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Gunmen kill three policemen in Lagos NEWS Page 10

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VOL. 8, NO. 2631 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

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•DANGOTE, ADENUGA, OVIA, RABIU AMONG AFRICA’S 55 BILLIONAIRES P3

Anger in Senate over frequent plane crashes Minister, others summoned Ondo: we didn’t hire crashed aircraft

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HERE was anger in the Senate yesterday over the “resurgence” of plane crashes. Aviation Minister Stella Oduah has been summoned to explain why planes are dropping. She is also to explain the

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

state of the sector. The Senate Committee on Aviation is to investigate the October 3 crash in Lagos of Associated Aviation’s plane conveying the remains of the late

former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Agagu to Akure for burial. Also invited are chief executives of aviation agencies who are to answer questions on the state of the sector. The Senate relied on Section 67(2) of the Constitution (as

amended), which empowers it to invite any official of the government for questioning on national issues. The lawmakers expressed frustration over air disasters. Senators took turns to lament the rot in the sector and sought immediate steps to remedy the

situation to avoid “avoidable deaths” and destruction of property. It all began with a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo West), titled “Crash of Associated Airlines airplane”

Uzodinma said Nigerians had witnessed a record of seven fatal air mishaps and averted crashes within the last two and half years, which, according to him, is unprecedented in the history of plane crashes in the Continued on page 4

‘We expected only one baby but got four’ By Wale Adepoju, Health Reporter

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HEY were expecting a baby and that should be no problem — by their calculations. Mr Kehinde Tijani and his wife, Grace, who were blessed with quadruplets on October 1 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), are troubled. They do not know how to stop their bundles of joy from turning into source of dispair. The family is in dire straits because they fear they won’t be able to nurture their bundles of joy. Tijani, a Lagos driver earning N35,000 monthly, said: “We thought the pregnancy would produce a baby, unknown to us that they would be four, in addition to the three we already have.” The 44-year-old, who hails from Akitan in Oyo State, told The Nation that Continued on page 4

Jonathan: I’ll end strike

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From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan promised yesterday to end the doctors’ and university teachers’ strike. The teachers’ is over 90 days. Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are also on strike. The professionals are blaming the government for failing to meet up with the agreement reached with them. Jonathan promised to end the strike when he received the leaders of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), led by its President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele. Presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, Continued on page 4

•Part of the crowd at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra State candidate Dr. Chris Ngige’s campaign launch in Onitsha...yesterday. Left: APC leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu speaking at the rally... yesterday. With him (from right) are: Chief Tom Ikimi, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Secretary to the Government of the State of Osun Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, APC Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, Ngige, Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and others

Ngige: my plan for Anambra •PAGE 4

•AJIMOBI GIVES N28M TO IBADAN BOKO HARAM VICTIMS’ FAMILIES P9


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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Gunmen kill three policemen in Lagos

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O fewer than three policemen were yesterday murdered by some suspected armed robbers in Lagos. The incident which occurred around 11am around Ijora-Olopa in Apapa, was said to have been carried out by armed gang operating on a motorcycle. Commissioner of Police Umar Manko, who confirmed the killing of the law-enforcement officers, said: "The officers attached to Area 'C' Command, Surulere, were shot from behind while on legitimate duty. They unleashed a rain of bullet on the patrol van which had five policemen, killing three, injuring another; the driver was unhurt. We have commenced investigation into

•Gas explosion injures three the matter and we will get the hoodlums responsible for the death of my officers. They must be brought to book." However, the command's Deputy Public Relations Officer, Damasus Ozoani, told The Nation: "The patrol van was attacked while on motion by hoodlums that operated on motorcycles. They opened fire on the patrol vehicle, one of the tires got burst and the driver lost control. Our men responded to the attack and the suspected armed robbers were repelled as they ran, leaving behind a locally made gun and many cartridges. "One of their men sustained gun-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

shot injury but his colleagues carried him away. When the heat subsided, it was realised that two of our men who were hit by the bullet died instantly, while two others with injuries were taken to the hospital for treatment. We are appealing to doctors to report any patient with gunshot wound to the nearest police station." In another incident, the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), yesterday averted the death of three victims of an early morning explosion in the Ajah area of the state.

A gas plant belonging to Second Coming Nigeria Limited, Sangotedo, Ajah, exploded around 5am, leaving the victims severely burnt. It was gathered that the victims, who were rushed to the Gbagada General Hospital, were employees of the company. According to NEMA's Southwest spokesperson, Ibrahim Farinloye, the explosion might have been caused by vandals. Farinloye said: "Preliminary investigations revealed that some vandals sneaked in from behind the building and attempted to steal gas products from one of the tankers parked within the premises, but in the process, the tanker caught fire.

•Manko

•Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Mr Olawunmi Gasper, (seated middle) flanked by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dekoolar Nigeria Limited, Arepo, Ogun State, Mr Ola Akanbi, and a member of LASTVEB board, Mr Babs Aredegbe, some teachers at the Lagos State Technical Schools during a twoweek training for them on how to repair refrigerators and airconditioners

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'Forget white-collar jobs'

UTGOING Corps members in Ogun State must depend less on white-collar jobs, the state Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs Theresa Anosike, a lawyer, has advised. She spoke at a seminar organised by a non-governmental organisation, Institute for Enterprise Development, for the 2012 Batch C members in Ijebu zonal area in Ogun State. Represented by the Zonal Inspector of the Corps in Ijebu Ode, Mrs Hadiza Bello, Anosike said there are opportunities waiting to be tapped in the informal sector of the economy. "Your families are now looking up to you to pay back after they have invested both morally and financially in you," she said at the one-day seminar with the theme: "After NYSC: What Next?" The Chairman of Ijebu Ode Local

By Adebisi Onanuga

Government, Hon. Razzak Daddah, urged stakeholders in the educational sector to promote entrepreneurship study in the school curriculum from primary to tertiary level. He also advised the Corp members to take advantage of any opportunity that comes their way as white-collar jobs are limited in the country. Daddah also urged them to develop their entrepreneurial skills to reduce unemployment in the country. "Whatever you learn in school does not necessarily have to be what you will use to earn a living. There is an option to improve your education, which will make you relevant. So, let us start thinking in another direction", Daddah suggested. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the Best Corper Award to Miss Deborah Adeniji, who thanked the organiser for the honour.

Town planners parley for efficiency

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OWN planners have been reminded on the need to deliver projects on time with the aid of effective time management techniques which, in turn, contributes immensely to societal development. Lambert Ofoegbu, Principle Partner, Urban Foresight Enterprises, who made the call at a workshop organised by Association of Town Planning Association Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Lagos State Chapter, said, "Effective time management is essential for town planning consultants as it cuts project cost and hastens scheme delivery." ATOPCON president, Moses Ogunleye, reiterated that effective time management remains a critical element for any project to be successfully managed. "Time is a scarce resource, we cannot but be quickwitted in managing our time," he said, add-

By Emmanuel Udodinma

ing: "We also need to address the issue of 'time robbers' such as uninvited guests at official hours and try in a greater way to reduce these distractions." Chairman, ATOPCON, Lagos State, Bisi Adedire, stressed: "Evidently, most of us crave for more projects to be handled by our firms, but we have not really considered critically the way we handle our present project in relation to time." Francis Abosede, former commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Lagos State, Francis Abosede, explained that "for practitioners in the local setting to effectively compete at the global level and be at the cutting edge of practice, they require continuous skill acquisition and development."

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Customs intercepts smuggled goods

HE Western Marine Command (WMC) of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted various goods smuggled into the country. They include: 288 bags of imported parboiled Thailand rice; 70 cartons of frozen poultry products and 25 kegs of 25-litre of vegetable oil. The Command's Area Controller (AC), Audu Zaka, said the seizures were made in September from the Yekeme, Idiroko and Badagry outstations of the command The Area Controller put the Total Duty Paid value of the items at N4.489 million - value of goods, N2.804 million and duty, N1.685 million. The Command yesterday destroyed a total of 170 cartons of imported frozen products seized at the Idiroko outstation in September. Zaka reassured the nation of the Command's readiness to stop smuggling and warn that as long as the smugglers would not stop, the command would continue to arrest them after impounding their goods. Meanwhile the Command Officers Wives Association (COWA) of the WMC, in conjunction with its Seme

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By Uyoatta Eshiet

Border counterpart, has lifted the lives of some less-privileged members of the society. The group visited Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home, Araromi-Badagry and the Arrows of

God Orphanage, Lagos, Led by Mrs Christiana Antai, who represented the chairperson of the command, and Mrs Hussainat Sabo, vice chairperson, Seme Border, the group donated various items worth several thousands of naira to the inmates of the homes.

• The Customs officials burning the items ... yesterday

Lagos shuts church headquarters

HE Lagos State Government has sealed off the headquarters of The Lord's Chosen Church, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway over gross environmental abuse and erection of structures along Odo Asimawu Drainage Channel (System 6c). While monitoring the state of Lagos Environment, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello noticed massive trading activities under the Ijesha Flyover along the Expressway and large-scale environmental degradation arising from the illegal trading. Further inspection of the premises,

it was learnt, revealed that the church did not dispose of its generated solid waste properly, while it openly burns waste inside the premises, thereby exposing the lives of its worshipers to serious health hazard. A further investigation also revealed that a substantial part of the one-kilometre church is built on the Odo Asimawu drainage channel, thereby impeding the flow of storm water, as well as inhibiting effective performance of the channel. It was also discovered that the church built all its toilets on the canal and deliberately discharges the raw human waste into it.

In order to prevent an outbreak of epidemic, as well as protect the lives of its worshippers, the state government said it was left with no option than to seal up the church auditorium. The commissioner directed that for the church to be reopened, it must, among other conditions, abate the nuisance noticed as well as remove all the encumbrances along the drainage channel. Bello, who commended the cooperation and non-resistance of the church authorities, observed their willingness to comply, but stated that the government would only unseal the auditorium when the environmental nuisance is abated.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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Hope dims as boy's health worsens

“I

had a fairly sound sleep yesterday for the first time in about two years. I thank God, The Nation and those kind-hearted Nigerians who have so far responded to my heart-cry. I can't thank you enough." These were the words of Mrs Titilope Ogunleye (nee Oyewole), mother of Oluwatomiwa Abraham Ogunleye, who turned two in acute pains last month. After taking her agony to its Lagos Headquarters, The Nation had, on September 10, published the heart-rending condition of Oluwatomiwa for which her mother had been at a loss for how to raise the N5 million needed to rescue him from the brink of death. Within days, the account, Titilope Oyewole, domiciled at Wema Bank with number, 0226456809, was credited with about N60,000 by sympathisers, thus raising Titilope's hope. Sadly, the hope soon crashed as the embattled woman's smiles faded away. Reason: Not only did the donation stop, the boy's condition worsened as he daily suffered convulsions that consumed the money raised at the hospital. Now, Titilope weeps every day in helplessness and his son's health drifts into progressive hopelessness, prompting her to cry louder to Nigerians to, "for God's sake, postpone my son's death by helping him with the fund needed to make him whole again." She was in tears while speaking with The Nation again

By Uyoatta Eshiet

at her Ipaja Estate, Lagos home yesterday. At two, Oluwatomiwa cannot sit, stand nor walk. His head is unusually big to the extent that his thin neck cannot support it. Diagnoses, his mother said, revealed that the boy harbours water and puss in his brain. "He was born like every other child; trouble began when he was four months old. He had malaria and jaundice for which I took him to an Osun State hospital. The malaria stopped, but relapsed five months later. His head swelled up," Titilope said. She said she took Oluwatomiwa to several traditional medical homes in Edo, Osun and Ogun states, but no dice. Eventually, her uncle brought them to Lagos last year. Her husband, she said, abandoned them when the boy was four months in her womb, adding that his whereabouts had remained unknown to her. Titilope said when he arrived Lagos with the boy on July 29, last year, she attended the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja till September 29. After spending over N800,000 on tests and scans, the boy's sight worsened as his head got bigger. She once ran to 'Sponsor a Child,' a non-governmental organisation, identified a specialist hospital in the United Kingdom (UK), where Oluwa tomiwa could get a lasting relief. She said the organisation had sent the boy's records to the UK hospital, which, after assess-

NIEVS kicks off housing summit

By Temitayo Ayetoto

‘The hope soon crashed as the embattled woman's smiles faded away. Reason: Not only did the donation stop, the boy's condition worsened as he daily suffered convulsions that consumed the money raised at the hospital’ ment, requested that he be brought for treatment, putting the cost of initial treatment at N5 million besides other expenses. "Raising the money has remained an impossibility for me. In fact, my two other children have been withdrawn from

• Oluwatomiwa

school because of this problem," she said.

'Save us from land speculators' RESIDENTS of GOFAMINT Estate in the Ofada area of Ogun State have urged the state government to save them from the activities of land speculators in the area. A resident, who simply gave his name as Benson, said residents of the community now live in fear, as the speculators use thugs to harass them on a daily basis. "We can no longer sleep with both eyes closed. The thugs harass people in broad daylight without any fear," he said. The residents also claimed that the only road linking the community to the main road was recently blocked by one of the land speculators in the area. "As we speak, we have no road. The only road that we use was blocked recently by one of these powerful people. Despite several complaints to appropriate authorities, we have remained helpless. Now, we want the government to rescue us from them," Benson said.

THE 2nd National Housing Summit of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIEVS) kicked off yesterday. It is being held by the institution in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The summit which is taking place at the Shehu Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja, is centred on the constraints of housing delivery in the countryand measures that could bring about pragmatic solutions. Besides the ministers of Lands, Housing and Development, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who were expected to grace the event, keynote speakers include: Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, MD, UPDC was slated to handle legal constraints to housing development; the land factor in housing development, by former president of NIESV, ESV, Nweke Umezuruike, while Mr. Femi Johnson was billed to address "access to affordable housing finance, a mirage? Participants include all housing corporations, property development companies, members of Real Estate Developers Association (REDAN) and members of the professional bodies in the housing industry. The chairman of NIEVS, ESV, Mr Kola Akomolede said the summit was polanned to reawaken the consciousness of the government as well as draw more attention to the challenges of affordable housing delivery in the country.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9, 2013

NEWS

Delta by-election: Tension over alleged violence plot

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HERE was tension in Delta Central yesterday following intelligence report that some

groups were planning to unleash mayhem during Saturday’s senatorial by-election. The report came against the backdrop of last Friday’s attack on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, in Kokori, Ethiope East Local Government. Confirming the report during a meeting in Warri, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan told troublemakers to stay clear of the state, warning that government would not allow them to operate. He said: “Security report shows that certain persons are planning to disrupt peace. We must not allow them. This administration has a responsibility to ensure a peaceful election and we will do all within our power to make sure Sat-

Ogboru warns PDP against rigging

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EADER and former governorship candidate of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in Delta State, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, has warned the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against rigging Saturday’s by-election in Delta Central. He said his party was not ready to go to court at the end of the poll, but would match any move by the PDP. Ogboru spoke during the launch of the campaign of his party’s candidate, Chief Ede Dafinone, at Sapele Athletic

•Uduaghan: it’s election, not coup From Shola O’Neil, South-south Regional Editor

urday’s poll is conducted in a peaceful atmosphere. “We will not shirk our duty in this regard.” Governor Uduaghan spoke at a meeting attended by top PDP mem-

Akpabio sends commissionernominees’ list to House

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KWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio has sent the names of commissionernominees to the House of Assembly for screening. The governor, on October 7, sacked three commissioners and a special adviser. They are Messrs Austin Mbeh, Martins Udoinyang, Sunny Ayang and Sam Frank. In a letter addressed to Speaker Samuel Ikon, read by the Acting Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, in line with Section 192(2) of the 1999 Constitution, Governor Akpabio forwarded the following names for appointment to the office of

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

Club, Sapele. He said DPP would no longer condone rigging, urging the party’s supporters to turn out en masse on Saturday to vote and guard their votes. The state DPP Chairman, Mr. Tony Ezeagwu, said the party was going into the election fully prepared and that its candidate, Chief Dafinone, would emerge victorious.

bers, including the Deputy Governor Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN), who hails from the district; Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, the state PDP Chairman; Chief Ighoyota Amori, the party’s candidate in the last senatorial election and other PDP stalwarts from the district. Independent investigation

showed that the governor’s warning was targeted at the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP), whose supporters were fingered for the attack on the PDP team in Kokori. DPP’s leader in the state and the party’s governorship candidate in the 2011 election, Chief Great Ogboru, hails from Ethiope East

Local Government. The area is seen as the party’s stronghold and a hotbed of violence. Speaking with reporters before the PDP meeting went into a closed door session, Uduaghan said elections should not be by force, stressing that it is different from coup plotting. The reference to coup-plotting is seen as a veiled swipe at Ogboru, who is widely perceived to be the financier of the April 22, 1990 bloody coup. The Delta governor said those behind the attack would be fished out and punished, no matter their status. He assured that such lapses would not recur. Uduaghan enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to be deterred by the incident in Kokori or other threats of violence as the state government would ensure a peaceful election on Saturday.

commissioners/special adviser for screening and confirmation by the Assembly. They are: Prince Godwin Ntukude, Akan E. Okon, Ufot Tobi Nkangude and Monday Ebong Uko as commissioners, while Mr. Emmanuel Ibiok has been nominated as a special adviser. Mr. Sam Nkaiso Okpo has been confirmed as commissioner III, Akwa Ibom State Civil Service Commission. Mr. Ikon referred the letter to the House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Public Petitions and Human Right for thorough screening and presentation to the House.

Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi with Mrs. Sotonye Harry, wife of the late former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Tonye Harry, during a condolence visit to the family in Port Harcourt... yesterday.

Oshiomhole releases N100m for road rehabilitation

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From Osagie Otabor, Benin

OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has released N100 million to the Edo State Rapid Response Agency for road rehabilitation. Benin City residents, especially those living in the Government Reservation Area (GRA), have been lamenting poor state of the roads. The recent heavy rains have worsened roads, such as Boundary, Ihama, Central, Adesuwa among others. Officials of the agency have begun repair on the Central road and others. The Executive Director of the agency, Mr. Mujaidu Dako, an engineer, who confirmed the release of the fund, said it was for phase one maintenance work. He said heavy rains were responsible for the delay in road maintenance. According to him, “it is because of the rains we were not able to start work. We will take advantage of any break to work on the roads.”

Dockworkers issue two-week ultimatum to close seaports

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From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

ORT HARCOURT dockworkers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria yesterday protested against alleged inability of their employer to honour the welfare agreement. They issued a two- week ultimatum to their employer to implement the agreement, which they said was signed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The protesters, who blocked the popular Njenmaze Street leading to Abonnema Wharf, accused NPA and NIMASA of neglecting them by failing to implement the agreement they signed. They said it was sad that NIMASA was collaborating with their employer to frustrate them. Mr. Godstime Atulegu, who led the protesters, said there was an agreement to set up minimum standards for the dockworkers, which were agreed upon. He said: “We agreed that the minimum gross wage for any employed dockworkers shall be N33, 000. That an increase of 10 per cent shall be added to all general/bulk cargo. We also told them that the unit payment per laden for 20-40 containers shall be N1, 000. “We agreed that the employer shall contribute in favour of each dockworker on their payroll, 7.5 per cent of workers’ monthly emolument as pension fund contribution toward the employee’s retirement. We reached many agreements with them, but they have abandoned us to suffer.”

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Two suspected pirates killed

WO suspected pirates were shot dead yesterday at Idama in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State during a shootout between troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sector 2 and suspected pirates. A soldier of the JTF was also shot during the gun duel. A source said: “There was a shootout with some armed youths. Two persons were gunned down by the JTF and a soldier was shot in the arm

•JTF soldier, others injured in Rivers From Shola O’Neil, Southsouth Regional Editor, Port Harcourt

by the criminals.” JTF’s spokesman Lt. Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the incident, said one of the assailants was killed and a soldier was injured. He said: “About 0730 today (Tuesday), our troops deployed as the Anti-oil Theft

Patrol Team of the 130 Battalion came under the attack of pirates when patrolling Mijinkiri near KM 45 General. “The pirates opened fire on our troops, who responded with a superior fire power, repelling the attack. The troops also impounded one Ak47 rifle, one x pump action shotgun and one 75Hp speedboat. “A soldier in the patrol

team sustained injuries, but is recuperating in a hospital. The body of the assailant has been handed over to the police.” The JTF spokesman said troops on night patrol intercepted three suspected pirates in a double 75hp speedboat around Twene, near Torah community and seized three AK-47 rifles and 177 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.

Anambra PDP: Appeal Court reserves judgment indefinitely

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HE Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday reserved indefinitely, judgment in a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national executives challenging the recognition of Mr. Nicholas Ukachukwu as the party’s standard-bearer in the November 16 governorship poll. Justice Aliyu Suleiman of the Federal High Court also in Port Harcourt last month made an order urging the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Ukachukwu, the first runnerup to Tony Nwoye in the primary election held by the Ken Emekanyi-led faction of the party, as the authentic standard- bearer.

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

Nwoye reportedly won the election and the national chairman, in a ceremony in Awka, recognised him (Nwoye) as their candidate and gave him a certificate to run. PDP executives led by Bamanga Tukur filed an appeal to challenge the jurisdiction of the Federal Court on tax payment, which is an exclusive internal matter of the party. Nwoye in a separate appeal before the court is also challenging Justice Suleiman’s judgment, querying his interest in the internal affairs of his party. The two appeals were heard concurrently by the

court yesterday, not as a consolidated matter. They said the Federal High Court had no right/power to dabble into tax payment, for which Nwoye was disqualified, adding that it was the internal affairs of the party; and that the party had already resolved the issue and disqualified Nwoye before he went into the poll. These were the arguments of counsel to the PDP, Joe Gadzama, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Nwoye’s lawyer, Tagbo Ike. The court held: “Judgment in the case is reserved indefinitely. Parties shall be duly communicated.” Counsel to Ukachukwu, Prince Orji Nwafor Orizu, walked out after the court

refused to either grant his application for the disqualification of the lead counsel to PDP, Gadzama, or uphold his application for the members of the panel to disqualify themselves over alleged corrupt practices (bribery), which amounts to bias or grant his application for a short adjournment to allow time for the maturity of his application for the extension of time. Rather than continue with the case, Orizu filed a notice for appeal to the Supreme Court on his earlier application to the court to disqualify themselves. He equally filed a notice for stay of further proceeding on the matter. Orizu served the notice on the court before leaving.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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NEWS

Kokori’s Kelvin

•Chairman, Honeywell Group Dr Oba Otudeko (left) and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013.

•Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero (right) receiving the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde at the Government House, Kaduna.

• From left: Chairman, FBN Capital Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; Lagos State Commissioner of Commerce and Industry Mrs. Sola Oworu and Managing Director, FBN Capital Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe during the first FBN Capital Project and Infrastructure PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA Finance Conference in Lagos...yesterday.

• Brand Building Director Mr. David Okeme, Category Manager Savoury Mrs. Bolanle Kehinde-Lawal and Brand Manager, Knorr Miss Abimbola Ogunsemi at a news conference on "Knorr Taste Quest Season II at the company's Corporate Office Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

Although he was reportedly arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) a fortnight ago, the image of kidnap kingpin Kelvin still looms larger than life in Kokori and other parts of Urhoboland, where his arrest is viewed with suspicion. The myth surrounding him was again bolstered by Saturday’s attack by his loyalists on two monarchs and Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) members in the town. Southsouth Regional Editor SHOLA O’NEIL reports

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EN days after the arrest of alleged notorious armed robbery and kidnap gang lord, Kelvin Oniarah in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, gunmen suspected to be his boys on Saturday supervised another reign of terror, wanton destruction and bloodletting in his hometown of Kokori, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. Department of State Security (DSS) spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar told reporters in Abuja that Oniarah is responsible for high-profile kidnaps of notable Nigerians, such as renowned lawyer Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and a former Anambra State Deputy Governor Chudi Nwike and others. The activities of the Urhobo warlord peaked on September 18, when he made a desperate attempt to rally his kinsmen to his side by declaring war on the Federal Government over perceived neglect of the area. He announced the formation of a militia group, Liberation Movement of Urhobo People (LIMUP) and issued a 60-day ultimatum to government to revert the trend or face unpleasant consequences. The threat was issued in the midst of singing and dancing women around the Kokori market square. However, Saturday’s attack on violence came amidst reports in and around the Urhobo town that the man arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was not the notorious Kelvin. They buttress their assertion by recalling that days after his arrest, nobody is yet to get a clear picture of Kelvin, except that of six or seven masked men of LIMUP, one of which was said to be the suspect. Some sources said although Kelvin was to attend a truce meeting allegedly arranged by the traditional ruler of Agbon Kingdom, HRM James Omeru, Ogurimerime Ukori 1, he spurned the gesture at the last minute. “The man they arrested is Kelvin Oniarah, while the Kelvin that is behind the Kokori crisis is Kelvin Ibruvwe. He was supposed to attend the meeting in Port Harcourt, but at the last minute, he changed his mind and sent his second-in-command, who is also known as Kelvin,” a source in the community stated. Consequently, those peddling the argument, said Kelvin Ibruvwe had

•Vehicles damaged by gunmen suspected to be members of the gang of Kelvin in Kokori...on Saturday. PHOTOS: SHOLA O’NEIL

vowed to deal with the monarch and other chiefs in the kingdom who he accused of setting him up in Port Harcourt. “Are you not surprised that since his alleged arrest nearly two weeks ago the security agency has failed to parade him? Knowing how Nigeria security agencies work, is this not strange? They must have realised that they have the wrong man that is why they couldn’t parade him. This is another death like that of Skehau (Boko Haram leader) all over again,” a source in Eku town told our reporter. Besides, sources inside Kokori told our reporter that troops combing the town for arms and ammunition left behind by the suspect kept harassing them on the whereabouts of Kelvin. “If they have arrested Kelvin, why are they troubling innocent members of the community still asking for his whereabouts?” an indigene of the town, who believe that Kelvin is still on the loose, queried. However, a reliable source in the SSS, who was contacted by our reporter, sneered at the rumour, insisting that “We (SSS) never make mistake. I can tell you that.” However, it was against the backdrop of the uncertainty over the fate of Kelvin Oniarah/Ibruvwe that the Saturday’s attack assumed more significance and added to the debate over the arrest. HRM James Omeru Ogurimerime Ukori 1 was hosting a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) campaign team led by Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, the party’s candidate in this weekend’s Delta Central Senatorial by-election, when the armed youths struck. Eyewitness said the monarch was joined by his counterpart, the Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom, HRM Akpomeyoma Majoroh, Ojeta II, to welcome the PDP dignitaries when the gang struck. The PDP team included the member representing Ethiope Federal Constituency, Hon Akpodiogaga Emeyese and PDP Youth leader in Delta State, Arthur Akpowowo, a lawyer. The monarch was performing the traditional Isieguare (welcome) rites with kola-nut and wine when staccato of gunfire rent the air. The gunmen barricaded the gates to the monarch’s magnificent personal edifice, sitting on a sprawling expansive of land, which serves as his palace, before opening


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n …Does DSS have the right man?

fire on him and other guests. Eyewitnesses said the monarchs, Aguariavwodo, other PDP leaders and mobile policemen attached to the team abandoned the ceremony and took to their heels. Several persons, including a federal lawmaker, were reportedly injured in the mad race to get out of harm’s way. While the great scramble to safety ensued inside and around the palace, the marauding youths went to work on the cars of politicians and security patrol vans parked outside. They set fire to several cars, including two Toyota Hilux vans of security agents, and smashed dozens of other cars parked outside premises. When the mobile police realised what was happening outside, they summoned courage and shot sporadically into the fire, ostensibly to scare the youths and stop the carnage. It worked, but only for a few minutes. The gunmen returned, with more venom, and returned fire, forcing the

mobile policemen to beat a hasty and final retreat. The siege continued while the embattled monarch and his guests made frantic telephone calls to security top shots and the Joint Task Force’s formations in and around Delta Central. About an hour later, the commanding officers of 3 and 222 battalions of the Nigerian Army, Lt Colonel Ifeanyi Otu and VC Ibeh led their troops to dislodge the gunmen, much to the relief of the monarch and his guests who had all crept away from the range of gunshots. The JTF teams secured Aguariavwodo and members of the PDP campaign and led them out of the troubled town through Isiokolo, headquarters of Ethiope East. Reports that the monarch also fled the town under the security thick cover could not be independently confirmed. JTF’s Sector 1 Intelligence Officer, Captain Mohammed Abdullahi, who was contacted by our reporter, con-

firmed the involvement of the task force in securing a safe passage for the PDP team from the town. He, however, lamented that the team visited the troubled spot without informing the JTF or seeking advice on the security situation until they came under attack. However, The Nation’s investigations revealed that Saturday’s attack was targeted at the embattled monarch, who was a staunch member of the ruling PDP in the state before his selection as the Ogurimerime, Ovie of Agbon. Some sources, not only in Kokori, but in Agbon and other parts of Urhobo areas, said the monarch is not very popular among his people. “Some people believes that he was made king because of his PDP connection,” a source said. Besides, it was gathered that Saturday’s attack was supported by the people of Kokori because of their perceived disenchantment with the

monarch. Some of his people felt that the monarch had not do enough to stem the tide of violence and resulting sufferings occasioned by the military invasion. In a telephone chat with this reporter, a Kokori indigene said “The rally was disrupted by some aggrieved youths of Kokori community. Their grievance was that rather than using his position to find lasting solution to the suffering of his subjects who have been under the cruel hands of military, he was only interested in the success of his political party (PDP) in the election.” Our source, who appealed for anonymity because of his position in the kingdom, confirmed that three vehicles, including two Hilux vans and a Toyota (Lexus) Sports-Utility Vehicle (SUV), were completely burnt at the entrance of the king’s palace. “There were other cars, which windscreens were broken; all the cars belong to the PDP members who came

for the rally. There was heavy shooting before the military was called in.” Ironically, sources in the area said the notorious suspect was a creation of some notable politicians in the area. It was gathered that most of the arms and ammunition in Kokori and other parts of Urhobo land were procured by politicians who used Kelvin and other thugs to rig election in the past. Ethiope East is the home of Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, leader and governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) in the state in the 2011 election. The area is usually a hotbed of clashes between the opposition party and ruling PDP. “From Orogun to Kokori and Udu, most community thugs have sophisticated weapon bought with public funds for the purpose of election rigging and ballot boxes snatching by both sets of politicians. Once the elections are over, it is difficult to retrieve the arms from the boys,” a political analyst said.

Dangote, Adenuga, Ovia, Rabiu among Africa’s 55 billionaires

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FRICA is now home to 55 billionaires, up from previous estimates of 16-25 billionaires, new research has found. These super rich are worth a combined total of $143.88bn (£89.27bn). The UK , in contrast, is home to 84 billionaires, worth a nearly £250bn, according to the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List. With 55 billionaires, Africa is comparable to Latin America , which has 51 at last count (Forbes). However, Africa has some way to go if it opposes to top the super-rich tally in Asia , which is home to 399 billionaires as of 2013. The new study, undertaken by African business magazine and news service Ventures Africa, is the most extensive list ever compiled, claims founder Chi-Chi Okonjo. It reveals the “true wealth” of Africa ’s richest people, he said. The richest man in Africa is cement, sugar and flour tycoon Aliko Dangote. The Nigerian is worth $20.2 billion. This figure is slightly up on Forbes’ estimation of $16.1bn for his wealth as of March this year. In second place, South African financier Allan Gray holds assets worth at least $8.5bn.

Third on the list, Nigerian Mike Adenuga, with operations in the oil and telecoms industries, has an estimated fortune of $8bn. His major investment is in Globacom , Nigeria’s second national carrier, Conoil, which plays in both the downstream and upstream petroleum industry. Africa’s wealthiest woman, Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija, is worth $7.3bn. She is the owner of Famfa oil, which sold 40 percent of its oil block to Chevron recently. The median age of Africa ’s billionaires stands at 65 years old, with the youngest billionaires both at 38. These young guns are Tanzanian Mohammed Dewji, head of the largest textile manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa , and Nigerian oil trader Igho Sanomi. The oldest billionaires are Manu Chandaria, a Kenyan industrialist, and Mohammed Al-Fayed, the Egyptian property tycoon and Harrods boss, who are both 84. Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt have the most billionaires with 20, nine and eight respectively. In total ten African countries are represented on the list. Founder and first managing Director of Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s

•Dangote

•Adenuga

leading financial institutions Mr Jim Ovia also made the list with net worth of $1.5 billion. Ovia is also the chairman of Nigeria’s fledging telecommunications company, Visafone. According to Ventures Africa, there are a large number of African billionaires on its list whose fortunes have never been accurately calculated before including: Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, who is worth $1.46 billion and Abdulsamad Rabiu of Nigeria whose networt is $1.4 billion. Rabiu is one of the most notable players in the real sector of the Nigerian economy, calling the

•Ovia

•Alakija

shots in the cement industry with a large percentage of the nation’s cement market share. He is also interest in sugar and flour business in Nigeria . Others are Aziz Akhannouch (Morocco , $1.39 billion); Jide Omokore (Nigeria , $1.32 billion); and Bode Akindele (Nigeria , $1.19 billion). Jide Omokore is an oil and gas tycoon and own a fledgling petroleum dealing firm called Spog Petroleum and Gas. “This list is a tribute to the entrepreneurial heartbeat within Africa ,” said Mr Okonjo. The report credits the surge in en-

•Rabiu

ergy prices over the last decade for the increase in billionaires. The price of oil topped $100 a barrel this year, up from $20 a barrel in early 2000. The list was been compiled using financial reports, by tracking equity holdings around stock markets and identifying specific shareholding structures in large, privately-held companies. The results have been corroborated with investment bankers, realtors and financial analysts to determine proper values for companies, real estate and other assets, such as art collections, jets, yachts and jewellery.


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Jonathan: I’ll end strike

‘We expected only one baby but got four’

Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

his family lives in a oneroom apartment at Ajangbadi, on the outskirts of Lagos. His wife, who is still at the maternity ward of LUTH, said: “When I first learnt that I was carrying four babies, I became sad but my husband said we can’t question God.” She said people thought she had an In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) - artificial insemination, adding: “I didn’t even know what IVF was until I got to the hospital. It was God who made it happen. I conceived like the normal ones I had in the past. I never thought I had more than one baby. In fact, when I had a scan at Ajangbadi (a Lagos suburb), doctors said I had fibroid. This was before the doctor said I had five babies; one was aborted. This scared me, but my husband was supportive.” Grace, 37, who hails from Delta State, recounting her pregnancy experience, said: “I also suffered from anaemia, dizziness and sleeplessness, especially at night. It was tough keeping the pregnancy, especially with the chest pain, heavy breathing and loss of appetite that I had to contend with. This was why my hus-

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•The quadruplets...yesterday

band brought me to LUTH . I was admitted in July and I have been here for three and a half months.” The Tijanis said they named the babies—one boy, three girls— AbdulGaniyu

Akanni, Alimotu Aduke, Bilkisu Abike and Latifat Abebi. “We can’t celebrate their birth properly because we are yet to pay the hospital bill,” the mother added.

The parents, who live at 22, Dabatapa Street, Ajangbadi Jakande, Badagry, Lagos, are pleading with well-meaning people, companies and governments to support them to be able to nurse their babies.

My plan for Anambra, by APC candidate Ngige

EFORE a massive crowd of excited supporters and backed by frontline politicians, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige announced yesterday his plan to return to the Anambra Government House. He will run the November 16 race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose leaders stormed Onitsha to drum support for Ngige’s ambition. Among the leaders were APC interim chair Chief Bisi Akande and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Edo State Governor Adams

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

Oshiomhole, Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his Ekiti counterpart Kayode Fayemi, were also at the Holy Trinity grounds in the commercial city of Onitsha. The atmosphere was electric, with thousands of APC supporters, including various dance troops from the 21 local government areas, turning the city into a huge carnival arena. Ngige was elected Anambra State governor in 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Demo-

cratic Party (PDP). He was removed from office by the court on March 17, 2006. Tinubu, apparently overwhelmed by the crowd while driving round the arena with Akande, Ngige and Oshiomhole was beaming with smiles and waving to the crowd. When he ascended the podium and the microphone handed over to him by the master of ceremony, Sen. Osita Izunaso, Tinubu said with what he had seen, the people have genuine love for Ngige However, he stressed that the people must protect their votes

during the November 16 election, adding that what would happen in Anambra would be a revolution. “The revolution will not be achieved without you. We have brought to you a revolution, but the most important thing is that our votes must be protected. Go and vote Ngige in and defend it. We have not come to the campaign, the name of Ngige, his name alone has done the campaign,” the APC leader said. Tinubu’s oratory, the eloquence, of Fayemi, Okorocha and Oshiomhole as well as Continued on page 57

in a statement on the meeting which reporters were prevented from covering, said the President promised to do his all to resolve all issues that caused disputes. He said the government attached great importance to the medical and educational sectors. He said: “I believe that we must manage both sectors in such a way that nobody engaged in them will think of going on strike again. “We will continue to proactively evolve measures that will help us to permanently overcome the problems that lead to strikes by health and education professionals,” he added. To facilitate rapid establishment of more centres of medical excellence in the country, President Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government would fully explore the option of creating a special intervention fund. According to him, the recommendation of a special fund that will give low interest loans for the establishment of state-of-theart medical facilities is a creative idea that will receive appropriate consideration from the government. He said: “We are committed to working with professionals and the private sector to establish better medical facilities in the country and reduce the number of Nigerians who have to go abroad annually for medical reasons.” Jonathan also assured the doctors that his administration would create the right conditions to enable doctors to stay at home and avail Nigerians of their acknowledged skills and expertise instead of migrating to other countries. He said his administration was determined to correct the anomaly of Nigeria being so strong in human capacity in medicine, with about 25,000 Nigerian medical consultants currently practising in the United States , as confirmed to him by President

Barack Obama; and yet being unable to treat many of its sick people in its own hospitals. Jonathan said: “There is clearly a missing link somewhere and we will do everything possible to fix it. We will continue to work with professional bodies and all stakeholders to come up with more policies and actions that will help us overcome current challenges in our medical sector. “We will work with the National Assembly to ensure the quick passage of the National Health Bill. We will take prompt action to reconstitute the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. We will also consider recommendations for the establishment of the Office of Surgeon-General of the Federation.” “I believe that we must always do what is best for our country. We will review all the other issues you have raised and act accordingly. When things are done properly, issues of welfare and remuneration in the health sector will disappear,” the President said. Dr. Enabulele assured President Jonathan of NMA’s support for his administration’s agenda. He called for urgent reconstitution of the main regulatory body in the health sector, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria which was dissolved in 2011. The NMA President also called for faster action on the passage of the National Health Bill and other issues related to the creation of a more conducive operating environment for doctors and other healthcare professionals such as remuneration, welfare and training. The President was decorated with the emblem of the NMA by Prof. Umaru Shehu. The NMA delegation included the Emir of Tsonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya, the NMA Second VicePresident, Dr. Uche Ojinmah and the NMA Secretary-General, Dr. Akpufuoma Pemu.

CORRECTION In his October 7 column, (“An October Surprise,”) Olatunji Dare referred to Ike Ekweremadu as a member of the House of Representatives and named to him as the “driving force” behind efforts to review the 1999 Constitution. The references should have been to Mr Emeka Ihedioha. Mr Ekweremadu is the distinguished Deputy President of the Senate. We regret the error.

Anger in Senate over frequent plane crashes

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country. He listed the crashes to include •Allied Airlines (cargo Aircraft), which crashed on 2nd June 2012 in Accra, Ghana, killing about 10 people on the ground. •Dana Airlines, which crashed on 3rd June 2012 in Lagos, killing about 153 persons on board. •Nigeria Police Force helicopter, which crashed on 23rd March 2012, killing the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), John Haruna, and three other officers on board and several other people in Kabong Village, Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State. •Odenegene Air Service (OAS Helicopter), which crashed on a flight to Akure in 2012, killing all on board. •Taraba State Governor’s aircraft, which crashed in Adamawa State while attempting to land in October, 2012, injuring Governor Danbaba Suntai and others. •Associated Aviation, which crashed on 3rd October in Lagos 2013 in Lagos, killing 16 persons on board, four are injured. •Augusta 109 Helicopter, which crashed in Bayelsa State,

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Crashed plane’s engine being examined in Lagos

HE engines of the Associated Aviation’s Embraer 120 aircraft which crashed in Lagos last Thursday has been moved to a hangar at the Murtala Muhammed Airport for further examination by the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB). Spokesman of the agency Tunji Oketunmbi, denied yesterday that the engines had been taken to Brazil, adding that the investigation would determine whether it would be taken for further examination. He said the engines may be moved to the United States or Canada after conclusion of investigations on its parameters in Nigeria. Oketunbi said:” We are taking steps to advance the investigations into the crash. As at today, we have moved the aircraft engines to a hangar at the Lagos Airport. We are still examining the aircraft engines. The engines have not been flown abroad.” Also yesterday, the Ondo State Government denied that it hired the ill-fated aircraft. In a statement by Commissioner for Information Kayode Akinmade, the government said it had nothing to do with the hiring of the plane, contrary to the claim by the family of the late former Governor Olusegun

killing the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Owoye Azazi, and the Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa, two naval pilots and two aides on December 15, 2012. It also recalled the near mis-

•Ondo govt: we didn’t hire it By Kelvin Osa Okunbor and Damisi Ojo, Akure

Agagu. The late governor’s remains were being conveyed to Akure from Lagos for burial when the plane crashed within a minute of take-off from the Lagos airport. The Commissioner said the reaction would not have been necessary at the time the state and families were still mourning those who died in the crash, but for inaccurate media reports. He said the government’s determination to give the former governor a befitting burial made it to set up a burial committee, which met regularly with the family. At one of the meetings, the statement said, transportation of the body from Lagos to Akure was discussed. “The committee deferred to the family’s insistence that the body be moved to Akure by air. The family thereafter introduced Mr. Tunji Okusanya (now deceased) of MIC Funeral as the official undertaker, who

hap of a Kabo aircraft conveying Sokoto Pilgrims averted on October 4. Another averted air crash, he said, was a Maxi aircraft conveying Taraba Pilgrims on October 4.

would make necessary arrangements regarding the movement of the body and the funeral.” “Thereafter, the MIC boss forwarded the names of various airlines through an e-mail message to the Committee, namely, Aero Contractor; OAS Helicopters; Chachangi; Arik; Dana; and IRS as the airline operators that have been contacted.” “It was indicated in his message that IRS was not available for conveying human remains; Dana aircraft had gone for maintenance; and Arik does not fly the Akure route. He, therefore, suggested Chachangi as ‘the best offer’.” The Ondo government said it was neither the wish nor the prerogative of government to indicate any preference for a particular airline, stressing that the interface with MIC at the instance of the family, was necessary for facilitation of payment ,saying “at no time was Associated Airline mentioned.” “This is definitely not the time for this as we are still mourning; it is pathetic losing any soul in the course of paying homage to our former governor, particularly government officials and other bread winners of

Uzodinma said he was worried that the resurgence of plane crashes since 2011 was “suggestive of a deep-seated system problem that must be unravelled and resolved to avert further and unnecessary loss of lives.”

Continued on page 57

He acknowledged that the frequent crashes have robbed the country of some of her best and brightest citizens who have served the nation gallantly in their capacities at various levels. He prayed the Senate to con-

•Oduah

demn the resurgence of plane crashes in Nigeria and the inability of the agencies to unearth the causes of the incidents. He also prayed the chamber to mandate the committee on aviContinued on page 57

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


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Three Nigerians lynched in Guinea Bissau

How national conference should be held, by Awolowo Foundation T W ITH Monday’s inauguration of the national conference planning committee by President Goodluck Jonathan, stakeholders have said the proposed conference must not exceed nine months and not more than 400 delegates. Participants at an executive leadership seminar, convened by the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation spoke on the conference in Lagos . They noted that the proposed conference can contribute to the creation of a viable Nigerian polity. Tagged: ‘The national conference: Roadmap to Nigeria’s stability, the seminar was convened by the group’s Executive Director, Dr Olatokunbo Dosumu and chaired by Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi. At the event were President, Guild of Editor Mr. Femi Adesina; Prof Ayandiji Aina; Prof Princewill Alozie; Prof. Bolaji Aluko; Dr Chris Asoluka; Prof. Bukar Bukarambe; Mrs. Ayo Obe; Prof Ayo Olukotun; Dr. Tunde Oseni; Prof. Akin Oyebode; Prof. Itse Sagay and Alhaji Yerima Shettima. Praising the President, the participants noted that the Senator Femi Okurounmu-led committee was skewed against the youth, who will have to live with the consequences of the decisions to be taken on the confab. A communique signed by the participants recommended that 90 per cent of the suggested 400 delegates to the conference should emerge through an election on non-

Let’s unite for national dialogue, Tukur pleads with Baraje faction

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HE national Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has appealed to members of the Abubakar Baraje faction to close ranks with the mainstream PDP, to enable the party forge a common front for the national pro posed dialogue. In a statement he signed yesterday, Tukur said the ruling party would mobilise Nigerians from all walks of life, including opposition groups, for the success of the conference. According to him, the dialogue offers a life time opportunity for Nigerians to re-lay the foundation of the country, stressing that the nation would emerge as a true giant of Africa at the end of the exercise. Tukur said: “I appeal to members of the PDP to align with the President on the national confab agenda. I also appeal to our aggrieved members to return to the PDP for us to forge a common endeavour towards rebuilding the party and our country in particular. “For this reason, I will not shy away from begging our party members to come together so we can enter the national confab like a team and set examples for the rest of Nigeria. “In doing that, we would have demonstrated that we remain the most serious party, not only in Nigeria but in Africa”. The chairman said the PDP was excited by the government’s desire to bring all ethnic nationalities in the country together for discussions on the progress and future of the country. He praised President Goodluck Jonathan for responding positively to the yearnings of the people for a national conference. Tukur wondered why the idea of the conference was being criticised by certain individuals and groups in the country. He described the critics as hypocrites, saying that many of By Precious Igbonwelundu

partisan basis from the ward to the zonal levels and 10 per cent nominees of professional bodies, trade unions, civil society organisations, youth/ students, women and pan-Nigerian religious bodies. They said the draft constitution that will be produced should be subjected to a na-

tional referendum not later than three months after the end of the conference. “There should be no ‘nogo’ areas in the course of this national discourse. The fact that people are not restricted will enhance frankness of discussions as well as greater acceptability and respectability of the conference outcome.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

them had severally called for the conference in the past and had mounted pressure on the President to set machinery in motion for the talks. The chairman admitted that the ruling party is presently at a crossroads, a development which he said, is normal in democracies. What is not normal, according to him, “is a situation where dissenting members resolve to permanently stand apart with little regard for the party’s starting line, past efforts in building the party, as well as common aspirations in raising the party to be the most formidable among all”. Tukur restated his determination to pursue with vigour the revival of the ruling party and to put the country on the path of sustainable growth and development. He said: “Let me reiterate that I am not the cause of the crises in our party. From the moment I came in as chairman, my focus has been on reconciliation and party reformation. “Some entrenched interests opposed that. They, therefore, left us with an impression that PDP does not need a reform. Why must we keep on operating without reforms? For me, such attitude is not encouraging. “As I speak, the Democratic Party in the United States with assurances from President Barack Obama, has promised to assist the growth of our party and they are serious about it. “That is instructive, coming from the world’s most respected political party. But we need reforms to carry us through, and the reforms we must implement”.

“The conference should address true federalism as established by the founding fathers, with emphasis on granting the federating units room to develop competitively at their own pace. “It should be channelled to build a more tolerant, egalitarian and prosperous modern state with a constitution that emphasises the

protection of individual rights. “The present state structure should be reconfigured to more manageable and sustainable units. “The outcome of the conference should address and lay appropriate emphasis on the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people,” participants said.

Army disowns murder suspect By Precious Igbonwelundu

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HE Nigerian Army has disowned a “soldier” who reportedly killed a civilian at a viewing centre in Lagos. The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Gen. Obi Umahi said the suspect, Lateef Oriyomi, who was said to be attached to 65 Battalion, Bonny Camp, Lagos was not an army personnel. A statement by the division’s spokesman, Colonel Kingsley Umoh, urged the police to treat the suspect as an impostor because he was not an army personnel. The statement said: “Having thoroughly investigated the incidence and the issue surrounding the self acclaimed soldier, it is pertinent to state clearly Lateef Oriyomi is not a soldier as reported and has never been in the Army. “His name is not in the nominal roll of 65 Battalion Bonny Camp, Victoria Island Lagos as he claimed. We have gone an extra mile of checking 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba and the Medical School at Ojo and his name is not on their nominal roll. “We strongly conclude that he is an impostor and should be regarded as such. “It must be noted that the Nigerian Army does not own a bar, beer parlor or viewing centre and does not deploy its men to such places on guard duty. “However it was discovered that the said Lateef Oriyomi has some friends in the Army and this is being investigated for any possible connection with the heinous crime.”

•Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof . Attahiru Jega flanked by Vice President, Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kenya, Mrs. Lilian Mahiri–Zaja (left) and Resident Representative, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Seija Sturies, at the Regional Conference on Ethics and Election: Challenges and Institutional Responses in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO : ABAYOMI FAYESE

HREE Nigerians were yesterday lynched by a mob in Guinea-Bissau, hospital sources said. They were accused of kidnapping a boy in Bissau, the capital of the West African country. Rumours began to spread and soon a crowd of enraged youths gathered and murdered the three men. Security forces were unable to stop the mob An AFP reporter said he saw two bodies in a morgue.

Bill to protect telecoms infrastructure underway, says NCC From Lucas Ajanaku, Abuja

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BILL seeking to classify telecoms infrastructure as critical national projects and insulate it from willful vandalism will soon be presented to the National Assembly, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugen Juwah has said. He said the bill was at its final drafting stage. Juwah assured stakeholders that when it gets to the legislature and eventually passed into law, it will curb the menace of wilful damage of telecoms infrastructure be it metropolitan/rural optic fibre cables (OFC) or base transmission stations (BTS). The NCC chief spoke on the sideline at the ongoing Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Forum holding at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. He lamented that incessant vandalism of telecoms infrastructure in most parts of the country is partly responsible for the poor telecoms services being experienced in the country. 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 presented to the National Assembly. A lot of work has been done on this in the Office of the National Security Adviser in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications Technology and the NCC and other important infrastructure that are also important. It is not only the telecoms infrastructure. Others are military infrastructure, aviation infrastructure and others.” According to him, it has taken so long for the bill to be prepared because of the enormous works that have to go into it. Inputs have to be received from all the major stakeholders in both the security and the telecommunications sector of the country.

Fed Govt withdraws charges against Russians over alleged arms smuggling

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OR 15 Russians accused of unlawfully importing arms and ammunition into Nigeria, it was time to go home yesterday. They were freed by a Federal High Court, Lagos. This followed an application to withdraw the charges against them by the Federal Government. Zhelyazkov Andrey; Savchenko Sergel; Lopatin Alexey; Baranovskly Nikolay; Llia Shubov; Dimitry Bannyrh; along with Alexander Tsarikov; Kononov Sergel; Chichkanov Vasily; Varlygin Igor; Komilov Alexander;

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Mishin Pavel; Korotchenko Andrey; Vorobev Mikhail and Stepan Oleksiuk were arrested by the Navy on October 18, last year, onboard a vessel, MV Myre Seadiver, for allegedly carrying cache of arms into the nation’s water without authorisation. They were handed over to the prosecuting agencies, who later charged the accused to court on four counts of unlawful importation of firearms and non disclosure of content of vessel.

The accused were first arraigned on February 19 before Justice Okechukwu Okeke now retired. They had pleaded not guilty to the charge and were released on bail to the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria. The vessel was admitted to bail in a bond of $500,000(USD) to be obtained from First Bank Plc. The case was transferred to Justice James Tsoho following Justice Okeke’s retirement. They had pleaded not guilty to the offences which were said to have contra-

vened Sections 27 of the Firearms Act, as well as the Provisions of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, 2004. At the resumed hearing before Justice Tsoho, prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Usman Hajara informed the court of an amended charge before it. She said that all previous charges against the Russians have been dropped while an amended charge against one Stanley Chineye and his firm, Maritime Services Limited was filed. Hajara prayed the court to strike out the charges against the Russians, their vessel as

well as their company, Moral Security Group Limited, while the amended charge be substituted. Tsoho granted the prosecution’s prayer by striking out the charges against the foreigners and fixed November 26 for trial of the new accused. According to the amended charge, Chineye allegely acted as agent to the Russian vessel and had allegedly misguided them that he had obtained permit from the Navy for the vessel to enter the nation’s waters, which was false.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

53

NEWS

Fear as teenagers launch rocket in Imo

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WO pupils of the Federal Government College, Okigwe, Imo State have caused a stir in Umuchime Ubahu community in Okigwe Local Government, with the launch of a “rocket” they built from local materials. The rocket, which was supposed to travel five kilometres, went further than programmed and landed in a residential area, causing a stampede. The residents of the house where the rocket landed, alerted the police, thinking it was a bomb. Commissioner of Police Muhammad Musa Katsina, however, dispelled fears of terrorism, saying the “amateur scientists”, who launched the home-made rocket, did not intend any

Fire outbreaks hit Lagos By Precious Igbonwelundu

M

EN of the Nigerian Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Response Agency (NEMA) yesterday averted a series of tragedies that would have hit Lagos following multiple fire outbreaks. There was a fire at a gas plant at Ajah and at a local depot at Olodi-Apapa. A two-bedroom bungalow at Ejigbo was also razed. A loaded fuel tanker at Ikotun, which had its content spilled on the expressway, was diluted by chemicals to avoid a disaster. The Olodi-Apapa incident was said to have occurred at 8pm. It affected three buildings. It took the agencies about two hours to put out the fire. According to the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaq Fadipe, the fire was caused by six fully loaded tankers, which were parked at residential area. He said: “It happened at Edmor Street, by Wilmer Crescent in Olodi-Apapa. It affected two storey buildings and a three-storey building surrounding the open space. “Although this is raining season, we attended to four fire incidents today. Of the four incidents, only one was suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault at 3A Apostle Morakinyo Street, Ejigbo. It involved two bedroom flats. The firemen at Isolo responded promptly to it. One of the buildings was badly damaged, but we were able to save the other one.” “The good thing in all is that we were able to avert the loss of lives. “Why should drivers park fully loaded tankers in residential areas? These drivers can be very careless and most of them may even be smoking around the tankers.” However, NEMA’s South West spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye said the OlodiApapa inferno was caused by a local depot in the neighbourhood and not tankers. “I cannot say whether it is a legal depot or not but it was that depot that exploded and not tanker.

Police rescue kidnap victim •Hunt abductors

•Police dispel terrorism fear From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

harm. Katsina, however, urged the residents to remain security-conscious and report suspicious movements to the police. The police boss, who briefed reporters yesterday, said there was a bomb scare in the community when the two science students launched their rocket. He said police investigation showed that there was no criminal intent, adding that it was a case of innovation and adventure. “There was no terrorism motive in the act. We enjoin people to go about their activities without fear,” Katsina said.

He went on: “The manufacturers of this rocket are not terrorists, they are rather talented science pupils keen on developing their scientific skills. They should be encouraged. “The rocket has been deactivated and is safe. The components as discovered by the Police Bomb Disposal Unit do not contain any radioactive or toxic element. “Because the boys intended no harm, no punitive measures will be taken. I will rather recommend that they be encouraged so that they can achieve greater things.” The teenage scientists asked for Federal Government’s sponsorship to en-

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

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•The launched rocket

able them improve on their skills. They said they built the rocket as part of a school exercise, which earned them a second position in a competition.

They said they were inspired to launch the rocket when they heard of the National Space Development Agency’s plan to launch a climate-monitoring satellite into space next year.

EFCC arraigns ex-provost, bursar for N1.3m fraud

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the former Provost of Nwafor Orizu College of Education (NOCEN), Nsugbe, Anambra State, and another principal officer of the school. Prof. Fidelis Uzochukwu Okafor and the Bursar, Mr. Michael Emeka Ekwunife, appeared before the Federal High Court sitting in Awka, on an eight-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

N1,371,500 under false pretence from the college. But the court, presided over by Justice M. L. Abubakar, granted them bail on selfrecognition and adjourned till November 19 after a preliminary objection raised by counsel to the accused, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN). EFCC said Okafor, ViceChancellor, Anambra State University, Uli (ANSU) and Ekwunife were arraigned

for allegedly conspiring to obtain the amount under false pretence from the college between November 2007 and 2011, contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, which is punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act. According to the charges by Johnson Ojogbane Esq. of the EFCC, the accused were alleged to have, in January 2008 at Nsugbe, obtained N201,500 from NOCEN, pur-

portedly to pay hotel bills of the first accused, Okafor, who was the interim provost of the college. EFCC further alleged that the accused falsely obtained N188,500 from NOCEN in March 2008 and N195,000 in May 2008 for the same purpose. Further, the accused were said to have falsely obtained N201,500; N201,500 in April 2008; N182,000 in March 2011 and N201,500 in February 2011.

HE Aba Area Command of the Nigeria Police has rescued a kidnap victim. It has declared a manhunt for members of a kidnap gang, who allegedly abducted the victim, a businessman, in Aba on Sunday. The Nation learnt that the abductors, now at large with bullet wounds, on Sunday morning at 6, Omenazu Street, off Faulks Road, in a white Toyota Hilux, abducted their victim when he went to a hair salon. It was also gathered that two motorcycles, two AK47 rifles, two mobile phones and 49 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the gangs’ hideout at the Nwakanma family compound in Umuadaba Osisioma Local Government Area of the state. The Aba Area Commander, Rabiu Dayi, who led the operation, told reporters that a combined team of antirobbery squad from the command and Zone 9 Umuahia, in a gun duel, killed a member of the gang, while others, after being overpowered by the police, fled to an unknown destination with bullet wounds. He said security report indicated that the kidnappers also operated at Nekede and Orlu in Imo State where they allegedly abducted people and took them to their hideout at Osisioma Ngwa. Dayi advised Aba residents to volunteer information about criminals to the police.

Orji inaugurates exco, perm secs •Urges them to work hard From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

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•A cross section of newly sworn in commissioners and permanent secretaries taking their oath of office in Umuahia.

Shekau's 'I am alive' video not real, says security

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ECURITY agents have dismissed the recent video purportedly "released" by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, saying the amateur replica cloned everything wrongly. The holes they claimed to have found in the video are that: "Shekau in previous video appearances would start with a recitation of a full verse of the Quran that sometimes could last up to five minutes. The stand-in Shekau did not observe this

sequence. "Besides, on previous occasions when Shekau spoke, he had always never been interrupted by any background hail, quite unlike what happened in the recent video. "Watching the recent video, one would notice that the movement of the 'Shekau's lips' did not synchronise with the words as pronounced, apparently betraying a recorded message inefficiently

manipulated to sustain a non-existent continuum in leadership, now in disarray. Even at that, his attempt to mimick Shekau's voice during the opening stanza soon gave in, and the impostor reverted to his real voice. The intonation was different as well as the fact that Abubakar Shekau does not drag his voice. "This "Shekau" even said that a dead woman -Margaret Thatcher, and Oladipo Diya rejoiced over his ("Shekau's")

death. How did these add up to strengthen his case? One is dead and the other had left government long before the advent of Boko Haram. "Fact is Abubakar Shekau was shot, critically injured and evacuated by his lieutenants to a conventional hospital outside Nigeria (see picture attached). If he survived ...time will tell." Neither security agents' claims nor Shekau's could be independently verified last night.

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has inaugurated a 24member executive council (exco). He urged them to work hard. Speaking in Umuahia, Governor Orji said the state can now move forward and face the challenges of development. He said his administration needed the support of all to achieve its aim. Orji said the new exco members and permanent secretaries were chosen from the three senatorial districts. Said he: “The new commissioners and permanent secretaries were selected because of their integrity. We believe they will justify the confidence reposed in them.” The commissioners include nine members of the former exco, among who are Eze Chikamnayo, who returns as the Information commissioner, Monica Philips, Education commissioner and Dr. Okechukwu Ogah, Health commissioner. The 15 new commissioners include Emelike Igwe Kalu, Public Utilities and James Kwubiri Okpara, Legal. The former exco was dissolved on May 15, after which the list of new commissioners was forwarded to the House of Assembly. It contains four women and 20 men. Ten new permanent secretaries were also sworn in.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-10-13

N

Oil stocks lift equities

IGERIAN equities staged a comeback yesterday on the back of widespread bullish rally in the downstream oil sector. Market value indices, which had closed the first trading session of the week on a negative note, rebounded yesterday with nearly two advancers to every loser. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) improved by N15 billion to N11.755 trillion as against its opening value of N11.740 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index at the NSE, inched up by 0.13 per cent to 36,904.52 points as against its opening index of 36,857.22 points. The uptrend nudged average year-to-date return by equities to 31.43 per cent. The market performance was impacted by gains in the petroleum-marketing and manufacturing sectors. While

By Taofik Salako

the banking index depreciated, appreciable gains in the downstream oil sector boosted the market recovery. The NSE Oil and Gas Index increased from 189.39 points to 193.59 points. Mobil Oil Nigeria topped the 33-stock gainers’ list with a gain of N4.50 to close at N114.55. Forte Oil rose by N2.17 to close at N45.57. Oando added 19 kobo to close at N10.69 while Eterna chalked up 12 kobo to close at N2.88 per share. Other top gainers included Flour Mills of Nigeria, which added N2.55 to close at N82.55; UACN gathered N2.29 to close at N63.49, CAP rose by N1.85 to close at N38.85, Okomu Oil Palm appreciated by N1.20 to N43.50, PZ Cussons Nigeria garnered 98 kobo to close at N37.99, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nige-

ria rose by 50 kobo to close at N99, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria added 45 kobo to close at N64.50 while FBN Holdings gained 31 kobo to close at N16.81 per share. Total turnover stood at 283.71 million shares valued at N2.97 billion in 4,467 deals. Banking subsector accounted for 146.82 million shares worth N1.31 billion in 1,469 deals. Meanwhile, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) remained the most active stock with a turnover of 58.36 million shares valued at N104.21 million in 258 deals. On the downside, Guinness Nigeria recorded the highest loss of N2.64 to close at N247. Nestle Nigeria followed with a loss of N2 to close at N1,000. Cadbury Nigeria lost 64 kobo to close at N49.31. Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 50 kobo to close at N11.20 while Ashaka Cement slipped by 45 kobo to close at N20.10 per share.

‘Nigeria needs vibrant funding to unlock potential’

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ARTICIPANTS at a project and infrastructure finance conference yesterday in Lagos said Nigeria needs access to huge and amenable capital to meet the demand of its emerging economy and unlock its growth potential. The conference, which was attended by local and foreign high level executives across key industries, regional financiers, consultants and advisors, as well as government agencies explored the role of project and credit risk assessment in unlocking the nation’s growth potential by highlighting considerations integral to project finance through a series of panel discussions. Participants at the conference, organized by FBN Capital, noted that while Nigeria’s vast natural resources and growing power and infrastructure demands have gar-

nered substantial interests from lenders and developers from across the globe, there is need for more funding avenues to address the challenges and realise the country’s huge potential. According to experts at the conference, Nigeria’s potential can be unlocked through sustained infrastructure growth and development, even as the nation continues to seek the transformation of the power sector through public private partnership initiatives. Managing Director, FBN Capital, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe, said the current power sector privatization initiatives will go a long way towards closing the gap of substantial funding required for Nigeria Independent Power Project (NIPP) and other Green Field power plants. He noted that major investments in transmission lines

are needed to match planned increase in Generating Companies and Distribution companies’ capacities. Presenting a paper on “The Rationale for Project Finance in Nigeria”, Director and Head, Project and Structured Finance, FBN Capital Limited, Mr. Patrick Mgbenwelu said the role of the banks is to make investors comfortable as they proceed on various projects and privatisation deals in the country. Mgbenwelu said Greenfield IPPs will emerge to bridge the energy funding gap while Government’s PPP commitment will fuel various infrastructure projects such as rails, roads, bridges, and airports among others. He also stated that multi-billion government projects will require private sector involvement, therefore creating need for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) as obligator financial vehicles. According to him, investors can choose to approach finance institutions and seek funds either as a corporate entity or directly through the projects, (Corporate Finance route or Project Finance).

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-10-13


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

55

MONEY LINK

Lagos pensioners seek increase of allowances

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ETIREES from the Lagos State have called on the state government to consider an increment of their monthly pension allowances. They spoke at the flag off of the 2013 biometric verification exercise for the 14,943 pensioners in the state. One of the pensioners, Ali Rahmon who retired from service in March 2001 from the Ministry of Health called on the government to conduct an upward review of their payment. Rahmon who also commended the biometric verification exercise said: “What I have been receiving since I retired is what I am still receiving now and I have been short paid since 2001. I have written series of letters, we are growing older every day, and we don’t know when our pay will be reviewed. On pension salary, they are trying very much; they are paying us the small amount they give us.” Another retiree, Mrs. Taiwo Ajibola, who retired from the Ministry of Transportation in 2001, urged the government to take the verification exercise to the homes of retirees

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

above 70 who may find it challenging going to the various centres. Flagging off the exercise at the Ikeja Local Government, State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, said the development was to ensure easy and reliable data for all pensioners in the state. According to her, the new data will go a long way to ensure that every pensioner is captured and paid the stipulated pension salaries as at when due. She gave the breakdown of the pensioners as 9,200 retired civil servants, 34 retired judicial officers and 5700 retired teachers, assuring that their welfare remains a paramount obligation of the state government. “While recognising that the task ahead is enormous, we are consoled by the fact that we are on the right track now that monthly pension salaries of all pensioners are paid alongside that of the active staff, complaints are resolved as they arise.

Bank Bank ofdevelops Ghana initiative lauds UBA’s to risk support SMEs mgt structure

“It cannot be disputed the giant strides recorded in our pension administration in Lagos State under the ‘Pay as You Go Scheme’ as well as the ‘Contributory Pension Scheme’ which would not have been possible but for the sincerity on the part of the present administration,” she added. Oguntuase also urged all pensioners to cooperate with officials in charge of the verification exercise in the 16 designated centres across the state. She assured that special arrangement would be made to conduct home verification for those who are physically challenged, sick or elderly and have indicated interest by writing letters to the government. On the recent protest by pensioners to the office of the state governor, the commissioner stressed that the state government under Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration has been fulfilling its obligations to pensioners in the old and new scheme, revealing that N18.9 bilion retirement benefits were recently issued to pensioners in the state.

GCR upgrades Ecobank’s rating

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LOBAL Credit Ratings (GCR), has upgraded the long-term national scale assigned to Ecobank Nigeria to A(NG). The lender’s short term national scale issuer rating of A2 (NG) was retained by the agency. In a statement, the bank said the ratings, showed its competitive position in the Nigerian banking industry has been enhanced by the acquisition of Oceanic Bank. The rating agency said the inter-

Stories by Collins Nweze

nal loan recovery system of the bank has become more effective following the sale of impaired loans totaling N17 billion to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). “Also, Ecobank achieved a net comprehensive income of N18.4 billion in the 2012 financial year; representing a notable 33.7 per cent growth over the IFRS based results for 2011. Benefitting from the higher inter-

est rates that prevailed for most part of the year, robust returns on investment securities saw total operating income grow by 142 per cent. This positive growth is recorded in most key indices,” it said. Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Jibril Aku, attributed the ratings to the commitment and hard work of the management and staff of the bank, assuring that, the rating will act as stimulus toward greater achievements.

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

•Oduoza

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HE Governor, Bank of Ghana (BoG), Henry Kofi Wampah, has lauded UBA Ghana, for instituting a robust risk management system. in a statement, he said the process has led to zero infractions on regulatory provisions on the part of UBA Ghana. Wampah disclosed this while receiving the Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Phillips Oduoza, in his

S

World Bank, SAP address skills gap in Africa

AP Africa, a subsidiary of SAP AG, and the World Bank yesterday announced their intention to develop a framework for collaboration on skills development. In a statement, the bank said the partnership document was signed by Pfungwa Serima, chief executive officer of SAP Africa, who is in the United States for a series of meetings focused on refining synergies between African operations and the African objectives of the World Bank.

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

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

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

SYMBOL

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

%CHANGE

INTENEGINS FO CAP ACADEMY UTC WEMABANK JOHNHOLT ETERNA MOBIL UACN

0.68 43.40 37.00 1.80 0.64 1.12 1.14 2.76 110.05 61.20

0.74 45.57 38.85 1.89 0.67 1.17 1.19 2.88 114.55 63.49

8.82 5.00 5.00 5.00 4.69 4.46 4.39 4.35 4.09 3.74

GAINERS AS AT 3-10-13 2013-10-07

2013-10-08

LOSERS AS AT 3-10-13 2013-10-07

SYMBOL

O/PRICE

NEIMETH PORTPAINT DANGSUGAR ABCTRANS TRANSCORP HONYFLOUR ASHAKACEM ROYALEX CADBURY GUINNESS

1.20 5.32 11.70 0.83 1.82 2.97 20.55 0.51 49.95 249.64

2013-10-08

C/PRICE 1.14 5.06 11.20 0.80 1.77 2.89 20.10 0.50 49.31 247.00

Year Start Offer

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

Current Before

Current After

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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%

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

CUV Start %

%CHANGE -5.00 -4.89 -4.27 -3.61 -2.75 -2.69 -2.19 -1.96 -1.28 -1.06

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

It said the first phase of the skills development initiative is expected to be implemented later this year, following SAP’s launch earlier this year of the “Skills for Africa” programme, an initiative to facilitate development of information and communications technology (ICT) skills in Africa. “SAP recognises that promoting education and training is one of the best ways to improve the problem of chronic youth unemployment, an issue affecting the technology industry as a whole,” said Serima.

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

H

office in Accra . He commended the pivotal role played by the lender in deepening financial inclusion and providing funds to critical sectors of the Ghanaian economy, especially the bank’s immense contribution to the country’s foreign exchange stability. He said that the bank’s provision of foreign exchange to the economy has largely contributed to macroeconomic stability in the country. Oduza said: “UBA being a global bank and the only African bank operating in United States, a geography noted for its strict control system, means that it has to institute best in class risk management practices across its pan-African banking operations.” He assured Wampah of UBA’s readiness to continue its support for Ghana’s foreign exchange operations by making available foreign exchange when needed.

NSE CAP Index

19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL

Offer Price 154.86 9.17 1.18 1.16 0.75 1.39 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,829.47 13.64 141.19 11,004.94 0.80

Bid Price 154.15 9.08 1.16 1.16 0.74 1.33 1,000.00 100.00 1.00 1,824.09 12.97 140.70 10,680.29 0.78

• ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

NEWS Boko Haram committee’s report ready From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

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HE Presidential Committee on Peace and Resolution of Conflict in the Northeast will submit its report to the President from next week. The Chairman of the committee and Special Duties Minister, Kabiru Taminu Turaki, spoke yesterday in Abuja when he briefed the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the activities of his ministry. Turaki said the committee had completed 99 per cent of its assignment, assuring that the remaining one per cent would be concluded this week. The minister said the committee’s report would be submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan afterwards. But he could not answer a reporter’s question on the whereabouts of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau. Turaki said: “I think I should also ask you: where is Shekau? “Now, with all sense of responsibility, we have been directed by Mr President to identify key members of the sect and engage them in a dialogue. Mr President did not ask us to look for Shekau and engage him in a dialogue. It is important for Nigerians to appreciate that in matters of this nature, you don’t just wake up one day, even as a dialogue committee established by the government, and say you are discussing with the highest leadership of the insurgents.”

Falana opposes Obasanjo’s intervention in ASUU crisis •It’s not the solution, says lawyer By Adebisi Onanuga

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AGOS lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to stop its invitation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to intervene in the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) crisis. He said it would not solve the problem. Rather, Falana counselled the government to re-order its priority and provide adequate funds to restore the lost glory of Nigerian universities to enable ASUU call off its strike. In a statement yesterday in Lagos, titled: The Federal Government Should Stop ASUU Strike Now! the activist recalled that there was a time the universities were shut for six months under President Obasanjo. According to him, instead of providing funds to run the universities, the former President and his vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, awarded licences to themselves to establish “private” universities. Falana cautioned against the impression that the ASUU strike was allowed to drag on because top government officials had their children and wards in private universities at home and abroad. The frontline lawyer noted that it is abnormal for the Federal Government to complain of inadequate funds to revamp the universities. He said: “The Minister of Finance and the Coordinator of the country’s economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has made President Goodluck Jonathan to believe that the economy would collapse, if the Federal Government implements the 2009 Federal Government/ASUU agreement. Did Mrs Okonjo-Iweala and Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria) not say that the economy would collapse if the illegal price of N141 per litre of petrol was not sustained?

•Saudi Consul in Kano, Shaikh el-Otaibi (third left) accompanying Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (middle) to board a plane at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, to Makka, Saudi Arabia, for this year's Hajj.

Six killed as suspected herdsmen invade Benue community

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IX persons have been feared killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Eguma settlement, in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State. The attack allegedly took place on Monday at 3pm. Addressing reporters in Makurdi, the state capital, an elder of the community and a retired Federal Permanent Secretary Chief Saleh Idakwo said several houses in Eguma were set ablaze by suspected Fulani invaders, who were

T

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

also said to be armed with sophisticated weapons. Idakwo said over 200 bandits invaded the community when the Muslims were about to go to the mosque for prayers. He said the hoodlums killed those who were not in the mosque. Six youths were reportedly killed during the attack. The secondary school and markets in the community were shut down. “No economic activities

are going on in Agatu as a result of a series of attacks on the harmless farmers in the area, there is no farming, the local government secretariat has been deserted and all market closed for fear of attacks,” Idakwo said. According to him, since the bandits killed only Christians, it is clear that they were fighting a Jihad. The community leader said the Agatu were not quarrelling with Fulani herdsmen. He expressed dismay that despite several letters to the

State Security Service (SSS), the police, the Army and other security agencies, killing of Agatu farmers had continued without any reaction from the government. Idakwo said: “We have Senate President David Mark; the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Morro and the deputy governor, Chief Steven Lawani, who visited the victims at the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs’) camps. But that has not stopped the killing and destruction of our houses and farm lands.”

Reps fault Lemu committee’s report

HE House of Representatives has said the allegations against federal legislators on their allowances by a panel set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to investigate the 2011 election violence and civil disturbances were malicious. A national newspaper yesterday published the report of the panel, chaired by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, in which the lawmakers were accused of “bleeding the country”. The report alleged that while majority of Nigerians wallowed in abject poverty, the National Assembly was busy bleeding the country, a situation it said that could cause bankruptcy. Reacting to the report, the Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed said such allegations were not only baseless but aimed at weakening the country’s budding democracy. Stressing that the accusation

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

was misplaced, Mohammed noted that the annual budget of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) among several government agencies more than double that of the National Assembly. According to him, the N150billion budget in question was not only for the 469 lawmakers but also for the execution of capital projects, emoluments of the civil ser-

vants as well as the institutions under the National Assembly. He said: “People are just being biased and unnecessarily sentimental. The National Assembly utilise only N150 billion out of over N4 trillion. Is that much? We need to be very sincere with ourselves. “I think it is a malice. It is an orchestrated attempt to weaken the legislature. We will never be cowed by that”. He added that the agitation for part-time legislature was rather hasty, considering Ni-

geria’s peculiar environment. According to him, this should be left to Nigerians to decide. Mohammed said: “Nigeria’s case is that of a patient in an emergency ward. “Even the developed countries, which need the parttime legislators, have not done that. If you have parttime legislators, you’ll have a President who will become a dictator. “For a country like Nigeria, which is just coming up, I disagree with that...”

Kogi students give Wada 14 days to pay bursary

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HE National Association of Kogi State Students has given the Idris Wada administration 14 days’ ultimatum to pay the bursary and other allowances or face a protest. President of the association, Comrade Abubakar Sheidu Ohida, addressed reporters in Lokoja, the state capital. He explained that Kogi State students had been neglected by the government.

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

The students’ leader expressed surprise that despite the governor’s promises on the payment of the bursary three months ago, nothing had been done about the matter. Ohida said students from tertiary institutions across the country would be mobilised to stage a peaceful protest at the Government House in Lokoja, if the payment was not made at the expiration of the ultimatum.

•Gombe State chapter of Child Protection Network (CPN) with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Gombe State Ministry of Women Affairs holding a rally to create awareness on increasing rape cases in Gombe... yesterday.

Nine die in Katsina auto crash

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INE people died and six others seriously injured yesterday in a motor accident in front of the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University in Katsina. The State Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Habu Dauda, confirmed the accident. He said the accident was caused by a motorist speeding out of the university. It was learnt that following the accident, seven persons died instantly and two others later at the Katsina General Hospital. Six others were reportedly injured. A Nissan bus, with registration number AA 479 JHN, carrying 15 passengers from Kankara Local Government Area to Katsina metropolis was said to have crashed with the car speeding out of the university. Dauda said N678.95, belonging to a businessman simply identified as Alhaji Nura, of Katsina Central Market, was recovered from the accident scene.

Lawmakers query minister over budget discrepancies From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

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HE House of Representatives yesterday queried the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, for his inability to defend the ministry’s expenditures. A mild drama ensued when the House Committee on Interior visited the ministry for an oversight function, following the failure of the ministry to account for its handling of this year’s budget. The problem started when Moro could not explain the money voted for projects in relation to the budget. It was learnt that the money released to the ministry did not tally with the actual works done. Moro, who claimed to have implemented the budget 100 per cent, affirmed that some of the projects were still ongoing. When it was obvious that something was wrong, the minister asked the Director of Finance, Mr. Ben Odoh, to explain the discrepancies in the figures presented to the committee.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

57

NEWS

Anger in Senate over frequent plane crashes Continued from page 4

ation to as a matter of urgency, investigate the cause(s) of the crash and ascertain the level of compliance by agencies with the recent resolution of the Senate on the Dana Air crash on air safety. He urged the Senate to mandate the Aviation Committee to investigate and identify lapses in the operation of laws and regulations guiding aviation by the ministry and all its agencies with a view to correcting and streamlining same to avert further untoward disasters. Uzodinma asked the Senate to observe a minute silence in honour of the victims of the Associated Aviation crash. All the four prayers were adopted unanimously. Senate Leader Victor NdomaEgba said the Minister of Aviation should be invited to brief the Senate in plenary on the state of the sector. Ndoma-Egba, who relied on Section 67(2) of the Constitution, said that there was no doubt that with the sheer number of air crashes, Nigeria is in a state of emergency. The prayer was also unanimously adopted. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), who seconded the motion, said that the Senate needed to go beyond the surface to address systemic problems in the aviation sector. Abaribe noted that while considering the report of the Dana Air crash, the Senate made far reaching resolutions about how

to solve the problems. He wondered how far the resolutions had been complied with. Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) said it was unbecoming of the aviation minister to have said that air mishaps were inevitable. Mrs. Tinubu also said that the Senate should look at the state of the runways at the airports, describing them as the “worst in world”. She said: “The Minister of Aviation actually said that you cannot really avoid disaster in air travel. “It was quite scary because air travel is supposed to be the safest. “So, for an aviation minister to say that, we really have to look into the statement credited to the minister. Is the minister supposed to frighten Nigerians that each time they travel they are supposed to be afraid? That is a question that requires answer. “I want the Senate to look at the state of our runways. Are the runways in good condition? Have we ever considered the take-off and landing of our aircraft? Our runways are probably the worst runways on this planet. “We all travel abroad; we’ve been to various airports and each time I land even at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos that is supposed to be the busiest airport in the country, I weep for

Nigeria. “While we look at the state of our aircraft, we should not forget to consider the runways. The Senate Committee on Aviation should look at the entire aviation industry. “We don’t just pick on one issue because we had disaster and leave the rest. It should be holistic. “We should stop playing politics with the lives of our people. Enough is enough. We have to make sure that this Seventh Senate, we consider issues as they are and always do the right thing so that we all will be glad that we served in this Seventh Senate.” Most other Senators who contributed to the motion had one tale of woes or the other to tell about the aviation sector. Senator Ita Enang said that the minister concentrated more on infrastructure without paying attention to the health of aircraft. Senator Bukola Saraki said that the greatest respect the Senate could pay those who died in the ill-fated Associated Aviation was to ensure that the right thing was done at all times, especially ensuring the previous resolutions of the Senate were implemented. Senator Thompson Sekibo said that it was disheartening that the number of those who die in accidents are 10 times more than those killed by AIDS and other illnesses. Senator Olubunmi Adetunm-

bi said that the kinds of calamity frequently witnessed in the country were avoidable. The Senate, he said, should always speak truth to power in the interest of the country. Adetunmbi noted that provision of physical infrastructure does not automatically translate to reform. Urging the Senate not to overlook the failure of regulation in air crashes, he noted that reform has to do with people. The Ekiti State-born lawmaker concluded that “there is failure of leadership in the aviation sector”. Senator Smart Adeyemi noted that the plane crashed because of corruption. He said he discovered that the ill-fated plane was on a test flight. He said that the plane should not have carried any passenger. He said that nobody has bothered to ask why there were engineers in the ill-fated Associated Aviation plane. According to him, because it was a test flight, engineers were in the aircraft to observe the flight. For him, corruption in the sector must be checked for sanity to return to the sector. The Senate yesterday adjourned plenary to October 22 to allow its committees to complete pending reports. The plane flew on August 22 and 30, a source in the airline said. “It was no test flight and it was normal to have one or two engineers on board,” he said.

Crashed plane’s engine being examined in Lagos

Continued from page 4

their families, including the Managing Director of MIC, his son, and other workers of his company”. The government thanked the

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Federal Government for ordering a thorough investigation into the crash to prevent the occurrence of such tragedies in the future, imploring the team of investigators to leave no stone

unturned in the course of their investigation. It also hailed the active and timely involvement of the Lagos State Government through its emergency agency as well as

Federal emergency agencies and the management and staff of the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and other medical facilities who came to the rescue of the survivors.

North will survive if Nigeria breaks up, says Aliyu

IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu said yesterday that the North will survive in case of a breakup of the country. The region, he declared, is not afraid of being on its own as he warned against statements that suggest that the country is heading for a breakup. “If Nigeria splits, the north can still survive on its own contrary to the belief of some people in other regions that the north cannot survive if the nation disintegrates,” the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF),

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

stated yesterday. He spoke during a meeting in Minna with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in his office. Aliyu cited some countries in Africa that had disintegrated in recent past, noting that such countries have not gone into extinction rather they have survived and are waxing stronger. “No community in Nigeria should be afraid of separation. If some people want to go, they should go, we will survive. We

are not scared of separation,” he said “The same was said of Niger Republic. Niger was the poorest country in the world but today, if you see oil in Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and Maiduguri, it would have come from Niger Republic. “There is no way Niger and Chad can have oil and improve their economy and the north will not be able to do the same”, Aliyu boasted. Although he did not say so, it was believed that Aliyu was responding to threats by exmilitant and Southsouth lead-

•Aliyu

er, Alhaji Asari Dokubo that the nation would disintegrate in 2015 if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected.

My plan for Anambra, by Ngige Continued from page 4

Akande’s wisdom put the party members in a frenzy. Tinubu urged students and the youth to turn out enmasse and vote Ngige. He reminded them of the revolution and change Ngige brought to Anambra during his first term in office and said the APC is the platform of choice. Akande said: “Nigeria’s glory is returning to Nigeria through the platform of the APC and Ngige is now becoming the mascot of the future glory of Nigeria.” Fayemi said what would happen in Anambra would be a struggle for the freedom of the people, adding that the 11 Progressive Governors of APC would stand behind Ngige in the race. His words: “What APC has brought to the people of Anambra State is a package. Everybody is committed to this

project. Some of the people gunning for the governorship seat of Anambra, we do not know their antecedents; our politics must be devoid of charlatans.” Okorocha, who described Ngige as a man who dismantled godfatherism in Anambra politics, said that the hand of God was in his plan. He said people were rushing to APC because they need change, adding that the much talked about change would come to Anambra first through APC. Former national chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and the chairman of Ngige’s campaign team, Chief George Moghalu, said APC had started on a good footing and would also end on a good footing. Moghalu said: “Anambra is not a training ground, the state is for APC, the assurance I am giving the people today is that

we will deliver Ngige to the masses.” Oshiomhole said: “We have not come to market a product. The new drug called APC is a tested one and the product here is a trusted and also a tested one. The thieves are not far way; you must defend your votes. Everybody is crying for change and that change is here with you.” Igwe of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe yesterday rounded off his Ofala festival in a grand style, pledging his commitment and dedication to Onitsha legacies and cultural re-armament. Addressing citizens, Obi debunked the claims that he resigned as Anambra State Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council on account of differences with Governor Peter Obi over choice of candidate. He rather said that having been in the position for over five years, that it was time for others to serve too, adding that he has enjoyed good and harmonious

relationship with Obi, who accorded him due respect. He said he was behind him in the support for Anambra North to produce the next governor in the spirit of equity and fairness. He prayed for Anambra to get a good leader that would improve on foundations laid by Governor Peter Obi but appealed to voters to use their votes to enthrone a genuine leader out of the 23 governorship sspirants now gunning to govern the state. Igwe of Onitsha urged the incoming Governor to create more jobs for Anambra youths to reduce crime rate. Obi, in his remarks urged the people to respect traditional institution in all their dealings as true sons and daughters of Igbo land. He urged Ndigbo to stand up firmly and insist that their traditional institution must be accorded full respect at all times.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

58

FOREIGN NEWS U.K. reopens Iranian Embassy

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RITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday that Britain and Iran have embarked on a process that could lead to the reopening of their embassies after diplomatic relations broke down in 2011. "Both our countries will now appoint a non-resident charge d'affaires tasked with implementing the building of relations, including interim steps on the way towards (the) eventual reopening of both our embassies," Hague told parliament. Addressing Iran's disputed nuclear program, Hague said Tehran would need to make "substantive changes" to it if it wanted the West to ease sanctions, saying the future of British-Iranian relations would depend on tangible steps. "Iran remains in defiance of six U.N. Security Council resolutions ... and it is installing more centrifuges in its nuclear facilities," said Hague. "In the absence of substan-

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•Cameron

tial change to these policies, we will continue to maintain strong sanctions. A substantial change in British or Western policies require a substantive change in that program." Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the election of President Hassan Rouhani earlier this year, but said ties remain strained because of the ransacking of the British Embassy in Tehran in 2011, an incident that led to one of the worst crises between the two countries since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Bangladeshi clothing factory hit by deadly fire

Sierra Leonean govt washes hands of impounded vessel

HE Sierra Leonean government has washed its hands of an impounded vessel, The Milandros. The vessel was impounded by the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Public Shield in the Niger Delta over alleged illegal activities bordering on oil theft. The ship was alleged to have hoisted a Nigerian flag apparently to deceive security operatives. Reacting to the issue yesterday in Abuja, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Henry Macaulay said the vessel was among many other foreign registered vessels carrying his country's flag under what he called "flag of convenience." Besides, he said the vessel impounded is carrying an expired registration certificates, hence its permit to operate in Sierra Leone has expired and was yet to be renewed.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

He also revealed that the vessel registered as a tour boat and not a tanker for carrying petroleum products or crude oil. The Ambassador who was highly disturbed by the incident also pointed out that his country understood how topical the issue of oil theft is to Nigeria and hence, it would never be involved in anything that is against the interest of the country. His words: "We saw this article on pages of The Nation newspaper yesterday about a Sierra Leonean tanker involved in some illegal bunkering activities and it was very disturbing to us. First of all, in view of the relationship between the two countries of Sierra Leone and Nigeria, we will never be involved in anything that is illegal in this country or that is inimical to the

interest of Nigeria. We will not allow ourselves be involved in that in any way. "Secondly, this crude oil theft issue has been topical in the past few weeks and Sierra Leone very much sympathises with Nigeria for this dastardly act. Having seen an article of this nature that seems to involve something connected with Sierra Leone, we are very much alarmed and I personally took step to contact the Maritime Authorities in Sierra Leone and our investigations have revealed that, yes in Sierra Leone, we have a flag of convenience, similar to Liberia. It does not mean that the vessels are Sierra Leonean owned. Foreign vessels come and use our Flag as a Flag of convenience and register under our Maritime profile. "So indeed the Maritime Association of Sierra Leone was able to confirm to me that yes, this vessel was registered, but

that the registration had expired. All their certificates were expired, so that makes them no longer under our Flag. "In fact, what is even more curious is that the vessel was never really registered as a tanker. It was registered as a Tour Boat, a tour supply boat, not as a tanker to carry petroleum products or crude oil." He also explained that with the expiration of the vessel's certificate it can no longer be allowed in the Sierra Leonean territorial waters. He said, "Its like a driver's license. When your license expires, you can no longer drive. Thats all. You may choose to not renew your license with Nigeria, rather, you may choose to go to Cotonou to get a driver's license there. Thats up to you. It just means that you are no longer allowed to drive and claim that you are a driver from Nigeria."

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T least three people have been killed in a fire at a clothing factory near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, reports say. The fire broke out late on Tuesday in Gazipur and local media said around 50 people had been hurt. The number of dead in the fire was expected to rise. Safety standards in Bangladesh's garment factories are notoriously poor. More than 1,100 people died in April when a factory outside Dhaka collapsed. Last November, 112 workers were killed in a fire at a clothes factory in the Ashulia district on the outskirts of the capital. Both disasters happened in Ashulia, where most of the industry is based. The cause of the latest fire was not immediately clear. Clothing makes up around three-quarters of Bangladesh's total exports and the factory collapse prompted protests and calls for improved safety measures. Dozens of 70 international retailers agreed a plan last July to conduct inspections at factories from which their goods were sourced.

Guinean opposition withdraws from U.N.-backed talks

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UINEA's opposition walked out of U.N.backed talks with the government on Tuesday, accusing it of rigging last week's legislative elections and deepening fears of a return to violence. The United Nations brought the two sides together earlier this year after the opposition took to the streets, accusing the government of plotting to rig the vote. Clashes with security forces killed around 50 people. The parties agreed to let the long-delayed election - which was meant to mark the completion of a democratic transition after a 2008 military coup - take place on Sept. 28. Partial results to date show President Alpha Conde's ruling RPG party with a slight lead over opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo's UFDG

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and former prime minister Sidya Toure's UFR. But opposition groups rejected those results on Thursday and pulled their representatives out of the election's organising commission on Friday. "We have decided to withdraw from the (U.N.-chaired) facilitation committee because we realised that it served no purpose ... Not a single one of its recommendations have been acted on since it was created," said Toure. The opposition had said many of its supporters were left off the voting register, whereas other names had been duplicated several times. The U.N. mediators negotiated a four-day delay to the vote to let organisers change the register, but EU observers later said not all the complaints had been addressed.

•Teachers who have been pressing for a pay raise for two months said 50,000 people went onto the streets to give them support...yesterday PHOTO:GETTY IMAGES

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Brazil teachers' protest turns violent

ROTESTERS demonstrating in support of teachers receiving better pay in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have clashed with police. The centre of Rio was packed with more than 10,000 people marching peacefully. But as it got dark, some protesters threw firebombs at public buildings and riot police responded with tear gas. A similar protest in Sao Paulo also ended in violent confrontation with police after many banks were ransacked by hooded protesters.

Brazil is getting the kind of attention it could really do without only eight months before thousands of visitors are due here for the World Cup. The authorities, both here in Rio and at federal level, insist they have responded to many of the protesters' demands, particularly in areas like promising to spend more on health and education provision. The latest demonstrations in Rio were among the most violent yet, even though it had started out with at least 10,000 overwhelmingly peaceful teachers and other trades

Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani summoned US ambassador Deborah Jones for an audience on Monday morning, a foreign ministry statement said. Protesters in Benghazi burn a replica of the U.S. flag during a demonstration against the capture of Anas al-Liby - 7 October 2013 There was a protest on Monday in Benghazi about Anas al-Liby's capture The US embassy in Tripoli told the BBC that Ambassador Jones was "in regular contact with the Libyan government,

including the Libyan ministry of foreign affairs". Mr Marghani and officials from the foreign ministry also met members of Mr Liby's family, who were told of the meeting with the US ambassador, the statement said. Mr Ruqai confirmed to the BBC that Libyan officials had met some family members on Monday, although he had not been at the meeting. "They promised us they would try to arrange for us to get in touch with him (Mr Liby)," he told the BBC.

Libya summons U.S. envoy over raid

IBYA summoned the US ambassador to the country for questioning on Monday over the weekend capture of a suspected alQaeda leader on Libyan territory. Anas al-Liby, wanted over 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was seized in Tripoli on Saturday. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said ties between his country and the US would not be affected by the issue. Mr Zeidan said Libyan na-

tionals must be tried in Libya. His justice minister demanded "explanations about the case". The US has said Mr Liby was "a legal and an appropriate target". Mr Liby's son, Abdullah alRuqai, has said his father was seized by masked gunmen early on Saturday morning and that some of them were Libyans. He believes the Libyan government was implicated in his father's disappearance a claim Tripoli denies.

unionists. Who exactly the masked youths, known as the Black Blocs, are isn't clear. But the anarchy they sowed in the historic centre of Rio doesn't bode well and may lead to a radical change of approach - both from the authorities and those protestors who want to demonstrate peacefully. Brazil's security situation is a challenge to cities that will play host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The latest demonstration took place over several hours and was peaceful at first. But once night fell, violent incidents broke out as at least 20 "black bloc" anarchists smashed a City Hall gate while others broke into banks and tried to break break into ATMs. Some banks were set alight. Demonstrators also torched a bus on busy Rio Branco Avenue, and took furniture out of banks to use in barricades as the standoff off with police continued. Authorities used tear gas to restore order. "Without the police, there is no violence. When they are there, there always is," said anarchist Hugo Cryois, 23, who had a gas mask dangling from his neck. "I came prepared," he said.

"You can't trust them." Teachers have been demanding a pay increase for two months. About 50,000 people were estimated to have marched to support them before the violence broke out, but police would only confirm the 10,000 estimate. A demonstrator throws a piece of a wood as protesters try to invade the Municipal Assembly during a protest supporting the teachers' strike in Rio de Janeiro A mostly peaceful teachers' protest in Rio ended in violent confrontation after it was hijacked by a small but violent group of masked young men. Protesters at a mostly peaceful demonstration by teachers and supporters calling for better public education and services Monday's demonstration comes in the wake of citywide strikes by unionised education workers in Rio over the past few weeks. Protesters in front of police during a mostly peaceful protest by teachers and supporters calling for better public education and services in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (7 October 2013) A BBC correspondent in Rio says there have been several anti-government protests in Brazil, but not as violent as this.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

59

FOREIGN NEWS

'God particle' scientists win Nobel Physics Prize •Higgs

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ETER Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium won the Nobel Prize for Physics yesterday for conceiving of the so-called "God particle" which confers mass. Higgs, 84, and Englert, 80, were honoured for theorising a particle -- discovered last year after an agonising quest -- that explains why the Universe has any substance at all. "This particle originates from an invisible field that fills up all space. Even when the Universe seems empty this field is there," the jury said in a statement. "Without it, we would not exist, because it is from contact with the field that particles acquire mass."

Shortly after the announcement, the University of Edinburgh posted a statement from Higgs saying he was "overwhelmed" by the honour. "I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle," Higgs said. "I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of bluesky research." Englert told AFP in a brief comment: "I'm very happy to have received the prize." Known as a boson, the discovery was popularly dubbed the "God Particle" on the grounds that it is everywhere yet bafflingly elusive. Without it, say theorists, we and all the other joined-up atoms in the Universe would not exist. The presumed particle was discovered last year by a megascale physics lab near Geneva operated by the European Organisation for Nuclear Re-

search (CERN), after a decadeslong search. "As an achievement, it ranks alongside the confirmation that the Earth is round or Man's first steps on the Moon," Canadian particle physicist Pauline Gagnon told AFP. Higgs and Englert, the latter of the Free University of Brussels, received the world's most prestigious award for excellence in physics nearly a half century after they and others set down the theoretical groundwork. The history of the discovery dates back to 1964, when six physicists, working independently in three groups, published a flurry of papers. The first were Belgians Robert Brout, who died in 2011, and Englert, who proposed a mechanism by which a mass-giving field of particles invaded the early Universe, which until then was filled only with massless particles. This was followed by Higgs, who was the first to suggest that

•Iraqi women walk past a burnt-out vehicle following a bombing attack in Baghdad's eastern PHOTO: AFP al-Jadidah district...at the weekend.

Leaders of far-right UK group quit over extremism

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WO leaders of a farright, anti-Muslim group in Britain announced yesterday that growing extremism in the organisation's ranks has led them to quit - a decision helped by a group founded by former Islamist radicals. Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll said they were leaving the small but highprofile English Defense League, the group they founded in 2009. The Quilliam Foundation, an anti-extremism think tank founded by former Muslim

jihadists, said it had helped facilitate the pair's departure. The League claims to be a peaceful opponent of radical Islam, but its opponents accuse it of racism and anti-Muslim prejudice. Its protests - which are usually met by large counterdemonstrations have often turned violent. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, has been arrested several times, once for entering the United States using false ID. Robinson said in a statement that he acknowledged "the dangers of far-right ex-

tremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas." And he distanced himself from the behavior of some EDL supporters, telling the BBC that "whilst I want to lead a revolution against Islamist ideology, I don't want to lead a revolution against Muslims." He said that as the face of the EDL, he was tired of being associated with the group's excesses - such as the supporter photographed sporting a tattoo of an exploding mosque.

