Issuu on Google+

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Police arrest ‘killers’ of businessman

NJC: President can’t decide Salami’s fate

•Council states its stand in court

NEWS

Page 10

NEWS

•Woman lures key suspect to Lagos

Page 2

www.thenationonlineng.net

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

VOL. 7, NO. 2267 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

•THE BR OOM REV OL UTION: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders addressing a sea of supporters in Ikare...yesterday. BROOM REVOL OLUTION:

ACN to Mimiko: pack and go

T

HE governorship campaign train of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) rumbled into Akoko North Senatorial District, yesterday. It was electrifying, with the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, enjoining the people to vote out the ruling Labour Party (LP) governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

The election is October 20. The former Lagos State governor said it was curious that Mimiko, who opposed former Governors Adebayo Adefarati’s and Olusegun Agagun’s second term ambitions, was demanding for a second term. Besides, Tinubu stressed that Mimiko’s aspiration

PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Jonathan under attack over anti-corruption claim

lacked justification because he has not performed creditably in the last three and half years. Beaming a searchlight on his administration, the ACN leader said the governor, who, according to him, failed to deliver on roads, education, health care, water and job creation, lacked the credibility to seek continuity in office. Continued on page 4

N150.00

From Vincent Ikuomola and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

F

EATHERS have been ruffled in the Presidency following the false claim by President Goodluck Jonathan on Nigeria’s corruption rating in his Independence Day broadcast. The President, relying on a purported rating by Transparency International (TI) – a worldwide corruption watchdog – said Nigeria is “the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption”, after the United States.

•Dr. Jonathan

Continued on page 2

Gunmen kill 43 students 40 dead in Adamawa, three in Maiduguri

T

HE drums may have been silent on Independence Day. Not so the guns of yet unknown assailants who stormed Mubi, Adamawa State’s second major town, on Monday. No fewer than 40 students were killed by the gunmen who unleashed a storm of bullets on a community

By Barnabas Manyan, Yola and Wale Ajetunmobi

where students live. But the police said 25 people died. There are three higher institutions of learning in the town – the Adamwa State University, the Federal Polytechnic and the School of Health Technology.

SOME OF THE VICTIMS •Chimonbi Festus (Civil Eng HNDI) •Lucky Emmanuel (ND II) •Ishaku Ibrahim (ND II Mass Comm) •Ayo (surname unavailable) ND I Elect Eng •Emmanuel (surname unavailable) HNDI Elect Eng.

Three students of the University of Maiduguri were killed also on Monday.

Security chiefs move to Mubi The three were murdered by unknown assailants in their apartments at 202 Housing Estate. Residents of the estate said the assailants sneaked into the area and killed two of the students - a woman and a man. The third was said to have escaped through the back door but was shot.

“He died in the hospital. He was a friend from southern Borno but his father is in Abuja,” one of his colleagues who identified himself as Ezekiel, said. The bodies of two of the slain students were discovered at an isolated area near the Maiduguri Water TreatContinued on page 2

•BUDGET: REPS PROPOSE $82 BENCHMARK P53 •OYO RECALLS 1,499 WORKERS P53


2

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

NEWS Jonathan under attack Continued from page 1

•Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, (third left), Deputy Governor Tunde Lemo (second right) and others when the CBN delegation visited the Lagos home of the late Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Lateef Adegbite, who passed on last weekend...yesterday

NJC: President can’t decide Salami’s fate

T

HE National Judicial Council (NJC) has opposed the retention of Justice Dalhatu Adamu as the President of the Court of Appeal. This is contained in the council’s reaction to a suit by 11 plaintiffs suing for themselves and on behalf of the Registered Trustees of the Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration. The plaintiffs are Mr. Jitobo Akanike, Idris Musa, Allens Agbaka, Ibrahim Bawa, Princewill Akpakpan, Obruche Ayeteni, Nosa Ihaza, Timothy Odumosu, Stewart Salomi, Egogo Lawrence and Maxwell Adeniran. They are before the Federal High Court, Abuja, challenging the refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. The NJC agreed with the Plaintiffs that President Jonathan has no power or role under the 1999 Constitution or any other law to recall or reinstate Justice Salami or any other Justice of the Appellate Court. The Council insisted that the power to recall Justice Sal-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ami solely and exclusively belongs to it without any recourse to the direction or authority of any other person, including the President, outside the council. Its counsel, Mr. Usman Isah, posited that the extension of Justice Dalhatu Adamu’s appointment as the Acting PCA is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void by virtue of section 238(5) of the 1999 Constitution. The section states: “Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council , an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect, after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the president shall not reappoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.” The NJC argued that Justice Adamu cannot be re-appointed by President Jonathan after the expiration of his three months in office without its recommendation. Justice Adamu Bello has, however, ordered parties in the suit to file and exchange their written addresses and

fixed December 4 for adoption. In the suit against Jonathan and the NJC, the Plaintiffs, who are human rights activists, are seeking an order of mandamus to compel them to recall Justice Salami from his suspension. Justice Bello had at the last sitting, ordered the service of the court’s process on Jonathan through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke (SAN). The Judge granted the order, following an exparte motion filed by the 11 plaintiffs. The motion was brought pursuant to Sections 153 and 21 of the third schedule of the Constitution as amended Order 4 Rule 2 and Order 6 Rules 5(b) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court. The court also granted an order for the Plaintiffs to sue in representative capacity. The plaintiffs are contending that Jonathan has breached the Constitution for disregarding the NJC’s rec-

•Justice Salami

ommendation. They are urging the court to declare the extension of Justice Adamau’s tenure as the Acting PCA as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void. The Defendants are Jonathan, Adoke, NJC, Justice Salami and Justice Adamu. In the Originating Summons, the Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that: the NJC is the only body that can discipline Court of Appeal Justices and/or the president of the Court of Appeal; and a declaration that *the refusal of the third defendant to imContinued on page 58

The President’s claim has been denied by TI through an e-mail it sent to Premium Times, an online news portal. “Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption,” the email said. Embarrassed by the denial, an immediate marching order was issued for an investigation into the sources of the report by the President. Close presidential aides who made input to the President’s speech, it was learnt, met to review the sources of the claim, which was reportedly quoted from BusinessDay report on September 12. Opposition parties yesterday chided the President for the goof. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) asks the President to apologise to Nigerians for misleading them. The ANPP said the President’s statement was “manufactured to boost the administration’s ego.” The Federal Ministry of information blamed BusinessDay for misleading the President. A memo on its website by Reno Omokri, Dr. Jonathan’s Special Assistant on New Media, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to reports from some opposition - leaning media houses alleging that Mr. President made some false claims about Nigeria’s standing in this year’s Transparency International anti corruption rating. “As is the practice worldwide, we accept the premise that whatever is published in the media and goes unchallenged is the truth. On this issue, the media published their synopsis of the most recent Transparency International report and BusinessDay, a wellrespected newspaper with a bias for business reporting in a headline on the 12th of September 2012 with the title ‘FG’s anti-corruption initiative impacts Nigeria’s global perception’ said: “The survey on global corruption perceptions for 2011 versus 2001 showed that the third best improvement in the world was in Nigeria, with its score improving by 1.5

points”. The above quoted comments were relied upon in coming to the conclusion that Mr. President honestly came to in good faith. To this day, Transparency International has not disputed the findings of BusinessDay. For a section of the opposition to now cast aspersions on the integrity of the President when he relied on notorious facts (anything published in the press and which remains unchallenged is a notorious fact) is proof positive of the now obvious fact that they lack ideas on how to move Nigeria forward and would rather snipe at efforts of the President to move the nation forward for which any patriot would do. In conclusion, the President acted in good faith and his statement was based on notorious facts and are evidenced by recent breakthroughs in fighting corruption in the oil industry where subsidy fraud suspects are already facing trial as well as in the agricultural sector where decades old corrupt practices in the fertilizer distribution network have been eradicated via the voucher system which cuts off the middle man.” Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said yesterday. “The President’s message is that this administration is tackling corruption. The revelations from the pension scam and the fuel subsidy scam as well as the sanitation of activities at the ports all came to be because the President sanctioned them. People should focus on the message; namely that a lot of progress has been made and is still being made to tackle corruption in the system. There are lots of people outside there who mislead Nigerians that nothing is being done. These people tackle individuals. What the President did was that he fired hope and promised his rededication to the service of the nation. There are those who are looking for a way to water down the message.” In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said: “In the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, which meaContinued on page 58

National Day massacre: Gunmen kill 43 students

Continued from page 1

ment Plant. The killing of the students has heightened tension among parents and residents. However, the University of Maiduguri said it cannot comment on the incident for now. “I’m sorry, we can’t comment on the incident now,” Chief Information Officer of the institution, Ahmed Tanko Mohammed said. Wuro Fatuje, a suburb of Mubi where off campus students stay, was attacked by the gunmen at about 10pm, according to sources. The curfew in the town, which had been in place since the security swoop last month, was slightly relaxed on Monday because of the 52nd Independence anniversary events. Mubi is the town where 13 Igbo traders were killed during a village meeting in January. Most of them hailed from Anambra State. The Boko Haram sect has also been operating almost unchallenged in the town where people have been killed and GSM equipment destroyed.

Mubi: The beleaguered Adamawa town MUBI is the second city in Adamawa State, in the Northeast geo-political zone. It is a town on Nigeria’s border with Cameroun. It is also the major commercial town in the state. Because of its proximity to the border Last month, after a swoop by security men, two bomb factories were destroyed. Not less than 300 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and 25 assorted brands riffles were recovered. Boko Haram Kingpin – Abubakar Yola (a.k.a. Abu Jihad) was killed during the ‘Operation Restore Sanity’. The casualty figure in Monday’s bloodshed was unclear. “I counted about 16 bodies being evacuated after the shooting and I cannot really say whether all of them were dead or not,” a resident, who pleaded for anonymity, said. Another said he counted over 20 bodies, pointing out that both students of the polytechnic and those of the nearby School of Health Technology

and the three higher institutions there – Adamawa State University, a Federal Polytechnic and a School of Health – there is a large presence of Southerners in the town. But of recent, it has become a hotbed of Boko Haram-inspired violence.

were tenants in a hostel that was attacked. The facility houses over 50 students. Adamawa Police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim confirmed that 25 people were killed, 19 of them students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the embattled town of Mubi had been under curfew since the past 10 days, following series of killings and destruction of communication masts. The 24-hour curfew was relaxed to 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days ago by the State Government, following some arrests and recovery of explosives in the house-to-house search in the commercial border town. The president of the Federal

A former of governor of the state Boni Haruna, Senator Jubrilla Bindo, a former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello Univeristy Prof. Iya Abubakar and a former Military Administrator Mohammed Mana, are among the prominent people who hail from the town.

Polytechnic, Mubi Students Union, Elias Pwanidi, told our correspondent on the telephone, that six bodies, of the 34 that he claimed were killed, had been identified at the Mubi General Hospital Mortuary. He said the majority of those killed were students of the institution who were preparing for the start of second semester examination yesterday. He listed some of the dead as including: Chimonbi Festus (Civil Engineering HNDI) the PRO of the students union and Lucky Emmanuel (ND II) the outgoing president of the Mass Communication Students Union. Others are: Ishaku Ibrahim (ND II Mass Communication), Ayo (surname unavailable) ND

I Electrical Engineering and Emmanuel (surname unavailable) HNDI Electrical Engineering. The Nation could not confirm the names last night as the school’s authorities could not be reached. Many injured - some critically - in the attacks which lasted more that one hour are on admission at the Mubi General Hospital. The shootings kept the city residents awake all night. A source said 40 bodies were deposited at the Mubi General Hospital, adding that as at yesterday morning, more bodies were still being recovered from the scene of the attack. The incident came barely a week after the Joint Military

Task Force recorded a major breakthrough arresting over 156 suspected terrorists and discovering a local bomb manufacturing factory as well as a cache of arms and ammunition. The Brigade Commander of 23 Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier General John Nwoaga, Commissioner of Police Goeffrey Okereke, Director of State Security Service (SSS) and Continued on page 58

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


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

3


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

4

NEWS ONDO 2012

ACN to Mimiko: pack and go •Continued from page 1 He said: “If you spend three years to build one hospital, you will spend 15 years to build three. Which market is he building? That is the domain of my mother in Lagos.” Alluding to the significance of the October 20 governorship poll, Tinubu said it is critical to the Southwest’s economic integration, adding that Ondo State should not be left out in the march of regional progress. At the rally, the ACN leader also warned the police to desist from molesting ACN leaders in the state ahead of the election to prevent violent reaction by the people. He said it was wrong for the police, which is funded by the public purse, to become tools of oppression in the hand of any governor. The governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), reiterated his commitment to women and youth development, promising to redeem his promise to create 30,000 jobs for youths, if voted into office. The ACN flag bearer, who said Mimiko must reap what he sowed, objected to the governor’s second ambition on the ground that he has remained a consistent advocate of one term for any governor. Tinubu, who flew into Ikare in a chopper, stormed the rally around 2 pm, waving the broom, the symbol of the ACN - at the crowd. He was accompanied by the party’s National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba. Towards the end of the rally, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi joined the party leaders on the podium. Akeredolu was accompanied by his wife, Mercy, his running mate, Dr. Paul Akintelure, Director of Akeredolu Campaign Organisation Chief Tayo Alasoadura, Ifedayo Abegunde, and other members of the campaign team. Highlights of the rally included the presentation of the flag to the candidate by Chief Akande, who enjoined the people to endorse Akeredolu at the poll - in public interest. Presenting the flag, the national chairman said: “I thank you all for your love and patience. I am giving the flag to the next governor of the state. I will return to thank you after the election.” Thousands of party faithful from far and near thronged the Ikare Cenotaph, the venue of the mega rally, cheering Akeredolu and numerous ACN leaders who turned up in solidarity with him. They defiled the downpour, which heralded the carnival-like ceremony that lasted for over seven hours. It was reminiscent of the First and Second Republics when the campaign train of the legendary Obafemi Awolowo hit Akokoland. Brooms filled the air amid the rain, with the sea of party sup-

porters shunning the umbrella, the symbol of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Party followers came from Oka, Oba, Irun, Ikaramu, Akunnun, Epinmin, Iwaro, Ugbe, Ibaramu, Akungba, Supare, Ajowa, Arigidi, Okegbe, Ogbagi, Eti-Oro, Ikun, Ayegunle, Isua, Ipesi, Ifira and Owo. They were locked in the unity of purpose. Ace musicians Wasiu Ayinde and Buga, foremost Ewi exponent Olayiwola Arowolo Elaloro, renowned actor Fadeyi Oloro, and the Owo Cultural Troupe were thrill the crowd with music and wisecracks. In a symbolic manner, some party members mobilised a motor saw machine to hew down “the Iroko”, the tree from which the governor borrowed his nickname. Although policemen and other security agents were around to ensure security, there was no display of unruly behaviour by the multitude. The Southwest leader of the party, Senator James Kolawole, led a pack of ACN leaders in the zone. With him were the chairman of the party from Osun State, Mr. Biyi Adelowo, his Lagos, Ondo and Oyo counterparts - Otunba Dele Ajomale, Chief Akin Adesoji and Chief Akin Oke; Lagos State Vice Chairman Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Senator Titus Olupitan, Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus, Southwest Publicity Secretary Ayo Afolabi, Youth Leader Abdullahi Enilolobo, Secretary to Osun State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye, and Mr. Toba Oke, chairman of IfakoIjaye Local Government, Lagos. Also at the rally were Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, Dr. Jayeola Ajatta, Prince Olu Adegboro, Ganiyu Abayomi, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Ondo State, Prince Diran Iyantan, former state legislator Jaja Tayo Abidakun, South District leader Mr. Wale Akintimehin, Comrade Sola iji, Igbede Adeolu, Gboyega Adedipe, Mr. Ranti Oyebade, Banji Ajiloge, Olayato Aribo, Akinsehinwa Apata, Women Leader Modupe Johnson, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Ojo Akingba, Prof. Agboola Ogunlowo, Sam Omojuwa, Saka Yusuf, Wole Elaye, Dele Ogunsakin, Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin, Chief Ajibola Adebayo, Idowu Otetubi, Olakunle Eko, Enas mohammed, Toyin Ajinde, Dr. Segun Akinwale, Chief Ademola Adetula, Kunle Eko Davies, Adebambo Odoro, Mr. Femi Adekanmbi, Basorun Wale Oyewole and Timehin Adelegbe. Tinubu, who thanked the party followers for the huge turnout, asked: Who is your governor? The crowd roared: “Akeredolu!”. He also asked: “Which party would you vote for on October 20? The people chorused: “CAN!”. The party leader asked the electorate to reject Mimiko at the poll, saying that he is an

•Asiwaju Tinubu (second right) addressing the rally…yesterday. With him are Aremo Osoba (left), Chief Akande, Akeredolu, his wife, Betty, Aregbesola and Akeredolu’s running mate, Dr. Akintelure (right).

•ACN supporters standing on the fence to catch the action...yesterday

ingrate. He said ACN will provide the amenities the LP government has denied the people, including good roads, free education, potable water, good hospitals and jobs for youths. Tinubu said: “Today, you have seen our candidate. Somebody calls himself Rahman Olusegun Mimiko. The judgment of God has come. The next election will be an exercise of success and reward for you. It is a vote that will liberate Yorubaland. Iroko wants to be in the forest alone. Use your broom to chase them away. Chase away hunger, poverty, unemployment, penury, disease, water shortage, lack of drugs.” The ACN leader justified his description of Mimiko as an ingrate unworthy of more political favours, saying that he had betrayed the trust of the progressive bloc in the Southwest. He recalled: “Four years ago, Iroko came to me, weeping. He came along with two of my brothers, complaining that he was being cheated and that we should help him. We had looked at the PDP and we were displeased. PDP had just stolen our votes in the Southwest. We began the war. The warrior, Aregbesola, was fighting. We fought in Edo, Ibadan, Abeokuta. I am reporting this to you so that you

can judge Mimiko with your votes. “I took him as my brother. I gave him money and all logistics. The radio station that has become his enemy today was used to help him. It belongs to us. We went to Europe to look for help for him. It was not free. We spent pound sterling. Mathew chapter six, verse seven says ‘don’t give what is holy to the dog or swine because they will cast their spoilt on it. We have given what is holy to Mimiko and he has cast his spoilt on it. The Book of Psalms, chapter 17, verse 13 says, ‘if you reward goodness with evil, evil will not depart from your house’. When he could not enter town freely, we gave him bullet proof car. Judge him by your votes.” Tinubu, who explained that Mimiko’s continuation in office meant a setback to the integration agenda, added: “Mimiko wants to isolate Ondo State from Yoruba states and Afenifere mainstream. We do free education and relieve people of WAEC fees. Look at what is happening in Lagos. Ondo State collects more federal allocation than Lagos. I sympathise with Akokoland. You are enduring bad roads, lack of medical care. Where is water? For three years, he has been feeding himself and his family

with state money. “I don’t have a single vote in Ondo. Chiefs Osoba and Akande have no vote here. Akeredolu has a vote. We are struggling because of the masses. If you cooperate with Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Edo, and Ekiti, we will have a refinery. It will produce thousands of jobs. Railway will come. If LASTMA, LAWMA, Highway Managers are set up here, there will be jobs. Why can’t Ondo enjoy micro water works? “He said one term only and fought Adefarati and Agagu over one term. Now, he wants a second term. He will do his second term in prison. Don’t be afraid. If it is difficult to remove the ring of power from his finger, the finger will be cut off.” Tinubu praised the police for maintaining security at the rally. But he urged them to be non-partisan in Ondo politics. He said: “Police, be careful. Stop being partisan. Some of you are good. I will not denigrate you. If you frame up our members and arrest them, there will be problem. The people of Nigeria pay you salary. If there is action, there will be reaction. If you intimidate us, we will react. So, we will not allow you to intimidate our members and arrest them without justification.”

The ACN leader advised the people to shun violence as members of a great party that would soon take over from the ruins of the Labour Party government. He said Akeredolu is a man of great character, intelligence and capability, adding that he had served society as a talented, reliable and dependable professional. Inubu praised the party patriots who stepped down for him, including Prof. Boroffice, the Asiwaju of Akokoland, Segun Abraham, Ajatta, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Mrs. Anifowose, Akinsehinwa Apata and Alasoadura. He said the ACN government will set up a skill development programme in Ondo State, adding that Akeredolu will give fish and, at the same time, teach the people how to fish. To the prospective voters, the former Lagos State governor said: “Don’t be afraid. They will not intimidate you. It is a loser who will resort to violence, oppress, repress and use police to intimidate. Don’t leave the polling station. Nobody has the right to chase you out. Don’t use the hand you use to thumbprint to put the ballot paper into the box, otherwise, it will be void. Vote and defend your vote.” Aregbesola sang a song mocking those who invoked


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

5

NEWS ONDO 2012 Boroffice: Akeredolu is next governor From Damisi Ojo, Akure

T

•Former House of Representatives member, Jayeola Ajata (left), Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Lagos State ACN Chairman, Henry Ajomale, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Lagos West ACN Chair, James Odunmbaku and former Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rotimi Agunsoye…yesterday.

HE senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, has predicted victory for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the October 20 governorship election. The lawmaker, who was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the ACN, said the party would poll the majority votes in Akoko South West Local Government. He spoke at a reception to welcome Ambassador Bayo Yussuf, Chief Goke Ajisafe, the Labour Party (LP) aspirant into the House of Representatives for the Akoko Southwest/Southeast Federal Constituency in last year’s election and four Special Assistants to Governor Olusegun Mimiko who resigned their appointment, Mr. Opeyemi Igbede, Mr. Soji Ojomo, Chris Anota and Mr. Kayode Agunloye into the ACN fold. Boroffice, who was represented by the Vice- President, Akoko Elite Forum, Prince Boye Ologbese, hailed them for joining the ACN. He assured the defectors of a level playing ground. “We need to identify with the ACN because of the Southwest integration. This should be paramount to the Yoruba race and Ondo State can not afford to remain an Island in the Yoruba kingdom. “ACN’s standard bearer, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, has moved round Akoko to identify the problems of the area. He has designed a blueprint to solve them. I can assure you that he will win on October 20.” Ambassador Yussuf thanked the party executives for receiving them into their fold. He said he believes in Senator Boroffice’s style of leadership. Yussuf said he came back to the ACN because he believed in the Southwest integration and the determination of Senator Boroffice to transform Ondo State.

PDP chieftains, supporters defy rain for Oke •Former ACN governorship aspirant, Mr. Sola Iji.

•Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.

•Director-General, Akeredolu Campaign Organisation Mr. Tayo Alasoadura (left) and popular Nollywood actor, Ojo Arowosafe aka Fadeyi Oloro. PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN

Tinubu to police: stop intimidating ACN leaders •Continued from page 1 the rain to disrupt the rally, saying that ACN will not hide from rain or sun in the Sunshine State. For him, it was a homecoming of a sort. Seized by nostalgia, the Osun governor paid tributes to the leaders and people of Ikare, where he grew up as a school boy. Aregbesola said that Ondo State cannot be in antithetical relationship with its progressive kith and kin in the Southwest, adding: “This Iroko will wither away”. He added: “On poll day, wake up early. Let our mothers wake up early. Cook for your household. After that, take your bath and dress well. Prepare to face the electoral marauders. You men, prepare for the electoral duty. After voting, you women can go, but men should wait behind. Give your bloc vote to ACN. Hew the Iroko tree.” Osoba said: “Our party took its root from Awolowo. When ‘Demo Party’ rigged election in 2003, only Lagos survived. We stood as warriors and took back Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Edo. Oshiomhole policed the vote in Edo in 2007 and 2012. He won. By the grace of God, Akeredolu will win massively.” Boroffice thanked the crowd for

‘ACN is ruling Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Edo and Ekiti. Ondo should not be different. We have a chance on October 20’ their resilience, saying: “As you trooped out today, troop out on October 20 to vote ACN. On the ballot paper, you will see ACN and the broom; thumbprint appropriately.” Abayomi said: “I ask you, people of Akoko, do you love Akeredolu? I have discussed with him. He will tackle your problems. Vote for him.” Ajomale spoke on the need for Ondo people to join the progressive bloc by voting out Mimiko. He said: “ACN is ruling Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Edo and Ekiti. Ondo should not be different. We have a chance on October 20.” Echoing him, former Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Agun-

soye said: “Ondo should not be left out of regional economic integration in the Southwest. On October 20, vote and not only that, wait around to police your vote.” Abidakun, an Akure Labour Party (LP) chieftain, who defected to ACN a day before the rally, flayed Mimiko for what he called personalisation of power, adding that he was an ingrate who turned around to bite the finger that fed him. He urged the people of the state to vote ACN to have a political relief. Ajatta said: “You must hack down Iroko. ACN has promised to repair the damage to Akoko by LP government.” Gboyega, son of the late Chief Adefarati, urged the people of Akoko and Owo to maintain their political understanding and unity. He said: “Let us vote for Aketi. Akoko and Owo are the same. When Ajasin wanted to become governor, Akoko supported him. When Adefarati wanted to be governor, Owo supported him. I call on the people of Akoko to vote for Akeredolu.” Abraham said: “Tinubu is the Awo of our time. He loves us in Ondo State and Yorubaland. ACN has promised to develop Akoko. I have that assurance. All ACN leaders love Akoko. That is why Aregbesola came here

to set up a computer centre. ACN will not disappoint us. Our candidate and his running mate are professionals known worldwide. Vote for them.” Akinsehinwa-Apata said: “Akoko will give 100 percent vote to ACN. Akeredolu was part of the success of Iroko, but Iroko is an ingrate. Vote him out” Olayato said: “Ondo State is today outside the progressive bloc. It must return to the fold on October 20”. Akeredolu hailed the courage of Tinubu, saying that he is a great leader. He said great leaders like him are rare, urging Yoruba to always pray for him. He unfolded his agenda, assuring that women and youth development would be one of his priorities. He said he would provide 30,000 jobs for youths. Akeredolu said Mimiko’s second term aspiration is a nullity, adding that an advocate of one term cannot enjoy continuity in office. He stressed; “Mimiko prayed for one term for Adefarati; it was answered. He prayed for one term for Agagu; it was answered. Now, we are praying that he should only spend one term; the prayer will be answered’.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

D

ESPITE the downpour in Akure yesterday that nearly marred the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Chief Olusola Oke’s campaign mega rally, chieftains and supporters of the party defied the rain and trooped out for the event. The politicians, clad in yellow vests and fez caps, chanted Oke’s name and sang political songs in the heavy rain which lasted for about three hours. Some PDP chieftains became prayer warriors at the rally held at the Akure Democracy Park. They sought God’s intervention and asked him to stop the rain. Oke and his running mate, Saka Lawal, who led Vice-President Namadi Sambo, the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and other chieftains to the podium, were moved by the commitment of the chieftains and members who defied the rain and waited for them. The PDP standard bearer in the October 20 poll and his running mate later joined the chieftains and members of the party in the rain for the rally. Sambo hailed the supporters. He said they have shown that the PDP is ready to reclaim the state. The Vice-President said the Ondo people are agitating for a change and want the PDP to reclaim the state. Sambo expressed the commitment of the presidency to a free and fair election, saying the President Goodluck Jonathan administration would provide the machinery that would ensure the One Man, One Vote Philosophy.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

6

NEWS RAGE OF FLOODS

Floods, tears and blood

Several communities across the country are counting their losses to floods. For some, it is simply unquantifiable, especially where lives are involved, report BISI OLANIYI, UGOCHUKWU UGOJI-EKE, CHRIS OJI and NICHOLAS KALU East-West road threatened as Rivers residents count losses IN other climes, there are wet and dry seasons but it is not so in the Niger Delta. The dry season spell experienced between December and March in other parts of the country is alien to residents of the oil-rich region. In Rivers State, the near absence of dry season has made construction, especially road, very difficult in the Southsouth state with a swampy terrain. This year, the devastating effects of the torrential rainfall have been felt by all. At the mercy of the floods is the strategic and ever-busy EastWest Road. The road starts from Oron, in Akwa Ibom State, runs through Ogoniland in Rivers State to Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ogun, terminating in Lagos State. The contracts for the dualisation of the Warri to Port Harcourt stretch of the road were initially awarded to Setraco Construction Company (Warri-Kaiama) and Julius Berger Construction Company (KaiamaPort Harcourt). Prior to the introduction of the amnesty programme in 2009 by the Federal Government for demilitarised Niger Delta youths, Julius Berger officials, mostly expatriates, were frequently kidnapped in exchange for ransom. When the kidnappings became unbearable, the firm was forced to abandon the job. Messrs Setraco was subsequently hired to take over the road. But the company is overwhelmed by the enormity of the work to be done. Already, agitated Niger Delta residents are complaining about the slow pace of implementation. The firm had started asphalt overlay from the Warri end and sand filling from the Rivers axis before the floods took a debilitating toll on its programme. Portions of the road are being washed away around the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and from Emohua to Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas. Villagers told The Nation that floods remain the major threat to the project, which maynot be completed by the December 2014 completion date. The mostly affected areas in the Garden City are: Ada-George, Diobu and Ogbogoro. Two Diobu residents - Mercy Apia and George Otelemaba, blamed it all on poor drainage. Residents of Ada-George and Ogbogoro will have to live with the incessant flooding for more weeks, considering the ongoing dualisation and reconstruction of the roads. But the Governor Rotimi Amaechiled administration is not folding its arms. Its intervention is making the after-effects of the floods in Rivers State a child’s play, considering the

tales on the lips of residents in other parts of the country. The governor has mandated the contractors handling road projects across the state to provide covered drains and service ducts.

Communities sacked, farmlands washed away in Abia In Abia State, floods have sacked many from their homes and washed away hectares of farmlands. One of the affected communities is Umuaku in Umunneochi Local Government Area where the floods destroyed multi-million naira property, including perimeter wall fence of buildings. They include the walls of Jacob Achara Methodist Church that were pulled down and several other buildings that were submerged. Hundreds of farmers were sent on forced break from their farmlands. But residents alleged the on-going construction of the Mbala Isuochi road blocked the natural water path. Also counting their losses are residents of Ohanku road in the commercial city of Aba. Many of them have been sent on vacation from their houses, which are either submerged or have their access washed away. At least 20 houses have been abandoned by tenants, who lost the battle to prevent them from being flooded. Some of the residents said that their problem started when the firm rehabilitating the road, allegedly blocked the underground drainage collecting storm water to Aba River. They argued that rather than maintain the original level of the road, the firm raised some sections, a development they alleged was responsible for the flooding of the area. The residents also alleged that the contractor, consciously and unconsciously, blocked the drainage with stone chippings, which they discovered as they tried to de-silt the channel as part of their communal effort to remediate the situation. The flood, which has divided the road into two, has created an emergency terminal for vehicles from Ngwa at a distance while the others from the Ohanku end has to make a detour before AmuonichaAmucha. With the water level still high for residents to wade through, pedestrians now circumvent the affected area through the adjoining premises. At the Akoli –Ohanku junction where the underground drainage is believed to have been blocked, buildings on both sides of the road have been partially submerged. Nduka Ukpabi, an affected landlord in the area, lamented that all his tenants have packed out. At Umuaku, an affected cleric, Rev. John Nkemakolam said: “We have never experienced a flood of this magnitude. It pulled down fences and water levels inside people’s rooms were as high as six feet. We

have lost a fortune, individually and collectively, but glory be to God, no death has been recorded so far.” Abia State Deputy Governor Emeka Ananaba, who, on behalf of his boss, Governor Theodore Orji, visited the area for an on-the-spot assessment, expressed shock at the extent of the damage wreaked by the floods. He, however, assured the people of the government’s quick intervention to alleviate their suffering. “The government will come to your aid soon,” Ananaba told a cross-section of residents in Umuaku. He said that the state would approach the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC) for possible assistance, not just to victims in Umuaku but to help the government tackle the menace of erosion across the state. Beyond the climate change, the flooding of the two Abia communities was aggravated by the blockage of collector drains by contruction firms.

•A road which turned to a river in Lokoja

From Kogi with tears Sacked from their homes in Kogi State by floods, 5,000 residents Elele, Ekanyi, Obale and Affa communities in Analo Ward of Ibaji Local Government Area have relocated to neighbouring Idah Local Government Area of the state and UzoUwani Local Government Area of Enugu State to seek refuge. Most residents of Ekanyi, Obale and Affa succeeded in crossing over to Enugu boundary communities of Ogurugu, Ojjor and Iggah in UzoUwani council at the weekend. They crossed over to safety on wooden canoes through the Mabolo River, also known as Ofu, leaving their property which had been completely submerged in water. There were also reports that the people of Elele, Odobo, Nwajala and Ejule, whose communities were submerged early last week, have all relocated to Idah. Man, from Odeke community, in Ibaji council area relocated to Iggah community in Enugu State. It was learnt that they live like refugees with many of them residing in primary school buildings. Though, some good-spirited Iggah indigenes have vacated their houses accommodate their fellow-countrymen, some victims still face difficulties. Residents of Ekanyi and Affa natives have been moving to Ogurugu since last weekend. The community has become home to victims, including the aged and children. Fears of possible outbreak of epidemic are rife since most of the victims pass the night in open spaces. The chairman of Ibaji Local Government Area, Mr. Dave Ogwu, lamented that greater parts of his council had been deserted because of the flood, which according to him, has

•The palace of Igwe Emeka of Umueze, Anam

The house of former Transport Minister John Emeka under water.

destroyed many houses, property, farmlands and crops worth several billions of naira. He called on relief agencies to assist the victims who have been turned into refugees in neighbouring Enugu State. The call became necessary and urgent because the calamity, he said, is beyond what his council could shoulder. According to Ogwu, Governor Idris Wada, who has visited Idah, was due at the emergency camp created in Enugu State yesterday. Officials of Uzo-Uwani Local Gov-

ernment Area, led by the Chairman, Mr. Cornel Onwubuya who visited the border communities to assess the situation on Sunday, expressed concern over the large number of refuge-seeking Ibaji people. The council chief and a community leader, Chief Maximus Ukwuta, who led the team, urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relief agencies to quickly come to the rescue. He listed shelter, food, drugs and clothings as the victims’ urgent needs. The Red Cross Society said it had re-


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

7

NEWS RAGE OF FLOODS

The rich also cry FLOOD is no respecter of persons. Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Trade and Investment Samuel Ortom, former Anambra State Deputy Governor Chinedu Emeka and other men of means can testify. The flood has not spared even monarchs, whose palaces have been submerged. As the poor are mourning their losses in thousands, the rich are doing so in millions and billions. State investments, such as a rice plantation, run by Viatnamese for the Edo State government, has been overrun by water. Ogbeh, former Attorney-General and Justice Minister Mike Aondoakaa and a former Governor of the state, the late Rev-Fr. Moses Adasu, lost property estimated at several millions of naira. The late Adasu’s Covenant Clergy Retirement Home on Beach Road and Covenant Projects Company on the Makurdi-Gboko Road were submerged. The floods also overran Ogbeh’s Makurdi home. Hundreds of bags of rice, which Aondoakaa stocked in two warehouses on Ogbeh’s premises as raw materials for the Miva Rice Factory, were destroyed. The Minister of State for Trade’s 350 hectare rice farm has been submerged. The houses of the former Anambra Deputy Governor, former Minister of Transport John Emeka and the palace of Igwe of Umueze-Anam are flooded.

•Emeka's flooded premises in Anam

ceived reports of the victims’ crisis in Uzo-Uwani council and had briefed its Enugu office to act quickly.

Communities in Cross River in tears Though Cross River is among the states listed by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) to prepare for heavy rains and flooding, the intensity of the disaster could not in any way be compared to what was experiened the previous years. According to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), more

than 42, 000 residents have been displaced by the flood this year. The worst hit local government areas are: Obubra, Ogoja, Yala, Ikom, Abi, Biase, Odukpani, Boki, Obudu and Obanliku. It is difficult to see the displaced persons in one rehabilitation camp as they are promptly accommodated by families and friends in adjoining, communities. A SEMA official said the hospitable nature of the people has, to a great extent, aided them in coping with the situation.

In Yala, Mr Gabriel Ogar, who is accommodating a family whose house was flooded, said: “Well, this thing can happen to anybody. So, we have to open our hands to help our brothers and sisters.” So far, 11 deaths have been recorded this year, according to SEMA. In Adim in Biase, a nine-month-old baby, Godswill Echu Okon, was reportedly killed when a residential building collapsed on him. The collapse was caused by flooding. In Agwagwune, in the same Biase council, two 12-year-olds were allegedly

swept away. As of the last count, about 49 persons have been hospitalised from flood-induced injuries. More than 4000 farmers have also been affected with about 106, 000 hectares of farmland washed away. Yams, cassava, cocoyam, melon, rice and vegetables, among others, have been destroyed. The Nation learnt that about 1059 houses have been destroyed, especially in the rural areas where they were built with mud bricks. One of the most famous tourism

sites in the state, Buanchor Drill Ranch and Canopy Walk in Boki, has been rendered inaccessible by the floods. The bridges and culverts on the road have all been swept away. The disaster, which came in the aftermath of a down pour that lasted for about three days, also affected six villages where no fewer than 80 houses were swept away and 3000 farmlands destroyed. At the end of the three-day downpour, about 10000 residents either became homeless, or incapacitated economically. Tourists who were on tour of the Buanchor Drill Ranch and Canopy Walk as at that time were trapped. The about-30-metre high Buanchor Canopy Walkway, located in the heart of the virgin forest of Boki, is the longest in Africa. The Drill Ranch is for the protection of Drill Monkeys, an endangered animal species which attract hundreds of tourists on monthly basis. The situation is a major blow to tourism, the mainstay of Cross River’s economy. In Agwagwune, Biase council, women and children live under inhuman conditions with no potable water, food and medication. The villages in the area could only be accessed by the use of canoes through forest, invested with reptiles and dangerous animals. Speaking in Egbism village on his canoe, Mr. Ekuma Bassey, lamented that the flood was the first of its kind in more than a decade. He lamented that he and his family had no place to live in as they could not raise the rent for apartment in the city centre. Bassey lamented that they could no longer eat cooked food, as all the water sources in the area have been poluted. He said: “Now, we eat only bread which we have to buy from the neighbouring community. We cannot use firewood here. We cannot use kerosene. We are suffering. Please help us.” Bassey lamented that market and schools have been submerged, creating both economic and social problems. Okpandin, a village in Yala Local Government Area, was completely sacked. Mr. Cyprian Idim, a resident of the community, said: “We have no access to that village again and the people had to be evacuated to other villages. There is no access to that village again. Water has surrounded the village.” Expressing regret that their farmland had been washed away, he said: “We have no other occupation than farming.” Compounding matters was the recent release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon. The water released from the dam affected Yala, Ogoja, Ikom, Obubra, Abi, Biase and Odukpani council areas. SEMA’s Director-General Vincent Aquah expressed the fear that the magnitude and severity of the damage to lives and property would increase as the flood level rises. According to him, apart from the expected extreme famine as a result of the destruction of farmlands, accommodation would become a problem as many are already relocating to make shift shelters. “These conditions are far below human standard particularly living in a slum such as this thatch house. Children and women are suffering and there is an urgent need to address the situation before it gets out of hand,” he said. He appealed to the Federal Government and international organisations to assist the government in cushioning the effects of the floods. Aquah said sensitisation campaigns have been flagged of in all the coaster communities to advise residents of flood-prone communities to relocate to higher planes.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

8

NEWS Ajimobi reinstates 1,499 sacked workers

Nigeria needs intellectual leaders, say Amaechi, Tambuwal, others O

•Akinadewo THE lapses in governance were yesterday blamed on the lack of “intellectual leaders”. The observation was made at the presentation of book entitled: Here Comes The Commander in Chief, written by the Editor of Compass newspapers, Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo. The event was chaired by former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel. Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi urged Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable. Amaechi, who was repre-

sented by House of Representatives member Mr. Dagogo Peterside, said: “Nigeria is our commonwealth. One of the challenges we have in Nigeria is that we do not have intellectuals in government. Most intellectuals shy away from politics and that is the reason our country is what it is today. Politics should be driven by knowledge. May our leaders read! Only readers should lead. Those who do not read have no business in governance.” House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who was represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said the situation in the country deserves the attention of serious-minded leaders. He spoke against political selection, where unqualified candidates are “hand-picked” for public positions. Tambuwal said: “For us in

•Compass Editor launches book

By Evelyn Osagie

the 7th Assembly, we believe leadership positions should be given to those who seek and rightly deserve it, rather than reluctant persons. Nigeria’s situation is like a patient in an Intensive Care Ward and it deserves the attention of seriousminded leaders. Nigeria is a common project. Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable and we have adopted the pan-Nigerian stand.” Elder statesman Chief Ayo Adebanjo urged leaders to take a cue from the philosophies of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He said: “If Awo’s ideals are not resuscitated, we would never progress in this nation. Somebody wrote in the papers that ‘Obasanjo is the problem of Nigeria’. That is true.” Adebanjo said the media

has a major role to play in nation-building. He praised the media for its role in the fight for democracy, especially during the military era. Urging journalists to be professional at all times, Adebanjo said: “Please, gentlemen of the press, go and get yourselves reborn.” Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was represented by Commissioner for Information Mr. Oma Djebah, urged the media to set national agenda and raise discourse on issues. He said: “This is the only profession recognised by the constitution and you must live up to expectations.” Calling the author, a “journalist-writer and journalist researcher per excellence’, Former Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, Daily Times group, Mr. Araba Adeniyi

urged the media to hold dear “the service and emancipation of mankind”. Former Abia State Governor Orji Kalu; the Chancellor of Babcock University, Prof. Dayo Alao; former Deputy Editor, Daily Times, Mr. Dipo Ajayi; Mr. Martins Kuye;, Chairman, Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Bolanle Olawale; President, Guild of Editors, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye and the President of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Deji Elumoye, were at the event. The Alaafin of Oyo was represented by the Balogun of Oyo Kingdom, Chief Yussuf Akinade Ayoola. The book is a four-year compendium of Akinadewo’s journalistic activism. It contains commentaries on national issues between 2008 and 2012.

ACN slams Anyim on ‘State of Osun’ From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

T

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has faulted a statement credited to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Anyim, in which he said addressing Osun State as the “State of Osun” was unconstitutional. The party berated the state’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its “baseless” criticisms of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, ACN said Anyim was either “informed” or “economical with the truth”. The party said: “There is nothing unconstitutional about how we call the state. Its name is Osun, period. If the Aregbesola administration prefers to call it the ‘State of Osun’ or the PDP thinks it sounds better as Osun State, neither of them is committing a constitutional crime. They have both identified the state as Osun, which is its constitutional name. “It is senseless for anybody to suggest constitutional illegality where no such crime has been committed. We are particularly shocked that a lawyer and former Senate President, who is supposed to be highly knowledgeable considering the office he had occupied and his current office as the SGF, could get involved in this puerile conversation, which originated from the mundane thought process of Southwest PDP.”

•Fayemi (second left); Dean, Pan African University, Lagos, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo (right); a lecturer Prof. Richard . Ikiebe (second right) and a former student Mr. Taiwo Obe...yesterday.

Leadership crucial to good governance, says Fayemi

E

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yester day said good leadership is crucial for good governance. Fayemi spoke at the PanAfrican University in Lagos while delivering a lecture on public governance. He said government policies must be fashioned with the people at the centre. The governor regretted that post-colonial Nigeria has not behaved differently from the colonial era. He said although the postcolonial era is being run by Nigerians, the system of governance at the centre is still “alien and predatory” like the

By Precious Igbonwelundu

colonial system. Fayemi said the quality, vision, patriotism and competence of the political leadership was critical to the transformation of the African state and the sustenance of good governance. He said politics has been reduced to a clash of one exclusive claim of power against another, adding that operators of the Nigerian state often decide to select a “selectorate” against the wishes and aspirations of the people. Citingthe struggle to regain his mandate as an example, Fayemi said it is

only a determined people and an impartial judiciary that can save the situation when the “selectorates” confront the electorate. He reiterated the call for a national dialogue, adding that no meaningful development can be achieved unless Nigerians were at the front burner. Fayemi said: “The Nigerian state has become disdainful of its citizens and the citizens disdainful of the state. Government is no longer treated as a synonym of governance. What is needed is not a customerbased service, but the consultation of the people who are supposed to take decisions as

to how things should be done. “You will all recall a famous exchange between two of our founding fathers. One asked that we should forget our differences and build a strong and united country. The other insisted that we cannot build a strong and united country without recognising our differences. The truth about how to save Nigeria and create a new paradigm for public governance lies between the two statements. Whether Nigerians will continue in perpetuity to recognise their differences or forget them forever must be left to the collective decision of Nigerians.”

Oyo Assembly approves N30b supplementary budget

T

HE Oyo State House of Assembly yesterday passed into law the N30,396,508,000 Supplementary Budget. The passage followed a report by the House Committee on Public Accounts, Finance and Appropriation, headed by Mr. Olusegun Olaleye.

The House, presided over by Speaker Monsurat Sunmonu, hailed Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s vision for the state. They considered the supplementary budget would enable the government complete ongoing projects and execute new ones. Twenty-three billion naira

was allotted to the Ministry of Works and Transport and N145,700,000 to infrastructure. Others are N160,808,000 for the baseline data gathering programme of the Ministry of Economic Planning; N3 billion for the Consolidated Revenue Fund charges and N1 billion for miscellaneous.

Olaleye said the supplementary budget would enable the government repair bridges and roads that were destroyed by flood. He said infrastructural development would attract investors to the state. Speaker Monsurat Sunmonu ordered eight local

government transition committee chairmen to appear before the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to give account of their stewardship in the last one year. The local governments are: Saki, Surulere, Ibadan North, Oyo West, Kajola, Orelope, Itesiwaju and Lagelu.

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday reinstated 1,499 of the 3,000 workers that were sacked for falsification of academic certificates and personal data. The decision to reinstate the workers, which was reached at the State Executive Council meeting in Ibadan, the state capital, was sequel to the recommendations of the panel constituted by the governor to review the workers’ sack. Those reinstated would be paid salary arrears. The immediate-past administration in the state had engaged the services of a firm, Captain Consulting, to audit workers in the state, with the latter using certain criteria to determine those who falsified their ages. One of the criteria was the assumption that every pupil would have been admitted to primary school in the 1960s and 1970s at the minimum age of six years and would sit for the Primary School Leaving Certificate at age 12 years, among other considerations. But the 13-member panel, headed by the state AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Justice Adebayo Ojo, said some children got double promotion in their schools. It also noted that some pupils in the 1960s and 1970s started school at ages four or five, either because of the influences of their elite parents or the absence of children of enrolment age in their localities. The panel said as much as the government wanted to reform the public service and removing bad eggs from the system, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to prove the charges of age falsification. It said some of the workers were not mature enough to discover the discrepancies between their real ages and what was written in their testimonials, when they left school. The 357 officers, who were not cleared by the panel, would be retired.

Lagos Assembly summons commissioner By Oziegbe Okoeki

THE Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday summoned the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, over the plan to introduce the study of the Chinese Language, Mandarin, in public schools. Mr. Abdoulbaq Balogun (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 2) said the introduction of Chinese Language in public schools would have no relevance on the state’s economy. Mr. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 2) said: “Our children are yet to understand our local languages and we are planning to introduce another language.” Mrs. Lola Akande (Ikeja 2) said there was nothing wrong in introducing Chinese Language to schools. Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said: “In most of the countries I have visited, people from age 15 speak three or more languages. I think it is good for us to learn more languages.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

9


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

10

CITYBEATS

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

•Onowu and Okudili who were declared wanted by the police.

•The suspected killers of businessman.

Suspected killers of businessman held

S

IX persons were paraded in Lagos yesterday by the police for the death of a businessman, Oddi Nweze. Two others said to be outside the country have been declared wanted. Nweze was allegedly killed by kidnappers last month shortly after he returned from the United States (US). Those paraded at the Command Headquarters in Ikeja are: Kelvin Emenike (39), Ngozi Onowu (36), Chibuzor Uzoagwu, Ohia Nwaeze, Emeka Obasi (33), and Uche Igbans (28). Chibuzor Onowu (33) and Kingsley Okudili were declared wanted. The suspects confessed to killing Nweze. Emenike, a leader of the gang, told reporters that they never intended to kill the businessman. “We did not want to kill him. We only wanted to kidnap him for money but the man tried to stop us by fighting back. He struggled with us and even attempted to take the rifle from us. That was when he was shot and killed”, Emenike said. According to him, after the suspect was killed, they took his body with them and dumped it by the roadside somewhere not too far away from the scene. Emenike told our reporter that if freed, he would join the police to fight kidnappers and other criminals. Obasi, in whose house victims are kept, told The Nation that his job is to ensure that the victims do not escape. The uncompleted onestorey building where Obasi, who claims to be a bricklayer, keeps the victims is at 5, Adeojo Street, AgoOkota. “My own is to watch over the suspects and ensure they do not escape. When ransom is paid, I’m

T

How leader was arrested

HE police used a woman as bait to bring the suspected Port-Harcourt-based leader of the gang, Kelvin Emenike, to Lagos, The Nation learnt yesterday. According to the investigators, Emenike only comes to Lagos when there is “business” to tidy up. “He lives in Port Harcourt, comes to Lagos to operate and leaves immediately his gang has succeeded with the abduction of their victim. When the victim’s family is ready with the ransom, he comes in, picks the ransom and off he goes,” sources said. “When our investigation closed in on him, we thought of a way of bringing him to Lagos and we set him up with a girl who claimed to be a student of a university in Lagos. They kept talking on phone and when he decided to come over to see her, we placed undercover policemen on ground to monitor him. “He came in with the first flight to Lagos from Port Harcourt that morning and drove straight to the university so he can pick the girl but he was arrested by undercover policemen.” The undercover team was led by the Area Commander of Area ‘E’, Mr Dan Okoro, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP). It was gathered that when the detectives got into the car with the suspect, he struck a conversation with the ACP who is a lawyer and forensic expert. Emenike tried to find out from Okoro if he was a policeman and how well he knows FESTAC because investigators had earlier told the suspect that they were taking him there. Okoro was said to have pretended not to know FESTAC. “The suspect did not open up until about 2am. At that time, we had shown him all the footages of his movements within Lagos and Port Harcourt. He was shocked on how we got all these and he broke down and confessed,” our source said. The source said Emenike led the police to the By Jude Isiguzo and Ebele Boniface

paid off and the victims are discharged by Rasta man”, he said. Igbans, the Okada man responsible for transporting the victims to Obasi’s house, confessed to partic-

Long queues at ATMs

T

HERE was a huge crowd at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in some parts of Lagos yesterday. Reason: The ATMs were not dispensing cash. The customers wore long looks as they tried repeatedly to access their funds. Those who spoke to The Nation said the queue was an indication of the banks’ unpreparedness for the cashless policy. The Nation’s investigation showed that the culpable banks are those with the largest share of retail banking customers. Their machines proved unreliable as the internet service switched between form and function. “I wonder why our leaders like to make policies without checking whether there is capacity to handle the policy. Is this what cashless policy will subject us to? While it is a good policy, I doubt if our banks are ready in terms of capacity to carry out that policy,” said Chibuzor Adaeze, who claimed to have been at the Ikorodu Branch of GTB’s ATM for “almost two hours.” At First Bank’s branch in Matori,

By Segun Balogun

rather than dispense cash, the machines were debiting the customers, some of whom wanted to withdraw what they described as their “last cash”, while waiting for payday. “The machine did not pay me, yet it has debited my account. The worse thing is that the bank officials said the money will be returned by tomorrow but that is my last cash,” said Abiose Adesanya, who claimed to have been to two other branches. Rather than reduce the number of customers entering the banking hall, the ATMs’ performance led to an increase many banking halls looked more like market squares. Some customers, who did not get respite from bank officials, took to the social network to vent their anger. Nicholas Ibekwe, via Twitter said: “First Bank Agbara Branch: four cash machines all broken. Banking hall looks like a carnival and smells like a cesspool from body odour.” A bank official, who declined to mention her name, said: “The fault is not from the banks but the country’s internet penetration is still very low.”

