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News Explosion in Maiduguri as soldiers, Boko Haram clash P8 Sport NFF slams Siasia for Super Eagles Nations Cup failure P24 Business Blackout looms as PHCN withholds 1,400 megawatts P2 www.thenationonlineng.net
VOL. 7, NO. 1909 MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
CBN may raise MPR as panel meets today
HE Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will hold an extra-ordinary general meeting today, with the re-evaluation of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) likely to top the agenda. The meeting may propose
By Collins Nweze
an increase in the MPR by about 25 basis points to 9.5 per cent. The rate, which was raised last month from 8.50 to 9.25 per cent, has failed to reduce the volume of money in cir-
culation, thereby putting pressure on the naira against other global currencies, especially, the dollar. Head, Market Risk, Greenwich Trust Limited Babatunde Obaniyi said by raising the MPR, the CBN may be able to curb infla-
tion. He said there was high demand pressure on the naira, which can only be controlled by mopping liquidity in the system. Obaniyi said payment of the minimum wage would add to excess liquidity in the system, adding that the best
option is to raise the MPR. A financial analyst, Richard Obire, also predicted a hike in MPR. He said the exchange rate is bad as oil price is going down at a time the United States and Continued on page 2
Akala, Daniel, Doma to face trial in their states
EFCC rejects ex-governors’ Goje returns from UK, reports request for prosecution in Abuja to anti-graft agency today
ETAINED former Oyo, Ogun and Nasarawa Governors Adebayo Alao-Akala, Gbenga Daniel and Aliyu Akwe Doma will face trial in their states, it was learnt yesterday. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is said to have rejected their requet to be tried in Abuja for alleged N101 billion fraud.
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
Alao-Akala is accused of N25 billion fraud, Daniel, N58 billion and Doma, N18 billion. Sources hinted last night that they may also be charged with money laundering at the Federal High Court. Another former governor, Danjuma Goje of Gombe State, who was declared wanted, over the weekend,
returned home yesterday from the United Kingdom (UK). He has promised to report at the EFCC office in Abuja today. The EFCC, a source said, refused Alao-Akala, Daniel and Doma’s request for trial in Abuja to prevent them from challenging the jurisdiction of the court. Some former governors arraigned in Abuja in the past
challenged the court’s jurisdiction and won. The EFCC may also have obtained the list of foreign accounts of the former governors and those used to launder money abroad. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are going to split the trial of the ex-governors. While they will face trial for stealing at the State High Court, they will be charged separately with
money laundering at the Federal High Court. “The truth is that the Federal High Court cannot entertain some issues bordering on stealing depending on the law under which the governors are charged. “Their trial will take the shape of some former bank chiefs who are facing trial at the Lagos State High Court and the Federal High Court on different charges.
“We are likely to move them to their various states for trial contrary to their plea that they prefer Abuja. We want to avoid a situation whereby any of the suspects will challenge the jurisdiction of the court to try them.” The source added: “We are probing the alleged foreign accounts of some of the Continued on page 2
Southeast governors insist on new state From Chris Oji, Enugu
OUTHEAST governors yesterday gave a condition for backing the planned constitution amendment: an additional state in their region. They threatened to withdraw support for the exercise, if they are not given another state. The Southeast has the least number of states – five – among the six geo-political zones. To perfect their plan, the governors met in Enugu yesterday. They resolved to present their report for discussion at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting in Abuja tomorrow. The governors said it was high time all geopolitical zones in the country had equal number of states in the interest of equity, fairness and justice. Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum Peter Obi of Anambra State told reporters that they met to articulate a common poContinued on page 2
•Some Nigerian youths celebrating the nation’s 51st Independence anniversary at DAG Hammarskjold Plaza in New York ... at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
•JOBS P15 •SPORT P24 •POLITICS P25 •CITYBEAT P31 •CEO P47
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
•President Goodluck Jonathan, (second left), President Paul Kagame of Rwanda (second right), Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings (left) and Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD/CEO, Access Bank Plc in Kigali, during Jonathan’s visit to Rwanda ...
•From left: Governors Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Peter Obi (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) after their meeting in Enugu ... yesterday. PHOTO: CLETUS OBI
Daniel, Doma, Akala to face trial in their states Goje returns, reports to EFCC today
Continued from page 1
ex-governors and their accomplices, including contractors, who laundered money abroad for them. Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, who initially declined comments, Mr Femi Babafemi, said: “We may split the trial of the ex-governors.” Of the N25billion allegedly mismanaged by Alao-Akala, he was said to have deducted N8.2billion from the Excess Crude Funds of the 33 local government Areas in Oyo State to finance 155-kilometer special road projects. Each of the 33 councils was forced to part with N250million for the projects. About five-kilometre road was planned for each council at N250million. Alao-Akala is expected to shed light on: why the said deduction was not backed by law; diversion of a part of the fund; inflation of road contracts in some councils; and non-execution of the projects in some local governments. Before his arrest, a six-man panel raised by the EFCC chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, had isolated some allegations against Daniel. The allegations are: “Diversion of about N12billion revenue in Ogun State Bureau of
PHCN to shut five power stations on gas shortage
ORMER Gombe State Governor Danjuma Goje yesterday returned home from the United Kingdom (UK). Goje, who vowed to defend the allegations of corruption levelled against him, said there is no justification for EFCC to declare him wanted. In a statement by his aide, Mallam Yahaya Mohammed, Goje said he would appear before the EFCC today. The statement reads: “There was no need by the EFCC to have declared me wanted. I was out of the country when I learnt that the EFCC had declared me wanted; there was no justification for its action. As former governor who served this nation for eight years and currently a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I
Lands and Survey. “Non-remittance of N1billion deducted from Ogun State workers’ salaries. “Fraudulent and illegal payment of an amount of N1bilion purportedly as counterpart funding for water projects. “Illegal debt servicing to the tune of N5.2billion as against an appropriation of N350million for the same purpose in 2009. “Payment of N300million electricity utility charges by the State Electricity Project Agency despite direct deduction of same from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). “Diversion of N500million
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
am ever ready to defend my action at all time. “‘The allegation of corruption against me cannot stand. All financial resources entrusted in my care as governor of Gombe State were judiciously used. The records are there for everybody to access. “It is illogical for any body to have accused me of diverting N52 billion when you look at all the outstanding projects I executed in eight years. “This is the price you pay for leadership in a country like our nation where all public officials are seen as corrupt people. I have no regret serving this nation. “I will appear before the EFCC on Monday. I am ready to answer all questions about the purported corrupt practices.”
agricultural loan granted by National Agricultural Credit Bank for Rural Development. “Diversion to cronies and associates an amount totalling N5billion in the name of salaries and allowances under the Contingency and Miscellaneous of the Office of the Governor. “Questionable transfer and disposal of governmentowned enterprises and investment portfolio of over N15billion by Gateway Holding without enabling law or House of Assembly approval. “Illegal purchase of 20 refurbished graders to the tune of N950million for Local Government Areas and sub-
sequent deductions from their allocations on monthly basis. “Illegal purchase of 20 Toyota Prado Jeeps to the tune of N200million for LGAs and subsequent illegal deduction of same from their accounts and allocations. “Fraudulent procurement of loans from various financial institutions (mostly banks) amounting to over N22billion without approval from the House of Assembly.” The allegations against Doma include inflation of contracts; duplication of contracts; mismanagement of Local Government Joint Account.
•Blackout looms as 1400mw goes By Emeka Ugwuanyi and John Ofikhenua
•Power Minister Barth Nnaji
NATIONWIDE blackout looms as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) yesterday threatened to shut down five power stations. The threat followed the cut in gas supply to the stations by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The PHCN said the closure would lead to the loss of 1,400 megawatts (MW) from the national grid. The nation presently generates 4242 (mw), which it attained three weeks ago. In a statement, PHCN man-
CBN may increase monetary policy rate as body meets today Continued from page 1
Europe are economically challenged. “We are in a box and need a bit of brainwave. The Federal Government has to step in as cost is likely to go up. I think labour will oppose removal of subsidy because government is not cutting its costs,” he said. He said the reduction in the price of oil means that Nigeria will earn less dollars, adding that the Central Bank may not be able to meet the dollar demand meant for the importation of petrol and other
consumables. “The Monetary Policy Committee is about liquidity and price stability. It is difficult to have price stability when three months to the end of the year, removal of oil subsidy looms, knowing that it will have a negative impact on inflation,” he said, arguing that such an act will affect prices of products, goods and services. Obire said where the naira is facing a challenge, the best thing to do is to increase the cost of money. “If you increase what it costs to buy foreign exchange (forex),
then the naira will firm up. The Central Bank of Nigeria has to look at the cost of money again.” He said when there is too much money in circulation, the CBN may do well to obstruct it a little. The pressure on the local currency intensified after the CBN, on September 26, sold naira outside the weakest edge of its target, he said, adding that it has not decided to change its policy of keeping the currency inside a three per cent band around N150 to the US dollar. CBN set a target of maintaining the naira within the
range of +/- 3 per cent of N150 to the dollar but in its last outing, it sold $350 million at 155.02 to the dollar, which is 3.3 per cent beyond N150. “There has been no decision yet to change stand. We breached the target for the first time in one year. Let’s see how the week goes,” CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said. Although inflation dropped from 10.2 per cent to 9.3 per cent in August, the naira has constantly been under pressure against the dollar as the CBN battles to stabilise the
currency. The naira ended last week at 160.10 to the dollar on the interbank market, 2.5 per cent stronger than the N164.25 at Thursday’s close of forex trading. The naira plunged on Wednesday and Thursday following comments by Sanusi that CBN would not support the naira at all costs. “People are being cautious on the possible outcome of the MPC meeting and don’t want to be caught on the wrong side,” one forex dealer said. The naira strengthened on the interbank market on Friday, rebounding from an alltime low the previous session.
agement said it received notice from the Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC) that SPDC will start maintenance works on some of its gas plants from tomorrow. The affected plants are to be shut for seven days. The closure will leave the country with power generation of just 2842mw. Stations to be shut down for maintenance are: Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben, Sapele and Oghanefe Gas Plants of Saplet and Pan Ocean. The statement reads: “Power Holding Company of Nigeria regrets to inform its esteemed customers nationwide of the notice received from Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC) of the planned shutdown of SPDC Utorogu and Ughelli East Gas Plants, Oben, Sapele and Ogharefe gas plants of SEPLAT and Pan Ocean for maintenance purposes. “This will be for a period of seven days commencing Tuesday, October 11. The maintenance, according to NGC will lead to complete shutdown of Geregu, Sapele, Ughelli, Omotosho and Olorunsogo power stations throughout the duration of the exercise, thus resulting to a cut back in generation of over 1400MW. This loss of generation will entail minimal load shedding in many parts of the country. “We therefore appeal to our valued customers and other stakeholders for understanding and support, while assuring that power supply situation will considerably improve once gas supply is restored to these stations.”
Southeast governors insist on new state for region Continued from page 1
sition and present their demands at the NGF meeting. Constitution amendment was the main agenda at the Enugu meeting. Obi said if the Southeast’s request for additional state fails to receive priority attention, its five governors would
back out of discussions on constitution amendment. He said: “Basically today (yesterday), we discussed one issue, the issue of constitution amendment, especially as it concerns the creation of an additional state for the zone, to have the same number of states in all the zones of the country. “We are not asking for a
particular number of states. We are only calling for equalisation of states for all the zones and that is what we want.” Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha said: “If the Northwest zone could have seven states, the Southeast zone could as well have seven. In essence, the Southeast governors are
calling for additional states.” The Seventh National Assembly has kick started the process for constitution amendment. The Senate and the House of Representatives has each constituted Constitution Review Committees. The committees will collate the position of Nigerians on the amendments in addition
to leading the process of amendment. While Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu chairs the Senate Committee on constitution review, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha chairs the Reps’ committee. Both of them are incidentally from the Southeast.
ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS Amaechi orders contractors back to site DESPITE the rains, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has ordered the contractor handling the Okporo road in Port Harcourt, the state capital, to begin work immediately. Amaechi gave the directive yesterday during an on-thespot assessment of on-going road repair and construction projects in the state. Amaechi explained that although the same contractor is working on the drainage on Aba road, work has to equally start on the Okporo road as it is in a very bad shape. He said: “The Contractor is working along Aba road drainage system, but I have told the Commissioner for Works that the contractors don’t have to wait until they complete the drainage, because the road is in a very sorry state and they really have to do something quickly. According to him, waiting for the rains to subside would not help matters, since the rains have not been regular, adding that no remedial measures should be adopted on the road anymore. “We do not owe the contractor, we have paid him, and we agreed that he has to wait for the rains to stop. But he has to start work now, and he has agreed to begin work on the road next week.” The governor also asked the contractor handling the Amadi-Ama-Abuloma road and drainage construction project, to convert the open drainage to a covered one. He said: “What the contractor designed was an open drainage system, but I say no; it should be a covered drainage system which is better than the open drain because the open drain takes in all sorts of debris which cannot be found in a covered drainage system. That will allow easy flow of water.”
•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (fourth left); Principal Engineer, Kinectrics Consulting Inc (left); Dr Gabriel Ogundele; President, Casa Foundation, Mrs Olutoyin Oyelade; Deputy Head of Mission at the Nigerian High Commission in Ontario, Canada, Mrs Katyen C. Jackden; Chief Engineer at Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Mr Soji Tinubu and Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Prof Iyorwuese Hagher at the Friends of Africa Conference held in Toronto, Canada...at the weekend
LASTMA kicks out 222 for misconduct
HE management of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) has sacked 222 of its personnel for corrupt practices and misconduct. Its Chairman Mr Young Arebamen told our correspondent that the sack affects all cadres of the workforce. Arebamen disclosed that 156 were dismissed while 66 had their appointments terminated. Of those dismissed, 129 were junior officers (level 06 and below). The remaining 29 were on level 07 and above. He said the appointments of 55 junior staff were terminated while 11 senior officers were also kicked out in
this category. LASTMA boss said the affected officers were given opportunity to defend themselves before final decisions were taken. He said: “When we receive complaints from members of the public, the Provost department will investigate. The complainant is also given the opportunity to explain his allegation. “If the allegation is true, the internal rules and regulations will be visited on the official. It depends on the gravity of the offence. If it is a very serious allegation of misconduct, the official may
have to pass through a process of trial. At the end of the day, he could be dismissed, be reduced in rank, be reprimanded or receive verbal or written warning. “Apart from those that were sacked, there are those who had their promotion deferred, probation extended or their rank reduced. We want the public to know that LASTMA officers are not above the law. The internal working system controls the conduct of our men and women”. To minimise corrupt practices, Arebamen said: “We have evolved a system that no LASTMA official operates with cash. The traffic
offenders pay the fines to designated banks. All we need is evidence of payment before we can release the vehicle.” According to him, the number of days we hold the vehicle depends on the owner. After 24 hours, he pays demurrage. It is advisable that the offender pays his fine as soon as he can to avoid excess demurrage. On the Federal High Court judgment barring LASTMA from imposing fines on traffic offenders, Arebamen said “the governor and the Attorney General have said we are going to appeal the judgment. Nothing has changed that position.”
Bill Gates to give $500,000 grant to states From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
NCC appoints number portability consortium By Adline Atili
THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the appointment of a consortium of three companies to implement the proposed Number Portability services in Nigeria . Number Portability will allow phone users to move from one network to another without losing their original numbers. Interconnect, Saab Grintek andTelcordia are the preferred vendor for the service after the technical, financial and demo presentations by the bidding vendors. According to the Head, Media and Publicity of the NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka, the consortium was named out of the 10 that submitted bids, and was among the seven companies pre-qualified after the initial technical evaluation. The consortium emerged preferred after the demo presentations. Muoka added that the company will be responsible for the set up and implementation of Number Portability Clearing House in Nigeria , and provide Mobile Number Portability solution administration in Nigeria within six months of receiving the license with a testing period of two months.
By Leke Salaudeen
ROM the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come again cheery news for Nigeria in its fight against polio. The foundation announced a conditional $500,000 grant
to states with enough commitment to tackle the menace. They must improve routine immunisation coverage and end polio test must be passed. Besides, the foundation has also pledged to provide additional $250,000 for other health programme, on the condition that the governors are prepared to contribute $250,000 as matching grant. The country has recorded 95 per cent reduction in polio incidence as of last year. But there were 32 cases reported across six northern states since the beginning of the year. Besides Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan are the other countries with
records of polio in recent times. According to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) secretariat in Abuja , the reward for a new initiative was reached last Tuesday in Seattle, United States of America (U.S.A.) The initiative was meant to challenge the governors to deliver a dramatic improvement in polio and routine immunisation by the end of next year. The programme, which was jointly initiated with the NGF, will recognise those governors whose states pass a predefined threshold to improve routine immunisation coverage and end polio. The states that meet the threshold criteria will be awarded a $500,000 grant
from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their top health priorities. To receive the grant, the statement added that the state will need to pass a rigorous set of criteria based on outcomes in their polio programme and routine immunisation services. The data to assess performance will be collected and managed by a Monitoring and Evaluation team led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and supported by polio eradication partners. Also a panel of independent national and international public health experts selected by the foundation will assess the data and declare the winners at the end of 12 months.
FAAN boss to managers: improve revenue generation
ANAGERS of the nation’s airports have been charged to ensure improved revenue. Chairman of the board of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Ebitimi Banigo and Managing Director George Uriesi gave the condition at a meeting with managers at the weekend. FAAN is merely “generating one-third of what it should be generating.” He is, however, optimistic that the transformation drive of President Goodluck Jonathan will positively turn around the dwindling fortunes of the airports. Banigo expressed delight over the appointment of Urie-
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
si as the new helmsman of the organisation by the government, adding that the resolve signalled the determination of Mr. President to transform the airports. He said: “Nothing ever starts without having the right management in place. Today, I am happy we have started that process. We are proud that George (Uriesi) has emerged to take charge of the process. I wish him the best, because it is not very easy to transform. George may find it easy because he has managed airports outside Nigeria. So, this is a call to duty. “Airport managers should
look inward, see how to generate revenue and fix the airports. I quite take cognisance of the many challenges militating against your operations, but you should come forward with your blueprint, set up contact groups and see how to move FAAN forward,” he added. The managing director solicited the support of the airport managers and enjoined them to aggressively pursue the transformation agenda, basically through infrastructural development and the provision of efficient service delivery to realise the vision and mission of FAAN. Uriesi said the Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah is dis-
turbed by the state of the airports and requires urgent measures to redress the situation. He said: “Government has no money to run the airports. That is why the workers have to grow with the changes being put in place by Mr. President and the Honourable minister with the remodelling of our airports. “It is regrettable that we are collecting about 30 to 40 per cent of our revenue. That is why it is occasionally hard to pay our salaries. Drastic measures have to be taken to correct this. I am confident we are going to come out of this. It is going to be a battle. People think FAAN is a cash cow but it’s really not.
He explained:“I wish to say that the law that established LASTMA passed through a process. If the society is not regulated by law, then we are heading for a state of anarchy. If the actions of the road users are not regulated, we are creating a state of anarchy and we don’t want that in Lagos. “We are yet to get to the end of the case. The judgment is a test case for the development of Nigerian law. The case may even go to the Supreme Court. At the end of the day, we will know who is on the side of the law. But we are sure we are on the side of the law”, he added.
Don delivers inaugural lecture Wednesday By Emmanuel Oladesu
niversity of Lagos, (UNILAG) Akoka don, Prof. Ayoka Mopelola Olusakin will deliver her inaugural lecture titled: “Guidance and Counselling Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” on Wednesday at the institution’s Main Auditorium. The time is 4.pm. According to a statement by the Ceremonies Committee, the lecture would be presided over by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe. The 53-year-old scholar from Ifewara, Osun State and product of the University of Ibadan, where she obtained her doctorate degree in Counselling Psychology in 1991, is the current Head of Educational Foundations Department. Besides seminars and workshops, she has 62 publications to her credict. Prof. Olusakin had supervised 11 Ph.D theses, served as SubDean of the Education and PostGraduate Faculties and external examiner for Counselling in some tertiary institutions and bagged several academic and professional awards.
THE NATION MOMDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Police recover dynamites, rocket launchers from suspects
• The suspects paraded with the ammunitions ...yesterday
HREE persons allegedly abducted by unknown persons have been rescued in Lagos by the state police command. Rescued are: Dr. Godwin Ene, Mr. Rodney Ogagba and Mr. Godwin Okonkwo. The rescue team, led by Mr. Patrick Ejadewe, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), recovered two dyanamites, eight AK47 rifles, three rockers 108 magazines fully loaded with 30 rounds each, 665 live ammunition and assorted charms. Two persons suspected to have carried out the abduction were paraded yesterday by the police. The other members of the gang are at large. They belong to a syndicate with specialty in abductions for huge ransoms. The kidnappers allegedly de-
By Jude Isiguzo
manded N150 million ransom from each of the suspects. According to a police source, the family of Ogagba, who was kidnapped on September 10, had negotiated with the kidnappers after which they paid N4 million but the kidnappers asked for more. He said: “Ogagba was kidnapped at Alausa a month ago. He was pulled out of his Hummer V Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and taken to a specified location. “After communicating with the family, N4 million was given to the kidnappers but they said it was too small and demanded for more.” The police source added that after further negotiation, the kidnappers decided to collect additional
N2.8 million but unfortunately for them, Police were on their trail. The source added:”The kidnappers kept on changing locations of where to collect the money so as to monitor if Police were on their trail. “After about two hours, one of the kidnappers came on a motorcycle to collect the cash but as he collected the money, policemen double-crossed him and after interrogation, he led us to the house where the victim were being held. “On getting to the house which surprisingly is located in a residential area, the kidnappers on sighting policemen, scaled the fence and ran away. However, one of them engaged us in a gun battle but failed to overpower us.” The other victims, Ene and Okonkwo, were rescued after the
police conducted a search on the house. He said: “We rescued three victims and upon searching a vehicle in the compound, we found a stockpile of ammunition.” Ene and Okonkwo narrated how they were kidnapped. Ene said: “The hoodlums accosted me while I was driving around 6pm on Thursday. Four of them, armed, came down from a Sport Utility Vehicle and claimed to be from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). So, I did not argue with them. However, I realised they were liars when they forced me into their car, blindfolded me and started beating me.” He added that after taking him to an undisclosed location, they demanded N150 million from him.
He said: “They held me for three days and only fed me once. I am 66 years old and yet they acted this cruel to me. They also demanded N150 million from me but thanks to God and the police, my life was spared.” Also speaking, Okonkwo, who was held for a month, said after he told the kidnappers that he would not be able to pay the N150 million ransom, they began torturing him almost on a daily basis. Ene said: “I am a manufacturer by profession. So, they might have thought I’m very rich. I explained to them that I did not have liquid cash but they flared up. “Each day they would beat me with the side of a machete and threaten to kill me if I did not cooperate with them. “I am so thankful to God that the police came to my rescue. God bless them.” The two suspects, Kenneth Okonkwo and Azubike Okafor, said they were not the mastermind. Kenneth said: “I did not kidnap them. I was only sent by Obinna, a member of the gang, to go and collect the ransom at a specified location.” The police identified Okafor as a murder suspect who had been on the run for months and had been declared wanted. Okafor said: “Indeed, I killed someone mistakenly in Awka. But I’m not a criminal by nature. It was my friend, Obinna that told me to come to Lagos that he would sponsor me to Germany. I did not know before coming to Lagos that he was a kidnapper.” Commissioner of Police Mr. Yakubu Alkali described the arrests as evidence his command was determined to rid the state of crime. He said: “Like I keep saying, crime control, crime prevention and crime management are not solely an institutional responsibility but the public must continue to provide the police with useful information. “The hoodlums were arrested through holistic policing, otherwise known as community policing after a tip off from a responsible citizen.” Alkali thanked Governor Babatunde Fashola for supporting the efforts of the command.
‘People in authority reaped from my robbery operations’ For years in the 90s, the mere mention of his name made commuters and vehicles scamper for safety. But today, the story has changed for former robbery kingpin - Shina Rambo, reports TOLUWANI ENIOLA
T was a book launch that turned a religious gathering where repentant notorious robber - Evangelist Mathew Oluwanifise (formerly Shina Rambo), relived his crime odyssey, calling criminals in the country to repent and seek the face of God. Rambo, who spoke at the weekend, was dreaded for his sensational robbery attacks in Lagos and along the trans-border route. He had an encounter with Jesus Christ while serving years of imprisonment after his arrest and trial. He was converted by Prophet Timothy Obadare-led World Soulwinning Evagelistic Ministries (WOSEM) of the Christ Apostolic Church. Rambo’s testimony was at the launch of a collection of poems entitled, Sounds of Broken Chains, written by a journalist-cum-environmentalist- Mrs Betty Abah. The event attracted a large audience, held spell-bound and roused to ecstasy as the robber-turned cleric shared his story. Among the audience were renowned poet, Odia Ofeimun, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) , Prof Mrs Ebele Eko, a director with The News magazine, Mr
Kunle Ajibade and Lekan Otufodunrin of The Nation. Naomi Mac, a musician, was on standby to thrill the audience with evergreen tunes. Beginning his sermon with praise songs and leading the audience in a prayer session, Rambo described his conversion as ‘an act of God’, adding that it was the mercy of God that saved him. According to him, he re-christened himself Oluwanifise after he had rededicated himself to God and evangelism. Oluwanifise, who quoted copiously from II Corinthians 5:17, likened himself to Apostle Paul in the Bible. He said: “I was a great sinner and persecutor. But because I did it in ignorance and unbelief, God had mercy on me and saved me. If God can forgive me, he can also forgive you. “I was a confirmed devil. I killed people without mercy. I used to carry over N25 million on every trip to lavish on women in Sheraton Hotel. I had people in authority who also reaped from the proceeds of my satanic operations. I had many incisions all over my body. I was involved in countless rituals for empowerment. But that Shina Rambo is now a new creature. “I used 901 souls for rituals to ensure my safety during robbery. I
PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
don’t close my eyes before I kill people. I used 24 expectant mothers for rituals. Then I could identify the blood of women who were pregnant
just by tasting it. I killed 24 men of God. I was so empowered satanically to the extent that nobody could take my photograph during robbery. If it wasn’t difficult for God to convert me, then no matter your case, you can experience a new beginning. “Whatever you have without Jesus is vanity. The devil used me more than the capacity of my age but now, I am determined to do more for God now that he has saved me. “I used to give the proceeds of my robberies to top people in authority. I worked with four InspectorsGeneral of Police (IGP). If God can save a criminal like me, then he can change your situation. So, do not lose hope. If God can convert Shina Rambo who was notorious for snatching exotic cars and who embarked on many deadly robberies which claimed many lives, then no problem is too big for him to solve. “The only thing that saved me was God’s mercy. If you have not received mercy from God, go and ask for it because it is not by how many churches you have or how many years you have been a pastor.” Oluwanifise said though he had lost all his ill-gotten wealth, children and wife, he was happy because “I have received my salvation, a more precious gift.” His words: “I had so many cars,
houses but where are they today? If you are in any bondage, there is hope for you. If it wasn’t difficult for God to help me, then God can rescue you from any problem. Look for his mercy and repent from your sins because all is vanity. There is nobody that God cannot save.” Ofeimun described the book as an uncommon literary effort, saying inspirational poetry demands uncommon inspiration because of its spiritual connection. He said: “We need to commend the patience of Betty Abah because to have come up with this, she must have sacrificed a lot. This type of poetry is not the type that you would just easily write. This is worthy of note because poetry provides an opportunity to connect with the sovereign God. The book reviewer, Rev. Okey Ifionu, described the 102-page book as ‘a revival poem with evangelical undertone’. Ifionu noted that the 46 poems in the collection portrayed the author’s faith in the sovereignty of God. Mrs Abah urged the audience to learn from the story of Shina Rambo. The poems, she informed, were written to appreciate God and to encourage Nigerians to be hopeful.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Abdulmutallab’s trial b Barring any hitch, the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is expected to begin tomorrow. The 23-year old Nigerian tried to bomb a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day in 2009. Prosecutors intend to use his initial statement of indictment, hold a live demonstration of why the bomb failed to detonate and prove that the suspect deserves life imprisonment, writes Assistant Editor (News) OLUKOREDE YISHAU
ECEMBER 22, 2009 was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s 23rd birthday. That day, he was Accra, the Ghanaian capital. In times past, the graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University College London would, with his siblings, be with his parents for the birthday and the Yuletide. Rather than join other members of the family, Abdulmutallab had a crucial assignment. He was putting finishing touches to a suicide mission that could have killed more than 100 people, three days after turning 23. Holed up in his hotel room, he convinced himself that the mission was worth it. A day after what he thought was going to be his last birthday on earth, he returned home to Nigeria via the Kotoka International Airport. But, he did not make contact with his parents, whom he had denounced some months earlier. His trip to Lagos was only on transit to Amsterdam. He had no plan to make the trip to Detroit, United States (U.S.), the airline’s final destination. He was unmindful of the scores of innocent passengers and crew aboard the flight. His mission was suicidal. But, the explosive, with which he hoped to perfect the mission hidden in his underwear, failed him. He was arrested and taken into custody. And on December 22, last year, he clocked 24 inside the Federal Correctional Institution, Milan, Michigan. In a little over two months, Abdulmutallab will be 25. But by then, he may be serving a life imprisonment. Tomorrow, his trial will begin after about two years of investigation. The trial is expected to last at least one month. The last two weeks have been spent by the prosecution preparing for the trial. Last Thursday, Abdulmutallab, who has offered to defend himself, agreed that a lawyer hired for him by the American government, Anthony Chambers should make the opening statement on his behalf tomorrow. He had hitherto insisted on doing it himself. He had fired his previous lawyer at the pre-trial stage. Chambers, who had been on standby and helped out with preliminary motions and jury selection, will face a Herculean task defending Abdulmutallab, who is charged with attempting to detonate explosives sewn into his underwear as Northwest Flight 253 approached Detroit from Amsterdam. But, the device malfunctioned and burned Abdulmutallab’s groin. He was then overpowered by other passengers. The plane landed at the Detroit Airport.
There were no injuries. al Qaeda’s Yemen-based arm claimed responsibility for the failed attack, which was also praised by the late Osama bin Laden, just months before the al Qaeda leader was killed in a U.S. commando raid in Pakistan. He is believed to have been asked to carry out the act by American-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who America succeeded in killing some weeks back. Abdulmutallab has left no one in doubt that his trial will be dramatic. Twice during the jury selection, he showed no remorse. “Osama’s alive,” Abdulmutallab shouted, as he entered the courtroom. “I’m forced to wear prison clothes,” he said the first time. Dressed in khaki prison pants, a white T-shirt and a black skull cap, he refused to stand when
handed the President Barack Obama administration a major victory in its approach to Miranda Rights for terror suspects, endorsing the interpretation of the public safety exception. The U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the government could use statements that Abdulmutallab allegedly made before he was advised of his Miranda Rights in his trial. The judge said: “Defendant was asked questions that sought to identify any other attackers or other potentially imminent attacks information that could be used in conjunction with other U.S. government information to identify and disrupt such imminent attacks before they could occur. “The agents limited their questioning to approximately 50 minutes, a period sufficient enough to get information to address the
HIS ALLEGED TEXT MESSAGES TO HIS FATHER • I've found a new religion, the real Islam •You should just forget about me, I'm never coming back •Please forgive me. I will no longer be in touch with you •Forgive me for any wrong doing, I am no longer your child
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who was in another room with prospective jurors, asked him to stand with others in her courtroom several floors away. At some point, he hollered “jihad” and stared at the ceiling when Edmunds told jurors about the alleged plot to blow up the plane with a bomb in his underwear. On another occasion, he hollered: “al-Awlaki is alive.” He made the remark about a week after al-Waki was killed. The trial will show whether or not he wanted to plead guilty to some charges, as he earlier said. But, Chambers has said that a plea is unlikely. “We will challenge everything”, he said earlier this year, noting that his client has a full understanding of his situation. Witnesses expected include: Special Agent Timothy Waters, who spent 50 minutes questioning Abdulmutallab at the University of Michigan Hospital following the attack. Speaking at a pre-trial session, he said the 24-year-old was radicalised through the internet and his meeting with al-Awlaki. Prosecutors intend using Waters combat defence claims that Abdulmutallab should not have been questioned by federal agents while under powerful pain medication at the hospital. Waters said Abdulmutallab told him the bomb was built by a bomb maker in Saudi Arabia. Chambers will try to block statements made by the suspect because his Miranda Rights were not read to him by agents. On September 18, Edmunds
threat to public safety. The agents then concluded their interview and immediately shared the information in their report with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide, further underscoring that it was obtained for purposes of public safety, to deal with other possible threats.” Edmunds said the agents handling the case were “mindful of defendant’s self-proclaimed association with al-Qaeda and knowing the group’s past history of large, coordinated plots and attacks and feared that there could be additional, imminent aircraft attacks in the United States and elsewhere in the world.” The trial will also witness a practical demonstration of how the underwear bomb works. An expert witness for the federal government has constructed a version of the bomb which will be used during the trial. Justice Department prosecutors in September filed a motion that an explosives expert “will explain to the jury the components of the defendant’s bomb, why the bomb did not fully function as intended, and how the bomb would have exploded if it had fully functioned properly.” According to prosecutors, “the model replicates the components of the bomb based on actual components that were recovered by law enforcement officers from the aircraft. The bomb consisted primarily of a syringe assembly (which was used to initiate the detonation of the booster charge), the Triacetone Triperoxide (which acted as the booster charge to detonate the main charge), and the Pentaeryth-
The boy who loved Play Station
S a child, he loved playing Play Station and basket ball. His mother, Aisha, is the second of his father’s wives. But, polygamy did not debar him from enjoying life. Life was good growing up and until he severed ties with his family. All along he had lived a life of privilege. His father, Umaru Abdulmutallab, was chairman of First Bank for years. He also has other business interests. So, his problem was not money, but how to spend it. And he spent it on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, his last born, and his 15 siblings, who all had access to a world-class education. The family comes from Funtua in Katsina State. Abdulmutallab was raised initially in an affluent neighbourhood of Kaduna and at the family home in Nairobi, Kenya. As a young boy, Abdulmutallab attended the Essence International School in Kaduna, as well as classes at the Rabiatu Mutallib Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies. He had his secondary education in a British school in Lome, the capital of Togo and had his university education in the UK, where he started showing signs of extremist views. His strong conviction made him to severe ties with his family in October 2009. In school, he was nicknamed “Alfa,” which in Islam, means clerics. He was also called “Pope”. His father, after some exchanges of text messages, felt he might be up to something sinister and approached the American Embassy in Nigeria. He is believed to have been influenced by the late radical cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, whom he met in Yemen. Michael Rimmer, a Briton who taught him history at the British School, Lome, told the BBC that Abdulmutallab had been “every teacher’s dream - very keen, enthusiastic, very bright, very polite”. He also gained a reputation for preaching to other students. Rimmer said his former student had always been “very religious” and occasionally aired opinions which were “a bit over the top”. Rimmer said: “In 2001, we had a number of class discussions about the Taliban. All the other Muslim kids in the class thought they were just a bunch of nutters, but Umar spoke in their defence.” After leaving the school in Lome, Abdulmutallab was enrolled at the prestigious University College London to study Mechanical Engineering between 2005 and 2008. The school’s Engineering Department described him as a “well-mannered, quiet spoken, polite and able young man”, who “never gave his tutors any cause for concern”. A former close friend said he must have been recruited after leaving London in 2008. His predecessor as the president of Islamic Society at the UCL, Qasim Rafiq, said he had shown no signs of violent extremism while living in the UK. After graduating in 2008, he was sent to Dubai to study for a postgraduate degree in Business Management, but he abandoned the course and headed for Yemen and reportedly told his family to forget about him. Efforts to take him back home failed.
Prosecution is also expected to play a video showing Abdulmutallab and others training in a desert camp, firing weapons at targets, including the Jewish star and the British Union Jack. The tape also includes an apparent martyrdom statement from him, justifying his actions against the Jews, Christians and their agents
ritol Tetranitrate (which acted as the main charge).” Federal prosecutors will also play video recordings of three demonstrations conducted by the expert: one that shows the reaction of “potassium permanganate (a crystalised oxidiser) and ethylene glycol (a liquid fuel), in a syringe in a laboratory” and a second and third which show “the detonation of 76 grams and 200 grammes of PETN” at full speed, 15 percent speed, and slow motion that were conducted in a grass field. Prosecution is also expected
to play a video showing Abdulmutallab and others training in a desert camp, firing weapons at targets including the Jewish star, the British Union Jack. The tape also includes an apparent martyrdom statement from him, justifying his actions against “the Jews and the Christians and their agents.” No doubt, Chambers will have a hectic time proving the prosecution wrong and given Abdulmutallab’s unpredictability, the lawyer may not get all the co-needed cooperation. For now, he is optimistic. Will he pull through, pull out or be pulled out? It will soon be clear.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
l begins in U.S. tomorrow
•Clockwise: Abdulmutallab as a student in London; the Federal Correctional Institution, Milan, Michigan, where he is being held; his underwear after it was damaged by the malfunctioned explosive; and alAwlaki, the man said to have asked him to carry out the terror act.
Timeline of a mother of all cases
•Alhaji Umaru Abdulmutallab
December 22, 1986: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was born. September 2005: Abdulmutallab began his studies at University College London, where he studied Engineering and Business Finance and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in June 2008. June 12, 2008: Abdulmutallab applied for and received from the U.S. Consulate in London a multiple-entry visa, valid till June 12, 2010. January 2009: He started a Master’s of International Business degree programme at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. May 2009: Abdulmutallab’s attempt to return to Britain for a six-month “life coaching” programme, at what the British authorities concluded was a fictitious school, was thwarted by the United Kingdom Border Agency and his name was placed on a UK Home Office security watch list. August 1, 2009: He visited Houston, Texas and left 17 days
later. He attended an Islamic seminar at the al Maghrib Institute September 21, 2009: An Arabic institute he was studying in at Yemen obtained an exit visa for him and arranged for a car that took him to the airport, but it is believed he never left the country November 11, 2009: British intelligence officials sent the U.S. a cable indicating that a man named “Umar Farouk” had spoken to al-Awlaki, pledging to support jihad, but the cable did not reflect his last name. November 19, 2009: Abdulmutallab’s father made a report to two CIA officers at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, regarding his son’s “extreme religious views”. November 20, 2009: Acting on the report, the suspect’s name was added to the 550,000name Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Centre. December 7, 2009: He finally left Yemen flying to Ethiopia,
and then two days later to Ghana. December 9, 2009: He was in Ghana from December 9 until December 24, when he flew into Lagos. December 24, 2009: He arrived Lagos and subsequently flew to Amsterdam December 25, 2009: He attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam en route Detroit, Michigan. December 26, 2009: Pre-trial began in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, where he was charged, with two criminal counts: attempting to blow up and placing a destructive device on a U.S. civil aircraft. January 2010: A Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Hider Sha’ea, said he met with al-Awlaki, who said he had met and spoken with Abdulmutallab in Yemen in the fall of 2009. January 2010: The House Committee on Homeland Security started a series of hearings
across Capitol Hill into events leading up to and after the attempted bombing of Flight 253 over Detroit January 6, 2010: Additional charges were added in a grand jury indictment, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder of 289 people. January 6, 2010: He was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution, Milan, Michigan. February 2010: A Yemeni security official said 43 people were being interrogated for links to the Christmas Day attempt, including foreigners, some of them studying Arabic and others married to Yemeni women. September 14, 2010: Abdulmutallab dismissed his courtappointed defence team to defend himself. October 5, 2011: U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds rejected a woman with Nigerian roots as a member of the juror October 6, 2011: He agreed that a lawyer should make his opening statement at the opening of the trial tomorrow.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS ALGON gets executives
HE Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in Osun State has elected Prince Adekunle Ayantoye as its chairman. Ayantoye, who is the chairman of Ifedayo Local Government, has as vice chairman Soji Ajayi (Irewole). Others are Segun Olanibi (Atakumosa East), Tiamiyu Akinwale (Ejigbo) Lanre Ogunyinka (Ife North); Secretary, Treasurer and Financial Secretary.