China arrests 110 for spreading online rumours

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EARLY 400 people in China's north-western Xinjiang region have been investigated for spreading online rumours, state media report. From 26 June to 31 August 110 people were detained and 164 received a warning, the Xinjiang Daily reports. The suspects disseminated religious extremism and material that threatened stability, it said. Xinjiang is home to mostly Muslim Uighurs who are a minority in China and have often clashed with authorities. The Xinjiang Daily, regarded as the mouthpiece of the local Communist Party committee, says the rapid rise of internet users in Xinjiang has seen an increase of religious extrem-

ism spreading online. Criminal offences online such as instigating violence and creating and spreading rumours have also increased, the paper says. China's leaders are currently trying to stamp out online rumours, which they believe stir unrest. The Xinjiang Daily report did not say whether any suspects had been released. It mentioned the cases of some of those arrested. They include a primary school teacher in Kashgar and a farmer in Hotan. The school teacher created and uploaded four video clips to his personal website in May, it said. They contained materials which promoted religious ex-

tremism, local police were quoted as saying, without giving details. He gave out the links to his site on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter. The videos received 1,500 views and were posted 11,000 times on Weibo before they were discovered and removed by police. The farmer in Hotan uploaded 2GB of e-books containing separatist materials to a site which he created, the paper said. They received more than 30,000 visits and were reposted 600 times and downloaded 14,000 times before being discovered. He has been charged with instigating separatism, the paper adds.

mass could only occur through the existence of a hitherto unknown particle. Because of this, the particle has been named after him, although Higgs has always been swift to acknowledge vital contributions from others. At the heart of the search for the "Higgs," was a drive to fill the so-called Standard Model, a conceptual framework of the fundamental particles of matter. The model, designed in the 1970s, failed to explain why some particles have substance, and others, such as light, have none. The answer, according to the theories, lies in an invisible field of bosons, or force carriers, that was created after the Big Bang. Fundamental particles travel through this field. Some interact with the Higgs to a greater or lesser degree, which thus confers mass, while others do not. On July 4 last year, physicists at CERN announced to rousing applause that they had found an elementary particle "consistent with" the Higgs boson. CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, in a statement on Tuesday, gave the biggest sign yet that the presumed particle is indeed the right one. "The discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN last year, which validates the Brout-EnglertHiggs mechanism, marks the culmination of decades of intellectual effort by many people around the world," he said. Later he told staff at CERN that

Mali 'Islamists' blow up Gao bridge

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•Englert

it was "a great day for particle physics", assuring his co-workers that they, too, deserved praise: "I'm really proud of you guys." The London-based Institute of Physics, where Higgs is an honorary fellow, hailed the work on the Higgs boson, saying it had led to a very exciting and productive period in physics research. "It has been a long journey but one that has inspired a generation to engage with the subject," said Frances Saunders, president of the institute. "With the existence of the Higgs boson confirmed... we can now move on to the next challenges to our understanding such as the phenomena of dark matter and quantum gravity." In line with tradition, the laureates will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896. The pair will share the prize sum of eight million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million, 925,000 euros), reduced because of the economic crisis last year from the 10 million kronor awarded since 2001.

USPECTED Islamist militants have blown up a bridge near Mali's northern town of Gao, the army says. The bridge over the River Niger near Bentia is on the only route between Gao and neighbouring Niger. Monday's attack came shortly after shells were fired into Gao, also by suspected Islamists. Islamist militants controlled the whole of northern Mali until France and several African countries ousted them earlier this year. An election was held in July amid efforts to reunite the country and restore democracy. Last week, the MNLA ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels attacked Kidal, the main town north of Gao, after saying they were pulling out of a peace deal. The MNLA formed an alliance with several al-Qaedalinked groups in 2012 but this soon broke down, with the Islamists seizing control of the major northern towns. One of those groups - Mujao - said it had blown up the bridge, the AFP news agency reports. Ibrahim Cisse, a local councillor for the Gao region, told AFP that assailants, "wearing turbans", arrived by motorbike at the bridge before blowing it up. A police source told AFP that there are two bridges at this point and only the older one was destroyed, while the new one was only slightly damaged.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

NEWS Alleged N10.9b theft: ‘Nwosu, others have case to answer’

Court issues bench warrants on two oil marketers

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By Adebisi Onanuga

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LAGOS High Court, Ikeja, yesterday said a former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, Okey Nwosu, and three former directors of the bank have a case to answer over alleged theft of N10.9 billion preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The court, presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu, dismissed the “no-case” submission filed by the former bank chief and the former directors. Nwosu is being prosecuted with Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike for allegedly stealing N10.9 billion belonging to the bank. The defendants, on September 16, asked the court to dismiss the charge. Through their counsel, they filed separately their “no-case” submission applications before the court. They submitted that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against them. But Justice Okunnu held that the prosecution’s case against the accused warranted some explanations. She deduced from the evidence before the court that the defendants had explanations to make before the court, having granted loans worth N20 billion to seven companies, which were not the bank’s customers. The judge said the prosecution claimed that the loans were granted without the knowledge or approval of the bank’s board of directors. She said the prosecution alleged that the shares purchased with the loans were disbursed through a company, Springboard Investment Limited, to the companies. Justice Okunnu noted that the shares were later discovered to have been transferred to the defendants without due process. She said: “This is enough to make it expedient for the defendants to give explanations to the court. The evidential burden of proof has been shifted to the defendants. “It is my finding that the respective ‘no-case’ submissions of the defendants cannot be upheld. “Each of the four applications before the court, therefore, fail and they are accordingly dismissed.” The judge adjourned the matter till December 16, for the defendants to open their defence.

•Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (second left), his deputy Gboribiogha John Jonah (second right), Assembly Speaker Konbowei Benson(right)and his Deputy Victor Sam Ateki, at a cocktail organised by the governor in honour of the Speaker and members of the Assembly at the Banquet Hall, Government House in Yenagoa.

By Adebisi Onanuga

USTICE Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja yesterday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of two oil marketers Opeyemi Ajuyah and Olarenwaju Olalusi - for failing to appear in court for charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The accused were arraigned with Abdullahi Alao, son of Ibadan businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao, for alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud. The three defendants and their firms were charged with their companies - Majope Investment Limited and Axenergy Limited - before Justice Okunnu. At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Ajuyah and Olalusi were absent in court, despite the directive of the trial judge. Olalusi was represented by his lawyer, Mr C. Z. Katung; Alao was present. Mrs Olubunmi Bosede, counsel to the EFCC, told the court that no formal notice was sent to the prosecution on the absence of the two defendants.

NAFDAC mops up unregistered products

T •Cross section of newly promoted Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) during their decoration in Abuja... on Monday

Aviation Minister lashes Fani-Kayode

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HE Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, yesterday berated a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, for asking her to resign. Ms Oduah said the former minister should bury his head in shame. The minister decried FaniKayode’s utterances and write-ups on the Aviation sector. She noted that his statements were false and capable of misleading the public. Ms Oduah spoke yesterday in Abuja at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa Conference, organised in partnership with the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). The event was tagged: Transforming ATM Performance. Ms Oduah said: “People like him, ignorant people in particular, I have huge sympathy for them, because when you speak out of context, when you speak under the influence of whatever you are under, you speak incorrectly and mislead innocent Nigerians. That is what he has done and, really, should bury his head in shame.” The former minister, in an article, attributed the spate of air crashes in the country to spiritual problems, which he said could only be salvaged by the ‘grace of God’.

‘Oduah took my advice out of context’

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killed and, instead of focusing on how to save lives, her obsession has become smearing and abusing Femi Fani-Kayode. This is a woman who only yesterday told Nigerians that ‘accidents are inevitable’ and that they were ‘acts of God’. This is a woman who thinks more about how her headscarf ...than she does about protecting Nigerian air travellers. “If anyone should bury her head in shame it is her; not me. After about 200 of our fellow citizens have been killed under her watch, instead of abusing her critics and those of us who have expressed our concerns and offered our advice, she should be seeking repentance from God and tendering her resignation. She should be attempting to encourage Nigerians and assuage their fears rather than indulging in cheap side shots and a futile press war. “Instead of comforting the families of those who died, she is abusing me. What a shame! “Under her tenure, we have beautiful terminals but deadly and blood-soaked skies. Our skies have become death traps because she really does not care.” to integrate aviation safety in upgrade infrastructure in the Africa, especially in Nigeria. sector, adding that it was “We have upgraded the inwrong to use ‘beer parlour’ frastructure; we are constantstatement as the benchmark ly upgrading infrastructure. for safety in the sector. We are putting the policies in Ms Oduah said: “Safety is alplace to ensure that infrastrucways and constantly prioritised ture is very well driven, but and literarily. There is no almost importantly, the training ternative to safety. Everything and retraining. So, the Nigeriin aviation is safety-driven. I an airspace is one of the best. have this opportunity to assure The ICAO actually graded us Nigerians that the Nigerian one of the best, above 60 per airspace is very safe.” cent. It’s not only that but also On the essence of the conferamong the 12 global airspace ence, she said its objective was nations which are very safe.

FORMER Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday criticised Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah, for allegedly taking his advice to her out of context. In a statement in Lagos, Fani-Kayode said: “Stella Oduah made some comments about me today (yesterday), which were uncalled for, malicious and petty. She reportedly said I should ‘bury my head in shame’, suggesting that I was ‘speaking out of context’ in my essay, where I called for her resignation and that I spoke under some ‘influence of something or other’. “My advice and counsel to her is to stop being petty. She is meant to talk like someone who befits her office and not like a market woman... I do not like joining issues with women publicly; this is why I was very gentle with her in my essay, though I made my point. But this woman is endangering the lives of our people with her insensitivity, and we cannot just keep quiet. “This is a woman under whose watch as Aviation minister almost 200 people have been From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

But Ms Oduah restated her commitment to the safety of the aviation sector. She noted that despite the sad occurrence, the nation’s Aviation sector was still put at 60 per cent, based on the rating standard of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The minister said the Federal Government had been supporting the ministry to

HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has begun on a massive raid and enforcement of major supermarkets, open markets and suspected warehouses in the Lagos. It was learnt that the move was aimed at strengthening consumers’ confidence in their choice of regulated products. The exercise, spearheaded by the Enforcement Directorate of the agency and led by Mrs. Ijeoma Nzeaka, a Chief Regulatory Officer, took the team to the popular Oke-Arin, Balogun, Idumota, Mushin and Oshodi markets, the Trade Fair Complex stalls as well as major supermarkets in Apapa, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ajah and their environs. Besides the markets, the team also visited some suspected warehouses in Isolo, Lagos-Badagry Expressway and motor parks and loading parks. During the exercise, products of various ranges, worth N50,000,000, were confiscated and the warehouses where they were kept sealed.

Fed Govt decries vandalism of MDGs projects From Olugbenga Adanikin and Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

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HE Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr Precious Gbeneol, yesterday decried the vandalisation of MDG projects in some communities. Dr. Gbeneol, who was represented by Director of Finance, David Ibikunle, urged the communities to own, protect, use and maintain MDGs projects across the country. The presidential aide spoke at a sensitisation workshop organised for civil society organisations (CSOs) and Federal Information Officers (FIOs) from 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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OTHER SPORTS

SPORT EXTRA

Jackman: I love the World Cup S

O, Australia are in the World Cup for a fourth time... This is not something I was used to. I mean, we grew up watching the World Cup but we always just assumed that Australia would never make it. Over the last few years, the Socceroos have just been incredible and I think it’s great because young people are growing up thinking [qualifying for World Cups] is normal. Success begets success in that respect. So we can assume you’ll be watching the World Cup in Brazil then? Oh yeah. To be clear, I’m hoping to be in Brazil for it. I’m one of these people that, when you’re offered things because you’re famous, I’ll say, ‘No, I don’t want that. I’m not interested in that’. But tickets? Yes! Absolutely! Restaurants and tickets for football games, that’s me. I’ll be a wh*** for that, trust me! (laughs) All my dreams were not about becoming an actor, but about being able to play for my country in my sport or any sport. Is football particularly close to your heart? I love the World Cup. To me, the Olympics and the World Cup are the purest international competitions out there. I played soccer until I was ten and then I moved on to rugby, but there is something I still find so beautiful about the game. My son is playing the game at the moment and I’m the assistant coach – well, really more the assistant to the assistant – in his soccer team. And, to me, anything that takes place once every four years and that cauldron of pressure that exists with [the World Cup], that’s what inspires me and turns me on. So let’s say Australia go pretty far but then go out of the tournament. Who would be the next team you would support? Brazil. I’ve always loved Brazil, although I’m not sure every year I would have supported them. But I can only imagine to a certain degree the pressure that is on the players in that country. I know that sport is like a religion in Australia, but nothing like soccer in Brazil. So for those players to win that World Cup at home, it would make that country so proud. It would change lives. Plus, they have similar colours to my country, so it’s easy to support them! If you had to choose between Australia winning the World Cup and you winning an Oscar, what would you pick? Wow. These are good, hard questions! Can I make it easier and say I’m playing for Australia? (laughs) I just want both! No, I expect nothing and everything’s a bonus. It’s easy for me, at my age and having grown up a soccer

•Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is a man who needs no introduction. A movie star and household name, the 44-year-old Australian has earned worldwide fame and renown for a glittering acting career that has included starring roles in several Hollywood blockbusters. Accolades and honours have rarely been in short supply, and the latest arrived only last week, when Jackman picked up the Golden Icon award at the Zurich film festival. Indeed, it was while in Switzerland for this event that the X-Men, Les Miserables and Wolverine leading man indulged his other major passion in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. Jackman explained, in fact, that it was dreams of excelling on the pitch, rather than on stage or on the silver screen, that had captivated him as a youngster. In an animated chat, this patriotic Sydney native also looked forward to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and another appearance in the game’s greatest tournament for his beloved Socceroos. supporter in Australia, not to expect us to win the World Cup. I think it’s good to be the underdog in every situation. Wolverine has been one of your most famous roles. Do you think he would have made a good goalie? No, he’d keep on popping and

slashing the ball. Plus, in the comic book, he’s only 5ft 3ins and there aren’t many 5ft 3ins keepers out there. I wouldn’t mind him in the midfield though. He could do some serious damage in there. Messi would be thinking, ‘I might just pass it to someone else. I don’t fancy going up against him.’

And if you had to play for one of the teams at the World Cup, who would it be? Australia, of course! I’m an Aussie, I grew up playing cricket and rugby, and one of the greatest thrills - and most frightening things - I’ve ever done was to sing the national anthem before a New

Zealand-Australia rugby match. I remember standing next to the team and just being there, so close, was a thrill for me. I grew up a real sports nut. All my dreams were not about becoming an actor, but about being able to play for my country in my sport or any sport. The truth is I just wasn’t that good.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

SPORT EXTRA Poyet: players must believe

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PREMIERSHIP Januzaj not ready to pick country

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HE 45-year-old Uruguayan, a former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder, ended his first managerial job with Brighton in controversial circumstances back in May but is back with a two-year contract at the Stadium of Light. Speaking about his predecessor, he told the press conference: "The time of Paolo has come to an end and it is time to move forward. We are all different and I don't think it is right to compare people. "I know a lot about the players at Sunderland, and I know for them it is going to be even more difficult now with another new manager. "I have to make sure they are comfortable here and we will make sure they are ready and without excuses." On the subject of his time at Albion, he said: "My aim was to try and prove that I'm good enough for the Premier League and so here I am. I've got my chance now. It's going to be a difficult challenge, but I'm ready for it. "When you're at the bottom in the situation that we are, everyone will say it's going to be difficult. The idea here is to believe and to be convinced. From what I see, I do believe that we can get safe. "I need to convince the players and everybody. I need to make sure that players, staff, fans and directors believe in this opportunity that starts today. I'm going to play my part. I need to make sure everybody commits to the cause. "You can see that they want to show everything the first day. Everybody wanted to train - even the ones that I wasn't expecting to. I just asked them to pay attention. The next two or three weeks, there's going to be plenty of information both ways. "I need them to be really aware and to try to understand, to ask questions and to be involved. That will make it quicker. The longer it takes, the more difficult it is going to be. Most of the work now will be mental. It's about getting the right information. "I've had one job as a manager so far and I was in it for four years. Every time a new manager arrives, he wants to stay as long as possible and prove he was the right choice. "I am a confident, positive person but it's too easy to talk in advance. I want to prove it. I want to show you. When we get to the end of the season, I hope we are going to be sitting here smiling and I hope I can show I can do it at this level." With the Black Cats rooted to the foot of the table having taken just one point from their opening seven games, Poyet's first game in charge will be the trip to face Swansea on October 19.

•Poyet

•Suarez

Suarez: I'm calmer since return T HE Uruguay international has scored three goals in two appearances since serving his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. It is early days yet but both performances have been notable for the 26-year-old's footballing brilliance and not the controversy which has dogged his time in England. Last weekend Suarez showed his softer side by coming onto the pitch for the pre-match handshakes against Crystal Palace with newborn son Benjamin and three-yearold daughter Delfina, and he believes his family are a steadying influence for him on the field. "I am aware that in recent matches that I played I've been calmer," he said on his return to Uruguay ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers. "I am very self-critical and I realised that playing well, with more tranquility, is helping me a lot. "I realise and I prefer to continue and not be the same as before." Suarez surprised many by appearing on the field with his children, but it is something of a tradition among South Americans and, despite initial resistance from club officials, they gave way on the striker's insistence. "In England it is not common and the first club people told me I was not going to go with them but I told them that my children were going to come with me, like it or not," he told reporters who greeted his arrival at Montevideo airport in comments reported in Uruguayan newspaper El Pais. "They understood in the end and it was a nice moment, a unique moment for me. "They (family) make me think hard and calm me. Nowadays I think a lot of them when I'm on the field. "I wanted my son to live as I do. I suffered a lot as a child and I do not want my children, or any other child, to experience the circumstances as I

did. "As a parent I try to give them all the love in the world and all the best." Suarez dismissed some suggestions in the media that he had used his children to help win over fans on his first appearance at Anfield since the furore of his summer transfer saga when he accused the club of reneging in a deal allowing him to leave for a Champions League side. "What the English papers say I do not care," added Suarez, who earlier in the summer had cited the British media as being one of the reasons he wanted to leave. "The only thing I care about is playing football, and enjoying my family is what I love most." That Suarez remained at Anfield despite interest from Arsenal, who tried to sign him with a £40,000,001 bid, owed much to the intransigence of Reds owner John W Henry, who refused to entertain selling their prize asset. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted "waking up every morning, hoping that nothing would happen and that he would still be here" and he was very pro-active in trying to persuade the Uruguayan to stay. It was an approach which did have some effect. "I do not know if he prayed but what he said is what he feels because he was talking to me all the time," Suarez said. "Gerrard, for me, is a legend in Liverpool and a great team-mate that helped me a lot. "His attitude was an extra boost for me to take the decision to stay in Liverpool; both he and the fans of Liverpool influenced much for that. "I admire him for the great player he is worldwide. For me he will always be a benchmark and at club level he is the best player I have played with in my career, as a person and as a footballer."

HE 18-year-old's complicated background means he is eligible for Belgium, Albania and Turkey, whilst he would also be available for England once he has fulfilled FIFA's eligibility requirements. "At the moment, international football isn't something that I've thought a lot about," Januzaj is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. "I know that, first, I have to concentrate on what I do for United, because that is the most important part of my career right now. "I want to play well for United and give everything for my club." As the country of his birth, Belgium would appear to be an obvious choice, particularly as they are on the brink of automatic World Cup qualification. However, speaking ahead of games against Croatia and Wales, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots confirmed Januzaj does not want to choose at present. "Manchester United told me that Januzaj has not made a decision to play for a national team yet, not for any country," Wilmots told reporters. "We gave a clear signal [that we want him to play for Belgium] and now it's up to him. I will respect his choice." It is thought Januzaj wants to establish a senior club career for himself before making a final decision. Far stronger than it appears from his slender frame, Januzaj is capable of operating in any advanced position immediately behind a central striker, with the feeling he could develop into a top-class 'number 10'. He has made a good start, scoring twice on his first United Premier League start at Sunderland on Saturday.

That matchwinning contribution alone should focus minds at Old Trafford about Januzaj's contract, which expires in the summer. Talks about an extension have been ongoing since April, although so far there has been no resolution. Little wonder many United fans are fearful of losing the young midfielder as they did with Paul Pogba, who has made such a big impression at Juventus. Moyes will want to avoid that scenario at all costs given Januzaj is now set to become one of Europe's hottest properties. Not that the increased scrutiny is going to be a problem according to Phil Jones. "He is a level-headed guy," said the England international. "He knows what he has to do. He has to keep his head down. "He is going to hit the heights though because that was some debut. "The second goal was particularly impressive. If Gareth Bale gets one of those everyone is raving about it." Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed Marouane Fellaini will link up with the Belgium squad this morning despite being sent for scans on the wrist injury that forced him to miss the Sunderland triumph. In wishing the former Everton man a speedy recovery, United said on their Facebook site the injury "could keep the strikerout for at least a few weeks". However, the Belgian Football Association has confirmed Fellaini will link up as intended. Wilmots has not decided whether to use Fellaini, and neither is it entirely clear whether Moyes will wish to persevere with the former Everton man when he returns or send him for an operation it is suggested he needs.

•Januzaj

Kompany facing spell on sidelines

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OMPANY limped out of City's 3-1 Premier League win over Everton on Saturday and on Monday the club confirmed the injury was a thigh problem. The defender has been due to play for Belgium in Friday's crucial World Cup qualifier away to Croatia - a point will see them reach next summer's finals in Brazil - but Belgian officials ruled him out of that clash and next Tuesday's meeting with Wales on Monday evening. It was they who said Kompany would be out for up to four weeks. Were Kompany to miss the next four weeks, he would miss key games for City, including a Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow and a Premier League showdown at title rivals Chelsea.

•Kompany


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

62

SPORT EXTRA 18 players sweat for shirts against Antelopes •Emenike, Moses breeze in Tuesday night

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HE Super Eagles had their first training session ahead of the crucial World Cup final round qualifier against Ethiopia on Tuesday evening at the mainbowl of the refurbished Abuja National Stadium with 18 players sweating it out for starter’s shirts. The over two hours trainning session was watched by the Director General of the National Sports Commission(NSC), Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye, who was accompanied by a deputy director, Olu Akoja, Special Assistant and former African, Commonwealth and Olympics tracks queen, Mary Onyali Omagbemi. Also on hand to witness the trainning session was the AIPS President for Africa and Vice President of Mastersports International, Mitchel Obi. Hordes of sports journalists and fans also witnessed the session. The roll-call of players who trained on Tuesday evening include stand-in skipper, Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide and Chigozie Agbim all goalkeepers. Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echejile, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis and James Okuosa were the defenders in training. John Mikel Obi leads from the middle that includes Ogenyi

Onazi, John Ogu, Sunday Mba and Nnamdi Oduamadi, while strikers were Uchenna Nwofor, Obinna Nsofor and Ahmed Musa. The training itself was very exciting as fans appluaded every move of the players and wished them well in Sunday’s encounter against Ethiopia. Skipper Vincent Enyeama, while noting that the Ethiopians will be no pushovers, promised that he and his teammates will not let the nation down. Speaking briefly on the game the NSC DG, said he was impressed by the large turnout of players on day one of the training of the team, even as Head Coach Stephen Keshi says he expects a full house in Wednesday’s training session. Hon Elegbeleye said he was sure, with the spirit of the team he saw on Tuesday that victory will be achieved in Addis Ababa come Sunday. Team Scribe Dayo Enebi Achor said Shola Ameobi had a slight flight hitch and was expected Wednesday morning, Emmanuel Emenike was expected before dinner on Tuesday, same for Victor Moses and Brown Ideye. From the look of things in camp it seems that the eggs are well laid ready for hatching by the Super Eagles come Sunday.

• Nigeria International, Victor Moses flanked by Group Chief Operating Officer, Globacom Mr.Mohamed Jameel (right)and Executive Director, Legal, Mrs. Gladys Talabi signing the dotted lines as Glo Ambassador in Lagos on Tuesday.

Victor Moses is Glo ambassador

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IGERIA international and Liverpool Football Club winger, Victor Moses was on Tuesday in Lagos unveiled as a brand ambassador of the

Enyeama:It’s going to be a tough game against Ethiopia

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UPER Eagles’ Captain, Vincent Enyeama has stated that his team would find it very difficult playing against host team, Walyas Antelopes of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday but he is confident the Eagles would eventually squeeze a victory expected from them. Eagles commenced training as earlier reported by NationSport in the evening with 18 players while five players, were expected to join the team in camp later. Among the players that were not at the training included

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Victor Moses, Nosa Igiebor, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike and Brown Ideye. Team Captain, Enyeama, however, told NationSport after the training, “We have just had our first training session today (Tuesday) and that is what we really need to do that is to keep training and keep working hard for the game. It’s going to be an important game and it’s really going to be a hard game for us. I guess it’s the most important game for the

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year and we know what is at stake and really want to be there in Brazil. “We don’t have any excuse, no altitude excuse, nothing, we just want to work hard and see how to make Nigerians happy. That is our ultimate ambition. We pray to God to help us to score there. We just want to win. We want to win and I think we desire to win in Ethiopia. “We know it’s not going to come on a platter of gold or on bed of roses. We have to work hard for it and we have started that already today at the training. You can see that we have been running and sweating and that is what we are going to do to achieve our objectives and ambition” Enyeama told NationSport shortly after the two hours training session at the Abuja National Stadium.

Telecommunications Company, Globacom. Speaking at the event held at the Mike Adenuga Headquarters of Globacom; the Chief Operating Officer of Globacom, Mr. Mohamed Jameel stated that the footballer had within his short playing career distinguished himself at both the club and National team levels. He added that the highly talented winger has also been a good inspiration not only to up-coming footballers but also to the younger generation of Nigerians. The Glo chief executive said that one of the ways in which the company had been promoting indigenous sports as well as arts and culture , was through the appointment of enterprising Nigerians in various sectors as brand ambassadors. According to him, “This is not only meant to promote the growth of the various industries but also to encourage our teeming youth population to aspire to realise their dreams by looking up to these crops of ambassadors as mentors.” “It is in line with our commitment to delivering value and rewarding

excellence that we have signed up one of our own, a Nigeria international, a dynamic winger and outstanding member of our victorious national team, the Super Eagles, Mr. Victor Moses to project the Globacom brand across the world,” Jameel stated further. He described the unveiling ceremony of the footballer as a further demonstration of Globacom’s commitment to the development of Nigerian football. Responding, Victor Moses thanked Globacom for

considering him worthy of being the company’s ambassador, promising to make Globacom a bigger brand and “score more goals for the company”. Moses stated that the Globacom ambassadorship is his first endorsement contract in Africa, adding that he will make everybody proud by working very hard to ensure that the Super Eagles qualifies for the next World Cup. He also advised young footballers to work extra hard on their talent to become outstanding.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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SPORT EXTRA

Abuja stadium pitch too hard—Keshi ARCO table tennis

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makes it very hard and heavy for the players. We have no option than to work hard so that we come out smiling on sunday”. He called for the prayers of all Nigerians

UPER Eagles Head coach Stephen Keshi has condemned the quality of job done on the pitch of the Abuja National Staduim, saying that the pitch is too

hard for players and may be water-logged in event of a heavy rain. Speaking further, the the Big Boss said “first we must appreciate the

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Ogu ready for Ethiopia test

HE Super Eagles face a double-header against the Walya Antelopes with a place in next year's showpiece in Brazil at stake, and the 25-year-old is certain it will be the reigning African Cup of Nations champions who book their

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From Patrick Ngwaogu

government’s gesture for ensuring that the stadium is repaired. This is in right direction. But my concern is that the contractors used sharp sand for the regrassing which

passage to the event. "We (the players) have resolved to give it our best shot to make sure the country's flag flies in Brazil

come 2014," Ogu said. "It's something we've been discussing among ourselves since the draws came out and we know what is at stake.

Aloy Atuegbu shone like a million stars to give the Flying Antelopes a 6-0 aggregate victory.” Rangers went on to win the Cup without losing a match.”And that exactly is what the Eagles will do.They will hit Brazil without losing any game in the qualifiers,”the ex-governor explained. Kalu described the Ethiopians as trespassers.”We are talking soccer not long distance race.I shall continue to admire the heroics of marathoners Abebe Bikila ,who won black Africa’s first Olympic gold at R o m a ’ 6 0 , M a m o

Wolde,Miruts Yifter and of course, the generation next.The World Cup is all about football and boots,nothing to do with spikes.” Reminded that Ethiopia won the Africa Nations Cup in 1962,a year before Nigeria’s debut,Kalu’s reaction was again swift. “That is history.Then they had Menguistuo Worku.Today,no member of their team could look Mikel Obi straight in the face without bowing.You know Victor Moses.They are scared of the young man.These are the men that will shock them in Addis,” Kalu said.

Eagles’ll defeat Ethiopia—Kalu

HERE is nothing to worry about,that is the message from former Abia state governor Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu as Nigeria fight for Brazil 2014 World Cup ticket against Ethiopia shortly. Exuding optimism,Kalu said,”Eagles are unstoppable at this stage.They will electrocute their opponents because they remind me of the 1977 Mandela Cup winning Enugu Rangers.” He was snappy about his point.”Inspite of the so called high altitude,Rangers defeated their Second round opponents Electric Company of Ethiopia 2-0 in Addis on a day Chimezie “Watch me” Ngadi and “Block buster”

Nigerian Sports Award: Elegbeleye commends organisers, pledges full support

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HE highest sports authority in Nigeria, the National Sports Commission(NSC) has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Sports Award with promises to support the organisers in any way it can, to ensure that the laudable initiative is successful and sustained towards rewarding and recognising excellent performance in sports. This assurance was given on Monday by the Director General, National Sports Commission Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye when the members of the award panel led by the chairman, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo paid him a courtesy visit in his

office at the Abuja National Stadium Complex, Abuja. Speaking during the courtesy visit, the Director General, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye described the award as a good initiative, a form of reward and recognition for outstanding performance of athletes that willhelp to develop sports in Nigeria by promoting healthy competition among our athletes who will be looking forward to receiving the award. Hon. Elegbeleye commended the organisers of the award for introducing the Sports Governor of the Year category of the award. He stressed that the category will not only encourage the

Governor that emerges winner but also challenge other Governors to do more in area of sports development in their respective states. In his remarks, the Chairman of the award panel for the Nigerian Sports Award, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo explained that the visit of the award panel members was to seek the support of the National Sports Commission for the award and to also formally notify and invite the DG, the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and the Vice President, ahead of the November 26, event in Lagos.

"We didn't come this far to turn back, it's now or never. All our hard work over the past ten months will only count if we beat Ethiopia, and that is what we are aiming for." The Academica de Coimbra man has allayed fears over his readiness for action, with his lack of playing time at the Portuguese club raising doubts over his fitness. "It's true I haven't been getting enough games at my club, that itself is a combination of a lot of factors, but I can assure Nigerians that I'm fit and ready to go," he added. "I've done some special training as regards the altitude in Addis Ababa, and we have also spoken about it. Nigerians can be rest assured that we'll give it our all to make the nation proud. "Ethiopia is no push overs, so we won't treat them with kids gloves, for us this is a cup final. It's make or mar, and we cannot afford to fail Nigerians."

championship thrills participants

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T was a gathering of table tennis enthusiasts at Ikoyi Club on Friday night as the final rounds of the 3rd ArcoPetrochemical Engineering Company Plc table tennis championship were decided at the club.While some of the finals had been decided earlier, three trophies were keenly contested at the grand finale. MrSeye Oki and Hon. GbolahanOkuneye displayed their dexterity in table tennis when they locked horns for the Veteran singles title. Mr. Oki won the tournament by three games to one on the principle of best of five games. Seye Oki was back on the table with Sheikh Adna against the pair of Hon. Okuneye and Soji Aladesuru. The contest ended three games to nil in favour of Oki and Adna. The last thriller of the evening was between Sheikh Adna and Dr. V. Da Costa. In a game of best of seven, Adna defeated Dr. Da Costa four games to one. The officers of Ikoyi Club led by the Chairman of the Club, Mr. Wale Doherty, watched the competition with scores of members of the tennis section and their guests. The championship featured

a ceremonial exhibition match between the sponsor of the championship Alfred Okoigun and the Chairman of the table tennis section, Otunba Femi Oduntan. The game ended in a draw. Winners and runners up were later presented with handsome gifts for their competitive spirit throughout the one week event. The champions in various categories went home with shining trophies in addition to other gifts. Okoigun whose company sponsored the tournament told journalists in an interview that he was pleased with the interest being shown in the championship and promised that Arco will continue to sponsor the competition. He said, “I observed that the people who participated in the competition were happy. This will encourage us to be consistent in our objective to continue to promote recreation among members of Ikoyi Club.” He also referred to the national table tennis classics that Arco had been sponsoring adding that some of the talents discovered during the classics had gone abroad to represent Nigeria in international competitions.

David mark lauds Ikoyi club’s golf standards

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ENATE President David Mark on Saturday October 5 said that Ikoyi Golf Club consistency in the staging of Nigeria Cup has helped the game to advance in the country. Said He; “It is a good thing to have this event going on for this long, it will among other things help project the game further in the country” Mark made the statement while performing the ceremonial tee-off at the closing round of the 27th edition of the Nigeria Cup, where over 180 gentlemen golfers contested in an 18-hole decider for the prime trophy of the championship. The event which had started in September 24 with professional’s round where top athletes in the game vied for N3million naira also featured kids, veteran, ladies and guest players contesting for honour. Ted Iwere, who chaired the organising committee for the event praised the effort of

sponsors, golfers and enthusiasts for their support of the championship noting that the status of the event as a ‘Major’ amateur event on the calendar was largely due top their unlinching support. At the end of the affair, Muftau Balogun, a sixteen handicapper ram home with the coveted Nigeria Cup when he closed with a 72, one over par at the end of proceedings, beating Beating Kalia Ajay to the second place with two strokes difference Other winners are: Dinana Osmond, the 16 years old winner of the kiddies event, while Ghana-born Emnos Korblah triumphed in the professional category. Olumide Ojutalayo, Remi Olukoya, Peter Eben-Spiff and Tim Ayomike were also mounted the podium to be celebrated. The Nigerian Cup is an independence anniversary golf event, hosted by the golf section of Ikoyi Club in Lagos

17 organisations for Corporate football tourney

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E V E N T E E N organisations have been invited to participate in the maiden edition of the Nigerian Corporate Champions Cup. The organisations according to the organiser, Corporate Soccer Limited are; Guinnes Nigeria plc, Mobil Exxon, Total, MTN Nigeria, Etisalat, Brila Fm, Eko Hotel, Nigeria Brewries, Shell Petroleum D e v e l o p m e n t Company,(SPDC) SPG Nigeria(Oil andGas) and Banwo and Ighodalo among others. M a n a g i n g

Director,Corporate Soccer Limited,Onome Obruthe informed that eight out of seventeen organisations that completes their registration will participate in the tourney scheduled to hold at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium between 22nd -24th November. He also informed that the winner of the Nigerian Corporate Champions Cup will be fully sponsored by the organiser ;Corporate Soccer Limited to represent Nigeria at the African Corporate Football competition slated for Dakar,Senegal early next year.

Obruthe also stated that the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) had been duly informed of the forthcoming football tourney aimed at fostering unity and friendship among private organisations and to put the country on the world map . “The response has been so good despite the fact that this is the maiden edition and we hope to give the participating corporate organisations the best to leverage on and I enjoined them to confirm their participation early enough so as to have adequate and proper planning “,he said


TODAY IN THE NATION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

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LL politics, as the Americans would say, is, in the end, local. Meaning, politics, in the end, is about simple everyday mundane issues rather than about big and intangible ideas. In recent times undoubtedly big and not so tangible issues such as the national budget, the privatisation of electric power, crises of internal party democracy, Election ’15 and, only last week, the national conference, sovereign or otherwise, have dominated our politics. However, in the last two weeks this column has avoided these somewhat big and not so tangible issues and dwelt on the more mundane issue of traditional rule, first in my home town, Bida, and then in Suleja, one of the major towns in my home state, Niger. This was for the good reason that each of the emirates celebrated an important milestone for the No. 1 Citizen of its emirate, both of which have been prominent in the history of the country. As the reader can see from the title of this piece, I have decided to remain local this week once more and briefly discuss the politics of the 2015 governorship election of my state, whose slogan is “Power State”, not, as is widely misunderstood, on account of the fact that it has produced two military heads of state, an Air Force chief and many generals, but because it contains all the hydroelectric power stations in the country. Staying local one more time this week was not easy in the face of the surprise announcement during his October 1 Independence Day speech by President Goodluck Jonathan that he will soon order a national conference and the mixed reactions the announcement provoked. Niger State may not be the bellwether of Nigeria’s politics, but as one of only three states in the country to have produced two or more heads of state – the other two being Kano and Ogun – not to talk of its many prominent generals and topnotch politicians like Professor Jerry Gana, its politics deserves more than a passing public interest. In its edition of May 21, Daily Trust carried a full page advert signed by Bala Yakubu Gawu, in which the author concluded that the man to beat in the state’s governorship elections, in 2015, is its Deputy Governor, Honourable Ahmed Musa Ibeto. Ibeto, who is from the Kontagora senatorial zone of the state, was once the state’s chief of protocol. He was also a member of the House of Representatives. By means fair or foul, the country’s ruling parties - from the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) in the First Republic, through the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic, to the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the current dispensation - have always won elections in the state. Going by the ruling PDP’s zoning arrangement at the state level it will be the turn of the Kontagora zone, aka Zone C, to produce the next governor. Zone A (Bida) has had its turn between 1999 and 2007 while Zone B (Minna) will come to the end of its two four-year terms in 2015. The advert in question discussed only the possible candidates for the PDP governorship ticket from Zone C. Apart from Ibeto the others mentioned in the advert were Muazu Mohammed Bawa, the state’s commissioner of Finance, Abubakar Sani Bello (Habu), former

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H, the world has grown old and weary; her walls are coming down. The dog grows horns and the lion now eats yam. Just in the same manner a Catholic bishop is in a mortal combat with one of his priests. As you read this, the reverend gentleman is probably still in detention without bail; as reported, he forcibly removed from the pulpit, stripped naked and bundled away along with most of his congregation – would the Catholic Church desecrate itself? This, as we learnt, was after attempts to kidnap him failed. Another bid to defame him by branding him insane and make it seem he set his own parsonage ablaze also failed. It has been an all or nothing fight between bishop and priest since 2009. Now His Eminence has succeeded in putting Father in the dock in a court presided over by a judge of ‘the world’. He accuses his priest of – would you believe it – armed robbery and kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy! Ah, how our walls come crashing down; how the pillars buckle under the weight of a remorselessly wanton world!

VOL.8 NO.2,631

‘If all people think about anywhere they are is how to make money by all possible means, whether fair or foul, to the extent of even robbing the dead, then, there is no other way to explain it than to say that we are a cursed people’ DELE AGEKAMEH

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

People and Politics By

MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

Niger State 2015: a prognosis

•Aliyu...who succeeds him in 2015

commissioner of Commerce and son of retired Colonel Sani Bello and son-in-law of former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Aminu Yusuf, the secretary of the state’s PDP and Mustapha Bello, former minister of Commerce, younger brother of Col Bello and current Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council. Conspicuously missing from Gawu’s list were Ibrahim Ahmed Matani, a former head of service and currently commissioner of Agriculture, three time senator, former DIG Nuhu Aliyu and

Abubakar Sa’idu, chairman of Wushishi Local government and son-in-law of state’s governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu. Even more conspicuously missing was Mohammed, first son of General Ibrahim Babangida, who seems to have since quietly dropped out of the race possibly because, though his ancestral home is Wushishi, his family has always been identified with Minna. The trouble with Gawu’s advert was that it seemed too much of a sponsored promotion for Ibeto. First, the advert conveniently ignored an undertaking Ibeto reportedly gave that the price for his two-term deputy governorship under Dr Aliyu was his forfeiture of his governorship ambition. Second, experience for experience in public service and politics he is no match for Engineer Mustapha Bello and Senator Nuhu Aliyu. Third, if it comes to connections at high places, an element which seems to have become central to winning elections in Nigeria, he is no match for Bello Jr., who, apart from his father-in-law, can count on his father’s childhood friends, classmates and military colleagues like Generals Babangida and Gado Nasko, former FCT minister, for support. Fourth, as if to create even more trouble for Ibeto and his party, Bello Jr. defected to the CPC before the APC merger, following his falling out a long time ago with the state governor over issues of policy. Another trouble with Gawu’s advert apart from those it inexplicably left out was that it assumed Niger State, being historically an Establishment state, would be PDP’s to lose

in 2015. This assumption ignores the fact that for years now Kontagora has become an opposition territory. If, as the Americans say, politics, in the end, is all local, whoever wins PDP’s governorship ticket is not likely to win Zone C for the party. Although in Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo has shown back in 1998 that you don’t have to have home support to win an election, the lack of a home support is a serious minus for any politician. This was obviously why, in his second term bid in 2003, the general made sure by all means that his party swept his native Southwest zone. The probability that Kontagora will remain opposition territory has reportedly prompted the party’s kingpins of the state’s origin in Abuja, notably Professor Jerry Gana, to canvass the option of making the party’s governorship ticket a free-for-all. This would be patently unfair to Kontagora. But whether the PDP primaries becomes a free-for-all or not, the new opposition party, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), stands a good chance of winning the governorship election in the state if it gives its ticket to a plausible candidate from Zone C. Among those said to be gunning for the ticket for now are Ibrahim Musa, the zone’s senator, Ibrahim Bako Shettima from Bida, the Congress for Progressive Change’s (CPC’s) governorship candidate in the 2011 elections David Umaru from Minna, the All Nigeria Peoples Party’s governorship candidate in 2007 and 2011, and Bello Jr. from Kontagora. Because Zones A and B have had their turn in governing the state, Bello Jr. seems APC’s best chance of beating PDP in the state, especially if anyone from outside Kontagora picks PDP’s ticket and if Bello Jr. picks his running mate from Bida, the state’s biggest senatorial zone. The ruling party’s chances of losing the state is hardly helped by the fact that its caucus seems to be in a predicament over who to back for the party’s ticket between Ibeto, Mustapha Bello and Abubakar Saidu, the chairman of Wushishi Local Government and the governor’s son-in-law who also has the support of the governor’s younger brother, Mohammed Aliyu, the managing director of Niger State Development Company, reportedly the man with the greatest influence over the Chief Servant’s policies and programmes. Chances are the next governor of Niger State may be Abubakar Sani Bello.

FEEDBACK

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ast week I promised I will publish two rather lengthy but thoughtful reactions to my last two columns. I am sorry I am able to publish only the shorter one this week for lack of space. I shall publish the other one next week, God willing. Sir, I enjoyed your tribute to the Etsu Nupe in “Ten Years of the 13th Etsu Nupe” published in the Daily Trust of 18th September, 2013. However, I disagree with your view that “once Bida fell (to British forces), the collapse of the caliphate all the way to Sokoto proved more or less a piece of cake. . . “ No doubt, the British West African Frontier Force faced a gallant enemy in their two-day battle to capture Bida in January 1897, suffering 17 wounded and 8 dead in the process. Yet, the subsequent conquest of the caliphate did not come any easier for the British, who for instance, lost 14 soldiers in a single encounter with forces loyal to the Emir of Kontagora on Helo Island in the River Niger in October 1898.

At the Battle of Yola in September 1901, the British suffered 2 dead and 41 wounded, while at the Caliph’s last stand in Burmi in present Gombe State, British casualties amounted to 2 dead and 54 wounded (First Battle of Burmi, April 1903) and 103 dead and wounded (Second Battle of Burmi, July 1903). Interestingly, the defeated Emir Abubakar of Bida fought gallantly in Burmi, alongside Caliph Attahiru and Emir Ahmadu of Misau, and once again, he managed to escape capture by the victorious British forces. In short, if the mighty British Empire suffered heavy casualties and took six years to achieve the conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate, that conquest cannot be described “as a piece of cake” by any standard. For more on the military battles of the British conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate, readers are referred to the book “War on the Savannah” by Risko Marjomaa, published by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Helsinki (1998). Dr. Nura H. Alkali •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

HARDBALL

(REV) Father goes to court Hardball puts it upfront that he is not a Catholic; but when you have attained middle age as Hardball has, you are bound to begin to appreciate Catholicism and all the good it stands for. Apart from the glorious Christian teachings and the church’s rich doctrine, the Catholic Church has grown to become the world’s alternate government and in fact, in some climes, it is the de facto government. Of course, this enclave of the Pontiff will never fail to represent an object of immense fascination to all discerning minds – its great traditions, its vast tome of intellectual offerings and archives; its centuries old institutions of great learning and teachings; ancient monasteries in far-flung corners of the world, havens for spiritual renewal and rediscovery. Not to forget the corps of deeply educated clergymen, perhaps the most enlightened people to be found anywhere extending light to even the most extreme corners of the universe.

Consider the comforting presence of the denomination- both physically and spiritually – across the surface of the earth; the magnitude and magnificence of its monuments, community by community. Consider its impact on education and learning, from cradle to the grave for millions of people. No other denomination or extra-governmental body has such deep reach. What about its 1.2 billion population present in every corner of the world? This old lady, the wizened body of the Lamb has been through good and bad times in the manner of all things of flesh and spirit – from the age of licentious Popes through Reformation to this digital age, the Catholic Church has been buffeted as of violent storm against a ship. The current being horrific matters of paedophilia and child abuse among the Catholic clergy which may have prompted the Pope to begin to contemplate the revocation of the oath of celi-

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above bacy. However, the matter between Rt. Rev. John Okoye, Catholic bishop of Awgu Diocese in Enugu State and one of his priests, Rev. Father James Ede of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Mmaku, may well open a new, unsavoury vista for the church especially in Nigeria. Apart from further debasing the Catholic establishment in the eye of the people, it may initiate a spiral of feuding and bad blood in the fold across the country. This matter has festered into a dirty, stinking wound for over four years that one wonders whether the church has lost grip in Nigeria. Whatever happened to her conflict resolution and disciplinary processes? The matter brims with so much sordid details that even the tussle for leadership in motor parks pales beside it. Do this bishop and his poor priest still administer the holy sacraments and hear confessions? Hardball was used to seeing clergymen in ‘husband and wife’ churches fight dirty and seek for resolution from the worldly police and court, never in the Catholic Church; the walls are indeed, tumbling.

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: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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NEWS Stallion to build Fed Govt cuts costs of registering Nissan, auto assembly plant businesses T N O encourage local and foreign investors, the Federal Government has slashed the cost of registering businesses by half. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, told the Brazilian Deputy Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Mr. Richardo Schaefer, who led a 19- man delegation to his office yesterday that the new registration regime took effect from October 1. Aganga said the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had reduced by 50 per cent equity registrations of N500 million or lower, and by 25 per cent for equity registrations of N500 million and above. He said: “The rationale behind the reduction in the cost of business registration is in line with the ministry’s investment climate reform programme aimed at strategically repositioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for both local and foreign investments.

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

“Following the directive from the president, the CAC has since October 1, 2013, slashed fees for business registration by 50 per cent. “Under the new regulations, capital registration fees for companies (under Part A) have been reduced across board. While capital registrations below N1million will retain a flat fee of N10,000; all registrations between N1 million and N500 million are reduced by 50 per cent; and all registrations above N500 million are reduced by 25 per cent. “By this action, Nigerian companies will now save well over N2 billion per annum, which can be used to sustain their businesses, hire more staff, and expand operations. The new regulation has been deliberately set up to ensure the bulk of these savings go to smaller businesses,

which need the lower fees more.” He said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brazil would make it possible for agencies responsible for skills development , industry and development finance in both countries to work together to deliver better services for their citizens. “The aim of the MoU is to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries at the bilateral and multilateral levels; to increase and promote bilateral trade of strategic items of mutual interest, and support cooperation between institutions of both countries responsible for the promotion of trade and investment and official financing such as Banco Nacional do Desenvolimento Economico e Social (BNDES) and the Bank of Industry. “Also, we are looking at areas where Brazil can support

our industrial, skills development and the growth of our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Therefore, this MoU will bring together our MSMEs promotion agency(SMEDAN) and Servico Brasileiro de Apoio Micro e Pequenas Empresas (SEBRAE) , Servico Nacional de Apredizagem Industrial (SENAI) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to drive the initiative.” Schaefer said the MoU would provide a framework for both countries to explore and increase trade and investment opportunities. He said: “We have signed a MoU today to deepen the trade and investment cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil. We need to deepen our cooperation in several sectors of the economy. Our governments, through this agreement, will evaluate, step by step, the different projects that are mutually beneficial to both countries. The MoU is an important tool to make things happen faster.