By Jude Isiguzo

uncompleted one-storey building near Okota/AmowoOdofin Link Bridge where the other gang members were arrested. “Around 3am, he took us to their hide-out and we arrested other members of the gang, including a Rasta man whose responsibility it was to transport the victims, who were nicknamed cargo, to the uncompleted building, which was tagged warehouse, with a motorcycle, and when ransom is paid, the same Rasta man would carry the victims from the warehouse blindfolded and drop them somewhere their family members will come and pick them. This is usually done at night”, the source said. Okoro said the “warehouse” has served the kidnappers even before he was deployed in Area ‘E’ as Commander. “I am happy I have uncovered this building. We ransacked the building and recovered arms and arrested the Okada man who transports victims. This is the place where victims are kept, tortured, raped and dehumanised. They are kept there for a number of days, until ransom is paid and from this same building, the suspects go out at night after collecting ransom to discharge their victims. The building has always been in focus; trucks are always parked around the area, making it almost impossible to access,” Okoro said. Okoro said all the victims interviewed had talked about the same building but locating it was a challenge, until now. “It was not easy to track down this building because of the absence of GPRS or GPRS positioning; so, it was difficult to unravel those behind the crime. It’s not enough having their call log and where they are calling from. We do not have instruments that can lead investigators to the direct positioning of suspects. It takes an officer who has elected to uncover crime with the wisdom of knowledge and the opportunity of knowing what to do,” he said.

ipating in the operation in which the businessman was killed but said he was not the one who shot him. “As we kidnapped the man, he was struggling with us and one of us shot him but I do not know who. The guns which we used for the

A

operation were brought by Onowu but I do not know who fired”, Igbans said. Ngozi Onowu, who police operatives alleged keeps money for the gang and arranges their hotel accommodation, is the elder sister of one of the wanted persons.

•Late Nweze

“My brother gave me N120,000 to buy a motorcycle and N1.6million for a Mazda car. My brother told me that he was a drug baron but it was when we were arrested that I knew he was the leader of the kidnap gang”, she claimed. Police Chief Umar Manko told reporters: “Eight people are in our custody. The kingpin, Kelvin Emenike, comes to Lagos to do ‘business’ and he will go back to Port Harcourt where he is based. We brought him back to Lagos with a business proposal. “We also recovered one Ak49 rifle, 78 7.6mm live ammunition, five magazines, one Toyota Pickup van, a car, and one motorcycle used for the transportation of the victims”. The commissioner said he also learnt that the slain businessman was kidnapped in front of a branch of the same pharmacy where the drug used on the late Cynthia Osokogu was bought. He said the police would not link the pharmacy with the crime because criminals can operate anywhere.

Two killed during robbery

RMED robbers shot a Man O’War official, Michael Ekwueme, during a robbery operation at Abule Onigbagbo, off Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road yesterday. Ekweume was said to have been rushed to Eko Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, residents said the robbers specifically came for a house on Shogunle Street, raising suspicion of a tip-off . While narrating the incident, the victim, who identified himself as Omololu said the bandits were four in number and they came around 7:30am with bags to cart their loot including cash, jewelleries, shoes, laptops, and other valuables. “The four men came demanding to see my wife. When the security man inquired from them the name of my wife, they could not say but again demanded to speak to my house help,” he said. “Because they got her name correctly, the guard called the girl to open the door. Immediately she did, they entered and tied up the guard.” “it was shocking to say the least because the robbers were specific

By Segun Balogun

about so many things. In fact, they were relaxed and even drank my wine.” According to eyewitness, Ekweume accosted one of the robbers that hauled their loot into the car on the content of the bags and arrested him when he could not provide a reasonable answer. While taking the arrested robber into the victim’s house for clarifica-

tion, the three other armed members of the gang started shooting sporadically. Ekwueme sustained gunshot wound in the process. The gunshot attracted a police patrol team that engaged the bandits in a gun duel, which reportedly lasted about 30 minutes, killing one of them in the process while others escaped. Attempt to confirm the incident from the Polie PRO, Ngozi Braide, failed.

Robbers terrorise Ajegunle residents

R

ESIDENTS of Ajeromi/Ifeolodun local government area are calling on the Lagos State Command Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko to save them from armed robbers. The robbers, they say raid the area at will even under the watchful eyes of the police. It was gathered that in the last two weeks, armed men have feasted on residents of Argugu street, No, 14 Ogbonwankwo street, Olowojewujeje street, and Cemetery Street opposite Ajeromi Police Station

Sources disclosed that the gang which has been identified by the police as ‘One Million Boys’, carried out the operations of Arugugu and Ogbonwanwko streets on September 22, while that of OlowoJewujeje and Cemetery streets took place on September 23 and 28 respectively. Residents fear that policemen in the area are aiding the bandits in their criminal activities following their refusal to arrest them even when their hide out is public knowledge.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

11

DISCOURSE

NEWS Court quashes N595m theft charge against Cross Country boss

Nigerian federation: Gaining strength from a weak position Text of Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s speech during the nation’s Independence Anniversary

T

ODAY, we are celebrating the 52nd Independence Anniversary of our country, Nigeria. While every anniversary of a great nation like Nigeria is worth celebrating, it is an obvious fact that 52 is not a landmark figure. That probably is responsible for the low-key events marking the occasion across the country. Few days ago, as I was ruminating over the obvious declining enthusiasm which the celebration of the Independence Anniversary has witnessed in recent years, my mind flashed to the fact that in two years time, we will be celebrating the Centenary Anniversary of the creation of the territory called Nigeria, following the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914. Thus, in 2014, there will be need to take a retrospective and introspective look into the last 100 years of the existence of the geographical entity called Nigeria and how well it has served the purpose of its founding fathers. We may also use the opportunity to do a prospective assessment of what we want to make of the future of our country. First, there are those who believe that the 98 year-old exercise which led to the creation of a large country out of the merger of seemingly different peoples from the Southern and Northern Protectorates was a mistake, an anomaly and the genesis of our problems as a country. The subscribers to this theory are those who continue to harp on the quote (often out of context) by one of our late nationalists that Nigeria is ‘a mere geographical expression’. However, I beg to disagree with the position that Nigeria is still anything but a country. Ours is a unique country with all potentials to neutralise the imperfections of its creation. In any case, from the experience of other federations, a federal structure is always a work-in-progress, a continuous negotiation among the federating units as well as the centre and the units. So, there is no cause for pessimism about Nigeria’s structural future. Let us look towards brighter days of the workings of the Nigerian federalism. It may be true that the colonialists merged two protectorates for administrative convenience and to create a viable, large and strong trade out-post for their companies, but God in His infinite mercies has given us all it takes to achieve greatness from a weak position, to rise from the

•Lord Lugard

‘From what is supposed to be a mistake and selfish, parochial agenda of the colonialists, today we have the most populated black African country’ debilitating design crafted by the colonial masters and to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. That is why this same God who made imperialism possible has also ensured that more and more wealth creating resources continued to be discovered in our country - Nigeria. From what is supposed to be a mistake and selfish, parochial agenda of the colonialists, today we have the most populated black African country, and by inference a large potential market for goods and services. Today, we have a diverse country which allows for plurality of ideas, culture, religion, resources, people and environmental factors. Today, we are one of the biggest world oil producing countries. We have some of Africa’s best managed banks. We have a Nobel laureate and one of the most vibrant arts and entertainment industries. The first television station in Africa and one of the first five in the world was established here in Nigeria. The manpower potentials of this nation are so enormous that we have produced world beaters in so many areas: science, sports, economy, arts, business, diplomacy and others. We have successfully pulled through a terrible civil war in which thousands of people died and the thread of unity of the country was strained up to the breaking point. On many occasions, the federating units were aggrieved over certain issues and many thought the country would disintegrate. Yet, on every occasion that our country got

close to breaking point, we always find a way of pulling back from the precipice. What all these reflect is the tenacity and determination to survive as a country. It shows that Nigerians or to put it more poignantly, the various federating units or ethnic groups, have decided to live together as a united nation to take all the advantages derivable from a large country with huge population, extensive land mass and variety of resources. From the above, it is therefore noticeable that what is needed at this point is for us to re-examine our federal system (since a federal arrangement is the best for a country with plurality of culture, language and ethnic nationalities) and create a strong arrangement which allows each of the federating units to plan its development in a way that is unique to its sociocultural peculiarity. The question that should confront all of us as we move into the centenary celebration is: How do we make our federal system work for the benefit of the overwhelming majority of our people? This question is now more pertinent as our National Assembly is going into yet another round of constitutional review process. I am inclined to say that our present constitution itself is a bulwark against the emergence of a workable federal system. A constitution which in its exclusive list includes almost all items is definitely not promoting federalism. The present constitutional provisions on creation of local government areas make it impossible for more of these third tier-governments to be created while the present arrangement confers undue advantage on some states and skew the revenue sharing arrangement in favour of such states. This problem is already stoking the debate that creation of local government should be a wholly state affair and that it should be included in the residual list. Also, there is need to encourage fiscal federalism in our country. The revenue collection and allocation system needs to be reviewed to address the grievances of the states where revenue generation activities are concentrated. For example, states should be allowed to collect Value Added Tax on goods and services sold in their domains. Such states can then remit certain agreed percentage to the Federal Government. The present arrangement in which all mineral resources found in the states are under the control of the Federal Government does not augur well for the growth of federalism. In the same vein, a situation where Trunk A roads designated as federal

By Joseph Jibueze

A

•Amosun

roads and in various degrees of disrepair dot the landscape of our country will not aid development. Some of these roads have not witnessed any repair or maintenance in the past two decades. Truth is, no state government worth its salt will wait and watch while its residents suffer while using so-called federal roads. That is why in Ogun State our guiding philosophy about such federal roads located in our territory is that there are no federal residents or citizens, those citizens are localised in one state either by residence or origin. Thus, whatever intervention we have to make, we quickly do. Another example of the failure of our present federal arrangement becomes evident in the security situation. While governors are called chief security officers of their respective states, the Nigeria Police command structure, deployment of personnel and other operational modalities are centrally controlled by the Federal Government. Yet, state governments bear the burden of equipping the police and other security agencies as well as providing necessary financial support for their daily operations. That is why those canvassing the establishment of state police have a basis for their position. The reality on ground in the states have already forced their governments to have modified forms of state police with the various ‘Operation This and That’ being created and funded by the respective state governments. There are many other issues which we need to examine critically towards rejuvenating our federal system. For example, we should redirect our leadership evolutionary process so that it can be based on competition of ideas and quality of candidates, instead of where a person comes from. These are some of the basic issues that I believe we need to start discussing so as to build the much-needed consensus before 2014, the year of our centenary celebration. May God bless our great country - Nigeria. •Amosun, a chartered accountant, is Governor of Ogun State.

•Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi (second right); Chairman, Senate Committee on the Environment and Ecology Bukola Saraki (second left) and membersSenators Sadiq Yar’Adua (right) and Boluwaji Kunlere when the committee visited the governor in Port Harcourt...yesterday.

Lagos State High Court, Igbosere yesterday dismissed a N595million theft charge brought against Chairman of Cross Country Transport Limited, Bube Okorodudu by the state government. He was charged with two counts of obtaining by false pretence and stealing the sum from Chief Executive Officer of Tetrazini Food Limited, Donatus Okonkwo. However, Okorodudu, through his lawyer, Ladi Williams (SAN) sought an order of court quashing the two-count charge. Ruling on the application yesterday, Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson said the prosecution did not exhibit both the legal advice by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the police investigation report on the matter. He said it was unfair to ascribe criminality to Okorodudu in the face of inconclusive evidence, adding that the absence of DPP’s advice left him with no choice than to dismiss the charge. The judge held that the information constituted an abuse of court process, and therefore made an order “quashing the two-count charge.” The Directorate of Public Prosecution, Lagos Ministry of Justice had said in the charge that Okorodudu, sometimes in April 2008, at Victoria Island, Lagos obtained N595 million as full purchase price of property at Plot A14, Lekki-Pennisula Phase 1, from one Prince Donatus Okonkwo. It said he fraudulently misrepresented to the purchaser that he had paid to the Lagos State Government the full price and obtained deed of occupancy, knowing fully well that such representation was false. However, Okorodudu’s lawyer said his client was not properly served with the information. He added that the charge amounted to abuse of court process, and that the police investigation was incomplete. The lawyer told the court that the proof of evidence did not disclose any prima-facie case against Okorodudu, and that his client ought not to be charged in a criminal court as the matter was a civil case. Besides, he said the information was improper and amounted to oppressive use of power by the Lagos Attorney-General, on whose behalf the charge was filed.

Activists threaten mass action over ‘fuel price’ By Joseph Jibueze

A HUMAN rights group, the Joint Action Front (JAF), yesterday urged the Federal Government to restore adequate supply of petroleum products at N97 or face mass action. In a statement by its Chairperson Dr Dipo Fashina and Secretary Comrade Abiodun Aremu, JAF also demanded immediate relief to flood victims, urging Nigerians to resist what it called policies of privatisation, deregulation and food crisis. The group said Nigerians should be alerted to a surreptitious plot by the Federal Government and oil marketers to impose a new price regime for petroleum products, thereby artificially inducing and encouraging scarcity of petrol, kerosene and diesel and its attendant hike in prices across the country. It said filling stations, including Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) branded outlets sell petrol at N110 to N140 per litre instead of the official price of N97, while kerosene is sold at N120 – N150 a litre instead of N50.


12

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

NEWS

Delta judge’s kidnap: Activist threatens legal action T

HE Igba of Warri, Chief Rita Lori Ogbebor, has restated her call for a probe into the kidnap of a Delta State Judge, Justice Marcel Okoh, on August 7. She threatened to seek legal action, if the probe does not begin after seven days. The activist said the ultimatum was necessary following failure by the authorities to respond to calls for an investigation into the incident. Justice Okoh was kidnapped on the day he was to rule on a land dispute between the Delta State government and the people of Okere, Warri. His kidnap led to the adjournment of the case to September 24. When Justice Okoh was freed, the case was reassigned to another judge, who adjourned it to October 8. On September 3, Chief Ogbebor petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar; the

I suspect that the purported kidnap is a smokescreen meant to pervert the course of justice and hereby call for a probe

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Abubakar and President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) on the matter. The Itsekiri leader argued that the “purported kidnap” was a “mere smokescreen” to rob her

people of justice. She said the delayed judgment prompted the state government to continue building on the land. The petition reads: “I suspect that the purported kidnap is a smokescreen meant to pervert the course of justice and hereby call for a probe. If the judge was indeed kidnapped, what has the government done about it? It needs to be conclusively proven that the kidnap was not make-believe. How can a Judge be seized so cheaply, when politicians have, not only thugs, but soldiers and policemen to guard them? Will this situation not intimidate our judges?” Chief Ogbebor said although a top government official had apologised to the Judiciary, but it was not enough to heal the wounds inflicted on the legal system.

She said: “I reiterate the call for a probe because the court is the last hope of the common man and our judges should not be made to operate in an atmosphere of intimidation, harassment and constant threat. The oath of office they took is to dispense justice without fear or favour and be impartial umpires.” Chief Ogbebor expressed doubts over reports that Justice Okoh’s kidnappers had been killed by security agents. She said: “We need all the details to assure us that there is not more than meets the eye in the entire kidnap saga. “I believe the police and the Judiciary can save Nigeria, if they do their work well. In contributing my quota to the equilibrium and cohesion of society, I have resolved to head to court unless a probe panel is set up to look into the circumstances of the judge’s kidnap.”

Port Harcourt free mission ends

A

N international n o n - p r o f i t organisation, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders), which offers free medical care, will stop admitting patients at the Teme Hospital in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, tomorrow. MSF’s Field Coordinator Mr. Eric Jeunot yesterday said the group would move to other emergency areas in Nigeria. He said out-patients and those on admission at Teme Hospital would be attended to till the end of next March. MSF was created in 1971 in Paris. It is in over 70 countries, with 30,000 workers worldwide. The organisation has been providing free medical services to Rivers State residents since 2005. Jeunot said: “For patients already admitted or currently being treated, we will complete the treatment, mostly based on appointments with doctors. If there is an emer-

Abacha’s son gets highest Ijaw title From Isaac Ombe-Yenagoa

T

HE Bayelsa State Government yesterday honoured Mohammed, son of former Military Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, with the highest title in Ijaw land. It bestowed on him the “Izon Ebidouwei of Ijawland.” The title means “One who seeks the good of Ijawland”. Mohammed was also presented with the flags of the Ijaw Nation. Mohammed was invited by the government to be part of the 16th anniversary celebration of the state. Bayelsa was created in 1996 by the late Abacha. At a dinner organised by the government marking the anniversary, Governor Seriake Dickson, in the company of other Ijaw leaders, conferred the title on Mohammed and also presented the state’s Coat of Arms and flag to the people. The event was held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Yenagoa on Monday night. The government had earlier named a 150unit housing estate, the main auditorium of the newly inaugurated Ijaw House and a road in the state capital, after the late Abacha. Dickson said the state and the Ijaw Nation in general will continue to honour the late Abacha because of the bold step he took by creating Bayelsa state, a development he said has not only opened up Ijaw-land, but has made the Izon man proud. Dickson said Mohammed is now an indigene of the state and urged him to build a family house in the state

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

gency in Rivers State, we will be willing to render our services, but for now, we have to leave the state.”

Edo architects seek help for flood victims From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

T

HE Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) has urged the federal and state governments to urgently resettle flood victims. NIA Chairman Timmy Ehisemogie spoke in Benin, the Edo State capital, during a news conference on activities marking the 2012 World Architecture Day. Ehisemogie said the institute would partner the state government to erect enduring structures. On the devastation caused by flood in over 30 communities in Edo, he said many houses in the affected communities lack approved building plans. Ehisemogie said allowing the victims return to their former habitation when the water recedes is tantamount to digging their graves.

22 remanded in prison

A

N Oleh Magistrate’s Court yesterday remanded 22 youths from Uzere, Delta State, in prison custody. The suspects were arraigned for alleged arson and the breach of public peace. The suspects allegedly burnt down the palace of the community’s monarch last Friday. The case was adjourned till November 22.

•Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (middle) holding the state’s flag during activities marking Bayelsa’s 16th anniversary celebrations in Yenagoa. With him are Chief Joshua Benemieseigha (right) and former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (left)...yesterday. PHOTO : LUCKY FRANCIS

ASUU seeks release of kidnapped don

T

HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter, has urged the Delta State Government to ensure the release of its Commissioner for Higher Education,Prof. Hope Eghagha, from the kidnappers’ den. Eghagha taught in the Arts Faculty of the varsity before he was appointed commissioner. In a statement by the Chairman of the union, Dr. Karo Ogbinaka, the lecturers lamented the level of insecurity in Delta State and called on the government to reverse the trend. The statement reads: “We call on the kidnappers to release Eghagha in good stead and health. He was called from his

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie academic chores here in the UNILAG to serve his community. His plight is most uncalled for and regrettable. “We also implore the Delta State government and the police to secure the indigenes of Delta State, which is fast becoming the hub of kidnappers, especially of academics and top government officials and their close relatives. “It is obvious that the so-called security in Delta State is more imagined than real.” The union commiserated with the family of Eghagha’s aide, who was killed by the kidnappers.

Edo distributes relief materials to flood victims

T

HE Edo State Government yesterday began the distribution of relief materials to flood victims. Over 30 communities in three local government areas of the state have been submerged. The materials include mattresses, blankets, clothing, food, toiletries, beverages and drugs. Doctors and nurses were also on ground to attend to the victims’ medical needs. The distribution was handled by the Edo Relief Committee and the State

From Osemwengie Ogbemudia, Benin

Emergency Relief Agency. Committee Chairman Hajia Maimuna Momodu assured the materials would be evenly distributed. She urged the Federal Government to assist the state in alleviating the suffering of the victims. Governor Adams Oshiomhole had earlier ordered the release of N100 million for the provision of relief materials to the victims.

When the governor visited the submerged communities, many of them were no longer accessible. He had to inspect some in a helicopter and others in a canoe. Oshiomhole said: “What has happened is an act of God and no one can challenge the will of God. In other parts of the country, we have heard of the loss of lives, but, so far, we have not recorded any death. Let us pray that the river goes back to its boundary. “President Goodluck

Jonathan is concerned about this calamity. The government will try as much as possible to reduce the hardship suffered by the people by providing relief materials. What we cannot change we will bear. “We will send relief materials, which must be shared to everybody, irrespective of party affiliation. “Doctors would be sent to treat the sick. We will also send buses to take those trapped in the flooded communities to the rehabilitation centres.”

Convocation at Redeemers Varsity By Seun Olalude

T

WENTY-FOUR first class students will stand out at the Fourth Convocation ceremony of the Redeemers University (RUN), Ogun State on Saturday. Of the 489 graduands, 156 have second class upper grades, 238 fall in the second class lower division; while 71 spread across other categories. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, said: “Several abilities lie in Nigerian students, which can only be discovered when the government performs its full responsibility on the institutions. “We have discovered that Nigerians students will do well anywhere, if they are provided with adequate learning tools. “This is possible at RUN, because the environment is conducive. We keep our students on campus for monitoring and we also have time to pray for them. We give allowance for learning.


RELIEF

PHILANTHROPY

WORKSHOP

Flood victims get medicines

NDIC builds varsity lab

Health talk for Navy

Kogi

14

Taraba

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

Cross River

50

52

Page 13

Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

Okirika hails EU on youth training

T

•Governor Chibuike Amaechi

HE people of Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State have lauded the European Union (EU) for advancing the cause of peace in the area after the oil communities were rocked by a series of crises. The EU, under its “Tomorrow is a New Day” programme, initiated to support community-level conflict resolution and re-integration of exmilitants to promote stability in the Niger Delta, has facilitated the training of many youths in conflict management and resolution in the area. “We appreciate the EU Centre for

By Innocent Duru

Environment Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) for all it has done for our youths,” said Lucia Balonwu, Project Manager, Search for Common Ground (SFCG). “It has trained 180 persons in conflict transformational skills and 60 in advocacy in Okrika. The 18month project, which will end by June 2013, still has many more wonderful laudable activities to create sustainable peace and stability in Okrika and other oil communities in Niger Delta.” PIFY Olisakwe of Niger Delta Pro-

fessionals for Development (NIPRODEV) said EU, through their programme in Niger Delta, has touched the life of many. “I want to thank the EU for what they are doing to Niger Delta youth. In Koko, Warri North Local Government Area and Opooya Warri South Local Government Area, we have trained 360 youths on conflict transformation and about 120 in advocacy training and we are still hopeful to do more.” Diepireye Williams, one of the beneficiaries, said after surrendering arms, they were left with no motiva-

tion to the extent that most of them were tempted to join illegal bunkering business. He said the training he acquired so far will afford him the opportunity to start a new life. He said: “I want to thank SFCG and EU for restoring my hope once again, at least for telling our youths and the entire Okirika kingdom that if we are empowered we can do more than we are doing today as youths. I have a new life to live, a lot of things taught during the programme have given me an edge over others that did not participate.”

S

OMETHING remarkable is happening in Anambra State, but it is not in Awka, the capital, or Onitsha, the bustling commercial city. A fish factory in Adazi Nnukwu, some 20 minutes’ drive from the seat of government, has raised the profile of both the community and the state, providing jobs for youths and putting hunger at bay in many families. There is more. The factory has the capacity to save Southeast fish traders the trouble of sourcing their merchandise from such far-flung places as Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. And, thanks to the plant’s hygiene standards, fish connoisseurs can vouch for the quality of what they eat. Adazi Nnukwu, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, has made history, hosting arguably the first quality smoked fish processing plant in the country. It is the handiwork of a geologist turned farmer, Mr. Emeka Martins Iloghalu. Newsextra visited him, discovering that many youths will be taken off the streets as the facility grows. The smoked fish are well packaged, most of themsourced from the same facility, although its owner says it needs more. The company, Tee Martins Aquaculture, produces dry fish, which are free of insects and sand. Iloghalu left his well-paying job at Shell and oil service firms overseas to return to the rustic village of AdaziNnukwu to engage in fish farming. He reckons that his fish are unique. He said: “Our model here is that we don’t sell life fish because we don’t even meet our market demand of dry fish, hence we are looking for co-op-

•Smoked fish

Courtesy: sethlazar.com

Smoked fish factory springs up in Anambra Drier plant to process for Southeast From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

eration to serve the Southeast market and beyond. Even at this moment we have not gone totally

mechanical because we installed 160kg drier plant that dries wet fish weight per batch. “We need resources and expertise; that’s why we are training people to take over but we need managers that we can trust and

develop to ensure youths are engaged while we develop other areas. We are proposing to erect our new plant in a 33-ft structure, two-storey building vertical expansion. We are installing a 750kg drier to ensure that our

customers are satisfied with quality dry fish well packaged. “I encourage people to go into fish farming to enable us meet the demand as our own fish pond is not enough to supply our fish requirements. We buy from various fish ponds around to meet up, so if fish farmers increase we will be able to buy them and meet up demand’’. Iloghalu’s passion for the business inspired his wife, a lawyer, Mrs Justina Iloghalu and their children Emmanuel, Deborah and Esther to understudy the head of the family. They aslo appear to have mas•Continued on Page 47


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

14

Kaduna votes N28b for roads

Kogi flood victims get drugs

T

•Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko (right) with Ambassador Assan Assam during an International Investment Forum in Sochi, Russia

Benue pleased with MDGs projects

T

HE Special Assistant to Benue State Governor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), Timothy Aikor, has expressed satisfaction over the completion of N1.8 billion MDGs projects in the state. Aikor made this known when he addressed participants last week at a one-day capacity building workshop for state and local government officials in Makurdi. He said that the funds were used to renovate and upgrade 49 primary healthcare centres in 23 local government areas of the state. Aikor said eight boreholes were constructed in each of the local governments and some public institutions in the state.

Benue He further said that dams were constructed in three local governments namely Logo, Gwer West and Ado, adding that N200 million was also given to the three councils to implement MDGs projects. Aikor said that additional funds were released for the expansion of the MDGs projects in four additional local governments - Kwande, Katsina-Ala, Guma and Okpokwe. The head teachers, principals, and heads of education and health departments at the local councils attended the workshop.

HE Federal Government has donated drugs and medical equipment worth millions of naira to Kogi State government to address medical needs of the flood victims. The Deputy Director, Health Emergency Response and Disaster Management, the Federal Ministry of Health,Mr John Kehinde, presented the items to Governor Idris Wada in Lokoja. Kehinde said that the items were donated to address the immediate health needs of the flood victims, stressing that Kogi remained the worst hit among the 20 states that were affected by the flood disaster because it was home to the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue. Receiving the items, Wada thanked the Federal Government for the medical items and other relief materials donated to the state. The governor said that the state government would soon allocate alternative plots of land to victims of the flood to enable them build new houses in locations far away from river banks and waterways. “‘We will do everything we can to give them alternative plots to build new houses but we will enforce extant environmental and town-planning laws. “‘When we give them alternative plots, we will also assist them to build their new houses as but we need their understanding and cooperation. “‘Now, we are back to the drawing board, planning ahead so that such a thing will never happen to us again. In the future, we will be better prepared

Kogi with good planning strategies and strict enforcement of regulations.’’ Besides, Wada said that the state government planned to invest in water transportation in collaboration with the private sector so as to provide alternative means of transportation for the people. The donated items include 60 litres of methylated spirit, 1000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 3,000 household water filters, 140 cartons of Ringer Lactate and 19 cartons of Darrows’ Solution. The Federal Government pledged that 10,000 anti-malaria drugs and 500 insecticide-treated bed nets would also be delivered to the state.

K

Council begins work on road

T

HE Ejigbo Local Council Development Area in Lagos State has begun rehabilitation of five major roads, kicking off with the popular Kayode Powerline Road. The contract, which is being handled by Project Concern Nigeria Limited at a cost of N77 million, started last week. It will last for two months. The repair,which includes total surfacing of the road and laying of asphalt,follows the conclusion of a stakeholders’ meeting chaired by the council’s vice chairman,who is also the council’s supervisor for Works and Housing,Alhaji Monsurudeen Bello-Obe. The meeting agreed that commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists using a portion of the road as parking space,should relocate to Akinwunmi street temporarily,to pave way for the rehabilitation work.It also agreed that commercial bus drivers on the road should also relocate to a portion of land along IkotunEgbe road which is not too far from Kayode Power Line road. Alhaji Bello-Obe informed the stakeholders

•From left: Dr Joe Odumodu, Director General Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Dr Obalolu Ojo, National Chairman of the Nigeria Association of Industrial Pharmacists, and Mr Nelson Uwaga duringthe 15th Annual National Conference of Nigeria Association of Industrial, Pharmacists at the Welcome Centre Hotels, Lagos PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Association gets new executive HE National Association of Technologists and Engineers,Lagos State branch, has re-elected Mr Ukaegbu Bartholomew as its chairman for a tenure of three years. Other executive members were elected through a free and fair election conducted in the premises of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO). Bartholomew returned unopposed along with the 11 aspirants aside the post of Vice Chairman which was contested by Mr Opadeji Toheebdeen and Mr Tayo Olukayode. According to the chairman, the association attracted members from Voice of Nigeria Ikoyi, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Yaba College of Technology among other organisations.It also increased membership to over 300 and was able to inaugurate its branch officially on May 22,2010 . The chairman spoke of his programmes for the next three years to include seeking collaboration with the state and federal governments to promote technological advancement in the country,and to provide wide range of technological resources through applied research and

By Ramat Musa

technological development. He said: ‘’ I will make sure I introduce new approaches in the area of waste processing, energy, manufacturing, building and construction and other field of technology. “Also during my tenure, myself with other executive members will optimise technological enactment as to significantly reduce existing environmental hazard in the nation due to technical errors like building collapse, fire outbreak, substandard road construction that leads to accident in highways’’. The new executive members include: Mr Oyekunle Olayiwola who was elected as the welfare officer, Mr Ikechukwu Ezamazobi as Membership Secretary, Mr Kayode Ibidapo as Auditor General, Mrs Jella Dominic as the Science and Technology Secretary, and Abel Okeke as the secretary general among others. The Electoral Chairman, Mr Isaac Omopariola who was also the Southwest Vice President, charged the newly elected executive with the responsibility of getting a luxurious bus for the association and to also put an end to having one quarter of the population of members during meeting. Omopariola said awareness should be created for students of engineering and technology most especially those in the polytechnics.

ADUNA State government has said it would spend N28 billion on the construction of 31 township and rural roads in the state. Briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting in Kaduna, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Suleiman Richifa, said the construction of the roads was in line with the state government’s transformation agenda. Richifa said the construction would improve on the road network, as well as aid vehicular movement within the township and rural areas in the state. He said that the council had approved advance payment of 25 per cent to contractors handling the projects to facilitate the work for socio-economic development. “The advance payment of 25 per cent of the contract sum is to facilitate the movement of contractors to the site immedi-

Kano mandated to check the spread of illegal motor parks, street hawking and begging as well as indiscriminate parking and abandonment of unserviceable vehicles along major roads in the state. Diggol said the agency would soon embark on massive public enlightenment campaign to sensitise the public on its activities. “We will soon start enforcing the full laws or penalties for violating traffic rules and regulations in the state. “Currently, our people are controlling traffic at 76 points within the eight metropolitan local governments,’’ he said. He called on the people of the state; particularly motorists, to give members of staff of the agency the necessary support and cooperation to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

Fish suppliers count gains of partnership

T

•The excavator working on Adekoroye Street in the council area as part of rehabilitation efforts

•Wada

Briefly

By Duro Babayemi

that the road project is in two phases,and the first phase which includes total surfacing of the road and asphalt laying is what the contractor will handle now,while the second phase which is the construction of concrete drainage on both sides of the road will follow. He praised all the stakeholders for their co-operation and support for the council to improve the condition of the road. It would be recalled that in February this year,the council chairman,Kehinde Bamigbetan launched Ejigbo Road Trust Fund,where he announced the intention of his administration to obtain a 220 million naira bank loan to rehabilitate five major roads in the council area.He added that the fund realised through the road trust fund would be managed by an independent body that will identify roads to be rehabilitated with the fund.The other four roads are,Jubril Olabisi,Nurudeen Obe,Rainbow Avenue and Double Star roads.

K

Kano traffic agency employs 622 youths ANO State Road and Traffic Agency (KAROTA) has recruited 622 youths as road traffic assistants. The agency is to complement the work of traffic wardens and ensure smooth flow of traffic particularly in the state capital. The Managing Director of the agency, Alhaji Mohammed Diggol, told journalists in an interview in Kano , that the traffic assistants were recruited to assist in traffic control in Kano metropolis and other major towns in the state. He said the state government had directed the agency to recruit 378 additional road traffic assistants to complement the existing 622. According to him, the agency has also been

51

THE Association of Fish Suppliers of Nigeria (AFISUN) has said that its partnership with government statutory bodies in the AgroAllied industry is yielding fruits. AFISUN, formed by the Department of Fisheries, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural resources in August, 2003, in a statement revealed that it has held several meetings to chart the way forward in agricultural sector with representatives of several government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Services, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, NAFDAC, Nigeria Ports Authority, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Department of Fisheries, among others. The association further stated that, in collaboration with major government statutory bodies, it had set high standard on the quality of fish being supplied in the country, in order to meet the recommended intake of fish per person per annum by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The body has equally established a good network of distribution outfits in all the 36 states of the country in addition to the provision of refrigerated vehicles for transporting fish to all parts with cold rooms capacity of over 400,000 metric tonnes. The facility has capacity for preservation and storage of fish to meet the health standard of consumers. On staff strength,the association said: “The fishing sector currently employs over 1,000,000 workers in the various departments such as shipping and clearing agents, retailers, administrators, fish mongers and agents and retailers among others.”

Kaduna ately,’’ he said. He said the road construction would begin immediately after the rainy season to make the work more effective and durable. The roads to be constructed include Garun Kurama-Kurandai-Bandu Kasuwa (21.7km), Maraban Kakeyi-FarinKasa-San Birni-Richifa (27km), Farar Gada- Yakawada-Iyatawa (26km), Dogon Dawa-Sason Layi-old Birnin Gwari (34km). The roads also include Kwasam-KushereGeshere (45km), Kwagiri-Kussom-Wasa (24km), Kwoi-dura-Ankung-Taimen-Idofu (13.1km), Kagoro-Manchok-Mabushi (34km), Bukus Kwarin Ayuba-Angwan Yusi YankarfeHanwa (4.2km). Also to be constructed are the Gonin goraHayin Katafawa-Ungwan Bije-Gonin Gora (6.5km) road, WAEC-GGSS Kawo-CollegeLafiya road (4.1km), Tanko Ayuba-NAFDACPost office (5km) road, Kudenda road network (9km), Hayin Jirgi-Borno road (4km) and RomiKaratudu (6km) road. Others are Likoro-Magata (6.8km), SakaruBagaidi (9km), Garun Kurama-Keran (2.5km),

Council rewards hard work

I

T was pay-back time for the senior staff and the legislative arm of IkosiIsheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State last week when its chairman, Hon. Abdulfatai Oyesanya, donated 20 exotic cars and buses to them to enhance effective administration and revenue generation. The chairman, while presenting the vehicles,charged them to be more committed to their work and make use of the vehicles to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the council . Hon. Oyesanya also used the avenue to reiterate his commitment to better welfare for workers by embarking on construction of modern and befitting secretariat complex for the use of the staff. He said :”Today is another landmark in the political history of Ikosi -Isheri Local Council Development Area, the vehicles we purchased are being presented to the executive and the legislative arms as well as the administrative staff of this LCDA for effective discharge of our official assignments . “The buses, among the vehicles, are for utility purpose. Such utility purpose include revenue generation and for the use of National Union of Local government Employee Association, Ikosi-Isheri Chapter”. Speaking on the rationale behind the donation, the council chief said it is to make for effective running of the council and to motivate the staff. According to him, “Our people need to be motivated; for instance, the buses are for revenue generation which I believe, will improve our internally generated revenue (IGR) and we need to motivate our staff to be able to work harder and the only way to do this is by providing them the facilities which we have done now. “Our monthly allocation has been at a low ebb and we need to improve on this to carry out our programmes. That is what prompted us to create an enabling environment through the provision of vechicles for the staff”. He encouraged those who are yet to be

By Jeremiah Oke

compensated to be more committed to their duties and be sure of getting their reward soon. “I am sure that those who are yet to be given such compensation will also be appreciated in due course but we need to continue to work very hard and efficiently in all our duties . I

Shehu Idris road-Tudun Jikun road (1.4km), Barnawa central (2km) Barnawa Asphalt (5km), Gangar township road (3km), Kutemeshi-Yankan Dutse (4km). congratulaie those who have benefited from the incentive.I want to urge those who are beneficiaries to use them properly and judiciously so as to justify the huge amount of money spent on the purchase of the vehicles.” Oyesanya also stated the reason behind his effort to build more office complex for the use of staff, saying the workers have been enduring by managing the old structures since the establishment of the LCDA and that necessitated the need for the building of a new office complex.

• From left: Chief of Staff Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area, Mr Ajibola Adeyinka; Chairman of the council, Hon. Abdulfatai Oyesanya; Secretary, Mr Sola Odubiro; Council Manager, Mrs Fasuyi and Vice Chairman, Mr Bada Onikosi during the inauguration of the vehicles

Job tools for residents

T

HE Executive Chairman of Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Hon. Fatai Ajidagba, has promised to sustain distribution of poverty alleviation items to indigent residents. At the poverty alleviation programme held in the council secretariat, Ajidagba said that his administration is working tirelessly to provide

Church holds programme THE Builder and Maker Church is marking the 52nd Independence anniversary of Nigeria is a special way. The church is organising a one-day talk show on: Nigeria: Land of Unlimited opportunities on Sunday, October 7 at 9am. The venue is the 2nd Floor. Magrellos, 46 Ayangburen Road, Ikorodu, Lagos

•Governor Yakowa

•Hon Ajidagba (left) giving out a deep freezer to a beneficiary

By Kunle Akinrinade

meaningful infrastructural development, social amenities and security of lives and property. He said: “Today, we have created jobs for our people so as to be useful to themselves and the society at large. And let me say that, in order to achieve economic liberation of our people, we shall be distributing generators, sewing machines, deep freezers, grinding machines, hair dryers, hair clippers, bags of rice and telephones for business center operators among others. I also want to assure that this programme would be sustained throughout our tenure. “Aside the above materials, two patrol vehicles fitted with modern communication equipment will be presented to the two divisional police stations in this council area. As part of our administration’s policy of building a viable and efficient work force, a brand new Coaster bus for the use of our staff shall also be presented to a branch of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).Furthermore, to contribute to the administrative efficiency of the Local Government Service Commission, a brand new Kia car will be presented to the body as a token. “ Over 200 beneficiaries were given various items at the event witnessed by CAN chieftains which included Cardinal James Odumbaku, Deputy Lagos Speaker, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo among others.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

15


16

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

17


18

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012


THE NATION WEDNESDAY,OCTOBER 3, 2012

19

COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

EDITORIALS

An unfinished campaign against Polio

Sad story •Again, NACCIMA draws attention to the plight of the many firms closed down in Nigeria

T

HE dire economic strait in which Nigeria is enmeshed was, once again, forcefully brought home at a zonal workshop organised in Asaba, Delta State, by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). Presenting a paper on the occasion, the President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Herbert Ajayi, revealed that no fewer than 800 companies had closed down in Nigeria between 2009 and 2011 due to the harsh economic climate in the country. Although the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) does not believe this figure, the fact is that many firms had closed down in the country due to the reasons adduced by NACCIMA. The issue may be with the number. To worsen matters, Ajayi further disclosed that more than half of the surviving firms are classified as ailing, which portends grave danger for the continued existence of the manufacturing sector. Of course, these statistics are not new to Nigerians, particularly the youth who have over the years borne the brunt of the massive unemployment that inevitably accompanies the collapse of companies on such a colossal scale. What is sad is that, even though the problems have been severally diagnosed and solutions proffered over the years, the situation is only worsening. This newspaper, for instance, has had cause to decry the alarming rate of de-industrialisation in the country, as major firms have closed their operations, abandoned multi-billion Naira complexes and re-located to neighbouring countries.

Some of the reasons identified by the NACCIMA President for the unwholesome situation include poor infrastructure, inefficient transportation, pervasive insecurity, incessant increases in the prices of petroleum products used by industries, multiple taxation, unabated smuggling and the inability of government agencies at the ports to meet the 24-hour target for cargo clearance, which in turn has negative cost implications for the manufacturing sector. But by far the most serious problem is epileptic power supply. The attainment of over 4,000 MW, which has been celebrated in recent months, does not even begin to address the huge demand for power, domestic and industrial, in a country of over 150 million people. The implication, as Dr. Ajayi points out, is that the manufacturing sector relies on generators for over 70 percent of its energy uses, a situation that further hampers efficiency and profitability. Another huge obstacle on the path of a viable manufacturing sector is inadequate access to local and foreign loans to fund business operations. The huge interest rates charged by banks in Nigeria, which hardly ever drop below 20 per cent, make it virtually impossible for any serious business to rely on the banks for funds and yet break even. It remains a mystery why after several much hyped banking reforms over the last few years, our banks are still unable to discharge the elementary responsibility of providing affordable funds for the real sector to operate optimally, generate jobs and create wealth. Yet, these same banks not only declare huge annual profits, their chief executives continue to maintain extravagant

lifestyles completely at odds with the country’s economic realities. And those companies that try to access cheaper funds from abroad more often than not find themselves in unpleasant and untenable positions. Bureaucratic delays and unpredictable fluctuations in the value of the Naira invariably make it difficult for them to meet the conditions of their loan obligations, with harmful consequences for their businesses. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) surely has its work cut out for it. The apex bank must face the challenge of devising measures that will enable banks more effectively fulfil their functions of funding the real sector for accelerated economic growth and development. In addition, the relevant authorities must also work towards reviving the country’s moribund industrial estates to enable firms enjoy economies of scale that enhance profitability.

‘Of course, these statistics are not new to Nigerians, particularly the youth who have over the years borne the brunt of the massive unemployment that inevitably accompanies the collapse of companies on such a colossal scale. What is sad is that, even though the problems have been severally diagnosed and solutions proffered over the years, the situation is only worsening’

Lateef Adegbite (1933-2012) •In his exit, Nigeria has lost a bridge builder

A

CT well your part, there all honour lies.’ This quote by that great philosopher and poet, Alexander Pope aptly depicts the life and times of Dr. Abdul-Lateef Oladimeji Adegbite who passed away on September 28. That Adegbite gained significant mileage as a devout Muslim who spent the better part of his life championing the cause of Islam is well established. Nevertheless, we do not think also that anyone would doubt his sharp intellect and admirable academic attainment that saw him earn a Ph. D in Law in the 1960s, when being a school certificate holder was a sure guarantee of a secured future. Whether as an Islamic scholar or academician, Adegbite’s footprints cannot be erased. More importantly, he would be remembered as one Secretary-General of

‘Dr Adegbite, a recipient of the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and a true statesman was the holder of the revered traditional titles of Seriki of Egbaland and Baba Adinni of Egba Muslims. He lived an exemplary life of dedicated service to the nation. In him, Nigeria has lost an agent of peaceful coexistence and a bridge builder’

the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) that positively uplifted the public perception of Islam in conduct and through guarded utterances. He was an exemplar of what a good Muslim should be, without being violent or getting involved in acts that could generate hatred for himself and his most cherished Islamic religion. In 1959, the Western Region Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo awarded him a scholarship that afforded him an opportunity to study Law at the University of Southampton, England, graduating with a B.A. in July 1962. He proceeded to the College of Law for Solicitors, Lancaster Gate in London, and then to Gray’s Inn from 1963 to 1965. Later he won a Commonwealth Scholarship for his postgraduate studies in England. He was active in the service of the nation throughout his lifetime. He was, till death, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Public Awareness on Security and Civic Responsibilities. Before this, he held several important positions. In-between his career as a Law teacher, Adegbite in 1971 was appointed as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the old Western State by its governor, Brigadier Christopher Oluwole Rotimi. He was later appointed Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in the same state in 1973. He was President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee from 1972 to 1985. Dr Adegbite was Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the

University of Maiduguri from 1984 to 1990. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Adegbite was at the Constituent Assembly in 1976. He was chairman of the Ogun State Pilgrims Board and a member of the National Pilgrims Board. Born on March 20, 1933 into a strictly Moslem Egba family in Abeokuta, Ogun State, his first point of learning was an Arabic school before he was later enrolled at St. Paul’s Primary School, Igbore, Abeokuta in 1942, at age nine. He attended King’s College, Lagos, on scholarship, where he graduated in 1956. There he co-founded and then emerged as the first National President of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria. He taught law at the University of Lagos before going into private practice in 1976 when he founded the legal firm of Lateef Adegbite & Co, with himself being as the principal partner. His main office was in Lagos with a branch office in Ago-Oba, Abeokuta. He was one of the founders of the Abeokuta Social Club (now Abeokuta Club), in 1972. Dr Adegbite, a recipient of the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and a true statesman was the holder of the revered traditional titles of Seriki of Egbaland and Baba Adinni of Egba Muslims. He lived an exemplary life of dedicated service to the nation. In him, Nigeria has lost an agent of peaceful coexistence and a bridge builder.

EADERS of the global fight to eradicate polio vowed at the United Nations on Thursday to step up their efforts to eliminate the virus from the three countries where the disease still has a foothold — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. The challenge is that those countries are troubled by political unrest, violence and social customs that can interfere with the delivery of vaccines to the children and adults who need protection. Polio erupted in frightening epidemics around the world during the 20th century and crippled or killed hundreds of thousands of victims a year. There is no cure, but vaccines eliminated the virus from advanced countries and relegated it to poorer regions of the world. In 1988, a global campaign was organized by public and private organizations to eradicate the disease. It has been an enormous success. At its start, more than 350,000 children were paralyzed each year in more than 125 countries. This year, only 145 cases have been reported, and the disease remains endemic in only three countries. Afghanistan pushed down the number of cases to 17 so far this year from 80 last year. Pakistan drove its polio burden down to 30 cases as of midAugust, but has run into difficulties because of opposition from the Taliban and Muslim religious leaders who depict vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage. Nigeria experienced a drop in cases in 2010 followed by an upsurge to 84 cases this year, mostly in areas where militant groups are fighting and people distrust Western vaccines. Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said he would enlist agencies of the United Nations to make eradication a top priority this year. Ridding the world of polio should be a crucial part of a broad campaign to immunize all children against infectious diseases. – New York Times

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

•Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

•Chairman,Editorial Board • Executive Director Sam Omatseye (Finance & Administration) •General Editor Ade Odunewu Kunle Fagbemi • Gen. Manager •Editor Online (Training and Development) Lekan Otufodunrin Soji Omotunde •Managing Editor Northern Operation •Chief Internal Auditor Yusuf Alli Toke Folorunsho •Managing Editor • Senior Manager (Sales) Waheed Odusile Akeem Shoge •Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon •Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •Deputy Editor (News) •IT Manager Niyi Adesina Bolarinwa Meekness •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Manager, Corporate Marketing •Sport Editor Hameed Odejayi Ade Ojeikere •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu

• Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

20

CARTOON & LETTERS

S

IR: I have watched with keen interest the tension being caused by agitation for zoning of the governorship seat among the various factions of the Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). While one of the factions is insisting that it is the turn of Ekiti South senatorial district to produce the party’s governorship candidate, another faction is agitating for Ekiti Central which has produced two civilian governors in the recent past. Another faction is also maintaining that the party’s governorship ticket be thrown open among the three senatorial districts whether North, Central or South. But I see these agitations as needless because the PDP governments rigged into the Government House through the instrumentality of the

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 1000 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.com

Fayemi; better by miles federal might shamelessly failed the people. The PDP regimes left a huge mess of monumental looting of treasury, corruption, bloodletting, violence, state-sponsored terrorism, indebtedness, abandoned projects, mortgaging of our patrimony, policy somersaults, among others. The Alliance for Democracy (AD)-led government of Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo which was the

last progressive-oriented government laid a foundation for the development of the state which the succeeding PDP regimes failed to build upon. It was this government that acquired and established revenue-yielding assets like the Oju Olobun property in Lagos, Ekiti House which still stands out as one of the best states liaison offices in Abuja, the Fountain Hotel which was converted to Governor’s Office

by Fayose, the bottling of Ikogosi Warm Spring water, Ekiti Kete Mass Transit company etc. The present Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has in less than two years proved to the people of the state that good governance we have been deprived of in the past is possible in our dear state. Who would have believed that

Igbo leaders should be realistic

S

IR: More often than not human beings are what they make themselves; vision and planning are indispensable for success. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, an Igbo, was a foremost leader in Africa. In the First Republic, he agreed to be the ceremonial President, while Tafawa Balewa, a northerner, got the Prime Minister position, which was where the real power reposed. In the Second Republic, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, another Igbo, agreed to be the Vice President to Alhaji Shehu Shagari from the North. Where were the Ohanaeze Ndigbo (the Igbo leadership council), when Chief Obafemi Awolowo offered to support Azikiwe to become President in 1979, instead of Shagari? And why did the Igbo leaders abandon their Arewa friends when it mattered most in 2011? It was because Jonathan’s middle name is Azikiwe, and he made the Igbo leaders happy in several ways, including juicy appointments to Igbo citizens, women in particular. If the North-west were allowaed to serve its eight years, as the Southwest was allowed to do, it would be naturally absurd for the North to as-

pire to be President again in2015. Reasonable Nigerians and the international community would have been at a loss why the North would want to cheat the South on the topmost leadership position. Is that not the reason no serious Yoruba has aspired to be President since General Olusegun Obasanjo spent eight straight years as Nigeria’s President? But the Igbo leaders chose to support their Azikiwe. Fine, eat your cake and have it. Igbo leaders should go for a systematic plan and sustainable political vision that would eliminate marginalization of any zone and eth-

nic nationality in Nigeria. Survival of the fittest, arbitrary seizing of power and opportunism cannot stabilize Nigeria; only a considerate resolution of power devolution can do that. Well-meaning Igbo leaders should team-up with the opposition political parties to enthrone General Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, to serve a single term. That will complete the second term of the North-west. After that, the coast will be clear for the South-east zone to produce the next President, since Jonathan (from the South-south) has spent eight straight years in the presidency, as Vice President/President

(2007-2011), and as President (20112015). Jonathan represents the cabal that will never allow the petroleum refineries to function; are the Igbo and South-south leaders concerned about that? The Yoruba Council of Elders and the Arewa Consultative Forum are not concerned either. The bodies have compromised, but some opposition political parties have not compromised. So, support the latter, towards a genuine transformation of Nigeria, end to mass misery and insecurity. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.

giving laptops to teachers and students in public schools could be a possibility in a state like Ekiti? Nobody expected that aged people above 65 years would be receiving monthly stipends of N5,000, the first of its kind anywhere in Nigeria. Major roads in Ado-Ekiti and other parts of the state which were abandoned by the PDP regimes are now wearing a new look. The long neglected Ikogosi Warm Spring has been developed into an international standard before our very eyes while moves are on to develop other tourist sites in the state. Fayemi, in less than two years, has restored the dignity of Ekiti person and has made Ekiti a reference point to other states of the federation through well thoughtout and clearly defined policies. He has commissioned electrification projects of Ootunja, Ilemeso and Ijan within 15 months of his ascension to power while 120 transformers were procured and distributed to various communities in the state. Under Fayemi’s watch, over 30,000 youths have been taken off the streets under various job creation schemes while Free Health Mission and Free Health programmes have touched the lives of about 400,000 people. PDP should perish the thought of coming back to power in Ekiti. We don’t want a return to the bad old days of the PDP when Ekiti was known for everything bad under the sun. • Engr. Ola Mike (mnse), Ado-Ekiti

A good one from Senegal IR: The news of the abolition of the Senegalese senate in order to help victims of recent floods that left 13 people dead and thousands homeless in the country is an inspiring story. Although some quarters view the move as a ploy to weaken opposition in the country, what we know is that $15million to be saved from the move is a whole lot to better the

S

lives of the flood victims as well as set up measures to reduce the impact of such disasters in the future. Unfortunately, Nigeria, a country though rich yet poor has been experiencing massive flooding and erosion across its states. Yet little or nothing has been done to help victims of such disasters and also prevent losses resulting from such unannounced natural phenomenon.

