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VOL. 7, NO. 1926 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Tinubu to tribunal: you can’t try me •Panel ‘lacks jurisdiction’ From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
ORMER Lagos Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday said the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) lacks the jurisdiction to try him for allegedly operating foreign accounts while in office. Besides, his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said he was not invited for questioning by the Code of Conduct of Bureau (CCB) as was in the case of other former governors who have been excluded from trial. CCB Chairman Sam Saba had on September 27 told reporters in Abuja that some of the former governors earlier accused of breaching the oath of public office had made some refunds; hence their exclusion from trial. “Tinubu has not been singled out for trial; it is an ongoing process. You will also note that some of those governors at that time made some refund to the federal government. Somebody like Saminu Turaki made refunds to the federal government and so it is an ongoing exercise,” he said. Saba did not name the others and how much they refunded. The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar, lambasted the prosecution Continued on page 2
•Asiwaju Tinubu acknowledging greetings at the Tribunal ... yesterday. With him are Governor Fashola (SAN) and Ngige (SAN) left See also pages 4&5. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
It is amorphous, nebulous ... When was the account opened? When was it operated? Looking at the charge, they mentioned some names; we don’t know them. Criminal trial is not a hide-and-seek game; there cannot be trial by ambush.
Jurisdiction is an administrative matter ... it is premature to say we have not disclosed the nexus of the names on the charge. The CCB has the discretion on whether to charge an accused to Tribunal after making a written admission.
Labour rejects govt’s stand on subsidy Minister’s ‘lamentation is rationalisation of criminality’
ABOUR yesterday rejected the government’s argument over the planned removal of fuel subsidy. The NLC reinstated its opposition to the plan, which the government says will bring in more cash for better services. But its opponent insist it is a move to further impoverish Nigerians. President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke are justifying the proposal. Mrs Alison-Madueke said in Perth,
By Joseph Jibueze, Staff Reporter
Australia on Tuesday that the date for the commencement of the subsidy withdrawal had not been fixed. She said the government would stay action on it, until consultations with Nigerians are concluded. Besides, the government will raise a panel of eminent Nigerians to manage the cash that will be saved from the withdrawal of subsidy. This, according to the minister, will encourage transparency and efficiency. Besides, it will, she said, ensure that the cash is spent to better
the people’s lot. But the NLC, in a statement yesterday by its President Abdulwaheed Omar, rejected the government’s argument. Labour accused the minister of not speaking the truth. “These are untrue statements calculated to mislead the international community and to lure Nigerians away from the on-going mobilisation against this anti-people policy,” the workers said. The NLC recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, in his letter to the National Assembly on the Me-
dium Term Expenditure Framework of his administration stated categorically that the fuel subsidy would be removed as from and that the take off date is January 2012. The NLC added that the President, on his way to the Commonwealth Summit, to which the Petroleum Minister accompanied him, reportedly said fuel subsidy must be removed because the alternative is the collapse of the economy. Labour said the workers’ body will Continued on page 2
•SPORT P24 •EDUCATION P25 •POLITICS P43•NATURAL HEALTH P45
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS Sovereign Wealth Fund is to deceive Nigerians, says Tinubu
•President Goodluck Jonathan (second left) Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (left), Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Alex Otti, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Director General, Commonwealth Council, Dr. Mohan Kaul, at the African Forum sponsored by Access Bank Plc at the ongoing Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, Australia.
Labour rejects govt’s stand on subsidy Continued from page 1
not relent in its mobilisation to resist “this policy that will further impoverish the citizenry”. The statement said: “In any case, the issue at stake is not whether the Jonathan administration is yet to take a position or is confused as to what decision to take, the patriotic issue is that fuel subsidy should not be removed. “The fundamental issue is not the per-second denials of government officials, but that the Jonathan administration should side with the Nigerian people. “It should be noted that the
whole debate which has pitched government and its cronies against the Nigerian people, was started by the Federal Government, which is still expending huge public funds on this manoeuvre. “The position of the NLC is that our oil resources which should be an advantage to the country, should be used for the benefit of the people; that as Nigerians, we should have comparative advantage on prices of petroleum products over citizens of non-oil producing states. “The NLC rejects the Petroleum Minister’s lamentation that government cannot check the fraud in subsidy
because ‘… we are not in a military regime, the market forces of supply and demand has to be allowed to a certain extent.’ “We think that this is a rationalisation of criminality and an admission of failure. We do not need a military regime, to deal with criminality, what we need is a democratic process of bringing culprits before a court of competent jurisdiction and dispensing justice. “The minister’s announcement that a Think Tank is being proposed by government on the subsidy issue is laughable as government should have done so and
thought through the process before announcing subsidy removal. “Also, her claims that government wants to consult “stakeholders” on the issue is like putting the cart before the horse; that should have been a basic step before government announcement of its decision to remove oil subsidy. “Her announcement that the subsidy to be removed would be used for road works, public maintenance, mass transportation, youths skill development, maternity and child care is gimmickry; Continued from page 57
CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has criticised the creation of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) by the Federal Government. Describing it as “illegal”, the former Lagos State governor said he is in support of the legal action taken by governors against the Federal Government. Tinubu told reporters in Abuja that SWF is another name for Excess Crude Account to deceive Nigerians by the Federal Government. His words: “I’m in full support of the governors going to court. The Sovereign Wealth Fund is an illegal looting committed under an act. It is giving the Excess Crude Account (ECA) another name and taking it to the House for illegal constitutional amendment. “When an act confiscates and contradicts the constitution, Section 162 of the constitution says all revenue must be distributed. You cannot act unconstitutionally if you are a government of rule of law. You are confiscating the money of the state; you are violating the constitution; it is illegal. “It is an amendment to the constitution if it is not seen clearly by Nigerians. Otherwise, Section 162 of the constitution is useless. What are the steps to be taken before an amendment to the constitution takes effect. That is clear there. I ask, if you are a regular saver and your child is dying of anaemia in a hospital and you say you are saving for that
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
child to inherit, will you say you must save that money and not pay for the blood if the child needs blood transfusion? “The states say this is our time to develop, why are you forcing them? You can save the federal government portion. It is unconstitutional. I’m in support of the governors.” On yesterday’s proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Tinubu said “I enjoy learning. It went professionally well, you could see the firework between the lawyers. I’m very proud of my team. I’m very happy and impressed. It means we can still help Nigeria by being honest, it means we can still hope for Nigeria to see that the fundamental human right is projected, the right of individuals will not depend on the amount of power confers on them by the office and those who allege must prove. The matter is left for the judiciary but there is still hope that this country can ensure justice.
•Governors’ Forum chair Amaechi
Tinubu to Code of Conduct Tribunal: you can’t try me Continued from page 1
for not informing the panel that an earlier charge against Tinubu had been a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The prosecution at the last sitting withdrew the charge and filed an amended charge with the same particulars. Turning to prosecution counsel Alex Iziyon (SAN), Justice Umar said: “You mean this happened and you did not bring it to our attention?” Olanipekun argued that the amended charge constitutes an abuse of court process. Justice Umar apologised to Tinubu’s teeming supporters for the treatment meted out to them by the security personnel at the last sitting. The National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) arrived at 9:20a.m. Justice Umar came in around 9:40a.m. The sitting started at 10:30a.m., with an apology from Justice Umar for the complaints received on the alleged intimidation of Tinubu’s supporters by security agents. At the tribunal yesterday were Governors Raji Fashola (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti). Senators Femi Lanlehin, Babafemi Ojudu, Sola Adeyeye, Jide Omoworare, Gbenga Ashafa, John Akpanudoedehe and Oloruninmbe Mamora were fthere. Others are Alhaji Balarabe
Musa, Mr Demola Seriki, Tinubu’s wife, Senator Remi, ACN FCT Chairman Farouk Osuma, Benue ACN Chairman Abba Yaro and CPC Senator Abu Ibrahim. Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who appeared in solidarity with his predecessor, sat with other SANs and senior lawyers in the first row. Besides Olanipekun, other lawyers defending Tinubu are former NBA President Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN),Charles Edosomwan (SAN), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Dele Belgore (SAN),Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Kabiru Turaki (SAN), Emeka Ngige (SAN), Deji Sasegbon (SAN), Dele Adesina (SAN), Mrs. Jumoke Anifowoshe and Dr. Tunji Abayomi. Others are: Mr. Femi Falana, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,Tunde Braimoh, Muiz Banire, Oye Akintola, Funso Olukoga, E. Okara, Dapo Akin Osun, M. I Komolafe, Toke Benson Awoyinka, Sola Iji, Gana Haruna, Lanre Obadina, Bimpe Awogbomogun, R.O. Oloyede, T.C. Okafor, Aisha Ali, Abdulmajid Oniyangi, Samuel Abba, Gbenga Adeyemi, Soji Olowolafe, Joshua Alogbu and Uche Onyeagocha. There were three security checks yesterday, a departure from the seven security checks mounted at the last sitting. The number of security personnel also reduced a great deal. This may not be unconnected with the complaints received at the last sitting. However, supporters and other court users were com-
pelled to identify themselves before being allowed into the Tribunal chamber. In the motion brought pursuant to Sections 36(6) (a) (b), 36 (12) and paragraph 15 of the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution; Section 3 and paragraph 1 of the third Schedule of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Olanipekun argued that the amended charge constitutes an abuse of court process. He urged the panel of three Justices to quash and/or strike out the three-count amended charge filed on September 20 against Tinubu by the Complainant/Respondent. He also prayed for: *an order discharging the Applicant (Tinubu); and *such further order or orders as the Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstances. In the application, which was accompanied by an 11paragraph affidavit and predicated on 10 grounds, Olanipekun said what the Tribunal stated in the charge by the Complanant is not known to the 1999 Constitution. Besides, he argued that the condition precedent before a person could be charged before a Tribunal had not been met. “The mandatory conditions precedent for the referral of complaints by the Code of Conduct Bureau to the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the subsequent exercise of jurisdiction by the said Tribunal have not been complied
with,” he said. Olanipekun referred to Section 3 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, which states that “where the person concerned makes a written admission of such breach or non-compliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary”. He said: “What the prosecution is doing is to put something on nothing. They want it to stand; it will not stand; it will collapse like a pack of cards.” “Where a person can make a written admission, there will be no need for trial. The applicant must be invited; there is no short-cut about this; it is paramount. It is fundamental. The CCB said it invited those other governors; if it is good for the goose of those governors, it must be good for their gander’. “Your lordship will have to make findings if he was invited. The CCB does not have a coercive power, what it has is interactive power. Was he invited? On what day and who was the courier? “Please, take note of the word several times stated in the counter-affidavit of the Complainant. They have not made any infraction of time. “In their counter-affidavit, the deponent said ‘I was informed by the Complainant through another person’ but the Complainant, which is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a jurisdic entity and not a natural person. It is only a natural person that can inform. Federal Republic of Nigeria is you and I; it is only a natural person that can in-
form and you believe. Nigeria cannot be an informant; the informant must bear his father’s name.” Olanipekun said “as at the time the Applicant came to the court, there were two charges against him”. He described the amended charge as an abuse of court process. Criticising the manner the complainant withdrew the first charge when the amended charge had already been filed, the lawyer said: “One does not sit within the confine of his office or home to say ‘I withdraw’. Withdrawal has to be formal; there has to be pronouncements. Then, there will be a formal order either striking out or dismissing it. They cannot withdraw in our absence. This notice of withdrawal constitutes an abuse of court process; they filed it after receiving our motion.” Olanipekun challenged the venue of the trial-Abuja. According to him, the trial should be in Lagos, where the alleged offence was committed. Tinubu was not governor of Abuja, Olanipekun said, citing the case of former Delta Governor James Ibori where the Court of Appeal said trial should take place in the state and not anywhere else. Olanipekun also argued that the charge disclosed no nexus between the people mentioned on the charge sheet and disclosed no information on the status of the foreign accounts referred to. He said: “It is amorphous, nebulous; it is at large; there
is nothing in it. When was the account opened? When was it operated? Looking at the charge, they mentioned some names; we don’t know them. Criminal trial is not a hideand-seek game; there cannot be trial by ambush. There is nothing in the charge before you showing the relationship between those mentioned in the charge.” But Iziyon urged the court to dismiss the application. He argued that jurisdiction is an administrative matter, adding that “it is premature to say we have not disclosed the nexus of the names on the charge”. According to him, the CCB has the discretion on whether to charge an accused to Tribunal after making a written admission, adding that the Bureau is not under compulsion. On the amended charge, Iziyon said what the Applicant, through his counsel, ought to have done is to challenge the leave granted to prefer the amended charge. But the Tribunal Chairman, who overruled Iziyon, said the Complainant could not have been aware since it was done in the chamber. Replying on point of law, Olanipekun urged the court to discountenance the complainant’s submission. He said there was nothing to show the form the Applicant filled and submitted to the CCB, stressing that it is not the duty of the applicant to do so. The matter was adjourned till November 30 for ruling.
ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS TRIAL OF TINUBU BY CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL
•Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) (left) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) at the •Justice Umar flanked by other members of the Tribunal Tribunal...yesterday
•Akwa Ibom State governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) James Akpanudoedehe (left) greeting Lagos State ACN chair Oladele Ajomale. With them is Senator Abu Ibrahim
•Adeniyi Akintola (SAN)
•Former Conference of Nigeria Political Party (CNPP) chair Alhaji Balarabe Musa (left), Asiwaju Tinubu and his wife Senator Oluremi. Back row: Senator Gbenga Ashafa (left) and former Minister of State for Defence Demola Seriki
•ACN House of Representatives members - Mrs Abike Dabiri- •Wole Olanipekun (SAN) Erewa and Alhaji Yakub Balogun
•ACN House of Representatives member Opeyemi Bamidele (left) and Dele Adesina (SAN)
•ACN House of Representatives members - Mr James Faleke (left) and Samuel Adejare
•Ondo ACN governorship aspirant Dr. Tunji Abayomi and state chairman Mrs Jumoke Anifowoshe
•Senator Babafemi Ojudu PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS TRIAL OF TINUBU BY CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL
Aregbesola decries ‘deportation’ of Osun ACN leaders by police
SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday expressed displeasure over the arrest, detention and consequent deportation of 29 Osun State leaders of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) from Lokoja, Kogi State by the police. The governor’s spokesman, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon said in a statement: “The ACN leaders were travelling in a bus belonging to the Office of the Governor, Osun State. They were arrested on the Niger Bridge in Lokoja, allegedly on the orders of Kogi State Commissioner of Police Mr. Amanana Abakasanga. The ACN men were travelling to Abuja. Abakasanga allegedly detained the 29 ACN leaders in Lokoja till yesterday when he dispatched an armed escort to deport them to Okene to ensure that they did not make their trip. The men were then directed by Governor Aregbesola to insist on their fundamental right of freedom of movement by resuming their Abuja bound journey. According to him, as soon as the ACN men got to Niger Bridge the second time, they were again stopped by the Police. When the news of the arrest was received by Aregbesola, he contacted the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, who de-
Our ordeal, by detained party men •Demand apology from police
HE 29 members of Osun State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) prevented by the police in Kogi from traveling to Abuja have demanded an apology from the police. They vowed to take the police to court. If after 24 hours the police authority fails to apologise without reservation. Narrating their ordeal yesterday at a news conference in Lokoja, their leader, Chief Ishola Oyewunmi said the police failed to tell them why they were stopped in Lokoja from their legitimate journey to Abuja. According to the leader, other contingents from other states were seen passing the same route to Abuja for the same meeting, “We don’t know why they stopped us. “We were stopped on Tuesday night and they asked us to sleep in the bush as we could not go back to Osogbo that night. On Wednesday morning, the state police commissioner ordered his men to escort us outside Kogi state. “We were on our way to Osogbo when our governor called that we should turn back to Abuja as there was no law stopping movement to Abuja. nied issuing the order to arrest, detain and deport the ACN leaders from Kogi State. The statement reads: “When news reached Governor Aregbesola in Abuja on Tuesday that the men were still prevented from embarking on their onward journey to Abuja, he called
From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
As we returned, the same policemen stopped us at the same spot asking us to wait for a order before we could move. A delay that lasted for over three hours led to the collapse of one of the arrested ACN member who has been complaining of ill-health. •Ishola Oyewunmi •Adesoye He said: “The questions here are: is Kogi police declaring us a security missioner to tender an unreserved apolthreat? Is the police saying Osun ACN ogy within 24 hours, failing which they cannot travel to Abuja. And when has it threatened to drag the police authority become a law that someone must explain to court for unlawful detention and harhis mission to Abuja before he is allowed assment. into the FCT?,” he asked. Also reacting, the governorship candiThe ACN leaders in thier Coaster bus date of the ACN in Kogi, Prince Abumarked Osun OSGH 192 was intercept- bakar Audu described the incident as emed along Jamata Murtala Muhammed barrassing and a failure on the part of Bridge at about 6 41pm on Tuesday by the nation’s security. the police. Prince Audu who spoke through his He said despite explanation that they campaign director David Dare urged sewere travelling to Abuja for a meeting, curity operatives to be more concern the Kogi police command refused to re- about the security of lives and properties lease them as they were asked to go back across the country and to refrain from to Osun. using the opposition party to cover their They therefore called on the police com- inadequacies.
the Kogi Police Commissioner to complain on the infringement on the rights of these men to move freely in their country and demanded that the Police Commissioner respect the law without further delay. Aregbesola spoke to the Kogi state police commissioner, he promised to re-
lease the men and allow them to proceed on their journey but he refused to honour his words by detailing a police team led by Mr. James Otai, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, to prevent them from passing through the Niger Bridge to Abuja. The Osun State government, according to the state-
ment, “takes serious exception at this flagrant violation of the 1999 Constitution by a police officer who is paid and commissioned to enforce the same law but has now chosen to flout it with recklessness.” “The ACN leaders were not found with anything to suggest criminality while they
Kogi police explain arrest From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
OGI State Police Commissioner, Mr. Amanana Ababakasanga yesterday gave the reason behind the arrest of members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lokoja, the state capital. The Police had on Tuesday intercepted and detained 28 members of the ACN, led by Mr. Rasheed Adedeji. The coaster bus, belonging to the Osun State Government House and which was conveying them has been impounded by the police at the Murtala Muhammad Bridge, Jamata en route Abuja. According to the commissioner, the ACN members were disallowed to continue on the journey because they could not explain their mission to Abuja. His words: “Somebody that is going to Abuja, should be ready to tell us his mission. So, since they don’t know their mission to Abuja, we stopped them from moving further. “Since it was late to go back to Osun, we asked them if they can stay in the hotel for the night, but they say they have booked hotel for them in Abuja that they don’t have money to stay in the hotel here in Lokoja. They would prefer to stay with my officers at that bridge.” According to the police chief, he ordered his men to escort out side the boundary of Kogi state. He said:”Since they have no mission going to Abuja, I asked my men to escort them outside Kogi. They can use another route to Abuja, but not through my state. “Anybody who is living his
committed no offence to warrant the shabby treatment they received from the police in Kogi State. “We wonder where the police commissioner got the power to carry out the unlawful arrest of law abiding citizens, curtail their movement and deport them illegally from one part of their country to another. “Nigerian should recall that this was how patriotic Nigerians who were on solidarity with the symbol of democracy then, were harassed and persecuted during the sham trial of M.K.O Abiola in 1993 in Abuja. “It is equally noteworthy to draw attention to the fact that for over 100years that Lagos served as the seat of federal government this assault was never visited on any Nigerian. “It is important for all citizens to note the totally appalling phenomenon of illegal prevention of citizen to freely visit Abuja which is a city of unity for all as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. “It is instructive to note that Vice President Namadi Sambo is visiting Osun State today while the same people whom he intends to meet have been treated as aliens in their own country by the Kogi State Police Commissioner. We wonder how the nation’s number two citizen expects the people of Osun State to receive him in their home state,” the statement said.
‘Since it was late to go back to Osun, we asked them if they can stay in the hotel for the night’ house to somewhere, should have a mission. But in this case they don’t have. So, we see it as secret and the secret might be evil,” he explained. Last month, the 19 buses conveying members of the ACN to Abuja to give solidarity to their leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu were also intercepted at the same spot by the police.
•A crowd of Tinubu’s supporters at the Tribunal...yesterday
PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Arrest of our members condemnable, says party
OR intercepting members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who were on a solidarity mission to Abuja, the police yesterday came under criticisms. The ACN, through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed described the police action as condemnable, said the arrest further reinforced the emergency pattern of a police clampdown on its supporters. Mohammed raised the alarm over the growing harassment of the opposition, following Tuesday’s interception and arrest of ACN supporters in Lokoja, Kogi State, en route Abuja. The mission of the ACN members was to observe yesterday’s proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), where the party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is standing trial over allegation
that he maintained foreign bank accounts while serving as Lagos governor between 1999 and 2007. In a statement, the ACN spokesman accused the police of employing delay tactics to frustrate the party supporters “since they could not be reasonably charge with any offence other than being ACN members.” The statement reads: “ACN recalled that the police also arrested the party’s supporters on their way to Abuja to show support for the party’s leader when he first appeared in court last month. ‘’When this is taken along with the recent harassment of journalists at The Nation as well as the arrest and trial of our party chairman in Jigawa State, Dr. Abubakar Fulata, for ‘slandering’ the state governor by saying he
has no requisite qualifications to be governor, one can see an orchestrated and wellcoordinated attempt to suppress the opposition in the country, with the police as the arrowhead. ‘’This is nothing but a clear attempt to subvert democracy and the rule of law. How can we claim to be in a democracy when Nigerians are being wantonly denied of their Constitutional rights, including the freedom to associate and move around freely? When did it become an offence for Nigerians to travel from one part of the country to another? What security risks could unarmed and peaceful Nigerians pose simply by travelling from Osun State to Abuja? ‘’It is important to find out who has been giving the orders for the arrest of ACN members on the road. And if
the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) says he is not the one, then it is pertinent to ask who is really in charge of the police.’’ The party described the action of the police action against ACN members as misplaced aggression, saying the same police force that has proved to be clinically efficient in harassing and intimidating ACN members has been cowing before Boko Haram, armed robbers and kidnappers. The statement further said: ‘’Or could it be that the police under IGP Hafiz Ringim have been specially trained only to sniff out ACN members, or all progressive-leaning individuals and groups, and ferret them to detention at the slightly opportunity? “It is time to call IGP Ringim to order, because he is fast emerging as a threat to the
country’s democracy and the enjoyment of civil liberties. The party noted that since Ringim’s assumption to office, cases of extra-judicial killings have increased, insecurity has worsened while the enjoyment of individual rights and freedoms have come under assault by the police, wondering whether this is the legacy that he wants to leave behind after many years in service. ‘’The police should immediately release the arrested ACN supporters and lay off our members so they can move about freely in their own country, as long as they are not disturbing the peace. If the police persists in its current folly, then it should be blamed for any breakdown of law and order that may result from its undemocratic and unlawful actions,’’ the party warned.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 2011
NEWS Medical workers urge Jonathan to sign health bill
HE Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria yesterday urged the President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the National Health Bill into law. President of the association, Mr. Yahaya Yaji spoke at the National Scientific Conference and General Meeting of the association held at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Aro in Ogun State. Yaji said the nation stood to lose if only a small fraction of the citizenry has access to quality healthcare services while 99 per cent cannot. At the conference, themed “The Role of Medical Social Workers in a Developing Economy”, Yaji explained that no meaningful development can be achieved in the nation if its investments in technological advancement are not matched with quality health of her citizens. He said signing into law the National Health Bill would help the sector. The bill itself has been the subject of controversy following arguments and counter-arguments to its passage due to what some believe are manipulation of some of its provisions to favour only a section in the health sector. Yaji said the neglect of the health sector posed a greater challenge to medical social workers, whose services are increasingly being demanded by the mainstream medical profession. He urged government to said approve a welfare scheme which will put medical social workers at par with other health workers in the country. In his address, Dr. Adegboyega Ogunlesi, the chief medical director of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro,urged medical social workers to the challenges of political uncertainties, economic vagaries, social insecurity and poor funding, which have affected the health sector.
‘Fuel subsidy removal will reduce food production’ From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
HE ActionAid and Oxfam, two international development agencies, yesterday raised the alarm that the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government will cause food scarcity as food production in Nigeria will be adversely affected. The Country Directors of the two agencies, Dr. Hussaini Abdu and Mr. Tunde Ojei spoke at a press conference in Abuja yesterday. Dr. Abdu said: “All of these items are tied to use of petroleum products, especially the petrol and diesel in transportation and other petroleum derivatives such as herbicides and other chemicals for pest control.” “With over 12 million people already undernourished, nearly a third of children underweight and 38 percent of children showing signs of chronic malnutrition, increase of pump price of fuel would push food prices up and as a result put more pressure on poor households.” “Any further pressure on their lean resources by the Nigerian state would amount to a targeted vicious attack on the poor and socially disadvantaged.” Rather than removing subsidy, the agencies advised the Federal Government to put in place necessary measures to block leakages and expose the cartels that have been benefiting from the fuel subsidy.
•Vice-President Namadi Sambo receiving some documents from the Chairman of the Sierra-Leonian National Electoral Commission Dr. Christiana Thorpe. With them is INEC chairman Prof Attahiru Jega
Court orders NDLEA to produce Baba Suwe
USTICE Yetunde Idowu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, yesterday ordered the Nation-
al Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to produce comedian Mr Babatunde Omidina (also known as Baba Suwe) before her “physically” on November 1 by 9am. Her order followed a Motion on Notice dated October 24. It was moved by Omidina’s counsel, Mr Bamidele Aturu, who led Mr Kunle Adegoke and others. They sought an order directing the NDLEA to release the applicant from detention forthwith, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. In the alternative, they prayed for an order directing the respondent to produce Omidina in court on the next adjourned date. Omidina has been in detention at the NDLEA’s facility since October 12 without trial. Omidina’s first son Adesola, in an affidavit he swore to in support of the motion, said his father has been a diabetic patient for over five years and is in danger of death because he has not had access to his medical doctor. He said: “My father told me when I visited him on October 24, 2011 at the detention centre at the airport at about 6pm that he did not ingest any narcotic substance, and I verily believe him. “He also told me that he had so far defecated eight times without any banned substance in his excreta, though he ate thrice daily. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application.”
•Agency objects to actor’s N100 million suit
By Joseph Jibueze
NDLEA’s Director of Legal Services, Mr Femi Oloruntoba, did not oppose the application that Omidina be produced. He expressed concerns over the crowd that may accompany him to court that day. “We are not opposing the application. The applicant is in good condition. We urge the court to make such consequential order as to avoid a breach of peace,” he said. Justice Idowu granted the application. Aturu asked for an adjournment to enable him file a further reply to NDLEA’s Counter Affidavit in opposition to Omidina’s N100 million fundamental rights enforcement suit. In the suit, the actor is praying the court for an order to release him immediately from “the unlawful detention” in which he said he is being held at the respondent’s pleasure. The applicant asked for N100 million as compensation from the NDLEA for alleged illegal and unconstitutional violation of his fundamental rights, as well as a public apology from the NDLEA. The Publicity Secretary of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, Mr Kazeem Mohammed, said in affidavit on behalf of Omidina: “His children, dependants, relatives, friends and associates have been greatly worried and subjected to unnecessary trauma by the continued detention of
His children, dependants, relatives, friends and associates have been greatly worried and subjected to unnecessary trauma by the continued detention of their benefactor and associate who has been in detention for days without any lawful charge brought against him •Omidina
their benefactor and associate who has been in detention for days without any lawful charge brought against him.” But the NDLEA, in its counter affidavit, said Omidina’s arrest and detention were within the purview of the law and the Constitution, so he does not deserve the N100 million compensation and apology he is asking for. It prayed the court to dismiss the actor’s case as lacking in merit and
‘ being vexatious. NDLEA said: “It is not in the interest of justice to grant this application, as it will prevent the respondent from having the opportunity to supervise the excretion of the drugs ingested by the applicant. It is in the interest of justice to dismiss this application. “He is not entitled to any of the reliefs claimed, including the sum of N100,000,000.00 damages.”
ACN, PDP trade words over council polls
CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday exchanged words over last Saturday’s council polls in Lagos State. The ACN said PDP is sponsoring violence. But the PDP said the ACN rigged the election. The ruling party said PDP is afraid to take its case to court because of lack of evidence to substantiate its allegation of rigging. ACN Publicity Secretary, Joe Ig-
By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor and Adesoji Adeniyi
bokwe, in a statement, said the ruling party won the council elections through the ballot box, unlike PDP, which is claiming victory on the pages of newspapers. Lagos PDP chairman Setonji Koshoedo said the ACN robbed his party of victory. He described the polls as a charade, chiding ACN leaders for overbearing attitude, which cast doubt
on their credential as democrats. Igbokwe said: “We are surprised that a party that employed all types of blackmail against the CPC’s protest of obvious and open manufacture of fake figures to steer victory to PDP in last April’s presidential election is now fully engrossed in all acts of violence and self help to con some local councils in Lagos. “Lagosians are at a loss to understand the grouse of PDP, which keep fluctuating by the day. We remember that as at Sunday, they claimed to have won six chairman-
ship seats but today, they have modified it to four, which leads us to ask the PDP what is actually their true position in the entire affair. Osun State ACN has congratulated the Lagos chapter, attributing its success to the attributed its success to the sterling performances in ACN-controlled states. Its acting Chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, in a statement in Osogbo, the state capital, described the ACN as the most people-oriented political organisation in Nigeria.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS Court upholds ACN lawmaker’s election HE Legislative Elec-
tion Petition Tribunal in Lagos State yesterday dismissed a petition by Segun Adewale Aeroland and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the election of Mr. Adeola Olamilekan Solomon of the Action Congress (ACN) in Alimosho Federal Constituency. The tribunal resolved all issues raised in favour of the respondents – ACN, Solomon and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - and dismissed the petition. The tribunal also ordered the petitioners to pay N100,000 cost to ACN and Solomon. On the allegation of over
By Eric Ikhilae
voting, the tribunal said the petitioners failed to prove their claims. On the allegation that Solomon lied in the information he gave to INEC, the tribunal held that pre-election matters were outside its jurisdiction. The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Maurice Eneji, said the petitioners had the opportunity to challenge the issue of qualification at the High Court before the election was held. The petitioners’ lawyer, Ladi Williams (SAN), said his clients would appeal the judgment.
Lagos CAN Integrity Award for Nov •A five-storey building that collapsed in Maryland, Lagos…yesterday.
•Story on page 57
PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA
Protest as policeman shoots driver over N20 in Ibadan A MOBILE policeman shot a truck driver yesterday at a checkpoint in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for allegedly refusing to give him N20. The incident occurred at Omi-Adio in Ido Local Government Area. The victim, Aminu Mudashiru, is receiving treatment at a private hospital in Apata. According to eyewitnesses, Mudashiru was driving a truck with registration number SG 137 BDJ, when he was flagged down by the
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
policeman at a road block. They said the policeman requested for N20 and Mudashiru explained that he had paid earlier, but the policeman insisted and ordered the driver to park. One of the witnesses said: “While the driver was trying to park well to avoid obstructing traffik, the policeman thought he wanted
to drive off and shot at him. The bullet pierced through the windscreen and hit the driver in the hand.” Youths in the community tried to apprehend the policeman and his colleagues, but they escaped. The youths protested peacefully at Apata Police Station, where the matter was reported. It was later gathered that the trigger-happy policeman had been arrested.
LASU students protest fee hike TUDENTS of the Lagos State University (LASU) stormed the premises of the state-owned television station, LTV8, in Ikeja yesterday, protesting the rise in their school fees. The students held a similar protest on the Lagos/Badagry Road two weeks ago. They arrived at the TV station at about 2pm, singing solidarity songs and bearing placards with inscriptions, such as, “Fashola, you are wicked”; “Reduce our fees now.” President of the Students’ Union Government Akeem Olalekan said they came to LTV8 to draw the attention of Lagos residents to their plight. Olalekan said: “When the government in-
By Miriam Ndikanwu
creased our fees in the past, it argued that it was to upgrade the facilities in the school. Then the fee was increased from N250 to N25,000. “But government has just increased it to N250,000. Governor Babatunde Fashola, in his manifesto, promised to give qualitative education to the masses, but with this increment, it seems the government is not bothered about the plight of the less privileged people, who are about 70 per cent. “The university lacks a standard library, health centre, good roads and modern educational facilities.”
Ondo to get $50m World Bank grant
HE World Bank has approved a $50 million grant to the Ondo State Government for its health care programmes, particularly the Mother and Child programme. Leader of the bank’s fiveman team Dr. Nair spoke yesterday in Akure, the state capital, after assessing the health facilities and human resources on ground. He said the team is satis-
fied with what it has seen. Nair said the Mother and Child programme is an initiative that can be implemented globally. He said besides Ondo, two other states would get health care grants from the bank. Nair said the team also wanted to find out about the benefits of health workers operating under the programme and the number of patients benefiting from
the state’s health care programmes. He said implementation of the grant would begin in the first quarter of next year after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed. Earlier in the year, Governor Olusegun Mimiko had made a presentation to the bank, in the United States, on the state’s health care programmes.
Court restrains PDP over Ogun Exco
FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos has stopped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from usurping the functions of the Chief Dayo Soremi-led Executive Committee of the party in Ogun State. Ruling on Tuesday on a motion ex-parte brought by Soremi and two others on be-
half of the state party’s Harmonised Executive Committee, Justice C.E Achibong ordered that the “status quo be maintained.” In a suit against the PDP; its acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje; Vice-Chairman (South-West) Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo; National Organising Secretary Mr.
Uche Secondus; and National Legal Adviser Mr. Olusola Oke; the applicants prayed the court “to restrain the respondents from contravening a court order of September 21, 2010 by sidelining the Ogun State Executive Committee or structures set up by them at the local government and ward levels.”
Police spokesman Femi Okanlawon said he had not been briefed. A few years ago, a policeman shot and killed a commercial driver at the same spot over N20. The incident led to a bloody crisis between the police and youths. Many died in the crisis and Omi-Adio Police Station was burnt down.
HE Lagos State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) will hold its first Integrity Merit Award and Luncheon on November 28 at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, by at 11am. CAN Secretary Bishop Amu said 15 Christians, who have influenced others by their actions, would be honoured.
Security panel trains members
HE Police Assistance Committee (PAC) has started training its grassroots members on how to send information online to security agencies. At a two-day training in Lagos, PAC Director-General Dr. Martins Oni urged
members to send information to security agencies on time to combat crime. Oni said security is the concern of all Nigerians and urged the public to always alert security operatives about strange happenings around them.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS Queen arrives for CHOGM ALL is set for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia tomorrow following the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in Perth, Western Austrlia. The Queen, who will open the CHOGM tomorrow, came in company of the Duke of Edinburg, Prince Phillip. Her Regal One royal plane touched down at about 4.20pm about five minutes ahead of schedule. Although there was heavy security at Perth International Airport, a crowd of 500 Australians, who bore roses and Union Jack, defied rains to welcome the Queen. A source said: “She has arrived from Melbourne but access to her was limited to government officials for security reasons.Those who thronged the airport were restricted to a wing where they could only sight her. There was heavy security presence. “She was however received by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, the Governor of Western Australia, Malcolm McCusker and his wife Tonya, Premier Colin Barnett, Lyn Barnett and others “After a short airport formaltty, she boarded a bullet-proof vehicle to the Governor’s residence.” A brief by Jenna Clarke of Western Australian News released to the public said: “ Her Majesty emerged wearing the same fuchsia coat and matching widebrimmed hat she wore as she departed Melbourne earlier today. “With no official engagements this evening, the royal couple will enjoy a night of hospitality at Government House. “While she failed to wave to the crowd as she left the tarmac, fans then lined Great Eastern Highway as the 12 car motorcade made its way toward the Central Business District.. “A large number of men, children and women in hats and bold coloured dresses waited patiently outside Government House and St Georges Terrace. PUBLIC NOTICE ORIMOLE I, formerly known and addressed as ORIMOLE LUCKY, now wish to be known and addressed as ABBEY LUCKY UWA. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
No going back on privatisation, Jonathan assures investors P
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the Federal Government will not go back on its privatisation programme. He urged foreign investors to take advantage of the liberal investment climate in Nigeria to be part of the programme. Jonathan, who spoke at a presidential lunch for investors at the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia, said no investor will regret coming to Nigeria. He said: “I must say a few words about the great changes taking place in my country, Nigeria at this time. “With a population of 167million, Nigeria is every investor’s delight. Young people, between 15 and 25, represent more than 60per cent of our total population and account for 45per cent of the total labour force. “This is a challenge, but also an opportunity. For us in Nigeria, the urgent task is to turn the innovative energies of the
youth into positive force for change and development. “We are also proceeding with our privatisation programme in sectors ranging from telecommunications, energy, oil and gas, solid minerals and infrastructural development. “It is therefore appropriate that I seize the opportunity presented by this Forum to formally invite investors from the Commonwealth to take advantage of our liberal investment climate to do business with Nigeria. “I like to think that Commonwealth investors are already talking with business
people from Nigeria here in Perth, some of whom are members of my delegation. “I assure that those of you who would take the leap will gain tremendously from this engagement.” Jonathan praised the Commonwealth Business Council for organising the forum. He added: “This collaboration must be the beginning of a structured and mutually beneficial engagement between the Commonwealth business community and Africa. “I would be pleased to hear the announcement of increased partnerships and investment flow from Com-
monwealth investors to Africa at the end of our meeting here in Perth. “I equally invite the rest of the international community to join hands with us and support Africa’s efforts to achieve its vision of a continent that provides meaningful economic opportunity for its people and a continent that is able to respond to regional challenges and contribute actively to global economic development. “I invite and urge the Commonwealth to play the lead role in this dialogue and partnership.” The Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), Mr. Paschal Dozie, said: “The President is leading Nigeria towards a new era of economic growth and development. “Like the shining shooting stars, Jonathan promised a free and fair election and he
delivered. He has also taken a bold initiative in Africa and he is a leading voice. “Nigeria is an investment destination for business leaders; we need to rally round the administration of Jonathan which is executing reforms.” The Director-General of the CBC, Mohan Kaul said: “We salute you and your country for what you have achieved, we are impressed with your strong commitment to economic growth in Nigeria and Africa.” The CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, whose bank sponsored the luncheon, said: “Nigeria is a country where trade and investments thrive; I encourage all of you to invest in this great nation. “Access Bank Plc is a success story of Nigerian investment climate. With the right environment, the bank has 500 branches across nine countries, spanning two continents.”
