal Government Printing Press on Broad Street, Lagos Island at 3pm on Saturday, November 9. The closing ceremony will hold on December 1 at the Goethe-Institut, Lagos City Hall, Lagos and will include a symposium titled, Photographic Archives and historical visual memory. International curator Okwui Enwezor and arts critic, Chika Okeke-Agulu are amongst experts expected. Simon Njami, and Chris Dercon of the Tate Modern UK and they will be interacting with pre-selected aspiring photographers from all over Africa during the portfolio review. This year’s theme, ‘The Megacity and the NonCity’, explores how the development of urban centres in Africa and the technical advancement of photography have transformed our sense of place in a globally connected world. The twenty-first century has been characterized by the rise of the megacity, with cities such as Lagos transitioning and adapting to vast changes taking place at an unprecedented speed. In Africa, urban development, population explosion, environmental changes, socio-economic gaps, and the rising middle class in metropolitan centres redefine the structure of the city as it continuously evolves. At the same time, the digital revolution transforms the spatial perimeters of an individual’s immediate environment, tied to the virtual connectivity between places through expanded technologies. The concept of the “non-city” is defined by displacement, fantasy, and an unstable sense of identity, where individuals reference multifarious cross-sections of cultures. The artists presented in, ‘The Megacity and the Non-City’ adopt photographic practices and image-based strategies to negotiate the expanding urban landscape of Africa today, with its contradictions, grey areas, and sites of dispute. By situating photography at the core of their practice, these artists investigate the circulation of images in our society, their mass consumption and capacity to document personal and collective world-views.

Erio marks day with N50m launch ERIO Development Union, Ekiti State will mark its Erio Day and launching of 50 million naira Development Fund this Saturday at New Palace Ground, Erio, Ekiti State. The event will start by 10:am. Chairman, Planning Committee, Alhaji Idris Oladiraan Yahaya said the launch was initial meant to raise funds for the completion of Erio Palace but considered the establishment of a vocational centre for the training of the teeming youths as a more critical project to attend to. According to him, there are lots of unemployed youths in the community who deserve to be empowered through vocational training. “As a result of this, the committee felt that the fund should be directed at establishing such centre that will benefit the teeming unemployed youths. This, to us in the planning committee, is more important than the palace for now,” he said. Yahaya noted that Erio community has benefitted from Ekiti State development programmes especially road but regretted that the production of rice and cocoa that the community was noted for has been neglected. “Erio was known for rice and cocoa production in the past. There were over 10 rice mills in the community until bush burning razed the farms. Government should revisit the agriculture farm settlement as this will engage the youths,” he added. Governor Kayode Fayemi is special guest of honour. Others guests are Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, Bashorun of Erio-Etiki, Chief Akanni Oyewale , Prophet Hezekaih Oluboye,Royal Fathers of the day are Alara of Aramoko, Oba Adegoke Olu Adeyemi, the Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, the Olojudo of Ido Ile, Oba aderemi Obaleye, the Onikogosi of Ikogosi, Oba Elijah Abiodun Olorinnsoa, the Onikun Temidire Land, Oba Moses Olunlade Adebusyi, the Owa-Omiran of Esa-Oke Osun State, and the regent of Erio, Pricess Adejoke Ojo Adetoyinbo.

Vanguard Art Editor Nwachukwu goes home THE final journey of the former Art Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, late McPhilips Nwachukwu who died on September 29, 2013, began last Tuesday with a Christian wake at his residence, Block 3, V Close, 7th Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos. According to funeral programme released by the family, the body will leave the Holy Rosary Hospital mortuary, Ogbo Nguru on Saturday October 26, at 8.00am to his residence Nze Bart Nwachukwu’s compound, Ezuhu Umuhu Okwato, Aboh Mbaise local government area. From 10.00am to 10.30, there will be lying in state at his family compound. The funeral service will hold at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, Umuhu, Okwato by 11am while internment follows at his family compound.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013





Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN examines the committees set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to study many problems confronting the country and the implication of dumping their reports into the waste bin.

Endless committees, no white paper N

IGERIANS are sceptical about President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed National Conference. They hinge their suspicion on the inconsistencies and the ad-hoc approach of his administration to sensitive issues. The government has set up many committees to study critical national problems. But it developed cold feet in implementing the reports. As the Acting President in 2010, Dr Jonathan set up a 26-member Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) headed by Gen. Theophilius Danjuma to advise on policy issues. PAC, in its report, urged him to reduce the size of government so that money can be saved for the development of the infrastructure. The committee’s recommendation was ignored by the President, who initially, created the impression that he was averse to bloated and wasteful government. The number of committees/task forces that have, so far, been set up calls to question the sincerity of the administration to genuinely cut down the cost of governance. Observers contend that, rather than conserve resources and plug all the loopholes in the system, the government is opening up more leakages that are bound to impact negatively on the polity and the economy. It has piled up over 20 extra-ministerial committees, in addition to the huge number of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). The plethora of committees and task forces, whose reports are gathering dust in the cabinet include the Police Reform Committee, Presidential Advisory Committee on Constitution Amendment, the Ibrahim Bunu Project Assessment Committee, Restructuring of Government Agencies Committee, Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission and Pension Fund Reform Task Team. Others are Task Force on Management control within Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Committee on Transparency in oil sector, Committee to Monitor Oil Export, Presidential Committee on Road Infrastructure, Food Fund Raising Committee, Committee for Abuja Park and Zoo and Presidential Committee on Security Challenges and Amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents.

Will conference report be implemented? The fear of many Nigerians is that the report of the Committee on National Conference and the recommendations of the National Conference may end in the waste bin. The Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Committee (TMG), Mr Moshood Erubami, said the motive of President Jonathan in organising the national conference has failed because it was not well intentioned. Erubami said: “The National Conference is not well intentioned. Planning conference now when the general election is due in 2015 is a master stroke for tenure elongation. It will take the planning committee, at least, three months to conclude its preparation and turn in its report. This government, known for its tardiness in implementing reports, may take another two or three months to come out with its position on the committee’s recommendations. “The deliberation in the National Conference itself may take another six months. If there are issues of sharp disagreement among delegates, the conference will be deadlocked as it happened when the Obasanjo regime organised a constitutional conference. By the time you know what is happening, it will be too late to organise 2015 elections.

Strategy for tenure elongation “We won’t have time to arrange for election. The President will now decide when to hold election. They are using the national conference as a shield against 2015 because they know Nigerians are fed up with the lacklustre performance of this administration. “National Conference is the brain work of the political strategists in the Presidency. They believe it will be stalemated and that will make it impossible for election to hold in 2015 so that

mittee were made up of the President’s party men or political allies. The terms of reference were tailored to serve the President’s interest. Ngige said history is repeating itself. He recalled how former President Olusegun Obasanjo organised a constitutional conference headed by Justice Nikki Tobi, which was intended to legitimise his third term bid. The conference collapsed when the Northern delegates pulled out. Jonathan may be playing out similar script, he said.

Pre-determined conference report

•Dr Jonathan

When will reports be implemented? • Lemu Committee • Police Reform Committee • Advisory Committee on Constitution Amendment • Project Assessment Committee • Committee on Niger Delta Commission • Pension Fund Committee • Committee on NNPC • Committee on Road Infrastruture the President’s party will have more time to put its house in order.” The President, according to Erubami has exposed his diabolical intension by saying that he will send the conference report to the National Assembly for approval. The final authority on the outcome of the conference is the people, who will through a referendum accept or reject the report, he said. “If the National Assembly is doing well, there will be no need of national conference. The National Assembly is a conference on its own that ought to give us a new constitution.” Erubami said the conference will not hold and it will not serve the interest of the people. Nothing positive will come out of the conference and that is why people like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu described it as a distration, he said.

Diversionary tactics Civil rights activist Shehu Sani shared Erubami. He said that the proposed national conference will produce reports that will not see the light of the day. Sani said: “It will amount to self deception for anyone to think that Jonathan’s government will embrace and implement critical views of Nigerians from the conference, given his failure to tolerate dissenting views within his party-the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He added: “The national conference is another diversionary circus aimed at setting the North against the South in a war of words that will only overheat the polity. It is blackmail and a mischievous political chess game meant to hang the fate of the nation on the continuity of the

• Senator Anyim

Jonathan regime. “It is technically impossible to organise a meaningful and orderly conference at a time when the President, members of the National Assembly and governors are out on re-election campaigns. Thus, it will be a waste of time and resources on the part of those who will take the pain to write and submit their volumes of memoranda to the conference. “This government, like its predecessor, has not implemented any committee report and undoubtedly, this conference will meet its fate of dust. The conference will only be embraced and attended by people who have enough time to waste and government protégées.” The Director-General, Electoral Institute of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Abubakar Momoh, faulted the appointment of the planning committee by the President. It is a misnomer, he said.

Faulty composition Momoh said what is is on the ground is the Presidential National Conference and not people-driven conference. According to him, the President has set the tone of the conference report because the committee put in place by him would ensure that the report reflects his thinking. “By setting up the committee, the President has pre-determined the outcome of the report. We should not expect a report that would reshape the country from a national conference holding at the initiative of the President. “The President assumed that the national conference is the prerogative of his office, hence, we should expect that the outcome will reflect the thinking of the Presidency, Momoh added. Erubami examined the composition of the Okunrounmu committee and concluded that it is made up of PDP members, the Afenifere and The Patriots who are sympathisers of the Jonathan Administration. The Afenifere, according to him, has lost political influence in its regional base, the Southwest. Afenifere is now seeking relevance, in view of the fact that the emergence of the new political party, All Progressive Congress (APC), has drowned its image . Hence, it has become an unrepentant supporter of the Jonathan Administration.

Analysts say the report of the committee is easy to predict, going by its terms of reference. According to observers, the agenda for the proposed conference will reflect the President’s interest and his party while the delegates will be made up largely by government appointees. Despite the fact that one of the committee’s term of reference was to advise government on the legal procedure and options for integrating the decisions of the national conference, President Jonathan has pulled the carpet off the feet of the committee, when he said unequivocally that the conference report would be referred to the National Assembly for ratification and incorporation into the constitution. A social critic, Bernard Briggs, said the setting up of the Okurounmu committee was faulty. “I am yet to understand the rationale for the numerous committees that are springing up every day at a time the Jonathan-led government should be thinking about running a slim government and save for the country.”

Job for cronies Briggs was furious with the composition of the committee which, he said, is made up of the President’s men. For instance, he said, Tony Uranta is Jonathan’s friend, Dr Mairo Ahmed Amshi is a PDP stalwart from Yobe State, Alhaji Daiuda Birma is Bamanga’s childhood friend, Dr Akilu Indabawa was former PDP National Youth Leader, Dr Femi Okurounmu is an ally of President Jonathan while Col. Tony Anyiam is a proJonathan campaigner. “What kind of report do we expect from this President’s foot soldiers? The conference foundation is built on sand. We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that it will collapse. President Jonathan is using the issue of national conference to divert the attention of Nigerians from 2015 general elections. He and his party-PDP-will fail just like his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo failed in his tenure elongation bid. “The committee is not coming out with anything spectacular. The Presidency has drawn up issues to be discussed by the delegates at the conference. The delegates list is a foregone conclusion. The contraption is deliberate. It is intended to cause more confusion and over heat the polity as issues to be discussed are likely to divide the delegates and the conference will end abruptly, Briggs added.

Legitimacy crisis

Momoh’s main concerns are the issues to be discussed, the quality of delegates and the outcome. If people are not going to make in-puts in reshaping the country, I don’t think there is anything to expect from such gathering, he said, “If you don’t invite the right persons, if the real issues are not deliberated upon, then we are wasting time on trivialities. The quality of discussion and the outcome are very important. If the outcome failed to address the issues that will reshape History repeating itself the nation, the whole exercise is diversionary and A lawyer, Emeka Ngige, said nothing would a waste of time and resources”, he concluded. Briggs said the planning committee may likely come out of the national conference or dialogue because the composition of the planning com- remain in office after submitting its report in order to guide the conference delegates in their as‘Ngige said history is repeating itself. He recalled how former Presi- signment. According to him, the planning committee will dent Olusegun Obasanjo organised a constitutional conference set up its own office or operational base and reheaded by Justice Nikki Tobi, which was intended to legitimise his cruit ad-hoc staff that will also draw some remuThe committee and delegates will prothird term bid. The conference collapsed when the Northern delegates neration. cure vehicles for mobility and also enjoy some pulled out. Jonathan may be playing out similar script’ allowances amongst other financial considerations.



POLITICS NATIONAL CONFERENCE The Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference flagged off consultations with stakeholders in Akure, the Ondo State capital, last weekend. BISI OLADELE, who captured the thrills and frills of the forum, reports that the Yoruba, other ethnic groups and stakeholders made emotional presentations and insisted that ethnic nationalities must discuss the basis for peaceful co-existence.

Stakeholders to Jonathan: there must be ‘no-go’ areas


T was an emotional session in Akure, the capital of Ondo State. The vari-ous groups and individuals presented and submitted their memoranda for the proposed national conference with passion. The time was exerpt for the ethnic leaders, groups, community leaders, professionals, students, women and politicians to address the national question. At 11.30 a.m, the Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium Akure was filled to capacity. In spite of the perceived short notice, the interest groups managed to prepare their positions. At the end of the meeting, the committee had a good idea of public feeling. Presentations were made by interest groups, including the Afenifere, the ProNational Conference Organisation (PRONACO), the Afenifere Renewal Group, the Yoruba Unity Forum, the Arogbo Ijaw Community, Ijaw Study Group, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the constitutional lawyer, Dr Tunji Abayomi. The groups were different, but their demands were similar. They include lack of restriction on subjects to be discussed at the conference, discussion of the terms of engagement, opposition to subjecting the outcome of the conference to the National Assembly and true federalism. The programme commenced at exactly 2.35 p.m, shortly after committee members arrived at the venue. It had been slated for 1.30 p.m, but stakeholders waited patiently. About 90 per cent of participants were, however, groups and individuals from Ondo State. Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko saluted President Jonathan’s courage for creating the platform for Nigerians to discuss their future. He described it as “the right step in the right direction,” pointing out that the outcome of the confab would provide the framework for a new Nigeria. The Chairman of the committee, Dr Okunrohunmu, urged participants to restrict their presentations to the terms of reference. They are the structure of the national conference, it’s composition, mode of selecting candidates, it’s size and what should form the agenda of the talk shop. Each group or individual was given five minutes to make presentations. The Movement for National Reformation set the tone for the discussion. The group proposed that the structure of the conference should be based on ethnic nationalities. According to the group, each nationality should be allowed to determine whether it will stay or leave Nigeria. It emphasised that representations of the nationalities should be equal. The Yoruba socio-political group, the Afenifere, also submitted its proposals. Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who represented the group, reeled out facts to support claims that Nigeria is a mere geographical location in desperate need of a confab to negotiate its continued existence. He cited several examples and references to confirm that the belief cuts across the geo-political zones. Afenifere proposed a sovereign conference, but which will not hurt the existing sovereign government. The group said that sovereignty belongs to the people, hence, outcome of the conference should not be tampered with by the Federal Government. “We insist on a national conference with sovereign power, with regard to the implementation of the decisions of the conference. Only a referendum should be conducted.” Adebanjo said. The group also insisted that the nationality question is the most important subject to be discussed at the confab. Afenifere said the conference should be peopled by

