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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Dangote makes world’s most powerful list NEWS Page 11

•Russia’s Putin topples Barack Obama

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•Govt to complete projects

VOL. 8, NO. 2653 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013



40,093 PHCN workers get N292b handshake


HE unbundled energy behemoth – Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) – will be transferred to new owners tomorrow, the Federal Government said yesterday. The government said it had paid 40,093 workers of the fading firm N292.51 billion as severance package.

•New owners take over tomorrow From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, told reporters at the State House after a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo that the cash comprises N214.22 billion for severance and N80.290 billion

for pension. With the payment, all is set for the transfer of the PHCN to the new owners tomorrow. Igali said of the 47,913 PHCN workers who were identified after validation, regularisation and crosschecking, the payment of only 5,907 workers was being de-

layed due to lack of biometric data records and duplications . He said: “We have been asked by the Vice President to update you on the outcome of the briefing, which he has just received for the preparations towards the handover of PHCN assets to the new owners by 1st of November. So far, Continued on page 2


N255m bulletproof cars: Customs loses N10.133m Probe is political, says Coscharis FAAN ‘bought two Lexus Limousines for Minister Oduah’


ORE shocking facts emerged yesterday on Aviation Minister Stella Oduah’s N255 million bulletproof cars. Duties were not paid for the luxury cars, Customs said. The vehicles came in free, using waivers meant for the Lagos State Sports Festival (Eko 2012), a House of Representatives probe panel was told. The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) bought the cars from automobile giant Coscharis, which battled fiercely yesterday to defend its integrity. Speaking at the hearing on

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

the purchase of the two BMW cars, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Modern Research and Economic Relations, Manasa Daniel Jatau, said N10,133,505.74, which should have come into the coffers of the Federal Government, was waived for Coscharis. Jatau said the port of entry for the cars was PTML Terminal, TinCan Island Port, Lagos. The Port of Loading was Beanr Antwerpen Port, Netherlands. The vessel/ carrier was Grimaldi Line/ Grande Atlantic VO513. According to him, duties

Salami unfairly treated by NJC, says Uwais


T was fantastic farewell to a fearless Jurist who was “unfairly treated”. Retiring Appeal Court President Justice Isa Ayo Salami was all smiles as the encomiums came down in torrents. Former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mohammed Uwais SEE said the NaALSO tional Judicial Council (NJC) PAGES – judiciary’s 4,5&15 highest ad-

From Yusuf Alli and Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

ministrative body - acted unfairly in the manner it handled Justice Salami’s suspension. He regretted that a body peopled by eminent and experienced minds could act in the manner the NJC treated Justice Salami. It was all in Abuja at the launch of a book titled: “Isa Ayo Salami: Through life and justice”, written in honour of

were not paid because of the waiver, but the “beneficiary should have been Lagos State”. Jatau said this was because the approval issued from the Office of the National Security Adviser with end user number 000001672 dated 6th of June 2013 was in the name of Lagos State. “The waiver was given to Lagos State for an event that happened in 2012. Coscharis applied to the Ministry of Finance, saying that the beneficiary is Lagos State,” he said. A letter from the Budget Office of the Federation under the Ministry of Finance, dated 20 November, 2012 and addressed to the Governor of

•Maduka addressing the panel...yesterday

Lagos State with the title: “Import Duty, VAT, ETLS, CISS and Port Charges Waiver Certificate”, and tendered before

the committee by Customs, reads in part: “I am directed to refer to your letter dated 23rd June 2012 in the above subject


matter and to convey the approvalof Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief Continued on page 2

ALL ’S •ALL ALL’S WELL THA T THAT ENDS WELL... Justice Salami flanked by Gen. Buhari (right) and Asiwaju Tinubu... yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Continued on page 2




NEWS N255m bulletproof cars: Customs loses N10.133m Continued from page 1

to the Lagos State Government for the waiver of Import Duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), ETLS, CISS and other port charges in respect of the importation of 300 units of BMW, Ford, Land Rover, Range Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Escalade, Jaguar and buses ( Petrol/Diesel) for use during the 18th National Sports Festival ( EKO 2012) to be imported through Messrs Coscharis Motors Nige-

•From left: Chairman Arik Air,Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide ,MD/CEO Eco Bank,Mr Jubril Aku,wife of Chairman,Arik Air ,Mrs MaryArumemi Ikhide ,Assistant Vice President,Globa Sales Arik,Mr Trevor Henry during the unveiling of Arik Air’s new A330-200 Aircraft as part of PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH events marking the seventh anniversary of the airline at the Airk hangar in Lagos…yesterday. Story on 58

Salami unfairly treated by NJC, says Uwais Continued from page 1

Justice Salami. The former CJN, who was the event’s Chairman, argued

that it was wrong for the NJC to have involved President Goodluck Jonathan in its decision to discipline Justice Salami. Relying on the provisions of Section 153 (2) of the Constitution, Justice Uwais restated his earlier position that President Jonathan lacked the powers to suspend any judge. He argued that having retired on October 15, Justice Salami’s suspension automatically lapsed. “Sometime in April 2011, I expressed my opinion on the issue in answer to a question by the media in Lagos. “Let me now expatiate what informed my answer that it is the NJC that is vested with the power to suspend a judicial official (a judge that is) for misconduct, as a disciplinary measure, and not the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “It follows that Justice Isa Ayo Salami has been unfairly treated by the NJC. It is disturbing, to say the least that the NJC, whose membership consists of

eminent and experienced judges and lawyers, should act in the manner they treated Justice Salami. Former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN) argued that Justice Salami was unduly maligned. He said all the allegations made against him were not true. Ibrahim, who said he had known Justice Salami for long, added that he was incapable of committing all the atrocities that his name was wrongly associated with. “We have known him from his youth in the profession. He is a humble gentleman by any standard of the word. He is an intelligent human being, and above all, a man of integrity.” Former President of the Court of Appeal Justice Mamman Nasir was delighted at the large turnout of judges and lawyers at the event. He said the development demonstrated a united judiciary that is intact, despite attempts to cause disaffection among its members. Governor Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara State warned of the negative consequences of the growing culture of impunity,

abuse of power and injustice in the country. “We should stand up for justice whenever injustice is being meted out to anybody,” he said. The governor said it was unhelpful to the growth of democracy if the people failed to confront acts of injustice. He said the people should not take for granted what is happening in the country, else the violent crises being experienced in other countries could occur here. He bought 250 copies at N55million - on behalf of the 11 progressive governors. The spacious venue was filled to capacity, with dignitaries. But the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar was absent. She also did not send a representative. Former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said history will be kind to Justice Salami in spite of the deliberate plot to humiliate the judge out of the bench by the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government. He also said it is regrettable that justice has been placed on the auction block in the country. He said: “We live in an era where justice has been placed on

the auction block. Too often the temple of justice has decayed into a chamber deceit. One man fought to bring justice back into the temple through singular acts of courage. He stared injustice and the misconduct of craven power in the face and did not flinch. He stood his ground because it was a firm and honest position, established on the unbiased rule of law. “Justice Salami represented the judiciary a true democracy needs. We are yet to achieve this judiciary simply because those in power do not want it. They do not want judges who are objective arbiters of the law. They want jurists who cheer for them not jurist who cherish the law. They want judges who believe power and might are the law not judges who believe in the power and might of the law. “For being forthright and objective, Salami was taken from his deserved position on the bench by the ruling party. An innocent man was made to suffer, pilloried for the sin of being good and forthright. Those who forced him into retirement saw him as an obstacle because he did not play favourites. Continued on page 61

ria Limited, as indicated in the duly attached list.” The letter was signed by Mrs. Rose Ngozi Marauzu, Director Revenue, for the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Members insisted that the process had been corrupted, particularly because of the luxury cars on the list as well as the fact that Coscharis sold the BMWs to NCAA at an outrageous price, in spite of the duties waiver.The lawmakers expressed doubt over the cost of the cars. Coscharis President/ Chairman Cosmas Maduka caused a stir when in an emotional voice he responded by saying that the probe is politically-motivated and an attempt to smear a reputation he has spent over 20 years to build. He said he had been variously described as a money launderer and accused of contract infla-

tion. Maduka said the price of the cars could be verified from the German Embassy. He said: “We are too small to BMW for them to risk their reputation because of us, they will give you the details of the price. “The price of a car from the manufacturer will be different from one taken to a private armourer, but the difference between N121m and N127m was the five per cent VAT.” “I will not do anything that is not ethical,” Maduka said. On the variance in the chassis numbers quoted on the NCAA document and what was found on the one inspected by the Committee, Maduka said: “We provided the chassis numbers based on the document you sent inviting us but the one you are quoting now, we will send the documents for the one you saw”. The Managing Director of Coscharis , Josiah Samuel, said due process was observed in the importation of the two cars. According to him, the company has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government on the use of cars for events. The company, he said, provides vehicles to the Federal Government for event use without being paid, but asks for waivers to replace them.” Sometimes, it is at the twilight of the event or after the event is over Continued on page 61

We bought two limousines for N120m for Oduah, says FAAN


HE Senate Committee on Aviation yesterday said the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed that it purchased 202 vehicles. It said that FAAN also confirmed that two Lexus Limousines and two Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are part of the vehicles. The Committee said FAAN claimed that two of the vehicles were bought for Aviation Minister Stella Oduah while another two were purchased for the FAAN Managing Director, Mr. George Uriesi. It said some of the vehicles were bought for the use of di-

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

rectors of FAAN. Uriesi told the committee that the limousines were bought for N60m each. He however, said he did not have details of the cost of the Prado SUVs. He told the committee the cars were in the custody of an unnamed bank which funded the purchase of the four top of the range vehicles. The MD claimed that the Aviation Minister approved the purchase, while somebody whose name he did not disclose Continued on page 61

40,093 PHCN workers get N292b handshake Continued from page 1

during the process of validation, revalidation and processing, the total number of 40,093 workers, as at this morning, have been completely validated and their entitlements paid. “An additional 605 workers were validated in the course of yesterday and their papers have just been sent in for payment of their entitlements. “The 40,093 people, the severance components that have been paid out is N214.22 billion while the pension components (N80.290 billion) has been paid.” “In total, 47,913 PHCN workers were identified in the process of validation, regularisation, and cross-checking of workers. As you know, this process has to be done because PHCN is a very large organisation and had workers in all parts of this country.” On the 5,907 workers whose payment is being stalled by virus, duplication and no records, he said: “The balance of the number, we have some issues with some of them. It is an electronic process and unfortunately some workers in Enugu Disco, 1,478 workers, their biometric capture got corrupted by virus and the consultant has moved to site in Enugu to recapture them. “Additional 929 other workers

Sambo, others to hand over to firms


ICE President Namadi Sambo will hand over the physical assets of 14 PHCN Successor Companies to their new owners tomorrow. The event, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said will take place simultaneously at the headquarters of the companies across the country where the Vice President will be represented by Ministers and other top government functionaries. It however noted that, Sapele Generation Company (SGC) will not be affected because of the comprehensive legal review of the status of the company following the failure to complete payment by the preferred bidder. The companies to be handed over and their new owners are: Abuja Distribution Company (KANN Consortium Utility), Benin Distribution Company (Vigeo Power Consortium), Eko Distribution Company (West Power & Gas), Enugu Distribution Company (Interstate Electrics Ltd) and Ibadan Distribution Company (Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Ltd).

from around the country also had their biometric data corrupted. This is a usual thing that happens when dealing with large numbers and we are bringing them to Abuja at the expense of the government for their biometric data to be recaptured so that they can be paid their entitlements immediately. “ “An additional about 1,000

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Others are; Ikeja Distribution Company (NEDC/KEPCO Consortium), Jos Distribution Company (Aura Energy Limited), Kano Distribution Company (Sahelian Power SPV Ltd), Port Harcourt Distribution Company (4Power Consortium) and Yola distribution Company (Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Ltd). The Generation Companies are: Shiroro (North-South Power Company), Kainji (Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd), Geregu (Amperion Power Distribution) and Ughelli (Transcorp Ughelli Power Plc). Top government functionaries who will represent the Vice President at the various hand over venues are: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo (Abuja), Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala (Ibadan), Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke (Enugu), Minister of Trade & Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga (Eko), Minister of

workers from the number that is left has been cleared, but there are some duplications of various nature; names are duplicated, accounts are duplicated. “For example, there are cases where people have three names and while filling they put only two names. There are also cases where someone’s name is Mohammed and they write Mah-

Transport, Senator Idris A. Umar (Kainji/ Jebba) and Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke- SAN (Yola). The others are; Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Mohammed Musa Sada (Kano), Minister of Information, Labaran Maku (Jos), Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu (Ughelli) and Minister of State (Works), Amb. Bashir Yuguda (Shiroro). The rest are; Director General of BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki (Ikeja & Egbin), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godswill Igali (Port-Harcourt), Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Engr.Beks Dagogo-Jack (Benin) and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu (Geregu). Of the 14 successor companies scheduled for handover, a total of US$2, 525,824,534 was realised as proceeds. Out of the amount, US$1,256,000,000.00 came from the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) while the Generation Companies (GENCOs) raked in US$1, 269,824,534.

mud. So, these things have to be captured properly because the amounts are big and we don’t want the wrong people to be paid somebody else’s money. “For such a huge number, such delays have occurred and that is why we are accounting 6,000 or so people that their cases are still being dealt with out of the 47,000.”

“There are cases of 2,500 that are bad cases, but they are being handled. These are cases of people that don’t have any record, any document to back up the claim that they are PHCN workers. But people have identified them that they have been in the system. These are mostly casual workers and their cases are being looked into,” he added


To ensure that every worker is paid his or her entitlement, Igalli said, the technical committee will continue to work day and night to validate as many people as possible. He said any delay of payment of the 40,093 workers had to do Continued on page 59

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





NEWS •Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (right) presenting the 2014 Budget Estmates of N489.69 billion to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji at theHouse of Assembly Auditoriorm, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

•Director-General, Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON), Joseph Odumodu, Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), President, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chief Bunmi Olaopa at the first NAFDAC Forum in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS.

Salami: I’m T

HE outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, yesterday said he refused to pervert the court of justice on the Sokoto governorship case, which was brought to the Court of Appeal. He said he had no regret about what he did because the God of truth has vindicated him. Salami, who opened up before a large audience at the NICON Luxury Hotel in Abuja, said a judge must, above all, stand taller than the pressure he is confronted with. He broke his silence on the rift between him and a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu at the presentation of a book, “Isa Ayo Salami: Through Life and Justice”, in his honour. When Salami mounted the podium, there was pin-drop silence within the audience, which was eager to hear from the key actor in the major conflict, which had plagued the nation’s Judiciary in the last two years. His humble mien added passion to the anxiety of the audience to hear his story. Salami, however, said he resisted pressure from the ex-CJN to disband a panel of the Court of Appeal on Sokoto Governorship election. He said the disbandment of the panel would have offended the principle of the independence of judges which he so much respect and believe in. He said: “I realise the public interest that my feud with the National Judicial Council (NJC) and former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Katsina-Alu has generated. “It is obvious that people want to know what the fuss was actually about, and briefly put, this is it. “I was invited by the then CJN, Jus-

•From left: Justice Mohammed Mahmood; Justice Muhannad Lawal Uwais; Justice Isa Ayo Salami and his wife;Justice Idris Kutigi; and Justice Zainab Bulkachua during the presentation of the book on Salami in Abuja... yesterday.

From Yusuf Alli and Eric Ikhiale, Abuja

tice Katsina-Alu to his chambers on the 8th of February, 2010 using Justice Dahiru Musdapher’s phone, and when I got there, I met them together (Justice Musdapher was then next in line to him at the Supreme Court). “He (Katsina-Alu) instructed me to direct the Justices on the Sokoto Appeal to dismiss the appeal of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) Governorship candidate and I responded that could not do so. “Contrary to the deposition of Justice Katsina-Alu that he called me into his Chambers in respect of leakage in the judgement of Sokoto matter which he gathered from petitions,

Nigeria’s rising illiterate population dangerous, says Peterside


From left Olatunji Obasa (The Punch), Olumuyiwa Lucas (Tell), Seun Akioye (The Nation), Margetret Bridget (Wits University), Toyin Akinniyi (Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism), Tobore Ovuorie (Premium Times), Etim Asukwo (Business Day), and Idris Akinbajo (Premium Times), at the 2013 African Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa...yesterday.

• Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi (left) greeting the Chairman, Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, Dr. Tayo Bello at the National Heath Care Waste Management 2013 Summit in Lagos...yesterday. With them is the Assistant Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Lagos State Safety ComPHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL mission, Mrs. Aderonke Odeneye.

HE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, has said the country should be worried about its rising illiterate population. Peterside, in a statement yesterday, said a World Bank report on the situation should be taken seriously. Nigerians, the report said, “are relatively poor, with about 46 per cent of the population living in absolute poverty and there is high inequality. Nigeria still faces considerable human development challenges, with poor human development indicators, high regional disparities, and huge pockets of extreme poverty, ranked 156 out of 187 countries on the human development index”. He praised the bank for offering to help out. Peterside said: “What seems to be cheering news from this depressing verdict is that the bank’s State Education Investment Project would provide $150m credit facilities to Ekiti, Bauchi and Anambra states in partnership with the federal government.” He said any country, which refuses to pay attention to education, would discover it has no future. “This is why we must constantly remind ourselves that everything that makes life worth living or makes a country great no matter how small, only begins with education because it is the foundation of everything. Today, part of our reality, sadly though, is this decrepit state of education which is no longer a secret. That the gates of our


country’s universities have remained shut since July 1, 2013 should naturally give us nightmares. But we are busy trading blames and playing politics with the future of the next generation. These developments in my opinion are indications that we may be headed for a very long night in the education sector,” he said. He said it was sad that “Nigeria came abysmally low in the rating of the African Economist and, a professional ranking and records site on their list of countries with the highest literacy rates in Africa”. He lamented the fact that Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia led the continent while Nigeria could not even make the first twenty on the list.




leaving with my honour intact

•From left: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Zamfara State Governor Abdul'aziz Abubakar Yari and Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the launch of the book on Justice Isa Ayo Salami in Abuja...yesterday.

there were no petitions against me or the Justices in the Sokoto Appeal Panel as at the 8th day of February, 2010 on Sokoto matter or any other matter. “Ironically, the petitions in question only emerged on the 15th day of February, 2010 seven days after I had unequivocally informed the CJN that I would not direct a competent court on what its judgement should be. “After showing me the petition on the 15th February, he asked me to disband the Sokoto Appeal Panel in view of the petitions. I responded that I would not disband the panel as the petitions did not contain any allegation of impropriety against the members. In my response to the petitions,

I made known what transpired at our meetings of 8th and 15th February, 2010. “ It was in his own submission to NJC on my response that he now alleged that the reason for calling me was that the judgement in the Sokoto matter had leaked and that he gathered the allegation that the judgement had leaked from the petitions written against me. “The Investigating Panel set up by the NJC under Justice Umaru Abdullahi (former President of the Court of Appeal) rejected his claim that there was allegation of leakage in the petitions as well as his defence that the judgement had leaked. In spite of this they con-

cluded that he was acting in god faith. On this, I won’t say more.” Salami said he was proud to stand before the audience that he did not compromise his integrity. He added: “I thanked Almighty God that I refused to pervert the course of justice. Disbanding the panel or persuading them to dismiss the Appeal was not the right thing to do. It would have offended the principle of the independence of judges which I so much respect and believe in. “As a matter of fact, I will simply say that if I had done what the then Head of the Nigerian Judiciary had wanted me to do, I would not have this honour and if at all this book was published, it would be shameful and hypocritical of

me to stand before you and talk about honour and integrity – two things which define a fine judicial officer alongside the grasp of the law. “But I am proud to be here today to talk about these values. I have no regret about what I did and the God of truth has vindicated me. All the NJC committees’ reports have said that Salami did no wrong as well as the report of the Committee set up by the Nigerian Bar Association. This book and this event as I see them are further proofs of such honourable vindication. “It is the fear of God, the ultimate Judge and the desire and principle to adhere strictly to my oath of office that has shaped the kind of judge I was and the reason why I would not bend to

ill ideas no matter where they come from. I am very grateful to all you here and those absent today who have stood by me in this very trying period of my life and pray that God will richly reward you.” He advised judges to stand by the truth at all times. He said: “In conclusion, I would say that a judge must, above all, stand taller than the pressure that he would continuously face in the exercise of his duties. If he fails, he fails himself and he fails the society. “If Nigeria must be great, the independence of the judiciary, I believe, should be safeguard not only theoretically but practically be individuals and government.”

Justice is never siddon look, says Soyinka


OBEL Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday warned against impunity and disrespect for the rule of law. He also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to be careful about the proposed National Conference. He said the past and issues being raised about the conference must be taken into consideration. He queried the government’s commitment to anti-corruption campaign. Soyinka, who spoke at a book launch in honour of the retiring President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, said justice is the foundation of humanity. The book, a compendium of Salami’s judgments, is authored by Mrs. Funmi Quadri. In his address entitled, “Justice is never siddon look,” Soyinka said there must be justice for all whether rich or poor. He said: “I declare, I quote justice is the first foundation of humanity. At all times, law, even where it is temporary unskilled, emasculated, predominates, written or unwritten, law embodies the total will of the society Yes, law exercises an authority that transcends mere power. That is why we must task those whosoever is administrator of law with an ethical rigour, a measure that is paramount perhaps by only whatsoever the society expects of medical doctors who minister to the people’s physical and mental health or religious ministers who are preoccupied with the requirements of the spirit. “Governors are blindly selective to what court orders they obey and President becomes completely deaf or blind to judicial orders. “And that question is this: what is the role of the rest of us the in between

From Yusuf Alli and Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

humanity, while that cry for justice, awaits the arrival of chariot of law in its awesome majesty. Do we adopt literarily that often misunderstood commentary of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the nation, the very figure whose butchery constitute my reference for today’s retrospection. Do we fold our hands and literarily siddon look? Most of the time it does appear that we have no option when justice appears to fail even his own immediate high echelon He revisited some unresolved assassinations including that of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige,. He called on the Federal Government to address these murders claiming that there are enough clues which could lead to the unraveling of these killings. He observed that while injustices were being perpetrated by the privileged and those in power state agencies had been putting suspects on trial for forging documents to get visa. On the proposed national conference, he asked the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to tread softly. He said he should look at the past and consider issues being raised. He added: “Yes, many have warned, they have warned tirelessly and in various forms become deafened by the sound of their voice as it bounces back from the stones walls of a different complacency and sometimes criminality and complicity. The most notorious example of this today is of course the so called national conference. “As many other propositions, the social context which is ever changing

From left: Soyinka, the book reviewer, Prof Ademola Popoola and Alhaji Abdullahi Ibhrahim (SAN) during the presentation of the book Justice Isa Ayo Salami: Through PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Life and Justice in Abuja... yesterday.

may provide avenue of fresh thinking but the stark truth is that all have been said cogently and relevantly. However, sometime it appears that the stone that the builders rejected etc, I think you know the rest, the question however is whether or not the optimism of those scripture(the Christian) is right and that this rejected stone often abusively dismissed indeed prove to be the corner stone of new modesty viable edifice. “However, even a child knows that before the erection of a simple farmhouse, the ground, large or small has to be cleared, the debris burnt or plough back into the ground while it is converted into entirely new matter composed or disposed of in such a manner that it loses its earlier capacity to obstruct, compromise or endanger the new organism. Those who think they can erect a future without first ridding the ground of the past debris flout against natural order or re-

generation.” The Nobel Laureate added: “Of all the conceivable negative baggage I can think of right now, the most pressing, I have always maintained, takes the form of a critical absence, subversion or suppression of - Justice. One of the elementary lessons we all learnt from school, even those of us with incurably unscientific minds, is that - Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of justice, something else takes its place, a monstrosity in myriad forms and shapes, fecund with yet unencountered horrors - indeed even as the portals of Justice are shut, the lid of a Pandora's box is opened. These are not mere figures of speech but narratives of experienced reality. No society is exempt, and no one experience is unique. They all differ in form, intensity and duration - no more. “How have we fared, within this environment that most immediately sustains us - well, sort of? I shall evoke

here one of the most notorious public profile cases of the serial degradations of Justice that seemingly shook this nation to its foundations. There are other cases we could cite - the murder of Dele Giwa for instance. Or Harry Marshall. Kudirat Abiola. Suliat Adedeji. A.K. Dikibo. Abukakar Rimi. Barnabas and Abigail Igwe, husband and wife, both officers of the law. Or Chief Dina - lest I stand accused of omitting my own homestead. Or indeed numerous others, so quickly relegated into the sump of unsolved cases. My choice today, the main reference point for our sobering retrospection is however singularly apt. Despite his terminal absence, that preeminent victim shares with our celebrant, albeit in a tragic mode, the ironic symbolism of 'Justice in Denial', a role that interrogates both the very concept and operations of Justice, and also, the main structure for its delivery, which is - the Judiciary. No one will question the seismic impact of the circumstances that took him from our midst, a dastardly deed which, as already claimed, shook the nation to its very foundations. However, the nation did not topple over - from all appearances. Nonetheless, I am reminded of the condition of Washington 'Cleopatra's Needle' which dominates the zone of the seat of US government - Capitol Hill. When Washington underwent an unprecedented earthquake in 2011, quite mild in comparison with those that regularly hit the other side of the continent - California especially - that nation gave a sigh of relief that very little damage had been done. As we all know however, nations like the United States do not rest satisfied with appearances. Visible or not, internal damages - that very possibility - preoccupied the guardians of public monuments and safety.”



NEWS Buhari, Tinubu to meet Lamido From Ahmed Rufa’I, Dutse

ALL Progressives Congress (APC) leaders Gen Muhammadu Buhari and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are billed to meet with Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido today in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital. Lamido is one of the G7 governors - a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Chief Press Secretary to Jigawa State Governor, Malam Umar Kyari, confirmed the planned visit. It was also learnt that the coming of the duo may not be unconnected with an attempt to woo Lamido to APC.

Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos and Ogun states Police Command have warned owners of vehicles parked at Awa, Akodo and Alakara Police stations to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction after 14 days of this publication. Thevehicles are Mercedes Benz 300E car marked BE979KJA, Santana car AH262AKN, Nissan BlueBird XA605GBE and Volkswagen Bus XA528GBE. Others are: Nissan Primera JS 123AAA, Peugeot 307NC70AAA, Nissan Bluebird AG9055SMK, OPQ1 Astra GN16LND and Nissan Altima KH08KJA.

No cracks in our ranks, says Baraje’s PDP

APC: we’re ready to receive S G-7 PDP governors T HOULD they decide to dump their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will welcome into its fold the seven embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, declared yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. “They are welcome if that is their final decision. The development will strengthen our party towards 2015 election,” he said. Mohammed affirmed the readiness of the party to effect a positive change in democratic system to uplift the country. According to him, APC is built on the principles of democracy and popular participation. The national publicity secretary maintained that the party would begin the registration of its members nationwide next month. Mohammed told NAN that the party was intensifying efforts through robust logistics to ensure successful membership registration. He added that the nationwide membership registration would strengthen the party and enable it to contest all future elections. According to him, the party had resolved to maintain

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

•’Tukur should allow Nigerians to determine which party rules’

inclusive party machinery where all parties that merged into the APC, would fully participate in all its activities and membership registration due to begin next month. He said he was optimistic that Nigeria would be better if everybody could truly contribute his quota. Also yesterday, the APC told PDP chair Bamanga Tukur that only Nigerians can decide whether or not President Goodluck Jonathan will rule beyond 2015, saying his statement that the President will rule till 2019 is nothing but an empty boast aimed at ingratiating himself to the President. In a statement in Abuja by Alhaji Mohammed, the party also asked the PDP Chairman to back up his statement, that it is time for youths to take over the reins of power, by first stepping down from his post to pave the way for the younger generation. It reminded Tukur that one of his predecessors once boasted, in another euphoric moment, that the PDP will

rule for 60 years, only for him to leave office in disgrace shortly thereafter. “There is nothing on ground to justify Tukur’s empty boast beyond the PDP’s rigging machine, which is again being oiled in readiness for 2015, going by the barefaced vote stealing and unbridled brigandage that the party exhibited in the recent bye election in Delta Central Senatorial District. “The PDP which, has presided over the affairs of Nigeria for the past 14 years, has only succeeded in pushing more people into poverty, with 112 million people now living below the poverty line and millions of children out of school. No sector has been spared the effects of the cluelessness and visionlessness of the PDP and its leaders. What then is the empirical basis for the PDP to continue to rule. “It is interesting that the chairman said the future belongs to the youths and that the era of Gerontocracy is gone. The last time we checked, a 78-year-old man does not exactly belong to

the generation of youths, even if he continues to hold away at the top echelon of the ruling party. The sincerity of that statement is therefore in doubt. “As for the PDP chairman’s admonition to the youth to start preparing to take over the mantle of leadership, the question to ask is whether or not the undergraduates in the nation’s public universities, who have been marooned at home for over four months now because the PDP-led Federal Government repudiated the agreement it signed with ASUU, are not part of the leaders of tomorrow? “If Tukur believes they are, he should urgently prevail on the government sired by his party to meet its obligation to ASUU and end the strike by the university teachers. Then we will know that he is serious about his postulation. Until then, we say talk is cheap, because all that we can see now is that the PDPled Federal Government is doing everything in its power to mortgage the future of tomorrow’s leaders,” it said.

Salaries: IGP threatens banks From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

INSPECTOR General of Police Mohammed Abubakar has threatened to withdraw police accounts domiciled in some commercial banks for deliberately delaying payment of monthly salaries to policemen. The affected banks are First Bank, Skye Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank. Abubakar was said to have summoned officials of the banks to the Force Headquarters to register his displeasure. In a statement yesterday by Force spokesman Frank Mba, the IGP described the bank’s failure to release the salaries as a conspiracy against the Force. Abubakar said the situation has continued to expose police officers and men to undue pressure and extreme difficulties. “The IGP warned the banks and their personnel of the dire consequences, including, but not limited to a reconsideration of the existing relationship between the Force and the banks if the situation persists”, the statement said. The police boss was particularly peeved that the Federal Government has been releasing police salaries early enough, only for the banks to deliberately delay payment. The statement added that with the e-payment system currently in place, all police officers receive their salaries directly through the banks.

•Interim Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State chapter, Chief Henry Ajomale (right) discussing with Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Governemnt, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, at the local government’s fifth year anniversary and account of stewardship by the chairman at the local government secretariat, Festac...yesterday. With them are Iyaloja-General of Lagos Mrs Folasade Tinubu-Ojo and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs Mr Ademorin Kuye. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN STORY ON PAGE 59

HE Abubakar Baraje faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that there were no cracks in the ranks of its membership, contrary to some reports. A statement yesterday by the faction’s National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze, said the leaders and members of the faction remained firmly united. The statement was made against the backdrop of report in certain quarters that Governor Babangida Aliyu had pulled out of the faction. The faction traced the report to some unnamed “failed politicians in the PDP faction loyal to Alhaji Bamabga Tukur. The statement said: “This reassurance has become necessary in view of the antics of detractors desperate to deceive the public and to sow the seed of discord in our midst. “These enemies of democracy routinely plant stories in the mass media to the effect that our ranks have become depleted but such stories inevitably end up being exposed as mere tissues of lies. “The latest of such fictions was the report which made the rounds yesterday purporting that His Excellency, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, Governor of Niger State, had resigned from the New PDP. “Of course, Governor Aliyu, who is also the leader of the Group of 7 (G7) Progressive Governors, was quick to rubbish the reports and to restate his commitment towards the actualisation of our lofty vision to reclaim the PDP from the hands of the anti-democratic forces that have hijacked it and reform the party in keeping with the vision of its founding fathers. “We have noted with happiness the short-lived celebration by the Tukur faction over this false report – which betrays their culpability in the fabrication of the discredited report. “For the avoidance of doubt, the New PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje is made up of selfless and committed patriotic Nigerians desirous of building a new Nigeria as envisaged by the founding fathers, using our great party as the starting point. “Contrary to the belief in some quarters, we are not in this struggle for personal gains. Therefore, anyone waiting to see one New PDP leader or the other dump the party for pecuniary considerations should be prepared to wait forever.”

Senate accuses minister of failure to account for N30b SURE-P funds


HE Senate yesterday accused the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen for ‘refusing’ to account for N30 billion appropriated for his ministry for Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) projects. Chairman, Committee on SURE-P Senator Abdul Ningi, who made the allegation, threatened that the Senate might be forced to give zero allocation to SURE-P in the 2015 budget. Ningi addressed a news conference in Abuja over the alleged refusal of the minister to appear before his committee to account for the

•Threatens zero allocation to scheme in 2015 From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

scheme’s funds. He said that members of the committee waited for over two hours for the minister to honour a scheduled meeting without any word from him. Ningi noted that by refusing to appear before the committee to answer questions for his actions, the Minister was clearly undermining President Goodluck Jonathan. He described the minister’s action as “a show of lawlessness and crass ignorance of

the law.” He said: “We are all aware that huge sum of money was appropriated to the Ministry of Works to execute SURE-P projects. We sat here from 2pm and we have been waiting to hear from the Minister of Works, Minister of State for Works or even the Permanent Secretary. “The Minister acknowledged receipt of our invitation. We want to tell the person who appointed them that he appointed the wrong people.” Insisting that the action of the Minister is “completely

unacceptable” Ningi said that nobody should be allowed to treat the Senate with contempt. He said that the Senate would take every available legal action to take the Minister to the Committee to account for the funds. He said: “They (ministers) are trying to undermine the President and frustrate the country. We cannot take it. They cannot frustrate this committee. It is important that this message be taken to the President that the ministers are undermining him. “Otherwise we can refuse to appropriate funds for the programme in the 2015

budget. This is a programme so many people are asking questions and the minister will not come to say what he is doing with funds appropriated to him. ‘We take very strong exception to the non appearance of the Minister of Works. It is no longer business as usual.” Ningi said that his Committee was also interested to know the beneficiaries of N3,000 said to have been paid to 10,000 youths in each state under SURE-P youth scheme. He said that his committee requested for the list of beneficiaries for more than one month without success.



NEWS Crises hinder Nigeria’s development, says Jonathan From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday maintained that terrorists’ activities in the North, kidnapping and militancy in the South and other types crises were hampering the nation’s development. The President spoke in Abuja when he received this year’s Africa Peace Award from the United Religions Initiatives (URI) at the Presidential Villa. He said no economic development would take place where there were crises, adding that there must be internal democracy and stability for economic stability to take root. He stressed that differences can never be resolved through the barrels of the gun. He said: “Even when countries are fighting at the end of the day they will still come on the dialogue table to resolve. They have hardly solve them through the barrel of the gun, even if you had the most sophisticated weapon to fight, they will still come to negotiate otherwise you can never live in peace.” “So, let me call on all Nigerians especially the young people, if you come to the South part of this country you hear about militancy, kidnapping and if you go to the North you have this issue of Boko Haram. For us to develop our country we must all embrace peace.”

Alleged fraud: Minister suspends six AGIS workers From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday suspended six workers from the FCT Administration for alleged fraud. It was learnt that their offences were being investigated. Four of the suspended workers were of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS); two others were of the Land Administration Department. According to the statement issued by the Asst. Director/ Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Sule, the minister warned that his Administration would not spare any staff involved in any act of fraud and that this is a clear pointer to anybody that tows that line. Bala emphasized that there is no sacred cow as this suspension is meant to serve as a deterrent to others who may nurse the idea of indulging in fraudulent activities; adding that the law must take its course. It reads: “The suspended staff in AGIS includes Oluwadamilola Temidayo Adetiloye – Planning Officer I; Wasiu Olatunde Olajide – Programme Officer I; Mohammed Mohammed Saba – Land Officer I; Danladi Daniel – Clerical Officer; while the two staff in Land Administration Department are Yusuf Baba – Land Officer I and Blessing U. Nwiyi – Assistant Executive Officer.”

Aliyu: I’ll contest 2015 Presidency if...


IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has expressed his readiness to take a shot at the Presidency in 2015, if he the people want him to join the race. The governor spoke yesterday in Minna, the state capital, when he hosted delegates of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), led by its Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa. Aliyu said: “I always prepare myself for eventuality.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

I have never declared for anything. I didn’t declare to be governor; I was called upon. So, if my people call upon me, I won’t hesitate to contest.” The governor cautioned against political intolerance of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at all levels of government to opposition. He noted that a one-party state was undemocratic.

Aliyu maintained that a multiple-party system at any level would encourage healthy competition and enable the people to choose the best to be their leaders. He said: “Every ruling party wants to have a oneparty state. I encourage a multiple-party system so that there would be peer review and for the people to have choices of ideology and style. We need to show the people the differences in what is to be done and how

we can run the affair of governance. “A one-party state is undemocratic as it makes one to want to crush another over a little disagreement.” Aliyu condemned the undemocratic forces in Rivers State, where the people were restricted from holding meetings or gatherings. The governor stressed that this should not be allowed to continue. He said: “Undemocratic forces are very active in Riv-

ers State. People cannot meet or gather for activities. Even during the military era, people were still allowed to meet. This has already happened and, if we allow it to continue, it will ruin the peace in the country.” Musa said he and his team were in Niger State for CNPP’s annual conference. He said the CNPP was not an opposition party but an umbrella of smaller political parties and political organisations.

ASUP may end strike after delegates’ conference From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

HE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) may suspend its ongoing after its 12th national delegates’ conference holding at Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, it was learnt yesterday. A top member of the union, who spoke in confidence, told our reporter that the government had met about 70 per cent of the union’s demands. The source said the action would be suspended at the end of the election. According to him, the action is sustained by the current leadership to ensure that they are re-elected, because “the strike will stifle all opposition to their re-election”. The source added: “The strike would have been suspended, if not for the political dimension. I am sure that once the National President and his team are re-elected after the conference, he will announce the suspension of the strike.” But addressing the delegates yesterday, ASUP’s National President, Mr. Chibuzo Asomugha, insisted that the action would be sustained until the system got better. He said the strike was not against the management of the polytechnics. The union leader urged members to remain committed to the action, adding: “We will continue with the struggle until we win. We are struggling so that the system can stand firm. “We are here to reaffirm our faith in the essence of our justified struggle and to wake up to the reality that although successes are being recorded in some of our demands, the engagement is an ongoing concern. I am confident that the leadership of this union at various levels will stay committed to leading the ranks in our collective struggle.”


•From left: Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan; Olu of Famia Ife, Oba Abimbola Akinyele; Chairman of Island Club, Prince Ademola Dada; Vice President Namadi Sambo; Olowoeko of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Chief Sunny Odogwu, at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Island Club Storey Car Park in Lagos...on Tuesday.

UI authorities, ASUU, others trade words over allowance A UTHORITIES of the University of Ibadan (UI) have accused the leaders of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) of insincerity with their members. But the UI-ASUU Chairman Dr Olusegun Ajiboye said no amount of provocation would distract the union’s members from the struggle to revitalise university education. He said: “The leadership of ASUU has been opened to the members. We told them everything they need to know. The position of ASUU in the University of Ibadan is that the money should not be shared until after the strike. “It’s like when a hunter went into the bush for meat and got some. While he was still in the bush searching for more game, the people at home said they wanted to share the meat he provided. I’m saying, let us wait until


HE Judiciary has expressed concerns over the manner preelection matters are handled in the country. It faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for listing the candidate of a political party for an election when the candidate’s emergence was still a subject of dispute. Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court said such situations had been over-

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

the end of the strike. “The core struggle of ASUU’s current strike is funding, although our earned allowances is a component of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement. But we deserve it. Why are you in a rush to share? “The government, which said it had no more, brought out N30 billion and said ‘take it or leave it’. But we said on our agreement we stand. The same government added N10 billion to it. We still know that more is coming. “We are committed to the revitalisation of the public university system through increased funding. We are not going to get distracted on this.” On the released N2.1 billon, Dr Ajiboye said ASUU members knew that their leaders had been opened to them. A source in the university’s management, which spoke in confidence, alleged that the

ASUU leaders were causing trouble on the campus by deceiving their members on the truth about the money. The source said: “Let me tell you, when the money came, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, called the leaders to agree on the sharing formula. The leaders told the VC that the management should not share the money because the ASUU strike was still on. Has the strike now been called off? “Why did they (union leaders) not tell their members that the money could only be shared after the strike?” When the agitation to share the money became more strident, the source said, the VC asked a committee to come up with a sharing formula. Three formulas were reportedly proposed. The first is the original agreement formula, which would exclude many people from benefitting from the

money. The second is the University of Benin (UNIBEN) formula and the third is on a certain percentage. The source said: “The VC charged the committee to come up with the one that would be accepted. But do you know that the committee has not submitted its report? Why did the leaders fail to tell their members the truth? “They know the kind of VC they have. Prof. Adewole is a workerfriendly VC. Last year, he paid them special allowance, which equalled their salaries. How could such a man now withhold the money? “The union leaders are to blame. They are just blackmailing the VC. I don’t know why the leaders could not tell the whole truth to their members...” SSANU/NASU leaders told the members yesterday that the money would be paid tomorrow, when the VC is expected to return from an official trip.

Judiciary worried by Electoral Act •We’ll review guidelines, says Jega From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

heating the polity. He urged the INEC to correct such anomaly. The eminent lawyer explained that there should be a proviso in the act, which should stop the submission of names of opponents when there are disputes over party candidacy. INEC Chairman Prof.

Attahiru Jega said the commission planned to carry out a wholesale review and enhancement of some of its existing guidelines. Justice Bello and Prof. Jega spoke yesterday in Abuja at a retreat on modalities for making and gazetting INEC’s regulations. The one-day retreat was organised by INEC for lawyers within and outside the

commission to enable the commission get advice and inputs to develop a framework for the commission’s gazette. Justice Bello noted that in a situation where there are conflicts, the name of an aspirant should not be submitted to the INEC for any election until the issue is resolved. However, he said this had not been the case, be-

cause such cases were always pushed to the Judiciary to resolve, whereas it does not have a say in preelection matters. Bello said: “Specifically, looking at the current situation ...whenever there are election matters, one of the many fears of legal practitioners or applicants is that of not exhausting internal remedies provided by the constitution of political parties. When such a matter comes before the court, it is thrown out.




Police teargas UNIABUJA lecturers

Tinubu seeks investment in cancer detection, treatment


HE police yesterday tear-gassed members of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), as they mobilised for their protest into the streets of the Federal Capital city, Abuja. Eyewitnesses said the lecturers converged on the minicampus of the university at Gwagwalada for the protest when policemen and plain-clothes security personnel took over the arena. They reportedly prevented the lecturers from embarking on the protest. Addressing reporters yesterday, the UNIABUJA-ASUU Chairman Dr. Clement Chup said the union sent a letter to the FCT Police Commissioner on the planned protest. He said ASUU was surprised when the police prevented its members from entering into campus. Chup said: “We, members of the UNIABUJA-ASUU, actually planned to carry out a peaceful demonstration today (yesterday). What we planned was to have a community marching, a march on some major streets in Abuja, to sensitise the public on the essence of our strike. “The strike has been on in the past four months. It is a cause for worry for everybody. We wanted to tell the public that we are on strike because the Federal Government refused to implement the agreement it had with our members since 2009.

