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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Ripples over National Assembly’s budget

•‘Lawmakers inflate allocation’

Osun Speaker’s wife’s kidnap: Two held NEWS

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•Suspects nabbed in Benin Republic

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VOL. 7, NO. 2293 MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2012



Suicide bomber kills eight in Kaduna church


Kids among 145 injured Jonathan, Mark, Tambuwal condemn attack

The priest was ‘saying ‘it is well, it is well, it is well’ while his face was covered with blood

•The bombed church and the wreckage of the suicide bomber’s vehicle...yesterday


LL was normal and quiet. It was time for the sacrament - the blessing of the bread and wine in commemoration of the Last Supper – by the parish priest. Time was about 8.30am. A young man driving a Honda CRV, a rosary dangling on his neck, approached the church’s


From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

gate. He was turned back. Pretending to be leaving, he reversed the vehicle. Then, he stepped heavily on the throttle to send the vehicle into full speed and rammed it into the children’s section at St. Rita’s CathContinued on page 4

•A victim receiving treatment at Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital...yesterday





People watching the wreckage of the Sports Utility Vehicle used by the suicide bomber...yesterday

Kaduna... many times unlucky Kaduna and many cities and towns in the North have come under the attacks of the Boko Haram insurgents many a time, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU


EFORE yesterday’s attack, Kaduna had fallen many a time under Boko Haram’s deadly hammer. The attack on St. Rita's Catholic Church in Angwar Yero, Bardarawa left commuters stranded. Many drivers of commercial vehicles scampered to bushes, parks and police stations, due to fear of reprisal attacks for the church attack. They had to resort to trekking long distance. Some of the commuters, who were seen soliciting the assistance of private motorists for ride to their various destinations, narrated their ordeal to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). A resident of the Sabo neighbourhood Mrs Joy Onum

said she and her three children trekked from NNPC Refinery Junction to Television Garage. She said: “My house at Gonigora is still faraway but we were coming from our church in Kamazoo; I pray we get home because the town is tense.'' Onum said no commercial driver would be blamed for staying off the road, as the people had to play safe because of the fear of reprisal attacks. Another resident, Mr Bako Sunday, said the explosion had appreciably heightened tension in the city. ``We are afraid of further violence by irate youths because we have yet to fully recover from the June bomb-blast reprisal attacks,'' he said. Hundreds of residents are taking

refuge at the Joint (Military) Task Force's camp in Sabo. Others were seeking protection at Barnawa Police Station. In April, media houses were attacked in the city. It posted a YouTube video celebrating its attacks on ThisDay, the Moment and The Sun in Abuja and Kaduna. The video showed a clip of the ThisDay office blowing up, suggesting someone had been waiting for the explosion with a camera. In June, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks on churches in the city. The attacks led to rioting. Dozens of people were killed in the violence. Kaduna is a large mainly Muslim city and includes a sizeable Christian population. Last Christmas, dozens were killed in church bombings in Niger

Timeline December 2010 - At least 80 people are killed in Dec. 24 Christmas Eve bombings, including attacks on churches, around Jos. Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attacks which trigger deadly clashes between Muslim and Christian youths. November 2011 - At least 65 people are killed in the northeast city of Damaturu when Islamist insurgents bomb churches, mosques and police stations. Boko Haram claims responsibility. December 2011 - Boko Haram claims responsibility for bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day, three of which targeted churches, including one near Abuja that killed at least 37 people and wounded 57. President Goodluck Jonathan declares state of emergency in mostly northern parts of the country. January 5, 2012 - Gunmen open fire on church service in Nasarawa in northern Gombe state, killing six people and wounding 10. The attack follows a warning from Boko Haram published in local newspapers that Christians have three days to leave majority Muslim northern Nigeria or they will be killed. January 6, 2012 - Gunmen open fire on Christian mourners at a hall in Mubi in Adamawa state, killing 18. The Christians had gathered to mourn the deaths of three people shot the previous day. February 19, 2012 - Bomb explodes near church in the town of Suleja on the edge of the Nigerian capital Abuja, wounding five people.

State, and the year before, church bombings in Jos left more than 86 people dead. Maiduguri, regarded as the headquarters of the group, has had its story re-written for the worst. A BBC Hausa Service reporter and indigene of Maiduguri, Jimeh Saleh, said the city had become a shadow of what it used to be. In an article for the BBC, he wrote: “Back from London in Maiduguri for the first time in almost a year, the town is as dusty as

I left it - but it appears poorer - and so do its industrious and boisterous people. “No more do buses, taxis, beggars, vendors and shop keepers hustle for business late into the night. Families are no longer able to afford three meals a day. Property speculators are complaining that business is down, and some are suffering losses… “Many people fled Maiduguri months ago in the wake of the killings, leaving behind firmly padlocked houses. Some of the town’s wealthy




•Soldiers stand guard as people walk by near the site where a suicide attacker drove a car bomb into a church in •A view of the inside of the church ...yesterday Kaduna...yesterday

•The parish priest’s car damaged by the blast...yesterday PHOTOS: AFP, NAN AND TONY AKOWE

•Another view of the inside of the church ...yesterday

February 26, 2012 - A suicide bomber drives a car packed with explosives into a church in Jos, killing two people and wounding 38 in an attack claimed by Boko Haram. Christian youths beat two Muslims to death in revenge. March 11, 2012 - Another suspected suicide bomber attacks a Catholic Church in Jos, killing at least three people. Reprisal attacks against Muslims by Christian youths kill at least 10 people. April 8 2012 - A car bomb explodes on Easter Sunday near a church in the northern town of Kaduna, killing at least 36 people and badly wounding 13. April 29, 2012 - Gunmen open fire and throw homemade bombs at a lecture theatre in the University of Kano being used for Christian worship. A church is also attacked in northeast Maiduguri. A total of 19 people are killed in the attacks, blamed by police on Boko Haram. June 3, 2012 - Suicide bomber drives car full of explosives into church during Sunday service in Yelwa, on the outskirts of the northern city of Bauchi, killing at least 12 people. Boko Haram claims responsibility. June 10, 2012 - Three gunmen spray bullets at the congregation of a church in Biu Town, in northeastern Borno state. In Jos, suicide bomber drives car to the entrance of the Christ Chosen Church and blows it up, witnesses say. Youths attack bystanders in retaliation, killing two, police say businessmen have relocated their enterprises to other states. “When bombs went off on Christmas Day 2011 in churches in Abuja and Jos killing at least 40 people, Maiduguri was placed under a state of emergency because of the many Boko Haram members who are based there. “Since then, gun-toting soldiers have set up countless checkpoints and taken up positions outside churches, police stations and other high-profile locations that have previously been Boko

Haram’s targets. “The soldiers are there to protect the residents of Maiduguri - but people seem united in their condemnation of the curfew and the militarisation of the streets. “They accuse the soldiers of torture and other human rights violations. Boko Haram squads target soldiers and security agents with explosives, either in their fortified positions or in their patrol vehicles. “After an attack, the soldiers go into neighbouring houses, and are

Kaduna govt. to pay victims’ medical bill


HE Kaduna State government yesterday pledged to pay the medical bills of the 145 victims of St. Rita’s Catholic Church attack in Kaduna. Deputy Governor Mukhtar Yero spoke when he visited some of the victims on admission in four hospitals. Yero condemned the attack and assured that government was committed to the protection of lives and property of residents. He called for continuous peaceful coexistence among the residents to ensure the restoration of peace in the state. The deputy governor said the government would continue to support security agencies in the effective discharge of their duties. He urged the people to contribute to the effort to ensure peace and tranquillity by shunning rumour mongering and all acts capable of creating disharmony. The deputy governor commiserated with the Parish Priest of the Church, Rev. Fr. Mathew Goni, who is on admission at Multi-Clinic. The priest is injured on his legs, forehead and fingers. The deputy governor also visited other victims on admission at 44 Military Hospital, Garkuwa Specialist Hospital and Barau Dikko Hospital in Kaduna.

said to indiscriminately beat up the male occupants. The army denies this is happening - nevertheless, it is a recurring cry that is hard to ignore.” The Boko Haram sect is blamed for the deaths of over 450 people so far this year, according to Human Rights Watch. Boko Haram’s insurgency in North has led to more than 2,800 deaths since 2009. While Muslims have often been its victims, it has in recent months also specifically

targeted churches. Former National Security Advisor Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi said the policies of the country’s ruling party, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, have fueled the growth of Boko Haram. He said the party created, “a climate of what is happening and manifesting in the country today”. Jonathan refuted the accusation, saying Azazi’s comments may have been misinterpreted. “I don’t believe that the National

We are afraid of further violence by irate youths because we have yet to fully recover from the June bombblast reprisal attacks

Security Adviser meant that the practices of the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) are anti-democratic. I don’t believe that it is the undemocratic practices in the PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other groups.” Jonathan has said the group is seeking to incite a religious crisis. Nigerians have grown increasingly frustrated with security forces’ inability to stop the attacks.