Rather government and policy makers have continually continued to pay lip service to germane issues that affect Nigerians. Why can’t we learn good lessons from our African brothers like Senegal-that government exists for the people, to guarantee and provide the fundamentals of life? When will our leaders understand that leadership and indeed governance

comes with sacrifices and commitments towards a well-sustained society? Undoubtedly, development cannot be experienced until people, either leaders or followers, learn to be selfless, dedicated and responsible towards the noble cause of nation building. • Tayo Elegbede Jet Lagos


21

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

COMMENTS

Still on Nigeria@52: Where is the love? The rights of Women at work; Police palaver

N

IGERIA or at least the electorate is still searching for a truly great selfless Nigerian with the love of Nigeria and the love of Tony Nigerians as the Marinho cornerstone of his or her presidential policy thrust. As we ‘celebrate’ 52 years let us ‘cerebrate’ on the huge lack of achievement during that time compared with God-given resources, mineral, manpower and mental. If Ghana had a 100th of what we had, imagine where Ghana and Ghanaians would be now. We are also constantly reminded to look at Indonesia where imaginative leadership motivated by a deep love of Indonesia and Indonesians resulted in that Asian tiger riding on palm oil plantations originating from Nigeria. So we may be one year older, but are we one year better or one year wiser? The idea that the federal budget is for stealing needs a change. An anniversary is a good time to swear renewed allegiance and oaths to the country and citizenry. Of course they have been sworn but did they mean anything beyond photo-op for the paparazzi and yawning time for local channel viewers? I join millions of fellow Nigerians to apologise to our female police, rank and file, for the law that forbade them to marry or have children for three years after joining up and needing more than automatic permission to marry. Perhaps such a law exists throughout many uniformed and civil service institutions and even some banks et cetera may have such secret policies. I hate to think how many of them were forced to compromise themselves with immoral senior officers in order to get that ‘Permission To Marry’ stamp. In Nigeria nothing is as it seems and exploitation of employees is seen to be a right for the ‘authority figures’. They see nothing wrong with such bestial behaviour as ‘that was what so-and-so did in the ‘glorious past’, so

why should they be any better?’ Nigerians will exploit every loophole and this is why we need much more good high level monitored policing from a better equipped, better focused police service than is available at present. Our police service must join the 21st century police services in many areas including human rights and employees’ rights. Giving birth is a national service –hence maternity leave. Some of the police stations are unworthy of the name with no facilities or amenities for the police- male and especially, female. The old standard Nigeria Police station should be redesigned with a leaf taken from South African Police stations, though the South African Police let Africa down by creating Soweto Two by shooting 44 miners and then accusing the miners of murder under an old obnoxious apartheid law. Police equipment referred to above includes every police station utilising locally available IT know-how with computerising of the police station and digital cameras to record crime scene and detained suspects for criminal face recognition records and fingerprints to avoid the Ibori incident, intelligence and weapons. Every policeman should have a pre-paid cell phone. This ‘no marry’ is blatantly discriminatory as it did not forbid men from doing the same. In these days of men developing cold feet over marriage for financial and other reasons, such a law complicates an already difficult situation further. Let us remember that reproducing is a national responsibility which keeps the population steady or growing. This obnoxious rule should have been thrown out years ago by the Police Service Commission and must be thrown out by the NASS if it has not already done so. It is as bad as the old Maternity Leave Law which gave ‘Six weeks before and six weeks after delivery’ under which most Nigerian mothers in employment would lose days and weeks if she gave birth earlier than was predicted by her Last Menstrual Period (LMP) or did not start leave early enough. Most women have always desired to work longer to around 36 weeks so as to get about 8-10 weeks with the baby post-delivery before

having to send them to creche or give them up to a nanny at home. It was an avenue for extortion from the helpless women by unscrupulous doctors who had to sign the maternity leave forms especially for civil servants. I personally fought for years, and successfully, to get the Maternity Leave Law to be a consolidated to read ‘12 weeks maternity leave, regardless of the date of delivery’. Unfortunately some retrogressive elements in the federal and state governments are still living in the past and insisting on cancelling any leave not used fully if the delivery comes before six weeks into the maternity leave. By using the ’12 weeks consolidated Maternity Leave’ we were able to eliminate frustration of the mothers, a mountain of paperwork as the date the mother wanted was when the leave started and fraud from medical personnel colluding for money to alter maternity dates. The women in NASS and state assemblies should fight to ensure that the ’A Pregnant Woman is Entitled To 12 weeks Consolidated Maternity Leave’ is what is being practiced in their areas. Enough of cheating women. Women must demand their rights to pregnancy and full three months maternity leave. For Police or the public, ‘Pregnancy is a National Service’ lasting much longer than nine months and still too many fellow Nigerian women die trying to complete this service. What will Nigeria@53 bring? Is there any ‘Love for Nigeria’ out there?

‘Women must demand their rights to pregnancy and full three months maternity leave. For Police or the public, ‘Pregnancy is a National Service’ lasting much longer than nine months and still too many fellow Nigerian women die trying to complete this service’

Ugo Ozuah, yet another victim

I

MAGINE this scenario: a man met a lady. Both of them got talking. One thing led to another and they both agreed to live together as husband and wife for the rest of their life. For two good years, they courted, dreamt dreams, ruminated on how they would go about their lives and finally are joined together in holy wedlock. What follows is the reception where nice things are said about the couple. There are smiles all over, the bride and groom grinning from one corner of the mouth to another. On such a day, appetite will take a flight. The stomachs of the duo are naturally filled with joy, not food. Some dance steps follow. Gifts are exchanged. Flower bouquet is thrown at spinsters by the bride. The story of how they met, sometimes in edited version, is told. Five days after, while people still reminisce on the beautiful wedding, the groom is gunned down by a heartless, satanic individual who put paid to a jolly life of marital bliss that was just about to begin. The questions are: how will the wife feel? Was she married or not? Can she move on with her life? Can she revert to spinsterhood once more? Will anybody readily go for her again, given the cultural and traditional beliefs of people in this part of the world? What should she do? I have tried to recreate what has befallen the family of Ugochukwu Ozuah and Joan, his wife, who got

married on September 15. The couple’s joy was abruptly cut short five days later, when the groom was allegedly shot and killed by policemen attached to the Anthony Division, Lagos, while dropping his friend off. The friend, Erikefe Omene, said that he still could not understand why the policemen shot the deceased. According to him, “We got into his car, a Honda CRV, and he drove out. As we approached the expressway, policemen came around. Ozuah parked the car and we both alighted so we could stop a taxi. But before he made to shut the door, one of the policemen said, ‘Who’s there? Who goes there?’, and shot Ozuah, who then fell flat on the floor. I thought the policemen might come around to shoot. So, I ran back into the estate.” Omene said he went to the deceased’s house to inform his wife about what had happened. He said Joan and her in-laws took another car and drove back to the scene. Upon returning to the scene about 10 to 20 minutes later, he saw more policemen, including the Divisional Police Officer, standing near Ozuah, who was lying down in a pool of his own blood. The DPO said he just received a phone call that someone was shot. I then told the DPO that it was a policeman that shot my friend. The DPO then asked me to explain and I narrated the story to him. He said, ‘Are you sure it wasn’t someone in black that shot your friend?’ Omene said he remained with the DPO and reiterated what had

“I am sure if policemen and other security agents work according to their callings, half of the insecurity problems we are now battling with in Nigeria would have been permanently solved”

happened but the DPO was adamant, saying the killers must have been armed robbers in police uniform. Omene added that he and the DPO then drove to the hospital where the doctor said Ozuah was dead. Omene said he was later taken to the police station where he wrote a statement, while Ozuah’s remains were deposited at the morgue. What is baffling in this whole episode is the police insistence that it was actually armed robbers and not policemen that murdered the young man. Since the incident occurred, Ngozi Braide, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command had continued to inundate the public that indeed it was some ‘unknown’ armed robbers that snuffed the life out of Ozuah. From the behaviour of the policemen from Anthony Police Station and their DPO, who quickly came to the scene, one cannot understand the spurious attempts to cover up this heinous crime. The DPO said he responded to a call that armed robbers had shot someone. And when he got there, he did not know what to do than to stare blankly at the helpless man on the ground. He waited till Omene came back before deciding to take the dying man to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Why will the DPO ask if Omene was sure that it was a policeman that shot Ugo and not somebody in black? Ugo had money in his wallet, his car, as well as, his cell phone was intact, so what was the motive of the armed robbers? Although nobody can stay in the comfort of his home and pontificate that it was a policeman that shot Ugo, but, the storyline of the police, especially Braide, is loaded with either half truths or outright fallacy and falsehood. That reminds me of an incident not too long ago. A driver of the

Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS, Jimoh Fasasi, reportedly died after he was allegedly brutalised by some policemen from the Surulere Police Station at Barracks Bus Stop, Lagos. Eyewitnesses said Fasasi was on his motorcycle when he was arrested by policemen on the fateful day. An argument then ensued between the two parties. One of the eyewitnesses alleged that one of the policemen hit the driver with the butt of his gun. The man fell on the ground. “Not long after that, some LASAMBUS staff got a call. The caller was shouting that they should hurry, that Fasasi fell down after he was hit with a gun and that he was foaming. By the time they got there, he was stone dead.” Another eyewitness, in the area, said immediately the policemen realised what had happened, they fled the scene and took the motorcycle away. In her moonlight tale, Braide, said the eyewitness’ accounts extracted by the police were different: “The eyewitnesses we talked to said after he begged and they did not listen to him, he wanted to rest under an umbrella owned by a recharge card seller there. They said he started panting and later fell. He then hit his head on the ground. Braide said the deceased’s visible head injury was because he hit his head on the ground”. That story is probably meant for the marines. In spite of what happened, the policemen did not rush him to the hospital but left the scene with his motorcycle. It is obvious that Braide was being economical with the truth. An officer who until recently was Braide’s boss at the Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos, described Braide as an intelligent officer. I know that the job of a police spokesperson is very tough - daily defending the indefensible. I can only pray that she should use her

Dele Agekameh intelligence positively and not to pull cotton wool over people’s eyes. I have encountered excellent policemen who carry themselves with respect, dignity and candour. But again, there are many of them, even senior police officers, who I cannot stand. I am sure if policemen and other security agents work according to their callings, half of the insecurity problems we are now battling with in Nigeria would have been permanently solved. However, the resolve of Mohammed Abubakar, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to identify and fish out the killers of Ozuah is reassuring. Already, a dedicated email address and phone lines have been put at the disposal of the public to enable anybody an unfettered access to the investigating team. That is the hallmark of a God-fearing IGP who brooks no nonsense. I am not surprised though. Fasasi’s case is still pending too. It is only hoped that at the end of the day, the killers of Ozuah and Fasasi will be unmasked and brought to justice. We cannot continue to lose our citizens in this senseless manner. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

22

COMMENTS ‘One question you should be asking is where were the Customs when these dangerous weapons were being imported into the country? It is the Customs that have actually put the police at a disadvantage against the armed robbers. Some Customs men will take bribes from any Joe Blogg to bring in anything into the country. The Immigration service is equally bad with regard to the supposed Boko Haram insurgents from across the borders. The spate of armed robberies is also the offshoot of corruption. Anonymous’

•Jonathan

For Segun Gbadegesin I read your article National consciousness as camouflage. I was impressed. The major problem we have as a nation is that we all go to mosque or church for physical presence but, we do not worship God with sincerity. If we are truly serving God, be Christian or Muslim, we would not be killing ourselves the way we are doing in Nigeria. We would not be exploiting ourselves the way we are doing. The way out is to truly serve God. True service to God will enable one to love fellow human beings. Even if they are not one’s tribe. Anonymous Re: National consciousness as camouflage Ethnic politics and regional politics have disallowed development because we have buried merit. ‘It is our turn’ is another malaise that is burying Nigeria. There’s sufficient justification for your assertion which, by inference, is personal interest, self-interest and ethno-regional interest rather than state/ national interest. To de-camouflage our national consciousness, serious reorientation must embarked on. As at now, many proponents of national consciousness are fake. From Lanre Oseni It is misleading to say that Yoruba nation or any other nation exists in Nigeria when the truth is that, the ruling class is made up of Nigerians. The big problem is neocolonialism and the vacillation of members of the bourgeois class who are making it difficult for the oppressed to understand what is happening in the world. From Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna Very scholarly article. It is very difficult to replicate Awo’s legacies in other regions or the nation at large. I am afraid the Southwest itself has lost the tempo. All that is left are rhetorics and lamentations. So, Prof, what next? Anonymous Is good for our leaders to emphasise on national consciousness to re-unite Nigerians for one Nigeria. From Salmanu Mohammed Gyallesu, Zaria Kaduna State I was not keen and never believed that removing fuel subsidy will improve the economy or our lives which are getting worse by the day. Fuel (PMS) is not available and if found it is sold at N140 instead of N97 per litre! Where are the promised refineries, or lower prices? Jonathan is a failure, and a big one at that! From Omah, Calabar. For Olatunji Dare Dear Dare, may the Almighty God continue to protect and assist you in all you do. Keep up the good work.On judgement day, the Almighty will tell them: Dare reminded you but you ignored him, taste therefore the fruit of your deeds. From Mukhtar, Abuja There was a time in the distant past when I bought the papers just to read your column. The leopard seems to have lost its spots with age. These days you no longer inspire as you only abuse our President. I do not want to believe someone is sponsoring that. Anonymous Prof, the President’s remarks about the January demonstrators given bottled water, expensive food and so on is a reflection of the thinking of our leaders that the masses do not deserve the good things of life,

including good roads, hospitals, schools and others. From Barr. Moronkeji. Sir, The truth is the hardest missile one can be pelted with. Why should the President denounce and demonise harmless protesters? If a man goes into public service, he must be prepared for the consequences. Those who are intensely intolerant of others’ views should not be expected to make any difference in a state of chaotic frustration, massive corruption, deepening poverty, widening inequality and institutional decay. It is so sad. From Adegoke O. O. Ikhin, Edo State. Your write-up is a classic. My comment is that what do you expect of our so-called leaders whose plundering of our treasury is legendry? Whose consciense is dead? Jonathan has exposed himself that he is a shylock who does not want the poor to drink bottled water. Can you believe it, that this is the same Jonathan who said he was without shoes? Now that he has plenty of shoes, bread and pepper soup, to hell with the masses of Nigeria. From Pastor J. P. Gyang. Mr Jonathan, through his unguarded utterances, poor understanding of the dynamics of power and lack of appreciation of his responsibilities as a president, reminds Nigerians daily that his choice is an error of spectacular proportions! I want this President to know that many of us who were daily in Ojota, freely gave up our substances without any prompting whatsoever! No doubt, Mr Jonathan surely needs help to understand the country and her people who he claims to lead! I am struggling to be civil in my assessment of him and his manner of (mis)governance. From Dokun Adedeji, Ikeja Lagos. That is great stuff Prof. At least, we now know that we are being ruled by those who have more breeze than matter in their heads. So, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, whose book launch he attended in Lagos after his (President’s) police tear-gassed him during the protest, Prof Nwabueze, topmost lawyers, top menbers of professional bodies, including NBA and NMA, who participated in the protest, also cannot afford bottled water? And from all the nauseating facts that came out of the House probe, some warped minds are still talking of ‘manipulation’? Pity! Have a good day, Prof. From Olu Do not blame GEJ for either his actions or inactions because he is neither properly schooled, matured nor prepared politically to ascend to the throne that is not only intellectually demanding but requires high level of personal integrity, probity, sterness, seriousness and self discipline. Note that he is ever being propelled by goodluck. Lack of these essential ingredents of leadership is responsible for most of his unguarded public statements. If not, how could a President be so sentimental to say that the crowd at Gani Centre came there for food in the presence of a fomer Head of State . The implication is that his citizens are hungry and they are also beggers. Is he giving a good impression of the state of the nation to the visitor? From Muhammed Jamiu Shuaibu, Lokoja Our President said it all. The oil markers with their loots sponsored the protest. Is the present fuel scarcity not exposing the ‘evils’ of that January protest? Hope, you were not settled too? From Mda Abi If I were Jonathan, I would invest my Yoruba phobia into reading history but not the ancient monarchy history that catches his fancy. He would realise the exploits of the breeders of “rascals” even in the colonial days if the Abacha era is not convincing enough. From Mike Aiyemo, Abuja Re: In lieu of cassava bread and fish peppersoup

An objectively informative piece. If Dr Jonathan believes in his polemical pontifications, let him take the fuel price back to N140 and we will all be sure of where we stand! Often times, people blame bad advisers for bad policies but, the truth is, only a sound mind attracts sound advisers and a sick mind attracts lunatics! I think the man’s cassava bread contains a contagious virus that eats up people’s brains! See how the President of a country of 160 million people reasons. I will never touch it and I advise Nigerians not to! From Kayode A., Abeokuta. l want to salute your courage on your writeup In lieu of cassava bread and fish peppersoup. We need more people like you. From E. O. Oladele, Ogbomoso Re: In lieu of cassava bread and fish peppersoup. Your write-up will be a pointer and check on banters thrown at opponents by the concerned ruling governments either at LG, state or federal levels. We must listen to each other in order to move forward rather than throwing banters or quashing protesters subjectively. Till now, the transformation cassava bread is yet to be on display. Time is running out. Let us take objective criticisms and protest. From Lanre Oseni. Prof Dare, I am not suprised about the dismal performance of the shoe-less fellow from Otueke. He was promoted beyond his competence by some indviduals for selfish reason. My question is: Do we need to be goaded by anyone before we protest about his unpopular acts? or are we not directly affected by the fuel price increase? From Alh. Adeboye Lawal. Remove fuel subsidy and fuel will flow in. Stop deceiving the gullible masses. I agree with my President - hired crowd by the enemies of good governance. Please, stop future evil protests in this country. From Best Onwa Please, tell our President through your writings that he should undertake a personal undercover inquiry and investigate how people feel about him and his governance. He should not be afraid to know the truth about people’s perception and the true position, first hand. It will help him a lot in decision making. From Sesan, Otukpo Thank you, Mr Olatunji Dare, for that beautiful analysis of my President’s speech at the Independence lecture. Each time I listen to or read the President’s speech I feel sad that I lost my vote at his election. What a shame! From Segun Leaders of that January protest lack economic sense or what is the reward of the protest to Nigeria in the month of September? Anonymous Dare, I really enjoyed and appreciated your write-up in The Nation of September 25. We need prolific and fearless writers like you. Please, more of it. I will never miss your culumn till I die. From Ben B. Again, another excellent narrative from your stable, The Nation. But, can there be a performance (or attainment) without a dream? Jonathan had no dream (and still has none) for Nigeria. But he was ‘lucky’ to be supplanted upon the Nigerian dream, without shoes. Any surprise therefore? From Chegwe Asuai-Chegwe, Yola. It is unfortunate that President Jonathan does not know how disappointed Nigerians are. I always wonder who writes his speeches and whether he goes through such speeches before public presentation. God help us. From James Jared, Yola Advice for Mr. Presdent. That was a good piece. Great one, indeed. Jonathan should reexamine himself to rediscover himself, then

• Mohammed Abubakar tell himself the truth, that he was not qualified ab initio to be on that seat. Nigerians were not fooled by his school without sandals and New Breath Slogan, but only gave him the benefit of doubt. Until he realises and purges out the Banana Peels, Sycophants and AGIPS surounding him, he may be heading for a doom because they do not mean well for him. I, therefore, say to him, Vox Populi,Vox Dei. A word is reasonably enough for the wise. From Dr.Silba I.Uzochukwu, Enugu. I felt good when I read my reaction to your piece Ideas that live. You have been one of my mentors in The Nation Newspaper since 2009 and, with the help of this paper, I am now a mad and fast reader of any article with a current record of 170 pages of a book in two hours, 46 seconds per sitting. God bless you and your colleagues in The Nation as you continue the good works.Thanks. From Ahamefula Okpara, Ahoada, Rivers State. For Tunji Adegboyega Re: ‘Robbers and the tragedy of modernity’. Tunji, I give glory to Almighty God who made all things possible. If one of the robbers that raided Lagos of some N50m on 9/9/12 got that small amount (N100,000), then who took the lion’s share of the loot? Indeed, there are kingpins; the police should look for and arrest them for us to have peace. Independent anniversary without celebrations? Congratulations. From Ade Adesiyan, Warri. One question you should be asking is where were the Customs when these dangerous weapons were being imported into the country? It is the Customs that have actually put the police at a disadvantage against the armed robbers. Some Customs men will take bribes from any Joe Blogg to bring in anything into the country. The Immigration service is equally bad with regard to the supposed Boko Haram insurgents from across the borders. The spate of armed robberies is also the offshoot of corruption. Anonymous. Hmm, those thieves are just a patent problem of an egregious economic condition and growing unemployment. I am a graduate; and ever since I was laid off alongside others, my life has been subjected to untold hardship. My brother, what sort of citizens do you expect us to be while our leaders remain uncaring? Anonymous. Hope Lagos SARS team has a post-Abba Kyari plan in the event of promotion, illhealth or other eventualities? Ask the CP for us (Lagosians). From Femi Fadairo. My dear, I am just reading your write-up in The Nation newspaper captioned ‘Honoured today, dishonoured tomorrow’ and I don’t know if I should cry or laugh, but I just saw myself laughing now. My brother, very soon, Lawrence Anini, the notorious robber and his brother Monday Osunbor will soon be given post-humous awards. Anonymous. Re: Honoured today, dishonoured tomorrow’. The struggle continues as we continue to air our opinions/views on issues objectively. Honestly speaking, not more than 30 per cent of the recipients actually merited the awards. One only hopes that the CVs of all intending recipients will be vetted by honourable committee members in future to forestall ‘arrangee awards. From Lanre Oseni.


Nigeria tackles Venezuela November Pg. 24

OPERATION CRUSH LIBERIA

Pg. 41

Jonathan to cheer Eagles in Calabar

Sport Wednesday, October 3, 2012

PAGE 23

EKO 2012 :

Suswam receives Unity Torch, urges Nigerians to unite B

ENUE state Governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday received EKO 2012 Festival Torch from zonal coordinator of the National Sports commission(NSC) MR.Caleb Gidado with a pledge to do everything possible to uphold the unity of the nation. The EKO 2012 festival torch tagged Torch of Unity arrived Makurdi at exactly 12 noon and was received at the toll gate by Benue state commissioner for youth and

sports, Hon Aonduwase Chia who was accompanied by Director of Sport Council David Orngu,,permanent secretaries and other sports administrators in the ministry. After moving round the metropolis on all major streets ,the flame was finally presented to Governor Suswam at Government House Makurdi ,the governor in turn handed it over to the sport commissioner Hon .Aondowase chia who transferred it to Director of sports,David

Orngu. Governor Suswam charged Team Benue to make the state proud and assured the state contingent of enabling environment through logistic and welfare package. He said ,Aper Aku stadium which is under going total renovation would be completed very soon to allow Lobi Stars played their match in Makurdi. Commissioner of youths and Sports commended Governor Suswam for the be

interest which he has shown so far in sport development and charge the Team Benue to be discipline. Hon. Chia said ,apart from football, Benue state government has constructed an international golf course which also served as a tourist attraction and advised Benue people to take interest in playing the game of golf. Tomorrow,the Torch of Unity will move to Kogi state from Benue.


24

41

NATIONSPORT WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

NATION SPORT

Eagles' doctor clears air on Idris, Reuben …Says they will be back, better

•Keshi

S

UPER Eagles' team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, says Kano Pillars duo of Papa Idris and Gabriel Reuben, were excused from the national camp because of the crucial nature of the match between Nigeria and Liberia in Calabar on October 13. He also revealed that while Idris has a recurring thigh injury, Reuben has a swollen groin that is being well treated, assuring that the two players will be back and better for the Nations Cup tournament proper in South Africa. “What we did in concert with Coach Stephen Keshi is precautionary measures so that we don’t have distractions of whatever type, when we have a serious game at hand”. “Papa’s thigh has improved and if it were to be in a tournament, he would still have played some games for us, but we have to look at the long term

and the options available, hence we asked him to go and get very decent treatment for the task ahead. As for Reuben, we have done scan over his swollen groin and even when some experts say nothing has gone wrong we still sent for other opinions on the injury in far away London and we are sure that when he finally returns we will see a fitter and better player. Gyaran praised the foresight of the coaching crew to quickly take action and concentrate on 100 per cent fit players but assured that while Idris should be in full flight action between four-six weeks, Reuben will take between one to three months to be at his optimal best. “We will keep monitoring them to ensure that they are both ready on time for the SA 2013 Nations Cup.” Meanwhile, Head Coach Stephen Keshi has upped the team’s training schedule from once a day to twice, starting from Tuesday. He said on Tuesday that he has been very impressed with the response of his players in training. “The attitude is good and professional and if we maintain it, we will get the result we want against Liberia”, he said.

•Stella Mbachu

A

USTIN Eguavoen will finally be unveiled by Sharks FC as their new coach, after holding talks with militants in Port Harcourt. The former Super Eagles' and Enyimba coach was caught in the cross fire of a turf war a few weeks back, when the management of Sharks brought him into the Garden City to negotiate a new contract. Futaa.com exclusively reported then, that Eguavoen will not sign for Sharks, following threats to his life by a section of Sharks supporters, who shadowed his every move, and told him in no uncertain terms that he will not be welcomed in the city. The grouse of these supporters, was that an indigene of the state will be more suited to the Sharks job.

Now, our sources have confirmed that Eguavoen has "done the needful" and will now be confirmed by the Rivers State side as their coach. "Egu came into town over the last weekend, and was taken to see some militant leaders in the city," our source confirmed. "At that meeting, he was reassured that he is now free to come and work here, because he has done what is necessary. Every coach, no matter who, that wants to come work here must first go and placate the militants, otherwise it will be impossible for him to achieve anything," according to the source. Eguavoen will now be expected to resume work, with the target of leading Sharks to win a trophy.

Fans warn Flamingoes against complacency

F

OOTBALL fans in Lagos have warned the Flamingoes not to underrate their quarter-finals opponent, France, at the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Flamingoes defeated their Colombian opponents 3-0 on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. In separate telephone interviews with NAN on Sunday, the fans also urged the team to sustain their goal scoring ability to enable them to lift the trophy. Fatai Amao, a former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, told NAN that the Flamingoes could win the World Cup but warned that the girls should not underrate their next opponent. He urged the Flamingoes to ensure that they put up their best performance in the remaining games in order to be victorious. ``I commend the team’s efforts so far; but I want to caution them not to underrate France and other teams throughout the finals. If they can also put in all their best, I believe they will be victorious,’’ said Amao, former

Coach, Shooting Star Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan. Kashimawo Laloko, a former Technical Director, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), also advised the Flamingoes not to rest on their oars throughout the tournament and to be confident and remain focused. Laloko, who is the Proprietor, Pepsi Football Academy, Abeokuta, said that the girls' sterling performance had given Nigerians the assurance that the Super Falcons have players who would replace them in the future stressing that: "Football can no longer be predicted; I think with more focus and without complacency, they will be victorious.’’ Harrison Jala, the President, National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF), said that the Head Coach of the Flamingoes, Peter Dedevbo, should ensure that more goals were scored. Jala commended the coach and the team, noting that if they could improve on their goal scoring, they would win the World Cup. ``I urge the head coach to do more work on the scoring chances of the players; this will ensure victory for them,’’ Jala said.

V

INCENT Enyeama was caught on camera making an obscene gesture after Monday's 1-3 painful loss to Hapoel Be'er

Sheva. The defeat suffered by The Yellows was the first dropped points of the 2012 - 2013 season and leaves the club in second place, three points behind MS Ashdod, who parades the Nigeria left

back Juwon Oshaniwa. Sports Walla quoted Enyeama as saying after the game: ''According to the result it seems that nothing went well for us. You could say that nothing was good. Well lost, also have conceded three goals and it could have been eight or nine, then we lost and everything went wrong., But that's okay, it's part of football.''

Vincent Enyeama was vilified by the Nigeria Press and fans for his schoolboy errors in away games with Malawi and Liberia. Against Hapoel Be'er Sheva, the Nigeria numero uno conceded three goals through set-pieces. ''It happens, really. Part of the game. After you concede three goals like that, you've got to prepare, for it will not happen again in games to come. If we think now, thought is not good, it will not help us,'' said Enyeama to the Israeli website. Asked for his comments on who to blame for the defeat, Enyeama admitted: ''I do not blame any player for losing. I blame the team. We play 11 players with a yellow shirt, so we belong to the same team. We lose as a team. Maybe the defense was not good enough this time, so we suffered three goals, no problem, we will work on it. We still have lots of games to play and we have to check again and again video where we went wrong and what we did wrong. "

NIGERIA

2012 CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Al Ahly arrive Nigeria Militants clear Eguavoen •50-man contingent ready for Sunshine for Sharks' job

Enyeama blames team for defeat

NATION SPORT

N

OT giving anything to chance ahead of their CAF Champions League semi final first leg tie against Sunshine Stars of Nigeria this weekend, Egypt's Al Ahly Sports Club stormed Ijebu Ode via Lagos 1pm yesterday with a 50 man contingent. In a brief chat with NationSport, the Executive Director Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA), Mike Idoko who made this known, stated that an advance team of the Egyptian giants made up of two persons, arrived Ijebu Ode Sunday afternoon to prepare the ground down for the coming of the players and officials of the club who landed in the country via Egypt Air Tuesday. Idoko revealed that though their illustrious opponents are the favourites to progress based on their antecedents in the competition which included 6 victories in the Champions League( won in 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008) Sunshine would not be deterred as they go all out for the kill on Sunday. Idoko said: " The advance party of Al Ahly arrived Ijebu Ode via Lagos Sunday afternoon. The main team made up of 50 contingent came in on Tuesday (today).

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

"How can they intimidate us? Like we have said before now, the onus lies on Al Ahly to beat us which I know they can never. They have been there for so long and the titles they won testified to that while Sunshine are just making their first appearance this term. " I did it before with Lobi Stars in 2000 when we defeated Al Ahly 4-1 in Makurdi in a Champions League group match and we can still do it again. They don't scare us." Sunshine came second in Group A behind defending champions Esperance Sportive of Tunisia with 6 points while Al Ahly the record winners of the competition with 6 titles came top of Group B with 11 points and qualified alongside TP Mazembe of DR Congo. The first leg holds on October 7th at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode while the second leg takes place on October 21st at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt. The winner after two legs progresses to the final fixed for the weekends of November 2-4 and 9-11 respectively.

tackles Venezuela November

N

IGERIA will take on Venezuela in a friendly on November 14 in Miami, officials have announced. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spokesman Ademola Olajire said an agreement has been reached with the country’s official match organisers for the game. The match will serve as part of the build-up for the country ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations if Nigeria eliminate Liberia in a final qualifier later this month. Last month, Eagles were held to a 22 draw by hosts Liberia in the first leg of the qualifier, while the return match is fixed for October 13 in Calabar. In May, the team lost 1-0 to another South American team Peru in Lima in another friendly. Venezuela, on the other hand, are sixth on the 10-team qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup

P

•Jonathan

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is expected to lead the team of his Federal Executive Council to the make or mar Africa Nations Cup qualifiers match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Lone Stars of Liberia holding at the U.J.Eusene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday 13th October. President Jonathan it would be recalled became the first seating President of the country to watch the senior national team in training at the Abuja National Stadium before their deaparture to Liberia last month in the first leg match which ended 2-2. The President had promised the team that he would be in South Africa next year January to

•Enyeama

with 11 points from eight matches. Their biggest win in the series thus far was a 1-0 home win over mighty Argentina last October. They reached the semi-finals of last year’s Copa America before they lost to Paraguay on penalties after a goalless draw. Among their top stars are skipper Juan Arango, who is based in Germany, and striker Salomon Rondon, who recently replaced Nigeria star Obafemi Martins at Russian club Rubin Kazan.

OPERATION CRUSH LIBERIA:

Jonathan to cheer Eagles in Calabar From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja

lead every member of his Federal cheer them to victory, but for that Executive Council, and the some to materialise, they would have to National Assembly members led by qualify first. Senator David Mark, the Senate According to NationSport's source President. Over 20 Governors would at the Presidency, "the President is also be on stand to cheer the Super not taking his promise lightly, and in Eagles to victory. The boys need all order to show the seriousness he this moral booster at this time. attached to it, he would be in Calabar Remember we were at the same personally to cheer the team to position last year, but could not get it victory on that day. He is expected to right, but this time around, the

Presidency has seen need to ensure that the Super Eagles gets that qualification. That is why President Goodluck Jonathan is leading the campaign" the source concluded. Nigeria needed a slim victory in the last qualifying match against Guinea the Abuja National •Victor at Moses Stadium, instead they managed a 2-2 draw which saw them not making it to the last edition held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea early this year.

PERPETUA NKWOCHA:

It's time to quit Although she still looks very youthful, and could pass for a lass of 16 (a la Sweet Sixteen), four-time African Women’s Footballer of The Year, Perpetua Nkwocha is never shy to reveal that she is actually 36-years-old! During a chance encounter with the Sweden-based Super Falcons topscorer in Owerri, Imo State, Nkwocha told allnigeriasoccer.com that she has finalized plans to hang her boots this year, but confessed that it was a huge disappointment for her that she could not make it happen during the London 2012 Olympics, as Nigeria did not qualify.

L

ET’s start from the award you got, for the fourth time as African Women’s Footballer of The Year; does that make you truly fulfilled for taking a decision back then to become a footballer? That’s true. In fact, I have no regrets at all for being a footballer, especially as I have gained so much from football. I have achieved a lot through football, and I am not regretting anything. Aside national and international honor, you have also been recognized by your state, Imo; but we wonder, what have you put back into the community that produced you? I do not actually want to sound like I’m boasting of what I have done, but I do have a club that I am supporting in my home town, Ngwor Okpala. The team is called Perpetua Nkwocha FC. I am glad that God has made it possible for me to sponsor the club in the little way that I can. Just like I was encouraged when I was growing up, I am also trying to encourage the young ones in my village. Is the club for girls? No, it is a boys’ team, but we are trying to encourage the girls to also start joining so that we can extend the team like a real football academy. When last did you see the team? I was there for the last Christmas holiday, and even spent a long time with them. I grew up in that village and I don’t see any reason why I should not stay there when I am on holiday. In fact, I don’t have any fear staying there… So, we can safely say a village girl has grown to become African player of the year. What does that mean to you? I feel so great. The award that I won last year was the fourth time I am winning it, and I am very grateful to God for making it possible. It was another way for me being able to confirm that I am still playing well. I must have done well, since it is CAF that gave me the award, which I believe was justified by my hard work and I am convinced that I deserved it. But we hardly hear anything about you playing for your club … That’s true; but if you watched my performances at the African Women’s Championship and the World Cup you will admit that I was in top form and I personally believe that I did well. You spoke about extended your club at Ngwor Okpala into a girls’ team, but what efforts are you making to ensure Imo State also gets a women’s club in the national league? Yes, that’s a good idea. I will try all my effort to support the idea, especially now that I am about to retire. I am already taking a coaching course in Sweden and I could work actively with a female club in Imo State. That would help us change the current situation in which girls from here have to go to Calabar or Port Harcourt before they can play in the league. Imagine, Imo State is my state, but I spent like seven years in Cross River, playing for their club, Pelican Stars. I am really thinking about the need for Imo State to have its own female club and I believe that sports loving people in this state will contribute to make it work. You just confirmed that you are now thinking about retirement, and we could infer that, at age 36, you should now be thinking of starting a family. Has football prevented you from being a wife and mother? No, it’s not like that! You can start a family even when you are playing football. I’ve seen other female footballers that take a break to have children and still return to play for their clubs and countries. It’s just that I already feel

fulfilled, especially after I’ve won African player of the year four times. If I should say it, I believe that I have tried my best as a player and I want to do something else. Still about this retirement thing … the African Women’s Championship is just round the corner and you surely will be invited for the competition by Coach Kadiri Ikhana; will you honour the invitation? Yes, that will be my last outing with the Super Falcons. My initial plan was to bow out with the Olympic Games in London, but we did not qualify. That’s why I have chosen the African Women’s Championship as the last competition that I will have to play for the national team before I retire. Many lovers of female football believe the inability of the Falcons to qualify for the Olympics was a huge setback for the game in Nigeria; do you share this opinion? Yes, I feel really sad for myself and for players that are coming up; because it will take another four years for them to get the chance of getting to that level again. I was personally hoping to end my career with the Olympics, but now I am thinking of the AWC, which is of a lower level. It’s a big blow for all of us, because the Olympics would have been another opportunity to show the world what the Falcons can do. Back to your award as African Women’s Player of The Year. You won it twice, had a long break for another two years, then came back and won it twice again … why the break in the first place? I think it was just because of what happened at the AWC in Equatorial Guinea. Not just me, all the players. Our performance was not just good enough. We could not win the cup, which was the first time ever we did not take the trophy, and I believe that affected my rating. On a lighter note, back to your retirement; you are 36-years-old, but you look like a 16-year-old … what’s the secret? I think it’s just because I train hard. It’s because of my regular training, as I concentrate fully on football, since I don’t have any other thing to do. Maybe I watch what I eat, but I have to keep training in order to be able to play, and that, I believe, has helped me keep my shape. That’s understandable. We wish happy retirement and good luck in your future endeavours… Thank you…

•Perpetua


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

25

Life

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

Text only: 08023058761

Akinyemi: The unsung hero – Page 27

From Heathrow …with shock – Page 28

Ayo emerges winner of MTN Project Fame – Page 40

Passion of a princess for art •STORY ON PAGE 26


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

26

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

Princess Tessy Iyase-Odozi is an artist, art administrator, promoter and educator, wife and mother. For her, art is spiritual. Every art work is a reflection of the artist and its buyer, she believes. The Benin princess and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GreenHouse Art Gallery has taken the arts beyond artistic heritage and aesthetics. She is set on touching lives with her arts. She shares her passion with EVELYN OSAGIE.

T

HAT wet Saturday afternoon, what came to mind was the adventure that awaited one on a trip to Olambe, Ifo Local Government Area, Ogun State. In spite of the bad road, with craters here and there, the place has become a tourist destination of sorts since the founding of GreenHouse Art Gallery there. Last Sunday, it hosted visitors from Italy and by Monday, it treated the German exchange student with the University of Abuja, Florian Haenes, to the unique styles of Nigerian artists. "It was all very interesting. It is great being there. The art, pieces were lovely," said Haenes after a tour of the place. At the gallery is an array of works managed by a talented artist Princess Tessy Iyase-Odozi. The elegant 'art princess', as she is fondly called, and her pleasant staff waited patiently to receive the visitor. She is the gallery's founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Her dream is to create a better world and leave behind legacies through arts. “I desire to get to the peak, taking my arts to a global level and from there inspire, empower, and pull others along,”she says. She is bent on empowering women and youths through arts. By the end of the year, GreenHouse will unveil its Multipurpose Art Centre that would house an art museum, resource, training/ empowerment centres, among others, alongside the gallery, it was learnt.

Government and the arts

With the downpour experienced lately, one wonders how she keeps up with activities at the gallery and what would happen when the centre is formally unveiled. "Truly, it is challenging. The gallery is serving many purposes in the community. And it is making this place popular. It is high time the government works on the road leading to the centre because more tourists are coming! The situation is very bad! And I am sure the government would not want them to continue to see this lapse in governance," she said. As Nigeria marks her 52nd Independence anniversary, Princess Iyase-Odozi observed that the government has not done much for the arts and artists. "What is there to be happy about the Independence? Does the government care enough to provide the people with basic amenities? How many of them love and support the arts. Look at the road leading to this place. Other leaders should take a cue from what Governor Fashola is doing with Lagos. You could see he appreciates arts and nature. In the developed countries, government search, discover, nurture, sponsor and support artists through its various local arts councils. Lagos has about 17 arts empowerments centres; but look around you, where are the government-owned ones in other states. "What we have are individual efforts, reaching out and encouraging fresh talents. I commend what Dr. Peju Layiwola is doing with her Women and Youth Art Foundation and Nike Okundaye with her centre at Osogbo. It is not easy running a gallery without government revenue or support. I have 10 staff right now and I pay their salaries. This is not a shopping mall where people are constantly rushing in. The ones that come would usually appreciate and encourage one with words only, not money. Would that pay my bills? This is what the government should be doing. We hear them talk about the Arts endowment. I do not know if it exists. There is nothing to show it does: those involved should reach out to the artists," Princess Iyase-Odozi said. She called for more government support of the arts, saying it would not only encourage artists but enhance the value the arts. "Art is a luxury. Indeed, people appreciate its aesthetic value but the awareness for a higher appreciation that would lead to investing in artworks is lacking. And that is where the government should come in, creating the right awareness through national, state and local exhibitions and publicly commissioning the works of artists. But what are our ministries of arts doing…?"

My arts and the home-front

Princess Iyase-Odozi is multitalented and wears many caps. Among others, she is an artist, art educator and administrator and author of Discover.. The Art in U and be Guided. She is also a wife and mother, married to the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Mr Victor Odozi. How she manages on all fronts, you'd say… Hear her: "It has been the grace of the Most High. He has been my director, directing me to do the right thing at the right time. My husband has been very supportive. He is my coach and mentor. He is an art lover and promoter, and my greatest support."

My Lineage and the arts

Coming from a royal lineage known for its cultural and artistic heritage, Princess Iyase-Odozi is alive to her roots. She is an Edo princess born into the royal house of the Iyase N'Udo

•Iyase-Odozi

•One of her works, entitled: Ovioba: The Oba’s daughter II

Passion of a princess for art INTERVIEW of Edo, Edo State. "Being a Benin princess, art is in the gene. Benin is known for its arts and our culture promotes the arts. My mother is an artist in her own right: she is skilled in the art of cooking. Her finishing is superb and highly artistic," she said. Growing up in royal splendour has added poise to her works. She blends it with artistic expression of culture, the mundane and the spiritual. Hence, her works cover the mundane, abstracts nature and the spiritual thematic categories. She is an artist with a deep empathy for women and children as seen in her works I will read anywhere, Synergy, Anytime/Never Tired. Hence, the Provost of Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Dr. Kunle Filani, once wrote that: "She venerates the female gender by depicting them in dramatic working conditions, thereby encouraging dignity of labour for women." But she said she does not limit herself in choice of motifs and style. "I enjoy narrating issues and telling a tale in its truest forms. I don't have a unique style. I am cyclic in style. I am good in mix-media, painting or installation. If you see my work you would know it is me. I now mix my arts with architecture. I design buildings. I designed the GreenHouse Multipurpose Art centre. My strength is oil painting."

The spirit of arts Art, she says, is a spirit and is spiritual. "After sometime it becomes innate. And that is why we talk of inspiration and expression," she posits. Art, to her, is not just aesthetics and believes, art work reflects the artist and the buyer. "My understanding of the art is that art, in whatever form it is expressed, unveils the spirit. I can tell you the artist spiritual stand by through his work. I am not a seer but some people paint and their painting is uplifting and some are depressing. When a person is disturbed emotionally/spiritually, it affects ones art. I cannot paint without preparing my inner self - the spirit must be willing. "Art is not only about aesthetics; for me, a transmitter of life and a source of inspiration. A work of art in your home is the first and last thing you'd see. I feel such a thing should be able to bring joy and in the process enact beauty. Also, that art in your house shows something about who you are and tells something about you," Princess Iyase-Odozi said.

‘As long as I have breath and inspiration continues to flow, I am going to keep making arts... And I desire to get to the peak, taking my arts to a global level, and from there inspire, empower and pull others along’

My artistic voyage

She has over 20 years experience as a professional artist. And she brings her experience to bear in her works. But how has been the journey so far, she was asked. Hear her: "It has been an eventful and exciting journey. I was born an artist. Art has been my life." Early in her youth, she showed a special passion for law, and the arts nurtured by the support and encouragement she received from her parents and art teachers. "I discovered myself as an artist in primary school. One of my teachers discovered that I could sketch and wanted me to draw the half of a fish. From then on, I never had peace in school. Every break time, I had a heap of cardboards given to me by my teachers, waiting for me to draw all kinds of things on. And they would ask for them immediately the break ends. I didn't see it as a burden but as part of school's work; and in the process they were busy honing my skill," she says. Coming from her background, did her parents accept her passion? According to her, "at first my father wanted me to be a lawyer - for him it was lawyer or nothing else". As she got more and more absorbed in her passion for the arts, her dream of becoming a lawyer faded and was soon forgotten. She was later to study in Auchi, where she met Sam Ovraiti, who described that meeting as "a mixture of words, brush and colour." "I did my JAMB and I gained admission to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) to study Law; but later when my WAEC results were out, English was missing. My father later embraced my desire to study art, saying: "if that would make you happy, go for it. And I later went to Auchi Polytechnic where I met Ovraiti, who became a friend, coach and mentor. I did not stay there for long. "My works were first publicly exhibited in 1988. I would say I have been a professional artist since 1986. But a year before that, I was commissioned by some white men to do some paintings and was paid good money for them," she says. On sponsorship of the German government to study Hotel Management, through hard work and dedication, she became a top hotel manager and later entered into the second phase of developing her art when she enrolled with the foremost art school in AWO Bildungswerk, Germany for painting and later came under the tutelage of a renowned German expressionist. "I was trained in Europe as an artist by the renowned German expressionist Wolfgang Siemens and later Milan Kunc in Koln, Cologne, Germany, where I was studying and working at the time. The work experience as the first Black Hotel Manager in Cologne, studies, and 12-year general exposure in Europe had a profound impact on me fostering the blossoming of my art works and the development of my energetic spirit. I later studied Creative Arts at the University of Lagos (UNILAG)," she said.