ISSAN and West Af rican conglomerate Stallion Group yesterday announced plans to jointly build a vehicle assembly in Nigeria. Their plan is in anticipation of the Federal Government’s approval of a new Automobile Industrial Policy, designed to encourage development of the auto industry. A statement signed by Chairman, Stallion Group Sunil Vaswani said the partnership would see Nissan become the first major international manufacturer to start a vehicle assembly in the country following the legislation. “The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will result in Stallion – already Nissan’s exclusive distributor in Nigeria – increasing capacity at its existing plant, VON Automobile Ltd in Lagos,” the statement said, adding that Stallion currently produces commercial vehicles at the facility. According to Vaswani, the plant’s yearly capacity will be expanded to 45,000 units

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• From left: Chairman, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha(left); Representative of Secretary to the Government of the Federation Dr Jumaila Shuaib; and Director-General, SON Dr Joseph Odumodu during the inauguration of SON’s office complex, in Lagos.

Govt votes $2.6b PHCN cash for workers’ pay

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HE $2.6 billion (about N415.2 billion) real ised from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) will be used to defray the workers’ benefits, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Benjamin Dikki said yesterday. Dikki said there was delay in paying some workers be-

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From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

cause of the differences in names, multiple Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA), wrong account numbers, among others. He said the funds required for the exercise had been remitted to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) who has remitted same to the banks

for payment. In a statement in Abuja, BPE Director of Communications Mr. Chigbo Anichebe said Dikki spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, while fielding questions from reporters at the funeral of the mother of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara.

He said as auditors verified and reconciled these differences, payments would be concluded as expeditiously as possible. The statement quoted Dikki as saying the Federal Government was committed to concluding the payment of all verified entitlements of PHCN successor-companies, workers before the end of the second week of October.

Moghalu said banks had globally been subjected to intense regulation and supervision because of the fiduciary nature of their business. Consequently, they are required to comply with laws, regulations, guidelines, and standards issued by national regulatory authorities and international standard setting bodies. He advised banks to develop robust internal policies and ensure compliance in order to strengthen their controls, enssure transparency and promote sound cor-

porate governance. Moghalu said while banks were expected to comply with regulations, they also needed to look critically at what makes them competitive. Technology, innovation and new product development, he said were key factors driving competition in the financial system. Banks, he said, were subjected to rigorous regulation because 80 to 90 per cent of their fund is from depositors, adding: “This makes it more compelling for them to comply with regulation.”

CBN to publish names of errant banks

HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) will pub lish the names of banks that fail to adhere to operating guidelines in newspapers to deter others, its Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr Kingsley Moghalu, said yesterday. Speaking at the continuous education programme for Bank Directors organised by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) in Lagos, he said after the policy’s adoption sanctions against lenders would be made public. He said the op-

By Collins Nweze

tion of payment was not enough, adding that there was need to get the banks to become more responsible in handling their transactions. “When it comes into effect, we will publicise sanctions against banks. We have discovered that fines are not enough,” he said. He said the past 25 years witnessed the most intense, often cut-throat competition in industry and commerce, particularly in the financial services sector.

By Collins Nweze

to assemble a range of cars, light duty trucks, pick-ups and vans. He said details of the product line-up would be confirmed at a later date. It is envisaged that the first product to be introduced will be the iconic Nissan Patrol SUV in spring 2014. Vaswani said the government initiative was aimed at making Nigeria the regional leader in the industry. He said capacity at the plant would also be opened to Nissan’s Alliance partner Renault, to be utilised according to future business needs. Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, said: “We welcome the proactive measures being taken by the government of Nigeria to encourage inward investment and job creation driven by local auto manufacturing. “Together with our local partner, Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa. As the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the longterm growth of this market and across the broader continent.”

World Bank forecasts Africa’s growth

HE World Bank has forecast a 4.9 per cent economic growth for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). According to the bank, almost a third of the countries in the region are growing at 6 per cent and more. It said African countries were now routinely among the fastestgrowing countries in the world. This is contained in the bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects. Sub-Saharan African growth, the report said, was buoyed by rising private investment in the region and remittances now worth US$33 billion a year. The report said: “Supporting household incomes gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Africa will continue to rise and pick up to 5.3 per cent in 2014 and 5.5 per cent in 2015.”

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From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor)

Strong government investments and higher production in the mineral resources, agriculture and service sectors, the report said “are supporting the bulk of the economic growth.” As Africa’s growth rates continue to surge with the region increasingly a magnet for investment and tourism, the report said poverty and inequality remained “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” Makhtar Diop, the World Bank Group’s Vice President for Africa, said “Sustaining Africa’s strong growth over the longer term while significantly reducing poverty and strengthening people’s resilience to adversity may prove difficult because of the many internal and external uncertainties African countries face.”

Firms urged to invest in structures

ANAGING Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Mutiu Sunmonu, yesterday urged Nigerian companies to invest in the development of world-class processes and structures to match those available elsewhere in the world. He said the Nigerian content was achievable, stressing that the Anglo/Dutch oil giant had a long-term and continuing commitment to Nigeria, its people and the economy. Sunmonu spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, at the 3rd Nigerian Content Day/Exhibition, hosted by Shell Companies in Nigeria. The event had as theme: “Showcasing Nigeria Manufacturing Capacity in Products, Materials, Goods, Equipment, Materials and Services in the Oil and Gas Industry.” Sunmonu said Shell was

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

committed to complying with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. Represented by the oil firm’s General Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relations, Nedo Osayande, Sunmonu said the Nigerian content support had been a success story. Sunmonu said: “We need to recognise that local content is not to reduce quality of manufactured items in the sector, but to domesticate the production of goods and services that could compete favourably with those produced anywhere in the world, in terms of quality standard and prices. “Some industry analysts have argued that the lack of awareness of available locally manufactured goods and services is a contributing factor to the low utilisation of Nigerian goods and services in the industry.


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NEWS Sacked workers: Court begins hearing From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

THE National Industrial Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday began hearing in the case filed by the 32 sacked workers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), against the management and the state government. The workers said the court should to declare their sack illegal, reinstate them and order the institution to pay their outstanding salaries and allowances. Ten lecturers and 22 nonteaching staff, including a couple, were laid off in January. The principal counsel to the claimants, Femi Falana (SAN), who was represented by Olusola Saliu, presented the institution’s Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Chairman, Mr. Olabamiji Kumuyi, as the only witness for his clients. An argument ensued when the counsel to the polytechnics management, Dr. Olumide Ayeni, disagreed with the plaintiffs’ counsel that the witness could not tender photocopies of his appointment and confirmation letters to the court. Saliu argued that in the absence of original copies, the court allows photocopies. Ayeni insisted on the original copies and Saliu sought a short adjournment to produce them. Justice Ndidi Ubaka adjourned the case till October 21.

Disabled persons decry neglect From Damisi Ojo, Akure

THE National Association of Physically-Challenged Persons (NAPCHAP) in Ondo State has decried the “nonimplementation” of the Law for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities. It said since June 14, 2011, when Governor Olusegun Mimiko signed the bill establishing an agency to protect the physically-challenged, the agency’s board had not been constituted. NAPCHAP Chairman Samuel Olasuyan, in a statement, said: “We are sad that three years after the agency was established to cater for us, its board has not been inaugurated. We understand that the money earmarked in the state’s budget annually for this agency is always on paper. “It is painful that what this money is being spent on is unknown to us and the agency has made no meaningful impact in the lives of the about 25,000 persons with disabilities in the state. “It was revealed at NAPCHAP’s last convention that 20 per cent of the money accruing to each state for the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) should be spent on vulnerable groups. “We have tried to locate the seat of the committee on that agency in the state to no avail. This is another area where we are being denied our rights. The SURE-P scheme is meant to benefit everyone in the federation, including persons with disabilities. “We urge the state government to quickly address the problem.”

Fair revenue sharing formula will end T nation’s woes, says ARG HE pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), has said a justified revenue allocation formula will solve some of the nation’s problems. ARG’s National Chairman Mr. Olawale Oshun spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the public hearing on the proposed review of the revenue sharing formula organised by the Revenue mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) for the Southwest. Oshun said a fair revenue sharing formula would have contained the many complaints of the people. He noted that RMAFC had a crucial role in rescuing the nation from the precipice by presenting a formula reflect-

•Recommends 35 per cent for Fed Govt From Dada Aladelokun

ing true federalism. Oshun said people’s needs could only be addressed by local administrations, saying the Federal Government should not be allowed to hold on to 52 per cent of the revenue in the Federation Account. “There are about 193,000kilometre roads in Nigeria, of which only 34,000 are federal. The larger burden of road maintenance falls on states. There are about 1,000

secondary schools in Lagos State and only about 10 belong to the Federal Government. Again, the need is at the state level. The same can be said for health facilities. “So, the Federal Government’s allocation must be reduced and some of its responsibilities devolved to states, whose percentage allocation must be increased to allow for purposeful governance.” The group proposed a sharing ratio of 35:65 between the Federal Government and states, arguing that

there was no need to allocate anything to local governments which are “entirely under state”. On how to decentralise the Federal Government’s responsibilities, “ARG, citing agriculture said states are in a better position to implement agricultural policies than the Federal Government. It recommends that the portolios of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture” should be altered to retain only their research and policy functions. Then, their allocations

•From left: Ekiti State Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu; wife of the governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; wife of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Eyesorun Bosede Adejugbe; and wife of the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Olori Josephine Ajakaye, during the Ekiti Women’s celebration and conferment of the Iconic Woman Award on Mrs. Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.

Plane crash: I’ve surrendered to God’s will, says Falae

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ORMER Minister of Finance Chief Olu Falae yesterday said he has surrendered to the will of God. He was reacting to the death of his son, Deji, who was the Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism. Deji died in last Thursday’s plane crash in Lagos. Receiving leaders of Afenifere, the Yoruba sociopolitical group, at his home in Akure, the state capital, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said his family took solace in the fact that Deji lived a purposeful life, distinguishing himself in all aspects of life. Falae, a Christian, said: “The Holy Spirit has ministered to us and we have been comforted by different testimonies that preceded the incident. My son saw his appointment as a commissioner as a service to humanity. “We are happy that he exhibited the family values we instilled in him. The money he was making during his practice was more than what he was being paid as a commissioner. “He was humble, honest, transparent and exhibited integrity. He did not build a house of his own but he helped most of his supporters to build their own houses.” Leader of the Afenifere del-

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

egation Chief Lanihun Ajayi urged Falae to take solace in the fact that “God giveth and taketh”.

Describing Deji’s death as “shocking”, he urged the family to take solace in God, saying “He knows best”. Olanihun said: “Deji was

Ekiti’s N550m bricks plant ready

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Ondo holds prayers HE Ondo State government yesterday held two interdenominational prayer sessions to prevent disasters in the state. This followed the death of four government officials in last Thursday’s plane crash in Lagos. The sessions were to end the three days fasting and prayer declared after the crash. Islamic and Christian clerics said the crash was a test and did not mean God has forsaken the state. They prayed God to wipe away the tears of the bereaved and give them reasons to rejoice. Chief Imams Abdulakeem Yayi Akorede (Akure), Bashir Alimi (Ondo), Abbas Abubakir (Ikare Akoko) and Ahmed Aladesawe, the chairman of the State League of Imams, prayed at the Islamic session held at the Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium in Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital. They prayed for peace in the state and an end to tragedies. The Christian prayer session was held at the State Cultural Centre in Adegbemile, Akure. Bishops Joshua Ketiku and Felix Adejumo delivered short sermons. Elder Tunde Adesida, Rev. Joshua Odeyemi and Ven. Nelson Fadoju, among others, led prayers for the country, the state, the bereaved families, the government and Ondo people. Governor Olusegun Mimiko thanked Nigerians for standing by his administration. He sympathised with the families of the deceased, praying God to console and provide for them. Mimiko said: “The duty we owe the dead is to continue to work assiduously for the development of the state. The sacrifice of the deceased will not be in vain if we all carry on undeterred by the vicissitudes of life.”

can be turned into a Conditional Grant Scheme for states willing to buy into the Federal Government’s policies. “The same approach can be applied to decentralise the delivery of major public services, such as education, health and social services. This approach stands to benefit from the efficiencies associated with local administrations while serving important national objectives.” The group said special funds had made impact and should be cancelled. If need for such arises, it said the Federal Government and the affected appropriate state could decide on a counterpart funding arrangement. ARG recommended that derivation be increased from 13 percent to 25, arguing that the derivation principle should also be applied to the sharing of taxes such as VAT, etc. To bridge the developmental gap among states, it suggested an equalisation fund into which states would pay an agreed percentage of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). ARG said the fund would be “accessible by poor states only as a conditional grant for developmental projects”. Decrying the lack of accountability in governance, the group advocated independence of the RMAFC. It urged the commission to ensure that all revenues go into the Federating Account and condemned a situation where some agencies refuse to remit the money.

•Falae

one of us and we looked forward to him as a Yoruba future leader, but God knows best. We know the pain his death has caused the family, but we urge you to remain strong in the service of God and humanity.” In the delegation were Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Jimi Agbaje, Funsho Alayande, Yinka Odumakin, Sehinde Arogbofa, Pekun Awobona, Lanre Omisore and Jide Akinbiyi, among others. Former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel and a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele (Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency), also visited Falae. They prayed for the repose of the late Deji’s soul and asked God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Representatives of Ijaw Arogbo in Ese Odo Local Government and traditional rulers from Okitipupa Local Government also visited Falae. Labour Party (LP) National Chairman Dan Nwanyawu and his National Conscience Party (NCP) counterpart, Yinusa Tanko, also commiserated with the Falae family.

HE Burnt Bricks Factory in Ire-Ekiti, Ekiti State, will resume operation next month. Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu broke the news yesterday during an inspection of the factory in Oye Local Government Area. The plant has the capacity to produce 20 million bricks annually. It is jointly owned by the Oodua Investment Company and the state. It was refurbished to compete with conventional brick moulders in the Southwest and the Northcentral. Mrs. Adelabu, who was taken round the factory by the Project Manager, Mr. Abiodun Adedeji, said the resuscitation of the plant showed Governor Kayode Fayemi’s determination to industrialise Ekiti. She said the factory would provide jobs, curb rural-urban migration and boost the state’s economy. Mrs. Adelabu said the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), an agency under her supervision, would patronise the factory for the perimeter fencing of public schools and other projects. Adedeji said over 80 per cent of the project had been completed, adding that the government invested N550 million in the plant. He said the factory would create about 300 direct jobs, adding that some expatriates would arrive on Friday to handle the technical and mechanical aspects of the rehabilitation and train artisans who will operate the plant.


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NEWS Court acquits Osun monarch of rape

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From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

HE Alowa of Ilowa-Ijesa in Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State, Oba Adebukola Alli, has been acquitted of the rape of an ex-corps member that served in his domain in 2010. The 23-year-old corps member said the monarch lured her to his home in Osogbo, the state capital, and raped her, but the monarch insisted they were lovers. Yesterday, Justice Jide Falola of the State High Court, sitting in Ikirun, said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. He said a case of rape could only be established with exhibits, such as the used bedsheet, the victim’s underpant and a medical report indicating forceful penetration, submitting that the prosecutor failed to tender all these. Justice Falola cited the case of Corporal Nicholas versus the Nigerian Army, stating that there was no proof that the ex-corps member was attacked by the monarch. He said the plaintiff failed to show the court the bruises on her private part and her allegedly torn clothes. The judge said the court was not convinced that the plaintiff sustained any injury in any part of her body. Justice Falola said the court established that there was a sexual relationship between the monarch and the plaintiff before they had a misunderstanding. He said evidence before the court showed that the plaintiff was well known to people at the monarch’s palace and Osogbo home. Blaming the police for poor investigation of the matter, the Judge said the prosecutor failed to probe the allegation objectively. He flayed the monarch for denigrating royalty by sleeping with a corps member serving in his domain. The judge said although the monarch’s action brought disgrace to his family and subjects, moral behaviour was not legally punishable. He discharged and acquitted the monarch. The state’s counsel, who represented the plaintiff, Mr. Femi Adedokun, said the state government may appeal the judgment. The monarch’ counsel, Taofeek Tewogbade, described the ruling as “God’s judgment coming at the right time”.

PDP’ll still rule at the centre, says Tukur

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HE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday expressed confidence that his party will win the 2015 presidential election, despite its current challenges. Tukur said the PDP is the only party that has what it takes to meet the needs of Nigerians, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan would win the 2015 poll. The national chairman, who was represented by the party’s National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a unity/stakeholders meeting of the party in the Southwest. New members, led by former Deputy Governor Rafiu Ogunleye, were received into the PDP and given membership cards. Tukur assured them of fair treatment. A PDP chieftain, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, assured members that the crisis in the party would make it better. Mantu said: “We have people like Chief Buruji Kashamu, who are determined to correct all the ills in the party in Ogun and ensure

•Tukur From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

that the people’s votes count. “Tukur is committed to restoring the PDP’s lost glory. What do we mean by lost glory? That the people will determine who represents them. When the party was formed, we had the people in mind. That is why we say ‘power to the people’. It means whatever the people decide is final, not what a cabal decides. We say no to imposition and yes to democracy.” Kashamu said: “The defection of Ogunleye and his supporters is a pointer to what is possible for our great party, not just in Ogun, but the Southwest. I take inspiration from the words of the French political leader, General Napoleon Bonaparte, that ‘Impossible is a word to be found in the dictionary of fools’ and we are not fools.”

Funmi Olayinka Centre for inauguration

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KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will inaugurate the Funmi Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre today by 10am. The centre was built in the memory of former Deputy Governor Funmi Adunni Olayinka, who died on April 6 after a protracted battle with cancer. The centre, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, will focus on the early detection and treatment of cancer. It is on the premises of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

•Wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi (second left), presenting food items to Mrs. Wakili Oyindamola (second right) in Ibadan...yesterday. With them are the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Janet Moses Alake (right) and the Senior Special Adviser on Local Government, Princess Adebisi Adegoke (left).

CAN alleges plot to Islamise Osun

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HE Osun State government’s reclassification of schools has continued to generate mixed reactions. Christians and Muslims protested on Monday, shutting down some of the schools. The national body of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of trying to Islamise the state. In a statement in Abuja, CAN’s National General-Secretary Rev. Musa Asake alleged that the reclassification was part of “a grand plan to systematically silence Christians in Osun”. He said if the decision was not reversed, CAN would do all in its power to resist it. Asake alleged that the plan to Islamise Osun was not peculiar to the education sector. He questioned a loan purportedly taken by the state government from an Islamic bank. Asake said: “We have been following the events in Osun State. The decision to merge Muslim and Christian schools is a ploy. There is no pretence about it and we will resist it. I totally agree that the plot to Islamise Osun is not peculiar to the Education sector. They have an agenda. “If you follow the event in that state and the way the governor is going about things, he has an agenda. Why is he particular about Christian schools? If he really wants to promote education, why can’t he build other schools? Why is he particular about Christian schools? We Christians can no longer fold our arms and allow them do what they want.” Asake accused past and present governments at the centre of ignoring the plight of Christians. He said Christians had been reduced to second-class citizens in their own country. Asake said: “Forty years ago, under the supervision of a Christian minority Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon,

Allegation puerile, says govt

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HE Osun State government has described the allegation that it is trying to Islamise the state as puerile. The allegation was made by the National body of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in reaction to the state’s reclassification of schools. In a statement yesterday, Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said: “It is most disheartening that the seething distrust and unhealthy rivalry among people of different faiths in Nigeria are the parameters some people are using to measure the governor’s actions. “For CAN to allege, once again, that Aregbesola is trying to Islamise Osun beats the imagination of every right-thinking person. This is a governor that has, for the first time, ensured fairness among people of all faiths. It is on record that the three religions have, at one time or the other, accused the governor of promoting one religion over the other. “What amounts to promoting one religion over the other in the thinking of the zealots is the administration’s decision to allow people practise their faiths without any hindrance. Those given to logical reasoning would easily deduce that Aregbesola’s actions are merely subjected to suspicions because of the unending, sharp intolerance that characterises our religious practices in the country, since one faith is usually distrustful of another. Any instance of fairness to one is easily considered to be undue favour by others. “As a devout Muslim, Aregbesola practices his religion with fervor. He however believes in the right of every citizen to choose his faith, since there is no compulsion in religion. CAN’s latest allegation sounds like a broken record singing the same song ad nausea. This was the same allegation made last year and this year, after which the organisation expressed its support for the governor’s tolerance of all religions. “We do not know what has changed since then. CAN’s allegation that Christian schools are being dropped in the state sounds ridiculous and could only have emanated from warped thinking. To make such an allegation without citing one instance of a Christian school that has been cancelled from the state demonstrates that a section of religious leaders have sacrificed their integrity to the political manipulations of some desperate politicians, whose stock in trade is nothing but falsehood. “For the sake of the unsuspecting public, the noise about Islamisation is targeted at causing confusion and slowing down the development in education, infrastructure, health, employment, tourism, security and others facilitated by the Aregbesola administration. This is not the first time CAN would be raising this kind of hoopla. It failed before to hoodwink our people. This latest attempt too has failed.” From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

someone somewhere brought the idea that mission schools should be taken over. Forty years later, under the supervision of another Christian minority President, Goodluck Jonathan, Almajiri schools have been introduced.

“The school is strictly for Muslim children. These people are never concerned about the Christians. After they took over missionary schools, they introduced Almajiri schools. They have placed Christians as second and third-class citizens. “This time, we will not allow it to happen in Osun. It is

a ploy to tarnish the educational system. There is an agenda behind it. The governor was elected by both Christians and Muslims, so he must be fair to both parties. I urge Christians to rise up and say no. That education policy can be implemented in any places, but not in mission schools. The time has come for mission schools to be returned to churches. “Sometime ago, we were told the governor took a loan from an Islamic bank. What does he want to do with that loan? How many governors have taken loans from Islamic banks? What is his plan? Christians are not fighting him.” Asake urged the government to curb the activities of Fulani herdsmen, who had been allegedly attacking farmers across the country. He said: “I am at the centre of the whole thing. I am a northerner and I have been suppressed. No one thinks about me as a northerner because I am a Christian. They are only using Fulani herdsmen to destabilise these areas. They want to Islamise everywhere and take over everything. “Innocent souls are dying and I do not see any serious effort by our leaders to solve this problem. No one is saying anything about those that were killed? Northern governors are saying the presidency must return to the North, is that the issue now? I expect them to be having sleepless nights and trying to put an end to this, but that is not the case. “Northerners have ruled this country and put us in the mess we are in today. Whenever these same people talk about the North, they are not talking about Christians. Christians must open their eyes. As a northern Christian, I am not regarded as anything. When they talk about power coming to the North, Christians are not in the picture.”

Oyo gives N28m to Boko Haram victims’ families

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HE Oyo State government yesterday gave N28 million to the families of the Bodija traders that were killed by suspected Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, Borno

State. Governor Abiola Ajimobi distributed the cheques to the families of the slain traders at the Bodija Market. Representatives of the 14 families, mainly the widows of the deceased and the aged mother of one of them, were given N2 million each.

Ajimobi said: “We cannot pay for people’s lives, but we can cushion the effects of their departure by helping their families.” He described the killing of the traders as “gruesome”, urging the bereaved to take it as an act of God. One of the widows, Mrs. Folasade Afolabi, who spoke for the others, thanked the governor for his help. The Chairman of the Ibadan Foodstuff Sellers Association, Alhaji Olalekan Azeez, urged the Federal Government to tighten security in the North.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013


CARE

SUPPORT

INFRASTRUCTURE

Rotary to send six kids to India

Council donates N60m for amenities

Obi revives water schemes

Lagos

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Sokoto

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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OMETHING good has happened to the elderly in Lagos. Over 200 of them, mostly retirees, were examined and treated for various ailments. And it was all free, courtesy of the MEE Mofe-Damijo Sunshine Foundation. The beneficiaries gathered at Shitta Community Ground, Surulere, Lagos Mainland, as early as 8 a.m., defying the early morning rain, eager to be attended to by medical experts. It is an annual programme organised by the foundation in conjunction with a group of enthusiastic and good-spirited medical practitioners led Dr. Doyin Ogunyemi. Over 17 years after the founder passed on, the foundation led by Mrs. Rose Odiete, has been visiting, hosting and caring for the elderly, particularly in the old people’s home in Mushin and Yaba, Lagos, and also Otta in Ogun State. In her opening remark, it was revealed that the event was put to-

Anambra

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

A day for senior citizens By Yetunde Oladeinde

gether to mark this year’s World Health Day for the Elderly with the theme: The Essence of Health in Ageing Gracefully. The programme featured health talk, but the best offering for the day was the free medical check-up. Drugs were prescribed for some of the patients, which they took home. They also got counselling on how to manage their ailments. There was more. In some cases, medical personnel were assigned to some patients to monitor their progress. The elderly were also given small packs of provision, aside from refreshment at the venue of the event. Mr. Baldwin Oniru, a retiree from Mobil Nigeria, who spoke on the important of balance diet and

effective stress management, laid emphasis on the benefits of eating balance diet that is based on natural food, that is freshly cooked and not food that are kept in freezer for days, a times weeks, even months. He advised them to avoid fast food, floury and sugary products as much they can. He explained that, smiling a lot like an innocent child, listening to music, dancing and been humorous is of great value to the maintenance of good health. He told them not to ignore praying regularly because apart from constantly making them stay closer to their maker, it keeps them from thinking negatively. Chief Dr. Ibwowarri James a seasoned scholar whose outlines bothered on theme of the event anchored on the need to schooled the young on why the should not abused anything. He said that moderation

is key to ageing gracefully. He called on parents to maximize the abundance of nature’s favour their environment. In the light of this, Mrs. Rose Odiete, President, Sunshine Foundation quickly hinted that the body in collaboration with 1000 Young Leaders Meeting is set to educate the young generation on why it is for their own interest to live a good life but of moderation and care for the elderly among their families. Mrs. Odiete further explained that, apart from taking caring of them and showing them love and letting them know that we are concerned about their situation, which could be very challenging, we desire to create awareness and sensitise people on their situation. Not only those who are, by omission or commission, abandoned by their very

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KITI State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi made it clear at his inauguration that his administration would revamp the state’s infrastructure and give the people a new lease of life. He has not disappointed. The roads are better. There is water where it used to be scarce. School kids know they are in a new era. Yet, the passion has not cooled. The government has announced a fresh impetus: N3.4 billion has been committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects across the 16 local government areas. This is meant to scale up development in the state. But that is not all. It was also said that another N600 million was expended on infrastructure in three districts of the state. The districts are Ijero, Ikole and Ekiti East. There is an area of concern, though: a delay in statutory cash from beyond the state. Speaking during the inter-ministerial press briefing in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the Special Adviser to Governor Fayemi on MDGs, Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami explained that the state was awaiting the sum of N444 million as Federal Government’s counterpart contribution for 2012 MDGs programmes. She, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to redeem its pledge to enable the state to execute the projects which she said “would inevitably be done in arrears now.” She further dispelled rumours that the 2,250 beneficiaries of the N375 million Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme were selected based on party affiliations, adding that “traditional rulers were requested to do the compilation based on merit.” On the community-based projects, Salami said: “The communities should realise that these projects do not belong to the government or regarded as government property. They are community property executed in the com-

•Dr Fayemi inaugurates a rural electrification project. With him is his wife, Bisi (left)

Ekiti steps up infrastructure From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

munities. People have to devise means not just to protect them but to sustain the projects.” Noting that some of the projects being handled by the MDG offices across the states are often more than those being handled in conventional MDAs, Dipo-Salami urged the Federal Government to work out means to ensure quicker access to counterpart-funded projects. She also revealed that government had allegedly uncovered the mismanagement of N2.5 billion meant

N3.4b spent on projects

for the execution of specific water projects under the Segun Oni administration. She further said that ‘the White Paper’ on the alleged mismanagement which the state had compiled would be published soon, adding that the mismanagement resulted in delay by the state government in paying some contractors who executed some of the projects under the former regime. She disclosed that Oni’s adminis-

tration had expended a sum of N500 million on non-MDGs projects which led to a shortfall in “the fund accruing to the agency.” Dipo-Salami equally explained that six local governments, including Gbonyin, Ise/Orun, Emure, Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ido/Osi and Moba, would benefit from this year’s MDGs’ Infrastructural Development Scheme (IDS). She added that the current administration’s 8Point Agenda has quickened devel-

own in old people homes, a lot of our parents are left to suffer by their own children due to negligence or to pay them back for the ills of the past. She emphasised that culturally and spiritually, it is the children’s responsibility to care for their aged parents, no matter what some of them may have done. The participants commended the initiative of the foundation. An 80year-old Madam Scholar Adejo, who was very excited, said: “Many of us here are used to the foundation and we always look forward to their invitation. What they do periodically go a long way in raising our hope. Some of us do not have children who care as much as they do. They are not up to 10 members but are doing great work. We pray for them always because they need encouragement. Pa Israel Adekumbi, an 87-year retiree from NIPOST, said: “The foundation holds us in high esteem. She is doing great in spite of the fact that the founder is no more. We commend them for the good work.” opment in the state. She said the strategy was to fasttrack development by addressing health, socio-economic well-being of the people, education, water/ sanitation and other issues. Dipo-Salami stressed that the focus was to eliminate poverty in the society, make education a right and not a privilege as well as eliminate gender disparities in the society. Noting that the state government has shown commitment to achieving the goals of the MDGs, she maintained that, in spite of the state’s lean resources from the Federation Account, the present administration has consistently paid its counterpart funds towards achieving the lofty goal of enhancing the well-being of the people. Giving a breakdown of achievements recorded through MDGs from 2010 to 2013, Mrs. Dipo-Salami highlighted the state priority areas of intervention under the Conditional Grant Scheme of the MDGs to include water and health sectors. She listed projects implemented in 2011 and 2012 to include construction of five water treatment plants at Ido-Ile, Efon, Okemesi, Ipole-Iloro and Erijiyan, supply and installation of eight high lift pumps in Isinbode, Oke-Ako, Ifaki and Aramoko, 4.5kilometre extension of dedicated 300mm steel pipeline from Ado-Ekiti Headwork to Mary Hill as well as an additional 2,940metres pipeline extension from Mary Hill reservoir towards Ajibade Lane, Idolofin Street and housing areas of Ado Ekiti. The state MDGs boss attributed the failure of the 2007-2008 MDGs projects under the Engr. Oni’s administration to the indiscriminate location of water fetching points in places where there was no source of water as well as use of substandard materials by the contractors.


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•Governor Shettima

Students seek govt’s help over bursary

HE National Union of Borno State Students (NUBOSS), has appealed to the state government to pay the outstanding 2013 scholarship allowance to its members. NUBOSS National President, Comrade Isa Mohammed, made the appeal in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri. Mohammed pointed out that the gesture would help in alleviating the suffering of the students, especially those whose parents were poor. “We wish to commend the state government for paying students the arrears for 2010/ 2011 and 2011/2012 session. “We are also appealing for the payment for the 2012/2013 session, to alleviate the suffering of our students in tertiary institutions nationwide,” he said.

Ogun communities protest power failure

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GROUP of Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Sango-Ota, Ogun State, has protested to the state government and Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) the poor power supply to the area. Under the aegis of Ipamesan United CDAs, the group made up of 36 registered CDAs with over 300,000 members, during a protest in the area, said the aim was to ‘’to stop the unwarranted and undeserved punishment that has been meted out on us by PHCN officials in Sango Business District of the company’’. They carried some placards which read ‘Nawa for PHCN; PHCN stop your injustice, PHCN stop the indiscriminate charges; PHCN wahala, urgent solution now; No more crazy bills; let the light be permanent.’

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By Joseph Eshanokpe

In a statement read at the event, Chairman of the amalgamated group, Mr Fasogon Adebisi said: “Our mission is to stop this injustice that is being perpetrated by PHCN officers in Sango District. “It may interest you to know that virtually all the said communities have paid through their noses to get their communities connected to the national grid for illumination. Each of this peaceful communities contributed and spent between N5million and N10 million to procure 33/ 500KVA transformers, both high and low tension poles, cables, insulators, etc. We have 11 transformers situated in strategic locations.”

Mohammed admitted that although the state scholarships board had indicated its readiness to ensure the payment, bureaucratic bottleneck might frustrate the plan. “We commend the scholarships board for initiating some processes toward the payment, but we feel that the processes might not materialise before the end of the year. “We are, therefore, calling on the board, to hasten the processes so that students are paid before the year runs out”, he pleaded. Mohammed also appealed to the state government to consider increasing the allowance. “I wish to express our gratitude to the state governor for raising the scholarship allowance paid to students. “I also wish to appeal that the amount be increased further, to boost the morale of our students, especially those studying in tertiary institutions outside the state”. he said. He added: “But it is unfortunate that all the aforementioned has been turned into decorative materials as a result of deliberate blackout that we have been experiencing for the past months.” The group’s Secretary Pastor Penla added that a gang insulator installed by PHCN cuts off power each time there is electricity supply, He further said: While other neighbouring CDAs enjoy light for 18 hours daily, we do not. If these people can sacrifice so much in order to enjoy these facilities, why are they being denied of it? Many of our artisans have been jobless; our wives and mothers are losing hundreds and thousands are lost every now and then to perishable items that are supposed to be iced and sold.”

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•From left: High Chief Olufemi Daramola; Justice Adagun (rtd); Musbau Fashanu; Babatunde A. Fashanu (SAN) during the 10th year memorial lecture in honour of Late Alhaji Taoheed Akanbi Bolaji Fashanu held in Lagos

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‘Intensify fight against maternal, ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu representing child mortality’ Lagos Central Senatorial District has urged all Lagosians to join in the fight

against maternal and child mortality. She noted that 555 out of every 100,000 expectant mothers die during delivery. Tinubu, who was represented by Hon. Adetoun Adediran, spoke at the Lagos Central Senatorial District Town Hall meeting held at Surulere on maternal and child mortality reduction. She said the state government has provided

By Musa Odoshimokhe

nication, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo while commissioning the projects, urged the beneficiaries to ensure good use of the items. He stated that the world was now a global village and what Hon. Odubote facilitated was in their interest and would open up the community to further development. He promised that additional 100 computers would be made available to the schools in view of their proficiency at the usage of the items within the short period they were made available to them. He called for total support for APC andpraised Hon. Odubote for living up to expectations in his oversight functions. Father of the day, APC chieftain, Alhaji Abiodun Sunmola, said what Odubote did was quite unusual: “He has demonstrated that he meant well for Epe people, their progress occupies his mind and he has proved critics wrongs because he is the right man for the job. I very sure this is just a tip of the iceberg for qualitative representative from our son, Odubote.” “I urged you to continue to support APC, this is where the future of our children lies who will take advantage of what is being commissioned today to put the community on world map.”

•Hon. Odubote inaugurating one of the projects

By Seyi Ijibayiwa

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•Some party members at the event

APC chieftain urges steadfastness

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Abacha inaugurated one but at the end of the day, it did not yield result. General Aguiyi Ironsi, General Ibrahim Babaganda and other heads of state have done same but no good result”. He further said:“Why would it be this time around, when he has consistently kicked against it, I think it is all diversion from the question of the day which bothers on change for the country, Nigerians should be weary and look very well before they leap.” Justifying the need to get members informed, he said there is the need to prepare them for the forthcoming election in 2015. “This is the only party that can rescue the people from the chain of oppression, the party has scored high points in terms of performance, given what the governors on the platform of the party are doing. “Total loyalty to the party would involve the youth, elders and all segments of the society. There is the need to create awareness on the need for quality leadership which the party hopes to give”. Balogun said the current administration has disappointed the people and they want change. He noted that leaders of APC are progressiveminded and are ready to make the additional sacrifice to salvage the country.

“In some cases, we moved in and completed most of the self-help projects. “We spend nothing less than two million naira monthly in this direction and we have sustained this for the past 30 months.” According to him, the era of relying on government for the provision of social amenities is over. He urged people in the area to cultivate the habit of executing community development projects before government would come in to assist. •Governor Wamakko

Council chief urges youths to use facilities at library T

HE Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area,Hon. Olatunde Adepitan has expressed his satisfaction with the spate of work at the Muiz Banire Hybrid library. Adepitan, who was speaking with news men on the activities at the library, said the youth should feel free to take advantage of the facilities being offered at the library.

According to Adepitan, “This library is meant to encourage youths to learn new ideas under a conducive environment devoid of noise and distractions. Those who are preparing for examinations, promotions, inter-

necessary equipment in all health care centres in the state to prevent maternal and child mortality. “This programme is aimed at preventing the incidence of maternal and child mortality and to ensure that expectant mothers visit the healthcare facilities provided by the Lagos State government.” The wife of Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola in the same vein, said the forum is aimed at enlightening Lagosians on various efforts made by the state government to make child delivery a safe and fulfilling experience. She said: “Bringing new life to the world despite being fraught with the pain of labour is usually a thing of joy when it goes well. The government is working hard to make sure that it always goes without a hitch.” Fashola urged all expectant mothers to always listen to the advice and instructions given to them by the health officers in the various healthcare centres. “These instructions are the do’s and don’ts during pregnancy, after delivery and in the course of caring for the babies, particularly in the first five years of their lives,”she said.

Council lifts market women

HE National President of the Total Loyalty, Hon. Toyin Balogun has urged party faithful to remain loyal and committed to the dreams of the founding fathers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to achieve the desired change for the country. Speaking during a rally held at the Kosofe Federal Constituency to create public awareness for the party, Balogun charged party members to remain steadfast because, the ruling party in the country has already embarked on diversionary tactics to achieve its selfish agenda. He said: “As much as I do not oppose National Conference or Sovereign National Conference (SNA), I wish to say this is not the right time for it. The issue of national conference has become historical but none has worked in the country. What the president did is just to get people busy in order to buy time. It is all joke and will not yield good result now. “What the people want at this moment are security, employment and solution to challenges that have pauperised the ordinary people. When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo tried one, it was defeated by the third term agenda. “We were all in Nigeria when General

Council donates N60m for amenities

HE Goronyo Local Government Council in Sokoto State has donated assorted building materials worth over N60 million to various self-help groups in the area in the past 30 months. The chairman of the council, Alhaji Faruk Rimawa, told journalists in Sokoto that the materials were meant to assist the groups in their development projects. The materials included cement, nails, gravel, wood, roofing sheets and ceilings. “Some of the groups were also assisted with cash to complete various community development projects they had initiated.

Lawmaker inaugurates projects

T was a moment of joy for parents, teachers and community leaders at the Epe Federal Constituency when House of Representatives members, Hon. Lanre Odubote led members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to commission some projects recently. Speaking at the commissioning of 400 MTN benches for pupils and 20 desks for teachers of Agbowa Community Senior Grammar School, Epe, Odubote said education is the key to life and whatever is to be done to improve it must be done without looking back. He stated that Epe community is the future of Lagos State and it was therefore, important to prepare the pupils of primary and post primary school to assume the leadership of their community which must start with investment in education. The school pupils who expressed their appreciation, danced to the admiration of party loyalists and urged their parents to ensure that APC was overwhelmingly voted for in future elections because the party has demonstrated that it was the hope of the youth. At the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, 110 computers were donated to the e-learning Tetfund Project and 102 laptops donated to Oke Magba Senior High School. Odubute noted that it was intended to project Epe to the world given its abundant natural resources. Chairman House Committee on Commu-

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By Duro Babayemi

EVERAL market women in the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State received a boost from the council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan when a cheque of N400,000 was presented to four market trading associations. Presenting the cheques covering the amount of N100, 000 each to leaders of the four trading associations in his office, Bamigbetan stated that his decision to assist the women was borne out of the commitment of his administration towards ensuring that the vast majority of women in the council area do not become a burden to their husbands. The council chairman though admitted that the amount is small, he appealed to the women to see it as an opportunity to inject life into their businesses, saying the money is not a loan but assistance from the council. Bamigbetan added that the women should also reciprocate the kind gesture by ensuring that they pay their trade permits as and when due. Leaders of the four trading associations who received the cheques are: Mrs. Adebayo Sakirat, Charcoal Sellers Association; Mrs. Tonade Deborah, Firewood Sellers Association; Mrs. Abibu Ramota, Fish Sellers Association and Mrs. Animashaun Kehinde, Footwear Sellers Association. The recipients expressed gratitude to the chairman for his concern for the traders, adding that the associations would ensure judicious use of the fund for the development of the grassroots economy. The brief ceremony was witnessed by the council’s Vice-Chairman, Alhaji Monsurudeen Bello-Obe, Secretary to the Local Government, Mr. Gbadegeshin Remi , the council’s Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Onyinye Okoroji, Supervisor for Agriculture, Rural And Social Development, Mrs. Yemisi Alashe and the Council Manager, Mr. Babatunde Mesewaku.

views, researches and knowledge-based information visit the library, especially the fully equipped internet facilities at the library. “The idea of the library was conceived to keep our youths away from the streets. We have professionals at the library that will prevent abuse and the use of the facilities for purposes they are not intended. There are sections within the library where hardwares are installed; these are books that are very essential and useful for students of the various age categories. In other words, the library has taken cognisance of disparities in ages and interests of the readers”. Adepitan said through the efforts of his administration, youths are campaigning against violence, thuggery, hooliganism, cultism and other vices,adding: “We are delighted that many youths are becoming reformed.We appeal to well-meaning individuals to assist in the crusade to rid Mushin of social vices”.

Choir anniversary

•Officials of the office of the External Auditor for LGs, Mr Olufemi Alape, Council Engineer, Taofik Opeife and Mrs Olapeju Raji inspecting the server at the library

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Activities marking the choir anniversary of the Christ Disciples Bible Church will begin today at 5:00pm. The events will continue on Saturday with choir competition at 9:00am with the grand finale coming up on Sunday, October 13. The venue is 6, Fasanmi Street, Ile-Ile Bus Stop, Ayedere area, Ketu, Lagos Speaking on the programme, the General Overseer, Dr Z Ogunmola said God would make every attendee to laugh. Other ministers expected include, Pastor Bukki Oluwagbemi, Pastor Daniel Oke among others.

Firm challenges Fed Govt on education

HE Federal Government has been advised to ensure that the future of the Nigerian youths is secured through adequate manpower development. It has also been urged to show serious commitment to improvement of the education sector which serves as catalyst to socio-economic advancement. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Leoplast Industries Nigeria Limited, Mr. Rohit Daswani, gave the advice while speaking at this year’s World Teachers’ Day ceremony held at University of Lagos (UNILAG) Multi-purpose Hall C, Akoka Lagos. Mr. Daswani, who was represented by the company’s School Products Promotional Manager, Mr Fadairo K. Afolabi, said his company, which is one of the corporate supporters of the annual event, shows serious dedication to the promotion and development of education in the country. He said: “We have concrete belief in child education which is the only legacy that parents could bequeath to their children. Contributing to the development of quality education in Nigeria is our humble way of realising our corporate social responsibility which we are committed to.” He stated that apart from giving support to the education sector, the company has a foundation known as Leoplast Foundation which is managed by wife of the managing director, Mrs Sanjana Daswani. In a chat with Newsextra on the activities of the School Products Promotional Unit, Mr Afolabi said that Leoplast is interested in the production of educational materials like the

By Chinaka Okoro

Leosmart ball pens and exercise books because of its commitment to the development of the education sector. As a result of this, it always supports educational programmes in various forms. He disclosed that Leosmart pen that came into existence in 2006, has become the toast of

all stakeholders; especially among students, teachers and journalists because of its unusual quality. Noting that the company is committed to its corporate social responsibility, Mr. Afolabi said: “Our organisation is alive to its corporate social responsibility. This is so because, through its Education Support Unit, it has been participating in any local, state and federal governments’ education programmes.

•Mr Afolabi (right) and Hon. Dosunmu K. Olabanji, Education Secretary Local Government Education Authority, Apapa and others at the event


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Lagos goes digital

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•Lagos Judiciary attains another landmark that could expedite litigation and ease judges’ burden

AGOS State has continued its laudable court reforms, which started during the Bola Tinubu era, of easing judges’ load and speeding up the judicial process. The latest continuation of this reform is digitalising the judicial process in such a way that you can sit in your office, and with the touch of the computer, file an action. For the computer-literate, this would go a long way to lessen the tedium of filing cases, as well as saving costs – transport costs, for instance – as well as lessening routine physical exertion in hitherto going through such court processes. It is indeed a thing of cheer and other states will do well to follow this laudable step. As part of the processes of reform,

‘For the computer-literate, this would go a long way to lessen the tedium of filing cases, as well as saving costs – transport costs, for instance – as well as lessening routine physical exertion in hitherto going through such court processes. It is indeed a thing of cheer and other states will do well to follow this laudable step’

judges have not only been provided with i-Pads, the computer tablet, a batch of no less than 22 judges has also received training by a Lagos software provider on the new digital operational status. The training, tailored to deepen Chief Judge Ayotunde Phillips’ vision of expedited justice in the state, with the aid of information and computer technology (ICT), included robust case/document management system, monitoring and viewing cause lists on the computer. The document management system includes the National Judicial Council (NJC) monthly report form for judges, through which they can, online, prepare and file their monthly performance returns to the council. The software on which the batch of judges trained would also help to monitor their performances online, aside from judges themselves monitoring their performance weekly or monthly. Also, peer review would be easier, with judges online exchanging ideas. Aside from judges, the government also plans, as part of the reforms, appropriate training for court registrars to bring them in sync with the new dispensation. The stress on training and retraining, on the new digital dispensation, is welcome. Indeed, adequate training holds the key to its success. It is imperative therefore that the government sustains training for all cadres of judicial workers. It must be noted: computerisation is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end – and that golden end is speedy but accurate

dispensation of justice. Resources may be scarce. But money spent to strengthen the judiciary is a patriotic investment to deepen democracy. A robust judiciary is vital to democracy. Democracy itself is vital to development, which itself engenders prosperity. So, the Lagos State government should continue along this progressive line. As other states are advised to follow the Lagos example, the federal authorities should not tarry in releasing funds meant for the judiciary, charged through the Consolidated Fund. Just as investment in gadgetry is important, investment in judges’ welfare is even more important. If everyone does his or her job well, Nigeria’s judiciary can only be better for it. But even as all these reforms are going on, the judges themselves must commit themselves anew to delivering justice without fear or favour. A just nation is a healthy nation. So, the judicial health of the country, where truth and justice prevail, is in the hands of its judges. Judges in the Lagos judiciary should take up that patriotic challenge. Still ICT, like a car, is a good and pleasant servant. But it could be a hideous master. That is why every step should be taken to protect systems integrity in the new dispensation. Every ICT system of necessity should guard against hacking. It would be tragic indeed to digitalise the judicial system, only for it to fall victim to hackers.

No country for old people

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• Nigeria’s senior citizens are not being properly catered for

HESE are not the best times for Nigeria when it comes to assessing the country’s position on international rankings of general well-being. Apart from recently being proclaimed one of the worst countries in which to be born, it now appears that Africa’s self-proclaimed giant is also one of the most terrible nations to grow old in. The Global Age Watch Index 2013 has just ranked Nigeria 85th out of the 91 nations surveyed, placing it behind countries like Costa Rica (28th), Sri Lanka (36th) and Ghana (69th). Even the troubled territories of the West Bank and Gaza (84th) are better-placed than Nigeria. The survey ranked the well-being of the elderly in the chosen countries by comparing data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other agencies on their incomes, health, education employment and environment. Sweden, Norway and Germany occupied the first three positions, while Pakistan, Tanzania and Afghanistan came 89th, 90th and 91st, respectively. For a country whose indigenous traditions venerate old age, it is truly shameful that Nigeria should find itself in this position. It is evident that the country has not done enough to compensate for the rapid decline of the extended-family system under which older citizens were able to enjoy care, relevance and respect. While states like Ekiti, Osun, Delta, Lagos and Jigawa have programmes aimed at assisting older Nigerians, it is obvious that the infrastructure needed to adequately meet the requirements of the aged is largely absent. There is no equivalent of the United States’ Medicare pro-

gramme which provides subsidised healthcare for the elderly; the country’s decrepit pensions system often fails to meet its obligations to the elderly, and certainly does not take their special needs into consideration. There is no comprehensive system of subsidised housing, transport or recreation worth speaking of. It is therefore no surprise that Nigeria has begun to witness the unwelcome phenomenon of destitution among its older citizens. Homelessness is perhaps the clearest manifestation of this; bus-stops, parks and gardens have become homes for some elderly citizens who have been let down by governments whose duty it is to care for them. Many older Nigerians discover that retirement is a luxury that they cannot afford and so are compelled to re-enter the labour force in a variety of menial jobs which they are usually unable to carry out effectively. Those who fall sick are sometimes abandoned by their own families and left to die slow, lingering deaths. Nigeria’s inability to properly cater for its elderly citizens is all the more worrying given the fact that the world is greying at a rapid pace. By the year 2050, older people are expected to outnumber under15s for the first time. Their special requirements will, as a result, become even more important than they currently are. If the country is not to be caught unawares, it will have to expand its social infrastructure in such a way as to reflect the needs of the elderly. Medical facilities, transportation systems, housing, town planning and pension systems need to be completely reconfigured to reflect emerging realities.

In order to achieve this, the country requires an accurate database of its older citizens so as to know how many they are, where they reside and what their socio-economic and health status is. In addition, mass unemployment must be tackled; it is when citizens are gainfully employed that they can participate in the contributory pension schemes that can take care of them when they are no longer able to work. Just as importantly, prevailing social attitudes must change: many Nigerians have the nasty habit of ignoring the elderly, only to mourn them ostentatiously when they pass on. Instead of expending time and money on wasteful funerals and hypocritical eulogies, it would be better for the nation’s senior citizens to be accorded the attention they deserve while they are still alive.