Lanre Ogunyimka (Ife North), Gbenga Ogunleye (Obokun), Sanusi Lawal (Ifelodun) and Bisi Ajao (Iwo) were elected as Financial Secretary II, Auditor, Welfare Officer and Organising Secretary. Other elected members are, Nike Adegbite Ogunsola (Irepodun), Bayo Oyegbemi (Orolu) and Gbenga Ogunkanmi (Ayediire), Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Auditor respectively.
Group defends Jonathan From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
HE President-General of the Voice of Niger Delta (VOND), Ibimie Odimabo, has described the low-key 51st Independence Anniversary as appropriate. Odimabo spoke when VOND state chapter co-ordinators met for the 18th national executive meeting in Abuja. He said: “Nigeria just turned 51, with repeated bombings and threats being the order of the day. Are all these worth celebrating?” Odimabo commended the Federal Government for making the celebration low keyed, maintaining that it went a long way in demonstrating the government’s concern for its citizens . The President acted rightly as there really was no reason for clicking glasses during this sad period of shock still rocking our existence as a nation.
• Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole presenting a trophy to pupils of Irrua Girls Senior Secondary School, the third prize winners in the quiz competition organised by the Association of Esan Professionals at Irrua... at the weekend. With them is the association’s President, Mike Osime.
Old students garner support for college
ORMER president of Anwar Ul Islam College Old Students Association (ACAOSA), United States Chapter, Mr Abdulrahman Alarape has enjoined old students to support their alma-mater. According to him, the government cannot do it alone, so everybody should come together and develop the school founded in 1948. Alarape, who spoke in Lagos, thanked ACAOSA’s president, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), who celebrated his 50th birthday in Lagos yesterday, for taking the school to greater heights. He described Pedro as a perfect gentleman who has done so much for the school. He said: “I have known Peddy as the president was known in school among friends for years. He was a brilliant footballer and a super star. I was the games prefect in my final year. He took over from me but we played together on the same football team and shared some success together.” Alarape added that it was not surprising that the president has done so well for himself in his chosen career, saying he has done that all his life.
TMG condemns removal of subsidy
HE Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has described the planned removal of oil subsidy as an act to remove the benefits of the minimum wage. The group, in a statement yesterday by its Chairman, Mashhod Erubami and Publicity Secretary, Musa Rafsanjani, said it is ironical to think the planned removal of subsidy will only prevent some imaginary few unpatriotic Nigerians who have been superintending on oil operations from further benefitting from their nefarious activities. It said reasons given by government for the removal is not ideal, stressing that only some unpatriotic Nigerians are be-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
hind it. It reads in part: “The TMG is against the removal, we resent it and we consider the promoters and supporters of the intended removal as enemies of the people. “Removal of oil subsidy is a pain too early in the life of the President Jonathan administration to inflict on the people who are expecting fulfilment of his campaign promises, life more abundant, respect for human rights. “The intended removal now will like past removals, bring nothing positive as its consequence but another pipe for blowing hot water on the bodies of Nigerians.”
‘PDP should serve the people’
CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Bamanga Tukur, has said the interest of Nigerians can better be served if the PDP controlledFederal Government keeps the social contract with the people. Tukur, who is the chairman of the African Business Forum, is one of the chairmanship aspirants of the PDP in the party’s national convention next February. Speaking with reporters in Abuja at the weekend, Tukur said the fate of the people is tied to the success or failure of the ruling party, stressing that the party must always seek means of
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
advancing the general well being of the people. He observed that public office holders elected or appointed on the platform of the party appeared to have deviated from the original philosophy of service to the people imbibed by the founding fathers. “I have heard some of our party chieftains saying that the PDP will rule Nigeria forever. But the only way the PDP can rule Nigeria forever is if it keeps its social contract with Nigerians and observe the common article of faith,” Tukur said.
• Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Nicholas Okoh (second right); his wife, Nkasiobi (right); Water Resources Minister Mrs. Sarah Ochepe and Executive Secretary, Christian Pilgrims Commission, Kennedy Opara at the Primate's 25th wedding anniversary in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO:ABAYOMI FAYESE
Bomb explodes in Maiduguri
BOMB exploded yesterday in violencetorn Maiduguri, the Bornu State capital, in an attack by suspected members of Boko Haram. The target was a military patrol, Commissioner of Police Simeon Midenda said. The bomb was planted by the roadside in the Gwange area of the city and it went off as the military patrol vehicle was passing by. It was followed by shots at the military patrol team, Midenda told the French news agency (AFP). “From all indications, the military patrol vehicle was the target as the bomb which was buried by the side of the
•Boko Haram, soldiers in shoot-out road exploded as the soldiers were passing by,” Midenda said on the phone from Maiduguri. “The attackers who we strongly suspect to be members of Boko Haram then opened fire on the soldiers who also returned fire leading to a shootout but nobody was hurt,” Midenda said. He said the area, located near the University of Maiduguri specialist hospital, was cordoned off and searched but no arrest was made. “The attackers managed to flee,” he said. On October 3, three people
were killed in attacks at Baga market in Maiduguri. The victims included a tea-seller, a drug store owner and a passer-by. A butcher and his assistant are killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen on October 1 at Baga market in Maiduguri in a targeted killing. In a separate incident, three people are killed in a shootout following bomb and shooting attacks on a military patrol vehicle delivering food to soldiers at a checkpoint in Maiduguri. All three victims are civilians. On September 17, Babaku-
ra Fugu, brother-in-law to slain BH leader Mohammed Yusuf, is shot dead outside his house in Maiduguri by two members of the sect, two days after attending a peace meeting with Nigeria's exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo in the city. In August, the Federal Government set up a panel on how to tackle the sect. On September 26, the committee's report urged dialogue and negotiation. The government is currently meeting to decide its approach, which it will set out in an upcoming White Paper, according to VicePresident Namadi Sambo.
FOSIEC calls for better funding of local govt elections
HE Forum of States Independent Electoral C o m m i s s i o n ( FOSIEC) has proposed to the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) a five percent monthly deduction from the local government allocation, to reduce financial pressure of funding council election. FOSIEC National Chairman Alhassan Zadiq said at the weekend that the proposal was presented to NGF
Jide Orintunsin, Minna
Chairman Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. He spoke at a reception organised by the Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu for members of the forum who monitored the local government elections. Zadiq, who is also the Chairman of Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission appealed to Aliyu to support their proposal
when it comes before NGF. The State Independent Electoral Commission is constitutionally mandated to conduct elections into local government councils in the 36 states . But the FOSIEC Chairman lamented that often states are cash strapped, despite the fact that elections into the councils are conducted every three years. He said: “The approval of the proposal will go a long
way to relieve the state government of financial burden of funding local government elections.” FOSIEC chairman berated those calling for the scrapping of local government councils. He argued that the third tier of government is the closest to the people, adding that it also affords the people the opportunity to take part in the administration of their areas.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS Ondo oil producing communities lament neglect From Damisi Ojo, Akure
OIL producing communities in Ondo State have threatened to prevent the activities of oil companies in Ikorigho, Odonla and Molutehin waters. They lamented the neglect of the areas by the state and federal governments. Spokesman of Ikorigho community Williams Ayerin, an engineer, said the three major oil producing communities had not been favoured by government at all levels in the area of appointments and developmental projects. He said the people of Ikorigho were been marginalised because of their origin and affiliation with Mahin Kingdom. Ayerin said about seven oil fields with over 250 oil wells are located in Ilaje Local Government, of which Ikorigho produces 90. He said 60 per cent of the coastal line of Ilaje local government, which covers the area of activities of oil companies, is controlled by the eastern part of Ilaje, while Mahin Kingdom controls 40 per cent. Ayerin said since the activities of oil companies cut across the water front of both kingdoms, the state and federal governments should not be sentimental in appointments or benefits, to avoid unwarranted crisis between the two kingdoms. He said: “What is good for the goose is also sauce for the gander. If communities from the oil producing area can benefit more than the three major communities that produce oil because of one politics or the other, or if one of the kingdoms is being favoured while the other is totally neglected, where then is the justice? “There are many oil fields in the deep sea of Mahin Kingdom. We have Chevron field, Agip field and Esso Exploration, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil field. This will obviously amount to injustice, if the issue is left unaddressed.” Ayerin said youths have resolved to disrupt the activities of the oil companies, if the issue is not addressed within one month.
Ekiti PDP chieftain dies FORMER Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Chief Kayode Ige, is dead. He died at a Lagos hospital after a brief illness. He was 75. The late Ige, a retired school principal, was a Supervisory Councillor and later Chairman of Ekiti West Local Government. He was also Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, AdoEkiti; Chairman, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State; and Chairman, Ekiti Micro-Credit Agency. He is survived by his wife, Ibidun, and children. PDP chieftain Olorogun Afolabi Ige described his death as “a loss to EfonAlaaye and Ekiti,” and prayed for the repose of his soul.
Netherlands to partner Osun on food production
HE Netherlands has promised Osun State technical and financial support to achieve its target on food production. Netherlands Deputy Head of Missions Mr. Hans de Brabander spoke at the weekend, when he visited Governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo, the state capital. Describing Netherlands as the fifth largest economy in the world, Brabander said he would educate Dutch investors on the potentials of the state. He said: “The starting point identified by the governor is a very wise one. If you want to develop your economy, you should not start from the top, but the bottom as the governor has done. “There are untapped potentials in the agriculture, dair-
•Bureau gets D-G From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
ies and food storage sectors, which can generate bumper employment for the people.” Brabander said Osun would learn a lot about hitech agriculture from his country. Aregbesola thanked the envoy. He said his administration created a Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to tackle malnutrition, and has concluded plans to give free lunch to public school pupils. The governor said the government has acquired 30,000 hectares of land, to be given to farmers, for food production.
He restated his administration’s plan to establish a midland market that would transport agricultural produce from Osogbo to Lagos, free of charge, and bring finished goods from Lagos to Osogbo. Aregbesola said Osogbo enjoys an average of 12 hours uninterrupted electricity, which would be an advantage to investors. Also, the governor has appointed Mr. Femi Ifaturoti as the Director-General of the Bureau of Social Services (BOSS). He will report directly to the Governor. BOSS is a new initiative of the state government, which will monitor and supervise policies, programmes and projects of the administration.
It will assess the performance of Commissioners and Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in their implementation of the six-point integral action plan, as well as assess the impact of government programmes on the people. BOSS will also carry out periodic reviews of the sixpoint integral action plan and re-define them. Ifaturoti graduated as a lawyer from the University of Ife, Osun State, in 1979 and was called to the Bar in 1980. He practised at the Law firm of Chief H.O. Davies (Queens Counsel) in 1982 and established his own firm, Femi Ifaturoti and Company, in 1988. Ifaturoti attended the Centre for Effective Dispute Res-
olution (CEDR), United Kingdom Mediator Skills Training in 2006· He sits on the board of two Lagos-based private companies and is married with two children. Ifaturoti is a founding member of the Editorial Board of the Osun Defender and a member of the legal team that secured Aregbesola’s victory at the Court of Appeal on November 26, last year. Since the inception of the Aregbesola administration, he has played a pivotal role in the conceptualisation and implementation of government initiatives, such as the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and the proposed Osun Mid-regional Hyper Market (O-Hub).
Ekiti council polls hold in January From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (right) presenting a gift to the President, Full Gospel Businessmen’s International, Ifeanyi Odedo, during the group’s visit to his office in Osogbo, Osun State... at the weekend.
NUC advises Crescent University on awards T HE Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, has advised Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on the award of honorary degrees. Okojie said the number of Nigerians conferred with honorary degrees by the institution on Saturday was too many. He spoke at the third convocation of the institution at the weekend. Okojie said since Vice–President Namadi Sambo was expected on the occasion, the number of awardees should have been reduced to two, instead of seven. He said: “Convocation and matriculation are essential and normal academic rites in the university. Academic gown and the town must go together, but we must not al-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
low the town to tear our academic gowns.” “Although there is no explicit limit to the number of deserving persons a university can confer honorary degrees upon at any given time, the number should not be scandalous. “When you have a Vice– President or somebody of that level, you should not have more than two awardees.” Okojie, who represented the Minister of Education, Mrs. Ruqqayat Rufai, said when there are many awardees, protocol and security issues interfere with the aca-
demic ceremony. The awardees included former President Shehu Shagari; Sambo; the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar; and the Emir of Kano, Alh. Addo Bayero. Others were Alh. Aliko Dangote; Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari; and his Sokoto State counterpart, Alh. Aliyu Wamako. Except Sambo and Bayero; who sent in representatives, others were there in person. There was tight security and lengthy protocols at the event. Founder of the university, Justice Bola Ajibola (SAN) said the awardees have distinguished themselves through service to the nation. “They are people who have served and continue to serve in different spheres of our
public life. We thank you all for accepting our invitation and honorary degrees of Doctor of Science. Your presence here and those of our other invitees arguably qualifies this convocation ceremony as both unique and exceptional,” Ajibola said.
HE Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) has fixed January 21, next year, for the local government elections. The decision was taken on Friday after a meeting with stakeholders, including party heads, representatives and security agencies. Sources said the shift in the election date, earlier slated for December, was to give opposition parties time to prepare for the election. EKSIEC Chairman Mrs. Cecilia Adelusi said the election would be fair to all contestants. She said: “The election will be free, fair and credible, and all the parties will be given a level playing field.” The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may boycott the election, having gone to court to challenge the alleged inclusion of some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members on the commission’s board. PDP Director of Communications and Strategy Mr. Jackson Adebayo said the election would be nullified, if it is conducted by the present EKSIEC members, since the case is still in court. Adebayo said the PDP has enough evidence to prove its case. ACN Chairman Chief Jide Awe debunked the allegation. He said: “PDP is only jittery of its impending defeat in the election.” Awe said EKSIEC members are credible indigenes, who have the competence and credentials to conduct credible elections.
Abayomi condemns Jonathan’s seven-year term proposal
CTIVIST lawyer Tunji Abayomi has condemned the sevenyear single term being proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said such a decision was not for the president to make,
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
but the people. Abayomi spoke at a monthly public lecture organised by the Action Youth of Nigeria (AYM) in Akure, the Ondo
State capital. AYM is the youth mobilisation wing of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Abayomi said it is the constitution that gives the people a government and not the government that gives the people a constitution.
He described the 1999 Constitution as “a monumental fraud.” The ACN governorship aspirant said until a constitution of the people was made, no amount of amendment could salvage the “fraud” that the 1999 Constitution is.
Abayomi urged youths not to lose hope in the country’s redemption. He said: “Even though the hope of the past appears to have disappeared because of bad leadership, the youths must not submit to failure.”
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS Akpabio sends N94b extra budget to Assembly
Plot against Sylva uncovered P
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has sent a N94 billion Supplementary Budget to the House of Assembly for approval. Commissioner for Finance Bassey Albert said the supplementary budget was necessary to enable the government implement the N18,000 minimum wage, build roads in Mkpat Enin, Etinan, Ini/ Ikono, Ibiono Ibom, Obot Akara, Essien Udim and Ring Road 11 and the Olympic size stadium Others are the dualisation of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene, Ekom Iman-Etinan and Oron-Ibaka roads. Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Onofiok Luke said the House would expedite action on the bill. Also, Speaker Samuel Ikon has inaugurated four standing committees. They are expected to bridge the communication gap between the Legislature and the Executive by overseeing the operations of their corresponding ministries and allied agencies. Inaugurating the Committees, Ikon said he is confident that members of the
committees would deliver. The Speaker called on the corresponding ministries and agencies to give the necessary support to the committees. The committees include Appropriation and Finance Committee, chaired by Onofiok Luke (Nsit Ubium Constituency); Justice, Human rights and Public Petitions Committee, headed by Ekong Samson (Mkpat Enin Constituency). Others are Works and Transport Committee, headed by Emmanuel Akpan (Essien Udim Constituency); and Science Committee, led by Edwin Joseph, (Uyo Constituency).
Ex-Edo PDP secretary gets agency job
HE Edo State Government has appointed the former state Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Nosa Adams, as Executive Director of the Emergency Management Agency. According to the letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe, Adams’ appointment takes effect from September 28. Adams defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) last July.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been fingered in a plot to make Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva ineligible for re-election next year. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sources in Yenagoa, the state capital, and Abuja accused the President of working with his loyalists in the federal capital to scuttle Sylva’s dream of getting a second term ticket. They alleged that other candidates believed to be loyal to the President and his wife, Dame Patience, are being considered for the job. Although the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, denied interest in the race, sources described her denial as “doubtful.” The anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the five governors exempted by
the Appeal Court from taking part in the governorship elections in April is said to be crucial to the plan. The governors were exempted from the polls because they swore to fresh oaths of office in 2008 after winning re-run elections. The states are Kogi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Sokoto and Adamawa. After the Appeal Court verdict, former Lagos State Governor Buba Marwa went to the Supreme Court, praying to be joined in the suit because he was denied hearing in the lower courts. He wished to contest for governor in Adamawa State If the Supreme Court does not uphold the positions of the lower courts, the governors may be asked to vacate their offices and lose their immunity. A source said: “That is
their plot. If that happens, the president may quietly ask the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to whisk Sylva away on the excuse of some charges and put him out of circulation until the primaries are concluded.” The other plan, according to the source, is to use security operatives to make it difficult for Sylva’s loyalists to operate. In such a situation, any candidate that the president supports will sail through the primary. Other candidates being considered besides Mrs. Allison-Madueke are House of Representive member Seriaki Dickson and Chairman of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority, Chief Johany Turner. The first move, said the source, was the disbandment of the state’s security outfit, Operation Famou Tangbei, which was set up
to contain violence. Polices sources, however, said the outfit was involved in extra-judicial killings. Bayelsa State PDP Chairman Darius Obiele has received a letter from Abuja, informing him about fresh election for chairman. There are, however, moves to reconcile the groups, but some groups have begun to express support for Sylva. “Sylva did not carry all of us in the state along with him,” said a source in Abuja, who belongs to the antiSylva push, “Bayelsa belongs to all of us.” But pro-Sylva groups said they thought any rift between the president and Sylva had been resolved. “We are shocked that the president could be behind this. Can’t he govern from the centre? Why would he cause confusion in his own state?”
Southsouth governors seek economic integration
OVERNORS of Southsouth states have decided to strengthen economic integration in the zone. They also resolved to hold an education summit next year to improve the sector. At a meeting of the BRACED Commission in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, at the weekend, the governors emphasised the need for private sector participation in economic integration. The BRACED Commission comprises Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states. The governors lamented
From Isaac Ombe-Yenagoa, Yenagoa
environmental degradation in the zone and agreed that a study on oil pollution in the region should be undertaken. They also agreed to work on the enactment of a law that would protect the environment. In a statement after the meeting, the governor said: “The law would also deal with issues of illegal refineries, which contribute significantly to environmental pollution and degradation.” They also discussed the need to ensure food security, job creation and sustainable
development. They said: “In this regard, the BRACED Commission has been directed to identify three to four crops that the region can invest in and how to create value.” The governors reaffirmed their commitment to the construction of the Lagos-Calabar rail line and good roads in the zone.
Governors Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom) and Adams Oshiomole (Edo) were absent and did not send representatives to the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review preparations for the hosting of the second Southsouth Economic Summit slated for November 24 to 26 in Asaba, Delta State.
ACN leaders endorse Oshiomhole for 2012
EADERS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State have endorsed Governor Adams Oshiomhole for next year’s governorship election. The leaders met in Benin at the weekend. ACN Chairman Mr. Thomas Okosun attributed the party’s success in the April general elections to Oshiomhole’s achievements. Okosun said ACN members across the state have asked for Oshiomhole’s return. He said: “If Oshiomhole could work for each and every one of us to have two senators, seven members at the House of Representatives and 19 members at the House of Assembly, it means we have a challenge and must return him in the next election. “The Comrade Governor’s election is a foregone conclusion, because the election is not about him, but us. We are proud of him and the ACN. Are we going to stop a man that is doing well? Are we going to stop the development projects in the state?” Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Chief Tom Ikimi urged the leaders to reconcile aggrieved members. Ikimi said: “We have to put our house in order right now. We have a good product, but he has to be re-elected. Let’s work very hard to ensure the nomination of our candidate, Comrade Oshiomhole, whom I support for the next election.” Member of the House of Representatives and former Secretary to the State Government Pally Iriase said he
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
was confident that ACN will win the election. Immediate past Speaker of the House of Assembly Bright Omokhodion said Oshiomhole must be returned, saying: “ACN shall rule this state in the next 60 years.” Senator Ehigie Uzamere, representing Edo South, said: “After the last election, the Comrade Governor took us to the Omon’Oba, and the Omon’Oba said ‘the Comrade Governor has worked for all you, you must also work for him to return in 2012.’ “As a true Bini man, I take that as a royal order. Comrade Governor, the entire Bini people are behind you. You will lead us to the Promised Land. “We have resolved that the only way a Bini man can be Governor in 2012 is to support Oshiomhole.” The governor said his administration’s achievements would have been impossible without the people’s support. He said: “One important thing we have achieved is deciding that never again will one man dictate the politics of Edo State. Our people have demonstrated confidence and awareness; all we need to do is grow this awareness. “I assure you that we will continue to do our best. Between now and March, the government shall continue to apply itself to full governance. If we build more roads, schools, hospitals and others, those will be our greatest campaign. I thank our leaders and all of you. I am overwhelmed by the support you have all shown across the land.”
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
We are currently growing the economy at 7.8% we expect to sustain an eight per cent growth and a better GDP in the medium term, on our journey towards realising our Vision 20:2020 goal. –President Goodluck Jonathan
Okereke-Onyuike, others in court today
Fed Govt assures on air safety
By Joseph Jibueze
HE Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Oduah – Ogiemwonyi, has said the Federal Government is committed to air safety. It will also develop the industry to international standards, she said. Delivering a keynote address at the Annual General Meeting and 40th anniversary of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), in Owerri, Imo State, Mrs OduahOgiemwonyi, said the theme of the conference, Air traffic safety in the Nigerian transformation Agenda: The challenges and opportunities in the aviation industry, is timely and in tune with President Jonathan’s transformation agenda. The Minister, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mohammed Ruma, described air traffic controllers as the heart-beat of the aviation industry, saying they are central to air traffic safety. She said the government would complete all on-going communication and air traffic (CNS ATM) projects, especially in NAMA to improve air traffic safety and capacity in the country’s airspace.
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
AGOS State Govern ment may arraign former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Dr Ndi Okereke-Onyuike, before Justice Christopher Balogun of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, today. She was charged with alleged stealing and conspiracy to commit fraud, along with Lance Elakama and Uzoma Henry Onyekuru. They were accused of stealing over N3.3billion from the Exchange. Also charged were Creative Financial Services Limited, Mining System Limited, OPDC Properties Limited, OAK Business, Finance Company Limited and Kingdom Securities. The charges were signed by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan on behalf of the Attorney-General Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye. The alleged offences contravene Sections 516 and 390 (7) of the Criminal Code of Lagos State Cap C17, Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State 2003. When the matter was last heard in July, the defendants were not in court. Principal State Counsel, Femi Adamson, said effort by the police to arrest them was unsuccessful. Justice Balogun had adjourned till today for hearing. In one of the charges, numbered LCD/157/2011, it was alleged that OkerekeOnyuike and her deputy, Alhaji Lance Elakama as officers of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Mining Systems Limited on or about June 20, 2008 at the NSE Building with intent to defraud conspired to steal the sum of N455 million.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$118.7/barrel Cocoa -$2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber -¢146.37pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.747 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -9.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.84% Savings rate -1.42% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit -6% MPR -8.75% Foreign Reserve $34.87b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.281 215.1 245.00 153.16 1.5652 243.2 40.57
• From left: Mrs. Louisa Olaloku and Mr Niyi Adebayo, both Executive Directors, Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL); Mr Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and Mr Aminu Ismail, another Executive Director, at a recent Town Hall Meeting with staff in Lagos
N100b power subsidy for low income earners coming T
HE Federal Govern ment is to inject N100 billion in next year’s budget as subsidy to cushion the effect of electricity tariff on low income earners, The Nation has learnt A source at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said as part of its efforts to source for funds for its power projects, the government has been able to get the Minister of Finance/C-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to dedicate N100 billion as subsidy for the impending high electricity tariff. The official, however, claimed that Mrs OkonjoIweala agreed to the figure on the condition that the subsidy would be of benefit to low income earners who may not be able to afford the planned electricity tariff. The decision to source for funds other than what investors would bring as proceeds of the privatisation of the power companies, he said, is to assure the firms’ bidders that President Goodluck Jonathan wants the power transactions to be completed on schedule “and has assured all parties of his maximum support.” He lamented that the distribution and transmission components of the power sector of the privatisation are posing serious challenges to the government. The development has forced BPE to make advances to them to ensure that funds are sourced
From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor (Abuja)
to expand the transactions, he added. At present, BPE, the official said, is sourcing funds from different local and multilateral agencies. The privatisation of the power sector, he pointed out, will be interactive between the government and potential investors, stressing: “If there are issues regarding transactions, we need close,
we will interact with investors to get the exercise right.” Another thorny point in the power sector privatisation, he said is the lingering labour crisis. He said the BPE “hopes to use the money paid to address labour issues. There is a tacit agreement that the proceeds will be used expeditiously, but that it would be paid first into the nation’s coffers as required by law before it is used to settle labour mat-
ters.” The BPE official also admitted that labour issues were a challenge, because the government “wants investors to have access to sites and does want investors to be barred from sites.” He assured the bidders that “by October 14, 2011, the BPE expects to have resolved labour issues because they are interested in seeing investors run their businesses with minimum discomfort.”
AP sacks 100 workers
FRICAN Petroleum (AP) Plc, one of the country’s leading downstream companies, has begun downsizing as part of restructuring to reposition the company. The exercise, according to sources, will affect about half of the company’s workforce, which is between 80 and 100 staff. The restructuring, it was also learnt, would cut across all staff and the company’s four regions and headquarters as well as all the operations – chemicals, installation, aviation, regional, territorial and area offices. The affected staff have started collecting their letters of disengagement from last week and it is believed that before the end of this week, all those affected could have received their letters. The Nation’s checks revealed that the company’s
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
management decided to embark on the exercise to reposition it for competition through injection of fresh blood. Since the Nigerian business mogul, Femi Otedola became the core investor in the company few years ago, there has not been a major restructuring and besides, the company has been declaring losses in the past three years. With the exercise, Otedola hopes bring in his people and have substantial control over and loyalty from the workforce With the downsizing and injection of fresh people, the company will be positioned for a strategic competition for increased market share and profitability. However, the staff disengagement, it was gathered, was mutual. Before the
management started the implementation of the downsizing exercise, it held several meetings with the in-house labour unions – the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), AP branch - and agreed to follow due process. By the end of this week when all the affected members of staff would have gotten their disengagement letters, the management would organise an investment training for them to aid them put their benefits to right use. Already, the company has engaged expert consultants for the training. It is after the training that the cheques would be handed over to the sacked staff.
‘New policy on productivity to address decline in output’
HE Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, has said the new National Policy on Productivity Measurement, when approved, will address the decline in productivity. In a statement by the Assistant Director, Media, Samuel Olowookere, Wogu, said there has been complaints about the de-
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
clining productivity in the economy, stating that the ministry sensed the need to develop such a policy to address, what he described as “this malady.” The Minister, who spoke while receiving the Taraba State Governor, Suntai Danbaba, regretted that
Nigeria never had a clear cut policy on Productivity Measurement. He said: “Now we have developed a productivity module because we appreciate the fact that productivity has a lot to do with labour and a properly motivated work force ought to be productive. Now at all levels of government
there is motivation, that is the reason we presented that policy, first, before the Federal Executive Council. We were asked to take it before the National Economic Council because it is going to affect government at the sub-national level, which are the states and local governments.”
Airtel, partners reach accord • NCC appoints number portability consortium By Adline Atili
IRTEL Nigeria has thanked its custom ers, particularly those in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs as it reopened its offices nationwide. The reopening followed the resolution of its misunderstanding with its workers. Its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rajan Swaroop, in a statement said the Telco was grateful for the loyalty of its customers while the impasse lasted. Airtel has also restored services to the Federal Capital Territory and adjoining parts of northern Nigeria . Swaroop said: “We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience the situation may have caused our customers just as we thank them for their understanding. We equally commend our customers for their loyalty and abiding faith in the Airtel brand.” The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has named three companies to implement the proposed Number Portability services in Nigeria. A consortium of Interconnect/Saab Grintek/ Telecordia, has been announced by the commission as the preferred vendor for the service after the technical, financial and demo presentations by the bidding vendors.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
ISSUES The Free Trade Zones (FTZs) were established to boost economic growth and increase the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). But many are not functional, others are operating below capacity , dashing the hopes for their establishment. TOBA AGBOOLA reports.
•Tinapa Free Trade Zone
The death of a dream T
RADE, investment and capital flows, facilitated by unprecedented developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are the hallmarks of modern globalisation process of any nation. Countries that have participated meaningfully and beneficially in globalisation are those able to promote the large volumes of trade, particularly manufactured exports, stimulation of capital inflows and investment and, in the process, boosted growth rates significantly and reduced poverty. A Free Trade Zone (also known as Export Processing Zone) is a specially designated area within a country where trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas are eliminated to attract FDI, boost industrial growth and promote technology transfer and acquisition. In most countries, FTZs are recognised as labour intensive, manufacturing centres that involve the importation of raw materials or components and the export of finished products. The world's first FTZ was established in Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland as an attempt by the Irish government to promote employment within a rural area, make use of a small regional airport and generate revenue for the economy. It was successful, and is still operational today. As at 1997, 93 countries had set up export processing zones employing 22.5 million people, and six years later (2003) EPZs in 116 countries employed 43 million people. It was in recognition of the economic potential of the zone that the Federal Government, through the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), licensed 24 FTZs across the country . However, investigations revealed that only about 12 of the FTZs are functional today, though below expectation. Several reasons have been proffered for the non-performance of FTZs in Nigeria. A few of the reasons include lack of vision in the implementation of the scheme, non-identification of the area of strength, lack of support by the host governments and inconsistency of government policy necessary to support long-term investments such as fund. Also, lack of good infrastructure, such as power is a major challenge. Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment show Nigeria recorded
$170.1billion FDI from the FTZs between 1999 and 2009. Minister of Trade and Investment Mr Olusegun Aganga, said there was need to review the operations of the FTZs to enable them contribute significantly to the economic growth and transformation of the country.
FTZ restructuring Aganga, who spoke during an inspection tour of the Calabar FTZ and Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, recently, said the Federal Government would soon carry out a comprehensive review and restructuring of the operations of the FTZs across the country in line with the new mandate of the ministry. He said the operations of the FTZs was aimed at enhancing their capacity to create jobs, generate wealth and contribute significantly towards economic growth and development. Aganga explained that the review of the operations of the FTZs was borne out of the need to align them with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. He lamented that out of about 24 FTZs, less than 12 were functional, stressing that the review of the operations of the FTZs had become imperative given the new mandate of the ministry to facilitate the inflow of FDI, wealth generation and employment creation. He said: "We are going to revisit the concept of the FTZs across the country with a view to reviewing their operations to align them to the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President and the new mandate of the ministry in the area of attracting FDI, job creation and employment generation. "Tinapa was conceived as a great idea but it has not fully achieved the intended goal. This
means there is work to be done by the management of Tinapa, the Cross River State government and the Federal Government to ensure it achieves the intended goal. The objective is to make it contribute optimally to the country's drive towards economic growth and development.” Aganga said the inspection of the facilities at the nation's premier FTZ in Calabar had afforded him the opportunity to access the level of implementation of the Federal Government's policies concerning the FTZs, adding that the ministry would partner the Cross River State government; management of the Calabar FTZ and investors to remove barriers militating against the smooth operations of the project. "I have held consultations with the Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke, the management of the Calabar FTZ, Tinapa, manufacturers and investors in the FTZs. We have identified the problems militating against the full optimisation of the full economic potential of the FTZs and what the government needs to do to help actualise this potential. “We have seen the products of the manufacturing companies in the FTZs and the challenges they face with respect to enhancing their productivity and expanding their operations. This is very important because if productivity is enhanced, the companies will do more business, make more money and create more jobs. The creation of jobs is very critical to the Ministry of Trade and Investment," Aganga said. “One of the major challenges, which we all can work together to fix, is the idea of appreciating the items that are produced in the FTZs. Nigerians tend to generally feel that the items produced in Nigeria are inferior to the ones we import. Some of the manufacturers that I spoke
‘We have to set objectives and ensure that we work towards them. The government has a key role to play. In most places of the world, the FTZ concept had worked. They worked because the concept was driven from the top. This is a challenge for government investment and it will always translate into jobs, employment’
with confirmed that they find it easier exporting their products abroad than selling them in Nigeria even though these products are certified and meet international standards. "This is one of the issues that we need to address so we can have a healthy demand and supply side. The government also needs to do more to encourage the patronage of these high quality products."
Analysts perspective Analysts have suggested that for the FTZs to achieve the successes recorded in other countries, necessary infrastructure and favourable policies must be put in place. They said although the FTZs had attracted investments to the economy, operators believed inadequate infrastructure and inconsistent policies hindered them from attaining optimum operations. There are 24 FTZs in the country- Seven owned by the Federal Government, 10 by states and the remaining by the private sector. The survey in nine FTZs shows that while the facilities were contributing to the development of the economy through investments, operators were calling for adequate infrastructure to achieve set goals. The survey covered facilities in Calabar, Tinapa, Lekki-Lagos, Maitagari-Jigawa, Kano TFZ, Banki - Maiduguri, Osogbo TFZ, Onne Oil and Gas FTZ, Rivers State and Asaba FTZ. The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEZPA) is the regulating authority charged with the responsibility to licence, monitor and facilitate investment in the zones. Genaral Manager of Calabar Free Trade Zone, Mr William Akogu, said foreign investors enjoyed business environment in the area. Akogu said the zone has enough facilities to make investors comfortable to do business. "A lot of investors are enjoying the business atmosphere in the zone because facilities are on ground to make business possible for investors," he said. He said the zone has basic infrastructure, such as water, good road network, fire station and police station as well as Customs and Immigration posts for security. Akogu said 30 firms were operating in the zone, including medical and petroleum indus• Continued on page 13
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
The death of a dream • Continued from page 12
tries. Some of the operators, however, complained of inadequate energy supply, resulting in depending heavily on generators for energy.
Infrastructural challenges In Tinapa Free Zone Tourist Resort, the story is not so palatable as its Managing Director, Mr Bassey Ndem, said the management spends more than N57 million monthly on electricity generation. He said the bill was for the supply of diesel which powers the generators in the complex. "Tinapa was never connected to public power supply from the onset because of the problems associated with depending on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)," Ndem said. He said although Tinapa, as a FTZ was inaugurated in April 2007, it became functional in January 2009 when the Federal Government released its operational guidelines. He said the complex has more than 25 shops, which sells general goods, such as textile materials. "Tinapa has four large emporia out of which two have been occupied and out of our 54 line shops, 23 are also fully occupied," Ndem said. He said some of the goods sold at the complex are exported to Mali, Cameroon and Senegal . Ndem said Tinapa had great prospects for growth but noted that the envisaged expansion might be hampered by the shallow waterways leading to the Calabar Port and the poor state of the roads.
Operators’ perspective President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Otunba Femi Deru, said adoption of Public Private Partnership (PPP) to attract investments to the project was a right step. He stressed that operators of FTZs should encourage the National Assembly to pass the law that would make operation in the FTZs comparable to what is obtainable in other parts of the world At the Onne Oil and Gas FTZ in Rivers, operators listed inconsistent government policies and militant attacks as major challenges militating against FTZ’s. Operators condemned violence in the region, saying the activities of militants have adversely affected their activities. The secretary of the Free Zone Management Authority, Mrs Judith Onwukwe, said the zone has 113 organisations operating in it.
According to her, being the only oil and gas free zone, Onne Zone has a very high patronage level. "We have all the facilities needed to attract investors, and remember when one investor comes in with certain services it attracts others. "We have good roads, telecommunication facilities and power, these have helped to keep business alive in the free zone," she said. Mrs Onwukwe said firms operating in the zone are involved in various businesses and had domestic and international markets. "First, let me say that the free zone operates as a country in a country, so, any product that leaves the zone is seen as being exported into the country. "However, there are products we sell locally and others that are exported outside the shores," she said. She said some of the companies were involved in oil and gas downstream production, fabrication and manufacture of pipe coaters, among others. In Lagos, the Lekki Free Trade Zone deputy managing director, Mr Adeyemo Thompson said the delay in the take-off was caused by logistic problems. He said the absence of infrastructure at the site, which has been a major challenge, was also being addressed, with 70 companies already indicating interest to invest. The companies that have shown interests in the zone are into agro-processing, clothing and textiles, food and beverages, forestry, mining, pharmaceuticals, housing and tourism. “Although the project is not ready for use as a result of inadequate infrastructure, there are indications that some industries from China may begin operation here soon," he said. Thompson observed that the first phase of the project would cost about $1.5 billion while the project would cost over $5 billion. He said the first phase of the project, covering 350 hectares, would have its own independent power plant. Thompson said Oando Nigeria Plc plans to build a refinery with capacity to refine 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the zone. He expressed satisfaction with the support and cooperation which NEPZA had given the state government on the facility. Stakeholders at a seminar organised by the NEPZA in collaboration with Century 21 Systems Limited in Lagos, recently, emphasized the need for the Federal Government to remove barriers hindering the growth of FTZs. Speaking at the event tagged FTZ Market Outlook for Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges,
Managing Director of NEPZA, Mr Sina Agboluje listed the barriers to include poor infrastructure, slow response to changes in global trend and high cost of borrowing. Agboluje said the hurdles had retarded economic development, which should have accompanied the establishment of the FTZs. "Despite the exportation of oil by Nigeria, the country still remains poor because of not exploring the FTZ opportunities," he said. He said policy inconsistency was also a key factor that had slowed down the development of FTZs. Agboluje said the authority had been working with other relevant government agencies such as the Customs and Immigration services to make the FTZs attractive to investors. He said the removal of trade barriers would lead to employment generation, boost export of local products and increase foreign exchange earnings. Agboluaje said over the years, trade policies and regimes had transformed in a number of ways at national, regional and global levels. The fundamental aim of the move, he noted, was to drive economic development and growth. "With the world becoming a global village, nations that put unnecessary barriers to international trade are the losers," he added. He said FTZs were among the modalities nations were using to facilitate rapid development in their economies and drive growth in international trade by creating "no-barriers" environment. Said Agboluaje: "The FTZ concept has been modified and adjusted in many ways in various countries, depending on the purpose for which they were set up and the economic functions they perform." He said FTZs provided simplified business environment with clear cut operational guidelines that were free from bureaucratic bottlenecks and unnecessary trade barriers, adding that they gave room for excellent industrial facilities and security such as serviced plots, pre-built factory buildings, constant and regular electricity and water supply, good telecommunications system and specialised security arrangements. Delivering a paper entitled Growth Path of Free Trade Zones, the Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Trade Authority, Dr. Noble Abe, said the success of FTZs was highly dependent on the participation of government, which is expected to drive the initiative, and also carry along the private sector. He stressed the need for harmonisation of the initiative for FTZs, adding that more con-
‘One of the major challenges, which we all can work together to fix, is the idea of appreciating the items that are produced in the FTZs. Nigerians tend to generally feel that the items produced in Nigeria are inferior to the ones we import’ scious efforts should be made by the government to encourage Nigerians to invest in FTZs. Abe said the FTZ concept operated in Nigeria was different from those elsewhere in the world, as there were no clear objectives or targets tied to such project, giving room for non-performance and waste. He said: "We have to set objectives and ensure that we work towards them. The government has a key role to play. In most places of the world, the FTZ concept had worked. They worked because the concept was driven from the top. This is a challenge for government investment and it will always translate into jobs, employment, among others.” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Support Services (LADOL) Mr. Ladi Jadesimi, said one of the essentials in terms of going forward was the proposed update of legislation to bring all FTZ authority and central control finalised along with the rules and regulations of Free Zone. Jadesimi explained that the focus should be on encouraging and promoting trade and investment. He said any rule, guideline or regulation should have that as its main focus. He added that conscious efforts should be made to encourage indigenous companies to invest through the FTZ by setting up free trade enterprises. "There should be very conscious efforts to try to attract indigenous companies to make them aware of the opportunities, support and encourage them," he said. He said the free trade zone law was not receiving the necessary attention it deserved from the National Assembly.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
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THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
• NNPC building
Fuel subsidy: Job losses imminent There is panic among workers. The government is poised to remove fuel subsidy. To the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), this means more factory closures, relocation of more industries to other business-friendly countries. Other stakeholders share the congress’view. DUPE OLAOYE-OSINKOLU speaks with some of them.