My art and philanthropy She is using her arts for worthy causes. She has embarked on several artistic cum humanitarian projects such as Bring Back the Arts and Moving Art Exhibition. She said: "The level I stand now in the arts is taking art beyond the canvas. Aside from being privileged, I feel I should also transfer this knowledge to the younger generation. I realised that most galleries now have foundations that cater for the less privileged through the arts. My husband says one can only say he or she is successful if one is constantly touching lives and humanity; and helping others succeed. It is a gift to give. It is not that one has so much but it is a gift. It is not enough to just have successful art icon alone, I have always believed artists •Continued on page 28


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

27

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

L

EST we forget, the soul whose form of incarnation we used to address as Major Akinloye Akinyemi has risen. This needs to be remembered particularly by souls like ours, which are still subject to the physio-and psycho-logical laws of the physical bodies of our embodiments in particular, and to the time and place we find ourselves in general. For those still in doubt that the soul which used to be caged in the person of Akinloye has, like a caged bird, been set free, I suggest we pray. We pray fervently that he is enabled soon to attain perfection in Christ Consciousness. So that, like Apostle Paul, Akinloye is able to declare: “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God…I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:19-20). In existential life and during his body’s dying experience, the Major was fearless. This is a quality that marked him out from the crowd. It is most likely that the dare-good paratrooper which he was, knew that it is only the biological body that dies. That is, far from there being annihilation, the dying phase is a period of the transition of the soul from temporal existence to eternal life. Akin must have known, as Saint Paul did, that death does not touch our true Self. Is this not why Paul taught that death “has no power to sting those who believe in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)? Whenever Major Akinloye was called for services in the defence and promotion of Justice, Truth and the welfare of the oppressed, he was in relation to many Nigerian leaders, literally like an eagle or lion among goats. But whenever he found himself amongst these leaders being unrighteous, Akinloye became a sheep among wolves. Being unafraid of death and, above all, the liberation, God willing, of Akin’s soul to the Boundless Consciousness of Christ, are no mean feats. Thus I took a temporary hiatus from the writing of an intervention in the ongoing Nigeria’s constitutional reforms debate to quickly compose and rush out this eulogy to my very dear comrade. The proposed book to which I refer above is on the subject of a political-economic system which Akin and I have, for decades, prayed and acted to build in our country. Akin had often reminded me that restoring Nigeria to true democratic federalism is a task that must be done, as the fake democracy and federalism we are now promoting, will lead us to a fall. This is why the title of the forthcoming book is ‘True Federal Democracy or The Implosion Awaiting Us Nigerians’. Major Akinloye Akinyemi was a detribalised gentleman who loved humanity in general and Nigeria in particular. This is why I plead for this opportunity to correct any wrong impression any one has about our friend, and put on record the self-sacrifices which Major Akinyemi made for some of the democratic freedoms, and respect for human dignity, which we are beginning to taste in Nigeria. There is an urgent need for those who have sincerely sacrificed for us Nigerians to have a better livelihood, to be adequately recognised. A better understanding of the nature of the sacrifices which heroes, like Akinloye, have made is very useful for the well being of our society. This is particularly good for our youths’ upbringing. It is equally relevant that the pretentious democrats or statesmen, or the internal colonisers, in our midst, need to be exposed and put to shame for what they are. Thus I am reverently seeking the kind permission of both the noble Akinyemi’s family and my comrades in the struggle for a better Nigeria, to make certain disclosures. Some or more correctly a few people might not be happy with what they see in this tribute. I must confess: it is paradoxically speaking, some Boundless Consciousness, a State of Being greater than Tony Nyiam making the revelations. So if anyone has any fight to fight over these revelations they should go and contend with the Holy Ghost Fire, to use a Pentecostalist preferred terminology. This book’s list of the names of both those who were for, and against, Abacha’s military regime is far from being an exhaustive recognition of those I have worked with directly or indirectly. I have had to use reliable sources to confirm the roles of those who I did not work directly with. One such reliable source is Kunle Ajibade’s Jailed For Life: A reporter’s Prison Notes. As you may find, this writer seems to be like a medium urged on by the transited Major Akinloye Akinyemi to allow himself to be

‘In existential life and during his body’s dying experience, the Major was fearless. This is a quality that marked him out from the crowd. It is most likely that the dare-good paratrooper which he was, knew that it is only the biological body that dies. That is, far from there being annihilation, the dying phase is a period of the transition of the soul from temporal existence to eternal life’ •The late Akinyemi

Akinyemi: The unsung hero By Tony Nyiam

TRIBUTE used to speak the truth. After all, this is part of why God has extended the writer’s existential life. This writer, for your information, has been blessed with overcoming well over five close shaves with the death of his biological body. These revelations will not include disclosures about the covert agents, and their roles, which underpinned what has become known as the “1990 Major Gideon Orkar action”. As for our internal colonisers and their stooges, I have no apologies to make. I am having to do this not because Akin needed the adulation of we humans. He after all, did repeatedly put to practice the understanding of Jesus’ exhortation: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men,…otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). I am setting the records straight not for Major Akinyemi’s sake but rather for the sake of the living. The reasons why I do not want the contributions which this gallant officer made to our freedom forgotten are manifold. Let me at this juncture briefly comment on one or two of the reasons. Major Akinyemi’s consistent struggle against the mis-use of our armed forces for ethnic, or selfish, interests needs to be emulated. The Major would not have allowed his military unit to be used to cover up election rigging or thumb printing of ballot papers in private homes. Any unit commanded by Major Akinyemi’s type of army officer would not have stood idly by to see the Federal Police being used to attempt to unseat a duly elected Governor. This is in reference to the paramilitary coup attempt against former Anambra State Governor, Dr. Chris Ngige. These federal government abuses of power were all done under the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s watch. A celebration of life Thus we must remember, that we are here to celebrate the physical life of a great soul. A ray of the light of the Holy Spirit which through the being named Akinloye, had many manifestations on earth. First as a son, brother and cousin, next as a brilliant student, an award winner and the best foreign officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK; very warm friend, boy-friend, husband, and father.

For a major part of his life, Akinloye served as a regular combatant officer and a signals communication expert. This was followed by service in defense and promotion of democracy in particular and human rights in general. And finally, during the last twelve years, or thereabouts, of his biological life, Akin trained and was ordained a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Akinloye Akinyemi was not only a practicing Christian but also a practical exemplifier of the teachings of Jesus. His faith helped him to survive numerous betrayals. Jesus’ exemplary life taught him to forgive and that he had a moral obligation to help others in need. Those of us who were inspired by Akin’s uncommon courage, clarity of thought and expression, utmost integrity and honesty in the conduct of official or personal dealings, great loyalty and dedication to friends, fairness and straight forwardness, and so on, can attest to the footprints he left behind on the sands of time. A whole book could be written about this, one unsung hero of Nigeria. It is because of time constraints that we will be limiting this tribute to the following highlights of Major Akinyemi’s life: •The consistency of the Major’s courage and integrity. •The self sacrifices, including with his body, which Akin made for all seekers of democratic freedom, upholders of the dignity and the honour of an officer and gentleman, and for lovers of humanity, particularly the oppressed. •Pastor Akinloye Akinyemi’s example of submission to Christ.

A man of courage and transparency All through my over forty years of keeping in contact with Akin, he was always truthful, dutiful and compassionate. My first encounter with him was towards the end of the 1960s. This was during a military training bush camp in Igbo Ora. Then a slightly built teenager, Akin had attended the camp from Government College, Ibadan (GCI) where he was a secondary school army cadet. I was then a boy soldier, student of the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria. Apart from my chest size, I too like the adolescent Akinloye, had, as a youth, the slightest of body frames. I had, in fact, a pair of skinny legs. The slimness of my body came from my slim mum. My legs’ appearance, however, seems to have given rise to my being called names. One of such name calling, by one of my Hausa speaking school peers, was “tsinken tsire”. This caricature of my legs in English meant that my legs were as skinny as the wire like sticks used to hold together minced suya meat. My reaction to my legs being described as tsinken tsire was invariably one of shaking with fury. I think the aggressive response stopped for good the name caller and others, from ever uttering the unwelcomed analogy. It might be necessary for you to be informed that as a child I was a stammerer and subsequently as a teenager spoke with a slight stammer. The combination of my tendencies of stammering and speaking fast, used to lead to a

Major Akinloye Akinyemi was a de-tribalised gentleman who loved humanity in general and Nigeria in particular. This is why I plead for this opportunity to correct any wrong impression any one has about our friend, and put on record the self-sacrifices which Major Akinyemi made for some of the democratic freedoms, and respect for human dignity, which we are beginning to taste in Nigeria.

bottling up of words with the attendant possibility of my being seen with eyes blazing with fury when offended. My aggressive response should also been seen from the context that I was a new arrival to a far-northern HausaFulani city from faraway Lagos. Being called names by some local and native looking lad was not what an Eko for show mentality guy bargained for. This must be considered against the background that we NMS Lagos boys believed we were the pace-setters in the circle of top secondary schools in Kaduna State including the famous Barewa College. The happenstance of Akinloye and I first meeting must have come about because of a bridge builder who then connected NMS to GCI. The link was the NMS Commandant / Principal, Major General T. B. Ogundeko, an alumnus of GCI. Immediately after my commission into the Corps of Army Engineers, I went to the United Kingdom for my university education, where I occasionally met up with Akin. First, as a Sandhurst officer cadet, then, as a newly commissioned officer and student of the Royal Military College of Engineering, Shrivenham. Since those early encounters, I had no doubt that this first class electronic engineering graduate was going to be an outstanding military officer. This he turned out to be. It is indeed, with some nostalgia that I can meaningfully recall Major Akinyemi’s attitude to military work. It was, to say the least, legendary. He always superseded the high standards and targets his Nigerian Army Signal Corps (NASC) and the Armed Forces in general, had set for their personnel. The Major was renowned for the maintenance of the military equipment under his care. We all raved about Akin’s professionalism, both as a military officer and an outstanding engineer. Especially when he once elected to move his office outside into a hot tent. This was so as to make room in his air-conditioned (Commanding Officer’s) office for the safe keeping of his unit’s sensitive electronic equipment. Equally remarkable was the Major’s care for officers and soldiers under his command. For anyone in doubt of this testimony, I suggest they confirm from Akin’s former bosses. I am sure that the following veterans of the Signal Corps will corroborate this attestation: the Senate President David Mark; General Ishola Williams, a former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia; former military administrators-Generals Raji Rasaki and Leo Aborisha; and of course, the Emeritus Professor of Nigerian Signal Communication, General Tanko Ayuba. It was, actually, from General Ayuba, the husband of Ronke Ayuba, one of our best newscasters, that I first learnt, as far back as the early 1980s, the difference between the then popular analogue technology and the nouveau-digital technology. What is interesting is that the Senator-General is still passionate about e-technology. Thus General Ayuba remains undoubtedly the doyen of the modern means of communication in Nigeria. The admirers of Major Akinyemi’s sense of duty and incorruptibility were not limited to Nigerians. The European, American and Russian suppliers of military hardware to Nigeria were full of praise for the fine young officer. The British suppliers often boasted that it was their training institutions which made him such a first class army officer. Some, in fact, confided in me that Akin would no doubt be a sure candidate for the post of Chief of Army Staff when the time was due. I could go on to reveal that even the then Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, had high regards for Major Akinyemi’s consistent first class command performances. This was for both routine and highly dangerous operational duties. Akin was without doubt a role model for other young armed forces officers to emulate. The recollection of Akin’s exemplary attitude to duty evoked in me a soul searching disposition. This is consistent with my tendency for enquiring, to ascertain whether or not my intentions or motivations for any action or omission, are virtues. I love indulging in such self-enquiry because it has a capacity for helping me discover and unlock the door into the temple of Christ within me. It is from this Christ-in-us, we must know, that we hear the silent voice of the good conscience. It is in this regards that I am humbly posing this question: How can we repay the true Nigerian patriot, Major Akinloye Akinyemi for the ultimate sacrifice he made for us Nigerians? Let us begin by answering the question: what exactly did Akinloye sacrifice? •Nyiam is a retired Colonel •To be continued


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

28

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

Gabriel Folajimi Akinadewo is the Editor of the Nigerian Compass. A former political editor of The Nation, Akinadewo launched his book entitled: Here Comes the Commander-in-Chief, a collection of some of his columns yesterday in Lagos. He speaks on how leaders should cultivate the habit of reading to change the society.

‘There is crisis in Nigeria because our leaders don’t read’

H

OW did your career in journalism start? It is not coincidental that I am a journalist today. Decades ago, my father told me that I was going to be a journalist. In fact, he introduced me to journalism. My father, Archbishop I.M. Akinadewo, is a journalist, publisher, accountant, proprietor of schools, administrator, prophet and community leader. In the 70s, he was publishing four newspapers – Nigerian Monitor, Sekstape, Everybody’s and Sporting News - in Ibadan, the then capital of the defunct Western State. Later, we moved to Ondo and after my secondary school education in the early 80s in Ondo, he started publishing the Nigerian Monitor again and I was heavily involved in the production, editorial content, sales, advert and circulation. It was more or less a state newspaper, covering Ondo, Akure, Okitipupa, Owo, Akoko and some towns in the old Ondo State. There was a time I even edited the newspaper before going to the University of Lagos. So, what I am doing today about production deadline, exclusive stories and others are not new. The thrust of your new book is like a crusade against the rot in the society. What informed the direction of your writing? As a Christian, I know that Isaiah 58 says: ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgression’. Critics are like the engine room of any society. They must keep the machinery of the state running by pointing out vices in the society. So, you are a crusading cleric? Well, it runs in the family. My grandfather who died in 1979, Saint B.A. Adekahunsi, was a crusading cleric. He was the Chairman of Spiritual Workers’ Union in the Western Region. If you get to Ondo town today and ask for the house of Baba Oluso (Shepherd father) in Sabo area, you cannot miss your way. Spiritually, God used him mightily to alleviate the suffering of the people and save the society from tormentors. He even took the spiritual battle to as far as Ghana. My father is doing same today in Ondo. We, the children, grew up to know our father as a prophet. So, in my journalism career, I cannot but follow their footsteps. How come that despite crusade by columnists and prophets, the society has not changed? If we go down the Biblical lane, there were just two persons in the Garden of Eden, a couple named Adam and Eve. They didn’t need to toil or labour. Everything was provided for them. Despite God’s warning, they committed a crime. So, if only two persons could commit a crime in a comfortable place like that, what do you expect of about 170 million people in Nigeria or more than seven billion people in the world? People must commit crimes because God Himself in Genesis 1: 4 separated light from darkness. In today’s world, there are children of light and children of darkness. That is why we have

•Akinadewo

LITERATURE law enforcement agents to maintain law and order but it is even bad now that some of those mandated to maintain law and order take delight in breaching the law. The duty of a critic is to continuously alert those in leadership position on what they are doing wrong or what is going wrong around them. And there is no sentiment about it. You remember that Elijah in the Bible would point to King Ahab and say something like ‘you and your father’s household are the problem of the land’. A crusading columnist must be bold and courageous. So, what has been the challenge? Well, as a journalist, writing a column is not easy. And for an editor to be writing a column is even more tasking. You can’t just afford to write anything because of your readers and if you don’t satisfy them, you know what that means. There was a time I was really busy and I repeated my previous columns for four weeks. The type of text messages I got from some readers were abusive. I have not deleted them from my phone. Damn abusive text messages. I had to reply them, apologising in the process. Also, all readers want their responses to be published. There are some responses that cannot be published; you understand what I am saying. Some of these responses are libelous, so to say. What I do is to try and appeal to them that such replies cannot be published. Readers will always react the way they feel about how the society is being governed by those elected or selected to rule them. Are you saying the readers are wrong in their responses and for that reason you are not publishing them? No, that is not the issue. If I get over 200 text messages on a particular column, you don’t expect me to publish all. I will just pick. Then, like I said, some of the responses are libelous. When you are referring to a President or governor as a thief, a responsible columnist or journalist will never publish

For the love of Nigeria

A

S part of activities marking Nigeria’s 52nd Independence anniversary, a pre-event forum for this year’s 1000 Leaders Meeting was held at Ikeja, Lagos. The theme was The Security Challenges of a United Nigeria, and it featured prominent and young Nigerian leaders with the passion for a better, united and peaceful Nigeria. It was chaired by chairman, Chyke O’ Group, Pastor Chike Nwakolo, with seasoned speakers, such as Hoofbeats Publisher, Mr. Simbo Olorunfemi, Mr Tony Udom, ace comedian, Ali Baba, Onome Okwah and executive director, Cicom International Mrs Comfort Nwankwo, Pastor Nwakolo said Nigeria would be one of the best countries in the world if as patriots Nigerians strive in their little ways to make positive contributions towards the good of the generality of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, tongue or creed. He added that be it education or security it is

the responsibility of Nigerians to ensure that ‘we live in peace, loving one another, because we are created by the same God and brought together into one indivisible country, that He has blessed so well.’ Mrs. Nwankwo observed that women should come together and work towards achieving peace and bringing back the Nigeria of old when tribe was not an impediment. She stressed that it is the women and children that suffer most all over the world in times of crisis, some of which dialogue would have resolved. Ali Baba said the time has come to ignore individual differences, see beyond selfish interest and work as one to bring back Nigeria’s glory for benefit of the children. ‘With 1000 Leaders Global Project our interest is to ensure that we provide a veritable platform for the training of leaders who are interested in the advancement of humanity,’ according to Mrs. Idaraobong Omowunmimi Isong–Ibanga.

A major tragedy of this society is that our leaders don’t read. Some have attributed it to the coming of the internet and social media. I disagree...If our leaders can develop the reading culture, I think the society will be better because in this book, there is no aspect of our social, political, economic, spiritual and cultural lives that is not touched. that. You know in their eagerness to get mentioned, readers will say all sorts of things just to abuse those they suspect are making life miserable for them. It is the duty of an editor, as a gate keeper, so to say, to edit such responses and where they cannot be edited, to just leave out and take the abuses from the readers. I need the readers to continue to enjoy my column and buy the paper, so you have to do what I call a balancing act. Have you had any brushes with security agents? No. In writing a column, there is a way you can tell somebody to go to hell and he will look forward to the trip. Because columnists want to sanitise the society does not mean that we should be reckless. You can write on vices in the society without touching on national security. What informed the title Here Comes the Commander-in-Chief? The book has about 115 columns and I picked the title from one of the columns. But that is not to say that it is the best column. I wrote that column in the build up to the 2011 election when former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others were trying to wrest power from President Goodluck Jonathan. I elaborated on the enormous power of the President in a country like Nigeria and why it would be difficult for them, given the reality we know, to remove him from Aso Rock. Are you saying that by that column, you supported Jonathan during the election? The column was a practical manifestation of the power and resources an incumbent would deploy to retain his seat. When you read it, you will understand where I am coming from. Why publish the book now? A major tragedy of this society is that our leaders don’t read. Some have attributed it to the coming of the internet and social media. I disagree. Anytime I go to the United

States, I go to bookshops and you won’t believe that hundreds of Americans will be seen buying one book or the other. If our leaders can develop the reading culture, I think the society will be better because in this book, there is no aspect of our social, political, economic, spiritual and cultural lives that is not touched. Do you know that in the New York Police Department, there is a laundry section? Do we have that in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)? How will you have a sane society when those mandated to ensure that sane society are not psychologically balanced? When you get to Ojota, Lagos, you will see some area boys collecting egunje (bribe) for security agents. What is responsible for that? Some churches are not better than night clubs and they will be shouting the name of Jesus Christ. You will find that in the book. This is a country in which some people have perpetual injunction, which means nobody can arraign them. These are societal challenges that our leaders, if they can cultivate the habit of reading, will find solutions to through columns. How? Columnists go down historical lane to tell the society how such challenges were solved in other climes. That is what you will find in my book. Going through the columns in the book, you will find out that I don’t just criticise, I proffer solutions. What is the target audience? Everybody. The language is simple, very simple. Even primary school pupils can read it. That is the way a society can be reformed. Start from youths. I started reading newspapers from primary school. By the way, I attended four primary schools. In Ibadan, I attended Ebenezer African Church School and later Ayodele Nursery and Primary School. When my father moved to Ondo, I attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School and later C.A.C. Primary School, OkeIsegun. My father would buy all newspapers then, Daily Times, Daily Sketch, Nigerian Tribune, Herald etc. I and my siblings would, at times, go to Barracks Road, the distribution point for vendors in Ondo, to get the papers on time. On the road, we would start reading. I remember that while in Form 2 at St. Ambrose Catholic Grammar School, Olorunsola, Ondo, I sent an opinion to Daily Sketch and it was published. There was nobody I didn’t show this paper in Ondo. I was so delighted. Newspapers were sold for 20 kobo then. When I showed it to my Government teacher, he was so happy that he bought two copies and gave me one because the one I was showing people belonged to my father. Today, even graduates don’t read again. Everybody is into yahoo yahoo. No society can develop like that. So, this book can be read by everybody. Who are you dedicating the book to? My parents of course. My father, Archbishop I.M. Akinadewo and my mother, Superintendent General Apostolic Mother M.A. Akinadewo. She died in 2010.

Passion of a princess for art •Continued from page 26 should stand up and begin to impact their arts in others. That was what inspired our Bring Back the Arts in children and Moving Art Exhibition projects." She lamented the non-availability of art teachers. According to her, "Most schools don't offer arts anymore." The underlying philosophy of art for humanity sake and the Moving Art exhibition, she said, also has given birth to the Greenhouse Multipurpose Art centre that would be unveiled before the year ends. When it finally kicks-off, she said, it would be a non-profit making organisation. "The centre would be empowering everybody in various arts and craft: women, youths, children and anybody who is willing to learn. Although the centre is not a money-making venture but participants would pay a token to engender a sense commitment in them. We also intend to train the arts educators. Some arts teachers have not been to any art school but they teach art.

As an art educator, I would like to introduce to them guidance and counselling again because such course is almost completely wiped out in our schools," said the princessartist.

Promoting young artistic talents

She is also passionate about promoting talents, particularly the young ones. Since 2009, the GreenHouse has been promoting both well-established and promising Nigerian artists, among others. She said: “As long as I have breath and inspiration continues to flow, I am going to keep making arts. “I have been into promoting young artists, such as Oke Ibem Oke, Alimi Saheed, for a while now. I go beyond just showcasing their works to putting the contacts details so clients can reach them after for other commissioned works. It has gone a long way to impacting on their arts. The terrain is not easy for established artists; there is almost no space for the young artist and there are not many arts collectors.”


29

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Forecasts Profit after tax N590.797m 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 INS Gross Premium N1.223b Profit after tax N80.01m OASIS INS 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 INS Gross Premium N2.142b Profit after tax N475.964m C O N T I N E N T A L REINSURANCE Gross Premium N6.917b Profit after tax N805m PRESCO Turnover N2.60b Profit after tax N800.9m RT BRISCOE Turnover N4.553b

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

AMCON to debtors: pay up now or regret your actions D EBTORS that fail to take advantage of the ongoing peaceful resolution on loan repayment will regret their actions, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said. Head, Loan Management, AMCON, Kamilu Omokide disclosed this at a workshop on credit management and debt recovery organised by Monbasab Ventures, in Lagos. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, we remain conscious of the powers of the Corporation as provided by the AMCON Act. As promised last year, debtors that have failed to take advantage of the various peaceful resolution opportunities offered would regret their actions. “Borrowers who expect the tax payer to assume their liability clearly misunderstand what AMCON is all about. Recovery agents have recently been appointed and the Corporation is entering the foreclosure mode,” said Omokide, who represented AMCON

By Collins Nweze

CEO, Mustafa Chike-Obi. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had penultimate Friday said debtors, amongst who are Alhaji Syyu Dantata, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, Prof. Bart Nnaji, Mrs Elizabeth Ebi, and Dr. Wale Banalakin and their firms, should no longer be allowed further credit by banks. A total of 113 companies and 419 directors/shareholders were listed as debtors. This had prompted Femi Otedola, who was also listed amongst others, to pay-off their debts. The AMCON MD, however, said the corporation is conscious of its powers as provided by the AMCON Act, adding that borrowers who expect the tax payer to assume their liability clearly misunderstands what

the corporation is all about. He said recovery agents have already been appointed and the corporation is entering the foreclosure mode. He explained that few years ago, the banking industry and the Nigerian economy almost collapsed on the weight of global economic challenges and the crystallization of monumental levels of credit risks. These threatened the going concern status of several banks, accelerated the crash of the capital market and led to significant regulatory and government intervention that included the creation of the AMCON. According to him, to date, AMCON has purchased approximately 12,600 loans with total exposures of about N3.577 trillion, for which the corporation paid the sum of N1.596 trillion, a

•From left: Deputy Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe; Executive Governor, Gombe State Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and Commissioner for Finance Gombe State, Abdul-Hameed Ibrahim, at the Completion Board Meeting for Offer for Subscription N20 billion Fixed Rate Bond (Series1) 2012/2019 (Under the N30 Billion Debt Issuance Programme) by Gombe State in Abuja.

I

discount of about 55 per cent. These he said comprised about 500 accounts make up 77 per cent of the portfolio. He explained that to arrive at optimum recovery strategies, the corporation has carried out various analysis of the portfolio by sector, collateral, loan size, location, among other steps taken. The corporation, he said, is however, using different recovery approaches to the resolution of the loans purchased. These include encouraging full and final payment through voluntary settlement of outstanding obligations; debt restructuring, which involves granting borrowers’ longer tenors, reduced interest rates and repayment sums, tailored towards customer’s cash flow projections/verified capacity. Besides, he said there is also the option of debt-equity swap and injection of funds to vital businesses in the economy to get them back to the path of profitability and operational efficiency. Also, the corporation allows customers to trade-in useful assets, especially shares and landed properties in settlement of their loans and finally, foreclosure actions. “Our experience is that a superior strategy for debt recovery is to re-perform the loans. While this may have its challenges, it is easier than enforcement or foreclosure which is costly and time consuming. The recovery process has also been largely internally driven,” he said. He explained that beyond the recovery of loans, AMCON is a revitalising tool for the Nigerian economy and has taken a long term view of assets including shares and properties, which it manages in an orderly manner to avoid creating market gluts or depressing their prices. The AMCON boss said that it is inevitable that for banks to effectively discharge their intermediation role and to generate income, they must take credit risks. He said the Nigerian banking industry is replete with cases of bank failures largely occasioned by the crystallisation of significant credit risks. He advised that the credit approval limits of the Board should be exercised by the Board, not by executive management on their behalf.

Investors gain N1.4tr in third quarter

NVESTORS pocketed about N1.4 trillion in capital gains in the third quarter of 2012 as sustained upswing in the latter part of the quarter spiraled returns to investors. The last quarter witnessed notable rebound of the stock market, posting the biggest rally in recent periods. Value indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated a return of 20 per cent during the three-month period ended September 30, 2012. Total average year-to-date return currently stood at 25.47 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities, which had opened the third quarter at N6.895 trillion, closed the period at N8.282 trillion. This represented an increase of N1.39 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)- the benchmark index at the NSE, which tracks changes in prices of all equities, jumped from its index on board of 21,599.57 points to 26,011.64 points,

Foreign investors stake N48b on Nigerian equities - 32

By Taofik Salako

an increase of 20.43 per cent. The market had closed the first half with a marginal gain of 4.19 per cent. ASI closed the first half at 21,599.57 points as against its year opening index of 20,730.63 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities also showed modest increase of 5.54 per cent at N6.895 trillion by June compared with its value on board of N6.533 trillion for the year. The market had closed the first quarter with a negative year-to-date return of 0.38 per cent as declines in share prices of highly capitalised stocks overwhelmed the market. ASI closed first quarter at 20,652.47 while aggregate market capitalisation of all equities closed the first three months at N6.550 trillion. The performance of the market in the third quarter exceeded most esti-

mates and reinforced confidence that the stock market would close 2012 with substantial gains. Managing Director, GTI Securities, Mr. Tunde Oyekunle said the market would signal a major recovery this year, leveraging on global economic recovery and reforms in the domestic economy. According to him, there are strong expectations from the banking sector, and banks being major stocks on the NSE, these improvements in performances of banks would impact positively on the stock market. Analyst at FSDH Securities had predicted that the stock market could deliver positive average returns of more than 13 per cent in 2012. According to analysts, equities were still favoured by the prevailing macroeconomic and market conditions to deliver better returns this year.

‘Prepaid credit cards used for money laundering’ - 30

Analysts at FSDH said they believed that the ASI could achieve a full-year return of 13.3 per cent in 2012 and opted to allocate nearly onethird of funds to equities in their portfolio management. They had noted that recent data on the macro economic variables on the Nigerian economy have shown some improvements while there have been a commendable cooperation and coordination between the fiscal and monetary authorities on the direction of the economy. “We believe that there are opportunities in the market both for capital appreciation and dividend earnings. The current market situation demands that investors identify large capitalised stocks with track record of good dividend payments that still have potential for both capital appreciation and dividend payment,” FSDH noted.

Lottery board to sanction banks over fake promos - 31


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

30

MONEY

Prepaid credit cards used for money laundering, P CBN, EFCC, others allege REPAID credit cards are being deployed in borders formoney laundering, the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), has said. The NeFF, comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and commercial banks, spoke in Lagos. The laundered money is often used for terrorist financing. The planning, logistics and acquisition of objects for terrorist actions often require cross-border transfer of funds to the country of destination. Digital Encode Limited, NeFF partner, said money laundering is an intentionally-committed crime that signifies the conversion and transfer of assets of an illicit origin. The objective of this action consists of disguising the true origin, location, nature, disposition, movements and transfer of assets acquired from illegal activities. Participation, support or facilitation of illegal activities, such as transfer of money of illicit origin

Stories by Collins Nweze

to several bank accounts and afterwards their conversion into legal financial products, are regarded also as money laundering actions. NeFF said: “Direct importing of cash will be avoided for the reason of strict border control; more sophisticated techniques will rather be applied for quick and mostly complex transfer of funds through existing legal and illegal transfer systems and financial instruments.” The money laundering techniques involving direct use of electronic payment systems is often linked to terrorism financing and it is used only as a transporting instrument in one of the three phases of the money laundering cycle. “Money wire transfers can be

characterised as the easiest transfer method within the money laundering activities. Transfers are financial transactions by which values are transported from the payer to the payee electronically over telecommunication networks,” it said. Chief Technical Officer, Digital Encode Seyi Akindeinde said the laundered fund is detrimental to economies of nations, including Nigeria. He said prepaid card services have a unique ’domino effect, which brings the unbanked into the formal financial system, but it has to be guided against being hijacked by money launderers because of its simplicity in usage. “The expansion of e-payment platforms is an exciting opportunity to reduce the cash economy, making the market safe while si-

multaneously improving the lives of the poor. We insist that it is only through a careful analysis of the actual risks posed that appropriate proportionate regulation and controls can be developed,” he said. Other features that make prepaid cards vulnerable to money laundering include anonymity, elusiveness (untraceable transactions), rapidity and lack of oversight. He however, explained that even in the worst-case scenario where a mobile customer is not registered, transactions are less anonymous than with cash, since they can be linked to a unique mobile number and since transactions (sender’s mobile number, amount, receiver’s mobile number, date) are recorded and traceable. This differs from cash where there is neither a unique identifier for the user nor a recorded trace of the payment. He said whilst cash transactions are untraceable, mobile money transactions are clearly traceable in the system of mobile operators as part of usual business practice. For instance, telephone number

(sending and receiving), time and the amount of the transaction are known to the mobile operator. According to him, over a distance, the electronic character of mobile technology can make transactions much more rapid and effortless than cash. Rapidity is therefore a bigger risk factor for mobile money services than for cash. In the case where there are no automated internal controls, this can provide efficient means for criminals to launder money. He added that while the cash economy lacks oversight, a mobile operator offering mobile money services is regulated. He explained that where laundered money is loaded onto a prepaid debit card that is given to another individual for use, it could look very much like any normal transaction with no observable loss to the card issuer. Therefore, prepaid cards he explained are an example of a payment method that provides a potentially attractive vehicle for enabling money laundering transactions. According to him, payment providers and others in the card industry have reacted by putting restrictions on load limits and requiring cardholder identification to help eliminate the potential for using prepaid cards in money laundering.

Fix legal, debt issues, banks told

B

• From left: President/Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, Prof James Kayode Makinde; 1st Vice President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mrs Debola Osibogun and Registrar/Chief Executive, CIBN, Dr Uju Ogubunka, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CIBN and the university on Degree Linkage Programme at Bankers House, Lagos.

Why co-operatives are weak, by group

L

IMITED systematic data on the co-operative sector is hindering effective engagement with the segment, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has said. EFInA, which promotes financial inclusion in the country, said it was difficult to determine the optimal strategy for expanding financial services through co-operatives based on a survey it conducted. The firm had undertaken a study of the sector in Enugu, Kebbi and Oyo states. Findings from the survey showed they were disseminated and discussed by panelists and participants from co-operative groups, traditional co-operatives are common throughout the country, but these groups tend to be small, with a common bond based on membership of a kinship, societal and/or professional group. According to the Federal Department of Co-operatives, as at 2010, there were over 80,000 co-operative groups with over 1.4 million members in 605 local government areas in the country. The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2010 survey also revealed that almost 21.9 million Nigerian adults used informal groups including co-operatives while 14.8

million rely on the sector as their only means of access to financial services. Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, said: ”There is a core and dedicated following of co-operatives in Enugu, Kebbi and Oyo states, which is probably also replicated across Nigeria. Members regularly save and have a real demand for loans. “Our data revealed that the 700 members interviewed in these three states saved over N243 million annually; and that the 150 managers interviewed, managed a loan portfolio of N122 million. Therefore, there is a significant potential for co-operatives to make a bigger impact amongst those who are un-banked or underserved. If optimised, co-operatives can be a force in empowering rural communities, farmers, women and micro entrepreneurs throughout Nigeria.” Minister of Co-operative Development and Marketing, Kenya, Mr Joseph Nyagah and Dean, Faculty of Co-operative and Community Development, Moshi University College of Co-operatives and Business Studies (MUCCoBS), Tanzania Mr Christian Malamsha, agreed with her. Nyagah shared insights on how

effective regulations can support the growth and development of cooperatives and maximise their impact on financial inclusion. “Kenya’s Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) is the most dynamic and largest in Africa. At the end of 2011, there were 14,126 registered co-operatives – serving over 10 million members in Kenya,” he said. He reiterated the need for government to create a conducive environment for growth and development of co-operatives through effective policies, overseeing development and administration of co-operative legislation and regulations. “Co-operatives remain important in providing access to finance, and in particular credit to low income individuals given the rising cost of lending by banks,” he said. Malamsha, on his part, said cooperative can strengthen the competence of co-operatives and their managers, which would assist in accelerating the uptake of formal financial products in the co-operative sector. “Co-operative colleges should identify, develop and review programmes continuously, to ensure that the training needs of co-operatives are met,” he said.

ANKS must ensure they get legal and debt recovery is sues right before giving loans to customers, a university teacher, Taiwo Odumosu, has said. Speaking at a workshop on credit management and debt recovery organised by Monsad Ventures Limited, Odumosu said the direction of commerce required lenders to be painstaking and diligent in analysing credit requests, including dealing with legal issues and challenges faced by credit recovery agents. He called for a proactive legal regime and control that understand the relevant laws, know how and when to invoke legal processes, avoid legal pitfalls in debt collection negotiations. He explained that credit analysts and lawyers have to understand what a credit report contains, especially information about customer’s borrowing history. They also need to be abreast with credit bureau service providers that collect - and then distribute - all of this information about borrowers. He described credit buraux as in-

formation warehouses, adding that where there is erroneous information from this segment of the market, credit could suffer. According to him, a bank should adhere to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance (NDIC) Act, Section 22 which stipulates that it is illegal for an insured bank-not to make adequate provisions for bad and doubtful debts up to the amount recommended by the Corporation or pays dividends in defiance of this provision. He explained that where an insured bank is closed on account of its inability to meet the demands of its depositors, the corporation is empowered to recover any debts owed to the closed bank or any asset which are in possession of any other person or institution. He said these policies have to be continually enforced for the credit industry to grow. Odumosu regretted that the laws have not been able to provide enough safeguard for the banks and other money lending agencies to ensure that they are adequately covered when there is loan default.

MAN, firm partner on IFRS

A

KINTOLA Williams Deloitte (AWD) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have concluded a one-day seminar on assisting Small and Medium Enterprises to achieve the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) implementation. The IFRS will take effect from January, next year. The IFRS are principles-based standards, interpretations and framework adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) that requires disclosure on a range of issues including risk management measures and changes in accounting policy. The IFRS Leader for Deloitte West and Central Africa, Oduware Uwadiae, said there are benefits and challenges of IFRS reporting for SMES. He listed them to include IFRS conversion process and the need for early preparation. A statement said MAN has approached Akintola Williams

Deloitte to take the seminar to other regions in Nigeria, where its other SME members, who could not attend, are Deloitte is also partnering with MAN after signing a Memorandun of Understanding (MoU) to organise elaborate training and assist in IFRS implementation for all SMEs under the platform of MAN. The seminar, which was hugely applauded by participants and stakeholders, was the third phase of the adoption of IFRS in Nigeria. It highlighted the need to create awareness and sensitise participants. According to the roadmap for IFRS adoption in Nigeria, this phase of the adoption, statutorily requires SMEs to issue financial statements based on the framework of IFRS for SMEs at the end of 31st December, 2014. This effectively means that the transition date to IFRS for all SMEs in Nigeria is January, 2013.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

31

MONEY

Lottery board to sanction T banks over fake promos

CBN, banks partner

T

HE National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) will not hesitate to seal off the premises of any bank whose promotional campaigns are bogus or misleading. Other sanctions include issuing a public disclaimer and an order to stop the promo. The Assistant Director, Enforcement and Compliance, NLRC, Henry Uwadiae, said the sanctions were in line with the powers conferred on the commission as the sole regulator of all aspects of lottery in the country. He told The Nation that the lottery body would resort to such measures to protect consumers from being hoodwinked into patronising certain banking services and further maintain the integrity of the commission. He said the commission has been intimated with issues of fake presentation and claims prizes among various players in the economy, and would try as much as possible to protect consumers. He said: “The Lottery Commis-

Stories by Akinola Ajibade

sion regulates national lotteries including promos. What the banks are doing is under promo in which we have oversight functions. It is part of regulatory duties to investigate promos to see whether they are genuine or not. “For instance, a bank (name withheld) organised a promo sometimes ago. The bank stated in its promo that it is presenting 20 cars to the lucky winners, but we discovered that the information was not true. At the end of the day, the bank said it could not reach all the twenty winners in question. We were able to find out that the bank had three cars, instead of the twenty cars. “If a bank is doing a promo that is lottery in nature, it is the duty of the lottery commission to tell the bank to regularise it. If the bank fails to regularise the promo, there is no other thing the commission can do other than to stop the promo.” If any bank or company violates

the law regarding the running of a promo, and it was discovered to be deliberate, the firm will be charged in accordance with the criminal code act, he stated. Uwadiae said the commission has taken it upon itself to monitor all activities relating to promotional campaigns, from beginning to the end, to ascertain their genuineness. “We give banks the permit to organise promos. Not only that, we take our men to the venue of the promo to witness it. We involve ourselves in the presentation of the prizes. Some institutions may not be able to present the prizes centrally due to their sizes and the volume of the promos they are running. “To ensure fairness and further prevent any form of sharp practices, “we ask the institution(s) to send the list of winners to us, and verify them to know whether they are genuine. Through this, we would be able to know the level of redemption of the prizes,” he said.

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks are implementing fresh measures aimed at empowering farmers financially and providing favourable fiscal policies for their operations. It said it had granted zero tariffs for the importation of agricultural machinery and equipment. The bank said it took the action to create a robust agricultural sector and provide an enabling environment for investments. The CBN and banks are also working with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other key stakeholders to develop an innovative financing mechanism, tagged Nigeria Incentivebased Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). Data from the CBN said the annual demand for agribusiness fi• CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido nancing over the next 40 years is projected at $6.5 billion per annum, compared with the current annual fund supply of $1.5 billion. The apex bank said the scheme is expected to provide farmers with affordable financial products, while reducing the risk of loans to farmers under other financing programme offered by the financial institutions. The initiative will build capacities of banks to expand lending to agriculture, deploy risk sharing instruments to lower risks of lending and develop a bank rating scheme to assess banks based on their lending to the agricultural sector. The apex bank boss added that the initiative will help unlock access to bank finance, critical for stimulating agric lending and increasing food and crop production in the country.

Augusto rates Stanbic/IBTC, Access Bank AUGUSTO & Company has rated Stanbic/IBTC Plc and Access Bank Plc as ‘A’ and ‘Aa(f) respectively in its latest ratings programme. While Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund (‘SIMMF’) was rated ‘Aa(f) for having strong underlying assets, Access Bank got ‘A’ for its good liquidity profile, adequate capitalisation, improved market position and funding abilities following its acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc. The firm, in a statement on its website, said funds rated ‘Aa(f)’ are deemed to have minimal to low exposure to downside risk (impairment to the net asset value) in the medium term. It said SIMMF also has conservative investment guidelines for managing interest rate and liquidity risk - with a target maximum portfolio weighted average maturity of 90 days, and all investments maturing within 366 days. It said: “The investment process is well established, with track record; however we believe that operational risk management can be improved as not all fund investment guidelines are explicitly checked on a daily basis.” “The rating is supported by the good quality of the bank’s underlying assets. All investments require a minimum rating of “A” from a SEC registered rating agency; and at least 25 per cent of net assets must be invested in government securities with “Aaa” credit quality. “Agusto & Co reviews the holdings report of the Fund on at least a monthly basis, and may revise the Fund Risk rating in the event there is a change in the risk profile of the portfolio of assets,” it added.

• From left: Head of Loan Management, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Kamilu Omokide; Former Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Prof. Philomena Ikulayo and Managing Director, Monbasab Ventures Inc. Gbola Rahmon at a workshop on Credit Risk Management & Debt Recovery held in Lagos

MfBs groan under huge tax burden

M

ICROFINANCE banks are battling MfBs huge tax burdens and botched attempts to get tax holidays from the government, The Nation has learnt. According to the annual reports of some of the banks, huge taxes is common to all the entities. For instance, Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) Microfinance Bank Limited paid N1.1 billion tax to government in 18 months. Also, Unical Microfinance Bank Limited, Calabar, Cross River, paid N7 million tax per annum to government. Many of the operators in Lagos, who spoke under cover, said they have tried to meet the government on the issue, but to no avail. They said MfB operators were mostly affected, due to various taxes imposed on them by the government. The Managing Director of LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said quite a large number of the banks were having problems with taxes. He urged the Federal Government to consider microfinance banks in terms of tax payment so they could reach a good number of the low income earners.

He said: “Microfinance banks that are supposed to support poor people are subjected to the same tax regime of an oil and gas company. If you look at our financials, we paid a tax of N1.1 billion cash for 18 months to the Federal Government, because of what tax people call tax commencement or tax registration. “Our appeal is that because of the peculiar nature of microfinance, and because of the peculiar nature of those who benefit from microfinance banks, they should be given some consideration or rebate in terms of tax. This can translate to a bigger loan to reach a large number of people,” he added. Also, the Managing Director/ CEO of Unical Microfinance Bank, Edim Obim, advocated that government should grant microfinance banks tax relief to consolidate and provide financial services to those at the grassroots. Reacting to the development, Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks, South West Lagos (NAMLAG), chapter, Olufemi Babajide, confirmed that microfinance banks have not enjoyed tax holiday from the govern-

ments, adding that the sub-sector had approached government but nothing positive came out of it. He said: “Microfinance banking is a new business. We should have tax holiday for at least 10 years so that we can establish well and serve the low income earners better. The government of Western Australia recently granted payroll tax rebate to small businesses operating in that country. “Such small businesses with nationwide group payrolls of up to $1.5 million in the 2012/13 financial year would receive a full rebate of their WA payroll tax liabilities, with a maximum value of $41,250. “The rebate is part of the measures the Western Australian government has put in place to reduce the tax burden on small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy. This will help ensure that the country remains an attractive place to do business. “If this is replicated in Nigeria, particularly in the microfinance sub-sector, the same advantage or benefit will be achieved,” he said.

Stakeholders chide mobile money firms STAKEHOLDERS have berated the 16 mobile money firms for low output almost a year after they were licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). They said the mobile money companies were still battling with the problems relating to capacity building, agent networks, and strong outlays. The Managing Director, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), Ade Osinubi, said mobile money operators are yet to realise their huge potential in the country. He said with a market worth billions of naira, what they have on ground is a far cry from their targets. Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on cash-less programme in Lagos, Osinubi said the agency would continue to do its best to make all the operators in the cash-less value chain achieve their set objectives. Also, the Managing Director, Mobile Money Africa, Emmanuel Okogwale, said the aggregate value of mobile money companies was about N150,000 billion, stressing that the market can boast of $2 billion if the potential are well harnessed in the sub-sector. He advised the operators to work harder to solve the teething problems that still affect their activities, arguing that the market has the capacity to produce billion of dollars like its counterpart in Kenya.

Govt, World Bank collaborate THE Federal Government and the World Bank are partnering to create a sustainable job funds. The initiative, which is expected to take over $80 million, will help in training graduates of tietary institutions in Information and Communciation Technology (ICT), as well as related job skills. The initiative is being implemented through Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (Step–B) project under the Federal Ministry of Education. Speaking during a job fair organised by Step B, the World Bank and other private sector players in Lagos, the National Co-ordinator of Step ‘B’, Ministry of Education, Prof Micheal Adikwu said there were complaints that many Nigerian graduates were unemployable because they do not have the pre-requisite skills. Adikwu said the initiative would help in reducing the pressure on the labour market, and further improve the economy.


32

THE NATION WESDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

THE NATION INVESTORS

Foreign investors stake N48b on Nigerian equities

F

OREIGN investors staked about N48 billion on Nigerian equities in September. This is more than two-thirds of the total funds committed to the stock market during the period. The Nation’s market intelligence indicated that foreign portfolio investors accounted for N47.94 billion out of total turnover of about N68.5 billion recorded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) during the 20-day trading period. This implies that foreign portfolio investments accounted for 70 per cent of transactions during the period. Transactional analysis indicated foreign portfolio investors staked an average of about N12 billion every week on Nigerian equities during the period. Average weekly turnover for September stood at N17.12 billion. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) confirmed that foreign portfolio investors made up 70 per cent of turnover on the NSE. Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, said the stock market remained largely driven by foreign investors, which account for 70 per cent of turnover. She however, noted that 70 per cent-foreign participation was a reduction on the previous position when foreign investors accounted for some 80 per cent. According to her, the reduction in foreign participation signaled gradual return of local investors

A

Stories by Taofik Salako

and increasing confidence in Nigerian equities. NSE witnessed the exchange of 10.09 billion shares worth N68.49 billion in 94,569 deals in September. Average weekly turnover stood at 2.52 billion shares valued at N17.12 billion in 23,642 deals. The stock market had started the month on a high tempo with turnover of 3.47 billion shares worth N23.99 billion in 21,542 deals in the first week. Turnover dropped to 2.22 billion shares valued at N14.25 billion in 24,108 deals by the second week. In the third week, turnover picked up to 2.7 billion shares worth N15.70 billion in 24,717 deals. The month closed with its lowest turnover of 1.74 billion shares worth N14.54 billion in 24,202 deals. Annual report and accounts of the NSE for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed that foreign portfolio investments accounted for over 80.75 per cent of total inflows during the year at N512.7 billion. With total outflows reported at N335.2billion, net inflows for 2011 stood at N177.6billion, a 4.90 per cent dip over the previous year’s net inflows of N186.7billion. Nigeria’s foreign portfolio investments represented a mere 0.47 per cent of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in 2011 as against 0.58 per cent in 2010 and compared with South Africa’s estimated 3.5 per cent in 2011 and 4.3 per cent in 2010. The Nation had earlier reported that foreign investors were scouting for undervalued Nigerian companies and possible turnaround tar-

Analysts cut profit forecasts by 52%

NALYSTS are lowering estimates for European earnings growth by 52 per cent, clashing with investors whose confidence in the European Central Bank helped send equity valuations to a two and a half-year high. While the Euro Stock 50 Index surged 25 per cent over the past four months, matching the three biggest rallies in the past decade, more than 12,000 estimates compiled by Bloomberg show net income will grow 13 percent next year, down from the 27 percent forecast in January. The gauge is trading at 9.5 times next year’s projected profit, near the highest since April 2010. Bears say declining estimates for companies from Daimler AG (DAI) to UniCredit SpA show analysts doubt Europe’s economy will strengthen and that stocks have risen too far, too fast. Bulls say valuations can climb more as the program of unlimited bond purchases unveiled last month by ECB President Mario Draghi will limit government borrowing costs and give debt-laden nations the chance to fix their economies and preserve the euro. “My central case would be we are at the top of a range now and now is a time to own less rather than more,” Luke Ellis, chief executive officer of Man Group Plc’s $19.5 billion fund- of-hedge-fund business, said at a presentation in London on Sept. 25. “The chances are we go back down from here.” Concern the debt crisis, now in its third year, is not yet solved helped send the Euro Stock 50 down 4.8 percent last week, paring its 2012 gain to 5.9 per cent. The gauge rose 0.8 per cent to 2,472,98 in early morning trading on Monday. At the start of this year, analysts projected companies in the index would earn 293 euros a share in 2013, compared with 231 euros in

2011, estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. The forecast growth over the two years had fallen by 52 percent to 261 euros by September 26, the data show. The decline in equities last week trimmed the Euro Stock 50 Index (SX5E)’s price to 9.5 times estimated 2013 earnings, from a 2 1/2-year high of 10 times on Sept. 14. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) is trading at 12.5 times 2013 forecasts, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index trades at 11.2 times. “We have seen a pretty good run up but it has been based more on quantitative easing and intervention,” Peter Garnry, an equities strategist at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said in a Sept. 25 phone interview. “When you look at the fundamentals, they are not following up. The downside is larger than the upside.” Euro-area services and manufacturing output as well as German business confidence unexpectedly dropped to the lowest levels in more than two and a half years in September. The median prediction for 2013 gross domestic product growth in the 17- nation euro area has slipped to 0.4 per cent from 1.1 percent in January and 2.1 per cent in March 2011, according to forecasts from 46 economists compiled by Bloomberg. While government debt in the region has risen to 88 per cent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year from 70 per cent in 2004, the ECB’s rescue efforts are convincing investors to add to euro-area stocks. A net one per cent of money managers had a so-called overweight allocation in European shares last month, according to a Bank of America Corp survey published September 18. That was the first time participants, who together oversee $524 billion, have owned more of the region’s equities than are represented in global benchmark indexes since April 2011.

gets as inlets into the Nigerian economy. Reliable sources in the know of undercurrents in the investment banking industry said enquiries on possible acquisitions, takeovers and strategic equity investments have increased comparatively this year. Investment banking pundits said foreign investors have showed keen interests in the agriculture, financial services and healthcare sectors, which were seen as growth sectors of the economy. Sources said though the security challenge facing the country appeared to be moderating discussions around many major invest-

ments, foreign investors appeared to be discounting the security risks against the huge opportunity presented by Nigeria’s emerging economy. In spite of the global economic contraction, Nigerian economy has sustained consecutive years of growth with average yearly growth of more than six per cent. Most forecasts expect Nigerian economy to remain on the upward in the years ahead, although with varied pace of growth. The moves by new foreign investors followed the pattern of existing major foreign investors in several Nigerian leading companies, which have increased their investments and

control over the Nigerian companies. The major multinationals including Nestle, Cadbury, PZ Cussons and Lafarge had recently reinvested in their Nigerian businesses with Lafarge and Cadbury acquiring additional equity stakes. South African investors have also showed strong appetites for Nigerian companies with South Africa’s food conglomerate-Tiger Brand limited, leading the acquisition spree. Tiger had acquired significant equity stake in UAC Foods Limited, a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria (UACN) Plc. It also announced last week that it had reached agreement to acquire majority equity stake in Dangote Flour Mills (DFM) Plc.