NEWS FIRS generates N3.81tr revenue in nine months •From left: Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titilayo LaoyeTomori, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, his wife Sherifat, dancing with physicallychallenged Abu Tomiwa, during the Eid-el-Kabir children’s party at the Government House, Osogbo. …yesterday



Two shot dead in Rivers prison revolt

WO inmates of the Federal Prisons in Ahoada, headquarters of Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, have been shot dead by the operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and policemen. They were attempting to escape through the ceiling after a jail break. Despite the quick intervention of the security agencies, four of the prisoners escaped. Nine of the inmates who were wounded are undergoing treatment. The Ahoada prison, meant for 200 inmates, is holding 502 prisoners, leading to overcrowding. This angered the inmates, who launched

•Manhunt for four prisoners From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

the massive protest. Prisoners forced open the cells of the Awaiting Trial inmates were forced open. Many of them escaped through the broken wall. This was after some of them returned from fetching water outside the prison. The prison serves both Rivers and neighbouring Bayelsa States, where a prison is still under construction. It was learnt that the inmates also expressed displeasure that the Chief Judges of

Rivers and Bayelsa states had not been visiting Ahoada Prisons for the regular jail delivery activity, which was recently carried out at the Federal Prisons in Port Harcourt. The Deputy Comptroller of Prisons in Ahoada, Mr. Aderibigbe Lawal failed to respond to text messages. He also did not pick his calls. Minister of Interior Abba Moro yesterday condemned the jail break. In a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Mr. George Udoh, Moro noted that six prisoners who were critically injured while being

prevented by the security officers in the process of escaping from the prison were taken to the hospital and they are now back in the prison but: “only four prisoners escaped during the attack”. The prisoners broke the office of the chief warder and carted away vital documents. They also burnt other documents. They vandalised the prison’s clinic and pulled down its walls. The Minister said measures had been taken to strengthen the security in and around the prison and to arrest the four fleeing prisoners. “The Nigerian Prison SerContinued on page 57

HE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it generated N3.81 trillion as revenue in nine months. The FIRS made the claim yesterday in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr Emmanuel Obeta, its Director of Communications. “With this amount, the FIRS has surpassed the N3.6 trillion provisional annual budget estimate nine months into the year, with oil taxes recording N2.399 trillion and N1.406 trillion for non-oil. “The collection represents increased revenue collection performance of about N890 billion, when compared to the total collection of N2.91 trillion for the same period in 2011.’’ The statement said the FIRS had so far collected and remitted the sum of N23.30 billion tax revenue due to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the first nine months of 2012. It said the amount represented “Pay-As-You-Earn’’ (PAYEE) tax and Personal Income Tax (PIT) collected from FCT residents. This, it added, reflected an increase in tax collection in the period, when compared to the N21. 94 billion remitted to FCTA for the same period in 2011. “In 2011, the service recorded N955.19 billion tax collection in the first quarter, N985.30 billion in the second quarter and N974.65 billion in the third quarter,’’ the statement said. It added that the 2012 figure represented a remarkable increase in tax collection, which comprised N1.172 trillion in first quarter, N1.267

trillion in the second quarter and N1.366 trillion in the third quarter respectively. It also said that the N23.30 billion so far remitted to the FCTA represented a considerable increase in FIRS’ collection and remittance, when compared to the N23.24 billion figure in 2010. “A breakdown of the collection, from January to September shows that the sum of N2.027 billion was realised in January, N2.691 billion in February, N3.133 billion in March, N2.721 billion in April and N3.044 billion in May. “The figure recorded in June was N2.221 billion, N3.055 billion in July, N2.463 billion in August, while N1.947 billion was generated as tax revenue in September. “Remarkably, FIRS has taken steps to bring more potential taxpayers into the tax net through the establishment of Satellite Tax Offices (STO) across the FCT’s major markets in 2012,’’ it said . Part of FIRS’ effort is to improve taxpayer’s education and services, processes and procedures as well as bring tax administration closer to taxpayers in order to enhance voluntary tax compliance. Statutorily, the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, Cap T2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2007 empowered the FIRS to collect taxes on behalf of the Federal Government in FCT. The extant law clearly stipulates the taxes to be collected by the Federal Government to include Companies Income Tax, Withholding Tax on Companies, residents Continued on page 57

Suicide bomber kills eight in Kaduna church Continued from page 1

olic Church, Ugwan Yero in Mallai, Kaduna. A deafening noise, crashing bricks and a dusty skyline. Then some calm and time to attend to the dead - 8 – and the injured – scores. Among the injured was the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Bonni. An eyewitness, Ishaku James, said: “There are so many injured people who have been taken to hospitals, like Garkuwa Hospital, Saint Gerald Catholic Hospital, Army 44 Reference Hospital and Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital. “We are still looking for the Reverend father; he sustained serious injuries on the face but we don’t know which hospital he has been taken to. We cannot say for now whether he survived the attack or not. We don’t know where he is now, but, initially, we took him to Garkuwa General Hospital. “The priest was saying ‘it is well, it is well, it is well’ while his face was covered with blood. The suicide bomber used Honda CRV Jeep. The bomb blast happened at about 8.30 am when the Parish Priest was blessing the sacrament. “Even if there were security men, they couldn’t have stopped the bomber because he came driving with force and crashed through the fence of the church, and not through the gate of the church. The car used by the bomber got burnt, and the

Jonathan, Mark, Tambuwal condemn attack


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark and House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal yesterday condemned the suicide bomb attack on the Catholic Church in Kaduna. The President in a statement by his media adviser Reuben Abati described the suicide attack as “barbaric, cruel and uncalled for”. Dr. Jonathan noted that the apparent objective of the criminal and unpatriotic elements and forces behind the attack is to set back the progress the Administration has made in the fight against terrorism. “It is obvious that these people do not mean well for Nigeria and its unity and development,” he said. The President expressed confidence that the war against terrorism would become more unrelenting as the nation would never give in to the forces of terror and retardation. He added that the persistence of messengers of evil will not prevail over the will of the government and the people to secure peace and safety. body of the bomber was dangling against the wall of the church. Miss Jacinta Oko, who was also affected, said: “We just heard the loud sound of the bomb blast when they were preparing to take Holy Communion. But before I knew what was happening, I found myself on the ground. “I can say that so many people died because it affected the side where the choir members were sitting. The service was about faith and healing.