HE relocation of Dunlop Tyres Nigeria Plc, Michelin Tyres and the collapse of Enpee Industries and many other textile mills because of the high cost of production following epileptic power supply claimed thousands of jobs. That is probably why workers are jittery over the planned removal of fuel subsidy which takes effect from January, next year, according to the government. The workers’ fear is premised on factory closures and job losses. Deputy President of the NLC Comrade Promise Adewusi said the removal means that small-scale businesses would be wiped out, and the remaining industrial concerns would further relocate to other countries. Not only that, the informal sector, ac-
cording to him, will also suffer as the cost of transporting food from the hinterland will further escalate in the face of deplorable roads, worsening the prevailing food and job insecurity. “This is the highest form of haram, the worst manifestation of economic rascality. It is unfortunate that the government has finally decided to declare openly a war of poverty on the Nigerian people with its anti-people policy of increasing their misery by increasing fuel price,” he said. Identifying with the workers, human rights lawyer Mr Femi Falana said the subsidy removal would cost many their jobs. He wondered why the government has deliberately refused to repair the refineries or build new ones, in order to provide jobs for Nigerians as well as generating foreign exchange.
“The late General Sani Abacha built a refinery in Sierra Leone. It was acquired and sold at a give-away price by the Obasanjo administration. The former president gave licences to some traders to build refineries. They kept the licences and decided to be importing petrol and diesel. NLC Vice-President Comrade Isa Aremu said the policy would not only claim jobs, but also undermine the new minimum wage, which President Jonathan has, commendably, put in place. He asked the president not to short-change the workers and masses since subsidy removal was not part of his campaign promises. Carrying it out, he said, will amount to a violation of the people’s mandate. Adewale Alaba, a job seeker, said he was a former staff member of Dunlop Nigeria Plc. He said his wife also lost her job at Enpee
Textiles Mill when the firm went down with about 2,500 jobs. His fear now is that fuel subsidy removal will compound his family’s problem as prices of goods will sky-rocket, possibly forcing his family members to suffer. “President Jonathan is talking of transformation agenda. You can’t transform if you don’t have a new transformed idea.” Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) did not rule out the possibility of job losses as he said subsidy removal would affect businesses in terms of cost of production and prices of goods would also rise. He, therefore, called for privatisation • Continued on page 16
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Fuel subsidy: Job losses imminent •Continued from page 15
of the refineries in order for them to be put to optimal use and to create jobs. “Petroleum products affect the lives of all Nigerians. We’ve got to be careful about the removal of the so-called subsidy. The removal of the so-called subsidy should be premised on the institutionalisation of certain report. We should first of all make our refineries work. Currently, we are importing fuel. We cannot continue to rely on external source for our fuel. As long as we do that, the price of fuel will be subjected to the vagaries of the international economy, such as the price of crude oil, like the possible devaluation of our naira. “We cannot create a model where a key product in the economy will be subjected to those indeterminable variables that could go up at any point in time. Let the government create an environment where the refineries would work, other investors would be able to establish refineries. The argument that the current regulated atmosphere has prevented investors from coming in does not simply resonate with us. Let us start with the privatisation of the existing refineries,”he said. High cost of production induced factory closure mostly affected the manufacturing sec-
tor at the wake of incessant fuel price increases that occurred four times in about seven years2001 to 2007. Worst hit was the textile sector where about 62 textile mills closed shop. These include Afprint Textiles, Lagos, Enpee Industries, Lagos, President Clothing, Lagos, Arewa Textiles, Kaduna, Nigeria Textile Mills, Ikeja, among others. These closed textile mills, according to their former managements, fell victim to high cost of black oil and diesel, which they rely on for production since there was no steady power supply. The few remaining textile mills, such as UNT Plc Ikorodu, Spintex Wooling and Synthetic, Sunflag, Cotsyn, Bagco, Haffar, Angel Spinners, Funtua Textile and Chelico are expecting the worst should THE government remove fuel subsidy. Cadbury Nigeria Plc sacked about 2,500 workers for the same reason that made Dunlop and Michelin relocate to other countries. Paterson Zochonis Industries, now PZ Cussons, had its own share of production cost crisis, as it closed a section of its cosmetics plant in Nigeria. The company has since adjusted to the existing economic situation. It is not clear however, how subsidy removal will affect it and others in its class.
• Minister of Labour Chukwemeka Wogu
Oil and gas workers, however, said it was not yet time for subsidy removal. National President of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Comrade Igwe Achese, said the time for deregulation was wrong in view of the fact that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which embraces all activities in the oil sector, had not been passed into law. Achese stressed the need for the government to engage all stakeholders in the economy and state how it intends to use the proceeds from the removal of fuel subsidy and how the decision will reduce poverty and unemployment. “NUPENG is not against deregulation. Our position is that if the government must de-
regulate it should not be import driven. What we are against is import-driven deregulation. We have already given government conditions for deregulation and part of it is that the refineries must work optimally, the government must make the depots to function properly. Currently, we are still haullaging when we have depots but because of pipeline vandalism the depots are not functioning. Before the government comes up with deregulation policy, it must first pass the PIB which is all encompassing into law,” he said. In all private sector establishments that The Nation visited, the majority of the workers are panicking, and wishing that the government would not remove fuel subsidy like it has planned.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Wema Bank gets directors
EMA Bank Plc has appointed two directors, Mr Abubakar Lawal and Mr Ramesh Naraindas Hatharaman. It also elevated 100 workers and sacked others for non-performance. The appointment, according to a statement, “is an indication of the bank’s continued commitment to the sustenance of good corporate governance”. It said the directors would bring to the board quality experience. The directors, the statement added, have made significant contribu-
tions to the growth of the nation’s economy.” This brings to seven, the total number of directors on the bank’s board. The Managing Director, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, said: “The appointments are part of the bank’s short to medium term strategic plans to enable it to meet the demands of modern banking while also positioning Wema Bank to effectively compete with other top industry players.” He said the Bank would continue to invest in its people, processes, Information Technology
and other structures to drive its goal of becoming a foremost provider of banking services. Oloketuyi said the transformation, which started a little over two years ago, has witnessed the voluntary resignation of some workers, adding that this has provided opportunities for the Bank’s growing dynamic younger workforce to exploit their full potentials in contributing towards its growth. The bank, the statement added: “Is steadily repositioning itself to become a model for relationship banking in Nigeria.”
Are you not supposed to be employed by now? A
RE you still wondering why you have not yet secured your dream job? Or even worse, why you are not even being called in for a job interview by the recruitment agency let alone the employer? Well, have you taken a step back and looked at the package that you are offering and how you are presenting it? Maybe your offering is just not packaged together correctly which is why you are continuously being overlooked, even though you just know you are the right person for that job. With the unofficial unemployment rate in Nigeria standing at over 30 per cent, there are millions of un-employed Job Seekers scouting the marketplace for their ideal job, and even more employed professionals applying for the same jobs, it is imperative that you take every effort of going above and beyond to ensure that you stand out from the crowds.
Let’s start by considering the basics, your resume Clean up your resume and ensure that your it is professionally put-together with no typographical, spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure that the layout and format conforms to that of a professional resume. Your strengths and key skills – as they relate specifically to
the job that you are applying to – should be clearly highlighted and visible at a glance at the off-set. Be sure not to make silly mistakes that can get you eliminated even before the short-list stage. Go through your resume to ensure that you have covered all essential aspects that make up a professional resume.
the job advertised and on which date. Then immediately get to the point and explain briefly why your skills best match the job and why you should be considered. End off by thanking the recruiter for their time. Be sure to include any relevant documentation or information that the recruiter might have asked for in the job advertisement. (see more on this at www.jobsearchhow.com)
Next, develop a professionally-written application
Finally, present yourself in the most professional manner
When applying for a job opening, please extend the recruiter the courtesy of ensuring that your skills do, in fact, meet the minimum requirements that he has set-out in the job advertisements. Do not apply to job advertisements that you are not suitably qualified for as this wastes both your time and that of the recruiter. If you do believe that you closely match the requirements and skills contained in the job advertisement, then be sure to create a professional, top self-selling customised application, sometimes referred to as cover-note (not a standard one-size-fits-all) that is addressed to the hiring manager (not personnel/human resource dept), if possible, and that refers to the job title and where you saw
Should you be fortunate enough to secure an interview either with a recruitment agency or the employer directly, be sure that the product (you) matches the brochure (your resume) in the most professional manner. Be mindful of your interview manners but most importantly, dress appropriately for the job interview. Remember to prepare to dazzle in the job interview by researching the company, understanding the job requirements and knowing your strengths and how to communicate these effectively and in context to the job that you are being interviewed for. Consider carefully the type of interview body language that you are giving off and be careful to avoid - as far as possible - making any of the common job interview mistakes. Come
By Olu Oyeniran
prepared with a set of interview questions yourself. Job seekers who attend a job interview with a well prepared set of interviewee questions are always most successful. Remember, every job interview is an employment opportunity. Should you be called back for a second interview, take just as much time preparing for the second job interview as you would on the initial meeting. When getting a call back for a second job interview ask the interviewer if there is anything that you specifically need to prepare for. Without being over confident, attend your second job interview with the same intention as you did the first. Carry yourself with poise and professionalism. One more thing, remember that the best way to prepare is by anticipating securing your dream job. Good luck. Now go and secure that dream job now! Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: www.jobsearchhow.com E-mail: email@example.com Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
The trouble with Greece
Lame excuse • FG’s reasons for holding the independence celebrations in Aso Rock are untenable F the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku is to be believed, the decision of the Federal Government to commemorate the country’s 51 st independence anniversary within the confines of Aso Rock rather than the Eagle Square, Abuja, where it customarily holds, has absolutely nothing to do with the current precarious security situation. Rather, it was informed by the need to cut costs, especially as the country prepares for the commemoration, in 2014, of Lord Lugard’s amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914. This, in our view, cannot be a tenable reason for the replacement on October 1 of a full, open and colourful national parade at the Eagle Square, with a routine presidential change of guards and
‘Words are surely not enough to assuage the fears of Nigerians in these perilous times. The president ought to have insisted on a full national parade at Eagle Square, with adequate security provided to ensure safety. That would have sent a clear signal to all that his government is really on top of the situation. It would have inflicted a significant blow on the confidence of terrorist minded groups’
signpost ceremony at the Presidential Villa. Yes, 1914 is an important date in Nigeria’s history. However, it is nowhere near as significant as October 1, the day Nigeria became an independent country, free from the shackles of colonial bondage. By giving the centenary of the amalgamation as the reason for its rather subdued celebration of the country’s 51st independence anniversary, the Jonathan administration appears to be following in the steps of past administrations that tended to erode the significance and symbolism of October 1 in our political evolution. For instance, during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, the emphasis was on August 27, the day the self-styled military president assumed power through the barrels of the gun. During ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second coming as Head of State, May 29, the so-called Democracy Day that marked the commencement of this political dispensation was elevated to an unwarranted level of prominence. The sight of President Jonathan, top government officials and other members of the political elite marking the country’s 51st independence anniversary within the safe boundaries of Aso Rock certainly could not have inspired the confidence of ordinary Nigerians in the capacity of the state to effectively protect their lives and property. There is no way that anyone can logically and rationally de-link the failure of the Federal Government to hold the full and open
national parade we have come to associate with October 1 from the threats issued by the violent Boko Haram to explode bombs in Abuja that day. The threat was no doubt meant to intimidate both the government and the people, as well as force us to retreat in fear from our normal way of life. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government succumbed to the tactics of this terrorist group. The retreat from Eagle Square to the Presidential Villa on October 1 was clearly a psychological triumph for Boko Haram. It raises doubts about the seriousness of the president when he declared in his October 1 nationwide broadcast that “I have put in place a new and reinvigorated national security strategy to combat the threat to our safety…” Words are surely not enough to assuage the fears of Nigerians in these perilous times. The president ought to have insisted on a full national parade at Eagle Square, with adequate security provided to ensure safety. That would have sent a clear signal to all that his government is really on top of the situation. It would have inflicted a significant blow on the confidence of terrorist minded groups. But who are those security chiefs that advised the president to abandon Eagle Square for the Aso Rock Villa on such a symbolic day as October 1? They have created the very unfortunate impression that it is only the safety of the Presidential Villa that can be guaranteed. It is time to promptly relieve them of their jobs, so that more competent persons could take over.
First thing first •The right way for PHCN to raise revenue is to first increase electricity supply OVERNMENT officials appear to have signalled to Nigerians to brace up for a difficult year ahead. While no words like austerity measures or tightening of belt is yet in the monologue from the officials, the signs are ominous, with the plans to increase the prices of all essential services. From petroleum products to electricity, the key interest of government officials remains the increase in revenue for government, with scant emphasis on efficiency and value for customers. The Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji has urged the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to raise the monthly revenue. He reeled out statistics about the monthly expenses of the company and extolled the workers to surpass the expenses. Such admonition would have been sound, were Nigerians getting value for the money they pay for the services. Unfortunately, our experience is that the various zones are given revenue targets without increase in watts of electricity, making them to resort to arbitrary bills, otherwise called ‘crazy bills’ to meet their so-called targets. It is unfair that despite appeals from Nigerians, pre-paid meters have remained unavailable to customers, so that they can pay for only what they use. Instead, there is clearly official connivance to create an artificial scarcity of the meters, thereby exposing Nigerians to the duplicity of the officials. The common
believe is that while the situation allows for dubious bills for the low cadre customers, it also provides an opening for ‘favourable bills’ when the officials are dealing with high consuming customers. The implication is that corruption festers in the system, with the common man at the receiving end. Another challenge which the minister should address is the many unauthorised connections, with the connivance of members of staff of the PHCN. There is also the lack of adequate capacity to control and monitor what has been distributed to the customers. In some instance, there is inadequate technical know-how of what is required by a customer or an area under supply, and the inabilities and the frustrations from lower income, turn into aggression against other customers. So there is the requirement for capacity building among the staff, and also the need to put in place rigorous and efficient regulations to increase customer satisfaction, which will in turn bring increase in revenue. Nigerians would be excited were the minister to champion the availability of pre-paid meters at the government approved price. He could give an ultimatum to the zonal officers to ensure that the old and inefficient meters are phased away within months, and that those who are unable to do that within their areas of operation would be sanctioned. He
could also expose and hand over to security agencies the officials who are hoarding the meters, and those who demand extra fees from their customers, before the new meters that have been paid for are released. Nigerians are tired of the inefficient behemoth called PHCN. There is also little doubt that they would be prepared to pay a price to have a better service delivery; but it would be unfair to see increase in tariffs and revenue as the first step to efficiency. The challenge of electricity supply needs a more hands-on approach; this is where Nigerians expect the minister to provide the needed leadership.
‘Nigerians are tired of the inefficient behemoth called PHCN. There is also little doubt that they would be prepared to pay a price to have a better service delivery; but it would be unfair to see increase in tariffs and revenue as the first step to efficiency. The challenge of electricity supply needs a more hands-on approach; this is where Nigerians expect the minister to provide the needed leadership’
UROPE has been right to demand that, in exchange for bailout financing, Greece carry out painful structural reforms to make its economy more competitive and able to generate more revenue to pay down the country’s huge debts. Without that pressure, Athens would likely never be able to overcome fierce resistance from public-sector unions, professionals, the wealthy and all of the special interests determined to keep doing business as usual. But Europe has been dead wrong to simultaneously demand that Greece impose steep new taxes and deep social spending cuts guaranteed to prolong and worsen an already severe recession. That will make it impossible for the country to earn its way out of debt. With Greece’s diminished prospects threatening the balance sheets of banks across Europe, the European Central Bank announced Thursday that it will add new liquidity to the Continent’s banking system. But its plan to purchase $53.6 billion in special bonds issued by banks and other financial institutions will not be enough. Europe’s leaders need to turn away from the austerity policies that are stymieing growth, not only in Greece but in stronger economies like Germany’s as well. The Greek government now acknowledges that it will miss the deficit reduction targets it had promised the European Union and the International Monetary Fund it would achieve this year. Europe and the I.M.F. are working to set new terms for the next bailout installment. If further aid is conditioned on a similarly incoherent set of economic policies, Greece will eventually be forced into default, creating an even deeper hole in European bank balance sheets and adding to fears that other deeply indebted countries might soon default as well. Demands for harsher austerity should be deferred to give reforms time to do their work. With European governments now moving to recapitalize their banks, Greece’s private bank creditors should be pressed to accept deeper restructuring deals on existing Greek debt. The I.M.F. and Europe should continue to push Athens for further liberalization of professional labor markets, cost-efficient delivery of public services and a more broadbased and uniformly enforced tax system. And they must keep pressure on Greece to eliminate tens of thousands of nonessential public-sector jobs — freeing money that could be used to promote economic growth. For decades, Greece’s main political parties heedlessly expanded public payrolls to reward supporters and artificially hold down unemployment. This practice helped push Greece deeply into debt and must now be reversed. Future bailout payments should also be conditioned on the Greek government actually carrying out reforms, not just winning parliamentary approval. Preventing Greece’s default requires aggressive reforms but also breathing room to permit economic recovery and growth. – New York Times
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THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
IR: This year’s annual assemblage of World leaders was dominated by the argument for and against the sovereign state of Palestine, especially after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) President, Mahmoud Abbas summited a formal bid to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, after his earlier address to the General Assembly. Expectedly, Prime Minister of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu stood against the bid, claiming that the realisation of a Palestinian state could only be based on mutual agreement between the two. Ordinarily, the Charter of the United Nations (UN) provides for self-determination of people or race living in a clearly outlined geographical area; with a legitimate government among other catalysts. However, the Palestinian debate is assumedly of a totally different scenario, despite possessing virtually all the necessary statehood prerequisite. The launch of the Jewish state of Israel in May, 1948 sowed the seed of resentment between the new state and its Arab neighbours, which has germinated and grown beyond any possible imagination. This is evidenced by the numerous outbursts of inter-state military conflicts which the Middle East had endured since 1948. However, the 1967 six-day war during which Israel captured several Arab territories, ushered in an era of decades of intrigues and manoeuvrings, as Palestine, being the hardest hit, embarked on all possible fronts at attaining independence.
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On sovereign state of Palestine Sadly, all efforts, especially under the late Yasser Arafat yielded no results. All the diplomatic initiatives aimed at resolving the impasse as witnessed by the several Peace Accords in the last 44 years, coupled with the appointment of former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair as the UN envoy to the Middle East has brought no significant wind of change. The realisation or otherwise of the statehood bid depends on the final approval of such by the General Assembly, but only subject to the initial recommendation of the UN Security Council. The irony of this process is that the minority Se-
curity Council with just 15 members (five out of which are permanent members) supersedes the majority General Assembly, with almost 200 members. A veto from any of the five permanent members of the Security Council renders any deliberation closed. The open declaration of the United States President, Barack Obama that the US will veto the Palestinian bid demonstrates the futility of the bid, at least for now. The Palestinian leaders will have to accept a cruel reality: self-determination, at this point, still largely depends on joint negotiations with Israel, without engaging in
brinksmanship of the past. Meanwhile, the parties involved, especially Israel should be encouraged to maintain the status quo. The continuing settlement of Jews in the occupied territories, majorly in the West-Bank and East Jerusalem should be stopped henceforth, while getting prepared to reverse to the pre-1967 borderlines; if need be eventually. The Israelis should borrow a leaf from the advice of the new US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta during his recent trip to the region; saying “Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you’re isolating yourself in diplomatic arena? Real security can only be
Kogi 2011: time of reckoning for the PDP IR: Kogi State has had different leaders emerging under different circumstances from military to civilian since it was created from Kwara and Benue states on August 28, 1991. The first democratically elected government of Prince Abubakar Audu nurtured the civil service into a hard working, result-oriented, contented and dependable machinery for economic and social develop-
ment. Under his administration, the state recorded massive democracy dividends in infrastructure, health sector, education, rural electrification, rural and urban road network and in housing. Worthy of note is the establishment of Kogi state University Anyigba with the state of the art facilities and Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja. As the most centrally located of all the state of the fed-
eration, the administration of Prince Audu boosted the tourism sector of the state by establishing the Confluence Beach Hotel Lokoja. Since 2003, the people of Kogi State have no illusion about the importance of their votes and have lost the satisfactions derived from voting because their votes have not been counted and no longer counts. The people have been taken from
Free education in Lagos State
IR: Some common campaign slogans used by the Nigerian politicians when they are trying to woo voters are: “free education at all levels”, “free medical care”, “uninterrupted power supply” etc. No sooner they assume officethan they renege on these promises. Who are they deceiving? One person whom I see to have kept his promises is His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Governor of Lagos State. He has proved all cynics wrong, especially in the area of infrastructural development, which is glaring to all and sundry. I give him credit for this. Little wonder that, he won the heart
achieved by both a strong diplomatic effort, as well as a strong effort to protect your military strength”. The internal Palestinian political and social challenges also require urgent attention. There has been a clear division in the domestic polity of the Palestinians since 2006; when Hamas (designated as a terrorist group by Israel and the US) won legislative elections and doggedly threatened the legitimacy of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fattah party, thus dividing Palestine between Hamas’ Gaza and Fattah’s Ramallah. The aggressive stance of Hamas, not to recognise Israel and its engagement in violence should be jettisoned, for the sake of peaceful negotiations. All hands must be put on deck in seeing a peaceful and happy ending to the crisis in the Middle-East, in order to achieve a true global tranquillity. It is very imperative to know that sincere peace cannot be guaranteed in the absence of true justice. • Funmilola Ajala Ibadan
of the electorates, and they voted him for another term into office. Fashola’s high rating on infrastructural development notwithstanding, he needs to do more especially, in the area of education. My children are attending one of the public schools here in Lagos State. So, I can speak authoritatively if there are significant dividends of free education. During my school days, I know education was free indeed; we were given free uniforms, free exercise books and textbooks; chalks and other teaching aids were supplied by the government. What a sharp contrast today! In that particular
school my children are attending, we the parents are being exploited by the school/teachers so much that most of us are thinking of changing school for our wards. This is because we buy almost everything, from uniforms to exercise books, pens, pencils, booms, chalks and even toilet paper. The only thing the school gives, which we are made to sign for, is four textbooks which are old and dog-eared that would hardly motivate a child to read. However, what I’m yet to find out is whether this practice by the school is common to all public schools in Lagos State. If it is so,
what then is this free education that is being trumpeted about? And if it’s not, does it mean that His Excellency is unaware or nobody has ever brought those sharp practices to his notice? If the Governor is doing his part in this regard, and some greedy and fraudulent teachers/schools are engaged in these sharp practices to tarnish his image and soil his good name, then this letter is meant to spur him into action, to bring to book all schools/teachers that are culpable. • Joel Talake Lawanson, Lagos
the hope of freedom to the heart of despair. Infant and maternal mortality rate is on the increase as a result of poor healthcare facilities and total neglect of health workers; roads are in the state of anomie as state roads record high numbers of accident cases. Education is in quagmire as a result of brain-drain of academicians from the state. Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy is in jeopardy as fertilizer only gets to the house of party officials and not the farmers. Also, the security of the state is under threat as roving thugs move about unchallenged. While 88 percent of Kogites suffer extreme poverty, political office holders help themselves and their family members only, leaving the vast majority of the people to dangle between hope and despair. PDP has failed the people of Kogi State, and therefore should be in urgent preparation to disappear from the state by December 2011. After all, the only way to solve any problem is to remove its cause. A party that is false to its members cannot be true to the public. • Onogwu Isah Muhammed, Lokoja.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
UESDAY, September 13, will for a long time remain unprecedented in the history of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – the Federal Government interventionist agency set up in 2000 to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region. It was the day President Goodluck Jonathan ordered a wholesale dissolution of the board of the commission. A terse statement issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, read: “following the conclusion of the assignment of the Presidential Committee to look into the problems facing the NDDC and subsequent submission of the report of the committee, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, after due consideration of the report has approved the dissolution of the Board of NDDC with effect from today 13th September, 2011. A new Board for the Commission would be reconstituted soon. The Managing Director and other executive members are to hand over all commission’s items in their custody to the Director of Administration and Human Resources, Mrs Osato Areyenka”. The President’s action was predicated on the findings of the eight man panel headed by the retired Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye. Before the federal government constituted the panel just a week to the second year anniversary of the management headed by Mr Chibuzor Ugwoha, hardly a day passed without some news about the NDDC in the media, usually, for what many saw as the wrong reason. There was almost perennial mudslinging within the management of the NDDC owing to intense power play within the commission. Just before the empanelling of the Orosanye Committee, the in-fighting among the management and board members got to the level of blackmail, intimidation and outright campaign of calumny, particularly against the MD/CEO and his office. At the centre of the problems that have now led to the collapse of the board and management team, are some powerful members of the executive and board who have over
‘If the Jonathan administration has branded the sacked board as Augean Stables, then it must do the needful to clean it completely of all shreds of the mess. The morning after in NDDC should, indeed, be a new dawn devoid of the dirty intrigues and treacherous politics of self preservation and sustenance that have come to be the major character of the commission in the last 10 years’
NDDC: morning after dissolution By Tekena Papa-Alowe time come to see the NDDC as their personal company that they must run at their whims and caprices, and being there as a birth right. And in this regard, if they do not have their way on any project, then the project can suffer as long as their selfish aims and objectives are side stepped. This has been the story, and unfortunately and regrettably, not even the wholesale dissolution of the management and board seems to have checkmated this inherently parochial attitude. Take the instance of this hilarious but extremely provocative development the morning after the dissolution of the commission’s board. As always, P.Z Aganighan, who until the dissolution was the NDDC’s executive director in charge of finance and administration, is in the centre of the new intrigues. While other members of the dissolved board including the embattled MD/CEO simply packed their load and left the commission as directed by the federal government, Aganighan emerged the following day flaunting a surreptitious letter which curiously granted him leave of absence as finance director of the commission to move up the ladder of the NDDC’s organogram, first as Executive Director, Finance and Administration, and later as Acting Managing Director and finally back as Executive Director, Finance and Administration, a position he held until the dissolution last week. Aganighan, who now sees himself as the only constant star in the NDDC’s matrix, went to Mrs Osato Areyenka, hitherto Director of Administration and Human Resources, who was directed to take charge of the commission pending the appointment of a new board, claimed that by the dissolution, his leave of absence had elapsed and he was now ready to resume as a Finance Director of the same agency where he had operated as Executive Director and even as acting MD. He even allegedly questioned the wisdom of handing over of the affairs of the commission to Mrs Areyenka, claiming that having climbed down from his executive position, he is now the most senior of all the NDDC’s directors and as such ought to have taken charge following the dissolution. He has allegedly bulldozed himself into an office and dislodged the Acting Director, Finance and Supply, Mr. Jimoh Egbejule from the official parking slot. All along, Aganighan probably had hoped that that the President would be stampeded into removing the MD alone, so that he could fraudulently secure another opportunity to act as a Sole Administrator as he did for some seven months (without a board in place) when Mr Timi Alaibe ended his tenure as MD. What is far more disturbing is the inability of those charged with the task of supervising the NDDC to see through these intrigues and act appropriately to save the agency from marauders masquerading as masters of development. Is it not
clear that someone somewhere had spent good time and treasure stoking the fire to make otherwise purely administrative issues like account opening at the NDDC take the garb of a consuming crisis? In other words, the allegations of wrong doing against Mr Ugwoha might have been orchestrated beyond their essence to drive at a purpose. Enough to say that the sad story of the Niger Delta region shall continue even with greater pains if the institutions created to bring a turn-around are subordinated to the desires of individuals. At all times, a system should be perfected to separate pretenders from patriots in the all important task of restoring the region. As we write this, the latest development has gone before the SGF and the government scribe has allegedly warned him to steer clear of the NDDC environment as the Civil Service procedure has no place for him anymore; and that by accepting to be part of the board that was swept away, his position in the commission as a career civil servant remains invalidated. I must confess that I am deeply relieved by the signals emerging from the office of the SGF because if this ‘push’ to stay afloat after one had worked assiduously to ‘capsize’ the ‘canoe’ – to use an allegory familiar to the people of the Niger Delta – is allowed to stay, the NDDC would ultimately register as the only organization that permits that kind of spurious internal movement where a man seconds himself from a lower level to an executive position and uses his new powers to keep vacant his old office, hoping to return to it anytime he is done with the new office. Pertinent to note that Mr. Egbejule, who Aganighan is scheming to take over from as Finance Director has held that office in acting capacity for more than two years without being confirmed which is clearly against civil service rule. A man cannot be made to act forever because someone wishes to climb down to take up that office as soon as the good time at the top ends. This, of course, is part of the sad and pitiable story of NDDC. A place where some people build kingdoms for themselves and parade themselves as untouchables even if it be at the detriment and eternal chagrin of the badly pauperized millions in the oil rich creeks reeling under the jackboot of abject poverty. This cannot and should not be allowed. If the Jonathan administration has branded the sacked board as Augean Stables, then it must do the needful to clean it completely of all shreds of the mess. The morning after in NDDC should, indeed, be a new dawn devoid of the dirty intrigues and treacherous politics of self preservation and sustenance that have come to be the major character of the commission in the last 10 years.
• Dr Papa-Alowe, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Much ado about Islamic Banking
ET me aver from the outset, that as a Christian and an ex-banker, I personally do not see anything basically wrong or untoward in and am, therefore, totally in support of non-interest (a.k.a Islamic) banking as a viable, veritable and potent strategic option to be explored for the development and transformation of our banking system in particular and the rapid industrialization and growth of the economy in general. The proposed non-interest banking policy is a well conceived idea and laudable initiative and, without doubt, a bold step in the right direction for which the erudite, courageous and indefatigable CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, and his henchmen at CBN should be applauded and commended, rather than savaged and vilified. I think it is important to first put that in perspective. Having said that, I must, however, caution - and this is without prejudice to my avowed position – that any transformational change or reform programme that will create problems, tensions and divisions or generate widespread furore in the system, no matter how laudable and well intentioned, should either be avoided, discarded or suspended until such a time when the stakeholders would have been adequately consulted, properly educated and successfully sensitised to embrace, key in and buy into the project. I would like to advise, that the Governor of CBN should be sensitive to the concerns and agitations being raised in certain quarters and put in abeyance the operations of the Islamic banking until such a time when all the major stakeholders, including religious leaders and faith – based organisations, leaders of thoughts and the generality of other stakeholders would have been widely consulted, and their fears – whether real or imagined – allayed, concerning the modus operandi – workings, intricacies and other details, including facts and figures – of the new banking model. One of the reasons, apart from hypocrisies, sentiments and self serving interests why people tend to blindly criticize this brand of banking model is stark ignorance. The greatest malady of ignorant people is that rather than try to educate themselves on the details, intricacies and modalities of this type of banking, they choose the easy way out and criticise. Most of the critics seem uniformed and are just being unduly emotional and sentimental about what is purely a wellintended developmental project. It is regrettable to note that, in most cases, arguments and discussions on and criticisms of the Islamic banking tend to be hinged on primordial sentiments and red herrings rather than real issues, facts and figures. For instance, some people tend to have issues with the appellation ‘Islamic’ and erroneously believe and conclude that non-interest banking is restricted only to Muslims and that Non-Muslims will be marginalised. This is far from the truth and a gross misconception and misrepresentation as non-interest banking. Just like the
By Kayode Oluwa conventional banking, it is open and available to all people irrespective of their faiths, religion and backgrounds. My take on the controversy surrounding the issue of appellation is that if some people, especially non-Muslims, for religious reasons, have issues and concerns with the word or nomenclature ‘Islamic’ banking, then let the CBN remove it and simply call it non-interest banking, (without compromising the fundamental concept and principles of Islamic jurisprudence upon which it is based), if that will assuage their fears and concerns. In any case, people whether Muslims or Non-Muslims are not forced or compelled to patronize Islamic Banking at all costs, if it is against their religious beliefs or persuasions, more so, since, the conventional deposit money banks have not been abolished. It’s therefore, a question of choice. If you don’t believe in the principles of Islamic banking which is basically anchored on the concept of profit and loss sharing – whether this is real, fake or imagined or whether there are other hidden charges or inherent dangers and drawbacks, as being espoused in certain quarters – then you are free to patronize the conventional deposit money banks for your transactions. It is not compulsory, even for practicing Muslims, that you should patronize Islamic banking, if you don’t believe in it. I don’t see how Islamic Banking will ‘Islamise’ Nigeria, as being touted by some religious leaders, when in other climes, including advanced Western countries with majority of Christians like UK, U.S.A, Switzerland, Germany etc, where it has been operated over the years, it has not Islamised those countries . It behooves on the elites and leaders at various levels to stop playing games and toying with the unity, stability and future of Nigeria, by mixing religion with almost everything including what is purely economic issues. In any deregulated or free market economy, different types of legalised businesses, including conventional and nonconventional banks and financial institutions can operate side by side within the context of the principle of free entry and free exit. Accordingly, if you set up a business like a noninterest bank and for one reason or the other, it does not attract the necessary patronage and generate enough profit or adequate returns on investment to sustain it, then it will, ipso facto, fail and die a natural death. So rather than all these seemingly baseless and pre-emptive criticisms and irascible outbursts, let us allow the proposed non-interest banking to run its due course and see whether or not it will work and how far it can go in adding value – or not – to the banking system in particular and the national economy as a whole. As the saying goes, when we get to the bridge we will cross it. Moreover, Nigeria is a secular state; so nobody can force
any religion on the other. That I am a Christian does not mean that others should not practice their religions or faithbased businesses the way they deem fit. I am also free to practice my religion the way I deem fit without any let or hindrance. While I am not unaware that the variant of the proposed non-interest banking model under consideration is based on the fundamental principles of Islamic jurisprudence, I believe that non-Muslims, including Christians, are also free to set up their own brand or variant of non-interest banking, based on their religious beliefs and principles, if they so wish, once they meet the basic criteria, set guidelines and procedures of the Central Bank. What stops Christians from setting up, ‘Christian banking’ based on Christian principles and within the context of CBN guidelines? By the way, don’t we have faith based educational institutions including Christian universities in this country? Has anybody complained that the Christian universities – which also admit non-Christians, including Muslims – were set up to Christianise Nigeria? So, why all this unnecessary fuss over Islamic non-interest banking? In view of the seeming ignorance and lingering controversy that have pervaded the whole issue of non-interest banking, most regrettably and ironically so, even by those who are supposed to know better, there is the need for the CBN to embark on a well-orchestrated, stratified and massive publicity campaign and enlightenment programme to educate the critical mass of our people on the new banking policy in order to assuage the concerns, win the support and earn the confidence of all stakeholders and carry them along towards ensuring a successful realisation and outcome of this laudable project. Let me conclude by saying that concerted efforts should be intensified and bolstered to ensure that the laudable project of non-interest banking – which I believe will engender a sea change in our banking system – is not truncated on the platter of emotional, ethnic and religious sentiments. • Oluwa, an ex-banker is president, Academy for Leadership and Change Management, Lagos.