• Okunrounmu

• Uranta

‘We insist on a national conference with sovereign power, with regard to the implementation of the decisions of the conference. Only a referendum should be conducted’ • Nyiam

ethnic nationalities, the civil society, students, labour, women and professional groups, adding that delegates should emerge through election. To Afenifere, delegates should be 700. Each of the six ego-political zones should produce 100 while the remaining 100 should be representatives of professional and other groups. It wants the conference to sit for only six months. The group also said that the outcome of the conference should be subjected to a referendum and be approved by the Presidency after which it would be sent to the National Assembly. The Yoruba Unity Forum, proposed that political parties should not play any role in selecting, appointing or electing delegates. It also proposed that delegates should be representatives of nationalities from the same zone. The Forum recommended a manageable size that is representative of the stakeholders. It proposed 400 delegates, with 91 per cent allotted to ethnic nationalities and the rest allocated to other interest groups. On the legal framework for the confab, the Forum suggested that the President should initiate an executive bill to the National Assembly for legitimising the con-

ference. The group also suggested that the outcome of the conference should be subjected to a referendum and later sent to the National Assembly for ratification as the new constitution. The group’s position was read by Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu on behalf of Bishop Gbonigi. In its own proposal, PRONACO suggested. But the group said that 600 delegates each nationality to hold a conference to select their delegates and discuss their presentations at the confab. The group also suggested that the outcome of the conference to be the new working document for Nigeria. The Ondo State Chapter of the ARG expressed fear that the conference may be another jamboree like the previous ones whose outcomes were not applied in solving the nation’s problems. However, the group proposed that the committee should ensure that politics does not override the aim of the conference. “Let it be discussed whether Nigeria is one and, if the country still wants to be one and on what terms? People who want to pull out of Nigeria should be

given an opportunity to express themselves without fear,” it group said. The group also recommended true representation, in cases of clusters of ethnic groups in the same local government, adding that resolutions at the conference should be acceptable to the majority of Nigerians. It also urged the committee to make use of the report of the Justice Uwais Committee on Electoral Reform and other relevant reports. For the Arogbo Ijaw Community and Ijaw Study Group, which believe that the country is “recklessly sliding down the precipice,” the prediction in 2015 should be averted. “Hence this conference is good. This conference will lay a solid foundation for the crumbling edifice,” the group said. They proposed that the conference should be composed entirely by ethnic nationalities because each has distinct history, values, hopes and aspirations. The two group described the nationalities as the real federating units, lamenting that they never had the opportunity to discuss their terms of engagement. “Ijaw would have opted for their sovereign nation, if given the opportunity,” they said. In its memorandum, the groups want all ethnic nationalities to bring all issues and their positions up for discussion, emphasizing that the outcome should form the basis for the continued relationship of the various nationalities. “The National Assembly, as presently constituted, is part of the Nigerian fraud. The outcome cannot go to them. Sovereignty belongs to the people,” they insisted. They also proposed that the conference should wind up towards the end of the tenure of the current administration, saying the new constitution must be the basis for the 2015 election. “There must be ‘no-go’ area. Every issue shall be discussed, including the desire by any nationality to opt out.” Other groups that made presentations at the forum included the Atayese, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) Ondo State Chapter, youths organisations, the Ondo Roundtable, Irele Ikale Ethnic Nationality and the Ilaje Development Forum. The constitutional lawyer, Dr Tunji Abayomi, said the outcome should not be subjected to the NAtional Assembly because the lawmaking organ derived its sovereignty from the people they represent. According to him, it will be illogical for representatives to tamper with the will of the people. He also said that the conference should not be restricted on the subjects to be discussed adding that ethnic representation should be de-emphasised. He suggested the emergence of delegates through both election and representation for a balance. “We have enough ethnic emotion. We should not aggravate it. The better option is election and representation for a balance. “National Assembly is an agent of people. People have the sovereignty,” he said. He also argued that the current constitution lacks 10 validating factors, which the conference must correct. At the forum were traditional rulers, including the Deji of Akure; Oba Adesida Afunbiowo, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Olugbo of Ugboland; Oba Obateru Akinruntan, and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Ologbegi all in Ondo State. Others are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the last year election in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Oke, Senator Meroyi and the Secretary, Yoruba Unity Forum, Dr Kunle Olajide.



POLITICS Kwara State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Works Commissioner Afolabi Yunus told reporters in Lagos that the original members of the party are not part of the insurgency led by the factional national chairman, Alhaji Kawu Baraje. MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE was there.

Blaming National Assembly for high cost of governance is escapist, says Ndoma-Egba

‘New PDP can’t last in Kwara’ Y

Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba spoke with Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR and SANNI ONOGU on the alleged jumbo pay for members of the National Assembly.

OU are the former Principal Secretary to the former Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who is leading the splinter group, nPDP. Is the faction justifiable? I am not one of the people supporting Baraje in the venture to divide the PDP with their self-styled nPDP, which has no place in Kwara State politics and Nigeria in general. As a result of that, I am not with him at all. We are not even happy that he can go to that length because we believe that, having been given the opportunity to serve as the National Secretary by Baba Saraki (may his gentle soul rest in peace), and had the opportunity of becoming the Acting National Chairman, he should remain loyal to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan. But with all these, Kawu Baraje still went ahead to sabotage the government, considering that he was also given the position of the Chairmanship of the Board of Nigerian Railway Corporation. I believe that it is in Baraje’s character to betray the hands the feed him. Available records show that Bukola Saraki was even against Baraje taking that position. But he went ahead and took that appointment and, at the same time, he is now working against the same government that gave him that opportunity to serve. Not only that. Back home, I know Kawu Baraje very well. I am his senior when we talk about politics because I had the opportunity of being a member of the defunct Constitutional Conference in 1994 and I even served under Bukola Saraki Administration in the first tenure. I was Commissioner for Works and Transport between 2003 and 2007, while Kawu Baraje was made Permanent Secretary under Saraki’s government and this appointment was given to him by Baba Saraki because all forces were against Kawu Baraje as a civil servant then becoming Permanent Secretary. But Baba Saraki insisted that Kawu Baraje should be considered for that post. Having been given that post, he served as Permanent Secretary all through and thereafter, Baba Saraki still considered this same Kawu Baraje for the last Constitutional Conference in 2005. It was immediately after that that Baba still nominated this same Kawu Baraje for the position of the National Secretary, and it was when he got there that he started nursing the ambition of working against Baba Saraki’s interest when he teamed up with Bukola to supplant Baba in Kwara politics. What is wrong in Baraje’s decision to back former Governor Saraki? The general public will agree with me that the step Baraje took against Baba Saraki was an unfortunate step because, having had the opportunities from Baba, people expected him to advise Senator Bukola Saraki against taking steps against Baba Saraki. But he went ahead and gave Senator Bukola the support and ensured that they worked against Baba. So, as a result of this, I am seeing Kawu Baraje as a betrayer when you consider the fact that he betrayed his political mentor in Kwara State and now he has betrayed the President at the national level. Even, while he was in office, he had the opportunity of becoming the NAMA Chairman. All these are enough for him to have advised Bukola against the unfortunate step he took against Baba Saraki. Don’t you see any element of truth in what Baraje is fighting for now in the PDP? There is no truth in what he is fighting. He is only being selfish and arrogant. In fact, I want to say he is just being parochial. He is narrow minded and that is why they are now just pursuing their own self-styled PDP. It is surprising to many people to hear

Kawu Baraje calling himself the Chairman of the new PDP. What sort of new PDP? The original PDP is the only future for Nigeria. We don’t recognise any new PDP or the self-styled version of PDP that they want to bring into place. There is no place for nPDP in Kwara and I know that it has no place in Nigeria. So, for that reason, any reasonable person will not join them because we know they are just buying time. I want to even say that I know they have made up their mind about where they are going. Maybe they have another party in mind and they are just buying time with what they are doing. That is just my observation. But the new PDP is in control of the government and the structure in Kwara. They produced the governor, the former governor and Kawu Baraje The original PDP is still on ground in Kwara State and the PDP in Kwara State has no problem with anybody. People are still interested in the PDP. It is only the way Senator Bukola and his team are managing the affairs of the PDP, that is why some people want to criticise the PDP. But really, the original PDP is on ground in Kwara State and people are prepared to go with the PDP. Those that call themselves the new PDP in Kwara State, we don’t know how they will define it. We don’t know what they will tell us, whether they are a faction of PDP and that they want to have a say in the PDP. No. Majority of the people in Kwara State today are tired of the leadership of Bukola. Baraje even has no place politically. You are saying that the loyalists of the mainstream PDP are still in Kwara now, despite the firm control by Bukola and the governor? They are still intact. We are very many and people are just waiting for time to come when this self-styled PDP will move to where they belong because we believe strongly that they are not fit to be in PDP. The belief is that the followers of original PDP or late Dr Olusola Saraki have moved to the ACPN, which he endorsed before he died I want to say that before now, Baba Saraki directed everybody in Kwara State to remain in the PDP. So, the issue of the ACPN in Kwara State is not happening now. Even long before now, while Baba was alive, he directed that nobody should go to any other party, whether CPC or ACN. He said they should all remain in the PDP. Everybody returned to the PDP while Baba was still alive. As far as I’m concerned, Baba never asked us to go to any other party and that is why we remain within PDP. But what of Senator Gbemi Saraki, who was fielded on the platform of the ACPN as the governorship candidate? I want to tell you that, at that time, it was just a kind of arrangement that came up. We started everything. I was in the PDP too with Baba, but it got to a level that Bukola just said he wanted to hold on to the PDP and let other

‘Bukola will bring people from nowhere so that, at the end of the day, they will be responsible only to him. Bukola will not carry the indigenes of Kwara along. Many of us were just pushed aside by Bukola and he will go to Lagos, go to Kaduna, go to Kano, bring in those people that have nowhere to point to as their base’


people go wherever they like. So, that led to the introduction of the ACPN, which was short-lived. But immediately after that election, everybody dropped whatever allegiance they had with the ACPN. It happened within the election period and, immediately after the election, we dropped the idea of anything ACPN. Baba Saraki instructed us to be in PDP and that’s why all along, we have been in PDP. We are still card carrying members of the PDP. Are you saying that all the supporters of Oloye Saraki are now back in the PDP? All loyalists of Baba Saraki are in PDP. As I’m talking to you, I’m a card carrying member of PDP and I have my membership card with me. So we are still card carrying members of PDP. You are supposed to know the National leader of nPDP, Kawu Baraje inside out, do you see him as somebody who fights for principles because what the new PDP is telling us is that they are fighting on the principle of liberating the party from a few persons? Very far from that. They are the people that want to introduce a kind of selfishness into the PDP. They are not objective at all. When Baraje was even the National Secretary, the attributes of a good politician were never seen in him at all and efforts to advise him on that did not succeed. He would rather try to play his own parochial interest and have his way and when people come to see Baraje as the National Secretary, he would rather ask them to go and see the Special Assistant or the Principal Assistant. He was literally avoiding people and as a politician, you need not avoid people. You are supposed to listen to people and table solutions to whatever deplorable condition that is before you. But instead of that, Baraje would be avoiding people and as such, I don’t see him as a serious politician. He is not fighting for the interests of the people and he is not fighting for the grassroots. Instead, he is pursuing his own selfish end and that’s why I’m now saying that he’s not fit to be in politics because if you are a politician, you must listen to the masses and table solutions to deplorable conditions before you. What about Senator Bukola Saraki? You have worked with him; do you see him fighting for principles? I have worked with Senator Bukola and I want to say that he too has not been working for the principle of the common man. Rather, Bukola will bring people from nowhere so that, at the end of the day, they will be responsible only to him. Bukola will not carry the indigenes of Kwara along. Many of us were just pushed aside by Bukola and he will go to Lagos, go to Kaduna, go to Kano, bring in those people that have nowhere to point to as their base.


HE high cost of governance in the country remains an issue. The National Assembly is accused of being a major source of the drain... Let us put the cost of governance in perspective. First of all, you know for the many years that we had military rule, the National Assembly did not exist. For almost 30 years of our post independence existence, we did not have a National Assembly. And in those 30 years that the National Assembly did not exist, the cost of governance was still an issue. I remember I was commissioner under the military and one of the most topical issues was the cost of construction in Nigeria. It was said to be the highest in the world. That is cost of governance because it is public procurement. That was when the National Assembly did not exist. The cost of governance was still an issue. So, the issue of cost of governance has nothing to do in my view with the National Assembly. And let us come to the figures. We have maintained a budget of N150 billion in the last four or five years. Our figure has been the same. That of the judiciary has been dwindling, from N97 billion four years ago to about N60 billion. What has been the trend for the executive? Has it been stagnant like the National Assembly or has it dwindled like the judiciary? I don’t think so. That of the executive has continued to go up. Now, what is the ratio or the percentage of N150 billion, out of a national budget of approximately N4.8 trillion? It is about three per cent. So, why do we have this fixation on three per cent of the budget and not on 97 per cent of the budget? Three per cent of the budget is getting 97 per cent attention and 97 per cent of the budget is getting three per cent attention. What is the fixation? And now the impression out there is that ‘oh you collect this N150 billion and just share it among members of the National Assembly. Nothing can be more fallacious. Because one, the N150 billion includes our capital, it includes recurrent, it includes the salaries of 109 Senators, 360 members of the House of Representatives, their aides - we have a maximum of six aides - it includes the salaries of the civil servants from the Clerk to the National Assembly to the Deputy Clerk, to the Clerk of Senate, Clerk of House and to all the civil servants here down to the lowest cleaner. It includes the salaries of the National Assembly Service Commission, from the Chairman his Commissioners, down to the civil servants there to the lowest cleaner. It includes the salaries and allowances of the National Institute of Legislative Studies, from the Director General through the many Professors down to the cleaner. It includes our subscriptions to international parliamentary organisations. The total running cost of the National Assembly is that N150 billion out of a budget of N4.8 trillion. What does it cost to maintain the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation? Do we know? What does it cost to maintain a senior manager in NNPC? I am not talking of the Managing Director. Do we know? What does it cost to maintain a senior manager in Petroleum Technology Development Fund? Do we know? What does it cost to maintain a senior manager in Central Bank of Nigeria? Do we know? How do we reach a conclusion that this is the source of the drain when we don’t know what is happening elsewhere. It is only when you have a holistic picture of the cost of governance that you can compare. How much does it cost to keep a Minister? Members of the National Assembly are also accused of flamboyant life style every where they go. When they say we are flamboyant, do you know any senator that has a convoy? I am the Senate Leader. If you go downstairs, I drive in one car. It is only the presiding officers that have a convoy. Every other senator moves in one vehicle. Do you see a minister move in one vehicle? All ministers have convoys. All. So, picking or looking for a scapegoat to blame on the cost of governance is escapist as far as I am concerned. You can’t talk about the cost of governance when you don’t talk about cost of procurement, the cost of running every office. What does it cost this country to run the office of a chief executive of a parastatal? How many parastatals do we have? You have more parastatals than you have members of the National Assembly. So, I think we are being escapist and in the approach we are now reducing it to scapegoatism, tokenism. If you catch the National Assembly, then, that is where the cost is. When the National Assembly did not exist for 30 years, the cost of governance was an issue in this country. It has always been an issue. Members of the National Assembly are also accused of awarding themselves outrageous salaries, travel allowances and oversight function allowances... You talked about salaries. I just collected a report of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission last week. It is the RMAFC that fixes salaries for everybody and you can compare the salary they fix for us. Is it any different from what a minister earns or the Supreme Court Justice earns or the Chief Executive of a parastatal earns? It is not different. So why are you insisting, if we all earn the same? Why are you insisting that my own is jumbo, their own is not jumbo. You talked about traveling allowances. When I am going on official duty, am I suppose to pay for it from my pocket? When you go on official duty do you pay for it from your salary? When a Minister is going on official duty does he pay for it from his salary? When a chief executive is going on official duty, does he pay from his salary? When a Judge is going on official duty, does he pay from his salary? So, how come we expect National Assembly members to go on official duties from their salaries? Why are you holding us to different standards? You have one standard for other top public officers and another standard for National Assembly members. All the trips you referred to are funded from the same N150 billion. So, if you take the salaries plus the trips, flam-

• Ndoma-Egba



NEWS Managing Nigeria’s airspace has been a huge task .But, the determination of the management team at the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA), led by Mr. Nnamdi Udoh , an engineer, has brought about fundamental transformation in air navigation services . With increasing traffic across the airspace arising from the commencement of area radar control since May, 2013, more foreign airlines are showing interest in flying into Nigeria, even as new technology, including multi-lateration is planned for helicopter services in the Niger Delta . In this interview, NAMA Managing Director Udoh speaks with reporters, among them Kelvin Osa-Okubor for The Nation, on the efforts by the agency to raise the bar on air navigation service.