Commonwealth not decaying, says Secretary-General
HE Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, yesterday said the organisation has never been in danger of decay. He also said that the meeting of Heads of Government of the organisation will focus on the recommendations for its reforms; human rights, hunger, HIV/AIDS and 67million out-of school children. Sharma, who made the clarifications at an early morning joint briefing with the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, said the Commonwealth is not a lame duck as being erroneously assumed. The briefing preceded the session of the Heads of Government which will begin tomorrow. He said: “I would just like to add, if I may, the Commonwealth has never been in danger of decay. It’s been a very contemporary organisation throughout its history since its inception in 1949. The great historical transformation in Africa, the great debt question, multi-lateral and bi-lateral debt. “The HIPC was an idea which came from the Commonwealth. The vulnerability and resilience indexes which the World Bank uses now came from the Common-
PUBLIC NOTICE AFRICA FOR CHRIST MISSION CHURCH This is to notify the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Reverend Ezekiel A. Alabi 2. Deacon Pius Oladeji Olanrewaju 3. Oluwatoyin Fasanmi (Mrs) AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To build and empower worshippers unto God through the Holy Spirit; 2) To proclaim the sole lordship of Jesus Christ and to seek to fulfil his commission in the life of the community, the nation and the whole world through evangelical tenacity; 3) To establish missionary outreaches for the welfare of the poor, disabled, widows, homeless and fatherless; 4) To promote Christian education and bible study programmes. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: MICHAEL AKHIGBE, ESQ.
wealth. Many of the protocols on migration of skills which are used by UN organisations came from the Commonwealth as well. “I give you one fine example, last week the Mo Ibrahim Foundation released its latest assessment of the countries that are doing the best in good governance, cultural democracy and the rule of law. In the first eight countries seven are from the Commonwealth and in the last 10 countries there’s not a single Commonwealth country. This cannot be by accident. “This is as a result of the sedimentation of the culture of democracy over time which Commonwealth members have been able to generate among themselves.” Replying a question, he said CHOGM 2011 will address some critical issues. He added: “We are looking forward to an exhilarating CHOGM. I would like to remind you this is the third time that Australia is hosting CHOGM after ’81 in Melbourne, 2002 in Coolum and now this is an extraordinary record of service to the Commonwealth and the previous two CHOGM’s have been marked with very remarkable results and this one is not going to be an exception. “In fact, I am convinced that this is going to be a landmark CHOGM in respect of what it puts in place on reform, on renewal and on resilience. “The theme is global resilience, national resilience, which points to the interconnectedness of the two and also to the fact that a series of crisis have impacted upon the member states of the Commonwealth as to the rest of the world. “So, the aim is for the heads to be free for in-depth engagement on a wider stage and the Foreign Ministers will prepare the scene for it in building Commonwealth consensus around pressing contemporary glo-
•Minster of Trade and Investments Dr Olusegun Aganga (left) with Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc Wale Tinubu, who was one of the speakers at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Australia…yesterday
bal concerns. “The phrase which I have used earlier which captures the visions of the Commonwealth as a great global good and the Foreign Ministers have a special part to play in working for this common good among the member nations. “The two reports that have been alluded to, one as it were is from the inside which is the Commonwealth Minister Action Group, and the other one from the outside of the Eminent Persons Group and the latter report is an extensive one and covers the entire scope of our work. Sharma also explained that the summit will look into problems of small and vulnerable states. He said: “Particular mention must be made of Commonwealth concerns for small and vulnerable states and this has been emphasised yesterday in a conference which was hosted and chaired by Foreign Minister Rudd but looking forward there is also a need to see what value the Commonwealth can bring to the global discourse on these matters and the events that are coming forward immediate-
ly after the Commonwealth and the G20 summit in Cairns, and there’s the COP17 in Durbin. “There is the WTO Ministerial and the Rio+20 and there are UN resolutions that could benefit from the work which is done here and Foreign Ministers do much of the preparatory work which goes forward to the heads and I look forward to being of assistance to Foreign Minister Rudd. “We are ready to work much more in the area of HIV AIDS. In fact, the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) recommendations are very, very particular and very specific in that regard. We would like to work with other organisations as well so that there’s no duplication; the Commonwealth adds value where it is due. “As for the communication side of the Commonwealth, it is true that all institutions are challenged to make the work they do better known. I said the Commonwealth is a great global good but to convey it to others is a challenge before us which we hope to do. But there’s so much which can be conveyed about the extraordinary glo-
bal value which the Commonwealth has brought to the world and this can be done. This year we are releasing a booklet for the first time in the Perth CHOGM called making a difference. “In that booklet, which you will all get during a future press conferences you’ll be able to see what this difference is. Starting from now we are going to try and make sure that the word about the Commonwealth gets out. “But I must say that I don’t always agree when people say that the Commonwealth is not very well understood because I get a lot of communication from Commonwealth citizens which in fact know quite a lot about the Commonwealth. I have- on my website a question thing saying ‘ask Sharma’ and I get a lot of questions asked. The Commonwealth citizens in fact know the Commonwealth quite well but are very ambitious about it. “ Concerning plan by the Commonwealth to appoint a Commissioner for Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights, Sharma said it is still a proposal and only the Heads of Government could take final decision.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS Reps seek autonomy for councils
Fed Govt approves N60b for Onne Port’s fourth phase
•Bill passes second reading From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
BILL for an Act to amend Sections 7 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution to provide for the independence and financial autonomy of local governments passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday. The Bill seeks to amend the two sections to give the thirdtier of government independence and financial autonomy. Mrs Uche Ekwunife, who led the debate, said under the present arrangement, the councils would make no impact on the people at the grassroots. She said for the people to feel the effect of the government closest to them, some services must be rendered by the councils. The lawmaker argued that the amendment would make the councils more responsive to the people. Mrs Ekwunife said: “Without constitutional amendment, the local governments will continue to be in the hands of the governors. They are not functioning effectively as they ought to because of they are being strangulated by the states. “The only way to liberate the people at the grassroots is to reposition the administration of the councils to provide essential services to the people.”
Senate confirms Elechi ICPC chairman
HE Senate yesterday confirmed Mr. Francis Ugochukwu Elechi as the new chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Elechi’s confirmation followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senator Victor Larled Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption. The committee screened Elechi, who was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan for the position. It also screened others nominated as members of the board of the ICPC.
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
Others also confirmed included: Alhaji Abdullahi Ado Bayero, Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami, Ekpo Una Owa Nta, Prof. Olu Aina and Dame Julie OunmNwariaku. It was a smooth sail for all the nominees as the committee gave them a clean bill of health in its report. But Senate President David Mark appealed to Elechi and his members to work hard so that Nigerians could see the commission as an institution determined to fight corruption.
HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved $370,481,720.42 (about N60 billion) for the construction of phase four of port facilities at Onne Port complex. The contract was awarded to Messrs Intels (Nigerai) Limited. The council meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, with 21 ministers in attendance, lasted one-anda- half hours. Addressing reporters, Minister of Information Labaran Maku, in company of the Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji; Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar; and Minister of State for Power, Gaius Dickson, said the project has a 40month completion period and that the payment would be paid at the prevailing exchange rate at time of payment. According to him, the
•Explains drop in power supply From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
project will be funded by the investor while the funds spent will be recovered through the taxes collected from the port’s operations. He noted that the project would provide 2,500 jobs directly and indirectly during its execution and over 20,000 job opportunities when the facilities are in operation. Maku said: “The construction of Onne Port complex began in the early ‘80s as one of the strategies of decongesting Lagos and Port Harcourt ports. The Phase Three of the port has been completed, but still the facilities at the port are inadequate to cope with the high demand of the oil and gas industry. “So, because of the importance of the project, council considered and ratified Mr. President’s anticipatory ap-
N16.2 billion theft case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FinBank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu. One of the former directors of the bank charged with him, Mr. Danjuma Ocholi, entered a plea bargain with the antigraft agency. At the resumed trial yesterday at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs told the court that the commission accepted the plea bargain after discussions with Ocholi. Jacobs said besides Ocholi,
By Adebisi Onanuga
“some of the other accused persons” have also been talking with the EFCC on how to get their plea bargain. Ocholi, who was arraigned with Nwosu and two former directors of the bank - Dayo Famoroti and Mrs. Agnes Ebubedike - had pleaded not guilty to the 26-count charge brought against them by the EFCC. Though the EFCC said the next witness was in court, it argued that it would be unfair to Ocholi to call the witness to give evidence because of the new development. Jacobs asked the court for a
ICE-President Namadi Sambo yesterday said the Federal Government would complete ongoing projects, especially those in the key sectors of the economy. Such sectors, he noted, include power, transportation, education and agriculture. Sambo spoke at the State
about the latest development. He said: “My Lord, the matter is for continuation of trial and at least one of our witnesses is in court. But there is a new development. We are talking with the third defendant (Ocholi) on the possibility of settling this matter. We feel it would be unfair if we proceed to call our next witness to give evidence this morning.” Counsel to Ocholi Olanrewaju Ogunlesi (SAN) confirmed the development, saying: “My Lord, we have actually settled with the prosecution.” Justice Lateefat Okunnu adjourned the matter till November 4 for further hear-
How National ID card’ll enhance security, by agency chief
THE Head, Corporate Communications, National Iden-
tity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Anthony Okwudiafor, has restated the commission’s commitment to strengthening national security through the implementation of the National Identity Management System (NIMS). Okwudiafor noted that with the approval of N30.066billion for the National Digital Identity Card, the commission would focus on accelerated delivery of the NIMS by December 2013. In a statement, Okwudiafor said the NIMS would bring significant benefits to the economy. He said the money, which
would be released to the commission over three years, starting from the end of the year, consists of N23.074billion for the procurement of the redesigned, multi-application National Identity Card utilising advances in Smart Card Technology and having ICAO compliant Machine Readable Zone (MRZ). This, according to him, makes it acceptable as a future travel document. The statement reads: “In particular, NIMS will enhance the work of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) towards maintenance of law and order, preservation of life and property and the fight against corruption, duplicate, mul-
enough to support the country, has at least supported activities in the homes to the extent that we are receiving reports of more stable electricity. “Two things are associated: one is increased capacity that went from last year where it used to be 2,800MW to now more than 4,000 not including the spinning reverse of almost 300MW. “So it is a quite significant improvement in percentage but not enough to really deliver electricity to everybody in Nigeria in a reliable form.” “However two weeks ago, we had an issue one with the Otorogu gas plant which needed to be fixed, and there was vandalisation of the trans-afocados pipeline. These two needed to be fixed quickly and we announced that there is a schedule to fix the gas plant and the pipeline.”
Fed Govt will complete ongoing projects, says Sambo From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
House, Abuja, when he was briefed on the progress on the implementation of Nigerian Railway projects across the country from the consultants, contractors and the supervis-
FinBank director enters plea bargain HERE was a twist yesadjournment to enable the with EFCC short terday in an alleged prosecution notify the court
proval for the award of contract for fast-tracking the development of the Phase Four port facilities at Onne Port Complex, for NPA/ Ministry of Transport, in favour of Intels, for $370,481,720.42, payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment with 40 months as completion period…” Nnaji said the drop in power supply in the past two weeks has been rectified. The minister assured that power was gradually returning to over 4,000 megawatt. He said: “About two weeks ago, for the first time in the country, we crossed the 4,000 megawatts in power generation, and this is quite a departure from a year ago. The 4,000 megawatts, while it is not nearly
tiple and ghost identities and related frauds (Advance Fee Frauds). “It will deepen access to consumer credit and thus stimulate local production and commerce, create new economic and employment opportunities and help launder Nigeria’s image, it will streamline biometric-linked projects and meet identity verification needs especially in the public sector and facilitate the achievement of financial inclusion and development of financial services sector in Nigeria. It will positively impact the business environment, economic and good governance through e-governance, revenue generation and administration of social policies.”
ing ministry, led by the Minister of Transport. A statement by Eunice Akro, on behalf of the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the Vice-President, said Sambo requested for the brief on the financial implications for the success-
ful completion of the projects. He said: “Lack of proper financial planning of projects to facilitate adequate provision of funding is oftentimes the cause of failure of implementation. It is unprofessional and as such the practice should be discontinued.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS Three die in Delta road crash From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
THREE persons died yesterday in a crash on the Benin-Asaba Road at Ubulu-Okiti Community, Aniocha South Local Government of Delta State. Several others were injured. The accident involved the convoy of the Chief Judge, Justice Abiodun Smith, and a trailer. Justice Smith, it was learnt, was returning from Agbor Prisons. The Chief Judge is visiting prisons across the state. The victims worked in the Protocol Unit of the Ministry of Justice. According to the Director of Protocol, Patrick Idolor, the vehicle carrying the workers ran into a trailer on the way to Asaba. The victims were the driver and two others, including a woman. Idolor said the visit to Ogwashi-Uku Prisons, Aniocha South Local Government which was scheduled for yesterday had been postponed. He said their remains were deposited at the mortuary of an undisclosed hospital.
Akwa Ibom postpones council polls
Ogoni rejects Shell’s N119,040 compensation •Insists on suits in US, Nigeria courts
HE Ogoni people of Ogale-Eleme in Eleme Local Government of Rivers State have rejected Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC’s) N119,040 compensation for the 2007 oil spills in the area. The ruler, Godwin Bebe Okpabi, described the compensation as laughable and ridiculous. Okpabi spoke yesterday at his palace in Ogale-Eleme. The monarch said the people would pursue the suits filed at the District Court in Detroit, United States and the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt. In the suit at the US court, the people are demanding $1 billion for environmen-
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
tal damage, caused by oil exploration and exploitation in the village since 1958. The suit at the US court alleged ‘willful’ negligence in Shell’s over 50 years of oil production in Ogale-Eleme. In the suit in Port Harcourt, the traditional ruler noted that the Ogale-Eleme people wanted the court to make a declaration that Shell had caused serious harm and damage to the area’s environment. In the N119,040 Shell’s compensation, a First Bank cheque, with number 02518734, was dated August 25 and made payable to G.B. Okpabi. In a cover letter , dated September 9 and titled: “Com-
pensation Payment for Areas Affected by Crude Oil Spillage of May 29, 2007, Along 24 Inches Nkpoku MFBomu MF at Ogale (2007_00173),” Shell said Ogale people were entitled to compensation under Section 11 (5) (C) of the Oil Pipelines Act and/or any other relevant law. The oil firm also stated that the N119,040 was the “full/one-off/lump sum” compensation for surface rights, structures, inconveniences and all such injurious affection that might have been caused by the spill. Shell added that in view of the payment of compensation to Ogale-Eleme people, they would have no further claim(s) to make on the spills, against the oil giant.
First Lady, Amaechi, advocate early child education
INDERGARTEN education has been identified as a panacea for addressing the challenges of mass failure in the country. First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan stated this yesterday at the opening of the second National Conference on Kindergarten Education, or-
ganised by the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), founded by the wife of the Rivers State governor, Mrs. Judith Amaechi, in Port Harcourt. She said the mass failure recorded in secondary schools posed a great challenge to the development of
youths, adding that more efforts should be put in at the early learning stages to avert a collapse of the educational sector. The First Lady, represented by wife of the Vice-President, Hajia Amina Sambo, said stakeholders must begin to identify ways of improving kindergarten education in the country. Governor Rotimi Amaechi said Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE) has become a better option for a proper learning foundation for children at pre-primary level. Amaechi said parents no longer take time to school their children before they get to primary school age, hence the need for ECCDE. The governor explained that early child development inspired his inclusion of a reception class for children to serve as a feeder class for Primary 1 in the new model primary schools built by his administration. ESI has established 70 nursery schools in 67 communities, employed 250 teachers from host communities and trained teachers. Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike commended ESI and called for more support in improving education. Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark also commended ESI for its efforts and contributions to the upbringing of children, particularly in the rural areas.
Okoh appointed Director EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has appointed Peter Okoh as Executive Director on Project Monitoring. In the letter of appointment signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe, the appointment takes effect from September 28. Okoh had served in the Oshiomhole-led administration as Special Adviser on Environment.
OCAL government elections in Akwa Ibom State have been postponed.
The election, which was scheduled for December 29, will hold next year. Governor Godswill Akpabio announced this yesterday. Represented by Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere, Akpabio said the State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) told the government that December 29 was no longer feasible, fol-
Delta tribunal orders rerun From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba
HE Election Petitions Tribunal in Delta State yesterday annulled the election of Victor Nwokolo of Accord (AP). Nwokolo represents Ika Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. Mrs. Doris Uboh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had challenged the result of two local governments, Ika North East and Ika South, in the April 9 National Assembly election in the constituency. Tribunal Chairman Justice Yakubu Dakwak held that the election in the constituency was inconclusive. He ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in Ika North East Local Government within 90 days. Justice Dakwak also ordered Nwokolo to vacate the seat, until the election was concluded in the constituency. But it was a different story for the PDP senatorial candidate for Delta Central, Ighoyota Amori, as his petition challenging the election of Senator Pius Ewerhido of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) was dismissed. The tribunal held that the allegations of disenfranchisement of voters constituted only 12 per cent of the entire votes which could not have affected the final outcome of the election in the district.
Benin monarch loses brother
OUNGER brother of the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, Godwin Akenzua, is dead. Akenzua was the Enogie (Duke) of Oke-Odighie in Ovia North East Local Government. He was said to have died in his sleep last Saturday. The Benin Royal family is yet to issue a statement but Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Edo State council have sent condolences to Oba Erediauwa.
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
Oshiomhole, in a condolence letter, said: “I offer the condolence of the people and government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration over the loss of His Highness. “Our hearts are with our father, the Omo N’Oba, at this difficult moment.” NUJ Chairman Friday Obanor prayed God to grant the monarch and the royal family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Three robbery suspects arrested From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
OBBERS now use pepper to carry out their operations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. A gang yesterday snatched a Golf saloon car using this method. It was gathered that policemen arrested three suspects: Victor E, Ogechi and Bennard O. The vehicle has been recovered. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said after the car was snatched, the police team intercepted the vehicle and arrested the culprits. The armed robbers, according to police spokesman, confessed to committing the crime.
PDP aspirant collapses From Osagie Otabor, Benin
GOVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Maj-Gen Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), yesterday reportedly collapsed on stage while campaigning in Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government. Sources said Airhiavbere was revived by his aides. Others said the stage was not properly mounted, leading to his fall. When contacted, Airhiavbere said: "I did not collapse. I am good to go."
Jonathan: invest in culture By Ozolua Uhakheme
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday called on the private sector to invest in culture. He said this at the opening of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) at the U J Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Cross River State. Jonathan was represented by Governor Liyel Imoke . He said: “We must resolve to use all the cultural resources at our disposal to track down and solve every problem of our modern existence,” Jonathan said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
Sanusi seeks Senate’s nod for AMCON’s N500b proposal
Naira falls on strong forex demand
HE naira eased further against the United States’ dollar on the interbank market yesterday as end-users excluded from the bi-weekly auction bid for available dollars. The naira, according to Reuters News, closed at N159.90 to the dollar on the interbank market from N157.60 on Tuesday. On the official window, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold all of the $345.12 million demanded at N150.05 to the dollar compared to $350 million sold at N150.01 to the dollar on Monday. Traders said the regulator also sold dollars directly to some lenders on Tuesday as part of its regular intervention in the market, which helped the naira to gain temporarily on the interbank market, but it weakened later as no further dollar inflows hit the market. “We are having increased demand at the interbank for dollars because of the decision of the central bank to exclude some oil companies from the bi-weekly auction, yet there have not been commensurate inflows into the market,” one dealer said. The apex bank two weeks ago stopped petroleum dealers sourcing dollars at its official window for imports and restricted sales at its auctions to foreign firms taking the currency offshore because they can buy from the interbank. Dealers said the measures by the banking watchdog to curb forex demand at its auction are squeezing greenback supply at the interbank. “The market remains a bit erratic because of tight dollar inflow, people are unwilling to give quote for the fear of trading below the market,” another dealer said.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112/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 -15.82% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -10.23% Time Deposit -7% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $30.8b FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL
0.281 213.2 245.00 156.91 1.5652 245.8 40.57
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) you see today is different from the SON you saw yesterday because we will not rest until we sanitise this country. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, SON, DG
• 200 real estates recovered from failed banks’CEO’s
ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has appealed to the Senate to support a proposed Bill, which sought the injection of additional N500 billion to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). Sanusi made the appeal at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions yesterday. The CBN boss noted that the intention of the proposed fresh funds to AMCON was to empower the company to be in a position to recapitalise any ailing bank to restore confidence in the banking sector. He also defended the decision of the apex bank in
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor (Abuja)
nationalising three banks Springbank, Bank PHB and Afribank – in September. Sanusi stated that as the hemsman of the apex bank, his primary responsibility is to defend the interest of depositors and not shareholders. He said his main concern was the protection of the interest of depositors whose funds had been trapped in the distressed banks. He said: “It is my job to protect depositors. If you go and buy shares, you are taking a risk. The banks paid dividends, you took the dividends. Share prices went up, you sold and tripled your money. Those that sold made
money. Those that didn’t sell lost. It is a risk you took. “The depositor did not go to the bank to lose money. We told them, don’t put your money under the pillow; go and put it in the bank. Whoever puts his money in the bank expects to get that money on demand. My obligation is to make sure that every depositor gets his money. “I have no obligation to the shareholders. It is not my job. I am serving depositors. Shareholders are not happy with me. I understand that and I accept it. I am happy that they are not happy because that means that I am doing my work”. Sanusi said when he set the September 30 deadline for banks to recapitalise, many critics said it was not possible.
He added, however, that he insisted on date because of his realisation that “in many cases, this would have been concluded earlier”. The CBN boss accused the shareholders of the liquidated banks of “playing games.” “You are a shareholder, you appoint a board and management, your management throws away bank assets, giving bad loans and losing the money. We (CBN) seized the bank. We fine your partner by going to court to take all sorts of injunctions,” he said. He noted that the CBN had recovered about 200 pieces of real estate owned by some chief executive officers of the failed banks in the United Arab Emirate as well as property in America and South Africa.
Jonathan seeks more ties with Australia From Vincent Ikuomola, Perth, Australia
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Perth, Australia called for the strengthening of trade and economic ties between Nigeria and Australia. President Jonathan also reiterated that Nigeria, which is already Australia’s second largest trading partner in Africa, will welcome an inflow of Australian mining expertise and technology for the rapid development of its solid minerals sector. Speaking at a reception in his honour by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the president reaffirmed his administration’s total commitment to achieving a positive, significant and enduring transformation of Nigeria. President Jonathan said that diversifying the economy by improving agricultural productivity and developing the solid minerals sector were key priorities of his administration.
ID card scheme targets 100m By Adline Atili
• From left: High Value, Segment Manager, MTN Nigeria, Emamoke Okoro; Regional Director, East Central & West Africa, Waldi Wepener; Creative Director, Style House Files, Omoyemi Akerele and PR & Sales Manager, Michael Oliveira Salac, at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA
‘Fed Govt loses N28b on 71,000 ghost workers yearly’ T HE Federal Government has been wasting N28billion yearly on over 71,135 ghost workers. The Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Sali, disclosed this while responding to questions yesterday at the National Assemblyfollowing his invitation by the House Committee on Pensions on allegation of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He also revealed that the report of the Pension Reform Task Force discovered several scams at the Pension Office. According to Sali, as at September, this year, there are 113,089 pensioners on the payroll of the office of the Head of Service of the Federation with a monthly pension of N1,634,166,812.02billion as against previous payment of N3.3 billion monthly.
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
“The task force observed that prior to the exercise, under-aged persons were paid pension, many names and account numbers were duplicated, many pensioners provided falsified documents for verification. But with the weeding of over 70,000 fake or ghost pensioners, the Federal Government will make an annual saving of about N28 billion,” he said. Besides, the probe also revealed that many problems associated with the administration of pension are humanrelated and traceable to staff of the Pension Office in the office of the Head of the civil service of the federation among others, he added. He said: “As a result of the
first biometrics exercise, a total of about 44,320 pensioners, who had never received pension in their livesm have now been verified and their biometrics captured, some had been retired for over 35 years and the total monthly pension being paid to this category of pensioners stands at N336 million”. The Head of Service said the new pensioners as well as the older ones are entitled to many years of unpaid pension arrears, adding: “This is aside from the six per cent and 15 per cent pension increase provided for. These the Task Force has been able to compute the total entitlements and are paying in batches since January 2011." Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Kamba, said the rea-
son for the summons was dictated by the involvement of the EFCC as a result of fraud-related issues in the pension office. The lawmaker said the committee needed to know what has been done to resolve pension problems. According to him, the committee forwarded questions to the Head of Service demanding clarification, especially on the N5billion scam involving some directors of Pensions in the Office of the Head of Service. The chairman expressed the committee’s readiness to supports efforts of the Pension Task Force. “We would want you to take this to its logical conclusions the ongoing pension restructuring both in the SSS, the NIA, the Police Pension Office and would want you to delve into other parastatals, such as NPA, NIMASA, PHCN, CBN and the NNPC,” he added.
VER 100million Nigerians, who are 16 years and above, will be captured in the new national data base, the Director-General, National Identity Management System (NIMS) Chris Onyemenam has said. Speaking at an interactive session with reporters in Lagos the NIMS boss also said from 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) could rely on the data base of NIMS for guarantee voter register and valid drivers’cards. He said over 70 per cent Nigerians are not captured in any official data while between 40 and 70 per cent of documents in circulation are fake. Onyemenam said although the Federal Government has approved the organisation’s proposed N30 billion for the implementation of the new scheme, N23.07billion would be spent on the importation of 50 million smart cards. He explained that the proposed cost is just an initial investment fund, which would be recouped as the scheme grows. He said about N1.3 billion of the N23.074 billion, which has already been appropriated in this year budget would be spent on the first batch of the cards while about N5billion will spent next year.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
BUSINESS NEWS Lagos moves against illegal developers
Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY
By Daniel Essiet
HE Lagos Government is to monitor farmland use as part of a crackdown on illegal real estate development affecting agricultural production. The Commissioner for Agriculture and C-operatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this at the agric show organised by the Poultry Association of Nigeria Lagos chapter, said the government is determined to ensure allotees don’t violate government plans by converting such land for other use. He said the government will tighten control to protect farm land and land for other agricultural purposes. Lawal emphasised that fostering agricultural development and safeguarding food security constitute a major component in the government’s drive of expanding domestic demands. He said the government is ready to support the private sector to invest in farmland infrastructures to accelerate upgrading of medium and low-yield farmland, and improve farmland quality. According to him, efforts have also been made to enhance systems for breeding of fine varieties, plant protection and technology extension services as well as equiping farms with more machinery to improve comprehensive production capacity . Meanwhile, he said the government has established the Eko Farmers Mart to provide an outlet for local farmers to dispose their produce, adding that there is plan to increase the number of such marts to boost food produce sales statewide.
FIRS remits N21.9b to FCT in nine months From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
HE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has collected N21.94 billion due to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from January to September, this year. The amount represents revenue from Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYEE) and Personal Income Tax (PIT). Also, the Service said it collected a total of N23.24 billion in the FCT last year. A statement from FIRS, signed by the Director, Corporate Communication Department, Emmanuel Obeta, gave the breakdown of collections for January as N1.97 billion, N2.19 billion for February, while N3.51 billion was realised in March. He indicated that N2.20 billion was collected in April, as against N2.63 billion in May and N2.38 billion, posted in June. The last three months’ revenue in the review period were N1.99 billion in July, N2.51 billion in August and N2.52 billion in September. In apparent reference to the resolve of the Senate to seek a revenue board for the FCT, Obeta, clarified that FIRS “does not in any way seeks to confront or get into logger heads with anybody, but is just doing its job as mandated by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” adding that the Service, “has expressed its readiness to serve the FCT as discussed with the relevant authorities in the FCT administration.” In the spirit of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, which he said includes reducing waste and overlapping responsibilities, Obeta, advised the FCT “to work with their revenue board as already enacted by law.”
• From left: Brand Manager, Star, Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, Mr Olabiyi Fagade; ace broadcaster, Mr Sonny Irabor; winners of Star Mega promo, Mr Okechckwu Odeh, from Nsukka in Enugu State; Mr Oluwaseun Ogunbanwo, from Ikorodu Lagos State and Mr Ogunlade Gbenga Olawale, during the second presentation of Toyota Corolla Model Sallon to the winners, at the NB Bar, Iganmu Lagos ... yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
Banks’earnings to improve, says Fitch F ITCH Ratings, one of the world’s foremost rating agencies, says it expects the performance of most of the Fitchrated Nigerian banks to improve this year as a result of lower charges and funding costs. Over the medium-term, higher levels of credit growth, non-interest income and a greater cost management focus may support banks’ earnings as the competition for lower-cost deposits intensifies, Fitch said in a newly published special report according to Reuters News. “The banks’ 2011 half-year results show a trend of improved, more stable earnings due to significantly lower impairment charges compared with 2009-2010. H111 results reflect some pent-up demand after prolonged uncertainty with cost management ex-
By Collins Nweze with Agency report
pected to take on increased focus,” the rating agency said. It noted that the asset quality indicators of Nigerian banks benefited from the sale of non-performing loans (NPLs) to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) last year and firsthalf of this year. In addition, banks proactively used restructuring as a risk management tool to offset the negative impact of further NPL inflows on asset quality indicators. Besides, the rating agency observed that interbank liquidity tightened following the expiry of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) interbank guarantee on Sep-
tember 30, which has been in place since the CBN’s special audit examination in 2009. However, the CBN has extended the guarantee to December 31, this year for the rescued banks. Fitch said it believes that Nigerian banks’ Tier 1 capital ratio may continue to be eroded by asset growth and low internal capital generation due to generous dividend policies. On the difficulties of raising fresh capital after the banking crisis, Fitch said it expects banks that hold higher levels of Tier 1 capital to be better placed to grow. “We believe that higher levels of capital are appropriate for Nigerian banks because of the difficult local operating environment and credit concentrations as well as low impairment coverage ratios in the case of certain banks,” Fitch said.
MAN flays Common External Tariff
HE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has cautioned the Federal Government over the adoption of the Common External Tariif (CET), saying that there are anomalies in the document. Speaking at the Ikeja MAN’s 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Airport Hotel, Lagos yesterday, the association’s National President, Mr Kola Jamodu, said if not properly addressed, the tariff would lead to the total collapse of the manufacturing sector. Jamodu said it was hightime Nigeria took the bull by the horn by being a producing nation rather than being a consumer. He said if the government adheres strictly to the blueprint, it will help in achieving the transformation agenda of Mr President. Jamodu said Nigeria cannot alle-
By Toba Agboola
viate poverty if the real sector is not productive. He said: “We, indeed, look forward to a dispensation where the government will, indeed, promote policy linkages and policy coherence among its various organs and agents, which will support the revival of the real sector”. Jamodu said MAN will work closely with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to measure the country’s progress by looking at the contributions of the private sector to the Gross Domestci Product (GDP), adding that targets will be set for the next four years. Adviser, Enterprise Development, Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Roland Charles, said his organisation will provide techni-
cal assistance to the manufacturing sector, specificallly the Small Medium Enterprise (SME). He said the country needs to move on as the global economy is moving, adding that the country has many potential. He said: “As you are all aware, the global economy is gradually developing and Nigeria must not lag behind in the development process. The enormous economic potential in this country is yet to be tapped, thus the need for you to grow in line with the global economic development process. “ “This technical assistance is the beginning of a comprehensive programme we are putting together. An upfront review of the SME standards environment will be done, which will guide the design of the awareness workshop programme.”
Fed Govt launches Australia-Nigeria Trade HE Federal Government and Investment Council yesterday launched the Aus-
tralia-Nigeria Trade and Investment Council aimed at attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. A statement made available to The Nation stated that the birth of the Council was announced during the Australian-Nigerian Businessmen Presidential Dinner, hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. The deal, which was sealed between the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, and the Australian Trade Minister, Dr. Craig Emerson, will attract investments from the top 10 Australian companies, including mining giant, Rio Tinto, into the mining, agriculture and financial services sectors of the economy among others.
The Council, according to Aganga, will have secretariats in Australia and Lagos, Nigeria, while Australian famous businessman, Hugh Morgan, and the Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council, Paschal Dozie, will serve as co-chairs. It will be constituted by a maximum of 10 members each from Nigerian and Australian sides. The Council, the statement added, will be private sector-driven with strong support from the governments of the two countries and will open up opportunities for companies in Nigeria to expand their businesses, acquire more skills and employ more people. “It is going to be a win-win strategy for both countries. We started the talks during my pre-CHOGM visit to Australia and it is a good thing that we have this important investment vehicle (ANTIC) to take
back home with us from CHOGM. I’m looking at setting up this council in about eight countries. Countries must leverage on their competitive advantages in a coordinated manner to achieve sustainable growth,” Aganga said. The Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Mr. Sina Agboluaje, who spoke on the sidelines of the dinner, said the birth of ANTIC was another proof of the commitment of President Jonathan’s administration to its transformation agenda. He said: “I’m impressed that this CHOGM programme is going on this way. Now, we know Nigeria is ready for change because for every trade and investment trip, the consideration is ‘what will it attract for Nigeria?’ Fortunately, the world knows that we have a ‘new Nigeria’ in terms of political will.
LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Independent Emergencies Relief Fund coming
HE Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), an arm of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), has said it will establish an Independent Emergencies Relief Fund to help victims of man-made and natural disasters. In an address during its Third Council meeting in Kano, NACCIMA President Dr. Ademola Ajayi said they are concerned about the non availability of lifesaving equipment and relief for emergency victims. “We are concerned with the recent spate of emergencies, destruction of lives and property by floods in some parts of the country including, of course, cases of bad roads that are death traps in many cities. We believe this situation should be tackled through PPP arrangements for effectiveness. “There should be faster response as every minute counts in life saving. NACCIMA will wish to partner with Nigerians of goodwill in setting up an Independent Emergency Relief Fund,” he said.
Stories by Toba Agboola
“In addition, we suggest that in addressing the problems, the era of narrow and open drainage should be over. Drainage contracts in cities should include slabs to prevent or reduce ingress of plastics and other wastes, which block drains,”Ajayi said. He praised President Goodluck Jonathan for his commitment to ensuring that the nation has a transformation budget for 2012 fiscal year, which is the first national budget by the administration. “We also wish to commend the Federal Government for the efforts and resources so far expended on infrastructure, especially the power projects. We believe that in no distance time, it would translate into improved standard of living for the citizens. “While we are appreciative of the efforts of the Federal Government in the area of security of lives and properties . we have observed that the issues of insecurity and disorderliness as well as corruption are still very much with us. “We are, however, optimistic
From left: Management Consultant to West Africa Trade HUB, Ghana, Mr Tidiane Traore, President, Chambers of Commerce Du Cameroun, Mr Ousmanou Ngam, and National President, NACCIMA, Dr Herbert Ajayi, at the Annual General Meeting of Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) held in Cotonou, Benin De Republic.
that these problems and all other distractions would be effectively addressed in the transformation
agenda so as to ensure that the inroads already made are not jeopardised and all our gains and in-
ternational commendations received after the successful elections are also not lost.”
ECOWAS mounts pressure on states to eliminate duties, taxes
HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is mounting pressure on states to eliminate Customs duties and taxes, especially those of equivalent effect, to aid the trade liberalisation scheme of the community. At a train-the-trainers workshop, which ended in Abuja recently, the ECOWAS Commission President, Ambassador Victor Gbeho, said the sub-regional group was aiming to reduce the delays experienced by border operatives including Customs officials, police officers and gendarmes, as well as, the general public over poor interpretation and implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) The 1990 ETLS is part of efforts to establish a Customs union among all 15 member states towards the elimination of customs and duties of equivalent effect, removal of non-tariff barriers and the establishment of a common customs external tariff in order to protect goods produced by member states. Some of the groups of goods covered under the scheme include unprocessed products-livestock, fish, plant or mineral products as well as industrial products of community origin. Addressing the stakeholders and trainers, Gbeho, who spoke through the ECOWAS Director of Customs and overseeing officer of the directorate, Kinza Jawara-Njai, noted that the renewed pressure on states for adequate preparation was to ensure an effective implementation of the scheme. He said: “An integral part of the es-
tablishment of this common market is the liberalisation of trade, by the abolition of Customs duties and non tariff barriers between member states to finally establish a free trade area at the community level.” As stipulated in Article 3 of the revised treaty of ECOWAS (July 1993), the commission president stressed that what was expected was that the workshop submissions would now “promote co-operation and integration leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa to raise the living standards of our people and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations among member states and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent...” Three members of the National Approval Committees (NAC) of six member states – Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – have concluded their training in the first phase, which was attended by representatives of the Accra-based West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) and the USAID and GIZ, two ECOWAS partner organisations.
‘An integral part of the establishment of this common market is the liberalisation of trade, by the abolition of Customs duties and non tariff barriers between member states ’
From left: Director, Federal Ministry of Education (who represented the Minister of Education), Mr Sunday Aaron, watching as Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, receiving a fellowship award of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko Anambra State, from the Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, at the institute.
Nigeria loses N153b to low capacity utilisation
IGERIA lost N153 billion to low capacity utilisation in the paper sector between 2006 and 2009, the Director-General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Peter Onwualu, has said. Onwualu said the figure was the outcome of the review carried out on the 10 industrial sectors of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). He said a technical committee was inaugurated in 2010 to carry out the studies in line with the RMRDC’s mandate to review raw materials availability from time to time. According to him, the aim of the
study is to generate data relating to the industrial sector so that such could be relevant in decision-making to revive ailing sectors. “In pulp, paper and paper products, printing and publishing sector for example, capacity utilisation between 2006 and 2009 was just four per cent. “Revenue loss for non-production in the sector within the period under review was given as N30.25 billion for industrial paper, N75 billion for newsprint and N48 billion for bond paper. “During this period, the wood and wood products sector also recorded low capacity utilisation. 26.5 per
cent was recorded in the sawmill sub-sector, 15 per cent in plywood, 14 per cent in particle board and six per cent in match sub-sector,” Onwualu listed other sectors that lost money to low capacity utilisation as the textiles, garment, leather and leather products which dropped from a 50 per cent capacity to just 20 per cent and the cement sub-sector with 59 per cent capacity. He decried the closure of the two major tyre companies in Nigeria, Michelin and Dunlop, which has led to a mere 20 per cent utilisation of the about 45,000 metric tonnes of rubber being produced in the country annually.