‘Rather than all these seemingly baseless and pre-emptive criticisms and irascible outbursts, let us allow the proposed noninterest banking to run its due course and see whether or not it will work and how far it can go in adding value – or not – to the banking system in particular and the national economy as a whole.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
COUPLE of days ago, the National Universities Commission (NUC), came out with a very strong position on some of the challenges that have not only tended to degrade our university system, but the entire Nigerian society. This time around, it was neither reeling out courses that have been denied accreditation by the commission nor setting standards for the approval of new universities. It was also not concerned with the disciplining of erring university administrators or the discharge of some of its routine statutory functions. Its frustrations are on account of some vices which are at the root of the recurring cycle of underdevelopment of this country. Incidentally, these practices have festered for a very long time without any concrete step to stem them. NUC is piqued by the abuse in the use of the title of ‘Professors’ in this country. It is concerned that the university tradition in the appointment of Professors which requires peer-review and assessment by at least three external Professors in the same field from both within and outside the country is being breached. Such tradition also requires that such appointees to the rank of Professor must have a “Professorial Chair”. It is also put off by instances where some individuals parade themselves as ‘Professors’ without evidence of affiliation to any recognized university or the academic field they made such scholarly contributions. As if these were not worrisome enough, NUC further lamented instances where parastatals, research institutes and allied establishments which have neither an academic senate nor affiliation to a recognized university award professorships. The way some honorary doctorate degree awardees make use of the title ‘Dr.’ thus making it difficult to distinguish between academic doctorate degrees and the honorary ones is also another matter. The issues raised by the commission can be graded into two broad categories: those that fall within its purview for which it could exercise direct control and those it has no control over. In this wise, the task of ensuring standards in the manner some of our universities award professorships rests squarely on the shoulders of the commission. Thus, in the exercise of its regulatory functions on the nation’s universities, NUC
Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email: EmekaOmeihe@yahoo.com
NUC’s fake Professors must ensure that this time tested tradition is neither circumscribed nor abridged. If our universities appoint people to the rank of professors without following set guidelines as subjecting the publications of the candidate and other documentary evidence of academic achievement for assessment, that in itself is a breach of the rule and ought to attract sanctions. So also is the appointment of people to the rank of professors without a “Professorial Chair”. It is therefore not sufficient for the commission to simply identify these problems without taking concrete steps to ensure that this ruinous practice is not only stopped but that all those who unduly benefited from it are made to drop such titles. Perhaps, what should be of utmost worry to all is why some universities take liberty in flouting extant regulations on the issue. Or is it part of the decadence and low standards that have become the sad tale of our education system? If the regulations governing appointments into such very sensitive and critical academic posts can be so flagrantly breached, it speaks volumes about the rot that has eaten deep into the fabric of our university system. But the NUC is not entirely handicapped in the matter. Apart from the step it has taken to return the universities to the path of sanity and rectitude, it must thoroughly investigate reported cases of infringement. The university system is so critical to the development of any nation that we cannot afford to allow mediocrity which has become the bane of our society to frustrate high
academic and intellectual attainments. Where a university is found to have flouted subsisting regulations on the matter, sanctions should be applied not only against those who brought about that pass but the beneficiaries made to revert to the status quo ante. It is perhaps on account of manifestations as this that our universities have performed woefully in the regular ranking of universities in the world. For parastatals, research institutes and allied establishments that award professorship even without an academic senate or approved affiliation with a recognized university as required by law, the NUC must work with other relevant agencies of government to put a stop to this dangerous practice. It is amazing the extent these agencies go in arrogating to themselves functions that are not within their statutory purview. It may not surprise any one that at the center of all this, is the need to satisfy ego or other self serving goals. Our people are increasingly acquiring notoriety for things that are neither ennobling nor edifying. Such a ruinous disposition cannot but detract substantially from the high ideals and excellence which have made modern civilization very alluring. If the NUC can exercise control on the universities, one is at a loss to fathom how it can handle cases of individuals who parade themselves as professors without any evidence of affiliation to any recognized university or the academic field in which they made such contributions. So also is the matter of honorary doctorate degree
awardees that use the title ‘Dr’. But beyond those that have been fingered by the NUC, there are many others who parade themselves as ‘Dr’ without evidence of how and when they acquired such titles. Ironically, some of them have neither formal education nor were such phony degrees awarded them by any recognized university. Yet on a daily basis, they shamelessly flaunt such titles with reckless impunity. We are thus left with fake professors and fake doctorate degree holders. The NUC may be severely handicapped in monitoring the latter. They are neither looking for jobs with their claimed academic attainments nor are they prepared for any meaningful engagement on the matter in any formal setting. Their interest is solely in the prestige that goes with such titles. By answering professor or Dr. they intend to deceive unsuspecting members of the public regarding their worth and credibility. Curiously, most of those who indulge in this unwholesome practice are the charlatans, the crooked and the dregs in the society, some of them, without any evidence of any formal education. The usual practice is to get some phony institutions outside our shores to issue such degrees either in their homes, hotels or even within the premises of our higher institutions. Perhaps, it is on account of this that the NUC further warned the universities against using their premises for that purpose by illegal foreign universities and degree mills. If we are worried by the award of fake doctorate degrees by phony foreign institutions to sundry characters, what do we say of some distinguished Nigerians who possess doctorate degrees and after a while opted to append the title of Professor to their names without following extant rules on the issue? How do we characterize these fake Professors? And what message does it give of us as a people? The irreducible message we get from all this is that we are a people who cherish the good things of life: titles upon titles, exotic cars, splendid houses and any other worldly acquisition that can elevate our ego. Yet, we are the least prepared for the rigours and necessary sacrifice that go with such elevated attainments. Should some one remind us that these negative dispositions constitute both the necessary and sufficient conditions for.
VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS
TEVE JOBS was an enemy of nostalgia. He believed that the future required sacrifice and boldness. He bet on new technologies to fill gaps even when the way was unclear. He often told the press that he was as proud of the devices Apple killed — in the parlance of Silicon Valley, he was a master of “knifing the baby,” which more squeamish innovators cannot do because they fall in love with their creations — as the ones it released. One of the keys to Apple’s success under his leadership was his ability to see technology with an unsentimental eye and keen scalpel, ready to cut loose whatever might not be essential. This editorial mien was Mr. Jobs’s greatest gift — he created a sense of style in computing because he could edit. It would be fascinating to know what Mr. Jobs would make of the outpouring of grief flooding the developed world after his death on Wednesday. While it’s certain he’d be flattered, his hawk-eyed nature might assert itself: this is a man who once called an engineer at Google over the weekend because the shade of yellow in the second “O” was not precisely correct. This is a man who responded to e-mails sent by strangers with shocking regularity for the world’s most famous C.E.O. His impatience with fools was legendary, and the amount of hagiography now being ladled onto his life with abandon would undoubtedly set his teeth on edge. Many of Silicon Valley’s leaders regularly ask themselves “What would Steve do?” in an almost religious fashion when facing challenges, and it is a worthy mental exercise for confronting the fact of his death. I think Mr. Jobs would coldly and clearly assess his life and provide unvarnished criticism of its contents. He’d have no problem acknowledging that he was a genius — as he was gifted with an
Against Nostalgia By Mike Daisey enormously healthy ego — but he would also state with salty language exactly where he had fallen short, and what might be needed to refine his design with the benefit of hindsight. Mr. Jobs leaves behind a dominant Apple, fulfilling his original promise to save the company from the brink when he returned in 1997. Because of its enormous strength in both music sales and mobile devices, Apple has more power than at any time in its history, and it is using that power to make the computing experience of its users less free, more locked down and more tightly regulated than ever before. All of Apple’s iDevices — the iPod, iPhone and iPad — use operating systems that deny the user access to their workings. Users cannot install programs themselves; they are downloaded from Apple’s servers, which Apple controls and curates, choosing at its whim what can and can’t be distributed, and where anything can be censored with little or no explanation. The Steve Jobs who founded Apple as an anarchic company promoting the message of freedom, whose first projects with Stephen Wozniak were pirate boxes and computers with open schematics, would be taken aback by the future that Apple is forging. Today there is no tech company that looks more like the Big Brother from Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial than Apple itself, a testament to how quickly power can corrupt. Apple’s rise to power in our time directly paralleled the transformation of global manufacturing. As recently as 10 years ago Apple’s computers were assembled in the
United States, but today they are built in southern China under appalling labor conditions. Apple, like the vast majority of the electronics industry, skirts labor laws by subcontracting all its manufacturing to companies like Foxconn, a firm made infamous for suicides at its plants, a worker dying after working a 34-hour shift, widespread beatings, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to meet high quotas set by tech companies like Apple. I have traveled to southern China and interviewed workers employed in the production of electronics. I spoke with a man whose right hand was permanently curled into a claw from being smashed in a metal press at Foxconn, where he worked assembling Apple laptops and iPads. I showed him my iPad, and he gasped because he’d never seen one turned on. He stroked the screen and marveled at the icons sliding back and forth, the Apple attention to detail in every pixel. He told my translator, “It’s a kind of magic.” Mr. Jobs’s magic has its costs. We can admire the design perfection and business acumen while acknowledging the truth: with Apple’s immense resources at his command he could have revolutionized the industry to make devices more humanely and more openly, and chose not to. If we view him unsparingly, without nostalgia, we would see a great man whose genius in design, showmanship and stewardship of the tech world will not be seen again in our lifetime. We would also see a man who in
the end failed to “think different,” in the deepest way, about the human needs of both his users and his workers. It’s a high bar, but Jobs always believed passionately in brutal honesty, and the truth is rarely kind. With his death, the serious work to do the things he has failed to do will fall to all of us: the rebels, the misfits, the crazy ones who think they can change the world. • Daisey is an author and performer. His latest monologue, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” is scheduled to open at the Public Theater on Tuesday. • New York Times
‘Mr. Jobs’s magic has its costs. We can admire the design perfection and business acumen while acknowledging the truth: with Apple’s immense resources at his command he could have revolutionized the industry to make devices more humanely and more openly, and chose not to. If we view him unsparingly, without nostalgia, we would see a great man whose genius in design, showmanship and stewardship of the tech world will not be seen again in our lifetime. We would also see a man who in the end failed to “think different,” in the deepest way, about the human needs of both his users and his workers’
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
‘Return to basics’
S Nigeria football fans come to terms with the ouster of Super Eagles from the African Nations Cup holding in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012, the President of Nigeria Private University Games (NPUGA) J.B.Okoro has advised the football authorities to ensure that emphasis is now shifted to the development of the game at the collegiate level to enable the country have a reservoir of footballers that are intellectual academical sound to take Nigeria to the next level in the round leather game. Explaining the assertion, the University don said “we cannot blame the players for not qualifying the country for the Nations Cup for the first time in 25 years. You don’t expect them to perform beyond their intellectual capabilities. This omen is a call for us to return to the basics. It is a call for us to return to schools to get the players that are hungry to excel. Those who are intellectual sound to know what it means to serve the country at what ever level. We need to go back to the schools and pick these players who know that after their footballing careers,they have their certificates to rely on, and with that at the back of their minds, they would sacrifice everything to serve their fatherland”. The Igbinedieon University
From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja Director of Sports, said that if the Universities are encouraged, they would chunk out sportsmen and women that would be a pride to the nation “take for instance, NPUGA within its short time of existence has been able to produce champions in swimming and badminton. Recheal Tonjor of Benson Idahosa University Benin won silver medal in swimming for Nigeria at the World University Games in Serbia, and also a Bronze medal at the just concluded All African Games in Maputo. Also another Economics student of the same institution, Victor Makanju won a silver medal in badminton in the same games. We have good footballers that are waiting to be discovered at the various higher institutions in the country”. He informed Nationsports that the next edition of the NPUGA games which would be holding at the Western Delta University, Oghara would be another opportunity for the NFF to discover some talents for the country “the games will hold from 11th to 21st December, 2011 and 45 Universities will be taking part in ten sports”. He finally appealed to the corporate bodies to support the Association in its efforts to move Nigeria sports to the next level. Over N38million would be need to host the games.
AHEAD 8 NATION TOURNEY
Eguavoen unveils new camp rules A
S the second Phase camping exercise of the National U23, Team otherwise called the Dream Team V gets underway this week, Chief Coach of the team Austin Eguavoen has read the riot act to his team. Eguavoen at the weekend issued a fresh code of conduct in the Genesis Hotel camp of the team. “As you all know am as easy going person, please do not give me a reason to send you out of this camp. We are here for business and that is the bottom line. If you know that you cannot adhere strictly to this camp rules now is the time for you to pack your bags and leave because their would be no scared cows to this rules”. Eguavoen declared while endorsing the one page code of conducts which has 29 “DO NOT(s)” broken into three categories of General rules, House rules and Restaurant rules. The former Black Leopards of South Africa Coach warned he would not tolerate any form of indiscipline stressing that any player who feels he is above the camp rules should leave on arrival. “I want to repeat this again, anyone who is not comfortable with this camp rules should save this team the headache and leave now. Because I don’t want any players calling any official in this team names at the end of the day. If we must get it right and deliver the
Olympic ticket come December, it starts from now.” The First phase of the Dream Team V camping exercise ended at the weekend. The Second Phase which begins this week would see already established Home base players of the team prove their fitness in the fight for a place ahead of the CAF U23 championship billed to kickoff November 27, in Cairo Egypt.
HREE home-based players have been dropped from Ghana’s squad to face Nigeria in a friendly in London on Tuesday. The Black Stars will start their preparations for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations with the friendly against the Super Eagles. This comes just a day after they sealed their place in next year’s tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Ernest Sowah, Yaw Frimpong and Rashid Sumaila have returned home from their duties in Sudan during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Sowah’s position as the second-choice keeper has been taken over by U23 shot-stopper Daniel Agyei. Debutants Yaw Frimpong and Rashid Sumaila are unlikely to take first team positions so they have been asked to travel home. They will join defender Daniel Opare who has been excused from the Black Stars duties to visit his ailing mother. The squad is dominated by players who played in Ghana’s 2-0 win over Sudan on Saturday. Nigeria will be seeking to appease their fans with a win over the Black Stars in London after they failed to qualify for the Cup of Nations on Saturday.
NATIONS CUP FAILURE
NFF slams Siasia T
HE days of Samson Siasia as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles may be numbered if NationSport findings in Abuja is anything to go by. According to our normal source at the Glasshouse secretariat of the NFF, the technical committee after its meeting on Saturday night may have decided to chart a new way for the senior national team, as it dawned on them that the much heralded tactical prowess of Samson Siasia may be a fluke afterall. This followed Saturday’s failure of the Nigerian team to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, after the Eagles allowed a late, late equalizer by Guinea that tied their final qualifying match at 2-2. The Eagles fluffed several scoring chances in the first half with Osaze Odemwingie, Chinedu Obasi and Emmanuel Emenike failing to show the urgency and precision needed in the make-or-break encounter.
From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja
Guinea scored 10 minutes into the second half before Obinna Nsofor lashed home the equalizer in the 64th minute, and Ikechukwu Uche put Nigeria ahead shortly after. A 2-1 win would have steered Nigeria to the finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon as one of the best secondplaced teams but the Guineans equalized with only one minute left in added time to break Nigerian hearts. “This is very disappointing, we gave everything assistance he needed to excel, but could not produce the result needed result for us. So the responsibility is his, and we have given him a query to be answered within 48 hours. So by the end of business on Monday, we are expecting him to turn in the reply for the query. All we want to know is for him to
tell why the team performed woefully when much was expected from them”. On what will befall the coach
popularly called the World Cup Coach by football fans, our source who is a big shot in the Federation said “when a World Cup Coach could not take us to the Nations cup, then you should know the implication. If he refuse to respond to the query, then, you know the implication of insurbordination in the service. That is dismissal”he concluded. The Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, at an emergency meeting on Saturday night issued a query to the Head Coach of Super Eagles, Mr. Samson Siasia over Saturday’s failure of Nigeria to reach the finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations. President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari had on Saturday ordered that an emergency meeting of the committee be convened to address the way forward for the Senior National Team, Super Eagles. The technical committee meeting, attended by Barrister Green, Mr. Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Mr. Deji Tinubu, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, Coach Christian Chukwu, Mr. Austin Okocha, Mr. Victor Ikpeba, Mr. Garba Illa, Mr. Garba Lawal and Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme at the Glass House, queried Siasia to explain the Super Eagles’ poor performance in the qualifying series within 48 hours.
Others are Abubakar Kareem (First bank) Ekpai Ubong (Akwa United) Sadiq Saliu (36 Lions) Stanley Ohawuchi (Heartland) did not report to camp and Franklyn Okafor ( Bendel Insurance). According to Dream Team V Media officer Arafat Aliu, the Players left the team’s Genesis Hotel camp, Ibadan on Sunday. He added that Dream Team V goal Keeper, Dele Ajiboye will lead the early arrivals of players as Phase two of the team’s camping exercise begins on Monday. Also expected to hit camp on Monday is Ganiu Oseni, Kingsley Udoh and Shope Ahmed.
ORMER Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Sports Gbenga Elegbeleye has advised the NFF to do away with some players in the national team, and look inward for players that would move the country’s football forward. Speaking immediately after the match the former Honourable member said “this is disastrous for the country’s football. It is unbelievable that the country would not be at next Africa Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The Coaches show be ready to work hard by coming down home to discover new players that are hungry to make names for themselves and the country. We cannot continue with this crop of players that are no longer eager to put the interest of the country at heart”. On the technical crew, Elegbeleye said the blame cannot only be put on the coach, but the players who refused to take the game to opponent right from the blast of whistle. To his successor in office G. Gaya, the entire team including the technical crew should be disbanded immediately “since we are not going to the Nations cup, we should immediately sack the team and the technical crew. We should now come
ABBY Agbonlahor has been told he does not need a back operation and could even be fit to face Manchester City next weekend. The Aston Villa striker feared he could have to undergo surgery on the problem in his lower back which forced him out of contention for a place in England’s squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. Manager Alex McLeish sent the 24year-old to see a top specialist in London and he has now been told that the injury can be managed by treatment and manipulation. Agbonlahor has rediscovered his form under McLeish this season, scoring four Premier League goals so far, and the Villa boss is delighted that he will soon be able to continue his partnership with Darren Bent in attack. McLeish told the Sunday Mirror: “It has been a worry because he has had quite a lot of pain at times and it’s to his credit that he’s wanted to play and ignore it.
GHANA SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Adam Larsen Kwarasey (Stromgodest) Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals) Defenders: Massawudu Alhassan (FC Genoa) John Paintsil (Leicester City), Isaac Vorsah (TSG Hoffenheim), John Mensah (Olympique Lyon), Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade) Midfielders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Dnipro), Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan) Anthony Annan (Vitesse Arnhem), Albert Adomah (Bristol City), Abu Mohammed (Stromgodest), Derek Boateng (FC Dnipro) Quincy OwusuAbeyie (Panathinaikos FC) Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Prince Tagoe (Bursaspor), Dominic Adiyiah (Karsiyaka).
OLD hands of death early morning of Sunday snatched away one of the wives of Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, Chief Mrs. Regina Omobonike Onigbinde, at their Felele, Ibadan residence. The deceased, aged 69 passes away at exactly 7:30 am Sunday morning after a protracted illness. Scores of symphatisers mostly from football family in Ibadan have continued to throng the home of the former national coah number one, Onigbinde crescent, Felele-Rab, Ibadan to sympathize with the football technocrats. Chief Mrs. Omobonike survived by Mr. Gbenga Onigbinde, Mrs. Bolade Adesuyi, Mr. Adeoye Onigbinde, Mrs. Seyi Odelola and Kunle Onigbinde. Burial arrangement according to the FIFA/CAF Technical Instructor who was just returning home that Sunday morning from CAF’s Coaches Training Course held in Abuja will this week be announced. Meanwhile, the much expected recruitment exercise of first batch of student-players into the soccer school initiated by FIFA and CAF Technical Instructor Chief Adegboye Onigbinde and Fame to Glory Soccer Academy (F2G) will on Monday commence inside University of Ibadan stadium. The second phase according to the F2g boss Femi Awolesi, will be held in a month’s time at Dipo Dina International Stadium Ijebu-Ode where the model soccer college is situated.
Yobo reveals Disband Eagles, former lawmaker AFCON blunder NIGERIA/GUINEA FALLOUT
urges NFF From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja back home and start afresh to get players who are hungry to serve the nation”. He said it would not out of place if the technical crew is sacked “what are again are they working for. If we would not be at the Nations cup, what is the coaches doing there”. Dream Team 5 team coach, Austin Eguaveon has advised Nigerians to be patient with the team, as such is bond to happen in football. He said that attention should now be shifted to helping the National U-23 team and the Super Falcons to ensure that they make it to the Olympics. An aggrieved football fan Oliver Uba who spoke to Nationsports said that technical deficiency of the head coach was exposed in that match “we have seen what Siasia can offer. He should just go. He has shown truly that not all Headmasters can make good Principals. He has nothing to offer in the team. We thought he is the right man, but his antics really showed that he is not matured to handle the team”. Meanwhile, some angry fans at the Stadium engaged the security personnel in a fracas which led to broken of some glass doors at the Stadium.
Agbonlahor doesn’t need surgery G
Onigbinde Loses wife
...Eleven decamped as Ajiboye hits camp HE Technical crew of the National U-23 team at the weekend decamped Eleven players from the 29 that made it to camp in the first Phase of the Dream Team V camping exercise ahead of next month’s CAF U-23 Africa championship which serves as the final qualifying round for the Male Football event for London 2012 Olympic. The dropped players include Orji Kalu (Heartland) Uche David (Sharks) Imole Bashiru (Bolowotan FC) Yakubu Olarenwaju (Rising star) Abomina Izuegbu (36 Lions) and Chinedu Sunday (Rangers).
Ghana trio dropped for Nigeria friendly
• Agbonlahor “They (Agbonlahor and Bent) complement each other well because Gabby has that fantastic pace and Darren wins the ball in the air. “If the two of them can continue to make the ball stick then there is potential for a partnership that could be really frightening for defenders.”
IGERIA captain Joseph Yobo was left deflated after illinformed team officials misguided the players during the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea on Saturday. The Super Eagles were 2-1 up in their AFCON clash with Guinea at the Abuja National Stadium, and would most likely have qualified as one of the best runners-up if that had been the final score. However, Yobo has revealed team officials informed the players they need to score three goals to qualify, which resulted in Nigeria going on an all-out attack. The risky strategy left them exposed at the back and saw Guinea net an equaliser in stoppage time to bring an end to Nigeria’s AFCON dreams. “We all went to attack because the officials told us we needed a third goal to ensure our qualification. That was our biggest undoing,” said Yobo. A top official told MTNFootball.com that Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia was under the impression his team needed a 3-1 victory, which is why he brought on strikers Ekigho Ehiosun and Ikechukwu Uche in the second half. The Eagles last failed to qualify for the tournament they won twice in 1980 and 1994, 25 years ago when they were beaten at the post by Zambia. They were held to a goalless draw in Lagos, before the Zambians won the return leg match 1-0 to qualify for Egypt ’86. A very dispirited Eagles left Abuja Sunday morning for what is now a meaningless friendly against archrivals Ghana in London on Tuesday.
Aruna Quadri targets Portuguese title
• Nigeria fans react during Super Eagles’s defeat in the African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match against Guinea in Abuja October 8, 2011.
‘Presidential World Peace to honour fallen heroes’
HE maiden edition of the President World Peace Cup to be organised by Power Uti Worldwide Wrestling Promotion will honour fallen heroes involved in peace efforts across the globe. The wrestling event involving 18 wrestlers from 15 countries is billed for December 11-22 across nine cities in the country. A $50,000 prize is at stake for the winner. But aside the prize money,
organisers of the wrestling bout that will be first of its kind across the country, will also honour fallen heroes involved in peace mission abroad. This was disclosed by Power Uti Worldwide Wrestling Promotion Sports Manger, Leo Akunasha Onyekwere, in an interview on Sunday. He said each of the next of kin of the fallen heroes chosen will get
N100,000 as a way of not only recongnising their past efforts but also to help their dependents left behind. “There are those Nigerians, who either died or maimed during peace keeping efforts abroad. We are looking at between 10-20 beneficiaries. It is going to be an annual event and we are looking at a way of helping those left behind,” he said.
He also added that those who fought against Apartheid in South Africa would also not be left out, saying that the World Peace Cup is meant to also help promote professional wrestling that is facing extinction in the country. “We cannot but remember Nigeria’s participation in dethroning Apartheid in South Africa and those who worked relentlessly to end that ignoble rule in the continent,” said Onyekwere.
LL Africa Games bronze medalist in the Table Tennis event, Aruna Quadri has expresed believe in his intension to guide his new club – GDSR Os Toledos to retain the Portuguese Table Tennis Premier League title. Quadri, who emerged as the sole qualifier for the London 2012 Olympics in the men's single event for Nigeria, in his first season helped A.R. Novelense to make it to the final of the league last season hopes to re-enact his form to assist the Pico Island based team to hold on to the title. He told journalists from his base in Portugal that it was unfortunate that they had to miss out from the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Cup after placing second behind another team from Denmark. “The level of play at the ETTU Cup was high and it was a big challenge for my team. Though we tried our best in Slovakia after qualifying from the first round in Turkey. But we failed to advance to the final stage as another team from Denmark finished top ahead of us. But our focus and my main objective with the team is to ensure that we hold on to the title the team won last year,” he said.
• To extend equipment deal with German firm By Innocent Amomoh “We did great in Slovakia but we were edged out with a point as only the best team qualified to the knockout stage of the ETTU Cup. Despite our lost in the championship, my team never gave up in the Portuguese league as we have started training immediately after our arrival from Slovakia. At present we are topping the league with six points from two matches. Our next league match is against Sporting Club in Lisbon City on October 22. I want to ensure that I prove my worth with the team because I was able to join the club after my performance against them during the league final last season. So my target is to win the league title this year,” the former Union Bank Sports Club of Lagos player added. Meanwhile, the Oyo State-born athlete, who is ranked 226 in the world by the International Table tennis Federation (ITTF) in its October rating, was named the number one player in Portugal by the Portuguese Table Tennis Federation in December 2010.
He will extend his equipment deal with Germany-based Sports Manufacturing firm – Joola. Among the list of players endorsed by Joola, Quadri remains the only black and Africa player on the list of the firm. The African Singles Cup former champion was signed up by the German firm for a two-year deal in 2009 and with few months to his expiration of his first deal, the company has shown interest to extend the player’s contract.
• Aruna Quadri
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
From left: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; House Leader, Mulikat Adeola and Deputy Leader, Leo Ogor during the inauguration of House Committees in Abuja last week.
What to expect from Rep’s 89 Committees Last Thursday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal inaugurated 89 committees, signalling a resolve by the House to approach the legislative duties of the 7th Assembly with seriousness. Against the lacklustre performance of the last House, what is to be expected of the committees? VICTOR OLUWASEGUN and DELE ANOFI explore the task ahead of the House. S expected, the leadership of the House of Representatives has released the full list of its committees’ members, a week after it installed their chairmen and deputies, thereby giving a clear hint about the House’s readiness for a productive legislative agenda. There is no gainsaying the fact that the committees in the 6th House led by the former Speaker, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, had serious challenges that impeded the smooth flow of its workings, which therefore negatively affected the productivity of the House. To a large extent, myriads of problems, ranging from lack of funds to run committees; bickering between chairmen and their deputies, ineptitude, autocratic attitude of chairmen in running the affairs of the committees smeared the records of the 6th House. The former Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Yomi Ogunyomi, who on the inauguration day, delivered the main lecture entitled, “Strengthening the effectiveness of committee system in the House,” alleged that role overlap, personality clashes, strong external influence and frictions over welfare matters, among other issues, constituted major obstacles to the functioning of the committees. But the question now is: Will the committees of the 7th Assembly led by Speaker Tambuwal be of any remarkable difference in terms of delivery and effectiveness? While inaugurating the 89 standing and special committees, Tambuwal promised that the leadership had resolved to strengthen the committee system in the House to enable it “deliver on efficiency and legislative deliverables.” According to him, the House is committed to” equipping the committees to function optimally,” Tambuwal’s decision to inaugurate all the committees in one day is probably an
indication of his good intention which is at variance with the profligate tendencies that defined the essence of the last House as Committees tried to outdo one another with trendy inaugurations and shocking guests’ lists. Ogunyomi’s revelations within the chambers on the inauguration day provided an insight into the factors that impeded the workings of the 6th House. He explained that in the 2009/2010 legislative year only 85 of the standing committees, only Appropriation Committee met 27 times while majority sat not more than 10 times. Perhaps the most worrisome of all the inadequacies of the House Committees in the Dimeji Bankole-led 6th House was, acccording to Ogunyomi that some failed to meet throughout the year while majority were found culpable of not having reports of their activities against set rules. The former Clerk, who caused members to squirm in their seat as he reeled off negative attitudes and dispositions that guaranteed the perceived failure, advised the current House to guard against pitfalls that plagued previous Assemblies in order to record a measure of success. He said the autocratic nature of Chairmen of Committees and the problem of joint referral also added to the inability of the committees of the 6th Assembly to perform optimally, adding that for the House
Committees to achieve even 10 per cent functioning, political parties must refrain from nominating politicians that cannot perform legislative duties. “Political parties must strike a balance between the two, so that the candidates they are fielding for legislative positions can perform to the betterment of those they are representing.” He advocated what he called longevity in the legislature, saying that political parties must encourage continuity whereby professional legislators would be able to produce the required legislative results of a professional legislature. According to him, this could take between 10 to 12 years. “In other words, new members without requisite skills and expertise should not be saddled with the responsibilities of chairing sensitive committees,” he added. Some of the observations of the former Clerk are within the precinct of Tambuwal, his authority or rather, the House leadership’s authority to correct. For instance, the issue of the inclusion of a member of the House in about five committees instead of the maximum of three which Ogunyomi recommended won’t bring out the best in such members. Other aspects such as the quality of candidates presented by the political parties are out of the Speaker’s hands as he can only make do with the materials available. Ogunyomi proposed that a member
‘Will Tambuwal be able to instill discipline in House committees, stop them from receiving assistance from “any person or body,” or from parading the corridors of ministries, departments and agencies for favours, contracts and funding from directors and permanent secretaries as alleged by Ogunyomi’
should not be in more than three committees, even as he implored the leadership of the House to accord priority to infrastructural development for the committees and develop templates for assessing their performances. Though many were made to believe that the inauguration of 89 special and standing committees of the House on Thursday was novel, financial challenges confronting the House were said to have played a major role in the adoption of the one-day ceremony. It was reliably gathered that the 7th Assembly is still feeling the full impact of the financial recklessness of the last leadership of the House. Staggering the inauguration of the committees on different days would have cost the House a fortune as individual committees would expend close to N2 million on logistics for guests and others, while more than 170 legislative working hours at two hours per committee would have been lost. But is saving the House about N178 million in inauguration costs and countless man hours enough to applaud Tambuwal? One of the things the Speaker ought to do, according to observers, is to take urgent steps to sanitise the image of the House which was dragged in the mud with the multitude of scandals and underhand dealings that characterised the previous Assembly. One of the areas he has to work on, it seems, is the issue of committees going cap in hand to MDAs for financial support to carry out their oversight functions. In the last House, it was the order of the day. Will the Tambuwal-led House be different? Ogunyemi’s disclosure that Committees for the last legislative year had 95 workshops, 30 of them foreign, and that it • Continued on page 26
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
‘ACN will not compromise party discipline’ Lagos State Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Otunba Oladele Ajomale spoke with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU on the party’s preparation for October 22 local government elections, among other issues.
OW is the Lagos State ACN monitoring the activities of the government? We are monitoring the activities of the state government. The party and the government sit down, at least, four times in a year; with the leadership of the party, to Jaw Jaw and see how the party can contribute to the development of the state. Anyway, there is no way they will do the state’s economic summit and the party will not send its economic experts there. We are looking at the interest of the people and have best it can be achieved. Is the party doing the same in connection with the local governments? We do that. we monitor them. But this time around, we are establishing what we call the Planning and Strategy Department in the party secretariat to monitor the activities of the local governments. We have had so many reports from our people at the local government level and we are not very happy. Therefore, we are setting up the Planning and Strategy Department to oversee the progress in each local government. How is the Lagos State ACN responding to the complaints of members who felt that they were left in the cold when Governor Babatunde Fashola was setting up his cabinet? You cannot call the meeting of the whole party to select those who are to work with Fashola. It is never done anywhere. I have never seen anywhere they’ve done that. We are talking about people to work with him and i think that he has the priority to select the people, which will make the party proud. So, it is not an issue that is thrown out to every member of the party. We have over one million mem-
bers for Christ’s sake in Lagos alone, registered members. Can we call a meeting of one million people to decide that at the stadium? That is absurd. Many members complained that leaders who handled the short-listing and screening deliberately yanked off their names from list recommended to the governor... I don’t know about that. The people were to work with the governor and they should know that the governor has the priority to choose whoever he feels he can work with. we don’t impose people on him. Tomorrow, if they fail, he will not say that the party imposed people on him. The local government election is around the corner. What are your expectations? The people of Lagos State have made us proud. The only thing is for us to reciprocate and ensure that they have the good things of life and dividends of democracy in the nooks and crannies of Lagos. We must ensure that the promises we made are fulfilled. Lagosians have stood by us. They have been supportive. We have fulfilled the promises before and we will fulfill them again. We will not take the people for granted. That is why we are different from the PDP. Our candidates for the council elections were vigorously screened by a committee and the list is our. we have ensure that those there are responsible people are going to be responsive to the yearnings of their people. Many of them are professionals, not pack of illiterates. We now have professionals in politics, like me. I am a lawyer. The man sitting down there is an engineer. Our former deputy governor is a chartered accountant.
• Ajomale (centre), Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin Local Council, Ayo Adewale (left) and Lagos State ACN Vice Chairman, Cardinal James Odumbaku, at the party’s stakeholders’ meeting at Ikeja.
Could you give insight into the criteria for selecting the candidates? We are not going beyond the LASIEC guidelines. We ensure that you are a member of our party. You have contributed your quota to the party. In term of age, your age must be the one stipulated by the law. You must not have been to jail before. All those ones were verified. The certificate claims were verified. How is the party responding to the feud brewing between the National Legal Adviser and House of Assembly Speaker? I don’t see that. I don’t know about any feud between them. I think it is a misunderstanding, which we have been able to settle. And since then, there has never been any problem. It is a misunderstanding. It is not a feud. The National Legal Adviser wrote to the party that the Speaker violated the party’s guidelines for the election of the principal officers of the House and the party issued a query... I wrote a query based on the allegation made by Banire and I sent it to the Speaker to reply and the Speaker had done that immediately and we have looked at it and we have resolved it. What was the reply of the Speaker? You know I cannot tell you. Could you explain the mechanism for party discipline in your party? We have enforcement. That is, we suspend anybody who violates the
party’s guidelines. There is party discipline. I have just spoken with somebody this morning, that nobody is above the constitution of the party and we will go strictly by the constitution of the party. If you go wrong, we suspend you. That is the highest we can do. Only the national convention can ratify dismissal. We will not get to that before whoever that is being disciplined steps back from those attitudes. Councillors have complained that they have not been allowed to carry out the responsibility of impeaching some chairmen who have erred... We do sometimes. Sometimes, we call them and we call the chairmen. You cannot say that you are impeaching the chairman because you asked for money from him and you are not given. That is wrong. That cannot be supported by us. If it is on the basis of non-performance, it s a different thing. But, if you lower yourself to that level by asking for money that the chairman cannot give, and because of that you are suspending him or you are impeaching him, who gave you that right? There must be a reason. We are the watchdog. We cannot allow that to take place. They will be destroying the reputation of the party. They will be insulting our integrity. If the public hears about that, what will happen? So, we have to step in and ensure that the right thing is done. How is the party monitoring the members of the state and National Assembly members elected on its
platform? We always have meetings. I sometimes go to Abuja to discuss with them. The national chairman also have meetings with them in Abuja. So, we have very good relationship. Those from Lagos come home every month to attend meetings with their constituencies. We have made that mandatory. They must come home and report to their constituencies what they have done. In return, the people will tell them what they want. When he goes back, he will be able to adequately represent his constituency. It is a two-way thing. What is your party and government doing to actualise the goal of special status for Lagos? There have been moves by our members in the House. There is no where in the world that the capital is moved and the former capital is neglected; a former capital, which incidentally is the economic nerve center of the country. It is the gateway. When people come to Nigeria, they land in Lagos. So, how can you abandon that strategic state? Lagos cannot do it alone. Lagos is like a mini Nigeria. There is no ethnic group in Nigeria that is not represented in Lagos. What are the elements of the economic integration which your party and governments are pursuing in the Southwest? Some committees have been formed to look at the possibility. The report will be out. The programme will catapult our economy in each state to a higher level. It is a good idea.
Reps committees: Is it time for fresh wind? • Continued from page 25
•Hon. Jide Akinloye (left), Hon. Samuel Babatunde Adejare (centre) and the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Sampson Adeola Olalekan, during the inauguration of the House of Representatives Committees in Abuja. PHOTO:ABAYOMIFAYESE
caused a big challenge to meeting the 181 days mandatory sitting in a year, is another area to look into. He revealed that in 2009/2010 legislative year of the House, out of the 85 stand committees, only Appropriation Committee met 27 times while majority could only meet for not more than 10 times. Tambuwal, in his inauguration speech, promised to fix the gaping holes. According to him, the committees are expected to prepare and submit their work plans, as well as make available periodic reports to the House on their activities. “They will be considered and debated. Templates and standardisation of reporting formats will be introduced,” he prom-
ised. Can Tambuwal instill discipline in House committees, stop them from receiving assistance from “any person or body,” or from parading the corridors of ministries, departments and agencies for favours, contracts and funding from directors and permanent secretaries as alleged by Ogunyomi? On the “longevity” of lawmakers in the House, though Tambuwal may not be able to exert any hold on the electorate on who returns or does not return to the House after the next four years, expectations are high as to how well the current lawmakers utilise their mandate in ensuring people-oriented legislation.
Netherlands to support Osun
Pupils celebrate culture
Lawmaker trains 300 women
MONDAY OCTOBER 10, 2011
For the love of Ekiti poor The wife of Ekiti State Governor Mrs. Bisi Fayemi has visited various skill acquisition centres in Lagos State with a view to replicating same back home for the economic advancement of the less privileged. MIRIAM NDIKANWU reports
N spite of the fact that the Kayode Fayemi administration has done quite a lot lift the profile of the less privileged in Ekiti State, there is a push to do more. The visit to Lagos by Mrs Bisi Fayemi, wife of the governor, supplied ample proof of that. On the visit, she toured various skill acquisition centres, aiming to establish them also in Ekiti upon her return. No effort should be spared in helping the poor to lead more profitable lives, she said. Governor Fayemi has since unveiled his administration’s programme for the needy. Expectant mothers enjoy free health care, for instance, as do the aged and the underfives. Artisans have been provided with equipment at a highly subsidised rate. Traders, too, have been empowered with loans through their cooperative societies. Almost 5,000 people have been given jobs in a state employment drive which aims at taking 20,000 people out of the labour market. But there is need to do more. That was
•Mrs. Bisi Fayemi (in front) followed by Mrs Risikat Akinyode, Mrs Funke Owoseni and Mrs Dolapo Osibanjo during a tour of a skill centre in Lagos why the governor’s wife came to Lagos. She said she wanted to learn the mode of operation in these centres in order to replicate them in Ekiti. She said it will help to respond more to the needs of the downtrodden in the state. Mrs Fayemi and her large contingent including the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Gender Empowerment, Mrs Funke Owoseni, top government functionaries, among others, were conducted round the various facilities by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Riskat Akinyode. Among places visited were Homes for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking at Ayobo Ipaja, Clinic and Homes for physically challenged children, Ketu, and the
various skill acquisition centres at Egan, Mushin, Isheri, amongst others. Fayemi who was fascinated with her observation at the various places visited, expressed satisfaction with the effort of the Lagos State Government in establishing the centres which has in no small measure, assisted in poverty alleviation and economic development of the people. She said the development is a special project between her and the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Gender Development to revive the once thriving Egede women development centres now moribund. “We do have some skill acquisition centres in Ekiti State,” she said, “but like I said, it is a project to revive Egede women centre. That place used to be a thriving place, a place where women could go and learn all kinds
of things. Today, it is a shadow of what it used to be. So what I will like to do in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs is for us to revive those skill acquisition programmes of the centre. “We don’t need to run many programmes but whatever we are able to come up with, will be done adequately and effectively so that those who come there to acquire the skill can go back to their community to do the best they can for them. She said the effort of the Lagos State government should not only be applauded; Leaders all over the country who are worried about how to meet the need of the marginalised in their states should come and learn from what Lagos has established •Continued on Page 28
Ogun warns on diarrhoea among children NUTRITIONIST, Mr. Gbenga Idowu has spoken out on the ravages of diarrhoea among children below the age of two. He said no fewer than 151,700 of them die of the disease annually in Nigeria, according to WHO and UNICEF. Idowu, State Nutrition Officer, Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHDB) said the disease has become a “global burden” with India having the highest annual death rate of 386,600 among children. The Democratic Republic of Congo posts a figure of 89,900, ranking third after Nigeria. He said cleanliness, quality nutrition, early detection and intervention with zinc and oral rehydration therapy remain the best solution to the attack of diarrhoea in children and prevention of death associated with it. He spoke at Abeokuta, the state capital, dur-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
ing a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting on the use of zinc and Low Osmolarity Rehydration Salt (LO-ORS). The programme was organised by OGPHDB in collaboration with UNICEF. Idowu advised mothers, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists and patent medicine dealers to adopt the new zinc therapy for childhood diarrhoea, saying zinc tablets when administrated according to expert prescription, reduces the duration, severity and probability of continuous diarrhoea. According to him, zinc also improves the immune system of children which is a bulwark against childhood infections including diarrhoea. Also, Dr Andrew Offor, a UNICEF representative, said it is the loss of fluid that kills children
suffering from the disease and stressed that management and treatment should focus on prevention, administration of zinc and replacement of fluid through quick and steady rehydration. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, said that malnutrition in children is a contributory factor to the prevalence of diarrhoea in Nigeria and lamented that multiple strategies employed in the past to tackle malnutrition yielded not significant result. He added that deaths due to diarrhoea could be prevented through exclusive breastfeeding, Vitamin A supplementation, LO–ORS, Zinc supplementation, home fluids and continuous breastfeeding and said the state government would be receptive to ideas aimed at tackling diarrhoea among children.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
For the love of Ekiti poor •Continued from Page 27 for poverty alleviation of the people. “I’m impressed with the facility I have seen here and the enthusiasm of the residents and students at the centre,” Mrs Fayemi said. “I congratulate them and I look forward to coming here again.” On the challenge of sourcing for market for graduates of the centre, she said “that is a challenge that any provider of the skill should be faced with; what is important to us now is to get something for our young people. We will certainly get to know how to address those challenges when we get there.” The wife of the governor who was touched by stories of some of the residents at the home for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, said the time has come for all women and wellmeaning men to stand up and put an end to the situation, which she described as inhuman. “One of the challenges that is very dear in the heart of the Ekiti State government is being able to respond to the challenges of victims of domestic violence. At the moment in our state, we are taking care of a 13-year-old girl that was impregnated by a police officer; we are trying to see how we can help them rebuild their lives and reintegrate them into the society. In her contribution, the coordinator of the home, Mrs Dolapo Osibanjo, said there is a plan to enlist women into martial arts as a way of defending themselves from domestic violence. Conducting them round the fa-
T started just like all past visits of former state governors to the local government. Governor Fayemi was visiting the local government for a Town Hall meeting. The usual dense presence of people and movements in and out of the local government could not have afforded a specially challenged individual like Kayode Olawuyi any free movement. But he was not daunted. He never heard of the planned visit of the governor and was only prevailed upon by friends to go to the local government that day. Olawuyi, who was orphaned while he was in secondary school, is a crippled cobbler in Aramoko. In a chat with our correspondent, he said all he wanted was to see Fayemi at close range.
cilities, Osibanjo explained that a total of 12 residents are presently resident in the home, which has a 150-bed capacity. She said the home is run on the annual subvention from the government as well as the goodwill of individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). She listed their challenges to include men coming to the home to attack their wives, as well as the difficulties in re-integrating residents into their families and the society. “While they are here we put them through lessons, and we also have plan to establish a vocational centre so that the residents can learn and acquire skills that will engage them when they are reintegrated back to the society. Mrs. Fayemi was also fascinated by the interest of a 24-year-old Kolawale Bola, who is training at the department of wheel balancing and alignment at Igando skill centre. Bola who said she enrolled in the centre after performing poorly in her Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, said it is a golden opportunity to be training as a female in a field dominated by the opposite sex. “I thank the Lagos State Governor for giving me this opportunity,” she said. “Some of us, especially those in the opposite sex dominated vocations, find it very difficult to learn because of the embarrassment, but when we got this opportunity to learn here, we have realised that we can do this job with pleasure and be good at it. “I have discovered that it is easy to learn here because I have to put everything behind me and
•One of the Homes visited learn this skill very well, I did not credit my papers after my senior school certificate examination, and I was idling away at home when someone informed me about the opportunity here; I quickly obtained the form. I was glad to have been taken and since them I’m really enjoying my experience here.” The excited trainee said she is full of hopes after completing her
training to be among the best service providers in her vocation. “I will not want to leave this for another department. On several occasions people have asked me if I will want to change from this to something more feminine but I always let them that I don’t have the intention to do so, although I understand that it is usually not easy to survive in male dominated professions but I am
convinced that I will excel well with this vulcanising work. I enjoy it and just can’t wait to graduate and take my skill to the street to attend to peoples vehicles”. “Besides, this centre is well known for producing good hands, because the report about graduates from here has been quite impressive. This is the assurance that I have that I can be among the best.”