•From left: Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr Folaranmi Odunayo; Chairman, Dr Oba Otudeko and Company Secretary, Mrs Oluyemisi Busari, at the Third Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos

NSE to appoint new council members, restructure HE Nigerian Stock Exthe due process should be folcommittees change (NSE) would soon lowed. The peaceful situation that

T

appoint new members into its council as the stockbrokers’ community moves to strengthen the independence of the Exchange as a self regulatory organisation. The new appointments are sequel to the exit of individuals appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the council of the NSE at the annual general meeting (AGM) last Friday. These included Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh; Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni; Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN; Mr. Bimbo Ogunbanjo; Mr. Bismarck Rewane; Mrs. Dorothy Ufot, SAN and Mr. Hassan Usman. Also, the resignation of Mr. Nsa Harrison, who had tendered his resignation on August 2, 2012, also took effect at the general meeting. Dr. Oba Otudeko retired as an exofficio member of the council and was not eligible for re-election. Alhaji Bello Maccido and Katsina State Investment & Property Development Company Limited who were co-opted into the Council in March 2009 had ceased to be members of on in April 2012. Mallam Ballama Manu, the interim head of council appointed by SEC, had also tendered his resignation on July 25, 2012, effective on that date. The exit of the SEC-appointees and other resignations have more than halved the number of members on the council and left many committees with few members. The national council is the governing body of the NSE. It directs business and financial affairs, strategy, structures and policies of the NSE; monitors the exercise of any delegated authority; and deals with challenges and issues relating to corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and

corporate ethics. Until the general meeting, the council consisted of 21 members including 13 individual ordinary members, one institutional member, and seven dealing members. But at the general meeting, only eight members were re-elected unto the council. Dangote, who had offered himself for re-election and was re-elected while seven other institutional members were also re-elected. These included Partnership Investment Company Limited, Reward Investments & Services Limited, WSTC Financial Services Limited, Apt Securities and Funds Limited, City-Code Trust & Investment Limited, ICON Stockbrokers Limited and Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers. Market operators said the exit of the SEC-appointed persons would pave the way for the reconstitution of the council of the NSE. Operators commended what they described as the regain of independence of the NSE and called for a truly representative council that would fully restore the independence of the Exchange as a Self Regulatory Organisation (SRO). A leading stakeholder said new members would soon be appointed into the council to fill the vacant positions and thereafter, such members would be presented for election at the next AGM. Market operators however, said the new appointees must be in line with the provisions of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the NSE. “We want the provisions of the Memart to be complied with; these are very clear about who and who can be appointed and how people should be appointed to the council. All what we want is that

we have at the general meeting can be sustained if the rules are followed,” a major stakeholder stated. The exit of SEC’s appointees meanwhile, would also lead to massive restructuring at the NSE, especially the committees overseeing the affairs of the NSE. Mrs Yemisi Ayeni was the chairman of the demutualiSation committee, which is assigned the function of reviewing and examining the present structure of the NSE, and, in that context, examining the legal, regulatory, financial, and legacy issues involved in the demutualiSation of bourse. Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo was a member of the demutualisation committee and the disciplinary committee, which is empowered to hear and adjudicate upon disciplinary matters brought before it in respect of dealing members and exercise the disciplinary powers of council as set forth in the rules governing dealing members. Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh chaired the finance and general purpose committee, which has oversight function on NSE’s financial affairs and is charged with assisting the council on review and provision of oversight of NSE’s human resource policies. The committee, which also had Bismarck Rewane as a member, acts as a court of last resort for disciplinary matters involving staff in the management cadre. Mrs. Dorothy Ufot (SAN) had chaired the rules and adjudication committee, which is charged with the continuous review of the NSE’s rules and regulations and provision of oversight regarding legal and regulatory issues affecting The Exchange.


THE NATION WESDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

33

THE NATION INVESTORS FACTS

Presco vs Okomu Oil: gains from farming

T

HERE are only five companies from the agriculture sector quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Presco Plc and Okomu Oil accounted for about 91 per cent of the sectoral capitalisation, reflecting their weight as the two largest and most prominent stocks agricultural stocks. Both companies are integrated agricultural companies with oil palm plantations, palm oil mills, crushing plants and oil refining plants. They engage in cultivation of oil palm and extraction and refining of palm oil into finished products. They are major suppliers of specialty fats and oils to several large and medium companies. Besides similarity of business operations, the two companies shared several similarities including the location of their farms in Edo State and substantial foreign shareholdings. They are also companies of nearly the same size and run the same business year. Okomu Oil Palm, the older and the larger of the two companies, was incorporated in 1979 and listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1991, the same year Presco was incorporated. Presco became a public limited liability company and listed its shares on the NSE in 2002. Okomu Oil Palm currently has market capitalisation of about N15 billion while Presco trailed with N14.7 billion. Latest audited reports and accounts of Okomu Oil and Presco showed striking similarities, with all key indices jumping to new highs. From turnover to profit and returns, both companies recorded considerably high growths, putting recent average growth for many indices in three digits. The agriculture stocks had bumper harvests, but Okomu Oil maintained its lead on several counts. Sales generation Presco improved on its 35 per cent sales growth in 2010 in 2011,

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

TO

FACTS

Okomu Oil 2011 2010 % %

Average %

82.7 79 136.3 61.6 41.9 140.8 32.6 44.4

67.35 39.5 309.7 62.25 37.15 361.2 25.65 36.1

By Taofik Salako

with increase of about 59 per cent in 2011. These indicated average growth rate of about 47 per cent. Okomu Oil Palm also increased sales by 83 per cent in 2011, consolidating the top-line performance in 2010 when incomes grew by 52 per cent. Average sales growth in recent years thus stood at 67.4 per cent. The top-line performance during the year ended December 31, 2011 showed improvement in operating environment and expansive investments by the agriculture stocks. Profitability Both companies also witnessed considerable improvements in profitability, with significant outward growths and stronger underlying profit-making capacity. Presco grew profit by 93 per cent in 2011, in addition to an increase of 295 per cent in 2010. This represented average growth rate of 194 per cent. After taxes, net profit rose by 55 per cent in 2011. Net profit had grown by 358 per cent in 2010. Average net profit growth thus stood at 206.4 per cent. On the other hand, Okomu Oil Palm grew gross profit by 79 per cent in 2011. With better cost management and negligible financial leverage, Okomu Oil Palm magnified its top-line performance into three-digit improvement in the bottom-line. Profit before tax doubled by 136 per cent in 2011 while profit after tax jumped by 141 per cent in 2011. With 483 per cent and 582 per cent growths in pre and post tax profits respectively in 2010, average growth in profit before tax stood at 310 per cent while average net profit growth stood at 361 per cent. Besides, there has also been remarkable improvement in the inherent profit-making capacity of

52 483.1 62.9 32.4 581.6 18.7 27.8

the agriculture stocks. Presco’s gross margin improved from 43 per cent in 2010 to 50 per cent in 2011, indicating average margin of 46 per cent. Pre-tax profit margin rose from 25 per cent in 2010 to 30 per cent in 2011. Although Okomu Oil’s gross profit margin slipped marginally from 63 per cent in 2010 to 62 per cent in 2011, pre-tax profit margin improved from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. Average gross profit margin thus stood at 62.3 per cent while average pre-tax profit margin was 2011 at 37.2 per cent. Actual returns Both Presco and Okomu Oil also improved on returns to shareholders and other stakeholders. Presco returned 16 per cent on average assets in 2011 as against 15 per cent in 2010, indicating average return on total assets of 15.4 per cent over the years. Return on equity-to shareholders who provided the equity funds, also improved from 31 per cent to 36 per cent. Okomu Oil also performed above average during the period. Return on total assets improved to 32.6 per cent in 2011 compared with 18.7 per cent in 2010. Return on equity trended upward from 28 per cent to 44 per cent. Average returns on assets and equity thus stood at 25.7 per cent and 36.1 per cent. The Bottom-line Agriculture has shown considerable resilience during this downturn, sustaining growth that has served as catalyst for Nigeria’s growing Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Government’s fiscal policy measures aimed at encouraging domestic agricultural companies also appeared to be impacting positively on the sector. The Federal Government had in its fiscal policy measures for 2012 granted several incentives to agriculture sector including a zero duty on agricultural machinery and equipment with ef-

Presco 2011 % Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

fect from January 31, 2012. The new fiscal measures were introduced to support the development of agricultural sector. Also, as part of the encouragements to local farmers, the government had indicated it would prohibit importation of cassava flour. Besides, many agricultural companies had benefitted from financial incentives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which helped to reduce financial leverage and pressure on the bottomline. The performance of Presco and

58.5 84.1 93.4 49.6 30.2 54.5 16 36.1

2010 %

Average %

34.5

46.5 42.05 194.05 46.1 27.5 206.35 15.4 33.6

294.7 42.6 24.8 358.2 14.8 31.1

Okomu Oil reflects the emerging potential of agriculture stocks, especially farsighted companies with medium-to-long-term investment plans. Both Presco and Okomu Oil have been implementing plantation and production expansion plans that provided them with economies of scale as well as opportunities to benefit from the government incentives. Although weather remains a considerable challenge to agriculture, both companies appeared to signal the resurgence of farming.

‘Nigeria courier market worth 4b’

T

•From Left: Director, Kaizen,Chijioke Dozie, CEO,Yomi Awobokun, Head Commercial,Dunni Ajayi, Non-Fuel Revenue Manager,Eshema Ojo, all of Oando Marketing Plc and Director,Kaizen Ngozi Dozie, during the launch of the Oando Marketing's TrippMart retail stores at Oando Service Station, Fola Agoro, Lagos

HE value of Nigeria’s courier market is in excess of N4billion, the Association of Nigerian Courier Operators of Nigeria (ANCO) has said. The Association’s General Secretary, Mr. Siyanbola Oladapo disclosed this to The Nation in Lagos. He said the value of both the local and foreign courier operations would shot up soon as the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) plans to restructure the postal sector to make it stronger and competitive like other sectors of the economy. Oladapo said the restructuring requires the establishment a commission for NIPOST, as well as ensuring that the regulation of NIPOST is detached completely from the government. He said: “The government has been the sole regulator and operator of postal services right from the days of Post and Telecommunications (P&T) in the 70s. The Bureau of Public Enterprises is planning to make NIPOST the sole regulator of postal activities in the country, just as we have Nigerian Insurance Commission

By Akinola Ajibade

(NAICOM) for insurance and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) for banks. When this happens, the fortunes of operators in the postal service’s chain would improve greatly. “The business is not only going to be more competitive, but would enable the courier operators to increase their market values. The DirectorGeneral, BPE, Mrs Onogoruwa made this clear during a stakeholders’ forum organised by BOWILL Group of Companies stakeholders’ forum last week in Lagos.” He said the development would quicken the process of setting up an independent commission for the postal sector, entrench standards and professionalism in the industry, ensure competitiveness and raise the capital/ assets base of the operators, among others. He said the government is planning to run the postal industry like countries in the developed economies to contribute to the growth of the economy. According to him, the restructuring proposal is before the executive arm of government for ratification.


34

THE NATION WEDNESSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

AVIATION

How to save domestic airlines, H by experts OW can domestics airlines operation be saved from going insolvent? It is by providing them low interest loans from foreign lenders, some operators have said The Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Captain Edward Boyo and the Managing Director of Aero Airlines, Captain Akin George said high interest rates by local lenders were killing airlines. Boyo and George lamented the low funding of the sector, which they affirmed is hampering aircraft acquisition Boyo said until operators are able to manage the right equipment, in terms of aircraft suitable for some routes, the industry would continue to struggle. The airlines, he said would only experience organic growth if the relevant agencies, including the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), carry out due diligence on would-be airline operators before commencement of flight operations. Most operators, he said, often ran into problems because they do not do an analysis of the expected yield in their operations, arguing that the inability of operators to understand the cost benefit analysis in the sector, has led to the collapse of many airlines. He said: “Airline operators must get their economics right before venturing into services and ensure that issues such as maintenance, personnel, market capacity and revenue management must be taken into consideration. On government’s role to grow the industry, Boyo said: “Government should continue to invest in improv-

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

ing security and ensure that there is improvement in oversight capacity and regulatory services. Government should implement waivers on taxes and import duties on aircraft’s spares. “Government should also consider the establishment of aircraft hangar, and ensure that there is a deliberate policy aimed at growing the domestic market. The government must implement the domestication of the Cape Town Convention, which ought to make it easier for lessors of aircraft to repossess their airplanes and also facilitate the acquisition of modern ones less cumbersome for Nigerian airlines.” On his part, George said: “Without trying to make the issues complicated, airlines need to have access to funding. It is pure and simple. If government could do that, the problems will soon be over for domestic carriers and their managers. “If you have access to funding to sort out your problems, you need to reduce your costs. The main costs are the government taxes. Once that is taken out, government could go a step further by improving infrastructure at the airports. Infrastructure itself is cost to the airlines; if government could improve that it takes out the other costs. “If we have access to funding to do our business, we make more money, reduce the cost of operations, and then the equation is bal-

anced. The idea is that everybody wants this to happen overnight, it is not going to work that way. “What government needs to do is to ensure that measures put in place to improve the business and operating environment for airlines must be long lasting. Not quick fixes. That will not solve the problems of the aviation sector. “In Nigeria, we like to do things over and done with, when we rush for quick fixes we tend to forget that whatever we do affects our neighbours. And that is why the ministry of aviation must take a holistic look at how to generally improve the industry,” he stated. He said everybody would wish that aircraft maintenance is done in Nigeria, because of the cost implications, which also allows operators to bring in the expertise into the country. And when you get technically minded-people, when you go back home, it not only affects aviation, it also affects the country as a whole. Our aim is to increase the pool of Nigerian airlines with the required technical expertise to carry out aircraft maintenance locally. “But, it will always remain a high cost business, because aviation is not cheap, and we should not be looking at everybody doing aircraft maintenance at home. That is not to mean that it should also be made unnecessarily expensive and that is what we are doing at this time. Make it relatively not too expensive, but the business the airlines that have the capacity could make some profit from.

‘Desist from reforms that strangulate business’ IF the Federal Government must carry out reforms in the aviation sector, such efforts must not strangulate the operating environment by pushing operators out of business, but it must address operational challenges, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Widescope International Logistics Limited, Mr Segun Musa has said. According to the freight forwarders chairman of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos, until the Federal Government establish a cargo village at the Lagos Airport, efforts to sanitize the cargo section of the industry will not yield the desired results. He explained that as is the practice in other parts of the world, the establishment of a cargo village at the airport will boost trade facilitation, as such a facility will not only earn revenue for government, but will help to organize the business of freight by air for goods coming in and out of the country. Musa, who spoke in an interview, explained that the major challenge operators in the cargo and freight arm of the aviation sub sector face range from exclusion by government officials while putting policies in place that will shape operations at the airport. He explained that it is only valid for government to carry along stakeholders in the sector, when fine-tuning policies and programmed that will assist to order the business of trade facilitation. Musa also faulted the insufficient capacity of financial institutions in Nigeria, including banks to fund serious aviation projects including loans to acquire aircraft, affirming that the banks rather than focus on their core business of funding businesses, have deviated into other areas. Musa said it appears out of place for banks to be setting up subsidiaries to run their customers out of business, thereby shrinking the competitive space for players that do not have the available capacity to fizzle out.

FAAN laments damage of facility THE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has raised the alarm over the wanton destruction of convenience facilities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Such attitude by passengers the managing director of the airport authority, Mr George Uriesi warned is at variance with the transformation agenda of government of making the airports safe, convenient and secured for either inbound or outbound passengers. Uriesi who spoke at a one day conference on viable options for airlines financing explained that some passengers have continued to damage facilities that were installed at the refurbished toilets at the Lagos Airport, affirming that it would be proper for such passengers to seek clarification on how to utilise the highly sensitive facilities with sensors. He explained that the resolve of government is to deliver facilities at the airports that are world class, as is the practice in other airports across the globe, but expressed dismay that rather than key into this revolutionary move, passengers have demonstrated a shabby culture of damaging the toilet handles. Such actions by passengers he said will act as a disincentive for the airport authority , which is poised to fast track the renovation of the terminal , even as he said some section of the terminal will be completed for use before the end of the year. Uriesi also spoke of plans to complete the remodelling of the terminals at Benin and Owerri airports before the end of the year, affirming that the delay in completing the projects on schedule were due to extraneous factors, which were not antiquated at the commencement of the project.

BA celebrates Nigeria at 52

• From left: Barrister Helen Ikponmwosa; President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Barrister Laide Osijo; Chairman of the Lagos Area Committee of the (NCRIB) , Mr. Patrick Ikponmwosa and the immediate past Chairman of the NCRIB, Mr Tunde Oguntade, at the investiture of the new executives of the Area Committee held in Lagos, recently.

Operators to access Bombardier jets

T

O boost domestics operations, the Federal Government is facilitate the acquisition of brand new Bombardier regional jets by airlines. This is part of the benefits of the investment tour by officials of the Ministry of Aviation and some agencies that visited Canada, China and the United States. Under the plan, an investment tracking desk has been opened at the ministry to enable officials react within a few days to questions asked by potential investors, who may wish to carry out due diligence. The choice of regional jets, it was learnt, is based on their suitability for short distant operations which is the forte of domestic airlines. Regional jets, according to ex-

perts, apart from lowering operating costs in terms of fuelling, are ideal for routes, where the passenger traffic oscillates depending on a myriad of factors. Only Arik Air uses such in Nigeria. Bombardier regional jets are used mainly for short haul flights in developed aviation economies where passenger traffic is encouraging, unlike in Nigeria where domestic operators deploy massive aircraft, including Boeing and Airbus aircraft types on short haul routes, which are meant for medium and long haul routes. The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr George Uriesi, said Boeing Company would also be visiting Nigeria to carry out an audit of the aircraft and airlines

to the ascertain their air worthiness. The company, he said, is expected to give a specific evaluation of every aircraft operating in the country to raise the bar of air safety. The idea is to have an idea of the status of every aircraft and airline in the country with a view to having a full brief of the situation, which will remain confidential to the company and the ministry of aviation he said. He said a clause of non disclosure was signed with the aircraft manufacturer to ensure that the technical safety information is managed effectively. The company, Uriesi said, would partner with Nigeria in setting up a maintenance and repair overhaul facility, by lending its expertise to project.

BRITISH Airways has rolled out special discounts in its World Traveller (economy) class customers. The incredible discount offer is for its World Traveller (economy), World Traveler Plus, and Club World (business) class customers. Known as ‘The Independence Offer’ in commemoration of Nigeria’s 52 years of independence, it affords British Airways Nigerian customers the opportunity to make fantastic savings while travelling on these cabins to London and select United States and Canadian cities. But they must hurry as the amazing fares are only valid for booking from September 29 to October 13. Explaining the offer, Country Manager, British Airways/Iberia in Nigeria, Mr. Kola Olayinka said the new offer which is valid for flights from Lagos or Abuja means the airline’s customers can now travel from Abuja to London from just US$302 in World Traveler or US$902 in World Traveller Plus, and Club World (business class) from just US$2,052. For those travelling from Lagos to London, the fare starts from US$352 for World Traveler, US$952 for World Traveler Plus, and US$2,252 for Club World. BA customers who want to travel to major cities in the US and Canada can now buy World Traveller tickets from as low as US$502 and US$552 for Abuja and Lagos respectively. For those travelling on the World Traveler plus, the fares start from US$1,402 and US$1,452 for Abuja and Lagos respectively. Club World fares on these routes start from as low as US$3,052 for Abuja and US$3,252 for Lagos.

Arik records milestone ARIK Air has completed a busy summer season by flying its 10 millionth passenger – a landmark achievement in its short history. This year alone Arik has transported over 1.5 million passengers across its expanding network of 20 domestic,10 regional and three long-haul destinations. Nigerian businessman Abdul Aziz Mustapha, Director of RealNet Sandton Properties, became Arik Air’s 10 millionth guest, travelling on the airline’s Johannesburg to Lagos route, one of the airline’s key long-haul destinations. Mustapha was greeted by Arik Air’sVice President in South Africa, Rodger Whittle, upon check-in at Johannesburg’s Oliver R. Tambo International Airport. He was presented with an Arik Air memento, an upgrade to business class for the flight and a pair of complimentary business class tickets for his next Arik flight. Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Group CEO/ President of Arik Air, said:“Carrying 10 million passengers in less than six years is a remarkable achievement for Arik Air. That further underlines our status as Africa’s fastest growing airline. We are particularly proud to have achieved this milestone on one of our three long-haul routes, which remain an important focus for us in expanding our global network.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

35

SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

N

IGERIA needs functional business incubators to midwife more start-ups and support the growth enterprises. Worldwide, business incubators are centres created to nurture new businesses and promote the entry of new small firms into the larger economy. Speaking with The Nation, the Deputy Director, Directorate of Grants Administration, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr Kola Adebayo, said business incubators impact on enterprise and job creation, as they have been found to be change agents in the entrepreneurship system. They do this by demonstrating new business models that can operate profitably and create sustainable wealth and create employment. Emphasising the need for the es-

Why we need business incubators Stories by Daniel Essiet

tablishment of business incubation centres to nurture small business activities, Adebayo said such centres provide information to persons who may be interested in starting new businesses. Through their activities, communications and network formation, the centres provide credible information about value addition, he said. Once created, this information can have tremendous economic value to potential investors who are sufficiently challenged and motivated to undertake additional private investment. To make them work better, he said they need to be linked with

major actors in the economy, comprising academia, industry, government, financiers and entrepreneurs. According to him, business incubators offer financiers a pool of enterprises for credit and the academia an outlet for research commercialisation and employment of graduates. All innovative early stage enterprises—regardless of sector, he explained, face technological and market related risks. Recently,the National Board for Technology Transfer (NBTI) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) have signed a special Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the small scale enterprises sub-sector. The MoU, according to the Direc-

tor-General (DG), NBTI, Gambo Abdullahi, would enable the two organisations put resources together to provide training services and help in the areas of skills development of micro, small and medium enterprises.According to him, the development was to make further inroads into the goal of making human development a key driver of the Vision 20:2020 and the economic transformation blueprint.The NBTI DG said the agencies would collaborate in development and commercialisation of research and development results, especially in the domestication of innovations.The DG said there was need to translate research into economic development. “We want to see that our works in research and development translate

into economic development and technology incubation is the secret.”The Asian Tigers experience is also what the world is following. They have gotten it right with SMEs. We need to borrow from them and use our enormous resources to create wealth for our people.”You can have the best ideas about research an development, but if you cannot translate them into results, to economic development, you have achieved nothing.” Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Longmas Wapmuk, stressed that the main thrust of the fund’s programmes and services are; to stimulate human performance, improve productivity, and induce value-added production in industry and commerce.

Making money as a reseller

O

•From left: Regional Vice President, Domino’s Pizza, Steve Akinboro; Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited Segun Ogunsanya and Vice President of International Operations, Cold Stone Creamery, Brian Richardat, at the opening of Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery in Lagos.

Economic confidence dips among entrepreneurs

E

CONOMIC confidence among small business owners has dropped , according to the President, Association of MicroEntrepreneurs Association of Nigeria, Prince Saviour Iche. Speaking with The Nation, Iche said small businesses were struggling under the weight of the economic crisis, weak consumer demand and credit crunch. Consequently, he said manufacturing activities across the country has fluctuated, dimming economic prospects. The long-term outlook for the sector doesn’t look promising; full-time hiring plans have been affected, he said. According to him, small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of the economy and one of the greatest assets so, when they are strong, the economy prospers. To move forward, he said the government needed to help small business owners create jobs by giving them tax reliefs. By providing targeted tax relief, the AMEN President said, the government will be helping small

P

businesses spur growth and job creation, and thereby strengthen recovery of the economy. Iche urged the government to provide capital to the banks to encourage small business lending. Early-stage companies, he observed, face difficult challenges accessing capital, particularly those without the necessary assets or cash flow for traditional bank funding. He said access to business capital is a key driver of entrepreneurial growth, both by supporting demand, as well as by laying the groundwork for future success. Funding, he noted provides small businesses the much-needed boost to create and retain jobs and help revitalise the economy. For this reason, Iche proposed a number of provisions to encourage and support new small business capital investment. One of these is empowering the Bank of Industry(BoI) to support growing small and medium-sized manufacturers with special loan programmes, to improve their production. He also urged the government to expand

NE of the ways businesses sell their products is through resellers. This is because they are critical to a company’s success. Speaking with The Nation, the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, said being a reseller, means one is working for a company by promoting its services and trying to get new clients. He said one can earn money from it. Onyeje said young Nigerians should not ignore reseller opportunities if they want to begin from small scale. As a reseller, they can purchase products at discounted prices and also have access to many other benefits, including a dedicated sales contact and no minimum purchasing requirements. According to him, working as a reseller is a quick and painless process. He said with a small amount of effort one’s business can grow by leaps and bounds. He said resellers’ opportunities are easy to establish and offer the potential for immediate rewards. For him, however, developing a profitable business depends on building a business based on skills and interests. With over 40 per cent of software being pirated, he noted that the impact on

legitimate resellers is significant. The Microsoft Nigeria General Manager said legitimate resellers are losing millions of naira a month to rogue dealers selling unlicensed software at cut-throat prices. He said that’s why it’s important for Microsoft to try and level the playing field for legitimate dealers. According to him, Microsoft further encourages dealers to join the “Clean Network” – a network of dealers who pledge to sell only genuine Microsoft products. A list of these clean dealers is available online. This creates leverage for them in the market place. So getting involved in reseller opportunities does not mean one has to be a telecoms expert or be technically minded. As long as one can sell then one can make money from it. According to him, becoming a licensed Microsoft reseller is a great way to earn more revenue for one’s business, increasing Return on Investment (ROI) and brand value. Enrolling in the Microsoft reseller programme, he noted enables one to gain access to resources and tools exclusive to Microsoft Business Partners. This will add opportunities to bring customers’ additional value and increase ROI.

Association wants more technical colleges for artisans

T

•Iche

the financial infrastructure for delivering trade financing to small and medium-sized exporters. This, he added, will dramatically increase the number of small businesses exporting goods and services in order to maintain and create jobs. According to him, the strength of small manufacturers is vital to the growth of manufacturing and has a critical impact on the investment decisions of larger firms.

HE National President, Association of Building Artisans of Nigeria (ASBAN), Mr Jimmy Oshunbi, has called for the establishment of more technical colleges for the training of artisans. Oshunbi said in Lagos that wellequipped technical colleges would go a long way to make indigenous artisans more effective in the performance of their jobs. According to him, extensive training will make artisans compete with their counterparts from other countries. “Records show that Nigeria spends millions of naira on remuneration to foreign artisans working in the country. If at least 25 per cent of this amount is used to train

our youths in various sectors, especially in the construction industry, I believe our artisans will perform better. ‘Since governments have seen that Nigerian artisans perform below expectation, it behoves them to upgrade them. “Training of artisans should be for about two years to three years to get the best out of them,“ he said. Oshunbi said more technical colleges would be a medium of adding value to the lives of Nigerians, especially the youth. “The technical colleges will boost the living standards of the people by preparing them to be either gainfully employed or self-employed,” he said.

Nokia, academy call for applications

HONE manufacturing company, Nokia in partnership with Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), a social innovation centre in Lagos, have embarked on an academy programme called ‘Nokia/CCHub Growth Academy’. This is aimed at accelerating mobile software companies in growing their companies on regional and international levels.

To this end, applicants are invited to apply for the business accelerator programme in Africa, dedicated to providing intensive continuous hands-on support to help early stage mobile technology start-ups grow into high growth businesses and build world class mobile applications for the Nokia platform regionally and globally. According to Co-creation Hub

(CcHUB, the three month intensive programme runs in three parts, namely: capacity building, product development and launch). Each start-up undergoes hands-on prototype development and structured training with modules such as business model development, project implementation plan and lean product development. Tailored technical training and

support will be provided by Futurice, a global training organisation with expertise in mobile application development and user driven design. During product development each start-up is complemented with the best of resources i.e. oneon-one mentorship from experienced tech entrepreneurs with a strong understanding of the African market, project implementa-

tion plan; and market research support to ensure that solutions meet specific market needs. The last phase of the programme is dedicated to product testing, pilot launch and value redesign based on initial customer feedback. Each start-up will also pitch at an open Pitchfest to the wider community and investors as part of the final product launch.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

36

MARITIME NIMASA to train youth

T

• L-R: Managing Director, MSL Line, Anil Nayya; Executive Director, Marine and Operations, NPA, Mr David Omonibeke; Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria, Val Usifor; Managing Director, NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi; Managing Director, Grimaldi, Mr Ascanio Russo; Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NPA, Mr Olumide Oduntan and Mr Peter Bleasdale, when the association visited NPA management in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA

Agency stopped from collecting ports fee as Customs kicks

T

HE Federal Government has barred the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) from collecting transaction fees at the ports. The order followed a protest letter by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdullah Inde, to the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar. The government gave CRFFN the green-light to collect the fees about two months ago. In the September 25 letter, signed by T. A. Musa, on Inde’s behalf, the Customs chief said: “The service is of the opinion that the charges will no doubt cause delays in the clearance of goods at the port, thereby, leading to port congestion. Its implementation will also increase the cost of doing business with its attendant implication on the cost of goods and services.” The Nation learnt that the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) also sent a similar letter to the minister. Confirming the suspension of the approval, CRFFN accused the Customs of seeking to continue to benefit from what it called freight

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

forwarders’ ignorance. Chairman of its Governing Council Alhaji Hakeem Olanrewaju, accused Customs of sponsoring the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) to kick against the collection of the fees which the CRFFN intended to use to train and professionalise freight forwarders. He said: “I was so shocked at the management of the Nigeria Customs which was the first organisation we visited when we started and asked for their collaboration on training. I believe the Nigeria Customs does not want us to grow, they still want to benefit from our ignorance which we want to stop, we want to do freight forwarding as it is being done in the whole world”. According to him, the Customs has been issuing licences to clearing agents over the years, but it has not been making any effort to train them. “This is why they call most of our people touts, but we don’t want to be touts

anymore, we want to be of international best practices because 70 per cent of our jobs have been taken over by foreigners,” Olanrewaju said. But ANLCA president Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, denied the allegation that the association is being used by Customs to scuttle the CRFFN deal. Shittu said members of the CRFFN Governing Council are occupying offices illegally, adding that their tenure expired on August 14. According to Shittu, members of the Governing Council had allegedly extended their tenure for another six months. He said any decision taken by the Governing Council after the said expiration of their tenure is null and void. He said: “It is statutory in the Act which established the Council that all elected members have a four year tenure. For this reason the tenure of the elected members of the Council has since expired on August 14, 2012. We are also aware that the Registrar, Mr Mike Jukwe has informed the Minister of Transport in writing in that regard. It is also a fact that the Council members have extended their tenure without the support of members

of the Freight Forwarders Consultative Council Forum and the general congress of the registered members. Let us at this time make it clear that our Council administration is in breach by the activities of our Council members.” He alleged that CRFFN accredited the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) and the National Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC), so that they can vote for it on critical issues. The accreditation of AREFFN, NCMDLCA and NAFFAC, he said was illegal since the meeting where they were accredited was held after the expiration of the tenure of the Governing Council. But a member of the CRFFN Governing Board and National President of the Institute of Freight Forwarding of Nigeria (IFFN), Dr. Zeb Ikokide, said the tenure of the members of the Governing Council has not expired. Ikokide said the council members’ tenure would expire next month.

Abandoned logs block waterways, say boat operators

B

OAT operators have raised the alarm over an upsurge in abandoned logs on the Lagos waterways. They said the waterways have become unsafe for them with the logs blocking their routes. The logs, said to be abandoned by timber dealers, are depleting fish stock and causing boat mishap, it was learnt. Scores are said to have died from such accidents. President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) Mr Ganiyu Balogun said the logs

and water hyacinth were hindering their operations. “This area of transportation has been experiencing a lot of hindrances occasioned by some natural and man-made factors. “These factors are water hyacinth and abandoned logs by timber dealers along the water channels. “This had several times resulted in boat mishaps which also caused loss of lives and valuables,” he said. Balogun said the logs are hampering members of the association from operating. He called on the government to address the problems, saying: “If something

is not done by the regulatory bodies of state and local governments, this could put us out of operation. It can also have adverse effect on the nation’s economy.’’ Water transportation, he said, is an aspect of the economy that could not be neglected by any responsible government as it could generate employment. A boat operator, Mr Felix Udoma, said logs, wayward barges, boats and small fishing vessels should be pulled out of waters when they pose a danger to people or to the environment. Udoma , called for a new law with severe penalties for

anybody who intentionally sinks a boat. “We have had several cases where the owners intentionally abandoned the logs but they are not as well reported for documented because law enforcement agents chose not to pursue the issue. “The toxic danger from spills starts immediately after a boat sinks, and the threat remains long afterwards. A boat can be sitting underwater for many years and suddenly you get a ‘burp’ of oil. It could take weeks, months, even years, and then all of a sudden you have an environmental problem,” he said.

HE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has concluded arrangement to train some youth from the Southeast. Their counterparts from the Southsouth had enjoyed the priviledge. Speaking with The Nation in his office last week, NIMASA’s Director-General, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi said there are many job opportunities in the maritime sector, but unfortunately they are not open to Nigerians because they lack the necessary training. NIMASA, he said, is set to reverse the trend. Akpobolokemi said NIMASA has received an approval from the National Assembly to train Nigerian youths into becoming competent and qualified seafarers in various universities across the world, so as to fill in the existing knowledge gap in the maritime sector. He bemoaned a situation where the sector is dominated by foreigners who man Nigerian vessels at the expense of

unemployed but highly enterprising nationals. Akpobolokemi told The Nation that the seafarers’ training programme, which is targeted at complimenting the Niger-Delta Amnesty programme of the Federal Government, will also be beneficial to many youths from the South-Eastern region. The NIMASA boss also assured the Ohaneze that his administration will protect the interest of the Igbos in the agency. He also solicited for the cooperation of Igbo people in sanitising the Nigerian waterways, improving maritime security and creating friendly business environment for private sector investors in the maritime industry. According to him, the training of Nigerian youths including Igbos will enable indigenous ship owners to raise the bar in the maritime industry, by ensuring that shipping business including trade within the nation’s coastal area is dominated and taken over by Nigerians.

Institute seeks bill’s passage THE Registrar of Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS), Dr Alex Okwuashi, has urged the Senate to reopen deliberation on the bill that seeks to charter the institute. Okwuashi made the appeal in Lagos last week. He said that the institute and other stakeholders are very optimistic that the Senate would not abandon the bill. “All efforts are being made by the institute to get the Senate to revisit the bill so that it could be passed into law. The strategic importance of maritime to the nation has made this Bill very important. “The CISN Bill was originally gazetted in 2011 under the chairmanship of Hon Okey Ude, the erstwhile chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport, but was inexplicably dropped. It was slated to be chartered with the Cabotage Act in 2003 and in 2010. “The bill was brought up again when the House Committee on Marine Transport reiterated the need for the institute to be chartered,’’ he said. Okwuashi recalled that the bill was also dropped in Dec. 2010 when it was sent to the Senate for final passage because the legislative year had ended. He called on all stakeholders, including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Ministry of Transport, to support the institute in its bid for professionalism. “It is believed that if the institute is chartered, it will help to bring sanity in the way and manner shipping is done in Nigeria,” the rector said. The Bill is being sponsored by the CIS, the Nigerian Institute of Shipping and other maritime stakeholders. “The bill is a very large industry bill and also very strategic because Nigeria is a maritime nation,’’ he said.

NAGAFF shelves legal action ALMOST two weeks after it threatened court action against the Nigeria Customs Service over the invasion of its premises by armed soldiers, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said that it was no longer interested in the case. The association, in a statement made available to The Nation and signed by its trustees’ chairman, Chidiebere Enelamah, said it arrived at the decision to drop the legal redress after its board of trustees meeting. The association pleaded with the management of the Nigeria Customs Service to take a second look at the seizure of the two containers of the traded goods, which was the remote cause of the attack on NAGAFF.

Firm trains Customs ONE of the destination inspection service providers, SGS Scanning Nigeria Limited, has concluded the special training organised for a select team of 80 Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers. They are expected to take over services being provided by the company under the Destination Inspection (DI) scheme from next year. Members of DI Transition Team, according to a statement, were selected from the best among those trained by the DI service provider since 2006 under the NCS Secondment Programme. The on-the-job training covered all aspects of the DI activities being handled by SGS for Nigeria Customs Service, with emphasis on actual risk analysis and processing of the importer’s Final Document resulting in classification and valuation opinion. Speaking on the training, the image maker of Customs at Tin-Can Port, Mr Chris Osunkwo said the programme has been a great success in terms of organisation by the service provider and conduct of the trainees. “This programme has been a success all the way. The quality of training by SGS has been impressive. Despite the challenges, our officers conducted themselves well and we are proud of them all,” he said.


37

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

The Midweek Magazine From Heathrow …with shock

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

Chief Sub-Editor SUNDAY OMONIYI relieves his encounter with Border Control officials during his trip to the United Kingdom

I

HAVE not gone on leave in the last four years because of pressure of work. But when the opportunity came in July I quickly jump ed at it. “I decided to go to the United Kingdom. “I jumped on the computer and booked an Iberia, Lagos–Madrid–London return ticket online. It was operated by the British Airways. The date was Thursday, July 12 and to return on July 27. “On D-Day, take-off time was 8:30pm. Check-in and airport formalities concluded, all passengers boarded and at exactly 9:15pm, the plane hit the sky. “It was a smooth flight to Madrid. After a little over five hours in the belly of the aircraft, the plane landed at 2:45am (local time) at Marajas Airport. It was in the dead of the night. Airport workers were scanty. Some of us, who were London-bound passengers, passed the time by taking a walk round the airport. It is an architectural masterpiece. Everywhere glittered. “After waiting for about three hours, the second lap of the journey began – all London-bound passengers were checked in. It was on a Friday. The aircraft took off about 6:45am. About two hours in the air, the announcement came from the pilot: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we’re approaching Heathrow Airport, London. Fasten your seat belts and all electronic, gadgets should be switched off. Thank you”. The time was 8am. “At this point, my anxiety heightened. So, I don finally land for Mama Charlie backyard? Thank you Lord, I said to myself. All the passengers filed out of the aircraft to the Arrival Hall. We all joined a queue. An official, a middle-aged man of the Border Control Post, monitored the queue and was directing passengers among the officials in a cage to be attended to. “Next person – I was called to meet a woman, an Immigration officer, in her cage. I walked briskly before her. Good morning, she said to me. Morning Madam, I answered, smiling. Unknown to me, this cocky woman would later turn out to be my nemesis? My ordeal started right from her. After rummaging through my passport, she said: “This is your first time of coming to London? Yes, I replied. Why, as a journalist, she asked again?. Well, I was taking my time – I fired back at her. “Two minutes later, she handed over a paper: Notice to a person required to submit to for further examination. “She ordered me to sit on a seat overlooking her cage and instructed that I

•Omoniyi at the popular Circus Station, London

TOURISM switch off my phones. “And off she went away with my passport, return ticket and other documents. Since I wasn’t carrying any illicit drugs or any contraband, I never gave it a thought that I was in for a tough time. “The first 10 minutes gone, the woman didn’t return. Thirty minutes later, I became apprehensive. Where was this woman? The question flashed through my mind. “After waiting for 45 minutes, she appeared from the blues. This time, she was without my documents. She came to me and said: Somebody is coming to check your bags. Alright, no problem. I replied her. I was happy that afterall, the end was in sight for my ‘detention’. “About 10 minutes later, an official - a Customs officer– came with a file containing my travel documents and the entries of my particulars. “You will follow me and I will check your bags, he said. How many bags do you have, he asked? One check in bag and a hand luggage, I answered. “He marched me to the escalator. There was my bag rolling away. I picked it and the Customs officer took me to a desk and there he ransacked, searched and turned the contents upside down. “He removed all the documents in the bags. Before then, on his instruction, I had emptied all the contents in my pockets and wallet. He asked how much money I had; I told him - 550 pounds and 25 Euros. He entered the information in the file. He took away my call cards and other documents.

“The second session ended. Before now, I had thought my interrogation was normal and that I would soon scale the hurdle of being prevented from entering the United Kingdom. “I never knew I was in for a tougher time. The Customs officer took me to his office where he took my shots in different positions and my finger prints. At this point, I asked him why I was being treated like a ‘criminal’. No, no, no! – All I’m doing is to document your entry into the UK. After this session, another officer will interview you. How long will that last? I asked him. It may be 10 minutes or more, depending on the officer, he answered. “After the photo session, he asked a few questions on what I normally ate –whether I took sugary foods or not. He was preparing me for ‘detention’ as well as taking cognisance of my health condition. “After completing his documentation, he gave me two papers; one is a notice to detaine/reasons for detention and bail rights and the second: Notification of Requirement to provide fingerprint. He handed me over to another officer in a holding room – detention room. “He gave me two forms or papers: There I met two other officers - a man and a woman, who received me with a smile. They were civil in handling their jobs. “You want coffee or tea? There is food, apple, biscuits. Treat yourself to any of our books and magazines. The officer threw questions at me one after the other. But my mind was troubled. I was not ready for any of their cordial treatments. At this point, I had spent more than five hours at the

Promasidor launches media awards

P

ROMASIDOR Nigeria, makers of Cowbell milk has called for entries for its media excellence awards for journalists, tagged Promasidor Quill Awards. Its Head, Legal and PR, Mr Andrew Enahoro, said in Lagos that the awards were now officially opened and urged journalists to enter for the competition through its website. “The ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ which was launched in March, is now officially open. Submission of entries will run all through to March 2013 when it will be closed for compilation. Interested journalists can log on to the website http://quillawards.promasidorng.com/ to submit their entries.” Enahoro said the awards would encompass five categories and will be done strictly on an e-platform. “The ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ will cover five categories which are the Brand Advocate of the year, Best CSR Report of the year, Most Educative Report of the year, Best Report on Nutrition and the Best Photo Story of the year. These categories have been carefully thought-

out to accommodate most journalists in the industry. Unlike others, the ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ will be done on an e-platform. It will be done strictly using the internet so as to avoid difficulties in submitting entries. This will give interested participants equal opportunity to participate in the awards and also there will be no case of lost entries as you will receive an immediate response after submitting your entry.” When asked who the judges were, Enahoro said “the panel of judges will consist of a representative from Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), an academia and a veteran journalist. Speaking further, Mr. Ayodele Oguntubi, Coordinator Corporate Affairs, Promasidor Nigeria while demonstrating how to upload entries for the awards, said journalists are entitled to one entry per category. “Interested journalists can only submit one entry per category, except the Brand Advocate category where we will do the collation ourselves with the help of our agency. It will

be required that a scanned copy of the story in print and a Microsoft word copy of the story be submitted for legibility,” Oguntubi said. Revealing the prizes, Oguntubi said winners in each category will get an opportunity to do a course at Lagos Business School (LBS), a highend Laptop, a high-end camera for the photojournalist, and all Promasidor products. The ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ is a platform in Nigeria to reward journalists for dedicated news reportage on Industry, Education, Corporate Social Responsibility & Nutrition issues all year round. These Awards will be an annual event that would add more depth and reward reporting excellence. Winning journalists would be rewarded with befitting prizes and be given the opportunity to add to their knowledge and skills set. It was launched at the Promasidor Media Brand Academy in March, 2012.ny has recorded remarkable growth over the years and it presently employs more than 1,000 Nigerians in various aspects of its operations.

Border Control Post. “In the holding room were two young men - a white and an Igbo. The Igbo guy was unlucky, he was sent back to Nigeria that same night. His offence: his host was living illegally in the UK. “After about another 30 minutes, a short black woman came in for me. She took me away to an office. “Yes, I want you to be truthful and tell me everything. Do not try to hide any information from me. If you lie, you could be barred from coming to Britain for 10 years or more and you know the implication. Other countries would take a cue from this – the woman admonished. I’ll tell you as it is. I’m not a criminal, I said to her. “Now, the questions and answers session began: Now, what have you come to do in the UK, she fired her first question. I’m here to spend my vacation and to do some shopping, I replied. Have you applied for a UK visa before? Yes, I have, but I was refused. Why? Well, it was your decision; I don’t have control over that: Where are you going to in the UK? I’m going to Birmingham What do you do in Nigeria? I work for the widest circulating newspaper in Nigeria, The Nation, I’m its Chief Sub-Editor To meet who? My host is Kazeem. What does he do? He is into media relations How long have you known him? We’ve been working as colleagues since 1999 How long has he been living in the UK? For about six years now How many days are you staying? 10 days As I was answering her, she was recording my answers. After that session, she returned me to the holding room. She told me she was going to meet with the Chief Customs Officer who would determine my fate. About 30 minutes later, she came back and took me away. Yes, I’ve other questions to ask you, she said. Yes, why did you come into the United Kingdom through Spain? I was looking for a cheaper ticket, and Iberia’s Lagos-London was handy and I jumped at it. Have you travelled out of your country before? Yes, I have Where? Israel, on a holy pilgrimage And for how many days? About 10 days “After this session, she took me back to the holding room again. I was there for another 55 minutes. That was when I became hungry. I had to call for a cup of coffee. I drank it and was waiting for the judgment. “Ten minutes later, the officer returned. She said she had one other question for me. There was a time you applied for a UK visa and you said you were going to be hosted by a particular uncle of yours in London. Now, you’re going to Birmingham, why the change of mind? “Well, you’re right. I decided to change my destination this time. I am going to meet Kazeem, who invited me. There was no invitation from my uncle this time. So…. “And this session ended. “Again, I was taken back to the holding room. “I was there till about 6:15pm. The thought of what would be my fate kept ringing in my mind when the officer appeared with my travel documents. She signalled to me to come. And as I stood up, the only Etisalat phone I was allowed access to rang. And I requested that I should be allowed to answer the call, but they quickly told me – you’re going now. And at that point, the burden on me became lighter. The officer - handing over my passport to me said – I think jocularly “You must leave in 10 days.” Yes sir, I replied. “I hurriedly packed my bags, grabbed a trolley and pushed them out of the terminal.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

38

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

I

T would have been so funny were it not so tragic. I refer to the late Dr. Femi Fatoba’s stinging and stirring collection of poems simply titled, ‘They said I abused the government’. In this slim collection of just 52 pages, the multi-talented artist, painter, singer, teacher, poet and actor pokes fun at the follies and foibles of post-colonial Nigerian society while also mercilessly criticising the bad leadership, corruption, inequality and crass materialism that are the bane of an otherwise richly blessed country. But then, Dr. Fatoba also writes poems about nature, love and friendship that reveal him to be a highly observant writer and a sensitive human being. Let me quickly say that I owe the title of this column to another of Dr. Fatoba’s collection of poems titled, ‘Petals of Thought’, which was published in the eighties while I was still at Ibadan. The book was one of my constant companions throughout my undergraduate years until I most regrettably lost it in inexplicable circumstances. Dr. Fatoba writes with undisguised anger and impatience at the shortcomings of his country but you can also readily perceive that he is motivated by patriotic love and compassion especially for the downtrodden majority. I used to know Dr. Fatoba from a distance at the University of Ibadan. His fair complexion, clean shaven head and lush, luxuriant beard was simply impossible to ignore on campus. Although I was in the Faculty of Social Sciences, I was a regular observer, and sometimes peripheral participant, in weekly poetry readings and expositions at the Faculty of Arts. On those occasions, Dr. Fatoba and some other lecturers of the faculty sacrificed their evenings trying to take us through the rudiments of the complex art of poetry. Although my memory fails me now, some of those who regularly participated in those sessions included Afam Akeh, Funmi Dukuya, Dapo Adeniyi and the late Sesan Ajayi. Of course, I soon quickly

Segun Ayobolu sms to 07032777778 segunayobolu2@yahoo.com

Femi Fatoba: ‘They said I abused the government’ gave up any pretensions to poetry writing even though I continued to harbour a fervent passion for good poetry. It was, therefore, with immense joy that I discovered the collection of poems under focus today in one of my favourite book shops here in Lagos. Incidentally, the collection had been published since 2001 and I was simply oblivious of it. Going through many of the poems in the eminently readable volume, I found myself wondering if Dr. Fatoba had some premonition about his abrupt departure from this side of eternity. Did he persistently excoriate the venality and lack of conscience of the Nigerian ruling elite so ruthlessly because their greed, complacency and sheer incompetence lead so many to early and untimely graves just as happened to Dr. Fatoba? The renowned poet, dramatist and artist died on December 12, 2008, in a ghastly motor accident on the Ughelli/Patani road in Delta State. He perished along with four other colleagues on his way back to Ibadan from the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, where he was a visiting

lecturer having retired formally from the University of Ibadan. This is another example that those who ceaselessly rue the absence of good governance in an otherwise hugely endowed country like ours are not just engaging in abstract academic exercises. The billions that are stolen by our amazingly rapacious elite deny the vast majority of good roads, modern transportation, efficient health services and other infrastructure that can prolong life expectancy and drastically reduce premature deaths. Is it then any wonder that in one of the poems, ‘Like Weaverbird or Crow?’, dedicated to his fellow writers, Professors Femi Osofisan and Niyi Osundare, Fatoba explains why he sings the country’s anthem “with a heavy lump in my throat; Twisting and spitting the words as if they were parts of a curse?”. Among others he laments in this poem “the howling wind of want, felling men like straws on streets; or the recurring soldiers of fortune, who walk our backs with spikes” or “the sound of the rich man’s jet, roaring through the stomach of the poor…” In another satirical poem on the state of the

nation and our unending celebration of the cult of mediocrity, Fatoba employs the national soccer team as a symbolic depiction of the degeneration of leadership at all levels in post-colonial Nigeria. Titled ‘Prayer for the National Team’, Fatoba writes “…The centre-forward positions himself, at the rear of the net, saying it is immodest to be forward. The out-wingers do not chase the ball but delight in passing the buck; Our players in the mid-field prefer playing in the middle of nowhere; Lord you created those who don’t walk, who don’t run and never stand anywhere. Our right-full-back sports two left feet and the left-full-back kicks us in the back!” ‘They said I abused the Government’, the poem from which the book derives its title sees the poet at his ironical best even as he needles the government with seemingly harmless but unmistakably pregnant questions from his detention cell: “I asked the human tongs of Gestapo, How did I abuse the government? Did I say the government is deaf and does not hear the cries of her people? Did I say the government is lame and never lifts an arm in service to her people! Did I say the government is blind and does not see where she is going! Did I say the government is a cannibal, killing and eating her children? Did I ever say anything bigger than the small mouth with which I ask simple questions? Anyway, who am I to abuse the government!” Pray, is a government that allows its citizens to die on abandoned death traps called roads or in ill-equipped, poorly manned health facilities better than a cannibal eating up its own children? Is Fatoba not justified in his barely concealed anger at the sheer savagery of the post-colonial Nigerian state? Much of what Fatoba lampoons in this collection are still with us undermining the potentials of Nigeria. These include thieving leaders, high handed law enforcement agents as well as hypocritical and decadent social mores.