Nigeria Airspace among the world’s best, says NAMA chief


ET’S talk about the accident and incidents in the past few weeks, particularly the emergency landing in Kaduna. Let me reiterate here that the Kaduna incident was not an emergency landing. It was a hydraulic failure and there was no evacuation. But it is giving Nigerians safety concerns. If you look at a document that I downloaded, America has up to 50 incidents this year alone. It does not mean that their airspace is not safe. The number of accidents is not proportionate to safety net. Safety is a chain of activities. It is not a destination. Though this latest development could be worrisome, that does not imply that the nation’s airspace is precarious as being touted in the media. How do you want people to believe this assertion? Yes I’m very emphatic on this because a crash in airspace is not an indication that the airspace is not safe, just as you cannot say that airspace is safe because there is no crash. Nigerian airspace is adjudged to be very safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and there is yardstick for this measurement. Perhaps, I need to tell you also that Nigeria still maintains the US Federal Aviation Administration - category 1 status. American carriers fly into Nigeria daily even as our own Arik Air is also on New York route. We are also on ICAO category 11 certification, which implies that our aviation facilities for air navigation are of international standard. Besides, International Air Transport Association- IATA also endorsed our airports. How has that impacted on airline operations in the country? Oh fine! Many foreign airlines come to Nigeria because they see the country as an attractive destination and to do that ,they must first and foremost evaluate the state of our airspace before they fly in otherwise their insurance will hit the roof. Mark you, there is no carrier that will put latest aircraft in the world like B777,Airbus 380 or B747 into Nigerian airspace if is not safe for operation.Lasy year alone we recorded over28,000 Over flyers and these are foreign airlines. Let me therefore state again that our airspace is very safe and as safe as can be safe in any part of the world. In what specific way or ways is NAMA keying into the transformation agenda of the Federal Government in the aviation sector? Everything we are doing anchors on the transformation agenda. We cannot be doing things like before and be expecting different results. We have to do things differently to get new results. What we are doing is transformational management. Change management is doing the same thing in another way. Transformational management is doing something completely new. That is why we are buying new


They should expect the most super seamless airspace, astronomical growth. This is the only part of the world where the forecast of growth is seven per cent. Between January and February our growth of aircraft movement was about nine per cent and our revenue growth was about six per cent. I expect us to improve on our performance


equipment to make our airspace technically good and we are doing things right to make our airspace seamless. Are you saying before now there was no seamless airspace? No. What we had was a procedural airspace. We had the old radar, but it was terminal approach radar. Now we have area radar that makes our airspace seamless. We have completed our Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria,-TRACON, project, which delivers modern air traffic systems at all Nigerian airports. How long did it take you to achieve this total radar coverage? I didn’t start it, I didn’t initiate it; I met it as an ongoing project and I completed it.The man that had the dream, for me, has had 50 per cent. The man that started it has had 10 per cent, making 60 per cent. Those that initiated work have had another 10 per cent . Maybe I only did 20 or 30 per cent. So the credit goes to my predecessors and the government at the time. If they didn’t dream of it, maybe I will just be dreaming of it now. At what cost did you achieve this TRACON? I can’t tell you the cost. Is it the cost of manpower, or the cost of diesel, or the cost of equipments or salaries paid? The cost of running the Nigerian airspace runs into billions of naira. You pay salaries, you buy equipments and you maintain the equipments. Is it the cost of solar energy that we have deployed? Nigeria is a major user of solar

power system, which we use to run our navigational aids. Which of the airports have you deployed this solar power? We have it in six airports now and in the new budget, we are going to do more. We have installed solar power in Lagos, (Murtala Muhammed International Airport); Abuja, (Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport); Port Harcourt, (Port Harcourt International Airport); Kano, (Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport); Enugu, (Akanu Ibiam International Airport); and Bida, (Bida Airstrip). When public power supply fails, the solar is working in these airports. Since you transited to this area radar control, has there been any form of violation of the country’s airspace? No! There has not been any violation in terms of just flying into the airspace. NAMA is equipped with modern facilities that enable us to track every aircraft that flies in our airspace. There may have been one or two cases of maybe expiration of documentation. And you know, by our policy, an aircraft in the air is not refused landing except you suspect aggression or enemy flight. What are the measures you’ve put in place to ensure air safety? It is not me. There are bench markings and those bench markings are identified by what was being done before I got here. Nigeria attained the United States’ FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Category I certification, which

means it complies with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO. The country is also in Category II on ICAO ratings, which is an endorsement of our facilities for international civil air navigation. Besides, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has certified the state of our airports. More Nigerians are acquiring private jets. What challenges does this pose to your operations as a service provider? It is not a challenge. For me it is economic boom. We have to just manage the development. You can still call it challenge. It is our strategy to match the challenge that is important. There are a lot of aeroplanes now in the air and that is why we are doing mapping and charting. If three of them are coming like this, there might not be space enough; this one will go to the right, this one will go to the left. Now in going to the right or left if it runs into a mast, that is a crash. So we must know

where those masts are and we must begin to work towards having helicopter operation that is not restricted due to unavailable data relief. What do you mean by data relief? Data relief means geographical information – tall masts, tall buildings, tall trees, hills, mountains, etc. For instance, Zuma Rock is a geographical structure. If you don’t know where it is and it is raining and cloudy, a controller can crash an aeroplane into it. Have you not heard of aeroplanes that crashed into mountains unknowingly? There have been allegations that private jets are being used for commercial flights. How is this being addressed? That is why we are asking people to submit manifest. Anyone who owns a private jet and flies 20 times in a week, where is he going to? Even if he is a business man it still does not explain that high number of flights. So we must check the statistics, check the movements of the aircraft. Recently NAMA provided airfield lighting after so many years. Why did it take the agency that long to provide this very important infrastructure? Government transferred the responsibility to us just about a year ago. It was not our responsibility before now. What impact has that made on your operations? It has helped in saving money for the airlines, improving safety and making operations around the

airport safer. Which of the airports have this airfield lighting? We have it in Lagos. Enugu and Yola airports are being resuscitated for night operation. The airport in Owerri will get airfield lighting soon. The approach lights are equally being deployed. We are going to have airfield lighting in all the major airports as back up when the conventional ones, the cable laying, are being done so that there will be nothing like power failure and an aeroplane couldn’t land. Are the airfield lighting being deployed permanent or mobile? What we have in Lagos now is what we call emergency lighting system. The reason why it is called emergency is because it is not in cable. It is a mobile lighting system. So if tomorrow there is an emergency in a place like Akure, we can fly the lighting system to Akure and make use of it there. What are your major achievements since you became managing director of NAMA? We have implemented outstandingly area radar operational system. We have also finished total VHF (Very High Frequency) radio coverage so we have a robust communication system. We have finished our ICAO mandatory flight plan procedure for 2012. We have also completed our WGS-84 survey (World Geodetic Survey) of the airports, a universal satellite navigation system that enhances precision of aircraft movement. We have also completed our satellite based navigation system also known as performance based navigation system, PBN. There are many other ongoing projects like AIS automation. What would you consider to be the major challenges of NAMA’s operations? Human factor is a major challenge. Funding is also a challenge, we need to grow revenue. We don’t have to slash salaries or sack workers; we just need to grow revenue to match our new requirements. Every other thing is human challenge. I see no problem, I see challenges. How do you intend to tackle the challenges you’ve just mentioned? I am dealing with them as they come. Thank God for the spirit of transformation from the president. I cannot change; I can only transform our operations. And you know it is said that you transform by the renewal of your mind. You cannot be thinking like a poor man and be a rich man. So you cannot be thinking unsafe and provide safety environment. In the immediate years ahead, what should people expect from NAMA? They should expect the most super seamless airspace, astronomical growth. This is the only part of the world where the forecast of growth is seven per cent. Between January and February our growth of aircraft movement was about nine per cent and our revenue growth was about six per cent. I expect us to improve on our performance.

Aviation stakeholders to discuss safety in Lagos

S part of efforts to improve safety, aviation stakeholders will converge in Lagos next month at a one-day seminar to examine the subject. The one day seminar is organised by Aeroconsult , a training aviation institute The seminar with the theme: “Strengthening Safety in the Nigerian Aviation Sector” will take place on November 7, at the Welcome Centre and Hotels, Airport

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

Road, and is expected to draw key industry players, including banks and oil servicing companies. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, will be the special guest of honour. The key note address will be delivered by the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada. Others expected to attend include the Director General of the

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi. Others are the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engr. Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Medview Airlines, Alhaji Munir Bankole,

and others. On the impact of the seminar on aviation , the convener, Engr. Ade Obadofin, an engineer said:” Safety issues cannot be over emphasized in the aviation industry. This seminar is designed by the aeroconsult management to give back to the system that has offered a platform as a training institute whose core areas are safety, airworthiness and standard practices.”.

•Aviation Minister Stella Oduah




N37m largesse lifts Katsina students


N37m lifeline has changed the fortunes of 104 indigents students in Katsina State. A former Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Mr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma, an engineer, provided the money in order to enhance the education of some of the state’s financially challenged students. While stating his reasons for instituting “Partnership for Alleviation of Poverty Initiative,” under which he runs his charity foundation, Darma narrated a grim story, revealing the pathetic life of his primary school academic rival. Darma said his primary school classmate who was always second whenever he (Darma) was first, earned a living from digging graves because there was no one to fund his tertiary institution. His words: “The second motivation is that when I was in primary school, as far as I could recall from my Primary School One to Six, I was always taking the first position in the class. But then there was some-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

one taking second position in the same class. “We were in the same class from Primary One to Primary Six, when we left primary school, that person was lucky to get to secondary school in Wusasa, Zaria. But I would say I was not too lucky to get a boarding school, I got Day Secondary School here in Katsina. “I saw this my friend who was always taking second position recently. Do you know what he is doing: grave digging. He digs graves for the dead to be buried. I asked him what happened and he told me all sorts of stories and I then realised that no matter how good one is if you don’t give him a helping hand, that person could be the worst person.” Presenting N11.5 million cheques at Mariamoh Ajiri Memorial International Schools, Katsina to some private schools in Katsina State for 2013/ 2014 for the first and second terms school fees under his scholarship scheme, he noted that the best gift an

Education as a responsibility that must not be left to only government to discharge, urging well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in the educational development of children


GUN State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka has said that sight restoration and prevention of blindness have become the most considered and cost-effective interventionist strategies in the healthcare system. Dr. Soyinka stated this at the official flag-off of a week-long free eye screening and surgical programme organised by the state government in collaboration with Rotary International and Indo-Eye Care Foundation Speaking while inspecting the programme at the State Hospital, Abeokuta, Dr. Soyinka assured that government was ensuring that partnership between government and the non-governmental organisations continues, pointing out that the medical team from India consists of highly qualified surgeons. He added that with the assistance

•Senator Tsauri (left) presenting a cheque to the proprietor of Mariamo Ajiri International School. Seated, is Muttaqha individual or government can present to a child is access to education. He described education as a responsibility that must not be left to only government to discharge, urging well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in the educational development of children. On the scholarship, Darma said he started it three years ago, meaning to extend it to 29 local governments in the state. He said: “It is my belief that some students from poor families, if given a chance and better learning environment, can perform much better

than the children of the rich”. Asked to state the source of his fund for the scholarship scheme, he said while in office, he commenced the initiative with the belief that 60% of his income should go back to the society. Darma added that he has been spending his pension fund and monetisation benefits on the charity initiative. Chairman of the event Senator Umar Tsauri said it is very unusual to have people like Darma in our present setting where most people think of their immediate family alone. He said Katsina currently is

blessed with two people, the state governor Ibrahim Shema who is a champion of development and Muttaqha Darma an exponent of people’s emancipation. He urged the students to utilise the opportunity provided to them by passing studying hard and their examinations with good grades. Representative of the schools and proprietor of Mariamo Ajiri International Schools, Alhaji Tajuddeen Babatunde Raji urged the public to assist in educating poor children. He said some families who can barely afford to feed their children consider education a luxury.

Ogun, NGO organise free eye surgery of the partners “we are planning to expand the eye unit of the hospital.” At the official flag off of the programme, Dr. Soyinka, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Olaolu Lawson said approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low visual and blindness, even as he said that Africa accounts for 15 per cent of the figure. He noted that over 80 per cent of visual impairment is preventable as they could be treated. Expressing appreciation to the Rotary organisation and the Indo-Eye Foundation from India, the Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board, Mrs. Modupe Olurin said the programme which coincided with World Sight Day was a testimony of

government’s commitment to taking care of the health needs of the people. She further said that the main objective of the programme was to restore and save the sight of the needy,

adding that efficient healthcare delivery is highly paramount to Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration. While indicating that their medical team comprises highly qualified

The main objective of the programme was to restore and save the sight of the needy; eficient healthcare delivery is paramount to the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration

surgeons from India who are concerned about the vision of the people, the president of the Rotary Club Lagos, Mr. Venugopal Jajoo said the mission of the Indo Care Foundation is to partner with the state government to save the sight of the needy. Some of the beneficiaries Mr. Odunlami Oluwakayode and Mrs. Grace John expressed their appreciation to organisers of the programme for the gesture, even as they thanked the state government for implementing such programme for the less-privileged. Among dignitaries present at the event was the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Mrs. Foluke Bello.

Sokoto loses 70-year-old pilgrim •Continued from Page 13

•Christian pilgrims to Israel, Rome and Greece identify their luggage in Abuja

ercise being extended to the state’s pilgrims by Wamakko to alleviate their sufferings and to assist the beneficiaries to augment their usually-exhausted basic travelling allowances. “The distribution of the money was done between October 17 and 18, and all the pilgrims had received their shares,” he said. Accordingly, Wamakko was quoted as commending the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for making excellent arrangements which helped in ensuring the success of the 2013 Hajj exercise. “Nigeria has made good arrangements in this direction and the pilgrims had prayed for sustainable peace and unity of the country during the hajj. “There is no compromise about the unity and peace of Nigeria, and these fervent prayers would be sustained even after the current hajj

exercise,” Wamakko was further quoted. The governor, according to Dundaye, also commended the state’s Pilgrims’ Welfare Agency, members of the hajj delegation and the state’s pilgrims for exhibiting a high sense of commitment and patriotism. Governor Wamakko had also performed the just-concluded hajj exercise as the special guest of the Saudi Arabian authorities. The leader of the state’s delegation, Senator Jubril Gada and the chairman of the Pilgrims’ Welfare Agency, Alhaji Muntari Maigona, all attributed the success of their assignment to the unwavering commitment, support and cooperation of Wamakko to the welfare and comfort of the pilgrims. However, the annual hajj exercise has been concluded after the 3-day symbolic stoning of the devil at Jamrat, Muna, between 10th ZulHijjah to 12th Zul-Hijjah.



Special school for the blind in Imo

•Governor Okorocha


HINGS are looking brighter for people with visual challenges in Imo State. Governor Rochas Okorocha has pledged to build a special school for them in the state before the end of May, 2014. Governor Okorocha made the promise while interacting with NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO), the 1 GAME Campaigns, has said that its activities in Nigeria’s North-East region were aimed at building a new generation of children who will stand against violence and terror due to the education they had acquired. The organisation recently launched campaigns aimed at supporting school children with learning materials and improving enrolment into western schools in Borno and Gombe states situated in North-East Nigeria, a region that is so vulnerable to terrorist attacks and whose attackers campaign against western education. Addressing Muslim youths in the southern city of Calabar during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, founder of 1 GAME, Philip Obaji said it would be almost impossible for children


members of the Nigeria Association op the Blind, Imo State chapter at the Government House, Owerri. Governor Okorocha, who promised to provide education and employment opportunities to ameliorate the sufferings of the group, assured that his administration would continually consider the welfare of the physically challenged persons to give them a sense of belonging. He also promised an upward review of their bursary for those in the institutions of learning and further made financial support to enable the association to sponsor her up-coming zonal conference holding in the state. The state chairman of the association, Mr. Clinton Chinonyerem Amaechi had appealed to the governor to address some of their pressing needs which include regular payment of their bursaries, employment opportunities to their members and giving them a voice in government through political appointments. He pointed out that the United

Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for practical and positive approach to the issues raised. He urged people in authority to grant equal opportunities to the physically challenged persons. Mr. Amaechi thanked governor Okorocha for his concern for the group and assured him of their support to his administration. In a related development, Governor Okorocha has reaffirmed his commitment to resolve all kingship tussles to ensure smooth take off of the Community Government Council in the state.