How Fayemi changed cobbler’s life From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
But the governor had a pleasant surprise for him. It was Fayemi who saw him in his wheelchair amidst the thick crowd and beckoned on him to come. He was given an opportunity to speak. Olawuyi used the golden opportunity to ask for employment. The governor obliged immediately, directing the chairman of the local government to employ the crippled man who has lived over three decades of his life in near penury. The governor also asked his Special Assistant on Special Duties, Mr. Tope Longe, to follow it up.
The process of his employment was accelerated and he started in April. Olawuyi narrated how the encounter with Fayemi changed his life. “I don’t have a father or mother and since I finished secondary school, life has been very difficult with me and my siblings,” he began. “Although I mend shoes, the proceeds from this job are not enough for me, let alone to support my siblings. “I went to the meeting with the hope of just seeing the governor. But the governor saw me from afar and asked some people to bring me to the front. I did not know how Governor Fayemi saw me and sent for me. I was given
the opportunity to speak and I begged him to give me employment. “I was initially sceptical when he asked the chairman to employ me and he asked one of his aides to do the follow-up. I had thought it was a political statement but Mr. Tope Longe came and in less than a week I was given employment. With the employment which puts me on level 04, my life has changed and my siblings are also thanking God”, Olawuyi said. Olawuyi said that he has used part of his salary to buy a machine for filing shoes. He also intends to expand his business. The Secretary of the Ekiti West Local Government, Mr. Claudius Adetule, told our correspondent that Olawuyi has shown a lot of enthusiasm in his new job and is coping very well at the Community Department where he is working. He said that many handicapped persons have been coming to the secre-
tariat for employment since Olawuyi was employed but he appealed to them to be patient, saying the state government has given the council some forms to fill for possible employment. Longe, Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Projects, recalled that it was the state governor who actually spotted Olawuyi struggling to find a way in the crowd. “It was a busy moment for everyone that day. The hall in which the event took place was already filled to capacity. How His Excellency spotted Olawuyi was even a riddle of sorts, but it went to show the kind of a leader the governor is. “After directing the local government chair to employ him, he mandated me to keep following it up, saying I should ensure it was done. Busy as the governor always is, he kept asking me until I assured him that Olawuyi was already an employee of the local government.”
I was initially sceptical when he asked the chairman to employ me . I had thought it was a political statement but in less than a week I was given employment. My life has changed, and my siblings are also thanking God
•Olawuyi in wheelchair
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Youth forum to hold leadership summit
FRICAN Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention, in conjunction with the Imo State Government Bureau of Youths, has concluded plans to stage the first Imo State youth leadership and crime prevention summit. The event is scheduled to hold at All Seasons Hotel, Owerri on the October 27, 2011. The Executive Director of African Youth Initiatives on Crime Prevention, Chris Ibe made this known at a press briefing held at Feel at Home Kitchen, Surulere, Lagos. The theme of the programme is Community Policing and Safety of Cites: the Role of the Youth in the Present Political Dispensation. Organisers said the summit will bring together youths, government agencies, law enforcement agency, civil society groups, traditional leaders and community youths N awareness programme on climate change solution has been held. It was organised by Building Beter Africa Foundation (BBAF), a nongovernmental organisation at Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Conference Hall, Town Planning Way, Ilupeju, Lagos. The organisation established in 2006 has held different awareness programmes at the grassroots . A participant, Bamgbose Nole Mary, from Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority Rural Institution Development, said: “Climate change is a serious risk to poverty reduction and threatens to undo decades of development efforts. It deepens poverty and challenges poverty reduction strategies and it will have a negative impact on propoor growth and levels of vulnerability and poverty. Climate change poses great challenges to
•From left: Sport Events Coordinator of Africa Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention, Eric Egbufor, Programme Manager, Nnenna Ukoha, Executive Director, Chris Ibe, Coordinator Special Events, Obinna Nwosu, and International Training Officer, Kenny Arije at the briefing By Adeola Ogunlade
associations. The programme, he said, is aimed at educating youths on the dangers and repercussions of crime as well as priming them inspiring and developing their human capacity towards becoming change agents in their various communities.
He said that the state of insecurity in the Nigeria today calls for concern and we all must not fold our hands to watch how our nation is been destroyed by those who had refuse to see peace as a great tool for national development. Ibe lamented that our educational institutions and communities are been held hostage by different groups of criminals, terror-
ist and cultists who are also already made instrument to perpetuate crime either as political thugs, kidnappers or even as assassins and suicides bomber. This, he noted that why youths must always be engaged through events by appealing to their conscience so as to direct them with objective programmes and advises that can bring about a posi-
tive change in our society. Guests at the occasion included Deputy Speaker, House of Representative, Emeka Ihedioha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, Minister For Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorchas, Imo State Commissioner For Youth, Kenneth Emelu, among others.
Climate change and poverty reduction By Osas Robert
society, particularly in Nigeria. Speaking on the impact on development,she said: “The impacts of climate change will reverse decade’s worth of human
development gains and pose a threat to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while Nigeria remains one of the most vulnerable to these future threats. She has limited capacity to address the cli-
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average
•From left: chairman, Elders Council Forum, Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), Chief Layi Osunkunle, Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Adetokunbo Fayokun and chairman, Oyo State NUT, Mr Joseph Babatunde at the World Teachers Day celebration in Ibadan
mate crisis. Unless people have basic access to water, sanitation, food and energy, to institutions that work, and a say in the decisions that affect their lives, they will not be able to cope with a changing climate”. According to the president of the foundation, Mr Abiodun Olaniyi, “Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole earth. Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to being unable to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, healthcare, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Dr Femi Kusa, fellow, National Association of Physicians of National Medicine, fellow, Nigeria Guild of Editors said certain laws govern the whole of creation like nature law of motion. According to him, “There is a work called creation and has many laws which uphold it. For instance, the earth and to which the sun is central and movement of the earth brings out day and night. There is a third movement
called precipitation. Solar systems constitutes galaxies which in turn constitutes the universe and with all the movement impacting on one another bringing about climate change. Poverty has to do with the human spirit because man is a human spirit from the spiritual world to the real world and man came from the spiritual world for the purpose of adapting in this real world. The high level of poverty is as a result of man’s inability to adapt to his environment” he said. These climate changes affect poverty reduction strategies that have been implemented over the years by the government. Olaniyi said “Increased temperature and changes in precipitation reduces agricultural and natural resources and change in precipitation run-off and variability leads to greater water stress. Increased incidence or intensity of climate-related disasters also leads to damages of infrastructure while temperature, water and vegetation changes contribute to increased prevalence of diseases like tuberculosis which is worse than aids”. Olaniyi said there is no telling what climate change can impact on poverty. Climate variability will increase people’s vulnerability to shocks more generally and is likely to directly impact on poor people’s livelihood assets while the ability of poor people to cope with a changing climate is weakening. Mrs Ifeoma Okeke, Zonal Co•Continued on Page 38
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Ajimobi’s wife lauded over clinics for widows
Netherlands assures Osun on technical assistance
EFFORTS of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola to achieve mass food production received a boostlast week as the Netherlands Republic promised to provide technical and financial support. Giving this assurance was the Deputy Head of Missions of Netherlands, Mr. Hans de Brabander who, while paying a courtesy visit to Governor Aregbesola.He assured that he would utilise his contacts to open up the potential of Osun State to Dutch investors. Describing Netherlands as the fifth largest economic power in the world, the diplomat highlighted the advantages that could accrue
Ogun communities to enjoy potable water
HE Ogun State government said it has concluded plans to povide potable water in communities which have no access to water so as to prevent cholera outbreak. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka, made the disclosure at a meeting with the co-ordinators of primary healthcare centres in the state’s 20 local government areas (LGAs). He noted that the occurrence of a disease outbreak has always led to apprehension, anxiety and pain which often led to loss of lives. “This is what we have to prevent, and we are going to do that in order to ensure we don’t get to that level of loss of lives,’’ Soyinka said. He said it was heart-warming that there had been no report of cholera outbreak in the state since 2009, adding that government was soliciting support for its control in Nigeria. Soyinka called for better collaboration with other relevant ministries to adopt measures to prevent an epidemic.
Ogun “Prevention is a wise investment, and it is capable of engendering economic prosperity,’’ he said. The commissioner urged the co-ordinators to improve on preventive measures by strengthening efforts at ensuring environmental sanitation and improved food and personal hygiene. Dr Kayode Kusimo, the Director Public Health in the ministry, advised residents in the state to always seek treatment from physicians and other trained healthcare providers. “This should be done immediately they notice severe diarrhoea,’’ he said. The director disclosed that the ministry was already developing a “Behaviour Change Communication’’ to serve as a sensitisation material to the general
Osun to Osun State from the agricultural technology and innovative science He described the starting point adopted by the governor for the development of the Osun State economy as a wise one saying: “the starting point identified by the governor is a very wise one. If you want to develop your economy, you should not start from the top.You should start from the bottom as the governor has identified it”. He expressed confidence that there were untapped potentials in agricultural, dairies and food storage sectors which could generate bumper employment for the people of the state. “If you want to develop your agriculture sector to provide employment, it is good. It can generate employment for your economy”. Mr. Hans de Brabander disclosed further that agriculture has become hitech field as many blue chip companies have invested in it. The utilisation of these advantages in improved agricultural practice, the diplomat stressed, was one of the reasons that made him to come and pay the visit as he assured that he would link Dutch investors with the state government so as to launch the development focus of both his country and Osun State.
HE Wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs Abiola Ajimobi, has been praiseded by stakeholders and community leaders in Oke-Ogun area of the state for building clinics in the 33 local government areas of the state where widows and aged women would access free health services. The wife of the Chairman, Saki West Local Government, Mrs Mrs Serifat Adebayo, led other leaders in the area to laud the governor’s wife for her pet project. She said the clinics would go a long way in helping widows and aged women in local communities to enjoy improved health services because they will not have to pay for the services. Mrs Ajimobi was in the sleepy town to commission the clinic when she received the commendation.
‘Women participation crucial to development’ W
IFE of Ekiti State Governor and Chairperson, Ekiti Development Foundation, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has said that women should exert and assert themselves by putting up programmes that would move the state forward . Erelu Fayemi, who gave the charge at a programme organised by Women in Technical Education and Employment (WITED), Federal
Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure
environmment. “The posting of all principals and vice principals is now put on hold and will be reviewed as appropriate in due course, the re-articulation policy is on course and will be vigorously pursued in the best interest of the teachers and other stakeholders,” the chairman stresssed Amure directed all principals of former SSS to take over as principals of both sections and assisted by principals of the JSS. He added that all teachers already posted as principals and vice-principals should return to their former schools and await further directives. On his mission, the new TESCOM chairman said the re-engineering of secondary education for better performance in public examination would be his focus, adding that constant consultation with relevant stakeholders in education sector would be prioritised. Amure pledged to be resolute in the discharge of his assigment for the people of the state, stressing that TESCOM in Ondo state would be first among equals in the federation.
•From left: Rotn. Oritsemogho Okirika (left) with Rotn. Akinrodemi during the event
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti
Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, , urged women to influence the lives of their colleagues in the rural areas with their knowledge. She praised members of the group for embarking on programmes that would enhance development of the state,saying she believed in gender empowerment as a way of raising the voice and status of women in the state and elsewhere. In a speech delivered by Mrs. Taiwo Akande on behalf of the Rector, Mrs. An Aboloma said WITED event was conducted annually as a festival for women in technical education to come together to elaborate, brainstorm and re-affirm their commitments to the cause of women education. Akande noted that WITED is set to increase women’s access to science and technology and promote greater participation of women scientists in development of their countries. “We urge you to start this from the scratch by focusing on scientific education of the girlchild”, Akande said.
Briefly •Osun State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Folake Adegboyega (right) presenting some gifts to mother of quadruplet, Mrs Ramota Adeyemo, at Layo Model Hospital, Ikire, Irewole Local Government Council Area . PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Rotary inaugurates president
OTARY Club of Yaba has inaugurated its 37th president.He is Rotarian Akinyemi Oriola Akinrodemi . The venue,Hocal Suites,Yaba, was filled to the brim as the event was witnessed by members of the club and the public . Speaking at the ceremony, the new president promised to embark on a N10 million project to touch the lives of the less privileged in the area. The project, according to him, will provide many toilet units with water facility at old people homes, half container of wheel chairs to the physically challenged. In addition, the club hopes to donate and also provide mosquito nets, baby cots and beddings to public hospitals in Lagos. As a result of the high cost of the project, he souhgt the support of the public saying:”you will agree with me that our set projects will cost some money, for this reason, we are appealing to you as friends to donate generously towards this noble course”. He continued: “As we dine and wine today, I urge you to remember the less fortunate ones in our society. It is not secret that our environment is awash with them. They need us more than we need them.” His predecessor, Rotn. Oritsemogho Okirika advised his successor to follow the footsteps of past presidents in order to move the club forward.
Lagos By Sulaiman Gbenga Idowu
Speaking on how the club attends to the needs of the public, he said “…we reach them directly and make sure it satisfies their needs”. The Chief Master of the ceremony (CMC), Rotn. Adegoke added that at the beginning of every rotary year, the club goes round the communities to find out what they need and work in line with this to carry out their projects. Okirika explained that low membership constitutes the greatest challenge facing the club.He said: “…because you don’t gain anything, you only give; to get people to give is always a big challenge” he commented.
Church holds harvest
HE Cherubim and Seraphim Church, 11, Adeoye Street, Transformer Bus Stop, Adiyan, Ifako- Ijaiye will mark the 14th harvest anniversary on October 30. The anniversary will be preceeded by a week-long activity. Speaking on the event, the founder, Sup. Ap. S. O. Olayinka, said activities announcing the programme will begin with a three-day powerpacked revival. Other activities lined up for the event include praise night, film show and Bible quiz.
AHEAD of the forthcoming council poll in Lagos, the campaign train of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area met a brick wall as people suspected to be members of the opposition party disrupted the campaign at Anishere junction, Olota Captain Area along old Ota road. There were free use of stones, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons during the fracas. The incidence scared onlookers and residents in the area who fled to different directions for safety. The fracas which extended to Ekoro junction along Abule-Egba road also caused serious traffic congestion where commuters and passengers were subjected to untold hardship as a result of free for-all fight of broken bottles by the thugs. ACN party chairman in the council, Chief Segun Shodiya appealed to the state Police commissioner, Mr Yakubu Alkali to carry out proper investigation on the disruption of the party. Shodiya urged Alkali to bring the culprits to book. He said no society becomes great when citizens who are suppose to be leaders of tomorrow are embodiment of destruction and violence. Earlier on, Scores of residents from different communities in the council trooped out in large number to demonstrate their support for the ACN chairmanship candidate, Dr Augustine Arogun in preparation for the election. The delegates numbering to 2000 sighted with brooms were also seen in different strategic locations chanting political slogans with banners of various inscriptions and other paraphernalia that best proclaim the antecedents of the candidate.
Mrs Adebayo noted that the programme was highly commendable and timely bearing in mind the difficulty widows encounter in attempts to access good medical services particularly because of the high cost of the services. She said that most of the widows and aged are the most neglected and abandoned segment of the society. Her words:”kindly permit me to say that your pet project, the Widowhood and Aged Support Programme is not only timely but also responsive to the yearning and aspirations of widows and the aged in our society, knowing full well that widows and the aged are the most neglected and most abandoned segment of the
AGOS State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Abdulateef Ibirogba, has revealed why the state is peaceful despite the crises in some part of the country. He urged the residents of the state to maintain the peaceful atmosphere. He praised the people for their cordial relation despite the diverse background of the 18 million population of the nation economic capital. Ibirogba noted this in Lagos at the 6th Annual Special Lecture of The Muslim Congress (TMC) Lagos State Chapter to commemorate the nation’s 51st Anniversary. He said the state government has devised various measures to make people live peacefully. He said: “Lagos is peaceful as you can see. We appreciate our people and they realise what we are doing for them. “Every citizen has the right to live in Lagos and so long as you come to Lagos, we take care of you. We have been encouraging the people to maintain peaceful co-existence.” On the security challenge in the state, he said: “We hold security meeting every time as a preventive measure so that it doesn’t get to a situation that cannot be managed. “Everybody’s safety is our responsibility. We agree with the ways of life of the people and we are in tune what they do.” He added: “Every time we hold meeting with non-indigenes, we hold stakeholders
Party seeks investigation into violence By Tajudeen Adebanjo
•Governor Ajimobi society” She, therefore pledged her unflinching support for the supervision of the project at the council.
‘Why Lagos is peaceful’
•From left: Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, his deputy , Prince Segun Adesegun and Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa during the 2011 World Teachers’ Day celebration at the MKO Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta
Ondo suspends posting of principals HE Ondo State government has suspended the posting of principals and vice principals from one school to the other immediately. The exercise in the recent past had pictched the state govenrment against teachers who were aggrieved in the handling of the posting. At his maiden press briefing in Akure, the state capital, the new chairman of the Teaching Service Commission [TESCOM], Mr Fola Amure, however said re-articulation policy was on course. He said the affected teachers who are less than 2,000 in the 296 secondary schools should go back to their former schools to facilitate correction of the anormally. Amure, who until his recent appointment was a member of the state Law Commission, said the state govenrment had taken the lead on the implementation of re-articulation of public secondary schools. This, according to him, was in strict compliance with the directive of the Federal Ministry of Education which led to the merger of Junior Secondary Schools [JSS] with the Senior Secondary Schools [SSS] under one principal. “The re-articulation policy is to restore the lost glory of education and for optimal utilisation of teachers as well as eliminate bickering between principals within the same
Lagos By Wasiu Adeyemi
session and town hall meeting with advocacy group. “We go to communities and hold meetings with them. We admonish them all the time and all suggestions from there are addressed accordingly. “The Ministry of Information holds meetings with all security agencies to know the challenges they face so that we can resolve them.”
The commissioner, who represented the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) at the event, praised the Muslims for their non-violent conduct with other religious bodies. He urged them to seek for more Islamic education as this will remove violence. He said: “Lagos is proud of its teeming population with peaceful co-existence among the citizens despite the diverse background. “We are particularly happy for the Muslims in the State for their conduct and non-violent preaching despite the crisis of Boko Haram in the northern part of the country.
Council kicks off free education
HE Chairman, Irepo Local Government Area of Oyo State and chairman of All Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Hon. Yekeen Popoola, has restated the commitment of his administration to all electoral promises of his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria in the state. He made the statement in Kisi at the flag-off of free education programme in five primary schools in the council area. The schools were ADS Primary school, Kaiama road; Atipa Primary School, Atipa; Baptist Primary School, Kanjuko; Community Primary School, Ajangba and L.A Primary School, Agede. While distributing exercise books to pupils, Hon. Popoola enjoined parents, teachers and all residents to have faith in the leadership of Senator Ajimobi who on assumption of office reduced the tuition fees of all tertiary
institutions in by 50 percent and many other programmes that have brought succour to the populace. The ALGON chairman said that since education remains the best legacy that can be bequeathed to the children, it behoves on the teachers to be more committed to their work just as he charged the pupils to be more serious in their studies so as to justify the money expended on them by the government. Hon. Popoola promised further that all other instructional materials would be provided to all schools in the council. The event was well attended by wife of the chairman, Mrs. Zainab Popoola, all heads of departments, CAN chieftains and people from different parts of the state.
Teachers score council chief high
HE President of the National Union of Teachers, Mushin branch, Comrade Ivnosetge Osoba has praised the giant strides of the Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area,Hon Olatunde Adepitan, saying he has been a pride to the teaching profession.He said this during the celebration of World Teachers Day in Lagos According to Comrade Osoba, as the Chairman of Mushin Council, Adepitan shone like a northern star, projecting the good image of the profession, by constructing schools, renovating some, providing free exercise books to pupils and attending to the needs of the schools. “Today is World Teachers’ Day where the virtues of the teaching profession are highlighted. We call on government at all levels to take a que from the wonderful job Adepitan is doing in Mushin. “When he assumed office, we thought he would alienate himself from his colleagues, surprisingly he became more humble, kind and accessible. Those in the position of authority ought to impart positively on their community, this he was able to do within the past three years. “We approached him to collaborate in the celebration of World Teachers’ Day last year, he showed positive response and stayed with us throughout the duration of the programme. “He clearly showed that the discipline in the teaching profession was brought to the political arena,”he said He added that his conduct in the public place shows that only those who have been tested and found to be fit should be allowed to occupy public office, where they will use their wealth of experience, maturity and
knowledge to improve on the welfare of the general public. The Executive Secretary Local Government Education Authority, Mr. Yussuf Olokodana, said Adepitan always make himself available to the people. “Mushin cannot be managed like other local government in Lagos, it needs an experienced and matured person who can use his clout to keep the people at peace, we are advocating that local government election so
that he can consolidate on what he has achieved. We are organising a rally for him in Mushin to drum support for his candidature, he is an easy sell, he concluded. Reacting to their comments, the council chief thanked the teachers for identifying with him. He promised to donate a teachers’ bus if elected for second term. He congratulated them on their day and charged them to continue to pass knowledge to the younger generation.` `
• From left: Council Manager, Mushin Local Government Area, Mr Sunday Oduwole, Hon. Adepitan, Executive Secretary L.G.E.A, Mr Yussuf Olokodana and Comrade Osoba during the rally
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
CITYBEATS THE NATION
Motorists’ unending agony on Airport Road M
OTORISTS hiss in anger By Toluwani Eniola as they wriggle out of the potholes and craters on he said in pidgin. Wasiu Ajao, another commercial the road. The potholes cause a traffic gridlock that stretches as long driver, said the road deserves urgent intervention because of its imas the eyes can see. The passengers caught in traffic portance. Ajao, who plies Mile 2 to wear long, sad faces. Some of them Airport Road daily, said the situarain curses on the government for tion is compounded by poor drainthe poor state of the road. Those age. He said he has had to change sitting by the windows thrust their his tyres almost every month beheads out for fresh air to escape cause of the state of the road. He said: “What I have noticed the heat inside the vehicles. This drama plays out daily on the here is sheer irresponsibility by the Murtala Muhammed International Federal Government because this road has not been given priority Airport (MMIA) Road in Lagos. Although it is, arguably, the busi- attention. “FERMA seems to wait for the est airport and a major gateway of the nation, it has continued to suf- potholes to get wide before movfer from lack of attention by the ing in to intervene. This has caused government. For many years, the pain to many of us. My advice to road has been decrepit. the government is to find a Despite public outcry, For many lasting solution to the road nothing has been done this is getting unyears, the because about the road, which is bearable.” road has the first many foreigners Segun Falade, who claims ply on their arrival in the to be a regular user of the been country. road, said he couldn’t recall decrepit any meaningful improveThere are murky pools of water on same sections ment done on any segment at Apakun, Charity, Mafoluku and of the road. “This road is bad, as you can see. Hajj Camp bus stops. Some parts have been filled with From Mafoluku Junction to Seven/ broken blocks to make them Eight bus stop, you will notice there motorable. At the Airport Bus stop, is usually traffic because of the potwhere drivers make a U-turn to the holes. A similar situation occurs at other side of the road is a huge cra- Conoil Petrol Station junction. “One of the causes is that this road ter filled with dirty water. Some is not properly done. The contracdrivers try to avoid the mess. Worst hit by poor state of the road tors did not do a good job; otherare commercial drivers who ply the wise, why are these problems reroute daily. Some of them, who curring? Minor and major accidents shared their ordeal with this re- take place on this road because porter, said the rehabilitation em- many visitors coming from the airbarked upon by the Federal Roads port are not used to the road. Some Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has of them drive on high speed, thinkbecome an annual ritual, which ing the road is even but they run into ditches and bumps. This road leaves more pains than gain. Emeka Ubaka, a commercial should be the number one priority driver, who has been plying the of the government.” Public utilities motorists and resiroute for six years, described the road as a national shame. Ubaka dents also paint a picture of failed said the drivers were used to the public utilities. At Ajao Estate Junction of the short-term face-lift usually emroad, the street lights are not workbarked upon by (FERMA) yearly. He said: “Na every year around Sep- ing. According to Mr Oladele Afolabi, tember, government dey repair this road. Dem go put blocks on the pot- a resident of the Estate, many road holes and patch am, next year dem go users have been attacked and still come do the same thing. Many trail- robbed on the road because of the ers and vans don pack up for this road,” darkness at night.
• Top and bottom: Different portions of the bad MMIA road
Afolabi said: “The only maintenance this road is witnessing is the regular sweeping of the road by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) agents. If you leave from Ajao Estate to Apakun bridge, the road is full of potholes. The street lights here have not been
working for the past 10 years. We have witnessed many robberies here, usually suffered by people who close late at work or those leaving for work around 5am. “One thing I have observed is that the road was not properly done. It was last year that this gutter and
Govt reads riot act to illegal dredgers
Fashola restates commitment to housing
SAND miners and dredgers caught operating illegally in Lagos will be prosecuted. Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Tijani, has warned. He spoke while monitoring activities at the approved dredging sites in Badagry axis. Tijani urged registered miners to join hands with the government to deal with illegal begun miners. He said: "All registered miners in Badagry zone should come together and form an association so that it will be easy to identify illegal miners whose activities are giving you a bad name." Tijani said the government is poised to streamline the activities of sand miners and dredgers to make them conform with international standards.
LAGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has restated his promise of making housing affordable for all unshaken. He spoke during the inspection of work at the Gbagada Housing Estate. Fashola, who led other members of the State Executive Council (SEC), during the tour, said though his administration has delivered two estates in the last one month, it will build more across the metropolis to address the problem of housing in the state. He directed the contractor handling the job to deliver on time. The governor said his administration would ensure transparency in the implementation of the Lagos Home Ownership Scheme (HOMS).
PHOTO: TOLUWANI ENIOLA
the road were reconstructed, yet, the story remains the same. Is this how a major road is handled in developed countries?” Not even the efforts made by the Lagos State government to call the Federal Government’s attention to
•SEE PAGE 32
Church celebrates 25th anniversary THE Christ the King Catholic Church (CKCC), Ilasamaja, Lagos is 25. It plans to celebrate the silver jubilee with some activities. According to the parish priest, Fr Tyolumum KingaUpaa, there would be variety night, talks, health check, prize giving, novelty match and quiz competition, among others. He said there would also be novena - an intercession prayer through mother Mary, saints and angels. It will also give out a grand prize of KIA Soul and Keke Napep. Fr Kina-Upaa said Anthony Cardinal Okogie declare the celebration open. He said the church would continue to ensure spiritual, physical and psychological development of the parishioners and the society.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Group tasks council on projects
A YOUTH-BASED group called Isolo Initiatives has called on the Lagos State government to monitor projects undertaken by council chairmen to ascertain their relevance to the needs of the people. At a roundtable discussion on the way forward for the Isolo Local Council Development Area, the group lamented what it called 'the lost three years' of the present council administration. The Co-ordinator of the group, Mr Olawale Ambali, said: "There is need for council chairmen in Lagos State to embark on projects that would touch the lives of residents. As concerned youths of Isolo, we cannot fold our arms and watch our community degenerate into a total failure." "For the past three years there has not been a single infrastructural development in the council area. The chairperson of Isolo has been embarking on projects that has nothing to do with the yearnings of the people. “At present, all the roads in Isolo are in deplorable condition and nothing is being done by the council authorities to address the issue," he added.
Nigerians urged to be hopeful By Adeola Ogunlade
THE Vice-Chairman of Ikeja Local Government, Mojeed Balogun, has urged Nigerians to remain hopeful and committed to the task of nation building on this 51st Independence anniversary. He said the nation could only achieve rapid growth and development if the people co-operated with government at all levels and avoided all forms of uninformed criticism that is inimical to progress. Balogun said governments across the world cannot succeed without the support of the people, who, despite their differences, work together to build a united and indivisible nation. Balogun said though Nigerians are faced with a myriad of challenges, “the nation will survive if the people are committed to work toward entrenching democracy and the rule of law at all levels of governance." He said the party remained committed to providing better programmes aimed at alleviating the suffering of the rural poor.
1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 08023321770; 080-56374036.
Motorists’ unending agony on Airport the road as the worst in the Road •Continued from page 31 country, urged the govern-
its responsibility seem to have yielded result. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola recently lamented the poor state of the road. Fashola, who urged the Federal Government to fulfil its responsibilty, said the road, speaks low of Nigeria. He said : “Companies, organisations bring in their goods through the ports and if those companies cannot evacuate their goods from the ports, what industrialisation are we talking about?”
This road is the worst in the country and corruption is a major problem. The government should hold the construction company accountable
Mr Smart Oguche, who works with TNT Courier Service, identified corruption as a major problem of the road. Oguche, who described
ment to hold the construction company accountable. He said: “I learnt this road contract was awarded to a company last year. Last year we saw red sand being discharged from tippers on the road. We thought the ultimate solution had come but we were wrong. Aside tackling corruption, there should also be drainages. As you can see, the available ones are insufficient. The contract should be awarded to a more credible company. It needs urgent change.”
Hospitals launch war against cardiac deaths
•Yemi Johnson (left) and Dr. Orekunrin
O reduce the mortality rate of patients who suffer heart attack or are prone to it, two hospitals have teamed up and launched a clinical protocol for managing them. The hospitals are Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited (FDN) and First Cardiology
By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha
Consultants. According to FDN Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ola Orekunrin, the protocol ensures that victims receive swift and uninterrupted prehospital and emergency medicare during the early
and critical stage of an attack. “Medical and anecdotal evidences point to a high mortality rate of heart attack victims in Nigeria. And even when symptoms are recognised, facilities that are equipped with catheterisation suites, thrombolytic therapy and specialist cardiac intensive therapy units are few and far from each other. Often, such facilities are many hours away from victims of heart attacks who mostly come by road to access such. “The protocol encompassed education, which involved the training of specific individuals within organisations to recognise the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Alert, which ensured that relevant patient data and medical history are captured and sent electronically to specialist doctors at First Cardiology Consultants ahead of the patients
arrival via FDN’s air ambulance; Pre-Hospital Care, during which the patient receives in-flight medical attention and the final phase, Definitive Care, where treatment of the patient continues on-ground upon arrival of the patient at the care facility.” Speaking at the meeting with FDN in Lagos, Dr. Yemi Johnson, an interventional cardiologist and medical director, First Cardiology Consultants, said: “The measures highlight the need for widespread awareness and detection of heart attack symptoms, and the importance of providing prompt and professional medical attention to victims of the dreaded cardiac condition which continues to claim hundreds of lives across the social and economic spectra of society.” “This heart attack protocol is a practical and timely
contribution to medical practice on our shores. Clinical interventions like this will help save many lives and help reduce the trauma and prolonged debilitation associated with heart attacks,” stated Dr Johnson. FDN, a medical aviation services company, is West Africa’s first-ever air ambulance service provider. The company is physician-led which invests heavily in offshore training of its doctors all of whom hold advanced trauma and life support (ATLS) or pre-hospital trauma and life support (PHLTS) qualifications identical to those held by aero-medical personnel in the United Kingdom and Australia. Health industry experts have described the FDN heart attack package as a medical innovation in Nigeria and that it offers heart attack victims a lifesaving therapy, which should help improve survival rates for heart attack sufferers.
‘Good marriages vital to nation building’
O strengthen marriages and curb vices, Total Bible Gospel Church, Oshodi, Lagos, has advised couples to strictly follow biblical principles and live up to its dictates. At its yearly event entitled: Couples' Platform, Head Pastor, Mr Abiola Olaiwola, blamed bad marriages for many social ills. Olaiwola said many marriages are not working because people have deviated from scriptural standards and norms. He said: "Many social problems are offshoots of problems in marriages. This is why people must go back to the Bible and follow its teachings to rescue marriages at the brink of failure." The event with the theme: Strengthening marriages, was well attended and featured sermons on basic laws of marriage, fundamentals of successful marriage, meeting love needs and biblical principles of sex in marriage. It also provided a forum for couples to iron out their chal-
By Toluwani Eniola
lenges through a question and answer session. Guest speaker Pastor Keji Ajayi of Hall of Truth Ministries urged couples to communicate better and not to deny each other of affection. Ajayi, who spoke on the biblical principle of sex in marriage, quoted from First Corinthians, chapter 7, verses 1 to 7. He said couples must give priority to the scripture rather than culture. He said: "Marriage is hinged on three basic laws: the law of affection, the law of ownership and authority and the law of separation based on agreement. “Couples must not deny each other of affection. Although the husband is the head, he must not make his wife inferior. Besides, there should be agreement between couples when they are fasting." Olaiwola said the church organised the event to correct many failed marriages which, he said, have adverse
2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No: 080-77690200; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-776909201; 01-2881304 FRSC Emergency No: 070-022553772
•Pastor Olaiwola and his wife, Ibironke, Rev Sunday Akingbelure and his wife, Bukky, at the event PHOTO: TOLUWANI ENIOLA
effects on the nation. He said: "A good family is the bedrock of any nation. We believe many marriages can work, no matter the problems or challenges. It is unfortunate that marriage is losing its place in the society. Marriage is the bedrock of the society; it affects every facet of life.
"When there are bad marriages, the nation is affected. A bad marriage breeds wayward children, who turn to crime and constitute problems to the nation. When marriages are faulty, people don't leave a godly life.” He added: "We can see clearly that the problems created by marriages are that
EMERGENCY LINES 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 080-75005411; 080-60152462 080-23111742; 080-29728371 080-23909364; 080-77551000 01-7904983
4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 070-35068242 080-79279349; 080-63299264 070-55462708; 080-65154338
which the church and the government are tackling daily. Men must learn that communication is very important as it can make or mar marriages. My advice for better Christian marriages is that we should go back to the scripture, and uphold sound biblical principles and understand ourselves and spouses.”
767 or email: email@example.com 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
CITYBEATS FROM THE GRASSROOTS
Isolo LCDA boss inaugurates market
HE Chairman of Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mrs. Modupe Oseghale, has inaugurated the new Ire-Akari Market. Speaking at the event, Oseghale promised to leave behind a legacy of selfless service as a council boss. "When I took over the administration as council chairman three years ago, I promised that I would leave behind a legacy of service and outstanding development of this council area and I am happy that the opening of Ire-Akari Ultra-modern Market is a testimony to my commitment to that promise. "Within the past three years, the
By Kunle Akinrinade
ISOLO council administration has demonstrated enviable provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development, which cut across all facets of life. I, therefore, enjoin residents and prospective market women to make the best use of the facilities at the market." While inaugurating the market, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters Mr Ademorin Kuye commended Mrs. Oseghale for ensuring the
completion of the Make project. the best "I salute the cour- use of the age and the tenacity facilities of purpose of Mrs. in the Oseghale for havmarket ing the courage to embark and complete this project. This is a testimony to the fact that our darling party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has men and women capable of excelling in leadership position and I want to assure the residents that our best is yet to come in terms of provision of basic amenities and development of infrastructure as dividend of democracy."