Why Oduah should be handed over to EFCC, by Falana AGOS lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), yesterday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, on the role she played in the purchase of two armoured cars at N255 million. The cars and 54 others were allegedly purchased under a lease agreement by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) after Oduah’s approval. Falana said there was substantial evidence that the minister approved the transaction illegally, contrary to the provisions of financial guidelines of the Federal Government. Describing the purchase of the two cars as “outrageous”, Falana told our correspondents in Abuja that the agency saddled with the responsibility of handling such matters is the EFCC. He said the anti-graft agency should take over investigation. The frontline lawyer noted that the minister, by approving the purchase, worth N634 million, could be said to be guilty of contract splitting and illegal transactions. Falana said: “There is inflation in price (of the cars), contrary to the market price. That is another offence. Of course, the provisions of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) were also violated, because there was no due process. There must be due process under any situation. “I have a letter from the NCAA to the effect that the agency, which bought the cars, does not have the document on the cars. Now, that is another problem; that is a violation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. If those documents had been made available, maybe more revelations would have been out. This is because, for now, those cars are likely to be in the name of First Bank. That is why we must have the document.” He said the best way to resolve the lingering issue is to “hand the Minister of Aviation over to the EFCC, which is the only organisation recognised by law to investigate economic and


From Yomi Odunuga,and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

financial crimes. No administrative panel under the current political or constitutional dispensation has the power to investigate allegations of criminality.” On National Assembly’s part in the armoured car probe, Falana said: “Their investigation would be allowed by law, if it is geared towards enacting a law to correct the problems in the industry. “There is no agency in the country, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), whose budget would be approved outside the constitution. By virtue of Section 81 of the Constitution, the estimates of the expenditure of the government shall be laid before the National Assembly by the President every year.” The frontline lawyer explained the reasons for the investigation, saying: “The loan is payable within 36 months. That is three years. And when they are paying it every month, it is tantamount to contract splitting. What is important in all this is an offence has been committed. The offences displayed so far include, contract splitting by having instalmental payment of the loan for 36 months. The loan was not approved by the National Assembly. Even the president cannot take a loan without an approval obtained from the National Assembly by virtue of the constitution. “Only the Federal Executive Council (FEC) can approve financial transaction of the government of a N100 million and above. We are not even talking of the N225 million, we are now talking of N643 million. The minister approved the entire transaction illegally and contrary to the provision of financial guidelines of the Federal Government. “So, an agency appointed by the government cannot be more powerful than the President with respect to spending of money in the country. If the President have to go to the National Assembly to approve every money spend by him, no other official of government can tell the National Assembly that we have no business to account to you.”


ORMER Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called for more investment in the medical sector to ensure the early detention and treatment of cancer. The All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader was reacting to the death of former Chief of General Staff (CGS) under the Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar government and a former governor of Ondo and Lagos states, Vice Admiral Okhai Mike Akhigbe of cancer on Monday in New York, the United States. In a condolence letter to the Akhigbe family, Tinubu described the death of the former CGS as a shock.

•Ex-Lagos governor pays tribute to Akhigbe He noted that an early detection of cancer might have averted his death. Tinubu said: “I call on the Federal Government to heavily invest in state-ofthe-heart medical facilities in local hospitals, especially in the area of diagnosis and detention, so that this disease can be early detected and treated before it becomes life-threatening. “We owe that much to the memory of Vice Admiral Akhigbe.” The frontline politician paid tribute to Akhigbe, saying the late CGS was among a patriotic corps of

Nigerian military officers, who assisted in the birth of the current democracy. Asiwaju Tinubu said the late Naval officer, with the others in their group, earned Nigerians’ gratitude for reclaiming the honour of the military and delivering democracy to the country. He urged the family to be consoled that the late Akhigbe handled whatever national assignment he was given to the best of his ability, including military postings as governor of two states and service as the country’s No. 2 citizen. “We must leave every-

thing to God. He created the late Admiral, and loved him more than all of us combined. If he has now called him to His side, we must all rejoice in total submission to His will and wisdom,” Asiwaju Tinubu said. The APC leader urged the family to take heart and be consoled. “Please, take heart. I pray for God’s protection for the entire family he left behind,” he wrote. “On behalf of myself, my wife and our family, I condole with you on this irreplaceable loss,” he added.

His death a blow to Nigeria, says Senate Leader ENATE Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba yesterday described the death of former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, as a blow to Nigeria’s democracy. Ndoma-Egba recalled how, with his former boss, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, the


From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

late Akhigbe assisted the birth of the Fourth Republic for which the country would always remember him. He described the late Naval officer as “a seminal gentleman” who upheld the ideals of his profession, in and out of government”.

Akhigbe’s demise saddens Fashola


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday expressed sadness over the death of former Chief of General Staff (CGS) and military administrator of Lagos and old Ondo states, Vice Admiral Okahi Mike Akhigbe. In a letter of condolence to the family of the deceased, Fashola described the late Akhigbe as a true patriot who served his fatherland with distinction in several important capacities. He said: “I can state without equivocation that his contribution to the development of Lagos State and the development of Nigeria cannot be quantified.” The governor prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed, adding: “On behalf of my wife, Dame Emmanuella, the government and people of Lagos State, please, accept my condolences and be assured that we are in prayers with you and your family.”

‘Akhigbe was my mentor’ By Nneka Nwaneri


ORMER Principal Representative of Nigeria to ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Aminu Wisdom, has described the late former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Vice Admiral Mike Ahigbe, as his uncle, father and mentor. He said the late Akhigbe was a man of strong character, unusual courage and uncommon virtue. Wisdom said the late CGS stood out in all spheres of life, adding that his demise was a monumental loss. The former ambassador, who also hails from same hometown as the late Akhigbe, recalled that all through his travails, they were constantly in touch as brothers would, having learnt a lot from him.

Ndoma-Egba added: “The late Akhigbe was a remarkable officer and gentleman. He was actively involved when Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar successfully transited Nigeria to a democracy. We owe our democracy to his commitment to ideals. “A seminal gentleman, after a successful career in the

Navy, he didn’t rest on that achievement but proceeded to read Law, and he made a success of his second career. “Out of the Navy, he played his politics without bitterness and rancour.” The Senate Leader condoled with the Akhigbe family and the Edo State Government.

‘He stood for truth, justice’


GROUP, Afenmai Youth Congress (AYC), and the 1992 set of Anglican Grammar School, Igarra, Edo State, the secondary school the late Chief of General Staff (CGF), Vice Admiral Okhai Mike Akhigbe attended, have described his death as a big loss to the country. A statement by the president of the 1992 Old Boys’ Association (ANGSOBA ‘92), Philip Mayaki, described Akhigbe’s death as a loss to the school. “We first heard about this great alumnus in 1986, when the school was celebrating its 50th years of existence. He was then the military governor of Lagos State, and we were fascinated by his achievements as a military officer. He crowned this by becoming the No. 2 citizen of Nigeria. He was a great ambassador. We pray God to take his soul and comfort the family he left behind,” Mayaki said. Also, a statement by the President and Secretary of AYC, Dr Philip Ugbodaga and

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

Ronke Ojeikere, described the late Akhigbe as a “very disciplined Naval officer who rose through the ranks to become a Vice Admiral in the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria’s No. Two citizen during a trying period in the history of our nation”. They recalled that the late CGS “held the highest political office in Afenmai land”. “He (Akhigbe) stood for truth, justice and equity. We recall with nostalgia his contributions to the development and articulation of the Southsouth position during the 2005 national political conference, convened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. His unwavering stance on the Niger Delta agitation for resource control culminated in the historic walkout by the Southsouth delegation, following the refusal of the other zones to grant our prayers with Chief Edwin K. Clark and others.”

•From right: Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; his predecessor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and former governor of the state, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, at the eighth day fidau prayer for Dr Olunloyo’s mother, Madam Tejumola Bintu Olunloyo, in Ibadan...yesterday.




ACF: North to attend National Dialogue


HE pan-North’s sociopolitical organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged northerners to participate in the dialogue in the interest of “national solidarity”. This is at variance with its earlier stance, which portrayed the forum’s indifference to the national dialogue. The ACF suggested that instead of choosing delegates on the basis of ethnic representation, zone or state, they should be selected on local government basis, with one person representing each local government. In a communiqué at the end of a joint meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Executive Council (NEC) in Kaduna by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, the forum feared that the outcome of the exercise might be dumped in the trash can, as those before it. The forum had consistently said that since it was not party to those who called for the national conference/national dialogue, it had no suggestion to give the committee, headed by Senator Okorunmu.

•Arewa makes U-turn From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

At the end of its meeting in Kaduna, the ACF said it “considered the decision of the Federal Government to convoke a national conference/national dialogue against the backdrop that the decisions of past conferences are yet to be implemented by the appropriate authorities”. It added: “ACF, therefore, expressed doubt that the outcome of the current exercise would not suffer the same fate. “However, as a mark of good faith in the hope that real issues of real concerns to real Nigerians may be discussed, ACF urge northerners to participate in the national conference/national dialogue in the interest of national solidarity, which goes with relative pluralism. Towards this end, only delegates with proven intelligence and patriotic courage should be encouraged and supported to attend the conference. “The meeting also considered the calls for representations on the basis of equality of geopo-

litical zones, or of states or of ethnic nationalities. “...ACF urged the government to use local government areas as constituency units for representation to the conference as one delegate per local government area.” The forum was worried about the proliferation of groups and associations claiming to be speaking for and on behalf of the North. It stressed that there was need for all northerners to speak with one voice in the interest of the region. ACF said: “The joint meeting received and considered the report on the adverse effect of proliferation groups claiming to speak for the North and the need to speak with the same voice for effective performance. It directed its relevant committee to meet with the other groups with a view to finding the best way forward among possibilities of all the groups coming back to ACF; or all collapsing into a different platform or working together.”

2015: IYC gives condition for Jonathan's re-election


JAW Youth Council (IYC) yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan's reelection in 2015 will only be possible if the Ijaw nation speaks in one voice. The president-elect of the group, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, insisted that there was the need for the youths, elders and all stakeholders in the Ijaw project to be united to actualise the 2015 presidential election of Jonathan. He said the Ijaw must build bridges with other ethnic groups to extend its Presidency beyond 2015. Said he: "I believe that unity within us is the watchword. We will move into building bridges and solidarity. 2015 will only be achieved when we as a people are united. "From the strength of people of Ijaw nation, on the strength of our people, we must build friendship with other ethnic nationalities to support the President to win

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

the 2015 election." Eradiri also said IYC would be sanitised to enable it tackle sea piracy and kidnapping among youths in the Niger Delta. He said kidnapping came as a result of idleness among youths, adding that the group's structures in different clans would be revived to fight oil bunkering in local communities. Eradiri, who spoke in Yenagoa, said the IYC would make efforts to reach out to kidnappers holding the two American sailors abducted off the coast of Bayelsa State last week. He said: "Right now, we've just concluded elections. There are a lot of protests going on by entities that will not be able to win an election. With the incident that occurred yesterday, I don't believe that their grievances should be meted out to inno-

Bayelsa demolishes Dickson's building


AYELSA State government yesterday demolished a one-storey building belonging to Governor Seriake Dickson. The building, located on Opolo/AIT Road, Yenagoa, was demolished for obstructing the right of way and the state capital city master plan.

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

The government took the action with a statement that no building violating the right of way and obstructing the state's master plan would be spared. Dickson's building was marked for demolition by the CCDA on June 28 last year.

cent persons in the society. "Going to block roads used by Ijaw people, destroying cars that are owned by Ijaw people is unfortunate." He said the group would work with government to address issues of poverty, under development, agriculture, job creation and crime in Ijaw land. Said he: "We will ensure that resource control is implemented. By resource control, we will use the capacity we have to create wealth. There must be a deliberate policy from government." On reconciling aggrieved members he said: "There is a machinery we are setting up to extend our hands of fellowship to the aspirants, who have the Ijaw at heart; we mean serious-minded aspirants who lost the election. It is a no-victor-no-vanquished situation. Don't forget my brothers that I campaigned for this election. "IYC is a movement and pressure group. A pressure group is not a political organisation. The attitude of settling those who lost election is out of place. I will not do that because we are in a movement and not in a political organisation. "I was given an opportunity to serve Ijaw people and I served well. That was why they asked me to be their leader."

Good governance train moves to Kogi


HE National Good Governance Tour is moving to Kogi State from November 2 till November 5. A Town Hall meeting of stakeholders will take place at the Glass House, Lokoja, to round off the visit. Mr. Peter Dama, the project coordinator of the National Good Governance Tour, said the train, which started in September, last year, with the inspection of federal, state and local government projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has covered 19 states in the Northcentral, Southsouth and Southeast. The tour’s main objective, Dama said, “is to entrench good governance by providing a

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

platform for members of the tour team and citizens to obtain first-hand information about government policies, programmes and projects at the three tiers of government”. The team comprises representatives of national and foreign media organisations, a strong social media team, civil society organisations, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Radio, Television and Theatre Art Workers Union (RATTAWU), the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) and representatives of the Presidency and the National Planning Commission.



NEWS Striking UCH doctors eject patients


HE strike by resident doctors has started taking its toll on the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. In-patients are being discharged prematurely by the management, regardless of their condition. They were told to go home or patronise private hospitals, as doctors failed to report for work. It was gathered that some in-patients, whose conditions were critical, were given first aid treatment by nurses before they were discharged. Yesterday, the emergency wards were empty. President of the the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), UCH chap-

ter, Babatunde Babasanya, said the strike would continue until their demands were met. UCH’s Chief Information Officer Toye Akinrinlola said the hospital’s management met with the doctors, but they insisted that they would not suspend the strike until their money was paid. Akinrinlola said: “We appealed to them, but they stood their ground. We will continue to talk to them and we hope the strike will be suspended soon.” Resident doctors have been on strike since October 1 over the non-payment of their four months’ salary and inadequate funding of residency training programmes.

Ajimobi eulogises Olunloyo’s mum


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday extolled the virtues of the late Madam Tejumola Bintu Olunloyo, the mother of former Governor Omololu Olunloyo. He described her as an epitome of womanhood. The governor spoke at the eighth day prayer for the deceased at Omololu’s Molete home in Ibadan, the state capital. He described the late Madam Olunloyo as an intelligent woman, who showered her children with love, care and affection. Ajimobi said: “I was close to Mama. She was a disciplinarian, who didnot take `No’ for an answer. At the same time, she was willing to do

everything humanly possible to ensure the well-being of her children. “She was a great aunt from the Olugbesan family. She was very caring and stood for everything good. No wonder she had great children like Dr. Olunloyo, who is an icon and a successful personality by all standards. The occasion was graced by eminent personalities, including former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; Chief Kola Daisi; Chief Omowale Kuye; Prof. Akinwumi Ishola, Chief Adebayo Akande and his wife; and Chief Nike Akande. Olunloyo described his mother as “a warrior, who defied all odds to make her mark in the society”.

Budget: Amosun consults residents


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has said all ongoing projects in the state will be completed before his tenure expires. He spoke at the June 12, Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, during a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders on projects to be included in the 2014 budget. Amosun said: “The essence of this assembly is to jointly define our priorities and collectively articulate our development agenda for 2014. We invited all stakeholders to get their input in next year’s budget estimate.” The governor assured them that suggestions made at the meeting would be considered in the preparation of the 2014 budget. He said efforts to engage the youth in agriculture were

yielding results, adding that many unemployed youths were presently engaged at farm settlements across the state. On the request for the construction of more roads, schools and hospitals, Amosun said plans were underway to do so. On environmental cleanliness, he warned residents against indiscriminate refuse disposal, stressing that it can cause environmental and health hazards. He urged them to always dispose refuse in bins and at designated collection centres. Assuring the people that his administration would continue to protest their interest, Amosun said: “We shall remain focused in our mission to make positive impact in the lives of our people. I assure you that this adminis-

tration will not leave any of the on-going projects uncompleted. Our actions and efforts in the past 29 months have been channelled towards the realisation of this great vision.” He said his administration had showed that its ‘mission to rebuild’ was not just another government propaganda but an elaborate master plan to bring about socio-economic progress. The governor said despite challenges caused by dwindling resources from the Federation Account, the government was committed to the successful implementation of its five-point agenda. He said: “We have no doubt that we are on course. We shall deliver on our promises. We have recorded some remarkable achievements this year and we are poised to


consolidate on them in 2014.“ Amosun thanked the people for support and cooperation, which he said led to the realisation of government programmes. He said he would continue to involve stakeholders in governance.

Nigeria Defence College: OYES has curbed crime


ARTICIPANTS of Course 22 at the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, have said the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and other strategic programmes have reduced crime and youth restiveness in the state. Members of Course 22 made this remark after a study tour of Osun State. This was contained in their presentation, themed: “Infrastructure as Catalyst for Development in Osun State: Issues and Prospects”, at the Sani Abacha Hall of the NDC in Abuja. Speaking for the participants, Navy Captain B. E.

Dauda said the OYES initiative should be adopted by other states to curb unemployment. He said: “I want to use the opportunity of this presentation of the Course 22 participants of the National Defence College, Abuja, following a geo-strategic tour recently carried out by us, to commend Aregbesola’s threeyear-old administration. “This is to applaud Osun for using OYES to arrest idleness and restiveness among youths by profitably engaging them, despite the fluctuations in federal allocations. “Our geo-strategic tour of the state showed prudent management of resources accruing to the 22-year-old state

by the Aregbesola administration.” Navy Captain Dauda said the fluctuating federal allocations to states poses significant threats to infrastructural regeneration in states. Group Captain Iroubuisi said the Course 22 members found out that OYES led to a decrease in Osun’s crime rate. He hailed Aregbesola on internal revenue generation and for encouraging farmers. Group Captain Iroubuisi said: “We of the Course 22 of the NDC hail Osun on the robust security infrastructure provided in the state. Our findings showed a decrease in crime rate in the state as a result of the engagement of youth through OYES.”

Osun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Sunday Akere said the National Bureau of Statistics identified Osun as No. 1 in public school enrolment. He said the feat was achieved through the feeding of primary school pupils. Akere said: “It is on record that 21 states were ravaged by flood last year, but Osun has not recorded any since the inception of this administration because of the regular channellisation and dredging of waterways. “Aside OYES, various companies, including the Omoluabi Garment Factory and RLG, an Information Technology company, have been established in the state to provide jobs.”

APC youths campaign for Aregbesola


HE youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southwest has stormed Osun State to campaign for Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s reelection. The youths held a four-day road show at Gbongan, Iwo, Ede, Ilesa, Ibokun and other towns, where they sensitised residents on the impacts of the administration’s policies and programmes. Their leader, Mr. Enilolobo Abdullahi, said only the APC had demonstrated a commitment to change. The grand finale of the campaign was held in Osogbo, the state capital. Enilolobo said Aregbesola and other APC governors had convinced the people that the party had answers to Nigeria’s problems. He said: “From what we have seen in the Southwest

and other APC-controlled states, it is only through the party that the yearnings of Nigerians can be met. This is evident, considering the development witnessed in the APC-controlled states. “The only way we can sustain the good work the APC governors are doing is to come out in Osun and Ekiti next year and the whole Nigeria in 2015 to make things work again through our votes.” Urging youths to participate in governance, Enilolobo said: “Our leaders have tried their best and they should allow youths come in with new ideas. That is what the APC is offering.” He urged APC youths to make the party’s interest their primary agenda. Chairman of Egbe/Idimu Local Council Development

Area (LCDA), Lagos, Bello Adebayo said Aregbesola had improved infrastructure, healthcare, education and agriculture, among others. Supervisory Councilor for Health in Alimosho Local Government, Lagos, Mrs. Wemimo Ayodele said the tour of Osun opened her eyes to the “vast projects executed” by the Aregbesola administration. Mrs. Ayodele said: “I am very excited to see these massive roads, water projects, mega-schools, beautifications and agricultural extension projects. But we are not surprised because the governor has a very enviable record of performance, especially in infrastructure. He did it in Lagos and it is no surprise he is doing same in Osun. He is a pride to the APC.”

Old Boys urge Oyo to return mission schools


HE Old Boys’ Association of Loyola College, Ibadan, has urged the Oyo State government to return missionary schools to their original owners. It said this would tackle the falling standard of education. The association’s National President, Dr. Benedictus Ajayi, spoke with reporters yesterday on the state of facilities at the college. He said the return of missionary schools would save the government money. Lamenting the decay at his alma-mater, Ajayi said: “We were shocked when we went to Loyola College. We met it in a state of disrepair, not because the teachers are bad or

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

the pupils are terrible, but the structure is over crowded. Facilities meant for 200 pupils are used by 2,000 pupils and 450 teachers teach 7,000 pupils. There are no doors, windows and toilets. What are they teaching in such environment?” He said during their days at the college, the school was well equipped and pupils and teachers were disciplined. Ajayi said: “Government has no business handling schools. There have been many correspondences calling for it to hands off and I believe that in no distant time, schools will be handed

back to their original owners.” He hailed the Lagos State government for taking the lead in returning missionary schools to their owners. Ajayi said: “The school has gone through a pathetic transformation since it was taken over by the government, such that enrolment reduced drastically and infrastructure greatly dilapidated. This compelled old students to rally round and see how we can transform the school for the better. “We need other members of the association to support this cause financially, because it is our desire to see the school regain its pride as one of the best in Ibadan.”





At the moment there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Etisalat’s CEO, Evans resigns By Lucas Ajanaku


• From left: Head, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Thomson Reuters, Mr Alex Menage, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters, Mr Keith Nicols, Executive Director, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Jato Waziri, and Co-Head, Emerging Markets, London Stock Exchange, Mr Ibikunle Adebayo, at the 4th Annual Nigeria Capital Market and Regulations’ Seminar, in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

HE Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Ni geria, Steven Evans has resigned his appointment with the telco. No reason was given for his resignation. The telco’s Chief Commercial Officer, Matthew Willsher, has been appointed as acting CEO, spokesperson of the telco, Chineze Amanfo, said yesterday. Evans was appointed in December 2008, two months after Etisalat began full commercial operations in the country, according to information gleaned from its website. Prior to that, he was CEO of London-based BT Group Plc (BT/A)’s mobile unit.

Fashola proposes N489.69b for 2014 L

AGOS State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has proposed a budget of N489.69 billion for the 2014 fiscal year to the House of Assembly. Fashola, whose budget presentation yesterday, was before a large audience of stakeholders, ranging from party chieftains and captains of industries, amongst others, said the showed a slight drop of about N10billion from the N499.604billion of the year 2013 budget. He said the budget has N234.665 billion as recurrent expenditure and N255.025 billion for capital expenditure. The breakdown showed a Total Personnel Cost/Total Revenue of 19 per cent; Total Personnel Cost/IGR, of 27 per cent, and Personnel Cost as percentage of Recurrent Expenditure of 37 per cent, anchored on a zero deficit financing requirement, he said. The sectoral breakdown is as follows: General Public Service, N100.215 billion;

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

Public Order & Safety, N17.977 billion; Economic Affairs, N160.046 billion and Environmental Protection, N39.727 billion. Also, N50.537 billion is allocated for Housing and Community Amenities; N37.8 billion goes to Health; N3.482 billion, is set aside for Recreation, Culture and Religion, while N77.423 billion and N2.466billion are devoted to Education and Social

Protection, respectively. Fashola, said because this is the last full year budget that his administration would implement, there’s a slight reduction in budget size when compared with the 2013 budget, stating that its focus is “to complete on-going projects, and consolidate on the gains we have made.” He listed the sectoral highlights of the 2014 budget as; General Public Service, Pensions, Residents Registration

and Issuance of permanent residents’ cards, implementation of Public Procurement Law, Public Order and Safety, Computerisation/Automation of Judicial procedures, including e-filing, Completion of on-going High/Magistrate Courts’ projects, Renovation/Rehabilitation of Court Rooms and Judges Chambers, and Improving Safety and Disaster Management. He said the budget would

Dangote makes world’s most powerful list


HO’S more powerful: the autocratic leader of a former superpower, or the handcuffed Commander-in-Chief of the most dominant country in the world? This year the votes for the World’s Most Powerful went to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He climbs one spot ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama, who held the title in 2012. Putin has solidified his control over Russia while Obama’s lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president — latest example: the government shutdown mess. Anyone watching this year’s chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics. The Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of the heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who truly rule the world. It represents the collective wisdom of top FORBES editors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet’s top 72 power-brokers – one for every 100 million people on Earth — based on their scope of influence and their financial resources relative to their peers. (See full methodology here). This year’s list features 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of some $48 trillion — including the three most powerful people, Putin, Obama and Xi Jinping,

• Putin topples Obama the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The 27 CEOs and chairs control over $3 trillion in annual revenues, and 12 are entrepreneurs, including new billionaires on the list, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote (No. 64), founder of Dangote Group, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison (No. 58). Speaking of, this year’s class has 28 billionaires valued in excess of $564 billion. Here, a quick peek at the Most Powerful People in the World 2013: Newcomers: Among the 13 newcomers are Pope Francis (No. 4), Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn (No. 49), South Korean President Park Geunhye (No. 52), IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 56), and Janet Yellen (No. 72), nominated by President Obama as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Rosneft CEO and Putin confidant Igor Sechin (No. 60) and Jill Abramson (No. 68), the executive editor of the New York Times, make a return appearance after dropping of the list in years past. He’s Not No. 1: This is the first year that Putin carries the crown. Obama has been on the top of the list for every year with the exception of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of China, was No. 1.

Women Moving Up In Numbers: This year there are nine women on the list, representing 12% of the world’s most powerful — in stark contrast to being 50% of the world’s population. Both 2011 and 2012 featured six women leaders, and the inaugural list from 2009 included only 3 — or just 4.4%. Recently elected Park of South Korea joins the other female heads of state German Chancellor Angela Merkel No.5), Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff (No. 20)and de facto head of India Sonia Gandhi (No. 21). Two of the world’s most important NGO’s are run by women: Christine Lagarde (No. 35) leads the IMF and Margaret Chan (No. 59) steers the World Health Organization. Billionaires: Worth a cumulative $564 billion. Sure they’re rich but many of these billionaires deserve special attention for their philanthropic work, including Warren Buffett (No. 13), Michael Bloomberg (No. 29), Li Ka-shing (No. 30), Charles and David Koch (No. 31), and Mohammed Ibrahim (No. 71). Entrepreneurs Represent: There are 12 in total. As expected, many are headquartered on the West Coast: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (No. 17), Mark Zuckerberg (No. 24), Elon Musk (No. 47), Ellison and Reid Hoffman (No. 65). Global entrepreneurial spirit spans from Japan’s Masayoshi Son (No. 45) and China’s Robin Li (No. 61) to Africa’s Dangote and Ibrahim.

also focus on implementation of various Independent Power Projects, development of Enterprise Zones in Gberigbe, Ikorodu and Upgrading of Yaba Industrial Park, advancement of Ten-Lane LagosBadagry Expressway/Blue Rail Line Corridor, completion of other on-going Road Construction Projects and pedestrian bridges, Agric-YES, Accelerated Food Expansion Program, Rice, Animal Husbandry and Root Crops, among others. “One of our programmes that

we will be paying attenition to is the Residents’ Registration exercise. As I said at the launch, it is for Residents of Lagos and no more. It seeks to register everybody who intends to live here for up to 6 (six) months and beyond, irrespective of where they come from,” he stressed, adding that “with effect from the 1st of December 2013, it will be a requirement in terms of information to be provided in order to enable us to provide service to you or process requests from you.”


• And Kalu found it Kalu Kalu Nwalugwe emerged the winner of the first Gulder Ultimate Search Fans' Edition. The 27-year-old indigene of Ohafia in Abia State beat two other contestants, Chijioke Samson and Victor Olayinka, in the final quest that took place right inside the Usaka jungle. The 12 contestants arrived the city of Uyo where they were given a VIP treatment the previous day. The following day, they headed straight to Usaka to have a taste of the jungle experience. On arrival in the jungle and left on their own, they found various clues which led them to Bob Manuel-Udokwu, the anchor man for the fans’ edition. Bob welcomed and congratulated them for being part of the first ever GUS fans' edition and issued each of them a certificate of participation. Then their contest began in earnest. Their first challenge, ‘By Hook or By Crook’, was an elimination task. It involved using a hook tied to a rope, to pull two packs of puzzles, one after the other, to their work stations where they would solve the puzzle. Shola Charity, Kalu Kalu, Austin Nse, Victor Olayinka, Michael Fajobi and Chijioke Samson, in that order, scaled through to the next challenge. The other six were evicted but were given consolation prizes of N100,000 and a Samsung tablet each. The second challenge, Hoop and Labyrinth, involved throwing two balls through a hoop into a table maze and then navigating the ball into a net under the maze. The balls were thrown and navigated one at a time. The first three to finish would move on to the final search. Kalu Kalu, Chijioke Samson and Victor Olayinka were the first thee to finish and preceded to the last stage. For the final search, each of them was provided with a compass and coordinates to guide them to where the treasure was buried. Whoever dug up the treasure would win. Kalu Kalu did, and was instantly proclaimed the Ultimate Conqueror 1. See who becomes the Ultimate Champion tonight, by watching the final episode showing on African Magic (DSTV), Ebonylife TV, Realstar, Wap TV, ESBS and AKBC at 10pm; and AIT & Galaxy TV at 10:30pm.










‘History will be kind to Salami - a man of courage and fearless jurist’ TEXT of a speech by All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the launch of a book on retired President, Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami in Abuja… yesterday


E gather today to give honour to a living man of integrity, intellectual courage, wisdom and discipline. A man who reaffirmed and kept faith with the true meaning of justice even when the powerful and mighty tried to redefine it as something it was not. He stood alone and singlehandedly tried to give the Nigerian judiciary a rebirth. This man is no mythic fable or figment of our desperate search for heroes. This is a real man who we all know. Whenever the history of the Nigerian judiciary is told or written the name of Justice Ayo Salami, former President of the Appeal Court, will occupy a place of supreme honor and respect. Many have said he is the finest jurist of this generation. They may well be right. We live in an era where justice has been placed on the auction block. Too often the temple of justice has decayed into a chamber deceit. One man fought to bring justice back into the temple through singular acts of courage. He stared injustice and the misconduct of craven power in the face and did not flinch. He stood his ground because it was a firm and honest position, established on the unbiased rule of law. Justice Salami represented the judiciary a true democracy needs. We are yet to achieve this judiciary simply because those in power do not want it. They do not want judges who are objective arbiters of the law. They want jurists who cheer for them not jurist who cherish the law. They want judges who believe power and might are the law not judges who believe in the power and might of the law. For being forthright and objective, Salami was taken from his deserved position on the bench by the ruling party.An innocent man was made to suffer. pilloried for the sin of being good and forthright. Those who forced him into retirement saw him as an obstacle because he did not play favorites. when it came to the law, he did not play at all. He held the law in great esteem and protected it as one should protect

the cornerstone of a just society. The story of Justice Salami is instructive. Despite being exonerated by numerous panels of men of integrity, the government refused to re-instate him. Though kept at home. He was a constant thorn in their side because he would not abide their script. His compass was not the demands of those in power . His compass was the dictates of the law. In another setting, he would have been proclaimed a great and noble man. In Nigeria, he was punished. Salami’s account is the story of Nigeria. Nigeria stands in the cross winds of history. Unless we find more men with the gravity and sobriety of Justice Salami in the judiciary we shall be swept in the wrong direction by the terrible gales of unbridled ambition and mean power. In an era of electoral thievery, Nigerians had their votes stolen and elections manipulated. The ruling PDP had perfected the art of losing at the ballot box but winning at the arbitrary stroke of a pen held by some compromised INEC agent. The 2007 elections wrongly applauded by the international observers as credible was a most brazenly rigged exercise. It was an open carnival of malpractice. PDP candidates who were clear losers were awarded the trophy as governors in Ekiti, Edo, Osun and Ondo states. The opposition is fairly tolerant but this amount of thievery no one can stomach. The aggrieved went to court. They asked the judiciary to fulfill its duty by applying justice where justice had gotten cheated. In a long and tough battle, justice prevailed rafter nearly three years of litigation and battle. When the cases arrived at the Court of Appeal, one man was waiting. This was one man who made the difference. He was Justice Ayo Salami, the President of the Appeal Court. Soon the stolen victories in Osun, Ekiti, Edo and Ondo where overturned and the people’s mandates were restored to the proper winners. That should have been the end of it where law and history merged in to a just and happy ending. But wait. It did not happen that nice way.. The PDP government refused to see justice for what it is. Exposed for what they had done, they ambushed the man who had the singular courage to protect justice. Ayo Salami became a target of an obtuse and intricate plot to discredit him. Colleagues in the judiciary were recruited and pressured to rubbish him. First, he was to promoted

•Senator Olabiyi Durojaye (left) chats with Lagos State Commissioner for the Envronment Mr. Tunji Bello at the state’s 489.69 billion 2014 Budget presentation by Governor Babatunde Fashola at the House of Assembly, Alausa in Ikeja ... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

‘Justice Salami will remain the thorn in the flesh and the hammer in the minds of those who seek to clip justice to gain undue political power and advantage’ into a nice-sounding but irrelevant position. He wisely rejected that trap. His foes then upped the ante. If he would not be coaxed out of position, they would simply pull him from it. Their objective was to ensure that he would never be in a position to deliver judgments that might go against the PDP if the law and facts were against the PDP. They became obsessed with seeing the back of him as the presidential election case moved to the Appeal Court. Justice Salami was the President of the Appeal court on the eve of the judgement in the presidential elections involving Jonathan. At this point, the current government used its mercenaries in the judiciary to suspend Justice Salami without cause or reason. Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, Jonathan blatantly refused to re-instate the man. He bolted the door shut against an innocent, upright man until he was due for retirement. This is the how the current government defines justice. This is why they can do little right and do mostly wrong. whatever they do right is by accident and when they do wrong it mostly backfires against them. This government is its own worst enemy. But worst, it is a burden on the people and the collective search for just governance. In 2011 our elections were again more crass than credible. Our judiciary through the election tribunals did little to dispense justice in most cases. What happened to justice Salami had frightened the few other judges who might have had the courage to stand against the whims of power. Nigerians had their votes stolen and manipulated once more. The electoral pilferage had reached crisis proportion. We need to return to basic decency. If not, the next general election will be so substandard that no one can predict its aftermath.

In 2007, the incoming PDP government knew its lack of legitimacy would impair its already suspect capacity to govern. To salvage its image, government inaugurated the Electoral Reform Committee. Chaired by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, the committee produced a comprehensive report enumerating 83 procedural and substantive recommendations. Key recommendations dealt with the independence of the electoral commission and creating an electoral process secure from manipulation. If implemented, the report would have moved Nigeria closer to genuine democracy. In effect, the PDP did not bargain on the Uwais Committee taking its mission seriously. In constituting the Committee, the government got what it did not want: a true road map for reform. But it was the type of reform that would end the party’s undemocratic grip on power.. If we are serious and if this government is serious, it would return to the important bit of unfinished business. Government would have the courage to implement the Uwais report. If there is but one law passed before the next general elections, let it be a law implementing the report and adding the important innovation of bio-metric voting. Then we shall have a level playing ground. Let the people and the chips fall where they may. The APC is willing to go this route and stake its fortune on the will of the electorate. THe PDP cannot make the same claim. it is still seeking ways to engineer the people out of the elections that are supposed to manifest their sovereign will in selecting the government and leaders of their choice. In conclusion, the judiciary was intended to be the guardian of fair play. Without such a protector, democracy lies exposed to the ravages of power. This is the case in Nigeria today. Instead of learning democratic lessons from the judicial overturning of its electoral violations, the ruling party has vowed t overturn the impartiality of the judiciary. Instead of desisting from practices deemed improper, the PDP now employs those same practices to wreck the operation of justice. Thus government wrongfully ended the career of one of our illustrious jurists, Court of Appeal President, Justice Isa Salami. What was his crime? He refused to put his sense of justice on sale. Because of this, they slandered and libeled him. They rumoured he was in the pockets of the ACN. This was a terrible

•Asiwaju Tinubu

lie against a good man. Our party has no hold on him. His verdicts were not for the ACN. They were for justice. However, those in power could not tolerate his impartiality. So partisan and power-mad, they cannot see that this man operates from principles different and more exalted than the crude politics they play. IN everything, they see a power game. the notions of justice and fairness are as far from them as the sun is from the moon. They sacrificed this fine jurist to send a clear and blunt message to other jurists: GO AGAINST OUR WISHES AND LOSE YOUR ROBES. If such a thing can fall upon so senior a jurist, what hope for the others. What hope for the common man? The answer is none, unless the public cries out against the PDP turning the rule of law from an inalienable right into a tradable item that it owns and controls. Our courts have become Islands of confusion as judges are now forced to balance their conscience against their careers. As a consequence, we face the troubling development of having the scant progress in INEC performance being completely overtaken by this subjugation of the judiciary. We are thus confronted with a process that is timed for backward rather than forward movement. Justice Salami will remain the thorn in the flesh and the hammer in the minds of those who seek to clip justice to gain undue political power and advantage. Yet, nothing they do can eclipse his courageous contribution to democracy and to the restoration of hope in our judiciary. Some day, Nigeria shall erect a monument in his name. But the best monument to give this man is a living one. Let us, continue to demand electoral reform. Let us demand judicial independence so other jurists can act in the the spirit of this man we today honor. If we do this, Nigeria would have executed the proper turn to its better future. And whenever the story of the judiciary of this nation is told, the name Ayo Salami will find powerful and true mention.

•Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Nigeria Olivier Fages (left), Akintayo Akinseloye and Nollywood act Rita Dominic at the Nollywood Movies Awards held in Lagos







Africa at dawn

Jonathan in Israel • The President’s trip throws up questions on pilgrimages that we must answer


T is heartwarming that the Presidency last week denied reports that President Goodluck Jonathan would lead 19 state governors, some serving ministers as well as some 30,000 intending Nigerian pilgrims to Israel. Although what made the story somewhat ridiculous were the 30,000 Nigerians that reports said the President would lead to the holy land; it was still regarded as a possibility given the President’s antecedents of travelling with unusually large entourage. He has been criticised for this times without number without any change of heart. But the Presidency’s rebuttal of the story on October 22 somewhat calmed frayed nerves. A statement by Reuben Abati, President Jonathan’s special adviser on media and publicity, clarified the position: “irrespective of President Jonathan’s visit, thousands of Nigerians visit Israel annually during the pilgrimage season which goes on for months and they will undoubtedly do so again between now and early next year”. Apparently, the President’s trip to Israel had been mixed up with that of about 30,000 Nigerians who are to be in Israel for the pilgrimage this year. But this is not the only issue with the trip to Israel. There is also the question of the President’s mission in the place. Shortly before he left for Israel, President Jonathan had said he would be in that country partly to pray for Nigeria and partly to discuss bilateral issues with the Israeli leaders. “Nigeria needs both political and spiritual

transformation. The country is facing a lot of challenges, hence this pilgrimage exercise will serve as an intercessory tool for the nation to seek the face of God in this trying moment of our national life. Christ is a winner and conqueror! I have no doubt that this exercise would help the nation overcome its current challenges,” he said. We do not intend to deny the President his entitlement to his faith, but we hasten to add that much as Nigeria needs spiritual transformation, most of the problems the country is facing are self-inflicted and clearly avoidable. For instance, do we need spiritual transformation to know that it is wrong to buy bullet-proof cars for a minister at highly inflated costs? Do we need spiritual transformation to know what to do with people close to the seat of power who loot pension and other funds? Do we need spiritual transformation to know that vendetta politics is bad for the system? These are issues within the purview of man and particularly the leadership. The way we are going, we may soon get to a situation where people will begin to ask God when to eat, what to eat and stuff like that. Well, now that President Jonathan has travelled to Israel since he believes he would find answers to our crisis of nationhood there, Nigerians expect to see a brand new administration fresh from the anointing in the holy land. Beyond all these, however, is the

propriety or otherwise of government spending public funds to transport people on pilgrimage. Although this has been an age-long practice in our country, it does not make it right. Pilgrimage is a personal thing and since the country is recognised constitutionally as a secular state, governments should stay off religious matters, including funding of pilgrimage. People intending to go on pilgrimage should be able to foot the bill. None of the two dominant religions in the country makes it mandatory for people to go on pilgrimage whether they can afford it or not. This practice is in itself a form of corruption, especially when it involves public servants. Worse still, the religious exhibitionism has not resulted in good governance in the country. So, why waste public funds on it?

‘People intending to go on pilgrimage should be able to foot the bill. None of the two dominant religions in the country makes it mandatory for people to go on pilgrimage whether they can afford it or not. This practice is in itself a form of corruption, especially when it involves public servants’

Ilorin stampede • An act of Sallah charity became a tragedy of generosity


HE Sallah stampede in Ilorin, Kwara State, is a reflection of the viral poverty level in a country of plenty. Yet, the nation wantonly fails in her duty to provide for her citizenry. It is poignant to note that over 20 people, virtually old women, died while jostling with others to have a bite of the Sallah crumbs donated by Sen. Bukola Saraki, the immediate past governor of the state. According to reports, most victims of the stampede were loyalists of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The Eid-el-Kabir catastrophe reportedly commenced as a carnival at Ile Arugbo, Ilofa Road, Ilorin. But, by the time scrambling for the Sallah gifts such as food items and other com-

‘Why must citizens rely on alms from the well-heeled members of the society, especially those in power, before they could be happy during any festivity? Rather than institutional development, why should a public officer derive joy in individual doling out of gifts to the governed in the society at the expense of their right to dignity?’

modities was over, the end result was not what was bargained for. Many were injured, the aged and the weak reportedly fainted, some of them never regained consciousness; they passed on in their worthless pursuit of consumables that may not last them beyond 48 hours! We recollect that similar incidents occurred in the state in 2010 and 2011. Sadly, the condemnable act is not restricted to Ilorin. For example, in Sokoto State at the start of the last Ramadan fasting, three teenagers reportedly died during a related act of charity in a scramble for gifts at the governor’s residence. Senator Saraki, the donor of the gifts, expectedly had expressed sadness over the fatalities. However, the issue at stake is beyond mere outpouring of condolences but more importantly the lessons learnt to forestall a recurrence. No doubt, the former governor must have inherited the charity tradition from his late father who was a politician of national significance and ‘strong man’ of Kwara State politics during his life time. But the demeaning culture of almsgiving, not only in Kwara but other states in the country, is a manifestation of the high retardation level of the people. The trend of alms-giving under the guise of observing religious injunction has created a needlessly subservient citizenry - a people that wantonly look up to the rich and

politically powerful in the society for their survival. In most cases, the men of power deploy alms as a tool more for reinforcing power than as a mark of adherence to almighty God’s injunction. We ask: Why must citizens rely on alms from the well-heeled members of the society, especially those in power, before they could be happy during any festivity? Rather than institutional development, why should a public officer derive joy in individual doling out of gifts to the governed in the society at the expense of their right to dignity? We still wonder whether if Saraki in his eight years of governing Kwara State had entrenched the required safety nets for the people, incidents such as the last stampede would not have been averted. A system that allows the weak to remain perpetual slaves of the powerful should be discouraged in all parts of the country. And if it has to be done, it must be done in such a way that would not jeopardise the safety and dignity of beneficiaries? We deplore a situation whereby a festivity like the Eid-el-Kabir that is meant to save and celebrate life was turned to one that has taken lives in Kwara State. Senator Saraki should deploy his resources to correct things that he did not do while he was in power that has made Kwara people to remain poor today.