‘Many Nigerians have the nasty habit of ignoring the elderly, only to mourn them ostentatiously when they pass on. Instead of expending time and money on wasteful funerals and hypocritical eulogies, it would be better for the nation’s senior citizens to be accorded the attention they deserve while they are still alive’

The international fallout

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HE Republican-induced government shutdown and the party’s threats to create another crisis next week over the d ebt ceiling are causing harm internationally as well as at home. They are undermining American leadership in Asia, impeding the functioning of the national security machinery, upsetting global markets and raising questions about the political dysfunction of a country that has long been the world’s democratic standardbearer. The biggest foreign policy casualty, so far, may be the cancellation last week of President Obama’s trip to Asia, which the president’s press secretary said was necessary so he could deal with the shutdown and the political stalemate in Congress. Even though he sent Secretary of State John Kerry in his place, this was the third time that Mr. Obama had canceled or postponed a trip to Asia, further hampering his efforts to make the region a centerpiece of his foreign policy. In Mr. Obama’s absence, China was able to grab the spotlight. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who became the first foreigner to address the Indonesian Parliament, offered billions of dollars in trade to that country. Mr. Xi then visited Malaysia (another stop President Obama had planned) and announced a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” including an upgrade in military ties. Mr. Obama should reschedule his trip as soon as he comfortably can. The fiscal chaos has also given China, America’s largest creditor, an opportunity to scold the United States. On Monday, in the Chinese government’s first public response to the stalemate in Washington, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao urged the United States to “earnestly take steps” to avoid a debt default to ensure the safety of Chinese investments and the global economic recovery. Other financial leaders also felt compelled to speak out, including South Africa’s finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, who warned that the global community has much to fear. “This is clearly an issue that might go to the brink,” he told Reuters. On Monday, most global markets were lower, and the price of oil dropped as traders became increasingly anxious about the standoff in Washington, particularly over the debt ceiling. The shutdown of the American government is being felt in other ways as well. A round of negotiations between the United States and Europe on the world’s largest free-trade deal, set for next week in Brussels, was canceled because the United States trade representative, Michael Froman, said he lacked the staffing and the finances to make the trip. And while Republicans accused the Obama administration of being ill prepared for the 2012 attack in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, the shutdown they have imposed has halted vital training for State Department security officers and improvements to American embassies. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper Jr., told a Senate committee that furloughing 70 percent of the intelligence agencies’ civilian employees was “extremely damaging” to intelligence-gathering efforts. And, at a time when the United States is about to begin a critical round of negotiations with Iran on the nuclear program, Wendy Sherman, an undersecretary of state, has said that the shutdown has “totally depleted” the government’s ability to enforce sanctions against Iran. The shutdown is taking a toll that looks even more self-defeating when the consequences beyond America’s shores are taken into account. – New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: I wish to bring to the notice of our able Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole of the dire need of water in AkokoEdo Local Government Area. There is no gainsaying to the fact that the governor has been touching the lives of the people of the state, especially the rural areas by providing infrastructure and amenities. But our beloved governor has an urgent role to play in resuscitating the Ojirami Dam which the former military Administrator of the then defunct Bendel State, Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia built during his regime. The dam used to serve the well over 20 towns and villages in the area in the past years. For about three decades now, since the damage of the Dam in early eighties, there has been acute water scarcity in the areas that it used to serve. It is now a pitiable sight to now see the people who were once enjoying clean potable water go about in the bush in search of water. Because of the rocky nature of some of the communities, most wells being dug have been abandoned due to inability to reach the water level. Some boreholes that were sunk by some individuals and groups have also failed. With about 30 towns and villages spanning across the local government, water supply should not be a

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SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

Oshiomhole, bring back Ojirami Dam by some concerned citizens in the area, the dam still has the capacity to serve optimally if some of its obsolete equipments are replaced. Also, new pipes will be needed to replace the ones laid since 1970s. The water reservoirs in some towns in the council are still in good

shape, but have remained dry and spider-webbed. One of such is conspicuously located at Ibillo. It is disheartening how most people from these communities travel to neighbouring villages for well and stream water. With the drive by the federal gov-

IR: The ants have it right! Over millions of years they have developed and maintained a structured system that enables them grow and prosper even in the face of relentless adversity. There is a lot we can learn from them and some of these lessons are applicable to promoting peace as a precursor to the transformation agenda. The leaders and the led are inseparable partners in the task of peace initiatives and nation building. You cannot lead the people if you do not love them, you cannot save the people if you do not serve them.

. We can achieve a lot by self-discipline, so let us do it collectively to promote peace in our land. When we sustain peace, all the positive benefits will follow in consonance with the desire of a new image, which is the thrust of the transformation project. The task of transforming Nigeria is a compelling invitation to anyone who loves Nigeria as the place where his/her heart belongs. We must absorb the message ofpeace, hope, faith and loyalty as a precursor to transformation. Pick a copy of “THIS IS NIGERIA” to read in

admiration of its uniqueness, rich contents, beautiful simplicity and creativity. A sheer force of energy will burst forth to open your mind to new realities. Realities unfold only to the perceptive and reflective minds in a peaceful society A Nigerian child Artist demonstrated her conviction to a peaceful Nigeria when she explained how she was inspired to paint in acrylic a white dove flying with the Nigeria’s flag on its beak. She explained further, how she hears on radio and television many terrible things happening in Nigeria. All

out public debate or discourse? Why will the old order change so abruptly when we have not even gone through the whole gamut of the existing number plates? And why the haste any way? The simple answer to this question is because of the docility of Nigerians. But I bet the FRSC will regret its action if it takes us for granted this time around. Even the heavy price tags on the proposed number plates is a big burden on

the generality of Nigerians, who are heavily burdened by their existential problems. Who should the FRSC not make the new number plate compulsory only for those buying new vehicles by January 2014? That, to me is a more reasonable option, so that the old and new number plates will co-exist for some years. Apart from the very high price tag placed on the new number plates, some people have

negotiable amenity for the people. While only Ojirami, Ewan, Akuku and some parts of Igarra sparingly benefit from the dam, other places like Okpe, Uneme-Nekhua, Ugboshi, Ekpesa, Ibillo, Ososo, Lampese and many more are naturally left out. According to some investigations

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Let’s promote peace to transform Nigeria

New number plate headache

IR: Who will save this country from the arbitrariness in polices and action by the governments and its agencies? Nobody except ourselves. So we have to take our lives in our hands for survival. We are in a democracy, yet things are done so arbitrarily in this country as if we are still under military regime. Why would the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) impose a new regime of new number plates on Nigerians with-

ernment under the Ministry of Water Resources, our Comrade Governor needs to pinch the relevant authority for optimal support to see that the dearth of water in AkokoEdo is assuaged. However, palliative measures such as sinking of boreholes will also go a long way in addressing the continuous helpless state of the people in these areas, as this step, by extension, would further reduce health problems which the current administration of Oshiomhole has been pushing for. • Toluwa Adejumoh, Ekpesa, Akoko-Edo L.G.A Edo State.

inferred that the high price will put more money on the pocket of the FRSC than to the coffer of the government. And as far as they are concerned, there is no compelling reason why this policy must be imposed as an added burden on the already suffering Nigerians. A rethink of the policy is therefore counseled, if we must not to heat the polity unnecessarily a la Nigerian politicians. • Hasan Ojo, Lagos

these, she interpreted as storm and challenges which inspired her to captioned her painting “PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM”. She won the Centenary Competition which targeted youths by providing them a platform for expression, take leadership role and to share opinions about the Nigeria of their dreams. “This is Nigeria” is taking the idea of promoting peace in transforming Nigeria to a higher level by asking Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora to share their thoughts, comments and perspectives on the idea of peace as basis for transformation. “This is Nigeria “explores the idea of peace in transforming Nigeria and track how the unleashing of Nigeria’s potentials will affect its image and people’s perception now and in the near future. To experience change, we need a regenerated mind connected to positive thoughts of promoting peace. The power of positive thinking empowered people who left great legacies on earth. Positive thoughts and attitudes do not only make great people, but also great nations. • Comrade Ogbu Ameh Alexander, Abuja


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

21

COMMENTS

Fashola: ‘Lagos Solar Generation’; Ibadan-Lagos-disgrace; RCC/ BJ emergency repairs pls; Lifejackets pls

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OVERNOR Fashola invites us to ‘Let’s talk power’ so let us talk ‘Solar Power’. Governor Fashola, if countries with miniTony mal sunshine, like the Marinho UK and Germany, can have rooftop solar panels and solar energy powering cities like in Spain, the USA and Israel, ‘Can You Please Take Lagos Solar?’ The cost of solar equipment, undereducation in solar potential and lack of solar planning laws hinder progress. The Lagos State Building Code should encourage new buildings to have a solar component and be more environmentally friendly. Recognise, Reward and Award excellence in solar companies. Increase plans and 2014 budgets for major solar use in the secretariat and local authorities for security lighting in street lights, bus stops, market, motor parks, neighbourhoods, foreshore lighting, Bar beach, recreation areas, schools, tertiary institutions and hospitals all needing security and lighting all night and solar public buildings and lampposts at festive periods. The equipment cost is a constraint but the cost of solar panels and batteries has gone down by 80% accompanied by a marked improvement in solar battery efficiency. Solar technology is evolving rapidly as demonstrated at 2013 Solar Energy Expo in Dubai. Nigerians including Engineer Yomi Bolarinwa were there and have 2013 cutting edge knowledge to be tapped –but no one will tap them. Talk to embassies. Nigeria should beware therefore of ‘Solar Dumping’, the delivery of old solar technology as ‘aid’ or by solar contractors seeking to drop obsolete solar equipment in Nigeria. Nowadays even two years is old technology. Solar equipment costs are high and it takes five-plus years to recoup the cost in savings from cut electricity bills. It behoves Lagos State, federal government, CBN to come up with a ‘Long Term Solar Loans Strategy’. A low interest, 2-4% multibillion Solar Loan Facility would instantly

A

PALL of sorrow, tears and grief descended on the entire country last Thursday. This was triggered by the unfortunate death of 13 people on board a chartered aircraft which was carrying the body of Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo State, to Akure, the Ondo State capital, for his burial ceremony. The aircraft crashed a few minutes after take-off from the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. Apart from the 13 victims, seven other passengers of the illfated aircraft who sustained injuries, including Feyisaye Agagu, the son of the late governor, were rushed to various hospitals in Lagos for treatment. One of them later died bringing the total death toll to 14. Reports have it that the crash afforded some bad boys and hoodlums the opportunity to prey on the victims of the disaster. This group, comprising mainly youths from Mafoluku area of Lagos where the crash occurred and their accomplices from nearby Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO, motor park, were the first to arrive at the scene of disaster. As soon as they got there, they turned the whole arena into a stealing spree. They battled with the thick smoke that bellowed from the wreckage, with the ulterior motive of stealing from the victims while pretending to be on a rescue mission. It was as if the unfortunate incident provided them with the needed opportunity for self-enrichment. This group successfully robbed the victims dry. The boys simply picked any item they could find around like phones, laptops, handbags and money. A guy was said to have started it all. In an attempt to rescue

provide 10,000Mw off grid. Importation duties should be waved. Cleaning of solar panels is work for thousands. Creating ‘The Solar Generation’ would be the next big thing in Nigeria after DSTV, the ‘Generator Generation’ and the ‘Cell Phone Generation’. How the UK is planning 20,000Gw while we are still using the odd solar powered torch is a mystery and misery. Wanted: A Governor Fashola driven ‘Solar Lagos Project’. Where are Nigeria’s solar factories making solar panels, flat and curved, and solar batteries? We made glass and batteries at Triplex and Exide. Under Obasanjo we got a tobacco factory instead of cellphone factories so no phones Made In Nigeria. God gave us petroleum but we export it and re-import our needs at huge extra costs. God gave us the sun. We ignore it while countries with 10% sun power their people into the 21st Century. LASU should be given a Lagos State Solar Grant for research into solarising Lagos. We must encourage new great leaders. A Fashola led ‘Let’s Act Solar Power’ will place Lagos as a leading solar city in Africa. The reason why Nigerians were considered the ‘Happiest People on Earth’ is not our politics but the fact that the sun remained in our otherwise miserable lives. The politicians cannot yet give the sun only to party members -like allowing only party members to live on the sunny side of the street. The sun brings a smile to the sick, the broke, oppressed and miserable. Too much sun is not good but every day starts with that warm glow of hopeful rays. About leadership, who allowed the imminent collapse and closure of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with 15 kilometres of traffic five lane wide, 10,000 vehicles long with one million people, daily desperately struggling down that obstacle course? NEMA, if that is not an emergency and disaster, what is? Do we require the death of all these people in a fireball on the expressway? Nigerians know that awarding a contract is never an end to suffering. Nigerians are suffering maximally, stranded for seven hours daily in 2013 while RCC and Julius Berger warm up. Contractors must please show the milk of human kindness. Nigerians expect ‘CONTRACTOR EMERGENCY

MEASURES PLEASE’ for patching dangerous pothole and the worst areas within 24 hours pending reconstruction. Painting and deployment of pretty concrete barriers and clearing the median can come later. The main problem areas are Julius Berger areas - very rough/absent road surfaces at the Mountain Top University, Redeem Crossings, Hayday Petrol station, Takol, Asese. The road authority should create a Nigerian solution to the massive Nigerian problem of queue jumping– a major cause of prolonged driving time for those who stay in the lanes. The placement of barriers every 20 metres on the shoulders would make it impossible to queue jump. Breaking News: The human cannot swim without learning. When will we learn? A life jacket for everyone on the water will save lives. Why is no one listening? We have just lost 42 or 100 citizens and an additional 18 more citizens on the River Niger. Lampedusa, off Italy is the watery graveyard for Africans seeking backdoor entry into Fortress Europe and now over 300 more. None had lifejackets. Is anyone listening? A life jacket costs little compared to a life. A life jacket is reusable, recyclable and is less than a N1 per use if 1000 trips are made. A life jacket keeps the wearer alive. If you do not provide or use a life jacket for your wife, children, relatives or employees you are a murderer or a murdering government and should be tried as such.

‘God gave us petroleum but we export it and re-import our needs at huge extra costs. God gave us the sun. We ignore it while countries with 10% sun power their people into the 21st Century. LASU should be given a Lagos State Solar Grant for research into solarising Lagos’

Robbing the Dead the injured pilot, the guy stumbled on his laptop and picked it. That degenerated into frenzy as others started looking for what to steal. In the melee that followed, the whole place erupted in fisticuffs as the boys fought one another over who should own what. While this ugly scene was going on, the victims were left burning inside the aircraft until fire-fighters and the police came to disperse everybody. That was not the first time an incident of this nature happened in the country. On October 22, 2005, when a twin-engine Boeing 737 belonging to Bellview Airline crashed at Lisa Village, Ogun State, killing all the 117 passengers on board, rescuers who thronged the scene literally stole the victims blind. Many of the youths within the vicinity of the crash, were said to have made bountiful harvest from stealing money and other valuables from the victims. Most of them were said to have used the proceeds from the satanic act to buy motorcycles, popularly called okada, which they converted to means of transport for commuters. Such immoral behaviours are common scenes at accident spots all over the country, including scenes of fire disasters and collapsed buildings. While the victims of such unfortunate incident ruminate over their losses, majority of those who come around pretending to be pacifying them, often turn the place to an opportunity to loot and steal whatever they could lay their hands on. This bad behaviour is not limited to hoodlums alone as law en-

‘If all people think about anywhere they are is how to make money by all possible means, whether fair or foul, to the extent of even robbing the dead, then, there is no other way to explain it than to say that we are a cursed people’

forcement officers and other government officials are known to engage in such nauseating acts. By and large, it goes to show the incalculable damage our value system has suffered in this country in recent times. Today, if your car is stuck in the mud or on a sandy terrain which are the hallmarks of some of our roads, you dare not beckon on people around, whether youths or adults, to help free your car from the trap. If you do so, you should be prepared to part with some hard-earned money as compensation for these commercial sympathisers. All is about money and nothing else. This is dangerous to the future of our youths and the future of the country as a whole. It is a pity that nobody, not even the elders of our society or even the government at whatever level, is paying any attention whatsoever to this irritating attitude that has gained currency over the years. If all people think about anywhere they are is how to make money by all possible means, whether fair or foul, to the extent of even robbing the dead, then, there is no other way to explain it than to say that we are a cursed people. I have no apology for that. However, the news of the crash has continued to grip the whole country with fear and trepidation. It was one crash too many. Since 1969, the country has witnessed more than 40 air crashes and close to 1,000 deaths in the history of its aviation industry. On November 20, 1969, a Nigeria Airways BAC VC10 from London crashed on landing in Lagos, killing 87 people on board. This was followed by another one on January 22, 1973, when a Royal Jordanian Airlines Flight 707, carrying 171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and five crewmen, crashed in Kano, killing all on board. Since then, it has been a litany of crashes culminating in the Sunday, June 3, 2012 air crash involving a Dana Airlines Flight 9J 992

with 153 passengers on board. Four months after, precisely on October 25, 2012, Danbaba Suntai, the governor of Taraba State, and five of his aides narrowly escaped death when a Cessna 208 aircraft piloted by Suntai crashed into a hill in Adamawa State. On December 15, 2012, the nation was again thrown into mourning with the news of the death of Patrick Yakowa, who was then the Governor of Kaduna State, and General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd), former National Security Adviser to the President. A total of six persons were burnt in the helicopter crash which occurred in the forest of Okoroba community in Nembe local government of Bayelsa State. From all indication, it is as if the nation has not seen the last of these unfortunate air crashes that have kept on occurring every now and then. With the frequency of air crashes in the country, one might be correct to conclude that Nigeria ranks highest among African countries or developing countries with the highest prevalence of air crashes in the world. Speaking at an aviation forum in Lagos recently, Tony Tyler, the Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), disclosed that 50 per cent of global plane crashes in 2012 occurred in Africa. According to him, African airlines recorded one accident for every 270, 000 flights for 2012, while the industry average was one accident for about 5, 000,000 flights. Tyler, who described the figure as shocking, therefore urged African governments to invest in safety, infrastructure and capacity building for the personnel working in the aviation sector. The Civil Aviation Act, which was passed into law in 2006, sufficiently empowered the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to effectively regulate the operations of airlines and ensure that they adhere strictly to the rules. But some airline owners have been accused

Dele Agekameh of disobeying the same rules. Most of the airlines operating in the country are believed to be in the habit of skipping maintenance checks. They are possibly aided by some unscrupulous officials of the regulatory bodies who either allow them to postpone the checks or settle for below-the-level types for pecuniary gains. However, the latest plane crash raises a question about the implementation of the recommendations of a report on the causes of plane crashes believed to have been submitted to the federal government by the Accident Investigation Bureau a long time ago. Perhaps, if the government and relevant aviation authorities had promptly acted on the content of the report, it is possible that last Thursday’s incident could have been averted. It is high time airline operators in Nigeria noted that the safety of the flying public is first and foremost dependent on the proper functioning of the aircraft and its components. Maintenance plays such a crucial role in flight safety and it is the responsibility of the aircraft owners or operators to ensure that the aircraft in their fleet are properly maintained.

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

22

COMMENTS ‘Jonathan would have broken the law if he should take the third oath of office just as the constitution does not recognise elected president or governor to spend above eight years in office, no matter the circumstances. The ‘doctrine of necessity’ was irrelevant at the time Yar’Adua died and Jonathan who had a joint mandate with him was sworn in. If Yar’Adua had died seven days after he took the oath of office in 2007, would Jonathan be qualified to run in 2015 after taking the second oath in 2011, to make 12 years in office as against the maximum of eight years in our constitution? My conclusion is that the judgment of the high court was got in haste or procured to test our senses. Our constitution is not a Father Christmas, I hope. From Akin Malaolu’

Jonathan

For Olatunji Dare In the absence of transparency in every action, things will not be normal. Untill we get it right and stop politicising every issue, things will not be as it is supposed to be. A nation that does things with impunity always thrives in trouble. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa Lagos Sir, statistics is like a bikini; what it reveals is suggestive, but what it conceals is vital. The collective refusal by the larger society to stay away from a course that proved disastrous in the past is the direct reason for our failing state. If not, why is it that 53 years after independence, a country like ours, blessed with gifted citizens thriving in other coners of the globe, is being led by inept rulers? Our civil societies should please wake up. From O. O. Adegoke, Ikhin, Edo State Sir, thanks a lot for highlighting the fraud in Nigeria’s cencus! How on earth can Nigeria alone be equal to the combined populations of ancient nations of Egypt and Ethiopia, and less than half the land area? Areas within latitudinal belt often share similar population distribution. Nigeria can not be more than Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda combined! Our census is programmed inflation. We are far less than 100 million! The rest are ghost. From Engr. Idowu Ogedengbe, Abuja Re: Still planning and polling without facts. It is a disgrace and a faulty pillarfoundation when a nation either lacks statistics or swims in a faulty data. That is essentially the component of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. Again, an example: the national identification management centres are so far, situated in a place in only state capitals. Where do the Oyos, Okeoguns, Ojokus, Offas, Warris, Pankhsins, Epes, Sapeles, etc do their registrations? State capitals, as if they are undergoing pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem! However, enumerators see things you and I do not see on census. From Lanre Oseni Dare, thanks for your elucidation in “still planning and polling” on lies. Nigeria’s census problem came with her birth because the North demanded a favouring census as a pre-condition to be part of the country at Independence and Brittain granted it. So, why would Kano not have more people when a quarter of it is carved as a state? It is the normal weapon of neo-colonialisation of the South by the North. Jonathan’s increased performance rating is true particularly in infrastructural facilities which serve as bed rock of future improvements in other areas of the economy. The unsual rendering of his performance data gives credence to the facts on his positive thrust in governance. Leave politicians with their usual blindness to a performing opponent. On a closing stanza, North’s plan to hold others to political subjugation must be fought to a stand still or we might have USA’s forecast hold. From Lai Ashadele For Segun Gbadegesin Nigeria labour congress is not living up to the expectation of Nigerians over the citizen’s plight in the hand of our leaders. From Gordon Chika Nnorom Thank you so much for putting it to them (labour leaders) albeit mildly. It clearly shows whose interest they represent. Can we allow a Ghanian who is Black or an American or Indian who are Whites to come

and even buy form not to talk of contesting? Please less talk. From Joseph Itse, Jos It is very unfortunate that the integrety of NLC has been compromised. During the subsidy saga, we all thought NLC was fighting for the whole masses, but it turned out to be contrary. A nation where the masses’ intrest is not protected that nation is doomed. Masses are now left at the mercy of government nobody is fighting to protect the masses’ intrest. The leadership of NLC has been compromised by those who feel threatened about their action. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos Sir, I read your piece “NLC vs the people”. I am disturbed by the statements credited to the Vice President of the NLC. It shows that he has not been following the trends of things in the country. I have some posers for Mr. Isaa Aremu: is he so pleased with the bad leadership style in the country? Can he go to sleep with his two eyes closed given the security situation in the land? Is he also so pleased with the level of poverty in the country? Anyway what I know is that Mr. Aremu is only speaking for himself but not the NLC. He is still living in the past. From Ojo A. Ayodele, Emure Ekiti The NLC, as presently constituted, is not a serious organization. Upon hearing about the jumbo pay of NASS, it should have called out workers whose minimum wage of N18,000 is still debated. From Uche Lawson, Aba Re: NLC vs the people. Before now, I had been an opponent of Sovereign National Conference or National Conference because it is both unnecessary and time-wasting. Whatever is agitating any citizen’s mind should be passed on to his or her Representative or Senate member to be discussed in the Houses. Although constitution is made for man, and not the reverse, there is need to respect that existing constitution rather than toying with it with SNC. SNC will be a resource-leakage, regional powershow and unreasonable demands from one another. NLC is correct by rejecting SNC. From Lanre Oseni This Omar lost contact with his contituency long ago. Imagine him campaigning on the podium for Mimiko during last election. Yes, he has the right to do so even when decorum forbids him. But, when this same governor refuses to pay teachers for five months, relegates health workers for no cause, sacks three quarters of government workers, impliments a nonexisting constitution to sack every worker who left primary school at age nine, and more, where is Omar and his colaborators? Do not waist your time and energy on someone who already had failed in his dormain. From Demola Olaseinde, Ilaramokin Hello sir, Re: NLC vs the people. Sovereign National Conference is the key to addressing the systemic defect of our federated republic. That is what the proponents are agitating for: a new system that allows for developments according to the ability of each of the federating unit in a level playing field without any unit feeling being left out within an indivisible entity called Nigeria. From Olumide Soyemi, Bariga SNC is the answer to usurpation of power, land and oil resources shared among politicians and selfish NLC leaders excluding citizenry. From Edmund What a nice write-up from you sir on “NLC vs the people”! The move by the National Assembly to remove generation and distribution of electricity from the exclusive list is a means to enrich the Nigerian millionaires who have stolen our treasuries. Government regulatory agencies are ineffective hence, the poor bears the burden. From Eleshin, LASU quarters, Badagry Mr. Isa Aremu is living in ‘yesterday’. For people like him with unbridled conservative tendencies to be in NLC spells doom for the Nation. He lacks the global foresight, the openness and the dialogue

oriented mentality that qualifies people for leadership positions in the NLC. No wonder the NLC under his leadership has lost its relevance and vibrancy in the scheme of happenings in the Nation. National Conference will signal a way forward. From Mr. Ezeokoli Agha Joekin, Lagos There must be a peace security in Nigeria in order to have peace. Anonymous For Gbenga Omotoso I pray the Almighty God of heaven, the Revealer of secret things to those who fear Him will expose and scatter and destroy the wicked camps. Please let us put the sentiments of politics aside and pray for heavenly intervention, we are in the darker age (evil) of the world. Nigerians should rise and pray North, South, East and West. Thanks! From Adegboyega To me, lack of quality statistics to identify socio-economic challenges in the country is the creation or manipulation of the operators who must have so constructed the distorted scenario, or purposely kept the valid data (if any) away from us to avoid being monitored by the general public. Covering confidential infomation meant for the public is a form of bad governance trying to shield people from knowing how their affairs are being managed. That there is no reliable pattern of population distribution or that nobody knows the quantity of oil produced and consumed in the country should not deceive anybody. The authorities and their agents know what they are doing. From Emmanuel Egwu Dear Omotoso, I always appreciate your Eìditorial Notebook.You make The Nation thick. Please, with reference to Education page of today, those pupils of Cardinal School should be reminded that NigeriÌa’s flag carries no logo. That one is a motor park’s flag. Please enlighten the general public. Thank you! From L. O. David, Abuja My dear brother Gbenga, it was a bloody birthday indeed. Blood! Blood! And indeed blood everywhere. Nowhere is safe except maybe prison. Jonathan is helpless and I pity him that he watches helplessly while this carnage is going on unabated. I only hope this evil thing called Boko Haram will not consume all one day as there is no solution right away. May God save Nigeria! From Chief Ayo Apelogun, Ilesha Killing has come to stay. There seems to be nothing anyone can do to stop it because those that Satan handed over to us as leaders are arrow-heads of murder; they do not see wanton waste of lives as anything out of the ordinary. In fact, they are not bothered about what is happening in the country. Maybe blood must continue to flow so as to ensure their stay in power, who knows. This is Nigeria where one cannot put anything above a politician. It is only in a lawless state that things go this bad without anyone being punished. Let us face it: since Boko Haram has been wrecking havoc, has any of their sponsors been arrested and prosecuted? Who are the patrons of Ombatse cult? Is it possible that no one has adequate information on the activities of these devilish groups and who their sponsors are? From Ifeanyi O. Ifeanyi For NCAA to sanction Arik for unruly behaviour of its passengers is an act of uncivilised management. How will you feel if you were to be one of the passengers? Whose fault? Who was the VIP? As the life of the president is important to his relations so is that of palmwine dealer. Until we come to terms with truth and honest we must always get issues amiss. Passengers that had been infuriated with anger and fear was supposed to be calmed rather than being provoked by VIP or PIP. From Peter N. Chukwudum, Aba, Abia State

• Comrade

Isa Aremu (VP, NLC)

For Tunji Adegboyega RE: ‘Independence and an air crash’. Apart from occasional success stories in football, it had been stories of calamitous events in our dear country, Nigeria. Perhaps if our rulers listen to suggestions and implement, we would have been ‘high up’ now. All said, and done, the accused and the accusers are guilty of our underdevelopment - the rulers, the journalists, technocrats and the politicians - conservatives and acclaimed progressives. From Lanre Oseni. When some elders accused the President of running the country as a kindergarten president, the scavengers around him started shouting like a hungry lion. Let them tell us how best we should describe him when all we are celebrating is spilling of blood and crashing of planes. The President and his cohorts have abandoned their civic responsibilities for what I will call self-serving agenda. The minister of aviation should be removed because of her incompetence in handling the ministry. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos. What was a good man doing in the company of bad men? That question would remain resonant as long as it takes the people of Ondo State to come to terms with the air tragedy, while struggling to define the true legacy of Agagu. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. From Kuteyi, R.R.,Ondo. Nigerians should believe that what we have in our airspace are flying coffins, not aircraft. Anyone flying here should pray hard because aircraft in Nigeria are not airworthy, compared with the foreign aircraft. The plane crash in Lagos is very unfortunate and sad. May the souls of the victims rest in perfect peace. (Amen). Investigation should however be carried out to ascertain the remote cause of the crash and find a lasting solution to the problem of constant plane crashes here. The regulatory agencies should sit up to stop all these flying coffins called aircraft to avoid tragedies in future. Cutting corners should stop in our aviation sector so that we don’t continue to send innocent souls to untimely graves. Why are such disasters occurring during our Independence anniversary? God bless Nigeria. From Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia state. Your column of September 29, titled ‘The one man, one term brouhaha’r refers. Jonathan would have broken the law if he should take the third oath of office just as the constitution does not recognise elected president or governor to spend above eight years in office, no matter the circumstances. The ‘doctrine of necessity’ was irrelevant at the time Yar’Adua died and Jonathan who had a joint mandate with him was sworn in. If Yar’Adua had died seven days after he took the oath of office in 2007, would Jonathan be qualified to run in 2015 after taking the second oath in 2011, to make 12 years in office as against the maximum of eight years in our constitution? My conclusion is that the judgment of the high court was got in haste or procured to test our senses. Our constitution is not a Father Christmas, I hope. From Akin Malaolu. My own concern is how Abati made a UTurn now, even against his media colleagues. It is despicable of him to have done that. Have a nice day. Anonymous. Pretty late in the day! Just read your piece in The Nation on Sunday of September 22 titled ‘Like father, like son’. Apparently you missed the substance of Mr. President’s appeal to the people. Regards. From Mikayah.


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


POLITICS

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

43

THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has spilled over to Kaduna State as some members have declared support for the Kawu Baraje faction. TONY AKOWE reports.

Sambo, Yero battle ‘New PDP’ in Kaduna

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HE battle for the control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna has started between the mainstream leadership and the faction led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje. Since 2007, it has been an open secret that all was not well with the party in the state. However, the warring leaders have been able to manage their differences. The emergence of the the former governor, now Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, did not go down well with some party members, who felt that the former governor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, now a senator, imposed him on the state. A few months after assuming office, the relationship between Sambo and Makarfi went sour. From that moment, the Makarfi team was poised to pull the rug off his feet. But luck smiled on him. He was appointed Vice President, which paved the way for the former governor, the late Patrick Yakowa, to take over as governor. There is a renewed hostility now. Many of those loyal to Makarfi have gone back to the trenches, in a bid to wrest the party structure from the Vice President. Even though Senator Makarfi has not personally identified with any of the PDP factions, some of his supporters have identified with the Abubakar Baraje-led faction. They accused the Vice President of failure to unite the party in the state. They alleged that, rather than revamp and shore up the fortunes of the party, he has contributed to the downward plung of its fortunes. Former Chairman of the party i Audi Yaro Makama, is leading the state faction that is supporting the Baraje faction. The leaders of the faction recently argued in a statement that “the revolutionary decision to sack the erstwhile leadership under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and replace it with the current one led by Baraje, needs to be replicated in all states chapters, especially Kaduna State, where the support base of the party has been shrinking, since 2007 when Sambo became governor and decided to rubbish the party and its supporters to no end.” They said this decision was taken after deep reflections on happenings in Kaduna State, since the elevation of Architect Namadi Sambo as Vice President. “It is instructive that, since his elevation, the fortunes and prestige of the party has been declining, rather than improving, because he has been incapable of rallying the people under its umbrella. Although this is hardly surprising, since he lacks the political wherewithal and the requisite structure, but it was expected that he would come to terms with his inadequacies and enlist the support of established political actors. “This expectation has been a forlorn hope because the Vice President has surrounded himself with political paperweights. These hangers on drive Sambo’s vehicle of political exclusionism by hunting for enemies, even where they don’t exist. All efforts by concerned party members and elders to make him see reason, as well as draw the attention of the sacked party leadership, were in vain”, they alleged. The faction, which called itself “Save Kaduna Group,” further said that the “fortune of the party in Kaduna State began to nose dive, since 2007 and the relief envisaged after the 2011 elections was, unfortunately, short-lived and we are today back to the days of the locust. Nothing positive is happening; governance is at a standstill; we have a government that is seemingly an auto pilot and, whenever the pilot remembers that he is supposed to be steering a ship, he begs for navigational and other aids from somewhere else”. However, the mainstream eadership of the part, promptly dismissed the split, saying that the PDP is in tact. Dismissing the New PDP, the party said those claiming to be the New PDP are only seeking cheap relevance. Kaduna PDP spokesman Alhaji Ibrahim Mansur, who described the

•Sambo

• Yero

• Tukur

• Baraje

leaders of the New PDP as political opportunists, said that the “group of political opportunists led by Makama and a former member of the State House of Assembly, Yakubu Gideon Morik, is completely wrong. He said: “The Kaduna State Chapter of the PDP remains solidly behind the leadership of our National Chairman, Alhaji (Dr) Bamanga Tukur. “There is only one PDP, which is the one led by Bamanga Tukur. This much has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. The claim by the so-called group is false and totally criminal, as the party is intact and united under the able leadership of Dr A G Haruna. The PDP in Kaduna State remains undivided and one big family that is committed to the Transformation Agenda of our leader, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his Vice, Arc.

Sambo”. Mansur lampooned the breakaway group, descring its members as politicians, who are well known for self centredness. “Makama and his ilk are self-centred politicians, who are bent on discrediting Vice President Sambo over their insatiable quest for patronage and accumulation of wealth. Any attempt at creating confusion by political jobbers, under the guise of dirty party politics, will surely attract the attention of law enforcement agencies. “We reject the negative ploy by Makama and a handful of ‘food is ready’ politicians in his camp aimed at creating confusion in the party. Makama must be reminded that there is time for everything; he cannot remain the chairman of PDP forever. It is his turn to follow others just like he was followed during his time”.

‘It is, however, not known what Sambo and his team are doing to ensure that the party remains one. While there are efforts at reconciling the two factions at the national level, there is no effort at reconciliation in the state. Unless this is done, the party may be heading for the rock, especially, with the All Progressive Congress (APC) strongly mobilising ahead of the 2015 elections’

However, the Tukur faction seems to be gathering support across the state among the youths. The youths said those claiming to be the New PDP in the state were over heating the polity. The leader of the youths, Danjuma Sarki, described those behind the New PDP as desperate politicians and spent forces, who want to fight their way back into political relevance, after failing to come to terms with the fact that their time was up. “It is no doubt that this is an obvious move by some spent forces to launch themselves back into political relevance after failing to come to terms with the fact that their time is up and a new order has taken pre-eminence in the state. “We, therefore, call on the general public to disregard them and their antics for underserved recognition at a time like this when the party is poised to consolidate on its victory at the last local government council elections. “We are baffled that these desperate politicians, who claimed that the fortunes and prestige of the party has been declining, rather than improving because the Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo has been incapable of rallying the people under its umbrella. But it must be stated that, in the history of the party in the state, there has never been a time when the party was victorious in 22 out of the 23 local government council chairmanship elections and also won 246 out of 255 councillorship seats in the state. Suffice it to say that Yaro Makama and his co-travellers lack the simple sense of assessment of political fortune and integrity of a party or are they suffering from some kind of dementia,” Sarki said. Justifying its support for the Old PDP, the youths said, since the emergence of Sambo as the governor and his elevation to his current position, the party in the state has continued to wax stronger. It added that it would amount to sheer blackmail or crass ignorance to claim not to be aware of the in-road the party is making as a result of the purposeful leadership of the state governor and the Vice President. They described Sambo as a leader of the party in the state and the entire northern states. “We, therefore, wish to state our unalloyed loyalty to the party leadership in the state headed by Hon. A.G. Haruna, the government of Kaduna and that of the Goodluck/Sambo and call on all well-meaning people of the state to continue to rally round them”, they said. Urging the people to remain focused and resolute in the pursuit of the Transformation Agenda, the youths called on past and present leaders to be cautious with their statements. They called for efforts that would further consolidate the purposeful leadership of the governor. “We should all learn to explore the necessary process of seeking redress within the party whenever we are aggrieved, instead of resorting to crude means that might polarise us”. Similarly, local government chairman on the platform of the PDP also dismissed the New PDP, saying that the PDP remained one in the state. They pledged their support to the state executive of the party and the governor. Speaking at a news conference, the Chairman of ALGON said what is happening in the party was normal, pointing out that they remain loyal to the party. There is no doubt that there are serious efforts in the state to ensure that the Vice President loses out in the party in the state, he alleged. It is, however, not known what Sambo and his team are doing to ensure that the party remains one. While there are efforts at reconciling the two factions at the national level, there is no effort at reconciliation in the state. Unless this is done, the party may be heading for the rock, especially, with the All Progressive Congress (APC) strongly mobilising ahead of the 2015 elections.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

POLITICS House of Representatives member Hon. Teejay Yusuf, who represents KabbaBunu Constituency, Kogi State, is the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Information Communication Technology. He spoke with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crises.

‘No plan to change House leadership’

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EW weeks ago, there was fracas on the floor of the House over the visit of G-7 governors. What do you make of such development? Ironically, that incident confirmed the fact that we have done well. For the first time in about three years, that was the first time such a fracas happened. In every democracy, the parliament is always a fulcrum of ideas. The House is a forum for the contention of ideas; there is always a contending stream of ideas and opinions on the floor. The Parliament in Britain, America and other places is always a place for the resolution of conflicting ideas. The way you handle such conflicts determines how well you come out or how bad you come out. What happened in the House of Representatives was in tune with parliamentarians’ tendency to openly express their displeasure about certain things. The G-7 and other governors and leaders of the party have a right to be in the National Assembly, and nobody contests that fact. Alhaji Kawu Baraje, the purported chairman of a faction of the PDP, has a right to be in the National Assembly. But what was challenged was under which guise or which authority are these persons doing what they are doing. Are you coming as a former National Secretary of the party? Good. Are you coming as a former Acting Chairman or coming as governors of the ruling party? Fantastic. But, if you are coming as a ‘chairman’ to address a caucus of the PDP, we are legislators and lawmakers and we cannot sit and watch such an aberration being encouraged. What we are saying is this: can anybody wake up anywhere in the world and call himself the governor of a state with just a press conference? Will that be a legitimate claim? I am not denying the fact that they could have legitimate grievances that they want to express. But, how you go about it is a different thing all together. What happened on the floor when they came was that a member of the PDP caucus raised a point of order to say “I want to know what the modus operandi of this meeting is”. On what grounds are they here? Secondly, how come I, as a Parliamentarian, I’m standing while hangers-on that came here with these people are sitting. It is supposed to be a PDP caucus meeting, but PDP parliamentarians were standing. So, the intention of the Point of Order that was raised was to draw attention towards ensuring that this anomaly could be taken for what it was and corrected. If you observed very well, when the Speaker of the House was speaking, no other contrary voice was heard. But when it was Baraje’s turn to speak, the members said no, let us clarify this. Who are you? But the impression that many people now have is that the socalled PDP faction which initially claims to have 57 members, is now strong enough to claimed that it can effect a change in the House leadership. What do you say to that? You see, it is natural for those who are disadvantaged to seek unnecessary attention to bolster their ego. You want to encourage and psyche yourself up. If you watch a boxing bout, as the boxer is going into the ring, he has somebody by his side saying to him ‘You are the champ, you are the best’. So, whoever has made such claim is only trying to encourage his co-travellers or colleagues. Unfortunately,

• Yusuf

our politics, as it is now, the state governors have a huge role to play in who emerges or re-emerges as House of Representatives members. Those who know will always understand that. If you take that away, most of them will not be with those governors. So, they can go with their governors now, but others will not go with governors, who work against their party. We have 288 (PDP) members. The whole of the states, where we have these pockets of agitations, have a total number of about 58 members (in the House of Representatives). So, how can they have 108? Where are they producing it? By every political calculation, is it not logical that it should be us that should have more numbers? But I don’t join issues with such illusions. I can assure you that when we get to the river, we will cross it. The PDP House of Representatives members are intact. We are solidly behind the party and we are advising anybody, even our leaders, who have genuine grievances, to go through the right channel of the party. It is not the first time that parties will have issues. All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), for instance, had theirs for about four years. It’s not possible for you to have cleavages and interests struggling for relevance and not have these challenges. But when has it become a National Assembly issue? Was APGA issue brought to the National Assembly? The idea of bringing it is to seek relevance and do some bit of propaganda to help in negotiating and get some mileage for themselves. But we want to say that the business of governance is very important. The House of Representatives is committed to that under the able leadership of the Speaker and we will not allow any distractions whatsoever, to move us from the focus of delivering to Nigerians, the dividends of democracy that they deserve. It is also said that many members of the House of Representatives, including people in your group,

‘There is nobody interested in removing the leadership of the House as it is constituted right now. We believe that we will achieve more, if we do not delve into such distractions. For most members they want the House to be insulated from the shenanigan, the needless intrigues that is going on’

the Unity Forum, are working underground towards effecting a change in the leadership of the House? What has the leadership of the House of Representatives got to do with the issue on ground? Just because some people addressed the press and said they have a new party? I’m talking ‘about the’ PDP Patriots’ and the Unity Forum’, the groups to which you belong. I thank God that you used two words now, patriot and unity. If you are a patriot, is causing confusion on the floor of the House in any tandem with being a patriot? Is causing disaffection and trying to rock the boat in the House in tandem with the position of unity? I will tell you very loud and clear that there is nobody interested in removing the leadership of the House as it is constituted right now. We believe that we will achieve more, if we do not delve into such distractions. The 7th House of Representatives has been able to achieve this milestone because of the level of harmony that we have enjoyed and the intention of the Unity Forum. For most members they want the House to be insulated from the shenanigan, the needless intrigues that is going on. Come to think of it, who amongst us in the House of Representatives was part of these challenges when they occurred? Whose interest were those people serving? If they are resolved, how many of us will be called? So, why should they turn the House to the theatre of the crisis? Of a truth, if you belong to a political party, is it showing loyalty and love for that party to move a party issue on the floor of the National Assembly? Of course, it’s clear they have a different thing in mind. However, I can speak based on the privilege of the group I have had meetings with, that there has never been an issue in our agenda to think of the removal of any principal officer and we encourage the leadership to remain focussed and not be distracted. We understand that, once you take 2015 away from this, all the crisis will cease. So, one thing we sincerely appeal to our leaders is to ensure that they do not allow what is in the hand of God, what no man has ability or capacity to determine how it goes and where it does not go, rob us of the privilege and the result we can achieve now. God, ultimately rules in the affairs of men. Posterity will judge us. Posterity will record us. Posterity will play back whatever role we play today. This country emerged from a very agonizing, painful military rule. I was privileged to be in the thick of the action as a student union leader and I don’t pray we should return to those days again. We might not value what we have now, but God forbids, if we lose it, that’s when we will understand that we have moved beyond what we can imagine. Power and whoever has it, is in the hand of God. The 7th House of Representatives has a responsibility to continue to give direction and leadership. I believe that the House, as presently constituted, will shape how Nigeria will be in the next 20 years. We have a real opportunity and a real privilege. What we do with it will determine the result we get. What you sow today will bear fruit tomorrow. If you plant the right seed, you will reap the right fruit. You can’t plant cocoyam and reap cassava. They might look alike; they are both tubers. But they are not the same.