From left: Elegushi of Ikateland (Kusela III) Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi; Ojomu of Ajiranland Oba Akinloye and Chief Bakare at the event. PHOTO: JOSEPH JIBUEZE
Eti-Osa 'Leaders of Thought' opens N200m House
•Iya loja of Ire Akari Market, Chief Oluranti Dosunmu, cutting the tape. With her is Kuye and Oseghale. PHOTO KUNLE AKINRINADE
‘Better days ahead for Lagos council’
HE chairmanship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ifako/ Ijaiye Local Government Area (LGA) in the forthcoming council election in Lagos State, Mr Oloruntoba Oke, has promised to restore the lost glory of the local government. The grassroots politician said he would carry everybody along and provide for the youth, women, the elderly and other segments of the residents of the area. He said:"I will focus on youth empowerment/skill acquisition, trade improvement scheme, improved welfare for the elderly and comprehensive health care system and provision of general infrastructural facilities/social amenities. “My people stood by me and in
By Oziegbe Okoeki
IFAKO IJAIYE appreciation, I will make life comfortable for them once I get into office. "We will do all within our power to re-write the story of our local government. Very soon, our problems would be over." He said a data bank would be provided for the employable and unemployed youths, school leavers, OND/HND holders, university graduates and masters degree holders. Oke said loans would be provided for businessmen/artisans to establish cottage businesses with easy pay-back terms to enable others to benefit. He added that the trade improvement scheme would
be used to empower the women, improve their businesses and provide loans for them. "We also plan to provide for the elderly through giving of provisions and food items to the old and retired residents of the area on a monthly basis. We will provide drugs for them; give them free eye glasses and make life comfortable for them. We also plan comprehensive health care delivery for the residents through primary health care centres, as we would have a PHC in each of the seven wards in the council area," he said. He said efforts would be made to grade and tar as many roads as possible during his tenure, just as he plans to buy graders and influence the state government to focus on providing good roads for the people.
Aspirant promises to transform council area
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) council chairmanship candidate in Igando/Ikotun Local Development Area, Mrs. Morenike AdeshinaWilliams, has promised a new lease of life for residents. Speaking at the flag-off of her campaign, Mrs. Williams promised to deploy her expertise in council administration to transform the council area. She said: “Having served as a former vice-chairman of this council and worked in many capacities as a grassroots political leader, I believe that I possess what it takes to ensure massive infrastructural development such as good roads, public health facilities, drainage and facelift for schools among others. To this end, residents will, no
By Kunle Akinrinade
IGANDO/IKOTUN doubt, enjoy a new lease of life within the shortest possible time, because, I am ready to offer a selfless service to people.” She said with the collaboration of the private sector, she would generate unprecedented revenue for the council area. “My mission is to turn around the fortune of the council area, therefore, it is important to say that we are going to partner with individuals and corporate organisations to invest in infrastructure and reposition the revenue generation of the council area for effective provision of basic ameni-
ties.” Mrs. Williams, however, enjoined residents to vote for ACN in the forthcoming council election to continue to enjoy basic amenities being built across the Lagos metropolis by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.
S a means of financially empowering themselves and investing in their future, the Eti-Osa Leaders of Thought, comprising leaders and indigenes of the community, have completed an office complex worth N200 million. Called 'Eti-Osa Leaders of Thought House, it is located at Berger Junction, Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State. Leaders of the group said the complex, opened on October 2, was not only built with financial returns in mind, but it is expected to help keep the community united. The Ojomu of Ajiranland (Sateru II), Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye, said the community once thought of setting up a community bank, but the plan did not work out. It was decided that investing in an office complex would be suitable. "The Leaders of Thought came together and we decided to put up this building as an office complex with our widow's might. "At some point, it seemed as if we were slowing down, but I thank God that we have com-
By Joseph Jibueze
pleted it. We intend it to be a full commercial venture from where we can collect rent," he said. Chairman of the Building Committee Chief Yekini Bakare said even those who contributed as low as N10 will get returns on their investment. "The Eti-Osa Leaders of Thought comprises leaders and indigenes of Eti-Osa, from Obas to the grassroots. The building is meant to unite the indigenes of Eti-Osa. "Every one of us, from the king right to the last person, contributed our resources to the building. It has been given out for commercial purpose. "It's a two storey building with three floors. It's meant to be an office space but has been converted to an eatery now. We also have another land for an office. "We'll distribute the proceeds of this building based on how much each person contributed. It'll be on shares’ basis. This building costs close to N200 million. "And this is not the only project wearegoingtoembarkon,"Bakare said.
Fashola calls for prayer
HE Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has called on the Christian community to continue to pray for divine intervention as that remains the springboard for sustainable peace and development in Nigeria. He made this known at the Biannual Conference of the Vision of Women International of the Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM) at the church headquarters in Ajao Estate, Lagos. The event brought together thousand of Christians women faithful from across the country with representatives from Ghana and Cameroon. Fashola, who was represented by the Senior Special Adviser on Religious Matter, Rev Funmi Akintoye Buramo, said the search for peace and sustainable development can be further strengthened when God is given his rightful place in the scheme of things in Nigeria. She said although the government is putting in place various strategy to combat crime and other form of violence, she said: "The arm of flesh would continue to fail us if we do not allow God to have its way in governance". Buramo applauded the effort of the church for their continuous
By Adeola Ogunlade
prayer and preaching of good moral for the good people of Lagos, she said “we need you to continue to pray for this administration because when we fail, you have fail, please support us in your prayers.” She cited the scriptures of patriarchs of old who were wholly committed to nation building through their prayers and reaffirm that the prayer of faith availed much. In her goodwill message, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State Government, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire-Orelope called on women to be visionary and committed to the task of nation building. She said: “The history of the world can never be complete without the significant contributions of women, who from the home front to public places have worked tirelessly to entrench good governance in our society.” In her words, the National/International Co-ordinator of the church, Rev Mercy Ezekiel, challenged Nigerian youths to sheathe the sword and tow the path of peace as that remains germane toward national transformation.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
•Newly constructed Basic Health Centre now in use
•A shop formerly used as health centre
HE General Manager, Ekiti State Community and Social Development Agency (EKSCSDA), Mr. Steve Bamisaye, has said the agency has helped to lift the standard of life for people living in rural areas in the state. EKSCSDA, formerly known as Ekiti State Poverty Reduction Agency has embarked on several poverty reduction measures across communities in the state. These measures include construction of roads, bridges and drainage channels, health centres, rural electrification, water and even public school buildings and facilities. It is aimed at complementing the developmental efforts of the state government. The Mr. Bamisaye, who stated this at an inaugural meeting of the agency with the newly constituted Boards of Directors in the state, said EKSCSDA was established by the state government and assisted by the World Bank to address poverty through ‘Community Driven Development (CDD)’. Bamisaye said: “Ekiti State Community and Social Development Project was established by an enabling law of the state and was designed to ensure direct access of communities to benefits from the agency. “The community must have a Community Development Association (CDA) legally recognised and must have in place a Project Management Committtee (CPMC) with women forming at least one third of the membership of such committee. He disclosed that projects executed so
FEDERAL lawmaker, Hon. Bukola Buraimo, has pledged to provide N1.5m annually for the education of brilliant but indigent children of his constituency, Remo Federal Constituency, Ogun State. Buraimo made the pledge during his ‘Thank You Remo’ programme, which he organised to appreciate the electorate who
Ekiti boosts infrastructure at grassroots From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti
far include construction of Basic Health Centre at Ootunja-Ekiti ; Examination Hall at Ikole City College in Ikole Ekiti; and an Information and skills Acquisition Centre at Iropora Ekiti, among several others. According to Elder Tola Oke, a retired World Bank official and resident of Ootunja-Ekiti in a telephone chat with The Nation, “EKSCSDA intervention in the community was unprecedented and had caused pleasant reverses in the lives of residents. “I am very happy at the result we got from the coming of EKSCSDA. The Ootunja community actually rented a shop which we used as health centre but now we have a beautiful Basic Health
Centre in place, thanks to EKSCSDA. We were made to meet certain requirements which included 10 per cent of entire estimated value of the project and promptly, the Agency swung into action. “This project, first in a row of three we have so far completed with their support, was completed within just 47 days. We are now planning to elevate the centre to a mini hospital with at least a doctor and few nurses to enable residents access certain basic care without having to come to Ado Ekiti. “We have since moved on to complete the second which was a 500 metre stretch of road that had gone entirely impassable prior intervention. We have also completed the third which is a borehole”, Elder Oke said. Earlier in his address, the new Chairman of the Agency, Chief Ibidapo
I am very happy at the result we got from the coming of EKSCSDA. The Ootunja community actually rented a shop which we used as health centre but now we have a beautiful Basic Health Centre in place, thanks to EKSCSDA
Awojolu, commended the strides of the Agency in alleviating poverty in the communities, adding that Community and Social Development Projects is one of the best projects on the shelve of the World Bank. He said “From my experience, and exposure, CSDP is a veritable tool and requisite springboard that would launch a new era of social and infrastructural upliftment, gender equality, environmental sustainability, accountability and improved service delivery for the benefit of our people in Ekiti State. “…I understand Community and Social Development Projects (CSDP) operates mainly on the concept of CDD which facilitates increased access of poor people to basic social/infrastructural services and enables community members to take charge of their own developmental need, while encouraging transparency and accountability in project management and governance at all levels, Chief Awojolu said. Chief Awojolu noted that the role of the Board of Directors was to provide overall guidance in interpreting government and sectoral policies, recruit and discharge key staff of the Agency in consultation with Federal Supervisory and funding Agency and partner with Local Government Authorities for reviews, supervision and monitoring of projects in beneficiary communities. “The government of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi requires us to provide God-cen-
Lawmaker pledges N1.5 for indigent pupils From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
voted for him in the April general elections. Shortly after, he distributed motorcycles to many of them as part of his empower-
My primary concern will be on education and I am planning to commit about N1.5m to scholarship programme yearly for people in Remo land
ment project in his Iperu country home. “My primary concern will be on education and I am planning to commit about N1.5m to scholarship programme yearly for people in Remo land. You people are aware that we are not given separate funds to go to our people for projects but out of our expenses and running costs, I will do something tangible,” he said. The lawmaker on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who described his victory at the poll as “God-given and cannot be challenged,” said the his election being challenged at
the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Ladi Adebutu, is an “ exercise in futility”. On the growing insecurity across the country posed by the Boko Haram militant sect, he pleaded with Nigerians to exercise patience with the Federal Government, saying more time is needed to stop the bombings and killings by the dreaded Islamic sect. He added that President Goodluck Jonathan is already working out plans to contain the sect which requires time. He pleaded that Nigerians should
be patient with the Jonathan adiministration and be more cautious before criticising the strategies of Mr. President. Buraimo said, “Well, the House is to make laws. The executive has the responsibilities to take care of the security because they have the bulk allocated to them on this issue. So on the issue of Boko Haram, I think they are doing their best. “Though their best might not be good as of now but let us give them time. I don’t think any president will sit down and watch his people being killed, so I think they are working; it might not be the best but let us give them a chance.”
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Pupils celebrate culture
HE pupils turned up in their traditional wear. The Hausa/Fulani girls were decked out in their colourfully embroidered white tops, complete with calabashes. The boys of Igbo stock came in reach-down kaftan topped off with a red cap. The Yoruba were unmistakable in their flowing agbada, even abeti-aja, the cap designed in the shape of a dog’s ear. The occasion was the cultural day of St. Saviour’s Nursery and Primary School, Ebute-Metta Lagos, held to promote African attires as Nigeria celebrated its 51st independence anniversary. This year’s cultural event which took place on the eve of the Independence Day on the school premises had the pupils gorgeously dressed in different radiant tribal attires. Native food was even served on the occasion. Mrs Ailsa Griffiths, the school’s Head Teacher told parents at the Culture Day that independence celebration is all about knowing and celebrating cultural heritage, to teach the
Irrespective of their culture, tradition and their ethnic background, they should be able to live as one for peace and progress to reign. All we want is unity and peace starting from the younger generations
By Paul Oluwakoya
goodwill of patriotism through dressing and give the pupils the opportunity to socialise. She said: “We instructed the children to dress according to their culture, and to come with their native foods to organise a small picnic, an opportunity to wine and dine with their native foods. The cultural day was also meant to showcase the varieties of delicious and nourishing foods Nigeria is endowed with.” Similarly, the vice chairman of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Mrs Ndorofem Udoh likened Nigeria’s rich traditions to a national treasure which should be cherished and appreciated, promoted and preserved. The children are being taught their culture and morals. This, she said, is to enhance good interpersonal relationship among them. “Irrespective of their culture, tradition and their ethnic background, they should be able to live as one for peace and progress to reign. All we want is unity and peace starting from the younger generations,” she said. She implored schools, and non-governmental organisations to stage programmes that will integrate culture by giving the children the training of unity in diversity and to eradicate ethnocentrism among them. She said “The security crisis in the country is an example of ethnic crisis that has led to several genocides in the last few years. If the people involved in these killings had been given the training against killing fellow human beings from childhood, they might not have dabbled into such a thing. This is the reason we’ve created a special day like this,” she said.
•St. Saviour’s pupils during the cultural day celebration
•Mrs Ailsa Griffiths and the pupils
Professionals list expectations from council
N organisation of selfemployed professionals has made known its demands from the incoming administration of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Lagos State. Members of the organisation are drawn from private business, investment, trading, labour movement, and cut across all gender, social and age brackets. They said they want more infrastructural development in
the area. “We are convinced and resolved in our minds that both the state and the council area are yet to explore half of their potentials to deliver good governance and services to our people,” they said in a statement signed by their secretary Femi Ajagbe. “We know that the State/OshodiIsolo LGA can rank with the city globally. No doubt, since the return of democratic governance to Nigeria in 1999, the government
•From left: Oyo State Governor, Senator Isiaka Ajimobi, chairman Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslims Wing), Alhaji Taofeeq Akeugberu Akeugbagold and Chief of Staff, Mr Adeolu Akande at the farewell ceremony for 2011 intending pilgrims, at Pilgrim Centre Olodo, Ibadan
of Lagos State has remained a constant shining Northern star, to the extent that the sterling performance of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and other elected persons on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) especially from the Southwest has now manifestly positioned ACN has the most formidable ruling party, if not the only one that can wrest power at the federal level from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “We are aware that teeming members of Oshodi-Isolo fervently believe that the local government administration in the area needs to urgently recreate the magic wand and success story of the Lagos State Governor in terms of service delivery in the council area. Towards this end, we are aware that there are several infrastructural and security challenges in the areas which are in need of urgent attention. This is why we are most pleased that the ACN is presenting a team of young, dynamic, resourceful achievers to be on top of the affairs of the local government in the next dispensation. We are aware of the track record of the ACN Chairmanship candidate, Bolaji Muse Ariyo (“Beejay Omoluwabi) as a progressive, humanist, philanthropist and a budding statesman even at a very young age, and it is our expectations that he shall definitely not disappoint the good people of Oshodi-Isolo LGA.
“However, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, as critical stakeholders in the Council area, we have scrutinised the electoral promises of the ACN and the pledge of Hon. “Beejay Omoluwabi” Ariyo, and we are bold to say that we shall hold the party and the candidate liable to fulfil this sacred social covenant between Oshodi-Isolo people and their leaders when they finally get our mandate in the local polls slated for October 22, this year. We cannot afford to fail in our mission to provide good drainage system and stop the malaise of flooding ravaging our society, maximum security of lives and property, recreational facilities and pliable road network, and to transform OshodiIsolo to a commercial hub of Nigeria and a preferred destination point for local and foreign investors. It is important to clarify that we are not a partisan group but we believe it would be unpardonable for men of good conscience to maintain criminal silence while the society wallows in rot and decadence. We are conscious of our historic duty to stand with the people for the truth. The huge task of organisations like ours is to serve as mind of society, its watchdog and ensure that grassroots democracy, openness and accountability become institutionalised in our society. We hold it a sacred duty to build a better Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
There is one thing you cannot take away from Kabiyesi. He loves his town and he has defended its interest to the best of his ability. My prayer is that God will grant him many more years of diligent service to the kingdom
Monarch in 20 years of peaceful reign By Emmanuel Oladesu
E is the first educated person to have ascended the prestigious throne. His installation as the 46th Alaaye of Efon Kingdom, Ekiti State, was cheered by all and sundry on September 21, 1991. The kingmakers, also known as the Iwarafa, led by the Obanla of Aaye Quarters and Prime Minister of the ancient town, High Chief John Fakorede, filed out from the palace in glamorous traditional attires. Behind him were the High Chiefs Peteko (Emo Quarters), Oisagigan (Ejigan Quarters), Alaayo (Emo Quarters) and Ojubu (Ikagbe Quarters). Traditional drums, especially the “Igberegede”, “Iyangede” and “Gangan” were sounded. There were gun salutes by township hunters, who rendered the “ijala”, to the amusement of the people. The female chiefs, known as “Obirinle” were decked in their “aso-ofi” and dangling beads. The princes and princesses turned out in their regalia. Efon elite, who stood behind the candidature of Dr. Emmanuel Adesanya Aladejare, were in a happy mood. Many of them had returned to their roots from far and near to witness the historic ceremony. In Efon-Alaaye, sons and
daughters were locked in the celebration of a new dawn. On that bright morning, the “Akoko leaf” was placed on his royal head thrice, amid the chanting of the cognomen of his illustrious grandfather, the late Alaaye Solomon Bamilosin Aladejare, Agunsoye I, who ruled the kingdom between 1917 and 1935. That followed the raising up of the hand of the Obafemi Awolowo University teacher by a community elder at the foot of the traditional tree at the front of the Efon Town Hall. Beside him was his wife, now the “Olori”. His aged mother was indoors, rejoicing and praying for her beloved son’s peaceful reign. His half-brother, the late Prince Ajibade Aladejare, stood behind him like the rock of Gibraltar. From the palace, the dancing train of chiefs, women, youths, sacred clubs and societies headed for Chief Asao’s compound at Imoba Street, where the scholar-turned monarch performed the customary rite of stepping on the entrance thrice, which the community reckoned as the fulfillment of the three-month residency requirement. That “Ipebi” accomplished, the new Oba and his entourage danced back to the ageless palace. As townspeople were caught up with excitement, elders were in reflective mood. To them, the prophesy of the High Apostle, Joseph Ayodele Babalola, founder of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) only came into fulfillment. Babalola had settled in Efon, following the invitation of Oba Aladejare, who eventually embraced Christianity. Before the old monarch passed on, the great evangelist had told him that one of his descendants would mount the throne in line of succession. Besides, the prophet had also prophesised that Efon would be
enveloped in a darkness for 40 years. That marked the reign of the late Oba Lawani Aladegbemi, a peace-loving Muslim, who cooperated with the revivalist, when he succeeded Oba Samuel Adeniran, who waged a curious war against the “Aladura Movement” led by Babalola. Many people thought that the town missed a lot of opportunities in this modern time because an educated person was not on the throne. Thus, apart from being a qualified prince, possession of a doctorate degree was an added advantage for the beloved son of Prince Fowowe Aladejare, the C.A.C elder. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, the monarch kicked off his administration by putting God first. On his arrival from OAU, Ile-Ife to Efon to start the installation rites, he headed for the church for an inaugural service. Moreover, reminiscent of the way Oba Agunsoye 1 invited Babalola for prayers in 1930, he also invited his successor in the C.A.C evangelical wing, Evangelist D.O. Babajide, to anoint him for the great task in 1991. Oba Adesaya Aladejare was, until his ascension to the throne, a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance, Department of Management Accounting and Administration, Faculty of Administration, OAU. Even, when he mounted the throne, he still created time to teach at the University of Ado-Ekiti without emolument. He inherited a lot of challenges. According to the community historian and cleric, Dr Adewaare Alokan, “he ascended the throne with determination to make the development of the town a task that must be done. In pursuance of that objective, he was dogged and resolute. Assisted by his Council of High Chiefs and elite of the town, he sought, one by one, solutions to the problems that he met on ground”.
It is an understatement. Oba Alajejare Agunsoye 11 is responsible for the advantageous position of his town in the old Ekiti West Division. On the day of his installation, he became a first-class ruler and permanent member of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Ekitiland. Later, he served as the chairman of the council and Vision 20:10, Ekiti State. He was also a prominent member of the Committee for State Creation. The monarch fought the infrastructure battle in his domain with vigour. He had inherited a critical erosion problem. His pleas to the state and federal government yielded dividends. In 1993, the federal government gave a grant of N25.3 million to check the menace. It was followed by the state government’s N15 million contract for the channelisation project. In 1976, Efon was thrown into sorrow when it was not named as the headquarter of Ekiti West Council, although it has served as the headquarter of Ekiti West Divisional Council for 14 years. However, based on the memorandum which Oba Aladejare wrote and defended before the Mbanefo Panel for State and Local Government Creation, Efon local government was created with Efon-Alaaye as the headquarter. Prior to his reign, Efon, the gateway to Ekiti State, lacked good inter-township road. Following persistent requests and pressures, Efon-Aramoko-Ado Road and Efon-Erinmo Road were constructed. Today, the town hosts JAMB and GCE centres. In addition, a Federal Girls College was established in Efon-Alaaye because the Alaaye moved swiftly. However, the first civilian administration in the state failed to fulfill its promise to site a polytechnic in the town, despite the readiness of the town to morally and financially support the initia-
•President of BBAF, Abiodun Olaniyi, Mrs Bamgbose Mary, Alhaji Babalola Rasak and Mrs Ifeoma Okeke •Continued from Page 29
ordinator of National Orientation Agency, Lagos emphasised on grass roots participation as measure to reduce the effects of climate change. He said:“Gone are the days we hear of floods and earthquakes killing people in overseas. It is now here with us. Mr Fredrick Oyemade Macaulay, vice president, Global Forum for Peace, Justice and Human Rights, Abuja advised afforestation. “Grass and grains that
Climate change and poverty reduction give us oxygen are being depleted. We are taking in oxygen but there are no plants to replenish back the oxygen into the atmosphere. Let us all try and have at least one grain in our environment. Like wise, e-communication is also a way of making environment okay instead of printing on papers which are later burnt to release carbon dioxide
into the environment” he said. Kusa advised the adaptation of our original environment while Olaniyi said there is need for integration of these adaptation processes into development planning and these plans needs to be local and affordable to the poor. He said provision of electricity which will reduce fuel used by company machines, creating
good drainages, recycling and prevention of water, air and environmental pollution will bring an end to poverty. Alhaji Babalola Rasak who represented the Chairman, Odiolowo/Ojuwoye L.G.A said more awareness initiatives need to be done and that they are ready to partner with any NGOs with good intentions.
tive. To the people, site of the C.A.C Teacher Training College is a polytechnic-in-waiting. In 1996, a Chief Magistrate Court was sited in Efon, followed by a High Court in 2001 and Head Post Office in 1999. However, as noted in his book titled: “The origin, growth and development of Efon Alaaye Kingdom”, Rev. Alokan, stated that the town has faced many difficulties. One of them is the location of the town. “The isolation of the town from other towns as a result of its hilly topography has had untold disadvantages on the development of the town,” he stressed. Efon is also a town of six quarters headed by the six High Chiefs and Kingmakers. These sections are not entirely the same. Thus, there are sectional differences, although Alokan clarified that this feeling is only harboured by people living at home. When Oba Aladejare was crowned, naturally, there were pockets of opposition by rival princes, backed by some senior chiefs in Aaye Quarter. Many buried the hatchet with the passage of time, allowing time to heal the wound. However, few of them have refused to be pacified. There has also been a sort of tension between the palace and some adherents of ancient, traditional festivals, since the Kabiyesi, like his grandfather, declared that he and his household would follow Christ. Efon is a politically conscious community. Thus, party politics have divided the town, with local politicians on both divides creating tension by fueling thuggery. Jobless youths are occasionally recruited by political actors to disrupt the peace of the community. Up to now, Efon is yet to become a commercial hub. Tourism potentials are not tapped by the government. It is about the major town in Ekiti without a tertiary institution. Perhaps, the greatest challenge is the agitation for the preservation of cultural identity and recognition for their traditional head by the Oke-Ahun Community, which has enjoyed peaceful and harmonious relationship with the ancient Efon for centuries. Paying tribute to Oba Aladejare, Alokan said: “As he is the youngest of any known Alaaye of Efon, he has the advantage of both age and education on his side”. Lagos State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) politician, Isiaka AdekunleIbrahim, whose mother hailed from Efon, thanked God for the peaceful and eventful reign of the Alaaye, saying: “He is a precious gift to the town. He has fought for a pride of place for Efon in Ekiti. This period is different from the past”. Adekunle Ibrahim urged the chiefs, elite and politicians in his domain to cooperate with him as he forges ahead. A chartered accountant, Rufus Ojo, son of Chief Ojo Oisadifi of Obalu Quarter, congratulated the royal father for his commitment to the welfare of his kingdom. He said: “There is one thing you cannot take away from Kabiyesi. He loves his town and he has defended its interest to the best of his ability. My prayer is that God will grant him many more years of diligent service to the kingdom”.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011 MOTORING
Honda introduces new motorcycles
ONDA Manufacturing (Nigeria) Lim-
ited has launched two new motorcycles - Ace CB125 and Ace CB125-D - in Nigeria. The presentation, held at the Ota, Ogun State office of the company, was witnessed by top officials, government functionaries and stakeholders. The country Managing Director, Toshio Kuwana described the two new motorcycles as the best for the Nigerian market. Kuwana said the dream behind the new Ace CB125 and Ace CB125-D motorcycles included excellence and user -friendliness. Honda, he said, has intensified efforts, bon high quality and affordable products. “Our study has shown that the demand for personal user of motorcycle is increasing. The best motorcycle must also be affordable, economical and durable to withstand high terrain considering road condition,” he said.
Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo
Kuwana added that the new bikes are elegant, comfortable and fuel efficient. Narrating the features of the new bikes, Honda’s Operating officer, Yuji Shiga, said both motorcycles, have a 125 cc engine and are developed as a part of the strategy of low price, small, sized motorcycle models for newly emerging markets with focus on ease of handling, fuel efficiency, performance and durability while leveraging Honda’s global network to increase cost competitiveness. Honda Ace CB125cc, Shiga said, has basic and retro look, round headlight, a wide, long and utmost comfortable seat, highly durable, reliable and most practical 125cc engine, enhance load carrying capacity and an affordable price tag of N100,000. “Honda has christened this motorcycle as “bike taxi” (an inexpensive and convenient means of mobility for people in Nige-
ria). Honda Ace CB 125-D has same features of CB125cc, but it looks more stylish due to its stylish headlight and look. This model is designed for a wide range of customers other than bike taxis. For both of these models, Honda has annual sales target of 100,000 units in Nigeria. To increase sales of these models in African region, it will be introduced in other African nations in a phased manner,” he added. It would be recalled that of the total four million two wheelers sold in Africa, Nigeria accounts for 1.5 million units. It is an important, promising and rapidly growing two wheeler market. Currently, Nigerian two wheeler markets are largely dominated by Chinese manufacturer and Bajaj Boxer. Bajaj’s Boxer has a very strong brand name and it commands brand premium over Chinese model in Nigeria. Both Chinese and Indian manufacturer will now have tough fight from Honda.
Dana Motors partners bank for vehicle scheme
ANA Motors Limited, authorised distributor of the Kia range of vehicles in Nigeria, has unveiled a new vehicle leasing scheme in partnership with Sterling Bank Plc. The scheme would enable customers acquire Kia cars and pay over a 48-month period. The scheme is designed to provide opportunity for more Nigerians to acquire brand new cars with ease.
Explaining the reason for the partnership, Managing Director, Dana Motors Limited, Mr Jacky Hathiramani, said the scheme is to appreciate customers who have shown loyalty to the company. “We are appreciating them so much so that we have designed our sales and marketing activities with the goal of giving the existing customers a satisfying experience while attracting new ones to experi-
ence the same. We constantly evolve ways to ensure that acquiring Kia cars is easy and convenient for our customers. “We understand that there are so many needs competing for the customers’ resources, which is what informed this unique partnership that makes our vehicles quite affordable and easy to pay for,” Hathiramani said. Speaking on how the scheme works, General Man-
ited many places including a visit to PPG Refinishes Europe, Milano Plant, to see the plant set up and how their products are produced, and also visited a private body shop at Carrozzeria to see how a standard body shop operates with conventional equipments. The trip, he said, was an ‘eye opener’ for the visiting team because the body shop handles the body works and paintings for Inter Milan and AC Milan Club players. The team, he noted, also visited Lamborghini (Santi Agata Bolognese via Modena 12), the foremost luxury auto firm and
Ferrari at Maranello, a sports car company that sponsors Formula 2; where they were conducted around the car manufacture process and application of PPG Paint in both companies as they use PPG Car paints. Macfoy said the experience does not end there as the team also paid a visit to the ancient city of Venice, a famous city in Italy visited by thousands of tourists and known for having narrow streets that no car drives in the city. With this experience, he expects the technicians would impact the knowledge gained on the trip on others in their various companies to advance body work and car painting technologies.
Firm trains technicians on car paint use
N international firm, PPG Industries Europe, a sister company to PPG Industries, Incorporation has taken some technicians on a training tour in Italy. The technicians were selected from different auto companies in Nigeria. The tour, according to Michael Macfoy of Alpha Auto Refinishes Limited, was a worthwhile experience to be relished for a long time. The technicians, he said, visited the PPG Body Shop and Training Centre where they were taught and demonstrations made on the right product usage. He said the team also vis-
ager, Dana Motors Limited, Mr Mohan Sethi, explained that what the customer has to do is obtain an invoice for the car of his choice from any Kia showroom nationwide and take it to any Sterling Bank branch for processing. “Once processing is completed, delivery is made on
payment of only 20 per cent equity of the deal value of the car while the balance is paid in low monthly installments over a period of 48 months,.” he said. The leasing scheme covers all models of Kia vehicles from Kia sedans like the Picanto, Rio, Cerato, and Op-
tima to Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) like the Kia Sportage and the Kia Mohave. Sethi disclosed that his company will be extending the vehicle lease scheme to a number of banks in the coming weeks to ensure that the facility is available to all customers irrespective of which bank they use.
PAN to unveil new cars
AN Nigeria Limited, manufacturer of Peugeot brand, has concluded arrangement to showcase new Peugeot brands. A statement by the company’s Acting Head Corporate Communication, Musa Usman, disclosed that the brands include elegant 508 currently making a remarkable wave in Europe. The products would be unveiled by the Minister of Commerce, Dr Olusegun Aganga, alongside some distinguished top government functionaries expected at the event. “Our unrivalled new products, such as 307 Sedan, 308 Hatch back and Station wagon, 408 will be
available at the fair. Furthermore, two new Peugeot brand will make their debut into the Nigerian market,” he said. However, “Show casing our manufacturing
strength alongside the modern quest for customer’s satisfaction” has been positioned to be our guiding theme for this year’s participation,” Usman added.
Jaguar XF is Car of the Decade
UTO Express’ magazine has named the Jaguar XF its car of the decade. The award comes after the Jag’s exceptional performance in the magazine’s Driver Power satisfaction surveys over the last ten years. More than 300,000 readers took part to air their views about hundreds of cars, and the XF emerged as the model that buyers were most satisfied with.
Jaguar’s Chief Executive officer (CEO) Dr Ralph Speth was presented with the award at the firm’s Castle Bromwich factory. He said: “We are humbled by Jaguar owners voting in such a way to rate the XF as the number one car in the UK. It’s a tremendous achievement for everyone in Jaguar - from the people here at Castle Bromwich who have been building the car since 2008 to the engineers, the designers and the dealers.”
N this context, I would like to define fatigue as the consequence of cumulative sleep debts (caused by extended mental and bodily activities). One of the consequences of fatigue is micro-sleep. It is very risky to experience micro – sleep when driving, operating machines or handling sensitive office jobs. To beat back micro – sleep, it is not uncommon to see drivers, bankers, managers and secretaries, among others, chewing gum at work Recently, the Car hire Driver that drove me to Aso Rock Villa battled terribly with chewing gum till we got there. I tried as much as possible to educate him on the dangers to health and safety. I was, however, pissed off when I saw the mouth of a secretary in the Presidency moving repeatedly because of chewing gum. I then considered it necessary to do
How to avoid fatigue
this articles. As the chewing gum revolution is speeding up, many drivers and office workers now believe that it is an antidote to fatigue and micro-sleep. This is an erroneous beliefe and must be discarded forthwith. The three sure solutions to fatigue are REST, REST and REST. Anytime you experience any of the following symptoms: - Tired muscles, sleepiness, Inability to keep fixed attention, slowness in reasoning, when you keep yawning, when your eye fell sore or heavy, when you have difficulty keeping your eyes open, when your hands feel sweaty, when you experience droning noise in your ears, when your driving becomes erratic, when you cannot keep to your lane consistently, when you
are no more flowing well in your speech and job what you need is not chewing gum but rest. Pay your sleep debt and you will be refreshed to be more productive and safe on the road when you drive. From my own perspective, it is unethical to be chewing the gum in an office environment, not to talk of making unpleasant sound with the chewing gum either in the car or office. Always remind yourself of the circadian rythm as you extend your physical activity. You should also avoid emotional stress and sleep disorders. If you don’t, fatigue will surely take its toll and it may be very devastating. A stitch in time saves nine.
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‘Why states misuse capital market funds’ Its indigenes’ exploits in education earned it the sobriquet, ‘Fountain of Knowledge’. Now Ekiti State is desirous of economic power. It plans to achieve this objective through the Ekiti State Enterprise Development Agency (EEDA). EEDA’s Director-General, Oska Aiyeleso, in this interview with SIMEON EBULU and TONIA OSUNDOLIRE, explains how the agency will be used to transform the state.
HY was EEDA set up? The main function of the agency is to co-ordinate and promote investments; small and medium entrepreneurs. We are also trying to rejuvenate moribund industries. These are the basic functions, but, more importantly, it is to empower the small and medium entrepreneurs. The state is full of unemployed youths and we are gathering them together to make them employable and also employers of labour. We are also to liaise with local and foreign investors to bring in investments. How will you attract investors? We have all it takes to bring investors to the state. The political environment is more stable now. Governor Kayode Fayemi, is more or less a technocrat and has great vi-
PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
sion. We also have the infrastructure in place that will attract investors. We have land, human capital, cash crops and mineral resources that could be a source of attraction to the state. In addition, security is in place. Now, the governor with others from the Western Region, are planning to have stable power supply, which is an attraction for any investor. If you are coming to invest in Ekiti State, we will give you free land and necessary support as incentives. If you are coming to set up a small and medium-scale business, we will give you tax holiday and it could be negotiable; it could be six months or one year, depending on what you are bringing into the state to establish. Why the urge to transform Ekiti from a civil service state to an industrialised entity?
This is why EEDA was set up and why we have been working tirelessly to turn the state to an industrial state. Ekiti is known to be a civil service state, but, Ekiti people are well educated and very knowledgeable. We have said it several times that education without enterprise will lead to abject poverty. But education with enterprise will lead to structural and agricultural development, among others. That is what we are trying to do. We want to turn Ekiti to what is obtainable in Singapore, by creating small and medium scale entrepreneurs. We are doing this by empowering the people. We send them for training. We are running two training programmes for unemployed youths. We are training them on various vocations —
metal fabrication, electrical repairs, auto mechanics, fashion designing, tailoring, weaving, special events, hospitality and computer hardware repairs. We are training close to 450 youths; and by the time we have trained them for about six months, they go for practicals for about two months, making eight months, and we then empower them, establish them, buy equipment for them to stand on their own as entrepreneurs and self reliant. That is what we are doing. What is your modus operandi? Governor Fayemi has just approved business enterprise centres in each of the three senatorial districts we are building. We have • Continued on page 48
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE CEO • Continued from page 47
called the people that will help us build that facility. The vocational centres will be built to train people in various vocations in each of the towns that have been chosen. We will train people, who, in turn, will train others. We have told them enough of this Okada riding. Most of them were into different professions, so we want to take them back to their original vocations. As we train them, we also want to establish them. Recently, I visited Oyo Odua Farmers’ Academy in Awe. I saw what they are doing there and it was interesting. When I came back, I met with my team to replicate this in Ekiti because we need this in the state. So, besides the academy in Awe, we want to establish a farmers’ academy in Ekiti. Secondly, we have taken another batch of 259 youths for agric-enterprise in conjunction with the National Directorate of Employment. We are training them in fishery, poultry, snail rearing, rabbit rearing and timber making. We train them for three months and do practicals for one month. The first batch of this scheme will be inaugurated this month, during the one-year anniversary of Governor Fayemi in office. After that, we will establish and give them soft loans to help them start-up. We will monitor them because the idea is that when we establish them, they should also be able to train others so that we will have a multiplier effect of this. In conjunction with the Bank of Industry(BoI), some of the unemployed youths trained in different vocations have been given soft loans. Two months ago, Dr Fayemi gave out N20 million to 14 trained entrepreneurs. They were trained in garri making, cassava processing, flour processing, bakery, block making, timber and snacks making. The highest amount was N2.9 million and the lowest was about N539,000. We used this money to buy equipment for them. They are being established under EEDA and they are given tax holiday for six months after which they begin to pay tax. We want to encourage them so that they can also be employers of labour. One of them, the timber guy has employed up to 25 people now in his business, that is what we want to turn Ekiti to be. We are also working with Odua Group of Companies. We never knew that the moribund textile industry in Ado-Ekiti could be as useful as it is today. We had a meeting with Odua to discuss what the textile mill can be turned into and we came with an idea to turn it into an enterprise development centre. In that place today, by the second week in October, we will be having what we call skill acquisition centre, builders’ mart, industrial park and artisan village. But the first phase which is the builders’mart will be inaugurated by Dr Fayemi in the second week of October. At the builders’ mart, all sellers of building materials in Ado Ekiti will be found. In the first phase, we will be inaugurating about 91 modern shops. What we will turn that place to, will be likened to Dubai or Singapore of Nigeria. We are spending close to N150 million in the first phase alone. This will be an opportunity for us to employ more. By the time the first phase is inaugurating, we would have employed close to 5,000 youths in that facility alone. After that we will dovetail into the industrial park. What is the response so far from prospective investors? We have written to captains of industry to come and invest in Ekiti State. The industrial park will also serve as a distribution centre for some companies, so that instead of their customers from the North and the Middle Belt going all the way to Lagos, they can stop over in Ekiti to pick their goods at the same price or even at a cheaper rate. Dangote being the first, will be inaugurating its first cement depot in Ekiti State. He has also instructed the chief executives of his subsidiaries, such as flour, noodles, sugar and salt to also come and have a space at the industrial park as soon as it is ready. Others that have written are Chi Limited, Dunlop, Nigerite, Airtel, May & Baker, Elizade Toyota, Coscharis, Flour Mill, Skye Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, Ecobank, Odua Group of Companies, Cadbury, MTN, Bank of Industry and Wema Bank and lots of private companies. Recently, a group came from Alaska in the United States (US), which is into meat processing. All they need is land. They came with what they are producing, and our investigations showed that what they produce can be used in eateries and hotels. What they need now is a good environment that
‘Why states misuse capital market funds’
‘The N25 billion we are coming for is to take care of the eight-point agenda, especially agriculture. If you see our sawmill, you will see we are serious-minded people. Even at that, we have not taken the money from the market. You need to see what we have done. People go about without agenda and when such fund gets into their hands, they spend it on politicians. This is a government that has structure, system, process, strategy and above all, people’
is well secured and they have chosen Ekiti State. In the next few months they will be bringing in their materials. They are looking for10 hectares of land, but we are giving them three for now and we are keeping another six, leaving it at nine for now so that by the time they come in, they can start off.
PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN
I visited Chief Ade Ojo of Elizade recently and I gave him a proposal because we already have a land for the car mart and want to have a mechanic village adjacent to the mart, as well as spare parts dealers or automart. For us to have his consent, we have decided to change the proposal to have a Toyota workshop in Ekiti and a training cen-
tre. Also, Maduka of Coscharis said he is coming; so, there might be a combined effort by the two auto dealers to establish automarts. I was with the representatives of China Town and we had a useful meeting with them. They are interested because their intention was to go elsewhere, but since I went to them, they have opted for Ekiti. We have land for them too. What manpower is there to meet the needs of the investors? We have adequate human capital in Ekiti State. We have seen our people who are well educated in the diaspora who are coming back home now because of the feedback they have received from the present administration. People who are experts in their various vocations are coming back home. Apart from the fact that we have people who are very educated in different areas, such as engineering, accountancy and agriculture, there are others who are intelligent and at home but do not have capital or business to do that took to Okada riding. We took a course about four weeks ago, tagged “Return to Your Vocation” for Okada riders and found out that almost 45 per cent of those riding Okada in Ekiti are graduates, young men who we must re-orientate. Also, we have those who are political scavengers, owo meji, ese kan fun eyan kan. Go to the political corridors, they are there, some of them are graduates and are doing nothing, all these we believe must stop. This also led to our creating an agency called, Job Creation Agency. It has given jobs to over 2,500 people. Do you intend to partner with investors, like PPP? Yes, we are. Government is not interested in business. It is not their job but for the private sector. That is why we invited the captains of industry to partner with them. I am happy we are receiving positive responses. What is the picture of your incentive package? We have told them that we will give them free land and also introduce some financial institutions to them in case they want loans. The financial institutions will be asking for maybe state or government guarantee. They will also have security and an enabling environment and the market will be there too. There will be easy access to human capital, good roads and electricity to make their investment work. For instance, Odua asked for a transformer and it was immediately given to them under 72 hours. This is what will be given to investors that make such requirements. Are there challenges you’ve encountered and resolved? For any state that is coming from zero level to be transformed, there is the issue of people-oriented challenges. We have taken politics as a profession which is not supposed to be, that is why the first thing Dr Fayemi did was to change the logo of Ekiti State, from fountain of knowledge to land of honour. We are honouring people; we like integrity. So, the first thing is to give good orientation, that it is no longer Ekiti as a civil service state but as an industrial state. So, we are doing a lot of training for them. We have organised a course successor plan for all the retirees and all small and medium scale business owners in Ekiti. It is a known fact that as owners of businesses in Ekiti exit, their business die with them and that is not supposed to be so. Even people who are retired, there is fear of going into business because there has is no one that survived beyond the owners. People in civil service are afraid to retire, so they keep changing their date of birth and stay longer in service. We are bringing people who are giving testimonies to come and talk to them that business can be successful What is the position of the N25 billion bonds Ekiti intends to raise from the market? Before you go into the capital market to raise fund, first you should have a purpose for the fund. You must have a vision, mission, agenda and strategies. That is why the eight-point agenda we put together as a direction of the way forward for the state. The N25 billion we are coming for is to take care of the eight-point agenda, especially agriculture. If you see our sawmill, you will see we are serious-minded people. Even at that, we have not taken the money from the market. You need to see what we have done. People go about without agenda and when such fund gets into their hands, they spend it on politicians. This is a government that has structure, system, process, strategy and above all, people.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Effecting changes in shareholder’s details
His Royal Majesty’s treasury
HE Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe is in a distinct class of traditional rulers. Previously, the all-in-all of their domains, traditional rulers have long become symbolic authorities for traditional rites and cultures. In many worst instances, they have brought themselves under the control of socio-political and economic influences they were supposed to shape and control in the best interest of their communities. Rather than being only arbiter and justice of peace among their people, several traditional rulers are the oppressors of their people; making headlines for vile activities unbecoming of the royalty. Beside the fact that several socalled traditional rulers are political creations devoid of historic backbones, the absence of clearcut constitutional roles for the monarchs have impinged on the relevance of once-revered stools. But a class of traditional rulers has continued to hold aright the real essence of the royalty; serving as positive forces for sociopolitical and economic development of their nation. This is the Achebe’s class. Educated at the Stanford University, Igwe Achebe, is one of the archetypes of what being a royal entails. Well-educated, Achebe attended the Stanford and Columbia Universities in the United States of America for his first and advanced degrees. He also attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Study (NIPSS), Kuru. Igwe Achebe had a three-decade career with the Royal Dutch Shell companies in Nigeria and
overseas. He was once the executive director at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and later served as senior corporate adviser to the London-based Shell International Company Limited. Igwe Achebe has now brought the education, experience and royal influence into a new endeavour: the promotion of capital formation and corporate development. An astute investor and advocate of savings and investment, Igwe Achebe is known to have shareholdings in many companies. At the last count, Igwe Achebe’s seven-digit shareholding ranks him as one of the 591 shareholders who control about 87 per cent equity stake in Diamond Bank Plc. Diamond Bank has some 130,000 shareholders. He also holds appreciable shareholding in Unilever Nigeria where his five-digit shareholding ranks him within the 5,256 shareholders who control about 86.5 per cent equity stake in the global conglomerate. Unilever Nigeria has more than 100,000 shareholders out of which Unilever Overseas Holdings holds the majority stake of 50.04 per cent. He is also known to have equity interests in the insurance industry. Besides committing his money to equity investments, Igwe Achebe has also increasingly become an influential force in shaping the corporate direction of Nigeria. His recent appointment as chairman of Unilever Nigeria, Nigeria’s second most capitalised conglomerate, brings to three the number of quoted companies under the chairmanship of his majesty. He also chairs the boards of Diamond Bank and Universal Insurance Company Plc.
This has not only seen Igwe Achebe exerting influences on socio-political development as the chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, but his personal investment portfolio and active participation in corporate decision-making have placed him in vantage position to lead the much-more important cause of economic empowerment and sustainable living. With just about five per cent of the Nigerian population participating in the stock market and equally worrisome, less than one-fifth would even think about equity investment even where they have the wherewithal, the traditional institutions could serve as major mobilisation and enlightenment fronts for investment education and inclusive economy. There is no gainsaying that Nigerians still mostly revere their traditional rulers as role models, and this can found positive expression in following their investment habits. With such portfolio diversification from finance to manufacturing, Nigerian-owned to foreign-controlled, Igwe Achebe has, no doubt, hedged against risks on many fronts; including the risk of want that turns the majesty into plaything of politicians and unscrupulous money bags.
Ask a Broker
OMINAL value, other wise known as par value, refers to the face value or ordinary value of a security. Usually, a security is denominated by its par value and this serves as a differentiating factor from similar securities or other class of securities. The issued share capital of a company is denoted and ex-
What is nominal value? pressed in its nominal value. The nominal value of each quoted company is indicated on the official list of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as public quotation price immediately after the name of the company. While Adswitch has a par value of 20 kobo, Capital Oil has 25
kobo while most other companies have 50 kobo. Nominal value serves as valuable index of measurement for discerning investors. Trading at or below nominal value for a long-listed stock may be a red alert for exit or entry depending on stock-bystock evaluation.
HE register of members is the bonafide evidence of ownership of the company and as such must be duly updated to reflect any changes in it. Beside the initial function of creating shareholders’ register, this function of register maintenance is the most important function of a Registrar and it encompasses all other functions. Given the dynamics of the stock market, register maintenance is a daily function of a Registrar and it is the pillar on which other functions, such as dividend payment and bonus issue rest. Although either the shareholder or the company can originate the change process, most changes to shareholders’ register originate from the shareholders and their consents are also primarily required before the company can initiate a change process like in bonus issue, share exchange and share reconstruction. Shareholder’s details in the register of members may change due to a number of reasons including change of mailing address, bank mandate, name and signature. Also, a shareholder’s details may change due to marriage or divorce, need to consolidate or harmonise multiple accounts, sale of shares, appointment of a representative, death and court judgement among others. Each reason for change of information in the register requires specific requirements, which a shareholder must provide in order to reflect the new information. The inability of many shareholders to understand the change requirements in each instance and the pro-
By Taofik Salako
cedure for effecting the change are usually the crux of many misunderstandings between shareholders and Registrars. However, the rapid expansion in the share registration business in recent time also implies dearth of relevant human resources in some registrars, thus compounding the knowledge gap problem between shareholders and registrars. We will, therefore, afford both shareholders and share registration practitioners with the industrywide best practices and requirements with regard to each change in the register of shareholders. As a basic rule: every letter emanating from a shareholder to the Registrar must bear the full names of the shareholder and his signature. Change of address: This is perhaps the main source of most complaints from shareholders from delay or non-receipt of share certificate to unclaimed dividend. The address filled by the shareholder on the application form or in account with the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) remains sacrosanct until proper notification of change from the shareholder. A shareholder requesting for change of address will write a letter to the registrar intimating him of the change and the new mailing address, street or postal. The key requirements for the letter to be effective are: the full names of the shareholder as written on the share certificate or CSCS statement and the signature on the purchase instrument, application form or transfer form. Upon receiving this letter, the Registrar will crosscheck the signature on
the letter with the one in the application form and if satisfied, the change will be effected immediately. Otherwise, the Registrar will request for banker’s confirmation of signature to verify irregular signature or in case of absence of signature specimen. Registrars should however endeavour to develop a fast and efficient two-way communication flow that provides feedback to shareholders’ requests. Change of name: Request for change of name requires the presentation of the legal document backing such a change. The shareholder will write a duly signed letter requesting for change of name to the Registrar and attached the following documents: a sworn declaration from the High Court or certificate of marriage, public notice published in a national newspaper and the original share certificate (for shares still on certificate). Upon receipt of the letter, the Registrar will confirm the authenticity of the signature and genuineness of the photocopies attached to the letter. On confirmation of the genuineness of the ownership claim, the Registrar will endorse the new name on the share certificate and enter such into the register and subsequently return the endorsed certificate to the shareholder. In case of doubt about the authenticity of photocopies of documents presented, the Registrar will request for presentation of the originals for sighting and if not satisfy yet, may make further enquiries with the relevant authorities such as the High Court, Marriage Registry, Church, Mosque etc
Ways and Means
Fostering financial intelligence
RECENT survey on the Nigerian middle class is an eye-opener on the wide gap between academic curricula and educational qualifications on one hand and financial intelligence on the other hand. Highly educated and reasonably well to do, nearly all the sample has obtained post-secondary education. With average monthly income of between N75, 000 and N100, 000, which translates into a range of N900, 000 or N1.2 million per annum, most of the “highly educated” Nigerians however know little about how to optimise their disposable incomes. Given the income range, the disposable income would probably be an average of about N300,000 per annum, using a monthly regular saving rate of 25 per cent of average income. With dreams of owning their houses, sending children for higher education at home and abroad and starting their own businesses, middle-class Nigerians definitely need more than
their average savings to achieve their dream in a lawful ethical way. But the survey revealed a startling contraindication to their personal development vis-à-vis the size of their investible incomes and their ambitions. They mostly piled their hardearned incomes into savings accounts, they neither care about the deposit rate nor about borrowing from a bank. Most do not have mortgages and they remain primitively attached to the traditional idea of “depositing money in the bush” to realise their homeownership dreams. The facts are quite revealing: 81 per cent said saving money is the reason to hold a bank account while only 17 per cent highlight the benefit of earning interest. Eighty-four per cent have never applied for a loan and still between 75 and 80 per cent have no intention of applying for a loan. But still, given a large sum of money, 89 per cent would deposit it in a bank, 32 per cent would invest in land or property, 19 per cent would invest in stocks and
shares, five per cent would invest in government bonds while 4.5 per cent would invest in foreign exchange. If the views and attitudes of the “highly educated” middle class are used as window to preview the lower class, then the reason for the continuing “rat race” of life among most Nigerians won’t be far-fetched- poor financial intelligence is the main drawback. To tackle this problem and broaden the scope of personal financial management, several developmental experts have called for an early adopter approach targeted at children, teenagers and youths. Most banks offer children accounts and promotions. But these appeared inadequate in the absence of the groundwork of systemic knowledge dissemination and practice programmes. This is where the catch-themyoung programmes of Creative Wealth Nigeria (CWN) become indispensable. CWN, the Nigerian arm of Creative Wealth, a global financial intelligence organisation, seeks to empower
kids, teens and young adults to take charge of their personal financial decisions and free their lives from the vicious “rat race”. Beside the awful failure of many astute professionals when it comes to financial issues- as confirmed by the survey, the underlining philosophy of the CWN programmes is rooted in habits hardly change and once learned, a good habit becomes a tonic for growth while a bad habit hinders progress. CWN has developed not less than seven programmes to inculcate financial intelligence in the family, with special emphasis on
the young ones. These programmes include the Money Camp, Creative Wealth Academy, Success for Teens, Moving Out, Financial Empowerment for Adults, Money Game and Creative Cash among others. These programmes were conceptualised and designed to imbibe core financial intelligence principles including maxims such as: not how much income but how much savings; save early, save often; assets feed, liabilities eat; investment in assets that create passive income leads to financial freedom and living for higher purpose than just money making among other principles. The Money Camp is a 20-hour curriculum designed to teach children and young adults between ages of 10 and 18 the main lessons of financial management and wealth creation principles and mechanics. With multiple impact techniques, the programme exposes participants to both the knowledge and practice of day-to-day financial management and investment. Creative Cash is a home-based programme designed for children between ages
of eight and 14 years. It particularly focuses on teaching participants importance of saving and investing through their daily living experience at home. To broaden its reach, CWN has launched a coaching programme in Nigeria to train personal finance coaches that would further upscale the reach of the organisation’s educative programmes across the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society. The trainees would be exposed to a bouquet of internationally-acclaimed Creative Wealth courses, programmes, books, audiovisual materials and many licensed financial intelligence products after which they would be given affiliation to operate under the auspices of Creative Wealth Nigeria. Besides, CWN is also seeking to partner with schools, companies, governments across the three tiers, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs), clubs, alumni, families and other interested groups which may want custom-designed programmes that meet their peculiar needs.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-10-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name
No of Deals (N)
FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals
2 6 11 19
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
0.50 0.50 7.00
50,000 1,000,000 266,800 1,316,800
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
36,044 540,056 576,100
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
34,000 127,819 161,819
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
5.62 3.50 2.53 4.25 2.01 9.77 12.85 9.21 5.10 1.26 3.87 2.09 0.75 0.71 12.41
6,402,581 60,088,935 408,737 548,000 28,751,793 14,531,681 12,980,916 21,858,719 1,024,368 2,714,817 24,501,719 8,609,565 2,729,732 652,674 10,395,629 196,199,866
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
217.95 6.06 79.98
216,966 48,850 594,313 860,129
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
16.80 7.30 100.00 40.01
248,532 123,000 233,095 115,966 720,593
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
9.36 17.85 1.14 5.11
148,625 125,652 54,000 1,000 329,277
25,000.00 500,000.00 1,870,872.00 2,395,872.00
AIR SERVICES Company Name
No of Deals (N)
AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
2 41 43
73,529.76 3,148,821.49 3,222,351.25
AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name
No of Deals (N) 5 6 11
DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals
17,000.00 189,164.28 206,164.28
BANKING Company Name
No of Deals (N) 146 97 27 25 70 613 542 42 57 38 231 97 32 19 142 2,178
ACCESS BANK PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC SKYE BANK PLC. STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals
35,920,719.99 207,012,328.99 1,025,372.58 2,324,675.00 56,353,564.34 141,970,320.57 166,714,511.07 207,071,705.67 5,245,039.80 3,408,511.77 94,597,168.63 17,993,990.85 1,995,704.36 459,348.78 128,511,425.90 1,070,604,388.30
BREWERIES Company Name
No of Deals (N) 79 3 85 167
GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals
46,077,331.12 281,376.00 47,077,360.42 93,436,067.54
BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name
No of Deals (N)
ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals
21 8 22 25 76
4,151,912.11 853,720.00 23,268,245.24 4,643,395.94 32,917,273.29
CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name
No of Deals (N)
BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC DN MEYER PLC PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
14 22 1 1 38
1,346,623.67 2,201,108.84 61,560.00 4,860.00 3,614,152.51
COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name
No of Deals (N)
COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals
1 17 18
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
300 391,114 391,414
150.00 942,584.74 942,734.74
COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT Company Name
No of Deals (N) 1 1
NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
1.90 30.02 6.11 0.75 33.46 27.50
100,600 281,871 3,000 10,681,716 49,835 128,455 11,245,477
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
47.16 0.50 4.65
30,716 155,000 19,000 204,716
CONGLOMERATES Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC SCOA NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 8 50 1 51 27 31 168
182,086.00 8,473,981.13 17,430.00 7,399,369.82 1,642,202.24 3,531,670.07 21,246,739.26
CONSTRUCTION Company Name
No of Deals (N) 14 10 1 25
JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC MULTIVERSE PLC ROADS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
Union Bank to raise N10b from shareholders U NION Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has con cluded arrangements to raise about N10 billion new equity funds to further increase the the capital base of the bank. Shareholders of Union Bank had penultimate Friday approved the scheme of arrangement for the capital restructuring and recapitalisation of the bank, paving the way for implementation of the scheme. With the approval of the scheme, Union Bank would receive about N76 billion ($500 million) equity capital and N30 billion ($200 million) Tier 2 capital from a consortium of international investors to retain its nearly a century-old brand African Capital Alliance (ACA) is leading other partners, including many reputable fund managers, investment funds of The Netherland, theUS and Nigerian investors under the Union Global Partners Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle formed for the recapitalisation of the bank. Also, as part of the recapitalisation plan, Union Bank’s shareholders would receive three new shares for every 16 shares held and would subsequently be offered additional rights, which altogether would push their total shareholding to 21 per cent in the fully recapitalised Union Bank. UBN plans to issue about 1.41 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N6.81 per share in the ratio of five new ordinary shares for every nine ordinary shares held as at September 30, 2011. Already, Union Bank has rounded off pre-offer processes at the completion board meeting for the rights issue, where all parties, including the directors, issuing houses, legal advisers, representatives of the
No of Deals (N) 2 3 5
CUTIX PLC INTERLINKED TECHNOLOGIES PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
3,000 5,000 8,000
6,000.00 23,300.00 29,300.00
regulators and other professional parties signed-off the issuing documents. There are indications that the rights issue might open next week upon receipt of the final approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend approved the UBN scheme. Speaking on the rights issue at the weekend, Executive Director, Commercial and Retail Banking, South, Kunle Adeosun, said the bank has concluded all requirements precedent to the opening of the rights issue, noting that the rights issue would open upon final confirmatory approval by SEC. Adeosun, said the rights issue would give existing shareholders opportunity to increase their stakes in the recapitalised bank. He pointed out that at N6.81 per share, the rights price has been highly discounted, given that the new core investors have paid as much prior to the share reconstruction, while the current market price at the NSE also indicated a discount of more than N4 per share. He outlined that with the anticipated full subscription of the rights issue, the shareholding structure of UBN would indicate 21 per cent for pre-scheme shareholders, 19 per cent for Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and 60 per cent for Union Global Partners Limited (UGPL), the new core investors. He reassured on the recapitalisation of the bank noting that there is a standby investment arrangement
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-10-11 LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 1
No of Deals (N) 20 38 106 89 54 8 1 15 32 1 1 365
7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
47.00 13.91 6.81 7.00 59.55 3.10 1.62 4.50 401.00 0.50 0.50
11,948 131,837 3,329,756 2,390,930 184,916 194,001 350 95,345 17,952 10,000 39,845 6,406,880
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
5.31 0.90 1.16 27.00 3.00 0.95 3.68
1,156 26,546 111,680 15,868 734,762 6,300 1,000 897,312
556,898.72 1,854,837.52 22,464,275.91 16,601,023.15 11,224,182.79 598,643.10 539.00 429,572.06 7,208,903.14 5,000.00 19,922.50 60,963,797.89
HEALTHCARE Company Name
No of Deals (N)
EKOCORP PLC 1 EVANS MEDICALPLC. 4 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 9 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 6 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 30 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 3 PHARMA-DEKO PLC 1 Sector Totals 54
5,837.80 24,582.04 125,550.20 428,553.00 2,204,395.54 5,733.00 3,500.00 2,798,151.58
HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name
No of Deals (N) 33 33
IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name
No of Deals (N) 1 7 8
B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
1 23,766 23,767
7.01 138,181.52 138,188.53
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name CHAMS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 3 3
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
0.57 1.02 0.50 2.30 0.50 1.01 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
6,454,492 1,074,528 5,800 80,109 46,050 524,600 499,900 64,200 11,532,904 10,000 2,500 30,000 35,000 5,000 50,000 2,000 249,500 20,666,583
INSURANCE Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC OASIS INSURANCE PLC PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC UNIC INSURANCE PLC. UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N)
47 4 1 4 3 6 2 1 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 6 87
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 500 430.00 500 430.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 294,004 241,083.28 294,004 241,083.28
FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name
which allowed AMCON to cover any shortfall in the equity investment amount of the UGPL. Adeosun urged all shareholders to exercise their rights describing the issue as an opportunity to benefit from the significant value creation that would result from the recapitalisation and emergence of core investors. Meanwhile, the market situation at the NSE opens today on the negative with several pundits expecting the bears to overshadow transactions. There were also concerns that the extraordinary meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) holding today might unnerve investors. The capital market had suffered serious backlash from several MPC’s decisions in recent period. The All Share Index (ASI) of NSE depreciated last week by 0.71 per cent to open today at 20,225.02 while aggregate market capitalization of equities opens today at N6.449 trillion as against its opening value of N6.497 trillion last week. Total turnover last week stood at 840.85 million shares worth N7.91 billion in 17,983 deals as against a total of 1.25 billion shares valued at N8.7 billion traded in 18,871 deals in the previous week. Oando Plc led the pack of 38 advancers last week with a gain of N2.51 to close at N25.50 per share. Nigerian Breweries Plc followed with a gain of N2.02 to close at N82 per share. On the other hand, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc led the 31 decliners with a loss of N8 to close at N140.Guinness Nigeria, which was adjusted for dividend payment, trailed with a loss of N7.95 to close at N210 per share.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
1,388,027.12 77,500.00 92,720.00 1,558,247.12
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
3,796,825.91 1,076,028.56 2,900.00 193,062.69 23,485.50 527,666.00 249,950.00 32,100.00 5,766,452.00 5,000.00 1,250.00 15,000.00 50,050.00 2,500.00 25,000.00 1,000.00 124,750.00 11,893,020.66
Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 21 21
MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 7 7
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 37,075 18,537.50 37,075 18,537.50
OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2 4
Quotation(N) 1.08 0.50
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,475 5,639.25 11,000 5,500.00 16,475 11,139.25
Quotation(N) 6.57 1.76 2.92 13.28
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 712 4,450.00 233,010 406,956.00 360 1,000.80 72,469 962,388.32 306,551 1,374,795.12
PACKAGING Company Name AVON CROWNCAPS & CONTAINERS PLC. NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC STUDIO PRESS (NIGERIA) PLC. GREIF NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 11 1 1 14
PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 9 1 18 22 201 14 266
Quotation(N) 63.86 34.36 5.12 10.44 148.00 22.99 200.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 183 11,102.61 5,806 197,668.46 2,000 9,740.00 137,735 1,473,493.20 34,429 4,914,863.20 4,685,278 103,698,329.14 87,942 16,836,528.80 4,953,373 127,141,725.41
PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name ACADEMY PRESS PLC. LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 3 9 14
Quotation(N) 2.60 4.79 3.81
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,898 4,688.06 5,600 26,686.00 40,070 158,457.00 47,568 189,831.06
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 26,845 334,007.50 26,845 334,007.50
REAL ESTATE Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 5 5
ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Company Name UNITED NIGERIAN TEXTILES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 48,000 24,960.00 48,000 24,960.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,423 1,266.47 1,423 1,266.47
THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals
No of Deals 25 25
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 361,000 4,285,382.60 361,000 4,285,382.60
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Fuel subsidy to save N1.2tr, stabilise forex market
HE Federal Government would realise about N1.2 tril lion from the proposed removal of oil subsidy in fiscal savings and overtime. The proceed is expected to help stabilise the forex market, the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC), Bismark Rewane, has said. He said savings from the subsidy, will also provide safety net for the poor when channeled into infrastructure funding and provision of other
By Collins Nweze
social amenities. Besides, the Federal Government insists that such policy, would lead to stronger accruals to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to finance crucial infrastructure. Speaking during the October edition of the Lagos Business School Breakfast Session, Rewane said the subsidy would reduce crowding out of the private sector as domestic
interests. Domestic debt currently stands at 17.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, excluding the N5.2 trillion of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) bonds,” he said. Rewane, said deficit is to be financed mainly through domestic borrowing and that infrastructure rehabilitation requirements are far in excess of current revenue projections. Besides, new investment in infrastructure means international bor-
borrowings, ensure foreign exchange stability as forex demand will ease and is expected to stop leakages. He however, predicted that the subsidy will experience some backlash from organised labour. He explained that fiscal policy is expected to improve slowly but likely to remain loose in the short term. “Efforts to reduce recurrent expenditure remain an issue due to bureaucratic bottlenecks and vested
rowing from Paris Club and Multilaterals adding that conditions for debt capital raising will empower reform oriented technocrats in the government. He explained that there are concerns on the need to achieve positive real interest rates; continuing expansionary fiscal stance and high recurrent expenditure; anticipated high liquidity surge from AMCON’s issuance of bonds and persistent demand pressure on the naira.
CBN advises on risk management at stakeholders’ parley nancial and investment firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citi Bank, Morgan Stanley and J P Morgan Chase, among others discussed issues of liquidity risk, foreign exchange risks and counter party risks on the Nigerian financial sector. Wigwe, said recent policy developments in trade finance, foreign
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mrs. Sarah Alade, explained that since Nigeria is integrated into the global financial system, only sound risk management would save the financial system from possible collapse. Speaking during the Financial Markets Conference organised by Access Bank Plc, Alade said banks must embrace safety measures in areas of sound risk management processes, instead of taking excessive risks that will deplete depositors’ funds. “Banks must learn to be prudent in the management of depositors’ funds and ensure diversification of their liabilities,” she said. Speaking at the event, Access Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Albert Wigwe, said the uncertain state of the global financial system has brought stakeholders into discussing possible ways out of the crises ravaging some economies. The conference deliberated on ways to shield the local economy from possible untoward effects of the crises through the enthronement of good risk management practices. Also representatives of the CBN, Access Bank Plc, multinational fi-
exchange, treasury operations as well as macroeconomic developments and regulatory actions and implications on business have to be looked into. He said the focus of the conference was meant to forecast the likely direction of financial services industry across the globe in the next financial year, adding that the
CBN’s drive to embrace cashless economy will add value to businesses, and should be supported. Wigwe, who represented the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, said operators in the Nigerian economy have identified liquidity risk, foreign exchange risks and counter party risks as the
Diamond grants interest free loans to entrepreneurs
IAMOND Bank has granted in terest free loans to five micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs). The loans are up to a maximum of N2 million to the beneficiaries who emerged winners of the just-concluded “Borrow For Free Promo” organised by the bank between June and July, 2011. The bank said in a statement that the gesture is part of its contribution towards economic development in the country. The Promo, was designed to assist MSMEs understand the relationship between a business plan and access to
UARANTY Trust Bank plc has introduced a new e-account for undergraduates and students in higher institutes of learning called ‘The GTCrea8 eSavers account’. The new account, was designed to make it more convenient for undergraduates to man-
finance. It was an opportunity for existing and new customers of the bank’s Diamond BusinessXpress Account, who had been asked to submit business plans on an existing or proposed business. The beneficiaries with the best business plans were selected and given the opportunity to obtain interest-free loans up to a maximum of N2 million each to expand existing business or start a new one. Senior Advisor, Retail Banking, Garry Marsh revealed that a total disbursable loan package of N10 million
was made available under the Promo, while the selection process involved several panels , which screened all the business proposals received at branch and regional levels, before passing a shortlist to a central committee who then selected the best five from the pool. “It was a painstaking process which involved a thorough review of over 500 business plans received from across our branch network over a two months campaign period. Each proposal was fairly assessed in terms of overall quality with specific attention
GT Bank unveils eSavers account
age their financial affairs and notch up acceptable service standards within the industry. It is an interest bearing card account that allows students conveniently carry out all their
banking activities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world, without having to step into a banking hall. According to Managing Director/
FGN BONDS Amount N
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
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 7-10-11 SYMBOL UAC-PROP ETERNAOIL RTBRISCOE EVANSMED AIICO UPL WEMABANK GTASSURE WAPCO
O/PRICE 12.081 4.59 1.48 0.86 0.57 3.80 0.77 1.16 40.08
C/PRICE 13.45 4.81 1.55 0.90 0.59 3.85 0.78 1.17 40.10
CHANGE 0.64 0.22 0.07 0.04 3.02 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.02
LOSER AS AT 7-10-11 SYMBOL NPFMCRFBK PRESCO DANGFLOUR ASHAKACEM SKYEBANK FCMB REDSTAREX ACCESS TRANSCORP FLOURMILL
O/PRICE 1.00 7.71 6,91 17.00 4.94 4.37 2.30 5.49 0.85 60.90
C/PRICE 0.95 7.33 6.57 16.17 4.70 4.16 2.19 5.23 0.81 58.20
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
CEO of the GT Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the account is a virtual account built on the familiarities of the standard ‘Generation Y’ customer. He said ‘The modern day student is typically very agile, mobile and technology savvy.
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
OBB Rate Call Rate
to feasibility, innovation and business understanding” Garry Marsh said. Beneficiaries are Elizabeth Ejirika, (a specialist in grain processing and sales); Tee Martins Global Resources Limited, (fish processing, packaging & distribution); Ozoemena Osita Francis (Vegetable Oil Production); Questill Managers Limited, (newspaper publisher); and Invent Solutions Links Limited, (Taliwood export). Highlighting the importance of the initiative to Marsh noted that “the promotion has further enhanced the bank’s reputation as the MSME Bank of Nigeria.
foremost challenges faced by organisations in recent times. These he said, were largely driven by the recent turbulence in the domestic and international markets. He noted that the CBN’s recent policy on cash handling should be pursued because of its inherent benefits to the economy and reduction of banks’ cost of operations.
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)
NSE CAP Index
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)
13-09-11 N6.7026tr 21,018.52
14-09-11 N6.760tr 21,199.16
% Change -0.87% -0.86%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%
9.17 1.00 117.96 107.46 0.78 1.02 0.92 1,628.78 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,348.48 193.00
9.08 1.00 117.57 107.10 0.75 1.02 0.91 1,625.40 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,132.80 191.08
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED
CHANGE 0.05 0.38 0.34 0.83 0.24 0.21 0.11 0.26 0.04 2.70
• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2011
07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Fayose ready to rebuild Ekiti PDP
ORMER Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose at the weekend said he is prepared to work with former Governor Segun Oni and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Ekiti State to rebuild the party. Fayose spoke at OmuoEkiti, the headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government. The ex-governor is currently on tour of local governments in the state. He was accompanied by some PDP chieftains such as former speaker in Oni’s administration, Mr. Femi Bamisile, former Information Commissioner also in Oni’s administration, Mr. Taiwo Olatubosun, former PDP National Financial Secretary, Senator Clement Awoyelu, among others. Fayose said: “I implore all PDP members to sink their differences and come together in order to reposition
•Ex-governor tours local govts the party.” “All members should be ready to work with Segun Oni, the Police Affairs Minister, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and other stakeholders in the interest of the party. “The PDP is still the best party for Ekiti, we should learn from mistakes of the past and use the lessons to reshape the future of our party. I can assure you all that soon Fayose, Segun Oni and other stakeholders will jointly tour the local governments because our working together will make the party become stronger. “I am advising everybody to shun personal groupings, let’s embrace the ideals of PDP, let’s channel all our energies again to help the party. “Nobody should be afraid of my return to PDP. I am
calling on the members at the local government to receive all returning members with open hands. Fayose praised Olubolade for all he had done to help the party. In his own reaction, former Speaker, Mr. Femi Bamisile said that PDP has bounced back in the state and urged all the leaders and members to work as a team, stressing that taking power back was the priority of PDP in Ekiti. Other chieftains that accompanied Fayose to the venue are House of Representatives candidate in the last election, Dr Tope Aluko; former Information Commissioner Mr Gboyega Oguntuase; former member House of Representatives; Mr Duro Faseyi and some former council chairmen.
•Hon Adeyinka Ajayi, Chairman, Aids, Loans and Debt Management Committee of the House of Representatives welcoming the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim during a visit to the National Assembly
Cleric lauds Daily Independent at 10
EAN of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Ikeja, Lagos, Rev. James Odedeji yesterday
Lisa community pleads with Jonathan, Amosun
ESIDENTS of Lisa in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, where 117 people died in a plane crash on October 22, 2005, have pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Ibikunle Amosun to immortalise the victims. They also urged the President and the governor to develop the community. The Baale, High Chief Najeem Odugbemi said the aviation arcade, built at the crash
By Nneka Nwaneri
site, should be upgraded to a tourist destination. He said former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced a Memorial Day for those who died in the crash, but the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua did not sustain it. At a news conference heralding this year’s Memorial Day, Chief Odugbemi urged President Jonathan to continue from where Obasanjo stopped.
The community also drew government’s attention to its plight, saying it lacks basic infrastructure such as good roads, schools, functional health delivery system and a good market to promote economic activities. “The road from Ijoko to Lisa is in bad shape and it happened immediately after its building in 2007. Where there is no good road, there will be no development in any form,” Odugbami said.
The royal father said the arcade could be developed into a tourist destination. “When the arcade was inaugurated, we had a lot of tourists all over Nigeria and beyond coming down to Lisa’’. “This arcade has been given to the Ogun State Tourist Corporation and I have written so many letters to them to upgrade or maintain it, if not improve the standard, but much has not been achieved.”
praised the management and staff of Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily, Saturday and Sunday Independent titles, for its contributions to national development in the country. Speaking at a special thanksgiving service at the church to herald INL 10th anniversary celebrations, Adedeji said the Independent titles, through its rich reportage, have been at the forefront of promoting good governance and safeguarding the interest of the people. According to him, “I am not a marketer, I only market Christ, but these past 10 years, you (INL) have touched this country so much and I pray
that the beauty of God in your establishment will not be taken away in Jesus name”. Adedeji, who also offered special prayers to God for INL said: “These 10 years will mark a new beginning of greater things to come; you will never run down, your organisation will not fold up, you will reap the fruit of your labour, and you shall continue to soar higher and today will mark a turning point in your lives”. Managing Editor of INL, Mr. James Akpandem, accompanied by his wife, led top management and staff to the altar where prayers were offered for successful 10 years of robust journalism in Nigeria.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS Sambo denies presidential ambition From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja Bureau Chief
VICE President Namadi Sambo yesterday described reports of the kick-off of his presidential campaign for 2015 as mischievous, false and cheap blackmail. Sambo said the rousing reception accorded him on Saturday during the Peoples Democratic Party Northwest zonal meeting in Kaduna is normal. He said the branded vehicle bearing his posters was brought to the venue of the event by mischief makers to perpetrate falsehood. Reiterating his commitment to ensuring the success of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, Sambo said he did not mandate anyone to start a campaign for the 2015 elections, adding that the objectives of the meeting were explicitly stated in the communiqué. A statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Mallam Umar Sani, reads: “The insinuations making the rounds in the media that the vice president may be preparing to contest for the presidency in 2015 smacks of mischief and is the figment of the imagination of the writers.
Housing scheme for journalists A HOUSING scheme is being planned for journalists in the Federal Capital Territory. It is aimed at addressing the problem of accommodation faced by journalists in Abuja. A former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and now Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT, Smart Adeyemi, said at a reception in Abuja that the scheme would enable journalists to live in their own houses. The President of NUJ, Mallam Mohammed Garba, had earlier requested Adeyemi to assist the Union to actualise its plan to have a “Journalists’ Village” in Abuja. He said the NUJ would ensure that, at least, two hundred of its members acquired land in the FCT to build houses of their own, in the first phase of the programme. A high-powered committee to ensure the successful execution of the scheme will soon be inaugurated by the National Secretariat of NUJ. A similar housing scheme for journalists is already operational in Lagos.
Enugu polls: CPC sues electoral body over levies
HE CONGRESS for Progressive Change (CPC) has filed a motion in an Enugu High Court, seeking to restrain the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) from imposing levies on candidates for the December Local Government elections. The State Independent Electoral Commission had in its guidelines for the local government council election next month, imposed a tax/ levy of a non-refundable deposit of N200,000 for chairmanship candidates, and N50,000 for councillors. CPC is praying the court
From Chris Oji, Enugu
to order an interlocutory injunction, restraining the electoral body from imposing tax/levy or demanding and receiving money from candidates, pending the determination of the substantive suit on the matter. The party is also seeking for a declaration that the demand of the N200, 000 and N50, 000 or any amount by ENSEIC for the purposes of candidates to contest the local government election when they have satisfied the provisions of the Local Gov-
ernment Laws of Enugu State is illegal and unconstitutional. CPC is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the ENSIEC chairman from demanding and receiving money from its candidates for various offices in the election or imposing any other monetary demands on the candidates to such offices. The opposition party said the tax/levy or non-refundable levies imposed on the candidates by the defendants is not a guideline as stipulated by Section 7 of the ENSIEC Law Cap 59, revised laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004,
or supported by the Local Government Law Cap 109. Section 152 (2) of the Local Government Law Cap 109 Revised Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004 provides that a person shall be qualified as a candidate to contest an election if he is qualified to contest at an election to the State House of Assembly. CPC said all its candidates for the local government election are qualified to contest elections into the House of Assembly in line with provisions of Section 106 of the Constitution of Nigeria. It claimed that the imposition of any non-refundable deposit
Southeast commissioners meet over federal roads From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
OMMISSIONERS for Works in the Southeast met in Umuahia at the weekend over the poor state of federal roads. The Commissioners of Abia State, Kingsley Mgbeahuru,hosted his colleaques from Enugu (Goddy Madueke)and Ebonyi (Chuk-
wuma Nwandugu). Anambra and Imo state commissioners were absent. Mgbeahuru said they deliberated on the way forward. Mgbeahuru said the roads are now death traps and decried the constant loss of lives and property of the roads. He said all the states would record the state of federal roads in their states on a video tape, “we will then approach the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja with such tapes for them to know what we are talking about”.
The commissioner said they would seek the support of the minister on the roads. Mgbeaguru said they would suggest to the minister that some of the roads could be done on credit or private partnership bases. He said they would also suggest to the minister the need to revive the Meeting of Council of Works, “to brainstorm on the way forward. This meeting will continue on rotational basis, because it will not end here if we intend to achieve results for our people”. Ebonyi State Commissioner for Works Chukwuma
Nwandugu said the meeting with the minister would enable them to persuade the Federal Government to repair the roads, “so that we may have a sense of belonging”. Enugu State Works Commissioner Madueke urged the Federal Government to repair the roads to save lives. “We will also meet with the Chairman of FERMA, “on the need for emergency work to commence immediately on federal roads in the Southeast before Christmas period when our people are always on the road,” Madueke said.