0003

03-10-2012


VISUAL ART 39

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

BRIEF

Exploits of an ambassador

Bashorun presents Inspiring Design One O Twelve By Ekekwe Chinasa

I

N 1996, Alhaji (Dr.) Hassan Adamu was appointed by the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria as the country’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America. Ambassador Hassan Adamu remained in Washington Dl.C. and scouted round the United States of America performing his difficult task of re-uniting America with Nigeria in three years of resourceful diplomacy in international relations and international politics. How Ambassador Adamu eventually won America’s “Handshake” for Nigeria and got America’s political and diplomatic support for Nigeria’s democratization process is now the content of a new book titled: Hassan Adamu: Diplomatic Exploits Of A Nigerian Ambassador In Amercia, written by Dayo Duyile, former Director of Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos. The book, which has recently been released from the printer’s shop is a voluminous and well researched document on how Dr. Hassan Adamu, not being a career diplomat, but was able to soften the stone-hearted America ’s diplomatic moves against Nigeria ; thus making the world’s strongest nation to smile at Nigeria , once again. The diplomatic rows, the inconsistent political transition programmes of the military and other political issues, which angered America and which created bad blood between the two countries, according to the new book, were swept aside with a wave of Ambassador Adamu’s brand of practical international diplomacy. The book deals at length with the genesis of the Nigerian political drama which angered the international and western communities as a whole and which led to keeping Nigeria at bay, turning it into a politically cold region – a sort of Siberia in the African continent! The author of the book, Dayo Duyile, currently a University Senior Lecturer, Journalist and author of many books on journalism, exsplains that it was the uncertain political clouds and the total neglect of Nigeria by the international community, spearheaded by America and Britain that necessitated the appointment of a non-career diplomat and the preference for an entrepreneurial genius of Ambassador Hassan Adamu’s caliber to proceed to American to dismantle the unpleasant web of international politics and diplomacy in which Nigeria was then encaged. Dayo Duyile’s book on Ambassador Hassan Adamu, actually was to be released to the public some years ago aftear his assignment, but it has to wait for other reasons which the author says were strategic because all aspects of the Diplomat’s work between 1996–1999 and his other ministerial duties after his diplomatic assignments have to feature in the book, Moreso, the author feels that the book should be of historical reference value and that some of the materials to be used had to be researched in Nigeria and in Washington, D.C. which was the base of operations of the subject of the book. He said he has taken the pain to document and chronicle Ambassador Hassan Adamu’s successful jobs in America not only because he is a journalist and author and University Lecturer, but because Dr. Hassan Adamu built a modern library for the Nigerian Institute Journalism (NIJ) Lagos on his invitation when he (Duyile) was Director of the Institute from 1990 – 1998. “This apart”, the author further explained, “I have been gathering materials for this book since the Waklin Adamawa accepted the Ambassadorial appointment in 1996. I also went to America a couple of times to gather further materials from the Nigerian Embassay in Washington D.C. for the book. With the assistance of Mrs. Dunn who served as the Ambassador’s Secretary at the Nigeria Embassy, I got a lot of materials for the book which is now being reviewed in the press”.

“T

HIS book is free. Its goal is to promote peace and encourage people to stand up and speak out against violence”. This is the first sentence you will read, flipping through the first page of this mind-blowing piece by Shehu Sani. Truly, this sentence convinces one on the ingenuity of the book and what it seeks to achieve in the lives of humans. The Northern part of Nigeria is gripped by years of sectarian violence. A vicious, virulent and unceasing armed insurgency has added to the chaos and the woes. Every day comes with its record of assassinations, mass killings, indiscriminate bombings and gross human rights abuses. The raging violence continue to threaten the peace and unity of the country and shaking the foundation of its democratic institutions. This is why Shehu Sani has come up with this exceptional and amazing book to advocate peace. The author is a renowned civil rights activist, poet and playwright who has written extensively on political and religious conflicts in Nigeria and Africa in general. And his book is a sure evidence of his contributions to reduce violence as he is a campaigner for peace. The introductory page of the book takes readers through the bits and pieces of what the book is about. Like it says, these collection of poems are not conventional sonnets that conform to the strict rules and stereotype of literature or academics. Rather, they

F

BOOK REVIEW Ambassador Hassan Adamu, His Resourceful Diplomacy In America Author: Dayo Duyile Reviewer: Abdul Malik Title:

The book has twenty chapters with chapter 18 and 19 dealing with General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s roles in the political transition, and how former President Olusegun Obasanjo came into office, respectively. Their roles in pre and post transition to democratic dispensation are also explained in the 168 – page book. Other chapters in the book bear the titles: America ’s diplomacy in Nigeria ’s political process; Hassan Adamu as Ambassador of the year (1999); Hassan Adamu and Koffi Annan, UN Secretary General; When Lagos sent off Ambassador Hassan Adamu; Dr. Hassan Adamu: The Entrepreneurial Diplomat gets the “Green Card”, Ambassadorial job: Hassan Adamu, a good choice; From Carrington to Twadell; From Ambassador to Ministerial job and his agenda for Environmental solutions; Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar: His roles in Nigeria’s political transition; President Obasanjo sailed into office with promises of political reforms; and many other chapters dealing with various diplomatic manouvres brought to play by Ambassador Hassan Adamu in his dealings with American President, Bill Clinton and the White House, the American Congress and the American Communities in United States of America. The book, “Diplomatic Exploits of a Nigerian Ambassador in America” is a book of history about an African Diplomat who went to Washington with loads of political and diplomatic challenges and conquered all! It is a published narrative on the activities of a Nigerian Diplomat Par Excellence; a book of reference on Nigeria’s International relations and diplomacy which will be useful for general reading, research in international politics and diplomacy, public policy and as a reference value for libraries. The Foreword in the book is provided by Alh. (Dr.) L.K. Jakande, former governor of Lagos State who is a good associate of Amb. Hassan Adamu.

BOOK REVIEW Title: Author: Pages: Reviewer:

The Poems Of Peace (In the season of Bloodshed) Shehu Sani 129 Ngozi Chilaka

In the spirit of peace are literary intervention to inspire the minds and reinforce the spirits of victims of violence, residents of flashpoints and ordinary people passionate about peace. Those who strive for peace and justice for the oppressed should grab a copy of this book because the poem appeals to their minds and gives a sort of encouragement in the course. The book of poems also softens the hearts of warriors to embrace peace. The author says that readers will clearly decipher some of the poems as respectful of the dictum of injustice begotten violence and the rights and obligation of oppressed people to free themselves. The poems of peace is a compilation of 95 poems that are prescribed for peace particularly for people of

OREMOST artist and lecturer, Mr Raqib Bashorun is one artist that is constantly breaking boundaries in search of new ideas, especially in designs. He creates works of art with distinguished forms in mind and testing new uses with old materials. Often time, he offers unique designs. Beginning from tomorrow, he will showcase his recent works in a solo art exhibition entitled; Inspiring Design 1012, at the Grillo Gallery, School of Art, Design and Printing Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. The exhibition, which will run till October 18, will serve as an attention getter for the custodians and administrators of knowledge to see the need for expansion of the college programmes with a view to impact on the students with the relevant knowledge to foster great change. Also, it serves as a make believe prophecy for students so that they will have more trust in, and appreciate the essence of the theories we propound in class. He stressed that there is the need to be creative no matter what, adding that relying on the courage and the total trust in intuition to take control is key even when one is not sure about the dimension or the direction of the creative energy. In his words, ‘In the present times, my centre of focus is on originality, articulation of both my design process and the uniqueness in my production process; most importantly, the up to date relevance of my design art to this period of design explosion in production industries’ he added. On his designs, he said it is based on (functional) art forms, “with the goal posts not so much moved as taken off the pitch, all approaches, all styles and all motivations are valid. Aside from the designs being functional, they have been infused with entertaining flavors and visual sensations.” As a designer and teacher, combining these roles sharpens his vision to see far beyond the present environment. “It also breaks barriers and synthesizing theories with practice. Basically, there is an ongoing dialogue from concept to construction resulting in body of work. In order to build a society worthy of the twenty first century, the strength of creativity must be built in an environment of creative thoughts and practice.

•Olu and Desola

Desola visits Olu Ajayi Studio

T

HE Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs Bola Desola was the guest of the month at the monthly Open Studio visit to Olu Ajayi Studio, Lagos. Mrs Desola paid a visit to the studio on September 22 during which she had useful interaction with the artist, Olu Ajayi. The Open Studio visit is designed to encourage interaction between the collector and the artist on every last Saturday of the month. The visit of the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank is the second in the series of monthly visits by art collectors and connoisseurs to Olu Ajayi Studio, Lagos. In August, a renowned Mr. Joe Obiago was the guest tot eh studio. The immediate past Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Public Utility, Prince Clement Agba is expected at the studio as next guest.

northern Nigeria for whom over three decades have been experiencing sectarian and ethnic violence between Christians and Muslims and now facing an atrocious insurgency. The author also included the usefulness of the poems to the people of Northern Ireland, Kashmir, Bosnia Herzegovina and some communities in Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Egypt, Middle East, Philippines. Aside the afore mentioned destinations, it is highly believed that the richness of these poem surpasses restrictions as Africa and the world at large surfers violence. The author should minimize the limitations of his work. The fonts and graphic design of the book portrays the message. The colour of the book cover is white which is known for peace as the author advocates. Sani italicised his font to captivate readers, he also uses pictures to tell his story of violence that has destroyed lives. This is indeed a very fantastic way of relating a message as readers do not only get to imagine his flow of thoughts, they also visualise it through the pictures used. In fact, words cannot express Sani’s magnanimity as he takes his time to feel the pains of his people and tries to make a change in his society. It will not be surprising if he is given a Peace Advocate award or the Nobel peace prize for this inspirational work that encourages peace. The Poems of Peace is recommended for all to read as it relates to every life one way or the other being victims of violence or as members of a society filled with violence.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

40

The Midweek Magazine

E-mail:- ozoluauhakheme@yahoo.com

ANNIVERSARY

Behold, the thriller Remember the youngest ever xylophone player Udo Uffonime of the IBB days? He was at the National Troupe’s Independence show, last Saturday in Lagos •PHOTO: SOIBIFA DOKUBO

•Uffonime

Silva to curate Marker 2013

•Silva

N

IGERIA’S Bisi Silva, and independent curator and the founder/director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, has been selected as curator of Marker 2013. Marker is a curated section of concept stands, located within the gallery halls at Madinat Jumeirah, which focuses each year on a particular theme or geography. For 2013, Marker will turn its focus to West Africa. According to a statement by the organisers, Silva’s programme will be curated around the theme of Cities In Transition

with a particular focus on the work of dynamic, independent organisations and artists dealing with specific identities and localities. “For 2013, Art Dubai has invited Lagosbased curator Bisi Silva to select and work with galleries and artspaces located in West Africa. Silva’s programme is curated around the theme of ‘cities in transition’, with a particular focus on the work of dynamic, independent organisations and artists dealing with specific identities and localities. The participating institutions will be announced in November,” the statement added. Silva is also currently co-curator of The Progress of Love, a transcontinental collaboration across three venues in US and Nigeria (October 2012-January 2013). Among other exhibitions, Silva co-curated the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2009) and in 2006, the Dakar Biennale, Senegal. She has written for many international art magazines, including Art Forum and Third Text; is on the editorial board of N Paradoxa; and is Guest Editor of Manifesta Journal: Around Curatorial Practices No17 (June 2013).

CCAF holds memorial lecture for UI professor

A

RT historians, critics, lecturers and cultural enthusiasts will be celebrating the memory of the late Prof. Cornelius Adepegba tomorrow at a memorial lecture in his honour in the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State. Tagged: 10th Year Remembrance Symposium has as its theme African Art Historical Studies: Prospects and challenges. It is organised by Culture and Creative Arts Forum (CCAF) in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies. Prof. Adepegba was a former director at the Institute of African Studies, UI. Aesthete goes.

•Ayo receiving the prize

Ayo emerges winner of MTN Project Fame

A

FTER a keenly contested edition of the MTN Project Fame West Africa Season 5, Ayobami Ayoola has emerged winner of the sensational music reality TV show, clinching a recording contract worth N7,000,000 in addition to a Toyota Rav 4 and a cash reward of N2,500,000. The first runner-up position went to Marvelous Odiete, who was rewarded with N1,500,000 and a Toyota Corolla, while Adetoun who emerged as second runner-up, got a Toyota Yaris and N1,000,000. Ella, who was the surprise package of the academy, got N1,000,000 for coming fourth in the competition. The seven finalists performed their own composed songs to an audience during the grand finale, which was held at the Ultima Studios, Lekki, Lagos. Ayo was outstandingly incredible. Spot-

ting a white suit, the young man was most thrilling with his usual enchanting voice when he performed Na Time. Rich in Afrobeat, the song itself was a testimony of Ayo’s evolvement in the academy, which was apparent a day earlier when he sang alongside the academy season 3 winner, Chidimma. Some other highlights of the evening were the performances by such established musica stars like Stylplus, Chidimma and Flavour. The musicians added color to the Closing Gala. Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Larry Annette, said that Project Fame is a definition of a company’s commitment to developing the people of its trading environment. He noted that the academy gives expression to the talents and aspirations of West African youths who hitherto had no platform to learn and develop their musical talents.


"With these kind of players, I think we can go far and win this competition . We want to get through to the second round. We have to get as many points as possible because we know we are in a difficult group with Madrid, Dortmund and Ajax. We need to improve and we need to work hard because Dortmund are a fantastic team. We play our first game in the Champions League at home, and we want to show the fans we made a mistake in Madrid.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Manchester City player, Yaya Toure expressing confidence of getting through opponents in the U E FA C h a m p i o n s L e a g u e f i x t u r e s , unscathed.

Yaya: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

We can conquer Europe Y

AYA TOURE has declared that Manchester City are potential Champions League winners.

Toure, 29, knows Roberto Mancini's side face a tough test to get out of a group comprising the champions of England, Spain, Germany and Netherlands. But the Ivorian midfielder believes that if they can negotiate a way past Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, they can go all the way. Toure was a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2009, while Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Maicon have also tasted victory in the tournament.

"With these kinds of players, I think we can go far and win this competition," Toure said. "We want to get through to the second round," the midfielder added. "We have to get as many points as possible because we know we are in a difficult group with Madrid, Dortmund and Ajax. City host Dortmund tonight, and Toure believes they need to cut out the errors that have been a feature of their start to the season. "We need to improve and we need to work hard because Dortmund are a fantastic team. We play our first game in the Champions League at home, and we want to show the fans we made a mistake in Madrid," he added.

DIABY RULED OUT

with thigh injury

A

• Diaby

RSENAL midfielder Abou Diaby has been ruled out for three weeks with a thigh injury. Diaby suffered the injury attempting a shot at goal in the Gunner's 2-1 defeat against Chelsea on Saturday. The 26-year-old adds to Arsene Wenger's injury worries, with the Frenchman sweating on the fitness of Mikel Arteta and without Wojciech Szczesny for a further few weeks. "Arteta will have a test tomorrow on an ankle injury. Diaby is out with a thigh injury.

Silva: PSG has something to prove UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Kyiv v Zagreb Porto v PSG Arsenal v Olympiakos Schalke v Montpellier Zenit v AC Milan Anderlecht v Malaga Ajax v Madrid Man City v Dortmund

Mourinho: I’ll see out Madrid deal

T

HIAGO SILVA believes that Paris Saint-Germain can go further than his previous clubs AC Milan and FC Porto. PSG travel to Porto for a UEFA Champions League Group A match on Wednesday, where recordsigning Silva said the French club must start to prove their potential.

"Szczesny will be two or three weeks still." Wenger is however boosted by the performance of new boy Santi Cazorla and praised the display of Keiran Gibbs ahead of his side's Champions League clash with Olympiakos on Wednesday. "We are over the moon with Santi. He is not only an exceptional player, but a great person," added Wenger. "He has found stability in his performances. I am very happy with his performances."

R •Silva

EAL MADRID coach Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he has no intention to leave the Liga champions any time soon as he wants to see out his current contract until 2016. The Portuguese trainer recently revealed that he has set his sights on a return to the Premier League after his spell at Madrid, and has since been linked with a number of clubs. However, Mourinho has stressed that he is happy to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu side for now.

•Yaya Toure

Babel aiming for Madrid upset

R

YAN BABEL is eagerly anticipating Ajax's Champions League encounter at home against Real Madrid on Wednesday. The attacker, who returned to Ajax this summer after spells with Liverpool and Hoffenheim, believes it is crucial for the Eredivisie champions to try and play their own game versus the La Liga giants, and is hoping to spring a surprise. "We have to try and play our •Babel own game.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

43


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

44

DISCOURSE

In search of sustainable peace, equity, justice Text of the Goodwill Message delivered by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, at the opening of the Peace, Unity and Development Summit organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] on September 20, 2012. It is with utmost thanks and gratitude to Allah [SWT], our Lord and Creator, that I stand to say a few words at this historic occasion of the opening of the Peace, Unity and Development Summit and National Rally organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC]. We must express our deep appreciation to the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, his National Administrative Council (NAC), and members of the organizing committee and indeed to the entire membership of NLC for having the vision and the foresight to organise this timely and strategic national summit and rally on Peace, Unity and Development of our dear country. The Nigeria Labour movement has remained a veritable national institution with historic contributions to nation – building and national development. Trade unions world-wide are reputed for their struggle for core traditional issues affecting their members. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), like its counterparts elsewhere, has never been timid in defending the rights of its members. But it is also worthy of note that it has ventured, at critical times, to address broader national issues which affect the bases of our collective existence including the fundamental issues of Peace, Unity and Development. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, our dear comrades, the theme of this summit is as important as the summit itself. There cannot be unity without peace and there

cannot be sustainable development without unity and peace. The promotion of conciliation and understanding among our people becomes a paramount religious duty and indeed a national imperative. It is therefore incumbent upon all stakeholders, including Government, Politicians, Religious and Community Leaders and indeed Labour, to stand together, with unity of purpose and action, to discharge this onerous responsibility. We must, as a nation and as a people, develop a collective consciousness such that the pain of any member of our society, regardless of creed and ethnic origin, shall be the collective pain of all of us. We must collectively express our shared hope and aspirations and our collective will to build a peaceful and prosperous society. My distinguished comrades, as I have pointed out in a similar forum about four months ago, durable and sustainable peace cannot be fully established without a firm commitment to equity and justice. We must strive, as a nation, to promote these pivotal values in our society. Injustice and inequity invariably lead to corruption which in turn breeds poverty and dissension. No society can thrive and prosper when afflicted with these deadly vices. It is undoubtedly for this reason that Shehu Uthman Ibn Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, had to state that: “Seeing to the welfare of the people is more effective than the use of force. It has been said that the crown of a leader is his

123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 another and the society they live in. We must 123456789012345678901234 equip them properly and adequately to face 123456789012345678901234 challenges of a globalized and 123456789012345678901234 the competitive world. We must imbue in them 123456789012345678901234 confidence and fear of God such that 123456789012345678901234 hope, they would deploy their energies 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 wholeheartedly and without let or hindrance 123456789012345678901234 to the development of Nigeria. We must also 123456789012345678901234 them from errant ideas such that they 123456789012345678901234 protect imbibe the positive values that would move 123456789012345678901234 forward. 123456789012345678901234 ourButsociety our distinguished guests, we must not 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 live in self – delusion. How do we expect our 123456789012345678901234 youth to imbibe these values and attain these 123456789012345678901234 lofty goals when we have not fully exerted 123456789012345678901234 best efforts to set the right examples for 123456789012345678901234 our to follow? How do we expect them to 123456789012345678901234 them be disciplined and morally upright when 123456789012345678901234 trample on all what is right and proper 123456789012345678901234 many and on the very religious tenets that are 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 supposed to regulate our moral conduct? 123456789012345678901234 can we expect our children to imbibe 123456789012345678901234 How the values of mutual tolerance and respect • Alhaji Abubakar

integrity, his stronghold is his impartiality and his wealth is the welfare of his people.” Your Excellencies, our distinguished guests, it is also imperative that we promote the principles of mutual consultation and consensus – building to move our nation forward. We must, at all times, maintain effective lines of communication and dialogue with all critical stakeholders on the strategic goals that bind us together as a nation, such that we are able to address serious problems before they become a national crisis. We must be able to tolerate differences in opinion and perception and be able to talk to one another despite these differences. Above all, we must be able and willing to mobilize our energies and resources to resist any individual or group that seeks to undermine the strategic bases of our collective existence. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, my dear comrades, please permit me to state that the future of the youth is indeed the future of Nigeria. We cannot, as a nation, afford to neglect how they are brought up, how they are educated and how they perceive one

when the favourite pastime of many of our compatriots remains the spread of hate and demonization of one another? How can we enthrone prudence, probity and dignity of labour when many of our fellow citizens pay no regard to these values and take pride in flaunting their ill-gotten wealth for all to see and applaud? Distinguished guests, the actions we take and the examples we set play a crucial role in the future and development of our nation. It is when and only when each and every one of us takes personal responsibility for his action or inaction and does what is fit and proper under whatever circumstances he finds himself, we could come to the full realization of our strategic goals and objectives as a nation. This is a responsibility that we must not take lightly. With these fear words, may I thank the NLC and its leadership, once again, for convening this strategic summit. May Allah (SWT) guide your deliberations and make them beneficial to the search for peace, unity and development in Nigeria.

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi ta’ala wa barakatuhu!

Development agenda for Western Nigeria: Prospects123456789012345678901234 and challenges

Text of the paper by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, delivered by his Special Adviser on Regional Integration, Revd Tunji Adebiyi, at the National Convention of Egbe Omo Yoruba (National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America (US and Canada) at Hilton BWI Airport Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, US. • Continued from September 26

P

ERHAPS, it will suffice to say that the coming of the crude oil, while it may have benefited some parts of the country, has done more harm than good to the western region, because since that time, (postAwolowo era) successive governments from the region go to Abuja, at the end of every month with their “begging bowls” to take crumbs from the national government in form of the federation account while neglecting our natural endowments that could have been adequately tapped for optimum advantage and growth.. The propriety or otherwise of such endeavour in a country laying claim to practising federalism is an issue for another discuss. Agriculture remains the only means of reclaiming the South West and evidence exists to show that if the South West rises up to the expectation, food production can be increased within a short period. Over 65% of the population of the Southwest region is involved in one form of agricultural practice; however, this has not generated the excepted returns and productivity due to several structural and institutional constraints. For instance, Lagos State, with a population of over 20million people will consume more than N2billion worth of food a day but unfortunately, there are not enough farm lands in the State to meet this demand, therefore, if Osun and Ekiti, combine, provides the farm land for commercial farming, Lagos and Ibadan will jointly provide the market due to their large population and the industrial development of both cities. Similarly, according to statistics, the production estimate for rice in the whole Nigeria in 2005 was 3,567 metric tons and as at 2008, production had only reached 4,179, which clearly underscores a high level of unmet needs in the domestic market. There is an urgent need for a ‘revolution’ in the agricultural sector. And only the South West has all that is required to get this running. What do we need to achieve this revolution, which will not only empower our people but also provide thousands of jobs and bring prosperity to this fertile land? We need all and more of the following:

Massive Infrastructural Development Little can be achieved if infrastructures: from roads, to water and rail transportation system is not developed. The roads in the south west require urgent and total transformation to facilitate intra city movements. Similarly, the rail system of transportation must be rehabilitated and improved upon. Large quantities of goods can be moved between cities and states through the rail system and this should also take priority attention from the regional government. For instance, the distance by road from Oshogbo to Lagos, will take approximately 4hours and this can be covered in under 65 minutes through a modern light rail system. With such in place, a senior civil servant in Lagos, who also has a large farmland in Ikirun, Osun State can decide to live in Osun and report for work in Lagos, while still having enough time to attend to the needs of his farm after work and during the weekends. It is indeed pathetic that people living in nearby Ibafo and Ota in Ogun State find it difficult to get to heart of the city center in Lagos, due to the absence of efficient and effective mode of transportation. This should be a thing of the past! The roads linking all the states of the region must be passable and motorable comparable to international standard. A sign of why we should take our destiny in our hands is the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which the federal government has refused to fix despite all the promises from successful governments and with the attendant daily loss of lives and man hour on the road in a state of disrepair. The Apapa-Oshodi expressway which is the gateway to the biggest seaport, south of the Sahara is in the most deplorable shape and to think that the centre government rakes in more than N100B every day from that port! We need to save the coming generation.

The water way must also receive attention, as this will assist the fish farmers; it is heartwarming to note that the Fashola administration in Lagos State is paying more attention to this. The population of Lagos will continue to rise, as far as there are more opportunities in the state and the government realized this, and decide that the roads must be free, hence putting in place modern and safe water transport system. Interestingly, you can reach Ondo State from Lagos via the water, which means we can get our produce to Akure from Itoikin-Epe and transact business with residents of Ondo State.

Population As earlier mentioned, to get maximum use of the large land mass available, we need the people to work, the people to buy and the people to export, all of these are available in view of the large population obtainable in the South West. Please, don’t mind the census figures. Ibadan, Lagos, Akure, Abeaokuta, Ijebuode, Oshogbo, Ilesha, Ado are some of the major cities in the region with large populations that will drive our agric-economy and move us forward.

Reviving the Agro Allied Industries All the government of states within the region must also begin the process for reviving the moribund agro-allied industries in the South West, as established during the Awolowo era. All of these industries have a role to play in our collective resolve to use agriculture as a means to economic prosperity, as we cannot afford to export some of our produce and raw materials to other countries for processing into other useful materials and packaged foods. Similar such industries will assist us in storage facilities for the farm produce and preserve them for longer periods.

Over 65% of the population of the Southwest region is involved in one form of agricultural practice; however, this has not generated the excepted returns and productivity due to several structural and institutional constraints.

123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 • Governor Fashola

Conclusion From the above analysis, you will agree with me that there is a better tomorrow for the South West, if the will to move, on the part of the leadership is achieved. The political leadership must resolve to work together, whether as members of the same political party or same school of thought or even in different parties since governance is all about the people and not about the parties in government. And it is reasonable that any programme implemented is for all and sundry and not for party members, it is reasonable that the new initiatives must be embraced whichever party is in power in any of the states of the south-west-be they conservative or progressives, so far the goal is to lift up our region and return into the path of progress and glory as it was in the early days after independence. that is for another forum to discuss and decide. What is most important is for us as a people, with a common destiny, a common purpose and a common history to agree to work together, to use our ‘own’ resources, our own natural endowments to add value to our lives and improve economically and socially. With this, the future is guaranteed and a new DAWN will berth.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

45

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Alhaji Ibrahim Shema is the Governor of Katsina State. He was at various times the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and later the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview, Governor Shema, who is in his second tenure, speaks on a wide range of national issues. Correspondent MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE reports.

Shema: Onshore/offshore debate is diversionary T

HE onshore/offshore dichotomy is one touchy issue in the polity. What is your view on it? Fortunately, I was part of the legal team as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice that represented Katsina State at the court on the onshore/offshore dichotomy issue. Now, my question is this: is it just about onshore/offshore dichotomy or about the development of Nigeria and Nigerians? In Nigeria, we love to speak big grammar on issues that may not have any bearing with poverty and the enormous challenges that are facing us such as unemployment, insecurity and other challenges in other sectors. I think we should start by asking ourselves what are we doing with the little we are receiving? What difference will it make now even if we start giving more money to any state in the country? To my mind, this thing (about increase in derivation money from the federation account) should be tied to specific programmes. Even if we want an increase, what do you plan to do with the young men and women out there? How would you want to fight poverty? How would you encourage creation of industry, create jobs for the unemployed, improve quality of power and water supply and other infrastructure that had decayed since independent? Are we talking of onshore/offshore tied to certain programmes to change the lives of Nigerians or are we just talking because we love it as a political instrument to hurt each other and over heat the political system? Yes, I’m a lawyer and I believe in rule of law, but I want to urge all of us, whether we are for or against dichotomy to think deep and think hard. We must not do anything to undermine the interest of Nigerians, that is my take. What is your view on the call for state police given that it has generated a lot of controversy? Yes, there has been a lot of argument about whether we should create state police or continue with federal police that we have been running in the country. Recently, some of us in the Nigerian Governors Forum were in Germany and that include Rotimi Amaechi of River State, Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Jonah Jang of Plateau State, Kashim Shettima of Borno State, and myself. And this question came up on how they operate their own state police. Of course, they do operate state police, but states that are rich help the ones that are not. There is no tailor made arrangement in the world about issues relating to security or policing. What is important to me is the fact that police as an institution has been in existence for a long time in Nigeria and a lot of committees have been set up by various governments on its reform. These committees were set up to study what need be done to enhance police services in Nigeria. Now, whether a state police will serve the purpose of peace, law and order and good governance of the country or the same federal police we are used to should be critically looked into. Of course, there is this fear in some quarters that some of us politicians in Government Houses that if we have state police we could use it to harass and intimidate our opponents. So, to me what is the status of security in Nigeria and what must we do as a nation has to be agreed on as a consensus. Katsina State is 25 years old. What are the milestones since you came to power in 2007? I feel happy as a governor; my people are appreciating the good work of my government that means our efforts at improving the lives of our people are being appreciated. In coming to office, I was faced with three important challenges. First is education. This has been giving me a lot of worries and the reason is simple, because of the poverty or the income of our parents which I found out is hindering most parents from taking their children to school. So I decided to save about N100 million to fund our education system. We started free education since 2007, which was absolutely free both for primary and secondary education, where WAEC and NECO fees are being paid yearly for the final year students and also free feeding programme for the pupils. We gave out scholarship to about 270 students who are been trained

in Arabic education, learning and writing. I also provided buses for students with as low as N10 naira per drop. We also increased the number of classrooms and teachers just as we improved on the salary structure of our teachers both in secondary and primary schools alongside other welfare packages even before the introduction of the national minimum wage. We also work on the issue of the girl-child education by constructing additional 165 schools and also encourage Local Government Councils to create a department for the girl-child education. We also completed the state owned university which we met on ground in 2007, that is the Umar Musa Yar’adua University; furnished it, equipped it and moved all our staff and students down there. Also in the educational sector, we have rehabilitated, furnished and supplied modern equipment to all other of our tertiary institutions just as we followed all the normal procedures in the introduction of courses in the curriculum of our educational system. We are also one of the few lucky states to get a new federal university and we made sure that our own university was the first to take off in Nigeria both in terms of students, learning facilities, male and female hostels and classrooms etc. The University is now having about 98% of its facilities contributed by our government. Cotton used to be a major revenue earner in this part of the country. What are you doing to bring back those good old days? Cotton has a special programme under the federal government and we are looking at ways of working with the federal government on how to improve cotton production and also export. So all hands are on deck to see that this happens. Even as we speak, I received request from my brother and friend, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola in that regard. Argentina, Bangkok are in talk with us, but you know the problem with agriculture is that, the gestation period is long before you can make a formidable, viable economic production. Another area is that of developing the minerals that are available in the state. There are about 18 different type of mineral deposits both metallic and non-metallic. There is investment profile of the various mineral deposits which I set up as department, but now a ministry of resources development and the first thing we did was to identify the largest mineral deposit and Kaolin happen to be in abundance ,incidentally, Kaolin is a major ingredient in the production of chalk and paint. So rather than going out to buy them, we can as well produce them since we have the ingredients at our disposal here. We thought we could give it a trial by getting our youths trained in its production and we gave it a trial with about 25 persons from each local government who were trained on how to produce paint and chalk and the production actually started in 2008, and the paint you are seeing on the wall of Government House building was manufactured by these boys. I deliberately did not repaint it since then as I wanted to know its quality. You can see for yourself the paint. What would form the focus of your government in what remains of your tenure? The second priority area of focus is Agriculture because about 85% of our people are engaged in farming and rearing of livestock and this in turn contributes not just to the economy of Katsina State, but also the economy of Nigeria. So you can see if we have food security we can check hunger because when a man does not feed well hunger sets in and a hungry man is an angry man. So we try all our best to improve on our agriculture by setting up a special committee that gathered information and data from the research and agric institute under Ahmadu Bello

• Governor Shema

University, Zaria, with which we then now set up a special task force under my office to look at ways of encouraging development of agriculture. We provided subsidized fertilizer bags at the rate of N1500 per bag which cost us around N900million per annum. We also imported improved rice seedlings and also conducted training and workshop for farmers and we provided them N25million interest free –loans. Besides, we are in partnership with the Songhai Farm in Benin Republic on what we call the Songhai/ Katsina Initiative which is to train our youths in different areas of agriculture. And we were able to secure and supply 340 tractors, 10 each to all the local government areas at a subsidized rate of 40% discount. We encourage farmer’s cooperative groups with the aim of empowering them. We also focused on irrigation and one of the dams in Katsina State, by the time we came into office was barely existing; we turned it around, we channelled it, fixed the generators and other equipment and worked on the roads. By the time we were done, in the first year of harvest, the farmers contributed tones of food and cash crops. So you can see Katsina is a state with a fertile land that can produce food and cash crop all year round, that is why I said if we handled the issue of irrigation properly, Nigeria will be self sufficient in term of food production. We encouraged our farmers to irrigate for cultivation purposes. We are also in talks with some people from Spain trying to see if we can go into flour production and we are also working on Benniseed production which is a good product in international market. We are really encouraging agro-allied industry, we are the first state in Nigeria to embark on a project of a minifertilizer processing plant. We started it with the Nigerian Institute of Agricultural Science students with the collaboration of the Federal Government to produce green fertilizer made from Dogonyaro tree and also pesticide. We mandated four other local government areas to set up four local fertilizer blending plants and we train 25 young boys and girls in each local government to produce organic fertilizer and the first year of operation, we bought fertilizer worth N300 million from each plant having about 10 thousand production capacity that can do blending of urea and turn it into N.P.K 15:15. What is your administration’s programme for youths?

‘To my mind, this thing (about increase in derivation money from the federation account) should be tied to specific programmes. Even if we want an increase, what do you plan to do with the young men and women out there? How would you want to fight poverty? How would you encourage creation of industry, create jobs for the unemployed, improve quality of power and water supply and other infrastructure that had decayed since independent?’

Our programme for youth employment and empowerment is designed to move our youths from engaging in restiveness, drug abuse and political thuggery and help them to grow and stand on their feet. I personally oversaw the establishment of youth training centers here in our state where they are being trained in carpentry, furniture and wood work, metal work, tie and dye, sound proof generator, repair of G.S.M handset, computer training, baking of cake and catering services, hairdressing, web design and publication, fashion design etc. Everything is possible where there is determination. We have where we teach young farmers on modern techniques of farming, I set up a special department for bee keeping, fish farming, poultry farming etc to train young people in these areas, we equally created young entrepreneurs and we give them interest free-loans to the tune of aboutN250million for GSM repair, block making machine, welding, car washing, hairdressing. In the same manner, we also trained people from Borno State and other parts of Nigeria and also Niger Republic, even the NYSC have also approached us to train some of their staff members. So, in like manner youth empowerment is very critical, that is why we recently directed all the local government councils to get 200 young boys and girls who have finished schooling and are at home to go and teach as casual workers in schools and those of them who did community health should be hired to assist in clinics and maternity centers. Government’s performance is often measured by infrastructure development and capital projects. What have you been able to do in this regard? We are particular about other critical infrastructure and amenities in the state. We’ve developed over 30 new road projects and we have dualized roads across all the local government areas. We built about 2000 houses with about 35 housing unit in each local government and about 752 in the state capital, and this housing, the way we did it is that each person that works in the government establishment here will get an automatic discount of about 40% . For example a 3 bedroom flat will cost you N3million plus but you don’t have to pay all, all you pay is just 10% and you will get a key to your house and the remaining balance you will pay in 15 years without interest, this is just about N310,000. Our government has also been paying our counter-part funding of the MDG program which is a 50/50 payment and SUBEB with an award about two or three times now as the best performing state in terms of teaching and the provision of learning facilities. So also we have giving out loans to buy motorcycles. Then the health sector is not left behind, we have completed the existing ones and built new ones, free medi-care for women and children. We have a policy of free anti-natal and post-natal care, free medi-care for children between age 0-5years and also for special condition like accident victim etc. And, on health? With over 250-bed orthopaedic hospital under construction and this is the first of it kind and also we are in talks with some foreign countries to see how we can partner in this regard in a public/ private partnership. The Katsina airport run-way has been expanded and this is the sixth year we are running hajj operation since we completed the run-way expansion now named Umar Musa Yar’adua International Airport, Katsina. Likewise we are making all efforts at improving the quality of services under the ministry of commerce, we energize our commerce and encourage business activities in area of international tour for our traders who travel to China, Dubai, India and other parts of the world. If you take the aspect of rural development and infrastructure, we’ve covered 130 villages for electrification and there is no part of the state now that has no one or two or three or even al with infrastructure development. Of course, power supply remains our major challenge because of that, there is already a wind mill plan with Japanese and federal government, our own role there as a state government is to provide for the land and we expect to generate from the project about 10,000 megawatts of electricity.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

46

POLITICS PERSPECTIVE

Nigeria at 52: Pathways to sustainable democracy and rebirth

I

T sounds strange biologically and indeed laughable, if not unfortunate, to speak of rebirth of a country at 52 still gappling with the intricacies of how to even leave together; but democracy and the rule of law is not a finished product that is graffated into society rather its an evolutionary process that grows with the growth of a society, a dynamic task in constant progress (or sometimes even regress). Adopting democracy ,therefore, has not been an easy task, especially for Africans given their cultures and societies often steeped in hierarchical traditions, patrilineal dogmas and deeply religious traditions. Besides, the challenge of dialectics of two publics ( see Eke primordial and civic realms) on account of colonization. wherein an African or a Nigerian belongs to both realm he is not governed by the same morality or value template due to greater attachment to the primordial realm, the civic public or governmental realm is where you are expected take from(or steal) to saturate the primordial realm unlike the Europeans that has loyalty only to the civic public. The orientation of successive leaders that took over from the generation of those who fought for and secured independence and left governace frameworks that were abandoned with atttendant crises that have made national unity, progress and development difficult if not impossible. The difficulty of the task is universal, for in truth when we consider that; “the process of democracy building took between 27 and 256 years in Britain, between 78 and 168 years in France, between 30 and 80 years in Germany, between 30 and 70 years in the USA, and about 50 years in Japan (Karl-Heinz Nassmacher, 2003), then we must not only dwell on our difficulties, but collectively identify and confer through election authority on those Nigerians that are ready to make the required sacrifices that would turn around our development trajectory because the only thing that has seperated Nigeria from the rest of the developed world is leadership.At 52 we should only take measured satisfaction on our collective current efforts and how to sustain them, that we are alive to inspire hope, courage, find solace and ponder upon the pathways for future progress. At such times like this,we must remind ourselves of our own history as a people that given that we have been brought together by the event of 1914 that was not an act of God but the action of a human being, Lord Lugard, we should be together as a country for mutually assured prosperity and not Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). While this may be easy to say, the task of development which brings about prosperity has not been fully defined globally, some have defined development strictly on the terms of economic growth, using indicators like the productivity, employment rate and similar ratios and averages, while others have criticized this narrow perception of development, insisting that such averages do not tell the full picture preferring social indices which show not only the summation of economic growth but also the relationship of the people in a country with themselves, the degree of satisfaction and happiness derived from living in the total environment, as well as the safety and security of the people who live and thrive within the country At the milestone of five decades and two years, we are afforded another opportunity to define for ourselves, what the value of development means to us as a country, is it prosperity for our individual selves and our close friends? Is it prosperity for our specific tribes, religious groups and gender, age group or club members at the expense of others? This

• Igini By Mike Igini

understanding is a crucial building block for our wellbeing because, we may strive, fight and even go to war for the sake of prosperity but never attain it because even when we are prosperous we may never know except we have set a benchmark to remind ourselves that indeed we had a goal and we can recognize when we get there. To define the goals of development for our country, therefore, we need to define what we mean by development, agree upon basic rules and pathways to get there, accept that as human beings which do not always find similar satisfaction in the same things at all times and on the same occasion regarding each and every sphere of endevours, we are bound to have differences in appreciation and satisfaction on the pathways to get to our common goal of development, such agreements cannot come within one day, one year or even ten years, and as we have learnt in our national case, may even be difficult to achieve even after 52 years given the enclave and backward mentality of a few but powerful elites on account of power relations. More important, to reach the goal of a common understanding for our development, we have to cast our consensual agreements in plastic, so that we may be able to remind those who which to drag us all from that part of development that we have a common compact. I use the term casting in plastic rather than casting in stone, because in practice, laws even national compacts in the form of constitutions are made for the requirements of some time frames, and practices over time may prove some laws impracticable or we may find that the benefits of using such laws are not worth the cost to society, and therefore accept that they need to be changed, modified or scrapped, these are not unusual but important baby-steps in the journey to democratic consolidation. We are at the threshold of such a moment in our country, for having practiced democracy in bits and pieces for sometime before 1983 and briefly in 1992- 1993, we have learnt useful lessons ( and here I hope I speak for all of us) about what works and what is unhealthy for our national development, we are all agreed that the process of transition of power, how it empowers or dis-empowers voters who decide what type of leadership they want is at the heart of our development goals, because when the right people decide development policy and take the views and sensitivities of Nigerians into consideration, we are likely to find peaceful progress, but how we implement that agreement is still ongoing. Agreeing on common things is not

often an easy exercise between people even people with similar backgrounds, let alone a country with very much diversity like Nigeria, this is why rather than agreement, people use words like consensus, rapprochement and understanding. And for this reason matters which affects us in common need not be a win-lose affair, to exemplify this type of mindset, we have recently witnessed budget issues between the executive and legislative arms of government. while it is understandable that budgets are issues of allocation of funds to interests and priorities, at the core of the process is the matter of common development, hence trade-offs and understanding should inform such national issues that are fundamental to development. For a budget is actually a financial plan, a forecast of intentions and how funds should be allocated to them to attain progress, even though it is initiated by the executive, modified and approved by the legislature, and the Act interpreted by the judiciary in cases of legal uncertainty when necessary, the impacts and benefits of a budget are not confined to any of these three arms of governance, these impacts and benefits are intended for the whole country, so if there are losers and gainers, the Nigerian people and the Nigerian nation, their gains and loss should inform the decisions of the people in any of these arms of governance, which is why having a common understanding of the issue of what development means to all of us is crucial. Current discussions have been focused on how and what we accept as a compact on the pathways to such development through a constitutional review. At the stage of 52 years, we must therefore be able to diverge from the failed pathways of the past 51 years, including the use of methods which we have repeated often and which bore very little fruit by way of development, hence in the next 50 years, our focus should start with three priorities on the pathway to consolidating our democratic quest, one is to agree and return Nigeria to development framework of federalism with all its essential features as given to us by our forefathers , Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Zik and others whose periods of leadership remained the golden era of development in our history, a consensual definition and goal for development, we should find common grounds to reach an agreement on the basics of a constitutional arrangement to strengthen federalism without destroying the strengths of unity in diversity and finally is the need to settle ones and for all time the electoral mechanisms for peaceful transition of power starting with an accepted methodologies and severe sanction for violation of party primaries election of candidates internal democracy laws within the parties given that political parties are the building bricks of internalized democratic culture in a society. In settling the process of transition we must keep in mind that there are 812 executive positions and over 1000 legislative positions including state and local council legislative positions which are contested politically in Nigeria, therefore, no one position or office is worth destroying the whole superstructure in other to have and assert it for just a particular timeframe. May God bless and save Nigeria as we should work more and pray less because God almighty has given us what is required to be one of the greatest countries in the world but leadership is what seperates us and remained our challenge not absence of prayers. Igini is the REC, Cross River State.

Comrade Sola Iji, a lawyer, stepped down for the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), at the party’s congress in Akure. He spoke with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU on the imperative of power shift in the state.

Why Mimiko should go on October 20, by Iji

W

HAT are those things that Governor Olusegun Mimiko has not done that the ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, will do, if elected governor? I must confess to you that there are development programmes which the resources of the state would have been able to accomplish in the last three and half years, which the incumbent governor has neglected, failed, or refused oto do. There are many roads within and around our metropolitan towns that are crying for serious and urgent government attention, which has not been attended to. These roads are becoming more deplorable. There are issues of health care which has been brandished around. If you visit our hospitals, you can hardly find qualified medical personnel around under a government managed and administered by medical practitioner. What you hear is “abiye”. What is it? Is Abiye the only medical centre that would be used throughout by the people of Ondo State throughout the 18 local governments and 203 wards? But, he is said to have a robust programme to revive the education sector... Less attention has been placed to the sector. If you get to our schools, some of the schools left behind by the last administration have become dilapidated. Move round. Instead of building a mega school that does not meet the aspirations and yearnings of the people, we should fix the ones that are dilapidated. But they are left to get worse. It is what everyone can see. Unemployment in the Southwest is getting worse and we are not supposed to be in that category because this state is endowed. We have enough resources to create opportunities for our children and school leavers to be gainfully employed. We have industries that are moribund and left to waste and rust. When you get to Oluwa Glass, you will be very sorry. It is deplorable. The government is not even taking a second look at it. None of the industries has been revived. How do we generate unemployment, if the industries are left to die without any attention? So, this government has wasted opportunities and resources. Except you get somebody with passion to serve, who is caring enough, whose essence of coming on board to govern is not accumulation of resources, and who is coming to use the resources of the state to develop the state, the state will continue to suffer. That is why we are optimistic that the ACN government under the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Akeredolu, will be a total departure from what we are experiencing now. Are you saying that no road has been tarred in the state in the last four years? Unless you look through what is going on in Akure, from Fiwasaye, through Oba Adesida, to Oyemekun, when you get to Ilesa Road, that is all. Is that the entire Ondo State? Is that all the roads we have in Ondo State? Drive through the cities outside Akure. Go to Ondo. Yo will see how deplorable the roads are. Take a trip from here to Ado. From Owo junction, before you get to Iju/ItaOgbolu, you will see the total neglect. It is replicated all over the state. Four years ago, there was enthusiasm and hope and members of your party even supported the governor. What is now responsible for the parting of ways? There was a convergence of interests in terms of chasing out the then PDP administration at all costs. If he was declared the winner of the election, all well and good. The tribunal declared that he won an election. There was a great expectation that something great was around the corner. People thought that he had commitment to progressive cause and democratic norms. From day one when he assumed office, he started manifesting strange tendencies. Of course, it is better to be inconsistent than to persist in error. If it was an error that you supported his ascension to the seat of power and you discover that it was an error, you had better beat a retreat. That explains what has happened so far. How strong are the ACN structures at the grassroots? ACN is basically a grassroots political party. Our members are spread throughout the 203 wards, 3,009 units in the state. We are working. The structure of the party is very organic. It is one that is very resilient. It has endured a lot of setbacks. People have persevered and endured all the trauma of previous years and that is where we derive our strength as a political party today. Those who have joined the party have brought more enthusiasm, interest, energy. Our party here is very organic and we are prepared for the election. Some people left your party, following the emergence of Akeredolu as the candidate. Don’t you think that their departure could affect the chance of the party at the poll? No, it will not affect the chance of the party. Ordinarily, you assume that as people are leaving, there would be a major shift. But, you must appreciate that those who left were those who came to look for the party ticket. They were not part of the structure and the system. So, they have not made any serious impact on the structure of the party. The organic nature of the party remains. If you look at those who left, you couldn’t find a single person among those who had endured the period that party had been out of government. Up to now, none of our faithful members has left. So, those who came shopping for ticket left because they were disappointed that they did not get the ticket. It is unfortunate that people had to behave that way. But, I can bet that some of them will be regretting that they left because of what is happening now. What can be done to ensure that violence does not mar the election? What we are doing in ACN is to prepare well for the election. We are ensuring that what needs to be done is done. Then, we leave the rest for posterity to judge. We are not planning for violence because we believe in fairness. Those who are destined to fail or programmed to fail can be anxious about the election and create a scenario where they will foment or sponsor violence. But the government of the day needs to ensure that enough security arrangement in place to prevent violence and ensure that the process of the election is free and fair. If you don’t deprive me of my franchise, why do I need to be violent? I won’t be violent. What will lead to violence are manipulations and sharp practices. I want my vote to count. I will get agitated, if there is anything that will want to compromise my interest. •Iji


47

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

Smoked fish factory springs up in Anambra •Continued from Page 13

tered virtually everything in the fish factory, especially the pond. Iloghalu also encourages youths to engage in fish farming, saying one female fish can give birth to over 40,000 fish. He adds that with the availability of mobile fish ponds and incubating machines in addition to a ready market, Anambra youths will thrive in the business. Iloghalu equally advocates the establishment of aquaculture clubs in schools and colleges as a means of promoting fish farming at a minimal cost using mobile fish ponds produced by his company. “Mobile fish pond is a viable venture and I recommend it for schools and colleges through aquaculture clubs or catfish clubs because once you have experience and acquire the skills through the mobile fish pond, the fund will come and viable ventures will start. “I can supply the equipment because it can be of great assistance in actualising the MDGs es-

pecially with the drilling of boreholes in schools and communities so water is no longer a problem. We can have fish labs and fish farms in schools since there is free water supply. Mobile fish pond can fit into any place and can be set up anywhere. There is no limitation and it can generate N180,000 after every four months with 250 fishes. “People preparing for retirement and people thirsty to create employment can cue into the mobile fish pond because it is the best way to start preparing for expansion. It is age-friendly and less tasking. I can supply the equipment. “My drier for now contains 150 fishes in a row in five chambers of 1kg each.” On why he left his lucrative job, he said: “It is passion that is driving this because I left my job of $15,000 a month and others more than that to return to the village to promote fish farming because if I have this dry plant and fish ponds, I will engage Nigerians and, by that, I am adding value to my people. We have a facility

We are operating at about 30 per cent of our installed capacity. It is not bad but not cheery, so the more many engage in mobile fish farming , the better for us

M

EMBERS of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Rotary International District 9140, Nigeria, have staged road walk in Port Harcourt to create awareness on water situation in the state. Tagged “Global Run 4 Water,” the match, which started from CFC bus stop, close to the Catholic Church Cathedral, Kaduna Street on Aba Road, ended at the take-off point. They matched through Port Harcourt/Aba Expressway, to the Waterlines Roundabout Junction.

•Iloghalu (second left) and some staff at the plant

with the bank and we are encouraged by that because we had expected that somebody will say we have not been in Anambra. If we have the expertise we will install our equipment. “We are operating at about 30 per cent of our installed capacity. It is not bad but not cheery, so the more many engage in mobile fish farming , the better for us. We don’t have enough human resources and expertise but we are looking for them and I am restrategising hard to share my knowledge with youths like me. “This pond here can raise 25,000 fishes...in four months.