– Continent will gain by putting investors in the picture


HE tentative rays of prosperity breaking over Africa are reflected in statisticians’ increasingly urgent efforts to cast light on the continent’s economy. Reliable data are sorely needed. The International Monetary Fund has warned that “the quality of basic economic statistics in sub-Saharan Africa often so poor that it can lead to serious misdiagnosis”. In the past, similar problems have afflicted regions such as Latin America, the former Soviet Union and southeast Asia. African countries are improving the quality of the information they gather, beginning with their national accounts. The results are staggering. Ghana recently recalculated the size of its economy for the first time in more than a decade, taking into account new growth industries such as mobile telephony. Its gross domestic product turned out to be 62 per cent larger than previously thought. Gambia and GuineaBissau, two tiny west African nations, more than doubled their GDP estimates in a similar exercise. While acknowledging that the large revisions have “understandably alarmed many observers”, the African Development Bank is encouraging others to follow suit. In the past, official statistics have often missed the large informal sector of African economies, which includes subsistence agriculture. This has resulted in an overly gloomy assessment of Africa’s economic fortunes. Compiling genuinely illuminating data takes time and money, and some will question whether it is worth the candle. In a poor country such as Ghana, it seems perverse to shower government statistics agencies with resources that could otherwise be used to improve primitive schools and hospitals. Yet if reliable economic data create confidence they could deliver a surprisingly large return, lowering capital costs and attracting foreign investment. Balance of payments statistics, for example, are crucial for countries that wish to tap global capital markets. International agencies should prioritise help for the region. But Africa also needs to help itself. Too often, the continent’s leaders have punished western scholars for questioning government numbers. Critical voices have even been excluded from regional economic forums by means of informal bans. Taking criticism on board would be one worthwhile step. Granting independence to national statistics agencies would be another. Official statistics can only be credible if governments are willing to voice inconvenient truths. – Financial Times

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IR: When President Goodluck Jonathan announced the constitution of a Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference and Dialogue in his independence anniversary message, many Nigerians saw it as an opportunity to discuss and renegotiate the basis of our existence as one united and indivisible nation built on principles which give and confer equality, respect and dignity on all. Many also saw it as an opportunity to ventilate their disappointment at the way they and their ethnic groups, particularly the so-called minorities, have suffered neglect, marginalisation, oppression and suppression over the years. They believed that given an opportunity to be heard would put their case on the front burner of na-


Thank you, Tony Nyiam!

tional discuss with the hope that a lasting solution would be found to their case. To some southern minorities, this may well be a last chance to right the wrongs of the past and put a stop to further agitations for fair treatment. The ugly incident on Monday October 28, during the meeting of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference and Dialogue

in Benin City, Edo State, may have surprised not a few Nigerians both in the country and in Diaspora including foreigners. It was expected that the committee would listen to all Nigerians who have something to say irrespective of age, gender, level of education, social status, or ethnic origin as promised by conference committee chairman, Senator Okorounmu. The incident in which a

state governor like Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, could be shouted down by even a conference committee member, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd), for making contributions not agreeable to him, reinforces the stand of those who say the conference has a hidden agenda behind it and, therefore, unnecessary at this point in time. If the conference committee would not listen to all persons no matter

High cost of running for public office


IR: The cost of running for a political office in Nigeria makes the race unwinnable to a candidate with good intentions. Many are liquidated from pursuing their chance of a moment in the sun. At the end of the day, they become cynical. The physical, ethical and financial cost of running for a political office will make a wise man ask, what is the trouble? Politics should be a game of wits and not a battle with the beast. Power is intoxicating and many people are willing to get drunk on the juice of politics. A candidate squanders all of his or her wealth, and goes borrowing to finance his campaign. He hopes to buy people’s loyalty. He is praised and assured direct access to the office of his aspiration by his purchased audience. He rambles on day in and day out like a wino on his promises of a better time to the suffering citizens. The wind of reality becomes toxic to his or her skin and a honest opinion is repelled like a plague. The shout of sycophants turns to a sweet melody in his ears. It will not be scandalous to compare politicians to prostitutes. They both clamour for public attention. Excessive desire for entertainment

and sexual looseness appear to be the stimulants propelling their ambition. Politicians seem to have the stamina of a thorough-bred horse when it comes to gallivanting to showcase themselves as champions of the masses. Give them a crowd, turn on the microphone and they will shine their winning smile. Just to please an audience, they will kiss a clown. Dining with a monster becomes a part of the protocol. The willingness of politicians to expend so much energy, money and

morals is motivated by their vision of unlimited celebration when they get into office. They spend so much money to buy peoples conscience. They habitually lie to win ones intelligence. It is like tango with a monkey holding down a politician to his words. Every other value they have is lavished on reckless wantonness. They close their eyes on the groovy ride. They are convinced all the way that the hand of God is manifest in their mandate. Politicians are like every one of us

except one is inclined to believe they are made of a different breed. The marginal pulse that creates political visionaries, when it is off, produces imbeciles. If one is not made of steel or money, one should not aspire to a successful political career in Nigeria. Leave the bone in the paws of dogs and watch their encounter with the evil spirit. The high cost of politics makes a good man shy away. • Pius Okaneme Umuoji, Anambra State.

what they have to say and no matter how bitter, unreasonable and idiotic such contributions may appear to be, then there is a pre-conceived, pre-arranged and pre-determined end which the committee is working towards. Is it a situation of working from the unknown views of Nigerians to the known outcome by the Jonathan administration? What interest or agenda was Tony Nyiam executing in Benin City when he so violently, along with hirelings from Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states, shouted down Governor Oshiomhole, a situation which put an abrupt end to the meeting? Is this a tip of what to expect when the conference eventually gets under way? Governor Oshiomhole’s views which, he pointed out, were “my personal views’’ may well represent the views of discerning Nigerians who believe there are more pressing issues to be addressed by the government. True, patriotic Nigerians must appreciate where Tony Nyiam comes from, and, is coming from to situate his “command’’ outburst in Benin City last Monday. He was appointed into the conference committee to execute and defend an agenda which he inadvertently revealed that Monday. Rather than condemn him, Nigerians must thank Tony Nyiam for exposing unto us the “Conference Book of Revelations.” • Blessing Yakubu, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

The many twists of Stellagate IR: In a country where corruption has been naturalized and conferred with the highest national honour of GCFR, the crass display of insensitivity towards public funds is not a front page story at all. What is humiliating is the lack of political will on the part government to send a message of moral uprightness to the public. At a time when the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, ought to be facing corrupt charges over the purchase of two “operational” bullet-proof cars for N 225 million, the Presidency al-


lowed her to be on the entourage to Israel. Is this the way the Presidency intends to fight corruption? By giving a pat at the back of corrupt officials? In saner climes, the moral expectation of the minister would have been to throw in the towel, failing which she would be fired. But not here! As absurd as this might sound, some people are trying to reduce this corrupt allegation to tribal jingoism. For them, it was a game to witch-hunt their kin, and so the Igbo progressive union would organise

a pointless solidarity protest for the embattled minister. Hear them: “Before she came to office, we were hearing about international airport but today, it has become a reality in Igboland. We are ready to swim and sink with her”. What a nation! What a people! The House of Representatives has taken a principled and commendable stand by setting up a committee to unearth the ignoble dealings and to inform Nigerians of what actually transpired. In its usual fashion, the Presidency set up another

committee designed to foist a fait accompli on the house committee and to water down its findings. You want proof? Look at the house committee report on subsidy scam and the Nuhu Ribadu committee on petroleum reform. This has a history and we have memory! The leaders of this country should understand that Nigerians would no longer accept nonsense from them. We have taken this crap for so long. Enough is enough! • Alatise Taofeeq Nasir Zango, Ilorin.




Nigeria’s cultural tapestry and challenge of devt – 3


COROLLARY of systemic and endemic corruption is profligacy, the mindless waste of public resources. This, too, has become a great drag on Nigeria’s developmental efforts. Granted that Nigeria earns a fairly steady income from crude oil and natural gas exports (with all the perils of a mono-cultural economy), the country is still relatively poor. Its poverty is revealed by the huge deficits in infrastructure, education, healthcare and local content in industry and critical sectors of the economy, which the totality of internally generated revenue, even with prudent management, cannot possibly fund. Yet, Nigerian leaders have rather focused on white elephant – the proverbial bridge to nowhere: the under-utilized seaports and airports, prestige projects without economic spin-offs – which would yield slush funds to oil the corrupt politicians’ campaign and election and saddle the people with sub-standard infrastructure, which benefits only a small fraction of the population. Driven by megalomania and a bloated sense of Nigeria’s importance, Nigerian officials take very large and bloated delegations to regional, continental and global summits. A retinue of officials accompanies our athletes and sports ambassadors to international engagements. Presidents and governors undertake countless and useless overseas trips, especially the quixotic search for foreign investors, with a huge entourage, all drawing estacode from our national patrimony. The rate at which public officials and their friends acquire a fleet of aircraft and put the latest models of exotic cars on pothole-infested roads betrays the absence of a developmental vision and a lack of self-confidence in our so-called leaders. It may be argued that next to corruption and profligacy, the greatest common behavioural trait of players in the Nigerian public space is impunity, and this is not a recent development. As early as the First Republic, notable people and/or their agents committed offences against the state and its citizens, and were not made to face the full wrath of the law. In consequence, such misdemeanour was repeated in later times. For example, the mayhem in the Western House of Assembly in May 1962 was perpetrated by some so-called “Honourables,” who broke the mace, assaulted their colleagues and disrupted proceedings. Till date none was brought to book. The recent affray on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly merely rehashed that script. Elections were brazenly rigged in the Western Region in 1964-65, and again in August 1983. In spite of court decisions and/or graphic evidence, the culprits got away with it. In the case of the perennial cancellation of elections in Oguta, Imo State, a commentator, who identified federal lawmakers from the area as major culprits stated as follows: “Any inquisition that ignores the brazen impunity displayed by these elected federal legislators will be patently meaningless.” He added that it had become “paramount to check the impunity of these ... people.” (Omeihe, 2013) Another trait that dominates public behaviour is self-help, which is widely acknowledged as the weapon of the weak in the face of per-


ONY Nyiam became a household name 23 years ago. He shot to the limelight following the 1990 Gideon Orka coup. Nyiam, a colonel, was one of the arrowheads of the putsch, which was purportedly sponsored by fish magnate Great Ogboru. Until the coup, Nyiam like many of the plotters was an unknown figure in the army, who went about his duty unobtrusively. The coup changed everything and he became an instant celebrity. Unlike some of the plotters, Nyiam was lucky to have escaped the long arm of the law. He evaded arrest and fled abroad from where he became a thorn in the flesh of the Babangida regime, which he and his friends attempted to topple. Because the Babangida regime’s cup was full, many no longer had sympathy for it at the time of the coup. They had wished that the plotters succeeded in sacking the government. The plotters’ failure was, therefore, bad news for those who did not see anything good in the Babangida regime. With such support from the public, the plotters stood commended in the court of public opinion. This was all Nyiam and his co - travellers needed to become political activists. Nyiam especially has been riding the wave of political and rights activism all these years to make himself relevant in the country since his return from exile after Babangida left office unceremoniously in 1993. Even though he was tried in absentia and retired from the army by the Babangida regime, he has not allowed this to bother him since his return home. Since he was perceived as doing no wrong in the attempt to topple the Babangida regime along with others, he has been well received everywhere he went to since he came back. Even those he attempted to topple seem not to hold that against him anymore. Nyiam, the fugitive from the law some years ago, has become the man

By Ayodeji Olukoju GUEST COLUMIST ceived injustice. Violent reactions to electoral heist, perceived to have been perpetrated by unpopular but powerful state actors with the connivance of judicial and security apparatus of state, have characterized most elections in post-independence Nigeria. Western Nigeria achieved notoriety for the “wet e” spree of arson, destruction of property and murder of political opponents in 1964-65 and in Ondo State in 1983. Sporadic violence also greeted disputed elections in parts of the West, Benue and Akwa Ibom States in more recent times. Self-help can be regarded as an indignant response to weak institutions, brazen injustice and impunity, and the “might-is-right” syndrome. The “might-is-right” type of self-help, typical of powerful Nigerians who abduct creditors or demolish physical structures or forcibly possess disputed land, was recently demonstrated in a long-drawn dispute between two agencies of the federal government. On June 21, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA) blockaded the Bonny Channel to compel the Nigeria Liquified and Natural Gas (NLNG) Company to pay a disputed levy. The blockade defied a High Court injunction in favour of the gas company. A newspaper (The Nation, July 8, 2013:19) declared that it was “hard to find a more befitting word than self-help” to describe the NIMASA action. Given the intervention of the court, the paper wondered why NIMASA was “in a hurry to do things its own way.” But this was merely one in a long list of cases of self-help, mainly among private persons, between government agencies and private concerns, and, as in this case, between government establishments. No nation can develop in such an atmosphere of lawlessness. What is also becoming alarmingly rife in the Nigerian public space is the suffocating grip of acquiescence to a decadent system and unwholesome practices by the populace. It is reflected in the robotic obedience to unlawful orders by police orderlies who brutalize fellow citizens on the orders of their power-drunk principals. For instance, the brutal treatment of a journalist, Minere Amakiri, by the military governor of Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff, in 1973 was done by underlings in obedience to what was a patently inhumane order. A commentator asserted that: “Nigerians are specially gifted at rising or falling to the level of leadership they’re offered.”(Ogunlesi, 2013:25) There is a pervasive cult of silence in Nigeria. It is called “suffering and smiling,” living in denial, pretence, and complicity with injustice and oppression. It manifests in a herd instinct (Fela’s “follow-follow”) or the “if you cannot beat them, join them” syndrome. For instance, those who should have spoken out kept quiet till the Boko Haram insurgency in the North invaded even the hallowed chambers of emirs’ palaces. The bandwagon mentality and appeasement of the “winnerby foul means” or worship of the parvenu (“money-miss-road”) be-

trays moral cowardice. Sycophancy, eye service, obsequiousness and heroworship are routinely expressed in fawning congratulatory messages to temporary holders of power on occasions of inconsequential “achievements” or “landmarks.” Even an octogenarian could address a lady half his age but fortunate to be a First Lady, as “our mother,” even when Her Excellency’s conduct belies the title. Where nepotism (“manknow-man”) reigns, mediocrity becomes the norm. Banality takes centre stage Jide and reaches new depths in Osuntokun the craving for titles, especially honorary doctorates. Even institutions that do not award bachelor’s degrees brazenly award all manner of doctorate degrees, often styled “fellowships,” and those institutions that do not have the professoriate now organize inaugural lectures! It seems that we have chosen to settle for second-best and sub-standard products, leaders, facilities and what have you. Sheer mendacity – brazen lying as an art of governance - what the inimitable Professor Emeritus Tekena Tamuno has styled “lying-instate” has become official policy. Endorsement now supersedes voting and 16 votes are higher than 19! Official double-speak makes it difficult to know what and who to believe. Usually reliable sources are now suspect. The credibility of government as an institution is eroded and public trust in the integrity of our leaders is weakened. In a materialistic world, hedonism and excess should be expected. But the degree and pervasiveness of godless, soul-less greed (“chop and quench”; jeun ko’ku”), avaricious and vulgar materialism, loud and raucous exhibitionism, vanity (“I better pass my neighbour”), get-richquick mentality beat the imagination. Our materialism is tasteless and gaudy. We love grandeur and pomp without quality and substance. We are notorious, even in Europe and North America, for our ostentatious celebrations of empty “landmarks.” A columnist lamented that: “Those who should be laying out the framework for reconditioning our minds are too busy over-celebrating underachievements, too busy building castles on the ground for themselves and in the air for the people.” (Ogunlesi, 2013:25) Although Nigerians can be aggressive when their national pride is wounded, most suffer from “culture cringe” - inferiority complex - that makes all things foreign superior or more attractive. Anything foreign seems fine, if not better than ours. Foreign degrees, foreign accent, foreign spouses and elaborate wedding ceremonies in foreign lands (Dubai, the UK, the USA, etc.) have now become status symbols. • Professor Olukoju, FNAL delivered this paper at the Nigerian Academy of Letters 2013 Convocation Lecture.

A Panel’s Cross campaigning for people’s rights and participating in democratic struggles. When he was named into the National Conference/Dialogue Advisory Committee, the public did not raise an eye brow. To them, Nyiam has paid his dues and as such deserved the appointment. In the past few weeks, the Senator Femi Okurounmu - led committee has been going round the country rubbing minds with the people on what line the planned conference should take. At each sitting, people expressed their minds. They spoke from the heart. Some condemned the planned talks, some said it was long over due and yet some were non committal. Until the committee went to Benin, the Edo State capital. At Benin on Monday, the unexpected happened. Nyiam, an officer, who is expected to be a gentleman, blew his top over the remarks of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Whether in a fit of anger or not, Nyiam, as a member of such an august panel, is expected to be accommodating and self restraining in dealing with people, particularly those who appear before the committee. The committee and its members should be ready to take anything from people because it is by so doing that they will be able to arrive at a fair and accurate conclusion. The panel was not set up to impose its will on people; it was not set up to sell its or the government’s views. It was set up to collate the people’s views and prepare a report accordingly for the government. Can the committee do that by being hostile to those who appear before it? The answer is no. What happened in Benin on Monday was a shame, a big shame. Nyiam did not exhibit the traits of an officer and a gentleman the way he lunged at Oshiomhole. If he had not been held back, only God knows what he would have done to the

governor. What did Oshiomhole do to warrant such an indecent attack? Oshiomhole merely expressed his views on the planned dialogue, but this did not go down well with Nyiam, who threw caution to the wind as he went for the governor. A case of if you miss the ball don’t miss the leg. But this was not a football match. It was a public gathering of people from different walks of life. Mind you, these people were there at the behest of the committee, which needed them to gauge how the public feels about the proposed dialogue. Oshiomhole took the floor to speak and repeated what he told the committee when its members visited him at the Government House earlier in the day. According to Oshiomhole, there is no need for the planned conference. The governor was not saying anything new, so there was no need for Nyiam to flare up. Except there is something we don’t know that made him to act that way. ‘’I want to make my own comments’’, Oshiomhole began. ‘’They are my views and not the views of Edo State. It is not the view of any particular ethnic nationality. I think as a Nigerian we all have a stake in this country and we have a duty to lay a solid foundation for the future of this country. I have a duty to be honest and truthful on the views and position that I canvass. My views are different. I asked the question, why are we having a national conference? ‘’I believe that anyone who convenes a meeting must be clear why he convened a meeting. I have the opportunity to travel far and wide. You don’t assemble people and then ask them, what do we talk? Whoever wishes to convene a meeting must be clear on what the issues are. When you have stated why the meeting was convened,

you can then ask what should be added or deleted. You have hundreds of agenda. When I was in the NLC (Nigerian Labour Congress), a former president convened a national conference... ‘’People from various states converged, money was spent and in the end I can’t remember what came out of that conference. It is a valid point to make that we failed before, we can make amend but it is important we learn from our history. I will be surprised if anything changes. As a leader, I have no business to mislead anyone. This conference will not be different from any previous conference’’. From his seat, Nyiam sprang forward, shouting : ‘’No’’, ‘’no’’, ‘’no’’, while banging the table. His action paved the way for thugs, who had been heckling the governor, to disrupt the proceedings. id Nyiam act in concert with the thugs? Was he privy to their coming to the sitting? Was his action premeditated or spontaneous? Whatever, by his action, he has soiled the reputation of the committee, which will now be hard pressed to convince Nigerians on the genuineness and integrity of its mission. It is good that the panel has dissociated itself from what it calls the ‘’unruly behaviour of one of our members, who joined the crowd in shouting down the Comrade Governor Adams


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Oshiomhole of Edo State’’, and accordingly apologised to Oshiomhole. The committee has done well in taking this bold step, but the matter should not be allowed to die like that. Should Nyiam continue to be a member of such an august body? With his uncivilised behaviour in full public glare, he should be stripped of his membership forthwith, if the government wishes to restore public confidence in the committee’s job. For now, whatever trust the people have in the panel has been rubbished by Nyiam’s unbecoming behaviour. He should be removed now before he does further harm to the committee. Who knows he may come with a gun next time. The government should not wait till then before it acts.

‘The panel was not set up to impose its will on people; it was not set up to sell its or the government’s views. It was set up to collate the people’s views and prepare a report accordingly for the government. Can the committee do that by being hostile to those who appear before it? The answer is no’





S a nation of miracle seekers where people are desirous of reaping what they did not sow contrary to God’s injunction that we must live by our sweats, we have all become captives of prayer warriors and merchants of grace. Our children are misled to believe they could pass examinations through the power of prayers while our youths see nothing amiss becoming fortuneseekers as yahoo yahoo scammers. The churches that have become the biggest industry in our nation and their prayer warriors take credit as the source of the new fortunes. Prayers thus become elixir to all ailments - joblessness, poverty, barrenness, and inept leadership of the political class. Of course, our elected and selected leaders understandably are the weakest link. Once captured, they hardly have time to think creatively. Ex-President Obasanjo, fresh from Abacha’s incarceration, immersed himself in endless prayer sessions while the sharing of our national patrimony in the name of privatization, the wrecking of the banking sector, the collapse of the stock market and above all, the frittering away of about $30b foreign reserve in the name of repaying debt to Paris club went on. There has been no parallel to such recklessness, anywhere in the world, whether in the advanced or developing economies. President Jonathan, captured before he was elected, has spent the greater part of his presidency engaged in fervent prayers. Confronted with probe reports of massive looting going on in government, coupled with his own acknowledgement of infiltration of economic saboteurs and Boko Haram insurgents into his government, he resorted to prayers with little help from Nigerian prayer warriors, never in short supply in high places like the Abuja presidential palace. And still confronted by the unresolved ASUU strike now in its fourth month, increasing tempo of ‘kidnapping for ritual and kidnapping for ransom(apology to Gbenga Omotosho), the sheer ferociousness of Boko Haram insurgency, crisis in the aviation sector, fuel theft etc, all these despite the presi-

‘The Israelis, in spite of being the chosen people, added value to their prayers in order to transform their nation of desert, hills and gullies into a fertile agricultural land from where Nigeria today imports not only chicken but also arms and secret intelligence personnel’


Nigeria as captive to prayer warriors dent’s recent 30 days of fasting and prayers with our Muslim brothers, he was persuaded that by the prayer warriors that what was needed was more prayers, and this time around in Israel, the Holy land. He was consequently, quietly conscripted by the prayer warriors to lead this year contingent of Nigerian pilgrims to Israel. JohnKennedy Opara, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission revealed this when he announced that the presidential visit was purely spiritual and not a state visit. He went ahead to also recruit the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, “to lead other governors that will accompany the president to the Holy Land”. And accepting his new task, Jang had declared “It is a great honour and privilege for Plateau pilgrims to show example to others and for Mr. President to know that pilgrimage to Israel is not a wasteful venture.” The prayer warriors did not disappoint Nigerians. Those who closely monitored the tour of the Holy Land by our president and his entourage of governors and ministers cannot but acknowledge how fervent Nigerians are. President Goodluck Jonathan set the ball rolling in Jerusalem when on arrival he led other Nigerian pilgrims in a special prayer for the numerous challenges facing Nigeria. At the intercessory prayer session at the Chapel of Dominous Flevit (where Jesus wept), the President was reported to have specifically beseeched God to intervene in the current political and security challenges in Nigeria. He was ably supported by other powerful prayer warriors including Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, Minister of Agriculture, Akin Adesina, FCT CAN President

HEN the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun came on board in May 2011, the first indication one had of a government committed to a revolution on road infrastructure was the tarring of the internal roads in Sam Ewang Estate in Abeokuta. The estate was built by the state government under Group Captain Sam Ewang in 1998 but was commissioned without road infrastructure like culverts and tarred roads. It was an omission that blighted an otherwise model housing estate with water and electricity. But residents and landlords believed that since government is a continuum, the infrastructure will come in due course. Ewang’s successor, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin, who spent barely 10 months in office, was able to construct the culverts in the estate before the dawn of 1999 democratic administration. In spite of agitation and petitions to the state government, nothing was done about the road network in the estate and the residents and houses suffered from the effect of a dusty red earth road in dry seasons and erosion during raining seasons for over a decade. Then Amosun administration came in and in less than six months completed the internal road of Ewang Estate. As a beneficiary of a “working government” I went public with commendation for an administration that saw a need and quickly fill it to the consternation of some who thought my endorsement came too soon. But Amosun soon proved that the Ewang Estate Road was not a flash in the pan. There were other roads that their reconstruction greatly addressed traffic bottlenecks in Abeokuta like the Ibara –Onikolobo Link road and Agbato Drive in Ogere Remo. In addition, Amosun came out with the now popular policy of “Rebuilding Mission” for the whole of Ogun State that encompasses urban renewal and road construction. Over two years down the line, the paradigm shift effects of the policy on road infrastructure in the state is there for all to see except for some politically blinded few with their chants of “misplaced priorities”, “ill timing” and displacement of people” – throng that cannot not appreciate that the interest of a few had to give way for the larger public interest. Across the state, hitherto unimaginable massive road construction of various dimensions – six to proposed 10 lanesare springing up like mushroom. The flagship among them is the first ever six lanes Ita-Eko- Sokori- Totoro Road and Ibara roundabout flyover. This project which has been completed and commissioned is by all account of international standard with aesthetics that now attract tourists, photo and video shoot. Other roads that are in various stages of completion or on-going includes the 107km Ilara/Egua/Ijoun/Oja-

Rev. Israel Akanji and Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the Lower House. Jang’s session was remarkable for its theatrics. He crawled on his fours, occasionally touching the floor with his head, weeping, wailing crying murmuring “Christ, my God, my father, my father”, momentarily forgetting that Pope Francis recently reminded us that Christians don’t have a monopoly of Christ who is equally a saviour to those among his non-believing cantankerous antiChrist Israelis and their querulous cousinsthe Arabs who do good to others. For those who must have forgotten, Jang was the PDP governor who lost Nigeria Governors’ Forum chairmanship election by 16 votes to Amaechi’s 19, declared himself the winner, swiftly moved to the church to give a thanksgiving before racing to Abuja seat of government to receive the president’s embrace. In another scene, we saw the president on his knees in one of the most hallowed parts of the Holy land with our prayer warrior stretching forth their hands to bless him. In this hallowed chambers where Christ’s body was washed and perfumed before burial, a place where cardinals pray in studied silence and submission to God’s presence, only few visitors outside Nigerian Holy men have the temerity for such an audacious act. The spiritual journey climaxed with a church service tagged: “A Day with Jesus for Nigeria In Israel,” which was preceded by a fast observed by the President and over 3, 000 Nigerian pilgrims along with ministers, governors and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), officials led by its president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. It was here the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Board

(NCPC), Kennedy Okpara, revealed that the total number of pilgrims this year will exceed last year’s figure of 30,000. It was also there that Pastor Paul Eneche, founding overseer of Dunamis Church, who gave the word of exhortation during a church service prophesied that ‘God will replicate the successes Israel has witnessed after many years of wars and tribulations in Nigeria’. What Opara however did not tell his congregation was that more than half of the 30,000 figure he quoted were sponsored by either the federal or state governments using taxpayers’ money to support individuals and cronies who want to fulfill their religious obligations. Jang alone sponsored 1000 pilgrims for the 2012 edition. (In the just concluded Hajj exercise, of the 800 deported pilgrims that arrived at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, last Wednesday, about 171 of the young females returned for not having male companions were claimed to be underage students, undergraduates and youth corpers sponsored by governors with taxpayers money). And what Pastor Eneche, did not tell the president, his ministers, governors, law makers and the 3000 Nigerian pilgrims was the fact that the success witnessed by Israel after many tribulations was not just because of prayers. The Israelis, in spite of being the chosen people, added value to their prayers in order to transform their nation of desert, hills and gullies into a fertile agricultural land from where Nigeria today imports not only chicken but also arms and secret intelligence personnel. But since no one can mock God who has in His wisdom decreed we all must reap what we sow, the captive and the prayer warriors returned to Nigeria early in the week to confront the unresolved issues of ASUU strike, doctors strike, kidnapping for ransom and kidnapping for ritual, revealed dirty deals between NCAA and Coscharis allegedly supervised by the aviation minister, fuel theft that has reduced our current budget by a quarter, PDP’s vicious gang wars and many other issues which cannot be wished away by fasting and prayers whether in Nigeria, the land of prayer warriors or in Israel, the land of the unbelievers. Beyond prayerful leaders and self righteous prayer warriors whose activities make the much derided Pharisees that Christ condemned look like saints, our nation is in dire need of selfless leadership with ambition beyond political office, who can faithfully apply the lesson of the Jewish Torah “don’t do on to others what you don’t like” which is not dissimilar to Christ’s “do on to others as want done onto you”

Amosun and road infrastructure By: Kayode Odunaro Odan Road which cuts across four local governments in Ogun West Senatorial District,10km Ayetoro-Olodo Road, Mobalufon/Ejinrin/Folagbade Road in Ijebu-Ode, Oba Erinwole Road/Kara/Isale-Oko Road in Sagamu, as well as Ilisan-Ago-Iwoye Road, Ojere/Onikolobo/Panseke Road, Omida/Sapon Road, Enu Gada/Ago-Iba/Itoku/Sapon/ Ijaiye/Iyana Mortuary Road and NNPC-MKO Abiola Road among others. The government is also about completing flyovers at Sagamu and Ijebu Ode that are even more outstanding than the one at the state capital. These roads and flyovers are so conceptualized as to address not only present traffic challenges but future and predictable needs of a rapid growing society in addition to their aesthetic effect on a blighted urban landscape that the state is used to. One has heard the governor explain this as “Ogun Standard”, an insistence that the best quality money can buy is what is good for the state. Certainly these roads are built to last for generations if properly maintained and are addressing erosion and flooding menace that parts of the state, particularly the state capital, Abeokuta have experienced in recent years. One sees the giant culverts that accompanied these roads as a proactive way of addressing flooding and erosion besetting the state with the culverts serving as channels for flood water. The economic growth attraction of these road infrastructures cannot be overemphasized. Most investors, local and foreign usually have a re-think of their investment plans once they factor in the poor and dilapidated road networks whose construction dates backs to decades ago. It is apparent that those roads were meant for a forgone economic era. The Amosun road infrastructure is a big incentive for investors in industry and real estate now and in the future. One is of the opinion that such multi billion naira investment like the Dangote Cement in Ibeshe, would have come earlier if the Papalanto-Ilaro-Ibeshe Road was built according to “Ogun Standard” when it was built. Today that federal road remains a sore point of an otherwise lucrative investment in the state. Also the 107 kilometre Ilara-Oja-Odan Road when completed in Ogun West Senatorial axis of the state will have very salutary effect on the agricultural and other development along that international border area of Ogun State.

For those who argue that these roads are misplaced priorities, I am sorry to inform them that they are myopic in their conception of overall economic development geared towards the greatest number of citizens and not just some unsustainable personal interests masquerading as urgent needs. For these people, the multi-lane Ikorodu expressway in Lagos state would have been a misplaced priority at the time it was built by General Yakubu Gowon. For those who know, before that road was constructed, going from Lagos to Ijebu Ode was usually a day’s journey! But even now the road is inadequate for the vehicular traffic it handles most times. If delivery of democracy dividends is about projects that have positive effects on majority of the people, then Amosun is delivering it for not only Ogun State citizens now and in the future, but all Nigerians and foreigners that may want to exploit business opportunities in the “Gateway State”. Of course one is aware of similar business unusual approach in other areas like health, education and agriculture but Amosun roads and bridges stand out for special attention in their immediate and future usefulness in economic development. Their economic nature now as opposed to prioritizing them for future is also worthy as we postpone it at a huge future cost. One hope he continues to find the fund for these projects as they are the way to go. • Chief Odunaro writes from Abeokuta, Ogun State

‘These roads and flyovers are so conceptualized as to address not only present traffic challenges but future and predictable needs of a rapid growing society in addition to their aesthetic effect on a blighted urban landscape that the state is used to. One has heard the governor explain this as “Ogun Standard”, an insistence that the best quality money can buy is what is good for the state’





OR decades now, one issue has stood persistently and unavoidably before the Nigerian public – namely the issue of restructuring of the Nigerian federation. Issues come and go, but the need to restructure our federation, and demands for it, are always out there before us. In recent weeks, since President Jonathan announced his decision to convene a national conference, the issue has loomed very large indeed. But it has loomed that large only because the people of Nigeria want a national conference as forum for restructuring their federation. Restructuring is the one and only issue that fuels the raging fire of Nigerians’ passionate demand for a National Conference, or a Sovereign National Conference. So, why is this issue of restructuring so important to us Nigerians? The reason is that we want to live in an orderly country – a country in which governments and systems work. Since independence, especially since 1962 when the controllers of the Nigerian federal government decided that the fast-progressing and independent-minded Western Region must be pulled back and pushed down, we have lived in growing confusion and escalating pain in all parts of Nigeria. Ours is a large country, and a country of copious geographical, ethnic and cultural diversity. It is a country that can only work if it is organized as a rational federation – a federation in which the federating states are vested with sufficient constitutional powers, enough modicum of freedom, and sufficient resources, to promote their own socio-economic development competently, and to expand the opportunities available to their citizens; and a federation in which the federal government has enough powers and resources to defend our country, moderate the relations between our states, and speak with dignity for our country in the world. But instead of trying to build this kind of federation, we have watched in agony as the people who control our federal government have relentlessly seized and accumulated all power and resources in our country into the hands of the federal government, thereby turning the federal government into the controller of all important things in our country, and the dictator to all governments and sections of our country. We have watched our state governments become agencies lacking in confidence, uncertain what the all-mighty federal government will give or allow or dic-


N account of form, Nigeria’s qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil is a matter of course. Even the soccer gods will forgive the fan for ruling the November 16 reverse fixture in Calabar a conclusion foregone after Emmanuel Emenike’s individual efforts helped the Super Eagles skewer Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes in the first leg of the final African Zone qualifiers on October 13. The African champions surmounted untoward reception, poor playing conditions, bastardised formation and a lethargic first half to prevail 2-1. Whether the men in green can surpass last February’s continental triumph with victory in the bigger tournament is another matter. Without undermining the squad’s commitment, Nigeria seemed favoured in both campaigns. The fact that traditional powers Cameroon and Egypt dropped qualification tickets to the 2013 Africa Nations Cup finals while Ghana and Ivory Coast attended with weakened sides is not lost on the analyst. In pairings for the final qualifiers, Nigeria drew the least dreaded of the other nine teams for play-offs to determine Africa’s five representatives in Brazil. More luck ensued with officiating incidents in Ethiopia (Ethiopia’s 23rd minute disallowed opener for one). To be fair, though, the Eagles deserve current rating after working their socks off to stay unbeaten and seal passage to the final rounds with a 2-0 drubbing of Malawi for an unassailable 5-point lead of second round qualifying

‘To Keshi’s credit, however, the metamorphosis of the most gifted player of a generation nears completion. To hasten progress, the coach could appoint Mikel team skipper after the qualifiers to help the player grow into the role before the start of the Mundial. If we watched the once languid and tentative player turn leader and magician in South Africa, Brazil could yet yield an improved version: Mikel, commander and provider’

Nigeria’s most important challenge tate, and weak-kneed in upholding the welfare of their citizens. We happily accepted (even demanded) it when the controllers of the federal government (especially the military controllers) split up our country again and again, and gave us smaller and smaller states. Now we know that those states were really designed to be weak and incapable of resisting the expanding federal power. We know that those states are incapable of generating resources and developments, and must borrow dangerous loans in order to be able to show any development to their people. We see our states waiting like beggars month by month for the dolls handed out to them by the federal government. We see our federal system become what one of our senators recently called “feeding-bottle federalism”. And we live in the horrible consequences of this kind of federation. We live in in the confusion, the relentlessly declining standard of life, and the conflicts. Even the federal government itself admits that about 70% of us now live in “absolute poverty”. Among our young people, unemployment is said to be as high as 78%. Everything important in our public services and infrastructures has declined abysmally – highways, water supply, electricity supply, health services, and most devastating of all, our educational system. We approach every election with fear and trepidation – because we know that, come election time, an agency of the federal government will come and crook up and pollute the electoral process in order to give electoral victories to the ones that they have been ordered and paid to go and help among us, and we know that some of our youths will die needlessly in their attempts to resist the fraud. We can no longer approach our courts with confidence; we know that those of us who do not have the money to buy justice for ourselves simply do not get justice. We built some prosperity in the 1950s through our cash crops – cocoa in the Western Region, palm produce in the Eastern Region, and groundnuts in the Northern Region. The regional governments of those days designed various support programmes for our farmers who gave us this cash crop prosperity. When the military governments came, they took these things away

and vested them in the federal government – and under distant federal control and neglect, the programmes of support for our farmers were abandoned, and the cash crops were allowed to decline and fade away, thus establishing firm roots for poverty in significant sections of our rural populations. Because of the fearful reign of crime, we dare not travel on our roads and highways in certain hours, and more and more of us are living behind metal barricades in our homes. For the ambitious and enterprising among us, pushing and jostling to be in government or to be close to the persons in government has become the essence of enterprise. As a result, both our political life and our business life have become fearfully corrupted. And in the wide world, the name of our country has become synonymous with corruption and crime. In country after country on all continents, governments issue advice and warnings to their citizens to avoid dealing with Nigerians, or to take extra care when dealing with Nigeria or Nigerians. And finally, in the desperation caused by the poverty, the uncertainties, the insecurity, and the hopelessness, we Nigerians are turning more and more viciously on one another – nationality against nationality, immigrants to other peoples’ homelands against their hosts, adherents of different religions against one another. Desperate youths who have turned to terrorism are now the makers of the biggest news from our country. It is the desperate search for solutions that make us Nigerians scream for the restructuring of our country. The demands for restructuring are not some fanciful political game. Those influential ones among us who stick out their necks to oppose restructuring are doing enormous harm to our country, to our people, and to humanity. However, there are many, including some of our most prominent political leaders, who do strongly desire the restructuring of our federation, but who are very skeptical of President Jonathan’s step into calling a national conference. The greatest question therefore has to be: What may we expect of President Jonathan in this all-important matter? Will he support the national conference reso-

Gbogun gboro lutely with the powers of the presidency, until he sees it to a productive conclusion and implementation? Or will he, as many people fear, bungle it at some point – or perhaps shillyshally with it until it fizzles out into nothing? In the answer to that question resides, today, even the very destiny of Nigeria. As things stand, this is not a time when our president, like some presidents before him, can play with a national conference for some political purpose of his own, or mess around with a national conference. No, this time is different. The prevailing mood of most Nigerians makes this time different. Very many Nigerians are asking: If what we have been trying to build is impossible to build, should we not be men enough to acknowledge that – and to let it go?

‘It is the desperate search for solutions that make us Nigerians scream for the restructuring of our country. The demands for restructuring are not some fanciful political game. Those influential ones among us who stick out their necks to oppose restructuring are doing enormous harm to our country, to our people, and to humanity’

A World Cup winning formula By Olubanwo Fagbemi Group F. But the chief coach, Stephen Keshi, needs something other than luck and desire to get within touching distance of the gold trophy in Brazil. First, he must resist the temptation to fiddle with team rhythm as his starting selection against Ethiopia evinced. He may have strung the speedy wing duo of Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa together in the previous qualifier, but Ethiopia was no Malawi. The Eagles struggled to master the East African smooth operators partly because Nigeria coach experimented. He struck the right chord in the second half, but lessons learnt throughout the qualifiers and especially in Addis Ababa resonate. The standard 4-4-2 formation suits Nigeria’s robust group. And at the top of the formation sits a fit and firing Emenike. The most credible pretender to Rashidi Yekini’s crown, he combines well with Brown Ideye’s brawn for goals. In midfield, Musa better substitutes Moses, but he must put away chances with the head rather than the heart. As for John Obi Mikel, his tackling skills appear lost in translation. We may celebrate his conversion from a static, clueless defensive midfielder to the visionary, responsible ‘captain’ of Keshi’s troops on the road to Brazil, but his weaknesses manifest. As evident in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, he often waited for the pass when his failure to fight for the ball collapsed the structure in the first place. Especially reckless in the opener against lowly Tahiti, he gifted the raw islanders more than a peek at Nigeria’s goal, something Uruguay and Spain prevented with eyes closed. In addition to popping up with the rare but crucial goal, Mikel must constantly reenact the man-marking that shut out Ivory Coast stalwart, Yaya Toure in the South Africa 2013 quarter-final. Still, Nigeria’s failure to tap full benefits from the world’s most complete youth footballer in 1995 is a shame collectively shared as subsequent performances appear to validate FIFA’s seemingly biased certification of Argentina icon, Lionel Messi. While Messi made the most

of a Barcelona education to point Argentina to prominence, Nigeria’s ‘Special One’ slipped a transfer wrangle between Manchester United and Chelsea to shed attacking instinct and turn ‘Indecisive One’ under Jose Mourinho’s tutelage at Stamford Bridge. To Keshi’s credit, however, the metamorphosis of the most gifted player of a generation nears completion. To hasten progress, the coach could appoint Mikel team skipper after the qualifiers to help the player grow into the role before the start of the Mundial. If we watched the once languid and tentative player turn leader and magician in South Africa, Brazil could yet yield an improved version: Mikel, commander and provider. Nigeria’s fortunes may again be tied to the player’s performance, but stand-in skipper, Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, Onazi Ogenyi, Moses, Ideye and Emenike are as critical to the set-up, barring long-term injuries, loss of form, or surge in form by emergent talents. Sufficiently spurred by personal brilliance but probably limited by tactical nous as supplied by the coaches, the stellar group may yet fetch the country eternal mention. I dare dream, but to see the Eagles play as a tight, mobile and purposeful unit reminiscent of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Spain and, lately, Brazil would warm the heart. Subject to tactical details and peculiarities of the opposition, the formation and starting eleven may be varied, of course, but the technical crew would do well to carve team shape and character early enough. As demonstrated by the great sides, it helps to identify the team’s ‘destroyer’, a tough-as-nails midfielder or defender capable of mechanical implementation of the coach’s game plan. It may matter in Brazil when, rocked by Nigeria’s trademark physicality, the best teams from Europe and the Americas abandon ‘tiki-taka’ for mind games and trickery. Think Argentina versus Nigeria or Nigeria versus Italy at the USA ’94 World Cup. Crucial encounters too often stretch Keshi’s imagination. And since upgrade in coaching acumen may be difficult to reach before Brazil, we could end up with a football federation-

funded and Keshi-orchestrated quarter-final run similar to that attained by Cameroon (in 1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010). Nigeria’s best mark was the second round (in 1994) where the Eagles lost to Italy. But for technical issues, the Eagles of yore might have made the quarters and probably the final considering the trajectory suggested by a 3-0 pulverisation of Bulgaria in the group stage. Yet, Nigeria’s World Cup hurdle remains partly administrative. Former Super Eagles technical adviser Bonfrere Jo, whom Keshi assisted on a managerial spell in the past, believed football administrators lacked adequate grasp of football processes. He also thought Keshi, a distinguished member of the glorious 90s squad and its long-standing skipper, “was not clued up enough to know what to do exactly”. The scenario is eerily familiar. The coaching crew battles with judicious blend of talents and psychological tune-up for epic confrontations while the football federation contends with unpaid salaries and a recurrent bonus row. The latter snag singed national hopes at the France ‘98 World Cup and nearly derailed the current campaign. Instead of Mali and Burkina Faso – teams used to measure Nigeria’s might these days, but who hardly play in the same league – Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Italy and Spain offer stiffer challenge. Still, as the gutsy surrender to Spain at the Confederations Cup group stage emphasised, Nigeria can wear down any opponent, and if chances come to the right players, we too can win. Only, let the coaches select the best 22 in the land without recourse to reputation and player agency. Form and relevance make the better yardstick. The point against Spain where the team lacked sharp replacement for the crocked Omeruo and Emenike (hence home-based player Muhammad Gambo’s doe-eyed flop) should never be reached again. Gifted and tested players in the class of Shola Ameobi, Obafemi Martins and Osaze Odemwingie would elevate the bench. Keshi will just have to find a way to work with the most recalcitrant of them for the common good.




Gender issues and challenges facing businesses run by women were highlighted at a seminar in Lagos last Friday. Organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the seminar centred on financial literacy and cash flow management for women entrepreneurs. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE was there.

‘Women entrepreneurs can overcome business challenges’


OMEN are regarded as good financial managers but this quality has not convinced bank managers to offer them credit facilities to run their businesses. Statistics show that there are more women-operated businesses than those managed by their male counterparts. Besides, women entrepreneurs are believed to be more resourceful, despite the odds. Women are often known to have natural abilities that are useful in managing businesses. They tend to be great networkers, in addition to having inherent skills for negotiating, and multi-talented. These were the observations of the Executive Director, Rely Supply Limited, Mrs. Fayo Williams and the Project Manager, Credit Awareness, a financial services company, Ms Nneka Eneli. The duo were the facilitators at the seminar on capacity building/ financial literacy of the Committee of Women Leaders of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) last Friday. Venue was the Chamber House on Idowu Taylor, Victoria Island, Lagos. Speaking on “How to access Finance to Grow your Business,” Mrs. Williams said access to finance meant more than borrowing fund. She said access to affordable finance was a big challenge all over the world, singling out small businesses owned by women as having serious problems convincing bank managers to give them money without collaterals. Mrs. Williams urged women to

look inward for the funding of their business, saying they should not always believe that what they entirely need to grow their business is external funding. She urged them to work on expanding their outlook and customer bases; diversify and block all avenues of leakages. She advised them to ensure that they establish internal controls, as well as leverage on technology, stating that due to the peculiar financing challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, they should leverage on opportunities that abound in leasing, friends, families and venture capital to raise funds. She added that they should ask their customers for advance payment. She said women should be realistic in their business concept and network, in addition to seeking professional advice. They should keep good records while making their businesses scalable, Mrs. Williams said. On ‘Cash-flow management for women entrepreneurs and common financial management issues, Ms Eneli said though women were intuitive cash managers, they are faced with several challenges. She said for women to be good entrepreneurs, there is a need for them to be cash-literate as ‘cash is king.’ She stressed that they should separate business receipts from personal cash. Her words: “Track your cash inand-out, put yourself on a salary, plan extensively before getting involved in any transaction. Keep records, learn how to save and borrow responsively, communicate,

•From left: The Chief Executive Officer, Etiquette Consortium, Mrs Janet Adetu, former Minister of Industry Mrs. Nike Akande, Ibru and a representative of the Managing Director, North West Oil and Gas, Mrs Blessing Adedokun, at the event.

mind your cash flow, delay your repayment as long as you can, and aggressively pursue your debtors.” Others are to manage your cost, be disciplined in buying unbudgeted things, such as clothes and accessories for parties. “Sell-off things about to expire in your shop, and convert them to cash and be careful not to divert your business fund into personal use, no matter the pressure.” She said if women entrepreneurs can do this business intelligence, they would not only save enough to invest in their business, but would be able to convince the banks to lend them money if their books are clean and transparent enough. Chairperson of the LCCI Committee of Women leaders Mrs. Agnes Shobajo said the chamber was poised to encourage more women entrepreneurs to do it right and access available finance from government and donor agencies for small scale entrepreneurs . She said the chamber runs various workshops to train women entrepreneurs to come up with effective business plans, have regulatory requirement for the choice of business and to always work within their budget. Earlier in his opening remarks, LCCI President Goodie Ibru said African women represent a crop of huge untapped potential as emerging business leaders, managers, corporate decision makers

and excellent entrepreneurs. He said the role of women in any economy is very critical, which calls for a continuous building of their capacity in all spheres of life. He said:“The impact of such enhancements is naturally far reaching by virtue of the various interfaces of women within the household and the economy as a whole. As a country we have made impressive progress in affirmative action. Presently, the number of women appointees in the Nigerian cabinet is about 31 per cent of the 42 member-cabinet with several others holding influential positions in the present dispensation

including the Chief Justice of the Federation, Mrs. Alaoma Mukhtar the Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala with five Nigerian commercial banks having female CEO.” Ibru said areas that education would be made to assist women are in education, finance, health and trade. He underscored the importance of women in the development of the nation and their roles in corporate and household management as crucial to economic development. He stressed that if they are supported to run their businesses the nation would be better for it.