SMEDAN to reposition sub-sector for economic development
HE Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in collaboration with key stakeholders, has concluded plans to establish a Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) bank and credit guarantee scheme. This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day MSME stakeholders’ forum, presided over by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Chief Olusegun Aganga. The resolution to establish the bank and credit scheme is hinged on the need to reposition the MSME sub-sector as an engine of job and wealth creation to ensure socio-economic development. The participants at the forum,
drawn from the public and private sector, agreed that to strengthen the sub-sector, it is imperative to establish new MSME clusters and revamp old ones; improve SMEDAN’s entrepreneurial training capacity in local languages while advising private business development service providers (BDSPs) to develop rural enterprises based on competitiveness. The statement issued after the event stated that, among other things, resolved include reviewing existing policies to make MSMEs more effective, following up on the venture’s capital initiative, making the stock market accessible to MSMEs, encouraging Nigerians to patronise Nigerian products and services, while at the same time ensuring that the prod-
ucts are of standard, competitive quality, establishing incentives for MSMEs and establishing a National Council on MSMEs. To this end, a technical committee, comprising 23 volunteers from attendants at the event was set up to work with SMEDAN toward translating the recommendations into practicable and workable solutions. In a related event, SMEDAN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have begun talks aimed at reviving the capital market option for funding small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Officials of the SEC, a Federal Government agency were at SMEDAN Head Office in Abuja , recently to
declare the commission’s readiness to collaborate with SMEDAN in providing alternative funding for SMEs. Before the recent decline in the fortunes of the capital market, the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) used to have the second-tier and third-tier market that accommodated investment in small and medium enterprises. Speaking during the visit to SMEDAN, the Executive Commissioner (Operations) of the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], Mrs. Daisy S. Ekineh, said: “We know that economies are actually grown by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and these SMEs have very limited access to bank
credit. SEC is where to raise fund.” She added: “We want to collaborate with SMEDAN to see what we can do together to eliminate these financial constraints on the creation, operation and expansion of viable and sustainable development of SMEs.” Mrs Ekineh stressed the need to have a baseline statistics on SMEs as well as an SME rating scheme that would aid the development of the sector. She also sought to know how SMEs are funded, the tenure of bank loans, among others. “It is only when we come up with answers to these questions, that we will know how to move on,” she noted.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
INDUSTRY Forum gets SON’s, NTMA’s support
HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) have pledged to support a private sector initiative being midwifed by Best of the World (BOW) to put life back into the clothing and textile sector of the economy. Director General of, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu pledged the support of his organisation at the maiden Fashion and Textile Industry Stakeholders‘ (FASTINS) Forum Advisory Board meeting in Lagos. He said the sector needed the support of all and sundry to bring it back to its former glory. According to him, the challenges facing the sector led to the closure of many textile factories and job losses nationwide. Odumodu pointed out that if properly harnessed, the industry is capable of earning huge foreign exchange and creating job opportunities. He said the BOW initiative was timely as the Federal Ministry of Trade •From left: From left; Brand Manager, Premium Health, Vitafoam Nig. Plc, Mr. Wole Aguda; Coordinator ‘Give a Pillow Campaign’, Rev. Temitipe Popoola; Rev. (Mrs) Tomi Popoola and Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof Tope Alonge during the presentation of 800 pillows to UCH .
Marketers call for transformation
RESIDENT and Chairman of Governing Council of the Na tional Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Mr Lugard Aimiuwu, has said there is the need for total transformation and repositioning to build the economy. He spoke at the just-concluded International Summit on Value Creation of the institute in Abuja. According to Aimiuwu, if each of us carves out our little piece of Nigeria, in our work, home and at play, and shape it to the ideals of our dreams, the combination of all our effort will surely add up to the Nigeria of our dreams. He said: “To those who argue that each contribution amounts to no more than a drop in the ocean, take note that the ocean is made of drops! Let each of us ensure that ours are quality, globally competitive drops. People have the power to make a difference.” “Strategic repositioning is absolutely critical at this stage of Nigeria’s transformation curve. It is not the same thing as ‘re-branding’ but could include it,” he said. The Council boss observed that
Stories by Toba Agboola
leaders in the developed world have been strategising on how to maintain their domination of the global market, in spite of the international economic challenges and that as such Nigerian leaders should not fold their arms. His words: “Strategic leaders are investing time and resources repositioning, determined to retain market leadership. These leaders are and have been meeting, strategising, and synchronising tactics and actions to sustain market dominance (G8, G20 account for 90 per cent of world trade). Chairman, Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria, APCON, Lolu Akinwunmi, who spoke on New Horizons in Advertising said traditional media is under threat from the new media and, therefore, called for greater creativity and sharpening of skills by the latter. His words: “As traditional media comes under greater pressure from a loss of audience, opportunities are shifting to a non-traditional, decen-
tralised structure, giving small businesses and individuals greater leverage. Advertisers now have thousands of choices of where to advertise. “The days of pricey 30 second ads before millions of television viewers is fading. Newspapers, which once commanded premium for full page ads, are losing their subscribers. And Nigeria is not an exception. In the 80s, our Sunday Times sold nearly 600, 000 copies weekly and was the highest selling in Africa,” Akinwunmi said. Today The Sun as Nigeria’s highest selling paper manages to do 100, 000; most of the other popular titles do figures from 70, 000 down, with one in particular doing about 30, 000 mainly in Abuja and Lagos! The new giants of advertising are Internet social media sites, auction sites, and Internet blog sites. In this decentralised world, skill and content reign as king”. According to Akinwunmi, new media would ultimately become dominant over traditional media. “The key ones will be social media and digital media,” he said.
Ministry , NESG to support AIAE’s conference
RRANGEMENTS are now in top gear for the Roundtable on the Federal government’s economic transformation process slated for today at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja . The programme is organised by the African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE) in collaboration with office of the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Sali, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Foluso Philips, Executive Director of AIAE, Prof Eric Eboh, Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Okedigbe Nwanze and other eminent personalities in both public and private sectors will deliver papers at
the conference. A statement issued by the Communications Manager of AIAE, Mr Sola Oluwadare, stated that the Roundtable would generate expert analysis and proffer recommendations on possible actions within the framework of the Agenda. The programme, organised to support the momentum for Nigeria’s economic transformation is also aimed at promoting evidence-based options for the management of the economy. He added that the discussions would address key pillars for Nigeria’s economic transformation, namely fiscal consolidation; business environment and institutional reforms, saying participants would be drawn from the relevant government agencies, members of the Eco-
nomic Management Team, Diplomatic Community, the Organised Private Sector, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders. Oluwadare noted that the proceedings and recommendations of the Roundtable will be synthesized and developed into a handy “Policy Memorandum” on the challenges and opportunities in Nigeria’s renewed drive for economic transformation. According to him, “as a reference material, the Policy Memorandum will serve multiple purposes for information, enlightenment and advocacy. It will be a useful easily digestible communication tool for the nation’s critical economic stakeholders including the Federal Government, state governments, National Assembly, private sector organisations, Civil Society organisations and the press”.
Lagos Chamber educates public on good health
HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has educated the public , most especially, businessmen, on the need to take care of their health. Speaking with stakeholders at the Chambers House in Lagos, , the Medical Director, Dr Funmi Alakija, said a wise man should consider his health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how to derive benefit from his
illnesses. She said most people believe that mental health includes the ability to enjoy life, the ability to bounce back from adversity, the ability to achieve balance (moderation), the ability to be flexible and adapt, the ability to feel safe and secure, and self-actualisation (making the best of what you have). She said good health is beyond this. “Mental health refers to people’s cog-
nitive and emotional well-being. A person who enjoys good mental health does not have a mental disorder. According to WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his community.
and Investment is already working on various initiatives to revive the sector. Best of World has constituted an Advisory Board comprising relevant stakeholders of the Industry. Members of the Board are the Director-General SON the DG, the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Nigerian fashion designers and renowned industrialists such as Chief John Odeyemi, a past president of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). Other members of the Board include Dr. Phil Osagie of JSP Communications, renowned legal practitioner, Mrs Olusola Ibidapo-Obe, Mr Iretiola Oniyide of CitiAfric Global, and MrFrank Osodi of Bunor Creazoni, among others. According to Odumodu, if the fashion and textile industry is to reclaim its past glory, all hands must be on deck.
Dangote Pasta controls 41 % market share
ANGOTE Pasta Plc has grown its market share in the pasta in dustry by 15 per cent , relying on its new trade promotion activation. General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Dangote Pasta Plc, Mr. Ashudosh Bhargaua, said the company which holds about 41 per cent market share of the industry is planning to add another 15 per cent with its promotion. He said this while addressing a press briefing in Lagos, on the company’s promo that just started. Bhargaua pointed out that going forward, the company had set up two operational lines for spaghetti August last year to boost its production capacity and also make the products available to its customers, distributors and retailers . Bhargaua said the aim of the promo is to reward its small retailers saying that most companies during their promo only focus on their big customers and distributors. “We want every part of the market segment to enjoy our product. This promo will give our retailers the opportunity to buy our products at low prices and also give them the opportunity to eat quality meals,” he said. “The promo is for the retailers not for the distributors so that the retailers will enjoy the benefit of the promo because most companies organise promos but they only focus on the big customers,” he added. He said all the retailers have to do is
By Laide Adeyanju
buy five cartons of Dangote Spaghetti and get an instant scratch card at the point of purchase. “Scratch the card, the amount you find on the card is what you win instantly. Remember the more you buy the more cash you get instantly. Hurry now while stocks last,” he said. He said pasta is becoming quite cheaper than rice in the food market adding that people are now more interested in breaking pasta into small pieces to serve as rice. “Gradually, the people are switching into pasta. It is cheaper than rice and it also a full meal,” he said. He pointed out that the inconsistent policies by the Federal Government still remains a major contributor to the high cost of doing business in the country. In his words, “If government is putting a lot of duty on the raw materials, definitely the cost will go high and the consumer will not have the purchasing power to afford quality meals.” “We will recommend that the cost of importing the raw materials into the country should not go up. The cost of importation cost should be low to encourage local production,” he said. The promo which is scheduled to run from October 17 to Dec 31 2011 will give the retailers the opportunity to get the products at low prices.
Flour Mills repackages Semovita
LOUR Mills of Nigeria Plc, makers of Golden Penny Semovita, has launched an integrated communication campaign in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English to repackage its Golden Penny semovita. The campaign The Secret of Healthy Living focused on activities involved by Flour Mills to come up with semovita and why the product should be the number one choice of Nigerians. The Brand Manager, Chinenye Njideofor, told journalists during the launch, that the new campaign is based on a creative direction that is emotive, such that families feel good about the brand while appre-
By Miriam Ndikanwu
ciating the essence of healthy feeding. She said Golden Penny Semovita has become the standard by which other competing brands are measured adding that the company is using latest technology to extract the rich fiber embedded in the fibrous layers of the wheat to produce semovita. According to her, “ Nigerian families have come to trust the quality of Golden Penny Semovita and thus expect their brand to come out boldly to express this quality which has taken them this far.”
Peppe Terra set to satisfy consumers
ARELY a year after its intro duction into the food mar ket, Peppe Terra has recorded great feats. Due to its unique nature, many women have come to rely on it for great dishes. Today’s Nigerian woman prefers a tomato paste that provides value, relish and gives that authentic taste to her cooking and that is Peppe Terra’s promise and even more. At the launch of the products, a
By Bukola Akinjole
customer Mrs. Shade, said the product has a unique taste which cannot be resist. “ My husband is no longer eager to go out for dinner. He says my cooking is the best. Peppe Terra is perfect for all my favourite recipes – be it jollof rice, stew, egusi, yam pottage or spaghetti & noodles,” she said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Tax haul •FIRS makes significant progress; rakes in N1.7 trn non-oil revenue
N a refreshing tradition of not understating the potential of tax revenue, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) earlier in the week showcased its intake of tax revenue from January to September. The composite revenue figure on non-oil taxes released reveals a haul of N1.7 trillion. The breakdown shows the agency as netting N505.88 billion from Company Income Tax, N30.52 billion in Gas Income Tax, N9.19 billion from Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty N4.51 billion. Non-import Value Added Tax (VAT) fetched the agency N377.86 billion while N125.08 billion was raked in from Import VAT. Education Tax, National Information Technology Development Fund brought N74.91 billion and N7.8 billion, respectively, into the agency’s coffers while Per-
‘However, while now seems the time to put the resources to optimal use to ensure better overall tax administration and efficiency, which is a sine qua non to the quest to wean the nation of its dependence on oil, the greater challenge is to be found in government’s responsibility to grow the economy to expand the tax base. This involves encouraging new start-ups and providing muscles for existing businesses to thrive’
sonal Income Tax also yielded N39.92 billion. Comparatively, the figures also show oil-linked tax revenue as the clear leader, with Petroleum Profit Tax bringing a total haul of N2.19 trillion, representing 64 percent of the overall. This is against the figure of 36 percent for non-oil taxes. The total receipts for the period stands at N3.37 trillion. These figures may mean or may not mean much depending on who is looking at them. However, of greater importance is the noticeable trend of rising non-oil relative to oil-related taxes, particularly the narrowing gap between the two sources of public revenue. This obviously deserves more than a passing attention. Indeed, a fruitful way to look at the performance is to appreciate that whereas the nation’s economy has been shrinking since the bubble of the global economy burst in 2008, non-oil revenue has not only held on rather impressively, against all odds, it has maintained a progressive streak. Based on this, several conclusions can be validly made. First is its attestation of the legendary potential of the non-oil sector as goldmine any day. Second is to state that the mechanisms for revenue collection have improved considerably – although it is generally acknowledged that there are still too many citizens and corporate bodies outside the tax net at the moment. Bottom-line: current performance may well be a tip of the iceberg of
the revenue potential – still untapped. Asides, it is a well-known fact that most of our manufacturing companies operate far below their installed capacities. The reasons centre on the operating environment - inadequacies in electricity and transportation infrastructure. Today, businesses are dying as a result, with direct consequences in unearned revenue from individual and corporate sources. To compound the situation, the nation’s financial markets are still roiling in crises after the global meltdown of 2008. It seems easy in the circumstance to picture the potential locked in waiting to be tapped. The situation hardly makes the job of the FIRS easy. The FIRS has no doubt proved its mettle. It is a tribute to the management of the agency under the leadership of Ifueko Omogui-Okauru that the agency has not only been repositioned, but has done impressively well to acquire capacity in record time. Its investment in modern technology and human capital has obviously borne fruits as its current performance shows. However, while now seems the time to put the resources to optimal use to ensure better overall tax administration and efficiency, which is a sine qua non to the quest to wean the nation of its dependence on oil, the greater challenge is to be found in government’s responsibility to grow the economy to expand the tax base. This involves encouraging new start-ups and providing muscles for existing businesses to thrive.
Western hypocrisy • US and European media gave more attention to Arab Spring than Wall Street protests
HE Arab Spring, which shook most of the Maghreb world earlier this year, became a reference point for the people’s will. But the Western world gloated because it served as an affirmation of their own values. In a sense, it was an ideological triumph in their eyes. No wonder their media gave it saturation coverage. They praised the verve in Cairo streets. They serenaded the youth of Tunisia. Even today, they demonise the leaders of the countries, including Hosni Mubarak, who had been for decades their stalwart ally. Mubarak gradually morphed from statesman into the people’s enemy, and President Barack Obama had to reluctantly ask the Egyptian leader to step down. The media sent its reporters even when the protests turned turbulent, and the stakes seemed ominous for a foreign correspondent. During these months, the Western streets were quiescent even though their countries were roiling in the worst economic times in a generation, owing to the self-indulgence and adventurous excesses of their economic and political elites. Then came the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests. They began as a straggle of discontents, wielding signs and chanting slogans typifying the beginning of a mass movement. They were reported by the Western media but with a dismissive shrug, describing them at times as anarchists and weirdoes. The crowd has spread over the past month from New York to California, and
the tempo has continued to generate political and social heat within the American society. The main theme gleaned from the array of protesters and the free range of their grievances is their discontent with the economic system. It is called Occupy Wall Street because Wall Street symbolises the economic epicentre of the world’s leading economy. They even went as far as to protest in front of the homes of some of the country’s – and the world’s – richest, indicating that their dissatisfaction is against a society where the gap between the rich and the poor has widened. At best, the Western media describes the protests as class warfare, invoking the spectre of socialism, a word used to tar anybody or group with anti-American brush. Whereas the media coverage of the OWS has been scanty and grudging, American electronic media spent hours a day focusing on the so-called Arab Springs. The print variety also devoted pages to the wave of protests, making front pages consistently. Analysts’ views were summoned onto their front page coverage and prognosis gleefully delivered. But in the case of the OWS, the enthusiasm is lacking. This is the Western narrative of the world. They are the best custodians of their values, and when they fall short, their value of freedom and fairness falls under the radar. But when others fail, they play it up with an air of triumphal righteousness. Even the Obama administration’s ref-
erence to the protests has been tepid, partly because the protests do not necessarily support his stewardship. It is against a broken system that he has not been able to correct with his presidency. As a prominent historian, Professor Eric Honer of Columbia University noted, the American establishment should not play down the consequences of the protests; that was how the Vietnam protests were disregarded before they snowballed. They led to the fall of the Lyndon Johnson Presidency and problematised the Nixon administration, a probable reason it bugged the Democratic Party office in what became the Watergate scandal that disgraced President Nixon out of office. The Western media has done much to shape journalism elsewhere. Therefore, it should watch itself.
‘Whereas the media coverage of the OWS has been scanty and grudging, American electronic media spent hours a day focusing on the so-called Arab Spring ... Analysts’ views were summoned onto their front page coverage and prognosis gleefully delivered. But in the case of the OWS, the enthusiasm is lacking. This is the Western narrative of the world’
A good approach on Wall Street
FTER more than a month of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, the complaints are mounting. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, perhaps reflecting the irritation of his former colleagues on Wall Street, has said “the Constitution doesn’t protect tents. It protects speech and assembly.” And he suggested last week that the city would start enforcing city rules on marches by the protesters unless they have the required permits. Fortunately, the people most inconvenienced by the encampment, its neighbors, have a more sensible response. Community Board 1, which represents residents and businesses in Lower Manhattan, is expected to vote Tuesday evening on a resolution that endorses the right to protest and opposes “the use of excessive and unnecessary force by the City of New York” or the owners of the park, Brookfield Properties. (The resolution also endorses the extension of the “millionaire’s tax” in New York State to soften cuts to education and other services.) The community calls on everyone involved, including protesters and elected officials, to address the problems this event has created around the park. The resolution asks for drums, tambourines, bugles, air horns, shouting and chanting to be limited to two hours at midday. That’s not realistic, but it might be a place to start talks about whether the all-night noise must continue. The resolution, written by Julie Menin, the community board chairwoman, asks the city to arrange for offsite, portable bathrooms to be paid for by local donors. The community board also wants the city’s 311 operators to document complaints about noise or lack of hygiene in the park. The protests have been peaceful, and Mr. Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties have not called in police to clear the park. Now the mayor can back the community board’s effort to keep the peace, and the protests. – New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye
• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu
•General Editor Kunle Fagbemi
• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde
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THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
“I don’t like what I see... but the RESEMBLANCE is STRIKING
IR: “The definition of the alternatives is the supreme instrument of power” - E.E. Schattschneider “The Semisovereign People” (1960) Most economists agree that many factors contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force, shares of private savings available for private investment, increased public expenditures that help spur growth during recession, reduced tax burdens that encouraged private investment and spending by the large swathe of the population, to list just a few. Sadly none of these matters in Nigeria, since the current ruling class in Nigeria is fixated on one thing and one thing only: petroleum subsidy. Every government in Nigeria, including the most profligate and corrupt almost inevitably look at the supposed petroleum subsidy as the anti-dote to all Nigeria economic woes. It was never about the structure that makes the world fifth exporter of crude oil, one of the biggest importers of refined petroleum oil. Never about the poverty of ideas that have rendered the manufacturing sector of the economy comatose due to the high cost of nonexistent electricity. And now we are back to the beats again, thanks largely to President Goodluck Jonathan’s unofficial Prime Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The last time she was in the saddle as minister of finance, she pushed for the removal of the same subsidy. At that time she promised that she was doing it for our good and it will be the last time. She promised it will fix our economy and spur economic growth. Well, if anything was spurred, it was the bank account of the politicians. She also successfully negotiated some of Nigeria debt and got kudos for her effort. All of these in turn spurred Ms.
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The return of Okonjo-Iweala Iweala’s personal profile with World Bank and IMF. Now, she is back with the same gambit, she believes she can fix Nigeria’s economic woes by removing all petroleum subsidy. Everyone in government believes this is the right thing to do. What do they care? They do not shop where ordinary Nigeria buys food. What is more, their kids do not attend the failing schools they promised to fund at the end of the last exercise; and when they or their progenitors fall sick they simply fly to the best
hospitals in US, UK or South Africa, while the poor and the dispossessed get to deal with the attendant ripple effects of the removal of subsidy at home in Nigeria. To adopt a popular refrain from political science, one can conclude that the flaw in Nigeria’s ruling class petroleum subsidy mantra is that their heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper-class accent. Evidence shows that every time politicians ginned up this excuse, prices of foodstuffs and household goods rise steeply. The at-
tendant inflation is a self fulfilling prophecy. The funny thing is that their excuses get irritating and embarrassing each time they bring it up. They claim the subsidy encourages illicit export of subsidized products: and my answer to that is whose job is it to guard the porous border? The poor farmer in Kafanchan? They also claim that prices in some part of the country are different from others: again my answer is whatever happens to price control monitors? And why are there no prosecutions of erring fuel stations
• Francis Adewale Spokane, WA USA
Much do about Sovereign Wealth Fund
IR: The controversy cum fears surrounding the establishment of the US$1billion Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), particularly the animus between the Federal Government and 36 state governors indicates there’s yet no understanding of the propriety or otherwise of the concept in certain quarters. But, what’s an SWF all about? Wikipedia describes Sovereign Wealth Fund as “a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals or other financial instruments. Sovereign wealth funds invest globally.” In terms of the source of accumu-
lated funds, such funds may have their origin in, or may represent foreign currency deposits, gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve positions held by central banks and monetary authorities, along with other national assets such as pension investments, oil funds, or other industrial and financial holdings. The first ever sovereign wealth fund was the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), established in 1953. Interestingly today, the Kuwait Investment Authority is valued at about US$202.8billion, while the UAE (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority), established in 1976, im-
pressively tops the chart with whopping US$627billion among a total of 50 SWFs, owned by different countries of the world as of October 2011. The Nigerian SWF was created with the supposed aim of “saving money for future generations”, while providing financing for obvious infrastructure deficit, and providing a stabilisation fund to defend the economy against commodity price shocks, a disturbing situation which pathetically dazes Nigeria sometimes. The Fund is expected to replace the contentious Excess Crude Account (ECA) now about $5billion. Unfortunately, Nigeria, hitherto, said to be one of only three OPEC
African rulers should learn from Gaddafi’s fate IR: Muammar Gaddafi’s despotic rule came to a dramatic and chaotic end on Thursday, October 20 after he was captured by the rebels he had earlier referred to as rats. He instantly executed in an inglorious and gruesome manner thus putting an effective end to his eccentric life and regime. He shot himself to power in 1969 after deposing King Idris and thereafter instituted the most egregious and totalitarian regime in Africa. He instigated conflicts, sponsored terrorism and exported his unorthodox and outré ideology abroad. Though some people argue that he
owners? Are they too powerful? There is no doubt, that the ruling class in Nigeria is populated with “fanatics” who have a fetish attachment to removal of subsidy. They dismiss logic, knowledge, morality and intellectual integrity in favour of this “sacred fixation” with removal of petroleum subsidy. To the ruling class in Nigeria, removal of petroleum subsidy is “sine qua non” for economic growth. It does not matter if it flies in the face of every logic. No effort to explore any other alternatives. As Upton Sinclair wrote in 1935, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” “Ngozinomics” is back again, we are in trouble. Who will save us from politicians masquerading as economists?
improved economic wellbeing of his Libyans but the truth is that freedom cannot be exchanged for material gains. Gaddafi went down tragically the way of his other comrades-in-despotism. Tyrants in Africa and other places would still taste the fate that befell him if they refuse to learn from his tactical error and asinine obstinacy and impudence. The Arab Spring that consumed Tunisian Ben Ali, Egyptian Hosni Mubarak and tragically silenced Gaddafi commenced in Tunisia in December partially due to global economic meltdown that has engendered hardship worldwide.
Genuine desire for freedom by a timelessly repressed people and most importantly the police brutality against a Tunisian computer science graduate turned vegetable seller which led to his self-immolation spontaneously sparked off the uprisings in Tunisia that had spread like wildfire since then. It is the potency and overwhelming force of people’s power that is at display; so no government should underplay it if the awesome mythical power of Gaddafi could be destroyed like this. Government in Nigeria should learn from the downfall of Gaddafi who moved against people’s power and was
crushed. The proposed removal of phantom and dubious oil subsidy is testing the will of Nigerians that have been endlessly pauperized. Also, the use of state agency like police for private ends as seen in the abduction of journalists recently on the goading of a brute like Obasanjo is an invitation to a spontaneous revolt by the people. A wise ruler will learn from the demeaning downfall of Gaddafi in Sirte. • Akinrolabu Babatunde Omonitan, lkeji-lle ljesa, Osun State.
member states not having a sovereign wealth fund, are predominantly interested in sharing and spending oil money with unwarranted profligacy. Amid collapsed infrastructure, youth unemployment and festering poverty across the land, some of the nation’s state chief executives in particular must be educated on the need to efficiently manage this superfluous national wealth, by investing in potential assets that can appreciate and yield returns to meet other significant national commitments in addition to possible benefits for the future generation. Most of the “powerful” state governors who usually delight in mere collection of their state monthly allocations from the federation account and mindless sharing of excess crude earnings with little or no commensurate consequential socioeconomic improvements in the lives of the citizenry should give the NEMT the benefit of the doubt to prove their mettle with the SWF initiative. If faithfully implemented as expected, one thinks the Sovereign Wealth Fund can boost Nigeria’s economic competitiveness and credit worthiness; ensure prudent financial resource management; create multiple streams of income as well as capital growth for the enhancement of infrastructural development across the country. Gbenga Kayode Lagos
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Nigeria and the curse of elections – 8 HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) naturally had to rely on government support for its own transportation of electoral materials and personnel all over the country. The deployment of the NYSC as ad hoc electoral staff and the use of university officials as returning officers to a certain extent, at least on the surface, gave credibility to the electoral process. The decision of INEC to overrule the National Security Adviser (NSA) that voters should leave immediately after voting rather than waiting to see votes counted at each polling booth gave some semblance of confidence to cynics and doubters. When the election proper began with the National Assembly elections there was a hitch and seeming unpreparedness but this was overcome as time went on after some adjustments. The Presidential elections which had been eagerly awaited, was conducted with more surefootedness by INEC after the tardiness, prevarication and slothfulness that characterised the National Assembly election. The Presidential poll was won by Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent President who easily won more than required 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the States of the federation. He was massively supported in the South-south minority areas and also in the North-central minority areas and in the South-east and at least won 25 percent of the votes in most of the states in the South-west including Osun State where the candidate of the ACN Ribadu carried the state. He also won 25% of the votes in Kaduna, Adamawa, Sokoto and Taraba in the North. The level of apparent victory was impressive but there were doubts about the percentages of electoral victory in the Southsouth and South-east where returns in some states outstripped the number of registered voters or attained over 90 per cent of registered voters which was rather unusual in the global pattern of elections. There were of course widespread underage voters in many parts of the country particularly in the North where Muhammad Buhari won.
‘There is no doubt that expectations were so high on both sides that the loser was bound to become so sore that if violence occurred he would welcome it if only to teach the opponent a lesson’
The victory of the President occasioned some form of rebellion when violence broke out all over the North leading to widespread, bombing, arson, murder, including the killing of electoral officers and 13 NYSC members in Bauchi and even attempted attacks on palaces of the Sultan of Sokoto and the Emir of Zaria. This unprecedented violence took the security agencies by surprise even though ordinary laymen knew that Nigeria was really sitting on a tight rope and that the country was bound to violence no matter who won the Presidential election. If Buhari had won there would have been violence in the Niger-Delta just as violence occurred in the North. The question then was whether the violence was spontaneous on sponsored. There are reasons to suggest that it was both. There is no doubt that expectations were so high on both sides that the loser was bound to become so sore that if violence occurred he would welcome it if only to teach the opponent a lesson. Religious sentiments crept into the elections following on one hand the seeming endorsement of Jonathan by the Pentecostal movement while Muslims on the other hand generally supported Buhari. Religious sentiments were easily exploited and they quickly boiled into violence. It is now clear through the privilege of hindsight that money played a major role in the election and many members of the NYSC were forced against their will to dance to the tune of local political barons who threatened, bribed, beat or cajoled them to do their will. The violence which followed the Presidential poll allowed the PDP in the North to regroup and to return candidates of the underperforming party into power. In many of the states the dominant political tendencies were respected. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) sacked the PDP in the Southwest and Edo State while the APGA in the South-east won in Anambra and Imo while the PDP returned to power in Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia States and most the states in the South-south. The results of the Presidential election were rejected by the CPC and by General Buhari who had indicated that he would not go to any law court to challenge the result. This made many to feel that his position gave vent to the street action in the North. Buhari however said he would not stop his party from going to courts. It is however unlikely that any court would reverse the electoral victory of a sitting President in Nigeria. The inability of the opposition to unite due to the puritanical rigidity and absolute lack of realism of General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC and the vaunting ambition of some of the leaders of the ACN among other reasons opened the door wide for President Jonathan’s relatively easy
victory. If the two party leaders had sacrificed personal interests for the overall determination to remove the PDP as they publicly vowed to do, the result of the election may have been different. As long as the opposition remains hopelessly divided and inJide clined to run different Osuntokun shows so will the much derided and despised PDP continue to dominate the political arena irrespective of its performance and the country will inch gradually towards one-party state which has failed in many parts of the world. The onus to help Nigeria practice democracy lies on the leaders of the opposition as well as the ruling party. The country however has never been as divided as it is today; and this dangerous disquiet has manifested itself particularly in the North where the endemic corruption in the states has created a state of insurrection in Bauchi, Gombe and Borno, Plateau and even in Kaduna states with the result that there is general insecurity in the North and even all over the country. Elections rather than unify this country or provide peaceful change of government have rather exacerbated the fundamental division in the country.
‘The question then was whether the violence was spontaneous on sponsored. There are reasons to suggest that it was both. There is no doubt that expectations were so high on both sides that the loser was bound to become so sore that if violence occurred he would welcome it if only to teach the opponent a lesson’
Who can muzzle the press? O
CTOBER is a dreadful month of sorts for journalists. It was in this month 25 years ago that Dele Giwa, the founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine, was killed. Since then, whenever the month approaches, the spectre of the dastardly killing of Giwa in his study in the morning of October 19, 1986, gnaws at my mind. What will happen this October? Will another journalist be killed? Will the month go without such tragic incident? Dele Giwa’s death by parcel bomb is the first of its kind in this clime and remains so till date. This is why we are bothered that up till now his killers cannot be unmasked. The question: ‘’Who killed Dele Giwa?’’ remains pertinent today as it was 25 years ago. October has since become a month of unusual and earthshaking development in the media. What is in this month that has turned it into one that journalists must look forward to with trepidation? What makes it different from say, March or June? Nothing, I believe, except that evil-doers feel they must strike in the month. I was still revelling in what may happen this October when the police invaded our Lagos and Abuja offices 16 days ago. It was Tuesday, October 11, and I was with Dapo Olufade, News Coordinator, Weekend,
when the the police came. Three police officers led by Chief Superintendent Emman Ogolo were brought into the office by Jide Adegbenjo, our chief security officer. I didn’t know that they came in full force. They had, unknown to me, blocked our gate with the two vehicles they came with and also stationed other policemen on our premises. It was a siege, but the officers pretended that all was well. They knew the implication of being hostile or applying force in carrying out their assignment. So, they stooped to conquer. They spoke nicely with me as they urged me to help get others on their list to make their job easy. Ogolo reeled out some names from his handset as he sought to know: ‘’who is Waheed?’’; ‘’who is Gbenga?’’;‘’who is Victor?’’; ’’who is Kunle?’’; ‘’who is Bolade?’’...As he went on and on, I asked: ‘’what do you want them for?’’. He pretended not to hear me and ignored my question. In the absence of those he sought, he settled for Dapo and I. Thus, began our journey to the Force Criminal Investigation Department(FCID), Alagbon. Alagbon was the first leg of my own journey. I ended up in Abuja that night where our Managing Editor (Northern Operation), Yusuf Alli and Bureau Chief,
‘It was a siege, but the officers pretended that all was well. They knew the implication of being hostile or applying force in carrying out their assignment. So, they stooped to conquer. They spoke nicely with me as they urged me to help get others on their list to make their job easy’
Yomi Odunuga, were already guests of the police.The three of us were kept in a cell at the FCID Headquarters at Area 10 overnight. Dapo, our lawyer, John Austen Unachukwu, Staff Correspondent, Mrs Dupe OlaoyeOsinkolu and Adegbenjo also passed the night in a cell at Alagbon. Mrs OlaoyeOsinkolu opted to follow us to Alagbon and ended up being detained like others. The police had their plan ready. Shortly after we arrived at Alagbon, I was separated from my colleagues as Deputy Commissioner of Police Ibrahim invited me for what I thought was a chat. We had reported to his office when we were brought in by his men. After meeting with us, he directed that our statements be taken. We were in the process of making our statements when he came around to invite me. He stopped our company lawyer, Mr Adeleke Adeyemo, who had by then arrived, from going with me. He politely told Mr Adeyemo he wanted to see me ’’alone’’. The word alone turned out to be the euphemism for my unplanned Abuja trip. I still cannot fathom why DCP Ibrahim resorted to that trick to move me to Abuja. With the benefit of hindsight, all I can say is that the police didn’t want to draw attention to my being moved to Abuja. But before we even left Lagos, word had gone round of my arrest and movement to Abuja. So, the police failed in making it a secret. But why will the police want to make an arrest secret? Is that a confirmation of the impropiety of their action? Why were we arrested? The police, in answering the question, said there was a criminal complaint
of forgery from former President Olusegun Obasanjo against this paper. Should Obasanjo’s complaint have led to our arrest even after he had threatened to seek redress in court? The police may have been sent on an errand, but there are better ways of delivering such errand. What this shows is that journalists remain endangered species even in a democracy. This is the point the House of Representatives was trying to make when it intervened in the matter on October 18. The question many members of the joint Committees on Justice, Human Rights, Police Affairs and Media and Public Affairs sought answer to is how the police action has portrayed Nigeria in the global community.The police may have had their way, but the committees’ report will say whether they did right or not. For the media, this is no season to cheer about. With the shock that greeted the invasion of our offices yet to die down, the media is still being buffeted from all sides. Last Saturday, a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Zakari Isa, was killed by members of Boko Haram..His killing followed the sect’s threat to descend on journalists for alleged misrepresentation of its position. ‘’Journalists ought to be true umpire in this crisis and not do anything contrary because we believe you are professionals. ‘’But when you start doing anything contrary to that, we might be compelled to attack you as enemies just like the security agents and the traditional rulers who are their collaborators’’, the sect’s deputy spokesman, Abu Darman, said in an interview on September 18.
Now that the group has carried out its threat, how safe are journalists in discharging their duties, henceforth. Claiming responsibility for Isa’s death, the group said on Monday that he was killed because he was ’’an informant of security agencies’’. Its spokesman, Abul-Qaqa said: ‘’Zakariyya was not killed in error. We killed him because he was spying on us...we have ample evidence ...that he was giving vital information to security agencies on our modus operandi...we killed him because of his personal misconduct ...’’ It is unfortunate that Boko Haram which should be hunted down is the one going after people and gloating after killing them. Boko Haram, as it is now, cannot claim to be engaged in lawful activities and so, all law abiding citizens can provide the security agencies information about those activities which are inimical to national interest. Isa did not commit any sin in reporting the group to the security agencies where a mole seems to have done him in by revealing his identity to the sect. SMS ONLY: 08056504763
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
HE words of our Yoruba Afenifere elders are words of wisdom. For their past selfless service to the Yoruba race as well as the share profundity of their thoughts, their decisions are hardly challenged no matter how unsettling. For instance our elders insists that a child who is not better than his father is brought to the world in vain at one breathe, but are quick to disown a child otherwise trained to be independent minded but exhibits symptoms of rebelliousness. The Ooni of Ife has engaged in an unending rivalry with Alafin, because as MKO Abiola mischievously put it ‘we have only read of Oyo Empire not of Ife Empire.’ Akintola was a Yoruba star, a gift to the Yoruba nation. Ige was also a pride of the Yoruba. Both ended the way of those who question the judgment of the elders. Those who have had closer interaction with our revered Afenifere oligarchs have always adopted the attitude of ‘the more you look the less you see’. Often, they emerge after insights into their inner circle to embark on strange endeavors. Ebenezer Babatope inexplicably turned himself to PDP witch doctor making strange pronouncements about his new strange bed fellows. If anything, Ayo Opadokun has maintained a dignified silence until he became an outspoken coordinator of Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER) as if haunted by his past in Afenifere. Yinka Odumakin has found a new avenue to let off steam. He now swears by the names of Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Bakare with uncharacteristic gusto. When the Afenifere oligarchy refused to separate AD from Afenifere even after Obasanjo had infiltrated both, the former AD governors quietly walked away to form ACN and Afenifere Renewal Group, leaving the carcasses of both for their all-knowing fathers. The latest in some of the befuddling actions of the Afenifere cult is their recent solidarity visit to the embattled former governor of Ogun State. Afenifere has not traded what was left of their AD for PDP. AS far as we know, Daniel is not their first troubled child. And since they have told us over the ages that there are no bastards in any Yoruba house hold, we take it therefore that Bode George, who has been in and out of prison is their son. So are Messrs Ayo Fayose, Dimeji Bankole, and Alao Akala who are in the same league with Daniel. Why they have not extended solidarity visits to these other embattled children is only known to the inner circle of Afenifere cult that is often as reticent as it is cold on some issues. We know our revered fathers couldn’t have
Afenifere’s solidarity visit to Daniel been motivated by material gains because these are highly principled and accomplished elders who have assured a better future for their children through heavy investment in education. The only charitable and plausible explanation we are therefore left with is that the visit was undertaken in the pursuit of public good. But the character assassination and the misrepresentation that followed the elders visit must have now convinced them that the visit was ill-advised. They most certainly didn’t reckon with the mischief of The Compass newspaper or the desperation of its owner who probably intended to use the solidarity visit for bargaining with his friends in high places. How could The Compass have claimed the Yoruba leaders compared Daniel who according to it ‘was granted bail last week by an Abeokuta High Court over a 16 count charge of fraud, stealing, illegal deduction of local government funds and false assets declaration’, with Awo’s trial by reactionaries in government who insisted on putting him in prison to enable them run Nigeria according to their world view, which as we can see has landed Nigeria in today’s sorry state of affairs.? How could an appeal that Daniel should not be ‘tried on the pages of newspaper’ amount to passing no guilt verdict on Daniel, by the Yoruba elders? That ‘we have come to see the former governor and at the same time, show our solidarity to him’ and ‘we have listened to his own side of the matter and we are satisfied’ do not translate to ‘the delegation was satisfied with his explanation and innocence’ as claimed by The
Compass. If they were, they would not have added that ‘they would wait for the determination of his ongoing trial by the judiciary’. As true sons of our fathers, we are not allowed to disagree with their verdict if indeed they said “Daniel did well”. But on account of their advanced age, We are allowed to remind our revered elders that Daniel and President Jonathan commissioned empty swamps as part of Daniel’s achievement in office; that during the last years of Daniel’s reign, there were assassinations of opposition critics as well as his party members; and that Daniel ended his term as a sole administrator of Ogun State after castrating his state House of Assembly, sending in the process, the lawmakers into hiding. But in any case, that ‘Daniel did well’ does not translate to ‘we are stuck with Daniel’. That is a great disservice to our fathers. But I think what should be of more interest to us was Pa Fasoranti’s call for Yoruba unity because “we have been marginalized by the federal government”. Most certainly, our revered fathers couldn’t have had PDP or fallen Daniel in mind. Afenifere has after all not publicly claimed it belongs to either of the PDP factions headed by Daniel and Obasanjo. Our revered fathers couldn’t have suddenly forgotten that it was Obasanjo, the military tactician that infiltrated, destabilized and humiliated AD and Afenifere, after capturing and integrating the cult’s deputy leader, Bola Ige, the daughter of Pa Abraham Adesanya, the then leader and children of the late sage, Awo into ‘PDP chop and chop” party. It couldn’t have been lost on our leaders that
their surreptiously support for Obasanjo-imposed governors was designed to obliterate the legacies they and Awo had spent half a century to build. Once asked why he was supporting Oyinlola whose ideology is antithetical to the one Chief Ayo Adebanjo had espoused all his life, he was reported to have said something to the effect that since Oyinlola’s father was once an Afenifere chieftain, his son, by all account a reactionary and a military adventurer, must have imbibed some of the Afenifere values from his late father. It is true our leaders deserve respect. It is true they always want to be relevant. As they also know, Yoruba is often led from behind. Now that those they speak for have taken a stand on the way forward, they must embrace their illustrious sons who have successfully completed the battle for self actualization of Yoruba race which they had started. And now that those who want us to remain slaves in our own land have lost, the culture of ‘bi ekute ko bale je sese, a fi se awadanu’ must end because it has no place in the pursuit of public good. Our leaders must even at the twilight of their lives learn anew, how to manage success and their talented children who think differently. Beyond solidarity visits to troubled and deviant children therefore, they must openly acknowledge the immense contributions of Bola Tinubu, Segun Osoba, Niyi Adebayo, Lam Adeshina, and the ‘Baba ewe’ Chief Bisi Akande. And of course, they must not leave out the young Yoruba intellectuals and professionals now helping the ex-AD governors to recreate the Yoruba past glory. This in my view is the best way to guarantee that the relevance they so much crave for, outlive them.