Governor Okorocha stated this at Ahiajoku Convention Centre while settling some of the cases brought before him by the Ministry of Community Government Council. He noted that Community Government Council has not gained the needed ground because some communities have no traditional rulers to pilot the affairs of their areas. While describing the disputes in some communities as a setback to the fourth tier government, Governor Okorocha said his involvement was to ensure that justice prevails in the selection process of traditional rulers.

Governor Okorocha, who promised to provide education and employment opportunities to ameliorate the sufferings of the group, assured that his administration would continually consider the welfare of the physically challenged persons to give them a sense of belonging

The governor regretted that the kingship tussles in some communities had led many people into selling their lands and property, stressing that his administration has come to put an end to such practice. According to him, kingship should not be by election but by divine mandate. He, however, advised those who emerged as Ezes to carry everybody in their communities along for the sustenance of peace. In an interview, the Eze-elect of Awara Community in Ohaji/ Egbema Local Government Area, Eze Andrew Nwakolam Ezenwoke thanked the governor for wading into resolving kingship tussles in the state, even as he promised to carry others along in order to bring development to the community. The communities whose cases were settled were Umualumaku Umuehime in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area; Awara community, Asa community all in Ohaji/ Egbema Lo Government Area; Ozuzu community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area and Agbala community in Owerri North Local Government Area.

Youths urged to embrace education to be recruited into insurgent groups in North-East Nigeria if every child is educated. “I hear some people say the reason for the insurgency in the North-East region is political. Some say it’s a fight over su-

premacy of religion while there’s a debate about the actual reason for the insurgency. No one has argued about who the foot soldiers are. “Isn’t it clear that they are the ignorant children and youths who have been talked into taking their

No one has argued about who the foot soldiers are. Isn’t it clear that they are the ignorant children and youths who have been talked into taking their own lives by fighting against western culture just because they lack basic education?

own lives by fighting against western culture just because they lack basic education? “That is exactly what I see; ignorant children fighting against a culture that has saved many of us from hunger, poverty and disease. “Is it easy to ask an educated child to pick up arms to fight for no meaningful reason? Again, is it easy to ask an educated child to pick up a bomb and take his life along with others just because of a dislike towards western culture? “So, you see where the problem is. People mislead our children because they are ignorant and uneducated,” he said. Obaji also called on Nigerian youths to play a leading role in the

fight against violence by inspiring children into embracing education and supporting initiatives that are helping to put kids into school, saying “it’s the simplest way to defeat terrorism in Nigeria.” “Yes the military is fighting to defeat terrorism. But like I’ve always said, military action alone wouldn’t solve the problem. We need to ensure that the current generation of children shuns this evil. That can only be achieved if we give them the right education, which is what we are fighting for,” he said. The 1 GAME Campaigns is a nonprofit initiative that fights violence and ignorance through advocacy and education.

Foundation donates books to primary schools


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO) under the auspices of Ovu Foundation has donated over 13,000 notebooks and writing materials worth thousands of naira to primary schools in Ovu in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. Presenting the notebooks and writing materials to the Chief Inspector of Education, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Mrs. Kehinde Oderhohwo on behalf of the primary schools at Urhodo-Ovu Primary School, the president of the foundation, Dr. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh said education is one of their priorities and that the donation of the note books has been on since the past four years. Dr. Rim-Rukeh, who said that the foundation is working towards putting up an electronic library at the Ovu Junction, explained that this year’s book presentation ceremony was peculiar, adding that it was the first time the foundation, over four years of its existence, is coming into partnership with the National Youth Service Corps in the area of Community Development Service Project in ensuring that teachers and pupils are in good learning environment. Dr. Rim-Rukeh and the Secretary-General of the foundation, Mr. Israel Imide said during this year’s 4th annual flag-off and

It was the first time the foundation was coming into partnership with the National Youth Service Corps in the area of community development service project in ensuring that teachers and pupils are in good learning environment From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

books and writing materials presentation, the foundation has made available 13,000 note books and writing materials to pupils in the primary schools. He also said that they plan to organise reading competition among the pupils to discourage the non-reading culture among the children as it is currently experienced in the area. They said the foundation is

•The Ethiope East Chief Inspector of Education, Mrs. Kehinde Oderhohwo presenting some note books to one of the pupils at Urhodo Primary School Ovu.

currently collaborating with the National Youth Service Corps, after having received their financial appeal to also raise the standard of education in the area where they are posted to. We reasoned that since their appeal was in line with their dream, they could wait to give the financial assistance they requested for through one of the corps, Miss Kalejaiye Modukpe serving in

one of the primary schools in the area. Responding on behalf of the primary schools, the Ethiope East Local Government Area Chief Inspector of Education, Mrs. Kehinde Owe Oderhohwo; the President-General of Ovu Development Union, Mr. Joseph Ukukor and the representative of Chairman of Ethiope East Local Government Area, Hon. Sunday

Eromedoghene praised the foundation for the donation for the gesture. They said Ovu Foundation is worth emulating, as according to them, their task in the promotion of education in the area has, in no small measure, raised the standard of education, adding that the foundation will improve the lives of members of the community.



Our civil servants are the foot soldiers of good governance; those who work silently to ensure our vision for the uncommon development of Kwara State is realised on an effective and efficient basis. We have, however, come to the realisation that the greatest impetus for effective service delivery is the provision of incentives to these hard working civil servants


WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed flagged off the disbursement of N3 billion vehicle loans to civil servants and teachers in the state. The first tranche of N1b was disbursed to the beneficiaries earlier in the year. The state government is partnering with First Bank Plc in packaging the loan programme for the civil servants. “The programme is meant to improve the welfare of civil servants across the state, including secondary and primary school teachers,” Governor Ahmed said. In a remark at the launch of the programme in Ilorin, the state capital, Governor Ahmed said: “It is with elation and high sense of satisfaction that I welcome you all to this historic flag-off of the N3billion vehicle loan to civil servants in the state. “Our civil servants are the foot soldiers of good governance; those who work silently to ensure our vision for the uncommon development of Kwara State is realised on an effective and efficient basis. We have, however, come to the realisation that the greatest impetus for effective service delivery is the provision of incentives to these hard working civil servants. “We accord the welfare of civil servants the highest priority as demonstrated by the prompt payment of salaries, and especially by today’s flag-off of N3b in vehicle loans to qualifying civil servants. “Realising the crucial roles of civil servants, this government approved the renovation of offices in ministries of health, commerce and the local government service commission. “Also put in place are welfare policies and programmes such as training and re-training of staff for better performance, employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the state through KWABES, approval of the sale of government quarters

•Governor Ahmed at the flag-off of the vehicle loan programme

N3b car loan for Kwara civil servants From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

to sitting civil servants and the recent negotiation with estate developers for providing houses at affordable rate to workers in the state. ”It is essential to reiterate at this point that provision of vehicle loan to civil servants is one of the incentive programmes initiated by the immediate past administration of Senator

Abubakar Bukola Saraki. “In keeping with continuity in governance, this administration is sustaining the programme by granting N1billion earlier in the year and flagging off today’s disbursement of an additional N3 billion to civil servants. “Let me seize this opportunity to re-affirm the political will and commitment of the government towards providing additional incentives to civil servants such as housing loans and

comfortable office accommodation for effective performance. “Indeed, government has concluded plans to build a new secretariat to be occupied by staff of four ministries as part of efforts to create an atmosphere conducive enough to enhanced service delivery.” Accordingly, Alhaji Ahmed urged the civil servants “to

Safety institute urges professionalism at induction


•The inductees

reciprocate these gestures by being more dedicated to duty and loyalty to the government through efficient and effective performance as outlined in performance contracts. “In doing that, you will be contributing to government’s efforts at making life better for all the people of Kwara, including yours and those of your families.”

RADUATING trainees of the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) have received the best gift they could ever ask for: a thorough orientation on how not only to succeed in their jobs but also to ensure the safety of everyone. At an induction session in Ikeja, Lagos, ISPON chiefs urged the graduating trainees to be devoted to their jobs and to discharge their duties with “dignity, discretion and honour, “ their focus being to “serve mankind”. The President of the institute, Mr Shaw Fregene told the inductees to always observe the ethics of their profession, noting that it is by doing so that they uphold the institute in addition to serving their clients or employers better. The institute draws some of its membership from a wide range of service providers and professionals including engineers, occupational hygienists, environmentalists, medical and health practitioners, fire fighter and se-

By Ogochukwu Ikeje

curity professionals. “Our mission,” said Fregene, “is to achieve excellent safety performance of organisations and create safety awareness through information dissemination, courses, seminars, audits and publications, thus promoting, encouraging and improving occupational methods and procedures in the industries, public sector and institutions.” Addressing the new members, the ISPON president urged that they update themselves in order to perform at their optimum. Fregene told them to attend meetings called by the institute, adding that they should equally participate in workshops and seminars “in order to succeed as safety professionals.” In a paper, Dr Nicholas Okere, a member of ISPON, advised that private organisations, welders and small-scale entrepreneurs, and indeed every service provider, need to operate in healthy and safe environments.




‘Fergie’s book will cause shockwaves’


ROUND the same time as David Moyes is due to speak to the media to look ahead to United's Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad, Ferguson will be in central London, enlightening his audience about the most decorated career the game has ever known. Ferguson has been keen to keep the contents secret. There have been no official leaks and no serialisation ahead of five sell-out Q+A evenings, that start in Manchester next Monday and take in visits to London, his home city of Glasgow, Aberdeen, where he first made an impact, and Dublin. However, it has been possible to piece together little snippets of information to get an idea of what is likely to be included in a read which promises to be fascinating and explosive in equal measure. "The problem with doing a book is you have to bring in the elements and factors which in many ways either affected or determined your management decision-making," Ferguson told MUTV in a recent interview. "Because I've been at the club such a long time and you're building team after team after team, there are areas that you can't ignore. "Wy we sold certain players like David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy. You can't ignore these things because these guys were big, big figures in Manchester United's career history." In an article on Saturday, journalist Paul Hayward, who was responsible for committing Ferguson's words to print, stated: "Ferguson decided several years ago to revisit the upheavals of the past decade, and to examine how he maintained control in the face of changes in United's ownership, the rise of player power and the new threats posed by Roman Abramovich's Chelsea and the Middle-Eastern wealth of Manchester City." Hayward also said Ferguson "recalls the great players he has managed", listing Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, and "shares his thoughts on Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafa

Benitez". The last name itself gives an idea of what to expect. In both public and private, Ferguson rarely had a good word to say about former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez. He once described the Spaniard as "a baby" and will doubtless find many reasons to undermine Benitez, currently at Napoli - not least the failed attempt to prise Gabriel Heinze out of Old Trafford. That is just one of a number of reasons to anticipate the book getting a frosty reception at Anfield. The fall-out from the racism row that ended with Luis Suarez getting an eight-match ban for abusing Patrice Evra should be covered, and that will not reflect well on Kenny Dalglish, with whom Ferguson had previous anyway. Although his relations with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger eased considerably during the latter days of his Old Trafford reign, it will be interesting to see whether Ferguson touches on the Gunners' failure to secure any silverware since beating United in the 2005 FA Cup final, or the Pizzagate row from 2004. Asked about Ferguson's book, Wenger joked: "We all fear the worst!" before adding: "I think it is good that he has made a book." The Scot always got on well with Jose Mourinho, but the issue of whether he was considered for the succession in which the Chelsea boss claims he was never interested, but a recent book alleges he was in tears when he found out he had been passed over - might be touched upon. Indeed, such has been Ferguson's longevity, there could be a story at every turn. Keane contributed so much to United's success but what fans and an expectant public really want to know is the content of that infamous MUTV interview in 2005 which got pulled from the schedules because of the damning criticisms of so many young team-mates and eventually led to the Irishman's abrupt exit. Another cult hero, Ruud van Nistelrooy, departed amid

•Ferguson some acrimony not long afterwards. And then there is Beckham, the most recognisable face of English football - scarred by a boot Ferguson sent flying across the Old Trafford dressing room - and his relationship and subsequent marriage to a member of the Spice Girls. Ferguson's last autobiography ended with the 1999 Treble, since when United have won another eight Premier League titles and appeared in three Champions League finals, winning one. Ronaldo spent six glittering years at the club to lay claim to being one of the best players United have ever had, Ryan Giggs has moved towards 1,000 career appearances, Paul Scholes has illuminated pitches across the land. It is hard to think of a topic on which Ferguson cannot have an opinion. Peter Kenyon's part in failing to secure the services of Ronaldinho in 2003, and the reasons why Wesley Sneijder did not join nine years later may also feature. The Football Association and referees are likely to provide more fertile ground for those looking for criticism than the Glazer family, for whom Ferguson has always spoken up. And then there is Wayne Rooney. Had Ferguson remained at Old Trafford, Rooney would surely have been shown the exit door. As it is, Ferguson will need to tiptoe round the matter carefully so as not to cause Moyes any problems. If Moyes were in any doubt as to his status, it will be reinforced on Wednesday, when Ferguson's name, rather than his own, is plastered all over the back pages. He may be the current Manchester

United still in the hunt, says Arsene Wenger HE Gunners moved clear at the top of the table following their 4-1 victory over Norwich on Saturday and are now some eight points ahead of David Moyes' side after the Red Devils conceded a late equaliser at home to Southampton. Wenger, though, is refusing to get carried away with league positions just yet, as Arsenal are set to travel to Old Trafford next month the weekend after they host fellow pacesetters Liverpool. "It is too early. They are not out of the title race," Wenger said. "We are only two points in



front of all the others. "Are Man United out of the title race? No, but of course 10 points starts to be a little gap." Wenger continued: "If you have the choice, you want to be in the race at the top, but you cannot rule Man United out today. "They have big players, big experience and they are a big club. "It (points advantage) is three games basically, that is very quick in our league." Wenger has a wealth of options in midfield, with the return to match fitness of Santi Cazorla following an ankle injury. The Wales international replaced Mathieu Flamini just before half-time after the French midfielder suffered double vision following a clash of heads with Alex Tettey. Wenger knows he will need to fully utilise the group if Arsenal are to mount a sustained push for honours in 2014. "We have a squad that is, number and quality wise, very, very good. After that in January

we are not desperate (to buy) now," the Arsenal boss said. "If there is a good opportunity (to buy), why not? But if you know who is out injured now, they will come back in November, the beginning of December, then you have a really massive squad." Wenger added: "With the number of competitions involved, everybody thinks they have a chance to play. That is what is the most important. "As long as you fight for things, everybody keeps the focus." Wenger revealed England forward Theo Walcott would need a couple more weeks of recovery time following a minor surgical procedure on an abdominal problem. "Theo had a set-back on Thursday. He had to stop, to jog again, I don't think we will see him against Dortmund, nor Crystal Palace nor Chelsea (in the Capital One Cup)," the Arsenal boss said. "He is at least two weeks away now."




•Former House of Representatives member, Hon. Cairo Ojuigboh (left), Rev. Jesse Jackson, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw when Jackson arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the launch of Edwin Clark Foundation......last weekend.

•Rev Fr Andrew Obinyan flanked by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State (left) and Chief Oseni Elamah, Chairman, Edo State Board of Internal Revenue (right) at the 15th priestly ordination anniversary of Rev Fr Obinyan at the St Albert Catholic Church, Benin City...last weekend


•The first batch of pilgrims from Osun State to Saudi Arabia arriving at the Hajj Camp of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos...last weekend . They were flown back by National Treasurer, Christ Little Band of Nigeria, Mrs Caroline Akinbami (left); Lady Vice President Mrs Caroline Ariyibi; Rev Sunday Adeleke; President, Mr. Bola Adeyemi; Vice President (male), Mr. Wale Adeoye, Rev Canon Taiwo Tanimonu and Rev Canon Funso Kolawole at the investiture of the group’s national President at St. Peters Anglican Church, Idimu, Lagos...last weekend

•Immediate past Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe (third right) assisted by his wife, Princess Olayinka to cut the cake at his luncheon/sendforth organised by Lagos State Government Unified Local Government Service. With them are Prince Francis Adeayo (left), Alhaji Alani Sunmonu, Alhaji Moshood Ojikutu and Otunba Owolabi Osibodu–all members of the Local Government Service Commission.