We have the equipment for intensive system but we do between flow through system and intensive system. For fingerlings production we can produce 150,000 to 200,000 fingerlings in four to six weeks. While in oil services, Iloghalu invented a smart way to interpret depositional environment using core samples. That caused a stir in the oil industry and he was invited to Spain to talk to oil decision makers and chiefs at an International conference. He did it with Shell, then Slumberger hired him, offering higher wages and took him to every continents ex-

cept Australia. His passion was in the operating system and the arrangement was to have a one and half-year patent but was not getting to Research centres as agreed. The job became a routine for him and he resigned to avoid being frustrated. He said the “only logical thing was to invest at home” and he experimented hatching fish, raising them to table size, harvest and dry. He has a special scheme for NYSC members to teach them to become successful fish farmer, even with mobile fish ponds.

Rotary sensitises residents on water From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

Members who participated were Rotractors (student members) who wore white T-shirts with the club’s logo and that of the Walk upon a pair of black trousers and canvas, chanted solidarity songs. Men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria police, a mo-

bile medical bus and a nurse provided accompanied them while the walk lasted. Speaking to journalists shortly after the exercise, the coordinator of the walk, Dr. (Mrs.) Georgiana Ngeri-Nwangha, said the exercise aimed at creating awareness on lack of potable water in some parts of the state, and also to raise funds to provide water in the communities

•General Manager, Strategy, Total Group Nigeria Plc, Prince Jefferson Nnamani (right); Anambra State Commisioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Prof. Stella Okunna (left) and Corporate Social Reponsibility official of Total, Mrs Abimbola Oshikoya, at an HIV/AIDS Preventive Education Awareness event organised by Total Group Nigeria in Awka PHOTO: OBI CLETUS

where water is lacking. According to Mrs. NgeriNwagha, the walk is observed simultaneously by rotary members across the world between September 29 and 30 every year to raise consciousness on water need of the people. “Global run for water is an event that is simultaneously undertaken by rotary clubs in various parts of the world; and it must be undertaken either September 29 or 30. “The essence is to create awareness on the fact that there are still people in both urban and rural areas in this 21st Century who do not have access to potable water and who need to be assisted to have water,” she said. She noted that the club has, at various times, provided water to rural communities, schools and markets in the state and, even as she added that funds for the projects are raised from corporate bodies, friends of the club, international sister club/ parent clubs as well as members. Contribution, President-elect of the club, Mr. Chidi Ikeji appealed for partnership from governments and government parastatals to enable them to realise their dream of providing this essential commod-

ity to members of the public. Meanwhile, at Ogbema, Abua in Abua /Odual Local Government Area, the club expressed concern over polio disease that is still ravaging some parts of the country. It regretted that the disease is still rampant in Nigeria when it has been totally eradicated in most countries of the world. Speaking through its District President, Dr. Henry Sota at a fiveday free medical mission by LuluBriggs Foundation at Ogbema Community, the club appealed for the support of every citizen in the country for meaningful results to be achieved. Dr. Sota, who recalled that rotary clubs worldwide have championed the fight against polio since 1985, hinted that Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries of the world that are yet to eradicate the disease. On their partnership with LuluBriggs Foundation on the free medical exercise, he said: “Rotary Club is here to render support to the foundation in form of service delivery. “This is because we realised that what the foundation is doing is in line with the vision of selfless service of our club. The foundation, he said, funded the outreach.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

48

Firm builds police station in Calabar

A

S part of its corporate social responsibility, the NorthWest Petroleum and Gas Company has built and equipped a police station in Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality, Cross River State. Also donated to the police station was a Toyota Hilux pick-up van equipped with modern communication gadgets, three motorcycles and a power generating set. Speaking at the inauguration of the station in Ikot Omin, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mrs Winifred Akpani, said the police station was built to help the police function better and consequently protect the lives and property in the community as well and the adjoining St Augustine Primary School. She called on the community to cooperate with the law enforcenment officers, saying if they are encouraged, they will do more. Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar thanked the company for the gesture and urged

•The inaugurated police station From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

the community to work with the police to serve them better. Abubakar, who was represented

by the Assistant Inspector General of Police of Zone 6, Ibrahim Mukhtar, called on the community to help the police with information to expose the bad elements in their

midst. Chairman of Calabar Municipality, Eta Mbora, said such a partnership between government and the private sector goes a long way

in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. Mbora called on other firms to emulate the gesture of NorthWest Petroleum and Gas.

Landslide cuts off Imo communities

I

MO State government has begun palliative measures to reconnect Umuchima and Mgbee communities in Ideato South Council Area after a major landslide washed away the roads connecting the affected communities and the rest of the state. The ravaging erosion, which left a 50-meter deep gully that cut the Federal Government road connecting Anambra and Imo states into two, has brought untold social and economic hardship on the people of the zone. Although the state government has awarded contracted for the construction of alternative routes to ensure that the people of Orlu Senatorial zone were not totally cut off from major commercial cities, the people and comm. Utters alike have continued to groan under the new challenges occasioned by the landslide that has totally damaged the trunk A road. Narrating their ordeal, one of the community leaders, Chief Micheal Dikeocha, who spoke with Newsextra, lamented that the burden of travelling from the communities to major markets in the state is becoming unbearable, adding that despite the efforts of the state government, the erosion has continued to eat away the road. Dikeocha described how a commercial motorcyclist narrowly escaped death when a part of the the road caved in under him. He said the landslide has grounded major economic activities in the area, putting the residents in grave danger. “The day the road finally collapsed, an okada rider was lucky to

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

be rescued from the gully but his motorcycle was completely buried and has not been recovered till date,” Dikeocha said. “If nothing is done to arrest the situation, it may eat into the community and sink the entire village. “Our greatest challenge is that as farmers, we sell our produce in big markets in the city but with this landslide that has cut off the road, we cannot access the markets, schools, hospitals and other social amenities. Our pregnant women and children are the worst affected as they cannot easily travel out of the villages.” In Mgbee community, the worst hit by the landslide, young men now do brisk business ferrying the aged and little children across the deep gully for a fee of N100, depending on the weight and size of the traveller. Recounting their ordeal, some of the commuters who ply the route, said that the road has deteriorated to the extent that a journey that was made within one hour before, now takes close to eight hours. A driver who spoke on the condition of anonymity, appealed to the government to impress it on the relevant authorities to come to the aid of the villagers. He said: “We are threatened by the gully and the condition worsens everyday with the rains; our children can no longer go to school in the cities because the only connecting road has been completely cut off by the erosion”. The state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who doubles as

We are threatened by the gully and the condition worsens everyday with the rains; our children can no longer go to school in the cities because the only connecting road has been completely cut off by the erosion

•One of the landslide sites at Mgbee in Ideato South Local Government Area the state Commissioner for Works, toured the area to ascertain the level of damage and initiate remedial action pending a permanent repair work by the Federal Government. Speaking at one of the sites, the governor described the situation as horrible and agonising, insisting that stringent measures should be adopted by federal authorities to address the menace before the safety of the people of the zone is further threatened. Okorocha said: “This is a very important Federal Government road that links Anambra and Imo states and we have made every effort to stop this gully before it got worse; this is not the only site in the state and I want the Federal Government to see it as an emergency that must be given urgent attention.” “We are doing what we can to correct the ugly situation just to make sure that the people can travel. The gully is about 50 meters

deep and that is why I am appealing to the Federal Government to come to the aid of this part of the country immediately before it is totally cut away from the rest of the public. These are not the only erosion sites in the state; there are about seven sites on this road. I want the people to be patient as we are doing everything to connect them

back.” Also speaking during the tour, the Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, said that the state government has visited the erosion sites with the management of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) to ascertain the extent of the erosion, adding that the problem is beyond NEMA.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

49

NRC goes after unruly passengers T

HE Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has unveiled plans to curb unpleasant behaviour among passengers on its inter-city trains, particularly in the Lagos area. Under the plan, announced by the Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, the corporation will combine punitive measures with moral suasion and public enlightenment. Sijuwade, who announced this in Lagos at the corporation’s Ebute Metta Junction (EBJ) terminus, while addressing passengers waiting to board the evening train to Ijoko, Ogun State, said the new measures would complement existing ones. “We are getting worried about the habit of some people, who instead of making a choice to travel in any of our afternoon and evening trains, and in our passenger compartments, choose to travel on specific trains, on our coach rooftops and on train engine running boards. “We have in the past given out stern warnings to them to desist from such acts. We have previously erected barriers over the track, leaving only a slim clearance over the trains; run jingles on the radio against these acts. We have equally put up notices for fines and or prosecution of those caught,” he said. Sijuwade observed that despite the corporation’s efforts, the unwholesome acts have persisted, adding that the NRC will henceforth emphasise punitive measures, with the assistance from men of the Railway Police Command. This, he said, will be complemented with enhanced education.

By Eric Ikhilae

“Our message today is to make one last appeal to these people. If you know them or if you can reach them, or if you can send word to them, please help us in this regard. We have increased the level of our policing and monitoring. “We will not only be physically prevent them from doing that,we will arrest anybody, who attempts to do that and the full weight of the law will apply. We cannot go above the law. “What we can do is to leave it in the hands of the law enforcers. In the next few days, you will witness very intense raiding operations to be directed by the Commissioner of Police, the Railway Command. Those arrested will be subjected to prosecution as required by the law. And their fate will be decided by the court,” Sijuwade said. He said his corporation will continue to sensitize its customers in an effort to reduce the growing of accidents on level crossing in city centres. “What we are experiencing is a consequence of the long years of suspension of train services in the country. Things are getting better now. Train frequency is increasing. The number of passengers that we have to contend with is also increasing number of passengers. “Unfortunately a lot of the commuters are not fully conversant with

In the next few days, you will witness very intense raiding operations to be directed by the Commissioner of Police, the Railway Command. Those arrested will be subjected to prosecution as required by the law. And their fate will be decided by the court

•Sijuwade (middle), Aminu Gusau (left) and Moses Ndagi Saba at the event the frequency of our services and traffic measures. For instance, we have level-crossing barriers, but we have people crashing into these barriers. “What we are doing is to continue to repair these barriers and ensure the level-crossing are manned not only by staff, who will not only control traffic, but also pull the barriers down when trains are approaching. “We are also coming up with more road signs for pedestrians and vehicle and improve on our awareness and campaign efforts to reduce accident cases,” he said. Sijuwade condemned the reported practice where some passengers reserve seats at the detriment of others. He assured of plans to provide modern and comfortable coaches for the corporation’s customers. This he

said will be done with the on-going mass refurbishment of old coaches nationwide and the planned importation of more. He also disclosed plans by the corporation to extend its passenger services to cover areas currently being affected by flooding, to ease their transportation problem. Sijuade attributed the delay in the commencement of the Lagos to Kano train services to the ongoing repair works on Bride 73, a bridge located about 8 km South of the corporation’s Minna station. “It is true that as far back as July this year, we did say we were ready to extend our services from Ilorin (Kwara State) all the way to Kano. But unfortunately, having repaired the Akere Bridge (in Niger State) which had been very problematic

for years and it was fit for usage, we now again, had challenges with another bridge. “This is as a result of the heavy rains we have had in recent time, which has worsened the situation. Since we do not want to compromise safety, we have had to put all further repair works on the bridge on hold pending the end of the raining period to enable us give it the attention it required. “We are as we speak, planning to extend our services from Ilorin to Zugeru, near Minna. This is intended to alleviate the suffering currently being experienced by the commuting public on that corridor. We believe by extending our services across the River Niger, those affected by the current wave of flooding will be assisted.

T

HE lawmaker representing Somolu Constituency at the National Assembly, Deji Jakande, son of former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande, has been honoured by the Rotaract Club of Maryland, Lagos. The club gave him an award for his leadership qualities and philanthropy, some of which include providing a free school bus, free GCE forms for over 1000 candidates and sinking boreholes for his people, among others. Commending the Club, Deji said the recognition was another feather in his cap, promising to give more to his people. He said: “This award has buoyed my spirit to do more. I did not expect this and I’m never the type who will orchestrate an award for himself or induce an organisation to present an award to me. “I was shocked when the organisers notified me. And being an international body that does not compromise standards, I feel truly honoured to have been counted among the few lucky recipients of the award.” The award was held at the Rotary Centre Ikeja GRA, Lagos. The lawmaker also spoke about his father’s principles. He said: “In 1991 under the zero party I contested as a councillor in Somolu Local Government. I won the election but my father had another candidate. In fact, he threatened to disown me because he wanted me to back down. “The interesting thing in that episode was that I went to the grassroots level. I told Dad that I was contesting courtesy of my friends who contributed money and I couldn’t just step down like that,” he said.

• Deji receiving his award from chairman of the occasion, Kehinde Amao. With them are Rotarians Austine-George (right), Ejike Promise Eze (left) and Rosemary Ifeonye

Rotary award for lawmaker By Adegunle Olugbamila

Deji, however, believes his father is an institution which he cannot compare himself with as a son. “It’s quite challenging being Jakande’s son. His shoes are too big

for me to step into. Even as a young boy, when he was governor, I used to follow him about. Today, I still see him often and take advice from him, likewise my people in Somolu,” Deji added. Deji also owes his achievements

to the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on whose platform he won election as a lawmaker. He said the intimidating profiles of both is father and that of Asiwaju

have placed enormous challenges on him to represent his constituency well in the House, live an exemplary life and never fail the ACN. He urged Nigerians, especially youths to lend their voices against corrupt and bad governance, and speak up against societal ills. “This is the only way we can regain our freedom,” Deji stressed.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

50

NDIC builds varsity lab in Taraba

T

HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has built and donated a science laboratory complex to the Kwararafa University, a community-based varsity in Wukari, Taraba State. The edifice is worth N20 million, the chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Dr. Samuel Danjuma Gani stated in Wukari during its launch. Gani was represented by the BOT Secretary, Mr. Timothy Agbu. He said the Kwararafa University was approved as a private university by the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria in June, 2005. The institution became operational in March 2006, with 61 students and two colleges: Natural Sciences and Management/Social Sciences. The Vice-Chancellor of Kwararafa University, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu said: “the donation was a testimony that NDIC shares a vision for educational development, particularly in promoting science and technology”. Ochefu said the university needs another N27 million to furnish and equip the laboratory building. He urged other stakeholders and the government to emulate NDIC by supportingh the university. NDIC Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, decried the fact that

•The NDIC Basic Sciences Laboratory donated to the Kwararafa University Wukari by the NDIC dividuals and groups - within and he said. From Fanen Ihyongo, outside the country to come to the The Basic Sciences Laboratory Jalingo aid of our educational institutions”, Complex has three laboratories; one he said while commissioning the each for Physics, Chemistry and Bimost institutions of learning in Niedifice. ology; five offices and a storage and geria lack infrastructural facilities, Ibrahim, who was represented by reagents room for the chemistry and resulting in poor standards of eduthe Director, Legal and Board Secrebiology laboratories. cation. tary of the NDIC, Mr. Alheri Bulus Kwararafa University, formerly “It is against this background that Nyako, commended the leadership known as the Jubilee University, is it became necessary for corporate of the university for “judiciously utiamong the 36 lucky beneficiaries of organisations and well meaning inlizing the fund (N20 million) prothe NDIC’s revamped project-based vided to the university by the corsupport programme. poration”. The NDIC is a safety-net player in He added that “the Kwararafa Unithe financial system of the country. versity is among the foremost NigeIt guarantees banks’ deposits, superrian educational institutions in the vises insured institutions and retraining, development and educasolves the problems of failing and tion of our youth”. or failed financial institutions. The Dean, College of Natural and In pursuance of its corporate soApplied Sciences, Prof. Innocent cial responsibility and in an effort to Adikwu said the project will spur the promote educational excellence in school’s academic performance. “It tertiary institutions in the country, is a complete project, in which our the NDIC in 1994 instituted an Enstudents and teachers will benefit”, dowment Fund and Prize Award for

The donation was a testimony that NDIC shares a vision for educational development, particularly in promoting science and technology

M

INISTER of State for Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom has visited some flood victims that ravaged several communities in Benue State. He visited them at the three primary schools in Makurdi where he distributed relief materials worth N5m.

Relief for Benue flood victims From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Though the minister was also affected by the disaster which was the aftermath of release of excess water

from Ladgo Dam in Cameroun, he still remembered those who have no one to help them. Chief Ortom visited each camp with truck load of relief materials,

which he distributed for the upkeep of those displaced. Some of the items he donated included bags of rice, packs of bottled water; packets of soaps, toiletries and

select institutions. Under the scheme, N500 thousand was granted to each of the beneficiaries. The amount was later increased to N1.5M, in which 31 institutions benefitted. The corporation in 2003, having observed the deteriorating condition of infrastructural facilities in the institutions of higher learning, it reappraised the scheme by giving financial assistance to institutions of higher learning for the development of academic related projects initiated by the institutions. It started with N10 million per beneficiary and later raised the amount to N20 million, to ensure that a notable project was executed. At the moment, about 36 universities and polytechnics spread across the six geo-political zones of the country have benefitted from the NDIC’s revamped project-based support programme. bags of salts. Addressing the displaced, among the children and women, the minister charged them to be strong and have belief in God; trusting that soon they would go back to their various homes. He disclosed that he lost 350 hectares of rice farm to the flood, even as he said that his house along Gboko Road in Makurdi was also submerged by the flood. He urged them to be patient as government is doing everything possible to ensure their comfort in the camps. Chief Ortom, who commended Governor Gabriel Suswam for his effort towards alleviating the plight of the displaced people, reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to tackle the issue of flood in the country once and for all. The minister was accompanied on the visit by the Secretary to State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA) Mr. Adikpo Agbatse and other dignitaries. The camps for the displaced people which he visited were St Catherine’s Primary School, Local Government Education Authority Primary School and NKST Primary School Wadata, all in the state capital.

The minister charged them to be strong and have belief in God; trusting that soon they would go back to their various homes •Displaced childen evacuate rice from a relief truck


52

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

The need for efficient management of waste management as most diseases are caused by dirt and a clean habit and environment brings good health

Health talk for Navy From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

L

OOK after your health. You need to be sound in body as well as in mind to be at the top of your job. That was the message of the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy to its officers and ratings in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, where it held a health workshop. As a means of achieving good healthy, the Command organised a health awareness seminar with emphasis on family planning, management of combat stress and waste. Flag Officer Commanding the ENC, Rear Admiral Olufemi Ogunjimi, said these were issues affecting them, stressing that “without health we cannot achieve anything.” Ogunjimi spoke at length on the importance of family planning, advising personnel on what he termed the most importance thing in having children. He said procreation is not as important as bringing up your offspring to be good citizens of the country. The FOC who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer of the Command, Navy Commodore

•Naval officers and ratings at the seminar

Obiora Mediani, also noted that the extensive use of the armed forces in internal security has put

so much strain on them, hence the need for combat stress disorder management.

He also pointed out the need for efficient management of waste management as “most diseases

Residents cry out over bad road

R

ESIDENTS of Egbelu in Amaimo Autonomous Community in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State have cried out to Governor Rochas Okorocha to prevail on the contractor handling the Nkwo Amaimo-Egbelu-Ihitte Road to complete it quickly without compromising quality. President-General of the town Chief Joseph Ugwulebo, made the call while commenting on the awful state of the road at Egbelu Town Hall. He said that the road popularly called Ama Egbelu which had been maintained by the community for so many years, has been rendered impassable by the contractor. The contractor, he disclosed to Newsextra, started work on the road but disappeared after doing much damage to it. “I have called the contractor several times on phone demanding an explanation to why he abandoned the road. He kept promising that he would complete the job soon. The road is in a pitiable condition. The people have been completely cut off from their neighbouring towns. The people get to their town through Umuri Autonomous Community as Egbelu Road has become impassable as well as a death trap. “We implore the Chairman, Transition Committee of Ikeduru Local Government Area and the task force on infrastructural development to look into the construc-

The people have been completely cut off from their neighbouring towns. The people get to their town through Umuri Autonomous Community as Egbelu Road has become impassable as well as a death trap

By Chinaka Okoro

tion of that road with a view of reawarding it to a competent contractor for a more durable work. If they don’t, the consequences would be so grave,” he said. Continuing, Chief Ugwu said: “I personally spoke with the site engineer on the need for the contractor to officially introduce himself and his firm to leaders of Egbelu Town to avoid any problem. I also urged him to ensure that they do quality job. On the drainage system, the President-General noted that it is far below standard, describing it as the type individuals construct in their homes to channel waste water off. He also condemned the quality of the rods which the contractor is using in constructing the drainage system, adding that the size of the rod is comparable to that of barb wire. He further quoted the contractor as saying that the contract was awarded to him without any provision for drainage system; that he was only providing drainage system at that particular spot because of the marshy nature of the road at the Nkwaraka axis of the road. Also commenting on the state of the road, the President-General of Amaimo Autonomous Community Chief Vitalis Osuji, a lawyer, wondered why the contractor handling the Nkwo Amaimo-Egbelu-Ihitte Road should do such a shoddy job when compared with other road projects being handled by other

are caused by dirt while a clean habit and environment brings good health.”

•Nkwo Amaimo-Egbelu-Ihitte Road contractors in other neighbouring communities. Chief Osuji specifically mentioned road projects being constructed in Umuri Autonomous Community which shares common boundary with Egbelu community. He disclosed that the quality of job done on the roads in that community is high, noting that the

drainage system is wide and standard. He commended the contractor handling the Umuri roads Messrs Vitex Interbiz Agency for their sense of quality it brought to bear on the jobs as specified by the state government. He pleaded with the state government, the Chairman Transition Committee of Ikeduru Local Gov-

ernment Area and the task force on infrastructural development, and the lawmaker representing Ikeduru Local Government at the Imo State House of Assembly to prevail on the contractor handling the Nkwo Amaimo-Egbelu-Ihitte Road to expedite action on the road and ensure that quality job is done. Contacted on the telephone, the lawmaker representing Ikeduru in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Anyanwu Samuel spoke about his efforts to ensure that roads within his jurisdiction are in very good condition. On the Nkwo Amaimo-EgbeluIhitte Road, he disclosed that it is a constituency project and that he has personal interest in the road because of its strategic importance. He told Newsextra that work on the road had begun but was stalled by the heavy rains. He promised that once the rains subside, work on the project would begin in earnest.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

53

NEWS

2013 Budget: Reps propose $82 per barrel benchmark

T

HE House of Repre sentatives has asked that the benchmark for the 2013 budget be increased from $75 to $82 per barrel. The joint House committee on Finance, Legislative Budget and Research, National Planning and Economic Development and Loans, Aids and Debt, in a report obtained by The Nation, yesterday, recommended that “the oil benchmark of $75/barrel should be increased to $82/barrel.” The Committee’s position followed a review carried out on the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) of the Federal Government in accordance with the mandate the House. One of the reasons the

• Disagrees with Fed Govt over $45b debt, Nigeria to borrow $12b next year From: Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

House gave for rejecting the proposed date of October 4 for the presentation of the 2013 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan was that it was yet to study the MTEF and FSP submitted to the House by the Executive. According to the report, the increase in the benchmark, “will lead to an increase in oil and gas revenue from N7,250.516 billion to N7, 963.436. The $7 increase in the benchmark will increase federal government’s share of revenue from N3,561.02 billion to N4,137.31 billion.” The report further recom-

Customs Reform Bill scales second reading

A

BILL which seeks to reform the adminis tration and management of the Nigeria Customs and Excise, scaled second reading in the Senate yesterday. Entitled, “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, CAP.C45 of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Other Customs and Excise Laws; to establish the Nigeria Customs Service; Reform the Administration and Management of Customs and Excise in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters, 2012,” was sponsored by Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba. In his lead debate, NdomaEgba noted that Customs administration is globally recognised as a key indicator driving economic growth by facilitating trade

U

between countries. He said the administration of Customs occurs in a complex national and international legal regulatory environment that influences the form and content of the national Customs laws or regulations. He noted that Nigerian Customs Service is unarguably one of the oldest institutions of government with a history spanning as far back as 1891. Ndoma-Egba said as one of the frontline organisations that contribute to national security and economic growth, the Service’s functions of collection of revenue and curtailing smuggling have remained crucial to the security and development of Nigeria.

By kelvin Osa Okunbor

The restructuring, it was learnt, was part of the institutional reforms to enhance efficiency and service delivery in the sector. Although, a few letters of redeployments have been distributed to the affected personnel, there are indications that a major shake up, expected to affect all the agencies is underway. This has caused tension and panic among the workforce. Meanwhile, FAAN yesterday announced the restructuring of the organisation in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

‘World needs 600m jobs’

H

UNDREDS of mil lions of new jobs will be needed to keep up with world population growth by 2020, the World Bank said in a report that highlights the importance of jobs to development. As populations surge in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of positions will need to increase by 600 million over 2005 levels, the report said. The global economic crisis poses a challenge to that goal as some 200 million people remain unemployed, including 75 million under the age

stated in the report. The joint committee also recommended that measures that will “guarantee the projected revenue increase be adopted.” Meanwhile, the House raised the alarm over the mounting debt stock of the country put at $45 billion as at the end of June, 2012. But the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) Dr. Abraham Nwankwo told a joint committee on Finance, Legislative Budget and Research, National Planning and Economic Development and Loans, Aids and Debt, while meeting on the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper yesterday that there was nothing to be afraid of as the debts were

within sustainable limits. But the committee disagreed with Nwanko wondering why the country is accumulating such huge debts after it paid dearly to exit the debt burden from the Paris Club during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The Joint Committe also summoned the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to appear before it within 24 hours for it to conclude its deliberation on the MTEF and FSP. The CBN sent a Director and nine Assistant Directors to the meeting of the committee but the committee insisted it wanted the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to defend the MTEF before them in person. While presenting the debt

From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Anxiety as Fed Govt restructures FAAN NCERTAINTY per vades the aviation sector as fear of possible job loss grips personnel of the aviation agencies with the on-going restructuring at the Federal Airports Authority of NIgeria ( FAAN), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the NIgeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). The uncertainty came on the heels of the redeployment of personel carried out last week. Some Directors and General Managers were moved from NAMA to NCAA and the Accident Investigation Bureau, as well as the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology( NCAT), in Kaduna.

mended that the revenue target of the Nigeria Customs Service should be increased from N914.366 billion to N1,018.310 trillion, while the target for Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Federal Government Independent Revenue (FGNIR), could be retained as proposed in the document. This increase will make Total Non-Oil revenue to rise from N3,298.46 billion to N3,523.82 billion. “The deficit portion of the budget should be reduced from N1, 307.19 trillion to N791.26 billion. Internal borrowing should be reduced from N727.19 billion to N381.25 billion, representing 52 per cent decrease. This is to enhance domestic access to credit by the private sector,” the committee

profile of the country before the committee, the DMO boss revealed the current debt stock of the country stands at a little over $45billion. According to him, the external debt stands at $6billion while the internal debt is $39.456billion. The Federal Government has projected to borrow $25billion by 2015, he added. While explaining Nigeria’s overall debt profile and expected borrowing between 2013 and 2015 Nwankwo said for 2012, Nigeria external debt is projected at $9,021.53billion while $12,165.10billion is expected to be borrowed in 2013. He also stated that by 2014, the country would be borrowing $14,585billion externally while $16,765billion was projected for 2015.

of 25. The World Bank said the most influential development gains can come from jobs that not only provide a source of income to workers, but also make cities function better, connect with global markets, protect the environment, foster civic engagement and reduce poverty. “A good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies. Governments need to move jobs to centre stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty,’’ the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, said.

• From left: Deputy National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; National President, Dr Herbert Ajayi, and President, Foreign Economic Relations Board, Mr Hakan Ozel, at the inauguratoin of Nigeria–Turkish Business Council in Lagos ... yesterday.

Minister orders distribution of transformers to states

T

HE Minister of State for Power, Darius Ishaku , has directed that all 33/11KV transformers, transformers panels, oils and other power equipment at the Central Stores of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria,(PHCN), Shogunle, Lagos , be allocated to every part of the country that needs them within the next two weeks. In a statement by the Assistant Director, Press, Patricia Doweritshe, the move is to ameliorate the plight of the communities affected by power supply due to damaged transformers .

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

She said the Minister gave the directives in Lagos, when he paid an unscheduled visit to the PHCN Central Stores, adding that he was surprised that over 2000 transformers and other accessories for the transmission and distribution of power effectively to Nigerians were idling away at the central stores, while consumers are complaining of damaged transformers. She said Ishaku was at the Ikorodu Port of the Nigeria Customs and Excise, to receive inventory of all the Power equipment at their custody, since 2004, adding

that the Minister took delivery of these equipment from the Comptroller of the Port, Dan Ogu, who represented the ComptrollerGeneral of the Nigerian Customs and Excise, Abdulahhi Inde Dikko, and thanked the Customs for protecting the equipment from vandals all these years. He assured that these equipment would further consolidate power supply in the country, as they would be distributed to all successor companies of the PHCN according to their requirements. He said a Distribution Committee would be set up

to identify areas of needs to enable each company take delivery of the available equipment. Ishaku said government is anxious to see a quantum leap in power supply to the citizenry and therefore directed the chief executives of these companies to pick up their allocations from the port before the end of October. The Minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Dere Awosika and the Chief Executive Officers of Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies, Chris Akamnonu and Amoda.

NUPENG decries persistent fuel scarcity

T

HE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natu ral Gas Workers, (NUPENG), has called on the Federal government and its agencies, to live up to their responsibilities and stop the persistent fuel scarcity in the country now. In a statement signed by the Ag. General-Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, the union said that the reserve the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has could last for 45 days is a ruse and called on the government to do the right thing and stop the current fuel scarcity. NUPENG, said its members, especially

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

the Petroleum Tanker Drivers were at work, but have no sufficient products to load at the depots for distribution. It condemned the nonchallant approach of government in addressing the shortage, and hoped it was not another strategy to introduce deregulation of petroleum products through the back door. The union said the government should be held responsible for the current shortage, as repairs have not been effected at the vandalised pipes at Arepo village in Ogun State.

It called on the security agencies to recover the bodies of those slained and fish out the killers immediately so they could be brought to book, adding that government should pay verified oil marketers’ subsidies on products supplied, so that they can import fuel and pay monies owed to banks. NUPENG said Nigerians should not be allowed to suffer and pay more for petroleum products, because the appropriate agencies and government are not proactive enough, stressing that the persistent fuel scarcity must not be allowed to go into the Sallah and Christmas festive

periods, as hoarding may become the order of the day. It called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to monitor product sales and sanction filling stations that sell above the approved rate. The union urged the federal government to take the TurnAround-Maintenance of the nation’s four refineries seriously to avoid a national embarrassment, stating that “these issues have been the standpoint of the union over time, but it seemed the government is bent on deregulation of the petroleum products when the economy is in tatters,” it added.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 2-10-12

Market making: NSE adds UBN, First Bank, seven others

T

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday said it had finalised arrangements to increase the number of stocks selected for market making to 25 with Union Bank of Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria, and six others stocks. These companies are expected to join the marketmaking portfolio at the start of trading tomorrow. The market making initiative had kicked off on September 18, 2012 with 16 stocks including Sterling Bank Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Redstar Express Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; D.N.Meyer; Diamond Bank; FCMB; Fidelity Bank Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

(UACN). Stocks that will join the portfolio as from tomorrow include Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; Access Bank; Academy Press; Custodian & Allied Insurance; First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Dangote Sugar Plc; National Salt Company of Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc. Head, media relations, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Wole Tokede, said the addition of new stocks was in line with the desire of the Exchange to ensure that all the quoted stocks trading above par value will be added to the market making programme over a period of six months. Earlier, chief executive officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema had assured all stakeholders that the intro-

duction of market making would help drive liquidity in the marketplace to the benefit of all investors and other stakeholders. Meanwhile, the Exchange opened this week on a positive note, starting the fourth quarter with marginal gain. Consequently, the All-Share Index yesterday hit 17month high after adding 0.04 per cent to close higher at 26,023.10 points. Similarly, market capitalisation added N4 billion, representing 0.05 per cent growth, to close high at N8.286 trillion. In all, a total of 362.169 million shares were traded for N2.594 billion in 4,991 deals. The financial services sector was the most active with 217.630 million shares worth N1.692 billion across 2,731 deals. Others with relatively high volume of shares were the Conglomerates, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Oil & Gas, Agriculture and Industrial Goods with 84.304 million shares, 27.241 million shares, 12.698 million shares, 7.899 million shares, 5.042 million shares and 4.285 million shares respectively.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 2-10-12

THE


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

55

MONEY LINK

CBN reviews agric sector financing criteria Stories by Collins Nweze

T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set new rules for lending to the agricultural sector of the economy. The apex bank took the decision after reports from banks and discount houses indicated that lending to the subsector remains a highrisk, which should be followed with caution. In a circular, the CBN said agricultural lending accounts for approximately 1.4 per cent of formal lending, and has been on the decline since 2006 because of the perceived risk of the sector. This situation, it said, was because banks have limited understanding of and lack of confidence in the sector. To reduce the inherent risk in the level, the apex bank

A

TAX director at the Nigeria Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Samuel Ogungbesan has called for reforms in the Nigerian tax system to enhance stability of the sector. He also said that FIRS is re-engineering Nigeria’s tax systems to ensure that there is transparency, understanding and certainty on legislation and practice when doing business in the country. He explained that tax matters need to be made easy to administer given the important role they play in the economic and national development of the country. “We need to increase our tax base and have an extensively high measure of predictability in order to attract invest-

advised that going forward, lenders should conduct environment and social risk analysis and assessment of agricultural clients and activities before extending loans to them. The lenders, by this rule, are also expected to ensure that identified risks are adequately monitored and managed while adhering to local environmental and social laws. The CBN also wants lenders to be consistent with NIRSAL agenda, ensuring that, they finance the manufacture and distribution of improved and high seeds; lending to indigenous seed companies and importers of seed varieties and ensuring that farmers are able to pro-

associated with the provision of financial products and services to the agriculture sector. It is also meant to provide additional sector-specific guidance to supplement the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles Guidance Note and ensure that banks adopt relevant international standards and best practices in the management of environment and social risk. The principles will equally position agriculture as an attractive, rewarding and sustainable business opportunity given the large proportion of the population that depends on agriculture as a source of livelihood. “It is clear that agriculture is a practical means of reducing poverty, unemployment,

cure seeds directly from seed manufacturers by availing them adequate credit. Also, with support from industry stakeholders, banks are to establish agricultural value chain research development fund that produces high quality research on the needs of the sector. Lenders are also to encourage and finance providers of storage facilities for seeds, produce and other valueadded products provided that they take into consideration energy efficiency issues. The apex bank said it is collaborating with local banks for the institution of principles that will assist them in the identification and management of complex environment and social risks

FIRS advocates reform of tax system ments,’ he said in a statement. Speaking at the 2012 Ernst & Young’s Africa Tax Conference held in, South Africa, he said Nigeria, with its 37 state tax authorities still has a lot to learn on taxation. However, he explained that Nigerian tax the system has undergone significant changes in recent times; with the laws are

being reviewed for simplicity. He said a new National Tax policy has been drafted and awaits government approval. “The policy, which will be enforced by the Federal Ministry of Finance, calls for standardisation between tax law and practice across all tiers of government. It also provides for ex-

change of information and statistics across all spheres in order to keep tabs on taxpayers,”he said. The policy, he said, will facilitate coordination between all agencies of government and harmonisation of laws and practices across State Internal Revenue Boards.

J

2013, explained that poverty falls as people work their way out of hardship and as jobs empower women to invest more in their children. “Efficiency increases as workers get better at what they do, as more productive jobs appear, and as less productive ones disappear. Societ-

ies flourish as jobs foster diversity and provide alternatives to conflict,” the bank said in an emailed report.. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said a good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies, adding that gov-

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 2-10-12 SYMBOL

O/PRICE

GUARANTY DNMEYER INTBREW OANDO GLAXOSMITH LIVESTOCK VITAFOAM DIAMONDBNK CUTIX NEIMETH

19.15 1.06 12.98 11.60 36.00 1.61 3.06 3.45 2.21 1.15

O/PRICE 25.30 9.88 2.42 1.86 1.95 0.71 0.79 3.20 0.57 2.28

ernments need to move jobs to center stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty. “It’s critical that governments work well with private sector, which accounts for 90 percent of all jobs. Therefore, we need to find the best ways to help small firms and farms grow.

Chain: Policy, Finance and Sustainability,” the conference will also help plan, mobilise, activate and regulate the growth and development of the Nigerian cocoa economy. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; President, Cocoa Association, Sayina Riman; Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Group Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, among others are expected at the event. According to the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication FirstBank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank’s participation in the cocoa conference is informed by its desire to contribute to efforts that would ultimately restore the nation’s leading position in global cocoa trade by moving the market share from the current position of seven per cent to its pre-oil boom era position of 28 per cent.

C/PRICE

20.98 1.16 14.00 12.18 37.80 1.69 3.21 3.61 2.31 1.20

CHANGE

1.83 0.10 1.02 0.58 1.80 0.08 0.15 0.16 0.10 0.05

C/PRICE 24.00 9.39 2.30 1.77 1.86 0.68 0.76 3.08 0.55 2.20

CHANGE 1.30 0.49 0.12 0.09 0.09 0.03 0.03 0.12 0.02 0.08

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX 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

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

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

NSE CAP Index

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

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%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 2-10-12

SYMBOL PZ ARBICO ETERNA RTBRISCOE MANSARD CONTINSURE UTC FCMB AIICO HONYFLOUR

F

IRST Bank of Nigeria Plc is committed to improving cocoa production and contribution to the economy. The bank in a statement, said it will achieve this using its support for the Cocoa Investment Conference slated for October 4 to 5, in Ibadan. The event, which is organised by the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will identify and implement a sustainable growth path for the production and exportation of cocoa in the country. Themed “The Cocoa Value

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Currency

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

(GDP) growth in the next 10 years.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM

MANAGED FUNDS

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Sanusi

DATA BANK

Tenor

OBB Rate Call Rate

•CBN Governor, Lamido

FirstBank backs cocoa transformation agenda

World Bank links jobs to devt

OBS stresses the role of strong private sector led growth in creating jobs and outlines how jobs that do the most for development can spur a virtuous cycle, the World Bank has said. The report, contained in the World Development Report

FGN BONDS

NIDF NESF

food insecurity, whilst providing raw materials for industries and export in the medium to long term,” it said. The banking watchdog said if the agricultural growth targets set by the Federal Government are met, the country will have 9.5 per cent annual growth in the sector and eight per cent Gross Domestic Product

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 125.13 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 116.60 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.77 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.10 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.93 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,717.91 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 10.45 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,652.66 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 124.96 116.90 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,713.62 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,411.80 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

56

NEWS

Obi urges more help for flood victims

Floods: Oko Poly shuts Atani campus From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

T

HE management of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, yesterday closed indefinitely the Atani campus of the institution, following the floods that submerged the campus. The Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, explained that the action was taken to save the over 3,000 students and 500 workers. The floods have ravaged the Ogbaru Local Government Area, where the campus is located. The management, at the weekend, deployed over 50 canoes and 15 buses to evacuate the students and workers. In a statement in Awka, the state capital, Prof. Godwin Onu explained that the management closed down the campus because of the threat the floods posed to life and property. He regretted that the closure would adversely affect the school’s academic calendar. Onu said: “The examination is to begin in the next two weeks and the Atani campus has been closed, to allow the floods to recede. We are desperately in need of aid to enable us tidy up the environment as soon as the flood gives way and to recover from the colossal loss.” The rector said the polytechnic had lost about N500million. He regretted that the floods affected buildings, equipment, such as computers, generators and electronics. Onu noted the floods had caused a big disaster. The academic urged governments at all levels and individuals to assist the polytechnic, because the management alone cannot cope with the situation.

A

NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has urged wealthy individuals and organisations to donate relief materials to flood victims in various parts of the state. The governor spoke in Awka, the state capital, after visiting the victims. He said individuals and groups should send their materials to the office of the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on EnuguOnitsha Expressway. Over 1.2million victims have been camped in various locations, including Bishop Ajayi Crowther Primary School, Onitsha, behind the Holy Trinity Church. Others are the Army Barracks in Onitsha; Onitsha South Local Government secretariat; Oyi Local Government Area, among others. The Coordinator of a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Transform Nigeria Movement, Comrade Obi Ochije, yesterday berated the National Assembly members from the state for what he called their lukewarm attitude towards the disaster. He noted that only the governor deserves to canvass for votes during elections because he abandoned every other thing on Monday to evacuate the victims. Ochije said: “Who

Philanthropist donates N5m materials

A

PHILANTHROPIST and publisher of Orient magazine, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, has donated N5million worth of relief materials to flood victims in five local government areas of Anambra State. The materials included 300 cartons of water guard comprising 12 packs per cartoon (for treating water), 500 bags of sachet water, 50 bags of rice, 10 coolers of cooked rice, drugs worth several thousands of naira, free medicare and N500,000 cash donation to Anambra East and Anambra West local government areas. Ezeemo was accompanied by some members of the state branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), who treated the victims. He thanked God that nobody died in Anambra East and Anambra West councils, despite the devastation of the floods. The philanthropist and his team promised to extend the gesture to Awka North, Anyamelum and Ogbaru councils. He addressed Anambra East flood victims at Aguleri in company of Igwe Chukwuemeka Ajado of Ukwala; Igwe Tony Onyekwelu of Owere community and Igwe Christopher Nwabunwanne Idigo of Aguleri, among others. Ezeemo said when the floods began, he set up a panel, headed by Chief Norbert Udoye, to assess the extent of damage, to enable him determine the level of assistance to give the victims. From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

are they deceiving? When election comes, all of them will start running from one corner to another, looking for people to vote for them again. “But the time for help has come for those who voted them into power. Yet, they are nowhere to be found. They only know about themselves. Are they waiting for these people to die before they help?

“We are talking of those who are dying and need help. Some politicians are talking of the 2014 election. If these people die, who will vote for them? “My organisation will make sure that nobody casts their votes for these selfish senators and House of Representatives members when the election comes in this state. They are not representing anybody, they are all selfish. A former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Paul

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

A victim and beneficiary of free health services of the Ezeemo team, 70-year-old Pa Dieli Mbanefo, noted that the free health service was a good gesture. Igwe Idigo hailed Ezeemo for his assistance to the flood victims. The monarch said Governor Peter Obi had donated relief materials to the victims. But Igwe Ajado appealed to the state and the Federal Governments to be more pro-active because the floods were not abating and that they have affected the people’s means of livelihood. The floods have affected more communities in Awka North. A House of Assembly member, representing the area, Rebbeca Udoji-Paragon, has said rice and cassava farmlands in Awba Ofemmili, Ugbene, Ugbenu, Achalla and Amanuke communities have been submerged. She urged the state and the Federal Government as well as the agencies responsible for distributing relief materials not to abandon Awka North. The lawmaker said over 500,000 hectares of rice and cassava plantations were destroyed while over 30,000 residents have become homeless. Obidigwe, has said the people would only vote for politicians who assist the people in their time of need. Obidigwe, who is the Chairman of Omambala Forum, led other members of the forum to the affected communities in Anambra East, Anambra West and Ayamelum Local Government Areas. They donated relief materials, including bags of rice, bags of garri and other items.

The senator representing Anambra North and widow of the late Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Margery, visited Anambra East and West yesterday to empathise with the flood victims. She donated materials to the victims in Aguleri, Anam and Nzam. Mrs Okadigbo regretted the level of destruction. She urged the Federal Government to do assist the people.

Ohaneze Nd’Igbo honours Imoke’s wife

T

HE pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Nd’Igbo, has honoured the wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs Obioma Imoke, with the Ugo Nma Nd’Igbo Award. The award is reserved for outstanding Igbo daughters, who have made valuable socio-economic contributions to humanity either at home or abroad. Ohaneze Nd’igbo said Mrs Imoke, besides distinguishing herself as an illustrious Igbo daughter, has contributed towards the improvement of the lives of Cross River State residents through various projects and poverty alleviation programmes. At the presentation in Abuja, the Acting Chairman of the Ohaneze Nd’Igbo in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Val Ogosi, noted that the award was in appreciation of Mrs Imoke’s contributions to the society and the Igbo race. Ogosi said the organisation was proud to identify with Mrs Imoke’s laudable projects, adding that the governor’s wife is a source of pride to Nd’Igbo and a role model to many Igbo women. Mrs Imoke, who was represented by the wife of the House of Representatives member for Obubra/Etung, Mrs Rachael Owan Enoh, promised to do more for the economic and socio-cultural advancement of Nd’Igbo. She also promised not to relent in improving the welfare of the less privileged in the society.

•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi addressing displaced persons at Omunwa Egboka Primary School, behind the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha...yesterday

Two years after, Court orders CBN to account for FEDERAL High FoI Act, wax under the obassets seized from Ibru the Court in Lagos has ligation to respond to such re-

A

asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to account for all assets forfeited to the Federal Government by former Chief Executive Officer of the now defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru. Mrs Ibru, under a plea-bargain arrangement on October 6, 2010, pleaded guilty to charges bordering on economic crimes. She was accordingly convicted by then Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Dan Abutu and sentenced to six months imprisonment. Yesterday, Justice Mohammed Idris ordered the CBN to make public within 72 hours, “the total cash and value of properties recovered from Mrs Ibru; the whereabout of the money and properties recovered and what part of this

By Eric Ikhilae

cash and properties has been returned to Oceanic Bank and/ or its shareholders.” Justice Idris’ orders were contained in a judgment on a suit brought under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by a shareholder of the defunct bank and President, Progressive Shareholders Association, Boniface Okezie. Okezie had, by a January 26 letter to the CBN Governor, sought information on what it cost the government to engage the law firms of Messrs Olaniwun Ajayi, LLP, and Kola Awodein & Co. in executing the banking reform initiated by the apex bank. He went to court following the bank’s refusal to honour his request. Relying on the provisions of Section 25 of the

FoI Act, Okezie urged the court to compel the CBN to provide him with detailed information as contained in the letter. Justice Idris held that with regard to the request on the contractual agreement between the CBN and the law firms, the bank was not obligated under Section 16 (a) of the FOI Act to disclose such information. He further held that Section 15 (1) (a) of the FoI Act allows public institution to refrain from disclosing information which could reasonably be expected to interfere with the contractual or other negotiations of a third party. The judge, however, held that despite these provisions, any public institution to which request for the release of information was made under

quest in writing indicating why, in the case of refusal, the request was refused. He said: “Overall, I hold that the action succeeds in part,” the judge held, and subsequently ordered the apex bank to make available to the plaintiff, information regarding the total cash and properties recovered from Ibru, their where about and what portion of them had been returned to Oceanic bank or its shareholders. Ibru, under the plea bargain arrangement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), pleaded guilty to an amended three count-charge in which she was accused of exceeding her approval limit by approving the grant of $20 million to a company – Waves Project Nigeria Limited.

Five suspected kidnappers held in Imo

T

HE Imo State Police Command has arrested five suspected kidnappers in Anara, Isiala Mbano Local Government Area, its spokesman, Vitalis Onugu, said yesterday. Onugu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri, the state capital, that the suspects confessed to have kidnapped Dr Ernest Nwaigo three months ago. He said the abductors came from a neighbouring state to kidnap Dr Charles Durueke of the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Anara annex, after receiving information from two security men at the hospital where Durueke worked. He said the police, acting on a tip-off, arrested the kidnappers and their collaborators.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

57

NEWS Na’Abba blames deportation of pilgrims on inefficiency

Ex-NUJ Lagos chair Arogundade’s dad is dead •Anglican Bishop to deliver funeral sermon

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

T

HE former House of Representatives’ Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba yesterday berated the management of Hajj affairs for the adhoc arraignments that led to the deportation of Nigerian pilgrims by Saudi Arabia. The former Speaker told reporters in Kano that impromptu arraignments were responsible for the embarrassment. He noted that Nigeria likes applying what he described as fire-brigade approach to issues. According to him, the poor management of pilgrimage reflects in the poor management of the nation’s electoral system. Na’Abba identified what he described as godfatherism as the bane of Nigeria’s political parties. The former Speaker noted that a lack of internal democracy in the parties is gradually killing the system. He said sycophancy has stripped Nigeria’s politics of morality, adding that all political parties in the country are guilty of the anomaly. Na’Abba said: “Our best brains are becoming casualties. They are the ones that understand the workings of democracy. People now engage in sycophancy so that they can remain relevant in the scheme of things.” The former Speaker said a high percentage of those occupying political positions in Nigeria got there through the back door. He said: “The situation in the country is so bad that people don’t ask who is elected but who is given a party’s ticket.”

‘Nigerians should support Jonathan’

A

FORMER senator represented Ekiti North, Ayo Arise, has urged Nigerians to support President Goodluck Jonathan to develop the country. The former lawmaker noted that it is only by the people’s support that the President can succeed in implementing programmes that will improve the standard of living of Nigerians. He said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has begun moves to unite disgruntled members to take the nation to greater heights. Arise, who will be 56 on Friday, noted that the nation has the potentials to overcome its challenges. All the upheavals being experienced in all the sectors, but noted that unless both public and private sectors keyed into the programmes, it might take the government longer time to achieve the life-changing policies. “We have all it takes to move turn the fortunes of our nation round, but we must all realize that it is the responsibility of all to work towards repositioning the nation through our various businesses and engagements. For instance, the PDP is reconciling all disgruntled members and readmitting all erstwhile members. This is part of efforts to strategize for speedy achievement of the people-oriented programmes of President Jonathan-led government.

T

• Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (left); Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof Bem Angwe (middle) and Director, Public Affairs and Information of the commission, Muhammad Nasir Ladan, when a delegation of the commission visited the governor at the Government House, Minna.

Family of four crushed to death in Niger

E

LEVEN persons, including two children, were on Monday night crushed to death by a truck at Arindoki Junction, Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State. The children’s father, Mr Paul Jacob, and his wife, died with seven others. Seven of the victims were passengers in a Sienna passenger car.

•Seven others too

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Two other passengers survived. Eyewitnesses said the commercial car was heading to Suleja when the truck ran into it at the junction, killing 11 occupants. The occupants comprised five men, three women and

three children. It was gathered that Jacob was a worker at the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). He recently transferred to Sabon Wuse Sector of Niger State Command. He was reportedly returning to his work base from Minna, the state capital, with his wife, two children and a sister in-

law, when the accident occurred. The sister in-law and another female passenger are the two survivors. The state Sector Commander of the FRSC, David Usman, explained that the two survivors are receiving treatment at IBB Specialised Hospital in Minna. He said Jacob worked at the Sabon Wuse Sector of the FRSC.