‘Multinational firms cause loss of $1b weekly’


FRICA loses about $1 bil lion every week through illicit financial flows out of the continent, and chiefly through transactions by multinational companies, an African Union (AU) agency has said. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an AU policy wing, said in a statement that the world’s poorest region lost 900 billion dollars in the illegal financial flows between 1970 and 2008. Commercial transactions by multinationals accounted for 60 per cent of the unlawful flows, followed by criminal activities such as trade in drugs, weapons and people at 35 per cent while bribery and embezzlement made up five per cent. Channels for the illegal flows were trade mispricing, investment-related transactions and offshore tax havens, a report

commissioned by NEPAD and the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa said. For example, a company or official could say a piece of imported equipment costs 100 million dollars when in fact it was exported with an $80 million price tag, NEPAD said in the statement. The difference can be discreetly deposited in an offshore bank account. “The development impact of these illicit flows has resulted in loss of tax revenues, damage to economic potential and weakening of governance,’’ it said. A report by the African Development Bank earlier this year also showed that Africa was a net creditor to the world through illegal outflows worth between $597 billion and $1.4 trillion in the three decades to 2009.

Don canvasses establishment of rubber manufacturing industries


•From left: Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mrs. Olushola Oworu and the President, Lagos State Gift and Household Suppliers Association, Mrs. Mojisola Odusanya inspecting some of the displayed promotional items in Lagos.

LECTURER, Prof. Sunday Ogunniyi, has called on the Federal Government to establish rubber manufacturing industries in areas with large quantity of natural rubber and carbon black in the country. Oguniyi, a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Ilorin, made the call in Ilorin. He said that since Nigeria was a major producer of natural rubber and carbon black, the country ought to be a leading manufacturer of rubber in the world. He recalled that Dunlop and Michelin, two leading tyre manufacturing companies in the world, were formerly leading producers

of rubber and tyre in Nigeria. The professor expressed regrets that the two companies had wound up their operations in Nigeria and relocated to neighbouring countries due to dearth of back-up infrastructure. “The government must help to redress the situation by improving the supply of electricity in the country. “The government should also do everything possible to bring back these companies and even encourage new ones to start operation in the country,” he said. Ogunniyi decried the importation of second-hand tyres into the country, saying, “they constitute environmental nuisance’’





EDUCATION An English Language essay competition has further exposed the rot in education. The contest showed that teachers are not even better than their pupils in the use of English. They could neither write nor communicate well in the language. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE, ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA AND JANE CHJIOKE report

• Cross section of the participants. (Inset) Dr Hunjo


T is no longer news that some employers complain of the half-baked graduates churned out by universities a nd polytechnics yearly. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), at the passing out parade of Batch C Corps members on October 10, expressed similar worry. Referring to a survey by the NYSC, its Kano State Coordinator, Sanusi Abdulrasheed said the study showed that about 89 per cent of Corps members could neither write good English nor communicate effectively in the language. He advised the graduates to go back to the basics - revisit the primary and secondary school textbooks – to improve their commu-

A faulty foundation •Test shows teachers, pupils are weak in English nication skills. To teachers in primary and secondary schools, the development highlighted the poor quality education at that level, which is worsened by poor quality teachers. Their claims may not be far from the true. This came to light at the second edition of the two-day Education Stakeholders’ Summit in Lagos, courtesy of the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group

(IDHRB) under the auspices of the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG).

The genesis

Ahead of the event held at the Ikorodu Town Hall last week, pupils and Mathematics and English teachers in public schools in the division were asked to send in an essay on the theme of the summit: “Appraisal of educational development in Ikorodu division.”


Police disrupt ASUU’s planned rally

THE planned demonstration by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) was on Monday stopped by police and officers of the State Security Services (SSS) ... -Page 28

Pupils protest teachers strike -Page 39

The organisers received 42 entries from primary school pupils, and 41 from their teachers. In the Junior Secondary School category, 15 pupils sent in entries. There were 12 and 11 entries from English Language and Mathematics teachers in the Junior Secondary School JSS cadre.

Assessor's observations

Having gone through the entries, the external assessor, Dr


Henry Hunjo, said his observation showed that the poor quality graduates produces is majorly a foundation defect, occasioned by poor knowledge of public school teachers in English. More worrisome is that English remains the only medium in teaching Mathematics and English the two compulsory subjects, as well as other subjects, the examiner added. Hunjo, an English teacher at the Lagos State University(LASU), said many writers of the essays could not express themselves in English, adding that teachers of the language among them were worse. With this development, the examiner wondered if teachers in Nigeria can flex muscles with their counterparts in other climes. • Continued on Page 26

•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc

Students to ITF: Don’t stop SIWES allowance -Page 29




A faulty foundation • Continued from Page 25

Said Hunjo: “It is sad to note that our teachers here cannot compete with their counterparts in some other places, such as those of the Commonwealth of Nations of which Nigeria is a key member. Sad to say that many essays that I have marked did not match any of the international requirements expected of us as members of the international community.” According to Hunjo, if teachers in secondary schools fared better, their counterparts in primary school were no less disastrous. Hunjo noted that a number of primary school teachers. “did not demonstrate encouraging performance at all” adding, “their performance forces one to ask if they really knew the crucial role they have to play in ensuring that a solid foundation is built for the students to get the best out of secondary school." Hunjo continued: "Primary school teachers are actually the most important actors in the educational development of any society. If the basic education is faulty, the entire steps at higher level will be faulty. It is, therefore, worrying to note that essays from primary school teachers contain samples of alarming problems that must be attended to." He identified defects, such as writers' inability to organise their thoughts, plagiarism, and failure to acknowledge sources of knowledge they used in their essays, as some of the lapses in the essays by teachers in primary school. "I observed that many of the primary school teachers copied facts from the internet and the National Policy on Education without assigning credit to these sources. A candidate ignorantly copied from the internet and presented these facts from American experiences as if they were Nigerians. If teachers plagiarise, how would they check their pupils in this regard?” Nevertheless, the examiner praised some of the secondary school teachers, many whom he said, demonstrated a good knowledge of the subject matter, noting that the only challenge is simply the form of language to be used in explaining the phenomenon in the education sector.


However, many teachers who spoke to our reporters on the issue agreed with Hunjo's assertions. A public school English teacher (names withheld), who was recently transferred to a junior secondary school in Education District I, lamented the poor command of language by many of her colleagues. She said to remedy the situation, teachers with this problem need to first ac-


knowledge they have a problem and make a deliberate effort to correct themselves by investing in self-development training. She said she has had to tell a Level 14 teacher who teaches in her school to do so. She said: "The situation is so bad in the present school I am teaching. They do not know how to use present and past tenses. There is a Level 14 officer who teaches Mathematics. Anytime she opens her mouth, it is rubbish that comes out and I get so angry. Many times, I have corrected her in the staffroom without caring who was listening. I tell her that if anybody comes from Alausa and she opens her mouth, they will sack her right away. I told her she has to make a concerted effort to learn her tenses and develop herself in English Language. To defend herself, she usually says she is a Mathematics major. But I ask if they taught her using Mathematics as the language in the university; they still use English Language to teach Mathematics." As far as Mrs Adenrele Dimla, the Proprietor of Cuteland School, Oko-Oba, is concerned, the government may have to reintroduce Teachers Training Colleges to ensure proper training of teachers who have the onerous responsibility of transferring knowledge to young ones at primary and secondary education levels. She said the problem of poor teachers is almost 30 years old. She underscored the need to ensure that students admited to study education in universities and colleges of education are of superior quality so that they can deliver on graduation. "This problem started way back; about 30 years ago with the recruitment of teachers who did not have up to five O Level credits. They graduated and found their way into schools. They are the products of this mess. The solution lies in insisting on quality students that have the required five O Level credits. The government should also bring back the teacher training colleges.Back then, a teacher went through the college to gain Grade II certificate before NCE and before getting a degree. Those teachers are better rounded today," she said. Mrs Bolajoko Falore, Executive

• IDRDG Chair Prof Kunle Ade Wahab (middle) presenting the star prize to Akiniyi Oluwakemi of Oriwu Junior Model College, the essay contest (middle), Abubakar Adijat of Majidun Junior Grammar School, third (2nd left), Olafimihan Boluwatife of Oriwu Junior Model College, second (3rd left). Others are Mrs Amore Olawumi (left), Mr Azeez Quam (2nd right) and Mr Kappo Ayodele Ismail (right), all teachers in Ikorodu Division. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

Director of Mind Builders College, who retired from the Lagos State Ministry of Education, agreed with her. "A teacher that does not have communications skills, I don't know what he will teach in the classroom. If the government can go back to Teachers Grade II, it will be good. That is where someone like me started from. It is a process that properly grooms teachers," she said. She also sought proper attention to the quality of training at the tertiary level, which she said, is adversely affected by frequent strikes. "This problem boils down to the kind of universities they attended.The kind of crash programmes schools run also affect quality. ASUU has been on strike for long. When the students resume, they will be tired of learning and they will be rushed," she said. To ensure teachers have the requisite skills to teach properly, irrespective of their certificates, Dr Foluso Okebukola advised the Lagos State government, when she presented a keynote address at a workshop organised by the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) recently, to recruit only those who scale tests in English and Mathematics: "All applicants for teaching positions into our basic schools should be tested for competence in English, Mathematics and Science at the point of interview re-

gardless of the certificate they present - whether NCE, Masters or even Ph.D. It should be like the post-UTME where such applicants 'defend' their certificates before the interview panel," she said. She also suggested that a teacher licensing scheme be put in place to re-certify teachers periodically. "This should be established to ensure re-certification after every five years as practised in developed countries," she said. In his defence, Kunle Olambiwonnu, an English Language teacher and the coordinator of the subject teachers in the Ikorodu Division, said before crucifying the teachers, the scenario should be considered in view of the challenges teachers face such as overcrowded classrooms, laziness on the part of students and uncooperative posture of their parents, among others. He said Lagos State was trying its best with the World Bank-assisted Eko Project and the recent Teacher Mentoring programme, as well as provision of free textbooks in core subjects to students. "Sometimes, we, teachers, wonder why parents could not complement teacher's efforts by buying notebooks and other textbooks for their wards. It is so disgusting; sometimes, students come to school barefooted in torn uniforms. Some of them in senior

‘If teachers in secondary schools fared better, their counterparts in primary school were no less disastrous. Hunjo noted that a number of primary school teachers “did not demonstrate encouraging performance at all,” adding, “their performance forces one to ask if they really knew the crucial role they have to play in ensuring that a solid foundation is built for the students to get the best out of secondary school’

Firm trains young Microsoft Office specialists

N Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm United Global Resources Limited, in partnership with some private schools, has trained 18 Microsoft office specialists in Word 2010. These students drawn from various partner schools were between age eight and 11 years and are from Grade 4 and 5. At a briefing, Mr Sunil Dhanuka, managing director, UGRL, spoke of the firm's activi-

ties. He said: "Over the years UGRL in conjunction with its partner schools has certified over 100 primary and secondary students of various age groups at the school level. The training provided in schools would be of great value to them not just within, but outside the country as they have passed international exams. The need to inculcate ICT in the primary and secondary schools curriculum has become imperative

considering the pace at which ICT is affecting our lives. He further stated that a Microsoft Certification is an industry standard that is recognised and can open doors beyond Nigeria. along with preparing students for life after school. The Head of School of Role Model, Lagos Mrs Adesimbo Banjo, said the partnership has led to remarkable growth in pupils interest in ICT, resulting in their impressive performance in ICT com-

petitions and International exams. Mrs Celine Nwosu, also the Proprietress of Early Advantage School Lagos, said the relationship with UGRL, has provided her school with computer teaching solution. One of the trainees Michael Okonye, 9, had this to say: "I was initially scared when I entered the room to write the exam. When I finished, I expected to score 638 or less. But when the result came out I passed and I was so glad."

classes cannot even write or read effectively. This is coupled with large classrooms where, at times, you have between 80 and 100 students in a class. There is no way teachers' performances will not be hampered." Mrs Dora Egwu, a JSS2 teacher of Prime Secondary School, Oshodi, said the government must pay more attention to screening of teachers before they are recruited into the classrooms. "The problem has remained at the screening process," Dora said. "Government should not just employ people because they are trying to fight unemployment, or how can you be an English teacher and you can't express yourself fluently or even have an in-depth understanding of the subject. The fact that the school is government-owned shouldn't be a hideout for quacks. I think there should be both internal and external seminars for English teachers. This will advance their knowledge more. Also research is very essential,"she added. Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, Imota, Ikorodu, Prof Ayo Olukoju, said the impressions by public school teachers that tertiary institutions will modify whatever gaps they left in their students would never work. "I am a complete teacher, I have taught in primary and secondary school before. So, I know what I'm talking about. The basic education is the foundation level of every child and secondary school is where the foundation is solidified. But some of you teachers keep making the wrong impression that you can push some of the bad products to us (universities), thinking that we will reform them. That can never work.”


Hunjo advised that all teachers of English Language must engage in personal writing skills development programmes and constant research. He also admonished them to write textbooks based on the classroom they manage. The curriculum, Hunjo further advised, should be localised to address certain peculiar challenges teachers in a particular area as against the general problems that curriculum designers usually notice. However,manyparticipantswhospoke to our reporter at the summit, suggested that the summit should be replicated in the otherfourdivisionsinthe state, so as to identify general and peculiar challenges of each division.




UNESCO partners ABUAD •’Founder's dream tallies with UN’s’


HE United Nations Educational Scientific and Cutural Organisation (UNESCO) has extended its hand of fellowship to the Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti (ABUAD). UNESCO, through its various intervention programmes on higher education in Africa, said it was ready to strengthen the tie with ABUAD on some key areas. The body said its decision is hinged on the fact that the vision of ABUAD's Founder Aare Afe Babalola tallies with UNESCO's "using education as a way to producing more capable productive and peaceful people." The UNESCO Assistant DirectorGeneral for Africa's Development Lalla Aicha Ben Barka spoke when she received a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) at ABUAD maiden convocation. Dr Lalla, who also delivered the convocation address with the theme: Tertiary education and development in Africa by and post-2015, said Babalola's vision "not only applies to Nigeria but all African countries," adding: "It is the key for tackling and overcoming social, cultural, political, and developmen-

• (From left) Aare Babalola (second left); presenting a certificate to Dr Lalla Ben Barka as she was conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) at ABUAD's first convocation. With them are (from left) ABUAD ProChancellor and Chairman of Council Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, Babalola's wife Yeye Modupe (middle) and Vice Chancellor Prof Sidi Osho (right). P HOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA By Adegunle Olugbamila

tal challenges that most of our countries are facing today." She continued: "The good practices that Aare Babalola has promoted in the areas of governance and quality assurance in all areas can be shared with other universities in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. "Institutions like ABUAD are viewed in this respect as key partners that must be considered in find-

ing solutions to not only education but all development sectors. Such institutions contribute to the need to produce highly qualified graduates who can respond to the demand of the labour market, globalisation, and the construction of peaceful societies." "UNESCO is keen to strengthen its collaboration with government and private institutions. We would like to extend our desire to materialise this partnership and cooperation with ABUAD.

"UNESCO office in Abuja and headquarters are ready to develop this partnership on key thematic areas. In this respect, my colleague the Regional Director in Abuja Prof Hassana Alidou will continue the discussion with ABUAD in order to elaborate a concrete partnership agreement. "Let me re affirm that UNESCO through its various intervention on Higher Education in Africa would like to extend its support to your university and encourage for closer

partnership." Going down memory lane, Lalla recalled that upon independence of some African countries in the early 60s, majority of the independent countries were deficient of qualified human resources personnel to address challenges of nation building; hence their decision to invest in higher education in order to stimulate economic growth. She noted that in the mid-80s to mid ‘90s, African government's stance changed and education was now viewed as a luxury which many African could not afford. Consequently, she said universities and other tertiary institutions became a spaced for social unrest, with overcrowded classrooms, declining infrastructure, brain drain, limited number of graduates in science and technology-oriented courses and limited contributions of African universities and scientists to global research or knowledge, among others. She noted that the global quest for knowledge economy, particularly in Africa in the 90s forced international institutions, such as the World Bank, to open a new chapter in tertiary education. This new context, Lalla stressed, also galvanised UNESCO to provid an approach to education in addition to technical expertise and support for its member-states to achieve EFA and MDGs goals. Nigeria, Lalla explained, is a big player in the African economy because of her large pool of qualified human resources which her tertiary institutions have produced,. She is reputed to have the highest PhD holders, and engineers in Africa in addition to graduates from technical and vocational institutions, he added.

ICT firm gets Anambra's nod


• The Best Graduating Student of the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Miss Ademola Akomolafe in the driver's seat of a brand new car presented to her. With her are her grandmother Mrs Rachael Adunola Faromika (smiling) and mother Mrs Olayinka Akomolafe. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA


Orji donates buses to six institutions

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has rewarded students of the six institutions based in the state with six 30-seater luxury buses for their good conducts. Governor Orji premised his gesture on the absence of student's unrest since the he mounted the saddle. The institutions include the Federal Government-owned Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike and five others owned by the state. They include: Abia State University, Uturu; Abia Poly; and College of Health Technology, both in Aba; College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu; and Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba. Speaking in Umuahia at the handing over of the buses, Orji said the buses are to be handed over to the various governing

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke Umuahia

boards of the respective institutions for proper management. He urged them to make good use of the vehicles for the benefit of the students. He said the nine outstanding buses with the inscription: 'Free School Shuttle,' are mandated to transport school children across primary and secondary schools in the state free, and will be managed by a committee headed by Anthony Osuwa. He recalled that in 2007 when his administration came into Office, he introduced the free school buses for both pupils and students of the state, and therefore decided to increase the fleet to accommodate more students due to the increase in school enrolment in the state. He directed that five of the free school buses should operate in the

state capital while four will be deployed to the commercial city of Aba for the use of the students in that part of the state. He added that the nine new buses will add to the already existing fleet. Orji described his administration as transparent and visionary, stressing that he cannot afford to toy with the welfare of the pupils and students of the state, as they have done the state proud in various national competitions in different parts of the federation. He said: “It is part of this administration's gift to such institutions and to appreciate the Federal Government for bringing such institutions to our state.” Responding on behalf of other benefiting institutions, the Rector of Abia Polytechnic, Alwell Onukaogu said the new buses would help ease transportation problems being faced by students and pupils daily.

HE Anambra State government has engaged Cinfores Limited to power its education system. This became necessary to enable the state government to adopt Information Communication Technology (ICT) through the deployment of e-learning solutions and other ICTs to help her overcome some of the challenges of the sector. Already, 22,000 licences of BrainFriend, an e-learning and examination preparatory software, have been deployed in 253 public secondary schools of the state. The Brainfriend software comes handy with over 50,000 questions, answers, and explanations covering over 42 teaching subjects of the primary through the senior secondary school, career guide covering major disciplines offered in Nigerian and some other West African universities, the Nigerian national curriculum, and over 50 e-books on the elementary and secondary schools teaching subjects and lots more. Interestingly, the software also has a mobile version for smart phones, which can be downloaded from the Google play store. This makes it easily accessible to every end user who does not readily own a laptop/ desktop computer. While reviewing the solution, the state Governor Peter Obi expressed lauded the solution which was developed locally by young Nigerians. “I am impressed with this product, especially with the fact that it was indigenously developed with local content that suits the nation's education system. These are the kinds of people and products we want to spend time with in partnership especially on education and ICT matters, because education is the only capital used today to invest into the great future,” he said.

• Obi By Sampson Unamka

The software, according to Obi, portrays some huge potential to transform the education landscape when fully deployed and effectively utilised. "The whole essence of governance is about making an improvement to the lives of the citizenry; and a clear cut investment in education is the sure path to growth and development for any nation that wants to be great," said Mr Ikechi Nwogu, the Director Finance and Administration and co-founder of Cinfores Limited, while speaking to reporters at the weekend on the benefits of the solution. The firm’s Head, Business Development, Mrs Jachi Briggs, said the company was in talks with the Federal and some state governments, multinational organisations, well as individuals to get the software in their country. According to her, the Cross Rivers State government in partnership with IT&C Network Limited, has concluded a similar deployment for over 10,000 teachers, while another fresh deployment for 15,000 teachers in Abia State would soon state. Earlier, the firm also handled a similar deal for the Lagos State government.





Police disrupt ASUU’s planned protest

HE planned demonstration by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) was disrupted by police and officers of the State Security Services (SSS) numbering about 1000 with more than 15 patrol vehicles. The security personnel barricaded the entrance into the varsity and stopped vehicular movement in and

•ASUU: we are now prisoners From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

out of the institution. They also padlocked the gates of the university in oredr to to forestall a situation where the demonstration would be hijacked by hoodlums outside the campus. Speaking with reporters from behind the gates of the university

where they were held by security agents, the ASUU-MOUAU Chairman, Dr Uzochukwu Onyebinama, said it was unfortunate that the demonstration which was planned to be peaceful, was stopped by security personnel. He described the state government as dictatorial for

turning the university lecturers who are seeking the improvement in the condition of Nigerians universities into prisoners. Said Onyebinama: “They (government) have turned around to tell people that they have been N100 billion to ASUU. I want to tell you that no university has been able to access the fund, which shows that they are not telling the truth.”

Crescent varsity churns eight First Class graduates


RESCENT University, Abeokuta, Ogun State has churned out eight first class graduates, with 55 making the second class upper division list. At the university’s convocation, last week, the 20 pioneer students of the institution's Centre for Islamic Studies and Development (CISDEV), received certificates and diploma certificates in Islamic and Computer Studies. The centre was established to train and upgrade Muslim children that are graduates of traditional Quranic schools but require other skills that would qualify them for matriculation into a regular degree programme in Arabic and Islamic studies of the university. Cresent University, founded by former World Court judge,


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Youth of All Nations Empowerment Association (YOANEA), has given a scholarship worth N20 million to 340 pupils of public secondary schools in Lagos. The award, which is in partnership with the state government, according to the NGO, is in consonance with the organisation's objectives of ensuring that indigent students and youths in the country are given the opportunity to realise their education dream. YOANEA's founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr Jeff Joshua, said educational problem persists because leaders have failed to provide effective and affordable academic and functional

Prince Bola Ajibola, graduated 141 this year. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Hazzan Okeleye, who praised the graduands,also urged them not to forget their alma mater. He admonished them to conduct themselves in manners that would bring honour to the institution. For Prince Ajibola the university could not have achieved much without the support of the former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akinolu and the incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola. Ajibola said when the businessman and industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, visited the institution in 2006, he pledged his support and further complemented it by building a worship centre on the campus.

• From right: Minister of State and Supervising Minister of Education Nyelson Wike; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University Uyo and Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities Prof Kimse Okoko; former Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund Prof Mahmood Yakub; Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof Julius Okojie; and Chairman Committee of Vice-Chancellors Prof Muhammad Hamisu after their meeting with Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the State House, Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

NGO gives N20m scholarship By Amidu Arije

education system. He said: "One of our dreams is the establishment of education enhancement scheme which will provide vocational education with international standards and qualification. This will save many

He said the money the Federal Government said it gave ASUU was indeed given to universities, adding that the grievances of the union has not been met by the government or any of its agencies. Onyebinama noted that the Federal Government is busy enriching private universities in country to the detriment of public universities. He said contrary to President Goodluck Jonathan, ASUU’sw position is not politically motivated, adding that members will not be deterred by government’s antics.

youths from anti-social activities. "Our dream is also to help young people see what those benefits are; bringing out their hidden potentials and helping them connect with the opportunities for achieving their growth, fulfillment and increase in their self-esteem."

‘Our dream is also to help young people see what those benefits are; bringing out their hidden potentials and helping them connect with the opportunities for achieving their growth, fulfillment and increase in their self-esteem’

"It will be foolish and stupid for us to continue to build the country without first reinforcing the foundation of our youth," he said. YOANEA President, Mr Babatunde Afolabi Ifenuga, described the programme as a new dawn for the youth. He said the association would open a new door for youths to aspire and be inspired to excel. Joshua thanked the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support towards the success of the essay competition for all secondary school students in Lagos conducted ahead of the scholarships award.

Ifenuga also said the NGO's gesture is a demonstration of its resolve to setting future leaders on the right path, promoting academic excellence and improving education standard. The overall winner, Babatunde Malik Yusuf, a SS3 pupil of State Government School, Surulere, who won N1,650, 000, and a laptop, was also presented with YOANEA Ambassador award. The first and second runnersups, Joseph S. Yeko of Epe Senior Secondary School, and Ajadi Mariam of Moyosore Secondary School received N1 million and N500, 000, with a laptop each. Consolation prize of N10, 000 was given to other candidates who participated in the scholarship examination scheme.

Osun school reclassification: Aregbesola’s aide pleads for understanding


HE Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on General Matters, Mr Kareem Olajoku, has appealed to the people of the state not to misinterpret the good intention of

By Sampson Unamka

the government to reclassify the school system, which he emphasised, was aimed at the sound and qualitative education delivery. Olajoku, who is in charge of the

state's calisthenics programme, said his interaction with the schools since he was appointed to coordinate the programme has revealed the rot and decay in the education system in the state; a development he linked to the

•From right: Education Secretary, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Prof Aize Obayan in an handshake with the guest speaker, Prof Kayode Soremekun (middle) at the 36th public lecture of Covenant University, Ota Ogun State at the university premises ... last Friday. With them is CU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ayo Ajayi.

long years of abandonment of the sector by successive governments. He added that the newly introduced education policies of Aregbesola such as the provision of free meal and school uniforms; increase in allocation to schools, reduction in tuition fees, payment of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) fees and the distribution of computer tablets to students, are all geared towards changing the status quo ante. He, however, commended the people for raising questions where necessary, saying their action could only strengthen the belief and commitment of the administration to carry the public along in its programmes and policies. "We must emphasise the fact that things cannot just continue the way they used to be," Olajoku stated in a statement. "Change is the most constant thing in life and until we are ready to be part of the change the challenges facing Nigerians would not be addressed. We have run a system for years and it did not change things, rather, what we continued to witness is mass failure, cases of dropouts, teachers' poor performance, among others. That is not too good for a nation willing to be among the best 20 economies in the world by the

• Aregbesola

year 2020. "We will therefore appeal to the good people of Osun State not to be distracted by some religious sentiments because our desire to deliver good and qualitative education to our people is more resolute. “Religion or ethnic sentiment shouldn't be the basis of our disagreement; rather let's be objective in our analysis.What this administration has invested in the education sector is already yielding good results such as increase in enrolment, better performance in external examination, among others. What we need do is to consolidate by providing conducive teaching and learning environment for both the pupils and the teachers,” he added.


Two years after, union returns to poly


Yohanna walks again

Page 31


Page 34



0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013



Students to ITF: don’t stop SIWES allowance Should the payment of allowances to trainees undergoing the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) be stopped? The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Prof Longmas Wapmuk, believes the money is unnecessary. But students say the scheme must go, if the government will not pay them. KINGSLEY AMATANWEZE (400-Level Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka) writes.

•Student-trainees taking instruction from their industry-based supervisor in an engineering firm


N 2014, participants in the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) may not be paid allowances, if the statement by Prof Longmas Wapmuk, Director-General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), is anything to go by. Speaking to reporters in Lagos recently, Wapmuk said the increase in the number of students undergoing SIWES yearly has made it difficult for the ITF to pay the allowances of past trainees. He said the Fund has a backlog of N11 billion and its annual budget can not be used to offset the debt. His words: “We have not achieved much progress in terms of clearing the backlog of accumulated SIWES allowance because the number of students continue to increase, the number of institutions continue to grow. In fact, what is

being owed is about N11 billion. “Left for us at the ITF, we prefer that we have a cash-less SIWES, because students take care of themselves during the SIWES period. And since the Federal Government is not in a position to give us the money required because of the demand from other sectors of the economy, there is no need to accumulate a debt that we cannot pay because we are not meeting the demands.” This theory seems not to go down well with students, who unanimously described the argument of Prof Wapmuk as weak and baseless. Students argued that if the allowance must stop, the government must also stop the scheme, which was established to empower the students with necessary skills and

training for industrial development. They said not all employers of trainees pay during the training, a development that make many of them to render their services free. The students urged the ITF to reconsider its decision, saying it was not in their interest. For Uwa Orji, a 400-Level Metallurgical and Materials Engineering student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), who is a trainee at the Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu, the Fund’s plan to scrap the SIWES allowance is insensitive. He urged the government not to listen to the ITF boss, saying Prof Wapmuk has an agenda to kill the vision behind the scheme. He said: “The government should not listen to the ITF on scrapping the SIWES allowance. The allow-


ance is meagre and it is an amount the nation can afford even though Prof Wapmuk wants to us believe otherwise. His argument is weak. Students need the money as small as it is. Some indigent students put their hope on the money to solve their financial needs in their final year. If they say students have been taking care of themselves, this should be a shame on the government because they are not giving incentives to the students undergoing the mandatory training.” Another student, Idongesit Bassey, 400-Level Mechanical Engineering, the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), wondered what the ITF would be doing with the money being released to it from the government if it decides not to pay SIWES students again. He said: “The money we are talk-

ing about here is only a take-away sum compared to the billions our politicians embezzle. We are actually working for it and they are talking about ending the payment. We were even expecting them to increase the allowance.They should know that N15,000 means a lot of money to some students, and it will help them, if not for any thing, in doing their projects. It is just that we can’t tell the real thing going on between the ITF and the Federal Government. What they should look into is how to strengthen the payment process and ensure that money released gets to the beneficiaries on time.” Instead of scrapping the allowance, Joseph Awa, 400-Level Mechanical Engineering student of •Continued on page 30

•Rotaract takes hygiene campaign to schools -P32• 41 get First Class as varsity graduates 6,851-P33




Nigeria’s lost Pushing and jobless Out with generation (II) Agbo Agbo


T was President Barack Obama of the United States who said: “The most important investment any country can make is educating its youths and providing the skills to compete in a highly technological world economy”. He went on to add that countries that fail to do this are bound to fail. He was saying this against the backdrop of his country’s youths shying away from the sciences and innovations which has comfortably been taken over by Asian countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and India. America’s Silicon Valley is brimming with egghead innovators from these countries. The world economy, I must emphasise, has become so technologically advanced that we may begin to wonder if we even have a place in it at all. I say this with all sense of humility because of the way we are treating education. How in the world do we expect the products of our institutions to compete with products from Chinese, Japanese, South Korean or South African universities? I can still recollect vividly - while in secondary school – when my teachers use to say Indian degrees were not worth the paper they are printed on! But today India is the preferred choice of medical tourism for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians. Some people got their hands dirty to make that possible. Now back to the issue at stake. Unemployment is an issue that should give any right thinking government sleepless nights because of its negative impact on both the unemployed and society at large. Just like I concluded last week, it is even more challenging now given the fact that the landscape has changed radically and there’s the need for creative thinking by policy formulators. I’m of the opinion that our youths should be motivated and taught that even though they, like their elders live under the wings of a state that cares little about them, there are escape windows even in Nigeria, but these windows are only for the discerning which unfortunately our epileptic education system

08116759750 (SMS only)


does not showcase. If available statistics are anything to go by, the future may not look too good. I came across OECD figures which suggest that 26million 15- to 24-year-olds in developed countries are not in employment, education or training; the number of young people without a job has risen by 30 per cent since 2007. The International Labour Organisation reports that 75million young people globally are looking for a job. World Bank surveys suggest that 262million young people in emerging markets are economically inactive. Depending on how you measure them, the number of young people without a job is nearly as large as the population of America (311million). I mentioned last week CNN’s feature on “the lost generation of Europe” and how EU leaders have been brainstorming on creating jobs for its citizens. So it would be apt to state here that this is not an entirely Nigerian problem, but what the Economist termed a “global epidemic”. The statistics are scary globally. Fiftyfive per cent of young black South Africans is jobless. This notwithstanding, there is something fundamentally wrong with an economy like Nigeria’s which has witnessed steady “growth” in the last three years yet cannot boast of creating jobs. It doesn’t take an economist to realise that you cannot create jobs where there are no industries; our real sector is simply non-existent. However, one way to start tackling this issue is through technology which is capable of providing solutions, but at the same time it is also capable of exacerbating the problem. Let me explain with examples. Even though based in the United States, our youths can benefit from virtual programmes such as the “Serious games initiative” which can provide young

Students to ITF: don’t stop SIWES allowance •Continued on page 30

theAnambra State University (ANSU) in Uli, said the government should increase the capacity of the ITF in generating revenue to take care of its expenses. “If ITF says it cannot pay the students because of its debt, the government should look for a way to make the body generate revenue to attend to its needs. Scrapping the allowances should be out of the picture,” he advised. Johnmartins Ezema, 400-level Electronic Engineering, UNN, urged the ITF not to play with matters bordering on youth empowerment. He said: “The Federal Government must not stop the allowances paid to students. Not every

student has a sponsor. Some are self-sponsored and this allowance goes a long way in helping us meet some needs. They should rather increase the allowance.” Henry Igwe, a 400-level Mechanical Engineering, said: “Even if our parents are taking care of us, the allowance is still an incentive to learn.” A student, who is a trainee in a Federal Ministry, disclosed that government-owned establishments do not pay students because it would be “double payment” if they do so. He said: “Some of us are not paid at the places of our attachment. So, this meagre allowance becomes our only consolation. Stopping the allowance will take away everything from us.”

people with a chance to gain “virtual” experience at minimum cost. An initiative of the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars in Washington D.C., it is primarily concerned with ushering in a new series of policy education, exploration, and management tools utilising state-of-the-art computer game designs, technologies, and development skills.One of America’s top companies, McDonalds already uses competitive video games to teach people how to use the till and interact with customers. Another, Mozilla, the creator of the Firefox web browser, has created an “open badges” initiative that allows people to gain recognition for programming skills. Technology is also making it easier to take work to people who live in work-deprived areas or who are shut out of the market. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an internet marketplace, enables companies to hire workers to perform simple tasks such as identifying people in photographs. They can take part from anywhere in the world. That is why the age we are living in is referred to as the information age. I can hear someone whispering: what about the majority that has never had access to the internet because of our peculiar situation? To them, I’d only advice they take the bull by the horn and not wait for a government that does not have plans for them, both now and in the future. It is quite unfortunate that we have graduates who have not come into contact with the most important tool in this age; the computer. What matters to me is not just the number of years of education people get, but it’s content. This means expanding the study of science and technology and closing the gap between the world of education and the world of work—for example by upgrading vocational and technical education and by forging closer relations between companies and schools. There are examples for us to learn and borrow from. Germany’s long-established system of vocational schooling and apprenticeships does just that. Under it apprentices spend three to four days a week at a company providing vocational training where they acquire the practical skills required for their field of work. The remaining one or two days is spent at a vocational school, where they receive a theoretical grounding in their future job. The success of this programme has led other countries

‘Unionism is not for embezzlement’

Kehinde Olofintuyi has just completed his term as the Speaker of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) Students’ Union Government (SUG). He also served as the secretary of the Lagos State Tertiary Speakers’ Forum (LSTSF) before he graduated last month from Computer Science department. He speaks with TOLULOPE OGUNLEYE (classmate) on his achievement. Are you saying that your emerpartment and became the Deputy gence as Speaker was based on your conviction? I believe that it was destined by God and not because of a personal conviction. I said so because of my trajectory in students’ union politics from my days in National Diploma programme to Higher National Diploma. I represented my de-

Speaker and the Speaker of the House later. This would not have been possible if God was not involved. What are your challenges? The major challenge I was faced with is convincing the members to accommodate other people’s views. •Continued on page 36




•A trainee welding in a factory

to follow suit: South Korea has introduced “meister” schools, Singapore has boosted technical colleges, and Britain is expanding apprenticeships and trying to improve technical education. Though we have our own SIWES programme, but the fact remains that since it has not made impact over the years meant it isn’t working. The problem of youth unemployment has been getting worse for several years. But in some climes there reasons for hope as governments are trying to address the mismatch between education and the labour market. Companies are also beginning to take more responsibility for investing in the young. And technology is helping democratise education and training and we have to put our house in order so as not to be left behind. However, there appears to be a general consensus, both at a global and national level that a “mismatch” has developed between the needs of many employers and the skills of both old and recent graduates. Indeed, some countries have recently experienced simultaneous unemployment increases and labour shortages, and particularly in sectors or workplaces that rely on new technologies. In light of this, there is an emerging recognition that emphasis should be placed on creating and promoting apprenticeship and similar “practical training” opportunities for youth, and that employers and workers’ representatives must be involved in formulating and implementing these programmes at the local level. Among the potential solutions tabled by EU leaders in addressing their unemployment challenges, which we can equally learn from, was using the European Investment Bank as a mechanism for providing small businesses with loans, so they can hire. Job and training guarantee schemes were also agreed by member states as well as a plan to roll out six billion euro ($7.8 billion) to the hardest hit countries like Greece and Spain where more than half of the young workforce is standing idle. The emphasis on small businesses here is fundamental because they need small capital to start and can be very effective in tackling the issue of unemployment. But unfortunately, this has been in the front burner for years in Nigeria without tangible results. Our banks are rather interested in ‘financing’ oil importation deals or the likes of the controversial bulletproof BMW cars that is causing a ruckus in the country. How sad.

HAT influenced your decision to vie for the speaker position in the

union? I have always admired the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. I fell in love with the legislative arm of government and I thought I should also use the platform to solve challenges faced by students. The legislature gives room for more research in every field of learning and encourages arguments that can be debated for the progress of a government. This among other reason was why I decided to pick up the challenge to lead the union parliament.

Entries are now being received from our correspondents for the fifth •Continued on page 36 Coca-Cola/NBC CAMPUSLIFE Annual Awards. Award categories: There are eight prizes up for grabs. The first seven are: Culture Report prize, Investigative Report prize, Entertainment Report prize, Campus Politics prize, Campus Personality Profile prize, Opinion Writing prize and Campus Sport report prize. The last and overall CAMPUSLIFE Reporter of the Year will be awarded by the judges on the correspondent whose entries make the most impression on them. Eligibility: Entries must be sent in by the particular writer who authored the article. Articles must have been published between September 6, 2012 and August 29, 2013. Deadline: Nominations will be received between October 10 and 30, 2013. Guidelines: For each category, only ONE entry will be allowed from each correspondent. A nominee can apply for all categories. Two writers can nominate an article they co-authored. No nomination sent after October 30 will be accepted. Each entry, with title and date of publication as well as category being nominated for, should be sent to The email must have as title: 5th CAMPUSLIFE Awards. A panel of judges made up of senior Editors and journalism teachers will decide the winners. The award ceremony will hold in December; the date will be announced. Good luck to all correspondents.




Two years after, union returns to poly

Students of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (FEDPONEK) defied the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to elect a new set of officials into the Students’ Union Government (SUG). EMMANUEL SHEBBS reports that the election came two years after the union was proscribed, following a violent protest by students.


WENTY-SEVEN months after proscription of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) activities at the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (FEDPONEK), students went to the poll last week to elect their leaders. The election was organised following the lifting of the ban on union activities in the school after a violent demonstration by students. In July 2011, students, led by union officials, torched school properties worth millions in a violent protest which led to the death of an Engineering student. To prevent further breakdown of law and order, the management led by Dr Celestina Njoku shut down the campus and sent students home. Union activities were later proscribed on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Education. When the campus was reopened, students were asked to sign anti-riot affidavits and pay reparation fee, but the SUG was not restored. After 27 months, election returned to the campus. The process was preceded by the constitution of an electoral committee. The committee was headed by Dr Obinna Iweke. There were 32 electoral officers elected by the students to supervise the process in the 32 departments of the school. The school security personnel were joined by Man O War corps to maintain law and order while the election lasted. Before the election, the students were sensitised on the method to be adopted in the election. There were 30 contestants that vied for 12 positions in the union; each contestant was expected to have 32 agents sent to the departments to monitor. Apart from candidates’ agents and the electoral officials, no other person was allowed into the halls and rooms where the voting was held. There were three presidential aspirants. Members of the National Asso-

•A student voting during the election

ciation of Nigerian Students (NANS) and National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) were on ground to monitor the poll. The NANS team, led by Jude Ezeibe, visited all the polling halls. As the election was going on, there were complaints of disqualification and omission of students names in the electoral list. A student, who gave his name as Chigioke, said: “I don’t trust what the management is doing in this election. Some candidates were disqualified in the last minutes. What is painful is that candidates were disqualified after they have spent so much. Except management comes out to tell us the reason, I

believe that there is something fishy in the whole process.” Reaction, Dean of Students’ Affairs, Ngozi Kanu, said: “The management has no interest in any candidate. We have a general interest in ensuring a free and fair election. Yes, it is true that some candidates were disqualified. We have rules and regulations as provided in the students’ handbook and that is what we are using. Apart from the academic screening done by the electoral committee, there is also the security screening and that is done by the State Security Service (SSS). It was the SSS that disqualified the candidates for some security reasons.”

Dr Iweke also denied that the committee discriminated against the disqualified aspirants. “When we finished our screening, we sent the aspirants for security screening. It was then that the SSS sent a list of some students who they deemed ineligible for the race. And you know, security issues are not to be ignored especially when it comes to election matters,” he said. The NANS team, however, supported the security screening. Ezeibe said: “A student leader should be honest and seen as a good student both within and outside the campus. If the SSS has anything against any candidate, it will not be too good for such a person

to lead the students.” After the election, results were sent from each department. Emmanuel Jarere was declared the president while Sarah Dike became the Vice President. Emmanuel could not be reached for comment, as he was said to have travelled after the election. Kanu urged the elected union leaders to be good ambassadors of the school. “The management is ever ready to work with them. My door is open and we have a listening mother who is our Rector. We are happy for their victory and I believe that in partnership with them, our school will be the best,” he said.

Stakeholders converged on the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to participate in a week-long conference on how to improve the reading culture among the youth. OLADELE OGE (400-Level Mass Communication) reports.

Reviving reading culture


O restore the declining reading habit among the youth, the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) has held a weeklong conference at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to address the challenges diverting the attention of students away from reading books. The theme of the conference was: “Global literacy learning spaces, strategies and opportunities in the transformation age”. The association, in collaboration with the Department of Library and Information Science of the university, also sought to minimise the incompetency of teachers from primary to tertiary institution. In his address, the Registrar and Executive Director of the National Examination Council (NECO), Prof Promise Okpala, commended the Library and Information Science Department for the theme, which he said was apt to draw attention to value-based knowledge. He

•Prof Okpala flanked by Prof Oyinloye (left) and Dr Botz

said: “No organisation can stand in the world without education and not just ordinary but quality and sound that can redeem future of such society.” On the problems bedeviling education development in Nigeria, Prof Okpala said the enlistment of illmotivated teachers in primary and

secondary schools, and inadequate laboratory equipment are responsible for falling education standard. Prof Okpala, however, called for a legislation to prevent quacks in public schools. He said learning could be best achieved through reading different books, journals, newspapers and magazines.