Med-View Airline


•Divisional Police Officer, Layeni Police Station, Ajegunle, Chijioke Stephen (left) with Primate Ayoola Omonigbehin, Co-ordinator Veteran Welfare Group, during Lateef Jakande Leadership Lecture in Lagos • L-R:- Prof in Old Age Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, Prof Martin Prince, former Medical Director, Federal Psychiatric, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Taiwo Ladapo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos, Dr Femi Olugbile, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, Elder Ebenenezer Olasehinde and Coordinator, Centre for Mental Health Research and Initiative, Mrs Fatimah Bankole, at the PanLagos World Mental Day Celebration 2013 at Alausa, Lagos. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN



NEWS Akpabio swears in commissioners, adviser •Urges them on service delivery


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday swore in commissioners and special advisers. He urged them to reinvigorate and strengthen service delivery to the people. Speaking at the event held at the Executive Council (Exco) Chambers, Governor’s Office, Uyo, Akpabio said: “What we have done today in bringing you into this Executive Council is to overhaul the wheel of the uncommon transformation of our state. This occasion therefore is a step in our efforts to reinvigorate and strengthen service delivery to the indigenes.” He went on: “We have within the last six years built our state in line with the dreams of our forebears. We have come to a critical point in our journey as a state that demands that we introduce fresh hands into the affairs of governance. We have faith that this gesture will accelerate the tempo of the uncommon transformation of our state. “Be reminded that we are a transformational government based on values, not ideology. We strive to provide leadership for all segments of our society. We are blind to politics of ethnicity and tribe in our governance of this state. You must, therefore, expand your perspective to embrace the state as a whole and see yourself beyond the narrow confines of your local government areas or tribes. You are not representing your local government in this exco; you are representing the state.”

Amaechi earmarks N3b for creative village By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)


OVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has said that his administration would build a creative village worth N3 billion as part of the facilities for Port Harcourt as the host of the UNESCO World Book Capital next year. He said the village, which would encourage artists, would be inaugurated before next year. Amaechi added that the village would encompass a writers’ resort, library, hotel, exhibition hall and theatre. The governor, who spoke yesterday at the opening of this year’s Port Harcourt Book Festival, held at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, said an ultra-modern theatre named after former Miss World, Agbani Darego, would be ready for inauguration in December. He said the Nigerian Air Force would cede the land on which the village would be built. Amaechi slammed those causing political disaffection in the state, saying: “In Rivers, there are no godfathers.” He urged political retirees, who had been at the corridors of power in the state, to find themselves other jobs. Governor Amaechi decried the impunity with which political office holders looted the treasury.

•Governor Peter Obi (middle), flanked by Deputy Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Chukwudi Orizu (second left), Commissioner for Education, Dr. Uju Okeke (second right) and students representing the benefitting schools, during the presentation of cheques of N1 billion, representing the first phase of the distribution of N2.54 billion for the rehabilitation of public secondary schools, at the Women Development Centre, Awka... yesterday.

Council rerun: Ballot box snatching, shooting mar poll T

HE inconclusive councillorship election in Ighuoro Ward 9, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo was marred by shooting and snatching of ballot boxes. Reporters were also beaten by suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs at Okonwo. The supporters of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) clashed and this scared voters away from the polling units. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) crew, Edo Broadcasting Service reporters and Ehis Igbaugba of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) were not so lucky, as the suspected PDP thugs attacked them, leaving two of the reporters injured. Security men were seen at the polling units visited at Abumere, Okonwo and Iguhoro, but there were no electoral officials, party agents and voters. The electorate, who reported earlier for accreditation, were chased away by suspected PDP thugs, who snatched electoral materials and took them to an unknown destination. An APC member, Mrs. Comfort Abudu, who spoke with reporters, alleged that PDP supporters were responsible for the shooting and snatching of electoral

30 arrested in Edo


VER 30 persons were yesterday arrested during the conduct of the rescheduled local government election in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State. Among those arrested was a councillorship candidate of one of the political parties and a policeman in mufti escorting already thumb-printed ballot papers. The candidate and some of his boys harassed and seized the camera of Mrs. Adekunbi Ero of Tell magazine, who covered the election at Atani Primary School in Ward 8. Reporters were harassed and their mobile phones screened until policemen intervened and took the councillorship candidate away for questioning. It was after about three hours that the mobile phone was returned through the intervention of leaders in the locality. Previous attempts to hold local government election in the locality had been unsuccessful since council elections were held From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

materials. However, PDP youths, led by Richard Okonufua, barricaded Ekiadolor/Okowo Road, protesting an alleged confiscation of electoral materials by the APC. The youth alleged that they barricaded the road to prevent APC members from coming out with the electoral materials after they must

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

across the state on April 20. Esan North East is the stronghold of top chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Chief Tony Anenih, Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenme, Mr. Friday Itulah, Frank Ebewele, among others. Elections in the locality were relatively peaceful as the people came out early for accreditation. In the areas monitored, people were seen casting their votes, except at Ivue Primary School where the voter register was said to be missing. Commissioner for Water and Energy, Chris Ebare, said voting was yet to commence at Ivue because the photographs on the voter register were not clear. Some persons complained that their names were missing on the register. At press time, voting was still going on and security level was high.

have thumb-printed them. Okonofua said: “You can see that it is almost 1pm and we are yet to see any of the electoral officials. The APC members have taken them with the electoral materials to a place where they will carry out their fraudulent practice.” The Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, said it was regrettable that the PDP support-

ers were yet to key into the one-man-one vote philosophy of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The representative of Ovia North East Constituency 1 in the House of Assembly, Mr. Sunday Osazemwinde, praised the efforts of security agencies during the poll. He said despite the plan to disrupt the election by the opposition party, it was successfully conducted.

Gunmen abduct monarch in Akwa Ibom


HE paramount ruler of Esit Eket, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Ubong Peter Assam, was yesterday kidnapped by unknown gunmen, who stormed his palace about 2am. The gunmen, who were about seven, stormed the palace and shot into the air. They dragged Assam out of his bedroom into an unidentified car and drove to Unyeghe in Mbo Local Government Area, where he was picked up by a speedboat and taken to the

By Dave Emma

Oron high sea. An eyewitness said although no casualty was recorded during the operation, people sustained injuries when scampering for safety. “The gunmen surrounded the chief’s compound and shot into the air. One of the gunshots sounded like a bomb. I thought it was a war. My daughter and I ran into the bush. She sustained injuries when running. We saw them

drag the chief like a goat. I thought they came to kill him. But they put him in a waiting car and sped off to Unyighe in Oron. The police arrived when they had left,” Mrs. Ime Akpe, a mother of three, told this reporter. The Esit Eket Police Divisional Officer was not available for comment, as he was said to have travelled to Uyo for police weekly briefing. But a senior police officer, who gave his name as Inspector Ogar, said he got distress

calls from sources about 2am yesterday, but before they arrived the scene, the kidnappers had escaped with the monarch. “There were a lot of calls from different quarters informing us of the operation of the kidnappers, but before we could mobilise our men from Uquo to Akpa Utong, they had fled the scene with the chief. We will send our men to comb the community in search of the abducted monarch,” Orga said.

APC wins in Anenih’s stronghold From Osagie Otabor, Benin

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner in the rescheduled election held in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State. Elections were postponed twice in the local government due to violence and alleged intimidation of electoral officials. Esan North East is the stronghold of Chief Tony Anenih, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Chairman of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), Solomon Ogoh, who announced the results last night, said APC candidate, Sam Oboh, polled 12,672 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, John Yakubu, who scored 3314 votes. He said the results of the wards would be announced later. With this result, APC won in the 18 local governments of the state.

Three-storey building collapses From Osagie Otabor, Benin

MEMBERS of The Lord of All Grace Ministry are thanking God after the three-storey building housing their church collapsed after a church service. The house is located at Edo Street, off Upper Sokponba Road in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. Nobody died in the incident. The church pastor, Sandra Ogbemudia, said they noticed a crack after a downpour the previous day. She said children were playing inside the church after the service and the building came down a few seconds after she asked the children to leave the building. Sandra appealed for support to help rebuild the church.




Equities rally N33b as Forte Oil hits N70.88


AINS by petroleummarketing and breweries stocks nudged the equities market to the positive yesterday as stock market’s fastest rising stockForte Oil, chalked up N6.58 to reach a new high of N70.88 per share. Aggregate market value of all equities increased by N33 billion to close at N11.939 trillion as against its opening value of N11.906 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), also showed corresponding increase of 0.28 per cent to close at 37,368.10 points as

By Taofik Salako

against its opening index of 37,263.16 points. The gain yesterday nudged average year-to-date return at the stock market to 33.08 per cent. The uptrend was driven mainly by gains by highly capitalised stocks in the downstream oil and breweries sectors. Forte Oil Plc led the gainers with N6.58 to close at N70.88 per share. Guinness Nigeria trailed with addition of N6.06 to close at N246.02. It was followed by a gain of N4 to close at N176. Conoil Plc gained N1.92 to close at N40.48 per share while Beta

Glass added 60 kobo to close at N13.10 per share. Total turnover stood at 308 million shares valued at N4.26 billion in 5,180 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 77.07 million shares worth N1.97 billion in 505 deals. On the downside, Cadbury Nigeria recorded the highest loss of N2.50 to close at N56.50. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria followed with a loss of 47 kobo to close at N98.03. Ashaka Cement dropped 45 kobo to close at N22.55. Unilever Nigeria lost 42 kobo to close at N60.62 while Zenith Bank declined by 32 kobo to N21.55 per share.

TrustBond Mortgage Bank raises N500m in special placement


RUSTBOND Mortgage Bank Plc has raised N500 million in new equity funds through a special placement, pushing the mortgage bank’s capital base to N5.2 billion, a notch above the N5 billion capital base for national mortgage banking operation. The new equity fund was raised from a core investor. Chairman, TrustBond Mortgage Bank Plc, Mr. Etigwe Uwa, in an interview with The Nation, noted that the bank was the most capitalized mortgage bank in the country at N4.7 billion capital base but needed to go for private placement to exceed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements adding that this will put it in vantage position to run its business and increase shareholders’ profitability. He said they decided on a core investor to provide fund

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

urgently to meet the regulatory requirements of CBN. On the future of mortgage banks in the country, Uwa predicted that there may be mergers and acquisitions to make the banks stronger. He commended the current CBN regulations on mortgage banks noting that the policy will strengthen mortgage banks to give mortgages to prospective home owners as they will have more funds to lend to the public. He however regretted that so much money is tied down in real estate and advised that capital should be channeled into more productive use as done in developed economies such as mortgage re-financing especially with the over 17 million housing deficit. According to him, the low capital base of mortgage

banks before had hampered the lending abilities of such banks to the public but now most banks that have met the capital target will be better positioned to give loans to prospective home owners. Managing Director, TrustBond Mortgage Bank, Mr. Adeniyi Akinlusi said with the private placement of over N500 million the bank is positioned in playing in the big league to offer mortgages to Nigerians and be part of institutions that will bridge the housing gap in the country. “In the light of our enlightened position and strength we have built 174 houses in Agege, undertaking construction and mortgage financing, provided mortgages for low income earners, adapt the newest technology in housing construction, work closely with developers and the Federal Housing Authority,” Akinlusi said. TrustBond Mortgage Bank metamorphosed from the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank and subsequent investment by a core investor group, Interrec into Intercontinental Homes Savings & Loan (IHSL).





GIABA to banks: follow up D on KYC compliance


NTER-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), has advised banks to strengthen their enforcement of KnowYour-Customer (KYC) policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). GIABA Representative in Nigeria, Timothy Melaye, told The Nation that removing Nigeria from the list of countries identified as jurisdictions with significant deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes was good for the country. He said banks should do more in ensuring that they understand their customers’ businesses better. He said Nigeria has taken the right steps in-

Stories by Collins Nweze

cluding the establishment of legal and regulatory framework that will assist it meet its anti-money laundering initiatives, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and GIABA in a statement said: “The FATF welcomes Nigeria’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Nigeria has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its Action Plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010. Nigeria is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its

IAMOND Bank Plc. and MTN Nigeria have announced the signing of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the launch of a hybrid bank account, the Diamond Y’ello Account that offers an unparalleled combo of financial, telecom, loyalty and lifestyle benefits. Tagged the Diamond Y’ello Account, this service allows customers to open a Diamond Bank account conveniently from their MTN lines.This account also offers interest earning benefits as well as access to micro credit. In addition, customers will enjoy friendly call rates and earn loyalty points as they carry out transactions. Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti, said: “One of the major benefits of the Diamond Y’ello Account is that as soon as a customer opens the account from their mobile phones, transactions are done with ease and

on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Nigeria will work with GIABA as it continues to address the full range of issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report”. The FATF is the global standard setting body for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). In its efforts to enforce greater compliance with acceptable International Standards, the FATF, in collaboration with FATF Styled-Regional Bodies (FSRBs) undertake targeted review of countries/ jurisdictions identified with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies with a view to protecting the international financial system from Money Laundering.

Diamond, MTN partner on retail service convenience via their mobile phones. With nearly 100% mobile phone penetration in Nigeria, many more un-banked and under banked Nigerians, regardless of their location, can now enjoy access to banking with this novel service.” According to MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ikpoki,, the partnership will open a new window of service delivery to both the new and old customers of the bank. He said: “We are absolutely delighted once again to be offering our existing and potential subscribers a new and innovative product that will most definitely change their life styles and the way they manage their finances.

Fidelity Bank appoints Nnamdi Okonkwo CEO-designate


HE Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank Plc, has met to approve a successor to the incumbent Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, OFR, who will serve out his 10-year maximum term by February, 2014. He is Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, who is an Executive Director in charge of the South Directorate of the Bank. Nnamdi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agric Economics from the University of Benin and an MBA in Banking & Finance from Enugu State University. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France. In addition, he has attended various business and management training locally and overseas, including Harvard Business School, Oxford, etc. Nnamdi comes with over 23 years of experience in various aspects of

• ED to succeed Ihejiahi in 2014 banking. Between 2006 and 2009, he was Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Ghana, and between 2008 and 2009, he doubled as the Regional Chief Executive Officer for UBA West African Monetary Zone, with responsibility for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. He later became Divisional Head for the Corporate Bank Directorate between 2009 and 2012, before coming back to Fidelity Bank Plc, as Executive Director, having earlier worked in Fidelity Bank (old FSB that consolidated to form the enlarged Fidelity) between 1998 and 2000. In that period he had been Senior Manager in branches both in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Between 2004 and 2005, Nnamdi had been General Manager in Standard Trust (which later became UBA)

He orchestrated the consolidation of the legacy Fidelity Bank with the former FSB International Bank Plc and Manny Bank Plc to form the currently enlarged Fidelity Bank Plc that now ranks among the Top 10 Banks in Nigeria with over $1.0 billion in Equity, over N1trn in Total Assets, and 2.3 million Customers represented in 220 branches. Mr. Ihejiahi and his team also led some of the landmark international financial transactions in the industry including the issue of Global Deposit Receipts (GDR) in 2007 and the $300m debut issue of internationally traded Eurobond in 2013. Fidelity Bank Plc is rated very highly by two International Rating Agencies – Fitch (BBB+) and S & P (BBB+), as well as locally by Agusto & Co. (BBB+). Of Okonkwo, Mr Ihejiahi said, “we are very pleased with the appointment of Nnamdi Okonkwo. He has

and later in 2005, was Regional Director of UBA in charge of branches in the FCT, Niger and Kogi States. This is the third CEO of Fidelity Bank after 25 years of operation, making it one of the banks with the most stable management in the industry. Following the Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria which stipulated a maximum term of 10 years for Bank CEOs, the current CEO, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, who assumed duties in early 2004 will have served out his term in February, 2014. Mr. Ihejiahi took over Fidelity Bank Plc and inherited the challenge of setting the course for growth. From being in the Top 30 Banks in Nigeria with N20 billion in Deposits, N30 billion in Total Assets and less than 150,000 in Customers.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m



Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 22-10-13


O/PRICE 2013-10-21


64.30 2.00 38.56 12.50 0.90 11.23 0.92 0.73 2.30 1.05


%CHANGE 10.23 5.00 4.98 4.80 4.44 4.36 4.35 4.11 3.91 3.81

LOSERS AS AT 22-10-13 2013-10-21


O/PRICE 1.22 5.10 1.84 0.82 2.19 0.67 59.00 0.52 3.74 0.55

Year Start Offer

Current Before

Current After


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

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


















July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%


C/PRICE 1.11 4.85 1.75 0.78 2.09 0.64 56.50 0.50 3.60 0.53

%CHANGE -9.02 -4.90 -4.89 -4.88 -4.57 -4.48 -4.24 -3.85 -3.74 -3.64

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12





NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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


CUV Start %


70.88 2.10 40.48 13.10 0.94 11.72 0.96 0.76 2.39 1.09

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

a combination of experience and intelligence. I am confident that he will raise the institution to higher levels in the drive to accomplish our mission to make financial services easy and accessible to customers, while delivering good returns to all stakeholders”. Upon confirmation by the regulators, Mr. Okonkwo’s appointment will take effect from February, 2014.



Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00



19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -


Offer Price 159.15 9.17 1.18 1.16 0.75 1.39 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,833.94 13.64 141.19 11,004.94 0.80

Bid Price 158.38 9.08 1.16 1.16 0.74 1.33 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,828.14 12.97 140.70 10,680.29 0.78




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





Military kills 37 Boko Haram suspects in Borno


EN of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army have said they killed 37 suspected Boko Haram insurgents at one of their camps at Alagarno villages in Borno State. The soldiers said several others were injured in the attack. Various arms and ammunition were reportedly recovered. Three Hilux vehicles and motorcycles belonging to the suspects were destroyed. The operation, which lasted three hours, was said to have been carried out by

From Duku Joel, Maiduguri

ground and air coordinated attacks on the insurgents' camp. A statement in Maiduguri, the state capital, by the spokesman of the division, Capt Aliyu Danja, confirmed the killing. The statement said: "Based on available intelligence report, troops of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army launched an attack on terrorists’ camp in Alagarno. The operation, which began on Monday, October 21, involved

a coordinated ground and air assaults by our troops, in conjunction with the 79 Composite Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Maiduguri. They destroyed the terrorists’ camp. "Thirty-seven terrorists were killed in the fight while several others fled with gunshot wounds." The statement also confirmed Boko Haram attacks on motorists and passengers last Sunday at Logomari villages of Gamboru-NgalaDikwa Local Government Areas.

It, however, dismissed the report that 20 people were killed, instead of four civilians and two injured persons. "In the early hours of Sunday, October 20, about 50 Boko Haram terrorists, armed with AK47 rifles and rocketpropelled launchers, blocked a road at Gamboru-NgalaDikwa in Logomari village. They killed four civilians and injured two persons." Danja added that the insurgents set ablaze four civilian trucks loaded with provisions and attacked members of the vigilance group, called Civil-

ian JTF who were returning from a funeral. According to him, three members of the vigilantes were killed and their vehicles set ablaze. The statement said: “Vigilante youths, who escaped, however, reinforced, pursued the insurgents and destroyed their hideout. They killed several insurgents, while others escaped. “Troops of the 7 Division are currently conducting aggressive patrols within the area to trace and destroy Boko Haram elements within its area of responsibility."

Senator sues FRCN chief, others for stopping his programme From El-Zaharadeen Umar, Katsina


ENATOR Abubakar Sadiq Yaradua (APC, Katsina Central) has sued the Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), the Companion FM, Katsina, and its General Manager, Yusuf Zayn Dogara, for allegedly denying him his fundamental human rights. Yaradua prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Katsina to compel the directorgeneral and others joined in the suit, to pay him N10 million as aggravated damages. In the suit, the senator is asking the court to declare that stopping the broadcast of his sponsored programme, Tsintsiya Madaurin Ki Daya, was ilegal. The senator prayed the court to declare that “the illegal and unlawful stopping of the broadcast of the programme,” allegedly on the instructions of the respondents, ran contrary to Sections 39, (1), 42 (1) (A) and (B) of the Constitution. He also sought an order of the court directing the FRCN and other respondents in the suit to “tender an unreserved apology published in three national newspapers and same to be broadcast in Companion FM, Katsina”. Yaradua sought an order of the court compelling the respondents to “continue with the broadcast of the programme to enforce his fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.”

Plateau council poll holds Dec. 21


HE Plateau State Independent Electoral C o m m i s s i o n (PLASIEC) yesterday reaffirmed its readiness to conduct the local government election on December 21. It advised the public to ignore any rumour to the contrary. “There is no going back on the December 21 date for the conduct of the local government,” PLASIEC said through its Public Relations Officer, Mrs Christiana Choji. Mrs Choji told NAN that the commission was ready to conduct a “free and fair elections,” adding that necessary arrangements were in place to ensure a hitch-free conduct. “The commission still stands by the election timetable released to all political parties on September 2. PLASIEC also wishes to remind political parties that collection and return of PLASIEC form 001 by parties will end on November 7,” she said.

•Ahmed (right) presenting a cheque of N100 million to the President of the artisans, Alhaji Abdullahi Lanki (second right) during the ceremony in Ilorin...yesterday. With them are Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, Alhaji Raji Mohammed (left), the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Comrade Bisi Fakayode (second left), Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Comrade Clement Orire and Managing Director, KCMB Micro-Finance Bank, Mr. Abayo Ajayi.


Ahmed gives N100m loan to artisans

WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday distributed N100 million cheques to 47 artisan groups under the aegis of the state Artisans Congress. It was learnt that the revolving loan is aimed at boosting economic growth of the state. Ahmed said his administration would continue to embark on policies that would reduce unemployment, poverty and create wealth among the residents. The governor directed each of the 16 local governments to initiate revolving credit schemes for the artisans in their domains to add values to the socio-economic growth of the state. He said: “The distribution of

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

N100 million cheques as a revolving micro credit for Kwara State Artisans is, therefore, not only a fulfillment of a promise that was made last year but also takes us closer to our dream of an economically vibrant informal sector in view of our emphasis on small business promotion under Shared Prosperity.” “Our determination to fund your congress is because all of you are important to the economic development of our state and therefore deserve all necessary support”. “It is part of our strategies to address the problem of unemployment, reduce poverty, and boost the economic well

being of our people in tangible ways. “Let me therefore congratulate members of the Kwara State Artisan Congress for this unique opportunity to grow your business and build your wealth. The money you receive today will boost your various businesses and contribute to you and your families’ welfare.” Governor Ahmed also told the people that the loan should not be considered as part of government largesse, “rather, you should see it as a revolving fund to be recouped and made available to other members. “In view of this, you have a one-month moratorium and should repay the loan in full

within a period of one year so that other members can participate and grow their businesses”, he said. He also urged the beneficiaries to strictly adhere by the repayment schedule, to avoid sanctions and allow others benefit from the revolving loan. In his response, the state chairman of Artisans Congress, Alhaji Abdullahi Landy hailed the state government’s effort at banishing poverty and create wealth in the state. He therefore assured the state governor, Alhaji Ahmed that, the funds provided by the government through loan would be judiciously used.

Kwara local govt poll: Court adjourns hearing till Oct 28


FEDERAL High Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday adjourned hearing on the case filed by some aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Three chairmanship aspirants, said to be loyal to the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP, challenged the mode of selecting the candidates in the forthcoming local government election. They claimed that the candidates’ emergence was in gross violation of the PDP’s constitution, because no primary was held. The local government election is expected to hold on Saturday. The plaintiffs are: Alhaji Ademola Yusuf, Alhaji Adebayo Jimoh and Prince Haliru Dantosho Mahmud. The defendants are: the state PDP, Senator Bukola Saraki and chairman of the state PDP, Alhaji Ishola BalogunFulani.

•Poll to hold Saturday, says PDP From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Also joined in the case are: the chairmanship candidates of the local governments, Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC), the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS). Counsel to the PDP, Abiodun Dada, yesterday said the emergence of the candidates without conducting a primary was antithetical to the party’s constitution. The plaintiffs’ counsel, O.J Adeseko, complained to the court that the state PDP was trying to evade service of summons, arguing that the court bailiff was at the PDP state secretariat severally last week to serve the court summons to no avail. Adeseko said the hearing of the interlocutory injunction

slated for the day should continue. But Justice Olayinka Faaj said the inability of the bailiff to serve the summons was not a sufficient ground to continue the case. He adjourned the matter till October 28, when the state PDP would have been sufficiently served. Dada had filed a counter-affidavit against the that sworn to in support of the originating summons. The lawyer said he had the consent of the PDP National Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Kwon, that “the foundation for the conduct of same local government is the conduct of primary by all the interested candidates”. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has dismissed speculations that the local government election scheduled for Saturday has been postponed.

Alhaji Mas'ud Adebimpe, the PDP Publicity Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran yesterday that the party had put in place effective strategies to achieve victory. Adebimpe described those behind the rumour as "enemies of progress". The party spokesman urged the party's supporters to disregard such insinuations. "To put the record straight, the party has not cancelled the election as all arrangement as provided for by our party's constitution and the Electoral Act have been concluded," he said. He said the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking to restrain the electoral body from conducting the poll on the fixed date had been scheduled for a fresh hearing on November 7. Adebimpe said the adjournment of the suit did not stop the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) from conducting the election.

Aliyu: we’re not at war with Jonathan From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has said he and the state are not at war with President Goodluck Jonathan. The governor was reacting to the cold war between the President and the seven “rebellious” governors, c alled the G-7 of the ruling party. Aliyu spoke yesterday at the Government House in Minna when Christian pilgrims from the state for this year’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem paid him a farewell visit. The governor urged the intending pilgrims, who will join President Jonathan during the pilgrimage, to inform him of his new position. He said: “You are lucky you will be performing the pilgrimage with an important visitor (the President). If you have the opportunity, when you get to the holy land, please, tell President Jonathan that we don’t have any problem with him.” Aliyu and six other PDP governors have been at daggers-drawn with the party since the special national convention of the party at the Eagle Square in Abuja. The group has been calling for the removal of PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and for Jonathan not to contest in the 2015 election. Aliyu told the intending pilgrims that the disagreement was not a fight between the state and the President. The governor blamed the problems facing the country on ignorance among Nigerians. He advised that people should be abreast of developments around them and in the country. Aliyu noted that there was no reason for religious squabbles among Nigerians over their beliefs.

Gana heads Lar’s burial committee From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


HE Plateau State Government yesterday named former Information Minister, Prof Jerry Gana, as the Chairman of the committee for the burial of the first civilian governor of the state, Chief Solomon D. Lar. The first National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) died on October 9 at a United States hospital. He was 80. The national funeral committee comprises governments officials, family and chieftains of the ruling PDP. Istifanus Gyang is its secretary. A statement by James Mannok, the Director of Press Affairs to Governor Jonah Jang, said the state government had approved the committee. The statement said: “Membership (of the committee) is drawn from Plateau and Nassarawa states, the family of Chief Lar, The Presidency, Office of the Senate President, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives, the National Headquarters of the PDP as well as (Lar’s) associates from across the country. “The committee has been mandated to immediately begin preparations for a befitting funeral for one of the nation’s foremost statesmen and a pillar of democracy.”



NEWS Wife held for husband’s death in Anambra From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


Abia State GovernorTheodore Orji (second right), GOC 82 Division of the Nigeria Army Enugu, Maj.-Gen. AA Olaniyi (left), Chief of Army Staff Azubike Ihejirika (second left) and Brig. Gen. Abubarkar of the 14 Brigade Ohafia during their visit to the governor in Umuahia.

‘Why Enugu is rehabilitating federal roads’


NUGU State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Goddy Madueke has said the state government decided to rehabilitate some federal roads for economic benefits to the people. He spoke while inspecting the work on the 22-kilometre the Inyi-Amaetiti–Awlaw road. According to him, the road, which connects Abia, Imo and Anambra states, “will not only facilitate easy movement across those states and Enugu and cut the distance journey to half but it will open up economic activities in those areas”. The Commissioner said: “We are not going to accommodate any contractor that fails to meet up with the terms of contract, we are going to issue warning letters to them and if they fail to move fast, we will waste no time to terminate the job. “You can’t imagine the joy of the people when the contract was awarded early last year because it had been on the drawing board for decades and soon it will be a reality.” He said through Isuochi in Abia State, motorists can now easily go to Awka in Anambra State without going through the Port Harcourt Express Way. He also said the AmechiAmodu-Umueze road would soon be handed over to the state government. “The road is almost completed, apart from the portion recently washed away by high current flood recently and the shoulders; the road is almost done with and motorists going to Agbani and Law School can have easy and smooth ride,” he said.

‘I killed my mother to make money’


ETECTIVES attached to the Obosi Police Division in Anambra State have arrested a man, Tonna Enedo from the Umuezeshime royal family in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area, for allegedly killing his mother. Enedo spoke yesterday on why he killed his mother. He blamed the incident on his quest to make money at

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

all cost, adding that he was lured into a fraternity. He said he has slept in the mortuary for seven hours as part of the money-making rituals. Tonna said: “I was asked by the chief priest of the society that if I wanted to be rich, I should go and have fun


to kill his father when he mistakenly killed his mother. He said it was after he hit a metal on her head that he realised he had killed the woman he loved most. Tonna is a first-born from a divorced home. The parents divorced in 1984. He behaved like a mentally-challenged person in and around Obosi before the incident.

SURE-P not a scam, says Anyim


•500 women benefit from health scheme in Ebonyi

HE Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Ayim, yesterday said the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) was not a scam. He said the programme was a fulfilment of the promises made by President Goodluck Jonathan towards uplifting the living standard of the people. Anyim spoke at the Amaeze Primary Healthcare Centre, Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. during the launch of SURE-P Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Pilot Programme Launch. Over 500 women benefited from the CCT Pilot programme. Anyim said the programme was aimed at reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates, especially in rural and under-served communities. He said the programme would accelerate the country’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. The SGF, who was represented by a Federal Commissioner to Ebonyi State, Na-

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

tional Population Commission (NPC), Chris Okereke, urged Nigerians, especially pregnant women to be part of the CCT Pilot programme. He said: “This is a promise made and a promise fulfilled. You all know that during the electioneering period that President Goodluck Jonathan made a promise that he is coming to transform Nigeria through the transformation agenda and because we are already use to politicians making promises and not fulfilling them, most Nigerians thought that it will be the same thing but here we are because the promise made is not a television or radio programme. “It has been designed to enable women access to good quality healthcare, funds, immunisation among others; this is one of the agenda to make sure that all our women are healthy and for them not to be afraid of pregnancy and delivery. Government is doing its own and everybody should participate. All of us should

Protesters disrupt flight at Imo airport HE Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Imo State was temporarily grounded yesterday by protesting women from Umuohiagu autonomous community in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area. The women blocked the runway and the main entrance to the airport for over three hours, making it impossible for any aircraft to land or take off. The women, who stormed the airport with placards, reading: “Gover-

with a mad woman. I should also go and sleep with a body for seven hours; I should fast for seven days dry; I was told that I would first kill my father and the last stage is that I will go mad and after I might have completed all the condition, I will become the richest man in Africa, if not in the whole world.” He said he met all other conditions and was planning

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri.

nor, leave Umuohiagu to choose their traditional ruler”; “We don’t want any imposition,” were protesting the alleged imposition of Justice Ambrose Egu as their ruler. Governor Rochas Okorocha announced the retired Chief Judge as the Eze-elect of the community. The leader of the women, Mrs. Benadin Igbokwe, said they were unhappy with the alleged imposition.