“Our efforts to deal with all acts of terror and violence would only be redoubled even as the security agencies continue to receive all the support they need from government to reverse this unfortunate and unacceptable trend that threatens the peace and stability of our nation,” President Jonathan said. The President commiserated with the Catholic Church, family and friends of the victims of the bombing, assuring them that the government’s resolve to deal with terrorism remains strong. Mark yesterday said that the bomb attack is “disheartening, embarrassing and totally condemnable”. Mark noted, in statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, that Nigerians do not deserve to die the way they were killed in the blast. He said government must find a way to stop the continued wonton destruction of lives and property. His word: “This is inhuman and alien to us. We must put our differences aside and join hands together with government and security operatives to

The Priest preached about God’s possibility. He said with faith, everything is possible. “He gave us the story of King Solomon; how God healed him. He said whatever we do, we should hold onto our faith, and that everything will be alright. So the mass was okay. He was about giving communion when the blast happened.” Thirty-year-old Veronica Johnson told our correspondent that they were in the

halt this senseless killing. “We have enough channels to iron out any differences. Nigerians should learn to give peace a chance.” Tambuwal described the attack as “outrageous and senseless”. His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs Malam Imam Imam, in a statement, said an attack on innocent worshippers and other bystanders is both callous and senseless. He urged Nigerians to remain resolute and not to despair, saying it is gladdening that security agents have made commendable strides in efforts to handle the menace of terrorism in recent months. He urged them to do more to destroy the ability of the terrorists to unleash mayhem on innocent, peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians. Tambuwal condoled with the families of the victims of the attack, saying the House of Representatives would continue to support all efforts aimed at securing lives and property of all persons in all parts of the country.

middle of the service when suddenly she heard a loud explosion. Veronica, who was with her two children at the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, said: “We were in the church, and it was during the consecration when everybody was kneeling down and praying, and all of a sudden, we heard the deafening sound of the bomb blast. When I looked back, I saw a jeep that forced itself through the wall of the church fence from behind into the

church premises. “The blast occurred near where the choristers were sitting. So many people died, and so many people were injured. I saw some people lying down flat within the church premises. All of my four children were in the church when the thing happened, but my husband was not in the church. They all sustained injuries. One is just four months old; I am 30 years old from Benue State.” St. Gerald’s Hospital


spokesman Sunday John Ali said “We are managing 14 injured persons who were brought here from the church incident. The parishioners said they took the parish priest to a hospital, but not St. Gerald. Right now, we do not know where he is.” There were reports that three bodies and 35 injured persons were taken to the 44 Army Reference Hospital. Four bodies and over 88 injured persons to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital; 14 injured persons were taken to Saint Gerard Catholic HospiContinued on page 57

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Constitution review: Public sessions across Nigeria on Nov 8


HE House of Representatives will take the review of the constitution to the grassroots , it was learnt yesterday. Issues identified in the template prepared include: recognition of the six zonal structure; creation of states; structure, funding and creation of local governments; residency, citizenship and indigeneship question; economic and social rights; fiscal provisions; independence of states legislatures and amendments of the exclusive legislative list to devolve more powers to the states. Others are fiscal federalism; abolition of state electoral commissions; removal of immunity clause; establishment of state police; zoning and power sharing; terms of office of the president and governors; independent candidacy; voting age; improved representation for women; rights of persons with disability; voting rights for Nigerians living in the diaspora; a unicameral national assembly; presidential or parliamentary system of government;

•House Committee releases guidelines From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

role of traditional rulers in the constitution and further electoral reforms. As Speaker Aminu Tambuwal prepares to begin the People’s Public Session on November 8, lawmakers have resolved that decisions shall be reached, as much as possible, by consensus. However, in a situation where concensus could not be reached, decisions will be reached by voting, and the views of the majority shall prevail, and voting shall be by show of hands or voice vote. The People’s Public sessions, to be held in 360 federal constituencies, is to achieve a more participatory and transparent review of the constitution. According to the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the House Ad hoc Committee on the

Review of the Constitution, Emeka Ihedioha, the sessions will bring the process of constitution review closer to the people and would extend to the nook, crannies, villages, communities, grassroots and towns throughout Nigeria. It was learnt that to ensure that all participants fully understand the issues before voting is conducted, the Steering Committee shall ensure that each item to be delibrated on is explained to the people in the language prevalent in the locality. Guidelines for the conduct of the sessions indicate that Tambuwal will flag–off the sessions on November 8 at Conference Room 231, New Building of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, by 10am. Each of the sessions in the 360 federal constituencies will be or-

ganised by an independent steering committee of stakeholders that include the member representing the constituency who will be the facilitator, members of the state House of Assembly in the federal constituency, the local government chairmen within the constituency and one representative of the following organisations in each constituency, i.e the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). Others are the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other student groups, the National Youth Council (NYC) and other youth organisations, the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and other women organisations, the Nigeria Union

of Journalists (NUJ) and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE). Other stakeholders: ethnic nationalities, women, youths, students, town unions, professional organisations, civil society organisations, religious organisations, traditional institutions, political parties, artisans, labour etc have been invited to attend the sessions and contribute their views. According to the Committee, the tentative template of the issues to be discussed and voted on at the session is to serve only as a guide. It said each federal constituency is free to indicate, in its report, other issues they consider as requiring amendment or inclusion in the constitution. At the end of the sessions, each steering committee shall submit a video recording and written reports of the proceedings of the sessions to the Clerk of the Committee on the Review of the Constitution not later than seven days after the sessions.

Ribadu report: ANPP accuses Fed Govt of cover-up •Seeks prosecution of indicted officials •’Don’t include govt officials in meeting’


•Oba Adetona flanked by Amosun (right) and Mark... at the event.

We’ll work towards creation of Ijebu State, says Mark


ENATE PresidentDavid Mark yesterday said he would work towards the creation of more states, including Ijebu state, to bring governance closer to the people. Mark said the creation of new states or the agitation for same does not mean people do not want to live together anymore but because additional ones would ensure that many Nigerians have a sense of belonging or governance that is closer to them. The Senate President spoke in Ijebu - Ode, Ogun State, as a special guest at the Ojude -Oba annual cultural festival of the Ijebu people. He urged the National Assembly to work towards the country having more states. Mark was responding to a complain-cum appeal by the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, that the National Assembly should help facilitate the actualisation of Ijebu state. The monarch, who lauded Mark for honouring him and the Ijebu people, described it as “embarrassing” and a glaring act of “injustice” that Ijebu which formed one of the 24 provinces of Nigeria has not morphed into a state of its own whereas each of the other provinces have been broken into two or more states. Adetona lamented that the Ijebu

‘A lot of people desire and deserve to feel a sense of governance in this country and when we create states, that is what would happen’ From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

people have been clamouring for a state of their own since 1975 and have remained consistent with the agitation, adding that the way to assuage the pains of “marginalisation is for Ijebu state to be created on or before the next Ojude -Oba festival. The monarch also proposed Ijebu-Ode, to serve as the capital of Ijebu state, if eventually carved out from the present Ogun State. Mark said he was in full support of Ijebu state and would urge the National Assembly to work towards it. He said: “ I have received the delegation from Ogun State who are the main committee members for the creation of Ijebu state. “I’m here to say one thing that I’m fully in support of the creation

of Ijebu state. “My good friend, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, is here and he also supports the creation of Ijebu state. “Let me make my point clear. Where I stand in politics is never in doubt. I support the creation of Ijebu state. “I support the creation of (more) states in this country. And the National Assembly must work towards that. “When we create states, it is not because we cannot live together but because we want to bring governance closer to the people. “A lot of people desire and deserve to feel a sense of governance in this country and when we create states, that is what would happen.” Also present were Amosun’s wife Olufunso; Senator Mamora Olorunimbe; Senator Iyiola Omisore; Senator Gbenga Obadara (Ogun Central); Senator Lekan Mustapha; Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Tunji Ayanlaja( SAN) ;Police Commissioner Ikemefuna Okoye; Senator Gbenga Kaka (Ogun East); Prof Adebayo Adedeji; Foreign Affairs Minister Amb. Gbenga Ashiru; Dr Subomi Balogun; the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Bola Ashiru; Olori Kemi Adetona; Deputy Governor ----Segun Adesegun among others.

HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday accused the Federal Government of trying to cover up the report of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenues Task Force. The report showed that Nigeria lost about N4.64trillion over the last decade from cut-price deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials. The Presidency, ANPP alleged, is plotting to hide the revelations by the committee claiming that “the Ribadu Committee had not formally submitted its report to the appropriate authority.” In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, the party advised the Federal Government to own up to what it described as the decade-old daylight robbery. It also called on the National Assembly to look into the matter and ensure that the committee do not cover up any vital information that could lead to the prosecution of indicted government officials. It said: “The ANPP received with deep concern the widely reported news about a leaked report of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenues Task Force which says Nigeria lost about N4.64trillion over the last decade from cut-price deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials. “Our great party also noted that the Presidency has since tried to water down the gravity of these revelations by saying that because the Ribadu Committee had not formally submitted its report to the appropriate authority, the report in the public domain is suspicious. “On the other hand, we believe that

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

the people have a lot to fear from the government if 24 million barrels of crude oil can leave the shores of this nation under suspicious circumstances. “We are also aware that coupled with the Reuters report of the deep graft in the NNPC, what we are faced with is capable of ridiculing us in the comity of nations. “We also call on the National Assembly to look into this indicting report in order to ascertain the true situation of things, and most importantly to ensure that the so-called committee set up to look into the Ribadu Committee’s report does not cover up vital facts which will help to exorcise the demon of corruption.” A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) to withdraw any invitation for the participation of Nigerian government officials. In a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said: “Government officials should not be allowed to participate in an important event like the IACC meeting. “Senior government officials and multinational oil companies act with almost absolute impunity and continue to divert oil and gas revenues into private pockets rather than for the common good. “ It is not only immoral but also unlawful and amounts to an outright stealing of the commonwealth of our people and a serious violation of human rights.”

ACN leaders meet in Lagos


TATE of the nation and regional integration will top the agenda as the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) meets today in Lagos, a statement said last night. How to take the major policy of the party – regional integrationto the realm of full implementation will be discussed. It will be the first meeting of the main opposition party’s top hierarchy since the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State. Its candidate Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN)

failed to clinch the seat. But the party, in a statement by its National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, said it was studying the result with a view to taking a position on the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The position of the party on the election is expected to be part of the meeting. Expected at the meeting are members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), governors and other caucus leaders across the country.



NEWS Minister solicits partnership between Fed Govt, states on water supply

Zuma urges South African businessmen to invest in Bayelsa



•Praises Dickson

OUTH African President Jacob Zuma has again praised Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State for enthroning probity and accountability in governance. He also eulogised him for investing in infrastructure and urged investors in South Africa to take advantage of the conducive business environment provided by Governor Dickson by investing in the state. The President expressed the willingness of the South African government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Infrastructure Development Cooperation (IDC) of South Africa next month on capacity building. While relishing the bond between Governor Dickson and Bayelsans, President Zuma enjoined the governor to sustain his love for his people because, according to him, “a politician must always be in touch with his people because politics starts and ends with them.” He promised to visit Bayelsa State next year. President Zuma spoke last Friday in Pretoria when Governor Dickson visited him. The governor was in South Africa to interact with top investors and sign letters of cooperation with Naidoo and Associates Consulting Engineers and Construction Management Company and the Black Business Council, which represents the 5th African Black Business Community. The governor also inspected the Bayelsa Development Corporation office billed to be inaugurated in January. Governor Dickson thanked President Zuma for offering credible leadership to South Af-

ricans and Africa in general and conveyed the greetings of President Goodluck Jonathan to him. He told his host that he is emulating his party, the African National Congress (ANC), by running Bayelsa State from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headquarters in Yenagoa at least once in every month. The governor advised African leaders to go beyond ‘‘political integration to integrate our people economically because it is when we build a strong economic base for them that we can put food on their tables.’’ After the visit, the governor and his team hosted the mega Investment Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg where the potentials of the glory of all lands were laid bare. Dickson went down memory lane on why it is crucial for his state to partner South Africa and assured investors of having a return for their money. He announced an insurance cover for investors and their investments in the state. The governor said his state is safe and waiting to be tapped. He said he has enthroned a paradigm shift in the state through probity and accountability. A development, he stressed, has won the confidence of the international community, thereby attracting investors from the West to Bayelsa. Dickson said the South African investors still have crucial roles to play in his state, because according to him, ‘‘we want to integrate Africa economically and build African economy with Africans as drivers.’’

Suspected kidnappers held in Delta

Besides being the highest producer of oil and gas in the country, the governor told his audience that the state offers a variety of investment opportunities in nine sectors such as agriculture, energy, fisheries, infrastructure, manufacturing, research, solid minerals, tourism, transportation and many more. The governor said: ‘‘We have a mandate of our people, which is firmly anchored on restoration and development of Bayelsans. To effectively do these, we must diversify our economy to be agrobusiness and tourism based. Luckily, the land and climate in Bayelsa State support tourism

and the cultivation of both food and cash crops, which include oil palm, rice, plantation, banana, yams, coco yam, cocoa, sweet potatoes, pineapple, cassava, sugar cane, coconut and many others.’’ The South African Government was represented by the First Lady, Mrs. Nompumelo Ntuli Zuma and the South African Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Prof. Elizabeth Thabelth Mukezi. The organised private sector, top business men and investors drawn from South Africa, Nigeria and other Southern African countries participated in the forum. Prominent among them were Mr. Bart Dorrestein, the Chairman,

Legacy Group Holding, owners of Michelangelo Towers, Davinci Hotel, Raphael Apartment Suites, Michelangelo Hotels and Nelson Mandela Square. Others are Mr. Bongani Maseko, the Managing Director, Airport Company of South Africa, owners of all the airports in South Africa, operators of international airports in Bombay (India) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Mr. Thulani Gcabashe, CEO of Built Africa, a leading Energy/Power company. The investment forum was rounded off with a dinner featuring an American international gospel singer, Dr. Jaunita Bynum.

Ikuforiji: Ondo poll result is no setback By Oziegbe Okoeki, Staff Reporter

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba


HE police in Delta State have arrested a four-man kidnap gang. Police spokesman Charles Muka said the suspects include a crippled native doctor, Oloma Onyemelem, who allegedly made charms for the gang, and his father, Onwuka Onyemelem. Others are Anayo Anyan and Bassey Okon. Muka said the gang was responsible for the kidnap of Mrs. Onianwa in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area and Mrs. Stella Emolieze in Ubiaruku, Ukwuani Council. The police spokesman said Anyanwu was arrested at Okwe, near Asaba, following a tip-off. He said Anyanwu confessed to the crimes and led the police to Agulu in Anambra State, where a cache of arms were recovered in the ceiling of the suspect’s hideout. Muka said Okon was arrested at Obompka, Aniocha North council. He said three AK 47rifles, 34 magazines, one single-barrel gun, one English double barrel gun, 914 ammunitions one 1 locally made pistol, 25 cartridges, 14.9mm ammunition, two battle axes and one Toyota Corolla car were recovered from the suspects.

•Bayelsa Governor Dickson (left) and President Zuma.



HE Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji has said that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) made a progress with the outcome of the Ondo State governorship election. He spoke at the weekend with reporters after the Eidel-Kabir prayer at the 1st Epe Praying Ground, OkeBalogun, Epe.