‘Our leaders must even at the twilight of their lives learn anew, how to manage success and their talented children who think differently. Beyond solidarity visits to troubled and deviant children therefore, they must openly acknowledge the immense contributions of Bola Tinubu, Segun Osoba, Niyi Adebayo, Lam Adeshina, and the ‘Baba ewe’ Chief Bisi Akande’
VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS
HERE must be something wrong with Nigerian rulers’ predisposition to matters of conscience and fidelity. Their persistence in running government by falsehood particularly as it affects issues on fuel subsidy merits inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. A critical examination of all the reasons and unreason for which they must remove fuel subsidy reveals that they are deliberately withholding hard facts and fundamental issues that they don’t want the public to know and consider. Readers are requested to note that against the repeated falsehood of the Nigerian rulers in the last quarter of a century; (i) The first Nigerian Petroleum refinery (Port Harcourt) was built in 1965, Warri in 1978, Kaduna in 1981, the second Port Harcourt refinery was built between 1978 and 1981. Almost all crude oil exportation countries have enough refineries to serve their domestic consumption. Their citizens are spared the agony of having their local demand subject to the constant price changes at the international market. (ii) Except for criminal neglect of duty, those in government in succession must be ashamed of themselves that our country has not built any other refinery since 1981 in spite of the astronomical rise in demand for local consumption as a result of expansion in economic activities. (iii) The functioning refineries are not at their maximum capacities. From IBB led government to Obasanjo, huge Nigerian resources have been expended on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) up to four times now, yet the refineries have not performed. Why have the contractors not been compelled to refund or perform? The fact that Nigeria, an oil exporting nation, has to depend on importation for her local use exposes the underbelly of pervasive corruption of the sitting government in succession. From 1976 when General Obasanjo became military ruler and now under President Jonathan, their over flogged reasons as to why
Any honour among Nigerian rulers? By Ayo Opadokun their governments must remove fuel subsidies remain one, a combination of, or all of the following: 1. That fuel is cheaper in Nigeria than mineral drinks like Coca Cola/Fanta etc. 2. That the cheap price of fuel in Nigeria is an incentive and invitation to shrewd marketers to sell fuel across the boarder at higher prices. 3. That the subsidies are benefiting just few business men; some government officials even claim that just about 50 people are beneficiaries of the subsidies. 4. That subsidies withdrawn are to be used to cater for other necessary services including infrastructure. 5. That removal of subsidies will encourage private investors to build private refineries. And they keep on inventing other “compelling” reasons leading them irresistibly to one and only one conclusion – remove the subsidies, then you already have enough funding to finance all social services and fix the decayed infrastructure. This government, like its predecessors, cannot expect Nigerians to take them serious as they formulate their pretentious allegations that the subsidy benefit just a few. If our political operators are not just being mischievous, why have they not exposed these beneficiaries so that Nigerians can face up to their oppressors? Furthermore, let us also deal with the fact that most of all those who got licences to establish refineries have not performed because the terms of the contract in the licences do not offer them any significant avenues for recouping their investments. Why is our government deliberately making it unwise or unprofitable for investors to be willing to build refineries in the country by the imposition of disincentive terms in the contract and agreement?
Again, the regular threats by government to hike prices as a component of downstream deregulation have been repeatedly exposed as the height of governmental deception and infidelity. Readers are reminded of the 2003 explicit template on the entire activity of oil refinery and importation which was produced under the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and other knowledgeable organizations including civil society groups and institutions who have debunked government claim as hogwash. The fact that at another talk shop (World Bank propelled seminar) held recently at the Presidential Villa, where the so called organized private sector and governors have now sanctioned the removal of subsidy is another reminder to citizens that we have to fight to win our human, economic and political rights from the current pretenders in our government offices. Let’s expose them further by asking: (i) Why is it that NNPC monopolises the importation of refined petroleum so much that even when it cannot single handedly import to meet the domestic demand, it is (the organization) that grants importation allocation to marketers? (ii) Why has government unreasonably failed to expand the Atlas Cove Jetty so as to make delivery of PPMS faster, easier and economical to the extent that payment for demurrage will no more be one major recurring item in the so called template being imposed on Nigerians? (iii) Why is it that Nigerian governments have failed to utilize the advantage of latest technology which indicate that medium refineries can be set up within six months at about $500m price which our pretending rulers are claiming to be the amount they spend as subsidy in every three months? It is worrisome that Nigerian rulers pre-
tend not to know that any imposition of fuel hike will significantly impact on the economy generally. For example with whatever increase in pump price of PPMS, the cost of transporting raw food to the market will increase and the end users will have to pay for such increases. The landlord whose only source of income is rent will in like manner increase house rent. The ordinary worker will have to pay higher transportation fare to commute to work. Perhaps it is important at this juncture to ask – what is the size of the so called subsidy which had been regularly withdrawn from Obasanjo to Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo in succession that has not yet been exhausted? The truth of the matter is that there is virtually little or no subsidy. Nigerian governments in succession have proven to be instruments of oppression rather than being agents of human progress and development. At most times when citizens needed their governments to serve them, they have further increased their burdens and suffering. That is why each Nigerian must be a local government on his own. He must sink borehole to have water and buy generator to have power supply. The pursuit of the people’s popular will is the ultimate desire that any political leader properly so called must pursue. Removal of fuel subsidy is unconscionably provocative. Nigerians are no more deceived by the claims that the withdrawn subsidies will be used to fix the decayed infrastructure and other social services. Where is the evidence of the execution of all the contracts contained annually in their budgets? The major roads like Abuja/Kano, Shagamu/Benin, Lagos/Ibadan, Calabar/Uyo and others are shameful reminders that Nigeria is in a state of failure. We are daily inundated with several contract awards, yet there is no concrete proof of what our common patrimony has been used to achieve. Nigerian governments are not deserving of public trust, particularly this one that suffers from great deficit of intellectual clarity of its responsibility and deficit of genuine political endorsement.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (second left), his wife, Florence (second right), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and his wife, Betty, who is President of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) at the BRECAN award...last weekend
•Minister of Works Mike Onolememen (left), Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai and Minister of State for Works, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, during Suntai’s visit to the minister in Abuja on Tuesday
•Rivers Governor Chibuike Amaechi (left); Senate leader and Moderator of the occasion, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and Chief Judge of Rivers State Justice Iche Ndu, at the colloquium on the impact of October 25, 2007 Supreme Court Judgment in Port Harcourt...on Tuesday
•Osun State Governor’s wife Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola flanked by Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Adetoun Adegboyega (left) and Chief of Staff’s wife Mrs Ganiyat Oyetola at the two-day induction seminar for wives of political office holders and appointees in Osogbo on Tuesday
•Administrative officer, Jama’Atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed (left), with the Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar, at a news conference on security in Kaduna on Tuesday
•Lagos Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello (second left), his special duties counterpart Wale Ahmed (right) listen to the permanent secretary office of Drainage Services of the Environment Ministry, Mr Muyideen Akinsanya during a tour of flooded Ajegunle Community, along Ikorodu Road. With them is General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Dr. Oke Osunyintolu
•Vice President’s wife Hajiya Amina Sambo (middle) with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina and some parliamentarians during an interactive session and capacity building workshop for women parliamentarians in Abuja... on Tuesday PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES AND NAN
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
4TH NATIONAL SCHOOL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Cross Rivers ready to host
HE 4th edition of the National School Sports Festival will be hosted by Rivers State from November 14 through to 24. revealed the National School Sports Federation (NSSF). Over ten thousand pupils from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are expected to converge in Clabar for the 10-day championship. Speaking through its President, Mallam Ibrahim Muhamed in Lagos Yesterday, the competition will kick start from November 14 to 24 this year, as he added that the essence is to bring the golden era of Nigerian Sports which was made poeeible by organized school sports which remains the nurstery for discovering budding talents. "In the continual effort of the NSSF to bring Nigeria back to its sporting glory, produced the real age grade athletes for the nation, curb social vices among the youths and build a more united Nigeria through rechanneling the energy of our school children to laudable sporting programmes," he said. He said the games will feature 22 events with 17 scoring events and five demonstration sports. The scoring events
•Over 10, 000 pupils to participate •Kick off date Nov. 14 By Innocent Amomoh to be featured according to him are, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Chess, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Karate, Scrabble, and Swimming. Others are Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Wrestling. Muhamed further explained that the demonstration sports will include, Dart, Baseball, Cricket and Tradition sports. Speaking further, the ace football administrator said the festival will provide the plateform for Sociaeducational interaction among pupils across the country which was the hallmark of the last three editions. "I call on parents, guardians, Principals and proprietors of schools to encourage their students to participate in the national event. The finalist in the athletic events will be kitted by international sportswear company, Adidas and we want to use this opportunity to call on other corporate organization to emulate this gesture," he said.
NFF:DreamTeamVmustqualify L N
IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) President Aminu Maigari has declared emphatically that Coach Austin Eguaveon and his U-23 National team is condemned to win the 2012 Olympic games ticket in Morocco next month. Speaking in Abuja, Maigari said that everything humanly possible will be done to ensure that Nigeria wins this time around “I want to tell you that I don’t exercise any fear this time around. The game of football ais for eleven people on each side. The point is that you need to know what you
From: Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja
want and the people you are serving. We are doing everything possible to ensure that the boys get it right this time around. What we are saying is that we must get the ticket this time around”. The Federation boss dismissed insinuations that the European trip embarked by the Technical Committee chairman Christopher Green and U23 Chief Coach Austin Eguaveon is a mere jamboree. He said that the trip
FF President Aminu Maigari has attributed the various court orders and cases against the Federation as one of the major reasons why Nigeria football has been failing in recent times.He said that at this time, no football stakeholder can exonerate himself. Speaking further, the former Bauchi State FA Chairman said "to be sincere with you the situation we are facing in the country now is very pathetic, and none of us can exonerate ourselves from it. Since I assumed office over a year
L GOVERNOR’S CUP
LOC to sponsor local players to S a result of interest and effort playing tours to improve Nigerian players
in their rankings and development, the Local Organisng Committee of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship has decided to source for sponsorship for the players who are able to get to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament forthwith. Tournament Director of the ITF approved championship; Prince Wale Oladunjoye said that Nigerian players that qualify for the quarterfinal of the tournament will be sponsored to a minimum of three circuits within the African continent. According to him, the players will have the opportunity to play in ITF rated tournaments at least every three months. “This will enable the lucky players to be competition ready and would have been further exposed to feature
ECRETARY-GENERAL of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Honourable Tunde Popoola has applauded the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa as he said that the organisation of the All Africa Games would bring out the best in African athletes. Last weekend marked a milestone for the continental sport as African Sporting leaders endorsed the dissolution of the defunct Supreme Council for Sport in Africa, SCSA. The dissolution of the body previously charged with organization of the past 11 editions of the All African Games, is a key step to revamping the games which had clearly lost its gem, as witnessed in Maputo, Mozambique
By Stella Bamawo
in the Governor’s Cup. Playing circuits across Africa will further help our players improve their chances during the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis, which serves as a window for them to interact, expose and improve their skills with foreign stars coming to Lagos-the 3rd emerging Mega City of the world- to garner points and prize money,” said Prince Oladunjoye, who is also the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State. Prince Oladunjoye emphasised that the players will be chosen on merit and will be expected to meet certain criteria which include their conduct on and off the courts, as well as regular improvement in their chosen career.
AGOS State have thrown its weight behind sports development outfit, Value Sports One (VSO) on table tennis develovelpment from the grassroots. The outfit known for initiating the MiniTable Tennis board, first of its kind, recently received a major boost from the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola on grassroot sports, headed by Prince Wale Oladunjoye. Rising from a meeting with the management of VSO, the representative of the state government discussed modalities in making the grassroot mini table tennis innovation involving children from ages 5-12, workable in the state. The meeting which took place at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Court, Onikan on Tuesday, had in attendance Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Dr Adeniji, and representing
From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja ago, I have not had time to concentrate on how to move the country's football forward. I had 17 court cases, and I have been shuttling from one court to the other. In that case, there had never been time for us to do anything meaningful for the football loving people of this country. This kind of situation does not augur well for our football development". Maigari appealed to all football stakeholders to exercise restrain in their
not a jamboree, but a very good assignment for the country”. On the Faro trip, the NFF President said the facilities provided at Portugal camp is best in the world, and that that would afford the team the opportunity to concentrate fully on the task ahead.
Siasia denies wage demand reports
UPER Eagles' head coach, Samson Siasia has denied reports making the rounds that he is not ready to take a pay
approach, and seek their support in all the activities of federation "It is not that we are afraid of criticism or challenges, it just because in this kind of situation we found ourselves, there is nothing meaningful that can be achieved. Most of the matches that our teams lost were basically because of this. Look at the CHAN match we lost, there was no Federation person on ground to take charge of things our match against Guinea, a better result would have been achieved, but a situation where the players never knew they would play a match few hour to the match. It is an pathetic situation, but we would overcome it. But this would need the support of all Nigerians and their understanding" he said.
cut. Siasia had come under intense pressure following his failure to lead Nigeria to a place at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. With the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expected to meet on Friday to deliberate on the issue, Siasia reportedly said he would not take a pay cut should he be given the all clear to continue as Nigeria’s head coach. “"Why would I take a pay cut?" Siasia was quoted to have said. "The pay hasn't got anything to do with what happened." The under fire Nigeria trainer has now claimed that he never made such statements. “Why would I say that? I never said that to anybody,” Siasia told SuperSport.com. Siasia has yet to lose a competitive match since he took over as Super Eagles' coach ten months ago.
By David Onyeka VSO were, Laja George Ijaodola (VSO) Director of programme, and Dr. Folorunsho Omitiran (VSO) Director of planning and logistics. Meanwhile, the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) Table Tennis Academy training session entered its fourth month last Sunday. NationSport can reveal that the General Overseer (G.O) of the mission, Dr Daniel Kolawale Olukoya has ordered more equipment to be given to the Academy to accomodate the number of participants that keeps increasing every Sunday. As a result, the G.O, through his inspector Pastor (SIS) A.O Idowu, instructed the coordinator of the Academy, Laja George Ijaodola, and head of children department, Pastor Ayo Ayeko. to meet the needs of large participants at the training session of the Academy.
NFF considers double bonus for Dream Team V
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has noted it might probably considered double bonus for the Dream Team V players and the officials as a way of motivating them to book a berth at next year’s men’s football event of the Olympics in London. Speaking through its media officer, Ademola Olajire, the NFF opined that
PopoolahailsSCSA’sdissolution going to be any more jamboree in the Games. Professionals will take over the organisation of the Games and it will also make marketing more effective”, Popoola said. The African Union Member States Ministerial meeting held at the Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa last week focused on the future architecture for African sport and how to make it competitive and attractive for the best sporting talents on African soil.
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri everything humanly possible would be done to ensure that the Olympics ticket does not slip through Nigeria’s hands after recent losses of the country’s representatives in major competitions. “it will be part of the deliberations on Friday and it will be ironed out if the Olympics Eagles will also be motivated by way of doubling their match bonus to encourage them. Everything is being done to make the team happy because the NFF will not like Nigeria to miss out on the London 2012 Olympics football event completely.” Olajire said. The Falcons whom earlier lost out of the race for the All African Games were also stopped from next year’s Olympics in London after they were eliminated by Cameroon. The Falcons’ loss was a follow up to the sad exit of the Super Eagles from next January African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and to halt the current rot in the country’s football NFF stated that everything would be done to make sure that Austin Eguavoen tutored lads have the best of preparation and properly motivated too.
AGOS based academy side, Westerlo Football Club on Wednesday morning defeated the Dream Team V by alone goal inside the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan in a warm up friendly watched by over five hundred students. The only goal of the game was scored in the 77th minute by second half substitute Aremu Hafiz who beat the offside trap set by the defensive line of the Olympic Eagles led by the duo of Kingsley Udoh and Festus Austin. The goal was made easy for Hafiz after on rushing goal Keeper Dele Ajiboye miss kicked the ball, leaving the young striker to an empty net. All efforts by the strike force of Osas Okoro, Gbolahan Salami, Sunday Nwadialu and Ganiu Oseni was well contained by the defense of Westerlo in the second half. The Dosu Joseph Managed Team took
the game to the Dream team from the blast of the whistle dominating the first half which had the likes of Femi Thomas, Akas Chima, Monday Osagie, Semiu Laidi, Oliha Aigbe, Ayo Saka, Onorode Odah and Afolabi Okikiola in action. “This is totally unacceptable. It’s unheard of that an academy side beat a national team.” Stated a disappoint Stanley Eguma who is acting Head Coach in the absence of Austin Eguavoen” “Its unbelievable how you guys played. You all have the opportunity now and this is what you do with it. If tomorrow you are dropped for a foreign based player you will all begin to complain that you were given a chance” added Coach Ben Iroha. The Dream Team will on Thursday engage National league side FC Ebiede of Lagos in another scheduled friendly game.
I'm not scared of sack — Uche
UPER Falcons' coach, Eucharia Uche has said she is not perturbed about being sacked following her team's failure to grab the London 2012 Olympic Games ticket. Falcons' dream of an Olympic appearance was shattered on Saturday in Yaounde by the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon who defeated them 4-3 on penalties after full and extra time aggregate score stood at 2-2. Uche told SuperSport.com that she did her work to the best of her ability and would take whatever that comes out of it. "I am not expecting sack, we should not reduce it to a personal thing.
"I have given my best, and I am ready for whatever that comes after it," she said. The former Nigerian international gave her players pass mark even in defeat. "We did our best, I commend the players for a good contest. "They entered into the game with high hope only to be disorganised by the penalty and red card. "They performed brilliantly well. Penalties could go either way, and I beat my chest to say that they did marvellously well," Uche said. The former Ufuoma Babes' finisher insists that Nigerians should get closer to their creator to avert further misfortune to the country's football. "I encourage Nigerians to get closer to God knowing fully well that there is nothing anybody can achieve without God. "If we had ruled Africa, and now we are struggling and getting stiff opposition whether it is man-made or spiritual, it tells us that we need to commit everything to God. "It's not time to apportion blames or fall back on our past time of sacking this one and replacing the other one," she said.
Mad rush for Nigerian teenager —Ibe
AFTERMATH OF ALL AFRICA GAMES last month. “This is one of the best things to ever happen to sports in Africa. The Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa, ANOCA, will now ensure that host countries no longer dictate the sports that are to be competed for at the All Africa Games as witnessed in Maputo”. Sports like Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Wrestling and Powerlifting were cancelled by Mozambique at the All Africa Games. “What it means is that there is not
was on the request of the clubs to enable them interact with the clubs because of the fraudulent practices on the internet “they need to see them, and have a chat with them to ensure that all agreements for the release of the players for the championship. It is
Maigari blames court cases for set back
Lagos backs VSO on grass root T/Tennis development
•Biola Akewula (NOR) returning stroke her opponent Donna Vekic (CRO) Photo: JOHN EBHOTA
Westerlo FC beats Dream Team V 1-0 in friendly
NGLISH Premier League top guns Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are among the clubs in hot pursuit of Nigerian youngster Jordan Ibe. The 15-year-old winger, whose father is Nigerian, already made history in August, when he became his League One club’s youngest-ever debutant at 15 years 244 days in a League Cup tie. The South London secondary school boy has since broken into the first team of Wycombe Wanderers. He has made five appearances thus far. He is quick, skilful and loves to play on the flanks. In the last pre-season, he blasted a wonder goal in a 5-0 bashing of Staines. He dribbled his way down the right flank before plundering an angled shot into the top corner with the goalkeeper nowhere in sight. Latest reports suggested that Liverpool now lead the chase for Wycombe Wanderers schoolboy sensation. Ibe had a trial at the Merseyside club’s Melwood training base earlier this season. However, Liverpool face stiff competition for the starlet from Manchester United and Fulham, who have also made enquiries for the youngster. Reports said scouts from Manchester City have also watched Ibe on a number of occasions this season. Another Nigerian teenager on the radar of the top clubs is Seyi Ojo of MK Dons. Chelsea are reported to have lodged a two million pounds bid for the 14-yearold Ojo, while Liverpool are also chasing the England U16 star.
Falode: Eucharia wasn’t good enough •She relied on foreign based players, says Chukwu
ESPECTED journalist and a member of the CAF Women’s Football Committee member, Aisha Falode has asserted that lack of adequate technical input from the Uche Eucharia led Super Falcons’ coaching crew and not dearth of quality players was responsible for the Nigeria senior women’s national team’s ouster from the London 2012 Olympics Football Event. Falode who was part of the delegation to Cameroon that witnessed the encounter with the Indomitable Lionesses in Yaounde disclosed that the Paul Biya ladies won the match from the bench. According to Falode, “This team is a mixture of the young and the old that have been in the Super Falcons for quite some time. It was well balanced. We just need a somebody-a coach who is proactive that can channel the energy and can look at the appropriate tactics and techniques for the girls. It was obvious that there were changes that should have been made earlier on that were not made. It was also obvious that some players that should have made the starting list were not considered. This is purely a coaching problem and once a coach cannot read simple interpretation of a
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri match then we have a problem.” She called for total overhaul of the coaching crew of the Super Falcons and admonished that top class coaches that understand the rudiments of the round leather game be hired to take the country’s women’s national team to the next level. She added, “We just need to call a spade a spade and begin to re-evaluate the coaching crew that we have in Nigeria and begin to take decisions regarding them. Football is not static on the continent both in the men and the women’s game and we must move with the tide. The tide means that we must begin to re-assess the coaching crew. If a coach fails to deliver or lift up to expectation, then that coach must be called to question. This is personal opinion for me and it is not only for the women but for the game in Nigeria.” On his part, another member of the delegation to Cameroon whom was seconded to the team barely few days to the second leg tie, Ex international, Christian Chukwu opined that the coaching crew’s over-reliance on the foreign based professionals nailed the Falcons’ coffin in the match.
Siasia, path of honour is out
N October 8, 2011, it came to pass that Nigeria will not feature at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations even as one of the best losers. It was the worst case scenario. Days leading to the Guinea game, there was no inkling that the Eagles will fail to do the minimum, which was a 1-0 win in Abuja. Siasia’s team led 2-1 deep into stoppage time and with Sudan losing 2-0 to Ghana at home that result in Abuja would have been enough to take the Eagles through as one of two best losers. But in one moment of madness, skipper Joseph Yobo and company surged forward for a third goal their officials ignorantly told them they needed to qualify. Guinea gratefully strolled through a midfield that no longer existed with the substitution of Joel Obi to draw level and take Nigerian football 25 years backwards. What has happened and has been said since that ill-fated day now run completely against what was said and hoped for 11 months earlier when Siasia was appointed Eagles coach. Then, the former international striker was “Our own Special One’ in reference to Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and ‘The Messiah’ come to rescue Nigeria. A friend Kenneth has always warned me that the mob is like a six-year-old child, their memory is short and their emotions swing from foul to good, and so most of those who had clamoured for Siasia’s appointment are now the ones asking that he be crucified. Three years ago, Siasia knew such a scenario could play out when he prayed that the overwhelming love and support he enjoyed when his team were winning, would also be when they are losing. Football is a cruel sport and as such you are only as good as your last result. Highly-rated Spanish coach Javier Clemente was fired by Cameroon this week after the Indomitable Lions also failed to reach the 2012 Nations Cup, while Zambia parted ways with the Italian Dario Bonetti even after he qualified them to the Nations Cup. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) were great when they heeded the clamour for Siasia to lead the Eagles. He was a very popular choice, but was he the right choice? His appointment no doubt restored some public confidence in the national team, but when you barely scraped a draw away in Ethiopia and needed second-half goals against the Olympic team of Madagascar questions are bound to be asked. Siasia was right to get his stars to shape up or ship out. Most of them had grown into monsters created by officials
By Sam Audu
who over pampered them. But he also needed to be above board as he cracked down on these stars. Standards ought to be maintained both on and off the pitch by both coach and players. Tactically speaking, there was still a lot to be done in the team. Professional players in Europe now playing in Siasia’s team still do not know what to do when they are not with the ball. Nigeria is a country of quick fixes and Siasia is very much aware that we are all impatient and demand quick results. If these are not forthcoming, heads will have to roll. As soon as he failed to qualify for the Nations Cup, his popularity waned and it also appeared that he had lost full control of his dressing room. Who then would he work with? An employer that has suddenly lost confidence in him, a public now baying for his blood or a set of players who are divided on whether he should stay or go? At this point, one would have hoped that he had resigned with his honour intact. Some say it is not Nigerian to resign and so he has rather allowed the NFF technical committee to unanimously demand for his dismissal going by the contract he signed in November. The NFF board will on Friday be expected to side with their subcommittee in this respect, Presidency or no Presidency. Those advocating for Nigeria to now announce a two-year self-imposed exile from international football are at it again on the back of the recent reverses in Nigerian football. Except they have ulterior motives, like coming through the back door as government appointees to re-organise Nigerian football, there is really no need for that because the failures of both the Eagles and the Super Falcons have afforded us the opportunity to address some of the shortcomings in the system.
EDUCATION Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Students of the University of Jos resumed the new academic session only to be confronted with the shocking news of mass expulsion. MARIETHERESE PETER, who visited the university shortly after the incident, reported the anxiety that pervaded the air as the university management has vowed to show more students the door. •UNIJOS gate
UNIJOS ‘sacks’ 2,000 students…more to go F
OR students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), these are not the best of times. The school management has expelled almost 2,000 of them for various offences, such as spurious credentials and non-appearance or refusal to complete screening, among others. This has cast a pall of shadow on the campus. Instead of the usual banter, hugs and backslapping which usually mark the reunion of friends, coursemates and roommates after the long holiday, there was fear among students who were seen whispering in groups about the expulsion. Their fear stemmed from the fact that the authorities have said another list of expelled students was being compiled. On October 17, the school management released what it called the “withdrawal list”published in some national newspapers. The affected students, according to the management, had defaults ranging from deficiency in results, lack of appearance for screening and clearance conducted last session. By the following day, photocopies of the nine-page advert were seen around the campus. Students were seen going through the documents searching for their names. The affected students, some who
were about to pay their fees, received the shocking news from their friends and colleagues on phone. While some broke into tears, those who had already paid made frantic efforts to retrieve their money, to no avail. The list, comprising students in 100-Level to those who had graduated and are awaiting the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) call up letter, featured over 2,000 names spanning across three faculties Medical Sciences, Social Science and Education. The situation becamemore heated as some students, who had been screened, cleared and given clearance certificates, were included in the list . The Deputy Registrar, Information and Publication, Mr Steve Otowo, confirmed the withdrawal to our reporters, adding that more students would go in the yet-to-be
released list. He said: “It was a normal process that is being done in all institutions in Nigeria to check forgery. Some students came in with forged certificates while others had deficiencies in their credentials. We need to establish standard and turn out well-grounded graduates.” When The Nation visited the Bauchi road and permanent site campuses of the university, students either sat or stood discussing the development. A 600-Level student of Medicine, who was affected but refused to give his name, said: “This university is so wicked to withdraw us from school just like that, after all the stress, money and time wasted; where do we go from here? At least, they should give those who missed the screening some grace. One thing or the other might have made
FACULTY/NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Faculty of Education Faculty of Social Sciences Faculty of Medical Sciences faculty of Pharmaceutical
585 761 636 16
the students not to show up,” she said. Another victim, who simply gave her name as Ronke, spoke amid tears. “I have passed through a lot to be in this school, but see what the heartless people have done to me. Where is the money to start all over again? Every session they stress us for this same clearance and I have been going through them. But, just this one, I did not participate due to no fault of mine,” she bemoaned. Another student, Emeka Ejiofor, whose name wasn’t on the list, thanked God. “I thank God I went through the rigours to participate in the screening even when some of my friends dissuaded me, I would have been a victim.” Another student,who simply identified himself as MJ and shed tears uncontrollably as he spoke,said: “I did not go for the clearance because I thought it was one of those things the school was fond of doing without any further action.” However, some of the students claimed they underwent the screening, and were cleared. One of such students, in 200-Level Medicine shared his experience. “When a friend announced to me on phone that my name was on that list, I thought it was a joke. I even told him we are in October, not
•Prof Hayward Mafuya, UNIJOS Vice-Chancellor
April. When I eventually saw my name, I could not believe my eyes because I went through the screening, a day before the closing date. “Till now, I still cannot believe that my name is there, I am having sleepless nights. I cannot eat because I am thinking. If they refuse to rectify this abnormally, where will I start from?” he asked. However, Otowo described the withdrawal as a normal process which other institutions also do, to set standards and records straight. Otowo said some students came •Continued on Page 26
•DELTA STUDENTS INSIST ON DUE PROCESS - Page 26 •’WHY ASUU MAY STILL GO ON STRIKE’ - Page 28
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
EDUCATION UNILORIN FILE UNILORIN to offer Palliative Medicine THE Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has expressed the readiness of Palliative Medicine to be delivered online to contribute further to health care delivery in Nigeria. Prof. Oloyede disclosed this while receiving members of the Committee on Pain and Palliative Care, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), who were accompanied by Prof. Anne Merriman of Hospice Africa, Uganda. According to Oloyede, much of health care delivery in the country has consisted mainly of curative medicine and it is not long ago that preventive medicine became emphasised.
Lecturer is hajj guide DR Abdul- Razzaq- Abdul Majeed Alaro of the Department of Islamic Law of the university, has been chosen as one of the 11 Nigerian scholars that will provide legal guidance to pilgrims to this year’s hajj According to a letter written by Dr Alaro to intimate the vicechancellor with this development, the selected scholars are to guide the pilgrims during the ongoing hajj. He said: “Precisely, I am being nominated to serve alongside many other scholars from around the world in this year’s Tawiyah programme. Our mandate is to provide legal guidance and iftaa to pilgrims throughout the exercise.”
Varsity awards contract on bridge THE UNILORIN Governing Council, has approved N7,115,376.50 for the repair of the Oyun River Bridge on the main campus. The council, at its 128th meeting, appreciated the importance of the bridge to human transportation and the urgent need for its rehabilitation. It also approved that the project be carried out by Messrs MAKIN Engineers Nigeria Limited, which originally made the proposal, to be supervised by a competent Consultant firm, CIWAT Nigeria Limited.
•From left: Mr Kamejul Bertin, Permanent Secretary, All Africa Students Union (AASU); Prof Yetunde and husband, Prof James Kayode Makinde, Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, Ilishan, Remo Ogun State; Elder Luku Onwha, Prof Iheanyi Chukwu, Snr Vice-President and Yinka Gbadebo, Deputy Speaker, AASU, during the presentation of the Best African University award toBabcock at the Kwane NKrumah Leadership Award, at the university premises... on Tuesday. PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA
LASU’s fee hike: Lawmakers summons Commissioner, VC, others
HE Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned stakeholders of the Lagos State University (LASU) to appear before it over the recent protest by students of the institution as a result of the proposed hike in tuition fees. Those to appear before the House today are Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye; Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Education, Otunba Fatayi Olukoga; its new Vice-Chancellor, Oladapo Obafunwa, management of and the Students Union executive. This decision was taken at plenary on Monday after the Deputy Leader of the House, Lola Akande, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, drew the attention of her colleagues to the report in some media that LASU students protested the proposed hike in tuition fees last Thursday, thereby grounding academic activities and movement on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. Akande pointed out that, according to media reports, the new tuition fees were increased by over 1,000 per cent. She noted that the House has just resolved a crisis that engulfed the school recently. According to her “We just resolved a crisis in LASU and we must not give room for another crisis again. If we want to run a private school, then we should know that we are running a private higher institution.” Chief Whip of the House, Rasaq
By Oziegbe Okoeki
Balogun, who spoke in a differently, cautioned that the House should not debate the issue because it is only a newspaper report. He explained that since the government is yet to make a pronouncement on the matter, there is no reason for them to debate it. However, Sanai Agunbiade from Ikorodu Constituency, who countered Balogun’s submission, maintained that the government has not come out to refute the publication. “We must debate the issue to find a
Delta students insist on due process
TUDENTS Union Government (SUG) of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi Uku, has said merit instead of politics should be used in the appointment of a rector for the institution. The body warned that the prevailing peace in the institution may not be guaranteed if due process was not followed. The Nation learnt that three names were shortlisted for final interview, among them the immediate past rector. Reports indicate that the former rector has the support of a serving Senator and some lawmakers in the state; another shortlisted can-
UNIJOS ‘sacks’ 2,000 students…more to go •Continued from Page 25
into the school with forged certificates while others had deficiencies in their credentials. He said students, who were wrongly dismissed, still have another chance. He said: “The university in its wisdom has set up a committee to look into the issue and students with clearance certificate who still saw their names (in the list) would
present their case to the committee for consideration because some have the clearance certificates but did not go through the right process.” Meanwhile, the Students Union Government (SUG) President, Comrade Nantok Dashuwar, has appealed to the authorities to reconsider its decision. “Union is passionately appealing to the management to soften the punishment. The punishment is too hard for the offence.” Dashuwar said the management
‘I have passed through a lot to be in this school, but see what the heartless people have done to me. Where is the money to start all over again? Every session they stress us for this same clearance and I have been going through them’
lasting solution once and for all,” he said. The Member, representing Ojo Constituency 2, Lanre Ogunyemi, explained that a notice to that effect was pasted within the school premises to intimate the students about the hike. “On Thursday, last week, when the students protested, they held hostage a political office holder and they stripped the person naked. The increase, as far as I am concerned, is too astronomical and it has already tallied with that of private schools,” Ogunyemi added.
The Speaker oof the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, while lending his voice to the matter, said: “For the benefit of our constituents, the hike may not be it. Even when the fee was increased from N250 to N25,000 in 2005, it degenerated into a big crisis. I don’t think it’s proper to decide here whether the fee must be increased or not. “However, we must intervene because we know what students can do. So, I will support those who said we should invite the school management to clear the air on the matter,” he added. Ikuforiji, however, urged the students to maintain the peace.
would look into the issue of those who have their clearance forms and participated in the screening. He said: “They are to write a letter and attach a copy of the clearance certificate to the management. The VC has started looking into such claims.” While appealing to the students to be law-abiding, Dashuwar said the union was doing its best to intercede for those who did not appear for the screening but said “there is nothing we can do for those with deficiencies in results.” Meanwhile, there is uneasy calm in UNIJOS at the moment as students await the next batch of withdrawal list. Some have turned to prayer warriors to “prevent inclusion of our names even though we showed up for screening .” Already, there is unconfirmed rumour that two students have committed suicide while another collapsed and died as a result of the shock.
didate, a lecturer in one of the northern institutions, is said to be getting the support of a minister from the area, just as the third candidate is enjoying the backing of the State government. The polytechnic, situated in Ogwasi Uku, Aniocha South, Delta North area, is the home of a top minister. Ogwashi-Uku indigenes, The Nation learnt, have vowed to resist any imposition of a rector who is not from Delta North area. In a letter, dated October 14, this year, to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Comrades Ikechukwu Loveth and Enete Precious, President and Secretary-General of SUG, urged that the same standards used
in appointing rectors for other polytechnics must be applied in their case. It congratulated the chairman, members of the Governing Council and the management for their time, diligence and due process followed in the selection of the rector in a record time. Accordingly, the body called on the governor, in the interest of peace, equity and justice, to appoint the very best candidate in the selection process and not pander to outside influences ‘’As youths and future leaders of tomorrow, we have been taught to follow due process and merit in all we do, and this is the hallmark of our great union,’’ they said.
“I see ... it’s either illegal or logical, cumbersome or welcome, costly or necessary!”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Fashola lauds first private school …Advocates more support for education HE Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has lauded the proprietor of St Saviours Nursery and Primary School, Metta, Lagos, for donating over 450 furniture to some public schools in Mainland Local Government Area of the state. The governor, who extolled the school’s owners for the gesture , which they is part of its 60 th anniversary, urged other private schools to emulate the gesture of the school by supporting the government in its effort to improve the state’s education sector. The governor, who spoke at the Diamond Jubilee Dinner/ Launch of Endowment Fund /Awards Night was represented by the state Chairman of the Universal Basis Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs. Gbolahan Daodu. Fashola, in his goodwill message, emphasised on the significance of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the sector and urged private schools to try to follow the good example set by St. Saviours.
By Paul Oluwakoya
She said: “One must give kudos to St. Saviours, Ebute Metta because it is a surprise that a private school could still be magnanimous enough to give furniture to public schools. In September, this year, the school made the donation and the furniture were shared among some schools at Mainland in Lagos. The furniture was of good standard, different colours and durable. I collected it on-behalf of the state government. The government wants more of this through support from private organisations because government cannot do it alone. “If all the Lagos State government allocation is spent on education, it can’t be enough to meet the needs of the sector. There are 1,001 primary schools in the state. Within the last six years, the government has been restructuring and ensuring that the sector is revived. But I must there is still more to be done. That is why I said private partnership is needed in the sector.”
•Mrs. Daodu; Mr Tom Ogboi, chairman, Board of Management of St. Saviours Nursery and Primary School Ebute Metta, Lagos and some staff members of the school at the event
Meanwhile, the Chairman Jubilee Planning Committee, Mr. Wale Kasali, said the thrust of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration is the launch of an endowment fund for the proposed Diamond Jubilee Resource Centre. He said the project is borne out of the need to
project into the future of primary education in the country. On the occasion, Kasali added, awards would be given to those who, over the years, have diligently and selflessly serve the school. “The resource centre, according to him, is a building project of about N300 million designed to meet the
current and future education needs of the pupils,” he added. Reputed to the first private school in the country, St Savious School was founded on April 1951 by the colonial Church School Trust, established by St Savious Colonial Church Council courtesy of Cannon R.A. Wright.