Prof Olu Oyinloye, RAN president, described the present generation of youth as ones, who have everything at hand but producing little. He recalled his days in elementary and secondary schools when teachers exposed pupils to different kinds of books to review and present before the class. He urged teachers to look

into this area restore reading culture among students. The Head of the Library and Information Science, Prof N.W. Dike, urged the participants to join hand with government to rebuild image of the public schools. Prof Oyinloye added that it would be good for government to provide modern facilities that could enable students get data they needed from internet faster, but said the Internet had been abused by the youths, a factor which he said responsible for the decline of reading culture and increase rate of crime. He told the students not be carried away by activities on social media networks. Apart from bad use of the Internet and social media networks, other attitudes of students responsible for bad decline of reading culture were also examined in papers presented by other scholars at the conference. One of such paper was: Education standard falling: Myth or reality in Nigeria? The paper discussed how students could overcome the temptation to use social media for unproductive ends. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, the Director of Educational Pathways, a New York-based organisation, Dr Michael Bitz, advised participant not to take shortcut in anything they do, adding that they must see as challenges to better their lives any condition they found themselves.




•Pupils being taught hygiene by one of the club’s members

•Some members of the club with pupils after the seminar.


HE Rotaract Club members in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, have celebrated the World’s Hand washing Day. The event was held at Edgerley Girls’ Memorial School with the theme ‘’The power is in your hand.’’ The President of the club, Miss Enobong Eyibo, said the association decided to sensitise pupils on hand washing because some diseases are contacted through dirty hands. She noted that for Nigeria to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), regular washing of the hand must be encouraged to reduce infant mortality. Eyibo urged the participants to always wash their hands with soap,

Rotaract takes hygiene campaign to schools From Isaac Mensah UNICAL

noting that washing with water alone does not remove germs. A medical practitioner at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr Edidiong Essien, said: ‘’People usually wash their hands with water. But only a few individuals wash with soap, especially after using the toilets, cleaning a child’s faeces or before handling food.’’ He said the event was inspired to promote the health of children, noting that children are a critical segment of a nation’s population.

Secretary of the club, Godswill Udoh, said washing hands with soap was recommended because of its ability to reduce infections and promote public health. She noted that the theme of the event was apt, saying that the responsibility of ensuring proper hand hygiene lies in the hands of everybody. A member of the club, Mr Bassey Samuel, praised the youth of the organisation for its efforts at promoting the objectives of the club. He noted that the washing hands regularly with soap could reduce the incidence of diarrhea infection among children by 50 percent

and respiratory diseases by 25 percent. Highlights of the awareness campaign included the donation of sanitary materials such as hand-towels, waste baskets, toilet soaps and parkers to the management of the school. This was followed by a practical session on hand washing by members of the club. The Principal of the school, Elder Iquo Oboko, who was represented by the Vice-Principal, Pastor Victory Ebong thanked the club for organising the event for the students. She added that the

awareness campaign was timely, especially at a time when the culture of hand washing is seldom practiced, saying that the knowledge impacted on the students would help to improve their health. A JSS2 pupil Mercy Edet, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, thanked members of the club for the gesture. ‘’We deeply appreciate members of the club for bringing the message of healthy hand washing to our school. We will endeavour to be true agents of change by taking the lessons of hygiene to our communities,’’ she added.

Students advised to face studies


RESH students of the Adeleke University in Ede, Osun State, have been told to be focused in their academic pursuit and maximise their stay on the institution. The Vice-Chancellor , Prof O. G. Amusan, gave the charge at the orientation ceremony held for freshers. hE said commitment to academic excellence would prepare the students to compete with their counterparts from any part of the world. He said: ‘’I want to congratulate all of you on becoming bonafide students of this great institution. I urge you to make profitable use of this opportunity to become better individuals. You must make God your priority because this school is founded on godly principles.’’ The Registrar, Olusegun Ojo, advised the students to commence their registration process on time, promising to assist students who encounter problems during the process. Meanwhile, the University Librarian, Dr Bola Atulomah, assured the students that the institution’s library was committed to making learning easy for the students, saying that the library was well-equipped with mod-

From Adewale Babarinde ADELEKE

ern books, computers and uninterrupted internet access. Pastor of the chaplain, Mr Gbenga Efuntade, charged to students to exhibit godly conducts at all time. The Dean of Students Affairs (DSA) Prof M. I. Atere said the students must adhere to the rules and regulations of the school, noting that disciplinary measures will be meted out to defaulters.

’I want to congratulate all of you on becoming bonafide students of this great institution. I urge you to make profitable use of this opportunity to become better individuals. You must make God your priority because this school is founded on godly principles.’’

64 to repeat Youth Service in Ondo


O fewer than 64 Corps members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who served in Ondo State in the Batch ‘’C’’ 2012 got extension of service year due to misconducts while 25 will repeat the service for absconding from their duty posts for more than three months. The state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, congratulated the 2,770 Corps members who successfully completed their service at the passing-out held recently the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade in Akure, the State capital. He thanked them for playing their part in advancing education in the state. The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth Development

From Richard Adura-Ilesanmi ONDO

and Sports, Bekekhimi Idiarhi, assured of his administration’s commitment to the security and welfare of Corps members in the state and charged them to approach the next phase of their lives as agents of change. At the ceremony, five outstanding Corps members led by Edem Victor Emmanuel from Akwa Ibom State received the NYSC State award while others got the State Chairman Award. Highlights of the event included a cultural display by members. Some of the Corps members expressed joy for successfully completing the scheme, saying that they were ready to succeed in the highly competitive labour market.

•Prof Onu and members of the management with winners of the contest


HREE students of the Federal Polytechnic in Oko (OKO POLY), Anambra State, have emerged winners of a competition organised by the Institute of Architecture for tertiary institutions in the state. The Head of Department of Architecture, Dr Rowland Ezeaku, who presented the award winners to the school management, said the contest was aimed at tackling the problems of flooding that ravaged many communities across the country last year. He explained that the competition was aimed at designing a flood response shelter in case of flood disaster, adding that the buildings designed by the winning students floated with the flood level. The overall winner, Mba Catherine got N75,000 cash donation while the


HE National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS) has elected new executive to pilot its affairs for the next one year. The election, which witnessed a huge turnout of voters, was described by students as free and fair. A student of Offa Polytechnic, Offa, Ajayi Temitope lauded members of the Electoral Commission for conducting peaceful polls. The new executive is led by Omowaye Ojo as President, Bashiru

Poly students win contest From Anthonia Anonchilionye OKO POLY

two runners-up, Igwuilo Chbuike and Waheed Prince, won N60,000 and N45,000. The Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, congratulated the students on promoting the good image of the institution, adding that their victory was a source of pride to the authorities. He explained that the win was an attestation to the culture of academic excellence in the school, saying that students of the polytechnic recently came top in similar competitions organised by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) aimed at promoting the Igbo culture.

All the winners carted away a laptop and a generating set was awarded to the students by Kenneth Okonkwo from Model Security Agency. Prof Onu commended lecturers in the department for their zeal and efforts aimed at promoting excellence among the students. ‘’I urge you not to relent in your efforts to instill sound academic values in the students. I implore those who did not win never to lose sight of the ball but to learn from the winners. Ingenuity and discipline is needed to become a winner in any endeavour. I urge all of you to imbibe those traits,’’ said.

Osun students elect leaders From Akiola Oluyi OFFA POLY

Oladejo, Vice-President I and Abimbola Mayosade, Vice-President II. Others are Akintayo Oyegoke, Secretary-General; Adetoyi Olanipekun, Assistant Secretary-General; Babawale Olarenwaju, Public Relations Officer I;

Nurudeen Ibrahim, Public Relations Officer II and Sulaimon Olajide as Director of Sports. The new executives were sworn in immediately by the Chairman of the electoral commission. Speaking at the inauguration, Ojo thanked the students for electing him as their leader, assuring them that he would use his office to promote the welfare of students.




41 get First Class as varsity graduates 6,851


HILE academic activities have been paralysed in other universities, following the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) was bubbling with convocation activities last week as the institution graduated 6,851. Over 5,881 received their Bachelor’s degree certificates, while 969 got Master’s in a colourful ceremony, which caused traffic gridlock on Tanke road that leads to the university. Clad in blue academic gowns and caps, the graduands beamed with smile as they responded to cheers from family members and wellwishers. Students, who just resumed from a long session holiday, moved to the venue of the ceremony to felicitate with their graduating colleagues. Forty-one of the graduands finished with a First Class, a slight improvement against the 37 produced by the institution in 2012. A total of 1,234 graduated with Second Class (Upper Division); 2,882 made the Second Class (Lower division), while 1,193 and 189 got Third Class and Pass grades respectively. During the press conference held at the university auditorium to commence the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali, attributed the increase in the number of graduands to the conducive environment provided in the institution for students. “The increase in the number of this year’s graduands, especially the First Class products against the number we graduated last year is a further evidence that the university is progressively creating a conducive environment for students to achieve the best,”

From Hameed Muritala UNILORIN

Ambali stated. CAMPUSLIFE correspondents in the university, Habeeb Whyte and Dayo Akinola, were among the graduands. Habeeb studied Law, while Dayo graduated from Economics Department. They both made a Second Class (Upper Division). Dayo, who was visibly elated, said: “I am overjoyed to be one of the graduating students today. I can say I am the happiest and you can see happiness written all over my face. The university is releasing us today to go into the world and prove our knowledge; it feels great to have come to study here and left with a good certificate.” He advised students to make the best out of their time irrespective of challenges they face. “I can say that my experience as a CAMPUSLIFE correspondent added value to my life and I expect other students to engage in activities that add values to lives irrespective of their course of study,” he enthused. Habeeb said he achieved his aim, graduating with a Second Class Upper Division. He said: “The five years journey was rough and tough, but I still have cause to be grateful to God because I did not come here to waste my time.” He also advised students to always be focused in all they do and be serious with their studies. Habeeb, who won CAMPUSLIFE Personality Profile Award last year, noted that joining the CAMPUSLIFE platform was one the best decisions he made while in school. “One of the best decisions I ever made was to join the group of stu-

•CAMPUSLIFE’s Habeeb flanked by his parents during the convocation

•Cross section of graduands at the ceremony

dents’ writers across campuses because it gave me some level of exposure and confidence to believe in my ability. I will forever be grate-

ful to the late Mrs Ngozi Agbo for the impact she made in my life.” Habeeb, who is now at the Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School,

thanked his parents for supporting him throughout his academic sojourn at the university and promised to always make them proud.

Don, students seek increased funding for education


HE Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti (ADOPOLY), Tunji Owoeye, and students of the institution have called on the Federal Government to fund polytechnics, across the country, saying that this will help the nation to achieve sustainable development. They said Nigeria’s quest for technological advancement would not be realised until her polytechnics are well-funded. He said the Federal Government was not doing much in education funding. ‘’In last year’s education budget, the Federal Government earmarked about 60 per cent of the total education votes to universities. Polytechnics and colleges of

From Temitope Yakubu ADO POLY

education were made to part with a pantry 40 per cent. That is not how to fund a nation’s education sector,’’ he said. He noted that it was unrealistic for the government to be chanting Vision 20 2020 slogan without adequate attention to polytechnics, adding that the nation’s prospects of a technological revolution would be elusive if the development is not checked. He appealed to the government and regulatory bodies to allow polytechnics to start the award of post-graduate degrees. A HND 1 student of Civil Engineering Ekerin Oluwaseyi decried

Oko Poly functional, says TETFUND


HE Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has described the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, (Oko Poly) in Anambra State as functional during the tour of tertiary institutions by the new Board of Trustees of the fund. Member, Southeast Board of Trustees (BoT) of the body, Chinedu Onu, who led the visitation team, said they were impressed with the infrastructural development in the school. He said the polytechnic was the best out of the three institutions they visited in the region, saying that its management was vibrant and responsive. Onu charged the polytechnic to strengthen its exchange programmes with foreign institutions, adding that it would help the polytechnic to improve its research projects and become a world-class institution.

From Anthonia Anochilionye OKO POLY

He decried the inability of Nigeria’s polytechnics to be listed as one of the best 1000 technology institutions in the world, urging authorities of the school to ensure that it specialises in a key area of research. The Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, commended the Federal Government for the bold initiative to revive the education sector through TETFUND. He lauded government for its improved budgetary allocation to education. Prof Onu called on government to assist the school to tackle its challenges and remain relevant. He called on TETFUND to assist the polytechnic to build a 3,000 capacity electronic classroom with computers, saying that this would assist the polytechnic to achieve its digitalisation objective.



the underfunding problem facing polytechnics in the country. He added: ‘’To make matter worse, the Federal Government has re-

fused to stop the discrimination faced by polytechnic graduates in the labour market, saying that the


OUNG people have been told to wisely utilise their potential and their Godgiven abilities and gifts for the benefit of the society if they want to be relevant. The call was made by speakers at this year’s Global Changers Forum (GCF) by the School of Purpose Discovery International (SOPDI) in Lagos. The event, which was facilitated by Adenike Ashogbon, a former correspondent, was laced with song ministrations, comedy, poetry and a dance presentation. Gbenga Ademujimi, founding President of Kingshill School of Discovery (The Coaching Academy), who spoke on Keys to global relevance in the 21st century; said global changers are not carried away by money and material things. He gave participants five principles of how to become a superstar. They include people, part-

situation was unfortunate. A ND 1 student of Marketing, Ridwan Atiku, said polytechnics provide a practical learning template for students, noting that such knowledge was applicable to real-life situations. A student of Food Technology Daramola Oluwabeyin lamented the lack of infrastructure in polytechnics and called on the government to establish the National Polytechnics’ Commission to oversee the state of polytechnic education in Nigeria. A member of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Temitope Oladimeji, a HND II student of Computer Science, said the government should declare a state of emergency in the sector.

Forum inspires youths ners, process, purpose and problem-solving He advised the females not to marry a for money. ‘’Don’t a man marry because he has a television. But marry him because he has a vision,’’ he stated. A Christian drama Pastor and publisher of Prodigy Journal, Ifeoluwa Oyedunmade in her presentation titled: Unraveling the real you highlighted three factor that can help participants to unravel their true selves. “Know God, know yourself and have a mentor,’’ she said. She added that they should be prayerful and careful in choosing a mentor. Convener of the event and founder of SOPDI, James Asu who spoke on

‘’The Making of Superstars,’’ said: ‘’We are in a strange age and the beauty of every youth lies in early discovery of their divine abilities and its application to improve the human condition.’’ He noted that for young people to become superstars, they need to discover their innate gifts and talents. James, while taking participants through the different stages of self-discovery, said: ‘’Each of us has a superstar hidden in us, waiting for expression. To become one, you need to discover you talents. Develop and deliver them. Have a vision.’’ He enjoined participants to ensure that their goals follow the smart (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) age-long principle.




Yohanna walks again After a road accident which left a festering wound on his right leg, Yohanna Daniel, a Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3 pupil of Unity High School in Gadabuke Development Area of Nasarawa State, lost all hope of walking with his legs again. He contemplated suicide. DAYO OJERINDE writes how Yohanna’s fate changed when a group of Corps members serving in the area paid his medical bills and procured an artificial leg for him.


UICIDE was on his mind because of the festering gangrene on his right leg. Yohanna Daniel, a Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3 pupil of Unity High School in Gadabuke Development Area of Nasarawa State, had thought it was all over. But he was rescued by some Corps members. On May 30, CAMPUSLIFE reported how National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Gadabuke Development Area came to the rescue of Yohanna, who was on the verge of committing suicide following a road crash that left a decaying wound on his limb and made movement uneasy for him. Yohanna was knocked down from a motorcycle by a speeding vehicle. He was unconscious for several hours after the accident. He was revived at a private hospital in Gadabuke where sympathisers rushed him after the crash. His right leg was crushed, a development medical personnel said would require an operation. Having spent their meager resources on series of operations Yohanna underwent, his parents ran out of cash and could not afford subsequent operations to keep the damaged leg in good shape. Yohanna returned home unhealed. A few days after, the leg started to decay. Amputation was the only option to cure the rotting tissue. But Yohanna’s parents could not afford the bill. Writhing in

pain, Yohanna contemplated suicide with hope that the agony would naturally end. The Corps members came to his rescue. Hammed Olarenwaju, a 2012 Batch B Corps member, who lived close to Yohanna’s family house informed his colleagues on the pupil’s condition during the Community Development Service (CDS) meeting. The youths swung into action by contributing their monthly allowance to raise funds for Yohanna’s medical operation. After getting little funds, the Corps members took Yohanna to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi for proper treatment. Yohanna’s decomposing leg was amputated. After the operation, the Corps members were faced with the challenge to get artificial leg for the recovering pupil. Having spent so much on the medical operation, the Corps members wrote letters to 13 junior and senior secondary schools in the area to raise more funds for the artificial leg. They also visited local government secretariats in Gadabuke and affluent individuals to raise fund. The then Corpers Liaison Officer (CLO), Nosamudiana Ogbeide and Jeffrey Igbuzor spearheaded the project. Six of the 13 schools responded to the appeal letter fund by donating funds to the cause. This enabled the Corps members to embark on the last phase of Yohanna’s treatment at the Fed-

eral Medical Center in Makurdi, Benue State. The artificial leg cost N135,000. Clement Gege, a 2012 Batch C Corps member, personally contributed his savings from his monthly allowances to the tune of N50,000 to ensure that Yohanna walks again. Other Corps members that donated cash to the cause included Lazarus Kauna, Olanrewaju Ishola and Chidinma Chikelu. Yohanna was riding on a bicycle when CAMPUSLIFE visited his family house last week. He was lively as he parked his bicycle but became emotional when our correspondent interviewed him. In tears, Yohanna said: “I don’t know how to thank these people, but I know God will reward them abundantly. One day, I want to be a Corp member like them and I want to affect my society more than what these people have done to me. They came to my rescue when all hope seems lost; God used them to rescue me and turned my life around. I can now walk again.” In a chat with CAMPUSLIFE, the NYSC Local Inspector in Gadabuke Development Area, Mr Moses Damolekun, said: “When the Corps members told me about the project, I was touched by the condition of the boy. I threw my weight behind it and thank God, we have been able to give Yohanna hope again. When the first phase of the operation was concluded in Keffi, I told the Corps members that we must get

•Yohanna taking a walk with the artificial leg.

an artificial leg for the boy even though I knew it would cost us a huge sum of money. But we thank God and I salute the courage of the Corps members.”

Yohanna’s elder brother, who did not say his name, said it was God that could reward the Corps members for coming to the aid of the family.

With inadequate hostel facilities on campuses, host communities have helped many higher institutions to accommodate. their students. With the challenge of insecurity facing off-campus residents and dirty school halls, students are left with no option than to either stay in the school or live off-campus. GERALD NWOKOCHA writes.

Insecurity: Students divided over on-campus, off-campus hostels


MUCHIMA Town is one of the host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). Because of its proximity to the campus, the town hosts students, who occupy majority of the buildings in the area. In Marken Suite, one of the houses, three students were recently arrested by the police for an offence bordering on cultism. Though eyewitness said the students may not have been cultists but their actions could have made residents to think otherwise. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the students, who did not go home during semester holiday, engaged in drinking spree in their rooms for days. After getting drunk, our correspondent gathered, one of the students started throwing empty bottles through the window. This drew the attention of the building caretaker, who stays on the ground floor. The compound was littered with pieces of broken bottles. When the caretaker moved to stop them, the boys threatened to “deal with him” if he dared to question their action. Immediately, the caretaker reported the matter to the police and the boys were arrested. They were later said to be cultists terrorising the area. This is typical of students in offcampus halls of residence. Before the Academic Staff Union of Uni-

versities (ASUU) strike, there was a growing fear among FUTO students living off-campus over their security given the alarming rate of assault, intimidation, rape, killing and robbery in the institution’s host communities. While students were writing the first semester examination, there were cases of rape and armed robbery in off-campus hostels. A student of Chemical Engineering, Okechi Ogbonnaya, fell victim when he was mistakenly shot dead by a group of bandits being chased by Man ‘O’ War cadets. The incident occurred at Lafarge Lodge in Umuchima. Students believe that they are safe when they live on campus since the institution’s security personnel’s jurisdiction does not extend to off-campus hostels and host communities. The situation is not different in other universities where students live off-campus. A few years ago, members of the Umuariaga community, which hosts Michael Opara University of Agriculture, Umudike, lynched a student of Physics, Kingsley Udeme. The offence of the victim was that he assaulted his landlord after failuing to pay his rent. In January 2011, members of Ihiagwa Vigilante Group burnt a student of the Federal Polytechnic in Nekede (FEDPONEK) alive. The victim, identified as Bena, was al-

leged to attempt to steal a laptop. He was led to the Ihiagwa Market Square where he was burnt. Nine months after, two FUTO students alleged to be robbers were burnt alive at the T-Junction, near Ihiagwa Magistrate Court. The victims whose names were given as Okechukwu Nwosu and Martins Chibuzor were 100-Level FUTO students. Despite these despicable acts in

off-campuses, some students still prefer off-campus hostels to school accommodation. Such students claim that their privacy is guaranteed in off-campus halls of residence. Investigation by CAMPUSLIFE revealed that rent is higher in offcampus hostels compared to school accommodation. For instance, FUTO students pay between N100,000 and N120,000 for accom-

•A flooded part of Eziobodo community

modation in Umuchima, Eziobodo and Ihiagwa communities. The figures are about 600 to 700 per cent more than the N15,000 they would have paid for a campus hall. Eziobodo, where over 50 per cent of FUTO students live, lacks drainage, which makes the area prone to flood. Each time it rains, the streets are covered in flood water. •Continued on page 36




Let’s stop this bloodshed

By Tobenna Obiano


ORDS alone cannot be enough to explain an offensive video that went viral on the internet, which was allegedly released by the dreaded Boko Haram sect members. I am wondering if people who kill have conscience. Do they actually believe in God and go to church or mosques to truly serve God as they want people to believe? Indeed, if it is not for law and order, man would have been wolf to


I wept for the young children growing up in a society of bloodthirsty human beings. I wept for this generation and for the generation next. I wept for Nigeria my country; I wept. My dad, who was a member of the Red Cross during the Nigerian civil war, always tell me the evil of war. He would say: “It is only he who has not witnessed war that prays for war”. He would wittily put it in this way: “Nwa m, na eziokwu, agha ajoka”, which literally means: “My son, in truth, war is very bad or evil.” I understood it clearly when he said war was evil and bad. Yet some persons or groups are killing and maiming others, drumming beats for wars and disunity. We should look at Syria to understand why we need to stop fanning the embers of strife. To bring a better picture of what I saw in the clip: a lady in bloodstained clothes and badly beaten. Her legs tied together, while her hands were also tied to her back. She was being tortured by persons

speaking Hausa and Pidgin English. A very sharp knife was drawn out from nowhere by a ‘botcher’. The knife was placed across her neck and behold, the criminal did the worst thing. In a blaspheme manner, the criminals were “thanking God” while the head was being chopped-off from the body. What kind of world is this? I wouldn’t know if our leaders get to see this clip. This is actually one out of hundreds of extrajudicial killing happening daily in our country. Whether these acts are politically or religiously motivated, the fact remains that people are killed illegally and this has to stop. The government must assure us that it is capable to protect our lives and properties. North is not safe again. Boko Haram sect members have turned the zone to a no-go area for people like me. The group, which is preaching against western education, is using the breakthroughs of western education such as phones, AK-47 guns, bombs and cars to carry out its activities. Yet, the government

•Tobenna, a corps member, NYSC Benin City

Govt should stop fiddling with education

T has been four months since the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) started and the debate is still raging, taking new turns daily. The lecturers will not yield to the pressure from the Federal Government to resume; the government will not concede to the teachers’ demands. It is obvious that the government is expecting ASUU to blink first by compromising or to put it mildly shift ground on its demands, which were reached to transform the falling higher education standards. Shifting ground was the same line government advocated for in 2009 when ASUU downed tools for 103 days. The lecturers’ body reached an agreement with the government many stakeholders described as a win-win agreement. Sadly, ASUU possibly waited for too long, ignorantly trusting that government’s word and imprimatur are its bound. The government’s failure not to fulfill its own side of the agreement is the thrust of ASUU-FG stalemate. The government is employing all channels to paint ASUU in bad light, and make its demands appearing unachievable tasks. Recently, a section of the media published the 51-page 2009 FGASUU agreement. Having read through it, it is clear to me that the government is simply playing politics with education. The government and Gamaliel Onosode-led representatives were not blindfolded when they were


his fellow man. Our society would have been like an animal jungle where killing and maiming would have been the order of the day. The video showed a lady, who was said to be an official of the State Security Service (SSS), mercilessly killed like a ram by men suspected to be members of Boko Haram. The grim clip showed the bestiality of man towards his fellow man. After being beaten into a pulp, the victim’s head was cut off the body by a man and the head was displayed before a camera. Heartless! I wished it was a film trick, but it was real. After watching the said clip, I wept for my country. I lamented what religious fundamentalism has done in this nation. I wept because of the careless people we parade as leaders, who have since turned to looters. I wept for my brothers and sisters in the North and Middle Belt, especially the Muslims among them. I wept for the poor child, an almajiri, who wanders the streets of Kano and Maiduguri begging for alms to eat the next meal.

has demonstrated crass ineptitude to contain the activities of this criminal group. Let this nation be rescued now or never. As we talk of killings, maladministration and other crimes in the North, let the government be quickly reminded that the southern part of the country is also not safe. There are criminal groups killing and kidnapping people too. Heaven helps those who help themselves; the people must also engage the government to do what is right. We cannot afford to be playing Ostrich while people are extra judicially killed. And those who deceive themselves that it’s part of religious teaching to kill, they should know that they cannot fight for God. No religion supports murder, not even Islam. Religion should be a private affairs in a heterogeneous society like ours. Let not the blood of this fine officer of the SSS shed in vain; let government improve on security and make our nation a safe place for humanity. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

reaching the agreement with the lecturers. The ugly reality therefore is that ASUU deserves better treatment and the government cannot deny that. A government that is serious about education won’t still be asking for “more time” to implement a four-year old agreement not to talk of asking the party concerned to shift ground. It is shameful that the nation’s education is on a free fall; a lot needs to be done to transform the sector. And in the light of that, I don’t think what ASUU is asking for is too much given the billions that have been stolen in this country by government officials. If some of the money can be recovered to fund education, no lecturer would go on strike again. But the government is not looking in this direction. I first got a clue that the federal government was willing to extend the strike when the sacked education Minister, Prof Ruqayyattu Rufa’i, Governing Councils and Vice-Chancellors of public universities attempted to lure the striking lecturers with a view to cause division within ASUU rank. That was when the action was just a little over eight weeks. But the effort failed. Even subsequent snarling by the new supervising minister and some anti-ASUU politicians has yielded no result. Why can’t the government have a rethink on the matter? It is often said that a nation’s transformation is tied greatly to the development of the people’s mind

and the quality of education available to them. No serious nation will allow its education sector to suffer. Quality education guarantees a good future for students and by extension, the nation. President Goodluck Jonathan, therefore, should begin to pay attention to the nation’s education sector. And the first step is to honour the 2009 agreement. Truth be told, with the current handling of crisis by the federal government, it is obvious not much is being done to resolve the issue. Unknown to the president, the poor handling of ASUU strike by his administration couple with the mess in the aviation sector is dotting his perceived image that is gradually been plummeted into abyss, a development that is

dangerous for his second term ambition. Frankly speaking, if the disposition of the president and the supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, are anything to go by, it appears Aso Rock has resolved to ground public institutions in order for private ivory towers, mostly established by their political cronies, to flourish at the expense of public education system. This will be too dangerous for the nation. On a personal note, my grouse with President Jonathan, who I believed was a party to the agreement when it was reached, is not showing enough concern. His hirelings are throwing diatribe on the lecturers. Students are thinking the president’s utterances and actions are undermining the issue. It is a known fact that the market women who marched in Abuja recently threatening to sack ASUU were rented and misinformed. I once shared part of their sentiment until I read a copy of the agreement and weighed government’s action since the commencement of the strike in July. Any discerning mind who has read the agreement would agree ASUU is fighting a just course. As an undergraduate, I have first-hand information on the rot and dearth of infrastructure. I know what it means to use obsolete books to prepare for examinations in this age of information technology. I know what it means to be packed in a

shows’ organisers lavish money in the name of rewarding people they consider to have talents for music is alarming and uncalled for. Though I am not trying to say that these young talented youths do not deserve the financial reward, but there are areas of our national life that are dead and need to be revamped. The TV reality shows promoters, as private sector, can come in here to reach out to more youths. The mind blowing millions spent in rewarding the successful youths in their programmes can be invested in productive ventures. The Nation, on October 1, published a story that told how leather factories in Kano have become moribund. Of course, we do not need a soothsayer to tell us that the agricultural sector is also dying. As such, I urge the reality shows’ promoters to also use throw their money in revitalising these sec-

tors. At the end, Nigerians would be happy and there would be huge profit from the investment. It may interest them to know that if they contribute in turning around the fortunes of critical sector of our economy, the citizens of this country would not forget them. They should imagine a situation where they revitalise an industry or create one and thousands of youths are employed, this would have extended their love to a larger population compare with when they just reward two or five people in the socalled TV reality shows. Again, the shows have continued to encourage youths to dwell in the fantasies of being the next superstars. Consequently, every youth wants to be a musician, an actor or actress, a super model and so on. I am not insinuating that these vocations are not noble or legitimate but

it appears that the number of youths who want to be entertainers is increasing. Regrettably, no Nigerian youth wants to be like our revered Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka or the late Prof Chinua Achebe, Prof Akachi Ezeigbo, Chimamanda Adichie, Prof Zaynab Alkali just to mention a few. If anyone thinks that I exaggerate, he can go to secondary schools and ask pupils what they wish to be in future. He would be surprised that 75 per cent of them would wish to be musician or movie actor. I am not trying to say everybody must be in the academia. Yes, there must be variety because God created variety and variety is the spice of life. But priority must be given to other sectors if national and human developments are wanted in Nigeria. We are regularly informed that

By Juliana Edet

A word for reality shows organisers

HAVE been an ardent fan of almost all the television reality shows in the past five years. I must congratulate the organisers on bringing up programmes to harness the potential and creativity of the youth. The shows have made many young Nigerians to detest crimes, ridding the nation of juvenile delinquency. In the manner the youth are engaged, it takes their minds off mischief. Against such background, I believe the beneficiaries will forever be indebted to reality show producers for giving them the opportunity to discover their God-given talents. For this I say, thumps up!However, my purpose of writing this article is not merely to praise the promoters of reality shows for rewarding youths, but to inform them how some Nigerians feel about their programmes. The manner the

classroom scarcely ventilated. I know what it means to be taught by ill-motivated lecturers and I know the implication of a weak research. The failure of government in addressing these issues might be connected to the exodus of students to East and West African countries. Recently, President Jonathan visited a private university where he commissioned the Faculty of Engineering complex named after him by the authority of the institution. If such gesture caught his attention, I think he should show greater concern for public schools. Rather than beg ASUU to return to work, the government should find ways to implement the agreement. The picture is getting clearer by the day about the plan of this administration on education. If the agreement is not signed and implemented, it may be safe to conclude that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government’s ambition is to kill education in Nigeria. The education system deserves the best and Nigerians would be better for it if the government makes move to implement the agreement. I believe the president knows the implication of the poor handling of the stalemate with ASUU on his reputation? It is dangerous to keep taking ASUU and students for granted. •Juliana, 300-Level Mass Comm., UNILAG

By Uchechukwu Amanze reading culture has waned in Nigeria. Why will it not be when we reward youths with millions the way TV reality shows’ promoters do, knowing clearly that Nigerian youths like shortcut and faster means to rich •Continued and fame. on page 36





TUDENTS of the Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHT) have participated in a health symposium aimed at encouraging students to donate blood. The event featured talk on healthy nutrition, blood donation and sickle cell anaemia. The exercise, which was organised by Club 25 of the college in conjunction with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC) offered free medical check-up to students. Some of the medical examinations provided during the programme included blood sugar level, blood group, HIV status and hepatitis B and C screening. Hundreds of students donated blood to make blood available in hospitals across the state. A 200-Level student of the college, Dosumu Hannah, said she was scared of donating her blood but one of her classmates motivated her. She told CAMPUSLIFE that the process was easy. ‘’The staff of

Students donate blood From Olatunde Odebiyi LAGOS

LSBTC were very friendly and I felt healthy after the donation. Initially, I was scared of offering my blood. But I feel good about donating my blood to save the lives of other persons,’’ she stated. Another donor, Ifeoluwa Afolake, a 400-Level student of Environmental Health said she was not scared since it was not her first time to donate blood. Modupe Sarumi, also a 400 level Environmetal Health student said that was her third time of donating blood. She urged her other students to donate their blood voluntarily, saying that it helps the body to produce new red blood cells. President of club, Shogo Oloshunde, said that there is fulfillment in voluntary blood donation, noting that it was a necessary

to save others’ lives through blood donation. The Chairman of LSBTC, Dr Adetoun Agbe-Davies, said voluntary blood donation is important to save people’s lives, especially accident victims and women in labour. She said: ‘’We cannot overemphasise the importance of voluntary blood donation because it is the source of life to people in emergency situations.that is why we encourage more people to donate blood and rescue those in need of it.’’ She added that the donor must be between 18 and 65 and free from infections. Head of LSCOHT, Dr Abiola Tilley-Gyado said voluntary blood donation is a self-less way of saving the lives of others, saying it was economical and would ensure its availability in blood banks.

Insecurity: students divided over on-campus, off-campus hostels •Continued from pag 34

Students who live in the area miss lectures whenever the downpour is heavy. One of the residents, Nnenna Onyeagoziri, said she prefer to live in Eziobodo despite the bad environment. “I can cope with the condition,” she said. Chidinma Ibeh, a 500-Level student, made the decision to live in Eziobodo three years ago. “I never had any intention of staying offcampus, even my parents did not support it,” she offered. But a few years into her degree programme, Chidinma could not cope with accommodation on campus. “If there had been a law barring students from living off-campus, I would have broken the law because I can withstand a live in the school halls,” she said. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that students who reside in school halls took the decision to because of security, constant electricity and water supply. “Not everybody that lives off-campus has access to uninterrupted power supply,” says Ngozi Nwakuche. She added: “You can be sure of your secu-

rity on campus, unlike living off campus where most of the houses don’t have gates. Cultists and armed robbers might come into the compound any time and do what they want.” Domnic Uche, former students’ leader, said the campus accommodation was preferable to make students focus on their studies. But Peter Nwokocha, another student, disagreed, saying school halls are unhygienic. “I was discouraged from staying on campus because the hostel I visited was very dirty,” he said, adding: “The management allocated a room of eight to 12 students. How do you expect them to sleep at night? Most cases, some students sleep from 8pm to 1am and wake up to read so that the rest could sleep by 1am till morning. I cannot cope with such life.” For Stanley Uchegbu, a graduating student of Accounting of the University of Calabar, school accommodation remains the best. He said: “I chose off-campus residence to be independent. I needed privacy because there are things I cannot do in the school hostel.”

A word for reality shows organisers •Continued from pag 35 •Deputy Governor, Cross River State Cobham Effiok (second right) presenting a certificate to Prof James Epoke (left), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) in recognition of Epoke’s role in sustaining the vision of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

How do you expect young people to read books or develop their minds when their mates are out there making millions in a twoweek or a month TV reality shows? Let it not be seen that this article is an attack on potential celebrities and superstars. I am only against the idea of giving them millions of naira just because they took part in what does not necessarily add values to the life of the common man. As a life-time student of economics, I know that it is good to appreciate people who patronise us, but if it must be done, then it should be

with a moderate amount. How can you reward a youthful contestant with N10 million and expect him to go back to school? Is it not better to use such fund to build a health care centre in one of the rural areas? That is the real meaning of corporate social responsibility. The truth must always be told no matter bitter or who gets hurt. I wish you could do this for us. For the earlier we control this reality show extravagance, the better for our national and human developments. •Uchechukwu, 100-Level Food Science and Technology, ABSU

‘Unionism is not for embezzlement’

Another challenge is combining politics with academic assignment. In the course of carrying out my responsibility, some students believed that I was fighting for my interest; satisfying everyone became difficult. People came with all sorts of stories to seek for help because they believe that students’ unionism is an avenue to embezzle money. But this is not so. I see it as a platform for selfless service. What were your visions for the parliament? I projected to lift the structures the legislative arm of the union to an enviable height by taking members to learn from lawmakers at all level of government. This I planned to achieve through various leadership programmes that could help enhance the parliamentary process. Did you achieve the vision? We were able to re-structure the sitting arrangement in the parliament to ease communication as done in the Lagos State House of Assembly. We also started the maiden orientation lecture aimed at preparing new members in the legislative chamber to tackle for challenges they may encounter. We partnered with Legislative Council of the Ikorodu Local Government Area for continuous

•Continued from page 30

training and orientation in procedures. To fully achieve the vision, I took members to observe the proceedings in the Lagos State House of Assembly complex last December. We capped it with the visit to the National Assembly in Abuja last May to experience how the business of lawmaking is conducted at the national level. All these gave members some level of exposure to strengthening the union’s parliament in accordance with my vision. What would you want the school management to improve on? We must commend the present administration led by Dr Abdulazeez Lawal for unparallel commitment to academic values and commendable projects it has initiated. However, there is need to provide hostels on the campus and build up a formidable security outfit. These are my expectation from the management. What is your advice to your successor? He should be proactive and pragmatic. He must listen more to the opinion of members and take time to filter advice and suggestion before he swings into action. Above all, he must put all his trust in God and be open-minded.




‘Secondary schools lack good science labs’


HE Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr. Ighodalo Ijabone, has lamented the poor state of science laboratories in secondary schools in the country. He said the institute through its inspection of schools for research has discovered that most public and private secondary schools do not have good science laboratories. Speaking in Ibadan at a briefing to announce the 29th national conference of the institute, Ijagbone said: "As part of our regulatory functions, the institute visits institutions to inspect and assess laboratory facilities, much need to be done in secondary schools laboratories.The institute with some agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in the country is working and packaging science laboratories model for secondary schools to enhance science and technology education in the country." In the next two months, Ijagbone said the institute plans to inspect science laboratories in 11 agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure facilities in the laboratories meet international standards.

By Seun Olalude

He added that the institute is committed to her mandate to train and certify laboratory scientists and ensure proper laboratory practices. To this end, he said NISLT enhances professional competence among members and also compliments academic programmes offered by tertiary institutions by mounting annual workshops in various laboratory techniques. “During the year, the institute has trained 3, 000 scientists and technologists drawn from public, private, industrial and research laboratories throughout the country," he said. He further said the institute has been attracting new members through the direct induction of new graduands of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) in universities and polytechnics. Speaking on the 29th conference/scientific workshop with theme: The role of science Laboratory Technology (SLT) in Food Security: Adding value to the food, which holds between today and Saturday at the University of Ilorin, Ijagbone said the participants would seek to discover how laboratory scientists can help Nigeria achieve food security.

• From left: Director, Education Training and Inspectorate, NISLT, Mr Jackson Osuh; Dr. Ijabone and Director Planning Research and Development, Mr Folorunso Sumonu at the briefing.


Experts seek curriculum review

ARTICIPANTS at this year's Public Policy Dialogue, organised by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) in conjunction with the African Leadership Academy, have underscored the importance of introducing leadership into the schools’ curriculum. They believe this will help address

• From left: The PTA Chairperson, Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Mrs. Orby Igwilo; Acting Principal, Mrs. Nwankwo Magdalen, and Vice-Principal, Special Duties, Mrs. Eunice Akinnifesi, during the celebration of World Teachers' Day at the college.


By Adeola Ogunlade

the country's leadership challenges. They called on the Federal Government to include topics on leadership skills and values in subjects learnt in schools. Speaking at the third edition of the dialogue titled: Investing in Africa's future: Unlocking the potential of our next generation of leaders, which held in Lagos, Prof Ebere Onwudiwe, Executive Director, Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development and a panelist at the dialogue, blamed the rot in the system on the preoccupation to make easy money. "It is the overall mindset of making quick money that diminishes the solid view of education. The absence of values is killing the system as we take too much pride in things that don't work. The leadership's craze for easy money creates a sense of civic cynicism among the populace; erodes public trust in their leaders; and causes insecurity of lives and property. We cannot continue like this hence the need for system overhaul," he said. In her presentation, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, a member of the Corona Schools Trust Council, said children should learn about leadership qualities early. She advocated a curriculum review that will ensure values are taught from the formative years. "We should go back and build a curriculum that captures our values

‘Teachers crucial to transformation agenda’

ITHOUT teachers playing their roles appropriately in a vibrant education sector, President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda cannot be fulfilled, says Prof Vincent Tenebe, Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Addressing the topic The role of teachers in Nigeria's Transformation Agenda, at the World Teachers Day of King's College, Lagos, Tenebe, the guest lecturer, said education is at the core of any development. The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by Prof Alphonso Ikeotuonye, explained that the teacher's role in manpower development means that they influence the abilities of Nigerians to effectively fulfil the transformation agenda which traverses various areas of national live including politics, economy, power, energy, transportation, industry, agriculture, employment and labour, and socio-education at both the macro and micro levels. He said: "The Transformation Agenda is an omnibus development plan aimed at giving Nigeria and Nigerians new life. The teachers' role in it both at macro and micro

•King's College rewards teachers By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

levels is very crucial. Teachers are directly responsible for producing competent manpower that man all the sectors of our national life, particularly the economy. Teachers can make or mar the nation's education system. Without teachers, the restoration of excellence in education remains a dream. Without teachers, the future generation of Nigerians who are expected to consolidate and sustain the gains of the agenda will not be able to do so." Underscoring the importance of teachers to the polity, the King's College Principal, Otunba Dele Olapeju, lamented that teachers are

under appreciated. He said the need to appreciate them was the reason he initiated a reward programme to commemorate the World Teachers Day three years ago. He urged the government to appropriately reward teachers at the secondary education level who hardly go on strike. "Government is focusing more on tertiary education.The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will go on strike but teachers do not go on strike. We need more encouragement from the government. We don't have to go on strike before government should remember us," he said. During the event, present and

‘Government is focusing more on tertiary education. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) go on strike but teachers do not. We need more encouragement from the government. We don't have to go on strike before government should remember us’

past teachers who had put in hard work, commitment and long years to groom the pupils the 104-yearold school were presented with such gifts such as refrigerators, flat screen televisions, water dispensers and generators. Some industrious teachers got more than one award in the 10 categories rewarded. Chairman of the KC Parent/ Teacher Association (PTA), Mr Emmanuel Oriakhi, said the parents sponsored a category of the awards to appreciate the teachers for sustaining academic excellence in the college. "We want to reward our teachers who are responsible for the academic excellence of pupils of the college," he said. Dr Olusegun Akinfoyewa, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the PTA teachers' award, said the was painstaking, involving the parents, teachers, pupils and prefects of the school. The PTA rewarded the best Teacher, Mr J. A. Atoyebi, with a laptop, printer and N50,000 prize. The event also featured health screening, drama and match past by the teachers.

and cultures. We also need to get the conversation out in the open and get everybody thinking. It is time for the society to ask for a seat at the table to tackle challenges head-on," she said. Founder of the African Leadership Academy, South Africa Fred Swaniker, sought the building of strong institutions to help tackle the leadership problem that pervades the continent. Other panelists at the event included Prof Ram Kumar Kakani, a visiting professor at the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos; Prof Foluso Okunmadewa, a sector leader in the World Bank; and Ndidi Nwuneli, founder of LEAP Africa. The Chief Executive Officer, MMF, Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, reiterated the foundation's commitment to engaging patriots in productive discussions geared towards resolving the leadership challenges of Nigeria.