Ikuforiji said if the ACN could come from nowhere, as its presence was not visible about a year ago, to record a strong presence in the poll, it was an achievement for the party. He said: “A year ago, ACN was not on ground in Ondo State. The battle then was between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP). But today, after a few weeks of campaign, the party has proved that it is a force to reckon with. The result of the election has shown that we can get to any state and make our presence felt in a few days. That was what happened in Ondo State. “Check and see what has happened there. If an incumbent governor could only poll twice the votes we polled, it

leaves much to be desired because the LP candidate, Olusegun Mimiko, has been the governor for over three years.” According to the speaker, the result shows that Mimiko is not acceptable to the people. “That was why they did not come out en masse to vote for him like what happened to Governor Babatunde Fashola in Lagos State and Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State. “Look at the stories of the ACN governors. In Lagos, Governor Fashola won his reelection with about 82 per cent. The same thing happened in Edo State. This shows that ACN is a party that works for the people. The electorate will come out en masse and vote for a governor that has worked. “The truth is, LP did not win that election if you look at it

critically. If an incumbent governor could not poll 50 per cent in an election, I don’t see that as a victory,” Ikuforiji stressed. He also said his party has not suffered any setback in the loss of the Ikoyi/ Obalende local government chairmanship to the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Babajide Obanikoro, at the election petition tribunal, because the court process is still on. “Let me correct an impression. Losing an election through a tribunal is an incomplete process. There is still a procedure in place. Until the final judgment is declared at the appeal, you cannot say we have suffered a setback. The chairman of Ikoyi/ Obalende Council is still the boss until the matter is determined by the court,” Ikuforiji said.

PDP members defect to ACN in Benue

PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State, Mr. Jimmy Gber, yesterday defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He led hundreds of PDP supporters to the ACN at a rally held at the Community Secondary School, Wannune, the country home of the Senate Minority Leader Senator George Akume. Akume and other prominent ACN members in Benue State witnessed the defection, which attracted thousands of ACN supporters.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Senator Joseph Waku advised the ACN supporters in the local government to vote and protect their votes during the local government poll in November. He warned the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) against declaring a false result in Makurdi. “If the electoral body declares a fake result in Makurdi, let the candidate remain with the BSIEC as the people will react against such a decision. We have learnt our lesson at the last election tribunal,” Waku said.

HE Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, has called for a partnership between the federal, state and local governments in the provision of water. She spoke in Jos, the Plateau State capital, when the Committee on Good Governance, led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, inspected the Greater Jos-Bukuru Water Supply Project built by the Plateau State Government in Jos-North Local Government. Mrs. Ochekpe said the provision of water to the populace was the responsibility of all tiers of governments, adding that governance was about providing facilities, maintaining them and rehabilitating them whenever they became obsolete. “What the Plateau State Government is doing is rehabilitating the treatment plant and reticulating facilities. That is to expand and replace old pipes to get more water to the communities. For us at the federal level, we are excited about what the state government is doing because, to provide potable water to the communities across the country, we must have a strong partnership between the states and the federal government and it is encouraging that the Plateau State Government is coming strong on this,” she said. The minister encouraged other states to emulate Plateau by joining hands with the Federal Government to ensure citizens’ access to water. She said the project embarked upon by the state was to ensure proper management and supply of adequate water. Ochekpe noted that they were laying new pipes to replace the old ones, to prevent loss of water as a result of broken pipes. Conducting the team round the project, the Plateau State Commissioner for Water Resources, Idi waziri, said since 1981, there had not been any major repair on the water supply treatment plant until the advent of the present administration.

Two injured in Bauchi blast


WO persons were injured in an explosion at Ilela Street in the Bauchi metropolis late on Saturday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Bauchi State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Ladan confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with a NAN correspondent in Bauchi. He described the blast as not severe, saying two people were slightly injured. “The injured have been taken to a hospital,” he said.

Baptists meet


HE monthly meeting of Itesiwaju Baptist Association holds today at 6:30pm at Araba Baptist Church, Ilasamaja, Lagos. It will be presided over by the moderator, Rev. Gbenga Ojo of Araba Baptist Church and consultant, Rev. Femi Ajayi of Victoryland Baptist Church, Isolo, Lagos. Matters affecting the association and member-churches will be discussed.



NEWS Firm secures N34.85b for project


EPHAKU Cement, a subsidiary of Dangote Cement, has secured a 10-year tenured debt funding of N34.85 billion from two major South African banks, Standard Bank and Ned Bank. The financing agreement signed this week in Johannesburg, marks a critical juncture for the company in its go-to-market preparations and signals a strong vote-of-confidence from the local market. The closure of the debt and commencement of the drawdown of its loans is a major milestone for the Dangote Cement subsidiary and associate of JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings. The agreement effectively closes the gap in terms of the required capital for Sephaku Cement to be fully prepared for market entry and a significant competitor in wholesale and retail cement trade. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Pieter Fouri, said the significance of this deal, “goes beyond cement. It indicates a strong, new commitment to industrial development in South Africa. Through new infrastructure establishment in Mpumalanga and the North West Province and the resulting local job creation, the investment benefit will extend to provincial and community development.” Sephaku Cement was established in 2006 and is the first clinker producer in South Africa since 1934. Sephaku Cement, an associate company of JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings Limited, is a 64 percent-owned subsidiary of Dangote Cement Plc.

Ekweremadu warns presidential adviser

•Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (left) and Niger State Governor Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu during Gowon’s visit to Minna for a one day national prayer rally.

Nigeria hails security pact with Niger

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja


EPUTY Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday called on the Special Adviser (Political Matters) to the President, Ahmed Gulak, to stop interferring in National Assembly’s affairs. In a statement by his Special Adviser, Okey Ozoani, Ekweremadu accused Gulak of trying to sour the relationship between lawmakers and President Goodluck Jonathan. The statemen,t entitled: “Ahmed Gulak: NASS members are neither rubber stamps nor illiterates”, said the presidential aide was out to court trouble for personal gain. “In a news report on October 26, Ahmed Gulak said the National Assembly should be blamed for poor budget implementation. “He also claimed that the Deputy Senate President said most National Assembly members were illiterates. “While Ekweremadu would not want to join issues with Gulak, it is imperative for the Presidential Adviser to know the limits of his importance-seeking, fawning, and troublecourting feats. “For the umpteenth time, it is advisable for Mr. President to review the stewardship and real inner motives of Ahmed Gulak whom, either oblivious of his job schedule or lacking the competence to undertake it, is preoccupied with fomenting trouble for the administration.”


HE Federal Government has described its recent security pact with the Republic of Niger as a major breakthrough in the fight against Boko Haram. Interior Minister Abba Moro said the security pact would also help reduce the movement of illegal arms and small arms along the border. Nigeria and the Republic of Niger at the weekend agreed to begin immediately joint border patrols between the two counries. The agreement is part of

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

the efforts to curb the activities of terrorist groups. The agreement was reached at the end of the sixth session of the High Authority of the NigeriaNiger Joint Commission for Cooperation, held in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger. President Goodluck Jonathan led the Nigeria delegation to the session, where issues ranging from security to trade were discussed. Moro said with the coun-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has opposed attempts by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embark on a solidarity strike over the reappointment of Prof Barineme Fakae as Acting Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science of Technology (RSUST). NANS, in a statement yesterday by its President, Dauda Muhammed, warned that students would be at the receiving end, if the union goes on another strike, as it would further disrupt the disjointed academic calendars. He said students should be left out of what he described as the internal political dispute in the university. Muhammed said: “It is our opinion that ASUU takes into consideration that Nigerian students who are no parties in the dispute are usually being made to bear the brunt of the consequences of their industrial action. “As far as we are concerned, the Rivers State Government reserves the right to either appoint or otherwise, who administers the university. “We hereby call on other well-meaning Nigerians and every stakeholder to prevail on ASUU to shelve the idea of its proposed strike since it is not in the interest of students and our educational sector that is still battling to stabilise.”

against their operations. The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Act 2006 Amendment Bill 2012 is aimed at compelling oil companies to compensate individuals, families and communities that suffer the impact of oil spills and gas flaring due to their negligence and operational activities. The former Kwara State Governor said:“I don’t think there is anywhere in the world today where we are seeing a large number of oil spills, greater abuse to the environment than the Niger Delta. “The operators in Nigeria operate in Europe, America, Africa but why is it that in