Parents appeal to LASU on fee increment
ARENTS of some students of the Lagos State University (LASU) on Tuesday appealed to the institution’s authorities to reverse the recent increase in fees. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the parents described the increment as “unfair and irrational” and urged the university to have mercy on the
students. Mr Saliu Karimu, whose two children are studying Law and Sociology at the university, urged LASU to be considerate on the matter. “LASU is a state governmentowned school and not a private institution. I already have a daughter who is studying Law and the other one just got admitted there. Contributing, Mr Babatunde
Shittu, a retired civil servant, said the 800 per cent fee increase was “ridiculous” and urged the institution to consider its effect on poor parents. “We are not saying there should not be an increas, but from N25,000 to N200, 000, is unimaginable,” said Shittu. Mrs Folakemi Jimoh, a single mother, also noted that most par-
ents could not afford the new fee in view of the prevailing economic situation in the country. “I do menial jobs to send my children to school; I don’t know what to do now because my second child is
preparing to come into LASU also. “Most of our leaders went to school for free, but now they want to make life miserable and hard for us who have children in the university; this is unfair,” said Jimoh.
Rector wants ASUP to check strikes in polytechnics
HE Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Offa in Kwara State, Dr Muftau Olatinwo, has advised leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to check the incessant disruption of academic activities in their institutions. Olatinwo gave the advice while receiving leaders of the institution's in his ASUP office. The Rector, according to a statement by the institution's spokesman, Wole Alawode, stressed the need for local chapters of ASUP to partner with their management. “There is need to ensure peace and harmony in our various institutions and evolve an inter-stakeholder un-
derstanding and co-operation to move the polytechnic forward. “In the face of scarce resources, we must endeavour to sacrifice and above all trust ourselves,” the statement said. Olatinwo also advised ASUP members to continue to embrace scholarship to enable them to produce quality graduates that would con t r i b u t e t h e i r q u o t a t o n a tion- building. The Rector said only the availability of quality graduates could help in revamping the nation's economy and enhance its technological development.
UNILORIN produces 23 first class graduates •From left: Roy Katuya, Director Information Glo; Prof S. A Kayode Makinde, Vice-Chancellor Babcock University; Mohammed Jammeel of Globacom; Prof Iheanyichukwu Okoro, Senior Vice-President, Babcock University and Folu Aderigbe, Head, Glo One Enterprises, after the signing a contract on Glo Connnectivity ... in Lagos PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA
;, (FEGOCOOSA), Mr Albert Okumagba, President-General Unity Schools Old Student Association; Mr Francis Orbih, Chairman, Plenary Committee and Ronke Ogunowo, Financial Secretary, FEGOCOOSA, during a briefing ahead of USOSA plenary session at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
HE Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), HRH Benjamin Ikenchuckwu
Keagborekuzi 1, has urged authorities of UNILORIN not allow negative influences reverse the institution’s gains recorded in the past years. The monarch, also the Dein of Agbor, Delta State, was apparently referring to the unbroken academic calendar of the university in the past 10 years. He said UNILORIN was well known for its culture of peace and stability. He spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital during the university’s 27th convocation where a total of 5, 330 students graduated, with 23 of them obtaining first class degrees. He said the feat recorded by the university so far, “has been made possible by our highly disciplined staff and students of the university, adding, “ the warm and close rapports existing between the university administration and the staff and students has been wonderful”.
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
His words: “I urge you all to maintain this cordial relationship, which has brought academic excellence, fame and respect to this university. We should strive to maintain our uniqueness and never allow our selves to be influenced by negative actions, which can only reverse the tremendous gains we have made. Only the best is good for us”. The chancellor, who noted that the gradauates had received allround education from the university, counsels them to apply the knowledge they have acquired for self-improvement and the development of the country. He acknowledged the excellent performances of the ViceChancellor Prof Is-haq Oloyede, the management team, the Senate, Congregation and staff. In his response, Prof Oloyede charged the graduates to use the knowledge they have acquired to serve God and humanity
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Why ASUU may still go on strike, by union chief C
HAIRMAN, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria chapter, Dr Muhammed Kabir Aliyu, has explained why universities nationwide might be shut again. He said: “We are insisting the Federal Government honours in full the 2009 Agreement it signed with the ASUU.” This pattern of injustice and Aliyu’s fighting spirit, were part of what drove him down to The Nation to commiserate with some of its editors and reporters ‘shipped’ away by the police two weeks ago, on what Aliyu described as ‘unjust’ ‘crude’ and ‘irresponsible’ act by the authorities. (The editors and reporters had since been released.) He said the Federal Government has a penchant for reneging on its promises, hence strikes remain the main weapon workers, including ASUU, use to retrieve their rights. For him, the warning strike which the union embarked upon three weeks ago is a prelude to another, except Nigerians prevail on the Federal Government to honour the agreement. The agreement, chief of which contains funding, universities’ autonomy, improved welfare of members, among others, according to Aliyu, might be the harbinger of fresh troubles. Hear him: “ASUU is one union
By Adegunle Olugbamila
that does not want to go on strike always. We always show more interest in dialogue, strike is always the last resort. The strike that ended three weeks ago, was as a result of an agreement signed between ASUU and governments in 2009. Within those two years, ASUU had been involved in dialogues with the governments to sign the agreements, which were basically on condition of service, university autonomy, funding and other issues. “But through these two years, the government has not implemented this agreement and all dialogues have been exhausted with the government and the National Assembly. “But so far, the government has honoured some components of ASUU agreement?” he was asked. “The government has only implemented about 10 per cent of the agreement,” Aliyu retorted. “But nothing has been done on the major issue of funding and this is what ASUU has always been interested in because these have to do with improving facilities, such as libraries, laboratories, classrooms, hostels so that we can have quality education, but that has not been implemented at all.
He said the Federal Government had pleaded with ASUU to be patient, noting “that day, there is going to be meeting between the government and ASUU, and we shall see if again, the government wouldl renege on its promise. But I’m afraid that may lead to another strike should the government refuses to play ball. But isn’t it possible for universities at federal and state levels to negotiate separately with government? “You can only do that if you have a responsible government that is interested in developing education,” Aliyu said. “After you have attained a certain minimum, then the universities can then begin to go on their own. But as far as ours is concerned, we have not even reached that minimum to see that every university will now go and negotiate separately. ASUU is fighting for the minimum after which we may now allow universities to pursue other things on their own.” But ASUU has for once, not deemed it fit to ponder on the negative effect of its perennial strikes which have led to the production of half-baked graduates? Aliyu agreed, but only in part. Strikes, according to him, had and still remains, a final weapon trade unions all over the world use to agitate their rights.
EKSU FILE Varsity pledges ties with EKSU
He, nonetheless, lamented that in Nigeria today, the government is recalcitrant which only responds at the news of strikes. “Strikes have its negative sides. But you know strikes all over the world are weapons that are used by all unions all over the world. After every dialogue fails, what do you do? The best is thing is to withdraw your service, which also translates to going on strike. Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, that is the only language the government listens to,” he added.
Free books for Ogun pupils
HE OGUN State government has concluded plans to procure over 4.5 million copies of textbooks in core subjects, which would be distributed free among 631,178 pupils in public schools in the state. The beneficiaries comprise 368,087 pupils, (1243,034 Junior Secondary School pupils, and 120,857 Senior Secondary School). The government said it has also reached an agreement with major publishers in the country to supply the approved textbooks soon at the cost of N1.8billion. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr, Gbenga Odubela and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu made this known while addressing reporters on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting. According to Odubela, the breakdown of the books showed that primary schools’ pupils will have textbooks in all subjects including 60 or 40 leaves exercise books, while the JSS will also have text books for all their subjects along with a dozen exercise books of 60 leaves for each of the students. The Education commissioner said those in the SSS will be supplied with books in core subjects which include Mathematics, Biology and English. He, however, added that beneficiaries, at the end of the academic session, would be made to return them to their respective schools for
the benefit of the incoming pupils in a manner to be closely monitored by the schools authorities while the government improve school libraries for safe keeping of those books According to him, the decision
touches the youth of the state, who are deemed vital considering their very important role as signpost of major "programmes in the five-point agenda of his administration”. He said the administration in Ogun
was ready to replicate the kind of free and qualitative education in the state as witnessed during the Olabisi Onabanjo regime under the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
‘Emulate Etisalat’ COMMUNICATIONS outfits in the country have been asked to emulate Etisalat, a leading telecommunication firm in awarding more scholarship to brilliant students or by constructing structures, such as halls or sporting facilities. The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dada Adelowo, made the appeal, while presenting cheques of N100,000 each to the 10 students of the university, who won the Etisalat Merit Award at the Senate Chamber of the university. Adelowo noted that other communications giants could be of relevance to tertiary institutions, particularly state universities in the provision of lecture theatres and sports facilities, which would be beneficial to students and members of staff. The spokesman for the 10 lucky students, Israel Awelogun, noted that such awards would continue to encourage excellent academic performance among students. The event was attended by members of the university as well as its principal officers.
•L – R: Deputy Governor, Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi; Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Nsima Ekere; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Nwanneka and Senate President, Senator David Mark, during the 17th and 18th Convocation of the University of Uyo.
Stakeholders grumble over NECO results ROPRIETORS, parents, students and other stakeholders have complained against the National Examinations Council (NECO) results for this year’s Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE/Basic). According to a communiqué by the Association of Proprietors of Private Secondary Schools Oyo State chapter, about 34 proprietors converged on Ibadan and reviewed this year’s NECO JSCE results. Those at the meeting presented complaints of their schools and four main lapses were identified. According to the communiqué, the NECO JSCE results “failed to differ-
THE Federal University, Oye-Ekiti has pledged to continue the symbiotic relationship between it and the Ekiti State University, AdoEkiti. The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the federal university, Prof Chinedu Nebo, made the promise at an event where he expressed gratitude for the assistance EKSU offered the young varsity by allowing the post-UTME screening involving 53,000 candidates to take place on it (EKSU) campus. Nebo, who visited EKSU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dada Adelowo in his office, noted that EKSU was kind enough to allow its members of staff to help handle and invigilate the tests apart from providing the facilities. “I am deeply impressed by your magnanimity and the symbiotic relationship. You offered enough, more than what we envisaged.This is marvellous,” Nebo said. Adelowo promised to continue to offer assistance to the new university.
By Adegunle Olugbamila
entiate between the outstanding and the average students. Even students, who had won laurels at state, national and international competitions were not spared from this atrocious and disheartening results.” The second error in the results, they said, is that “they do not reflect the inclusion of the continuous assessment of scores from JSS1 to JSS 3 of the students.” Thirdly, the communiqué stated that “the results of Creative and Cultural Arts (CCA), which is supposed to be a combination of Fine Art and Music and offered as a single
subject were released as separate subjects i.e.( i) Creative Arts (ii) Music in some schools while in other schools, they were released as a single subject.” Fourthly, the proprietors added that “in some subjects all the students had the same grade. This is totally unrealistic.” The proprietors said parents have been trooping to their schools expressing dismay at the results. The parents have been saying that NECO should make the scripts of the students available for cross checking a suggestion which the proprietors described as “a welcome development.”
•Prof Promise Okpala, NECO Registrar
THE Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, formerly Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Mr Benson Ebikwo, has urged universities to cultivate a maintenance culture, saying the body is ready to encourage via more projects, universities that maintain and put into good use projects given them by TETFUND. Yakubu, who was represented by Mr Benson Ebikwo, said this during the inauguration of a new electronic library donated to EKSU. Yakubu urged EKSU to put the e-library into optimal use, saying it would facilitate access to up-todate academic library materials. In his response, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dada Adelowo, noted that the interventions made by TETFUND in universities have helped in raising the standard of tertiary institutions in the provision of infrastructure and capacity building of staff and students. He noted that the library was one of the components of the bedrock for quality education, quality assurance and capacity building, promised to take proper maintenance of the e-library.
LASU students insist no hike in tuition fee
Varsity wins contest to represent Nigeria
*NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: email@example.com THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Students are worried that they may no longer get the best from their parents when the government removes fuel subsidy. They share their feelings with HANNAH OJO (300-Level English, Obafemi Awolowo University), ZEENAT IBRAHIM (400-Level Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano), GILBERT ALASA and VALOR IDUH (200-Level Foreign Languages, University of Benin).
•A group of students engaged in a discussion
PHOTO: ESTHER MARK
Why we are against subsidy removal, by students F
OR students, the planned fuel subsidy removal is an ill wind that will blow nobody any good. They are worried that the Federal Government is talking of subsidy removal when many Nigerians are hard-pressed. Even though the public outcry against subsidy removal keeps growing, the government appears determined to run with the plan. President Goodluck Jonathan has said the money to be saved will be diverted to other sectors of the economy. But labour disagrees, saying the removal would cause Nigerians hardship and lead to a rise in prices of commodities and services. The matter has also divided the National Assembly, with many lawmakers rejecting, the plan. Some are, however, for subsidy removal.
•‘It will affect our parents negatively’ Students are also kicking against the plan. To them, if the welfare of the people is the ultimate, President Jonathan’s administration has not considered the interest of the citizens. Vivian Nwafor, 200-Level International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Benin (UNIBEN), said: “Removing the fuel subsidy when our refineries are not working is not good. As long as refineries don’t work, every other move by the government is a hoax.” Ebenezer Otikpere, 200-Level Civil Engineering, UNIBEN, thinks otherwise. He said: “In my view, the fuel subsidy should be removed because it is not serving
the purpose it was meant for. Rather, some pot-belly politicians are smiling to the bank everyday with what is supposed to serve as a cushion for ordinary Nigerians.” To Sunday Phatai, a 200-Level student of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), subsidy removal amounts to giving workers the N18,000 minimum wage with one hand and collecting it with the other. “You would recall that the Federal Government listed subsidy removal as one of its stringent conditions for paying the minimum wage. So, it should not surprise us. But then, what does Goodluck Jonathan stand to gain
by making life unbearable for Nigerians? Everyone knows how the price of oil drives the economy. So, removing the subsidy is like a slap on our faces.” Zainab Ibrahim, a student of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), said: “I expect anything when it comes to Nigeria, because it has always been the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. I think the government should reconsider the plan because everything we do depends on fuel; even electricity.” Donald Anavhe, 200-Level Political Science, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, described the move as a sign of insensitivity by a government that
claims to have won a pan-Nigerian mandate in the last general elections. He said: “The plan is an indication of how thoughtless politicians can be. I want to use this medium to call on the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to stage a mass protest to challenge the anti-people move. We have had enough as a people and the Federal Government is here, again, trying to make life miserable for us. It won’t work.” To Joel Amuebie, a student of the Lagos State University,“ the whole process is a calculated attempt to impoverish Nigerians. “We all know that Nigeria is characterised by excessive greed and whoever manages resources ends up amassing wealth for himself and his cronies.” •Continued on page 31
•Restore our unions, students urge Fayemi- PG32 •Varsity wins contest to represent Nigeria- PG33
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE they could get across to their families/friends. Thankfully Baby was yet to go back to the hostel; his absence when it started getting late was what alerted my aunty that something was wrong. The family did all it could but no one could tell where he was. Further checks revealed that he was last seen with Dele. This one was even less fortunate as his own family does not stay in Lagos so it would have taken his 08054503104 type of roommates to determine (SMS only) when the search for him would have commenced. •firstname.lastname@example.org Anyway, about 12.30am Tuesday •email@example.com Baby managed to bribe another policeman who helped to call my tatingly religious? Who will deliver us from aunty. When eventually she got there she this cycle of self-destruction? was being frustrated further with an obsoAs I mused on these thoughts, I remem- lete law that she was a woman and such could bered an article I ran here almost four years not bail. Clearly, the policemen reading out ago, on January 31, 2008. It ran under the the law were neither as educated nor as resame headline with today’s article. I reprofined as the lady! That was when she called duce part of it here. “This was not what I had planned to pub- me. Thank God the poor boys are out. No one talked about anyone paying for lish this week. I had barely left the house on damages and no apologies were tendered. my way to work when my aunty sent a disThis case is actually the second of such I am tressed text message that she was at the po- encountering this year alone. I had accompalice station trying to bail Baby, one of her nied a friend to his elder sister’s wedding on sons, and being frustrated by the policemen January 12 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church, on duty. I called to get the details. “Baby” is what Maryland. There is nothing new about the couple; they just got ready to do the church we call the 22year-old HND 1 Computer Sci- wedding now. Their second child is 21 and ence student of the Yaba College of Technol- recently secured an admission into ogy (he has repeatedly begged us to stop call- UNILORIN. The boy was billed to act as best ing him the “silly name”, so to respect his dear ego I won’t reveal his real name here). man for his dad. The previous day he was The guy was on his way home on Monday, running around for the preparations and totogether with a friend. They had stopped to wards the evening boarded a bus for home. Somewhere in Ikeja policemen at a checkpick some stuff at the Domino Stores at the point stopped the Danfo bus for searching afSabo area and as they neared the Agnes Junc- ter which “suspicious- looking” boys among tion on the Herbert Macaulay Way a police them were arrested and detained. patrol team stopped them for “searching”. Imagine the fiasco caused at home when The next thing, the two boys were “proven” Ekene did not get back that night and no one to be suspicious and whisked off to the staknew where he was. To worsen his own case tion and clamped behind the counter. Just he did not have an ID card with him (not that like that. Time was like 3.20pm. The poor it made a difference in Baby’s case anyway). boys’ pleas that they were students fell on Imagine again what the bride (mother) deaf ears; even the presentation of their looked like on the morning of her wedding schools’ ID cards did not sway the law enforcement officers. Baby’s friend, Dele, day without news of her dear son. It was schools at UNILAG. Now anyone that knows while the service was going on in church that Lagos knows the boys were just within yards it was whispered to her that Ekene had called, from a police station. That was when God of their respective schools. intervened (how else do I put it?) and the At the station their phones were taken from DPO, on seeing the number of arrested boys, them, as well as their monies and other valuables like wristwatches. There was no way ordered that all without any real case against them be released. The guy looked a sight
Someone Pushing please train Out with the policemen! Ngozi Agbo
OT on a few occasions I have caught myself wondering if I am in the right profession. I believe that a major essence of living is making positive impact in one’s environment. It was this belief that led me to start CAMPUSLIFE and this column. But when you write and write and shout and shout and it seems no one reads or hears you, if care is not taken, you tend to question your very essence. Three weeks back, we ran the tragic story of Stephen Enyinnaya Onyegbule Nwosu. He was murdered weeks to the end of his service year in Adamawa State by soldiers on the trail of Boko Haram members. The manner of his killing, even after presenting his NYSC identity card, is most gruesome. A week after we ran the report, I dedicated this column to him, calling for justice. Last week, my colleague on the Education Desk, Kofo Bello-Osagie added her voice. As at last Sunday, no one from the NYSC or the Nigerian Army has done the least which is to apologise to the family. His aged parents in Abia State are still bleakly staring at the fresh mound of the grave in their compound – a reminder that the son they scrounged to train in university who went to serve his fatherland is gone forever. That was still bothering me when news broke last weekend on yet another brutal killing of a 20-year-old, Emmanuel Victor, by policemen at a check point. Stephen was murdered after being forced to call his mother to tell her he was going to die; Victor was murdered in front of his own mother who was pleading with the policemen that she and her son had just left the church. To add to the poor woman’s grief, the police are claiming that Victor was shot because he was smoking marijuana! Stephen and Victor are not the first to be so wasted by the same men paid to protect them. When is this going to stop? Is Nigeria under a curse? Is there no remedy for this nation? Why are we so callous yet so irri-
‘I have no regret making films’
HY did you venture into film making? Film making has been my utmost desire. Apart from that, it is a divine call. Where do you draw your ideas and inspiration from? My ideas border most on my personal experience and I often get inspired by things happening in the society, especially in my immediate surroundings. How did your parents react to your career? I am an adult and I have relative liberty. So, venturing into film making is no big deal since I can decide certain things for myself. Have you been to film festivals? I have attended a couple of film festivals at home and abroad. I was at the IONN International Film Festival in Port Harcourt in 2009. I was also at the ANIWA Film Festival Ghana in 2009. In 2010, I was in Germany for the Berlinale Talent Campus. Later, I went for Durban Talent Campus. I was in Poland for the 31st Polish International Students Film Festival. In 2011, I was in Germany again for the Berlin Today Award.
Nasir Idi is a film maker who has travelled far and wide. He is a 400Level TV Production student at the NTA TV College, Jos. He told JOHNPAUL NNAMDI (300-Level TV College) his ambition. How do you cope with studies and film making? Film making is a full-time business that requires full commitment. I must confess that it is really challenging combining my academic work with film making. They both need dedication, but I am trying my best. Any regret? There has never been, and there will never be. I have always wondered what else I would have done if there was no film making. What is your specialty? I have built a background in certain areas of film making such as screen writing, cinematography and video editing. These upgraded me to the status of a director. What impact do you hope to make in Nigerian cinema after school? I hope to make a great impact. I will be one of the ambassadors who will use the art of film making as a tool to advocate against certain social issues such as child labour, women rights, infant and maternal mortality, among others.
when he was driven into the reception venue by a relation who went to bring him for his mum to see. Of course he went home immediately after to eat and freshen up. About his best-man duty? My friend filled the position impromptu. I called a police friend of mine. This lady was the deputy public relations officer (PRO) in Lagos State. She explained that due to the fact that most robbers and all are young men between the ages of 18 and 30, the tendency is for policeman to be suspicious once they see a group of these boys together. This could be worsened by the boys’ dressing, she added. Now in these days when everyone wants to dress like 50-Cent and Jay-Z there is really no way to differentiate between the responsible and otherwise ones. When I pointed out to her the fact that nothing says a particular manner of dressing correlates to being a criminal she concurred but added that the best thing was for boys (who mostly are the victims here) to think about the impression they are creating when they are dressing up. I wasn’t going to let her off that easily so sought to know why policemen would arrest a student, without a weapon, and detain him overnight. At a time my friend stopped toeing the defensive line and admitted that there are basic problems with some of her men. I dare say the problems are very fundamental; a good number of them are incapable of reasoning and just plain annoying. I remember reading somewhere that policemen are trained on the rudiments of psychology. Nothing can be farther from the truth as far as men of the type of police force I saw on Tuesday are concerned. With the way policemen are going, most young men see the station and sleeping over as one of the prices they have to pay to become a man. It is sad really because I remember watching a story on the NTA Newsline where it turned out that an innocent boy kept for nights in a police cell met criminals that convinced him to “run things” for them when he got out. Of course he became a real criminal and ended up in prison eventually. In the story I saw he had been released and was running an NGO aimed at reforming the prisons.” I wrote this in January, 2008. Today things seem to be getting worse. How far can we go before we retrace our steps? Ciao
‘I am influenced by good artists’ Raphael Elile, a musician, is a Batch “B” National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Awka, Anambra State. The graduate of Music from Delta State University (DELSU) released his album entitled: Na Papa God in June. He told JASPER DADA (his colleague) his driving force.
OW long have you been in the entertainment industry? It has been three years. My first single was Stay with me. It was released in 2008. I was in school then, so I could not promote it because of money. What genre of music do you specialise in? I am a secular artist. I do Afro hip-hop and R & B. Who is your role model? I don’t have a role model; however I am attracted to good artists. What influenced your choice of
music? I have always been a listener. I derive joy in analyasing music, and this influenced my choice of music as a career. Above all, God is my motivation. Have you performed at any social gathering? While in school, I was popular because I performed in almost all the shows. I had three performances at the NYSC orientation camp, here in Anambra State and the recent one was at Nkisi Hotel, Onitsha, at a send off party organised in honour of Batch “C” corp members.
Who is your producer? He is Okpokpo Enifome. He is a musician too and based in Delta State. What is your advice to fellow corp members? We should be hard working because the future of Nigeria is in our hands. We are leaders of today, not tomorrow, people see us as role models.
Campus journalists hold meeting
HE Union of Campus journalists (UCJ), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) chapter, last Friday, held her first general meeting in the present academic session. The meeting was held at faculty of Law lecture room 5. Chaired by its president, Habeeb Whyte, 400-Law, the meeting was attended by 12 members. Numbers of issue, which borders on the activities the union has car-
From Hameed Muritala UNILORIN
ried out and intend to carry out, top deliberation in the meeting. They also discussed the essay competition the union was planning to organise in honour of a prominent personality, who is to be announced later. The essay competition, according to Habeeb, is aimed at awakening readership spirit in students.
Habeeb, who is also a CAMPUSLIFE correspondent, charged the UCJ members to represent the interest of the union and not their own interests. He equally charged them on objectivity in reportage. Earlier in the week, Habeeb and some selected members paid a courtesy visit to the patron of the union, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
LASU students insist no hike in tuition fee Students of the Lagos State University (LASU) have continued their demonstration against new tuition fees. NURUDEEN YUSUF (200Level Islamic and Common Law) and ADEYEMI ONIKORO (200-Level Diploma Law) report.
N exercise that was to verify the indigeneship of students seeking admission into the Lagos State University (LASU) has been postponed twice becuase of the one- week warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the solidarity action by the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU). The exercise was billed for October 18, at the MBA hall. That day, the students and their parents arrived early and the stage was set for the screening. But by 9.30am, the students led by their Student Union Government (SUG) President, Akeem Durojaiye, stormed the venue to disrupt the exercise. They held aloft posters and placards with inscriptions like “no verification, no increment”. The officials called off the verification, prompting the prospective students and their parents to leave the venue in disappointment. The protest came to a head after the authorities, led by Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, the Acting Vice Chancellor, announced the increment in tuition fees the students are expected to pay during the next academic session which begins next month. It all began on October 4, when the visitation panel set up by Governor Babatunde Fashola recommended that for LASU to be ranked among top universities in Africa, the tuition must be increased. In the White Paper issued by the Lagos State Government, Section 4.0.3
paragraph (vii) stated that Government accepts the recommendation of the panel and directs the Governing Council to implement the increment in tuition fee by about 725 per cent. This development has astronomically raised the tuition from N25,000 to N348,750, depending on faculty. The fee of students in Faculty of Art and Education has been increased to N193,750; Social and Management Sciences, N223,750; Law, N248,750; Communication and Transport, N238,750; Science, N258,750; Engineering, N298,750 and College of Medicine, N348,750. Following the announcement, the Student Union addressed a press conference on October 10, at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja, to register its disapproval of what it described as an “unjust, inconsiderate and exploitative increment of tuition fee without justification.” According to the union, “the increment is detrimental to the academic pursuit of LASU students.” After consultations with the university management and the state government, which the students said were fruitless, the union called for congress which was held at Abe Igi, otherwise known as Aluta Joint. The students bared their minds on what they called outrageous fee and urged their union leaders to fight for their interest. Immediately, the SUG swung into action and disrupted the citizenship verification at the MBA hall. The action, according to the SUG PRO,
Azeez Olateju, was to affirm the stance of the union on the increment. Last Thursday, the demonstration started by 7:30am within the campus. The students were told to boycott the GNS exam slated for that day. Going from one faculty to another, the protesters drove students out of the lecture rooms to join their colleague on Badagry-Mile 2 Expressway. Chanting solidarity songs, the protesters remained on the road for over six hours, disrupting vehicular movement.
Mr Kabiru Olohuntobi, a parent who came from Lagos Island, told CAMPUSLIFE: “The parents are in support of the protest because they are fighting for our own interest too.” Opeyemi Mabawonku, a 400-Level student, said: “The demonstration is aimed at drawing the attention of the government and the masses to our plight in LASU. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is a collective struggle which must be fought by all, includ-
ing our parents.” Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE during the protest, Akeem said: “The action of the Lagos State Government amounts to denying indigent students of education, which is contrary to the objectives and ideology of the founding fathers of the ruling party in Lagos State. What we want the government to do is to reverse the outrageous increment. I advise parents to join us in this struggle because it is the struggle for liberation.”
•A student carrying a placard during the protest
•LASU students protesting the fee hike at Mile 2-Badagry expressway
Why we are against subsidy removal, by students •Continued from page 29
“It is unfortunate that the government can contemplate a policy that would inflate the price of commodities and cripple the economy. Students would definitely be affected by the looming crisis. It is unfortunate that this kind of discussion is going on in a country that claims to be pursuing a transformation agenda. Is this how our life would be trans-
formed?” said Emeh Anuri, a 600Level Medical student at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe. Moshood Isah, a Mass Communication student at BUK, said: “Removal of fuel subsidy will bring untold hardship to students and the masses in general. Apart from the rise in transport fare, I think the removal of subsidy will provide more money at the disposal
of corrupt politicians.” Famitah Oyelami, an English Education student at OAU, said: “Students will be affected as the policy would affect the general cost of living. Transportation and prices of educational materials would be increased to the extent that many parents will find it difficult to cater for their children’s needs. This is wickedness.” Hassan Abdussalam said: “The
students would not be able to pay school fees if this policy scales through. Removing fuel subsidy is an invitation to disaster. Nigerian government should be fair to the common man.” The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has condemned the approach of the government on the matter, describing the move as ill-timed and insensitive.
According to a statement by NAPS President, Oluwole Fawale, the inability of Nigerian leaders to think outside the box should not be visited on the poor. “At a time when unemployment is put at 21 per cent, with over 40 million Nigerians jobless, an increase in the pump price of fuel will not only worsen an already bad situation but plunge the country into anarchy,” the statement said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
•A group of Computer Science students at the seminar
Final year students hold seminar
HE final year students’ activity has reached its peak in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). Different departments, groups and fellowships were involved in one activity or the other as they prepared their graduating students for life after school. The students of the faculties of Information and Communication Technology, and Engineering had initially organised a sports competition and seminar last weekend. Also, novelty football matches took place between the students and their lec-
From Abayomi Oyelami LAUTECH
turers on Wednesday. The seminar featured Bunmi Teru, Project Manager, Etisalat Nigeria, Ademola Akinyoade, a motivational speaker and Dr. O. T. Arulogun, LAUTECH Director of ICT. Teru challenged female students to be business-oriented, adding that students should not allow classes of grade to prevent them from achieving their dreams. Akinyoade, on his part, spoke on life after school. Dr. Arulogun emphasised the opportu-
nities that abound to students of LAUTECH, especially those with ICT skills. He noted that Google recognised and gave benefits to students of LAUTECH, but said students were yet to enjoy the benefits because of some challenges. Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE after the programme, the organising committee chairman, Niyi Orimoluyi, said: “I am fulfilled to see this seminar achieve the aim for which it was organised and also drawing such a large crowd”. He praised his committee members for a job well done.
•Students cutting the cake during the fellowship award
Fellowship holds award •Students hold final year week
HE Ogun Christian Fellowship (OCF), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) chapter, celebrated its end of the year award and dinner night last Saturday. The programme also witnessed the change of baton to the new members of executive. The event was anchored by the duo of Seun Adebajo and Busayo Akande, and began with an opening prayer offered by Pastor Deji Adeyefa. Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE, the chairman planning committee, Olufemi Penzer, said the event was packaged in a way that would benefit the Christians and non-Christians. Meanwhile, the students of the department of Chemical Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU),
From Modestus Diko and Oyindamola Fadimu, OOU
have celebrated their final year week in unique style. Led by their Social Director, Olusegun Fadimu, the students dressed in their native attires and marched to various departments in the campus. Olusegun said: “It was not easy but here we are today, celebrating and I wish I can explain how it feels to be preparing for my final exams. We came into this institution in 2006 and we are just graduating but we give glory to God who has been our helper and will continue to be.”
Lecturer launches Paradigm Shift
•Deeper Life choir
Deeper Life students hold congress
EMBERS and invited guests of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship from all tertiary institutions in the Southwest were thrilled at the annual regional congress of the fellowship. Over 6,000 students, staff and corps
From Seun Oke LAUTECH
members were at the five-day programme with the theme ‘Triumph 2011’. The programme was held at the churches’ camp ground
at Moniya, Ibadan. Bible studies, workshops and seminars were held to lift the spiritual and academic benefit of the participants, who were taken on Bible lesson by different ministers at the event.
Restore our unions, students urge Fayemi
TUDENTS of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and the College of Education, Ikere, have urged Governor Kayode Fayemi, to intervene in the proscription of their unions which sparked protests in the two institutions. The plea came on the heels of Fayemi celebration of one year in office. The students said their unions played prominent roles during the legal tussle between former Governor Segun Oni and Fayemi when the latter was fight-
From Tunji Awe UNAD
ing for his stolen mandate. Adedoyin Adejube, 300-Level Linguistics, said: “We held several protests during the Segun Oni administration to show he was not popular because most of us voted for Dr. Fayemi.” Most of the EKSU students pleaded with the governor to return the unions and stop the victimisation of their leaders. Re-
cently, the Students’ Union president, Olalekan Shittu, was harassed by security agencies after leading the demonstration against fee hike last September. The students condemned the action, saying the harassment is tantamount to stifling a popular protest. Eyitayo Adebanji, a student, said: “The governor used to be a human rights activist and we believe he should understand our plight better than anybody. I implore him to retract the decision that banned the union.”
NGO honours lecturers
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation, Cymmy Associates, last week organised an awards ceremony to honour stakeholders who have contributed to educational development in the Northern part of the country. Those honoured included Prof Zakariyah Oseni, former Dean of faculty of Art, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), who was awarded with a certificate of excellence. He was presented with a cheque of N1 million. Others are Prof Oladipo Oyesupo, Dr. Ibrahim Ishola, Dr. Abiodun
From Muritala Hameed UNILORIN
Oyatoye, Provost College of Education, Oro, Dr. Olaitan Olukanbi and Engr. Mogaji Abdulkareem. Selected principals of secondary schools were also conferred with Cymmy Ambassador of Education. Dr. Emmanuel Ogah, Programme Coordinator of Cymmy Associates, said the NGO was committed to educational development at all levels. He also said the second phase of the awards would take place on November 3,
at Nasarrawa State University, Keffi. A lecture entitled Exceptional leadership qualities in tertiary institutions: a sine qua non to quality education was delivered by Prof. M.O Oyawole, former Geology department head, University of Ibadan. Present at the event included Commissioner of Education, Kwara State, Alhaji Mohammed Atolagbe; Alhaji Jimoh Ibrahim, Provost College of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilorin, Mr. Niyi Abdulsalam, Zonal Coordinator, NECO, Alhhaji Muhydeen Hussein, Chief Imam of Offaland and representative of the Emir of Ilorin.
LECTURER in the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Emmie Oludele, has written a motivational book titled Paradigm Shift. According to Oludele, the book was a development classic that cut across all spheres of life ranging from students, entrepreneurs and cooperate executives. He said: “The book also communicates how students should embark on entrepreneurship after their institutional education by becoming business owners or self-employed, translating their academic knowledge into useful ventures thereby attaining economic stability.” Quoting Albert Einstein, Oludele said he realised that the problems bedeviling the nation were fundamental and rooted in the way people think. “This book was written to encourage people to embrace positive thinking in our national life, especially students and also give hope to the discouraged and motivate the
From Michael Ariwei PTI
down trodden,” he added. The launching of the book was witnessed by lecturers, clerics, entrepreneurs and students from different institutions.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Fellowship advises corps members
•The newly-elected leaders of Oyo student
Oyo students elect leaders
HE leadership crisis in the Federation of Oyo State Students (FOSSU) has been settled following the conduct of fresh election. The election, which came up last week at the premises of the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igbo-Ora, started around noon. The election was witnessed by various security agencies and produced Adedapo Adekunle, a student of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), as president and Tajudeen Samsudeen, a student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), as senate president.
From Musliudeen Adebayo and Sikiru Akinola IBADAN
Other elected officers included Tiamiyu Musa, Treasurer; Habeeb Adediran, Social Director 1; Adeyanju Salawu, Public Relations Officer; Mutairu Adeogun, Welfare Director; Sodiq Azeez, Vice President; Adeyemi Olajire, General Secretary; Oladele Oladoyin, Social Director 2, Kazeem Dauda, Auditor General; Abdullahi Alimi, Assistant General Secretary; Akinpelu Fakayode, Chief whip and Rafiu Fasasi, Deputy Senate President. In his acceptance speech, Adedapo,
who is a 300-Level Business Management student, appreciated Oyo students for electing him as their leader. He praised the spirit of sportsmanship of his opponent, Sulaiman Bello, who is a student of University of Ilorin. “I am very grateful for the spirit of sportsmanship exhibited by the challenger. He has demonstrated that students’ unionism is not a door-die affair. To all Oyo students, joy is on the way. The era of giving bursary to non-students is over. I promise to protect your right at all times and together, we shall take Oyo to greater height,” Adedapo concluded.
HE Deeper Life Corps Fellowship (DLCF), a fellowship for corps members in Abia State, has organised a send forth programme for the Batch “C” corps members who served in the state. The send forth programme, which was held at Abia State Polytechnic and tagged “Advance 2011’’, also featured seminars, lectures and other messages which centered on human development skills. Mr. Solomon Onyebinama, a banker, Deacon Joseph Ijioma, Pastor Jonathan Chikezie were part of the resource persons that dole out motivational messages to the outgoing corps members. The programme was coloured by musical performances and other attractive presentations. In his lectured titled “Entrepreneurship: The excellent option”, Mr. Onyebinama pointed out that agriculture is the most viable venture in this part of the world. He disclosed techniques through which youths could make money from agricultural trade such as bee farming, fish farming, snail farming and rabbit farming. Deacon Ijioma, who is the chairman of Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), Umuahia, spoke on “Job Search: The winning secrets”. He said there were times in
From Emmanuel Shebbs ABIA POLY
the country when jobs were enough for every graduate but “somewhere along the line, we lost that privilege due to bad leadership.” He said graduates now scramble for small vacancies. He said: “For you to be employable, you must have something to offer and your thought determines your abilities in the labour market.” Pastor Chikezie took the corps members on “Marriage: God’s choice for you”. He said marriage was commanded by God, saying many lives had been destroyed due to wrong choice of life partner. Reading copiously from Proverb 19 verse 14, Pastor Chikezie said divorce was an outcome of a wrong step. He discouraged impatience, urging young people to look up to God. Segun Augustine, one of the outgoing corps members, said: “I always think of how to push myself into the labour market considering million Nigerian youths who are looking for jobs. But now, I know that there is a way I can survive in Nigeria without depending on white collar jobs”. Christiana Ukaoma said: “I can now use my little allowee to make my life reasonable.”