FSTC fetes teachers By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie


HE teachers of the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba, took time out to celebrate the dignity of teachers and their contributions to national growth as part of activities to mark this year's edition of the World Teachers' Day. The school marked the day with a series of activities, including lectures, musical rendition by the college's dancing and cultural troupes, and presentation of gifts. Speaking on the topic, Investing in teachers as a key to national development, a motivational speaker, Mr Jude Oputa, likened teachers to workers in companies where destinies are manufactured, saying their roles as nation builders could not be taken likely. Oputa, who linked the rot in the country's education system to the poor treatment of teachers, urged government at all levels to take the welfare of teachers more serious as the true builders of the nation's future. Chairman of the college's ParentTeacher Association (PTA), Mrs. Orby Igwilo, praised the teachers for their commitment to the development of their pupils, and pledged on behalf of the parents to step up the support for the school. She presented gifts on behalf of the parents to deserving teachers, especially the heads of departments and divisions. The college's acting Principal, Mrs. Nwankwo Magdalen, thanked the parents and friends of the school for honouring them. She however urged them to help resolve the accommodation challenges facing the college as its pupil population has risen to about 3,000.



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•Dr Oyedepo

CU celebrates 11th Founder’s Day


OVENANT University (CU), Otta in Ogun State was agog on Monday last week, as it marked her 11th Founder's Day anniversary. The university also used the occasion to launch her Vision 1 of 10 in 10 which aimed at becoming one of the 10 world-class universities within 10 years. The activities for the day began with the general assembly at the university chapel where the management, faculty, staff and students converged to for a short thanksgiving service. Founder, Living Faith Worldwide and Chancellor, CU Dr David Oyedepo warned of the danger of ingratitude, adding that thanksgiving is the key to God's blessing. Dr Oyedepo said the university’s vision was a mandate delivered by God, and, therefore, could not be stopped. He enjoined the university community to receive it, believe it, and run with it for its practical fulfillment before 2022. He also used the occasion to acknowledge contributions of some pioneer members of the university, whom, he said, had greatly contributed to her success. The CU Pro-Chancellor, Pastor Abraham Ojeme, thanked the chancellor for showing great example and giving direction to the university. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ayo Ajayi, presented the management scorecard in the last one year,in addition to the seven-point agenda which his management would be working with to fulfill the CU’s vision.

Host Institution University of Sydney, Australia Field(s) of study: Any undergraduate or postgraduate coursework programme offered at the University Number of Scholarships Up to 100 of these prestigious Scholarships will be offered in 2013 to high achieving, academically meritorious, international students. Target group The scholarships are for international students from any country. Scholarship value/inclusions: For the undergraduate scholarships, each scholarship has a value of AUD$10,000 per year, available for a maximum of three years, (total value AUD$30,000) for any Undergraduate program offered at the University of


Sydney (subject to the recipient maintaining satisfactory academic progress each year). For the postgraduate scholarships, each scholarship has a value of AUD$10,000 each, available as a oneoff award (AUD$10,000 each per year, (ie, $15,000 in total for a 1.5-year programme, $20,000 in total for a tw0year program) for any Postgraduate Coursework program offered at the University of Sydney. Living allowance is NOT included in the scholarships. Eligibility Undergraduate Scholarships Applicants must have completed an Australian Year 12 qualification or an international senior secondary qualification accepted by the University with an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of at least 98* or equivalent. Students who have already commenced tertiary studies, or students transferring with credit exemptions and/

or advanced standing are not eligible. Students completing Foundation Studies Programs are also not eligible. * For further information on equivalents to Australian Year 12 qualifications and a table showing standard academic requirements for some of these examinations relative to ATAR scores see: f u t u r e _ s t u d e n t s / international_undergraduate/ admissions/entry_requirements Postgraduate Scholarships Applicants must have completed the equivalent of an Australian Bachelor degree qualification with a minimum high distinction average as based on the Australian grading system. Students who have already commenced postgraduate studies, or students transferring from other postgraduate programs are not eligible. Application instructions: Only applicants with unconditional

Oko Poly: Community raises alarm over diversion of computers

HE Ogbaru Stakeholders Forum has demanded the immediate return to the Federal Polytechnic Oko, 210 units of computers donated to the Atani campus of the institution by Victor Afam Ogene a federal lawmaker. The forum also demanded the return of a generator installed at the Atani campus but which has since been taken to the main campus by the Rector Prof Godwin Onu. In a statement by Comrade Peter Okala and Evangelist Jerry Elezua, chairman and secretary.

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

The group said: "The forum demanded from the Rector of Federal Polytechnic Oko the return of 210 computers and a generator set attracted to Ogbaru campus of the Federal Polytechnic Oko by Hon Victor Afam Ogene which the rector hijacked to the main campus as such act will undermine the genuine efforts of the donor and sabotage his plan in bringing more

goods things for Ogbaru people. “We wish to call on all the security agencies in the area to henceforth protect all facilities and projects attracted to our people like transformers, skill acquisition centres, milling industries, computer training centres, community town hall, pedestrian bridge by the express road, solar street lights etc.’’ But the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Obini


Onuchukwu said the management's action was in the best interest of the students. “Are you the one that approved the computers?” Obini asked. "Well the computers were attracted by a member representing the Ogbaru Federal Constituency to the institution via the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). “The computers mainly laptops have been deployed to their areas of needs in the institution. Students are already making use of them and they are happy for it.”

Old boys hold convention From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba


The Bells 5th convocation Saturday By Medinat Kanabe

OURTEEN first class holders will be part of the 207 graduating students of The Bells University of Technology (BELLTEECH) Ota, Ogun State, on Saturday. The fifth convocation of the university will also feature 64 in the second class category; 83 second class lower as well as 46 third class holders. The university has also appointed Dr Kola Jamodu, former Minister of Industry as its new Pro- Chancellor, replacing Prof Emmanuel Edozien. This was made known at a briefing at the university's Senate Chamber. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Isaac Adeyemi, said there would be an award of honorary degree to Prof Edozien, in addition to admission to first degrees and presentation of prizes. He also announced that the ceremony will be marked by a weeklong activity from yesterday to the convocation day. Some of the activities, according to him, would include technology fair, football match, convocation lecture and convocation play. He talked about the recent accreditation of some of the school programmes, infrastructural development, and a musical competition won by its students.

offers of admission will be considered. No separate application for a scholarship is necessary. An application for admission to the University of Sydney in 2014 will constitute an application for a scholarship. All applications meeting the selection and eligibility criteria will be automatically considered. The deadline for receipt of applications and complete supporting documentation (academic and English language proficiency results) is 15 January 2014 (for Semester 1, 2013) and June 30, 2014 (for Semester 2, 2013). Applications received after these deadlines will not be considered. It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship. Website Official Scholarship Website: http:// prospective/sydney-achievers.shtml

• From left: Prince Ogunleye (Front row), Otumba Olukoga; (middle); and Mr Bashorun in group photograph after the event.


Ex-Lagos deputy governor becomes AOCOED interim Council chair

HE Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Education Otunba Abdulfatai Olukoga on Tuesday, presented Prince Abiodun Ogunleye as the interim Governing Council chairman of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Otto/Ijanikin (AOCOED). At the event held at the college’s Council chamber, Olukoga expressed his confidence in Ogunleye who was former deputy governor of the state. Olukoga said: "It has become imperative to make arrangement for someone among the appointed members to assume leadership of the Governing Council. No doubt, this responsibility falls on the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye." He also said Ogunleye's

By Adegunle Olugbamila

experience garnered from his decades of meritorious service to humanity in the private sector as well as his political status in the state would serve as an added advantage to his new office. He called on the entire management to give him their full support. The Provost of the institution, Mr Bashorun Olalekan Wasiu, lauded the state government for its support which resulted into the accreditation of all academic programmes granted the college recently by National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) its regulatory body. He said the Federal Government has also approved N180 million for the construction of a multi-media teaching laboratory, in which it has also awarded to a contractor that would soon be mobilised to

site. He added that since Mrs Akran's tenure expired, Council meetings had been put on hold. With the new development however, Bashorun is hopeful that the Council is now set to resume its regular meetings and those of its committees which would enable them to treat pending matters, which among other issues, would include the 2012 staff promotion exercise, provision of hostels for students and the proposed three-floor AOCOED International School structure. “The issue of providing hostel accommodation for students has been a major concern of the college. Contacts have been made with some contractors that have shown interests in the project that will be executed on a Public Private Partnership basis,” Bashorun added.

HE National Convention and Homecoming of Ibo National High School Aba Old Boy's Association holds from November 8-10. At a briefing in Aba, Abia State, The President-General of the association, Azubuko Udah said Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, Managing Director Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will deliver the keynote address with the theme: "Ibo national High School Aba Old Boys' Association: The way forward.” Udah, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, who was represented by the first vice president of the association, Chinedu Duru, a lawyer, described education as a collective responsibility which should not be left in the hands of government alone. He said the association has successfully completed the first phase of a perimeter fencing project, reconstructed two hostel blocks, electrified the principal's office and staff room, surveyed the school's land to wade off intruders, among other projects. He added: "Our homecoming has also provided for us not only the opportunity to interact with students, teachers and the school management, but to also contribute our quota to the growth and development of education in the school and state at large. “Government cannot do everything for schools and it lies on us, the ‘old boys’ to assist the school in our little capacity to make teaching and learning conducive for them.”




Pupils protest teachers’ strike •NUT: we have resumed strike •Govt: 25.7% salary increment implemented


UPILS of UBE Junior Secondary School, NKST Wadata and their counterparts in the primary school on Monday protested the alleged indifference of the Benue State government to the plight of primary school teachers in the state. The pupil’s barricaded the NKST Wadata bend. They set bonfires and chanted choruses such as: "no school no road;" "our government is bad," "Suswam should pay our teachers," among others. Officers of the Nigerian Police were later drafted to the area to disperse the protesters with teargas canisters. One of the pupils, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our reporter that one of their teachers Mr Apa Ehe died because he could not afford to go to the hospital. In a similar development, the Benue State arm of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has started an industrial action to demand for the minimum wage. InJune, the state government

By Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

signed an agreement with the state NUT at the national secretariat to begin the implementation of minimum wage. The agreement was signed in Abuja by the state deputy governor on behalf of government, while the NUT officials from Benue also signed on teachers' behalf. With this deal however, the implementation was supposed to have kicked off in August, but teachers accused the government of partial implementation of the agreement, necessitating a renewed strike last week. The Chairman of NUT, Benue State chapter Comrade Godwin Anya, told The Nation that only N10,00 was posted into their account, adding that this fell short of the minimum wage. He vowed that his colleagues would continue to stay away from classes until the government complies with the agreement. But, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince

• Some of the pupils being tear-gassed during the protest.

Solomon Wombo, said government would only pay what it can afford and advised teachers to go back to classroom. Wombo in whose custody is the money released to SUBEB, said there was crisis in the sharing of

Federation Account adding the Federal government refused to augment shortfalls from its revenue. He stressed that state government also got less from the Federation Account, resulting in financial crisis to meet the

minimum wage. He, however, added: "Government has already implemented the 25.7 per cent salary increment which is more than the N18,000 minimum as no teacher in Benue is receiving below the minimum wage."

Ben Akintelure is the Principal of Phidel College, a Seconday school situated at Isheri-Olofin, Idimu on the outskirts of Lagos. In this interview with ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA, Akintelure speaks on how secondary school pupils should be prepared to have a well-groomed future. Excerpts:


NLY a few schools use more than one curriculum to teach. Why is this so? Exposing the pupils to various curricula is good because it provides them with different opportunities. In British curriculum, students are trained to finish in five years. There are some topics that are not found in British syllabus but are treated in the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) and vice-versa. There are some topics you don't need to go into details for the British curriculum, but in WAEC or the National Examination Council (NECO), you are expected to teach. Another fundamental difference is that the British curriculum requires logic and thinking but in most cases, WAEC or NECO are too direct. Pupils that can memorise notes very well can easily pass WEAC or NECO. But in the British curriculum, you will fail if you are not intelligent. In Phidel, which is given priority? What we do here is prepare pupils using the Nigerian, British and American curricular, and we have certified teachers who can handle these. This, we hope, will make our pupils stand out. In truth, you cannot say one

Education ‘must be total for brighter future’ curriculum is better than the other. Preference for one curriculum depends on what you want to achieve. If you want your children to go to school in Nigeria after their secondary school education, you have the option. And if you want them to study abroad, with the training we give them here, they can also achieve that. We provide them different opportunities. In fact, basic languages of the world, including French and Chinese languages, are made compulsory for pupils at some point in their education here. The types of the exams we undertake here include WAEC, NECO, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). People are clamouring for vocational subjects to be made compulsory in the secondary school syllabus. What is your opinion? The idea is that when you teach pupils vocational subjects, you are actually nurturing them to be future leaders that can be self-

reliant and can contribute to the society. The point is that pupils should be taught vocational subjects so thats if they cannot get white collar job, at the end of their education, they can take up a vocation in which they were tranend and developed them. Here, we teach our pupils vocational subjects. We have a standard Home Economics room where the pupils can put to practice what they have learnt. There is clothing and textile room with various sewing machines. We do tie and dye here. Our music studio is fantastic. There is no musical instrument that cannot be handled by our music teachers. We are also training the students in phonics, diction, etiquette and courtesy. What measures have you in checking anti-social behaviours particularly among the boarding pupils? The moment you are registered, you are trained to imbibe values that are expected of a responsible citizen in the society. With the orientation you are given, you cannot do otherwise.

For the boarding pupils, we have standard hostels. In some schools for instance, there are big hostewith 15 to 20 beds space for pupils; but here, we have our rooms accommodating maximum of four pupils so the issue of bullying would be eradicated. In a situation where you put many pupils in a big room, the senior usually bully the junior ones. Some are even molested, that is how bad it can get. Would you say there are enough facilities in the school to ensure your set objectives are met? Yes! We have amazing structure, environment, a well-equipped school auditorium, and also constant power supply. Our standby power generating sets take over immediately there is power outage. We have a sports complex consisting of volleyball court, tennis court, standard swimming pool and football pitch with synthetic surface. We have a computer laboratory that is well-equipped and connected to the internet. Our classrooms are fully airconditioned. We have the sickbay where nurses attend to pupils.

There are schools buses that take day pupils to and from school though this is optional. And of course we have qualified teachers and experienced teachers. One other important thing is our dinning. From experience, when pupils are not well-fed, they lack concentration, and the brain will not develop. Here, the dinning is taken care of in such a way that we make sure the pupils are well-fed. At Phidel College, we have structures, facilities, equipment and seasoned teachers to achieve the set goals. We want to ensure every pupil that has his secondary school education here becomes the pride of this country.

Stop charging levies in mega schools, Mimiko warns


• From left: Founder/ President, Kechie's Project (KP), an NGO for girl child education, Nkechi Ogbodo; Logistic and Transport student Olanike Alabi; President, Women in Logistic and Transport (WILAT Nigeria) Mrs Aishat Ibrahim; Lecturer, Lagos State University School of Transport Mrs Ogochukwu Ugboma and KP Project Director Nneamaka Anyawu during KP outreach programme at La Cour Boutique Hotel, Ikoyi .... on Saturday.


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has warned head teachers in the mega schools across the state against charging unauthorised levies. He threatened that any headteacher caught would be sanctioned. The governor while inaugurating two mega schools, one in Akure, the state capital and Idanre, said the schools are like any other primary school in the state. Said Mimiko:''It is a model only in terms of setting the pace for what an ideal primary school setting should be in maintaining the best global practices in the field of education. ''It is not intended to be an elitist school. It is a non-fee paying and it is a centre where children from different parental backgrounds, both rich and the poor, are expected to learn together and compete favourably without any

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

hindrance with modern infrastructure and equal opportunities. Mimiko said the schools were established to discover egg-heads so that their talents could be discovered early enough and developed for the glory of the state and future generations. He urged the state's Education Quality Assurance Agency (EQAA) to ensure sustenance of academic standard in schools, while the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) should ensure adequate maintenance and monitoring of infrastructure. The state Commissioner for Education, Mr Jide Adejuyigbe, said the provision of quality education to the younger generation was the best legacy that could be bequeathed for posterity. He called on stakeholders to support the project.





Diapered babies in class

• From left: Eugene, Taiwo and Farouk pose with their certificates.


HEN should toddlers start school? Many parents, especially mothers worry about this. Before, toddlers started pre-school at age three. But this is no longer the case Kofoworola in modern day Nigeria as children are now sent off to school even before their second birthday. I have always been an advocate 08054503077 (SMS only) of allowing children mature before starting school, spending six years in primary school, and gaining admission into the university at 16 and above. However, I now belong to the minority school of those who hold such views. As a parent, I am under serious pressure to practise what I have always preached and believed. Should my 18-month-old start school now? A friend and I interviewed a school owner about the appropriate age to enrol a child in school and she told us to do so early if there is nobody to actively engage that child at home such that he/she is stimulated to learn. Nobody wants his or her child to lag behind others in any area. If anything, there is a stiff competition among mothers about their children's exploits - how big they grow quickly, how fast they learn to walk, talk and read, and the like. All my friends packed their babies off to school quickly. Not to be left out, I decided to visit some schools I thought were good before the start of the school year with my boy in tow. On making enquiries, I was told for his age (just about one then), he would be admitted into the crèche because he was too young to be in the more structured reception class. I was told in that class, he would have to read, eat, play when others did and must be able to respond when addressed. I held back enrolling him then since it was not like there was nobody to care for him while i worked. What I was told in the school tallied with my research on the internet. While the official age for accepting pupils into preschool in the UK is two and a half years, advises parents to watch out for some attributes/skills or prepare their wards to gain them so they can ease into formal school with minimal discomfort. These attributes/skills inlude a level of independence (e.g. potty training, ability to dress), ability to cope with separation anxiety, play/work independently, ready to socialise, and physical stamina among others. It is true that there is a lot for toddlers to learn from attending preschool. There they can develop their social skills (learn to play/ cooperate/share with their peers), vocabulary, cogntive and psychomotor skills in a structured environment. However, the learning should begin at home as it is the first school. For a child to have the kind of edge parents seek, the home environment must stimulate learning. Fortunately nature has wired parents, especially mothers to naturally engage their babies in learning activities in the process of feeding and caring for them. By interacting with babies and toddlers they learn to speak faster. Babies have such huge capacity to learn - more than we expect - so that if you teach them, even when you feel it is a waste of time, the message actually sinks in. And you will be pleasantly surprised when one day they suddenly demonstrate their new skills. I read somewhere that the father of tennis great, Andre Agassi hung a tennis ball over his cot to teach him hand-eye coordintation as a baby. It contributed to his tennis skills when he grew older. Singing and playing music also stimulate learning. I remember singing Jodie's Kuchi Kuchi song an playing it on my phone to my baby when he was a few months old. It was my favourite lulaby. While I desired that he learnt the song, there was no way of knowing he was. That day soon came and I was not even at home. My sister told me he was crying so she sang the song to him and he stopped crying and started laughing. For many months after, I did not sing it to him again until when he was almost 18 months. Hours after that renewed singing, I just heard him reaping a part of the chorus, "oh baby". It was pleasant music in my ears. Books are also a must from babyhood. Board books with beautiful colours, bold pictures and few words are a good investment. The good thing is that second hand copies are readily available for as low as N100. Experts recommend you start reading to babies (in any language soon after they are born. They will not be attentive at first but they will love the sound of your voice. Soon they will learn to turn the pages themselves thereby developing their fine motor skills. You can never go wrong with books so splurge on good children varieties. When buying toys ensure they are age appropriate. Wooden and plastic blocks, large bricks and others like shape sorter puzzles help children learn about colour, shapes and in the process of manipulation, develop their fine motor skills - a precursor to learning how to write. Toys need not cost a fortune if parents can make use of household and disposable items that are safe like plastic plates, cups, spoons, empty cartons to fill and empty repeatedly, empty cans of formula to use as drums. The list is endless. When a child learns so much at home, the school becomes a place to expand her knowledge and skill. I am not saying all parents should wait until their wards are three year-olds before they go to school. All I am I saying is that before taking that all important step, ask yourself, "have (are) you played (playing) your role as your child's first teacher?"


‘Poor facilities bane of education’


•MultiChoice rewards essay, poster winners

HE need to improve facilities in schools was brought to fore by a professor of Civil Engineering, Foluso Falade, at the presentation of prizes to this year’s Eutelsat Star Awards winners Thursday in Lagos. The competition aims at inspiring young people aged 14-19 to depict how satellite technology can help address developmental problems in Africa through essays and art posters. Falade, lead judge for the competition, assessed the essay and poster entries from participants from all over Nigeria with two others. Commenting on the quality of essays, the don from the University of Lagos, said though many were outstanding, there would be improved performance if facilities are improved in schools. "As a nation, there is inadequacy of facilities in our schools. Most students can be categorised into three - geniuses, visualisers (who need to see before they can understand), and

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

doers, who need hands on tuition. But if you go through our schools where these three categories learn, they are cramped into classrooms because of overpopulation; there are no facilities to learn, so they are all disadvantaged," he said. However, Falade added that the winning entries stand a good chance of winning the continental prizes as well. The national winners were rewarded with laptops, while the runners up got home theatres and certificates. Taiwo Kayode of The African Church Model College, Ifako, Lagos, won the essay category while Adriel Yakubu of Adonai Vine School, Jos was the runner-up. In the Poster category, Umar Farouk Aliyu of Zamani College, Kaduna emerged winner while Eugene Udobi of Penny International School, Lagos, was runner-up. They will receive more prizes if their works are among the best on the African continent, which Segun

‘As a nation, there is inadequacy of facilities in our schools. Most students can be categorised into three - geniuses, visualisers (who need to see before they can understand), and doers, who need hands on tuition. But if you go through our schools where these three categories learn, they are cramped into classrooms because of overpopulation’


Fayose, Head of Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, said includes "a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to the Eutelsat facilities in Paris, France with the essay winner travelling onwards to witness a live rocket launch. Runners-up will win a trip to South Africa as guests of MultiChoice Africa." He added that schools attended by the overall winners will also receive a DStv installation, including dish, television, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet. Marketing Manager, DStv, Chioma Afe, said the competition awakened the creativity in the young ones. "The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards is meant to inspire innovative thinking among secondary school students in Africa, to create awareness on how science and technology can be applied to everyday life, and to showcase the many ways that satellites already impact on the development of the African continent," she said. In an interview with The Nation, Farouk said his poster depicts the future he envisions for Africa. He added that to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, learning should be made more practical in Nigeria. "Application is the thing that is developing countries. Most of us are more into theory but it is not applied. The Federal Government should equip schools," he said. In her essay, Taiwo said she suggested how satellite technology can be used to boost electricity supply.

Council boss lauds MDGs project

HE Chairman, Odeda Local Government (LG), Ogun State, SulaimanMukaram Adebayo, has praised the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) office for its intervention in the primary education sector. Speaking during the inauguration of the eight-classroom storey building with ancillary constructed by the MDGs office at the Odeda Local Government Primary School, Obantoko, in Odeda LG, Adebayo thanked the MDGs office

for its efforts at complementing the giant strides being made in the education sector by the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led government in Ogun State and his administration in Odeda LG. The council boss listed some of his achievements in education to include the construction of blocks of classroom with offices at African Church Primary School at Jooda, Babapupa and Alagbagba; Nawairudeen Primary School, Asipa, Opeji and the rehabilita-

tion of a block of six classrooms with office at Orile Ilugun Comprehensive High School, OrileIlugun. The eight-classroom storey building, which is under the 2011 - CGS -LGA Track project, was inaugurated by the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ogun State, Mrs Oluwande Muoyo, who handed it over to the local government chairman, following the signing of hand-over documents by relevant stakeholders.

Yobe College massacre: Provost condoles college


HE Acting Provost of the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora, Prof Gbemiga Adewale, has described the bloody massacre of 40 students of Yobe State College of Agriculture, Gujba last month, as a monumental loss. In a statement, the Adewale said: "On behalf of the Governing Council, management, staff and students

of the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora (OYSCAI), we heartily commiserate with Prof Molima Mato, the Provost of Yobe College of Agriculture, Gujba, parents, families, friends and people of Yobe state over the bloody massacre of some students of the college on Sunday, September 29, 2013." Prof Adewale noted that the slain

students were some of the youths, if alive, will have contributed to the pool of middle level manpower in agriculture and the country's development. He prayed the Almighty God to grant the college, people of Yobe State, families and friends of the deceased, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.






Why I returned to Labour Party, by ex-Ondo commissioner

Lawyer and social critic Dr. Theodore Okonkwo spoke with OGOCHUKWU ANIOKE on the November 16 Anambra State governorship election, national security and President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to forward the report of the proposed National Conference to the National Asssembly for ratification.

‘Conference without referendum is meaningless’


HAT is your assessment of the electioneering in Anambra State? Really, it is a challenge. We have a 18 candidates. But there are three major candidates you cannot easily push away. Somebody like Senator Chris Ngige of the APC, Ifeanyi Ubah of LP, Willy Obiano of APGA, and the PDP, though they have crisis. These are the major contestants; they are no pushover. In Anambra, we want power to go to Anambra North and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is nothing like zoning in the constitution... Is there federal character in the constitution? And they say that federal character must be reflected equitably at federal, state and local government levels. There are things you call precedence, everything must not be written in the constitution. United Kingdom does not have a written constitution, but they operate one of the best democracies in the world. So, you don’t need to have everything written before you operate it. Equity demands it. Forget about legality; it is about equity, unity and peaceful coexistence of the people. What type of governor do you think Anambra needs at this point in time? We need somebody who will be financially prudent, humble and who is interested in human capacity development. We want a governor that will take security seriously. Since Peter Obi came to power, the challenges we had in security have reduced. Kidnapping is general, we have it everywhere in the country. The governor has been able to contain them within his human limitations because, once you are arrested your house will be demolished and he has been doing that. All of them have all ran away now to Delta State and some to Lagos. So, Anambra is no longer a haven to kidnappers. Of course, it is not possible to eradicate crime totally; you can only reduce or contain it. Do you have the confidence that INEC will conduct a free and fair election? The INEC led by Prof.Attahiru Jega have done it before and why will they not be able to do it again? The problem with Nigeria is that, if you are losing, you will start to cry foul. Why not go into the field and test your popularity and at the end, if you are dissatisfied go to the tribunal? The procedure is already there and we should not start throwing stones at the INEC, like what happened recently in INEC office in Anambra where some PDP officials were fighting. The problem is not INEC but with the politicians, if they can learn to play by the rules of the game there will not be any problem. So, the INEC is not the problem; they have done reasonably well and we should encourage them. What is your advice to the youths and electorate in Anambra State? The electorate should come out and vote massively on November 16. The youths should avoid violence and thuggery. It cannot lead us anywhere. We, the Igbos, have had our own share of violence from the civil war times and we do not want such again in Anambra state. The President recently raised a committee on the National Conference. What is your take on this? It is over due, whether you call it a confab or Sovereign National Conference. But the area I am not comfortable with is what the President said that the outcome of the confab will still be subject to ratification by the National Assembly. I disagree, other-

wise, let them forget about it. Let whatever will be the outcome be implemented completely. Sovereignty belongs to the people and not the National Assembly. So, why call for a national conference and then, you go back to the National Assembly for ratification. Of course, you know what happens, if the outcome does not favor the North, the senators may not allow it to pass and same with the South. So, whatever the people will agree on at the national conference, let it not be subjected to any other litmus test. Let what the people say be implemented. Subjecting it to the National Assembly is political and that will be the end of it. Obasanjo tried something like this before and the National Assembly hijacked it and till today, nothing was done with it. So, whatever the people decide, let it be implemented. Also, political parties should not be involved in the confab; they should be left out of it, but all ethnic groups must be involved. But do you think the President is sincere? Why the sudden change of heart towards the conference ,which he has always spoken out against in the past? Jonathan is a democrat and that is the reason for the change. During the last general elections, Igbos agreed that they will not contest the Presidency, that shows you the kind of man he is, a true democrat and as a democrat, he listens. Instead of different tribes attacking each other and fighting, let us come together and discuss that problem. It will reduce the heat and tension on the polity. So, this step that the President has taken should be encouraged, but I repeat, let whatever is the outcome of the conference not be subjected to any other ratification by the National Assembly, but should be wholly implemented. What are the issues that you think should be discussed at the conference? There should be no no-go areas for discussion during the conference. The first issue should be, do we continue as a federating unit? If yes, then, let there be a true federation. The issue of everyday, governors are rushing to Abuja, that shouldn’t be so in a true federation. Let’s operate a true federation, but if we cannot operate a true federation, then, let’s have a confederation. In a true federation, my governor has no business going to Abuja every time. So, let their be true federation and let each of the federating units be autonomous, both financially and otherwise. Then, the issue of resource control, let the states control their own resources. If oil is found in a state, let that state control it. What they should be paying to the federal government is only royalties and taxes. The state of Wyoming and

‘Let what the people say be implemented. Subjecting it to the National Assembly is political and that will be the end of it. Obasanjo tried something like this before and the National Assembly hijacked it and till today, nothing was done with it’

Former Ondo State Commissioner for Works Hon. Yele Omogunwa spoke with KAYODE ALFRED on his travails in politics and why he returned to the Labour Party (LP), despite his previous disagreement with Governor Segun Mimiko.

W • Okonkwo

Texas in the US have oil, the American government does not control their oil. What they pay to the centre is royalties and taxes. But, here it is on the exclusive list. So what they should first do is to remove resource control and mineral development from the Exclusive List and place it in Concurrent List or even make it exclusive preserve of the states that produce all these minerals and then, pay taxes to the federal government. Then,you find out that the governors will stop rushing to Abuja. They will spend more time in their states attending to the needs of the people. Why should all the Commissioners of Finance converge in Abuja every month to share the revenue? It is not done. You do not need to go there and share the wealth of the country. Let there be a true federation in the country and then. there will be peace. The Federal Government is strangulating the federating units and there is need for a change. Recently, some governors said the President should not contest for a second tenure. What is your reaction? Well, let me, first of all, say that they are entitled to the freedom of expression and association. But, the insinuation that President Goodluck Jonathan should not contest is a falsehood. The constitution says that the man is entitled to contest. Let them go to court, if they are in doubt, instead of going to the print media to cause confusion and sponsor riot. They can go straight to the Supreme Court because it is a constitutional matter. So, they can go straight to the court for interpretation ,instead of trying to overheat the polity. But I think all this talk of 2015 is distracting the governors and the President. It is too early. Even, the President also stated this in his last media chat, that it is too early. They should allow our elected officers to concentrate on delivering the democracy dividends to the people first before issues of election and reelection. But will you say the President has done very well to deserve a second term? Yes, let me start with the issue of power. In the past, I used to run about 200 liters of diesel in a week, but now I run about 50 liters of diesel for about two to three weeks. That shows that there is improvement in the sector. Boko Haram is also being tackled. Let us not forget that these things have been there for a long time before he came in. So, he is trying his possible best to solve them. These things cannot be overcome in a day. The President is doing his best to resolve these problems within the environment and confinement of Nigerian politics. It is not easy to govern Nigeria, with its multi ethnicity nature and complexities in opinions and talks. Some are so parochial and so tribalistic that they believe that nothing good will come out from any other person, except from their own side and, when anything does not favour them, they will try to stir up confusion in the country. Nigeria was recently elected into the UN Security Council and that is another kudos and confirmation by the international community that Mr President is doing well.

HAT is the solution to the insurgency by the Boko Haram sect? I pity Mr. President on the issue. I believe the problem of Boko Haram predates the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. I understand that Mr. President set up a committee to dialogue with them. Are they really faceless people? Today, you hear that Shekau has been killed; tomorrow, a radio or video tape will surface debunking his death. Conflicting reports everywhere about who killed who, number of death and casualties and so on re being bandied everywhere. We even hear that they have inroads into our security system. So, dialogue is important to this matter whatever it will take to save the life of Nigeria and our children. Then if dialogue fails, we can explore military onslaught. Yes, we must face it. You were also a Commissioner of Works under the Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State before you resigned. What necessitated your resignation and how was your experience? The moment you can’t meet your aspirations, whether you are there or not, you are just wasting your time. I did not start my political career as the Commissioner for Works. I’ve been in the political system for over 25 years. I started from the grassroots. I was a Supervisory Counsellor for Education in Irele Local Government. I’ve been the Local Government Secretary. I was a chairman in that local government before I became Commissioner for Education under late Chief Adefarati, where I spent three and a half years or thereabouts. I have stint in three ministries. These ministries they are sharing in Ondo State today by three commissioners were overseen by me as one ministry; they are Ministries of Information, Youths, Sports Development and Culture. I managed them as Commissioner of Information, Youths, Sports Development and Culture. Then, there was a cabinet reshuffle and I was moved to the Ministry of Education, perhaps because of my background. The late Adefarati was awarded the best governor in education. This meant we were doing well in education. So, when the opportunity for elections into the Senate came, I saw it as a bigger platform to impact lives of more people. There was rule by the party (Labour Party) that if you want to contest for a political office, you must resign your present office. So I decided to run for the Senate and I resigned, more so that my local government has never had the opportunity of being represented by anybody in the Senate. Despite the fact that I knew that all odds were against me - I was not favoured – but because I had set my hands on the plough, I resigned my position as Commissioner for Works and as a member of Labour Party. I left my friend (Governor Mimiko). You know in politics, there are no permanent friends nor enemies but permanent interests. Yes, I left the party. Then, there were overtures; the governor was talking to me. “We’ve come a long way. We’ve suffered together. Why not come back and see what God will do.” After a while, precisely January 13, 2012, he came visiting me with two other people. I spoke my mind and we settled. You people say the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know. I know Governor Mimiko very well, his politics and style. So, I went back to the party, but with a condition that I would not want to be appointed a commissioner again. What is your assessment of party politics in Ondo State, especially in the light of the newly formed APC? The APC in Ondo State is still an underdog. There are three political parties of note in Ondo State; the PDP, the APC and the Labour Party, which is the biggest for now. APC is just coming on board. By my assessment, I don’t see them doing anything in Ondo State. The only difference in the ACN and the APC in Ondo State is just the change of name. It is still the same set of people. I don’t know, if they have gotten new converts, but there is no convert of note that I have learnt of. We know every individual from various communities who work magic. If none of these people have not joined the party, who will want to listen to you? Though it is too early to really say, but I don’t see as any strong opposition in APC as far as Ondo State is concerned. Then, I need to comment on the crises in the PDP at the national level. The crisis in the PDP should be arrested on time, lest they throw this country into turmoil. The Baraje-led PDP faction versus Tukur-led faction portends danger for the country, if allowed to degenerate. It is well and good, if the crises favour the opposition to take power, but military intervention will be a bad experience. What is your future ambition, as the party prepares for 2015? My political ambition is to remain a politician. In what capacity is what I have not made up my mind on because I’m not God. I lost my 2011 senatorial ambition because I had no godfather; I did not have the support of the governor. I mapped out a fantastic campaign strategy. I was going about campaigning. When it comes to grassroots politics, I think under a fair contest external hands within the two of us – myself and the incumbent Senator - it could have been a big fight. But he had the heart, the eye and the mind of the governor which I did not have. You know in our political setting, just the body language of the governor would tell the people where the pendulum would swing. Even my own people would say ‘He is the governor, we dare not criticise him’ as if the governor is God. That godfatherism I did not have then. I have been out of government for the past three and a half years; a senator is sitting, some people are in government and they have what it takes to contest elections but I have God. So, at the right time, God will show me the next step. Yes, governorship could come to the South or the North, but it will depend on some variables. Nobody knows the mind of the Governor. If I were him, I will work on a successor, so that he could keep the flag flying. But note that there are other parties too, even though Labour Party is the darling party in power now. But, if things are not done well, you know human beings. • Omogunwa







Lagos to regulate healing centres T

HE Lagos State Government is set to regulate activities of faith-based organisations (FBOs) that are using orthodox drugs for treating patients. The Chairman, Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), Dr Tayo Bello said: “The practices of FBOs are so confusing and because HEFAMAA has been given the mandate to ensure improvement in the quality and efficiency of health care delivery in the state, thereby securing the safety of lives of its citizenry whilst being exposed to healthcare delivery, we cannot watch some FBOs waste lives. “Basically, FBOs are supposed to rely on prayers, recitation of a verse of Bible or Quran without using drugs, injections or admit a person and the faithful or patient gets well. But now there is a plethora of FBOs using orthodox ways of treating, they are best described as ‘Clinics’. And that is why we want to put the heat on them by way of regulating their activities which is part of HEFAMAA mandate.” HEFAMAA is set up by Health Sector Reform Law (HSRL) 2006) to

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ERBAL and nutritional therapies have been recommended to support the treatment and management of eye disorders. According to a naturopath, Dr Gilbert Ezengige, vitamins such as vitamins A, B complex, B2, C and E play different important roles in addressing various eye problems. He also recommended a balanced multi-mineral supplementation to accompany the treatment of eye diseases. He said an additional zinc supplementation, in some cases, might be necessary. He also said the bio-chemic tissue salt known as Kali phosphoricum (Kali-phos.), which is phosphate of potash or potassium phosphate (K2 HPO4), saying it activated nerve power and was very useful in addressing nerves, brain cells and eye tissue problems. “Foods, such as cashew nut, avocado fruit, pepper fruit (mmimi in Igbo), guava, carrot and honey are very suitable for eye health. Also foods that are rich in carotenoids benefit the eyes,” he added. Carotenoids, he said, were in the class of phytochemicals (plant chemicals) comprising Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, among others. “Lutein

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha ensure improvement in the quality and efficiency of health care delivery in Lagos State. The Executive Secretary of HEFAMAA, Dr Jimi Asuni, said: “For a facility to be called a Clinic, there are some things expected to be in place. “And HEFAMAA performs its duties by monitoring all the facilities in the state to ensure that the minimum set standards are maintained. Our observations through monitoring have revealed that most of th ese FBOs are sub standard ‘clinics’ and even those that have basic things in place expected in a standard clinic employ health personnel and they are registered with HEFAMAA. “Those are the ones that play safe and have respect for life. But where some have turned worship centres to clinics, and take delivery, treat conditions like malaria with drugs, and still claim they are using religion to heal, that is not acceptable any longer in the state and we are turning the heat on them.” The Chairman added: “The Governor, Babatunde Fashola has zero

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tolerance for substandard and we are on the same page with him hence we are now moving into the regulation of FBOs.” The Secretary added: “For any health facility that wants to register, the registration process is simple. Submit an application to

the Health Commissioner, stating the location of the practice and the scope of services; present certificates and practicing licence of all medical staff; these will be verified by HEFAMAA. Submit a copy of current tax clearance certificate; submit a letter of recommenda-

tion from relevant professional associations and for those facilities already in operation; timely submission of monthly data to the Medical Officer of Health at the local government level is required.”

Herbs,1234567890123456 nutrition123456789012345 good for eye treatment

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which is found in many vegetables such as red pepper, spinach and corn is associated with the following key actions; improves vision, anti inflammatory, powerful antioxidant and reduces the risk of artery disease,” he added. He said naturopaths have recorded successes in administering herbs such as Aloe vera gel applied to eyes for various eye irritations, weak water extract of bitter kola seed as eye drop to reduce intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, depending on specific eye disease conditions. “They also administer coconut water eye drop for diverse eye conditions, Moringa oleifera leaf tea which nourishes the eyes and the brain, Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright) herbal tea which can be taken internally as well as utilised in preparing various eye wash, Bilberry herb and so many others,” he noted. He said the eye was a special organ of vision which every individual should protect. Ezengige said: “Following modern unhealthy lifestyles, environmental pollution and poor eating habits, more and more people are experiencing poor vision. Even children are not left out in this as there are

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relatively higher numbers of children now with poor sight and eye diseases compared to what obtained many decades ago. One observes for example that children spend longer hours watching television and sometimes at a very close range and their parents will simply allow them indulge in this without cautioning and correcting them.” He said when such children subsequently experience shortsightedness and their eyes called for corrective eye glasses their parents begin to wonder how these all came about. He added: “Adults are not left out; most adults, complying with fashion dictates wear eye glasses that are not recommended.” This, he said, didn’t augur well for the eyes. “Some overstrained their eyes watching movies late into the night a nd to worsen it, in a dark room or they are in front of their lap tops and ipads working for long hours uninterrupted,” he added. He identified reading in a poorly lit room as a factor which stressed the eyes, adding that regular reading of documents with poor prints

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or tiny characters can also affect them. He advised those whose jobs require that they read or keenly scrutinise items for long hours to give themselves a break and gaze at nearest green field, plantation or garden to relax their eyes. This, he adde, can even be achieved by gazing, if possible, through their office windows at the closest green vegetation. The green rays from the vegetation will help to sooth and revitalise the tired eyes, he said. “When routinely carried out daily, much assistance is rendered to your eyes,” he added. Ezengige, who is the General Secretary of the Natural Integrative Medicine Practitioners Association (NIMPA), advised people to close their eyes firmly when they apply soap on their face while bathing until they properly rinse their face with water. He stated: “You should not be experiencing daily stinging of eyes due to soap when bathing and still expect your eyes not to protest.” He said there are numerous eye defects as well as eye diseases afflicting humans but these can only be addressed separately.

He said exercise is good for the body, adding that there are special exercises for the eyes that have been recorded to improve vision. “These sets of eye exercises were taught to eye patients by Dr Bates, an ophthalmologist turned naturopath. These eye exercises known as the Bates Method is worth recommending and any interested indi-

viduals should try to read about BATES eye exercises so as to be guided by the modalities of performing the exercises effectively. The exercises are even more applicable to patients using recommended corrective glasses for example longsightedness and shortsightedness. It promises to help them overcome their conditions,” he added.