Agency alerts Lokoja residents to presence of killer pythons

T

HE National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has alerted residents of Lokoja in Kogi to the presence of big pythons in communities along the bank of the River Niger. In a newsletter yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital, the agency said large pythons and other dangerous reptiles had been washed off the bank of the river, following the recent floods in the state. It said: “In fact, large pythons have already been washed off the banks of River Niger following the flood-

ing.” NIWA said its warning was based on what environmentalists and marine experts said. It warned flood victims to be careful in their attempt to recover their homes and personal effects. NIWA attached a picture of one large python, killed at the bank of the river by some of its officials. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NIWA’s warning came at a time the floods were receding and people were returning to their submerged homes to re-

cover their property. It was, however, learnt that some of the victims were apprehensive that pythons and other dangerous reptiles might have found a new abode in their homes. In Kpat, Adankolo, Gadumo, Kabawa and other affected areas, some residents confirmed the influx of pythons, crocodiles, snakes and other reptiles in the communities. In the newsletter,NIWA also confirmed that it provided seven boats, jackets and other

materials that were deployed for the rescue of trapped flood victims at Ibaji Local Government Area and other parts of the state. The newsletter said NIWA’s Managing Director Alhaji Aminu Yar ‘dua joined the rescue team, which comprised the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Red Cross, Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA) and officials of the Kogi State Ministry of Environment, to rescue flood victims at Ibaji.

HE father of Mr Lanre Arogundade, the former chairman of the Lagos Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Pa Thomas Akinyemi Arogundade, is dead. In a statement in Lagos, Mr Lanre Arogundade, who is also the Director of International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos, said the Bishop of Lagos West Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, will, on October 6, deliver the sermon at the funeral thanksgiving service. The statement said the service would hold at The Cathedral of St. Mathew’s, IjebuJesa, headquarters of Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, at 11am. It said the reception for guests would follow at the Main Sports Field of Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School, at 1pm. The remains of Pa. Arogundade will be interred at the Arogundade family compound in Oke-Iloro, Ijebu-Jesa, after the funeral service at his R3, Araromi Street, Ilesa home. Until his death on July 27, Pa. Arogundade was the patriarch of the Arogundade and Fadare families of Ilesa and Ijebu-Jesa. He was a renowned cocoa merchant and, for many years, Treasurer and Senior Lay Reader at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Osi-Ekiti, Ido-Osi Local Government of Area of Ekiti State. He lived in the community from the 1950s till 2002. Pa. Arogundade is survived by wife, Mrs. Hannah Olayoonu Arogundade; younger brother, Pastor Olu Arijesudade; children – Mrs. Titilayo Ekundare; Mr. Ayodele Arogundade; Mr. Lanre Arogundade; Mrs Olamide Oso; Mrs. Adesola Onipede; Pastor Ayodeji Arijesudade and Mrs. Folasade Olunuga and grandchildren.

Ahmed urges Fed Govt to leave states projects

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

•Ahmed

K

WARA State Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed yesterday urged the Federal Government to hands off its projects in the state for sustainability and maintenance. The governor spoke in Ilorin, the state capital, at the beginning of a tour of federal projects in the state, under the National Good Governance Monitoring Team, led by the Information Minister Labaran Maku. He noted that there is usually no budgetary provision for

the maintenance of such projects after inauguration. Ahmed hailed the minister for leading the monitoring team. The governor urged the residents not to see the programme as a one-off event but an opportunity for states and the Federal Government to work together. He said: “The tours should be an opportunity for the Federal Government to see the impact of its programmes on the people and help in determining resource allocation. “The tour is a platform that will enable the Federal Government to see where there are completed, ongoing, abandoned and untouched projects in the states. It will also enable the government to see how resources are allocated. Therefore, we need a strong collective effort in driving democracy.” Maku said the tour was pack-

aged to ensure that Nigerians know more about government efforts at providing the dividends of democracy. He said: “It is important in democracy that you carry people along in whatever you are doing. Democracy is about contest and competition and we must not fail to let people

know what we are doing. “The idea is to let the states explain not only progress being made but also their challenges. There is no way the states and the Federal Government can work separately, because we share the same objectives of meeting the needs of our people.”

•The late Pa Arogundade

Daniel, Kashamu emerge Ogun PDP leaders •Martins-Kuye, Onabiyi, Otegbola step aside

C

HIEFTAINS of the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday moved to improve on the ongoing reconciliation among various factions of the party. Former Governor Gbenga Daniel and the party’s financier, Prince Buruji Kashamu, emerged the leaders. The party leaders converged on the Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos home of the former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye, and chose Daniel and Kashamu as the party’s leaders. Martins-Kuye, Alhaji Sule Onabiyi and Senator Ayo Otegbola stepped aside to allow a more dynamic and vibrant leadership.

Highlights of the four-hour meeting included the harmonisation of all the factions into a united “PDP family” under the Adebayo Dayoled State Executive Committee. The party leaders agreed that the Dayo-led Exco was the validly and democratically elected body of the party’s leaders in the state. Some of the party chieftains at the meeting were Chief Kola Ogunjobi, Mrs Iyabo Apampa, Chief Niyi Adegbenro, Chief ‘Pegba Otemolu, Chief Dayo Abatan and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo. Others included Chief Duro Otesanya, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji-Ishola, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Hon. Dave Salako and Senator Tunde Osholake.


58

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

NEWS Gunmen kill 43 students Continued from page 2 from the town by both students

•Kogi State Police Commissioner Musa Katsina displaying some of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) seized from suspected militants

Anambra floods: Obi offers Govt House to displaced persons A NAMBRA floods remained on the front burner yesterday as Governor Peter Obi offered accommodation to the displaced persons inside the Government Lodge in Onitsha. Senator Andy Uba was moved to tears when he visited the site of the floods and called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare emergency in the area. Dr. Uba, representing Anambra South, visited the affected coastal areas in Anambra East, Anambra West and Ogbaru local government areas. “The situation in these Anambra communities is worse than those in Kogi, Benue and other states since this flood began its dangerous incursion into Nigeria.” He urged federal government to address this “strange

•Senator Uba seeks emergency declaration

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

and evil development in Anambra State, where the River Niger is now discharging water into residential areas, instead of the other way round. The discharge channels are now making upward discharge of water, instead of downward discharge, wreaking unprecedented havoc in its trail. Churches and farmlands have been destroyed”, he said. He promised to facilitate the inclusion of relief for the communities in the next budgetary allocation. Although the affected communities are not within his senatorial constituency,

Senator Uba gave financial assistance to them. Governor Obi yesterday directed the Secretary to the Anambra State Government , Mr Oseloka Obaze, to immediately consider sending some people evacuated from the flooded communities to the Governor’s Lodge in Onitsha should there be shortage of accommodation. Obi spoke while touring some of the public buildings sheltering the people at Omunwa Egboka primary school, behind the Basillica of the Most Holy Trinity. The Governor, who cancelled a trip to Mexico and his participation in the Independence an-

niversary ceremonies because of the emergency, said the State Government would continue to feed and provide for them since they are suffering from natural disaster that was not their own making. “A few weeks ago, governors of the Southeast sent money to Haiti to help them rebuild after the Earthquake of 2010. If we could do it to them, we must do more for our people, that elected us to serve them”, Obi said. The Governor visited other camps, Otuocha Local Governement Headquarters, Umueri General Hospital, Father Joseph Secondary School, among others.

Groups seek action on Southeast roads

P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is under fire over the major highways in the Southeast, which are in deplorable state. The Campaign for democracy (CD) Southeast region and the Progressive People Alliance (PPA), called on the President to find solution to the problem. The CD urged the governors, Senators and House of Representatives members, past and present from the southeast to join forces in rehabilitating the abandoned Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt express road. The group said a quick intervention of the opinion leaders from the region devoid of political affiliations will help to end the long sufferings of the people of southeast. CD chairman David Kalu in Aba, after the meeting, said efforts are in place to educate voters on the need to vote for credible and reliable candidates. “2015 is approaching, Nigerians should start now to look for credible and reliable candidates for any elected offices. No more party.....we will be going into Voters Education Programme to empower people “. The CD hailed the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) Aba Branch, for drawing State and Federal governments’ attention to the state of roads in

‘President Jonathan must take railway transportation seriously, if he wants to take the country to the next level’ From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

Aba. The PPA called on governors from the zone to meet with President Jonathan for solution to the problem. Chief Sam Nkire, the National Chairman of the party, made the call in Umuahia in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He expressed confidence that the meeting, irrespective of party affiliation, would

produce ‘meaningful and urgent’ result in addressing the challenges faced by commuters using the roads. “There is no state in the Southeast geo-political zone that does not have deplorable federal roads and this is adversely affecting socio-economic activities of the area. “The Enugu-Port Harcourt, Aba-Owerri, Enugu-Abakaliki, and Onitsha/Enugu roads are all in deplorable and appalling conditions,’’ he said. The PPA chairman said though Nigerians from other geo-political zones had problems with the condition of federal roads in their areas, the situation in the Southeast is worse. “It appears the governors from the South-East think that when they present the problem of their people to Mr President, they will no longer be in the good book of the President or that such would amount to confrontation. “Presenting the problems of your people does not mean confrontation, because you

are elected to ensure that the sufferings of your people are jointly tackled between the state and federal government,’’ he said. Nkire said though the Southeast zone have some states controlled by the PDP and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the governors should unite to achieve results on matters affecting the welfare and development of the zone. The PPA national chairman called on President Jonathan to ‘step up’ action in revamping the nation’s railway system, noting that effective and efficient transportation system was crucial to the overall development of Nigeria. “There is no economy that grows without good and cheap transportation system and railway is one of the cheapest mode of transportation. “President Jonathan must take railway transportation seriously, if he wants to take the country to the next level,’’ Nkire said.

NJC opposes Adamu’s retention as Court of Appeal chief Continued from page 2

plement the recommendation of its three-man panel headed by Honourable Justice Aloma Mariam Muhktar (JSC), urging the recall of Justice Salami constitutes a breach of the constitution as amended.

They are seeking also an order: •of mandamus directing the third defendant to implement the recommendation of its three-man panel urging the recall of Justice Salami. •directing the third defendant to recall the fourth de-

fendant to resume his duties as the President of the Court of Appeal forthwith; and •a declaration that the President has no power whatsoever and/or howsoever to discipline Court of Appeal Justices and or Justice Salami.

other Service Commanders have relocated to Mubi. A Federal Polytechnic spokesman said it was a “commando style attack”. The spokesman said the unknown gunmen invaded the area, shooting sporadically at any moving person, for over one hour. “There was heavy gun fire of different calibers around 10 pm till 11pm, when it subsided.” He said 26 students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi are among the dead. While the others are students of the other two institutions in the town. The internal joint security task force headed by Brig-Gen. Nwoaga and Police Commissioner Geofrey Okeke, were rushing reinforcements to Mubi. Some agencies gave another account of the attacks. “They are conducting elections in the Federal Polytechnic and unknown gunmen just entered and sprayed people with bullets,” said Abdulkarim Bello of the Red Cross, adding that more than 10 people were killed. A National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman said initial reports indicated some of the victims were candidates in the polls. There were conflicting reports over whether the elections were being held or had been carried out in previous days. “It was shooting by unknown gunmen,” said the agency’s Yushau Shuaib. “A number of people died.” A military spokesman confirmed that there was an incident involving gunmen, but could not provide further details. “I am now on my way to Mubi in the company of other security officials,” Lt. Saleh Mohammed Buba told AFP. “There was an incident at the polytechnic involving some gunmen.” The killings caused an exodus

and staff of the institutions. A lecturer on condition of anonymity said he learnt that about 40 bodies had been deposited at Mubi General Hospital Mortuary. Some of the fleeing lecturers of the polytechnic, who are not authorised to speak, said they saw at least 10 truckloads of soldiers and riot policemen moving into the troubled town. Some of the students were said to have converged on the Rector’s home with their luggage as early as 7am yesterday. The BBC had earlier reported that “at least 20 students have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Mubi, north-eastern Nigeria”, a police source. “The attack happened at a student hostel away from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi campus,” the source said. A lecturer told the BBC that more than 40 students had been killed. The reported killing comes days after a major operation against the Boko Haram militant group in the town. The lecturer, who did not want his name to be used, told the BBC’s Hausa Service that the students were asked to say their names after lining up. He says it is not clear why some were killed and others spared some of those killed were Muslims. “Everybody is scared and staying indoors now,” he said. He added that students were now leaving the town, many with tree branches over their cars- a traditional sign of neutrality in Nigeria. Mubi is in Adamawa state, which has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and borders Borno State, where Boko Haram came to prominence in 2009, staging an uprising in the state capital, Maiduguri. Boko Haram has not yet commented on the Mubi attacks.

Jonathan under attack Continued from page 2

sures perceived levels of public sector corruption, Nigeria scored 2.4 on a scale where 0 means highly corrupt and 10 means very clean. It was ranked 143 out of 183 countries.” The party expressed shock and sadness that the President of Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s second largest economy can make such a frivolous claim on an issue of global concern as corruption. It said i”n addition to apologising to Nigerians for the bogus claim, the President must immediately kick-start an investigation into the source of a claim that has exposed his Administration and the entire country to global ridicule.” The ACN said the wrong claim by the President, who was apparently trying to showcase the ‘achievements’ of his administration in the fight against corruption, raises doubts about the authenticity of other claims by the President in the anniversary speech. ‘’Among other claims, the President had said that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.1 per cent on average; that his Administration’s Investment Climate Reform Programme has helped to attract over N6.8 trillion local and foreign direct investment commitments, and that Nigeria is ranked first in the top 5 host economies for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa, accounting for over 20 per cent of total FDI flows into the continent.

‘’Now that the President’s claim of positive rating for Nigeria in the anti-corruption fight has been debunked, it is logical for Nigerians to doubt the truth in the other claims, and indeed in the entire speech. This is very sad for the Jonathan Administration, because if the bond of trust between the government and its citizens is broken, the government’s credibility suffers and, without credibility, any government is not worth its name,’’ ACN said. The party said if the President fails to act quickly to unearth the source of such a spurious claim and ensure it does not recur, he risks a bigger embarrassment from officials who may want to tweak facts and figures to justify their positions. ‘’In the end, the responsibility for any inaccuracy in any speech by the President rests squarely on his shoulders,’’ it said. The ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu said: “The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) believes it is unreasonable for the number one citizen of this great nation to misrepresent statistics as this is a strong message of support to corrupt people and those planning to obfuscate the citizens for their own personal gain. Words and body language are potent enough to aggravate corruption just as corrupt practices would. When a leader embellishes a story, he is inadvertently telling his subjects to turn the truth on its head whenever they find the opportunity.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

59

NEWS

Mark, Chukwumerije disagree over state S of the nation

ENATE President David Mark yesterday disagreed with Senator Uche Chukwumerije over the latter’s declaration that Nigeria is a failed state. Mark noted that contrary to Chukwumerije’s claim, the country has a lot of things to be proud of. Chukwumerije, in his contribution to a motion entitled: “Congratulations to Nigeria and Nigerians on her 52nd Independence Anniversary” described Nigeria as either a failed state or on the verge of failure. The motion was sponsored by Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North East) and 108 others. Enang said the Senate should note that on Monday, October 1, Nigeria marked her 52nd Independence Day anniversary, having attained freedom from Britain on October 1, 1960. He said that “steadily and gradually, the nation is developing its domestic production capacity as an independent nation. Enang said the country has become a big player in international affairs within the comity of nations. He urged the Senate to congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan and the people on the nation’s 52nd Independence Day anniversary. Chwukwumerije said: “I want to draw attention to the scanty way the mover of the motion summarised the achievements of the nation before moving on to congratulations. “That scanty way in itself says a lot. “In three dry sentences, he summarised what he saw as Nigeria ’s achievements. In saying

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

that, I want to draw attention to what we can say in a more blunt way. “Before putting it in a more blunt way, let me first refer to the very first speaker here, Senator Abaribe (Enyinnaya), who used the analogy of a human being who is 52 years old and gave the impression of someone that has gone beyond even maturity. “But I think he is being very generous to Nigeria . To make my point on this, I want to draw the attention of my colleagues to a general view of international affairs. “In Turkey , it took Gen. Atatuk 21 years to transform Turkey from a feudal state to highly modernised state that has remained till today. “South-East Asia countries, it took them 30 years to move from undeveloped ex-British colonies to what they are today, Asian Tigers. “One of them took our own palm produce and turned it into an export market. “It took South Korea 18 years to move from a very dependent country to one of the world’s top today. “It took China exactly 48 years to move from a slum status derided by the West as the begging bowl of Asia to a super power. “Taking the development of this country into consideration for the last 52 years, you will come to understand why I said the first speaker was being very generous when he compared us with a 52 year old human being. “If a country that took ordi-

•Mark

•Chukwumerije

‘We have challenges, there is no doubt about that, but I believe that with political will, we will meet those challenges’ –– Mark

‘A country that cannot meet the basic expectations of her people has failed in every way in meeting the basis of a social contract’ –– Chukwumerije

nary palm nuts from us some years back has turned it into its main export product, how will you describe the country from which it was taken that is today importing all those things. “I can only describe that country in one word: that Nigeria is either a failed state or on the verge of being a failed state. “You will agree with me that a country that cannot meet the basic expectations of her people has failed in every way in meeting the basis of a social contract. “So, we must start therefore by accepting that objective reality that as of today Nigeria is a failed state or nearly a failed state. But Mark disagreed with Chukwumerije.

He noted that rather than describe the country as a failed state, Nigerians should congratulate themselves for still being one united nation “that one alone is an achievement.” He said: “There is no gain saying that we are not where we would love to be, certainly, we are not there but that is not to say that we have not made progress at all. “We have made some considerable achievement and for that, we need to show gratitude to God. “We need to pray and work, not just pray, prayer alone will not solve the problem we need to combine both of them. “Unless we are determined

to politically pursue the decision we have taken that are of benefit to this country, we will still be where we are in another 20, 30 years because the political will is lacking in so many areas. “We have challenges, there is no doubt about that, but I believe that with political will, we will meet those challenges. “It is at every level. Most times, when we are going on the road and there is traffic, people will drive by the foot path, is that a failure of leadership? “Every Nigerian has something to do. When people do the wrong thing and they are not caught and dealt with according to the law, they continue to do it. “At every level, we must know that we have leadership role to play. “When things begin to go wrong, we must have the courage to speak out before it gets too far.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu joined other senators in congratulating Nigeria on her independence. He said, “ Nigeria at 52 is relatively a young country. I don’t think that hope is lost. “There is hope for us as a nation. All we need do is to be patriotic and nationalistic. “We can do it if we can shun greed and corruption. Senator Abaribe said at 52, Nigerians should be grateful to God. He said: “When we continue talking about our problems, Nigerians are tired of hearing that. “We should focus more on the solutions.

Entrepreneurs’ Organisation for launch tomorrow

T

HE Nigeria chapter of the global body –– Entreprenuers’ Organisation (EO) will be launched tomorrow. The venue is Lagos Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. The event, according to a statement by its Director of Communication, Dele Agekameh, will be attended by governors, ministers, captains of industry, entrepreneurs and others. It will also draw many participants from outside the country, especially from the body’s global headquarters in Virginia, the United States (US). The event will be rounded off with a dinner later in the evening at the same venue. Founded in 1987, by a group of 22 young entrepreneurs, the EO has grown in the last 25 years to include more than 8,700 business owners scattered in 121 chapters and 41 countries.

•Widow of Prof. Emmanuel Asuquo Obot, Emma and a relation, Umoh Obot at a farewell service for Prof. Obot, a victim of Dana Air plane crash by the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) at the Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

Anger over high fees, multiple tax in oil sector

S

TAKEHOLDERS in the oil, gas and health sectors, especially of users radioactive substances and devices for non-destructive testing are unhappy with the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority over what they called the arbitrary increase in fees and multiple taxes. In a letter to the President, copies of which were sent to the National Assembly, the NNPC and major oil firms, the stakeholders said the action of the regulatory agency was a way of killing the Federal Government’s oil industry and the local contents drive. In fact, they argued that if the new regime is allowed to stand, there would be job losses in a very high dimension as the affected companies would be forced out of business. Among those who signed the letter were: Sir Rowland Nze of Oceaneering, Chief Nnamdi Mbelu of Allied Inspection Services Ltd and Chief Ben Ogwu of Benok Consolidated Ltd. Others were: Mr Andrew Emeri of Ozma Inspection Services Ltd, Mr Aroyehun Julius of Batek Nigeria Limited, Andrew Benjamin of SGS Inspection Services Ltd, Nick Azamosa of Blueveld Ltd, Clems Eribo of Advanced Inspection Services Ltd, Harrison Iretor of Neat Inspection Services Ltd. The rest inculded: Pius Ajabhu of Arco Pipelines Ltd, Frank Nwanodi of Tracespec Global, Funmilayo Joseph of Funtola Nigeria Ltd, Dagogo Aki of Aftrac Ltd and Sam Onyechi of Inspection and Tests Nigeria Ltd (ITL). They said: “It is worthy of note that apart from the International Oil Companies and some international oil and gas service companies that use the high-end sources, over 90 per cent of the users of Iridium 192 sources are local companies just emerging into the oil and gas service industry to render the service of nondestructive testing which hitherto has been the exclusive preserve of foreign expatriate companies.”

Opposition parties lack ideas, says Jonathan’s aide Okupe

P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has challenged opposition parties to come out with better ideas to his Transformation Agenda, if they have any. He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe yesterday in Abuja. Okupe said he was compelled to explain a number of salient policy statements in the Independence Day broadcast of the President because of misconception by some members of the opposition parties. He said with the exception of the former Lagos State Gov-

ernor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who offered nine points in the United States (US) recently, all other opposition politicians have never suggested alternative ways to solve the country’s problems. Okupe said Jonathan has achieved remarkable success in the electoral reforms and other national issues. “As with other sectors, some opposition politicians erroneously canvassed that the problem of Boko Haram was of such magnitude that would overwhelm the government. Even the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

(ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, joined the team of doubting Thomases when he recently stated that the problem of Nigeria will overwhelm President Jonathan. ‘’It is now obvious that this statement is blatantly untrue and not supported by facts on the ground. Action is being taken; it is not dramatised or advertised. The amount of technology acquired by the Army in the recent times is so enormous and that is why they are able to nip on the bud 70 to 80 per cent of bomb detonation at-

tempts of the Boko Haram in the recent times. “The key component of the Transformation Agenda is to engender social trust, good governance, credible elections, accountability and transparency, rule of law and guarantee improved quality of life as the basis of the social contract between the government and the citizens. ‘’It is gratifying to note that today, elections in Nigeria are now nationally and internationally acclaimed to be free and fair Okupe said Jonathan’s effort in the non-oil sector has by July

(2012) contributed N646.47 billion while non-mineral resources contributed about N178.92 billion or 27per cent to the GDP. He explained that the Federal Government’s share of the subsidy removal, is being reinvested responsibly in health care delivery, public transportation and infrastructural projects like the Benin-Shagamu road project costing about N65 billion. ‘’By December 2012 or January 2013, Nigeria will generate over 7000 megawatts of electricity and many communities will enjoy power supply of 16 hours

per day and more. The days of lamentation therefore in the power sector will soon be over. Okupe said First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan is now hale and hearty. He said: ‘’Nigeria has gone through a lot of drama of deaths in the Villa beginning with Gen. Sani Abacha, who died there followed by the death of Stella Obasanjo and President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. ‘’But even if it is said that Patience is sick, what is expected of an average Nigerian is sympathy and prayer. For now, Patience is hale and hearty.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

60

FOREIGN Moroccan court upholds jail term

Envoy urges Nigerians to be dedicated NIGERIAN Ambassador to the United States (US), Prof Ade Adefuye has advised Nigerians residing in America to be dedicated to their Fatherland. He said Nigeria is ready to make use of their talents. The envoy gave the charge on Monday at the celebration of the country’s 52nd Independence Anniversary at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. He assured them of the Federal Government’s commitment in improving the life of the citizenry through infrastructural development in the country. Adefuye said: “You now have a government that is dedicated and determined to improve the entire country and the transformation agenda is progressing very well. “There are structures in place for you to utilise the talents and skills you have acquired in this country back home. The government is creating a conducive environment for every Nigeria to develop his or her talents.’’

Africa has great opportunities, says AU chair FOR Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairman of Africa Union Commission, Africa is a continent of great opportunities which must be harnessed in order for it to succeed. Dlamini-Zuma, who spoke on Monday at a meeting with the Heads of African Missions in Pretoria, South Africa said: “We are a continent of great possibilities. We are a continent on the move. “We have lots of opportunities and if we use them, we will fly; if we don’t use them, we will always be a continent of lost opportunities.” Dlamini-Zuma told the diplomats that she considered her new role as a big challenge, but one with lots of opportunities. “I’m going to be a humble servant of all Africans,” she said. She noted that while there was much diversity on the African continent, there were many elements that united the region. “Africa needs to give attention to its huge population which is an enormous advantage.

A

• Relatives of victims throwing paper money from a boat in tribute to to 36 passengers killed after a collision between a ferry and a pleasure boat near Hong Kong’s Lamma Island on Monday. More than 120 passengers and crew were on the Hong Kong Electric company’s vessel to watch a huge National Day fireworks display on Victoria Harbour. PHOTO: AFP

Somali troops roll into former rebel bastion of Kismayu H UNDREDS of Somali Government troops and allied militia fighters deployed throughout the former al Shabaab rebel stronghold of Kismayo on Monday, are spreading fear among residents as they scrambled for cover. Residents said some soldiers took up positions on rooftops and that there was no immediate retaliation from the al-Qaeda-linked militants, who fled the port city last Friday after Kenyan and Somali troops launched an assault by sea, air and land. “We have now seen troops walking in the town. We are running into houses and shops have closed. We are afraid of explosions,” said resident Ismail Nur. Mohamud Farah, a spokesman for Somali’s army in the

Southern Juba regions, said 450 government soldiers and fighters from an allied militia were in the city centre to patrol the sandy streets and twisting alleyways. Another resident, Halima Farah, said Kismayu had turned into a ghost-town, and that troops were occuping the police headquarters building and district administration office. “I can also see through the cracks of windows that some of them are on the rooftops near those positions,’’ Farah told Reuters by telephone. Johnnie Carson, United States (U.S.), an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said the recapture of

Kismayu marked “a major step forward’’ and applauded the military gains recorded by the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia. “We believe this will help to bring about a return to stability in Somalia and will reduce over time the terrorist threat to Somalis and to neighbouring states,’’ Carson told reporters on a conference call. The rebel group, which counts foreign al-Qaedatrained fighters among its ranks, is seen as one of the biggest threats to stability in the Horn of Africa. It formally merged with alQaeda in February. al-Shabaab has said that although it had retreated from

Somalia’s second biggest city, its fighters were poised to engage the allied troops once they entered the city centre, threatening to turn the streets into a “battlefield’’. “Their going in means falling into our trap. Just wait and see what will happen to them,’’ Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the spokesman for alShabaab’s military operation told Reuters. Kenya’s military used the social media site Twitter to declare its forces had established no-fire zones around markets, schools, mosques and hospitals. A Kenyan military spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Yemen forces kill three al-Qaeda leaders in bomb factory raid Y EMENI security forces killed three militant leaders yesterday when they stormed a house used by al-Qaeda for making bombs, the interior and defence ministries said. Yemen, a United State (U.S.) ally, has been in turmoil since a popular uprising ousted veteran ruler, Ali Abdullah Saleh in February. It has been trying to suppress a lethal insurgency, with the backing of Washington. Army and security forces raided a house in the Southern province of Aden at

dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. The minister informed that four soldiers were wounded. “A large amount of various explosives were found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and

weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,’’ the Defence Ministry Website quoted a security source as saying. The house, in Mansoura city, was used as the headquarters for al-Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said. Security forces seized

documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said. A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

MOROCCAN Appeal Court has upheld the conviction of a dual Belgian-Moroccan national for terrorism charges that included plotting to train militants in Algeria, in a case that revived allegations about the use of torture to extract confessions. The Court of Appeal in Rabat’s twin-city, Sale, sentenced Ali Aarrass to 12 years inprisonment, reducing by three years an earlier sentence against him in November 2011, said Nicholas Cohen, one of his lawyers. “The masquerading continues,’’ Cohen told Reuters after attending the trial in Sale. “It took 90 minutes for the judges to examine our 40page appeal report, to ignore it and give credit once more to a confession Aarrass has signed under unspeakable torture,’’ he added. Aarrass was found guilty of “affiliation to a terrorist organisation and plotting to train Moroccan militants in Algeria,’’ added Cohen. Aarrass’ defence team has a plan to appeal the verdict in the Court of Cassation, the country’s highest court of appeal. The verdict cames days after the United States (UN) special rapporteur said torture of people suspected of national security crimes in Morocco was systematic and cruel, and urged the country to quickly end ill-treatment in its prisons and police detention centres. Spanish authorities arrested Aarrass in 2008 after Morocco filed for his extradition to face terrorism charges. Madrid handed him over in late-2010 even though Spanish authorities had not found him to be a security threat after two years in detention.

Vatican: probe police for abuse

A

VATICAN judge yester day ordered an investigation of the Holy See’s police force after Pope Benedict’s former butler said he was held in a tiny room with the light on constantly, Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s butler, told the court he was held in the tiny room for the first few weeks of his detention. The judge ordered the investigation after Gabriele and his lawyer made the assertions on the second day of the trial where he was accused of aggravated theft.

Kenyan police post targeted, al-Shabaab suspected

S

USPECTED al-Shabaab militants on Monday threw a hand grenade at a Kenyan police post in the Northern town of Garissa, close to the border with Somalia. The police said the development came a day after two police officers were shot dead in the same town. Kenya has been rocked by series of grenade and gun attacks since it sent troops into Somalia last October in pur-

PUBLIC NOTICE IKOWRUKA I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Irene Ikowruka now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ukpai Nnachi Akah. All formal documents remains valid. General public should please take note.

suit of Islamist al-Shabaab rebels, whom it blamed for kidnapping its security personnel and Western tourists. “A hand grenade was thrown. It dropped and exploded but nobody was injured,’’ Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim said, adding a gunfight ensued for about 10 minutes. “The police fought back, secured the post and repelled the gang,’’ he said. Maalim said police suspected it was an al-Shabaab attack, the third in two days, coming after the killing of two policemen in Garissa and a separate bombing in which three children attending a Sunday school were

hurt when militants threw a hand grenade at a church in Nairobi. The attacks on Kenyan soil have intensified since Kenyan troops, alongside other African Union forces, launched an offensive against the Southern Somali port of Kismayu, al Shabaab’s last stronghold, forcing the rebels to flee. “This is a heinous act by al Shabaab. They are out to cause chaos out of bitterness from their losses in Somalia,’’ Maalim said. Security sources said police and paramilitary forces were searching for the gunmen. Most of the inhabitants of Garissa are ethnic Somalis,

and the town is 180 km from Kenya’s border with Somalia. In July masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade raids on two churches in Garissa, killing at least 17 people in the worst attack in the country since Kenya sent troops into Somalia. Local residents say tension is running high after the latest attack on police. “Security officers are going from house to house, breaking into homes and roughing people up,’’ said Mohammed Gabow, former Mayor of Garissa, who is now an elected civic leader in Bulla Iftin, where the police post is located.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

61


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

62

SPORT EXTRA

Man Utd win at Cluj, Chelsea romp M ANCHESTER United made it two wins from as many games in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory at CFR Cluj, while Chelsea eased to a 4-0 win at Nordsjaelland. United fell behind early on, but a brace from Robin van Persie put them in a great position to press on and qualify. Chelsea were made to work hard as well, but two goals from Juan Mata, a stunner from David Luiz and late strike from Ramires earned the champions their first win. Chelsea should have been in front on five minutes at Nordsjaelland, but Victor Moses thumped a header against RESULTS GROUP E Nordsjaelland 0-4 Chelsea Juventus 1-1 Donetsk GROUP F BATE 3-1 Bayern Valencia 2-0 Lille GROUP G Moscow 2-3 Celtic Benfica 0-2 Barcelona GROUP H CFR Cluj 1-2 Man United Galatasaray 0-2 Braga

the post from three yards out. Frank Lampard was handed the captain's armband with John Terry rested. He may not be guaranteed a regular start, but Lampard still carries an attacking threat from midfield and his late arrival on the edge of the box to meet a Mata pass almost brought the opener but

his powerful strike flew over the bar. Lampard had a hand in Chelsea's opener, as he and Fernando Torres combined to slice through the Nordsjaelland defence to tee up Mata who showed great composure to open up his body and slot home on 33 min-

utes. Torres had the chance to ease Chelsea's nerves seconds before the interval but after doing superbly to find space in the box, he fired straight at the keeper and when the ball came back his way he found the back of the net but was immediately flagged for offside.

BATTLE OF CALABAR:

EaglesmustraisetheirgametobeatLiberia—Sambawa

F

ORMER Sports Minister Samaila Sambawa has warned the Super Eagles’ players to have the Nigerian’s interest at heart while filing out against the Lone Star of Liberia come October 13, 2012 in the make or mar 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier slated for U.J Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Sambawa who was Sports Minister during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency in 2006 said in as much as he craves for the Eagles to be in South Africa 2013 Nations Cup, he would want them to beat Liberia convincingly, to senda clear warning to other countries that may qualify for the same competition.

•Says Eagles have failed to prove their mettle •Wants FG to promise largesse From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja “I believe we will qualify for the Nations Cup only that I am not really convinced of the team’s performance so far. They need to show patriotic zeal, determination and hunger in order to beat Liberia”, Sambawa warned. He also added, “To be honest with you I don’t know why Nigeria should go to a country like Liberia and play a draw there. Honestly I don’t really understand the meaning of that. I don’t really think we are on the right track but I am not saying we are not going to qualify (for the 2013

Africa Nations Cup) but we can qualify if we show more seriousness”, the erstwhile Minister told NationSport in Abuja yesterday. He, however, advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Aminu Maigari to go all out and seek sponsorship for the team in order to motivate the players adding that he shouldn’t wait for Federal Government largesse to spur the players to killer mood in the game against Liberia. “My friend and brother Aminu Maigari should go all out to get people behind him to inspire these players.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS AFRICA UNITY CUP

Team Nigeria departs for South Africa •Promises ticket for Brazil, Rio 2013 •Coca cola charges team to make Nigeria proud

N

O fewer than 14 contingents that make up Team Nigeria to the inaugural Special Olympics Africa Unity Cup last night departed the shores of the country to South Africa, to take part in the Africa regional tournament which kicks off today. The team of 10 athletes, two coaches and two officials respectably left the Lagos International Airport aboard South Africa Airways with high hopes to make Nigeria proud. The event, which is a 7-aside football tournament, would see Nigeria and other 16 African countries compete for a qualifying place for the FIFAendorsed Special Olympics Unified Cup in Rio, Brazil 2013. According to the team coach Mr. Adeyemo Segun who spoke with journalists on the readiness of the team said the crop of players selected are not only talented and trained but "optimistic and committed to not to let the country down" The National Director of Special Olympics Nigeria, Mrs. Folashade Bolumole said after the three-day tourney Team Nigeria is "expected back in the country on October 8" adding

By Paul Oluwakoya that "While the country desires that the team returns with a ticket to Rio 2013, no matter the outcome, the greatest victory is in participating". Earlier, Chairman Special Olympic Nigeria, Mr. Gbolade Osibodu said Unified Sports is a means of facilitating inclusion, promote tolerance and acceptance, adding that "each team for the tournament has equal numbers of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities". "Our preparation towards this event will not have yielded much result if "Coca cola Nigeria, South African Airlines and Samaritan Feet have not partnered and sponsored it." he added. Community Affairs Manager, Coca cola Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Mba, however, charged the team to go for gold saying the bottling company's partnership is as old as Special Olympic Nigeria in the quest to continue to make Nigeria Proud in all its international games. In her own speech, Country Manager, South Africa Airways, Tobi Duna said, "The choice to fly the team is to show support for Team Nigeria."

OBUDU MOUNTAIN RACE:

Imoke charges LOC to make a statement

C

ROSS River state governor,senator Liyel ImokehaschargedtheLocal OrganisingCommitteefortheannual Obudu international mountain race, to make a huge statement. on their readiness to host the world in 2014 with a perfect,world class organisation of the eighth edition of the annual Obudu international mountain race next Imoke told the LOC headed by Sir William Archibong to pull out all the stops to host the best ever championships in 2014 after he was briefed on how Cross River state last month in Italy won the bid to host the 30th edition

PUBLIC NOTICE: STREET NAMING I, Commander Lawal Babatunde Isiaka, wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Council Development Area, that the street situated and lying opposite Emeka Nzom street, in Green Field Estate, Ago, Lagos, be named as Babatunde Lawal Crescent, in my favour. This is for the information of Isolo Local Council Development Area and the general public.

of the. World Mountain Running Association,WMRA,championships scheduled to hold at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu. 'His Excellency charged us to host the best ever WMRA championships in 2014 to let the world know how blessed and gifted Cross Riverians in particular and Nigerians in general are', revealed Patrick Ugbe,a member of the LOC who is also the Commissioner for Youth and Sports. In the state. 'He told us to ensure that everything within our control are put inplaceandthatweshouldalsostrive and work even on issues that are not under our control'. 'He said hosting an event of this magnitude means all hands must be on deck to meet the terms and expectations of the entire world because the credit will not just be to Cross River State, but to Nigeria as a whole. To achieve that, we must endeavour to project Nigeria in good image to participating nations, athletes, officials as well as millions around the world who will be monitoring the event', he said. Ugbe said the LOC promised to host the best ever Obudu international mountain race and the African mountain running championships next month at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu.

PUBLIC NOTICE HONEYSTARS CLUB OF NIGERIA The general public is herby notified that the above named Club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. OLANIYI KABIRU 2. ALIMI JAMIU 3. OLANREWAJU BASHIRU

CHAIRMAN SECRETARY TREASURER

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To be a great leader and extending the rope of friendship. 2. To enhance the value of our National heritage 3. To promote self respect, Self reliance and human dignity. Any objection to the above should be forwarded to the registrar General corporate affairs commission, plot 450 Tigris Crescent, off Aguyi Ironsi street, maitama, Abuja. Within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: KABIRU OLANIYI Chairman


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012

63

SPORT EXTRA

•Ahmed

Ahmed has settled down well at Valerenga Eagles for Champions League W

HAT were the clubs you played for in Nigeria before you moved to Europe? I played for Mighty Jets, Plateau United, Unicem Rovers, Enyimba and Heartland. How did you take it when the offer to join Valerenga in Norway came? I was so happy. I was offered trials in January and it was not so easy at the beginning because there was snow everywhere, but being a Jos boy, I was able to adjust quickly. I was lucky to get a deal straight away after my first trainings as I impressed the officials. The rest is now history and I came back to Nigeria to do my paper work, then I returned to Norway in March to sign the contract. How has the experience being since you came to Norway? So far, so good. It has been wonderful on and off the pitch. I am enjoying myself. How will you rate your performance so far? Well, I think I am doing well, though I just got my chance in main team so I am taking my chances. I have not scored yet, but I have provided some assists. Your club started well but are now fifth on the table? Our dream was to win the league and we started well as you observed, but we had injuries to many regular players. Good enough these players are coming back gradually and we are hope-

Ex-Heartland ace Ahmed Suleiman has said he wishes for more after he fought his way to the first team of top Norwegian club Valerenga. The forward, who has also featured for Enyimba, has settled down quickly in Europe since the winter and now wants to be given his chance in the Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles. The Jos-born star spoke to MTNFootball.com on his burgeoning career so far as well as his ambitions going forward ful we could at least finish well to feature in the Europa League next season. Who are your role models? I started out in same team that produced Mikel Obi, Joe Akpala in Jos, El Kanemi Junior, so I look up to Mikel, who is a great player and wish to be like him. I thank God that my time has come to play in Europe. Lionel Messi is my role model, I want to be like him and Obafemi Martins is another player I admire because of their style. Do you have any nickname and if so, how did you come about it? They call me Dan Zaki in Jos which in Hausa means “Baby Lion”. The name was given to me during the Governor’s Cup in Jos. I was always coming on in second half and I will go on to score, so people began to call me that name and it has stuck. As a striker, do you have a target of goals you have set for yourself this season? Not really, I am not thinking about that. I just want to cement

my place in first team and do well for the club. I am adapting to the style here because it is very different from what I was used to. I like to play with ball but here it is kick and follow. Do you have any national team experience? No. I am still 19 years old and it is my dream to play for National team. I am still eligible for U20 World Cup. Whenever my senior colleague here Fengor Ogude goes home for a national team engagement, I always believe I will be there one day. I will be glad if coach John Obuh (Flying Eagles) gives me the chance in his team. How is the relationship among the Nigerians in Valerenga? It is very cordial. Ogude is my senior brother here and I tell him everything, he gives me advice on how to do things, he has been helpful. There is Aaron Samuel, who has just joined the team, and Olanade, who holds Norwegian citizenship with Nigerian roots. We get along very well and that is why I feel at home here.


TODAY IN THE NATION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL.7 NO.2,267

‘I am sure if policemen and other security agents work according to their calling, half of the insecurity problems we are now battling with in Nigeria would have been permanently solved’ DELE AGEKAMEH

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

A

BAD workman, the English say, quarrels with his tools. Few people demonstrate the accuracy of this aphorism as Nigerians - certainly the politicians among them - do in their attempt, once again, to review the Constitution of their country as it clocks its 52nd year of its Independence from British colonial rule on October 1, 1960. First, it took them all less than six years to throw away the parliamentary constitution they had inherited from their colonial master and, in effect, adopt a unitary constitution. Not that ordinary Nigerians really had much choice in the matter when the soldiers overthrew the country’s unpopular civilian rulers on January 15, 1966. That first coup has since been blamed much for being the trigger of the country’s sharp decline since Independence. But this is only being wise after the fact; back then most Nigerians believed the coup was good riddance to bad rubbish. Naturally, when Major-General J. T. Aguiyi-Ironsi took over power as our first military ruler he and his colleagues abolished the Independence Constitution. Then in February he set up a Constitutional Study Group under Chief F.R.A. Williams, aka “Timi the Law”, to work out a new constitution. However, even before the group could settle down to work, the new head of state enacted Decree 34, the unification decree which abolished the then four regions – North, West, East and Mid-West - and replaced them with the provinces in those regions as the units of administration. That, as is well known, proved his nemesis; in July there was a bloody counter-coup in which the top casualty was the general himself, and following which the new kids on the block quickly abolished the decree. This was in September, barely two months after they came to power. The counter-coup, in turn, led eventually to a three-year civil war which ended in 1970. By then General Yakubu Gowon who had taken over from Ironsi as military, ruler, had been in power for over four years. When the war ended he promised a return to civilian rule in four years i.e. by 1974. However, as the deadline approached the man changed his mind and it became apparent that he had allowed himself to be persuaded by those around him that, like several of his counterparts elsewhere, notably Egypt, he should swap his khaki for mufti and remain in power. This, again as we all know, proved his undoing; he was overthrown in 1975 but unlike his hapless predecessor, he did not pay the ultimate price, reason being he was out of the country at the time of the coup. Apparently the new set of military rulers learnt the lessons of the demise of their predecessors, which was that in the long run no good ever came out of wanting to cling on to power; they promised to return the country to civilian rule in three years and set about their commitment with a vigour unknown in most military dictatorships, certainly those in Africa. Such was their commitment that even when some misguided elements in the army killed the head of state, General Murtala Moham-

RIPPLES

N5000 Note: SANUSI SHOULD APOLOGISE TO NIGERIANS - Cleric

HIS SINS are forgiven...he should go AND SIN NO MORE

People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

Constitutional amendments; a bad workman...

•Senate President David Mark

med, on February 13, 1976 in a failed attempt to overthrow his government, the new military rulers stuck to their transition programme to hand over to the civilians on October 1, 1979. The lot of implementing the programme fell on General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Muhammed’s deputy. Top of the programme was the provision of a constitution for the country. Before his assassination, General Muhammed had inaugurated a Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) under - who else? “Timi the Law.” Suspicions that there were strings attached to the CDC’s brief soon provoked a huge controversy. The suspicions were first aired by Malam Aminu Kano, the late radical politician who led the opposition to the ruling party in the North. During one of the conferences organised around the country to generate input for the CDC – this one was on the Congo Campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in

March 1977 - Malam Aminu claimed there was not only a “soft-subterranean influence” by the army to jettison the parliamentary democracy of the First Republic and replace it with American type of presidential democracy. He also said he had reason to believe the CDC had succumbed to the military’s influence. This columnist had the privilege of reporting the story for the New Nigerian as a junior reporter. That claim got Chief Williams’ dander up. Unless the radical malam withdrew his claim, the chief threatened in effect, he would sue him for slander. This threat got my bosses understandably worried, given the chief’s huge reputation of hardly ever losing his cases. So worried were my bosses they sent me to Kano to seek clarification on the issue from the malam. I did and he stuck to his gun. “I must,” he said in a short written statement he gave me, “say that I have grown old enough in the politics of Nigeria and generally of Africa to avoid equivocation or sycophancy and to know the difference between political consistency which is hard to maintain and political acrobatism, simple to operate. The first I will continue to do, but the second I condemn and reject until death, suffering and ostracisation notwithstanding.” The New Nigerian led with the story in its edition of April 4, 1977 under the headline, “Aminu Kano Unrepentant – stands by his words.” As far as I know, Chief Williams never sued the malam until his death. More significantly when the CDC submitted its report to the authorities it opted for the American type presidential democracy as if in vindication of malam’s claims. As we all know this was adopted by the Constituent Assembly (CA) of 1978 that eventually wrote the 1979 Constitution that ushered in the Sec-

HARDBALL

ond Republic and a document which has remained the country’s constitutional framework, give or take not a few amendments by the various military regimes that have ruled this country up to 1999. And so it was that the first opportunity Nigerians had of drafting their own constitution without supervision by any colonial master, they chose to throw away the one they had inherited, lock, stock and barrel. It has since become conventional wisdom to say the military imposed the presidential system on the country. The truth is much more complex than that. True, the Obasanjo regime that midwifed the constitution not only held a veto over it. It exercised the veto by inserting a few important clauses in it and deleting a few, without subjecting the document to a referendum or to even reconsideration by its CA. However, the fact was that the mostly elected 1978 CA agreed with the military in their choice of the presidential system over the parliamentary. It was also a fact that there was a popular support for the system. So it is simply historical revisionism to blame the soldiers alone for the country’s jettisoning of parliamentary democracy after the country had used it for less than six years. In truth the greater blame for this “imposition” should go to our politicians who, it seems, have a penchant for quarrelling with their tools. This much should be obvious from the fact that most, if not all, of them blame our Constitution more – much more – than their own behaviour for the problems of this country. According to The Punch (September 29), there are at the moment 264 proposals before our National Assembly for amendments in our Constitution which is barely 12 years old. Among these, the newspaper said, are 61 demands for the creation of states before the Senate and 27 for same before the House of Representatives, making a total of 88. Neither the parliamentary constitution of the First Republic, nor the presidential one we have since replaced it with are perfect, being documents written by imperfect human beings. It is also true that it makes no difference what type of tool a country chooses to solve its problems with. In the end, however, what is more important than the right choice is how a tool is used. Only a bad workman, which your typical Nigerian politician is, will contemplate amending a constitution he has used for barely 12 years in no less than 264 places. Worse, only such a bad workman would demand for the creation of 88 more states in a country where we all agree, the existing 36 have proved too unwieldy and too costly. •For comments, send SMS to 08023211188

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Anyim takes on Osun

I

F anyone is in doubt just how zealously the federal government treasures its capacity to nurse malice, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, provides the perfect disillusionment. Late last week, when the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora paid him a visit, he betrayed his and, it seems, the government’s feelings on the supposedly rested but apparently still controversial issue of which takes grammatical and constitutional precedence over the other: the State of Osun or Osun State. A few months ago, it will be recalled, the country was set on edge by security reports suggesting that Osun was planning rebellion because it insisted that the state be henceforth called and regarded as the State of Osun, not Osun State, even as former documents remained valid. The security reports were too fantastic to be true, and so the matter came to an abrupt and comical end. Gingerly, Osun got to keep its newly adopted name, arguing that the constitution was silent on whether the name should be State of Osun or Osun State. Until the Anyim outburst, it was unknown to many that the federal government had merely gone underground with its malice and seethed dangerously like a volcano

waiting to erupt. Finally, however, the dormant volcano spewed out its molten rock last week during the said visit. A member of the committee from Osun, Hon Ajiboye Famurewa (ACN), had introduced himself as the member from the State of Osun. This became a red rag to a bull. Hear Anyim: “That is unconstitutional. Let me also say, even though in a lighter mood, that the ‘State of Osun’ issue should be a serious matter. We should not trivialise issues regarding our nationhood. Particularly, where it could be misinterpreted and where it could affect the unity of the country. The constitutional name for each state should be upheld more particular by parliamentarians. Ordinary local politicians can try to politick with it, but not those of you who are to keep the country in shape and in firm stand. But, I think that there is nothing like the ‘State of Osun’ in the Constitution, we have Osun State, just like any other state. And we should honour our constitution that is the foundation of the basis of patriotism in the first place. We must have faith in our nation; we must have faith in our constitution. We must live it, we must preach it and we must act it. The ‘State of Osun’ is not in the constitution, it is Osun State.” First, State of Osun or Osun State is nothing

but six of one and half a dozen of the other. The constitution, Osun argues, lists the names of state without saying whether ‘State of’ should come before or ‘state’ should come after. Why make a big issue out of it? Is it names of states that threaten national security or that recurring nightmare, Boko Haram, and its killing spree? Second, even though the federal government has the right to hanker after uniformity, it was deeply embarrassing to see Anyim speak down to the legislator, as if a colonial officer was reprimanding an ignorant native. It is unbelievable how legislators can sometimes be so tolerant. The federal government can pursue its nomenclatural games as fiercely as it wants, but the Anyim outburst reveals in all its ugliness just how perniciously that unseemly colonial mindset has permeated the thinking and perspectives of government officials. That kind of thinking makes nonsense of democracy and gives the unwholesome impression that the government is loth to relinquish its archaic privileges. But much worse, and this is not to denigrate Anyim’s learning, the outburst indicates that Nigerian leaders are still incapable, in spite of all their education, of deep reflection and proper understanding of the fact that leaders are in government to serve.

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 October 03, 2012