Court clerk arrested at tribunal
CLERK with an Abakaliki Magistrate’s Court, has been arrested by men of the State Security Service (SSS)for allegedly fighting men of the SSS at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ebonyi State. Trouble ensued when the clerk insisted that he would occuppy the seat meant for security personnel sent to the tribunal to ensure the protection of life and property. The Nation gathered that the security operatives pleaded with the clerk , but he refused to leave the seat.This resulted in a fight with the SSS officers. An SSS officer, who did not want his name in print, confirmed the incident. He regretted the high level of lawlessness being exhibited by some party supporters. He said the heavy presence of party supporters at the tribunal constitute security risk. “On daily basis, hundreds of supporters, especially members of the All Nigeria
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
Peoples Party (ANPP) besieged the tribunal to show solidarity to their candidates. “We do not have anything against them, but coming to the tribunal to disrupt the sitting of the tribunal is what we would not tolerate. On several occasions, there have been reasons for us to ask some of them to leave the court room but in a bid to ensure that we are not biased, we let everyone stay. “On Friday, the said clerk came to the tribunal, went straight to the seat meant for security agencies deployed in the tribunal and sat down. We humbly approached him and asked him to vacate the seat and he refused. Our senior officer also pleaded with him to no avail, before he ordered him to leave the courtroom sensing he was on a mission. “Our officer wanted to drag him outside only for him to engage him in a
fight. He had no other option than to arrest him with the police.” It was gathered that the Clerk, who was later taken to the Command Headquarters , confessed that he was sent by one of the parties to disrupt the sitting of the tribunal. According to our source, the court clerk, was later released. Arthur Nwaji, a lawyer , said the tribunal members could be attacked by supporters of a party. He urged the security agencies to ensure that those coming into the tribunal are properly screened. “Every day you come to the tribunal, you find out that hundreds of party supporters are already sitting at the tribunal, some of them do not even respect the court process. They clap and laugh when serious matters are being argued. “I would suggest that the tribunal members should ensure the restriction of movement within and outside the tribunal because you don’t
know those who were sent to disrupt the sitting of the tribunal as witnessed on Friday. The security agencies should also screen those coming into the tribunal because some of them may be agents of destruction”. Chukwuma Igwe, a party faithful, also decried the number of people who besieged the tribunal daily. “Yes we are here to support to our candidate but some people do not have business being here”. “It is a security risk to allow the number of people that besiege the courtroom everyday to be there on a daily basis. I believe their mission is to let the paymaster know that they are working for their interest. Matters are not won on the number of people you mobilise to come to the tribunal, but on the facts you have. I urge the tribunal chairman to ensure that the number of people coming to the tribunal is reduced to guaranteed the security of the people,” he said.
Ebonyi loses N50m annually to fraudsters, says commissioner
on candidates by ENSIEC as a condition for contesting the election,is a calculated attempt by the commission to frustrate its candidates and pave the way for PDP’s candidates in the election. The party alleged that Enugu State Government had released money to ENSIEC as contained in its budgetary allocation for 2011, where over N350 million was provided for the elections. It described as illegal and unconstitutional the attempt to impose levy/ tax or non-refundable deposits on candidates. A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the matter.
BONYI State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Ifeanyi Ike has said the state government loses about N50 million annually to fraudulent activities perpetrated by some unscrupulous individuals at the Umuoharu Quarry Enterprise in Ezza North Local Government. Ike spoke at the weekend when he visited the company
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
to inspect the N30 million abandoned weighbridge. He said the state loses N50 million annually because the weighbridge has not been put in use since its completion in 2009. He said: “From available records, since the weighbridge was put in place, it
has not been put into use. The state has been losing about N50 million annually from the project. “The problem is that most of this money is being siphoned by some unscrupulous individuals that are in the habit of stealing from the state government. You can see what happened today, somebody was short-changed even in my presence; you can then
imagine what happens here when the ministry workers are not around to checkmate the activities of these revenue collectors”. The commissioner said the state government wants to ascertain the condition of the bridge, adding that if the bridge is in good condition, the state government would pay the contractor for the job and take over the bridge.
Family calls for release of detained politician
HE family of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Rivers State, Chief Eugene Minimah, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to get the police to release him from detention. The family, in a statement, said Minimah has been held for three months by the police for unjustifiable reason. The statement reads: “Chief Minimah is hypertensive and has been denied proper medical care since his illegal detention in a dingy cell on trumped up and frivolous allegations. His abduction reminds one of those crude days of the military junta in Nigeria. He was abducted by a detachment of fierce-looking, Ak-47-wielding mobile policemen who stormed his Kalabari residence in a commando fashion in early hours of June 8, this year. After a thorough search and molestation of everyone in the premises, he was bundled into a waiting van and driven away.” The statement added: “He was arraigned before a Magistrate court on 10th. He was locked up same day. He has not been allowed to return to that house since. He was again brought to the court on September 26. The court freed him, but he was re-arrested.” The family pleaded with Jonathan to get the police to free him.
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THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
NEWS Lamido urges Speakers to restore North’s lost value JIGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido has urged Northern Speakers to restore the lost values and culture of the region. Lamido spoke at the weekend during the 21st meeting of the Northern Speakers’ Forum in Dutse, the state capital. The governor lamented that northerners, who were known to be united, have become disunited though tribal and religious bickerings. He said: “It is unfortunate that all these values have been lost because of political differences and other selfish interests that have bedevilled the region.” Lamido urged the forum to focus on bringing unity and mutual coexistence among the different ethnic groups in the North and the nation. He urged the speakers to discuss the crises in parts of the North, the problem of almajiri system of Qur’anic education - which breeds child begging on the streets - and unemployment. Chairman of Northern Speakers’ Forum, Alhaji Ali Modu said the Speakers were in Jigawa to deliberate on the development of the North and Nigeria.
Disquiet in Southern Kaduna over alleged military brutality S
OME Southern Kaduna communities have accused the soldiers, who were deployed in the areas for security after the April postelection violence, of brutalising the residents. The residents, who now live in fear, and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) complained that the soldiers have also imposed a false curfew on the communities. CAN Chairman in Jaba Local Government Area, Rev. Gambo Na’Allah, told reporters in Kwoi that soldiers drafted to secure the area are brutalising the residents and have imposed an 8pm till dawn curfew on Southern Kaduna. Speaking through CAN Secretary, Rev. Aminu Weyham, Na’Allah noted that the soldiers have become a law unto themselves, defying the plea of constituted authorities. Na’Allah said: “We wel-
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
come the deployment of soldiers to Kwoi and other parts of Southern Kaduna. But these soldiers have become a big problem here. By 8pm, they don’t allow anyone outside. “They don’t show respect for anyone. They beat up and abuse elders and don’t have any regard for traditional authority and council officials. “We have written series of complaints to the military authority, but the soldiers seem to defy control. Many places here are suffering as a result. We have never been informed of any curfew here by the government, because we live in peace. “We cannot understand why soldiers, who are supposed to
protect us, are turning their guns at us. The other time that Bitaro (a village about seven kilometres away) was attacked for about two hours and four people killed, none of the soldiers came out. It was our youths that pursued the invaders and arrested them some weeks later.” Bishop Paul Zamani, the Anglican Bishop of Kwoi Diocese; Rev. Sunday Marion Rock; Rev. Simon Haruna, Chairman, Nasiha Baptist Association; and Pastor Jonathan Dasaro, Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Jaba Local Government Area, also complained about the highhandedness of the soldiers. Two Kaduna-based reporters - Luka Binniyat of Vanguard and Jacob Zango of Kaduna
State Television - witnessed the soldiers’ brutality when they visited Kafanchan to investigate the report. They were arrested by nine soldiers, led by a lieutenant without a name tag, at 9.10pm and ordered to sit in muddy waters with about 50 others. The “offenders” were punished for what the soldiers called a violation of the curfew imposed on the area. Binniyat told The Nation that those arrested were stopped at gun point by the soldiers on the same day CAN addressed reporters on the soldiers’ activities. He said: “They (soldiers) were under the command of a lieutenant, whose identity could not be established that night, at the Timber Shade Motor Park, in Kafanchan, about 40kilometres from Kwoi. “Despite our identities, the
Plateau tertiary institutions resume strike From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
THE Joint Unions of Plateau State-owned Tertiary Institutions has resumed its suspended strike following the deadlock in the negotiation between its members and elders of the state. The elders intervened in the strike, which has kept students at home for almost a year. Addressing reporters yesterday at the state Polytechnic, Jos campus, the Chairman of the Joint Unions, Comrade Yusuf Selchang noted that the elders’ intervention was a good sign but that the government reneged on its promises. He said: “Governor Jonah Jang, on August 25, convened a stakeholders’ meeting where he spoke on the impasse between the government and the striking workers. On hearing his version, Plateau elders set up a committee to intervene in the matter. “The elders were informed of the causes of the impasse and we welcomed the commitment of the elders to facilitate a common ground between government and the unions.”
•Chairman, Northern Speakers’ Forum and Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ali Modu (cutting the tape); Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido (second left); and Speaker, Jigawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Ahmed (right) at the inauguration of Sarawa Gurgun Daho Road in Jigawa State.
Belgore seeks probe of attempted murder of Sharia Court chief
WARA State governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the April election, Dele Belgore (SAN) at the weekend urged security agencies to unmask those behind the failed attempt on the life of the state’s Sharia Court of Appeal Khadi, Justice Oluwatoyin Salihu Muhammed. Belgore said: “I call on our security agents to move swiftly to probe this murder attempt on the honourable justice and bring the culprits to book. “It is our opinion that an attack on a member of the society is an attack on all of us as members of the same society. We urge security agencies to
•Kwara: insinuation by ACN candidate misplaced From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
take very seriously the threat posed by these elements who revel in killing fellow human beings.” Belgore spoke when he led a delegation of ACN chieftains to visit Justice Muhammed to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) where he is receiving treatment. Unknown gunmen broke into the home of the Khadi and shot him penultimate Saturday evening. “The attack on the honoura-
ble Justice is, to say the least, condemnable and barbaric. We thank Almighty Allah for saving the life of our father in the hands of the assassins, and seek His continuous protection over him and all of us in Kwara and across Nigeria,” Belgore said. The Kwara State Government yesterday criticised Belgore over his comment on the attack. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Abdulwahab Oba, said the ACN
Aliyu urges Nigerian elders to tackle ills among youths
ORTHERN Governors’ Forum (NGF) Chairman Babangida Aliyu at the weekend urged the nation’s elders to tackle the socio-economic ills Nigerian youths are inflicting on the country. The Niger State Governor alleged that Nigerian elders have kept quiet for too long while the youths destroyed the nation’s integrity. Referring to the violence
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
that followed the local government election in Kontagora, Niger State, on Saturday, which forced the state Independent Electoral Commission (NISIEC) to postpone indefinitely the election in the area, the governor lamented that most Nigerian youths equate democracy with intimidation and thuggery. He spoke when he hosted
some local government election monitors. He said: “Youths have taken over in the nation; they are daily perpetrating ills in the society and our elders are just keeping quiet. Our elders need to take a stand on how to tackle these youths rather than keeping quiet.” Aliyu noted that the development was becoming more worrisome as half of the country’s population is made up of
youths. He said if youths are not properly guided, they would derail what the nation’s founding fathers laboured for. Aliyu said: “We need to teach and tell the youths that intimidation and thuggery are not what democracy is all about. We need to pay attention to what the youths are doing; we have to insist that politics is not a do-or-die affair.”
soldiers insisted we must be punished for defying a ‘curfew’. “We were ordered to sit in muddy waters with about 50 others, some very respectable looking men and women...” The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari, denied the imposition of a curfew in any part of the state. He said: “There is nowhere in Kaduna State that a curfew has been imposed. We are already experiencing an improvement in peace and reconciliation.”
Plateau ACN accuses PDP of victimising members From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
HE Plateau State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to coerce its members to defect from the party. ACN alleged that the plan is aimed at truncating its chances in the next local government election in December. In a statement by its Chairman, Chief Amos Gizo, and made available to The Nation at the weekend in Jos, ACN warned the PDP to desist from using the instrument of power to coerce its members. The statement reads: “We are alerting the public to the arm-twisting tactics of the Plateau State Government and the equally desperate antics of the state leadership of the PDP to dislodge the ACN from its strongholds in the state ahead of the local government polls. “The PDP, aided by the state government, has coerced the interim leadership of Langtang South Local Government Area, headed by the vicechairman to defect with the ACN mandate to the PDP.” The party urged Governor Jonah Jang to reverse “these undemocratic trends”, adding: “The PDP must be respectful of the will of the people and not use the instrument of power to coerce our members and followers.”
Police arrest 11 over ‘illegal’ demonstration •Belgore
governorship candidate missed the point by insinuating that the Sharia Court chief was attacked for criticising government’s programmes. The statement reads: “The attention of the Kwara State Government has been drawn to a statement by the governorship candidate of the ACN, Belgore (SAN), on the attempted murder of Justice Mohammed of the state’s Sharia Court of Appeal, penultimate Saturday. “The government is seriously concerned about the ugly incident and the spate of insecurity across the country, in which Kwara State is not an exception. “However, the government regards the insinuation by Belgore that the attack was as a result of Justice Muhammed’s position on government’s programmes as irritant and that of a political neophyte seeking undue attention. “
From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
HE police in Kogi State have arrested 11 former workers of Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State, for allegedly attacking the school during an ‘illegal’ demonstration. The former workers were said to have organised a demonstration against the school authority, demanding the payment of their salaries from April to December 2007. The police at the weekend picked up the suspects from their hideouts. Police Public Relation Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told The Nation that the suspects were being investigated by the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and that they would be charged to court today or tomorrow. The Chairman of the school’s management board, Air Commodore Peter Gana (rtd), condemned the demonstration.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
FOREIGN NEWS Bishop of Canterbury condemns lawlessness in Zimbabwe
HE Archbishop of Canterbury has risked angering the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, ahead of a crucial meeting with him, by attacking the country’s lawlessness and comparing it with the “greed of colonialists and imperalists”. In a brave and possibly career-defining appearance at Harare’s national stadium, Rowan Williams told a crowd of more than 15,000 that it was tragic that so many lived in daily fear of attack if they failed to comply “with what the powerful require of them”. His sermon, which frequently drew applause and cheers, comes as a devastating split in Zimbabwe’s Anglican church wreaks increasing havoc on parishioners and clergy. A power struggle between the Mugabe-supporting, excommunicated bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, and his replacement, Chad Gandiya, has resulted in Anglicans being arrested, beaten and locked out of churches. Police loyal to Mugabe have helped evict people from buildings.
Williams praised Anglicans for their “patience, generosity and endurance” in the face of “injustice and arrogance” and said they did not have to live in “terror, in bloodshed”. He told them: “You know very well what it means to have doors locked in your faces by those who claim the name of Christians and Anglicans. You know how those who, by their greed and violence have refused the grace of God, try to silence your worship and frustrate your witness in the churches and schools and hospitals of this country. “But you know that the will of God to invite people to his feast [in heaven] is so strong it can triumph even over these mindless and godless assaults.” Williams’s reception was more fitting of a rock star than an archbishop, with whistles and ululations erupting as he arrived. The spectacle followed weeks of headlines surrounding the archbishop’s two-day visit to Zimbabwe and his requested meeting with Mugabe to discuss the hostility
Cameroonian poll faces setbacks, low turnout C •Mugabe
and violence meted out to Anglicans.
from $80m to $516m. Winning the Nobel peace prize on Friday confirmed her heroic international status. But what is less clear is whether her success has trickled down to all of her people. In Sugar Hill, a slum on the edge of one of Monrovia’s bustling markets, a group of jobless young men sat lounging on crumbling brick walls. Many spend their days drinking 8PM, a strong Liberian gin, and smoking drugs. “For young men like me she hasn’t done anything,” declared 32year-old Prince Flomo, a former combatant. “We put her there as president because
IOTS erupted in Cairo yesterday night as Christians protesting a recent attack on a church came under assault by thugs who rained stones down on them and fired pellets. Two soldiers were killed in the melee, according to state television, and a number of military vehicles were burning on a scenic street along the Nile. Gunshots rang out at the scene outside the state television building, where lines of riot police with shields tried to hold back hundreds of Christian protesters chanting “This is our country.” Thick black smoke filled the air from the burning vehicles. Security forc-
we thought she was going to make things all right.” He supported Sirleaf in 2005 but will not vote for her re-election in the country’s second post-war general election on Tuesday. Another young man declared: “Ma Ellen waived debt, that’s true. She did well. But where’s the development? Where’s the jobs?” Thousands of young men who fought during the 19891996 war still roam the streets “crooking” to make a living. Many came out of the disarmament process without the skills needed to find work. Some followed the lure of money across the border to fight in the civil war in Ivory Coast.
Anti-Gaddafi’s fighters make gains in Sirte
IBYA’S revolutionary forces seized a convention center yesterday that had served as a key base for fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in the fugitive leader’s hometown, as they squeezed remaining The inability to take Sirte, the most important remaining stronghold of Gadhafi supporters, more than six weeks after anti-Gadhafi fighters seized the capital has stalled efforts by Libya’s new leaders to set a timeline for elections and move forward with a transition to democracy. Gadhafi supporters also hold the inland enclave of Bani Walid, where revolutionary forces have been stymied by challenging terrain. But
the transitional leadership has said it will declare liberation after Sirte’s capture because that will mean it holds all of the seaports and harbors in the oil-rich Mediterranean coastal country. Libya’s de facto leader, Mustafa AbdulJalil, head of the governing National Transition Council, said Sunday that anti-Gadhafi fighters have made huge gains in Sirte and Bani Walid, southeast of the capital. “I do believe, God willing, that the liberation of these cities will happen within this week,” Abdul-Jalil told reporters in Tripoli.
NEWS Oyo Police search for alleged abductors of two kids
HE Oyo State Police Command has intensified investigation into the disappearance of two children, alleged to have been abducted by unknown persons. Acting on a petition written by the victim’s father, Police Commissioner Moses Onireti said his men have swung into action. Mr. Emmanuel Aboh, fa-
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
ther of the abducted kids, said the missing children were serving as house helps at Apata in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Aboh, through his lawyer Oliver Okeke of Messrs Michael Folorunso Lana Chambers in Ibadan, alleged that his children, identified as Jennifer (14) and Jeffrey
bursting with a record 23 candidates for a single-round poll make victory for the incumbent, Paul Biya, a foregone conclusion. The Constitutional Council has two weeks to declare results. “I have no time for politics. All what you call an election is a masquerade. Everyone can see that there’s already a winner,” said 26year-old trader in Yaounde,
One dead as Christians protest in Cairo
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf faces tough HEY call her Ma Ellen, poll in Liberia a fond nickname for
Africa’s most powerful woman. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the continent’s first female president who took on a country ripped apart by 14 years of civil war. When she took office in 2005, Liberia’s schools, roads and hospitals were in disrepair, the justice system was in tatters and many of the country’s young people were skilled in just one thing: how to hold a gun. Since then, Sirleaf has made impressive strides in transforming Liberia. She erased nearly $5bn (£3.2bn) in debilitating foreign debt in just three years. Foreign investment has returned. The annual government budget has risen sixfold
AMEROON’S presidential polls faced setbacks yesterday with low voter turnout and some voters leaving stations because they weren’t properly registered to cast a ballot in an election widely expected to take the nation’s longtime leader into his fourth decade in power. A disjointed opposition, an aloof electorate and a ballot
(12), were pupils of Dambo International School in Kaduna before they were allegedly abducted from their school. He stated in the petition, dated September 2, that the children were the alleged abduction by their mother, identified as Joyce, with her sister, identified as Blessing, with with the purpose of trafficking the children.’’
es eventually fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. An Interior Ministry official at the scene told The Associated Press that two people had been killed, but he did not say who they were or how they died. State television said 30 soldiers were injured. Thugs with sticks chased the Christian protesters from the site, banging metal street signs to scare them off. One soldier collapsed in tears as ambulances rushed to the scene to take away the injured. Television footage of the riots showed some of the Coptic protesters attacking a soldier, while a priest tried to protect him. The trouble began when thousands of Coptic Christians protesting the latest attack on a church in southern Egypt came under attack as they chanted denunciations of Egypt’s military rulers, whom they accuse of leniency in dealing with a series of anti-Chris-
tian attacks. “The people want to topple the field marshall,” the protesters yelled, referring to the head of the ruling military council, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi. Egyptian demonstrators chant slogans during a weekly protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. Thousands of Egyptians protested Friday against the country’s military rulers decision to retain the much hated emergency laws used throughout the reign of ousted President Hosni Mubarak to give police almost unquestionable powers to operate. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) CloseThe rally began in the Shubra district of northern Cairo, then headed to the state television building overlooking the Nile where men in plainclothes attacked the Christian protesters. It was not immediately clear who the attackers were.
Donald Borogue, who said he planned to work out instead of vote. Biya’s key challenger is longtime opposition leader, Ni John Fru Ndi, who he has faced before. Biya swept the last election in 2004 with a landslide 70 percent of ballots. Fru Ndi followed with a mere 17 percent. Polls in the capital Yaounde opened nearly three hours late and to low turnout. Some polling stations only had a handful of voters in line throughout the day, and the streets of the capital were deserted. Some voters even left polling stations without casting a ballot after failing to find their names on voter rolls, or because they were unable to pick up voter ID cards. Others said they abstained from voting out of protest or disillusionment. “I am not surprised to see that voters were largely absent at the polling stations. I see this to be a natural sanction to Mr. Biya, who has decided to eternalize himself in power,” said unemployed Yaounde resident Herbert Ngom. Voting closed as quietly as it began. Several polling stations in the capital were empty well before voting ended. An election official at one station told AP that only 50 out of a registered 360 voters cast ballots.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates to fill the following vacant staff positions in the Polytechnic: A. ACADEMIC STAFF POSITIONS 1. SCHOOL OF APPLIED SCIENCE AND TECNOLOGY i. Department of Hotel and Catering Management a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer ii.Department of Food Technology a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer iii. Department of Science Laboratory Technology a. Lecturer III (Physical Chemistry) b. Lecturer III (Physics) c. Lecturer III (Microbiology) d. Technologist II (Microbiology) iv. Department of Mathematics and Statistics a. Lecturer III (Statistics) b. Lecturer III (Mathematics) c. Assistant Lecturer (Statistics) d. Assistant Lecturer (Mathematics) e. Senior Instructor f. Technologist I g. Technologist II v. Department of Computer Science a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Technologist I d. Technologist II e. Technician 2. SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT STUDIES i. Department of Accountancy a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer ii.Department of Banking and Finance a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer iii. Department of Business Administration c. Lecturer III d. Assistant Lecturer iv. Department of Insurance a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Department of Marketing d. Lecturer III e. Assistant Lecturer 3. SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY i. Department of Library and Information Science a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer ii.Department of Mass Communication a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Technologist II iii. Department of Office Technology and Management a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Technologist I d. Technologist II 4. SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING I. Department of Civil Engineering a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Higher Instructor d. Technician II.Department of Computer Engineering Technology a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Higher Instructor d. Technologist II iv. Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Higher Instructor d. Technologist I e. Technologist II v. Department of Mechanical Engineering a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Higher Instructor d. Technologist II
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
5. SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (i) Department of Building Technology a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer (ii) Department Of Estate Management a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Technologist I d. Technologist II (iii) Department of Quantity Surveying a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer c. Higher Instructor d. Technologist I e. Technologist II (iv) Department of Surveying and Geo-Informatics a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer (v) Department of Architectural Technology a. Lecturer III b. Assistant Lecturer 6. SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES (i) Department of Languages a. Lecturer III (English) b. Assistant Lecturer (English) (ii) Department of Social Studies and Humanities a. Lecturer III (Psychology) b. Assistant Lecturer (Psychology) c. Assistant Lecturer (Sociology) 7. POLYTECHNIC LIBRARY a. Librarian I b. Librarian II B. NON-ACADEMIC STAFF POSITIONS 1. REGISTRY a. Administrative Officer I b. Administrative Officer II c. Higher Executive Officer (Administration) d. Higher Executive Officer (Public Relations and Protocols) e. Confidential Secretary 2. BURSARY/INTERNAL AUDIT a. Accountant II b. Auditor II 3. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CENTRE / MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM a. Computer Programmer/Analyst b. Higher Technical Officer (Maintenance) 4. MEDICAL CENTRE a. Medical Doctor b. Staff Nurse I c. Pharmacist d. Medical Laboratory Technologist 5. PHYSICAL PLANNING AND PROJECTS a. Principal Architect b. Quantity Surveyor II c. Architect II d. Civil Engineer II 6. WORKS AND SERVICES DEPARTMENT a. Engineer II (Electrical) b. Engineer II (Mechanical) c. Engineer II (Civil) QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS (ACADEMIC STAFF POSITIONS) For positions of lecturer, preference will be given to holders of Masters Degree in relevant areas. LECTURER III CONPCASS 2 Candidates must possess a good honours degree or equivalent recognized professional qualification in relevant fields with at least 3 years relevant experience. OR A Master Degree in the relevant field from a recognized institution of higher learning with NYSC Certificate, plus. Computer literacy will be an added advantage. ASSISTANT LECTURER CONPCASS 1 Candidates must possess a good honours degree or equivalent recognized qualification obtained from an institution of higher learning with NYSC. Computer Literacy will be an added advantage.
SENIOR INSTRUCTOR CONPCASS 2 Candidates must be holder of a good/accredited Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification from a recognized institution with 3 years cognate experience. Computer Literacy will be an added advantage. HIGHER INSTRUCTOR CONPCASS 1 Candidates must be holder of a good/accredited Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification from a recognized institution with NYSC discharge Certificate. Computer Literacy will be an added advantage. TECHNOLOGIST I CONPCASS 2 Applicants must possess a good Higher National Diploma in the relevant field from a recognized institution plus 3 years cognate experience. In addition, candidates must show evidence of strong technical background. Computer Literacy will be an added advantage. TECHNOLOGIST II CONPCASS 1 Applicants must possess a good Higher National Diploma in the relevant field plus NYSC discharge certificate. In addition, candidates must show evidence of strong technical background. Computer Literacy will be an added advantage. LIBRARIAN 1 CONPCASS 2 Applicants must be holder of a good degree in Library and Information Science OR a good honours degree with a postgraduate diploma in Library Studies plus at least 3 years cognate experience OR a Masters in Library and Information Science from a recognized institution. Computer literacy and membership of relevant professional body will be an added advantage. LIBRARIAN II CONPCASS 1 Applicants must be holder of a good degree in Library and Information Science OR a good honours degree with a postgraduate diploma in Library Studies plus with NYSC discharge certificate. Computer literacy and membership of relevant professional body will be an added advantage TECHNICIAN CONTEDISS 6 Applicants must possess a good National Diploma in the relevant field from a recognized institution. QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS (NON-ACADEMIC STAFF POSITIONS) ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER I CONTEDISS 8 Applicants for the position of Administrative Officer I must possess good honours degree from a recognized University with at least 3 years post qualification experience. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Administrative Officer II must possess good honours degree from a recognized University and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. HIGHER EXECUTIVE OFFICER CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Higher Executive Officer (Administration) must possess good Higher National Diploma in Business Administration or Public Administration from a recognized institution of higher learning while applicants for Higher Executive Officer (Public Relations and Protocols) must possess a good Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from a recognized institution of higher learning plus a good knowledge of Microsoft Office and Corel Draw. Applicants must posses the National Youth Service Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY I CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Confidential Secretary I must possess good Higher National Diploma in Office Technology and Management or Secretarial Administration from a recognized institution of higher learning and must posses the National Youth Service Discharge Certificate. ACCOUNTANT II/AUDITOR II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Accountant II/Auditor II must possess good honours degree in Accountancy of Finance from a reputable institution of higher learning and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage.
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER/ANALYST CONTEDISS 8 Applicants for the position of Computer Programmer/Analyst must possess a good Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science obtained from a recognized institution of higher learning with at least 3 years post-qualification cognate experience. In addition, applicants must possess relevant professional certification in Database Management System. Registration with relevant professional bodies is required while possession of a relevant higher degree will be an added advantage. HIGHER TECHNICAL OFFICER CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Higher Technical Officer must possess good Higher National Diploma in Computer Engineering from a recognized institution and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. MEDICAL OFFICER II CONTEDISS 8 Applicants for the position of Medical officer II must possess good MBBS degree from a reputable institution and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with the Medical Council is required. PHARMACIST II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Pharmacist II must possess BSc. Pharm. from a reputable institution and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies is required. STAFF NURSE I CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Staff Nurse must possess both NRN and NRM or a good honours degree from a recognized institution of higher learning. MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Medical Laboratory Technologist must possess Higher National Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology. Registration with relevant professional bodies is required. PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT CONTEDISS 11 Applicants for the position of Principal Architect must possess good honours degree in Architecture from a reputable institution of higher with at least 9 years post qualification experience OR a good Masterâ€™s degree with 6 years post qualification experience. Registration with relevant regulatory bodies is required. ARCHITECT II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Architect II must possess good honours degree in Architecture from a reputable institution of higher learning and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies is required. QUANTITY SURVEYOR II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Quantity Surveyor II must possess good honours degree in Quantity Surveying from a reputable institution of higher learning and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. ENGINEER II CONTEDISS 7 Applicants for the position of Engineer II must possess good honours degree in relevant field of Engineering from a reputable institution of higher learning and must hold NYSC Discharge Certificate. Registration with relevant bodies will be an added advantage. Qualified applicants from all geo-political zones of the Federal Republic of Nigerian are encouraged to apply. CONDITIONS OF SERVICE The conditions of service for the above positions are as obtained in the Federal Government Service. METHOD OF APPLICATION Interested applicants for the positions are required to submit fifteen (15) copies of letter of application, credentials and Curriculum Vitae specifying the following: Name Date of Birth State of Origin Local Government Nationality Permanent Home Address Present Contact Address E mail Address Telephone Number(s) Marital Status No. of Children with ages Schools attended with dates Certificates Obtained with dates Membership of Professional Bodies Community Service Previous Working Experiences Present Appointment with date and salary Names and Addresses of three Referees Interested applicants are required to forward their documents not later than six weeks from the date of this publication to: The Registrar, The Federal Polytechnic Offa, PMB 420, OFFA, Kwara State
Signed Alhaji AbdulHamid O. Raji Registrar
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
THE NATION MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
Akure Stadium to host Sunshine final games, says Mimiko
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has said that the state’s football club, Sunshine Stars will play the final of their Continental Cup at the reconstructed
Akure Stadium, should they qualify. Mimiko made this known yesterday during an inspection of rehabilitation work going on in the Stadium. He said the performance of
Ajose arrives from USA today ORLD Boxing Council’s Light Welterweight contender Nigeria’s Olusegun Ajose will arrive Lagos Monday after winning the eliminator fight against Algerian-born Canadian, Ali Chebah at Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, United States of America on September 30, 2011. The Nigerian Army boy, who against bookmakers’ predictions won a unanimous point decisions to earn a shot at the World title with current holder Erik Morales, is scheduled to meet the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ihejerika through the President, Nigeria Army Boxing who is also the
•To visit Fashola By Innocent Amomoh President, Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF, General Minimah on his arrival in the country. According to his Chief Coach, Joe Mensah, Ajose will first arrive Lagos today and then move to Abuja to thank his employers – The Nigerian Army for providing him with the facilities at the Myoung Barracks, Somolu, Lagos to train for the big fight. He would later pay a courtesy visit to Lagos State House at Alausa Secretariat to thank the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his financial and moral support.
Ondo state athletes at the recently concluded National Sports Festival in Rivers state, the excellent records of the state’s two teams in the national league, as well as the Sunshine Queens, the female team, are direct results of the state’s investment in sports and commitment of the state’s sportsmen and women to the new Ondo State. Mimiko who said the rehabilitated stadium will be ready for use in the next few weeks, explained it had to be redesigned to have Astro-turf pitch as opposed to the initial arrangement of natural grass; 8-lane tartan tracks, as well as covered stands of different categories. He added that a new administrative building for sports administrators and managers of the facility has been provided. The government had in February 2011 commissioned the Olympicsize swimming pool in the stadium as well as the in-door sports hall which has since become a camping site for
other clubs in the country. The Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens are leading their respective leagues, while the Rising Stars, the
state’s second male team have just qualified from the lower league to the Premiership. It will be recalled that the state’s team
to the National Sports Festival came fourth on the medal table for the first time in the history of the festival this year.
• Mimiko (second left) with others on tour of the stadium...yesterday.
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan had an opportunity a few years back when he picked up the nomination as vice presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party: to broaden his national outlook. He was no longer the Bayelsa politician. He was to turn himself into the nation’s number two citizen. He was to become a statesman. That meant he had to look at the world from a wider point of view, to build a big and generous tent, to enrich his vision and point of view. He has been in the saddle for a while. First he was vice president, where he walked timorously under the shadow of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. He became acting president when across the country – including this column – where furious battles were waged against the so-called kitchen cabinet. They were the cabal who exercised proprietary arrogance to the nation, those who thought Jonathan’s pedigree and humble roots did not qualify him to step in the shoes of his ailing and practically lifeless boss. I wrote several columns in his defence then. That was an opportunity for him to understand that he was being vaulted onto the national stage. He was no longer the insular leader, even though by temperament and by self-assertion he had never really acquitted himself as a leader. All politics, they say, is local. In spite of his national position, he cannot be asked to ignore his home state. That is where he comes from. But once he became the nation’s leader, even his attitude to his home state should be more avuncular, like an uncle removed from the squabbles, acrimonies, dogfights and petty rages of the cousins and siblings. He should not be seen to play partial when all he needs to do is to live above the fray. That is what is going on now in Bayelsa State, where reports show that he is fishing in a new pond of trouble at home. Newspaper reports say that he is throwing his weight behind some of his political cronies from the state who operate in Abuja, who are bristling with ambition to be governor in the next round of elections. First, there is nothing wrong with anyone who wants to play politics, and wants to edge out an incumbent. It is a constitutional right. But for the president to ignore the mammoth problems of the centre to pursue the insular politics of Bayelsa State makes one wonder whether the president understands the enormity of the task at hand. The scourge of Boko Haram reared itself in an ugly fashion on October 1 independence celebration when he turned himself into the president of Aso Rock rather of the nation. He turned coy from Boko Haram. His supporters said it was better that way. Better a cowardly president than one where people died in the city. Maybe that is why he said he was no lion. He lacks the brav-
firstname.lastname@example.org 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009 (D.A.M.E) •Columnist of the Year 2009 (NMMA)
Jonathan opens new wound at home
But for the president to ignore the mammoth problems of the centre to pursue the insular politics of Bayelsa State makes one wonder whether the president understands the enormity of the task at hand •Dr. Jonathan
ery and gumption to lead Nigeria. He bowed and trembled before Boko Haram. He told the nation exactly that by playing coy in the State House. He admitted that terror was stronger than he. He admitted that his intelligence forces were not reliable. He allowed Boko Haram to defeat our way of life. When terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, I was in San Diego at a conference, and I had to drive for two days with my journalist colleagues to Denver because the airlines were shut down. I had wondered whether life in America was going to be shut down in the country. The conference was cancelled, businesses shut down, just like the airlines. George W. Bush, the then president,
TROUBLE LOOMS OVER FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL–News
Yes...ROFOROFO FIGHT is imminent!
VOL.7, NO. 1,909
NE of the top Republican Party contenders for next year’s US presidential election, Mitt Romney, declared last week that God created America to lead the world. Not satisfied with his messianic message for America, the former Massachusetts governor declared further that President Barack Obama was deliberately weakening that leadership credential through his policies. Hear Romney: “This century must be an American century. In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. “God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties. Let me make this very clear. As president of the United States, I will devote myself to an American century. And I will never, ever apologize for America. “This is America’s moment. We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. I will not sur-
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2011
TOMORROW IN THE NATION
‘Regrettably the government panicked, stayed away from Eagle Square and in the process elevated MEND and Boko Haram to a level that Nigerians have no choice but obey them. This is rewarding terrorism’
earned the respect of political leaders and most Americans when he said the purpose of the terrorist was to destroy the American way of life. So he urged everyone to go about their normal businesses. Not long after that he was invited to New York to throw the first pitch of the World Series, the final of an American sport called baseball. The game was played with vintage American verve, the basketball season and hockey season had begun, and Americans went about their fruitful lives while the intelligence forces focused on protecting their citizens. In Nigeria, October 1 became our symbol of surrender. Yet that is not the only problem. We see arbitrariness everywhere. The man who could not show leadership against Boko Haram
is bustling with aggressive rage against higher matters. He appended his signature to the ouster of Justice Salami whereas the matter was still in court. He has not come out to explain himself in any clear and logical matter why he defied the law and process so blatantly. The issue of oil subsidy still rankles. I believe the so-called subsidy is unfair and props the lifestyles of a clique of indolent leeches in the system. But to remove the subsidy, he must focus on protection for the poor and vulnerable among us, and build refineries. Doing all of these requires vision. Nigeria churns out youths daily who have no jobs, our hospitals are in a mess, the roads and bridges are in decay and much of the country cries of plethora of roads and bridges. We are at our most illiterate in our history. So, this is the time for President Jonathan to play statesman, to look at the country from a broad view, and not be enmeshed in the politics of Bayelsa State. He is the president of all of Nigeria, of Nasarawa, of Lagos, of Kano, of Imo, of Sokoto, of Delta. He is the president of Nigeria. He is not the president of Bayelsa State. The information is already rife that he is trying to back candidates. His petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke’s name came up but she has denied it. It had better be so. She is one of the failures of this political dispensation, and not a good representative for women in politics. We cannot forget when she wept at the Ore-Benin road, and created the impression that she was going to work. Rather the tears still belong to the ordinary Nigerians who ply that road daily. After failing as the works minister, she failed as solid mineral minister and failed in her first try as oil minister. At her second coming as Nigeria’s liquid lady as oil minister, she is failing again. I wonder what sort of political romance is brewing that makes her such a Teflon power player in Abuja. How can such a person take such daunting credential of failure to run for governor? Other candidates have come up for mention, like House of Representatives member Seriaki Dickson and Chief Johnny Turner, both close associates of the President. Jonathan should focus on the matter on ground in the centre. We need him as president of Nigeria. It is true that home is where the heart is. The German poet and playwright Goethe wrote: “Be he king and peasant, he is happiest who finds peace at home.” He should not open new front and expand the frontiers of battles. His heart should now be Nigeria. That is why he ran to be president. As president, he should decide where the primary home is now, Bayelsa or the bigger Nigeria. When he is done in the centre, he can now decide to go parochial if he chooses to shrink a national image.
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Romney’s American vision
tarian regimes and the enthronement of democracy and other American ideals in the Middle East and elsewhere. After thousands of lost American lives and billions of dollars frittered away in war, Americans in revulsion threw out the Republican Party from the White House, and elected Democrats who promised a more responsible and inclusive foreign policy into office. Since then, Obama has tried to engage the world and renew confidence in American leadership, a leadership he said would not be based on American deployment of crude power or show of military might. The world has changed, and in spite of the Arab Spring, a part of which the US and other Western powers mediated, and the inauguration of the more pernicious borderless war by terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, whoever wants to lead the world will have to do it with moral suasion rather than exhibit military might. Is this lesson so soon forgotten in America? A reading of the Obama foreign policy and the one advanced by Romney shows similarity in objectives; what appears to be different is the method. Given the nonresponsiveness of the American economy to all the medications by the Obama government, we must steel ourselves to witness the huge impact American foreign policy debate might play in the next US presidential election.
render America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.” Reports of Romney’s speech said it resonated among many Americans who are dissatisfied with Obama’s leadership, particularly Republican Party supporters and other traditionalists who cling to the idea of American “exceptionalism” theory. But the speech also demonstrated how short people’s memories can sometimes be. It was not many years ago that Americans themselves were fed up with the gung-ho foreign policy of the George W. Bush era, one that saw them galloping needlessly into Iraq in pursuit of preconceived regime change. That adventure, together with the very costly intervention in Afghanistan, has cost America enormous amount of resources. It is incredible that Romney openly embraces the neo-conservatives concept of the New American Century, a concept that some of its formulators have regretted and recanted. The concept was inadvisably used to justify regime change in Iraq in the hope that it would trigger a domino effect leading to the fall of authori-
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