Women back Ngige

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OMEN groups in Anambra State have organised a rally and door-to-door campaign in support of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator Chris Ngige. The group, comprising graduates and undergraduates, is also mobilising youths of voting age for his success. Also, another group, ‘Ngige Ladies,’ comprising women between ages 30 and 40, also held rallies in many councils. The first group, which visited the Ngige Campaign Office, Awka, the state capital, under the aegis of “Ngige Golden Babes”, was received by the media team of the senator. The leader of the group, Martha Alozie, said members came together to support Ngige because he performed well as a governor. Alozie lamented the propaganda against the APC candidate, disclosing that she organised the group to counter the falsehood. She said that they decided to hold the door-to-door campaign for the APC flagbearer because he is the best candidate. According to her, Ngige’s track records as a former governor and senator are commendable, adding that the seasoned politician can bring back the good old days. “He will definitely do more, if he comes back to office,” she said. The Coordinator, Cynthia Okafor, said they chose the name, “Golden” because gold is precious, adding that Anambra, being a precious state, must be rescued from decay. She also said the group will relate with other like-minded associations to drum support for the APC candidate. Students, she maintained, have suffered enough, noting that now is the opportunity to make amends. Okafor said: “Ngige is the man Anambra needs for now and he is in a better position to lead us.” She disclosed that the primary aim of the group is to ensure that Ngige returns to the Government House in November to execute his blueprints for the people, which, she said, had been neglected by his predecessor. When asked what the blueprints are, Okafor said:“Parents paid less fees on their wards when he was governor. If allowed to return, since he has promised free education, more people will have the opportunity to be educated and parents will have less financial burdens in paying these fees.” A member of the group, Christophine Onyinye, said the former governor tackled erosion and security problems, adding that university students will pay less, if re-elected as governor. Urging the sponsors of the propaganda to turn a new leaf, Onyinye said no media propaganda would change the mind of the people, “because those residing in Anambra know better.” She said the time for change has come, explaining that “Ngige Golden Babes” will attract people, who will use their human and material resources to drum support for the masses’ General because “we regard Ngige as a real father, who can make living worthwhile.” • Ngige

Lagos deputy governor urges transparency

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AGOS State Deputy Governor Adejoke Adefulire has called on public office holders and career civil servants to prioritise public accountability and efficient service delivery to enable people enjoy good governance, economic prosperity and peace in the society. Adefulire spoke at the special service for senior civil servants and public office holders organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), National Headquarters, Ebute Meta. She said there was the need for public office holders to solve various problems through the implementation of people oriented programmes that can address unemployment, education, housing , security, urban and infrastructure renewal. The deputy governor said that, since election and appointment into political offices are based on public trust and confidence, it is important that those holding such positions should fear God and implement programmes and policies that can better the lots of people. ‘’People holding public offices should be accountable to the people and give priority attention to programmes that can alleviate poverty, reduce hunger, promote equity and love among the citizenry.’ she said. While thanking the RCCG for reawakening the consciousness of public office holders through the programme, Orelope explained that sustainable development can only be achieved when leaders allow the fear of God to guide them and treat people with equality, while implementing government policies and programmes in the best way that can have positive impact on the people. She called on men of God not to relent in their prayer for peaceful co-existence in the country. The deputy governor, who was optimistic that the country will still regain its leadership position in the continent, charged all the stakeholders to work together and fashion out how sustainable development would be achieved. She equally wantappropriate solutions to be profered to the problem of insecurity that is threatening the peaceful co existence among ethnic groups in the country. Earlier, in his sermon, the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, urged politicians and political office holders to use their positions to serve humanity and God, warning that every soul and leader would give account of how he spent his life and position. Quoting from the book of Jeremiah, he said: “God is watching you when you are serving government”. He also admonished leaders to exercise restraint in their pursuit of power and position, adding that any position that is not of God would claim the occupier at the prime of his service adding””when you are serving God, God is watching but if you serve him dilligently you have your great reward.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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POLITICS All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed examines the lapses in the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

SURE-P: Sure pit for Nigeria’s fiscal drainpipes A

S if the drainpipes instituted by this PDP government tosiphon the commonwealth of the people of Nigeria are not enough, the Federal Government, in the wake of the people’s revolt over the sudden removal of fuel subsidy, hurriedly tinkered together an idea for empowering presidential cronies and set the template for amassing the 2015 campaign war chests. The concept was sweetly christened SURE-P, acronym for Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme. But just exactly as the Presidency’s double standard was demonstrated by the flagrant flouting of its own promise not to remove fuel subsidy, and then presenting Nigerians with a sordid New Year gift of a N141 per liter pump price in 2012; the same helmsman has demonstrated that proceeds from withdrawal – total or partial – of subsidy will translate to nothingness for Nigerians. This is because the SURE-P committee of 21 President’s hand-picked, chaired by Dr Christopher Kolade, has proved to be another massive fiscal siphon. The committee is busy duplicating projects and paying for projects already embarked upon and financed by the various ministries, departments and agencies. To start with, in contrast to the first term of reference of the SURE-P committee which is “to determine in liaison with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum Resources the subsidy savings estimates for each preceding month and ensure that such funds are transferred to the Funds’ Special Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the Committee now waits for monthly ‘handouts’ from the Central Bank. This much was revealed by Dr Kolade when he recently led his committee to a review visit to the newly constituted Senate Committee on SUREP. He told the Senate Committee that the SURE-P Committee receives a monthly sum of N15billion from the CBN. He said that his committee does not award contracts but just intervenes in projects that are deemed to be of national importance by the Federal Government. It is the duty of the Project Implementation Units (PIUs) of the SURE-P who are in all the Federal Ministries and Agencies, to map out the area of the interventions; what the cost will be, and then use the already existing Federal Government contractors to implement the identified projects. The PIUs will then raise certificates with which SURE-P pays the contractors. Within the first seven months, the Federal Government had spent a whopping N248.85 billion, the savings made from the partial fuel subsidy removal. It was shared among the three tiers of government. The amount was based on the budgeted monthly provision of N35.55 billion credited to the SURE-P account by the Federation Account Allocation Committee. Of the N248.44bn, the Federal Government got N105bn, representing a monthly allocation of N15bn for the seven months; while the balance of N143.55bn was shared by the states and local governments. A breakdown of the N35.55bn shared by the states in July 2012revealed that Akwa Ibom got the highest amount of N1.83bn; while Rivers got N1.46bn; Delta, N1.40bn; and Bayelsa, N1.09bn.Abia got N364.9m; Adamawa, N393.3m; Anambra, N394.08m; Bauchi, N456.52m; Benue, N439.43m; Borno, N494m; Cross River, N389.13m; Ebonyi N285.76m; Edo N446.3m; and Ekiti, N301.1m.Others are Enugu, N347.1m; Gombe, N297.42m; Imo, N469.75m; Jigawa, N454.62m; Kaduna, N504.13m; Kano, N718.6m; Katsina, N535.7m; Kebbi, N390.29m; Kogi, N395.9m; Kwara, N335.93m; Lagos, N540.48m; and Nasarawa, N296.6m. Similarly, Niger State got N475.26m; Ogun, N376.59m; Ondo, N533.08m; Osun, N406.47m; Oyo, N515.89m; Plateau, N364.73m; Sokoto, N415.93m; Taraba, N366.13m; Yobe, N360.05m; Zamfara, N352.01m; and the Federal Capital Territory, N56.77m. Since then, no matter the amount of money earned as per the excess accruing from the new petroleum pump price, the allocation has remained more or less fixed as the above. SURE-P is not a centrally coordinated project. The National office of the project only intervenes in national projects at the Federal level, while leaving the states to run the state SURE-P committees. The state committees are known as State Implementation Committees (SICs). The Federal Government at the onset of the programme, immediately after it reduced the pump price of petroleum as a result of the pressure from Nigerians during the January 2012 protests, said the SURE-P funds dropped from the expected N1.134 trillion to N426 billion following the reduction of PMS pump price from N141 per liter to N97 per litre. But since the inception of the programme, it has not deemed it necessary to brief Nigerians on the real money saved in the first year from the added pump price. The aspect of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) which is patently controversial is the segment entitled “Community Services, Women and Youth Employment.” Under this scheme, at least 3,000 secondary school leavers, holders of National Diploma and the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) are employed in each state and Abuja in the following fractions: women (30 per cent), disabled (20 per cent), and others (50 per cent). The employment scheme is at three levels. While those employed under the Federal Government & apos

House of Assembly had earlier this year taken the state government to task over the composition and implementation of SUREP in the state. The Chairman of the House ad-hoc committee on investigation into the implementation of SURE-P programmes, projects and activities in the state, Kentiok Irimiya Ishaku, said that the actual receipts by the Kaduna State Government of its share of revenue from subsidy reduction for 2012 stood at N2,243,188,906.24 at a monthly rate of N280,398,613.80 from May to December, 2012. He said no receipts for the months of January to March, 2012, and no mention was made with regards to the month of April, 2012; while records showed that a lump sum of N560 million was said to have been received with no further details. The committee then recommended that the implementation of the SURE-P committee be composed of technocrats and people of proven integrity, and a dedicated account be opened in any commercial bank where the SURE-P funds would be lodged, while the implementation of all SURE-P programmes, projects, activities and all expenditures related thereto be subject to approval of the State Executive Council. It is however no wonder that as of the time of writing this piece, the recommendations are yet to be implemented, no doubt for the singular truth that the PDP government would not want anything to rock the SURE-P gravy train. T the national level, the legislators are also kicking at this mother of all drainpipes. From Senator Ita Enang, who lamented that for SURE-P to be funding only peripheral projects and leave the vital issue of funding the establishment of functional refineries, it is a failure; to members of the Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) who had rubbished the programme and called for its scrapping, while affirming that it “lacks a clear sense of purpose”. They questioned the relevance of the programme and said it was fulfilling the desires of the Federal Government for more capital funding through the back door. The committee members were also furious that the programme had no clear mandate, as some of the projects undertaken by it were already provided for in the budgets of ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government. Furthermore, the SURE-P programme was supposed to provide funds for the implementation of short-term social welfare schemes to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians, and some of these are the construction, completion and rehabilitation of rail, refineries, key federal high ways, hydro stations, information technology and water projects. It was also to fund mass transit, public works, training for unskilled youths and social services to reduce high maternal and infant mortality rates. But the reality regrettably,is that the undefined model for appointment of the implementing officers has nipped the success of all these high sounding projects in the bud. The people handpicked by the PDP government to disburse the vaguely allocated funds are not there to serve the country but themselves and their masters who did them the favour. Only recently, Dr Kolade, when he appeared before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on SURE-P chaired by Senator Abdul Ningi, disclosed that over 110,000 youths employed under the empowerment programme of SURE-P will be disengaged because of paucity of funds. Over 3000 youths were engaged from each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and were being paid N10,000 monthly. Kolade said that the money approved by the National Assembly was inadequate to continue paying the youths. Replying him, Senators on the committee alleged that there was duplication of contracts between SURE-P and the Federal Ministry of Works on some road projects which have been provided for in the 2012 and 2013 budgets. Senator Kabiru Garba Marfa said that documents available to him indicated that whereas there were allocations for some federal roads in the budget under the works ministry, SURE-P went ahead to award contracts for same both in 2012 and 2013. Marafa cited the Abuja airport link road, KanoMaiduguri road, Abuja-Lokoja road and some roads in the Niger Delta region as examples of duplicated contracts. Committee Chairman, Senator Ningi asked how the government arrived at N15 billion monthly accruals to the programme whereas the funding was supposed to be based on each litre of petrol sold in Nigeria. The truth is that various so-called poverty alleviation programmes embarked upon by the PDP-led government right from 1999 has always been based on political patronage. Starting from the dysfunctional National Poverty Alleviation Programme (NAPEP), they were deliberately designed to service the economic interests of the political class of the ruling party, rather than the interest of the poor in the society. According to Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Argentina, Professor Edet Okon Uya, “If you are not a member of the political party, then you are definitely not part of the programmes.” This is exactly the reason why all the so-called intervention projects are marred by administrative perfidy and corruption. There is therefore no surprise that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index for 2012 indicated a damning result for Nigeria, signifying that most of the Nigerian people are excluded from the PDP government’s muchtouted ‘impressive growth’. The UNDP report placed Nigeria amongst the last countries of the world that recorded achievement in the upgrade of the welfare of their citizens – the Low Human Development category where mostly poor nations or low-income countries belong. Despite having spent at least N18.844trillion generated between 2011 and last year, as reported by the Budget Office of the Federation, Nigeria on the rating table attracted an overall placement of 153 out of a total number of 186 countries around the world where the survey was conducted. It is a shame that after the welter of rackets ravaging the NAPEP having thrown billions of naira down the drain, the Federal Government has decided to scrap it. Unfortunately, SURE-P has become the victim – or more aptly the next scam – of the same government failure. Whereas the recurrent expenditure for such an intervention programme is not supposed to exceed 10 per cent, a check on SURE-P’s travelling expenses alone is so mind-boggling that the Senate had to query the agency’s leadership. Therefore, Nigerians should not expect anything good from a phantom poverty alleviation programme which is a paradigm to give jobs to the boys and loot the national patrimony for campaign funding.

A • Mohammed

scheme get N10,000 stipend per month, those who get SURE-P jobs under states get N6,000, while those who are employed under the Local Governments scheme will be paid N4,000.00 each. In addition to this, many youths would be given the opportunity to acquire skills in various vocations with which they could be selfemployed. Under the arrangement, beneficiaries are selected based on wards, while a desk officer is appointed for each local government. This officer keeps the data of the beneficiaries, ensures they carried out the community service which they were assigned to do, and approve the payment of the stipends to them. Each beneficiary opens a bank account, with the United Bank for Africa Plc, for the payment of the stipend on a monthly basis. NVESTIGATIONS have however confirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan & apos;s campaign coordinators in the 2011 elections have taken charge of the scheme, giving the signal that they have oiled their machinery to facilitate Jonathan victory in 2015 presidential polls. The coordinators, include the following persons who worked for Jonathan in 2011: Alhaji Bode Oyedele(Lagos), Mr Joseph Ishekpa (Nasarawa), Alhaji Garba A. Kurfi (Katsina), Alhaji Aliyu Mamman (Niger), Alhaji Adamu Yaro Gombe (Gombe), Hon Femi Akinyemi (Ekiti), Jarigbe Agbom Jarigbe (Cross River), Chief Abdullahi Ohioma (Kogi), Dare Adeleke (Oyo), Alhaji Al-Kasim Madoka (Kano), and Mr Bulus Daren (Plateau). To buttress this suspicion is the accusation that non-PDP elements are not involved in the process of executing the projects. Although SURE –P maintains that they do not award contracts, but the projects executed are based on party patronage. In December 2012, during a presentation to the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources at the National Assembly, Dr Christopher Kolade, presented documents to the lawmakers which showed that N2.2 billion had been spent on a line item called “secretariat services” and another N75 million on “tours” inspecting projects nationwide within a period of four months. It was also during that hearing that it was revealed that SURE-P received funds from donor agencies. Dr Kolade could not totally explain the expenses and promised to furnish the Joint Committee with more details at a later time. That later time may never come as it is becoming obvious by the day that the SURE-P programme is as rotten at the national level as it is in the States, and explanations are no longer enough to justify the waste of our commonwealth. Earlier this year, the Plateau State House of Assembly began the probe of over N5 billion suspected to be missing from the state government’s account. The money is the state’s share of the SURE-P, which the Jonah Jang administration reportedly received for the state’s SUREP implementation; and the lawmakers said the probe became necessary following public outcry that the funds might have been misappropriated by the government. Then, when the probe started, the Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by Dalyop Mancha, raised its voice concerning the refusal of government officials who appeared before it to give details of the bank accounts of the SUREP funds. The State Government has been receiving N218 million monthly, to an accumulated amount of N3billion at the time of the probe, while it has been receiving N146 million monthly on behalf of its 17 local governments to an accumulated sum of N2 billion. Similarly, in Kaduna State, the state executive and the legislature has pitched each other in a war of attrition as the Kaduna State

I

‘Despite having spent at least N18.844 trillion generated between 2011 and last year, as reported by the Budget Office of the Federation, Nigeria on the rating table attracted an overall placement of 153 out of a total number of 186 countries around the world where the survey was conducted. It is a shame that after the welter of rackets ravaging the NAPEP having thrown billions of naira down the drain, the Federal Government has decided to scrap it. Unfortunately, SURE-P has become the victim – or more aptly the next scam – of the same government failure’


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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NEWS

Zaccardo: Milan must improve

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HE defender knows that the Rossoneri have a lot to work on if they are to finish in the top three but he feels the return of some key players from injury will aid their cause Cristian Zaccardo has admitted that AC Milan have much room for improvement following their 3-2 defeat at Juventus on Sunday. The Rossoneri currently sit 12th in Serie A, with only eight points from seven games, and although their 31-year-old full-back was pleased by his side's performance in Turin, he feels that they will have to step up their game if they are to finish in the top three again this term. "It was a balanced game," the 31-year-old told the club's official website. "We maintained good ball possession and nearly earned a draw.

"But while the performance was there, it's the results that matter. "We work hard because we know that we need to improve. We are all ready, no matter who is on the pitch. The important thing is to win." The defender feels the return of Stephan El Sharaawy, Kaka and Giampaolo Pazzini, all of whom are currently out

injured, will give his team a huge boost. "With the recovery of the injured players the coach will have more choice and we are all ready to give our best and our contribution," the Italian argued. Massimiliano Allegri's men will resume their Serie A campaign after the international break with a home game against Udinese.

Borussia Dortmund faces injury crisis

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URING Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Dortmund midfielders Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender both suffered injuries and are set to be out of action for three weeks and ten days respectively. Fellow midfielders Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann have also been ruled out with injuries, while centreback Mats Hummels is suspended for one game after picking up a red card a g a i n s t Moenchengladbach. Reus will be sidelined for two weeks with an ankle injury, while Hofmann is not set to return to training for at least ten days. Dortmund are already without long-term absentees Sebastian Kehl and Ilkay Gundogan -with no return date given yet for the midfield pair. Greece international Sokratis Papastathopoulos also missed Saturday’s clash against Moenchengladbach with a thigh injury, along with Germany international Marcel Schmelzer. And with Lukasz Piszczek not expected to return until 2014, Dortmund could be without up to ten possible starters for the game against Hannover. To make matters worse, just three days later the Bundesliga side travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal in the Champions League without their suspended coach Jurgen Klopp.

•Klopp

•Zaccardo

Ronaldo appeals for arrested fan

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ONALDO, one of the world's highest-paid athletes handled the incident calmly during a match in Miami in August, even chatting with the 19year-old fan, and telling security officials to take it easy on him before he was carted away. The Portuguese striker is now asking prosecutors to drop charges against Ronald Gjoka, a Canadian student who faces two counts of disorderly conduct and trespassing as a result of the incident in front of 70,000 fans during an International Champions Cup match in Miami between Real Madrid and Chelsea. "I was playing at Sun Life Stadium last month when a fan entered the field," Ronaldo wrote in a handsigned letter sent to the prosecutor. "We hugged, and we spoke for a while, until security arrived to escort him off the field. He was not aggressive or violent in ANY way," he went on, before explaining his concern that Gjoka could face immigration problems if the misdemeanour charges are not dismissed. "I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and laws. However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces," he added. Gjoka, who attends Palm Beach State Community College, spent a night and

most of the next day in jail after the hug. The letter was sent from Ronaldo's attorneys in Portugal after Gjoka's attorney, Richard Hujber of Boynton Beach, contacted them a few weeks after the incident. Gjoka is a longtime Ronaldo fan and was wearing a No.7 Ronaldo shirt when he ran onto the field after his 28-year-old idol scored two goals. "He made my day. I grew up fatherless and I have looked up to Ronaldo all my life," Gjoka told Reuters. "My adrenalin was running. I just said to myself 'go for it. See if you can jump the barrier and give him a hug.'" Gjoka ran across the field and did a knee-slide, imitating Ronaldo's traditional goal-scoring celebration.

•Ronaldo


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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EN youths of AndoniOpobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State who qualified for the 2013/2014 edition of Dakuku Peterside’s annual overseas post -graduate course for members of the constituency are due for travel this week. This was disclosed at the award / sent forth ceremony held in their honour by members of AndoniOpobo/Nkoro Economic Zone Development Foundation in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The beneficiaries are Pepple Victor Festus, Ngerebara Hope Owajiokiche, Ofik Tana Nden and Harry Zipporah Dunotio. Others are Utong Barth Abraham, Pepple Hanson Monday, Oko-Jaja Opuada, Awortu Raymond Charles, Ogbilikana Prince Sampson and BellGam Daniel Soibi. They are to study courses on engineering, ICT, health, environmental management and law at the University of Bedfordshire, University of Aberdeen and Kingston University all in the United Kingdom. Admissions have already been secured for them and they are expected

10 youths get lawmaker’s scholarship From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

to leave the country for their schools between this week and next week. Five beneficiaries were said to have emerged from each of the two local government areas of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro that make up the

Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency after a keenly contested pre-selection tests held for the award which is the second edition of the award. The first set of 10 who travelled last year is yet to complete their studies. It was gathered that 400 graduates

Ten of you today are our ambassadors. You are the embodiment of our values, respect for elders, fear of God; respect for one another, hard work and diligence. These are all the values for which the Andoni man, Opobo/Nkoro man is known for that you are carrying to the UK

Sokoto warns on border market fraudsters

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EWARE of fraudsters at the border! That was the alert the Sokoto State government sent out to residents of the state who may have cause to visit the Illela International border market for business. The facility is currently being built but crooks are said to be about seeking prey. The international market is earmarked for construction at the cost of N33 billion. The warning was contained in a statement issued and made available to reporters in Sokoto by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Commerce, Industries and Tourism, Alhaji Garba Sarkin-Kudu. Sarkin-Kudu said: “The Ministry has observed with dismay the illicit and illegal act of some persons and organised groups collecting funds from innocent contractors under false pretences to secure contracts for them in the construction of the market.” He said the public should note that “This Ministry and other stakeholders of this important project are not party to such illegal act.

“The public would be properly notified as soon as the process of awarding contracts on the construction of the border market commences.” The statement stressed that any person or organisation in the state, other parts of Nigeria or the world who gives money to any person or organisation in the name of the registration or contract award will have themselves to blame. The statement further advised members of the public to contact the office of the state Commissioner of Commerce, Industries and Tourism, Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Achida, for any enquiries about the market.

from the constituency applied for the award. 35 people emerged after the first test, and later the winners. Peterside, the convener and representative of the constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, urged the beneficiaries to be focused and hard working. He reiterated that the programme would outlive him, even as he disclosed the plan to extend it to 40 youths of the constituency that would like to study in universities within the country from the next edition. “Ten of you today are our ambassadors. You are the embodiment of our values, respect for elders, fear of

God; respect for one another, hard work and diligence. These are all the values for which the Andoni man, Opobo/Nkoro man is known for that you are carrying to the UK. “As they see you, they see the people of Andoni Opobo/Nkoro. As they see you, they see the future that lies ahead of us. You cannot afford to betray this trust. “I appeal to all of you to know that we are sending you out so that when you come back here, you are coming to impact on our society,” he stated. The beneficiaries promised to put in their best to justify the confidence reposed in them.

Ogun pension bureau advises retiring workers

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HE Bureau of State Pensions in Ogun State wants workers retiring from the civil service to always adhere to the extant rules and regulations guiding the mode of exit from the service. The Permanent Secretary in the Bureau, Mr. Adesina Badmus who made the call in a statement in Abeokuta, noted that the lackadaisical attitude of some potential retirees in processing their retirement documents had been responsible for long months of accumulated arrears of pension. Badmus warned that henceforth, any retiree who fails to submit his documents for processing within six months of falling due would not be accom-

modated into the pension payroll and that such arrears would be forfeited. He reminded them of the provision of section 21(1) of the Pension Act, Cap 346, LFN (1990) which stated that officers retiring statutorily or voluntarily from service after serving for 10 years or more must give his employer a three-month notice or pay three months salaries including allowances in lieu of such notice. The Permanent Secretary also indicated that the section directed officers who wishes to withdraw from service and has not spent up to 10 years in service, to give one month notice or pay one month salary in lieu of notice.

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HE Rotary Club of Festac Town, Lagos has raised the hope of children from poor homes with difficult ailments. It will fund the medical treatment of six of such kids in India in the 2013/2014 Rotary year. Its newly inducted President, Rotarian Collins Chukwulete Onyenze, broke the news at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, during his installation as the 32nd President of the Club in Festac Town. Rotarian Collins said since he was first invited into Rotary by his friend and secondary school mate, Rotarian Joseph Anyaehie, he has discovered that Rotary is good. He promised not to take the responsibility lightly, adding that he will endeavour to keep the ideals of the club with the utmost transparency and accountability it deserves. Rotary is an organisation of professional men and women committed to the ideal of service. Collins said his primary area of focus in the next one year will be to raise funds to execute worthwhile projects on health, hunger and literacy, among other projects. He said last year, the Club provided succour to eight children with Vascular Septal Defect (VSD) otherwise known as hole-in-theheart by sending them to India for corrective surgery in partnership with Rotary partners in India. This year, the Club will sponsor six children for corrective surgery at the cost of N1 million per child, he said. He listed other projects to include: purchase of laboratory equipment for Reverend Sisters of Daughters of Tansi Congregation; provision of exercise books for four primary schools in Festac; provision of classroom chairs and tables to two secondary schools in Festac and provision of textbooks

•Mr Steve Osuji (right), Rotarian Onyenze and his wife at the event

Rotary to send six kids to India

By Uyoatta Eshiet

and dictionaries to two secondary schools. Other projects lined up for execution include granting of micro credits to 20 market women, water projects and award of scholarships among others. The First President said the projects will cost about N12 million. Speaking at the induction ceremony, a Rotarian and member, Editorial Board, The Nation Newspaper, Mr Steve Osuji, described the newly inducted presi-

dent as a man in tune with humanity. Speaking on the topic, “In tune with humanity”, Osuji said it is only those who are in tune with humanity who can extend a helping hand to the less privileged in the society, which is what Rotarians are noted for starting from its founder, Paul P. Harris. Osuji said anyone who is not in tune with humanity will not spend time to ponder upon the human condition and one whose heart is not a deep well of sympathy and empathy will not be a

Rotarian even if forced into it. Rotorian is all about selfless service to humanity, he said. He explained what makes a Rotarian, saying “one does not need to be rich or even comfortable to be a member of the Rotary Club; all it requires, he said, is to have a mind turned to humanity, that contemplates the human condition especially as it affects the weak, the frail, the displaced and the down-trodden. You must possess the spirit of charity. “To be Rotarian, you must be in tune with humanity for charity, for

service and for higher callings.” He said charity is not all about money but more about giving oneself, your time, skill, intellect and even your fame to alleviate the suffering of others. Osuji said higher calling refers to “that eternal and ultimate suffering for the sake of others like the service rendered by Mother Theresa and all the Saints, living and dead; Nelson Mandela of South Africa; Martin Luther King, among others. The Ultimate service is the type rendered by our Lord Jesus Christ who died for all of us to have life today,” he said.


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For the Greater Onitsha Water Scheme, Governor Obi assured that the first phase of the resuscitation of the scheme would be completed this year

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O keep residents of Onitsha, Anambra State commercial capital, and its environs in good supply of clean water, the state government is rehabilitating the Greater Onitsha Water Scheme. The government has concluded plans to extend the water scheme to Obosi, Ogidi, Nkpor, Nkwelle Nzunaka and Umunya, among others. Also, the Peter Obi-led administration is considering rehabilitating the Ogidi Water Scheme which has been abandoned for over a decade. Already, the scheme has reached over 67 per cent completion stage. It would be reticulated to 4.5 kilometers into the roads of Ogidi for the people to extend it into their compounds. Governor Obi has assured that the scheme would soon become operational as a lot of improvement had been recorded in the rehabilitation of the abandoned scheme. He further explained that when completed, the government will partner with the community for the management of the facility to encourage the people to take full ownership and ensure proper management, maintenance and sustainability of the scheme. The Commissioner for Public Utility and Water Resources, Mr. Emeka Nwankwu said the facility was part of Onitsha Greater Water Scheme with 40,000 cubic water reservoirs that supplied water to Ogidi and its environs. Mr. Nwankwu further explained that the present reconstruction which costs the N77 million included two boreholes, a new electricity generating set and reticulation to 4.5km. The President-General of Ogidi Town Union, Eric Obiakor said the Governor’s various interventions had restored hope to the people, even as he assured him that they would reciprocate his gesture by being alive to their civic responsibilities, including prompt payment of taxes and water rate. The governor, who recently was presented an award for the best performing Governor in the South-East by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, also inspected Obosi, Oba and Umuoji towns’ wa-

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HE Rotary International District 9110 Governor, Rotarian Olugbenga Olutayo Olowu, district secretary, Rotarian Bola Oyebade and the members of the executive were on a two-day working visit to the ancient city of Badagry, Lagos State.

•Governor Obi (second left), with the Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Emeka Nwankwu (first left); the Commissioner for Local Government. Mrs Azuka Enemuo (middle), President General of Ogidi, Eric Obiakor (second right) and the Commissioner for Works, Callistus Ilozumba (first right) during the inspection of Ogidi Town Water scheme

Anambra revives water schemes

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

ter schemes. For the Greater Onitsha Water Scheme, Governor Obi assured that the first phase of the resuscitation of the scheme would be completed this year. He lamented the destruction

of the facility during which components worth several millions of naira were carted away. Governor Obi, who disclosed this while inspecting the project, said the completion of the first phase would make the scheme functional before the end of the year. He recalled that previous attempts by the Federal Government to inter-

vene on the project did not yield any result and how major components of the facility have been vandalised over the years; leaving only the panel boxes. He said the project is now properly funded and that he had given the contractor deadline for its completion. Mr. Emeka Nwankwu also said that the scheme constructed in 1998,

A lift for community By Podo Sedegla Sunday

Their mission: philanthropy and service to humanity for which Rotary International is renowned.

They were received by members of Rotary Club of Ajara led by its President, Rotarian Otunba John Yomi Olomofe. Past presidents and the entire executive and members were all

•From left: Rotarian Bolaq Oyebade (District Secretary), Apex Nurse Ajara PHC and her deputy, Rotarian Bamidele Azeez, Rotarian Akintayo (Secretary RC Ajara), Rotarian Yomi Olomofe, his spouse Bukola, D-G and his spouse, A-G Paul Dele, S.A on Health to Badagry Local Government, Rotarian Ibigbami and Rotarian T. S. Balogun at the handing over of matteresses, medical equipment and drugs to the Ajara PHC by the District Governor

on ground to receive their district governor. Also on ground were the Rotaract Club of Ajara led by its President, Rotarian Hokon Opeoluwa. The first point of call was Gberefu Beach Island Community where they were received in the palace of His Eminence, Alashe Nojeem Adeniyi Mautin Sanni, the Baale of Gberefu Beach Island; the Numeton 1 of Badagry Kingdom and Alashe Orisa II, Asayedero 1 of Agbaye. The Rotary International District 9110 Governor, in his speech announced to His Eminence, members of his royal council and cheering natives that Rotary International, through Ajara Rotary Club, has adopted Gberefu Island for community projects and service in all the six areas of Rotary International community focus. Rotarian Yomi Olomofe said Gberefu has been singled out in its health programme to wipe out completely malaria from the Island. The District Governor buttressed the point that the health intervention programme in Gberefu Island will extend to all categories of persons and will be total and free for pregnant women, children and adults. There will also be assistance in the areas of child’s education and adult literacy. He further emphasised that Rotary

has been abandoned since 2001, prompting the intervention of the present administration. He explained that the project is under public-private partnership and will include rehabilitation and expansion of tank from 45,000 cubic meters to 60,000 cubic meters capacity as well as building another intake structure at Nkpor. International believes that “the more educated we are, the more enlightened, free, healthy and wealthy we become. The Rotary projects in Gberefu will also include empowering businesses of vulnerable population of the Island in order to raise their standard of living. The Rotary International had recently embarked on free medical test and treatment on malaria, vaccination and distribution of insecticidetreated mosquito nets to members of the Island community. The District Governor said: “It may interest you to know that Rotary International relies solely on both national and international resources for humanity work worldwide. A committee has already been put in place to liaise with the community leaders so as to prioritise the immediate needs of the community so as to avoid wastage or duplication. “To this end, a letter of intent signed by the District Governor on behalf of Rotary International was presented to Alashe Sanni who signed on behalf of his council and people. The traditional ruler could not hide his joy and appreciation. Prayers were offered amid praises, even as the royal father eulogised the philanthropic spirit of Rotary International. He said he was overwhelmed by the magnanimity of the Rotary Club of Ajara, the District Governor and Rotary International as a body.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013


Life

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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

Text only: 08023058761

•Ibare-Akinsan (left) and Femi Kuti

30 years on, MUSON waxes stronger – SEE STORY ON PAGE 26

A feast of honours – Page 27

Exit of consummate artist Pa Oyadiran – Page 37


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

30 years on, MUSON waxes stronger Thirty years ago, some friends who love classical music founded the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON). Music aficionados, such as Mr Akintola Williams, Mr Louis Mbanefo, the late Chief Ayo Rosiji, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Mrs Francesca Emanuel, planted the seed along with Sir Mervyn Brown, the then British High Commissioner in Nigeria and his wife. Their effort has continued to stimulate interest in classical music, reports CHINASA EKEKWE

•MUSON Festival Committee members; Mr Banjo, Oliver Johnson, Dr Katia Ekesi, Dr Fem Akinkugbe, Yinka Davies, Thomas Kanitz, Akinsan, Femi Kuti and Jacob Akindele.

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T was founded to be the home of music. Thirty years on, the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) remains the pride of its founders. When it comes to classical music, MUSON is it. It also has School of Music as part of its founders’ dream to keep classical music alive. Entries for admission into the diploma course this year doubled, according to MUSON’s Acting Chairman, KitoyeIbare Akinsan. The development, he says, indicates that Nigerians, especially Lagosians are imbibing the culture of classical music. He said of the 50 applications received, the school has space for only 25, noting that the school runs a diploma course that is highly rated by universities abroad. Ibare-Akinsan, who is also the chairman of MUSON Festival, described the music school as the nucleus of MUSON, which has provided the city of Lagos with a centre for the arts. He spoke in Lagos at the weekend while briefing the press on this year’s MUSON Festival opening on October 17. “For example this year, we received more than 50 applications and we need 25 students’. Graduates get scholarships from abroad with their qualifications and they are all over the place. Some are in the US, South Africa, UK, among others. With the diploma certificate, students get automatic admission to study higher courses in music and related subjects. MUSON is really proud of it. I must mention the role of MTN because MTN has come in to support the diploma programme,” he said. He noted that MUSON has impacted the society a great deal as it has become a standard for classical music. He added that ‘we cannot only keep it up but improve on it’. According to him, MUSON has one of the best and famous choirs and the only symphony orchestra in Nigeria, the MUSON Symphony Orchestra under the artistic director, Mr Thomas Kanitz. On the challenges faced by the society, Ibare-Akinsan said that it is very difficult to organise and fund art events adding that sometimes the events are self-funded. This, he said, made prices of tickets expensive for arts lovers. He noted that arts concerts are entertainment, which comes after three square meals. “Also, there are other expenses, such as school fees and house rents. So, usually, going to the theatre comes at the very end. However, all around the world, art have been highly sponsored,” he added. On the role of MUSON in the music industry, IbareAkinsan said MUSON is a reference point for the arts and the society has succeeded in establishing the level of theatre that other people are pointing at. He said the society also promotes the appreciation of music no matter what genre of music the artist is associated with, be it Apala, High-life, Jazz, Afro-rock etc. According to him, there is something to gain by attending the MUSON School as the students are taught the rudiments of music and proficiency in instruments. He recalled that foremost artists, such as Dare-Art Alade, Seun Kuti, passed through the MUSON School. He observed that people tend to associate with formal theatre more because it has a tradition with rudiments. Continuing, he said: “Formal theatre teaches basic tenets of how to go about producing good theatre plays, good music and one thing is sure that no matter what you do later, the formal and proper training make the student a better performer because he or she has already been ex-

•Ibare-Akinsan (left) and Femi Kuti

CELEBRATION posed to positive ‘tricks’. It also enables the student differentiate between a good performer and a bad performer.“ Ibare-Akinsan said extending MUSON’s activities beyond Lagos would be capital intensive, but that the starting point would tour Nigeria. He noted, however, that MUSON has been conducting exams on music across the country. The MUSON will be featuring Afrobeat King Femi Kuti and Afro Jazz Diva Yinka Davies in this year’s festival to mark its 30th anniversary. The festival tagged, A Celebration of the perfection in the arts, will hold from October 17 to 27 at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Reacting to the choice of two prominent artists, Kuti and

‘Formal theatre teaches basic tenets of how to go about producing good theatre plays, good music and one thing is sure that no matter what you do later, the formal and proper training make the student a better performer because he or she has already been exposed to positive ‘tricks’. It also enables the student differentiate between a good performer and a bad performer’

Davis, Ibare-Akinsan said it was never a problem to choose them to perform on stage. He described the duo as among the best in the country, adding that they have both performed on MUSON stage before. “Even Fela has performed on MUSON stage in the past. I am sure in another five or six years, the committee will call them back,” he said. Artistic Director of the MUSON Symphony Orchestra, Mr Thomas Konatz, said in Germany, tickets for arts events are subsidised by the state to ensure that people attend the events because theatre is a way of enlightening the people to appreciate the basic tenets of humanity. Afrobeat King, Kuti, said it is unfortunate that music is taken for granted in this part of the world, urging Nigeria to concentrate on exhibiting young talents. “Everything about me is music, even in my family. My son came to the MUSON School, did the examination and passed. Afterwards, he studied classical music. I never felt oppressed because of my father. I love my father, Fela. I respect and admire him, his music and I live for his music. I am proud to say I am the son of Fela and it is also an honour,” he said. On the October 17, there will be a one-on-one interactive session that will feature four distinguished guests. They include: Dr Femi Akinkugbe; Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mrs. Evelyn Oputu; Mr Stanfano De Leo and Ambassador Patrick Cole. The MUSON Jazz/Afro Festival, which holds on October 19 and features Afrobeat King Femi Kuti and Afrojazz diva Davies is sponsored by Midwestern Oil and Gas. The Classical Concert will hold on October 20 and will feature Manami Sano, Ulf Klausenitzer and Thomas Kanitz. It is sponsored by Etisalat. The Youth Concert comes up on October 24 and 12 finalists in the Musiquest competition will be performing. It is sponsored by Stanbic IBTC. On October 25, which is the MUSON Day, there will be Latin American music, tango while a play, Echoes from the Lagoon by Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, will be staged on the October 26 and will narrate the current societal issues. The play will feature Nigerian movie stars such as Norbert Young, Joke Muyiwa, Ola Rotimi, Afeez Oyetoro (aka Saka) and many others. It is sponsored by Chevron. The festival will round off with The Gala Concert on October 27, sponsored by Total with performances from Victoria Oruwari, The MUSON symphony Orchestra and The MUSON Choir.


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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

A feast of honours

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HESE days when Dele Jegede famous cartoonist, painter and art historian, encounters his canvas, a plethora of emotions rush to the fore. It is often hard to sort out what his philosopher-mind and fecund imagination, will brew forth in a conspiracy of reflective/creative cogitation. The brush plies the universe of thoughts, memories – bright and boisterous; angst – latent and poised; grief – deep and searing. Suddenly, these peregrinations of his experiential mansions, come through in lines and colours of roaring threnodies for a nation lost, a continent betrayed. But on Saturday, September 21, he was summoned to a feast of honours led by Prof Toyin Falola, the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin and a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. The feast had a conference on “Art, social struggle and the nation-state” bringing together a coterie of top scholars, artists and associates of Jegede drawn from Universities across the United States. They gathered to celebrate and examine Jegede’s work and his outstanding personal pedigree. Convened by the Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, United States, John Warfield Center for African and African American Studies of the same university and the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBACC), Lagos, Nigeria, the event also marked the presentation of a book “art, parody and politics: Dele Jegede’s creative activism, Nigeria and the transnational space” a collection of essays around Jegede’s works. To many Nigerians, Jegede is best known for his cartoon strips ‘Kole the Menace’ of the seventies through the late 80s in the Sunday Times. Reviewing Jegede’s extensive inspirational and exemplary career, Prof Tunde Babawale – Director-General of the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation (CBACC), Lagos, cited Jegede “as a painter who employs a variety of media to inveigh against economic constructs that perpetuate the subaltern condition of the underclass. As a cartoonist, he dresses acerbic issues in palatable coats for public consumption, as is often at the expense of the powerful. As an educator, he relishes motivating students to be respectful in the essence of divergency, even as they seek to contribute to knowledge”. Jegede’s excursions, “generally attempt to rupture the boundaries that are installed in the way that we construct and affirm selfhood”, surmised Babawale. In the keynote lecture, the Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University, Prof Salah Hassan, argued against traditional intellectual and political precepts that center ‘modernity’ as the sole property of the West. He traced a history of African modern art through Earnest Mancoba, the South African sculptor/ painter, who was forced out by apartheid into exile in France and Denmark, where he joined with a few other artists in 1948 to found CoBra – the widely successful Avant gard art movement in Europe. Salah Hassan supported his position with Stuart Hall’s studied observation that “the world…can no longer be structured in terms of the center/ periphery relation. It has to be defined in

•Prof Babawale receiving a copy of the book from Jegede. From Segun Ojewuyi

ARTS terms of a set of interesting centers, which are both different from and related to one another” – like Africa, Europe and the United States of America. “The most exciting artists” Hall stated further “are those who live simultaneously in the center and at the periphery. We are embarking on a hundred different ideas of “the modern”, not one, and therefore, of a thousand practicing modern artists”. It is in the group of these artists ‘who live simultaneously in the center and at the periphery’, artists who draw, paint, sculpt, teach, curate and even mentor in national and transnational spaces and realities, that Dele Jegede is found exuding excellence. Beyond the Daily and Sunday Times, Jegede was a part of the creative vortex at the Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) between 1997 and 1993. There, he worked in the company of some of the best artiste scholars that Nigeria will ever know – Akin Euba – composer/ ethnomusicologist, Bode Osanyin – Playwright/Director, Laz Ekwueme – Composer/Conductor, Joy Nwosu – Singer/ Composer, Abayomi Barber – painter/sculptor, actors and poet Larry Williams, Femi Robinson, master drummer Ayantunji Amoo, dancer/choreographers Charles Somade and Olu Okekanye, lighting and scene designer Duro Oni (now Deputy Vice Chancellor, UNILAG), among others. The role of Oba Alaye – the tyrant King of the world - in The Shattered Bridge a play by Bode Osanyin, would become his signature role on stage and television. In his role as director of the centre, he would lead the highly successful UNILAG Popular Nigerian Music Festival, featuring the likes of Chief Osadebey, King Oliver de Coque, Alhaji

W

• Agwu

•Jegede

Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Chief Ebenezer Obey and ‘Prof.’ Ayinla Kollington among others. By his side all these years and through this painting of honours for Jegede was his ever self-effacing wife, whom he affectionately calls Ajoke. Amid this gathering of outstanding scholars, friends and associates, basking in the rejuvenating energies of love and honor, Jegede renewed his manifesto for the world. “My art is cathartic” - he says. “It is an averment of my personal aesthetics: an articulation of the pangs and anxieties, the socio-cultural bemusements and conflicts, and the political conundrums and economic predilections that have continued to assault my sensibilities… My canvases function as receptacles: archives for deeply

personal visual soliloquies that are uttered on those occasions when the need for visual pungency trumps the desire for the promulgation of beauty… a platform for parsing the anguish that is a concomitant of the aborted dreams that Nigeria emblematises.” Jegede is a scholar of exemplar credentials – a first-class degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Fulbright Scholar – Spelman College Atlanta, Director of the Center for Cultural Studies, UNILAG, Professor and Chair, Department of Art Indiana State University, Chair, Department of Fine arts, Professor and Chair, Miami University, Ohio and Curator for the Smithsonian Museum of Art in Washington DC, among many laurels. But he is also a man, a Nigerian who has lived with and through the painful abrasions of life and also the bright lift of hope, success, happiness, acts of kindness, generosity and the majesty of life’s great joys and accomplishments. It is, however, with his art, his creative and intellectual gifts that he is able to straddle the indeterminacy of social change and personal evolution. He affirms a vision that “a critical ingredient in the arsenal of any artist of integrity is imagination. It is a paean to the criticalness of an idea, which aerates powerful visions of nationhood, infusing it with a desire to mobilise the citizenry towards the attainment of fictive subjectivities. Imagination encapsulates and inspires compelling dreams around which cascading nuggets of ideas coalesce, and spurs individuals (and nations) to creative heights” Where is this imagination in the governance of our country and our continent, one wonders. • Ojewuyi is of the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois, United States

Port Harcourt Book Festival beckons

HAT class of guests will, this year, be at a festival that has featured scholars such as the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, American Civil Rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Capt. Elechi Amadi, the late Ambassador Kofi Awoonor, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, France’s Nobel Laureate Le Clezio and Ghana’s Ama Ata Aidoo in the past? From comedian Julius Agwu to writers such as the NLNG-Prize winner, Chika Unigwe and the former 234NEXT Art Editor, Molara Wood, all the guests this

year are a reflection of the festival theme: Literature and the creative economy. The guest writers were selected to highlight the younger generation of talented men and women of letters, as contrast to the famed and established ones who featured in the festival’s recent history. Some guests will facilitate at the writers’ workshops, and they include authors, such as Binyavanga Wainaina (One Day I Will Write About This Place) for the creative non-fiction workshop, Chika Unigwe for the prose workshop and Chris Ihidero, writer, filmmaker and representative from the British Council, for the scriptwriting

workshop. Other guests, who will serve as discussants at the seminars and symposium, include the President, Nigerian Booksellers Association, Dr Popoola Ayo Ayeni of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Dr. Blessing Ahiauzu, a representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The Garden City Literary Festival, which began in 2008 now Port Harcourt Book Festival (PHBF), has attracted to the city thousands of visitors each year who seek to participate in as many of the activities offered.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

28

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Alakija’s artistic journey on canvas

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FTER traversing the artistic landscape of England, Nigeria and South Africa in the last few decades, Polly Alakija, painter, muralist and illustrator remains richer and diverse by the day. Though he did not take conscious decision to become an artist, the England-born wife of a Nigerian, who trained at the Oxford Polytechnic finds art as a means to celebrate life. From abstract to figure and landscape paintings, she paints what she loves. Last Sunday, she opened her eight solo art exhibition, Here and There at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos featuring 62 works that comprise of etchings, pencil sketches, chalk and charcoal drawings, as well as limited edition prints. The exhibition will run till December 15. Here and There is a retrospective show telling her artistic journey since she arrived at Ibadan. Alakija has spent the last 24 years creating rich, predominantly figurative artworks, which are inspired by quotidian life in Africa. In 1990, Alakija moved to Nigeria, where she married. Her canvasses are replete with fuller images, narrative paintings of people, cultures and poetry, especially those of Gabriel Okara and Ben Okri. Importantly, her paintings are reactions to the environment around her in pictures of scenes of everyday life in rural environment, friends and family. Paintings such as Mother and Child, Mother and baby, Cow Herd and Conversation piece….tell the story. Her other works include dances inspired paintings which the artist created during frequent visits to a dance studio in Cape Town. Alakija’s corpulent classical dancers fly through her canvases in personal space that is dynamic motion frozen in colour, exuding an intense vibration through bold reds and blues. There are strong shapes whose elegance and grace are unmistakable as they ex-

• Alakija’s Mother and child Stories by Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

VISUAL ART press both strength and individuality.

Also, her portraits are strong representations of life in rural and urban settings ranging from children to the aged, including a recurring theme of mother and child images. During her many years in Ibadan and while travelling across Nigeria, she created lots of works inspired by rural Oyo and Kaduna, as

well as market and bukka scenes. However, responding to the aesthetics of her environment was not easy when she got to Ibadan. “When I got to Ibadan, I found it difficult to respond to the aesthetics around me, perhaps because of my European background. So, I started painting lots of images in response to Ibadan. Then, I did architecturally inclined paintings and they reminded me of Picasso’s cubism,” she said. Renowned South African curator, Barbara Lindhop, describes Alakija: “Polly is, particularly, interested in the human form and its portrayal. Her architectonic figures languish within their laconic environment, and a timeless serenity seeps from the canvas. The painterly canvases depicting gentle giants of nature, their energy conserved in a permanent lethargy, contrast with the rich colours and dynamic brushstrokes creating texture and energetic line.” One unique piece at the exhibition is the installation- umbrellas and vehicles of mass transport (Keke-Napep), which the artist painted highlighting the Nigerian green and white colours. The painted Keke-Napep tricycle is displayed in front of the Wheatbaker Hotel restaurant, thus becoming a thought provoking piece of art. Also striking in the collection on display is the painting of portraits and family clusters on Volkswagen Beetle cars that serve as artistic platforms on which she carefully chronicles poetic stories that possibly reflect the lives of passengers who once may have used them. At the hotel lobby, Alakija also presents an installation-three large umbrellas she painted a Poussins inspired agrarian landscape, depicting wheatfields. “This installation is a link to the history of the Wheatbaker Hotel, which was originally built by Amos Schakleford, a Jamaican businessman who started the first commercial bakery in Nigeria. I have painted a wheat field in rural Nigeria on three market umbrellas typically used by bread sellers all over Nigeria,” she said at a preview session. For her, art should be fun. “I have always wanted to demystify art by making it accessible to most people at affordable cost. Let’s have some fun with art and still have its messages,” she added. Unlike many artists, Alakija is reluctant at accepting commissioned portraits from clients. Reason: Often time, clients her forms, so she reject such. Here and There is sponsored by Renaissance Capital, the Wheatbaker, Global Energy Group & Arra Vineyards, who bottled a special limited edition SHIRAZ and VIOGNIER wine in Stellenbosch with a wine label designed by Alakija.

Documenting hairstyles and hairdresses

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HEN two seasoned artists are presenting varying media of photography, linoleum prints and charcoal on paper to celebrate one theme- hairstyles and headdresses, the result will be as rich as it is diverse. That was the situation last Saturday when the duo of Pa Okhai Ojeikere and South African-based American artist, Gary Stephen held a joint art exhibition, Networks and voids, Modern interpretations of Nigerian hairstyles and Headdresses at Omenka Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos. The exhibition, which draws its title from the variegated patterns formed by the network of interlocking branches of finely plaited hair and open spaces or voids left in their wake, captures the many visual appeals of the intriguing art forms. More importantly, the show, which features drawings and photographs of various hairstyles by Ojeikere and Stephens, become veritable sites to assert the African identity as well as challenge some stereotypes. A total of 25 art works are on display at the gallery. Beyond the aesthetics of the works, the exhibition brought two issues to the fore. They are the preponderance of imported human and synthetic hair and the documentation of an ebbing culture. But for Ojekeire, the task

PHOTOGRAPHY of documenting and preservation of hairstyle are critical to the sustenance of African culture. Interestingly, since 1968, Ojeikere began to develop series of photographs exploring culture. Whereas Ojeikere pushes for preservation of such hairstyles, Stephen chooses to merely record the evolving culture associated with these hairstyles by capturing the sense of modernity and dynamism of urban style in Africa. Still, Stephens has raised questions of hybridity and identity, especially with his drawings, Zig Zag Braids and Neeman. Also, his works are well-known for their optical illusions, meticulously crafted from long vertical folds and string systems. He is also inspired by the bold patterns and colours of Ankara fabric. Like Ojeikere to some extent, Stephens chooses not to highlight the personal features of his models, but explores from various perspectives the distinctively African sense of wearing a hat, rolled, sitting high at a certain angle or with a pair of sunglasses on top. Hairstyles is Ojeikere’s best known

• Stephens

and most documented body of works through which he draws attention to the elaborate and sculptursal forms of Nigerian hairstyles while documenting their evolving style that changes with fashion. According to him, “all these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.” He saidhis photographs and the

• Ojeikere

paintings by Stephen share many things in common and are interwoven. In his early years as a photographer in Ibadan, he was worried that a day would come when women would not want to plait their hairs but shave them. “So, I took the advantage of the new trend of wearing African hairstyles during the Independence celebration to document them,’ he said. The event will end on October 19.