Treatment of breast cancer in Alternative Medicine (11) •Olusola Sowemimo shares her experience of the 41st convention of the cancer Control Society in Mexico BARRING the unexpected, the curtain should fall today on this series. As a reminder, the series began on August 4…. To share with readers of this column a paper presented by FEMI KUSA at the maiden seminar of the College of Integrative Medicine held on August 1 and 2 at the Water Parks Hotel, Toyin Street, Lagos. It explored many of the possible causes of cancer and possible solutions to them, and cited many case studies of people world-wide who survived cancer, despite widely - held belief in orthodox medicine that cancer is unconquerable. This series, which is primarily intended to offer hope of survival to cancer- challenged people, grew a postscript of sort out of the experiences of OLUSOLA SOWEMIMO at the Cancer Control Society’s 41st Annual Convention in Mexico which she joyfully agreed to share in this column.

fade. Glad to have experienced a free consultation, I moved on. I joined the crowd to watch a demonstration of a product called, ‘Miracle Salt(TM)’. For the demonstration, some top five brands of salt were used by mixing in each half a cup of water. They were tested for their alkalinity but hey all failed. It would have been the most ideal salt. But unfortunately, it is very expensive and all one needs to do is put a little on the tongue, mix it with one’s saliva in the mouth for a second and then swallow. It immediately alkalinises the body, hydrates, mineralises, gently detoxifies and provides additional electrolytes and disinfects the mouth. Miracle Salt is said to have originated from Oriental Folk remedies. This secretive method of "Cleaning (getting rid of toxins) Sea salt" has been known and handed down through the generations for thousands of years in the Orient. Until recently, this "Miracle Salt" had not been defined in scientific analysis, methods of production, or proper application. Miracle Salt is toxin-free and full of minerals, herbs, and healing energy. It is good for: • stabilising irregular heartbeats and it is essential for the regulation of blood pressure • extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells • balancing the sugar levels in the blood • generation of hydroelectric energy in cells of the body • the nerve cells • absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract • clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis • clearing up congestion of the sinuses • strong natural antihistamine • prevention of muscle cramps It is highly recommended for cancer patients as cancer does not grow in alkaline environment. In view of space, let’s accelerate to the Tijuana Mexico Visit. After a little hitch, we were on our way. Allow me digress and tell you that the Cancer Control Society started as a group of Friends who helped each other with complications arising from cancer and eventually metamorphosed to a society. You can feel the healthy bond among them. I was privileged to sit next to Mary, a lady who is determined to return to the university for another four years to study Naturopathy. By the way, she offered me the ‘sacred apricot nuts’ which is supposed to be very good for cancer. It is not allowed to be sold in the stores so patients buy it online. It was my first time of seeing it and I ate it. It looks like a smaller version of almonds which is also good for the cancers that affect women. It comes with a strong warning to take just a handful at a time. Fresh juices and handmade cake (not baked) was served on the bus, Frank Cousineau was our tour guide. Mary had also visited the Mexican clinics before so I was happy to leverage on her past experience. She also filled me in on the Doctor’s Forum, which was held the day before but I did not attend. The beauty of this forum I am told is that doctors sit down to discuss, argue and challenge themselves on the progress made or purported to be making on cancer. This takes a lot of maturity and commitment to want to genuinely heal patients and not send them to early graves. The entry into Mexico went well. I probably spent the longest time among a busload of 45 persons and I was prepared. After turning my passport upside down, sideways and all manner of aerobics, it was returned to me. Relief! The Mexican Border has a very big, beautiful and newly built border. Let me sound a note of warning. I am not a medical practitioner. I am only sharing the experiences of my visit to the hospitals. If you are interested in visiting these clinics, do your own analysis, visit their websites for more details, speak with those who have been to these hospitals and remember that people visit these hospitals at different stages of their cancer and healing processes. I would love to hear from you, drop a line The purpose of this blog is for us to share important information on controlling cancer. Your story may save others. On arrival at Mexico, our first visit was to Stella Maris Clinic at Hotel Lucerna where we met Dr. Gilberto Alvarez who made the presentation. The hospital has been in existence for over 20 years. In addition to cancer prevention programones, Dr. Alvarez offers complete diagnostic services, including chemo sensitivity tests, exams, complete labs, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds. His cancer protocols may include IVs (amigdalin or B17), Vitamin C, DMSO, chelation, IV ozone, immune-modulators, whole body hyperthermia, dendritic cell therapy, nutritional guidance and cancer vaccines. The Hotel Lucerna is used as an outpatient facility, and patients receive a special discount there. The hotel uses only safe filtered water in their ice, beverage and food preparation. There are two cancer treatment packages, depending on the needs of the patient. The treatment is a minimum of 21 days. This clinic claims that it has seen the net effect of radiation and chemotherapy weakening the very system that protects us from cancer, the immune system. Eventually cancer patients will be more vulnerable to the development of metastatic lesions in vital organs of the body. They emphasise the importance in being well-informed regarding the disease itself and encourage patients to explore all the natural options in fighting “tumor cell resistance” as well as balancing the body’s own immune system. According to Dr. Alvarez, the cancers that respond best to his treatment are breast, lung, prostate, brain, colon, and lymphomas. For more details check http:// The next visit was to International Bio Care Hospital and Clinic, headed by Rodrigo Rodriguez, M.D. (Medical Director.) He was quick to mention that there was no healing process they undertake without asking the Lord for help. The clinic has been practising for about 25 years.

guilt in not putting their food down well enough on junk food, Maria Treben would have lost a massive press war which greeted Danela’s death, fuelled by her detractors on the other side of the medicine divide. Now let us quickly living to OLUSOLA SOWEMIMO… On the last day of the 41st Annual Cancer Convention, I visited the registration desk of the Cancer Control Society. There was a lot of buzz about the visit to the Tijuana (pronounced as (tee-?-WAHn?) Mexico Cancer Clinics. From the conversation around me, it was the reason some of the delegates were at the convention. Some people were eager to meet these doctors either for themselves or for loved ones who wished to be healed Some are carers of cancer patients while for some it was part of their study to become Naturopaths. The schedule showed that we were going to depart the hotel at 7a.m, pick some others up on the way and return from Mexico at 11.45pm. I really needed the strength for this journey. I was also mindful of my unique ‘green’ passport and needed to be sure that my deep yearning to visit Mexico would not be truncated at the border. So, I made further enquiries and I was assured that, I would be allowed to go on the tour. It was at an additional cost and I knew I just had to pay and go. I had read and heard some bad reviews on television about these ODAY, the gentleman mentioned in the earlier parts of this hospitals and I intuitively sensed that, for some doctors to branch series will return to Lagos from London where he has been out and stick out their necks to heal people who have cancer in resident since January in search of a cure for stage 4 colon ways different from the norm, it had to be for reasons other than cancer which had spread to the liver, one living and one kidney. financial reward and I knew they would meet with a lot of opposiOLUSOLA SOWEMIMO linked the wife to me. She got herbs I tion. suggested from London health shops. He took them in the two Even in less serious issues, medical practitioners are sometimes weeks respite from chemotherapy. Two months after, the tumour thrown off balance. I once had ulcer and I remembered that the shrank by about 25 per cent. And in another two months, his cancer alternative practitioner had given me a list of what to use and how blood markers dropped from 1,500 to 400 when shortly afterward to use them. I mentioned to a close doctor friend who knew of my his blood iron level dropped seriously, making him weak and struggle with ulcer. Her immediate reply was that the process did faintly, and his doctor thought of blood transfusion, he choose, as not add up for her. Guess what, I was cured of my ulcer and this was advised, to try unsulphured blackstrap molasses and Beetroot tababout 12 years ago. lets. He recovered quickly from anaemia to the amazement of his I registered for the tour and knew I had to visit more booths at the doctor. One of tablespoonful of Blackstrap molasses prudes about exhibition and listen to more lectures, it was the last day of the 40 per cent of an adult’s daily iron requirement. More importantly, convention. the crude blackstrap molasses has been used to break tumours of all There were many other exhibitors who had tools and gadgets to sorts. support healthy lifestyle. There were manufacturer agents for heavy In Benin City, we anxiously await a new PSA report in the case of duty juicing machines which maintained the enzymes of the fruits a gentleman whose PSA has crashed from 164.7 to 113.4 and then to or vegetables, diffusers which helped to clean the air in the home, 4.7 (normal is 0-4). After a biopsy which suggested prostate cancer, magnetised gadgets that drain out bad energy, cooking pots. The his doctor offered chemotherapy and surgery to remove his testes. learning point is to stick to enamel. Our grandparents were right in He declined and chose alternative therapies instead. Now, he knows cooking with their clay pots. There was David Young a flutist, who a lot about helpful supplements such as Calamus Root, Zeolite AV, provided soft and soothing music both at his booth and sometimes Stinging Nettle Root, Wheatgrass, Barley grass, Chroenergy, Amaat interludes. zon AF or CF, Pau d ‘Arco and Zine to mention a few. The Braggs had a booth where they offered samples of their Cancer does not spare children. Who knows what their mothers seasoning which is all natural as an incentive to stop using chemifilled them up with in pregnancy? A question of garbage in, garcal laden seasonings. The lady I met at the booth was excited to bage out. After their birth, the world of these young ones is laden know that their Vinegar is now popular in Nigeria. with sugar. Even their medicines. I saved my children from a popuI had to keep my appointment with Dr. Tsur-Tsair, NMD, Ph.d at lar children’s medicine which tastes no different from table sugar. Dr Chi’s booth. He diagnoses medical conditions through his FinThey are surrounded by “soft drinks” and candies. Sugar thickens gernail & Tongue Analysis. Trust me, what a one day test at the the blood and slows blood circulation. Researchers say one cube of hospital will tell you this man will tell you through his analysis of sugar makes the immune system redundant for about six hours. few minutes. I had the result of my last full medical test with me Candida and other fungi, including bacteria and viruses, follow the and I was amazed at how the doctor was spot on with his analysis. tracks of sugar in the body. When a woman has a baby, I no longer Do you know that your fingernails should have the moon at the offer money gift for the young one instead, I give LIQUID CHLObottom? He looked at my fingernails and shook his head. “You ROPHYLL. This is to be added to the water and feed of the baby. It don’t have the moon”, he said. You needed to have seen my facial cleanses and builds the blood of everyone, baby or adult. Mrs. expression, I had always assumed any cracks, dark lines or dryness Chinyere Ogu will confirm this from the robust health of a baby of my nails to my manicurist. I am wrong and the young lady whose mother she encouraged me to add liquid chlorophyll to the deserves my apology. For they are indications of my health. water and feed of the young one. So, the two parents who sought This Fingernail and Tongue Analysis is considered a quicker, help this week for their children stricken with cancer should undermore effective and non-invasive diagnostic technique that can be stand why liquid chlorophyll is among my suggestions. One of done singly or in combination with other conventional diagnostic these children, aged seven years, has cancer in the elbow. The other, tools or methods. It is based on a combination of Eastern and Westaged four years, has cancer of the kidney, and one kidney has been ern methodologies, with correlation between different bodily syssurgically removed. These are cases this column will support and tems and two major physical markers: the fingernails and the track. Young people have the potential to bounce back powerfully. tongue. Different herbs and botanicals are then incorporated as I lost track of a child in Ilorin who had blood cancer about 10 years dietary supplements to help promote health and prevent physiago. The parents were split over the treatment mode. While the ological dysfunctions and complications. mother preferred chemotherapy, the father would not hear of it. In Next, the doctor looked at my tongue and gave further diagnosis. the end, I advised a middle road approach. All we added to chemo Immediately after the analysis of my tongue, he asked to see my then was Stinging Nettle, which the legendary Maria Treben of skin, ‘yes’ he said, the blemishes on my skin were not a surprise to Austria employed successfully in the case of a child named Daniele. him because my tongue had shown him all he needed to know. I Daniela recovered. But the parents couldn’t stop her returning to bought relevant supplements for the identified needs and the good junk food. The cancer relapsed… and she died. But for the fact of the news is that the moon of my nails are gradually returning, my nails evident remission confirmed by the parents and their admission of are beginning to shine and the strong dark lines are beginning to e-mail: or Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303





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Twelve years after the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, subscribers’ figures are about 120 million while teledensity is almost 100 per cent. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country through the sector is now in excess of $25 billion but subscribers hardly get value for the money spent buying airtime. Operators say wilful vandalism of telecoms infrastructure is partly responsible for this. LUCAS AJANAKU writes that stakeholders are singing discordant tunes over the need to legally protect telecoms infrastructure.

Discordant tunes over telecoms’ bill A

T every public forum, operators and concerned stakeholders in the telecoms sector never fail to express the need to get telecoms infrastructure classified as critical national infrastructure so that when it is vandalised, culprits will be made to face severe punishment that goes with the vandalisation of public infrastructure, such as those of the Power Holing Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Building infrastructure Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya said over the last 12 years, $25 billion has been spent on infrastructure by major telecoms operators in the country. A huge percentage of this sum was spent on procuring generators to power the base transmission stations (BTS), fuel and service them, in addition to providing security personnel. Part of the money was used to pay street urchins called Area Boys who insist on getting a cut on everything brought into their communities. Provision of uninterrupted power supply to their networks was one of the key promises the Federal Government made to the operators when they were paying for their licences. The government even promised that the money realised from the sale of the global system for mobile communication (GSM) licences ($285million each), would be invested in providing transmission infrastructure through former national carrier, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL). Power generation has become an albatross. An official of one of the telcos said about 75 per cent of operating cost goes to power generation. Operators are now forced to focus on how to generate power apart from building networks. The four operators, MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat are said to be powering their over 24,000 BTS with generators. Customers Service Executive, MTN, Akinwale Goodluck said operators lose an average of two generators daily and over a million litres of diesel to thieves. This, no doubt, is a huge loss to bear by the operators. Another major challenge is the lack of national backbone to connect the operators. The vacuum left by NITEl remains large. This has led operators to start laying their own infrastructure at crushing costs.

Quality of service palaver Over the last one decade, the quality of telecoms services (QoS) has not been

• Mrs Johnson

• Sen. Nnaji

• Hon. Ojo

anything to write home about. Call drops, unsuccessful calls, poor audio call quality, cross-talking and call diversion have become a recurring decimal. While the regulator, the Nigerian National Communications Commission (NCC) has often resorted to wielding the big stick to whip operators to order. It has been slamming fines on them. However, the operators have never failed to tell the world that QoS is a function of several factors. According to them, when a generator powering a BTS goes down, it inevitably affects service quality to a large number of subscribers who depend on the BTS to originate or receive calls. It is worse when the vandalised BTS is a ‘hub’ one. At a point, the regulator had to ban promotions and lotteries that ride on telecoms infrastructure but to no avail.

infrastuture because it will probably make law making monotonous, the House of Representatives say the bill to that effect

Assembly. A lot of work has been done on this in the Office of the NSA in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications Technology and the NCC and other important infrastructure that also important in Nigeria. “It is not only the telecoms infrastructure. Others are military infrastructure, aviation infrastructure and others.” According to him, the passage into law of the bill will halt the vandalism of telecoms infrastructure be it metropolitan/rural optic fibre cables (OFC) or BTS.

Legislation to the rescue All the stakeholders in the industry agree on the need to enact a law to criminalise vandalism of telecoms infrastructure. Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, the National Assembly and others say it is necessary to have a law that will categorise telecoms infrastructure as critical national infrastructure. But over the last three months, there has been discordant tunes emerging from the stakeholders.

Senate While the Senate has said there was no need to enact a law to protect telecoms

‘Already, there are laws taking care of vandalism in this country and we cannot continue making laws. The only thing now is that it is left to the security agents to be more proactive, more vigilant and watch the telecoms infrastructure’

was appraoching the final stage for Presidential Assent. Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, said there were already in existence, laws that take care of vandalism, insisting that there was no need for another law to address the issue. “Already, there are laws taking care of vandalism in this country and we cannot continue making laws. The only thing now is that it is left to the security agents to be more proactive, more vigilant and watch the telecoms infrastructure. The National Assembly has been doing a lot. We have even held security meetings with the National Security Adviser (NSA). I am a member of National Security and Intelligence (Committee) in the Senate. So we have held several meetings and we have the issue of telecoms infrastructure being vandalised as an item,” the senator told The Nation on the sideline at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Forum held in Abuja. He said what was needed was the will by the law enforcement agents to carry out the relevant laws by arresting and prosecuting those who breached the law. But the Execuive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah feels otherwise. He said a bill to address the issue was at its final drafting stage and will soon be presented to the legislature. He said: “The NCC is preparing a bill to classify telecoms infrastructure as critical national infrastructure. The bill is in its final drafting stage. And I am sure that very soon, the bill will be presented to the National

‘In view of this, as lawmakers with understanding of the critical role information and communication technology can play in an economy, we have fasttracked legislative measures to ensure that we have the telecoms national infrastructure bill passed into law’

House of Representatives The House of Representatives however say the bill is almost a law. A member of the Lower Legislative Chamber, Hon. Abiodun Awoleye, who represented the Chairman of the House Communication Committee, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo at the first Conference of African Telecoms Regulators on Consumer Affairs (CATCO) hosted by the NCC in Lagos said the operators will have cause to cheer soon. He said: “I am sure it (the bill) has passed Second Reading and even Third Reading. It is awaiting the Assent of Mr President to pass it into law.” Asked how soon by The Nation, he said: “That depends on Mr President. The House has done its part. I wouldn’t know if the Senate has actually concurred because they have to concur before the bill will be passed into law. On the comment of the Senate, he said: “Yes there were laws against vandalism but to include telecoms infrastructure under that critical national infrastructure law. It is what the operators are actually calling for. I think it was an executive bill introduced into the National Assembly. I think it just needs the concurrence of the Senate “In view of this, as lawmakers with understanding of the critical role information and communication technology can play in an economy, we have fast-tracked legislative measures to ensure that we have the telecoms national infrastructure Bill passed into law,” Instead of talking from the two sides of the cheek, sector analysts say the National Assembly should close ranks and make a law that will insulate telecoms infrastructure from wilful vandalism. It is often said that when two elephants fight, it is the grasses that suffer. The subscribers are always at the receiving end. The relevant agencies connected with the issue should stop playing the ostrich.




Dearth of insurance, others Samsung showcases Galaxy Note 3, Gear S cripple mobile money


EARTH of insurance, mobile money agents and low level of awareness have been identified as major challenges hindering the mobile money scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) two years ago. Executive Director, Digital Africa, Dr Armstrung Takang, who spoke with The Nation in Lagos said the project which was designed to complement the cash-less policy of the CBN has failed to grow because the agents from whom money would be collected are not there while people don’t have confidence that when they lose their money in the course of a transaction, there will be someone to hold responsible. The issue of who is liable for lose of money in the course of using mobile money platform has always been avoided by the CBN, the operators and the 18 firms licensed by the apex bank to do mobile money. Takang said the absence of an insurance firm to bear the risk of people that may lose their money in the course of using the mobile

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

money platform was a great disincenitve. According to him, the existence of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC) encouraged people to use the banks because they know that in the event of a failure, they will not lose their entire deposits. He recalled that several bank customers lost their life savings through the use of automated teller machines (ATMs) at the early stage, arguing that this experience may have kept people away from mobile money. He said: “There is need to have insurance to guarantee confidence so that I can say to you that if you use your phone to transfer money and there is a problem and you lose money, I guarantee that the money will not go with the winds. It is like when we have NDIC in banking. You and I will go and open an account and if that bank goes down, we know we can go to NDIC and get our money. If you lose money while using mobile money platform, what happens? It is still a grey area.”

Another problem is the lack of awareness. “There is no awareness that your phone can become a banking hall and the money that is transmitted through credit on your phone is as good as the money that you get through the traditional banking halls. This is still lacking among majority of Nigerians,” he said. He said if those two obstacles are addressed, another constraint is the absence of mobile money agents. Mobile money agents are the last persons along the value chain. It is from them that people will collect the cash sent via the moble phone. “Another major aspect is that of having agents to collect cash when the cash is needed. The agents are supposed to be ubiquitous but they are not there,” he said. He called for the enactment of the enabling laws and provision of requisite security platforms in terms of technology to ensure that these transactions are safe enough to inspire confidence in the people that are going to perform the transactions.

•From left: Assistant Post Master-General in charge of Courier Regulation,NIPOST, Dr Samuel Emeje; Executive Secretary, Ghana Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, Mr Isaac Annan Riverson and MD/CEO, Bowill Errands Limited, Mr Siyanbola Oladapo at the fifth Bowill Errands Annual Public Lecture held at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

IBM chief sees Africa driving global tech innovation


HIEF Technology Officer, Central East &West Africa (CEW), IBM, Sandra Johnson, has said Africa will lead global technology innovation if the youths take advantage of the peculiar challenges facing the continent and develop relevant world class solutions to them. Sandra who spoke on the sideline with The Nation at IBM Lasgidi Hackathon held over the weekend in Lagos, said the development and success of the Mpessa application in Kenya was an example of how a world class product of innovation could come out of Africa. According to her, Mpessa, which

has become a global reference point in mobile money was a child of necessity because there were so many unbanked people in that country. “Africa will drive global technology. Look at Mpessa in Kenya which is a unique global product that has brought the many unbanked Kenyans into mainstream banking. This is a unique way to create a banking system using mobile phone. “No one in any of developed world would have thought of this because they are banked. That is an example of how you can leverage issues facing the country to come

out with unique solutions. There are other issues right here in Nigeria that only Nigerians can solve or only Nigerians can say this is the problem how do we leverage technology to address the problem. There are unique issues to the continent that only the people of the continent will provide solutions that will benefit them,” she said. Country General Manager, IBM West Africa, Engr Taiwo Otiti, said the technology firm chose to train students drawn from various tertiary institutions in the country on Mobile Money and Smart Government Solutions because of the currency of the issues around the two.

‘Security of transaction, challenge to online business’


ANAGING Director, Revive Telecommunications Limited, Wole Thomas, has identified security of online transactions as one of the major obstacles militating against the growth of the business in the country, adding, however, that it is the future of shopping. Thomas who spoke during the unveiling of the firm’s online platform in Lagos, added that dearth of infrastructure especially power and bandwidth were other challenges facing the boom in online shopping. According to him,online is the most convenient way of making purchases as all the customer needed to do was sit within the comfort of his or her office, and with the aid of the

By Bola Ajetumobi

mobile phone, place order for mobile phones, computers, laptops and their accessories. “Mobile subscription has grown phenomenally in the country with about 120 million active lines. Most of the mobile phones are internet-enabled. This is a great advantage for the growth of online business. We see this as great growth opportunity and that is why we have, in partnership with FedEx and other United Kingdom (UK)-based firms, launched this unique online shopping platform that will take care of mobile phones, laptops, computers and their accessories,” he said. According to him, the firm will be leveraging on its two decades experi-

ence in the information communication technology (ICT) field to serve its customers nation-wide. He promised to give customers both local and international warranties on goods purchased, adding that goods sold but discovered to be suffering from manufacturers’ defects will be replaced fro the customer. “There have been games going on around return policy in online transactions in the country. It is common to see the buyer and seller arguing over return or refund. This should not be so. Items purchased within seven days could be returned in case there is factory problem but we should be notified within 24 hours. We will not hesitate to make refunds if need be,” he added.

AMSUNG Electronics has unveiled the latest addition to its Galaxy Note family, the Galaxy Note 3. The product was unveiled alongside the Galaxy Gear, a wrist-worn connects Stories bydevice Lucasthat Ajanaku to the Note 3 for what the company described as ‘an even more outstanding mobile experience.’ The devices, which the firm said were already available for purchase in the country were unveiled at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos over the weekend. The firm said Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is its thinnest and lightest device in the Note category featuring a screen larger than that of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note II while maintaining the same width as the previous Galaxy Note version and delivering on a larger, better viewing and multi-tasking experience.

The device is equipped with a 13 megapixel camera that features Samsung’s proprietary Smart Stabilisation which enables high performance photography even in low light conditions with motion. It also features the industry’s largest 3GB RAM for a faster and more powerful performance. The device’s S Pen features new innovations that reinvents and modernizes consumers’ note-taking experience by providing them with the ability to complete more tasks with just one click. A simple click of the S Pen button while hovering over the device’s screen introduces users to Air Command, a palette of five powerful features that make tasks easier and faster to accomplish. The feature frees users of the need to toggle between screens, memorise commands or look up different menus.

Microsoft pledges commitment to Nigeria


ICROSOFT Corporation has pledged to keep supporting Nigeria and other African countries to grow. To demonstrate this, the firm in a statement said it has signed strategic agreements with three incubator organisations across the African continent to enable start-ups, innovators and Africa’s developer community to grow their skills and build businesses with Microsoft technologies. According to the technology firm, under the recently launched Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, it has entered into agreements with CcHUB in Nigeria, DTBiin Tanzania and AfriLabs, the pan-African hub network. The cooperation aims to offer the communities working in these hubs increased access to software, skills development opportunities and a means through which innovative start-ups can access capital investment, benefit from interna-

tional outreach and scale their businesses to the world through Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions. The Co-Creation Hub, or CcHUB as it is commonly known, is Nigeria’s first innovation lab and preincubation space designed to catalyze creative social technology ventures. It is a place for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government and investors in and around Lagos to co-create new solutions to address business opportunities and social needs in Nigeria. The Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, commonly known as DTBi, is a registered and autonomous entity established by the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology to promote information and communication technology (ICT) innovation and entrepreneurship, contributing to job creation and enhanced economic health in Tanzania.

Zain, Ericsson sign managed services pact


AIN Bahrain has announced that it has signed a four-year managed services agreement with Ericsson, to manage its network and enhance its customer support services. The new partnership will see Ericsson managing the day-to-day operations of Zain’s network across the country, enabling operational excellence while the telco will be able to allocate more resources towards higher-end services and offerings allowing subscribers to ultimately benefit from an increased network quality and stability. General Manager, Zain in Bahrain, Mohammed Zainalabedin, said: “At Zain, providing customers with advanced technologies that enhance their mobile experience is of a paramount importance. With that ultimate aim in mind, we se-

lected Ericsson to manage our network operations. “This latest partnership with Ericsson helps to increase our internal productivity, and the result of that efficiency will be reflected in what our subscribers will experience of superior communications that they have become accustomed to. “As a telecoms operator, we are confident that this managed services solution will mean that our network and business complexity will be well-managed by Ericsson, leading to cost-effective launches of new services, dependable performance and operational competence.” Ericsson’s Customer Support solutions ensure customers only receive high-quality services, supporting the overall network quality.

Fonepad, Transformer Book for launch


LOBAL personal computer (PC) maker, ASUS said it will soon unveil Fonepad 7 and the Transformer Book T100, two of its most innovative products in the. According to a statement, the Fonepad is an incredible fusion of tablet and phone while the Transformer Book T100 is a skillful combination of a notebook and a tablet which have been launched in the United States of America (USA), Germany, Japan, and Australia. The Asus Fonepad is a 7-inch Android tablet with the capability to make and receive calls. It sports the recent generation of Intel Atom processors – Clover Trail – which are designed to bring speed and performance to the tablet and mobile segment.

The statement added that the Transformer Book T100 is a 10.1inch Windows 8.1 tablet with a detachable keyboard that runs a full version of the Window 8.1 OS, not Windows RT. It's powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processor. ASUS is well known for having transformed the PC industry with the invention of the Netbook and for setting trends and as PCmag puts it “there’s every reason to believe Asus might be the first company riding a whole new wave”. These 2 devices are catered for the average Nigerian and the company expects to bring more of its transformational products to Nigeria in the future. But for now, let’s toss to the Fonepad 7 and to the Transformer Book T100.










•Dr. Oba Otudeko, Chairman of HoneywellGroup (right) being conferred with a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), Banking and Finance (Honoris Causa) by Prof. Kehinde Okeleye, Vice Chancellor, Crescent University, Abeokuta, at the fifth convocation of the university.

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (third left) and executive members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) led by its President, Chief Adebayo Oyero (third right) when they visited the governor on Monday.

•Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Rear Adm. Jonah Gborigiogha (left) receiving security car keys from the MTN Foundation’s Acting Senior Manager, Sales, East Zone, Mr. Onamari Harsefall, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa...on Monday.

•Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (middle) on inspection of the Minna City Centre Project. With him is the Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Tagwai.

•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu (right), President of The Daises, Dr. Olayinka Sobamowo (left) and an official of the service organisation, Mrs Modupe Talabi at the 30th Anniversay/Fund Raising of The Daises at Dowen College Hall, Lekki...last weekend.

•From left: Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi; Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Ola Orekoya; Guest Speaker, Prof. Yomi Ogun and Special Adviser to the Governor, on Environment, Dr. Taofik Folami at the National Heath Care Waste Management 2013 Summit, with the theme: Health Care Waste Management and the Environment at NAN Media Centre Hall, Lagos. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

• Representative of the GOC, 3 Division, Col. Victor Ebhaleme (left); representative of the Special Guest of Honour, Mr. Emmanuel Goar and Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Danjuma Dadu at the opening of Shoot 2013 Training and Capacity Building Workshop by Nigerian Film Corporation in Jos...on Monday.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (second left); Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Ladi Balogun (left); winner, Men Single, 13th Governor's Cup, Lagos Tennis, Mr. Pavic Ante from Crosia, Italy and Director, PMO & Operational Support, Etisalat Nig., Mrs. Ndidi Okpaluba, at the end of the tournament sponsored by Etisalat Nig. at PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE. Lagos Tennis, Lagos...last weekend.






UBA Capital grows Q3 profit by 336%


BA Capital sustained its strong growth momentum through the third quarter as pre-tax profit leapt by 336.4 per cent to N2.16 billion. UBA Capital was until recently a member of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group. It was spun off and its shares distributed to existing shareholders of UBA in compliance with the new banking regime that requires banks to form holding company structure to hold non-core commercial banking subsidiaries or divest from such businesses. Interim reports and accounts of UBA Capital for the period

By Taofik Salako

ended September 30, 2013 showed impressive growths in the top-line and bottom-line. Gross earnings quadrupled from N795.37 million in third quarter 2012 to N3.23 billion in 2013. Profit before tax also followed the trend at N2.16 billion as against N494.86 million recorded in comparable period of 2012. Profit after tax stood at N1.72 billion compared with N796.84 million recorded in previous year. The third quarter report underlined the continuing improvement in the operations of the company and could boost

its new capital raising. UBA Capital is seeking to raise new equity funds through a rights issue to existing shareholders. Group chief executive, UBA CapitalPlc,Mr.RasheedOlaoluwa, said the results reinforced the company’sdedicationtowardssustaining its strong start in the year. According to him, as the company delivers on its strategic focus of enriching customer experience and value creation across all business lines, it is convinced that it will continue to grow its market share in Nigeria, with a strong prospect of building its brand in the impact African markets.

UK equity firm, GTI to boost market liquidity


NTERNATIONAL Commerce Management Limited (ICML), a United Kingdom-based global private equity firm and GTI Capital Group, a Nigerian financial services group, are exploring ways to boost the market-making and liquidity in the Nigerian capital market with a view to enhancing the attractiveness of the market to foreign investors. In furtherance of the discussions between the two investment and financial services firms, the management of ICML made its maiden visit to Nigeria and together with the top management of GTI held talks with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), NASD Plc-the over-the-counter (OTC) market, Wema Bank, Mobitel Limited and other stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market. President, International Commerce Management Limited (ICML), United Kingdom; John Kavvouras, said the Nigerian capital market has enormous potential and holds lot of opportunities that ICML, working with GTI Capital, can bring its global knowledge and capital to help in creating values for all stakeholders. He said one evident area of

under-capacity that the management of ICML has noted and would seek to create values thereon is the low level of market making capability in the Nigerian market. According to him, the number one thing that the Nigerian market is crying out for is market making capability because what the international investors need is liquidity. ICML and GTI Capital would work together in this area, combining their vast capital and global and domestic knowledge to make the difference. Kavvouras pointed out that enhanced market making capability will boost liquidity of the market and will naturally lead to increased inflow of foreign portfolio investments. “Pretty terrific; lot and lot of what to do, it’s an Exchange that is developing, emerging, and in line with what we do. There are so many things that the Nigerian market can tap into. This Exchange; Lagos, should be the financial capital of the Sub Saharan Africa,” Kavvouras said when asked about his experience in his maiden visit to the stock market. He commended the expertise and formidable market

structures as well as foresights of the management of GTI Capital, noting that it has the right attributes for a valuedriven partnership. “GTI Capital, from all what I have seen- again this is my first time in Nigeria; is most forward-thinking. The management is intelligent and focused, they know there is opportunity out there and they are ready to make a move on it. GTI Capital is ready to seize the Nigerian market,” Kavvouras said. Group managing director, GTI Capital Group, Mr. Abubakar Lawal, said his group would continue to work towards the development of the Nigerian market by engaging with relevant local and international partners. According to him, GTI Capital has made huge investments in human, technological and others assets to build a solid foundation that would enable it to play its envisioned roles of a primary driver of the Nigerian market. Managing director, GTI Securities, Mr. Tunde Oyekunle, said GTI would seek to consolidate its domestic market by broadening its foreign partnerships and transactions. “We intend to engage in Investors Education and improve the investment acumen of an average Nigerian investor to foster confidence in our financial market,” Oyekunle said when asked about his plans for local investors.




MONEY LINK FCMB Group posts N14.7b profit

Banks record N15b fraud in 2012, says CBN T HERE were 4,527 cases of fraud and forgery involving N14.8 billion and $1.6 million in 2012. This was contained in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) annual report for 2012 released yesterday. The figure, represents a decline when compared with 2,527 cases involving the sum of N29.5 billion in 2011. Also, the Federal Government earned N10.65 trillion in 2012. The earnings represented 26.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exceeded N9.6 trillion budget benchmark for the year. The report indicated that although the number of reported cases of fraud and forgery increased during the year, the actual loss to banks fell by 26.1 per cent to N4.27 billion and US$0.4 million, from N5.78 billion as at December 2011.



•Govt earns N10.65tr Stories by Collins Nweze

It said the cases of fraud were perpetrated mostly by outsiders and some bank staff, through such means as pilfering, theft, suppression and conversion of customers’ deposits, illegal funds transfer and fraudulent Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals. Meamwnile, the report signed by CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said that one deposit money bank failed to meet the minimum capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 10 per cent. However, the computed

CAR for the banks indicated that the industry average stood at 18.3 per cent, compared with the computed average of 17.7 per cent at end-December 2011. It said the asset quality of the banks, as measured by the ratio of nonperforming loans to industry total, improved substantially as it declined from 4.95 per cent at end-December 2011, to 3.47 per cent at endDecember 2012. The average industry liquidity ratio (LR) stood at 63.9 per cent, and exceeded the prescribed LR of 30 per cent, compared with 69.1 per cent at end-December

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

the promo, which is in its second season, was “conceived by the bank because of its belief in promoting the concept of a healthy savings culture as a secret to financial success among its customers and Nigerians.” Earlier, the first South West Zonal draws held in Akure, Ondo state on September 17, 2013. Hassan said; “a total of 40 winners had emerged in the first round of the draws which held in September across the five operational zones of the bank (North west, North east, South, South-west and Central) and forty more winners are expected to

2011. It said on-site reviews were carried out on 1,196 Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) in 2012. The exercise included the examination of 936 OFIs and the conduct of spot-checks on 260 bureaux-de-change (BDCs).

Group holds confab in Lagos

Unity Bank rewards Southwest customers

IGHT more customers from the SouthWest were rewarded yesterday by Unity Bank in its ongoing Aim, Save and Win promo. The eight lucky winners were selected in the Zonal draws that took place in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The lucky winners in the category of customers from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states that saved between N10,000 and N100,000 for a minimum period of 45 days, carted away various prizes which included Sound proof generators, 32-inch LED TVs, Deep freezers, Gas cookers, blackberry phones and refrigerators. According to Hassan Abdul, Digital marketing and Events Corporate Communications unit of the bank,


emerge from this second round which will run also across the five zones from October 26, 2013 to November 9, 2013. “The zonal draw for the South will hold on Thursday in Benin City while the draw for the North East will hold in Yola, Adamawa state on November 2, 2013. The draws for the central zone will hold in Makurdi, Benue state on November 9, 2013. “These will be followed early in December with the draws for the grand prizes of five Kia Rio Saloon cars, with one each being one in each of the zones. Other star prizes to be won in the grand finale include N1 million naira worth of scholarships each for five lucky winners and business empowerment tools for artisans.”



N its effort at ensuring the supply of quality equipment to institutes and institutions across the country and ensuring their maintenance, the Scientific Products Association of Nigeria (SPAN) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Germany, will on December 3rd to 5th, hold an exhibition and conference called Lab and Science Nigeria 2013. The event which will hold Lagos, will feature 14 leading German manufacturing companies of analytical and lab equipment that will exhibit their products and also provide after-sales service to its customers. According to a release signed by SPAN’s President and Secretary, Mr Gbolade Famoriyo and Mr Femi Ayeni, the event will provide the opportunity for suppliers, experts, re-

Amount N

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 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 29-10-13


O/PRICE 2013-10-29


37.25 0.79 53.80 2.43 1.64 2.52 0.85 0.65 1.24 0.51


%CHANGE 7.33 6.33 5.02 4.94 4.88 4.76 4.71 4.62 4.03 3.92

LOSERS AS AT 29-10-13 2013-10-29




4.37 2.70 1.88 9.80 5.24 0.73 0.74 39.00 3.73 105.30

Year Start Offer

Current Before

Current After






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

239.4810 212.4997

244.0123 207.9023

245.6422 209.2910

-2.57 -1.51














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%


4.09 2.54 1.79 9.35 5.00 0.70 0.71 37.62 3.60 102.00

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

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%

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -

Offer Price 163.31 9.17 1.18 1.16 0.75 1.39 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,839.27 13.64 141.19 11,004.94 0.80

Bid Price 162.38 9.08 1.16 1.16 0.74 1.33 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,832.21 12.97 140.70 10,680.29 0.78



19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90


%CHANGE -6.41 -5.93 -4.79 -4.59 -4.58 -4.11 -4.05 -3.54 -3.49 -3.13

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7




Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


CUV Start %


39.98 0.84 56.50 2.55 1.72 2.64 0.89 0.68 1.29 0.53

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

searchers and interested representatives of the application industries to meet the German manufacturers who will showcase latest instruments, analysis and testing technologies, as well as lab technology solutions. While noting that it was an opportunity for the German companies to identify and meet with potential distribution partners, the release added that the conference would cover all areas of the main application fields such as cooling and heating; temperature control; liquid handling; quality control; maintenance and clinical application of centrifuges. Other areas of focus at the conference will also include volumetric glassware; HPLC applications; elemental analysis in mining; building materials and environmental samples.



Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00

CMB Group Plc, the holding company of First City Monument Bank Limited and its subsidiaries, has announced a profit before tax of N14.7 billion for the nine months ended 30 September. The result, the lender said in a statement, represents an increase of 21 per cent where compared to its performance in September 2012. The results showed that FCMB Group Plc recorded gross income of N96.6 billion, an increase of 14 per cent from N84.7 billion in 2012. There was also a 19 per cent growth in net interest income to N41.1 billion from N34.5 billion while net provisions for risk assets and other known losses was N3 billion compared to N0.7 billion recorded last year.


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012










NEWS ANAMBRA 2013 PDP launches campaign •Zamfara exco dissolved From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will launch its campaign for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State weeks after candidates of other parties started their campaign. Rising from its weekly National Working Committee meeting yesterday, the party said the campaign committee, headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, would be inaugurated today at the party’s national secretariat. Briefing reporters shortly after the meeting, the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Jalo, said the tenure of the Zamfara Exco expired on September 27. This, he said, necessitated the setting up of a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party and organise congresses to elect a new set of executive committee members. The 12-man committee is chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu, with Yunusa Shusha as secretary. PUBLIC NOTICE I, Otunba Lanre Folunsho of 13, Tafawa Balewa Crescent, Surulere, Lagos state notify the general public that i have applied to the LSDPC for its consent to change ownership of property known as Block 1, flat 4, LSDPC Estate Oko-Oba IV Agege, Lagos State, which was originally allocated to Mrs. Yinka Amuda. I have made series of efforts to contact Mrs. Yinka Amuda from whom i bought the property, but all efforts have proved abortive. I hereby indemnify the corporation against any future claims that may arise if my application is granted, and undertake to pay cost of any dispute that may arise on same. LSDPC and general public, please take note.

Ngige’s billboards destroyed in Onitsha


HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has denied destroying and dismantling the billboards of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, in Onitsha. Ngige’s billboards were destroyed by unknown

•MASSOB denies involvement From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

persons, some nights ago. A source, who spoke with The Nation yesterday on condition of anonymity, alleged that the people, who perpetrated the act, were not APGA faithful but

MASSOB members. But MASSOB’s Director of Information, Uchenna Madu, dissociated the group from the incident. He said: “Why should we destroy Ngige’s billboards, somebody who has been the mouthpiece of the Igbo? MASSOB did not do such a thing.

“People should stop associating MASSOB with such things. We are not touts and not involved in politics. Some people, who do not like MASSOB, will always level any allegation against the group.” Virtually all the billboards of the APC candidate have been dismantled or destroyed by unknown persons.

Catholic clerics endorse APC candidate


HE Pastoral Council of Nnobi Episcopal Region, Umuoji, Idemili Local Government Area, yesterday prayed for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, in the November 16 election. The Pastoral Council, which rose from its meeting at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Umuoji prayed that God should intervene and enable him emerge victorious in the poll. They urged him to be steadfast, reminding the governorship candidate that a similar prayer was said for him during his senatorial election in which he emerged victorious. The Episcopal Vicar of

the Region, Rev. Fr. John Anosike, described Ngige as a known lover of Anambra State, whose public service records are indelible in the minds of the people. Rev. Fr. Mike Okagbue chided desperate politicians, who resorted to maligning others in their quest for power. He affirmed his support for Ngige to return as governor, adding that he is a tested and proven ambassador not only for Anambra, but for humanity in general. “He is an experienced politician and a noble gentleman.” The clerics urged him to remember his promises to the people when he is returned to office.

Ngige told the clerics that he would sustain and improve upon the current intervention by the state government in the health and educational institutions owned by the churches, adding that he initiated the policy while in office. He said he signed a memorandum of understanding with the late Bishop A.K. Obiefuna, retired Bishop Simeon Okafor and Bishop Hilary Okeke for such interventions. The governorship candidate promised that he would ensure that Anambra had no problems accessing federal roads, as he does not discriminate in road construction since the people of the state use the roads.

•Dr. Ngige

Ngige also promised to remodel the capital city, Awka, to reflect its flagship status. He said he would conduct local government elections within six months in office.

Ubah’s campaign tempo ‘slows down’


ARELY three weeks to the governorship election, there are indications that Ifeanyi Ubah, the Labour Party candidate, may have run out of cash.

REVELATION FROM GOD GOD’S OWN MESSAGE TO MR. PRESIDENT Your Excellency, Sir; As God sent Moses to Pharaoh, so God-sent me to you with these messages to deliver to you and your cabinet members as follows, 1. Messages to the body of Christ 2. Why Boko haram is harassing the body of Christ 3. Why Boko haram is existing 4. Why kidnapping is existing 5. Solution Cc: The Senate president The Speaker of the House of Representative The Minister of Justice The Anthony General of the Federation The Minister of Defense The Chief of Army Staff The Chief of Naval Staff The Chief of Air Staff The IGP The Controller General of Prison The National Security Adviser The CAN President Please, I seek for your audiences for press conference to enable me deliver all these messages to you all in details, with bible reading of Ezekiel 33:1-end, Jeremiah 1:4-end, Jeremiah 33-3. ARUUNMO 08149606632, 08182341202 Ogonokom Abua/Odual L.G.A, Rivers State.

•Unpaid bouncers leave in anger From Chris Oji, Enugu

This is coming on the heels of the recent clearance by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), that his company, Capital Oil, is on receivership for two years. Investigation showed that contrary to the defence of Ubah that Capital Oil was not a failed business, the Anambra businessman was said to have run the company aground because of his profligacy. A source said when he launched his campaign, he had money, but between that time and now, he had wasted the fund on showmanship that it had become difficult for

him to pay those working for him. This has generated discontent in his camp. The source went on: “Recently, the over 60 bouncers he hired for the campaign almost lynched him because he owed them. They created a scene. He looked for money to pay them. They have left him.” Another source hinted that it was because of lack of fund that the rallies planned for the 21 local government headquarters and 326 wards had not been held. He said the slowdown in his campaign, commercials on TV and radio and adverts in the print media in the past three weeks could be attributed to

Ubah’s inability to make funds available. “The money supposed to be released to the wards to use for the campaign has not been released. He has not paid any of those working for him and nobody is happy with him. So how do you think such a man will win an election in the state?” asked the source. Feelers show that some of his workers are planning to organise a protest to collect the money he owes them before the election. Efforts to get a response from the Ifeanyi Ubah Campaign Organisation and the Labour Party Election Committee were unsuccessful at press time. Phone calls to both organisations were not picked.

We want free, fair election, says Ezeemo


HE Progressive Peoples Alliance’s (PPA’s) candidate in the November 16 poll, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, yesterday urged a free and fair election. Ezeemo, who spoke during a campaign at Ekwulobia, enjoined parties and candidates to abide by the revised code of conduct signed by the parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He advised security agencies to be non-partisan. Ezeemo urged INEC to provide a level playing field for the candidates.

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

He said if the governorship candidates and their parties ensured a rancour-free election, Anambra would set a pace for the 2015 presidential poll. The PPA’s candidate advised other contestants and the parties not to use foul languages during campaigns. He said he abhorred intimidation of the electorate by the candidates and parties, adding: “The peace we enjoy in this state should be preserved, as inciting of vot-

ers can lead to violence.” Ezeemo said he had good plans for the indigenes, and if voted for, he would transform Anambra State. He decried the high rate of unemployment, noting that if he becomes the governor, he will create jobs for youths. “I will keep them off the streets. Crime is best fought by creating jobs,” Ezeemo said. According to him, farm settlements, where young school leavers and graduates would be employed, would be established in Anambra North, which has arable land.

PDP holds stakeholders’ meeting •Nwoye begins campaign Saturday From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday held its stakeholders’ meeting in Anambra State with a resolve to win the November 16 governorship election. The party’s standardbearer, Comrade Tony Nwoye, will start his campaign on Saturday at the Holy Trinity ground, Onitsha. Addressing the stakeholders at the Marble Arch Hotels in Awka, chaired by Chief Okey Muo Aroh, the party’s financier, Prince Arthur Eze, urged the electorate to vote for Nwoye. He said he brought Nwoye to rescue the widows, youths and the lessprivileged, adding that he would change the face of the state. “Parents who cannot pay school fees, Nwoye’s administration will bail you out.”

Traders stop APGA’s market rally From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


RADERS at the EkeAwka Market yesterday prevented members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) from holding a rally in the market. The party later relocated to the Old Awka Stadium on Arthur Eze Avenue, Awka, for the rally. Speaking with The Nation, the President of the Awka South Market Amalgamated Traders Union (ASMATU), Chief Anayo Nweke, said APGA members wanted to impose themselves on the traders, “but we resisted this.”

INEC distributes non-sensitive materials


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has begun the movement of non-sensitive electoral materials to Anambra State. INEC’s National Commissioner, Prof. Lai Olurode, said in Abuja that with the early movement of materials, the commission was re-assessing its operational strategy to ensure a hitch-free governorship election on November 16. He said sensitive materials would be moved from the commission’s headquarters a week to the poll. Olurode said the commission had put in place strategies to ensure integrity and transparency to make the outcome of the election acceptable to all. He said the commission had created area centres close to polling units, for the distribution of sensitive materials to ensure prompt arrival of election materials during the poll.