From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


ONTRACTORS handling projects for the police have threatened to march on Aso Rock Villa as well as the National Assembly to protest the N7billion owed them. The contractors have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan and lawmakers. The decision to stage the protest was made at an emgency meeting held in Abuja at the weekend on learning that only N100million was released, contrary to the N998million earlier promised to offset part of the debt by the police authorities. The contractors’ spokesman, Patrick Ojo, said the intervention of the President and the National Assembly became necessary as banks are out to recoup their loans. He said: “All our efforts to get the money paid have been abortive,we approached the Minister of Police Affairs,we approached previous and the current Inspectors General of Police,even the Senate Committee on Police Affairs had intervened. “All what we got were promises upon promises,we are fed up; our members are dying and banks are on our necks,they want to auction our properties,we are pleading with the President and the National Assembly to come to our rescue.”

hope that by the time we get back to Nigeria we will immediately set into motion the necessary steps to be taken.” On checking small arms, the minister said: “There is no magic about ensuring effectiveness in checking the movement of small arms and live weapons. The truth is that these arms do not move by themselves, they are carried by human beings and peddlers and by the time we secure our borders and make it unattractive so as to reduce consequently the movement of these illegal arms.”

Oil spill bill not punitive, says Saraki

NANS kicks against ASUU strike

Contractors petition Jonathan

try’s security challenges assuming international dimension, it has become imperative that the country is able to effectively check its border. One of the gains of the agreement said the minister “ is the fact that we must take off immediately the joint patrol of our borders and so I believe that with the two Heads of State agreeing now to provide the necessary logistics for the take off of this joint patrol of our borders, it means that a new dimension has been added to the desire to ensure a secure border between the countries and I

•Dr Saraki


HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the weekend, said the oil spill bill at the National Assembly will promote best practices among operators. Saraki disagreed with oil companies which insinuated that the law would be punitive

Nigeria, environmental degradation is right while it is not right in other countries? “For example, the Deep Water case in America is not even as worse as some of the cases here in Nigeria. “But the attitude of the companies is different, they believe they must clean up, they believe that if people in the community have been deprived they must cater for them, provide source of livelihood for them, but it is not so in Nigeria. “The law being proposed against erring oil companies is not punitive, but one of the best practices the world over. “There is nothing in our law that is different from what happens in other parts of the world.

“What we are bringing in is not as strict as in other countries. “In places like Brazil they charge managing directors of those companies as criminals. “The issue of oil spill is borne out of the improper way we do things in Nigeria. “We have allowed people to take advantage of us and don’t do the right thing. “All we are asking for by this law is for the companies to replicate best practices in Nigeria. Are the lives of people in other countries more precious than the lives of Nigerians?” “So if you can respect the lives and environment of other people in other parts of the world, then why not in Nigeria?”

Party caucus: ACN stronger than before


HE National Assembly caucus of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has hailed the party leadership for its outing in the Ondo State governorship election. In a statement by its Secretary, Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa, the caucus said: “Even as our party reviews the outcome of the election in which the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) declared our candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), third, the ACN has every cause to be proud of its performance in the contest. “The ACN clearly entered the race as the underdog in

Ondo State. “In the 2007 governorship election, the defunct Action Congress (AC) which metamorphosed into the ACN, recorded a paltry 30,000 votes. “It is amazing that a party, which was only revived recently and campaigned effectively only for three months, could give the incumbent a run for his money. “This confirms the ACN’s daily rising profile as the fastest growing party that offers the most effective, consistent and constructive opposition in Nigeria today.

“Our resolve for good governance, the sustenance of our democracy and commitment to the rule of law whether as an opposition or ruling party remains absolute and a zero sum game. “We thank the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and all our other officials and leaders for their dexterity, integrity, maturity and wisdom. “We appreciate the sacrifice and commitment of our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who invested so much time, energy and resources in the quest for victory. “Tinubu has always given

his all to the cause of our party. “No sacrifice has been too big for him to make to promote the interest of the party. “This is surely a measure of his commitment to the growth of democracy in Nigeria. “We reaffirm our total confidence in his inspirational and invigorating leadership. “All members of our party in Ondo deserve accolades for their loyalty and steadfastness. “The ACN has come alive in Ondo State and the party can only keep growing stronger. “



NEWS Osun PDP, ACN disagree on state police From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State have disagreed on the creation of state police. The PDP, in a statement by its Director of Media and Strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s call for state police was for political reasons. It alleged that the governor wants absolute power. The PDP said: “Why is Aregbesola calling for state police? What does he intend to use it for? What is wrong with the existing central police? “We urge the Federal Government to be wary of Aregbesola’s antics. He wants absolute power he can use in the next governorship election and this is unacceptable. “Aregbesola should learn to believe in people. The Nigerian Police has been in existence for long and we were all part of the system. Even though it may not be perfect, it is better than introducing a state police that will become a tool in the hand of politicians.” The ACN faulted the PDP’s reasoning, adding that, after all, Aregbesola is not the only Nigerian or governor agitating for the establishment of state police. ACN Publicity Director Kunle Oyatomi, in a statement, said: “Many PDP governors are also agitating for the establishment of state police and there is no ulterior motive behind the agitation as claimed by the PDP. “The question we need to ask ourselves is: Does the Nigerian Police, as presently constituted, have the capability to secure Nigeria? If the Nigerian Police had that ability, we would not have security challenges and threat occasioned by the Boko Haram sect. “If we are not mistaken, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had been changed for the third time because of the activities of the Boko Haram sect. The PDP should find something useful to do, instead of engaging in unfounded accusations. “Aregbesola is not just singing the songs other people are singing; he is a visionary leader and thinks well for his people. He knows what is good for the people and is doing all within his power and the state’s resources to improve the state. “Our aim is to capture the entire Nigeria and improve the lives of the people. The PDP has failed to render good governance.”


WO of the suspects involved in the abduction of Alhaja Muibat Salaam, wife of the Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, have been arrested in Benin Republic by policemen from the Osun State Command. They are Uwadiunor Philip and Kaikine Mahah. Alhaja Salaam was kidnapped on October 9 around 7.30pm at Ejigbo, Osun State, on her way home from her shop. It was learnt that she was blindfolded and taken into a forest, where she was dispossessed of her phones, hand bag, driver’s licence, National I.D card, two Skye Bank ATM cards, house and shop keys, N30,000 and a gold necklace. On October 13, the police got information that the victim was sighted in a truck at Ogunmakin in Ogun State and confronted the kidnappers. The hoodlums engaged the police in a gun duel and one of the suspects was killed. Four of the suspected kidnappers were arrested and others escaped. Alhaja Salaam was rescued unhurt and reunited with her family. The four earlier arrested Chukwudi Okereke, Ogbole Elijah, Okonkwo Lucky and Chukwuma Osifo – and those held in Benin Republic, were paraded at the weekend at the Osun State Police Headquarters in Okefia, Osogbo, the state capital. Police spokeswoman Mrs. Folashade Odoro said two AK 47 rifles, 78 rounds of


•From right: Okereke, Elijah, Lucky, Osifo, Philip and Mahah.