BUSINESS

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

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

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

Auditors worried over DN Meyer’s cashflow status A UDITORS are not impressed with the liquid position of DN Meyer Plc, which they noted, cast doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern. The independent external auditors said the company’s mounting and recurring working capital deficiencies and negative operating cashflows were worrisome. In the latest audit of the DN Meyer Group, consisting of DN Meyer Plc and its subsidiary, DNM Construction Limited, auditors at Akintola Williams Deloitte said the group had sustained recurring working capital deficiencies over the past three years and a negative cash flow in the current audit. These conditions, they said, cast doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The directors of DN Meyer, however, spoke of what they call the continuing improvement of the company’s operations which would enable it to generate ad-

•It is well, say directors

By Taofik Salako

equate cash flows in the years ahead while the board continued to support its liquidity in the meantime. The audit report dated August 15, 2013 highlighted the possibility of the working capital deficiencies and negative cash flow impairing on the sustainable operations of the company. The auditors, however, stated that financial statements of the company for 2012 and 2011 fairly represented the operations of the company and were in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2004, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act 2011 and the International Financial Reporting Standards. In the latest audit for the year ended December 31, 2012, the

report showed sustained increase in negative working capital for the paints and allied group over the past three years as it struggled with huge bank loans and interest expenses. Negative working capital rose by 11 per cent to N181 million in 2012 as against N163 million and N60 million in 2011 and 2010 . Besides, the group recorded negative operating cash flows of N34 million in 2012. The audited report showed that gross loans rose from N877.41 million in 2011 to N930 million in 2012. While current assets depreciated from N695.7 million in 2011 to N621.1 million in 2012, current liabilities dropped from N859.1 million to N802.1 million, indicating a deficiency in the working capital of the group. The board of the company blamed the legacy loans and the

attendant financing charges for the continuing negative bottomline of the company. While the group recorded modest operating profit of N22.3 million and N17.5 million in 2012 and 2011, financing charges were N115.6 million and N122.7 million in 2012 and 2011; a situation that threw the group’s bottom-line into the red. Consequently, loss before tax stood at N28.83 million in 2012, a substantial reduction from loss of N80.3 million recorded in 2011. After taxes, net loss reduced from N54.1 million in 2011 to N26.9 million in 2012. Group turnover had increased from N1.36 billion to N1.49 billion. The board of the company said it has not taken any additional loans since 2011 and the company has accelerated the payment of some of the bank loans and sundry debts to suppliers to minimise the interest expense. It

noted that the financial charges being paid were based on the previous loans. Chairman, DN Meyer Plc, Sir Remi Omotoso, said the company has continued to pursue credible and ethical plans to achieve a robust and sustainable growth and exit its legacy of loss making. According to him, the directors of the company are focused on cost reduction while working to increase sales in order to improve the profitability of the company. He noted that the bright prospects for the building and construction industry, which is signposted by the deficit in urban housing stock, provides opportunity for the paints industry. He however lamented the adverse impact of the poor state of infrastructure on the operations of the company, pointing out that huge costs related to the heavy dependence on generators for power supply and similar costs due to operating environments.

Firm to invest N300m on factory

C

•From left: Managing Director, GTI Securities Mr Tunde Oyekunle; President, International Commerce Management Limited (ICML), United Kingdom John Kavvouras; Chief Executive Officer, ICML UK Sammy Retiola; Group Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc Segun Oloketuyi and Group Managing Director, GTI Capital Mr Abubakar Lawal during ICML’s visit to Wema Bank in Lagos.

Insurer searches for investors as fortunes dip

A

BOUT three years after the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) took over Investment and Allied Assurance Plc (IAA), the underwriting firm has not been able to attract new investors. Last year, Commissioner for Insurance Mr Fola Daniel said IAA would soon be acquired by new investors, raising hope of quick resolution of the company’s dwindling fortunes. NAICOM suspended the management of IAA on February 23, 2011 due to some fundamental weaknesses in the firm’s management. They include poor corpo-

Govt, banks await antimoney laundering report - P 30

By OmobolaTolu-Kusimo

rate governance practices, weak management and internal control, non-payment of outstanding claims and failure to account for N26.6 billion being proceeds of private placements by the company. NAICOM assumed control of IAA and appointed interim management to manage the company for six months. The Head of the Interim management, Mr Yomi Rufai told The Nation they were still trying to source for new investors. The suit instituted against

the company by the disbanded management had been a disincentive to investors. The interim management he, said, was working on ensuring that interested investors see the facts relating to the company. He said: “It is not as easy as we expect. Apart from the case in the court, there are also regulatory issues. We also have to do some verification with different agencies. “The staff have also not been paid because we are not able to generate business and until we are able to get investors, there is no way we can pay

‘Why Tin Can port is congested’

them,” he said. Tthe sacked management of IAA, led by its Vice-Chairman, Mr. Funmi Ademosun, had filed a suit against NAICOM praying the court to restrain the commission from running the affairs of IAA and appointing a new interim management for the company. But the suit at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, was struck out by the presiding judge, Justice Charles Archibong. Access Bank also sued the company as a third party in a suit against the embattled management of the company, which led to the closure of its head office.

UTIX Plc will invest about N300 million on a new extension of its factory as part of efforts to increase the installed production capacity of the cables-manufacturing firm. Its Chairman, David Ifezulike, in a report to shareholders ahead of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) later this month, said the firm would commit about N300 million to build the new factory extension and equip it with new machines and other accessories. According to him, most of the equipments ordered by the company would be received before the end of this year while the installation and commissioning would be completed by April 2014. He said the new factory extension would greatly impact on the production capacity and efficiency of the company and would enable it to further improve its performance notwithstanding the increasing competition in the cables industry. Audited reports and accounts of Cutix for the year ended April 30, 2013 showed that turnover rose by 22.7 per cent from N1.57 billion in 2012 to N1.93 billion in 2013. Profit before tax jumped by 93.3 per cent to N229.3 million in 2013 as against N118.6 million in 2012.

How effective is aviation regulation ? - P31

- P34


30

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

MONEY

Govt, banks await anti-money laundering report T HE Federal Government and commercial banks are awaiting the result of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) investigation into Nigeria’s compliance with international money laundering laws, GIABA’s Information Manager in Nigeria Timothy Melaye has said. The team came into Nigeria last week and is conducting unan-

Stories by Collins Nweze

nounced checks at some selected banks’ branches across the country as well as Nigeria’s compliance at the airports and land borders. Melaye said the result of the assessment would be released after next week’s FATF meeting in Paris, France. The meeting is open to delegations from FATF members, observer jurisdictions and organisations. He said Nigeria’s inclusion in

the list of non co-operative countries (NCCTs) had stalled foreign direct investment, adding that many investors avoid bringing their funds into non-compliant countries. Melaye said the outcome of earlier evaluation on Nigeria revealed an abysmal performance on the recommendations relating to the financial sector in the adoption and implementation of the FATF standards. This, he said, makes the sector one of the vulnerable in African economies.

The FATF had listed non implementation of procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets and failure to ensure that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial transactions as areas Nigeria needs to address in order to ensure her removal from the highrisk and non-cooperative jurisdictions list. It also said there is need to protect bank officers involved in driving the implementation of the money laundering laws and

regulations as well as institution of penalties against non-compliant staff. However, Nigeria has largely addressed its action plan by enacting legislation to adequately criminalise money laundering and terrorist financing, implementing procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets, ensuring that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial instructions and improving the overall supervisory framework for AML/CFT.

Why MPC is tightening monetary policy

T

HE need to counter the negative impact of fiscal slippage, oil theft and pressure on the naira exchange rate has prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to tighten its monetary policy stance, FBN Capital has said. The investment and research firm said in an emailed report that the MPC meeting of September 24 left its monetary policy rate (MPR) and cash reserve requirement (CRR) for banks unchanged at 12 per cent. It also retained the CRR for public sector deposits at 50 per cent. The CBN, which provides the majority of members on the committee, has also announced administrative measures to plug some foreign exchange leakages to save the naira. The research firm said 11 of the 12 members voted for no-change in the policy rate of 12 per cent, adding that the dissenter, who voted for a 50 basis points reduction, argued that monetary policy should enhance growth and development. He said blockages in the transmission mechanism are no excuse for inaction adding that in Nigeria’s case therefore, the CBN has to do more “administratively” to encourage bank lending to the real economy, and to reduce high interest rate margins. One member noted that crude oil output was just 1.85 mbpd in July and 1.88 mbpd in August. Another noted that production over the last four months of the year would have to average an implausible 3.67 mbpd to compensate for the shortfall of the first eight months against the 2013 budget assumption of 2.53 mbpd.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) forecasts growth of 6.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent year-on-year for third quarter and fourth quarter respectively. However, members had their reservations, given the oil losses and the security problems in the north east. The slowdown in distribution sector growth could also reflect pressures on consumer demand. “The share of foreign currency deposits in total deposits increased from 16.2 per cent in June to 21.3 per cent in August. Explanations include preparations for the elections in 2015 and money laundering,” they said. The most pronounced theme in the statements was the vindication of previous policy, evident from the fact that the naira has avoided the marked sell-off suffered by most emerging and frontier market currencies. The Committee considered the developments in money market rates which rose astronomically to peak at 40 per cent on 18th September 2013. However, these developments were temporary, arising from the postponement/stalemate in sharing the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee Revenues. Banks which participated in the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) widow expressed a preference for paying high interbank rate for one day rather than their borrowing from the CBN at 14 per cent and being barred from the WDAS window. It also observed the continued dependence of the banking sector on monetised oil revenues for its liquidity and stressed the need to keep pushing banks into altering their business model to reduce vulnerability.

StanChart targets Nigeria, others for Africa retail growth

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TANDARD Chartered Plc (StanChart) expects to open 100 new branches in Africa by 2016 to benefit from the continent’s $1 trillion annual retail spending,it has said. The lender will be focusing in key African countries, including Nigeria, where only about 14 to 15 per cent of the population has bank accounts. The lender opened 27 new outlets last year and will “invest heavily” in digital technology over the next four years, Raheel Ahmed, the bank’s Dubai-based head of consumer banking for the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, has said. The bank will focus on small and medium-sized companies and private banking, he said. “There is so much growth potential, particularly where economies are growing rapidly,” Ahmed said. “In Nigeria, only 14 or 15 per cent of the people have bank accounts,” he said. StanChart’s operating revenue at its Africa consumer banking unit rose 9.4 per cent in the first half to $257 million. Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will accelerate to 5.1 per cent this year and 5.9 per cent next year from 4.9 per cent in

2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. The bank posted a 24 per cent drop in first-half profit to $2.18 billion after a $1 billion write-down of its Korean business. Revenue rose 6.6 per cent as growth in Hong Kong and India helped offset declines in Korea, Singapore and China. Its income from retail banking in Africa, including credit cards and personal loans, is growing helped by expansion in Kenya and Botswana, Ahmed said. Income in Ghana grew 32 per cent and in Zambia by 45 per cent in the first half, he said. The bank has a “high single digit” market share in consumer banking in most countries on the continent in which it operates and more than 10 per cent in some, he said. The bank also expects to benefit from growing trade between Africa and China, which it forecasts to rise to $1.7 trillion by 2030 from $200 billion in 2012. Its presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa will help it connect companies and help facilitate trade, Ahmed said.

•From left: Deputy Project Manager, YOUWIN, Skye Bank, Akubo Adegbe; Executive Director, Retail Banking/ Southsouth Business Development, Ibiye Ekong; Analyst, YOUWIN, Nanko Lannap and General Manager, Retail Banking Group, Arinola Kola-Daisi, during the bank’s customer forum for YOUWIN Awardees in Lagos.

CBN to sanction banks on insider loan offence

T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will sanction banks that fail to report credit facilities of N1 million and above availed to their board members and staff in the Credit Risk Management System (CRMS), The Nation has learnt. CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs Tokunbo Martins hinted in a circular to banks that the banking watchdog observed with dismay, the practice of non reporting of such facilities, which violates the CRMS reporting mandate. She explained that the CRMS is a central database for credit information on borrowers, established by the CBN Act No. 24 of 1991 (Sections 28 and 52) as amended, which made it

mandatory for all banks to render returns in respect of all credit facilities of N1 million and above. According to her, said Sections 3.4 and 3.5 of the Prudential Guideline for Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria, July 2010, does not preclude banks from reporting credit facilities availed to its board members and staff in the CRMS. “Banks are therefore required to report all credit facilities (principal plus interest) of N1 million and above availed to their board members and staff in the CRMS as well as regularly update these credit facilities on monthly basis,” she said. Martins said the circular serves as a reminder and warning to all banks adding that any

observed breach will attract severe sanctions. Findings showed that weak corporate governance structures at banks went virtually unchecked after consolidation of 2005. Also, corporate governance in many banks failed because their boards failed to follow the tenets of sound bank management. Some of the boards were misled by management while others breached their fiduciary responsibilities by ignoring management excesses. It was an open secret that bank managing directors set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to lend money to themselves for stock price manipulation and purchase of estates all over the world.

Cash-less banking enhances economic devt, says Visa

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HE cash-less banking initiative driven by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is modernising the payment system and creating economic development for the country, Kamran Siddiqi, Visa’s Group Executive, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, has said. He is in Nigeria to support Visa’s financial literacy and cashless payments drive. “Nigeria is a very important market for us. It is exciting for me to be here to support the progress Visa has made in driving financial inclusion and making electronic payments more accessible to everyone everywhere,” he said. He said Visa is dedicated to increasing financial literacy among the unbanked through strategic partnerships and educational programmes.

“This was the motivation behind the recent highly successful Financial Literacy Challenge with the Co-Creation Hub. It was geared at stimulating the development of innovative web and mobile applications to teach money management skills and support the advancement of financial literacy in Nigeria,” he said. He noted that another of Visa’s focus areas in Nigeria and the West African region is to continue to boost tourism and cross border spend. Nigeria enjoyed a 25 per cent increase in spending by international travellers using their Visa cards in 2012. Also, international Visa cardholders increased tourism spending from $95.2 million in 2011 to $119.5 million in 2012. Total transactions rose 31.1

per cent from 553 747 to 727 113. “Growing acceptance of Visa cards in Nigeria is making travel to the country easier. We are collaborating with many key players in the tourism industry,” he said. Ade Ashaye, Visa Country Manager for West Africa, said Visa is also driving innovations that will make payments easier, cheaper and more inclusive. “We will soon be hosting a series of workshops with the banks and merchants to discuss the benefits of new payment innovations such as Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) devices,” he said. MPOS devices simply slot on to enabled cell phones allowing vendors to accept payments anywhere from debit and credit cards.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

31

MARITIME

Why Tin Can Port is congested, by Customs T

HE congestion at the Ashaye Terminal of the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos in the past few weeks was caused by cargo build-up, the Customs has said. The problem, it said, would be addressed soon. The Customs Area Comptroller, Zakari Jibrin, attributed the buildup to inadequate logistics supply by terminal operator. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, during his tour of the facility, confirmed that the congestion was caused by the inefficiency in cargo transfer mechanism from the terminal to the scanning bay. The terminal operator of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), takes delivery of imported

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor

cargoes, which it transfers to the scanning site of the service provider, Cotecna Destination Inspection company. While touring the port, the minister, who bemoaned the slow process of cargo transfer, expressed worry at the incessant server breakdown, which compounds the goods clearing process. The minister and top officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who accompanied him during the fact-finding tour, agreed that the congestion could have largely been avoided if the delays associated with feeding the

scanning facilities with containers had been observed. They found out that an average of 150-200 containers were being transferred daily, even though the service provider had said that its facilities had the capacity to scan a minimum of 400 boxes per day. Umar, who was also informed that the situation was being compounded due to space constraint caused by many empty containers at the terminal, ordered the immediate constitution of a solution-finding committee to be headed by an Executive Director Port and Marine Operations of NPA with representatives from Customs, TICT, NPA, shipping companies, Cotecna, APM terminal, and

clearing agents’ bodies. Customs Area Comptroller, Zakari Jibrin, said: “We went round the terminal with the minister and the representatives of the service provider and the terminal operators, and we can all see the problem. TICT has a lot of cargo, no space because empty containers have taken over most of the available spaces. Cotecna is waiting to scan, no cargo transfer from TICT because of transportation problem. “Cotecna has told us that they can scan up to 400 containers in a day, but they (terminal operator) only make 200 available, sometimes less because the trucks are inadequate.They have not allowed us to test the true capacity of

Cotecna by supplying them with that 400 containers so that everybody can see. “I can assure you that the problem with TICT is being addressed. They are now to transfer excess containers to off-dock facilities, and we do hope that this will take care of most of the problem.” The spokesman of Cotecna, Aminu Mohammed said the capacity of installed scanners at Tin Can Port is grossly underutilised. He explained that the daily capacity of the 9.0 MeV fixed scanner at Tin Can Ashaye is 400 boxes and the mobile scanner at Tin Can RoRo is 360 boxes. The company has only accomplished a daily average of 185 and 108 for the two sites in September.

Shippers’ Council for Trade Fair

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HE Nigerian Shippers’ Council is participating at the on-going Eighth Abuja International Trade Fair at the J.T. Useni, International Trade Fair Complex, Abuja. This year’s fair, with the theme: Promoting the culture of production and innovation in SMEs to achieve competitiveness and national developments, will offer opportunities for business development and also serve as a platform for participants to showcase their goods and services. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council is at the fair to publicise its func-

tion and services as well as handle complaints from shippers while also expecting them to be enlightened on the Council’s Information Technology facilities. The Council in line with its statutory functions has been protecting the interest of shippers and had actively participated in all the Abuja International Trade Fair since inception. This year’s fair, which attracted international participants from Ghana, Senegal, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, multinational firms and investors in Nigeria, is expected to end tomorrow.

Nigerian for global youth summit

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•Containers stacked at Tin Can Port

No group should collect money at ports, says ANLCA chief

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HE National Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has advised officers of the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to know the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), the Common External Tariff (CET) regime and explanatory notes in their various operations. ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, gave the advice at a training initiated by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Charles Edike, for Assistant Superintendents II serving in the Command. He said an understanding of guidelines of cargo clearance in the ports would enable officers to discharge their duties effectively to defend their actions. Shittu said while the Customs enforced the government’s policies, the Customs agents implemented the rules. Therefore, when interfac-

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ing with agents, clarity of what is expected of them should be uppermost in the officers’ minds. He advised the officers to utilise their weekends and public holidays to improve their knowledge in order to make the desired progress in their chosen careers, and also be courteous in relating with others. Shittu advised the officers never to report what they are not sure of during physical examination, and not to allow money be their main focus at the expense of doing the right thing. The Customs Area Comptroller Edike thanked Shittu for his time in training the officers. He noted that the officers must have been better for it because of the practical examples in the lecture. ANLCA chief, while reacting to the recommendations in the report submitted by the committee set up by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to proffer solutions to the problem of

congestion at the Lagos ports, said it was not right for an association to collect money from its members in the port premises. Shittu said the adoption of this recommendation by the Transport Minister is a right step in the right direction. “It is not right and professional for an association to say that they’ll be collecting money in the ports. We have been saying this for so long. At the national level, we are not in support of collection of fees inside the ports,” he said. He said there is an adhoc arrangement made at the chapter levels of the association which members agreed to contribute money to their respective chapter’s purse for handling of their welfare. “There was no general declaration that this is where ANLCA is going to be collecting money,” he added. Shittu said ANLCA has worked out better ways of collecting dues from its members.

Firm says security system safe

HE management of the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML), Apapa, Lagos, has debunked the allegation of infiltration of its security access card system by fraudsters. In March, the firm introduced the card to boost its security and integrity of the facility, in tandem with International Ship and Port

Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Its General Manager, Mr Tunde Keshiro, said PTML has been able to identify those who obtained the card through false representation and has retrieved it from them. He said PTML introduced the security access card system for Customs agents and others entering its terminal, though he did

not state how much it cost the company to put the system in place. He noted: “It is part of the ongoing infrastructural investment in the terminal.” PTML, he noted, bills N1,250 per person for the issuance of the card, adding that the innovation has attracted positive commendations from critical stakeholders.

MANAGER with the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk Line, Mr Olawunmi Akinyemi, has been selected to attend this year’s One Young World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event draws notable professionals from other parts of the world with 13 other Maersk Group employees attending. This year’s is the fourth in the yearly event, where people such as Kofi Annan and Sir Bob Geldof are expected to inspire the youth.

On his expectations at the event, Akinyemi, 30, said: “I want to network with people of similar passions and interests; that is, driving change in our sphere of influence; understand what is important to other young people from other parts of the world and get key insights from the major speakers at the summit.” Akinyemi, who was employed in 2005, has gone through the Maersk International Shipping Education (MISE) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Seized poultry products destroyed

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HE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Western Marine Command has seized and destroyed 170 cartons of imported poultry products with duty-paid value (DPV) of N1,105,000. The Deputy Comptroller in charge of Administration, Mr Benjamin Binga, said the products were seized after a tip-off at Idiroko, Ogun State. He said no arrest was made as the smugglers allegedly jumped into the water on sighting the

Customs operatives. He said while smugglers are adamant in bringing in prohibited items, his men will also not relent in clamping down on their nefarious activities. The command, he added, also impounded 288 bags of rice and 25 gallons of vegetable oil with DPV of over N3million and N167, 500. The items were intercepted in Badagry, Yekeme and Idiroko last month, according to the command.

Apapa port celebrates week

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HE Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, for the first time joined the global community in celebrating this year’s Customer Service Week (CSW). This year’s celebration with the theme, Think service, which started on Monday, will end on Friday. Lagos Port Complex port Manager, Mr Nasir Anas Mohammed, made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the Chairman, Apapa Local Government, Lagos State, Mr Joseph Ayodeji. He said the port has earmarked some activities to celebrate the week and recognised its employees, esteemed customers, partners and clients for services rendered, steadfastness, loyalty and patronage. He said the activities lined up for the event include breakfast with the port’s employees and stakeholders

to show appreciation for their hard work, commitment and loyalty; direct servicing of customers by the Port Manager and management staff and a raffle draw and free gifts. Other activities, Mohammed said, include community service, presentation of gifts to schools; visit to motherless babies home within Apapa and a cocktail dinner/award scheduled for Friday. The Apapa Local Council chair commended the port management for maintaining a harmonious working relationship with the Council. He also commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) management for supporting the Council as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially in donating vehicles and constructing a new sports field for the Council, promising to participate in the event.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

THE NATION INVESTORS

PZ Cussons Nigeria: Improved cost efficiency, better values P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc rode on the back of top-down improvement in cost efficiency and its zero-leveraged and robust balance sheet to create substantially higher values for shareholders in 2013. Audited report and accounts of PZ Cussons for the year ended May 31, 2013 showed considerable improvement in the underlying profitability of the group, with increasingly efficient procurement management and internal cost control moderating the probable impact of a sluggish top-line. While group turnover slipped by 1.1 per cent, considerable declines in costs of sales and finance expenses as well as steady operating expenses underpinned a double in net profit. With earnings per share rising from 61 kobo to N1.23, impressive bottom-line performance enabled the company to increase cash dividends to shareholders by 30 per cent while dividend cover also almost doubled to 2.2 times. The conglomerate’s balance sheet remained strong with zero financial leverage and equity financing of more than 64 per cent. The company’s performance was supported by appreciable liquidity, highlighted by above-average current ratio and increased working capital. However, PZ Cussons’ top-line performance was adversely impacted by slowdown in its domestic market and its largest business segment. This underlined the intense competition in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) sector.

Financing structure

PZ Cussons’ financing structure remained largely stable and strong. With no bank loans, the zero gearing ratio continued to support the balance sheet position. Equity funds represented 64.2 per cent of total assets in 2013 as against 66.6 per cent in 2012. Long-term liabilities/total assets ratio stood at 6.2 per cent in 2013 compared with 6.9 per cent in 2012. Current liabilities amounted to about 30 per cent of total assets in 2013 as against about 27 per cent in 2012. Group’s total assets had increased by 12.2 per cent from N64.41 billion to N72.30 billion. Balance sheet growth was largely driven by increase in currents assets, which rose by about 20 per cent from N40.05 billion in 2012 to 47.9 billion in 2013. Long-term assets had remained al-

By Taofik Salako

Capital Market Editor

most flat at N24.37 billion in 2013 as against N24.36 billion in 2012.

Efficiency

The performance outlook in 2013 showed dual benefits of improved productivity and cost efficiency. The company optimized modest increase in average cost into substantial improvement in average productivity, resulting in wider margin for value creation. Total costs of business, excluding financing charges, reduced to 90 per cent of total sales in 2013 as against about 94 per cent in previous year. While average cost per staff increased slightly from N2.55 million to N3.0 million, average contribution of each employee to pre-tax profit more than doubled from N1.58 million to N3.71 million. The company had undertaken staff rightsizing during the period. The staff reduction, which cut across all staff cadres, led to 24.2 per cent reduction in staff number. This also resulted in 10.8 per cent reduction in staff costs during the period. Average number of employees reduced from 2,723 persons in 2012 to 2,065 persons in 2013 while the related staff costs dropped from N6.95 billion to N6.20 billion.

Profitability

PZ Cussons Nigeria harnessed its cost-efficient global procurement strategy and internal cost control to neutralize the slowdown in overall sales, delivering substantially higher profit on average sale in 2013 than in the previous year. While it faced constraint in its local market share, its export sales almost doubled. The strong underlying profitability enabled the conglomerate to significantly increase shareholders’ values- as indicated in 30 per cent increase in cash dividends and a double in return on equity. With the top-down cost control, gross profit margin increased from 21.8 per cent in 2012 to 26.8 per cent. Average pre-tax profit margin added about five percentage points at 10.7 per cent in 2013 compared with 6.0 per cent in 2012. Returns on total assets also improved from 6.7 per cent to 10.6 per cent while return on equity doubled from 5.9 per cent in 2012 to 11.5 per cent in 2013.

N11.36 billion in 2012. Selling and distribution costs had dropped from N8.02 billion to N7.35 billion, which counterbalanced increase in administrative expenses from N3.34 billion to N4.59 billion. Operating profit thus increased from N4.39 billion to N7.16 billion. While financing charges dropped from N670.2 million to N217.7 million, interest and other non-core business incomes rose from N585 million to N712 million, an increase of 22 per cent. These boosted the bottom-line, with profit before tax rising by 78 per cent from N4.31 billion to N7.65 billion. After taxes, net profit doubled from N2.54 billion to N5.32 billion. Segmental analysis showed improvements across the business lines. Average pre-tax profit margin in the branded consumer goods business doubled from 4.92 per cent in 2012 to 10.2 per cent in 2013. Average pre-tax profit margin in the durable electrical appliances business also increased from 8.45 per cent to 11.85 per cent. Branded consumer goods contributed N4.98 billion to group’s pre-tax profit in 2013 as against N2.51 billion in 2012 while durable electrical appliances increased pre-tax profit contribution from N1.79 billion to N2.67 billion.

The strong underlying bottomline also expectedly reflected on the actual profit and loss items and distributions to shareholders. Basic earnings per share doubled from 61 kobo in 2012 to N1.23 in 2013. The company subsequently increased gross dividends to shareholders by 30.2 per cent from N1.71 billion distributed in 2012 to N2.22 billion in 2013. This represented a dividend per share of 56 kobo for 2013 as against 43 kobo for the previous year. Notwithstanding, dividend cover also improved appreciably from 1.42 times in 2012 to 2.2 times in 2013, underscoring the sustainability and available headroom for potential future dividend increase. Net assets per share, which relates the stripped down intrinsic value of the company, rose from N10.31 in 2012 to N11.11 in 2013. PZ Cussons Nigeria’s group turnover dropped slightly by 1.1 per cent from N72.16 billion in 20122 to N71.34 billion in 2013. The overall top-line was negatively impacted by the lull in its main business segment and market. PZ Cussons Nigeria’s business remained mainly in Nigeria while its largest business segment remained branded consumer goods products. Both main market and business segment appeared to Liquidity be facing sales-push drawback, The liquidity position of the comwhich may be explained by the increasing competition in the virile pany remained steady during the fast moving consumer goods period. Current ratio, which indi(FMCGs) sector and the supply chain cates the potential ability of the and factory operations restructuring company to meet emerging liabiliduring the period. Sales within Ni- ties, stood at 2.24 times in 2013 as geria dropped from N70.67 billion against 2.34 times in 2013. The proin 2012 to N68.75 billion in 2013. Ex- portion of working capital to sales port sales meanwhile jumped from improved from 31.8 per cent to 37.2 N1.49 billion to N2.59 billion. Turn- per cent while debtors/creditors over in the branded consumer ratio stood at 393.5 per cent in 2013 goods business dropped from as against 356.6 per cent in 2012. N50.96 billion in 2012 to N48.80 bilGovernance and structures lion in 2013. The second business segment, the durable electrical apPZ Cussons Nigeria is a subsidpliances business, recorded in- iary of PZ Cussons (Holdings) Limcrease in sales from N21.19 billion ited, United Kingdom, which holds in 2012 to N22.54 billion in 2013. 69.77 per cent equity stake in the While both business segments re- Nigerian company. However, there corded considerable improvement are about 77,000 Nigerian indiin their profitability and the du- vidual and institutional shareholdrable appliances business still has ers in the conglomerate. One of the higher margin, the strong recovery earliest companies in Nigeria, PZ in the main business segment was Cussons Nigeria was incorporated the key driver of overall perfor- as a limited liability company in mance in 2013. Group cost of sales 1948. It became a public limited lidropped by 7.4 per cent from N56.40 ability company in 1972 and was billion in 2012 to N52.25 billion in subsequently listed on the Nige2013. Gross profit thus 2012 improved by 12 months 21.2 per cent from N15.76 billion to 50,965 N19.1 billion. Total 72,155 operating ex56,400 penses stood 15,755 at N11.94 bil11,363 lion in 2013 585 2009 2010 as against 670 4,307 Fiscal Year Ended May 31 2012 2,539 % 61 1,707 Financing structure 43 Equity funds/Total assets 64.2 1,031 Long-term liabilities/Total assets 6.2 Current liabilities/Total assets 29.6 Debt/Equity ratio 0.0

•Mr Christos Giannopoulos

rian Stock Exchange (NSE). The PZ Cussons Nigeria Group included PZ Cussons Nigeria-the parent company, and other subsidiaries-HPZ Limited, PZ Power Company Limited, PZ Tower Company Limited and PZ Wilmar Limited. The principal activities of the group are the manufacturing and sale of a wide range of fast moving consumer goods and electrical appliances. PZ Cussons Nigeria maintains stable board and management. There were no major changes in corporate governance structure during the period. Professor Emmanuel Edozien still chairs the board while Mr. Christos Giannopoulos remains the managing director. The company broadly complies with the Nigerian code of corporate governance as well as the PZ Cussons international best practices.

Analyst’s opinion

The profit and loss performance underlined the immediate success of the value-driven strategy, which has driven PZ Cussons’s global restructuring in recent period. It however also indicated the weak point of such strategy, with the constrained top-line indicating immediate challenge to sustainability. While it has to remain resolutely focused on its winning value-extraction strategy, PZ Cussons needs to reenergize its domestic sales as a platform for sustainable long-term profitability. With new products from its recent investments gaining momentum and re-launch and extension of headline brands, PZ Cussons can leverage on its global scale and synergies to defend and expand its market share by increasingly pushing small and medium low-cost, high-value packages.

Fiscal Year Ended May 31 Nmillion

2013 12 months

% change

Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend (Nm) Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo)

48,804 71,343 52,246 19,097 11,941 712 218 7,650 5,321 123 2,223 56 1,111

-4.2 -1.1 -7.4 21.2 5.1 21.7 -67.5 77.6 109.6 101.6 30.2 30.2 7.8

24,370 24,370 6,403 47,926 72,296

0.0 0.0 3.2 19.7 12.2

24,360 24,360 6,204 40,046 64,407

Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)

26.8 10.7 10.6 11.5 2.2

21.8 6.0 6.7 5.9 1.42

1,627 0 21,397 4,463 25,860

-6.5 0.0 25.0 0.8 20.1

1,740 0 17,112 4,426 21,539

Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) Staff cost per employee (Nm) Cost of sales, operating exp/Turnover

3.71 3.0 90.0

1.58 2.55 93.9

1,985 46,437

0.0 8.3

1,985 42,868

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

2.24 37.2 393.5

2.34 31.8 356.6

Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds

2011

2012

2011 % 66.6 6.9 26.6 0.0

2013


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

33

THE NATION INVESTORS

Red Star Express to raise N1b to finance growth plan

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ED Star Express Plc could raise more than N1 billion in new equity funds to finance its short-to-medium term growth plan as the logistics company seeks to consolidate its performance. To pave way for the new capital issue, the company has increased its authorised share capital from N300 million of 600 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N500 million, consisting of 1.0 billion ordinary shares. Red Star Express has already issued 589.5 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, leaving the company with unissued shares of 410.5 million ordinary shares. Chairman, Red Star Express, Alhaji Mohammed Koguna, has said the authorised share capital was increased to enable the company to source additional funds from the capital market, although he did not give details of the size and timeline for the new issue. An informed source in the know of the undercurrents for the new issue however said the company could raise more than N1 billion with about three-quarters of its unissued shares given its current market consideration. Several shareholders were also said to favour rights issue, which give them the opportunity to maintain the current shareholding structure.

Stories by Taofik Salako

Koguna said the company’s growth plan over the next one and a half years is capital intensive and would require ‘sizeable funding’. According to him, the next growth stage of the company includes expansion projects that would further enhance its vision of being the leading logistics company with global best practices. He outlined that the new funds would be used partly to finance building of warehouses on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, acquire and improve operational hubs in Abuja and Port Harcourt and also to acquire haulage trucks to meet growing customer demand for dedicated trucking services. He added that the company also plans to invest in replacement and renewal of its motorcycle fleet to meet government’s new specification on motorcycles, especially in Lagos State. Koguna said that the company would also improve its information and communication technology (ICT) with acquisition of additional equipment such as operational scanners, sorting systems and shipment security equipment. According to him, the company has already acquired and started initial preparatory works on five acres of land along the Lagos-Ibadan Ex-

pressway. He expressed confident that the expansion projects would improve quality of services to customers and increase the company’s profitability. Red Star Express has traded between a high and low of N5.10 and

N2.19 over the past 52 weeks. it opened this week at N4.49 per share. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended March 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose by 5.0 per cent from N5.03 billion in 2012 to N5.29 billion in 2013. Profit before tax however dropped by 12

per cent from N617.93 million to N544.96 million. Profit after tax was almost flat at N304.53 million in 2013 as against N304.8 million in 2012. Notwithstanding, the company increased cash dividends slightly from N176.85 million to N188.64 million.

•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Lamorde during the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NSE and EFCC in Lagos.

Banks are increasingly setting up non-interest department in a new trend regulators and operators believe would help further redefine the financial services industry. In this interview, the Group Head, Non-interest Banking, Sterling Bank Plc, Dr. Basheer Oshodi, said the emerging alternative finance model would enhance capital creation necessary for economic growth

‘Non-interest banking will help economic growth’

•Oshodi

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HAT is your assessment of banks’ roles and supports to industrial development and economic growth? This can be viewed from different perspectives – the angle of academics, government, the people and that of a banker amongst others. From academic perspective, banks are ordinarily meant to support overall industrial development and economic growth. Many countries have adopted several economic modes to achieve this. Western countries would ordinarily go for neo-classical economic models which seem to work quite well until more recently. Germany and Japan followed the supply-lending finance model after the Second World War which allows banks to constantly supply finance to exportled or industrial products. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan further followed the state-led approach where the state distorts market force mechanism to allow precise export promotion of industrial goods, while India held tight to import substitution model until more recently where she has further opened up her markets. China has adopted a unique neo-modern mix of capitalism embedded within a socialist structure. Nigeria got carried away with a differ style of state-owned development and jumped very quickly for the structural adjustment plan imposed on her while she also suffers from distorted socio-political history. The

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has however been very proactive trying to allow the operations of financial institutions to impact issues around development by having tailored regulation for different aspects of financial intermediaries; different cheap funds to support agriculture, SMEs, mortgage aside others. The Bank of Industry is also playing a role here. In reality Nigeria needs a more integral and embedded development plan to make more serious impact in industrial development – may be, by borrowing something from Japan’s “embedded autonomy”. Majority of the people are still without jobs; can hardly get capital for startup businesses or even expand existing ones; while many industrial outfit cannot compete with imported goods. Poverty and income disparity is still obvious in our system. On the other hand, banks in Nigeria mainly get very-short term funds or deposits and customers expect very high returns, so it becomes very difficult for banks to engage in long-term financing. This greatly affects their ability to influence industrial and economic development as well as economic growth. Unlike in the advanced economies, why the delay in the emergency of non-interest banking in Nigeria? Organised Islamic finance started to properly define its theoretical models in the late 70s and practical non-interest banking gradually started to build up in the 80s. Malaysia set the lead while the MiddleEast tried to perfect it in the 90s. The West, especially Western Europe applied it to core capitalist economics from the late 90s into the 21st century. In Africa, South Africa embraced it very quickly and now exports this skill. Nigeria in 1991 initiated a law that ac-

knowledged this mode of banking and between 2009 and now, virtually all the financial regulators have guidelines on non-interest banking. I do not think we have delayed it; we have only learned quickly and now have the infrastructural policy which will allow us become the African hub in this industry. In fact, many countries operating noninterest banking are yet to achieve this degree of regulation we have in Nigeria. Practically, we are perfecting this business and more Nigerians now have necessary certifications unlike, late 2011 where you can count those with non-interest banking qualification with your fingers. More financial institutions are planning to offer this service; while government is considering the use of sukuk – (asset backed/based bonds or securities) to improve infrastructures. How will non-interest banking impact on the economy? According to EFInA’s research findings in 2012, there are strong indications that the non-interest banking concept would certainly be successful in Nigeria considering that 30.5 million adult Nigerians across religious divides are willing to buy non-interest banking products. More than 60 per cent of Nigerians are unbanked and non-interest banking is a structure that would help reduce this figure. Noninterest banking may also be viewed as an alternative banking model that would help with capital creation for the economy as a whole. For Sterling Bank, it is not just about the unbanked population, but also offering unique competitive products to the market with good pricing for the entire Nigerian population under the non-interest banking division. Many other research findings show that a large percentage of the Nigerian population likes the overall concept of non-interest bank-

ing since it does not involve interest, but allows risk and rewards sharing by all transacting parties. What impetus do you think will enhance the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria? SMEs should be considered the ‘priority sector’ of the economy because it is an easy way to create a lot more jobs. It also reduces the frustrating impacts of poverty in the country. Non-interest banking would not achieve its true purpose if there is no direct impact on poverty reduction. This is why NIBs would have to go beyond the trading and leasing modes of finance to more of partnership and ‘interestfree’ loan. This can be applied in a very strategic ways, which Sterling Bank’s non-interest banking would perfect. Sterling Bank is the second conventional bank that has launched non-interest banking window, making it the third non-interest banking brand in Nigeria. What is the motivation for this? Our core interest is to meet the demands of our customers – knowing that we are the one customer bank. On the other hand, we want to create more capital for the Nigerian economy; get more Nigerians to use formal financial institutions; impact real economic development by building SMEs which would further reduce unemployment and poverty in the country. We also want to cover the infrastructural gap in the system by using friendly non-interest banking models. Given the level of mistrust in the nation’s business circle and the country in general, can non-intrest banking survive in this part of the world? A lot of people are yet to know that all we do in nom-interest banking are partnership deals, trading contracts, lease arrangements and

other basic financial services. We observe that people would ordinarily change from their negative perception of non-interest banking immediately they get to know we are simply not doing interest-based transactions but applying other principles to make profit. It is also amazing to note that many of our prospective customers are from other faiths. What stands out Sterling Bank’s non-interest banking? Very simple, we have the best non-interest banking technology in the world. We have attracted the most qualified professionals in this field; we have the highest number of products – thus we are the most innovative in terms of non-interest banking products, and we will continue to be. Most importantly, our approach to non-interest banking is ‘systemic’ - we are able to build symbiotic relations amongst people, organizations, communities and the nation as a whole in order to support overall economic development in the country. What roles do academic institutions have to play in the success of moral approach to economics, banking and finance? My first feel of moral economics and non-interest banking was in the United Kingdom, and then Geneva, Switzerland. I perfected the art of financial engineering and strategic management in South Africa. This may not have much relationship with religion as a whole. Academic institutions in Nigeria simply need to include modules on moral economics in their curriculum. This will make students to be aware of aspects of moral economics, business ethics and finance which even goes beyond non-interest banking issues. Also remember that non-interest banking is only a subset of a larger economic model.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

34

AVIATION The crash of the Associated Aviation aircraft, in Lagos last week has elicited many questions and concerns over the regulatory regime of the aviation sector, reports Aviation Correspondent KELVIN OSA OKUNBOR.

How effective is aviation regulation? H

OW airworthy was the Embraer 120 aircraft operated by Associated Aviation which crashed killing 14 passengers on board last Thursday ? Did the aircraft have a valid insurance cover as affirmed by the mangers of the airline? How do we close the gap in documentation on the last date the ill fated aircraft flew before it crashed? Who released and certified the aircraft for that flight? These are among the questions agitating the minds of experts and watchers of the aviation sector after last Thursday’s crash of Associated Aviation Embraer 120 aircraft in Lagos. The crash appears to have exposed the weakness of aviation regulation in Nigeria. The sad incident happened at a time the industry is recovering from the agonies of the June 3, 2012 crash of Dana Air at Iju/ Ishaga area of Lagos State. The discrepancy in the last date of flight of the aircraft as disclosed by the Chief Operating Officer of Associated Aviation , Alhaji Taiwo Raji and officials of the NCAA, has cast doubts on the reliability of documentation of flights in Nigeria. While the Associated Aviation chief operating officer gave August 30, this year as the date of the last flight, officials of the regulatory agency said it was August 22. Some players in the insurance

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•The Embraer 120 aircraft belonging to Associated Aviation that crashed in Lagos last week.

sector have also raised concerns over the veracity in the claim by the airline that it has a valid insurance cover with SEMA Insurance. But, the NCAA Director-General, Captain Folayeke Akinkuotu, has grounded the operations of Associated Aviation. It is not clear whether this decision was taken on account of ongoing investigations by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). Akinkuotu said: “Operation of Associated Airlines has been suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). And let me say it again for the purpose of clarity, all the operations of Associated Airlines have been suspended by NCAA. I say it again with emphasis, all operations; I did not say the certification, all operations.” On the allegation that the aircraft may not have adequate insurance cover, Akinkuotu said: ”I am not an expert in insurance, but we have

documentations to the effect that SEMA has provided some documentation. I believe that SEMA must be a brokerage firm; a brokerage firm is not the one that insures. But we have some documentation in respect of insurance. But, the NCAA has some documents on the insurance of the aircraft.” But, players in the industry, have also raised concerns over the airworthiness status of the ill- fated aircraft, which the NCAA apparently has continued to dismiss. Akinkuotu said: “Well, it is a matter of documentation and standards. You have to look at what NCAA does as its responsibility and what the operator does as its own responsibility. They have certified engineers; they have certified pilots; they have technical people who within the organisation have certified the aircraft is airworthy and we did not have any information con-

‘Air traffic controllers shouldn’t threaten service withdrawal’

OME domestic airline operators have faulted the call by the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers ‘ Association ( NATCA ) to withdraw services to them over accumulated debts for air navigation services as well as non remittance of outstanding ticket and cargo sales charge. The operators described the threat to withdraw services as an intimidating weapon by the group, advising that the body should liaise with the management of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on how to resolve issues of debt and non remittance of outstanding charges. The Managing Director, Medview Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, faulted the threat by the air traffic controllers, saying the association should abide by best international practices on the issue. He called on the air traffic controllers not to use withdrawal of services as a weapon to deal with domestic airlines, but engage the management of NAMA on how to recover its debts from airlines. He said it was wrong for employees of an agency to issue threats to service users, when the management of NAMA has not notified the airlines of any plans to withdraw services. He said in other parts of the

line. He said: “But business can change hands but we at NCAA, our principal business is to maintain the airworthiness of aircraft and the status of an airline.” But, many industry watchers are asking the NCAA to explain its role as it affects the maintenance history of the aircraft that crashed, as well as its flight cycle. Many experts could not comment on the circumstances leading to the crash because of on going investigation by the AIB. But, they have raised concerns over what has happened to Associated Aviation in the last one year when it temporarily stopped its scheduled flights to scale up its operations. But, the Chief Pilot of Associated Aviation Captain Mohammed Gbadamosi said the aircraft maintenace was intact before the crash.

Nigeria re-elected member of ICAO’s Council

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By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

world, the standard practice is for service users and providers to agree on the terms of payment to ensure hitch free operations. “ I have just read the information in the newspapers, but I think it is wrong for air traffic controllers who are staff of NAMA to be speaking on behalf of their organisation, arguing that the standard practice is for the management to engage airlines on how to recover the debts and payment for services rendered. “This resort to intimidation and threat by air traffic controllers is not in line with standard industry practice. The issue of withdrawal of air traffic services is too serious a weapon to be used to achieve the objective of recovering money,” he said, urging that the association and the management of NAMA should rally to present a common position on the issue. He, however, exonorated Medview Airlines from among firms indebted to NAMA. His words: “But, as for Medview Airlines, we are paying our bills, according to the arrangement we reached with the agencies.” Also, the Public Relations Manager, Chanchangi Airlines,Oludele Balogun, said the airlines is not bothered by the threat by air traffic

trary to that. If we had, we would have withdrawn the airworthiness certification on the aircraft. “ The continued airworthiness certification of an airplane is largely the responsibility of the operator. There are certified engineers there who are licensed and certified by NCAA who signed that the aircraft was airworthy; the pilot also agreed the aircraft was airworthy and he accepted to fly it; so to that extent, the NCAA cannot say anything to the contrary as we speak. “NCAA applies the same standard to the major and fringe airlines. The rules are the same. If you are an AOC holder, you are an AOC holder. It is not a matter of the size of your operations. As a matter of fact, it is better to keep an eye on the smaller operators.” The NCAA boss, however, said that the frequent change of ownership of the airline does not have any impact on the safety of the air-

•Udoh

controllers, as the airline is currently offsetting its bills for weather and air navigation services under the pay-as-you-go system. He said Chanchangi Airlines is remitting passengerservicechargetotherelevantagencies at the point where tickets are purchased. Spokesman of Dana Air, Mr Tony Usidamen, said the airline is not worried over the threat by air traffic controllers to withdraw services.

IGERIA has been re-elected to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council. Nigeria won with 149 out of 172 votes cast, representing 86 per cent of the total votes cast at the 38th Assembly of the organisation in Montreal, Canada. The majority vote garnered by Nigeria according to the General M a n a g e r , C o r p o r a t e Communication, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, is indicative of how highly Nigeria is regarded in the commity of world air transport sector. He said it is such high regard that will provide a strong platform for the election of the Nigerian representative in ICAO, Dr Olumuyiwa Babatunde Aliu who will be standing for election for the President of ICAO Council on

October 28. Nigeria’s presence, Dati said, was strongly felt as the Federal Government sent a delegation led by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. Aliu’s quest received full support from the Federal Government and Nigerians, both at home and in Diaspora as the Ms Oduah has continued to support Aliu who has built invaluable goodwill among ICAO member countries’ representatives. Princess Oduah last Thursday addressed the Assembly, reinforcing the commitment of the Nigerian government to meet all ICAO standards and requirements in safety, security, aerodrome facility and regulation, giving details of how far Nigeria has gone in actualising some of these objectives, including the efforts in infrastructural renewal at the nation’s airports.

BA offers special fares to UK, US, Europe

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RITISH Airways has announced special price discounts across all of its cabins for its Nigerian customers, Known as the Independence Anniversary Special. According to the airline, the offer presents the customers with the opportunity to travel at special discount rates to London, the United Kingdom, and selected destinations in Europe and the United States from Lagos and Abuja.

According to officials of the airline, the offer will extend to the end of this month. Under the new arrangement, customers travelling to different destinations from Lagos and Abuja in all its cabins, can now experience the unparallel service and luxurious surroundings of British Airways for less with the Independence special offer. British Airways’ Country Manager for West Africa, Kola Olayinka, said

with the Independence Anniversary Special, customers in World Traveller class can now travel direct from Lagos, or Abuja to London, the UK and select European destinations from as low as $353. For those travelling to the same destination in the World Traveller Plus, the fare goes for $753, while fares for Club World and First Class cabins start from as low as $2,153 and $5,353.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP Small business owners are investing in medium- sized industrial production. By nearly all accounts, the strategy is working well. Mrs Ebere Anokwuru, who runs a bakery in her house,tells her experience. WDANIEL ESSIET writes.

A change agent in Lagos suburb

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YOBO is a developing suburb in Lagos. For years, the area was an economic backwater, depending on farmers planting food crops. This is changing thanks to the rapid growth of small businesses providing everything from soap production to aquaculture and this has yielded a thriving trade centre. Of recent, the area has emerged as a major player in the booming small businesses. As a result, more than 20,000 families could be lifted out of rural poverty in a remarkable economic success story that has seen the area become one of the leading entrepreneurship centres in the state. This has shown that rural enterprises can be a powerful antidote to rural poverty. One of the change agents, Mrs Ebere Anokwuru, and some entrepreneurs have relocated to the area to provide opportunities to lift residents of the area out of pov-

erty. A few years ago, Mrs Anokwuru and her husband were in Ayobo thinking about some businesses and they realised they needed to start a good one once they relocated there. They settled for a bakery. Her dream was a bakery business that will supply healthy goods to shops and market places. She started in January. The bakery employs 15 staff. The company has an impact on the community in terms of hiring people. A lot of women folk have been employed as distributors. This engagement,she noted, has turned their lives around. Anokwuru said the business is raising people’s incomes and reducing poverty. Her intention is to create jobs and opportunities for poor people to support their families and build more stable futures. “The idea of providing employ-

ment opportunities to people supporting families, creates an entire circle that changed poverty. To help her and others achieve this, MrsAnokwuru said the government needs to encourage startups to create economic growth. She said her organisation is facing challenges that makes it difficult for them to stimulate and sustain economic growth. These challenges include infrastructure, lack of access to finance and unsuitable laws and regulations. The poor infrastructure, she noted , could deter people from investing. The bakeries suffered, because they are unable to pass on much of the higher wheat and energy costs to consumers. For her, Ayobo occupies a unique place in the state ‘s economy—its vast populace and large physical size alone makes the area a powerful economic centre. Start-ups, entrepreneurs and start-

up communities are already living and working within the area. She said much could be achieved with support for small business owners to make capital investment. This, she added, would make the economy more productive. In other words, new machinery, better technology, and more investment in infrastructure would help to raise output. Ayobo is a startup community. She called for reforms to raise economic efficiency by introducing incentives to small private businesses. She said the economy needs reforms that give greater room for private ownership of production. However, Mrs Anokwuru said while capital investment is crucial to growth, it becomes even more potent when accompanied by market-oriented reforms that introduce incentives to rural enterprises and small private businesses. That combination can unleash a productiv-

•Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke; United States Consul-General Jeffrey Hawkins and Senior Vice President,International Development and Trade Mission Leader, International Franchise Association( IFA), Mr Scott Lehr, at a briefing on franchise opportunities, in Lagos.