She said the governor overlooked the process of selecting a ruler in the community, adding that Okorocha’s choice was unpopular with the people. She urged the governor to conduct a plebiscite if he was not satisfied with the process adopted by the community. Mrs. Igbokwe said the community would follow the established process in choosing its Eze. Airport security officials pacified the women to leave.

join hands and not stand on side line. Let us participate actively towards the transformation of this country. The government has started, join your hands, play our role and by God’s grace we will all be happy.” The Executive Director/ CEO of National Primary HealthCare and Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Abuja, Dr. Ado Muhammad, commended the Federal Government for the SURE-P initiative, saying it would serve as an incentive to women that they should visit health centres during their pregnancy period. He said: “The main reason we are here today is to showcase the functionality and benefits of the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT initiative under the SURE-P MCH programme; the CCT programme provides cash incentives to pregnant women in communities as a means of encouraging them to go through the full continuum of care. Today, we are launching our Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, programme in Ebonyi state and giving out the first hand-outs to qualified programme beneficiaries.”

Police rescue abducted woman in Aba From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba


Governor Martin Elechi, who was represented by his Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sunday Nwangele, said the SURE-P (MCH) began operation in the state in October 2012, adding that the State Steering Committee was inaugurated on July 11 . He said: “In 2008, the Mother and Child care Initiative of the first lady, Mrs. Josephine Elechi also established a VVF centre, today known as National Obstetric Fistula Centre, NOFC, where over 1, 725 women with obstetric fistula and many others with uterine prolapse have been cured free of charge. Notably, these women came from over 20 other states across the nation.”

Abia rewards 12 pupils with cash, scholarships Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia


48-YEAR-OLD woman, Felicia Obieze, is being held by the police in Anambra State for the death of her husband, Chukwudi Olisakwe. The late Olisakwe died at Amada village in Idemili North Local Government Area. The deceased was a barber at Ugamuma village in Obosi. The suspect, in a chat at the Obosi Police Division, said she was not responsible for the death of the man who she claimed she loved so much. She attributed the incident to the ill-health the deceased had for close to six months. She said: “How can I kill my own husband? I have never quarrelled with him for over eight years we have been living under one roof. The truth is that he was sick and I called my brother and my husband said we should take him to his pastor and when we went to the pastor, he insisted that we should not buy any drug. The pastor said we should have faith in God and when he noticed that the problem was out of hand, the pastor then sent us out of his house.” The Divisional Police Officer, Obosi Police Division, Dimale J.O, confirmed the incident and said the suspect was helping the police in their investigation.

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has given scholarship to 12 pupils who came first in the Pre-Centenary Interstate Presidential debate for primary schools and the inter-state science exhibition for primary schools in Abuja. The governor spoke in Umuahia when he received the 12 pupils and their teachers. The scholarship to the 12 pupils will take them up to the university level. They will also get N100,000 in appreciation of their feat. Six of the pupils took part in the Pre-Centenary Inter-state Presidential debate for primary schools and the other six took part in a competition by the Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria. Orji said: “I don’t want this pledge to end here. I will approve same and get the money out for them to deposit in their banks.” He gave the N1 million to the teachers. He said: “This is for the good works you the teachers have done on the pupils to make them come first during the presidential debate and science exhibition.”


EN of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Aba Area Command and military personnel have rescued an Aba-based businesswoman, Ebere A m a r a c h u k w u Chimaranma, from her abductors. Chimaranma, The Nation gathered, was kidnapped at Umuchichi village behind Glass Industries, Aba, Abia State around 6pm on October 16 by three gunmen. She was said to have gone to the village to monitor the work done on a building construction site before her abduction. According to an eyewitness, who pleaded for anonymity, the three men arrived the construction site minutes after the woman arrived. The witness said: “The woman was inspecting how the labourers at the site were pouring the German floor with the site engineer when three boys, suspected to be kidnappers, arrived at the site and ordered her to enter her Honda Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) car. The kidnappers were said to have dropped her in a village at Obingwa where she was later picked up by the police and military joint team on Sunday evening. Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Geoffrey Ogbonna confirmed the release of the businesswoman.



NEWS Lawmakers probe Oduah’s N255m bulletproof vehicles Continued from page 4

•Imo State women protesting the alleged harrasment of government officials by anti-graft agencies in Owerri, the state capital...yesterday

National Assembly to give dialogue legal framework Continued from page 4

forms since the year 2000 in fact immediately after the coming into being of this particular republic,” Ekweremadu said, adding: “We had the National Assembly Joint Committee on Constitution Review which you are quite aware of. “We had a number of challenges culminating in 2010 when we successfully amended the constitution for the first time and we have done it two other times after that and we are now in the fourth phase of the constitution reform exercise. “For us during those exercises, we have come to terms with the reality of the necessity for improvement in our country. “Now that we have looked at the 1999 Constitution from 1999 and have tried to do some few amendments, it is therefore possible that based on our experience with the practice and exercise of the review process, there are changes that are fundamental that must be made to ensure that this country progresses normally and so that is where your job comes in. “My understanding from what you said is that your committee is to create a framework for this dialogue, to provide intellectual background that will enable those who will have the conversation to do something that is seamless. “It is not an easy job because

it is difficult at this stage to determine the character of representation but that is the business of your committee, so we are not going to worry ourselves about that. “We believe that you will deal with that. For us in the National Assembly, I think our most important job in this whole exercise is to provide the necessary legal framework that will support whatever is the outcome of both your own committee and the committee that comes after it. “We envisaged, as I said earlier from the work we have done over this years that a day such as this will come. So, in the present constitutional amendment exercise, we proposed to our colleagues a possible amendment to Section 9 of the Constitution that will provide the legal basis for a possible new Constitution. “Because today, what we have in our Constitution in the process of amendment, there is no such provision in this Constitution that can successfully power a new constitution. “So, we borrowed examples of other countries that have had this kind of experience, like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Brazil, to bring into our constitution some framework that can support a possible new constitution in the future. “We made this proposal in the amendment process we are

doing now and I will tell clearly that the Senate has passed that proposal. “So, we are hoping that when we meet with the House for the harmonisation that they will also support this initiative especially now that your work is in progress. “If that happens then most of the fears would have been addressed. Because if we said that we are a country that believes in the rule of law, we must do everything in accordance with the law and not the rule of the thumb. “So when we hear people talking about sovereign national conference, referendum and all that there must be a legal basis for it. So you don’t wake up when you have a constitutional government in place and say you want a sovereign national conference, you impose the will of the people on everybody without a legal basis. “That is absolutely very difficult. Other countries have had this type of challenge and what they did first was to provide a legal basis for what they are doing. Otherwise you are calling for anarchy. “So, we believe that we can all work together to make this process workable and that will help everybody at the end of the day so that whatever you are doing or whatever you would have done would not be an exercise in futility. “We will do our own part, we believe you will do your own part. Our prayer is that God will guide you so that whatever work you will do would help to create a better environment for our people and we do hope that we will address these issues with an open mind because I think it is important that we realize that we are better off as a country living together. It is very important. “Nigeria is respected all across the globe because of our size and our diversity. So, I don’t think that anything that will affect in any way the world status we enjoy today is something anybody will want to recommend. “So, in all these exercise, we must bear in mind that already we have particular status in the continent and of course within the global community which we need to preserve in every way possible. “It is very important that we realise this because we have come to live together as one

country and God who put us together did not make a mistake. “We can make the best out of this even though you want to call it coincidence. “We are not the only country that is diverse in terms of population, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. “No, there are so many countries like that and yet they are living together. So, we can make the best out of our own circumstances.” Chairman of the committee, Senator Femi Okurounmu, in his remarks said that the mandate of his committee was to consult widely with all Nigerians in respect of the proposed National Conference, particularly with a view to what should be on the agenda of the conference. He said that the committee would also determine what issues to be tabled on the agenda, what should be the size of the proposed National Conference, what should be the duration and the duration of the conference. He noted that how the membership of the conference will be chosen and others were some of the critical issues on which they want to seek the views of Nigerians. He added that the committee would consider what should be the legal basis for the conference and the legal basis for incorporating the findings and recommendations of the conference and transmitting them into the constitution of Nigeria so they become part of the constitution. He said: “We have started our job of consulting with Nigerians. We have made two stops already. We have stopped over in Akure (Ondo State). We have stopped over in Jos (Plateau State). “Our plan is to make two stops in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “So we are making it 13 stops on the whole. And as a very critical stakeholder in this whole enterprise, that is the National Assembly, you are one of the most powerful stakeholders in the Nigerian enterprise. “We feel that we must also come and consult with you. So, that is why we are here this afternoon, Mr. Deputy Senate President.”

NAMA: we didn’t buy Limousines Continued from page 4

The said vehicles were never on the inventory of NAMA and we would like to declare with all emphasis that we do not run ground services as we are statutorily an air navigation ser-

vice provider. We would like to advise that the media be wary of unconfirmed stories from mischief makers who are bent on creating chaos in the aviation industry.”

thority ( NCAA) for Honourable Minister of Aviation, pursuant to Section 88 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”, was enthusiastically received by members during the plenary session. Osagie, leading the debate, said over the past four weeks, the nation had been inundated with the stories of the purchase of $1.6m BMW bullet proof cars by the NCAA for the minister. He said given “the poverty and unemployment ravaging our dear nation and its people , it will be absurd, unthinkable and indeed unpatriotic for an agency of government to connive with its political head to incur such an expenditure simply for the comfort and safety of one public officer”. “The furore generated by the said matter has left tongues wagging as the sincerity and objectivity of this administrations’ stand on the fight against corruption as again re-emphasised by Mr. President’s nationwide broadcast on October 1st 2013 ( just three weeks ago).” The lawmaker added that “the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMAFC) has elaborate recommendation as to the way public officers, including ministers are to be catered for in terms of salaries and emoluments, housing and motor vehicle, which recommendations have been passed into law by the National Assembly.” Osagie said the issue raised a fundamental question “on why

we are in the state we are”. “That they purchased two vehicle of such an amount; this is a country that the university system has been shut down in the last four months; where criminality has taken over the rein of government. “This is a country that is asking for a permanent seat in the United Nations.” Haruna Kigbu (Nasarawa Sate) noted that it was necessary to thrash the matter in parliament. “This is an issue we should talk about until we get it right. We have over 30 ministers and if they are all buying bullet proof vehicles at this amount, it will impact negatively on the economy,” he said, adding: “When we engage the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), we discover there is a lot of extra budgetary spending. A minister is not greater than a senator or a Representative. “Very soon, Senators and Reps would be asking for bullet proof vehicles when we can’t feed the poor or give quality education to the people.” Hassan Saleh deplored a situation whereby aircraft inspectors were not being paid allowances, yet $1.6 million was being spent on cars. Emmanuel Jimeh (PDP Benue) said: “This calls for serious introspection in this House on the way public officers are conducting their business. I have listened and I am not in any doubt that the said amount was used for the purchase of the vehicles. The main question is where is the nexus between the purchase of the vehicles for the minister and air safety in this country.

FCT: Why New PDP office must be demolished Continued from page 4

was suspended from the party for not rescinding a decision by the Assembly suspending the executive of a local government. “I recall that the same building was being used as the national secretariat of another political party, the National Democratic Party (NDP), before we acquired it,” he said, adding: “At that time, they did not realise that it violated land use now they want to demolish a building simply because they perceive the owner to be antigovernment. What do we make of this madness?” Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the building is owned by a Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN) from the Southeastern .

But the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Development Control, Mr. Kalu Emetu, clarified the position of the FCT authorities. According to him, the directive is for the building to revert to residential use and not for commercial purpose as it is being used by the faction. Emetu warned that failure to revert to residential use would lead to the FCT sealing off the building until the directive is obeyed. The PRO said in situations where residential areas are used for commercial purposes, the available facilities, such as water, electricity and other amenities get overstretched. This, he said, puts pressure on the facilities leading to a breakdown as a result of the large number of people using such limited facilities.

Reps to back dialogue panel


HE House of Representatives yesterday assured the advisory committee on national dialogue/conference set up by President Goodluck Jonathan that the National Assembly would support them in their assignment. Making the pronouncement yesterday while receiving the committee, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha said the National Assembly was ready to enact laws that would entrench democracy in Nigeria. Receiving the Femi Okurounmu-led committee yesterday, Ihedioha assured the advisory committee that the National Assembly would support them in whatever way possible. Ihedioha said the committee comprised personalities with

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

high integrity, adding that the presidential panel should keep interacting with the legislature to have good inputs into their recommendations. He said: “We’re very ready at any time to do anything that will enhance the lives of Nigerians. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure the unity of the country and see to it that democracy is entrenched Nigeria. So, we’ll give you our support where necessary.” According to him, the voting by members on the constitution review proposals in July showed that the House has since begun the process of engaging Nigerians in national dialogue and indeed kept faith with their wishes and aspirations of the people.




Amnesty criticises US drone programme in Pakistan A

MNESTY International called on the U.S. to investigate reports of civilians killed and wounded by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in a report released Tuesday that provided new details about the alleged victims of the attacks, including a 68-year-old grandmother hit while farming with her grandchildren. Mamana Bibi's grandchildren told the London-based rights group that she was killed by missile fire on Oct. 24, 2012, as she was collecting vegetables in a family field in the North Waziristan tribal area, a major militant sanctuary near the Afghan border. Three of Bibi's grandchildren were wounded in the strike, as were several others who were nearby, the victims said. The U.S. considers its drone program to be a key weapon against insurgent groups that it says stages cross-border forays into neighboring Afghanistan. But the belief, widespread in Pakistan, that the strikes kill large numbers of civilians sparks resentment and complicates the two countries’ ability to coordinate efforts against militants based in the country, including al-Qaida. An even deadlier incident noted by the report - titled “’Will I be next?’ U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan”- occurred in North Waziristan on July 6, 2012. Witnesses said a volley

We complied with Int’l laws, says U.S.


HE United States has defended its drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, saying it takes "extraordinary care" to ensure they comply with international law. The unmanned raids targeting terror suspects were a "course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life", the White House said. It follows allegations by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International of the unlawful killing of civilians. Pakistan's PM on Tuesday urged the US to end drone attacks in his country. Speaking at the start of a visit to the US, Nawaz Sharif said the attacks violated his country's sovereignty. He added that the raids were a "major irritant" in relations with Washington. Drone warfare has become common in the US pursuit of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Few details are known about these covert operations, which are directed remotely from control rooms, often on other continents. The new Amnesty International report has of missiles hit a tent where a group of men had gathered for an evening meal after work, and then a second struck those who came to help the wounded, one of a number of attacks that have hit rescuers, the rights group said. Witnesses and relatives said that total of 18 male laborers with no links to militant groups died, according to Amnesty. Pakistani intelligence officials at the time identified the dead as suspected militants. Amnesty called on the U.S.

sought to document more evidence of civilian deaths in drone strikes than before, but some of the cases they have brought forth as examples were already known to the media. As for local claims of civilian deaths in strikes targeting militant camps, they are almost impossible to prove. One reason is the restricted media access in the region. The other is the militants' tendency to cordon off the targeted sites and make quick burials. But Waziristan is a small place, with wellknit tribal clans living and interacting closely with each other. Civilian deaths cannot go unnoticed here, and anecdotal evidence travels fast. The general impression that one gets from talking to elders and correspondents from the area is that drone strikes are for the most part accurate, causing little or no collateral damage. They say if civilians deaths had been as high as those mentioned in some recent international reports, there would have been more of an outcry against it both socially and also in the media.

to comply with its obligations under international law by investigating the killings documented in the report and providing victims with “full reparation.” The U.S. carried out its first drone strike in Pakistan in 2004 and has carried out nearly 350 more since then, the majority of which have been in North Waziristan. Pakistani officials regularly denounce the attacks in public as a violation of the country's sovereignty, but senior mem-

bers of the government and the military are known to have supported the strikes in the past. “Amnesty International is also extremely concerned about the failure of the Pakistani authorities to protect and enforce the rights of victims of drone strikes,” said the report. “Pakistan has a duty to independently and impartially investigate all drone strikes in the country and ensure access to justice and reparation for victims of violations.”