Two suspected kidnappers of Osun Speaker’s wife held in Benin Republic From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

life ammunition, four empty magazines, one Halogen lamp, an I.D. card belonging to Elijah and one Mandissel truck, marked ATN

21XA, were recovered from the suspects. Mrs. Odoro said: “Discreet investigation carried out by detectives attached to the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID), Osogbo revealed that Chuk-

Obasanjo can’t speak on discipline, says Ogun PDP

HE Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s claim that indiscipline is responsible for the party’s challenges. Obasanjo reportedly made the statement in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the caucus meeting of the PDP in the Southwest. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Waliu Oladipupo, Ogun PDP said Obasanjo was not qualified to speak on party discipline. It said: “We agree and disagree with the former President. First, the points of disagreement. He is the worst ad-

vertisement of the product he is trying to sell. He is not fit to talk of indiscipline in any political setting, especially in Ogun State. Many notable chieftains of the party have said time and again that he is the problem of the party, especially with his politics of imposition, arbitrariness, dictatorship and intolerance. “On the other hand, we agree with him, because if not for indiscipline which breeds lawlessness and gangsterism, he and his cohorts will not seek to usurp the validly elect-

ed Exco of the then Chief Dayo Soremi and now the Mr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco. “Now, armed thugs allegedly working for him and his group have seized the party secretariat, brandishing pump action guns and assorted rifles. Imagine the consequence of a reprisal attack! “We also agree with him on the fact that being in control of the structure of a party is not everything, but using the structure to win elections. We are all living witnesses to the fact that since 1999, our

dear former president has never won any election in his local government, ward or even polling booth. “If Obasanjo does not condone indiscipline, how could he have attended a zonal meeting presided over by Mr. Segun Oni, who has been sacked by a Federal High Court?” The party urged the former president to look around and see if any of the nation’s former leaders, especially in the North, plays local politics like he does. It advised Obasanjo to retire from politics and be “a father figure to all”, while tending to his farms.”

PDP group accuses Folarin of anti-party activities


GROUP within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, the Synergy Democratic Group, yesterday accused former Senate Leader Teslim Folarin of “serial anti-party activities”. The group was reacting to Folarin’s congratulatory message to Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko on his reelection. In a statement by its Public-

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

ity Secretary, Mr. Diran Majaro, the group said: “Unless a stop is put to the former Senate Leader’s penchant for sitting in a house and defecating in that same house, he would continue to believe that intra-political treachery is a classical example of political behaviour in Nigeria. “Our party must put a stop to Folarin’s penchant for anti-

party activities. This was what he did in the 2011 elections, when he subverted the PDP’s will by supporting and clandestinely canvassing the candidature of his cousin. “Folarin is travelling the same road by congratulating the candidate of a rival party in an election the PDP participated in and lost, and which the party in Ondo State had sworn to contest at the courts.

Residents lament power outage in Akure


wudi Okereke is the prime suspect, who organised the kidnap. “He confessed to have led a 12-man kidnap gang from Delta, Edo and Lagos states to Ejigbo. Okereke said he lived in Ejigbo for two years before moving to Ag-

HERE has been power outage in some parts of Ondo State, including Akure, the state capital. The outage has paralysed economic activities and the prices of perishable goods have increased. The Nation gathered that only Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Akoko have electricity supply. A source at the Akure Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) said the outage was caused by a fault at the Osogbo

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Power Plant in Osun State, which supplies electricity to Southwest states. The outage made the Eid-el-kabir celebration dull. Residents urged the PHCN authorities to urgently correct the fault. Efforts to reach PHCN spokesman Adegoke Ademola failed, as his phones were switched off.

“In his congratulatory message, Folarin said performance, rather than political godfatherism, was the determinant of a leader’s relationship with the people. “If indeed performance is the deciding factor, we want Folarin to tell the world what he achieved as a PDP Senator for four years and Senate Leader for another four years. Folarin’s stay at the National Assembly was political barrenness. “Folarin is praising his friend, Mimiko, while our party and its commendable performance in the Ondo polls are being rubbished by this fair-weather politician.” The group urged the party’s national leadership to probe Folarin’s alleged anti-party activities.

bor, Delta State. “He said he had been in the kidnapping business for years, carrying out his nefarious activities in the states mentioned above. He came for this last operation because he knew the speaker’s family.”

Four die in Ogun road crash From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta


OUR persons died yesterday in a road accident in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Others were injured. The accident occurred opposite the Governor’s Office in Oke-Mosan when a Toyota Tundra Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), marked Lagos FC 787 LND and a Nissan Primera, marked Lagos FZ 914 LSR, collided. It was learnt that the driver of the SUV applied the brake, when he sighted speed breakers on the road. Sources said he veered off his lane and crashed into the Nissan Primera, which was on another lane. It was learnt that the passengers in the Nissan Primera - all men - died on the spot. Their mangled remains were evacuated and deposited in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the Ogun State Traffic and Compliance Agency (TRACE) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The injured were taken to the hospital. A TRACE officer, Mr. Oladele Badmos, said the accident was caused by the recklessness of the SUV’s driver.




‘Prosecute Electoral Act violators in Ondo’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure



HE Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Okitipupa branch, Ondo State, Mr. Segun Lema, at the weekend urged the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar to ensure the prosecution of the Labour Party (LP) chieftains arrested over election malpractices in the governorship election. Lema, who spoke with reporters in Akure, decried the high level of injustice and malpractices, which characterised the poll. He enjoined the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to ensure that judges with credible judicial pedigree were appointed as members of the Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal to probe the petitions that might have arisen from aggrieved parties. Lema said the IGP should, as a matter of urgency, prevail on the commissioner of police to begin the prosecution of the sus-

NICO holds workshop on transformation


S part of its mandate to boost the core confidence and service of cultural officers, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) will organise a national workshop between October 31 and November 2 at the NICO Training School Complex, National Theatre Annex, near APCON, Iganmu, Lagos. The programme starts at 9 am. The workshop, the fifth in the series, with the theme: “Cultural festivals as tools for socio-economic transformation”, is designed to reposition Nigerian cultural workers for improved productivity. The resource persons include the Executive Secretary/CEO, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Head, Department of Theatre & Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, Director of Administration & Human Resources, NICO, Abuja, Mr. Abayomi Oyelola, Director, NICO Training School, Lagos, Prince Bamidele Olusa, Head, NICO Liaison Office, Lagos, Mrs. Bridgette Yerima, Head, Academic Unit, NICO Training School, Lagos, Dr. Dipo Kalejaiye and a lecturer at NICO Training School, Lagos, Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh.

pected election riggers. The lawyer called for the probe of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Chief Olu Falae and the LP chieftains arrested over alleged involvement in electoral manipulation. Although Falae has denied the allegation, describing it as baseless and a deliberate attempt by some politicians to dent his image, Lema alleged that it is unfortunate that Chief Falae, who is a respected person in the society, can allow such atrocities to be perpetrated on his premises. He advised the IGP and INEC Chairman Prof.

Attahiru Jega to treat the alleged involvement of some personalities in election manipulation with concern. The NBA chief also urged the prosecution of security operatives and INEC officials allegedly involved in complicity during the poll. He said INEC and the police should conduct thorough investigations to unravel how electoral materials were smuggled out of INEC area offices in the state before the election day. It was alleged that some bigwigs of the LP, including two serving commissioners, a council chairman and a member of the House of Assembly representing a constituency in the coastal

‘I felt disappointed when I heard that some LP chieftains were caught in Chief Falae’s home with thumb-printed ballot papers on the election day. I believe Falae’s compound was not an accredited polling unit’ area were caught with thumb-printed ballot papers on the election day.

Lema said Governor Olusegun Mimiko would be made to account for the state funds he allegedly spent on his electioneering campaign. He said: “I felt disappointed when I heard that some LP chieftains were caught in Chief Falae’s home with thumb-printed ballot papers on the election day. I believe Falae’s compound was not an accredited polling unit. “I wonder why he should allow such a fraudulent act to take place in his home. I know that Chief Falae would never participate in such an unpatriotic act. “But what I’m saying is that the police should investigate the circumstances that

brought about the discovery of these illegal act and manipulation in Chief Falae’s home. “A thorough investigation should be conducted into this matter, and if he is found culpable, he should be arrested and prosecuted along with the other suspects. “As a Nigerian, I believe he is not above the law. The two commissioners and the council chairman arrested over a similar offence should also be prosecuted.” The NBA vice-chairman said it was unfortunate that Governor Mimiko, a product of the rule of law, could watch his commissioners and aides perpetrate electoral fraud against the wish of the electorate.