Making a living from fruits selling Fresh fruits have become staple food. A Lagos entrepreneur, Goke Balogun,inspired by their goodness has turned his love for fruits into a business. DANIEL ESSIET writes.

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ity boom that will propel aggregate growth. She noted that some critical developments are needed to see the rural level industry grow rapidly. Critical to downtown redevelopment, MrsAnokwuru, added was the need for a good road network closer to the downtown core. According to her, the key to improving the bread industry is good distribution network in the area. She is not facing much pressure and competition from known brands, because they don’t see it as a wise investment to establish new outlets.

‘Youth empowerment tool for wealth creation’

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OKE Balogun is an enthusiastic businessman. He sells fresh fruits because he admires self-employment. He started So Fresh Neighbourhood Market to provide residents in his area with fresh fruits, vegetables, organic food and other naturalproduce need at a one- stopshop. He operates retail outlets that deal primarily in fresh fruits, vegetables, organic food, other natural produce and freshly processed products. There are two outlets in Lagos, one in Ikoyi and the other in Ogba, Ikeja. His trust in his services gives him the confidence that he is bound to succeed. “We stock 100 types of exotic and local fruits and vegetables, at a stop. We also stock nuts, seeds,roots, tubers, extracts, flours, lots of healthy oils, fresh and dried herbs and spices and healthy groceries. We run a production arm, with specialties in freshly made juices, smoothies, salads, fruit trees, fruit bouquets, fruit platters, fruit baskets and hampers,” he said. How did he start the business? “So Fresh Neighbourhood Market was conceived about 11 years ago, just about the time I finished my tertiary education and was searching for a job. It looked like a new idea

•Mrs Anokwuru

at that time, until I had the opportunity to travel with my wife Abimbola in 2007 to South Africa. It became immediately apparent that the idea already existed and that was the normal way shopping was conducted to a large extent in advanced societies of the world. This surely raised my resolve to establish this change I had so conceived.I then shared the idea with my wife, who absolutely caught the passion and was practically on fire with it. Little did I know that she would later become the very driving force behind the business,” he said. He started business at the first outlet in Ogba,Ikeja in 2010. “Subsequently, the demand for freshly made meals in form of salads, juices and smoothies grew and we had to respond. We also added exotic fruits, organic offerings exotic and healthy groceries, herbs, spices, tubers and frozen items”, he said. After opening of the first outlet, he travelled to the United States, where the model is practiced successfully. The experience gave him a better idea of what to do to stand out in the business. What inspired to do the business? ”Going with my mum to the market as a young lad, I always felt something was wrong with the

atmosphere and the way transactions were conducted.I grew increasingly restless and uncomfortable shopping in the open traditional markets, because they were dirty, unorganised, unhygienic, and generally inconvenient, a time wasting and tiring chore. Hence, the idea of So Fresh was conceived to be a departure from our traditional way of shopping for fresh produce which was otherwise done in the open market. Of great influence also were my early years, which was characterised by the eating of fresh fruits, vegetables harvested right from our garden backyard to the pots. Coupled with my belief that convenience, ease, a serene atmosphere and excellent service was supposed to be the hallmark of a good shopping experience. “Hence, together with my wife, we sort to revolutionise the retail of these commodities within a serene brick and mortar store and to also return to the basics of healthy eating. The importance of fresh and wholesome fruits and vegetables in promoting good health and development, prevention and management of disease and promoting longevity cannot be overemphasised. As it is said, it is not the food in your life that counts, it is the life in your food.”

BIA State Governor, Theodore Orji has said youth empowerment is a tool for wealth creation that leads to socio-economic advancement. He spoke at the graduation of 400 beneficiaries of Abia Skills Acqusition Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SUREP) in Umuahia. He said that youth empowerment programmes created an enabling environment for young people to contribute positively to the growth of the society. “This programme has created an opportunity for young people to engage themselves in ventures that will make them become good representatives of their families. “This has further reduced the number of unemployed youths in Abia by empowerment of 400 people, an indication that this skills acquisition programme is a success,’’ Orji said. A Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Con-

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sultant, Mrs Bisiola Nwakodo, said the beneficiaries were trained in catering, computer operation, fashion designing, hair dressing, fish/poultry farming and interior decoration. He said the beneficiaries were placed on a monthly stipend of N10, 000 and attached to establishments for internship during their trainings. “ I am confident that the beneficiaries through practising what they have learnt will bring economic growth to the state,”she said. The wife of the governor, Mrs Odochi Orji, urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the programme by practising the skills. “Self-reliance is capable of helping one to genuinely serve others and develop one’s talents,’’ she said. One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Chinwendu Abazie, said she would use the equipment to generate income for her family’s upkeep, while Mr Ndukwekalu, said he would become an employer of labour.

NGO trains 170 women

JIGAWA-BASED non-gove r n m e n t a l organisation(NGO), Gender Education Empowerment Foundation, has said it trained 170 women on shoe making in Hadejia Local Government Area . Coordinator of the organisation, MrAbubakar Muhammad, spoke at the disbursement of resettlement packages to the trainees in Hadejia. He said the women were also trained on tailoring, knitting and weaving as well as soap, jelly, beads and pomade making. According to him, the organisation disbursed N850,000 as resettlement allowances to the trainees. He said the training, organised in collaboration with the Jigawa

Ministry for Economic Empowerment, was designed to empower women and enhance wealth creation in rural communities. “Each of the beneficiaries received N5,000 to enable them to engage in productive activity,” he said. The Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji AdamuAbubakar, commended the organisation for the gesture, saying that it would help reduce poverty at the grass roots. He urged wealthy individuals to emulate the organisation by providing skills and vocational training to youth in their localities,advising that such programme would complement government’s effort in providing job opportunities to youths.

Quotes for entrepreneurs “Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea.” - Mark Pincus, Zynga CEO


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

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EMPOWERMENT CLINIC with

Secrets of power persuasion for salespeople BOOK REVIEW Author: Roger Dawson BOOK REVIEW Publisher: Elpac Publishing Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi

GOKE ILESANMI

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ERSUASIVE skills are greatly required whenever we are set to convince people. This is why I want us to examine this text “Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople” this week. It is written by Roger Dawson, one of the most-respected authorities as regards persuasion and negotiation. Dawson has trained executives, managers and salespeople throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. The author says if you have read his other book “Secrets of Power Negotiating”, you might think there is no need reading this one. This author says this inference is wrong because there is a difference between Negotiating and Persuasion. Dawson however explains that the two are very close, and the skills in each area will apply to the other. He says Negotiating involves reaching an agreement on price or on the specific terms of an agreement. Dawson educates that Persuasion is the art of getting people to go along with your points of view. He stresses that you need negotiating skills to be a good persuader and persuasion skills to be a good negotiator. This book is divided into four parts of 24 chapters. Part one is summarily christened “How to play the persuasion game”, and contains first 13 chapters. Chapter one of this part is titled: magic keys that control buyers.

According to Dawson here, selling is really a persuasion contest because you are trying to persuade the buyer to buy. In his words, “The buyer is trying to persuade you to buy his or her point of view that he or she: 1. Can’t afford it; 2. Does not need it; 3. Can get it for less somewhere else. One of you will succeed in your persuasion attempt. Will you end up as the persuader or the persuadee?” He says maybe you are a salesperson in a competitive, price-conscious industry and you sweat buckets getting a new account to open up for you. Dawson adds that however, the person who works the territory in the state over never seems to have that kind of trouble because at every sales meeting, he or she is up there getting an award for the most new accounts. The author expatiates that to rub salt into the wound, you bet that he or she does not work half as hard as you do. “Perhaps you’re a salesperson who has become very good at prospecting for business and building rapport with the customer, but closing is your problem,” explains Dawson. This consultant says if you are encountering problems selling, then you can employ these six magic strategies. That is, buyers can be sold, if you can reward them; buyers can be sold if you can exercise punishment power; combine reward and punishment; buyers can be sold if you bond with them; buyers can be sold if they think you have more expertise than they do; and finally, buyers can be sold if you act consistently. Chapter two is titled: Get enthusiastic about your product. Dawson says every top salespeople that he has asked lists enthusiasm as the most important factor in sales persuasion. The author stresses that you cannot be a top salesperson unless you genuinely believe in the value of your product or service and can enthusiastically convey that to your buy-

ers. In chapters three to 13, he beams his analytical searchlight on concepts such as 12 magic keys for building credibility; creating buyer desire by creating an obligation; how scarcity motivates buyers; making the sale with time pressure; the Zen-like art of sharing secrets; tying your persuasion effort to something good; the power of consistency; bonding as the magic key to persuasion; selling to a committee; eight verbal persuasion tools to control the buyer; and exposing and destroying the HAGS. Part two of this text is eclectically tagged “Analysing the buyer”, and covers three chapters, that is, chapters 14 to 16. Chapter 14 is christened “Matchers versus mismatchers”. Here, Dawson says everyone either tends to be a “matcher” or “mismatcher”, and being able to recognise

which your buyer is makes you a better persuader. In chapters 15 and 16, this author discusses the concepts of what motivates the buyer and how the buyer makes decisions. Part three is eclectically tagged “How to become a power persuader”, and covers four chapters, that is, chapters 17 to 20. In these chapters, Dawson looks at the concepts of how to make your buyers love you; 12 ways to project an awesome charisma; how you can develop a dynamite sense of humour; and the need for you not to forget another name. Part four, the last part of this text is based on the summary concept of learning persuasion techniques and contains four chapters, that is, chapters 21 to 24. In the words of this author in chapter 21 titled: A magic persuasion technique, “Let me tell you about a persuasion technique that’s so simple, and so effective, that’s it’s amazing so few people are aware of how powerful it is…This simple technique is to use the person’s name, at the start or end of a sentence, and make your request. You must tilt your head a little and smile as you say his or her name….” In chapters 22 to 24, Dawson analytically X-rays the concepts of eight ways to persuade an angry buyer; eight reasons why buyers won’t open up; and sales management and the power persuader. There is no disputing the fact that Dawson has given his subject matter a touch of conceptual creativity. As regards style, this text is an embodiment of success. To ensure readers’ active participation, Dawson includes exercise sections. The language is simple and the presentation of ideas is unique. To ensure easy understanding on readers’ part, this author uses detailed and accurate illustrations. He employs graphical embroidery to visually reinforce readers’ understanding. However, the book can be improved upon by harmonising some chapters that look conceptually redundant or repetitive. On a final note, this text is a masterpiece. It is highly recommended to individuals and organisations that want to enhance their sales capacity through strategic skill of power persuasion. It is irresistible.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

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Global business prospects and effects of Nigerian English(2)

AST week, we said effective communication is very critical to career or business success. We added that one thing that is very critical to effective communication is proficient application of language. We examined halfway, the characteristics of Nigerian English and the business implication. This week, we will continue with the discourse.

Knowledge of dictionary symbols

Lack of knowledge of dictionary symbols or abbreviations is another feature of Nigerian English causing errors among speakers. In a bid to discuss much in the limited space of a dictionary, lexicographers (dictionary writers) normally use abbreviations and symbols in their illustrations. But many dictionary users in Nigeria find it difficult using dictionaries effectively, especially the grammatical aspect, because of ignorance of most of the abbreviations and word-class labels used. Examples of these abbreviations are “n” for noun; “v” for Verb; “adv” for Adverb; “adj” for Adjective; “pron” for Pronoun, etc. Lack of knowledge of these abbreviations makes many people in Nigeria pluralise uncountable nouns like “Potential”, “Fallout”, “Legislation”, “Equipment”, etc., despite the fact that the symbol [U] which means “Uncountable” is placed against them in the dictionary. Also the abbreviation “adj” is placed against words like “Mediocre” and “Destitute” to show they are adjectives. But lack of knowledge of what the abbreviation “adj” means makes most Nigerians use these words as nouns by saying “You are mediocres” and “Government should relocate the destitute”. The correct usage is “You are mediocre people”; “Government should relocate the destitute people”.

Americanism

Also lack of knowledge of dictionary symbols has led to ignorant usage of American English words in place of British English

By Goke Ilesanmi

words. For instance, the short form “BrE” means British English while “AmE” means “American English”. “AmE” is written against the word “Gotten” with the “pp” symbol to show that it is the American English past participle of the verb “Get”. “BrE” is written against the word “Got” with a “pp” symbol to show that it is the British English past participle of Get”. But many Nigerians ignorantly say “I have gotten” instead of the British English version “I have got”. Despite the short form “AmE” placed against American English words, many also use American English words like “Side Mirror” in place of the British English version “Wing mirror”; “Transportation” in place of the British English version “Transport”. We erroneously say “Ministry of Transportation” in Nigeria instead of “Ministry of Transport” even when we claim to speak British English.

Addition and business implication

Also the word “Presently” has two meanings. The first meaning is “Very soon”. This has the symbol “BrE” (British English) against it. The second meaning is “Now” which has the symbol “AmE” (American English) against it. This means it is wrong to use “Presently” to mean “Now” in British English. Rather, we use “At present” or “Currently” in British English. If you tell your British customer or prospect that you “presently” have some needed products in stock, you have lost business because you are ignorantly telling him or her that you will have the products very soon.

Wrong redeployment of meanings

This is another feature of Nigerian English. It is about misinterpreting the original meanings of the existing words of English Language. Examples of words that have their meanings wrongly redeployed in Nigeria are

“Do-or-die”, “Tout”, “Dowry”, “Minerals”, etc. “Do-or-die” is a positive idiom that means “Strong determination” (check a dictionary). “Tout” means “Marketer” or “Canvasser” not “Hooligan”. “Dowry” basically refers to the money and other property that a bride gives to the bride-groom not money that a bridegroom pays on the bride as wrongly used in Nigeria. We wrongly use “Minerals” for “Soft drinks”; “Hot drinks” for “Hard drinks”; “Machine” for “Motorcycle”. We have also wrongly created the word “Send-forth” in place of the correct version “Send-off”; “Drainages” in place of the correct one “Drains”. Most Nigerian speakers of English wrongly say “Send-forth” instead of “Send-off”, probably because the adverbial particle/preposition “off” is considered negative. I wonder why we have not changed jamb “cut-off” mark to “cut-forth” mark! Similarly we use “Do-or-die” negatively probably because of the negative word “Die”.

Explanation

“Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English” defines “Send-off” as “a party or other occasion when people meet to say ‘goodbye’ to someone who is leaving”. The dictionary thus gives this example, “The department gave Tom a send-off he won’t forget!” In this sense and context, “Send-off” is used as a noun and has a positive meaning. It is different from the negative usage as a verb in the expression, “The referee is likely to send off the player for dangerous tackles”. It is bad English to say “Don’t throw refuse inside drainages”. The plural word “Drains” is the correct version. “Drainage” refers to “the process by which water or liquid waste is drained from an area”. “Drainage” is also an uncountable noun and cannot be used in the plural form. “Drain” refers to a pipe or any channel that carries away dirty water or liquid waste. See this example from “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary”, Inter-

national Student’s Edition: “We had to call in the plumber to unblock the drain.”

Justification of wrong connotation

Proponents of Nigerian English are always quick to justify errors of wrong redeployment of meanings by claiming they are connotative meanings. Connotative meanings refer to meanings that are not dictionary meanings or denotative meanings. Usage of words like “Do-or-Die”, “Tout”, “Dowry”, etc., differently from the dictionary meanings does not count for standard connotative meanings but errors of wrong redeployment of meanings arising out of ignorance. We cannot hide under wrong connotative meanings to continue to justify errors in Nigeria. Some justify these errors by saying it is communication that matters. This does not mean we should now sacrifice linguistic correctness on the altar of communication. It is like saying as a man, if your small child calls you “Mummy”, you should not correct him or her but just continue to answer so long you know it is you the father that he or she is referring to. PS: For those making inquiries about our Public Speaking, Business Presentation and Professional Writing Skills programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. Till we meet on Monday. •To be continued. •GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/ CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: gokeiles2010@gmail.com Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Exit of consummate artist Oyadiran

POEM

A patriotic hunger By Evelyn Osagie

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IDITI, the serene agrarian community in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State, witnessed unprecedented distinguished personalities who came to pay tribute to their late patriarch, mentor, teacher, friend and consummate artist Pa Olabode Oyadiran. Ebenezer Baptist Church, venue of burial service, was filled to capacity, as encomiums and tributes were showered by guests who claimed to have benefitted from the knowledge and wisdom of the deceased either as a mentor or teacher. The late Oyadiran’s children too gave heart-rending remarks about the life and times of their beloved father. In his sermon, Revd ‘Lowo Mamadelo of the Philadelphia Baptist Church, Ile-Ife, Osun State, described late Pa Oyadiran as an embodiment of trust, diligence, discipline, dedication, and humility. He said the deceased firmly anchored his philosophy of life on honesty as the pillar of success, vehicle of greatness and opium of social harmony. “Hence the enviable positions his children had attained in their chosen careers,’’ he added. Rev. Mamadelo wondered ‘’where in the world today is falsehood and hypocrisy used as premise of social harmony, justice, and progress? A society that practises and teaches the young ones acts of dishonesty and hypocrisy is nothing but a land of fools. Though, such society may have children, who are well-read, socially enlightened, and financially prosperous, nevertheless, a decorated monkey is still a monkey.’’ While urging parents to emulate the exemplary leadership qualities of late pa Oyadiran who towed the path of greatness through honesty, the clergy also attributed lack of sincerity of purpose and commitment to people’s welfare to why the country is still groping for political order since independence. Among distinguished personalities who gave tributes at the occasion were Prof Adewale Thompson Ojo of the University of Lagos, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, Prof Yemisi Bamgbose and Mr Gbenga Akilapa, all of whom were former students of the late Pa Oyadiran at different secondary schools. Prof. Ojo, an octogenarian who said fifty58, the late Pa Oyadiran taught him at Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti State, 58 years ago, describes him as a teacher with a difference. He said: “I had since taken him (Pa Oyadiran) as my blood relation because of his passionate love for me. We had since been closely attached to each other. Anytime we met, or contacted ourselves on phone, with his computerised memory he would

I served my country With all my heart I fought her battles I did not sell her out for money I am a Patriot! I served my country With all my heart I joined my neighbours To salute our national flag Together we sang Our favorite anthem We all are Patriots! I served my country With all my heart I pledged allegiance To a national cause On an empty stomach I joined my voice With my compatriots I am a Patriot!

• Oyadiran at work From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

TRIBUTE enquire of all I came across while at IkogosiEkiti with much nostalgic pleasant feeling.’’ Also, Mr Gbenga Akilapa noted that Pa Oyadiran, who worked as Fine Arts teacher and Vice-Principal at the Ogbomoso Grammar School, was an excellent administrator, a father who showed so much interest and love for him as a pupils between 1964 and 1968. ‘’You have fought a good fight. You have finished your course and you have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give you on that day.’’ Prof Bamgboso, recalled that the deceased taught her in class One in 1974 at the Queen School, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. According to her, ‘’Pa Oyadiran contributed towards what I become today. His discipline, sense of devotion and care for his students, especially the indigent were unequaled and worthy of emulation by teachers of nowadays’’. In his tribute, Pa Oyadiran’s eldest son who is a medical doctor based in Florida, United State, Dr Olabisi Oyadiran, said the greatest gift of all that his father are his children and pupils was the freedom to think. “He (late Pa Oyadiran) had no time for dogma. At birth, he introduced us to the Holy Bible. At seven, we disc used Bertrand Russel (philosophy), and Lobsang Rampa. At eight the Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (science). At nine the Rudyard Kipling (poetry). At 10, the Leonardo da Vinci (art), at eleven Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela (humanities), and at 12 (Odo-laye Aremu).’’

My compatriots too pledged allegiance To the national cause They sang our favorite anthem Over a plate of Garri and Ogbono soup They declared their love For Motherland We all are patriots! I served my country With all my heart On a empty stomach I joined my compatriots To trek to our capital city We are Patriots!

• Oyadiran’s work

Dr. Olabisi, whose tribute elicited standing ovation from guests, noted that his father was unshakably guided by a strong Christian faith and was the most unpretentious he ever met. He said: “He was always the unrehearsed and plain man who lived his life with abiding faith in God. He did not believe you have to wear religion on your sleeve. Christians should live by examples.”

A little hunger I turned to my brother “Brother, please! Give me a little meat” ‘Hunger breeds self control” I was told We all are Patriots! I swallowed my spit Declared my love for motherland Joined my voice With my compatriots On an empty stomach We all are Patriots!

Succour for the elderly

By Evelyn Osagie

MEDIA

• Unuigbe and Mrs Odiete

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N commemoration of this year’s World Day for the Elderly, the Sunshine Foundation led by Barr. Mrs. Rose Odiete, hosted youths from Lagos at a public lecture with the theme:’ Prevalent Habits that hampers graceful ageing’ at the Main Audito-

rium, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. The event chaired by Justice Lateef Lawal–Akapo, of the Lagos State Judiciary, featured eminent and experienced speakers which include Mr. Festus Unuigbe, Mrs. Aina Odion–Akhaine, Dr. Femi Fasanmade, medical consultant, College

of Medicine, University of Lagos, Mr. Lekan Olajumoke and Mr. Lanre Olusola, Life Style Instructor, among others. The special guest of honour Dr. Femi Olugbile, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Lagos State was ably represented by Mrs. Omowunmi George. The event that was held on Nigeria’s 53 Independence anniversary day, was a double prong celebration for the participants, especially the elderly whom our society has neglected and the youths who are aspiring for good and positive pointers to lead and live a good life that will be of benefit to the larger community. Mrs. Odiete stated,’ what we are doing today is to engaged the young minds and this is the Foundation’s way of honouring our senior citizens, advancing the ideals of God intent for creating man, to live life and doing it more abundantly. Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited medical team overseen by Mr. Enobong Amiang, Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist and Wellness Champion, supported the programme that was well attended. Over 500 participants were tested for various health issues – glucose, TC, HDL, LDC, TG, Hepatitis B and C as well HIV 1& 2. This brought big relief to all the people who did the test to ascertain their status. All the facilitators who spoke passionately, agreed on the fact that, it is better to go through the little pains of life when young by living a moderate life, obeying the laws of God, lov-

ing more and daring to make a positive different that will help the individual to live a good and enjoyable live at old age. Mrs. Odiete revealed that the Foundation action is informed by a thorough researched she carried out on the challenges of the elderly and the difficulties of caring for them. She believed that, the participants who were attentive would surely have a change of attitude and learn to ignore negative ways of life that would affect them in future. The lecture treated all matters that relate to the – body, spirit, and soul. The young people were given tips on how to live a good life and doing it well no matter the individual level in life. Parents were also advised to lay a solid foundation for their children by teaching them the good things of life. The Chairman urged the Foundation not to relent in her effort in chatting a new course for the young generation. An initiative he believed will go a long way to add value to the overall well being of the lager Nigerian community health, increase life expectancy, reduce their visits to the hospital, saving a lot of lives, causing the society less pain and stress. Mrs. Omowunmi George added that the action if well taken help curb a lot of unhealthy life style that is injurious to not only the person but also society as a whole. She stressed that the provision of health care is better done via taking preventive measures than curative approach.


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The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

2,234 die in disasters, says report

Fed Govt to review Cultural Policy

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O fewer than 2234 people died between January and September 24, this year, according to Nigeria 2012 Disaster Report presented by the Executive Director of Disaster Watch Nigeria Initiative, Mr Biodun Orebiyi. He said those killed in disasters so far this year exceeded last year’s total number of deaths, which he put at 2119. The report also showed that April accounted for the highest number of deaths with 424, followed by March and May with 365 and 360 deaths. The report also showed that 79, 580 persons were displaced from their homes while 432 sustained severe degrees of injuries from incidence of disasters. He said the figures were collated from disasters including flood, religious and ethnic conflicts, ocean surge, air accident, landslide, building collapse, measles, cholera, pipeline explosion and oil spill. He said most of the disasters occurred because early warning signs were taken for granted. He said the initiative decided to present the report to ensure that stakeholders, especially government agencies in charge of such disasters put structures in place to ensure minimal disasters going forward. Recommending the way forward, he said: “As we go forward into 2013, we need to imbibe and act on the lessonslearned in 2012 as enumerated in the report. “There is need to undertake well-

•From left: Akanni Adeniran, Ambassador Folake Marcus-Bello and Orebiyi at the presentation of the report in Lagos. By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

RESEARCH thought out and elaborate post emergency assessment after disaster mitigation and also urgently generate sectoral hazard map for use in general terms and for specific areas. There is need for the Armed Forces and other security agencies to release aspects of vital security information to specific threatened population in order for them to take necessary steps to avoid threats to their lives and well-being. “There is need for the various governments and communities to provide “safe

NICO chief mourns Vanguard Arts editor

corridors” or reception areas where people can be kept for their protection in situation. “There is need for communities in floodprone and coastal areas to be sensitised against taking rising water levels for granted especially after alerts have been issued warning of impending rise in water levels,” Orebiyi said. Commending the group for deeming it fit to put the report together, Representative of the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment Lagos State, Akanni Adeniran, urged them to ensure the 2013 disaster report includes the economic implication for the economy.

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

HE Federal Government is set to review the nation’s cultural policy in order to meet the various challenges in the sector. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke stated this when the Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, NICO, Dr Barclays Ayakoroma, presented the report of a workshop on Repositioning the cultural sector to him in Abuja. Duke, who emphasised the role of the sector in the transformation agenda of the administration, said a lot would be achieved if this is done. He said the Ministry would continue to give priority to capacity building to ensure professionalism among key players in the cultural sector. Presenting the report, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Ayakoroma reiterated the commitment of the institute towards human resource development of stakeholders in the sector. The three-day workshop on Repositioning cultural workers for improved productivity, was organised for 78 staff of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation and its parastatals. The workshop, which was the first the institute packaged for the ministry, was aimed at enhancing the professional skills and competence of the culture workers.

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HE Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has described the death of the Arts Editor of Vanguard , Mr. Mcphilips Nwachukwu as devastating. He said Nwachukwu was a young man, who was passionate about his job. In a condolence message, Ayakoroma said it was very painful because he had known the late Nwachukwu for many years and had also seen him rise to become the Arts Editor of Vanguard . Praying for his soul to rest in peace, the Executive Secretary said his death brings to the fore an urgent need for an insurance scheme for journalists to be put in place because of the nature of their work. “I received the shock, the demise of Mcphilips Nwachukwu, the Arts Editor of Vanguard Newspapers. It is quite devastating, considering the fact that I had known him for many years, and seen him rise to become the Arts Editor of Vanguard. His death further brings to the fore the urgent need for an insurance scheme for journalists in Nigeria. Our hearts go out to the family he has left behind. Since death is a necessary end, we can only pray for his gentle soul to rest in peace in the bosom of the Lord,” he said. It would be recalled that in 2005, Nwachukwu was diagnosed with a debilitating kidney ailment. He was in South Africa that year to undergo a Laparoscopic Pyeloplasty (surgery) at the Pretoria Urology Hospital by a medical team led by Dr. Francois du P. Boezaart. The treatment went well and he had recuperated and resumed writing not only in the Vanguard Newspaper but his creative and research writing as doctoral student at the University of Lagos, Akoka. In his poem, Singing my own dirge, Nwachukwu wrote concerning his health challenge.

•The late Nwachukwu and wife.

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How Nwachukwu died, by his wife

ANGUARD Art Editor Mr. McPhilips Nwachukwu finally lost the battle to live penultimate Sunday in Lagos. Two days earlier, he had returned to Nigeria from a routine medical check-up in South Africa in company of his wife, Tina. He was said to be hale and hearty on arrival, having been certified okay by his Pretoria-based physician. According to his wife, the man died on Sunday morning shortly after she rushed him to a nearby hospital in Festac Town. She said they returned on Friday to Lagos and her husband was in good health until about 4a.m on Sunday, when he started having chronic cough. As this persisted, she gave him water, but when it got severe, she called on a neighbour who helped in driving him to the Golden Cross Hospital on Festac Town. “On getting to the hospital, the doctor was preparing to treat him when Nwachukwu demanded that he needed to lie down and rest. He had barely rested for 10 minutes when he breathed his last. That was how Nwachukwu bade farewell to his wife and the rest of the world in a most shocking manner,” she said.

Singing My Own Dirge ‘Don’t let me die; a cockerel at mid life.

The grief-stricken wife relayed her pains to Arts and Culture journalists recently, saying that she has lost her friend and confidant. Her words: “He was not just my husband but my friend, father and brother. He was very caring and loving. We were extremely close and he was a very peaceful person. He had conscience as he was always ready to deprive himself of comfort to satisfy others. Macphillips was everything to me because we were quite inseparable. His death is a big loss to me.’’ According to Tina, her late hubby was very jovial and kind, he could hardly hurt a fly and he was planning to resume work on October 7, 2013 after a long vacation, which started from June. She, however, concluded her tribute thus “God s He who brings and takes, I have been expecting him to return from that journey since Sunday, but it now looks that I can no longer find him”. The remains of Nwachukwu, according to the wife, would be buried on October 26 at his Owerri home in Imo State. He is survived by his siblings, his wife and five year old daughter, Ada.

Don’t let me die, the first of the sun god burning with dreams of yester- years ... Don’t let me die; the burden bearer of

fate, who stands at the threshold clearing yesterdays mess of ash’


39

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S V A IL Accidental U R T servant’s A memoir

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

BOOK REVIEW

Title: An Accidental Public Servant Author: Mallam Nasir el Rufai Reviewer: Badejo Adedeji Nurudeen Pagination: 622

•Continued from last week

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HAPTER 10 is devoted to sales of government houses in Abuja under the monetisation policy which was a fallout of the economic reform programme initiated by Obasanjo government. Underlying factors like Database for the sale Implementation, Valuation, Guidelines and categorisation, Pilot mortgage system, challenges and lessons, and the Justice Bashir Sambo saga are issues of high importance. The continuation of the restoration of the Abuja Master Plan is the thrust of chapter 11.The Author explained the touching story of Abuja as told by Obasanjo. The pioneers of Abuja, Bolingo Hotel Fiasco,Task Force and enforcement efforts which consumed about 24,245 buildings, shanties illegal market structures, corner shops and neighborhood centres. The author surmounted a diplomatic pressure from the French Embassy on school plot and the eventual demolition of Dr. Ahmadu Ali’s mansion and others in the process of restoring Abuja Master Plan. Chapter 12 deals with the infrastructural development needs of Abuja. The knotty issue of resettlement of original inhabitants of Abuja, which is still raging till date. Author’s attempt in creating Abuja Technology Village, Abuja Transportation Plan (leading to a mass transit Red, Green and yellow buses), a prosperous human capital development with the creation of a better life for all and the development of satellite town. The author in his simplicity never used sirens or motor cycle outriders, obeying traffic lights (like our own Gov. Fashola), discouraged convoy movement and did not al-

locate plots of land to ghost companies, friends and family but allocated a plot to his wife! Chapter 13 is author’s involvement in public service reforms within economic reform programme – the National Economic Empowerement and Development Strategy (NEEDS), with the ministry of the FCT serving as the guinea pig.The story of Nigeria’s bloated and non-performing public service is known to all, author’s insight on the issue of ghost workers is apt here. He also narrated all efforts geared towards reforming public service in Nigeria which were thwarted by corruption and inefficiency with majority of those already out of the system finding their ways back into the system, enjoying both pension and new salary scale! Chapter Fourteen is devoted to the story of third term gambit; this is an issue that we will never erase from our political history despite denials from its main initiator and beneficiary – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Author delves into intrigues, behind the scene and who does what for and against third term bid. How he turned into an emissary to engage former presidents, the story of the huge financial crest built, with each House member pocketing N50million and each senator N75million, all coming from Senator Andy Uba’s house. In this covert battle, the author was accused of coup-plotting for his suggestion that the third term constitutional amendment will collapse. Chapter 15 is devoted to the aftermath of the failure of third term bid by Obasanjo and anointing a successor. Relationship of the author and Obasanjo’s successor Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in one hand, and Umaru Yar’Adua and Nuhu Ribadu who really did not support him in the beginning was given prominence. The beginning of degeneration of relationships on the advent of a new government with the author, leading to smear campaign, senate probe and eventu-

S V A IL How fate U

changes

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WANBEE (one good turn deserve another) is a life story which tells the saying “table can turn, a rich man can become poor and so a poor man can become rich”. Bayo, who is a landlord lived together with his tenants in his house. To Bayo, the tenants are ‘low life people’ and this made him very arrogant. He made living in the house uncomfortable to the tenant. Also is one of Mr Bayo tenant called miss Lagos because of money and been selfish, she made her sister Ayo got married to one of her sister tenant Eze which his very wealthy and lived in the same compound and got married to him because her sister did as if she those not know her because she did not have money on her and that she those not want to see her, this made Ayo got married to him and her sister miss Lagos is jealous of her going out with Eze because she as once dated him but because she uses herself anyhow like a prostitute, all the men who comes her way do not want her. The level of unemployment is very low and because of this so many graduate indulge their selves in dirty jobs like the ladies who engage their selves in prostitution, like this story OWANBEE so many ladies are into prostitution and the hotel they are in this story is called OWANBEE HOTEL because of lack of unemployment, and by so doing they can contact diseases like HIV/ AIDS, which so many of us know is a deadly disease, therefore, the government should find a solution to this problem in the country, so that many graduate can be employed in other for them to avoid dirty jobs . It high time the government fined a solution to this problem before it gets out of hand, so that graduate will get good job and not engaging in dirty jobs.

ally being forced into exile makes a good reading. Chapter 16 is about the author’s activities while on exile, he originally went studying but could not return due to the intense investigation of his activities by security agencies. The author led us into the story of generosity whilst in public office, and the opposite of same when one left, he admonished everyone to be wary of friends you meet while in public office, it might after all be a deception. How he receives between 200 to 300 phone calls a day as a minister but receives less than a dozen day after becoming a private citizen. His battle with the government of Late president Umaru Yar’Adua, accusation and counter attack, at a time leading to the non-renewal of his passport which eventually caused a faux pass for the government

BOOK REVIEW

Title: Owanbee Author: Chukwunyere S. D. Chukwu Reviewer: Runsewe Latifat Publishers: Noblediv Nig. Ltd Pagination: 149

Nevertheless the stubborn tenant was thought a lesson by his tenant Eze and Atima by taking him to a journey he never planned for (prison) for three years which the tenant was collecting the house rent, by the time he was back he made it known to people that we should treat tenant with respect and dignity. Owanbee is a must read for all, it entails all about everyday life and it challenges. The future is unpredictable as we can only know what happens in the present.

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Ki-moon: Emulate Gandhi, Luther-King, others

HE world needs non-violent leaders, the United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral, Ban Ki-moon, has said. As the world explores non-violent ways of resolving disputes, Ki-moon urged leaders to emulate champions non-violence such as the late sage, Mahatma Gandhi and the late Martin Luther-king. The legacies of the late Gandhi, came under the spotlight during the commemoration of this year’s edition of International Day of Non-Violence. Ki-moon described the legacies of Gandhi as “resonates”, saying he inspired many other history-makers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Václav Havel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Nelson Mandela. Their examples, according to him, should motivate others to champion peace and equality. He calls for peace in conflict resolution, saying “Violence can be contagious, but so can peaceful dialogue”. He said: “Today we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence. Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred. His example has inspired many other history-makers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Václav Havel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Nelson Mandela. Their message to each of us is to champion human dignity, reject intolerance and work for a world where people of all cultures and beliefs live together on the basis of respect and equality.

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of the day.Chapter 17 is the culmination of the five years of Invaluable experience of the author; these are the years marking the exit of the author from public service after an approximately ten years of service. Sharing his regrets, constant struggle to remain focused in the midst of several conflicting emotions, painful smear campaigns, senate hearings on his administration of the FCT, completion of his LL.B in London and of Harvard Kenney School, and let-downs by family members and once-reliable allies. The author took us through his deep involvement in politics, formation of political group, discussion with opposition parties to save Nigeria, involvement in activism through the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) led by the fiery Lagos Pastor Tunde Bakare, the late Umaru Yar’Adua consideration of successor and his illness; the return of the author to Nigeria, the PDP Reform Forum and its aftermath, former president Obasanjo’s interesting move and Wild Goose chase, the 2011 general elections and the involvement of the author, author’s arrest and rescued by social media platforms, and the unfortunate and painful death of his first child/daughter, Yasmin El-Rufai, in London and her burial in Abuja (may God continue to give her peace). This chapter is more illuminating and down to earth of the activities of the author in last five years prior to 2011 general elections. This book, despite minor errors, is wellresearched and balanced. The prose is easy to follow and understand; it reads like a thriller. The typeface, font-size, book planning and arrangement are reader friendly and can easily be followed. I commend the author for this massive volume and more importantly for standing by his decisions whilst in office, though some of such decisions (like allocating a plot of land to his wife, payment of an NYSC member in dollars and Oby Ezekwisili’s $40,000 student loan payment and preference for an Abuja land) might be deemed wrong. It is my belief that our society will benefit more with more memoirs from erstwhile public office holders. I therefore recommend this thought-provoking book to all Nigerians and indeed I want to call on Nigerians to show more interest in politics and governance of our dear but abused country.

By Evelyn Osagie

“Non-violence is neither inert nor passive. It takes courage to stand up to those who use violence to enforce their will or beliefs. It requires resolve to stand against injustice, discrimination and brutality and to demand respect for diversity and fundamental human rights. It also requires courage to move from conflict and embrace peaceful negotiation. Non-violence needs leaders – across nations and in communities and homes – backed by an army of brave people prepared to demand peace, freedom and fairness.” As the UN sues for peaceful resolution of disputes and the end to all forms of violence, whether state-sponsored or imbedded in culture and practice, such as the violence and intimidation women and girls endure in all regions, he said, the onus is on everyone to end such violence in homes, schools and workplaces. “The United Nations is also focused on ending poverty in a generation. Poverty is a fertile ground for violence and crime; it is inherently violent to the needs and aspirations of the world’s most vulnerable people. That is why we place such emphasis in fulfilling the promise of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and setting a new development agenda with poverty at its core and sustainable development as its guide. As populations grow and pressures on the planet increase, we need also to be aware of the violence we inflict on the natural world.

ANA calls for report submission

S the yearly Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) convention draws nearer, its National Executive has called on the beneficiaries of the Yusuf Ali Reading Campaign Funds to submit their reports. The report, according to a statement by ANA President, Prof Remi Raji, should contain the

nature of their activities, indicating the schools involved in the Outreach, the specific outcomes as well as the challenges, photos, videos and other media exposures. “All activities are expected to end by October 25. All reports should be sent October 31, for appropriate coordination, before the Convention in Akure,”


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E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Top comedians for Glo laftafest

WO of America’s hottest comedians, Tony Roberts and Deeray Davis, will team up with Africa’s hottest comedians, including the continent’s number one rib-tickler, Ndumiso Lindi of South Africa, Uganda’s Salvado and A-list Nigerian comedians to give Nigerians a comic treat of a life-time at the Glo mega Laftafest shows holding in Lagos and Abuja in October. Tagged Invasion LOL, this season’s Glo Laftafest has been rated as Nigeria’s greatest comedy shows of the year. Other top-rated comedians slated to perform at the shows to be hosted by Basketmouth include Ali Baba, Bovi, Okey Bakassi, Akparoro, I Go Dye, Klint de Drunk, Buchi, Gordons, Funny Bone, Bash, Emeka Smith, Julius Agwu, Sim Card. The comedy sessions will be spiced with the best of Nigerian music with first-class acts such as PSquare, Lagbaja, Flavour, Wande Coal, MI, Omawunmi, Burna Boy, Naeto C, Waje, Lynzz and Chee lined up to entertain guests at different intervals during the shows. The tour will start with the two mega shows

TRIBUTE in Lagos and Abuja at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre on October 19 and the Thisday Dome on October 25. Other shows will be held at the Rochas Convention Centre, Owerri on November 3, Aztech Arcum Centre, Port Harcourt on November 10, Best Western Hotel, Benin City on November 17, Golden Royale Hotel, Enugu on November 24 and Nkweagu Ugbala Convention Centre, Abakaliki on December 1. Uyo, Asaba and Ibadan will host the shows respectively on December 8 at Amazing Grace Centre, on December 15 at Orchid Hotel Hall and on December 22 at Caso Lucio. In a statement, Globacom said it scaled up this year’s Laftafest in order to spice the company’s 10th anniversary celebrations. “For us in Globacom, there is no limit to the extent we can go to delight our numerous subscribers. They have kept faith with us over the years. We appreciate their loyalty, and want to reassure them that we will continue to delight them with our innova-

•Lindi tive products and services while also supporting their passion”, the statement signed by the company’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mohamed Jameel, said. According to Globacom, the shows are aimed at the company’s loyal subscribers who only need to recharge their phones with N1, 000 and text LOL Lagos or any other host city to a short code 33001. Talented and award winning Tony Roberts

Minister reiterates govt’s commitment to tourism

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HE supervising Minister of Environment, Dickson Ishaku, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment towards boosting Nigeria’s biodiversity and eco-tourism. Addressing officers and men of the National Parks Service during his visit to its headquarters in Abuja, Ishaku said in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, natural resource conservation would continue to take the front burner as a panacea for combating environmental problems. He emphasised the closeness between biodiversity conservation and a safe earth affected by global warming. The Minister noted that the role of a National Park Service in nation building. He said: “The administration of Alhaji Haruna Tanko Abubakar as the Conservator-General of the National Park Service has, undoubtedly, brought to bear

his intimidating profile as a thoroughbred conservationist with a wealth of knowledge, skill and experience in Protected Area Management. National Parks play fundamental roles that are both tangible and intangible in the socio-economic life of countries, including Nigeria. “Their existence and effective management are part of government’s valid response to mitigating the scourge of environmental problems that are bedevilling the world, such as deforestation, resources depletion, and species loss among others.” He also restated President Jonathan’s commitment to the classification of national parks into para-military service in order to enhance protection and conservation of Nigeria’s national

Anambra book festival opens

ANA Bayelsa unveils plan

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HAIRMAN, Bayelsa State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Emmanuel Frank-Opigo, has said the association will draw up a two-year plan of action showing activities that will run from the last quarter of the year till 2015. He said the plan is a roadmap to make the chapter vibrant, adding that he has also lined up hosts for the Monthly Reading Sessions. He spoke at the chapter’s Monthly Reading Session, hosted by Chief Benson Oweizala at the Old Commissioners Quarters, Opolo-Yenagoa. According to events, there will be a general meeting and Monthly Reading Session on October 12 and 19. The association will hold its executive committee meeting on November 2 as a prelude to the ANA National Convention, holding from November 7 to11 in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while the Monthly Reading Session will hold on November, 23. The September Monthly Reading Session featured literary quiz anchored by Emmanuel Frank-Opigo, readings from works by Chief Christian Otobotekere, Dr. Helen Frank-Opigo, Okutuate Benson-

parks and the environment in general, tasked the entire staff to show greater creativity, innovation, total commitment and dedication to their jobs, in order to mover the country forward. Abubakar told the minister that there are seven national parks in the country. They include Kainji Lake (Kwara/Niger states), Chad Basin (Borno), (Yobe State), Gashaka (Adamawa/ Taraba (State), Old Oyo (Oyo State), Kamuku (Kaduna State), Cross River (Cross River State), and Okomu (Edo State), he said. The Minister, who on arrival inspected a parade of guard of honour, mounted by a detachment of rangers from the Old Oyo National Park, also planted a tree at the Arboretum (place where plants are grown for scientific studies) to commemorate the visit.

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•Frank-Opigo

Ayah, and Ogbowei Ebinyo among others; while the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, delivered a talk on, Comic relief as a dramatic tool.

HE second Anambra Book and Creativity Festival will open on November 5 at the Women Development Centre, Awka. Its theme Reinvigorating the literary, Creative and cultural enterprises in the realities of the millennial turn. It will feature symposium that will address Books and the Creative Enterprise as Antidote to Neocolonisation and Underdevelopment with sub themes on art, craft and the creative Economy, artists and writers as conscience of society, artists, writers and Craftspeople as Vanguard of Heritage and Development, Books and Art as Survivors of Mankind, Reading Culture and the Book Industry in Nigeria, Intellectual Desertification and the postcolonial condition in Nigeria, The role of education in heritage preservation, artists, museums, and the heritage crisis in Africa, craft as econoart: Some examples from Africa, problems and prospects of cultural entrepreneurship in Africa and The artist and the intellectual property law in Africa. Other subthemes are Art, Culture and Politics In Africa, Unbeaten Parts in the Field of Cultural Production in Africa, AU, ECOWAS and the Creative Enterprise in Africa. Participants expected at the festival that will run till November 9 include artists, craftspeople, writers, art critics, cultural entrepreneurs, publishers, lawyers, and museum specialists.

first stepped onto the stage at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, Michigan,United States. After Performing on BET’s comic view, an impressed fan gave him a gold chain with a microphone on it. He has appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, BET’s ComicView, and It’s Showtime at the Apollo. In February 2006, Roberts was picked to participate in the HBOUS Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Roberts has performed his stand-up all over the world and was the recipient of the BET Robin Harris Award for Most Original Comic. On his part, DeRay, also of the United States, won the Comedy Central Laugh Riots Competition and was the biggest hit on the Cedric the Entertainer Tour. Best known for his role as Ray-Ray the Hustle Guy in Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Davis has also appeared in other films, including Semi-Pro and 21 Jump Street. Davis’ television roles and appearances have included programs such as Reno 911,BET’s ComicView, MTV’s Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out and ‘Short Circuitz, and HBO’s Entourage. Ndumiso Lindi came into limelight in South Africa when he won the amateur category in the Red Bull Comedy All Stars Comedy Challenge. He has toured South Africa performing at the Barnyard Theatre Festival in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg and has shared the stage with local comedy stalwarts like Kurt Schoonraad, Mel Miller, Riaad Moosa, Dave Levinsohn, Cokey Falkow and David Kau.

DSFN awareness week begins

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By Udemma Chukwuma

S the world begins the commemoration of the Down Syndrome Awareness Week, Nigeria will not be left out in the celebrations. With the theme: I have a voice, the DSFN will be spearheading activities commemorating the day. The Week is part of a global event supported by all Down syndrome groups worldwide. The week began last Saturday and will end on Sunday. DSFN National President, Mrs. Rose Mordi, said the group will mark the week with lots of educative and entertaining events. “We use this to focus our effort on advocacy, awareness creation, education and enlightenment in the society about people with Down syndrome and all that needs to be known about the condition. The week will witness activities such as Charity Walk, Down Syndrome Seminar, Gala Night and to end the awareness week; Charity five- aSide Football and Family Fun-Fair will take place on October 13, at UBA Sport Complex, Surulere, Lagos,” she said. She added: “Our organisation has come a long way in the last 12 years in being mainly in taking care of people with Down syndrome so that they can live independent quality lives and creating awareness on the condition in the country and beyond, but we must say that our efforts have not had impact on the society,” she explained. She added that people living with Down in Nigeria continue to face various challenges such as inclusion and integration; including stigmatisation, discrimination and rejection. “As a foundation that advocate for people with Down and persons with learning disability, we think that it is time this trend is revered and let us begin to learn to get it right. In the light of this new resolve the foundation is coming out to say people with Down syndrome have a voice and they want to be heard; they have the rights and wants to exercise them and they have talents that they are craving to show and impact positively to the economy of this great nation.” The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Dr. Babatunde Awenleje, said: “We are interested in the social model of disability, though Down syndrome is not a disability but the problem faced by people living with disability, the attitude of people in the environment toward them needs to be modify and all the attitudinal barriers such as discrimination and stigmatisation should be eliminated to the less minimum so that people living with disability such as Down syndrome will be able to live and have confidence in themselves. What this children need is empathy not sympathy.”


The Nation Oct 9, 2013