Varsity wins contest to represent Nigeria
HE second edition of the International Humanitarian Law Moot Trial competition has been held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). The programme was organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the management of OAU. The participating schools included Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Lagos State University (LASU), University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), University of Ibadan (UI), University of Uyo (UNIUYO) and OAU, the host. The competition kicked off with
From Adebayo Caleb OAU
the preliminaries contest which made the moot court to sit in the morning and afternoon. The cases argued centered on international humanitarian issues. The trial ran from Monday to Wednesday, when it came to a close at the finals of the trial. On the last day, the two schools that qualified for the final stage the battled in an intellectual tussle that lapsed from morning till afternoon. When the results were finally announced, best memorial was
awarded to BUK, the award of the best speaker went to Olaide Mabawonku of LASU. The students of OAU came first in the competition, bagging the ultimate prize and a ticket to represent Nigeria in Tanzania. BUK students came second. In a closing remark by the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Ademola Popoola, reiterated the benefit of practical aspects of law. He also congratulated the participating students and appreciated judges that sat on various cases from the beginning of the competition. •The Planning students at Osun Grove
Students go on field trip
•OAU International School students
Group organises debate for secondary school students
HRENDS, an organisation made up of changeminded students at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has organised a debate for secondary school students in Osun State. The event, which was held last Friday, was a show of oratory prowess as young lads from Ilesa Grammar School and the OAU International School held the ground in a battle of wits and supremacy. The debate, which comprised two rounds with topics such as “Should sex education be encouraged in secondary schools” and “Who should be blamed for mass failure in general examination”, was moderated by Mr Mohammed
From Hannah Ojo OAU Adamilokan, from the department of English. At the end of both rounds, OAU International School emerged winner beating Ilesa Grammar School. While speaking on the event, the main speaker for the wining school, Jadesola Esan, a SSS 3 student, attributed her success to the contribution of her partners and her teachers. She further added that the platform was a good medium of expression, especially for students in the arts since most compe-
titions are organised for scienceoriented students. Damiloa Akande from Ilesha Grammar School displayed the spirit of sportsmanship by thanking God for their presentation even though they were not prepared for the competition. Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE after the event, the president of Phrends, Ebuka Nwosu, a 400Level Microbiology student, said the rationale behind the debate was to change the mindset of young people towards education. “We want people to know that they can always do something even though they are studying in disciplines with obscure opportunities,” Ebuka submitted.
S part of the requirements to fulfill their academic endeavour, the 300-Level students of Urban and Regional Planning at Ladoke Akintola Unioversity of Technology (LAUTECH), have embarked on a field trip to Osogbo, the Osun State Capital. The trip was meant to give the students a first hand experience on the condition of the housing and physical environment in Nigerian cities. On arrival, first point of call was the Osun groove, a world heritage site and the venue of the annual Osun Osogbo festival. They also visited the Osun State Ministry of Lands and Physical
From Seun Oke LAUTECH Development where they were addressed by the Commissioner Mr Olumuyiwa Ige, the son of the late Bola Ige. Dotun Odunayo, the class representative, said the trip was educative and opened the eyes of students to new developments in the field. The course lecturer, Mr. T. al-Hassan, told CAMPUSLIFE that the students were to carry out an urban renewal project which would propose ways to bring about a safe, healthy and productive environment while ensuring the conservation of the cultural heritage of the city.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
CAMPUS LIFE Students of Engineering at Delta State University (DELSU) have celebrated their week. PHILIP OKORODUDU (300Level Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering) report that the event was thrilling.
•Male contestants for the Face of Engineering
Engineering revolution in DELSU
HE students of Engineering under the banner of Nigerian Universities Engineering Students Association (NUESA), Delta State University (DELSU), have held their week which was tagged “Engineering Revolution and swag”. The event lasted five days but ended with the send forth of pioneer graduating engineering students in an elaborate event which was organised to showcase the best of the engineering profession with the inaugural Face of Engineering pageant. The week began with a rally that traversed the campus. Amid chants and dance, the students, who were all dressed in coveralls and head helmet, displayed their drawing boards, T-square, and were seen taking measurement of roads and building they deemed not to have been properly constructed, thus showing their professional exper-
tise. The following day was the old school day during which students were dressed in old-fashioned clothes to lecture rooms. Israel Ehiane, 300-Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering, told CAMPUSLIFE that he was going back to the 80s when things were better compared to the present. The activities of the third and fourth days were almost paralysed due to the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams (post-UMTE) held in the university. However, the activities went as planned as students were thrilled at the night of music tagged “Engineering music night” during which a competition was held and the winner qualified to perform in the award and send forth night. In the debut pageantry that was held during the award night, male and female students participated in
the contest. Mercy Agbogba, 200Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering, won the Miss Engineering while John Eloka emerged the Face of Engineering in the male category. They went home with 21 inches plasma TVs each. In both categories, the runners up were given consolation prizes. Also, the NUESA president, Mandela Ukpe, 500-Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering, was awarded the best politician for the 2010/2011 academic session. John and Mercy described their selection as Faces of Engineering in DELSU as “exciting”. NUESSA vice president, Kelvin Offe, who was the chairman of the planning committee, told CAMPUSLIFE that the event was a success despite hitches encountered. John Ogboja, 200-Level Petroleum and Gas Engineering, said: “We spent most of the semester planning for this event.”
•Mr and Mrs NUESA
Mabel Egware, 200-Level Mechanical Engineering and association’s Public Relations Officer,
thanked the school management for their support throughout the programme.
Ekiti students plead with govt on deplorable road
•Federal road linking to Abuja, bypassing Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti was repaired by Afe Babalola University. PHOTO: T. ANI
TUDENTS in various higher institutions, under the aegis of Student-Youth Coalition of Nigeria, have drawn the attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable state of Ado-Ijan Road. The Ekiti State Coordinator of the group, Mr. Olalekan Soyombo, alongside other student leaders, made the appeal at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti last week Wednesday . The students, who pleaded with the Federal Government to rehabilitate the road which leads to the Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, said both institutions seemed to have been cut off from the state due to the condition of the road. The students lamented that their colleagues and other members of
From Sampson Unamka AUCHIPOLY
the public were daily subjected to harrowing experiences on the road. They said armed robbers had capitalised on the bad state of the road to ambush and attack unsuspecting motorists, especially at night. Soyombo said: “Our concern is the lip service the government pays to our universities’ environments. The example is this federal road that leads to major institutions in Ekiti State, which has become impassable. The Ado-Ijan Road which leads to the Federal Polytechnic, and the Afe Babalola University, both in Ado-Ekiti. It also links Ekiti State with Ondo and Kogi states, but the road has now become a death trap.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
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THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Lagos Deputy governor advises private school owners on quality
HE Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire-Orelope has urged owners of private schools in the state not to compromise in the provision of infrastructure in their schools. She warned that government will not tolerate such a practice. She stated this on Saturday at the Awards/Gala Night as part of activities to round off the 20th Anniversary of the Supreme Education Foundation (SEF), Magodo LagoS. Mrs Adefulire-Orelope, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in her office, Mr Kunle Ajanaku, praised SEF for having modern facilities. She also commended them for sustaining the vision of the school and their focus on quality education. She noted that to attain 20 years in the education subsector is no mean feat. She also urged other private schools’ entrepreneur to take a cue from SEF, noting that it has also shown that with dogged determination and passion, one could succeed. She said the government accords education a priority as it would continue to provide the enabling environment for its growth and development. SEF’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Adenike Ademolekun, who attributed the school’s success to God, revealed that two factors informed her feat. “I had passion for children. And the need to give back to society,” she said, thanking her husband and her nonagenarian father, and educationist, who she said fired her inspiration to excel The former pupil of Queen’s College, Ede, in Osun State, said all she wanted to establish was a female school. She recalled: “At Ede, our fee was 10 pounds. With that we got everything we wanted.’’ She commended the late Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for the educational policy of his government. According to her, she had heeded her father’s advice that she should go for a co-educational school. That undertaking, she explained, was not a bed of roses at the beginning. She
By Joseph Eshanokpe and Adegunle Olugbamila
faced a lot of problems, including finance, staff turnover and some parents who, for some reasons, withdrew their children from the school. Ademolekun, who retired from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) as deputy registrar, said her objectives were to make sure children benefit from the various opportunities at their disposal and are placed in vantage positions to meet the global challenges. She believes that every child has a unique innate quality in her/him that could be developed to make and the country great. She commended the school’s Director of Studies, Mr Vincent Nkama, and other staff, some of who have been with the school since inception. They received awards and gifts for their meritorious services. Nkama urged the government to devote more resources to education. She praised the Lagos State government, saying: “It is improving education and many teachers are now satisfied wit their jobs unlike before.” A former pupil of the school, Mr Albert Ado, said the school has helped him to be a better person. Ado, an alumnus of the school, said he was overwhelmed with the facilities he met. He said if not for the discipline and guidance he received from the school, he would not have been a lawyer. Erudite scholar and gynaecologist, Prof Osato GiwaOsagie, who described himself as a friend of the Ademolekun family, commended them for their achievements. He said it is difficult for private business to thrive because of lack of commitment by staff in the absence of the owner. At the event were the daughter of Pa Awolowo, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and Bishop B. A. Adebiyi of the Anglican Communion, Lagos West Diocese. Earlier on Wednesday last week, SEF had held its yearly national debate that featured 29 participants drawn from both private and pub-
•Some of the contestants in different indigeneous attires and guests after the event
•Some of the participants during the debate competition
lic schools, especially in Lagos State. The topic of the debate was: The NYSC scheme has outlived its usefulness. In the end, Akinbo David of Redeemers College, Ogun State, emerged first with 79.8 per cent.
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
the April general election, people were asked to vote according to their conscience. So why would that of teachers be different? They voted according to their conscience and He directed teachers affected by such inhumanity treatment to immediately forward their complaints without delay to the union for necessary action. Similarly, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) candidate for Ebonyi Central Senatorial zone in the last general Election, Chief Innocent Ugo Chima had petitioned the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) and the National Assembly over the same issue. In its reaction, the state Commissioner for Education Prince Chibueze Agbo, described the allegation as false and baseless, adding that Elechi’s administration tolerates opposition and constructive criticisms. “Our Governor Chief Martin Elechi accommodates opposition party in the state and gives people the liberty to choose their leader, he cannot encourage the seizure of any teacher's salary or allow anybody to be intimidated for not voting for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”
was presented with a computer desktop and a colour printer, while Adeyemi and Chioma both went home with a computer desktop and a colour printer.
Ajimobi reiterates educational turn around
NUT alleges seizure of teachers’ salaries for voting opposition HE Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Ebonyi State chapter has called on the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, to warn Local Government Education Secretaries in the state who withhold teacher’s salaries over allegation of not voting for a particular political party in the last April general election. The state Chairman of the union, Comrade Joseph Nweke, who disclosed this to journalists in Abakaliki, regretted the seizure of salaries of some teachers in Ezza North and South local government areas of the state for months, describing same as ‘fraudulent’ and ‘unfortunate’. He said: “It has come to our knowledge the consistent seizure of salaries of teachers, especially in Ezza North and South local government area of the state by Local Government Education Secretaries for months on the frivolous allegation that such teachers voted for one political party or the other during the last general election”. “Such action is unfortunate, regrettable, fraudulent and uncalled for. We urge Governor Martin Elechi to urgently call the education secretaries to order. In Nigeria today, there is freedom of association and during
Kemi Adeyemi representing Vivian Fowler Secondary School came second with 79.8 per cent , w h i l e Genevive Chiona of WellSpring College came third scoring 78.4 per cent. David
YO State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi has said the state government will soon unfold a comprehensive education policy that will totally transform education in the state. He made this known at the Annual Reunion programme of the Government College, Apata, Ibadan. According to him, the education system in the state was so bad that the state placed 34th in the last West
African Examinations Council (WAEC) examination and to reverse this trend, his government was poised to ensure that the state moves to at least, number 24 within the next one year. Ajimobi said one of the measures is that the government would introduce extension classes for pupils in all schools in the state. According to him, the state government would also ensure that schools organise mock exams for SSS two and SSS three, as well as ensure that there is at least two hours extension for pupils daily so as to shore up their performances. Ajimobi also said principals of schools whose pupils fail to meet state benchmarks would be removed and sent to less challenging schools. He said the state was determined to move the success rate
in schools from its current 11 per cent to at least 20 per cent. He also promised to rehabilitate schools in the state and will motivate teachers and staff who are the engine room of performance, as well as provide furniture in schools in the state. He said one of the most fundamental things that the state will also do is to convoke an education summit where all stakeholders will discuss issues that have to do with education in the state and draw up a performance chart for the schools. Ajimobi said the reform had already begun with the inauguration of visitation panels for tertiary institutions in the state, stating that the battle to restore the glory of the state must be won at all cost.
‘Ajimobi also said principals of schools whose pupils fail to meet state benchmarks would be removed and sent to less challenging schools. He said the state was determined to move the success rate in schools from its current 11 per cent to at least 20 per cent’
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Uduaghan inaugurates bursary, scholarship boards
HE Delta State government has approved the construction of new schools in communities having only missionary schools to replace those handed over to the missions to enable them to have choice over which to attend. The state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who announced this during the inauguration of the State Bursary and Scholarship Board in Asaba, said two schools have already been established in Ozoro and Orerokpe to actualise the policy. “My administration has approved the return of 40 schools to the missionaries. The state government has also approved the establishment of two new government schools in Ozoro and Orerokpe as the only schools in the communities were mission schools. Uduaghan, therefore, appealed to communities in the state having issues with the handing over of schools to bear with the state government as such issues would
be addressed. The governor explained that modalities for the return of schools to the missions have been completed and the interest of stakeholders addressed. Explaining further, he said the committee that handled the return of schools did a thorough job and fears from the teachers, communities and religious organisations were taken care of to ensure that the exercise satisfied the interests of all. He said the handover of schools was done in the interest of the government and the people of the state, adding that it will go a long way in ensuring academic excellence and discipline. He announced that the state government pays the highest amount on bursary and scholarship more than any other state, saying: “I can say that the state government spends, more money on bursary and scholarship than any other state in the country. ”The governor explained that his
administration was committed towards assisting students in the state to achieve their potential, especially through education. He expressed optimism that the new board would do its best in promoting his administration’s three-point agenda.
Unilever promotes science, gives sponsorship
has ended with Unilever Nigeria Plc announcing its sponsorship package for the two prize winners of Unilever Dentists Hatton competition. The winners - Azodo Clement Chinedu and Nwangi Lizah from the University Teaching Hospital Benin and University of Nairobifocused their research on oral hygiene practices and gingival health among pupils in the country and
Cameroon and dental health and oral health seeking behaviour among adults in Kenya. Speaking at the closing ceremony and awards presentation to winners, Managing Director, Unilever Mr Thabo Mabe, said the company is proud to be associated with this event and cherishes its long standing association with key stakeholders in the dental community in and outside the country. According to him, Unilever has a long history and partnership with the IADR/Divisional and Hatton
competition. Over the years, about 900 students from across the world have had the opportunity to attend the competition at the global level called the IADR-Unilever Hatton Competition and have had the opportunity to share their research findings with top dental scientists from across the world. The two overall prize winners out of the 15 participants at both senior and junior category of the IADR/ Unilever Hatton competition will be sponsored to attend the next IADR event in Brazil in 2012.
‘Private schools have come to stay’ HE President of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in Rivers State, Dr Peter Harrison, has emphasised the role of private schools in the country, since pre-independence Nigeria. He stated this during the association’s National Day in Port Harcourt. According to him, the event, which was approved for NAPPS in 2008, but could not kick off cel-
From Clarice Azuatalam , Port-Harcourt
ebrations until the following year, was meant to appreciate the importance of private schools. He said: “The day was unique and special to NAPPS members,” hence private schools in the state with approval from the state Ministry of Education took a holiday to celebrate it. As part of its celebration, members drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state moved
OBILE phones! What can we do without them? And to think that before 2002 there were no GSM phones in Nigeria! How did we survive before then? But we did and our lives did not go out of sync. Withdraw them today, and battles will rage on how development of society would retard. Parents for one would complain that it would affect their abilities to monitor their wards effectively. Somehow, back in the days when there were no mobiles, parents managed to monitor their children. I do not think any study has been conducted to compare whether children or teenagers who grew up pre-GSM era were wilder, more promiscuous, and dishonest than those growing up now who parents can reach easily just by making a call. However, how effective is the mobile phone as a monitoring tool? Should primary and secondary school-aged children own mobile phones? Opinions differ. Proponents of its ownership by children will argue that with cell phones, busy parents can call home from work to find out whether Junior has done his homework, or Folake is back from tutorial class at the right time. They can also give instructions to domestic helps on what the children should eat or how long they should be allowed to play. Of course, these are valid points. Mobile phones are useful and can quickly alert parents if anything is out of place. Used in such manner, mobile phones can help parents get involved in the lives of their children despite busy schedules. But they cannot replace the scrutinisng physical presence of an adult in a child’s life and their down sides should be considered so that parents do not over rely on them. Children can easily lie – after all Mummy is not there to see that though Michael says he is doing his homework, he is actually at his friend’s place playing video games while Uche, his sister spends her time watching E! or Disney channel on DSTV and saves her chores for the last hour before Mum arrives. If mobile phones are monitoring tools, then should parents invest much money purchasing sophisticated handsets for their wards? Should children be allowed to take them to school? I know many schools that ban mobile phones. The simplest of phones are distracting, not to talk of when their sophistication provides more entertainment for users. Rather than concentrate in class, some students get carried away chatting, sending texts,
•From Left: Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria, Thabo Mabe; an undergraduate of University of Benin, Azodo Chinedu, one of the IADR/Unilever Divisional Hatton Awards winners for excellence in oral health articles and Executive Director, International Association of Dental Researchers (IADR), Dr. Chris Fox; at IADR’s symposium in Abuja
HE Third International Association of Dental Researchers (IADR) Conference in Abuja
in a motorcade from the Catholic Institute of West Africa on the Aba road, Port Harcourt, to down town Borikiri, where they donated some gifts to the Motherless Babies Home in the area. Harrison also expressed NAPPS’ appreciation to the state Governor Chief Chibuike Amaechi for reappointing Dame Alice Nemi as Commissioner for Education, adding that his members have enjoyed tremendous support from the ministry since she took over.
Belo-Osagie Kofosagie@yahoo.com 08054503077 (SMS only)
watching movies or listening to music. Many teachers have caught students in the act and have had to seize the phones in addition to more punishments. One public school teacher complained bitterly at a programme I attended that he did not understand why children needed to use Blackberry phones if all parents are interested in is monitoring them. He said many times he had seen unprintable contents on the phones he seized from students viewed when classes were on. Even at tertiary level, when most undergraduates are deemed mature enough to own phones, lecturers do not tolerate their use in class. If they should hear a phone ring, they could send the owner out of that class or worse. Some undergraduates also allow themselves to get distracted by these communication devices – engaging in midnight calls when they should either be sleeping or burning their candles. Phones aside, the wrong use of the internet by children and young adults can pose another problem. There is so much to learn surfing the World Wide Web. However, when pupils and students begin to learn the wrong things, there is trouble. Children also spend a lot of time on social networking websites where they are exposed to content that may not be age appropriate. I once heard of a quarrel between a man and his wife over allegations he was visiting pornographic sites on his laptop. It was not the man; it was their teenage son, a secondary school pupil. When installing internet at home, parents should take the precaution to block websites that will not benefit the development of their wards. They can subscribe to those sites that promote learning – and there are many of them. In addition to counseling their wards about the consequences of getting involved with the wrong people online, they should limit the time they (the children) spend on the web or monitor to ensure that they approve of information they access.
From my Inbox Re: Productivity of govt funding (October 20, 2011) Hi Kofo, You added a good perspective to our national malaise in the above title in your Edutalk today. I will add that there is even more corruption in developed and developing nations world over than in Nigeria, but the snag here is that - we reward mediocrity and punish excellence. If a principal knows that she/he will be demoted if her/ his students do not cross a certain threshold in exams, a whole lot of things will radically change positively. The same principle could be applied in other areas of our national life with great dividends to be reaped. Thanks and keep it up madam. Yours sincerely, Uchenna Nnadi.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
The Bayelsa governorship race is gathering steam, especially in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where nine aspirants have declared their intention to run. Group Political Editor BOLADE OMONIJO, Assistant Editor GBADE OGUNWALE (Abuja) and Correspondent ISAAC OMBE present the aspirants and their game plans.
The battle for Bayelsa The Sylva dream
HIEF Timipre Sylva is the governor of Bayelsa State. By tradition, he is the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. He mounted the saddle on May 29, 2007 when he succeeded President Goodluck Jonathan. Born July 7, 1964 in Okpoma Brass Local Government Area. Sylva had his early education at St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Okpomay but completed it at Ajeromi Central School 1, Lagos in 1976. His secondary education was at Government Secondary School, Twon, Brass from 1976 – 1981. Thereafter, he secured admission to the University of Port Harcourt where he majored in English Studies and Linguistics. Sylva had his mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Warri, Delta State. Having completed his NYSC, his working career took off at the National Minority Business Council, Port Harcourt, where he was the executive secretary. As the Executive Secretary, he saw to the creation of employment opportunities for his people. Consequently, he was elected to represent his state constituency at the House of Assembly in 1991/92 on the platform of National Republican Convention (NRC) This was however, cut short by the military intervention of the late General Sani Abacha and had to move to private business until the ban on politics was lifted. He later became one of the founding members of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and was saddled with the state financial secretary responsibility. He later joined the PDP and took up the position of Political Adviser to the former governor of the State Dipreye Alamieyeseigha until 2002, when he resigned from the office. He was a Special Assistant to the Minister of State, Petroleum resources, dr. Edmund Daukoru and served as a member of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State till 2004. When he was declared the winner of the 2007 governorship election, his opponent, Ebitimi Amgbare of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), challenged his emergence at the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal which upheld his victory. The petitioner however took the matter to the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt which overturned the tribunal’s decision and nullified Sylva’s election on April 15, 2008.
Dickson relies on elders In the run up to the conduct of governorship election in Bayelsa state, prominent elders in the state have endorsed Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson as their choice candidate to become the next governor of Bayelsa state. The elders said they reached their conclusion after taking time to assess the person of H.S. Dcikson who represents Sagbama/ Ekrekor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and presently chairs the House Committee on Special Duties. A Principal Bayelsa Elder, King A. J. Turner said Henry Seriake Dickson represents the generational shift that youths in Bayelsa state and even across Nigeria have been asking for. “You can see he was born in 1966 and I think that is an advantage, for someone of this generation…he will have no problem identifying with the youths and understanding their problems. I believe this is one of the key things needed in Bayelsa state today,
• Sylva • Supporters backing Sylva’s mandate renewal campaign inset: Governor Sylva
Aspirants and their bids
INE aspirants have shown interest in the Bayelsa State number one seat. The nine include incumbent Governor Timipre Sylva, Mr. Timi Alaibe who was Labour Party Governorship Candidate before he again defected to PDP last week. the first hurdle he has to scale is obtain a waiver from the leadership of the party. This has proved a tall order. The waiver is like jurisdiction argument in a law court. He must obtain a waiver to be regarded as a member of the PDP. Without it, the nomination form is useless. As at yesterday when the submission of form expired, Alaibe was not yet a member of the party. Dr. Bolade Igali, a Federal Permanent Secretary, Hon. Seriake Dickson a House Representsatives member, Mr. Fred Ikiyegha who has been governorship aspirant, Boloubo Orufa, a onetime Local Government Chairman, Christopher Enai was also a onetime House of Representatives member, Mr. Morris Maxwell and Mr. Ben Bruce an entertainment magnet are new entrants into the political scene. Majority of the aspirants are also from the Central and West Senatorial district of the state.The West insists that it is its where turn to produce the next governor. However, those loyal to Governor Sylva say it will be the turn of the West after the second term of the governor. Both former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Jonathan hail from the central zone. Among the nine, those from Central Senatorial district include Igali, Orufa, Alaibe and Maxwell whose posters are all over Otuoke, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Community. While those from West are Ikieyegha, Dickson and Enai. Bruce, the new entrant is, like Sylva from the East Senatorial district.
New chairman emerges The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has approved the appointment of Mr. Dugo James as the chairman of the state chapter of the PDP. He replaces Chief Darius Obieme who until Tuesday was the acting chairman. Obieme is perceived to be a strong supporter of Sylva and the national hierarchy of the party is said to be uncomfortable with him, given the role and influence of a party chairman in the conduct of party primaries. Coming ahead of the November 19 primary election, the new appointment was contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali dated October 25, 2011. The statement reads: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic someone who is himself a youth and understands the youths. “Dickson has also proven himself even at this his young age. You need to know the
Party held an emergency meeting at the national secretariat today, the 25th of October 2011. The meeting which was presided over by the national chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje deliberated over the state of affairs of the party in Bayelsa State. “After careful deliberations and consultations with stakeholders from Bayelsa State, and in line with article 14.5 of our Constitution, the NWC approved the immediate appointment of Mr Dugo James as the substantive chairman of the PDP in Bayelsa State. “All PDP members and stakeholders are advised to cooperate with the new chairman and State Executive Committee to ensure the success of the forthcoming primaries and our victory in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the State”. The latest decision by the national body of the party has split the Bayelsa State PDP down the middle, as supporters of Sylva and Alaibe have started beating the war drums over a last-minute waiver granted Alaibe to contest the election on the platform of the PDP. Alaibe had defected to the Labour Party (LP) in the heat of disagreements over governorship nomination in Bayelsa State for the April 2011 election. He clinched the governorship ticket of the LP and was poised for battle with Sylva in the April 2011 election. But the election did not hold as the Appeal Court elongated Sylva’s tenure alongside four other governors in similar circumstances. The Bayelsa PDP governorship nomination ticket has continually been slipping off Alaibe’s fingers since 1999. Twice he had lost the ticket to former Bayelsa Governor, Diepriye Alamieyeseigha in 1999 and 2003. He again lost the ticket to incumbent Governor, Timipre Sylva in 2007. A reliable sources at the PDP national secretariat told The Nation yesterday that the party was in favour of Alaibe’s candidature as a counter force to the incumbency advantage enjoyed by Sylva. According to the source, the move was premised on the perception that Alaibe remained the most formidable candidate among the pack of aspirants seeking to unseat the governor. “It is apparent that the party wants Sylva out of the way for whatever reason and the leadership sees him as the only one with enough political clout to beat the Governor in the primary election.” “The thinking of the party is that the Governor has the right to contest for the ticket and preventing him from doing so may cause crisis within the state chapter of the party. To avoid a crisis situation, he will be allowed to contest and he can’t blame anyone if he fails to get the ticket,” the source maintained. story of how he rose through the various stages of life to arrive at this stage. I see a parallel between Dickson’s story and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s triumph
over humble beginning. We as elders in Bayelsa are confident that Dickson is the man the state needs to take the people forward at this moment.” King Turner said. The immediate past PDP Chairman in Bayelsa state, Honorable Rufus Ababi said he is rooting for Dickson as the next governor of the state because of the need to unite the entire people of Bayelsa state to move on as one.
Alaibe: Fourth attempt He has become a recurring decimal in the battle for governorship of Bayelsa State. Timi Alaibe whose country home is Opokuma, was the Labour Party (LP) candidate in last April’s election. Born on June 11, 1962, he was trained as Accountant and Banker at the University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt and the Obafemi Awolowo University where he bagged Bachelors and Masters degrees respectively. His working life started as Accountant Trainee at the African Continental Bank (ACB) Plc and he rose to become Branch Accountant and Head of Operations. He later joined the All States Trust Bank where he was a Branch Manager. He was Vice-President Cosmopolitan Bancshares, Manager, Corporate Banking and Investment and General Manager Societe Generale Bank. A former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he defected to LP when it became apparent that he would not realise his dream of becoming the governor of the state under the PDP platform. He was Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) before he was elevated to the position of Managing Director in 2007. As Special Adviser on Amnesty Matters to President Goodluck Jonathan and Special Adviser to late President Umaru Yar’Adua on Niger Delta Affairs, he was the coordinator of the ex-militants training programme.
Ben Bruce: New entrant seeks fresh challenges Born 55 years ago, Ben Bruce is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He has served as Executive Director, Black Music Association of America. He also served as a member of the National Arts Theatre Management Board, The Federal Film Censors Board, The Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film Distribution Company, and Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee. For four years, he was the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). •Continued on page 44
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Abayomi flags off bid to succeed Mimiko
•Dr Abayomi flanked by his wife Foluke at the unveiling of his poster for the Ondo State governorship election.
KEAGBE, a rustic commu nity in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State was alive when human rights activist cum constitutional lawyer. Tunji Abayomi announced his plan to run for governor on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). This is not the first time the erudite lawyer has show interest in the governorship race. In 2007, Abayomi, a former counsel to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was an aspirant under the Action Congress (AC). Despite the intrigues that trailed the governorship primaries of the party, which led to the defection of seven aspirants, Abayomi remained loyal to the party. Not moved by his failure to secure the party’s ticket, Abayomi has again shown interest in the race to the Alagbaka Government House with the unveiling of his campaign posters. Before the unveiling, guests from the northern senatorial district of the state were treated to the rich curriculum vitae of the human rights lawyer. The legal practitioner, while addressing the gathering said, his move was borne out of the desire to transform Ondo State into a better place. He explained that Ondo State should not be an exception in the wind of change blowing across the South West states, stressing that most of the projects put in place by the present administration in
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
the state do not have direct bearing on the lives of the people. He lamented that the development witnessed in the state in the last two and half years was not commensurate with the huge amount being received monthly as federal allocation. Abayomi said: “Ondo State cannot be an exception from the wind of change blowing in the South West. The real progressives are ready to take over the state from people who pretend to be in the progressive camp. Our state has not witnessed a meaningful development in the two years, except of deception and carrying out projects that are misplaced. Up till now, we don’t know how much comes to the state on monthly basis. “Our roads are bad; some are being abandoned, shoddy work here and there. Look at Ogbese road; there was fun fare that it had been repaired. When they finished the work, we all thought it was a good work. Go there now, I tell you within the next six months, the road will come back to what it is used to be because quality job was not done there. Abayomi said his experience in the struggle for the enthronement of democracy and his activism placed him in good stead to free the people to Ondo state from below-expectation performance of the Mimiko-led administration. His words: “I was once jailed for defending the masses. I have used
all my life to serve the common man. So, I know the place where shoe pinches the people. Examples have shown that activists are good leaders. Go to Edo and see what Adams Oshiomole is doing. I am ready to serve my people to ensure that poverty is reduced to the barest minimum.” The legal practitioner added that the nation would continue to lag behind if it fails to elect leaders with genuine interest of the masses at heart. He warned that a situation where mediocrities are allowed to run the affairs of the country would continue to spell doom for the nation. The lawyer added that the failure of credible Nigerians to come out to represent their people always puts the destiny of Nigerians in the hands of charlatans. Abayomi also stressed the need for Nigerians to de-emphasise the use of money which he noted, had polluted the nation’s system in all ramifications. He used the occasion to describe the trial of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the Code of Conduct Tribunal as a move to silence the opposition political parties, even as he wondered why the ex-governor was being challenged now eight years after he left office. Abayomi pointed out that the nation can only grow if the anti-corruption agencies in the country show the courage to discharge their duties without biases.
Result of Lagos Local Councils Elections S/N
NO. OF WARDS
1 2 3 4 5 6. 7. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 S/N 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
ACN CPC PDP ACN CPC PDP AGBADO-OKEODO 1 5 2 7 AGBOYI-KETU 1 7 7 AGEGE 1 5 2 7 AJEROMI-IFELODUN 1 9 9 ALIMOSHO 1 7 7 AMUWO-ODOFIN 1 7 7 APAPA 1 5 5 APAPA-IGANMU 1 5 2 7 AYOBO - IPAJA 1 5 5 BADAGRY 1 8 2 10 BADAGRY WEST 1 3 2 5 BARIGA 1 8 8 COKER-AGUDA 1 7 7 EGBE-IDIMU 1 5 5 EJIGBO 1 6 6 EPE 1 8 8 EREDO 1 5 5 ETI-OSA 1 5 5 ETI-OSA EAST 1 5 5 IBA 1 5 5 IBEJU-LEKKI 1 7 7 IFAKO-IJAIYE 1 7 7 IFELODUN 1 7 7 IKOTUN-IGANDO 1 7 7 IGBOGBO-BAIYEKU 1 5 5 IJEDE 1 4 4 IKEJA 1 6 6 IKORODU 1 6 1 7 IKORODU NORTH 1 5 5 IKORODU WEST 1 5 5 IKOSI-EJIRIN 1 6 6 IKOSI-ISHERI 1 7 7 IKOYI-OBALENDE 1 5 5 IMOTA 1 4 4 IRU-VIC/ ISLAND 1 5 5 ISOLO 1 7 7 ITIRE-IKATE 1 7 7 KOSOFE 1 7 7 LAGOS ISLAND 1 10 10 LAGOS ISLAND EAST 1 10 10 LGA/LCDA CHIAR’SHIP COUN’SHIP NO. OF WARDS ACN CPC PDP ACN CPC PDP LAGOS MAINLAND 1 8 2 10 LEKKI 1 5 5 MOSAN OKUNOLA 1 5 5 MUSHIN 1 9 WARD H INCONCLUSIVE 10 ODI-OLOWO/OJUWOYE 1 9 9 OJO 1 5 5 OJODU 1 6 6 OJOKORO 1 7 7 OLORUNDA 1 4 1 5 ONIGBOGBO 1 6 6 ORIADE 1 6 1 7 ORILE-AGEGE 1 6 6 OSHODI-ISOLO 1 6 1 7 OTO-AWORI 1 4 1 5 SHOMOLU 1 6 2 8 SURULERE 1 9 9 YABA 1 8 1 9 TOTAL 57 355 2 18 376
The battle for Bayelsa Port Harcourt. The group also boasts of one Television station in Lagos and Nigeria’s first and only Cinema multiplex with five screens. Bruce is a Director of several companies in Nigeria as well as in France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Orufa: Yenagoa man wants to take over •Bruce •Continued from page 43
He is the Chairman of the Silverbird Group, which consists of 3 FM stations in Lagos, Abuja and
Hon. Boloubo Orufa, is a onetime Vice Chairman and later Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Area which is hosting the state Capital. He declared his intention to present himself for the Governorship
Position of the state in the 2012 elections in October. The Governorship aspirant who was the Chairman of Yenagoa LGA when Goodluck Jonathan was the Governor of the state disclosed that his action plan to develop state is already in the blueprint and he intends to follow it religiously if mandated by the electorate. He said that he’s not banking on any godfatherism, but on God. On some of his legacies that will spur Bayelsans to vote massively for him, Orufa says it’s on record that he turned round the revenue base and financial fortunes of Yenagoa Local Government area of the state as Chairman of that Council. He says the perennial financial cri-
sis of the Council which was known for borrowing money to pay Civil Servant Salaries was put to an end during his tenure. “Right from creation, Yenagoa LGA had the lowest allocation, and was borrowing to pay salaries. But when I came on board, I took it upon myself. I prayed to God and I was given the wisdom to revive the hitherto poor revenue base of the Council area. The governorship hopeful also said: “Yenagoa LGA is now the second highest in allocation and revenue base. This was a major achievement in my time as the Chairman of the Council”. When reminded that as a person from Bayelsa Central Senatorial district that has produced governor be-
fore now and that it was the turn of Bayelsa West Senatorial district, Orufa said there was no written document on which area should produce the governor.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Expert harp on benefits of M
AGNETO therapy has been described as a cheap method of treating malaria. According to a member of the National Complementary and Alternative Medicine Association (NACAMA), Dr Cyril Omisande, clinical magnetology is a new and vibrant branch of medical science, which combines ancient wisdom with modern scientific pragmatism. It believes in the harmony of man and nature. “It is a therapeutic programme developed for effective management of chronic, incurable diseases, chiefly by clinical magnetology supported by natural habits and complementary therapy systems. So, it has been proven that malaria parasite Plasmodium loses vigour and can die when exposed to oscillating magnetic fields, which may cause tiny iron, containing particles inside the parasite to move in ways that damage the organism. The treatment of malaria with magnetic fields has proven revolutionary in controlling the disease.” According to Dr Omisande, who is a member of African Association of Naturopathic Physicians in Ogun State, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has termed malaria as one of the world’s most complex and serious
magnetic cure for malaria By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
human health concerns. “This is an inexpensive and simple way to treat a disease that affects 500 million people every year, almost all in Third World countries. According to WHO, as many as 1.5 million people die of malaria every year in Nigeria, approximately one million of those are children. “In the past two decades, the emergence of drug resistant by malaria parasites have created enormous problems in controlling the disease; treatment with magnet has passed those concerns because it is unlikely Plasmodium could develop a resistance to magnetic fields,” he said. Explaining how Anopheles mosquitoes that carries the parasite causes malaria, Omisande said: “Malaria is spread by the female Anopheles mosquitoes. The organism first invades the liver, then re-enters the bloodstream and attacks red blood cells. This is what causes malaria’s hallmark symptoms like fever, uncon-
trolled shivering, aches in the joints and headaches. Infected blood cells can block blood vessels to the brain, causing seizures and death. Other vital organs are also at risk, as malaria parasites ‘eat’ the haemoglobin in red blood cell of the host. “They break down the globin portion of the haemoglobin molecule, but the iron portion, or the haeme, is left intact because the parasite lacks the enzyme needed to degrade it. This causes a problem for the parasite because free haeme molecules can cause a chain reaction of oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, leading to membrane damage in the parasite. The malaria organism renders the free haeme molecules non – toxic by binding them into long stacks – like ‘tiny bar magnets,” he said. He said the oscillating magnetic fields may affect the parasites, the process of binding free haeme molecules into stacks, the alternating field shakes the stacked haeme molecules, preventing further stacking. That would allow harmful haeme free reign within the parasite. “The therapy is seen as a very weak mag-
• Omisakin netic field, just a little stronger than the earth’s. The difference is that it is oscillating, the method is proven effective and safe. It is very easy. People come to the treatment room and sit and read or whatever while they’re being treated,” he said.
Fayemi’s wife, nine others to get award on wellness
HE wife of Ekiti State Governor and, Initiator, Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), Mrs Bisi Fayemi and four other s are to receive awards for their outstanding contributions to health and wellness at the Wellness Award Dinner organised by Indulge Nigeria Limited, a healthy living advocacy company. Five companies would also be honoured. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bisi Abiola, the firm is honouring them for their support to health, wellness and confidence in Africa. Abiola, who spoke to reporters on the event billed for Lagos in November, said people should prevent diseases rather than looking for cure that is often expensive and and unaffordable by ordinary man. She said the awardees have helped the society to stay healthy and confident through their contributions. The other recipients, she said, are the Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria, Prof Olufemi Akinyanju, Founder, African Refugee Foundation (AREF), Ambassador
By Wale Adepoju
Segun Olusola; Founder VITSAF, Ogo Maduewesi, Medical Director, Alimosho General Hospital, Lagos, Dr Bolaji O. Adebiyi, Grand Cereals Limited; Unilever; African Independent Television (AIT), Promasidor and MTN Foundation. Abiola said: “The achievements of these awardees cut across various areas of wellness initiatives which embrace women welfare, heart health, provision of basic human needs, encouraging healthy diet plan and lifestyles, promoting healthful and fitness activities in the work place, boosting public awareness on vitiligo, controlling and providing care for sickle cell disorder, and dissemination of healthful news through selective health programmes and talk shows.” On the third launch and learn wellness seminar and exhibition themed: Achieving wellness through knowledge, holding in Lagos by October, Abiola said, there would be free eye test, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screening, dental check among others.