Myanmar's Suu Kyi finally collects 1990 prize


UNG San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize laureate and long-time political prisoner, has finally collected the European Union's 1990 Sakharov Prize for human rights. In yesterday's stirring ceremony, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that "23 years later, we welcome you here and it is a great moment." Suu Kyi has persevered for decades in promoting democracy. She and her National League for Democracy party were frozen out of politics by the military regime that governed until 2011, and last year she and several dozen party

• Suu Kyi

members won parliamentary seats. However, a clause in the army-dictated constitution disqualifies her from becoming president. She is now seeking the constitutional changes that would allow her to seek the presidency.

Afghanistan says issues on U.S. security pact unresolved


FGHANISTAN and the United States have not yet agreed on several issues in a bilateral security pact, a senior Afghan spokesman said, raising the prospect that Washington may yet pull out all of its troops next year unless differences are ironed out. Two years ago, the United States ended its military mission in Iraq with a similar "zero option" outcome after the failure of talks with Baghdad. For almost a year, Washington and Kabul have been seeking to conclude a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that will help determine how many U.S. soldiers and bases remain in Afghanistan after most foreign combat troops exit by the end of next year. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters at the end of a visit to Kabul this month that there was just one issue outstanding - Washington's demand that its troops be immune from Afghan law and tried in the United States instead. But this request was not even raised in the two days Kerry was in Kabul, said Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"A lot of progress has been made on the document, but it is not finalized," Faizi told Reuters in an interview at the presidential palace. "If we do not reach a final agreement on this draft, it will go to the Loya Jirga and the Afghan people will be able to look at the issues remaining." Faizi said. "If it's unfinished, it means that there are some areas even the two governments have not yet reached an agreement on." The Loya Jirga, an assembly of tribal elders, is to meet in November to discuss the security agreement. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration however regards the language hammered out during Kerry's visit as final.


CHANGE OF NAME OMANG I formerly known and addressed as MISS ANNE OMANG, now wish to be known and addressed as MISS ANNE VERONA. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as GIWA OMOGBOLAHAN LUKMAN, now wish to be known and addressed as GIWA OMOGBOLAHAN ADEGOKE. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE • President Omar Bashir of Sudan arriving at the South Sudanese capital, Juba to resolve outstanding issues with his South Sudanese counterpart, President Salva Kir...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Syrian rebels battle govt. forces in Damascus surburb


YRIAN government forces battled yesterday with al-Qaida-linked rebels trying to capture an ancient Christian town north of Damascus, activists and the state media said. The Jabhat al-Nusra, or Nusra Front, appears to have targeted Sadad because of its strategic location near the main highway north of Damascus, rather than because it is Christian. But hard-liners among the rebels are hostile to Syria's Christian minority, who tend to support the government of President Bashar Assad, and other al-Qaida-linked fighters have damaged and desecrated churches in areas they have seized. The assault on Sadad, some 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Damascus, began at dawn Monday, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Local police fought back the initial assault and were reinforced by the army. The rebel attack seemed to

Senior Rebel commander killed in southern Syria


SENIOR rebel commander in southern Syria has been killed while fighting government troops near the city of Deraa, activists and state media say. Yasser al-Abboud, a former Syrian army officer who defected, reportedly died while leading an assault on army checkpoints in the town of Tafas. Known as Abu Ammar, he headed the rebel Supreme Military Council's "operations room" in eastern Deraa province. State television described him as a "criminal, treacherous... deserter". Mr Abboud was the leader of the FallujahHoran Brigade, and one activist told the AFP

target a chief hospital in the town, said the Observatory, which monitors fighting through a network of activists on the ground. He said that there was also fighting in the nearby town of Muhin and that the Nusra Front controlled the main road leading to Damascus. President Bashar Assad has drawn support from Syria's

news agency that he was "one of the most effective commanders on the ground". News of his death came after government aircraft carried out four strikes on areas southeast of the capital, Damascus, that were captured by rebels over the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The rebel advance followed a suicide bombing at a checkpoint between the rebel-held suburb of Mulaiha and government stronghold of Jaramana. The al-Nusra Front said it was behind the attack. South-west of the capital, there were fierce clashes in the suburb of Muadhamiya as government forces continued their assault.

patchwork of ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians and members of his Alawite sect, a Shiite offshoot, in the country's civil war, now in its third year. The rebels are dominated by Syria's Sunni Muslim majority. Al-Qaida-linked militant groups such as the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are among the most

active rebel factions in Syria. They have fought other rebel brigades to seize strategic border areas, and are also battling Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Also Tuesday, Sigrid Kaag, the head of the team charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons, said Damascus had so far "fully cooperated" with the mission.

RE: TENSION IN OYIGBO TIMBER MARKET OVER UNION LEADERSHIP In line with the elder's resolve and plea for a peaceful resolution on the above subject matter, published on page 18 of the National Network of October 2 - 8, 2013. I hereby wish to withdraw my comment on the said publication, pending the outcome of the resolution with the elders. Signed: Mr. Michael Esioneze Chairman


THE WORD RECONCILIATION ARMY EVANGELICAL MINISTRY This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for the registration under part of the ‘’C’’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990. THE TRUSTEES 1. Pastor Nathaniel Evans Odimma 2. Pastor Uchenna Okpara 3. Dimkpa ThankGod Roman 4. Brother Ile Goddey 5. Brother Saturday Eke. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ORGANIZATION 1. Reconciling the world to God 2. To lead people to Christ 3. To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus 4. To win soul for Christ Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) PLOT 565, NDOLA SQUARE, WUSE ZONE 5, ABUJA within 28 days of the publication.












‘Except in Nigeria where anything goes, it is absolutely unethical for the minister to have accepted ‘gifts’ from the NCAA, an agency she supervises’ VOL.8 NO.2,645



N keeping with my promise of last week, below is the longest of the reactions to my tribute to Sarkin Zazzaun Suleja, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim, on occasion of the celebration of the 20th year since his ascension. This reaction and the next will be the last of such lengthy reactions I will publish under my column, much as I would like to promote sensible debates on issues. Henceforth any response by text or email longer than 150 words should be sent to the editors of this newspaper who, of course, have the discretion to publish or not. Sarkin Zazzaun Suleja Sir, A couple of years ago I wrote to you when you referred to the late President Umaru Musa as a subject of the emir of Katsina. Yet again, you have used the same characterization for a whole lot of people, the people of Suleja and no doubt, by extension other Nigerians as subjects. I was deeply disappointed when you referred to the President of a whole country of over 170 million people as a subject. I am not writing this to castigate you, but to ask that you please re-examine one of the most fundamental of all beliefs, namely, if in this day and age or in any age for that matter, the ruler / subject worldview is moral, democratic or decent. In my mind, there is no decency in a world where we still refer to citizens as subjects. We should be actively challenging and dismantling such primitive institutions and moving our people toward a world of equal worth, to a merit based world, a democratic world, where hereditary or anointed leaders is a thing of the past. To paraphrase a famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a quote you know very well, “We should judge a person by the content of their character and contribution and not by any other consideration” I mentioned to you in the last letter I wrote to you regarding referring the late Umaru Musa as a subject, that many, many years ago, at the beginning of your brilliant writing career and a self-made rising star, I happened to be around a couple of your friends, people you knew very well, when some of them made what was meant as a disparaging comment regarding your humble beginnings. The moment I heard the comment I instinctively reacted because it felt raw, unfair, mean spirited and elitist. They were clearly saying in no uncertain terms, “well so what, he is still a subject, therefore beneath us”. I took offence and said something to the effect that “the guy has good character, is friendly, humble, sharp and hardworking, what more do you want?” As far as I was concerned they were no better than you. I knew jealousy is a universal human condition and our friends were young and therefore might not yet have been fully discerning, but it didn’t make it any less offensive. Sadly, there you were effectively saying the same of the late Umaru Musa and now the people of Suleja and by extension the people of Nigeria. Sure, there is an important distinction; you were not saying it to be mean spirited or out of jealousy. Nevertheless, the word, the characterization and the world it describes is fundamentally


AST Wednesday, Hardball cottoned on to Governor Babangida Aliyu’s boast that his mother is his guardian angel and avatar; warning his (political enemies) to beware. “My mother is still escorting me,” he had said. “So go and do whatever you want to do against me,” he warned detractors. However, Hardball returns to Niger State today not to troubleshoot or test the might of Mama Aliyu, far from it. On the contrary, Hardball is an ardent worshipper at the altar of motherhood. This return to Governor Aliyu’s empire was triggered by the picture of an armada of long, open boats – you may call them gondolas - used for ferry services on the River Niger near the Kainji Reservoir area where Kebbi and Niger states meet. The bold, colourful picture captures a row of about a dozen of these large, wooden open gondolas all moored at what is obviously a ferry station. The picture also shows that some of the boats are already full to tipping point with men, women and children, their colourful attires defying the murky water and perilous environment. If

People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA

Sarkin Zazzaun Suleja et al

•Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim

demeaning. That world and that word should be assigned to the dustbin of history. In my eyes, I put no one above you and you are not someone’s subject by any definition of the word. You are one of the few people in that country that have earned their place in life by striving to maximize the gifts the Almighty God gave you. No one gave you anything. You earned it fair and square. You didn’t become who you are by chance or through connections or any sort of patronage, that much is very clear about you. What the people of Suleja and everyone else for that matter need, is someone who would contribute in real terms, to the quality of their lives. The real king, the real prince, the real princess, is literally in the trenches, working, producing, toiling, sweating and getting dirty with the people. That is the only qualification you need to become a king, a prince, a princess, and every single person could become that. In that world there is no subject. Sahalu Saidu Etsu Nupe Sir, Thank you very much for your columns. They are always informative and educative. Please keep it up. My only comments or observations on your tribute to Etsu Yahaya Abubakar are as follows. Firstly, Etsu Yahaya is not the 13th Etsu Nupe. He is the 36th. Why? If you analyse Nupe history from 1300 to date, you will discover that we had 19 authentic or independent or non-controversial Etsu Nupe starting from Tsoede, the first Etsu Nupe (1483-1591), to the last Etsu Nupe Muhammadu (1795-1805) before the Fulani jihad.

The period from 1805-1832 was characterized by succession dispute, factionalisation, Fulani intervention and ascendency. Hence during this period puppet Etsu Nupe were produced and retained in power by the Fulanis until they finally took over the title in 1832. It is a historical fact that Mallam Dendo throughout his life refused to crown himself as Etsu Nupe. Rather he gave the title to his favourites from any of the two factionalized or divided Tsoede dynasty (Yissazhi and Gwagwazhi) while he himself retained the real power. This situation continued until he died in 1832 when his children took over the title and the power that went with it. This continued up till 1897 when one of the faction sided British (Royal Niger Company) against Bida. Therefore if we add 19 independent Etsu Nupe from Tsoede dynasty (Old Nupe kingdom) with 17 Fulani Etsu Nupezhi, then Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya is 36th Etsu Nupe not 13th. We have 17 not 13 Fulani Etsu Nupes because Usman Zaki, Masaba, Abubakar, and Muhammadu Makun each reigned twice. Thus if you add 4 to 13 you will get 17 Fulani Etsu Nupes not 13. Additionally, if we are to talk of Etsu Nupes that ruled from Bida, the correct count would make Etsu Yahaya the 15th not 13th because Abubakar and Muhammadu Maku ruled twice from Bida. From the foregoing analysis the appropriate position Etsu Yahaya occupies in Nupe history is 36th. In addition to the tribute you paid the Etsu, let me say he is a peace maker, bridge builder, reformer, role model, pillar of unity and a socioeconomic promoter. Furthermore, when you mentioned national leaders Niger State has produced so far you left out Dr. Nnamadi Azikwe, the First President in Nigeria who was born in Zungeru, and General Inuwa Wushishi, former Chief of Army Staff. Finally, the attack on Bida was by Royal Niger Company not British West African Frontier Force. Again the war lasted 12 days not two days and 17 British Soldiers including Lieutenant Thompson lost their lives, not eight as was said in one of the feedback to your article. Also the person who criticised your assertion that after the fall of Bida, the rest of the Sokoto caliphate fell easily was wrong because with the fall of Bida, as you said, other Emirates and


Chiefdoms in what is now Nigeria fell like a pack of cards. In fact, it was only Bida that fought gallantly against Europeans. This was evidence in Goldie’s words when he said “Nupe has always and rightly been looked upon as by far the most powerful State of the Sokoto Empire and the fall of Bida will strike terror far and wide”. Danjuma Ismaila National Archives Ilorin. 07034563107 The National Conference Sir, Please recall my earlier text to you on National Conference being convened by President Jonathan in which I said I objected to your write up. You should disregard my comments as I later realised you and I were saying the same thing in certain aspects of your write up concerning the behaviour of our politicians not keeping faith with the constitution. The only area I still object to is in your belief that Jonathan is playing the same game of insincerity simply because the previous military leaders played the same game in the past. Ekiran SP +2348028258487 Sir, I can assure you that Jonathan will fail in this gamble. I come from the South-South and I don’t think any sensible person down here will vote for this man again in 2015. Whatever result he will gather here would be rigged by people like Goodwill Akpabio, the Army, the Police and the INEC. If the security personnel were loyal only to the Constitution, Jonathan would score zero in non-Ijaw areas of the South-South. +2348086220897 Sir, At least the president did not mention “Kare jini biri jini” in his quest to conquer 2015 election. Edward Ali kumo +2348071300190 Prognosis of governorship election in Niger State Sir, If you cannot promote your brother Nupes for governor your silence would have been better. Your cousin, General M. A. Garba (rtd), has been in forefront of the struggle to produce one. May God protect him for his services to the Nupe people. You only serve the interest of your masters who are settlers in Niger. We know you were press secretary to one of them. In sha Allah, your prayer of making his son in law governor will not be answered and a Nupe man or woman will win as is the wish of your progressive cousin and other progressives across the Nupeland. Wing Cdr Magana( rtd) +2348126980353 Sir, (Contrary to your remark that only Niger, Kano and Ogun States have produced more than one head of state each), I thought Katsina also produced both Gen Muhammadu Buhari and the late President Umaru Yar’adua. +16623806072 •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Gov. Aliyu’s gondolas

differently: Governor Babangida Aliyu immediately banned the use of old boats for ferrying passengers across the Niger River. “The action,” according to an official statement, “is intended to ensure that old and rickety boats do not continue to kill valuable lives in the riverine communities.” The Ministry of Transportation was mandated to ensure full compliance with safety standards. It is nice to note that Niger State has such a thing as Ministry of Transportation. Hardball would be interested to know its functions. There is no doubt that a large population of people live in the riverine communities of Borgu and Yauri, both in Niger and Kebbi states. Over the years they have developed giant local boat to ferry themselves. The onus is now on the governments of these states, especially the Chief Servant of Niger State, to provide this mass of people with modern water mass transit system; if not to completely change but to supplement this dangerous and obsolete mode of mass movement, including the supply of life jackets. Governor Aliyu can do better than banning old boats.

it were the scene of a traditional boat regatta it would have been awesome as the boats bear so much beauty and aesthetics even in their obsolescence. It isn’t a regatta but a mass transit ferry service, which probably moves thousands of people daily at a point across the great River Niger between Zamare and Yauri in Kebbi State and Kokoli to Ulakami in Borgu, Niger State. It is this oddly beautiful picture of mass transit in Nigeria in 2013 that caught our eyes. It is the picture of forbearing and long-suffering Nigerians, deprived, abandoned and exposed to the perils of the elements that stopped Hardball in his track. Hardball had of course read about the incessant carnage on this ferry route. Recall that in September and early October two major boat mishaps happened on this route, which could have claimed over a hundred lives. On September 3 , one of the gondolas

cramped with about 70 passengers (imagine a large wooden boat bearing this number of people) heading to Ulakami village from Kokoli market capsized and no fewer than 30 people died, mainly women and their children. An eyewitness account said most of the victims were from Ujiji, Tugan Liman, Kanshi Bawa, Dunga Sarkawa, remote settlements around Ulakami village. Another survivor said the boat split into two about half way into the journey and drowned all the passengers on board. Curiously, while some of the indigenes thought the frequent accidents on this side of the River Niger is because the gods are angry over their annual sacrifice; others point out that the boats are often overloaded and therefore cannot withstand the strong current occasioned by the heavy rainfall of the season. Government, on its part, reacted

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The Nation Oct 23, 2013  
The Nation Oct 23, 2013