NEWS Obi distributes 100 vehicles to schools


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday distributed 100 vehicles to secondary schools. He said it was in fulfilment of his promise to spend N40 billion on “the final push” towards accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Speaking yesterday at the Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital, Obi said his

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

administration bought 25,000 computers, containing the school syllabus and books, for schools. He said all secondary schools would get money to set up sick bays and connect to the Internet and would be given electricity generating sets. Obi said the administration’s investment in education was yielding fruit, as mani-

fested in the performance of pupils in external examinations. The governor thanked churches for partnering the government to improve schools. Commissioner for Education Uju Okeke said the governor had made teaching and learning easier by providing a conducive teaching and learning environment and necessary logistics.

Anxiety in Aba as PHCN offices shut down


OWER Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) offices in Aba, Abia State, were, on Tuesday, shut indefinitely. The company’s offices at Ogbor Hill, Faulks road, Calabar Street, World Bank Housing Estate and its Headquarters opposite Aba North Magistrate’s Court were also closed. When The Nation visited the offices, PHCN workers gathered in clusters outside the office discussing. Residents who wanted to pay their electricity bills stood outside confused. A consumer, who gave his name as David, said: “I came here around 10am to pay our electricity bill because their task force disconnected our light three days ago for non-payment. I was told to come back later. When I asked why, one of the workers said they were told to suspend everything they were doing in the office and lock the gate immediately.” Another consumer expressed fear that a prolonged closure of PHCN offices would affect the businesses of people whose electricity sup-

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

ply was disconnected by the debt recovery task force. A PHCN worker, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “We resumed work normally like other days. Around 9am, we got a directive from our zonal office in Enugu to close immediately. Though it is not clear to us why we were asked to close, we had to comply.” PHCN spokesman Raphael Nwandu said he was yet to be properly briefed about the development, but attributed it to internal crisis. Nwandu said the situation was not peculiar to Aba, adding that it affected other areas in the Southeast. On fears that the closure may grind economic activities in the commercial city, he said: “We have not shut down our power plant. The situation has not come to that. People whose electricity supply were disconnected should be patient because there is nothing we can do for now. People who want to pay their monthly bill should go to the bank and pay.”

Six arraigned for ‘burning’ palace, 15 buildings


IX persons accused of burning the palace of the Oloba of Oba-Oke in Olorunda Local Government of Osun State, Oba Adams Yusuf, and 15 other buildings have been arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court. Oladele Tunji (28), Azeez Onifade (60), Raji Abdulahi (47), Salami Kayode (46), Olarewaju Adekale (40) and Azeez Ogunbola(40) were also accused of shooting at and attempting to kill Sulaimon Taofeek, Durojaye Saheed, Rahman Abiona and Kosamotu Olalekan. They were arrested after the violent clash between ObaOke and Oba-Ile. The suspects, who are from Oba-Ile, allegedly burnt the palace of

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

the Oloba, 15 buildings, two vehicles, six motorcycles and other property belonging to Oba-Oke residents. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their counsel, Abiodun Olaide, urged the court to

grant them bail on liberal terms. The Magistrate, Olusola Aluko, granted them N100,000 bail each with two sureties in like sum, two tax clearance certificates and two passport size photographs. One of the sureties must be a traditional ruler and the other a chief.

Man held for ‘burying’ skull THE police in Enugu have arrested a man, Emmanuel Chukwu, for allegedly burying a human skull in his house. He hails from Enugu Obeagu Amuri in Nkanu West local Government Area. Police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said the command

From Chris Oji, Enugu

got information that the suspect buried a human skull at his building site and went there to find out. He said the human skull was dug out and the suspect arrested.

Lions Club begins campaign against measles


HE International Association of Lions Club, Multiple District 404, Nigeria, will hold its 2013 Integrated Campaign Against Measles, tagged: “One Shot One Life”, from Friday to November 7. It will begin with a Road Show on Friday

at the Lagos Island Local Government Secretariat. On Saturday children would be immunised at Iga Idunganran, Adeniji (Oba Oyekan) and Sura Primary Health Centre on Lagos Island and at Mushin Local Government Secretariat.

Youths protest assault on traditional ruler


VER 30 youths from Ogbor Kingdom in Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State, have protested the alleged assault of their traditional ruler, Eze Azu Egege, by unidentified revenue agents. On Tuesday, the youths attacked the office of a revenue contractor, Panco Agency, and beat up the clerk, destroyed furniture and documents. They allegedly stole an undisclosed amount of money belonging to the agency. Eyewitnesses said they went to the office of another agent, Uche Iroegbu, and destroyed office equipment. They later converged on the premises of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Aba. Speaking with reporters later, the Managing Director of Panco Agency, Chief Peter Nwagbara, lamented the damage to his property. He said he did not know why the youths attacked his office because he had no deal-

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

ing with them. Nwagbara said: “I am not in charge of Ogbor Hill or even Ukaegbu road where the youths are from. I do not know why they attacked my office, beat up my clerk, destroyed windows, doors, tables and chairs and took away a huge amount of money. Some of them threatened to deal with me. I have reported the matter to the police at Aba Area Command.” Iroegbu said the youths invaded his office for no just cause. He said: “I got a call this morning that my office had been attacked. When I went there, all my chairs, tables and documents had been turned upside down. I do not have any problem with anybody. I am not in charge of Ogbor Hill. I am calling on the police to take action on this matter because the youths who did this could have killed me or my clerk, had she not run away.”

Eze Egege lamented the excesses of revenue agents, who hire thugs and policemen to bully people. He said: “I was alerted to the disturbance created by some residents who engaged them in an argument. I rushed to intervene because I have always preached peace, but one of the revenue agents pushed me to the ground. As a result of the development, my subjects and the revenue team ran away. “I am calling on the government to take a second look at this issue of using thugs and policemen to invade people’s homes. Last time, a policeman used tear gas on a pregnant woman over this issue of revenue collection.” On the claim that youths from his community attacked revenue agents, the ruler said that he was not aware of the incident, adding that nobody reported such to him. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna could not be reached on his mobile phone.




Oshiomhole replies Nyiam


DO State government has replied Col. Tony Nyiam following his action at the sitting of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue in Benin City, on Monday. It said in a statement yesterday: “On Monday, Col. Tony Nyiam exposed his hand as a biased member of a committee, which should be above political, ethnic and other sentiments. “We wonder when Col. Nyiam became the president’s spokesman as to want to drag the president’s name into his shameful act. We are, however, not surprised, going by his antecedents, the Benin incident was just another manifestation of Nyiam’s lack of respect for constituted authority and his love for disunity. “Even as an officer in such a disciplined profession as

Court convicts ‘fake’ INEC worker in Cross River

•Hails Army for fighting kidnapping From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

the Nigerian Army, Nyiam stood out like a sore thumb and his naked ambition for power led to the death of many officers and men, who owned up and faced the sentence for their treason, but where was Nyiam, he ran away rather than face the consequence of his action, as all cowards do. “Nyiam said Governor Adams Oshiomhole was ‘talking down on the people’. We wonder when airing one’s opinion or saying ‘I believe that the outcome of this conference will not be different from that of other conferences we have had in the past’ means talking down on the people. “Nyiam deserves our pity. He might still be hal-

lucinating, thinking he is an Army officer, who must be obeyed. We recognise that no military officer worth his salt would openly disagree with a superior or a Governor at a forum such as the one in Benin City, but again, we recognise that the maxim, ‘officer and gentleman’ does not apply to Nyiam as he has once again displayed to the people in the open. “We find it interesting that Col. Nyiam has exposed the undercurrent motive of the conference, which has also confirmed Governor Oshiomhole’s initial fears about viability, necessity and desirability of same. “Inasmuch as we believe that Nigeria is in dire straits, the governor still insists that a talk shop with no agenda is not necessary at



this time.” Governor Oshiomhole hailed the Army for assisting other security agencies in fighting kidnapping and armed robbery. The governor, who said this yesterday when he received the General Officer Commanding the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.Gen. Ahmed Jubril, said the Army has supported government in its fight against crime.

10 die in communal clash in Edo


EADERSHIP tussle between members of Ukhorumi community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State has led to the killing of 10 people and destruction of property worth millions of naira. Security personnel, including soldiers, have taken over the community to prevent further casualties. Eyewitnesses told The Nation that the crisis began when the CDA vice- chairman attempted to take over the leadership of the community from the incumbent chairman. The witnesses, who pleaded anonymity, said: “As we speak, the community is deserted by the people for fear of reprisal, as many cars and buildings have been burnt. “The reaction that fol-

•Gunmen kill community leader From Osagie Otabor, Benin

lowed was spontaneous, as gunshots rent the air. “Cars and houses belonging to members from each group were torched. Ten persons have reportedly died in

the incident.” Spokesman for the 4 Brigade Nigeria Army, Cpt. Roselyn Managbe, confirmed the incident, but said no arrest has been made. She said soldiers arrived after damage had been done and that they were on

ground to forestall further crisis. At Evbuodia village also in Oredo Local Government, a community leader, Osas Omoregbe, has been killed by four gunmen at his home. Police spokesman Moses Eguavoen confirmed the incident. He said investigation has begun.

MAGISTRATE’s court in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has sentenced a 24year-old man, Mr. Obot Silas, to a six-month jail term for parading himself as a worker of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Silas was charged with operating a fraudulent employment syndicate, falsely presenting himself as an INEC worker and obtaining money from the public, to which he pleaded guilty. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, said following actionable information to INEC of a syndicate fraudulently engaged in an illegal recruitment exercise, the police were informed, arrest was made, incriminating fake employment forms of unsuspecting job seekers were recovered, leading to the arraignment of Silas. He said: “The convict, who presented himself as an INEC worker on September 28 at Limit Hotel, Mayne Avenue, Calabar, under false pretence, fraudulently obtained N12,000, N7,000, N4,000 and N5,000 from

Three children drown in Delta


HREE children of the same parents have drowned in a well at Owerre-Olubor community, Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State. The Nation learnt that the children, aged between eight and 11, were playing near the well situated in their compound when it caved in.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba

It was gathered that efforts by the bystanders to rescue them were unsuccessful. Our source said neighbours later brought a pumping machine to drain the water, but it was too late as the children had died.

Sympathisers restrained the victims’ mother from jumping inside the well. The bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the Government Mortuary, Umunede. The owner of the well, Godwin Nwabuzor, has reported the incident to the police. A female hotelier (name

withheld) was yesterday abducted by a gang of suspected kidnappers in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government. The Nation learnt that the gang stormed Ada-eke Hotel at Ishekpe quarters at about 8pm, shot into the air to scare bystanders, seized their victim and bundled her into a vehicle.

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

four people that he is a worker with INEC capable of providing them with employment in the commission, thereby contravening Section 108 of the Criminal Code under which he was charged at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Calabar. “The conviction underscores the call by INEC to the public to beware of claims by individuals or groups operating as a syndicate, who exploit the unemployment in the country to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians to pay money for employment. “INEC under the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega does not and did not collect fees or charges from those that the commission recently employed. “We enjoin anyone requested to pay fees or charges to cross-check first with my office or any of our area offices, specifically through our public affairs departments for clarification before dealing with anyone on any issues concerning the activities of INEC. “Anyone with information on any person or groups collecting such fees or charges for employment in the name of the commission should report such illegal activities to the nearest police station or the nearest INEC office. “We hope the conviction of Mr. Silas will act as a deterrent to other criminallyminded groups and public organisations, which collect fees and charges from job seekers.”

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers I came across my seventeen year old daughter’s cell phone by mistake and was shocked to discover that she is sexually active. I am distressed and I don’t know how to stop this. How do I handle it? Mrs George Dear Mrs George, controlling teenagers who are on the verge of becoming adults, is one of the most difficult things to do. Kids that age look at their bodies and it looks just like that of an average adult. That is why many young girls feel they are ready for a sexual relationship even as early as fifteen. Human society in general has always struggled with the definition of sexual maturity all through history, because kids tend to start developing very early. This explains why back in the day, our grandmothers were legally having children as early as 14 and catering to their households. Infact, this practice still goes on in northern Nigeria. Times have changed though and the law does not consider a person an adult until they are eighteen years of age. But the confusion and pressure that puberty brings has not gone away. My advice is to have a quiet chat with your daughter and explain the rules to her. Encourage her to be patient until she is old enough and stress the importance of using protection when she eventually becomes legally eligible for a physical relationship. Within a few months she will be eighteen and legally permitted to make such personal decisions herself. Hopefully when that time comes, the quality of her upbringing will guide her in making the best decisions – Uche I need your help for various things. I experience vaginal odour and it embarrasses me and makes me very conscious of my body. That is why I refuse oral sex whenever my husband wants to give it to me. What can I do to overcome this? Secondly, there is no foreplay in my relationship. Everything goes straight to sex. I want a solution for that too and finally, my husband does not last long in bed. Thanks – Mrs Ajulu

First of all, vaginal odour is unavoidable but you can ensure that you smell fresh during intercourse. The mistake many women make is to jump straight into sex without the necessary preparations. A woman must check herself minutes before to ensure she is ready. That is why women are encouraged to carry wet wipes with them for cleaning up or better still, having a wash in the bathroom just before intercourse. Another thing that can help is the use of flavored lubricants with fragrances strong enough to suppress body odours. Lubricants such as Fruitopia and 69 Orgasm Gel are great for this. The Jo Feminine Body Spray is also good for external scenting. On the subject of foreplay, there are also novelties that can help create playful activity as a warm up before sex. The Glow in the Dark Finger Paints, Adam and Eve Vanilla Pheromone Massage Lotion, Chocolate Body paint and the Edible Body Spray are all wonderful novelties for foreplay. And for your husband’s premature ejaculation issue, let him start using the Power Plus Delay Cream before intercourse. It will help him last longer in bed - Uche I am 59 years old and I have not had an erection in a long time. A friend of mine who has used your products recommended the Max Arousal Oil. He said it helped him. Is this what I need? Michael Michael the Max Arousal Excite Oil is very good but it is suitable for mild cases of erectile dysfunction. At your age and in your case, I recommend a supplement which is stronger. Get Exploding Thunder supplement. It will be ideal for you and will also enhance your performance in addition to giving you very strong erections when you need it – Uche That’s it for today. Adults in need of these treatments and novelties can call us on 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at We deliver to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries email us at - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.




Five trans-border robbery suspects in police net


HE police in Lagos have smashed a vehicle snatching gang comprising among others, five suspected armed robbers based in Cotonou and Ghana. The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday. It was gathered that the suspects are part of a seven-man gang. Two of the suspects are still at large. Police sources told The Nation that the three receivers who assist the hoodlums with the disposal of their stolen vehicles were among those arrested. Those arrested are Kingsley Chibuzor (22), Ozoemena Enebeli (29), Prince Nwafor (23), Paul Chukwu (35), and Chika Eze (27). Police said the suspects have operated in Anambra, Lagos, Ebonyi State, and Delta State. When The Nation interviwed the suspects, they confessed to the crime adding that they went into crime due to hardship. One of the suspects Chibuzor who claimed to be the son to a retired soldier said he escaped from Kirikiri Prison two years ago. "When I escaped from prison I stayed in my village for six months. I came back to Lagos and started driving commercial bus. It was in the course of my driving that I encountered one Ozor in a

By Ebele Boniface

beer parlour at First Gate, Ojo road, after which we formed a two man gang. Our first operation was at a street in Surulere area. We saw a man drive inside his compound and wechased him with a gun and snatched his Toyota Camry car which we sold for N200, 000. "Prince later joined us. We got another buyer called Baba two. We snatched a Highlander jeep from Asaba and took it to Ebonyi State and sold it to Paul for N400, 000. We also snatched Rv4 jeep at Igando which we also sold to Paul N150, 000", he said. Enebeli on his part claimed to be a computer graphic artist; he said he worked in a printing press in Palm Avenue Mushin on salary of N30, 000 before he joined the gang. "My wife did not know that I am an armed robber. I gave Paul four cars that I snatched before travelling to Ghana when I became tired of robbing. Nwafor said he was a commercial motorcyclist in Lagos until the ban on their operation. He noted that it was because he could not get another job to survive on that he decided to join the gang. "It was Kingsley who took me to the gang and after they told me how I was going to be making money through robbery operations, I joined. I used to record and take photograph of every operation I participated to help me

challenge the gang anytime they want to cheat me when we are money sharing I will play it. I had resigned from armed robbery but had to resume when my wife, son, mother and father died in a bloody land disput between Amaego community in Ebonyi State and Agadama community in Cross River State. They entered our village and slaughtered everybody. There was this operation I participated in which Ozor nearly killed me. We snatched a vihicled and sold it N800, 000. They gave me only N100, 000 and two of them shared N700, 000. Chukwu another suspect said, "I used to sell children wears. I traveled to Cotonou to get my goods. I used to do other work like arranging to get army escort that will help cross car for us. Each of the escort was paid N35, 000. We also arraged for police, custom, and immigration to assist us escort cars.

‘140, 000 benefit from council’s free medicare’

N • Manko

Initially I did not know that they were robbers until they stopped suppling me vehicles, but when I found out, I promised to purchase AK47 rifle for them so that the supply will continue. It was one Ugochukwu that used to help me to get customs paper". Eze, a computer engineer, who is also a member of the gang said: "It was my cousin Cyril who lured me into crime. He told me to contact him whenever I see a good car between N700, 000 and N800, 000. Later Jerry saw somebody with Toyota FJ Cruiser at N700, 000. One Theophilus later bought it N700, 000.

O fewer than 140, 000 persons have benefited from the primary health care (PHC) services of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos state, the council chair comrade Ayodele Adewale, said yesterday. Giving account of his five year stewardship, he said the local government now has six health centres compared to the one available when he assumed office. He said persons from ages 0-16 and 60 and above were treated and given drugs free of charge, adding that medical experts were recruited from among the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and retired doctors to provide 24 hours services to the people. On education, Adewale said though he inherited dilapidated structures, his team was able to rehabilitate 22 schools and built four new ones. Adewale said the council had worked on over 30 roads with drainage, adding that

Close-up toothpaste wins brand award CLOSE up toothpaste, produced by Unilever Nigeria plc, has been named the 2013 brand of the year by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN). Loya Milk and Blue band emerged the second and third brand of 2013 respectively at the awards ceremony held in Lagos.

The President of ADVAN, Mr Kola Oyeyemi, said the awards are for brands that have been able to distinguish themselves, and marketing professionals that have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Oyeyemi said the awards will highlight the fundamental position which marketing

occupies in business and public sectors while celebrating ingenuity and hardwork in the marketing profession. He urged advertisers to start to rebuild the industry as the consumers is their focus,with an advertising journal from ADVAN,that will chart the way forward for professionals, unveiled at the ceremony.

By Precious Igbonwelundu and Mariam Ekene-Okoro

trailers and heavy duty vehicles were not allowed to ply the roads to avoid their being damaged Adewale urged the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to reconsider its stance on a pending legal case between it and the state government on the management of Festac town. He said the law suit was hindering the government from intervening in the development of the area. "You all know that when a case is in court, nothing really can take place, status quo has to be maintained. I want to use this medium to appeal to the FHA to have a rethink and withdraw the case," Adewale said. "This is not only a vivid reflection of the commitment of this administration to give account of stewardship as promised, it is also a confirmation that this government recognizes the expectations of the good people of Amuwo Odofin and is always ready to address them". High point of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the council and the National Institute of Information Technology, NIIT, for the training of 200 youths in order to build their capacities to meet contemporary standards.

FOREIGN NEWS Iran debunks alleged support for terrorist groups


HE Iranian government has denied the allegation that its country's ideology has had great impact in Northern part of Nigeria. Rather, Iran blamed the activities of the Western world and the establishment of Al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups for the rise of Boko Haram. Iran in apparent reaction to a recent publication of CTC sentinel, titled: Iranian, Nigeria terrorists work against West's interest described the allegation as unfortunate. The Iranian government through its embassy in Abuja noted contrary to the held position, Iran has suffered a lot from terrorism. The embassy further stated that it has always condemned terrorism in any place. “If you study the ideology of

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

extremist Salafi and Takfiri groups, you can easily find out that these groups have nothing in common with Shia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Infact, what has caused unrest and insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria emanated from West Intelligence services policy in Afghanistan and the establishment of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in the Eastern neighbouring countries and it was aimed at pressurising the country and undermine it’s security. Attacking Iranian border guards and killing of 14 of them is a clear example of the ideology of extremist and terrorist groups which unfortunately were carried out in the name of Islam and Islamic doctrines.”

Five arrested in Tiananmen attack


OLICE announced yesterday the arrests of five people in connection with this week's suicide car crash in the heart of China's capital, calling it a planned terror attack - Beijing's first in recent history - and identifying the attackers as members of a Muslim minority. Police said the five suspects were detained the same day as the Monday noon attack at the Forbidden City gate across from Tiananmen Square, in the culturally and politically sensitive section of Beijing where China's Communist Party leaders live and work. A statement on the Beijing police microblog said the perpetrators had also been identi-

fied as a man with an ethnic Uighur name, his wife and his mother. The five suspects arrested on suspicion of conspiring in the attack also were identified with typically Uighur names. All three attackers died when their vehicle exploded beneath the portrait of Mao Zedong hanging from Tiananmen Gate. Two tourists, including a Filipino woman, were killed by the vehicle as it sped down a crowded sidewalk, and 38 people were injured, including three Filipino citizens and a Japanese man. Knives, iron rods, gasoline and a flag imprinted with religious slogans were found in the vehicle, police said.

Congo army takes M23 rebel stronghold


ONGOLESE officials said the army has seized one of the M23 rebels' last remaining strongholds yesterday as more than 10,000 refugees poured into neighboring Uganda. The fall of Bunagana came as the political chief of M23, Bertrand Bisimwa, also crossed into Uganda and was believed to be heading toward the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende called on Ugan-

dan authorities to turn over Bisimwa. But Bisimwa does not face arrest in Uganda, said Uganda Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda. Uganda has been hosting peace talks between the Congolese government and M23 since December. Those talks stalled earlier this month, right before clashes resumed between United Nations-backed Congolese forces and the rebels. The Congolese military has been battling the M23 rebels,

who are allegedly backed by Rwanda, for 18 months. The rebels' high-water mark perhaps came in November when they briefly held the city of Goma, which lies along the Rwandan border. M23's setbacks on the battlefield don't necessarily spell the end of the group, nor of violence in mineral-rich eastern Congo where myriad insurgent groups have operated, fighting for the spoils from the mining of copper, cobalt, tungsten and

other minerals and metals which lie under the ground. Julien Paluku, the governor of Congo's North Kivu province, said that Bunagana is back in the hands of the military after the rebels retreated from the town on the Ugandan border. Mende also confirmed the fall of Bunagana, hours after humanitarian workers in Uganda had reported hearing heavy gunfire. The Associated Press could not immediately independently verify the claim.

Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader arrested in Egypt


GYPTIAN security forces arrested a key Muslim Brotherhood figure in a raid early yesterday morning, a man on the run since the July coup that toppled the country's Islamist president, the Interior Ministry said. The arrest of Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, was the latest in a wide-ranging crackdown of both the Islamist group's leaders and its rank-and-file members since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, who also hails from the Brotherhood. El-Erian is also one of the defendants in the Morsi trial. He is accused of inciting Brotherhood followers to break up anti-Morsi protesters gathered outside the presidential palace late last year. The official state news agency MENA said el-Erian was arrested after a raid on an apartment in the eastern suburb of New Cairo, where he had been hiding. He was later

transferred to the Torah prison complex in southern Cairo, where most of the group's arrested leaders are held. While Morsi was in power, el-Erian frequently spoke publicly, often causing a stir as he turned from a moderate to a hard-line member of the group. During a large-anti-Morsi demonstration last December outside the presidential palace, el-Erian went on a Brotherhood-affiliate television chan-

nel to ask supporters "in the tens of thousands, to besiege those thugs." At least 10 people died in subsequent clashes outside the palace. Hours after el-Erian's arrest, pro-Muslim Brotherhood student protesters stormed the administrative building of AlAzhar Islamic university. They smashed windows and equipment while besieging the office of university's chief and other administrators.


Israel approves new East Jerusalem settlement homes


SRAEL has announced plans to build new homes in a Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, hours after freeing 26 Palestinian prisoners. Officials said the construction of 1,500 housing units at Ramat Shlomo was one of four projects given approval. The Palestinian Authority said the move was "destructive to peace efforts". It is believed to be an attempt by Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu to assuage anger in Israel at the release of the longterm prisoners overnight. The convicted murderers were freed as part of a USbrokered agreement to resume direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after a three-year hiatus. The men - the second of four groups to be released over nine months - were welcomed by thousands of people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile yesterday, the Israeli interior ministry placed an advert in a Jerusalem newspaper announcing that it was pressing ahead with a project to expand Ramat Shlomo. The plans, which were approved by the Jerusalem district planning committee in September 2011, include the construction of 1,531 housing units, public buildings and gardens. An estimated 200,000 settlers currently live in East Jerusalem, alongside 370,000 Palestinians.





NEWS Salami unfairly treated by NJC, says Uwais Continued from page 2

“When it came to the law, he did not play at all. He held the law in great esteem and protected it as one should protect the cornerstone of a just society. “The story of Justice Salami is instructive. Despite being exonerated by numerous panels of men of integrity, the government refused to re-instate him. Though kept at home, he was a constant thorn in their side because he would not abide their script. His compass was not the demands of those in power . His compass was the dictates of the law. In another setting, he would have been proclaimed a great and noble man. In Nigeria, he was punished. “Salami’s account is the story of Nigeria. Nigeria stands in the cross winds of history. Unless we find more men with the gravity and sobriety of Justice Salami in the judiciary we shall be swept in the wrong direction by the terrible gales of unbridled ambition and mean power.” The ex-governor clarified that Salami was never a stooge of the defunct ACN. He said: “ Instead of learning democratic lessons from the judicial overturning of its electoral violations, the ruling party has vowed t overturn the impartial-

ity of the judiciary. Instead of desisting from practices deemed improper, the PDP now employs those same practices to wreck the operation of justice. “Thus government wrongfully ended the career of one of our illustrious jurists, Court of Appeal President, Justice Isa Salami. What was his crime? He refused to put his sense of justice on sale. Because of this, they slandered and libeled him. They rumoured he was in the pockets of the ACN. This was a terrible lie against a good man. Our party has no hold on him. “His verdicts were not for the ACN. They were for justice. However, those in power could not tolerate his impartiality. So partisan and power-mad, they cannot see that this man operates from principles different and more exalted than the crude politics they play. The book’s editor, Mrs Funmi Quadri, had, at the inception of the event, informed all that the CJN was being expected. Also at the event were former Head of State General Mohammed Buhari, The All Progressives Congress (APC) interim Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), former CJN Idris Legbo Kutigi and Acting President of the Court of Ap-

peal Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa. Others are former Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari, former Edo State Governor John Oyegun, APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nasir elRufai, former AGF Akin Olujimi (SAN), Justice Salami’s wife, Mrs Olayinka Salami, President of the National Industrial Court Babatunde Adejumo, former Communication Minister Cornelus Adebayo, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi of the Supreme Court and Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, who represented Justice Ibrahim Bukar, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court. Alo present were Justices Mahmood Mohammed of the Supreme Court, M. A Garuba of the Court of Appeal, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) Mike Ozekhome (SAN) Emeka Ngige (SAN) Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and Rickey Tarfa (SAN). The event was organised by a seven-man group, including Fagbemi, Tarfa, Ngige, John Baiyeshea (SAN), Abeni Mohammed and Funmi Quadri. The book reviewer, Professor Ademola Popoola of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said the book, a 7769-page compilation of Justice Salami’s

unreported judgments, was not an attempt to do the honouree’s biography. He said any legal practitioner, who takes intelligent interest in the nation’s judicial system, will find the book interesting. Describing Justice Salami as an individual, who believes in due process, he recalled that the former Court of Appeal President once rejected an attempt to make him the Chief Judge of Kwara State in 1984. “He would have become the CJ of Kwara State in 1984 without asking for it. He refused and insisted that due process must be followed,” Popoola said. He urged Justice Salami to tell his own account of the incident leading to his suspension, stressing that “people will listen”. Reading Justice Salami’s citation, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) noted that his suspension was not the first in his life. He recalled that Justice Salami was once suspended in his final year at the Secondary School, when as a School Prefect in Offa Grammar School, Kwara State, he mobilised students to protest against some decisions of the school’s authority.

He described Justice Salami as a courageous man, “who dared to run where others feared to thread”.

N255m bulletproof cars: Customs loses N10.133m

Continued from page 2

that the vehicles arrive. “We then use the new ones to replace the ones we have given them from our stock.” The MOU, he said, also extends to some state governments. Seyi Oyefeso, Group Head in charge of Lagos Office, spoke on the transaction between First Bank and NCAA. According to him, the facility the bank gave NCAA is an auto loan and not a lease as the NCAA has claimed. He said the bank does not involve itself in the negotiations of their clients and the vendors, adding that all they do is to check if the client has the ability to repay the loan and, thereafter, pay to the vendors based on the pro-forma invoice tendered by the client. Oyefeso said his bank paid Coscharis and Metropolitan Motors only after the NCAA wrote them that the cars had been received, A letter to that effect, dated 16th August 2013 from NCAA with the title “Delivery of 2no.BMW 760 by Coccharis”, partly states: “We hereby acknowledge the delivery of 2no. BMW 760 motor vehicles by Coscharis Motors Limited with Chassis nos: DW 68032 and DW 68044. “In the light of the above, please effect the payment of the sum of N255,150,000( Two hundred and fifty- five million, one hundred and fifty thousand naira only) to Coscharis Motors Limited being the total cost of the 2 nos BMW 760 motor vehicles with Chassis nos: DW 68032 and DW 68044.” The letter was signed by Aba Ejembi, Director of Administration, for the DG/ CEO of NCAA. The committee, thereafter, asked the Acting DG, Joyce Nkemakolon, to provide the originating memorandum from the NCAA overriding the earlier approval for the procurement of the vehicles that was missing after the Acting DG was identified as the originator of the procurement. “Despite knowing that the procurement was beyond budgetary provisions, yet you presented the memo to the Minister. Did you include the budgetary provisions for that sub head in the memo for the procurement of those two cars?” the chairperson asked. The Acting DG did not answer. There was also an argument over the actual numbers of vehicles bought and approved in the budget. A document showed 56. Another showed 54, but the Director of

Finance, Ozigi, said anything other than 54 operational vehicles was not to his knowledge. A member of the committee, Raphael Igbokwe, said: “Then there is something between you, the internal auditor and the procurement officer in the Ministry of Aviation over this procurement that you are not telling us.” On why the NCAA insisted on going on with the leasing after being informed by First Bank that it was not disposed to leasing facility but loan, the Acting DG said: “I signed the agreement based on advice from my colleagues that leasing and loan facilities are the same. I thought the templates are the same.” The Committee was, howev-

er, shocked when the Acting DG said though he was the Chief Executive Officer during the period under investigation, he was not aware of the delivery of the two vehicles. Members accused Coscharis and NCAA of ripping Nigerians off through the car deal. A member noted: “One of the cars we inspected looked like a used car, not like one that was supplied in August this year because even one of the tyres is almost torn, with a mileage of over 3000 kilometers.” Nkemakolon said he had no immediate response to both observations. The Chairman of the Committee said the proceedings so far

had shown that some people would not own up to the truth and continue to lie under oath. She, however, advised the Minister to appear today by 10am together with the NCAA and Coscharis teams. “The Minister sent a letter that she is in transit but we advise her to appear here tomorrow (today) by 10am because we must conclude this hearing by 12pm. “If not, we will take that she did not want to appear before the Committee but we have a duty and we must put in our report before the House by Tuesday. We will not shift this hearing even by a minute,” Mrs Onyejeocha warned.

We bought two limousines for N120m for Oduah, says FAAN Continued from page 2

signed on his (Uriesi) behalf. Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzondinma, spoke on the car purchase at the continued Public Hearing on the crisis in the aviation sector. Uzodinma said, ”Investigation is still ongoing and it will not be fair for me to preempt it. FAAN did confirm that among the operational vehicles they purchased, four of them are armoured vehicles, two for the MD and two for the minister. “We told them (FAAN) to go back and put everything in writing and make a comprehensive statements on all vehi-

cles purchased. “FAAN said they bought a total number of 202 vehicles for different operations. So until they come back on Monday we cannot rush into conclusion. The MD FAAN said they did a funding arrangement with a commercial bank.” He said his committee would do a thorough investigation of extra-budgetary spending by the agencies in the Aviation Ministry. According to him,”This investigation will be a very deep one so that at the end of the day, we do a holistic approach and look at how the sector will be repositioned so that all anomalies will be corrected...”

40,093 PHCN workers get N292b pay off Continued from page 2

with processes in the banks and that the government has directed them to expedite action on the payments. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said it had despatched a team of consultants and its staff for the biometric data capture of 1, 478 employ-

ees of the Enugu Distribution Company who could not be audited because of virus attack on the system were their names were stored. Head, BPE Public Communications, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, said the federal government set aside the entire proceed of N384 billion from the BPE transaction to settle labour liabilities.

Arik Air chairman calls for total overhaul of aviation sector


HAIRMAN of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide yesterday called for total overhaul of the aviation sector as one of the steps to be taken for the sustainability of domestic operators. Arumemi - Ikhide said the overhaul should involve policies, over taxation of airlines, protection of domestic operators , a holistic consumer protection law, legislation to enhance patronage of domestic carriers and development of local capacity for operators. He spoke yesterday at a media briefing to commemorate the seventh years anniversary of the airline in Lagos. He said a situation in which aviation agencies give preferen-

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

tial treatment to foreign carriers in the allocation of counters at the airport, would not enhance the growth and development of domestic operators. He accused aviation agencies of inciting passengers against Arik Air under the guise of consumer protection, insisting that it is only when Nigerians support and patronise indigenous carriers that the sector will be able to create enough jobs for teeming professionals. He called for collaborative efforts by all industry players to save the sector from collapse , insisting that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), should be less “ vindictive “, in the discharge of its oversight duties .







XCEPT for the brouhaha over the purchase of N255m bulletproof cars for Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, all was quiet last week on the executive’s side. The weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting went without much excitement. There were, quite alright, the usual scenes of ministers cracking jokes, laughing, pumping hands and posing for photographs in their exquisite local apparels and Oxford Street suits. But, no earthshaking contract was announced. No policy statement was made. In fact, for reporters, it was a drought. The President was away in Israel on a pilgrimage. With him were a host of other Very Important Pilgrims (VIPs), including governors and ministers. It was a very busy time for His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, JP – of course. His media team did a fantastic job of ensuring that those who were not privileged to be in Israel did not miss the events. We were bombarded with photographs of the holy trip. There was one of the President and other VIPs singing on Mount Olive. A cheeky fellow grinned: “What manner of songs – praise (for personal blessings) or lamentation (for Nigeria’s parlous state, despite her huge blessings?”) Trust Nigerians; they have launched into a wild criticism of the pilgrimage, attacking every step the special pilgrims took. How much did this cost? Was it provided for in the budget? What benefit will Nigeria derive from this jamboree decked in a spiritual dress? What informed the choice of the entourage? Were they all on holiday? Shouldn’t this be a private affair? It’s all so irritating. They never saw the image of the President returning from the pilgrimage more compassionate, more forgiving and more spiritual, ready, as they say here, to move Nigeria forward. All they saw was a jamboree. It was, indeed, a humbling sight: Mr Pesident and the others, including Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) President Ayo Oritsejafor, Governors Theodore Orji (Abia), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Jonah Jang (Pleateau) and Gabriel Suswam (Benue) – JPs all - heads bowed and eyes shut, praying at the Dominus Flevit (the place where Jesus wept over Jerusalem). To those critics, of whom I had earlier spoken, who will never mind their own business, it was not enough for these leaders to just bow and pray here. One asked: “Did Jonathan weep over Nigeria there?” Another said: “If Jerusalem, rustic, calm and peaceful, attracted the Lord’s tears at that time, does Nigeria today not deserve wailing and crying from our leaders? But will such tears be genuine?” C’mon folks, today’s leaders are not like babies crying for lollipop. No. When confronted by those little hitches you guys describe as problems, they simply frown a bit, swear for a while shrug their shoulders and walk away. If they feel irritated, often by public outcry, they set up a probe panel, issue some nebulous directives – they are called terms of reference – and get on with their ever demanding jobs. His Excellency and the other excellencies were



...then, MARCH on ABUJA!


TODAY IN THE NATION ‘The panel was not set up to impose its will on people; it was not set up to sell its or the government’s views. It was set up to collate the people’s views and prepare a report accordingly for the government.’ VOL. 8, NO. 2,653





•Winner, DAME Award for Informed Commentary

Jonathan and otherVIPs

• Dr Jonathan in Israel also photographed at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (where Peter denied Jesus three times). They all stood there, their arms clasped either behind them or in front and their faces betraying unmistakable reverence. Some kind of submission. Another armchair critic, obviously one of those envious people who may never be able to afford such a pilgrimage, said the faces of the distinguished pilgrims may have been a betrayal of incredulity at Apostle Peter’s fate. He quoted the VIPs as thinking: “Shuo! Just for denying his master three times? Haba. Don’t we deny our godfathers a million times? Just three times and the poor guy earned a place in history? Na wa o. Isn’t treachery part of our political menu?” At the Wailing Wall, the VIPs – skull caps and all - were again praying. Some merely touched the wall; others slammed their two palms on it, murmuring their petitions in the belief that the angels would fly in to move them all to heaven for the Almighty to sanction. Trust the spoilsports. They launched into an elaborate guess work on what the VIPs were asking God to do for them. Jonathan, they said, must have been praying that God should remove all the obstacles on his way to 2015. In fact, one fellow with a

dubious claim to telepathy quoted the President as saying: “O Lord, I know you have favoured me, making me the luckiest of all my people. I thank you. And I pray that you should not get tired of helping your son. This 2015 matter, now it’s a bit tough, but I know nothing is difficult for you to handle. Father, handle it for me well well o. Clear all obstacles and make me lucky, once again – in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.” What were the others praying for? Was Jang seeking forgiveness for his role in the Governor’s Forum election debacte where he was the poster boy of the group that said 16 was bigger than 19, a position they defended up till the very day they embarked on the pilgrimage? Was Akpabio asking for God’s will –or his own will – in his bid to be a senator? Was he confessing his role as the ring leader of the 16is-bigger-than-19 Governor’s Forum faction, which turned logic on its head and created the trouble from which the forum is yet to recover? Was Peter Obi praying for his candidate’s success in the November 16 election, knowing that Willie Obiano will find in Dr Chris Ngige a Goliath of an opponent? Uduaghan may have spared a thought on his role in the Governors’ Forum crisis. He was the Electoral Officer— sorry, an error there—the Returning Officer, who supervised it all, but joined the group that said 16, not 19, carried the day. Suswam is eager to be a senator. Was he begging God to help him beat Barnabas Germade, the incumbent and former PDP chair? Mr John Kennedy Okpara, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Pilgrims Commission, urged the pilgrims to see their trip as a time for spiritual rebirth and a time for divine encounter. Nonsense, another of those envious fellows of whom I had spoken, roared. In his view, the pilgrimage should be seen as a trip to a purgatory, a kind of reformation for the confession of sins. Restitution. He then began, without any attempt to differentiate between official and personal matters, to list those to whom he



CPC: Madness without method,” that was Hardball’s original, cut-to-fit headline for this piece but because he would loath to be misconstrued as disrespectful and indecorous he demurred at the last minute, to his utter discomfiture, to change to the above title. But the discarded title better captures what the Independent Corrupt Practices (and other offences) Commission, ICPC has set about doing lately. There is no doubt that the ICPC would be utterly bored by its sedate and passive nature over the years. But worse, it must be so weary by now living under the large shadows of its better favored and much fancied cousin, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Could this be the reason why ICPC has chosen to act up, flex muscle and call some attention to its self? The story emanating from the graft body is that it has launched a manhunt for corrupt senior civil servants across the country. Based on tip-offs and petitions, ICPC has moved against some senior civil servants seizing their houses, cash and even cars. About 94 houses have been confiscated so far from itchy-fingered officers. A particular unnamed civil servant has a haul of 62 houses all to his name. But sorry to say that in the exertions of the ICPC, the total value of seized items including houses, vehicles and cash comes to a paltry N1.2 billion. Which is why Hardball thinks ICPC must quit

ICPC’s shadow boxing this shadow boxing and get more methodical in carrying out the enormous responsibility conferred on it; you cannot fight corruption by fighting shy and creating room for even more sleaze. Clearly, there are a few things wrong with ICPC’s current approach. First, it is based on petition which of course is fraught with danger of witch-hunt and peer envy. Two, ICPC is dissipating energy hunting down hapless, small fries while the big guns loot the treasury with impunity. Hardball would wager that probably 90 percent of the cadre targeted is corrupt anyway because they work in cahoots with their ‘ogas at the top’. So even if ICPC exhausted its resources and time on this chase, it will never make any dent on the war against graft. Third, why is ICPC not naming and shaming the culprits? Why are properties being confiscated and disposed of without trial? Finally this ill-conceived approach will sooner damage the commission because it lacks transparency, it is sure to be abused as it immediately creates room for extortion and under the table deals by ICPC officials. It is not unlike what transpires in the EFCC where

felt the pilgrimage should have been of immense benefit. Works Minister Mike Onolememen should have been on the pilgrimage, said the fellow, to seek forgiveness for what he called the criminal negligence of the LagosIbadan Expressway on which many great dreams have been terminated. He mentioned also the East-West road, saying there was no reason for allowing these roads to become the death traps they now are. Education Minister Nyesom Wike was not on the trip. He should have, said our man, who insisted that the chief should have sought forgiveness for pursuing a personal political goal while all parents are looking up to him to lead the resolution of the crisis that has got the universities shut for more than four months. The busybody went on. He said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was a sure candidate for the pilgrimage for, according to him, not telling the truth about the economy. He could not fathom why the economy could be doing “so well” and yet many are out of job and states would go on for three months without their statutory allocations. Besides, he accused the lady of telling university teachers to take what the government offered or go to hell – a statement the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy denied. Our man, the interloper, was glad that Ms Oduah made the trip. It must have afforded her the opportunity to seek God’s face in the face of a huge assault on her integrity, he thought. Besides, some confession and penitence won’t be a bad idea. Buying N255m bulletproof toys – sorry, a wrong word there – cars in a country where many go to bed hungry and universities are shut down by a massive strike and doctors are pushing for better pay and poor electricity supply has killed many factories, is, no doubt, a big sin that requires some ethereal intervention to cleanse. And talking about Oduah. I wonder how President Jonathan shunned her – as reported in the media - in the Holy Land. Wouldn’t that have been sinful, negating the whole idea of the long spiritual peregrination? I saw Ms Oduah in one of those pictures, a big hat on her head, her face covered by the cream hat, a smart-fit shirt on a pair of trousers, just two rows behind Dr Jonathan. If His Excellency had looked back, I bet he would have been all smiles; those harmless smiles that often brighten his face. It is good to have our VIPs back. Now a thought for ASUU, Boko Haram – over 100 died in Yobe while you were away – extrajudicial killings, political intolerance – Federal Capital Territory (FCT) authorities are threatening to demolish New Peoples Democratic Party’s office in Abuja - and corruption. Shallom! •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above operatives storm state and local council officials, haul them to Lagos or Abuja only to strike deals, set them free and bury the matter. What ICPC can do? It must strive to catch the big thieves and the small fries will either be cut off or be deterred. It must look out for the big ticket case for instance, Information Minister, Labaran Maku announced rather gleefully recently that the Jonathan administration has so far busted 46,000 ghost workers thereby saving the country about N119 billion. This is job enough for ICPC to find those who have been drawing this humongous sum from MDAs over the years. It can also follow the big contracts as they are awarded; and fraud-prone areas like pension funds and indeed all other trust funds where cheap money are spent so cheaply by those charged to manage them. It can also start where the auditors-general across the country stop by simply picking up these reports and asking questions. ICPC may also go the way of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS): have every top civil servant and political appointee fill the assets form and annually, randomly pick a few and run detailed investigation. This is the ultimate deterrence because each year, every key official has a chance of being put through the grill. If ICPC and the other graft agencies work a bit smarter and with some honesty, corruption would not be this pervasive.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

Oct 31, 2013  
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