• Dr Abiola (right) and Event Coordinator for Indulge Nigeria Limited, Ada Uzoma
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Possible causes of blurry or failing vision F
ROM the mail last week, I received the following telephone text message which reminded me of my struggles for clean, clear vision, and of the many people I’d interacted with lately over a common question: How can the eyes be saved from going blind? Last week, the enquirer asked: “I have cloudy and hazy vision. I can’t tolerate bright light. Things appear bright suddenly, then go back to their normal intensity. I have seen eye doctors. He gave me retinol, cod liver oil, purisolone. Still no change. Please help me” Many of us take our eyes for granted, as we do, say, the heart or the lungs and the stomach. We load just about anything in the stomach, inhale smoky or smelly air without seeing anything wrong with it. A few days ago, a mini bus I was in drove past a house where a printer was running a giant electricity generator for his business. That wouldn’t have been my business if the exhaust pipe hadn’t intruded into the street, pumping dark columns of smoke at passersbye. Gushes of warm, suffocating air hit us all from out of the blue. Some passengers were choking and coughing. I managed to hold my breath and close my eyes, as I’d been taught to do in such situations, before I reached out for an handkerchief. But how much poisonous air can this piece of cloth hold back? Many passengers seemed not to know the implications of what had just happened until I gave them a little talk. We are poisoned gradually every day by people who are either ignorant or have no regard for human health and life. In matters such as this, we are meant by law to be protected by both the Federal and State environmental protection agencies. But where are their men? How many people have they prosecuted? While we ask these questions, we inhale carbon monoxide every-day instead of oxygen – rich air. The carbon monoxide combines with the oxygen carrier in our red blood cells, haemoglobin, which, enriched with oxygen, forms the life promoting oxyhaemoglobin, to produce the killer carbonxylhaemoglobin. You’ll remember how poisonous carbonxylhaemoglobin can be when you remember that’s what is in coalpot charcoal smoke or electric generator smoke which the newspapers continue to report kills whole families in their sleep. I say newspapers continue to report this havoc because my first encounter with the shocking news was in1957, when I was only seven years old. My father, a police detective, investigated the gruesome death of six of a seven-member family who, in the harmattan season of that year, burnt charcoal in a coalpot to keep warm while they slept at night. While we may not burn charcoal in the bedrooms these days, we inhale carbon monoxide from a number of sources, the commonest being the traffic. Our eyes are absorbent. How do we detoxify them of this poison every day? If we don’t aid the body’s detoxification process, which may be inadequate on account of deficient nutrition, the eyes weaken gradually… and may fail someday. Many causes There may be a thousand and one reasons for fading and failed vision. These may include: Blocked blood vessels, pinal pressures; Liver malfunction; Leaking blood vessels; Hardened blood vessels; Growths behind the lens and before the retina; Collagen matrix collapse and blocked drainage, as in glaucoma; Blocked or sub-optimal kidneys; Cataracts; Growths on the cornea; Floaters; Free radical damage and antioxidant deficiency; Nutritional deficiencies; Inflamation or degeneration of the optic nerve; Candida, fungi, yeast, bacterial and viral infestation; Elevated blood sugar level, especially diabetes; Stiffness of eye muscles; Physical trauma; Hypothyrodism. We cannot exhaust the list Blood Vessels The eye may appear to be a small organ, but it is one of the most well supplied with blood. Deliveries are made through a large number of capillaries thinier than hair strands. If they leak on the way or are blocked, blood suppliers are diminished. This, of course, will lead to food shortages and delayed evacuation of wastes. Waste accumulation means poisoning of critical and delicate organs of the eye which wither over time, causing poor vision. If these vessels are stiff and hardened, as in a ateresclerosis, which raises blood pressure in the bigger vessels, they may raise pressure in the eye, causing damage. To be healthy, blood vessels require, among other nutrients, large amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, especially Quercitin and Rutin which prevent leakage, essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, 9) and Vitamin E, to prevent oxidation. A proprietary product called HEALTHY VEINS, valuable even in varicose veins therapy, tries to accommodate as many nutrient friends of blood vessels as possible. Collagen collapse The most abundant protein type in the body, collagen is like the steel matrix of a house form work filled with concrete motar. It firmly holds the entire structure together as in the decking or slab or beam or pillar. If the steel matrix is too flimsy to hold the mortar, the building collapses. In the eyes, collagen degeneration or collapse, which may have genetic and other origins, has been correlated with glaucoma,
a condition in which the drainage channel collapses and is blocked. This channel is a tube which drains expired circulating fluid from the rear humour of the eye, acqueous humour, to the frontal compartment, the virtuous humour. If this fluid is not adequately drained, fluid build-up in the rear of the eye will set up pressure against the vital organs, especially the light-sensitive retina, drowning and damaging them and causing vision impairment. Many people suffer from this condition without realizing it, as in some situations except a gradual, painless loss of peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is side vision. Normally, the eyes should see objects on a 180 degree plain. That is, if the arms are stretched sideways, everything within this ambit should be observable. The degree to which this is no longer possible is the degree to which vision has been lost without it being known. Thus, many people suffer from tunnel vision or Vshaped vision, with the visual field at the sides lost. In some cases, the loss is in the top and bottom visual field. This is why people may bang their heads or trip on near objects. Where the nerves are merely weak and not dead, it is possible to help them with a group of herbs called nerviness. It is like reviving a fainted or drowned or malnourished person. Fennel is a good eye herb. So are golden seal root and, as the name suggests, Eyebright. Although fennel is known more as a digestive herb, the Romans discovered long ago that the eyes of a snake are blurred when it sheds its skin but it is clear-eyed if it ate fennel seeds or leaves just before this annual ritual. The venerable Edgar Caycee (March 18, 1877 – January 13, 1945), the Christian psychic seer and healer who diagnosed ailments of his patients in a trance, treated about 14 causes of glaucoma at various states of the disease. In the Edgar Caycee Encyclopedia of Healing, in which Dr Williams A. McGarey, M.D., wrote the foreword and Dr. Randall A. Langstan, M.D., the Afterword, the editors say: “The causes most frequently cited by Caycee for glaucoma were glandular disorder, especially adrenal, toxins or ‘infectious forces’ in the system; the deflection of proper nerve impulses to the eyes, usually due to spinal misalignments; poor circulation and impaired elimination; kidney and liver imbalances and a general depletion of energy to the system. The glaucoma in two cases was said to be partly karmic, implying an unborn predisposition towards the disease. According to Caycee, any of the above conditions, either singly or combined, could result in a lack of nutrients, circulation and/or proper nerve impulses to the eyes, causing distress, sometimes inflammation, and a progressive deterioration of vision”. What Caycee means by deflected impulses is this. The spinal bones are arranged one on top of the other from the base of the head to the pelvic floor, where there used to be a tail. From underneath each bone appears through a special grove a nerve on either side which branches into a network and travels to parts if the body in its region. The are like computer cables. If a bone shifts and pinches on one, the quality of the transmission it is bringing from the brain is dulled and its message to organs or tissue dulled. Therefore, slight shifts of the bones of the neck; slip discs or spondylosis (wearing) may affect vision if the visual nerves are affected. And that is why, be it in reproductive system dysfunction, Caycee would advise spinal massages, a job for the osteopath or chiropractic doctor. Reflex zone therapy of the feet come near this. Blocked kidneys From a Chinese book I lost in the 1980s, BURN DISEASE OUT OF YOUR BODY, I learned that ‘the eyes open into the liver”. The same is true of the kidneys. The kidneys regulate the fluid balance in the body, helped by the adrenal glands. Stones form in the kidneys every day, but may not be large enough to cause trouble. Stanley Burrough’s says in THE MASTER CLEANSE (please check on the internet) that poisons not eliminated from the body are calcified and the prison cages plugged into intracellular spaces. These are spaces between cells. Imagine all the city’s garbage plugged into spaces between buildings. Over time, air circulation will diminish, the air would become stale and foul, and disease outbreak would follow. In the case of the kidney or
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
liver, glandular function would diminish from the stress and more pressure would be required to drive blood through them. A sub-optimal kidney would mean fluid back up in the system and the eyes. The kidney may be relieved through a number of herbs, in teas or capsules, such as Dandelion, Horsetail, Common Club Moss, Hydrangea, Corn silk or a proprietary product in which they are all assembled such as Chanka Predra, Kidney Essentials, Bell Kidney Cleanse and Function tea, Amazon Kidney Support and Amazon Adrenal Support. There is an idea from Japan we cannot ignore when it comes to Liver-Eye relationship. The eye opens into the liver, I said earlier on, implying that liver situations reflect in the eye. We know about jaundice in the liver reflected in the yellowing of the eye. Robert Rister says in JAPANES HERBAL MEDICINE. “Chronically blurred vision is usually caused by common eye defects, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. Disturbances of the fluid balance in the eye can also cause blurred vision. These disturbances may be limited to the eye itself, as in eye strain or excessive tearing, or they may reflect disturbances in fluid balance throughout the body, as in diabetes, high blood pressure and premenstrual syndrome. “Kampo explains blurred vision as resulting from either too much energy flowing to the eyes or too little energy flowing out of the eyes. The eyes lie on the energy channels controlled by the liver. When the liver is disturbed by pentup emotions, excessive consumption of alchohol, or overwork it cannot supply the eyes with the energy they need. These kinds of disruptions to the liver cause longterm blurred vision. In conditions requiring circulation of unusually large among of blood, such as during menstrual period, the liver may be temporarily unable to supply the eyes with energy. If this is the root disturbance, blurred vision will be periodic rather than permanent”. From the freegoing, it is important, in my view, to treat the liver and kidneys along with the eyes. When we are advised peanuts (groundnut) consumption impairs vision, is it another way of saying the liver may be fatty and will be distressed by fat in peanut, and in turn will pass the distress to the eye?” Cataracts In the sea, a cataract is a barrier to navigation which ships avoid. In the eye, it means the clear, jelly-like protenous lens has solidified. The lens stands before the black of the eye, the pupil. Light travels past the white of the eye, past the black to the lens which directs it on the light-sensitive retina behind it, through two fluid media, the vitrous humour directly behind the tense in the front chamber, and from here past the Acqueous humour in the back chamber. The retina then passes the light through the Optic Nerve to the brain. The lens is fluidy like the white of the raw egg when it is healthy. When hardened into a cataract to light ‘navigation’, it is like the white of ‘cooked’ egg. What cooks it so? It is the blue aspect of the white light, which is composed of seven colours… red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Of these the blue is the most destructive and Nature protects the lens and other delicate eye organs against it with several antioxidant substances, chief among which, in terms of specificity to the lens… are LUTEIN and ZEAZANTHIN, plentiful in Marigold flower. They absorb this blue aspect to prevent it damaging the lens and other organs. Where one is deficient in these antioxidants, trouble looms for the eyes… the lens may be cooked and cataract forms, blurring vision. The B vitamins, especially B2, are also important for eye health as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Zinc and Selenium. Floaters These are cellular debris not broken down and resorbed. The immune system encircles them and many of these bodies join to form circulating immune complexes (CICs). When they appear before the retina, they block light flow, creating a kind of shadowy eclipse. They can be dissolved through the use of antioxidants and enzymes. Stiff eye muscles Six muscles hold each eye in place in the socket. They require exercise daily to keep them supple and supply them blood for oxygenation and waste disposal. These muscles move the eyeball forward to view distant objects and backwards for near object such as the nose. When they become stiff, the vision stagnates, and eye glasses are needed to do their jobs. If they stagnate on distant focus, near objects cannot be viewed. Dr. William Bates discusses this and other methods of natural eye care in his book, BETTER SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES (check on internet). Conclusion Prescription of Retinol and Cod Liver Oil alone may not be sufficient for blurry vision. Retinol is a type of Vitain A. Largely, Cod Liver Oil supplies Vitamin A. I am not familiar with Purisolone. Without Zinc, the eye will not absorb enough Vitamin A. And Zinc must be taken on empty stomach, preferably last thing at night, for maximum serum absorbtion. Zinc is an antioxidant and fertility agent which helps to stabilize cell membrane and promote healing. The lens require Lutein and Zeazanthin for protection against blue rays of the sun. Selenium, which invigorates Vitamin E, is needed for the production of the body’s chief antioxidant, glutathione, which protects the eye against free radical damage Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), a fat and water soluble antioxidant, protects antioxidants in the eye against damage and protects fatty and water aspects of the eye, unlike one-sided antioxidants Vitamin C and bioflavonoids must suffuse the eye to protect it.
Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
e-Business Nigeria braces up for mobile number portability Over the years, poor quality of service (QoS) and high tariff have forced Nigerians to keep multiple telephone lines. An end is in sight for their plight. Soon, subscribers will be able to switch service providers without changing their lines, eliminating the recourse to multiple network providers. This move, stakeholders believe, will transform telecommunications services, ADLINE ATILI writes
OOR Quality of Service (QoS) has become a sore point in the telecommunications business, forcing subscribers to go for multiple lines. Some people even have as many as five ‘lines’-GSM and CDMA inclusive. Though there are about 120 million connected lines in Nigeria, only about 90 million are active. According to the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, Nigeria may not have more than 30 million ‘real’ subscribers after all. What makes the situation worrisome is that some operators seem unconcerned about the plight of their subscribers, since they cannot simply ‘leave’ the network because of the inconvenience of having to give out a new number to their contacts. However, the Nigerian Communications Commisssion (NCC), has made a move to implement the Mobile Number Portability (MNP). MNP will allow subscribers to move to an alternative network when they are no longer enjoying the quality of service being obtained from their current operator, or when they are no longer happy with the tariff offered by their current operator. MNP allows subscribers to keep their phone number when they switch service providers. Put succinctly, the service enables a subscriber to subscribe to another network without having to buy a new SIM card. According to NCC, MNP will remove barriers to the free choice of service provider by a subscriber, ensure further increase in the level of open competition among network operators, and act as an incentive for service providers to improve Quality of Service and consumer satisfaction. “Number Portability will improve QoS, improve competition and bring prices down. We want to address this through strategic actions aimed at improving competition and accountability of the service providers to the consumers of their products and services.” Globally, nations are recognising that subscribers benefit from Number Portability because it can help develop and sustain competition in the telecom sector. It is expected to increase competition in the mobile telephony market as customers will have the choice to change operators if they are not happy with the quality of service or tariff they get from their existing operators, without having to give up their mobile numbers. Stakeholders believe that the
implementation of Number Portability will change the face of competition significantly as operators, with their predilection for competitive moves by rivals even when their stance was previously unyielding, would begin moves to offer a slew of innovative products and services to retain customers. According to them, it is all the better for subscribers who have been starved of quality services for so long. Although tariff may not be a differentiating factor in the choice of operator, experts say Telcos that offer superior products and services, better quality of customer service, better price structure and higher network quality will have an edge in ‘porting’ customers to it. The commission, last week, announced the appointment of a consortium of three companies to implement the service in Nigeria. The consortium comprises Interconnect, Saab Grintek and Telcordia. The consortium emerged preferred vendor for the service after the technical, financial and demo presentations by all bidding vendors. According to the Head, Media and Publicity of the NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka, the consortium emerged from the 10 that submitted bids, and was among the seven companies pre-qualified after the initial technical evaluation. Muoka added that the company will be responsible for the setting up and implementation of Number Portability Clearing House in Nigeria, and provide Mobile Number Portability solution ad-
ministration in Nigeria within six months of receiving the licence with a testing period of two months. He said further: “The members of the consortium are to execute a tripartite agreement that will indicate their specific responsibilities in the process, with the regulator approving such agreement to tally with the conditions of the provision of the service in Nigeria. “The NCC also mandates the consortium to ensure that local content participation and adequate skill transfer are entrenched in the process during the implementation of the five-year licence. “The consortium is also expected to configure the technical solution for Number Portability in Nigeria, in line with the consultation documents earlier published by the commission; the solution is to be customised to meet the specific process needs, as well as other requirements of the network operators.” Managing Partner, TransitIT, Femi Akinyemi, noted that though competition in the telecom sector is driving down tariff costs, implementation of Mobile Number Portability will further drive down costs. He said: “In the area of cost, we are slowly seeing the effect of competition driving prices down. “More can be done in this area and NCC allowing Mobile Number Portability will add significantly to this. “At present, people are locked in to their number and don’t want to lose it so stick to their network. “MNP implementation will mean
that networks have to improve significantly in customer service as an unhappy customer can leave.” Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat, Ibrahim Dikko, said: “We believe that implementation of Mobile Number Portability will further deepen competition in the industry and enhance the quality of service in the operations of networks. “The ultimate beneficiary of the exercise will be the consumer since the initiative will introduce flexibility and choice for desired services. “With the continued deployment of cutting-edge technology on its network and a team of well-trained and dedicated members of staff, Etisalat is well-positioned for the introduction of Mobile Number Portability.” President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr Deolu Ogunbanjo, stressed that fear of losing their mobile phone lines have made subscribers endure, what he described as “unacceptable quality of service and a tariff regime that is not very pocket friendly to consumers who are compelled to have multiple subscriptions to two or more service providers at a time due to fear of losing their lines which has become like a companion and part of their individual or corporate identity.” He said implementation of MNP emphasises the consumer’s power of choice which infuses a strong impetus for competition with attendant benefits of improvements in tariffs, quality and service delivery. “Number Portability is the key that will drive quality of service improvements as well as tariff reduc-
tion and innovation among service providers. “This will serve to stimulate competition and efficient service delivery as well as innovation among operators. “This will in turn assist subscribers to be more efficient in their business operations, leading to greater overall improvements in service delivery across other segments of society, by virtue of the multiplier effects of telecommunications on the economy. “This will accrue greater profitability and expansion of the economy with favourable impact on employment and citizen empowerment. “The impending introduction of mobile payment systems by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the NCC increases the criticality of Number Portability as the subscriber requirement for a unique identity to which his account is tied becomes imperative; otherwise, a customer may be forced to remain on his network and endure poor services for fear of losing his/her account by a change of number identity. “Clearly, this makes a compelling case for Number Portability to minimise the risks associated with managing sensitive financial details of customers.” Juwah said the implementation of MNP, which would have taken place long ago, was delayed by the ongoing SIM card registration. NCC had said Number Portability will be the next step after SIM card registration as it is necessary to know the identity of subscribers who are ‘porting’ their numbers at different times from one network to another. According to Juwah, MNP was delayed, “because of lack of SIM registration data base.” He said: “We deliberately delayed Number Portability because we don’t want to inject Number Portability in a state of anonymity of SIM cards; in a state of confusion and chaos of data registration. “We said that as soon as we get a good grasp on SIM card registration, we are going to revive the process of actually appointing a clearing house and operator for the number portability project.” He, however, added that appointment of an MNP operator does not mean the project would start straightaway, until after all logistics have been taken care of. He said: “The appointment of an operator for Number Portability doesn’t mean that it would start immediately. The operator has to set up equipment and interconnect with all the operators. “By international standard, it takes nine months from the time of appointment of a Number Portability operator to realising the ‘porting’ itself.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Stakeholders canvass conducive business environment
HE Federal Government has been asked to provide a conducive business environment to attract foreign investors. Head of Glo’s Business Enterprise Solutions, Folu Aderibigbe made this suggestion in Abuja at Globacom-sponsored The Economist Group’s summit. The summit was a gathering of the nation’s political leaders, investors and business leaders to discuss developmental challenges and critically examine government’s reform programme, shed light on the realities of operating a business and identify emerging investment
Stories by Adline Atili opportunities. Aderibigbe said the wide disparity across states, in terms of ease of paying taxes, registering property, enforcing contracts, obtaining permits or setting up businesses, are issues which federal and state governments need to address. According to him, Globacom supported the summit because of the company’s belief that Nigeria has the potential to play on the same level with developed nations if the country develops an effective policy direction. “We need to set direction and consistently stay on course for a decade or two and then the nation will emerge out of
decay to set the pace in the 21st century,” he said. At the event, Globacom showcased the possibilities of its international submarine cable, the Glo 1, to members of the summit. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi LamidoSanusi, was able to speak face-toface with his counterpart in the United Arab Emirates from the summit venue via Glo 1’s teleconferencing solution. He expressed delight that Nigeria is at the forefront of technological capabilities, saying: “This is a great development for this country. I am happy that this technology is coming from a Nigerian company.”
Etisalat launches Gaga smartphone
TISALAT Nigeria, has inaugurated the Gaga Android smartphone¯ Huawei U8180. The phone is an Etisalat customised 3G device and operates on Android 2.2 Operating System. The 2.8 inch full capacity touch screen phone has accelerometer functionality, Google maps and satellite navigation. Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi hotspot, fast Internet download speed of about 7.2mbps, Bluetooth, FM radio, a 3.2MP camera and a document viewer for Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF, and Adobe flash. The phone manufactured by Huawei Technologies in partnership with the chipset manufacturer, Qualcomm, enables users to download applications, e-mails, view and edit documents on-the-go. Etisalat’s Chief Commercial Officer, Wael Ammar, said: “There is no operator that is pushing 3G smartphones the way we are. We realise that more people are embracing smartphones and tablets with the growing need for individuals and
businesses to stay connected. “With the launch of our 3.75G HSPA+ network, we decided to introduce a customised Android smartphone at an affordable price to meet this need. The Gaga smartphone is designed for the value-conscious subscriber who wants to utilise 3G services but doesn’t want to spend a lot on acquiring a device.” According to Ammar, the phone has been bundled with a subscription plan consisting voice and data services. It has 4 months free 50MB data with calls charged at 20k per second. Managing Director, Qualcomm, Alex Dadson, said: “The heartbeat of the Gaga smartphone is set by the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip which brings together all the capabilities of the phone in a complete integrated system. “This smartphone, supports a full range of services including mobile video, social networking, gaming and music. This smartphone will redefine how Etisalat subscribers work, learn, live and play.”
Smartphones boost mobile data traffic •From left: Chief Marketing Officer, Visafone Nigeria, Mr Parag Sen; Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sailesh Iyer and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Srinivasa Venkatappa at a press conference in Lagos.
MTN restates commitment to intellectual development M TN Nigeria has assured mobile applications (apps) developers of linking them up with over 50 million mobile phone users to enable them make money from their ideas. By facilitating access, MTN is offering a platform for ideas generation and innovation as well as assisting local developers to monetise their skills. Mobile apps are Internet applications that run on smartphones and other mobile devices. They help users by connecting them to Internet services or by making it easier to use the Internet on their devices Speaking at the MTN Ideas Forum in Lagos, Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Mr Bola Akingbade, noted that the mobile market is changing at an increasing pace, with learning, entertainment, social networking, health services and financial services going mobile. He said applications have emerged as a fundamental driver of enabling lifestyle and productivity as consum-
ers want to access relevant content from Personal Computers, laptops, phones and in-car systems, adding that operators need to start focusing on reducing barriers to adoption. He said: “Research has indicated that there is a yearning for relevant local and international mobile applications from an application store that guarantees ease of access especially by the trendies who desire a modern and progressive rhythm of life. “According to our customers, ‘Apps create an exciting and elevating feeling of unconstrained sense of belongingness and being in touch with the world.’ Mobile handsets are getting smarter and more accessible because of increasing availability of ultra-low cost smartphones with improved user interface. Data usage is going up, bringing more of the African popu-
lation online primarily via the mobile screen. “However, there is very limited local mobile content in Nigeria. This is going to be a massive opportunity and a challenge. To this end, MTN would facilitate access to over 50 million mobile phone users in Nigeria. This would enable developers monetise their ideas. “We would give handsome monetary and non-monetary rewards to winners of the MTN apps competition and certify qualified developers as MTN app developers. We would also provide developers tool kits and make possible visibility of apps within the MTN app store and access to 21 MTN markets.” “As next steps, MTN Nigeria would partner with or take key learnings from relevant examples of regional competitions to launch MTN mobile app developers’ competition. MTN would also work with our partners, Google, Nokia and RIM to eliminate the current challenge and difficulty associated with payment for foreign applications.”
NigComSat-1R pre-launch conference for November
HE Nigerian communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd will hold roadshows and interactive sessions with stakeholders in Lagos next month before the launch of its replacement satellite, NigComSat-IR in December. In a statement by the company, the events slated for November 21, 22 and 23 in Lagos, will enable officials of the company interact and explain to participants what to expect from the satellite that has been moved to its launch site. Expected to feature major industry players including telecommunications, broadcast and Internet
regulators, the three-day forum will address salient issues about the new satellite, features and what is there for telecommunications, broadcast, Internet and other ancillary stakeholders across a broad spectrum of the economy. Executive Director (Marketing), Abimbola Alale, described the conference ‘as a dress rehearsal of things to come.’ The event is a follow up to the maiden stakeholders’ conference held July in Abuja. Alale noted: “This edition is coming to Lagos because it’s the hub of the economy and most of the key players in telecommuni-
cations, broadcast media and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have their corporate headquarters in Lagos. We are taking the events to their doorsteps.” The armed forces, the police, maritime and aviation industry practitioners are expected to feature at the conference. Alale further said: “With a thematic preoccupation on prelaunch marketing and sensitisation, the conference will address knowledge innovation and space race, design features and cutting-edge payload, network solutions, maritime, aviation and broadcast of the NigComSat 1R.”
INDINGS of a new measurement from technology solutions company, Ericsson has shown mobile data traffic has continued to grow, doubling from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, adding that users with modern, capable devices without spending limitations are increasingly using their smartphones to access the Internet. The findings are part of Akamai’s The State of the Internet report. The first quarter of 2011 displayed eight per cent growth, which reflects normal seasonal fluctuation. In more detail, the mobile data growth patterns reveal that the quality of a smartphone affects which applications people use and the length of time they surf the mobile Internet. As defined by Ericsson, an active smartphone user generates more than one MB traffic per day. Factors including screen size, age and price of the smartphone have a stronger correlation with median traffic than Operating System. It is notable that in North America, high-end smartphones generate twice the traf-
fic than comparable smartphones at the operators analysed in Asia and Europe. Head of Ericsson’s Business Unit Networks, Johan Wibergh, said: “Our market research confirms that high-end smartphone users are increasingly accessing the Internet on their phones. This underscores the importance of having networks that are smart, scalable and provide superior performance to deliver on expected user experience.” Additionally, Ericsson has found that among heavy users, the cumulative data generated by video is significantly higher than for other activities. The top five to 10 per cent of smartphone users are willing to spend up to 40 minutes a day watching online video. However, the average user spends about 30 seconds a day watching online video. The implication is that high-end users are driving traffic and demand for prioritised services. Wibergh continues: “That is why we believe tiered pricing models in combination with traffic management are key for operators as well as consumers.”
Winner emerges in Galaxy S II promo
resident of Lagos, Isma Iliya has won a 55-inch Samsung Smart LED TV in a raffle draw that wraps up Samsung Galaxy S II promo. The raffle was opened to consumers who purchased Samsung’s Galaxy S II during the Samsung Week 2011 activation in Lagos and Port Harcourt, with a 20 per cent price slash and free leather phone pouch. Regional Director, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Fady Khatib, noted that consumers’ response during the Samsung Week was very encouraging, saying it was a demonstration of love for the Samsung Galaxy S II brand due to its ability to deliver its promise of a smarter life without limits. The Samsung Galaxy S 11, a slim fast processing device with high resolution screen display, is packed with rich applications such as the
Readers Hub, which allows consumers download books, newspapers and magazines, the Social Hub, which allows consumers set up and manage multiple email and instant messaging account. According to Khatib, “Samsung Galaxy S II is among the fastest selling smartphones in the world. It sold over five million units globally within 85 days of its launch; that is approximately 1.5 units per second. “The European Imaging and Sound Association awarded it the best smartphone for the year 2010. It comes with special features that give consumers exceptional experience. The Swype typing input is ideal for fast typing, the AllShare connectivity allows consumers to connect the device wirelessly to laptops and other devices, and the Social Hub integrates all social networks into one place, making communication easier and faster.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Stock market sustains recovery with N17b gain
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-10-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name
No of Deals (N) 2 2 9 13
FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
0.50 0.50 8.00
2,000 53,152 78,050 133,202
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
10,000 338,449 348,449
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
5,000 181,003 186,003
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
5.45 3.44 2.09 4.10 1.73 9.55 14.00 9.60 4.65 1.39 3.25 0.57 0.67 12.30
2,649,424 2,106,507 375,385 392,675 2,670,659 9,727,991 17,242,696 9,155,037 6,002,366 13,237,248 48,939,528 7,906,100 468,406 92,800,309 213,674,331
1,000.00 26,576.00 619,627.50 647,203.50
AIR SERVICES Company Name
No of Deals (N) 1 44 45
AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
21,400.00 1,962,504.99 1,983,904.99
AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name
No of Deals (N) 1 20 21
DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals
2,500.00 322,877.94 325,377.94
BANKING Company Name
No of Deals (N) 132 61 20 22 54 471 524 59 92 72 250 29 15 406 2,207
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. UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals
14,069,876.61 7,107,423.14 793,561.21 1,581,100.00 4,632,099.56 92,903,100.58 239,592,332.62 87,168,838.50 27,783,542.96 18,501,346.10 156,797,970.16 4,507,792.00 313,832.02 1,146,994,884.90 1,802,747,700.36
BREWERIES Company Name
No of Deals (N) 72 189 261
GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
361,282 1,906,798 2,268,080
72,851,755.06 172,624,036.55 245,475,791.61
BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name
No of Deals (N) 41 16 38 23 118
ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
14.00 5.01 100.00 39.25
1,049,533 385,027 236,914 133,416 1,804,890
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
9.00 18.91 5.11
115,000 26,133 6,000 147,133
14,709,753.21 1,954,263.40 23,685,359.60 5,218,142.75 45,567,518.96
OR the second consecu tive trading session, the Nigerian stock market sustained its recovery, riding on the crest of more positive earnings reports and sentiments about possible dividends in the months ahead. Most stocks that witnessed price changes yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on the upside with appreciable price rallies, especially in the banking, food and beverages segment. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted companies rose by 0.26 per cent to close at N6.450 trillion as against its opening value of N6.433 trillion, indicating a gain of N17 billion. The All Share Index (ASI), NSE’s common value index that measures changes in the prices of all quoted equities, also improved by 0.49 per cent from 20,278.16 points to 20,376.73 points. Investors particularly appeared to be responding positively to recent upsurge in earnings from the banking sector. Eight out of the 15 listed banking stocks appreciated in a bullish session that saw the sector‘s
CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name
No of Deals (N) 7 10 1 18
BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 1 13 14
COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
500,000 426,900 926,900
250,000.00 932,750.00 1,182,750.00
COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT Company Name
No of Deals (N)
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
6.43 6.19 30.00 6.11 0.67 30.00 26.70
1,000 1,331 1,716,638 650 1,771,077 802,701 315,179 4,608,576
CONGLOMERATES Company Name
No of Deals (N) 1 5 63 2 39 60 43 213
CHELLARAMS PLC JOHN HOLT PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC SCOA NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
6,110.00 7,839.59 51,695,957.00 3,776.50 1,194,210.77 24,004,605.15 8,433,070.72 85,345,569.73
CONSTRUCTION Company Name
No of Deals (N) 19 1 5 25
JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC MULTIVERSE PLC ROADS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
38.43 0.50 6.20
174,565 40 105,000 279,605
6,382,361.44 20.00 651,000.00 7,033,381.44
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name
No of Deals (N)
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
CUTIX PLC Sector Totals
index rising from 290.16 points to 293.75 points. With capital gains recorded by Cadbury Nigeria, Flour Mills and Dangote Sugar Refinery, the sectoral index of the food and beverages sector rallied to 633.88 points compared with its index-onboard of 626.01 points. These altogether impacted on the outlook of the 30 most capitalized stocks, which index rose from 900.80 points to 907.68 points. However, the insurance sector’s index dipped slightly from 146.31 points to 146.11 points, while petroleum sector index closed flat at 245.74 points. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc which had fixed its impending rights issue at N62 per share, led the advancers yesterday with a gain of N3 to close at N63. Flour Mills plans to issue 455.57 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to shareholders on the register of the company as at October 7, 2011, on the basis of eight new shares for
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-10-11 INSURANCE Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GREAT NIGERIA INSURANCE COMPANY PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. OASIS INSURANCE PLC PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC STACO INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 70 7 1 10 1 13 17 4 1 124 1 1 1 4 1 3 2 1 262
No of Deals (N) 23 37 79 77 63 4 8 46 1 338
7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC Sector Totals
FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 4 4 10 4 22
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
48.00 14.59 6.00 6.09 63.00 2.62 4.20 401.00 21.48
200,823 357,042 1,151,598 1,115,928 402,488 18,200 284,160 76,537 41,109 3,647,885
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
1.19 27.00 2.46 1.65
541,904 4,888 36,255 18,737 601,784
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
9,566,739.10 5,066,959.78 6,926,434.60 6,733,725.02 25,204,869.04 47,490.00 1,176,678.50 30,693,337.12 839,034.69 86,255,267.85
621,668.40 128,852.00 87,777.50 30,537.09 868,834.99
HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name IKEJA HOTEL PLC TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 40 1 41
No of Deals 5 5
VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 12 12
2,355,668 420 2,356,088
5,245,578.30 1,726.20 5,247,304.50
STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals (N) 3 3
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 50,000 41,000.00 50,000 41,000.00
No of Deals 43 43
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,386,060 1,104,966.80 1,386,060 1,104,966.80
MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 3 3
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 618,000 309,000.00 618,000 309,000.00
OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 3 3
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,178 2,089.00 4,178 2,089.00
Company Name NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 34 34
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 526,882 898,461.80 526,882 898,461.80
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 4 21 38 16 12 170 24 285
Quotation(N) 63.86 35.00 4.93 9.12 141.00 29.05 200.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,336 336,118.25 42,826 1,483,921.95 952,262 4,556,032.22 27,445 262,648.65 16,208 2,222,946.22 3,946,580 114,566,379.63 23,751 4,520,692.28 5,014,408 127,948,739.20
PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name ACADEMY PRESS PLC. LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 1 6 9
Quotation(N) 2.47 4.42 3.61
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 2,350.00 1,000 4,420.00 17,700 63,563.00 19,700 70,333.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 24,825 302,495.00 24,825 302,495.00
REAL ESTATE Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 13 13
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name
MARITIME Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals
INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,163,394 1,762,528.58 120,000 120,100.00 5,000 2,500.00 64,700 160,475.00 1,000 500.00 8,694,271 4,347,135.50 3,878,859 4,755,343.12 580,000 290,000.00 250,000 125,000.00 53,377,777 26,688,888.50 5,000 2,500.00 2,000 1,000.00 1,000 500.00 32,625 40,521.25 2,500 1,250.00 772,000 386,000.00 31,500 15,750.00 10 5.00 70,981,636 38,699,996.95
HEALTHCARE Company Name
Quotation(N) 0.55 1.00 0.50 2.45 0.50 0.50 1.26 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.30 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals
FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name
every 33 ordinary shares. Other top gainers included Cadbury Nigeria, which gained 60 kobo to close at N14.59; Guaranty Trust Bank, which added 40 kobo to close at N14; Nigerian Breweries, which rose by 38 kobo to N90.59 and NCR Plc that added 31 kobo to close at N6.64 per share. However, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), led the decliners with a loss of 29 kobo to close at N5.71. Ecobank Nigeria followed with a drop of 11 kobo to close at N2.09 per share. Continental Reinsurance Plc, Dangote Flour Mills and Eterna, lost 5.0 kobo each to close at N1, N6 and N4.93 respectively. Also, Sterling Bank, UAC of Nigeria and Unity Bank dropped by 3.0 kobo each to close at N1.39, N30 and 57 kobo respectively. The market also witnessed significant increase in level of activities with a turnover of 318.99 million shares valued at N2.47 billion in 4,052 deals yesterday, contrasting the 200.37 million shares worth N1.79 billion traded in 3,796 deals the previous day.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
983,250.00 489,853.62 29,160.00 1,502,263.62
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
Quantity Traded Value of Shares
Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16,500 8,415.00 16,500 8,415.00
THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals
No of Deals 36 36
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,391,000 16,276,987.00 1,391,000 16,276,987.00
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
VISA advocates financial inclusion via e-payments
By Collins Nweze
ISA Incorporated, has stressed the need to focus more on get ting people in remote parts of the country involved in banking services. The Country Director, SubSaharan Africa, VISA Incorporated, Ade Ashaye, yesterday said a lot of money in circulation is outside the banking system and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) less cash policy is simply targeted at encouraging people to make payments electronically rather than cash. Financial inclusion is being widely pursued because there has always been a problem on how to reach people that are far from banks. This, he said, will involve banks opening more branches and getting their customers into embracing mobile banking services. The firm, he said, is providing mobile banking through phone usage, a step, he argued, that would get more people involved in banking services. In an exclusive interview with The Nation, Ashaye, said by encouraging electronic payments, banks will have more money to lend to industries. “A lot of cash is outside the banking system, a practice which will be reversed when more transactions are done electronically using cards,” he said. He said VISA is also advising the CBN and banks on how to ensure that the global best practices are achieved in the course of implementing the less-cash policy of the apex bank. He said there is need to create awareness on how to make people understand the use of electronic banking products. He said achieving financial inclusion will require the banks expanding their networks to remote areas, so as to reach more people. Ashaye, said VISA has tried to improve banking technology in the country, adding that almost all the banks are members of Visa. He said Nigeria has the right technology after many of the banks migrated to
EMV which is a more secured platform needed to prevent frauds. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and VISA, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards or chip cards which can be used on point of sales (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. It is a joint effort between Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure security and global interoperability so that Visa and MasterCard can continue to be accepted everywhere, adding that EMV cards are notable for preventing card frauds.
Moody’s Economy.com recently completed a study to measure the economic impact of the shift from cash and checks to digital currency in 51 economies worldwide. He said the findings support the assumption that digital currency enables commerce to operate more efficiently. According to the Moody’s report, these efficiencies come in various forms: Convenient access to resources, as well as offering consumers immediate access to all of their financial resources. He said most cash transactions create spare change that often leaves the economic system driving down consumption. Card payments keep this money in consumers’ accounts to be spent at a later date. Ashaye said cards
can increase taxable income by creating an electronic audit trail, adding that reduced risk of fraud inherent in many electronic payment networks is the guarantee of payment for merchants and liability protection for cardholders in the case of fraud. These protections bolster confidence in the system, which can lead to greater overall consumption, particularly for high-value transactions. “Digital currency is at a critical point in its development, having moved from the margins to the mainstream, particularly in developed economies. With almost 40 per cent of global consumer spending remaining on cash and cheques, the economic implica-
Bank disburses N25b to MSMEs
N its contribution to speeding the economic development in a sus tainable manner, Diamond Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to empower the micro small medium enterprises (MSMEs). It has so far disbursed N25 billion to the sector in the last two years. The Head of Proposition for MSMEs of the Bank, Mrs. Chidinma Lawanson, who disclosed this at the “Diamond BusinessXtra Enterprise Series,” said henceforth, the bank will focus on creating value for businesses that fall within this sector because
than 85, 000 customers within a period of two years and it is still growing. “So far, we have given loans of over N25 billion to over 7,000 customers in Nigeria since the inception and these loans are strictly between N1million to N10million. Most of these customers utilize the loans in buying fixed assets or stock of tradable goods and they do pay back. The repayment levels have been very high,” she said. Lawanson said that although there are more than 10million registered
they are largely ignored within the banking industry and the economy at large. She said as part of plans to restructure the MSMEs sector to contribute immensely to the economy, the bank has developed a guarantee focus by creating a current account product that makes it easy for over 85, 000 entrepreneurs with the bank to gain access to loans without being charge commission on turnover (COT). She said, beneficiaries of the current account product for MSMEs, have grown from 7000 customers to more
CCESS Bank Plc has partnered the Common wealth Business Council, (CBC) in hosting the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, Australia. Specifically, the bank sponsored the African Day session, which is an integral part of activities lined up for the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Commonwealth
heads of states and over 1000 business leaders from across the globe. President Good luck Jonathan of urged investors to look the way of Africa in making their investment decisions advising commonwealth nations to take to take advantage of investment opportunities in Nigeria. The Director-General of the Commonwealth Business Council, Dr.
Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The programme ,’Partnering for Global Growth: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Rim,’ examined avenues for enhancing new global economic partnerships for trade and investment in key sectors across the Commonwealth and beyond. The event had in attendance 54
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-10-2011 “ 14-10-2011
GAINERS AS AT 26-14-11 SYMBOL FLOURMILL CADBURY GUARANTY NB NCR ROADS WAPCO NASCON VITAFOAM UNILEVER
O/PRICE 60 13.99 13.6 90.21 6.33 5.91 39 4 5.75 26.5
C/PRICE 63 14.59 14 90.59 6.64 6.2 39.25 4.2 5.95 26.7
CHANGE 3.00 0.60 0.40 0.38 0.31 0.29 0.25 0.20 0.20 0.20
LOSER AS AT 26-10-11 SYMBOL NAHCO ECOBANK CONTINSURE DANGFLOUR ETERNAOIL STERLNBANK UACN UNITYBNK AIICO TRANSCORP
O/PRICE 6 2.2 1.05 6.05 4.98 1.42 30.03 0.6 0.57 0.69
C/PRICE 5.71 2.09 1 6 4.93 1.39 30 0.57 0.55 0.67
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Mohan Kaul, commended the bank for taking up the sponsorship of the African Day at the Commonwealth Business Forum. Access Bank’s Group Managing Director, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, commended the Commonwealth Business Council for its exceptional commitment to fostering business growth among Commonwealth nations in the last 10 years.
OBB Rate Call Rate
MSMEs in Nigeria but those accessing the bank’s loan have continued to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. However, the Head of Proposition for MSMEs of the Bank, acknowledged that access to funds has been a mitigating the growth of MSMES, but she noted that further plans by the bank to support the sector’s drive is to regularly organise the Enterprise Series seminars to tutor entrepreneurs on how best to improve their business for growth with available funds.
Access partners Commonwealth Business Council
tions of moving to a more efficient, secure and transparent method of payment are important considerations for policymakers around the world,” he said in an emailed statement. The study found that, on average, increasing card usage by just one per cent translates to a 0.024 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This equates to $15 billion in additional GDP globally for every one per cent increase. It was also affirmed that the availability of open electronic payment networks is an important contributor to consumption and economic growth, and access to these networks should be promoted worldwide.
Year Start Offer
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Bureau de Change 162.0000
(S/N) Parallel Market
NSE CAP Index
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25-10-11 N6.4336tr 20,278.16
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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% 3.00% 10.3%
9.17 1.00 118.31 100.28 0.76 1.02 0.91 1,639.36 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,230.13 193.00
9.08 1.00 118.14 99.71 0.74 1.02 0.90 1,634.12 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,028.67 191.08
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THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
NEWS NIIP Project: Anambra communities write Sambo
Labour rejects govt’s stand on subsidy Continued from page 2 what are the huge resources of the country, which are at the disposal of government used for? “The reality is that despite the trillions of naira budgeted annually for these basic needs, the roads remain in a deplorable state, public maintenance is absent, mass transportation is non-existent, youths are abandoned as are the public hospitals leading to high mother and child mortality rates. “The Petroleum Minister also announced that the proceeds of the subsidy removal
will be managed by Nigerians of integrity. The question is, who are those managing the national economy and the annual budgets; if they are not Nigerians of integrity, why not handover the economy to such Nigerians? “Recreating a DIFFRI as General Ibrahim Babangida did or a Petroleum Trust Fund as General Sani Abacha did, is disingenuous. Government should simply leave its induced oil subsidy in place. “The Minister’s statement that ‘We (Jonathan administration) cannot please all the
people all the time’ rings hollow. While this is a truism, the removal of oil subsidy will displease 99 per cent Nigerians. If government disproves this, it should subject its fuel subsidy removal to a referendum,” the NLC President said. The government claims that subsidy – of about N1.2 trillion, according to its officials – has benefited only a few individuals to the detriment of the generality of Nigerians for whom it is meant. It promised to plough back the cash saved from subsidy withdrawal to provision of infrastructure.
Court restrains PDP over Ogun exco
FEDERAL High Court in Lagos has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from usurping the functions of the Chief Dayo Soremi-led Executive Committee in Ogun State. Ruling on Tuesday on a motion ex-parte brought by Chief Dayo Soremi and two others on behalf of the State Harmonised Executive Committee of the PDP, Justice C.E Achibong ordered “that status quo should be maintained as of this morning”.
The applicants had in a suit against PDP, its acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; ViceChairman (Southwest), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo; National Organising Secretary, Mr. Uche Secondus and National Legal Adviser, Mr. Olusola Oke, prayed the court to restrain “the 1st Respondent by its members, national officers from violating, contravening or otherwise breaching the order of the court of September 21, 2010 by sidelining the Ogun
State Executive Committee led by the Applicants or the structure set up by them at the Local Government and Ward levels of the state.” They also prayed the court for an “order of interim injunction restraining the 1st respondent, its servants, agents or privies from interfering with the functions of the Applicants as officers of the State Executive Committee of the 2nd Respondent party, pending the determination of the motion on notice.”
Agency tackles expelled members over identity
HE Board of Directors of the Mobile Advert Agency Nigeria Limited has dismissed insinuations by some of its expelled members that it is the same as the Mobile Advert/Loading and Offloading Agency of Nigeria Limited (MOAN/LOLAN). The board said yesterday that contrary to a publication in a national daily (The Nation) on Tuesday that the MOAN/ LOLAN are the same, they are two different entities with different registration numbers. A statement by the Chairman of the board, Otunba Mike Osimen Eboziegbe, said: “While the registration number of the Mobile Advert Agency Nigeria Limited is RC 985498,that of the MOAN/
LOLAN is RC 652153.” According to the statement, MOAN/LOLAN does not have any clearance certificate registered with the Registrar of Trade Mark in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Commerce, but the Mobile Advert Agency Nigeria Limited has a registered clearance certificate known as “MOAN” with the Registrar of Trade Mark. Eboziegbe challenged the expelled members to publish the order where he and the Executive Director of the Mobile Advert Agency Nigeria Limited, Chief Richard Obeto Eimiana, were restrained by a court from “printing, producing, distributing, launching and dealing in any
Church holds conference
HE Divine Appointment Ministry International will hold its prayer conference popularly known as ‘World Against Satanic Manipulations’ at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in November. This edition of the prayer conference is tagged: Night of War’ Senior pastor and founder of the church Ben Eragbai said the conference would liberate the nation from the shackles of satan. Eragbai said as a developing country, Nigeria needs prayer for its speedy development.
Anambra tribunal dismisses petition against Andy Uba
HE Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka,Anambra State, yesterday dismissed the petition of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Anambra South Chuma Nzeribe. The Senator challenged the election of Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Senatorial candidate for Anambra South Andy Uba. Nzeribe and his party had challenged the PDP for fielding multiple candidates. Justice Onajite Kuejubola ruled that the declaration of Uba by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) remains valid
and lawful. “The petition lacked merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety.It is hereby declared that the declaration and return of the respondent Andy Emmanuel Uba, made by the 2nd respondent as in form EC8E for the Anambra South Senatorial district held on April 9, remains valid and lawful,” she said. APGA had alleged that the election was not properly conducted. It said Uba was not qualified to contest the election. APGA’s counsel Theo-fine Ugochukwu Oguji said Nzeribe would appeal the judgment.
manner whatsoever with the year 2012 National Clearance Certificate to motorists” belonging to the agency as alleged in their publication. He said the issue pending before a Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, which is the genesis of the controversy, “is entirely a different matter, which the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria Limited is not a party to”. He added: “In the publication, the makers of the statement deceitfully failed to notify the public that the order in question was an ex- parte order that has only seven days life-span, which abates after seven days and the order was seven days old on September 20.”
From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
OME CLAIMANTS from communities in Anambra State affected by the National
(NIPP) in the state have written to Vice-President Namadi Sambo to prevail on the project’s consultant to compensate them. They said their farm lands are affected by the project. In their letter, the six claimants said they have been suffering because they were notcompensated for their farm lands affected by the NIPP’s project. They decried the method adopted for the payment. According to the claimants, the consultant allegedly advised the NIPP au-
thorities to pay through Electronic transfer. “The bank in question for the e-payments is one of the new generation bank. The bank has given several reasons for failing to pay us each time we go to collect our money. The claimants wondered why they should go through the epayment method, when payment should have been decentralised to reduce their suffering. The letter was signed by Andrew Okeke, Ifesinachi Agbani, Ifeoma Ekele, Mojekwu Zeb and M.A.C. Olisa.
Five-storey building collapses in Lagos FIVE-storey building collapsed at 6.30pm yesterday in Maryland, Lagos. No casualty was recorded as the occupants had evacuated their belongings before the building collapsed. The building, identified as Don The Dieu Plaza, is located a few metres from the Maryland bus stop. Five companies, including the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Don de Bureau, Scrib Insurance Brokers, and Ok-God Investments, had their offices inside the building. The incident caused temporary traffic gridlock on the road as rescue ambulances were mobilised to the area. Motorists and passersby besieged the building to watch the rescue operation. Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) were on hand to maintain order. A resident, who witnessed the collapse of the house, Mr Al-Hassan Yakub said the impact of the collapse made many residents and motorists to scamper for safety. He said: “The building was already barricaded in the morning. People knew it would collapse. The occu-
‘The building was already barricaded in the morning. People knew it would collapse. The occupants had been alerted to quit the building since the morning because part of the building was shaking and vibrating’ By Toluwani Eniola and Amidu Arije
pants had been alerted to quit the building since morning because part of the building was shaking and vibrating.” An occupant of the building, Mr Kasali Abimbola, an assistant Director of Finance with the Chartered Institute of Taxation, noted that but for the quick intervention, the situation would have resulted in a disaster. He blamed the collapse on structural failure. Abimbola said: “There was panic when we noticed that the building was shaking.We came down. We
saw that there were cracks around the building. We knew there was a problem. Before now, whenever it rained, we usually saw that the walls got wet. But today, those landmarks brought us down and we saw that there were cracks.” The Head of Emergency Rescue Operation Team, Red Cross, Lagos State, Mr Dare Akinfosile said though there were no casualties, the volunteers would stand by. Addressing reporters last night at the site, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr Oke Osanyintolu, described the situation as pathetic. He said the remaining part of the building would be demolished today. He said: “We received the early warning that the house was shaking. Immediately we alerted all the stakeholders in managing emergency. We quickly called the people to evacuate the place and the collapse was well controlled. There was no death recorded. We are on top of the situation. We try to create awareness about what is going on here and by tomorrow, we will move in our heavy duty equipment to knock down the building.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Lamido sues Jigawa ACN chair for alleged defamation
IGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido has filed a suit at a Dutse Sharia Court against the state Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr Abubakar Fulata, for alleged defamation of character. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Yakubu Abdullahi Hussaini filed the suit on behalf of the governor. He prayed the court to ensure justice over the damage the alleged defamation the state ACN chairman reportedly committed against Lamido as an individual and not as governor. The commissioner was represented by the Director of Prosecution, Sule Umar, who told the court that Lamido has been injured and is thus seeking justice from the court. Umar said: “I work with the Ministry of Justice. I stand here today as counsel to Lamido, not as a lawyer
with the Ministry of Justice. People should not mix it up. It is not the governor that has filed this case; it is Alhaji Sule Lamido seeking justice.” The Sharia Upper Court Judge, Saidu Dauda Haruna, ordered that Fulata be reminded in custody to give him enough time to study the case. The Judge adjourned the matter till November 2. He said the ACN chairman should not be granted bail to avoid tampering with the investigation. Early this year, the state ACN chairman allegedly filed a petition at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, challenging the validity of Lamido’s election and education status. Police spokesman, Abdul Jinjiri, confirmed the arrest of the ACN chairman. he said the police invited him for questioning over an order it received from the
Kaduna saves N32m from ministry’s ghost workers
HE Kaduna State Government yesterday said the Ministry of Health has saved about N32million hitherto paid as ghost workers through the ongoing verification of workers in ministries, parastatals and departments. The Head of Service, Mrs. Hannatu Ugah, told reporters in her office that the exercise has nothing to do with staff rationalisation in the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. She said the verification would produce a proper data base and information on its work force. The HOS added that during the exercise, workers were expected to bring their letters
From Eunice Bosua, Dutse
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
of appointment and credentials. Mrs Ugah said: “It is not a new thing, but an integral part of every institution. It is a routine exercise because there are cases of retirement, death and new intake into the service. So, you can see the necessity of the verification exercise. It is to help the government to work well.” During the recent strike over the implementation of the minimum wage, the NLC in the state had claimed that there were many ghost workers. It urged the government to fish them out.
Upper Sharia Court in Dutse. Jinjiri said the arrest followed a complaint by the Office of the Commissioner for Justice to the Upper Sharia Court, alleging that Fulata allegedly defamed Lamido.
Tribunal upholds Plateau senators’ election
HE National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday upheld the election of the senators representing the three senatorial zones of the state. It affirmed the elections of former Governor Joshua Dariye of Labour Party (LP), representing Plateau Central and Mr. Victor Lar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Plateau South. The tribunal had, last week, upheld the election of Gyang Dantong of the PDP, representing Plateau North. It also upheld the election of Baba Hassan, the member representing Jos North in the House of Assembly. Dariye defeated Dr Dauda Gowon of the PDP; and Lar defeated Lt.-Gen Jeremiah Useni of the Democratic
From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos
Peoples Party (DPP). Gowon and PDP filed a petition challenging Dariye’s election, alleging that as at the time the election, Dariye was not qualified to participate. He argued that the elections in Bokkos, Mangu, Kanam, Kanke and Pankshin were marred by irregularities, multiple voting, and ballot box stuffing, saying they did not comply with the Electoral Act, 2010. Tribunal Chairman Justice Suleiman Ambrusa said the petitioners failed to prove the allegations against the respondents. He noted that Dariye was unable to substantiate any of his allegations. Justice Ambrusa also said Useni ought to have called
witnesses who could prove his allegations and not those whose evidence could not be relied on. The tribunal chairman said Useni and DPP called a witness who was not an expert in electoral matters, adding that the evidence relied upon by DPP were not relevant to prove the allegations of irregularities at the polling units. Justice Ambrusa said: “The so-called expert did not exhibit any professional training in the area he came to testify. This disqualified and discountenanced his evidence as he was in Lagos and nowhere near Jos on the day the election was held. He could not have determined who did what. He could not be a magician to be in Lagos and know what happened in Jos, as magic has no place in the realm of jurisprudence.”
Tribunal upholds Saraki’s election
HE National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday upheld the election of Senator Bukola Saraki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kwara Central Senatorial District. It dismissed the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Dr Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, for lacking in merit. Tribunal Chairman, Justice Bitrus Sanga said after assessing the written addresses adopted by counsel to the parties, the tribunal had to dismiss the petition. Ut held that the ACN was unable to prove its case that there was substantial noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act. Justice Bitrus said: “The election into the Kwara Central Senatorial District was substantially conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act. The petitioner did not adduce evidence to grant the reliefs as sought in the petition.
•Kwara ACN to appeal verdict From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
We hereby dismiss this petition for being unmeritorious. “Rigging of elections, stuffing of ballot boxes, intimidation of voters, multiple-thumb printing and other forms of electoral malpractices, as contained in the petition, are criminal offenses which were not adequately proved by the petitioner as required by the law.” The tribunal Chairman noted that the petitioner also failed to present witnesses who could provide the actual number of votes cast instead of the allegedly doctored figures. The Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday rejected the ruling of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the state
capital. The tribunal dismissed the petition filed against the election of Dr Bukola Saraki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 9 poll for lack of merit. The Justice Bitrus Sanga-led tribunal threw out the petition of ACN’s Dr. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe. It ignored the documents the party tendered to support its allegations of inflation of results, non-accreditation and widespread irregularities. The ACN and Oloriegbe had approached the tribunal seeking to nullify the election of Saraki who they alleged was not elected by majority of lawful votes cast. The petitioners also argued that the election was marred by thuggery, rigging, ballot box snatching, manipulation of results, among others. They asked the tribunal to return Oloriegbe winner of the election.
The petitioners also alleged that the election did not substantially comply with the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended. ACN Chairman Kayode Olawepo said: “We do not agree with the judgment and we are definitely going to lodge an appeal against it. “We are not satisfied with the ruling and we have instructed our lawyers to appeal it immediately. It is purely technical justice, which is totally devoid of substantial justice now being espoused worldwide. We believe strongly that there were several errors in the reasoning of the panel, which we believe a higher court will have a contrary opinion about. The tribunal had last week dismissed the petition against Saraki by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Princess Bilkis Gambari.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Jackson’s doctor weeps during patients’ evidence
ONRAD Murray, the doctor accused of i n v o l u n t a r y
manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has broken down in tears during his trial as former patients praised the care he gave. Five former patients of Murray have appeared in court as character witnesses for the physician, as he is not expected to take the stand in his own defence. The first witness for the day was Garry Causey, who described himself as one of Murray’s best friends. “I know him. I know his love, compassion, his feeling
for his patients... He’s the best doctor I’ve ever been to,” he said. “I just don’t think he did what he’s been accused of.” During Mr Causey’s testimony, Murray could be seen wiping tears from his eyes. As Mr Causey left the court, he kissed the defendant on the forehead and shook his hand. The second witness was Andrew Guest, who said: “That man sitting there is the best doctor I have ever seen.” He added: “He’s a great guy, he follows up with everything, makes sure
everything’s explained.” On Tuesday, a nurse broke down as she described how Jackson ignored her attempts to steer him away from the powerful anaesthetic that killed him. Cherilyn Lee told the court that the pop star insisted propofol was the only thing he trusted to “knock him out” and induce the sleep he needed. The 50-year-old performer died of an overdose of propofol and sedatives on June 25, 2009. Murray has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge.
Equatorial Guinea dictator’s son ‘splurged $100m state fund’
HE United States Justice Department has accused an African dictator’s son of splurging $100 million of his impoverished country’s money on luxuries including a private jet, a Malibu mansion, and a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue first moved to the United States in 1991, at the age of 23, to study English at Pepperdine University in Malibu Photo: flickr Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is alleged to have lived a playboy lifestyle in California where he owned a collection of 24 sports cars valued at $10 million. Mr Obiang is the eldest son and heir appar-
ent to Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea. He serves as a minister of forestry and agriculture in his father’s government. Seventy per cent of the tiny west African nation’s 680,000 population lives below the poverty line, and tens of thousands have no access to electricity or clean water, according to the African Development Bank. A 46-page civil complaint filed by the US government in a court in California said Teodoro Obiang earned $6,799 (£4,234) a month for his government role but engaged in “extortion, misappropriation, embezzlement, or theft of public funds” to fund his lavish life.
Libya’s Mustafa Abdul Jalil asks Nato to extend mission
THE head of Libya’s transitional authorities has called for Nato to extend its mission in Libya until the end of the year. National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said the extension was needed to help Libyans trying to control surplus weapons and to deal with Gaddafi loyalists. Nato has delayed a making a formal decision on when to end its mission. It had made a preliminary
decision to end operations on 31 October. Diplomats had been expected to confirm that date on Wednesday. “We hope (Nato) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighbouring countries,” Mr Jalil told a gathering in Qatar of states that have supported the NTC’s military campaign. He said his appeal was aimed at “ensuring that no arms are infiltrated into
those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of [ex-leader Col Muammar] Gaddafi’s forces who have fled to nearby countries”. Mr Jalil added that the NTC wanted help “developing Libya’s defence and security systems”. Nato, which has been operating in Libya since March under a UN mandate to protect civilians, said it would now make a formal decision on the length of its mission on Friday.
NEWS CNPP flays PDP for creating tension in Lagos
ONFERENCE of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Lagos State chapter and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday traded words over the outcome of the local government elections in the state. CNPP accepted the results of the local government elections held across the 57 councils, saying that they were free and fair. But the chairman of the PDP, Hon. Setonji Koshoedo, said the ruling party massively rigged the votes in some local governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs). Also, PDP chairmanship candidate in Obalende/Ikoyi LCDA, Babajide Obanikoro, maintained that he won the election held in the council last week, vowing to challenge the victory of the ACN candidate at the tribunal. He said ACN was faking its character by posing as a progressive party, adding that the alleged rigging has dented its
•Party insists ACN rigged polls By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor
image. But CNPP the chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Fatai Adeyinka (rtd) for conducting a transparent election, which has rekindled hope about the survival of democracy at the grassroots. At a press conference in Lagos, CNPP leader Hon. Akinola Obadia, who is also the chairman of the CNP, said that the association believed that election is not a do or die affair, chiding the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for creating tension in the metropolis. He said PDP chieftains refused to exhibit maturity by going on air to declare that they had won the polls, when LASIEC was still busy collating the results across the 20 local governments and 37 Lo-
cal Council Development Areas (LCDAs). Obadia warned that the posture of PDP and its tacit support for thuggery had the potentials of jeopardising the peace and transquility of the state. He added: “CNPP has accepted the results in good faith. 15 parties have congratulated the ACN for its feats. There is no political bitterness towards anybody. We should not promote any acrimony at the expense of Lagosians”. Obadia charged the newly elected chairmen to work for the progress of the local governments and LCDAs, adding that they should strive to replicate the achievements of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) across the nooks and crannies of Lagos State. He said: “Eyes are on the new helmsmen and they cannot afford to fail Lagosians”.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Falcons' exit, a shock —Mmadu F
ORMER Super Falcons midfielder, Maureen Mmadu has described the Nigeria’s senior female team’s ouster at the next London 2012 Olympics as a surprise and a rude shock to her. Mmadu retired from the Falcons in 2007 after a career in the national team which spanned four World Cup outings and two Olympic Games participation but those years were when the country’s representatives roll over other African countries at will until situation of things changed in 2008 at that year’s African Women’s Championship (AWC) where the Coach Joseph Ladipo tutored side only finished third behind South Africa and Equatorial Guinea. In a chat with NationSport from Norway, Mmadu highlighted that she was yet to recover from the shock that greeted the news on the Falcons’ elimination by the Indomitable Lionesses of
• Backs NFF
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri Cameroon in the Olympics Qualifier after another uncelebrated ejection from the All African Games by the Black Princesses of Ghana earlier. After the elimination from the All African Games b y Ghana I was hoping that the team would qualify for the Olympics to wipe the tears of their sad loss to Ghana. I was really disappointed and still in shock after getting the news that Nigeria will not be participating at the London 2012 Olympics with the loss to Cameroon. I so much felt for the younger players that will like to play at the Olympics for the first time. I was sad when I got the information.”
Lagos set for Scrabble Championship
AGOS State,Fryda Nigeria Ltd is set to sponsor the 2nd scrabbulympics tournament,which will hold between October 28th through November in Lagos. The MD of the company,Dare Alao stated that the aim of the competition is to ensure students improve in English language. '' The decline in the education sector is nothing to write home about & the organisation is worried, so
decided to contribute in their own little way to society'',Alao said. She further explained that the success recorded during the maiden edition last year motivated the organisation to bankroll the second edition & assured that this year's edition will surpass last year's edition. Over 100 Secondary Schools from all Education Districts in Lagos State will participate in this year's edition.
Heartland players on indefinite strike T HE indefinite strike action embarked upon by the players of 2011 Federation Cup champions, Heartland FC of Owerri entered its second day on Wednesday with no solution yet in sight regarding when it will be called off. The Naze Millionaires’ players stayed away from Tuesday and Wednesday’s training sessions with a firm message to the coaches to inform the club management that they have unanimously agreed to boycott subsequent practice sessions until all the promises made by the Imo State government to pay each players a million naira each and to settle the balance of their signing on fees for the 2010/2011 season. Imo Governor, Owelle Rochas Okrocha made the vow at a well attended reception held for the team at Imo Government House in Owerri in the wake of Heart-
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri
land’s triumph at the 2011 Federation Cup .A feat which broke the State’s 23-years wait for a trophy. Speaking with NationSport on what prompted the players’ action, the captain of Heartland and the scorer of the
lone goal that delivered the trophy to the Naze Millionaires, Chinedu Efugh explained that the players eagerly awaited the promise made by the Governor and till date it has not been forthcoming highlighting that life has become unbearable for them since they do not have any
Big upset as Nina, women top seed crashes out
HE ongoing Governor's Cup Lagos Tennis Championship produced a major upset with the crashing out of the ITF rated tournament early in the second round. Russian Nina Bratchikova, past winner of the Etisalat/ FCMB sponsored tournament, who won the doubles
• Capkovic Advances
By Stella Bamawo event of the first leg, could not finish her game against unseeded Donna Vekic of Croatia. The 29-year old player retired in the second
Adidas plans sports academies in Nigeria
NITED States-based sportswear, Adidas is planning to set up football, athletics and basketball academies in Nigeria by 2015. Making this known yesterday in Lagos, Country Representative, Taiwo Ajibade, said the
other job besides professional football. He urged the State Government to act fast on the promise made if the players and the team meant so much to them owing to the laurel they brought to the State after more than two decades of endless wait for a trophy.
enormous sporting talents in Nigeria has prompted the company to consider the country for such laudable projects. He added that the company is partnering Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) for the forthcoming National School Sports
Festival holding in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with the aim of supporting grassroots sports development. The former national athlete said that for now, the company intends to open stores, which is going to be a one-stop shop where quality products of Adidas would be on sale. "I want to be sincere that the aim of every company is to make profit and beyong this Adidas is planning to set a sports academy in Nigeria by 2015, which is going to be an accredited schools for sports cum education. For the start, we are to kick off with football, basketball and athletics and it will be sited in any part of the country. This is part of the effort of the company to establish it presence in Nigeria," he said. To support the forthcoming National School Sports Festival tagged 'Calabar 2011', Ajibade said Adidas would kit finalists in the athletics events including officials.
set of the match that ended 62,4-1. American teenager, Sachia Vickery survived the scare of Conny Perrin of Switzerland. The 16-year-old Vickery bowed out in 7-5,6-4 game. Also South African Natasha Fourouclas was beating by Ksenia Lykina of Russia in 76,6-2 tie. Indian Gokipa Kapoor Was sent out by Aussie Melanie Klaffner in 6-0,6-1 game. Slovakian lady Tadeja Majeric beat Croatian Silvia Njiric 6-1,6-2, while Jalila Jakupovic of Slovakia defeated Aleksandrina Naydenova of Bulgaria 7-5,64. Meanwhile, Nigerian Shehu Lawal was not so lucky in the men's singles match against Ruan Roelofse of South Africa. He was beaten by the number 4 seed in straight sets of 6-1,6-2. Number 7 seed, Ranjeet Virali-Muguresan of India defeated Clifford Enosoregbe 6-3,6-2. Top seed, Kamil Capkovic of Slovakia beat Yusuke Watamuki of Japan 6-4,6-1. Indian Yuki Bhambri beat Senegalese, Daouda Ndiaye 6-2,6-4, while Karan Rastogi of India defeated South Africa's Clayton Gibertson 6-4,61.
Ist NUGA Hockey Championship ends today • Veterans wallop OAU team B 5/0
OSTILITIES at the 2011 Hotlink/ NUGA Hockey Championship holding at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife will come to an end today as veterans walloped OAU team B 5/0. The hockey championship that is being sponsored by Hotlink Sports Shop in conjunction with OAU Sports Council and being supported by Industrial General Insurance (IGI) has lived to its expectation as one of the best organise championships in the history of NUGA event in the recent past. Expected to grace the closing event is the Vice-chancellor of OAU, Professor Bamitale Omole, NUGA president, Dr. Ken Anugwueje and his secretary Bola Orodele, Chairman of Omenka Foundation, Ambassador Uche Onwude who has supported the championship in great extent while the chairman, OAU sports council, Professor Austin Isichei and host of others top functionaries officials in the institution are to attend the event. According to the NUGA Tech-
By Stella Bamawo nical Committee chairman, Nick Igbokwe who commended Amb Onwude for supporting the championship stated that various measures have been put in place to make the closing event an epic one, adding that all the teams have enjoyed their stay in the institution in the last four days. Meanwhile,the veterans hockey team captained by former federal lawmaker Dr. Wale Okediran defeated the OAU hockey team B by five nil in a match watched by the NUGA and the Council boss at the complex. Other members of the veteran team are Nick Igbokwe, Salisu Jabo, Cole Shola, Falore Juigbe, Garba Asura, Danjuma Bitrus, Cyril Osigwe, Bola Ogunsanmi, Ndana Baba Abdullahi Among the universities that took part at the championship are from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB), University of Benin, (UNIBEN), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU), Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ogun State, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and host of others.
THE NATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Tomorrow in THE NATION
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘The local football league has been in a shambles and today, it is laughable to pretend it is a league in the real sense of it. For instance, it has gone on interminably for one and half years now, yielding no good results. VOL. 7, NO.1,926
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
•This is a paper delivered at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy on October 7.
ECENTLY, a seminar in which I presented this paper was held at the NIIA to consider the gains and losses of Nigeria’s foreign policy over the years. Some evaluation of the material rewards of Nigeria’s foreign policy since independence in 1960 has been done in previous studies and seminars. It was fully examined in a recent publication ‘Gulliver’s Troubles,’ which came to the conclusion that Nigeria was punching below its full weight in its external relations But much more remains to be done in drawing up a balance sheet on this matter for the benefit of both the public and the government. A comprehensive analysis of the costs and rewards of Nigeria’s foreign policy will involve all the relevant economic agencies as well as the MFA. That this issue is raised at all at this forum shows some level of public dissatisfaction with the material benefits of Nigeria’s foreign policy. But in making such an assessment it is necessary to use broadly acceptable criteria in determining the successes and failures of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Can a case of “Father Christmas” in respect of Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomacy be sustained? In this regard, it must be emphasized that methods used to assess the efficacy or otherwise of domestic policies cannot successfully be applied in foreign affairs. Domestic policies are issue specific. Their results are tangible and visible as they impact more directly on the welfare of the public. This is an area in which the performance of the government can be easily evaluated. When a road or bridge is built the public can see it. That is not usually the case in foreign affairs. Results are not so apparent and often show themselves only in the long term. Respect, influence, and prestige abroad are not easily quantifiable in material terms. For instance, Nigeria has generally pursued a relationship of friendship, including modest gifts, with its neighbours. But it has not tried to use its huge human and natural resources to intimidate its weaker neighbours. As Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa stated at our independence in 1960, Nigeria would respect every nation, big or small. That remains a cardinal principle of Nigeria’s foreign policy which every administration, including the military, has followed. Nigeria is large enough not to harbour any territorial ambitions. This has earned Nigeria respect among African countries. The Bakassi settlement with Cameroun illustrates this. It shows strength, not weakness. This policy has paid off. It avoids tension with Nigeria’s neighbours and allows the large number of Nigerians living in those countries to pursue their legitimate businesses peacefully. Stability in the region is vital for Nigeria’s economic growth and future prosperity. This policy of good neigh-
UST as the House of Representatives was asking the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, to apologise for unlawfully detaining The Nation’s legal counsel during the invasion of the newspaper’s premises on October 11, the police were on another front assaulting the civil liberties of a group of travelling Nigerians. In the October 11 incident, Mr John Unachukwu, this newspaper’s legal editor offered to accompany the arrested editors to avail them free legal services. But once at the police station, he was not only disallowed from doing his job, he was also promptly detained with his clients. Even fascist governments make a show of respecting legal representations. On Tuesday, October 25, the police struck another blow at civil liberties on the LokojaAbuja highway. Some 28 members of the Action Congress (ACN) travelling to Abuja in a vehicle marked Osun State Government House were arrested by the police without a reason. They had at first been barred from continuing their journey to Abuja, and asked to turn back. For refusing the patently
FROM THE SUMMIT firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigeria’s foreign policy: Gains and losses
• Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru
bourliness should be considered a plus for Nigeria’s foreign policy, not a minus. Of the various issues that will be raised at this seminar, four deserve special attention as they are at the core of Nigeria’s foreign policy. First, what is the cumulative cost to Nigeria of its peace keeping operations abroad? And what, if any, are the material benefits? Second, what are the benefits of her active role in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the decolonisation process in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia? Third, has Nigeria been able to discharge its consular responsibilities effectively to its citizens abroad? Fourth, is Nigeria under represented in international organizations, such as the UN, WHO, UNESCO, and the AU? On the issue of Nigeria’s participation in peace keeping operations abroad, there can be no doubt that we have benefited immensely from these military and police operations. Along other countries, Nigerian troops, including the Police, have served with distinction in UN peace keeping operations
in the following countries; the Congo (196064), Lebanon (Unifil), Kosovo, Sierra Leone. In the case of Liberia, our participation was at the behest of the Nigerian government. In terms of casualties and cost, it was the most expensive. The participation of Nigeria in UN led peace keeping operations offers Nigeria the following benefits: International military and strategic operational experiences for its armed forces ii Vital military intelligence gathering by its armed forces necessary training to acquire the discipline and effectiveness of our Armed Forces standardisation of military equipment interaction with some of the best armed forces in the world such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia etc enhancement of the professional capacity of Nigeria’s Armed Forces. Let me add that when Nigeria takes part in UN peace keeping operations, there is little or no financial cost to the nation, as virtually all expenses, including military hardware, involved in such operations are covered by the UN. In fact countries such as India and Pakistan make a lot of money from their participation in UN peace keeping operations. These countries pay their officers and men far less than remunerations and allowances received from the UN. In most cases, the kits of the participating countries are funded by the UN. There is no reason why Nigeria’s involvement in UN peace keeping operations should not result in financial benefits to the nation. If it is not, then something is wrong somewhere and should be investigated. Casualties from our involvement in UN peace keeping operations are usually minimal. The second issue regarding gains and losses is about Nigeria’s active role and sacrifice in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the decolonization process in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia. This was a struggle to which all African states and black people all over the world were fully committed. It was one foreign policy issue on which all Nigerians were united in
support of the government. We do not know precisely the extent of our financial investment in the struggle, and how it compares with those of other African countries e.g. Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Zambia, the other so-called Frontline states. But it will not surprise me to know that, on a comparative basis, those states did far more than Nigeria in the struggle against apartheid South Africa. For instance, those states suffered constant military attacks from the apartheid regime from which their infrastructure was dealt a severe blow. We did not. Those countries also offered their territory for the training of the ANC military wing. We did not. Yes, we gave the ANC and its sister organization, the PAC, financial assistance. But we do not know precisely how much. In the final days of the independence struggle in the former Southern Rhodesia, I was in the then Salisbury as a representative of the Nigerian government and was privileged to know that we gave the Zimbabwean leaders, Nkomo and Mugabe, $500,000 each. We also maintained fully the Lagos offices of the ANC and PAC. Unless we know the full extent of the financial assistance we gave in the struggle against white minority rule in Southern Africa, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine our gains and losses in that region. But I believe the gains outweigh the losses, if any. Foreign policy interests cannot always be quantified in terms of financial considerations. There are also moral issues involved. As the most populous state in Africa, we were bound to regard the policy of racism in Southern Africa as morally repugnant and demeaning to all black peoples. We had to join the struggle against the various racist regimes in the region. It would have been a massive failure of our foreign policy if we had not taken a determined stand against apartheid and the financial sacrifice we made was well within our means. Even the nationalization of a few British assets in Nigeria by the Obasanjo military regime did not hurt Nigeria substantially. It enjoyed massive public support as did the sudden but courageous decision of the military regime of Gen. Murtala Mohammed to recognize the MPLA government in Angola despite strong pressure from the US government. The businesses nationalized by the Obasanjo regime, such as BP and Barclays Bank, have returned to Nigeria and are doing good business here to our mutual advantage. What are the material rewards of the material assistance extended to the liberation struggle in Southern Africa? First, Nigeria’s strong stance against the apartheid regime gained her immense prestige and influence abroad. Our status as a member of the ‘frontline states’ earned Nigeria immense respect abroad. •To be continued • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Deplorable police behaviour
supporters today; let us beware what minefields we are laying for ourselves tomorrow. We expect the federal government to be sensible enough to appreciate that police overzealousness is undermining the law, not enforcing it. The reprehensible show on the Lokoja-Abuja highway must not be seen as an issue between the government and the opposition. It is a matter of the law and citizens’ rights. We must denounce the effort by the police to imperil both. But if the police are unable to understand the limits of their powers, and the federal government shamefully continues to treat the law enforcement institution as its poodle, the National Assembly must again intervene firmly to save the country from creeping fascism. It is truly shocking that the government has refused to learn from the experiences of other countries where failure to compel respect for the constitution and civil liberties ensnared those in leadership once they fell from power. Libya recently gave us the most fitting example of a former leader who was hoisted with his own petard.
unconstitutional order, they were arrested and detained. A furious Governor Rauf Aregbesola has predictably chafed at the disrespect to his person and the people of Osun State. He is right to take umbrage. We can only hazard a guess as to why the police undermined the constitution on Tuesday. They probably suspected that the ACN members were travelling to Abuja in solidarity with their national leader who was billed to make an appearance before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja. The police had similarly barred busloads of party supporters from entering Abuja when the ACN leader first made an appearance before the tribunal last month. Perhaps because the police were not reprimanded the first time they displayed this sort of appalling and brazen partisanship and lawlessness, they felt they could get away with this deplorable show. The Tuesday arrests on the Lokoja-Abuja
highway show clearly that the police still do not understand their role in a democratic society, or the boundaries set for them by the constitution. Indeed, it is doubtful whether they even read the constitution. Or if they do, it is possible their desire to please their masters in the ruling party far outweighs their respect for the country, its people, and its laws. Do we again expect the National Assembly to intervene in this case? Are the police themselves not bothered that their image and the reputation of Nigeria as the most populous black nation on earth are being rubbished? And in the light of the political agitations in some African countries, do the police not worry that their actions in this and other cases could fuel disaffection for the government? The abridgement of the rights of party supporters travelling within the country, including to the Federal Capital, must be defended and protected. It is ACN
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