PDP wants us to fight Okorocha, says Imo Speaker

‘Those attacking Obi are wasting their time’ From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


HE Chief Press Secretary to Anambra State Governor, Mr. Mike Udah, has said those attacking Governor Peter Obi, especially through what he called sponsored writeups and phoney organisations, are wasting their time. He said: “Nigerians are too sophisticated to discern the truth among a plethora of lies.” Udah was reacting to a statement credited to the National Association of Igbo Youths. The governor’s spokesman said the organisation does not exist. In a statement in Abakaliki, the state capital, Udah said the statement credited to the group gave the impression that Obi was the mastermind of the crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He said the association, if it exists, lacks objectivity, decorum and reasonableness. Udah noted that the statement by the association showed its false claims, unfounded allegations, faulty conclusions and aspersions. The governor’s aide explained that contrary to the issues in the statement, Obi has neither a mentor nor a godfather in politics. He noted that this has enabled him to remain firm and focused since he got into politics, despite the distraction from those he called detractors.

Don urges Fed Govt to ban importation of agro-technologies From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia


HE Dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof Victor Ndirika, has urged the Federal Government to ban the importation of foreign agrotechnologies. He noted that this would reduce poverty and drive rural development in Nigeria. The academic spoke at the weekend at the university’s 15th inaugural lecture, entitled: Intermediate agricultural processing and storage technologies: a panacea for poverty alleviation and rural development. The don designed and fabricated a palm kernel shell-fired dryer, millet thresher, melon sheller, poultry feed pellet machine, sunflower dehauling machines and cooling system for fresh tomatoes. He is an expert in storage engineering and bio-energy. Prof. Ndirika noted that the ban has become necessary because Nigeria has expertise in the fabrication of agro-processing technologies. The academic added that if the ban is implemented, there would be improved agricultural production with local contents. He said: “Previous experience has shown that sophisticated and complex modern crop processing plants are very expensive, not accessible, not affordable and not readily available to the rural farmers. It also helps to shorten the lifespan of our farm produce.”

GUS 9: Tougher challenges await surviving 10

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

•Governor Okorocha


MO State House of Assembly Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu has said leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state wanted him and other PDP lawmakers to fight Governor Rochas Okorocha. The Speaker said the decision to team up with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was to ensure stability and good governance in the state. He said: “We have to draw a

line between politics and governance to give Imo people quality representation, irrespective of party affinity. We entered into an agreement to support this administration to succeed for the people of Imo State. This government is a product of the PDP.” Uwajumogu addressed reporters in Owerri, the state capital. The Speaker said he is still a card-carrying member of the PDP. He added: “I didn’t resign my membership of the PDP. I am still a card-carrying member of the party. Those saying I am no longer a member of the PDP should show my resignation letter. But we have to concentrate on governance. After that, we will return to our parties.” The Speaker had defected to APGA on the floor of the House immediately he was sworn in. He explained that the current lawmakers do not allow partisan politics to bear on their

•Party: he is power-hungry work or relationship with the Executive. According to him, the lawmakers are committed to moving the state forward, irrespective of their party affiliation. Uwajumogu noted that the synergy between the Executive and the Legislature was responsible for the success the state has recorded in infrastructure, education and security in the last one year. He said: “We are aware that the collaboration between the Assembly and the Executive has attracted widespread criticisms. But we decided to partner the government to rescue the state. This is evident in the number of projects that are ongoing in the state and the ones that have been delivered in the last 17 months.” The Speaker attributed the cordial relationship between the Legislature and Executive to the commitment of the administration to the development of the all sectors of the state.

Uwajumogu said: “The Assembly has no reason to start fighting the governor on the pages of newspapers. We are doing what we are supposed to do. If the Executive is doing well, there will be few conflicts between it and the Legislature. So, the allegation of possible collusion is baseless.” The Speaker dismissed claims of a frosty relationship between the lawmakers and the government. He described the rumour as the handiwork of the opposition and detractors who want to derail the progress of the state and create rancour between the Legislature and the Executive. But the PDP Publicity Secretary, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, described the Speaker’s claim as false. He said: “He is only hungry for power. It is a lie that he is still a member of the PDP. I urge you to discountenance all he has said.”

Falana hails Fed Govt over plan to reopen Halliburton case


IGHTS activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has hailed the Federal Government’s plan to reopen the bribery case involving Halliburton. He urged the government to extent such plan to similar cases involving other multinational companies. Halliburton is one of the world’s largest oil field services companies with operations in more than 70 countries. Falana, in a statement yesterday, urged the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) to ensure that a new team of patriotic prosecutors is constituted to prosecute the suspects in the scandal. He noted that the manner the cases were treated by past administrations caused Niger-

By Eric Ikhilae

ia an international embarrassment. The eminent lawyer said while multinational companies involved in criminal activities were left off the hook under questionable circumstances, the same companies were punished in other climes, particularly their home countries. He cited the case of Wilbros International, which was made to pay about $32.32million fine in the United States for similar offence it committed in Nigeria. The frontline lawyer said the company was neither prosecuted nor subjected to any punitive measures in Nigeria. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also listed compa-

nies, such as Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR), Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Company Limited, Siemens AG and Daimler AG, that allegedly escaped punishment in the country. He alleged that they were penalised in either the United States or Germany for similar offences they were allowed to get away with in Nigeria. Falana said: “No doubt, the decision of the Goopdluck Jonathan administration to reopen the case is in the national interest. But the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) must ensure, this time round, that a new team of patriotic prosecutors is constituted to handle the prosecution of the suspects involved in the Halli-

burton scandal. “The cases of Siemens, Willbros and similar scandals, which have questioned the commitment of the Federal Government to fight corruption, should be re-opened without any further delay. “From the reports of several investigation panels, the Halliburton scandal indicted that three former Heads of State, a former Inspector-General of Police, former ministers and permanent secretaries. Although some of the suspects indicted in the inquiry made confessional statements, they were not charged to court. “Some of the privies of the principal suspects, who were eventually arraigned in court were let off the hook for want of diligent prosecution...”

Joint UN team in after-flood visit to Anambra



he 10 remaining contenders have been passed through the gate by the first of the three Gulder Ultimate Search 9 Gatekeepers - Christopher Okagbue. Even though Nuhu Zigwayi and Uzor Osimpka emerged last in the ‘Ladder of Pain’ task, they escaped eviction because it was not a Gatekeeper’s test. The challenge which was teambased, involved contenders having both feet and hands on the braces ofladders which were slanted across a river. To make it more gruelling, the contenders were required to grip a higher brace on the ladder with their hands at intervals; while their feet remained on the last brace of the ladder. The second members of each team were to serve as muses by whispering words of encouragement in their team mates’ ear, but were not allowed to touch them. Udodi Onyinye and Paschal Eronmose won the challenge. For their effort, they got a calabash. Christopher Okagbue said of the calabash: “You are not only required to conceal this

piece of calabash from everyone else, you are to guard it with your very lives. It will help you in your search for the Gatekeeper’s Fortune.” Okagbue said further: “You have all proven yourselves worthy to continue in this quest. Although some of your colleagues have lost out; you still stand strong, so congratulations. I’ll usher you through the gates and onto the next level, where you’ll face challenges tougher than the ones you’ve faced already. Once you go through these gates, there is no turning back. The ‘old’ you ceases to exist right now, and the ‘new’ you forges ahead from this point onwards.” Gulder Ultimate Search is the flagship sponsorship property of the Gulder brand, from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc. It is Nigeria’s longestrunning 100 per cent local content reality TV show, which has been running since 2004. This year’s edition continues tonight on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV) and Real Star (Star Times) at 10pm.

JOINT United Nations (UN) team, comprising senior officials of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and representatives of other international organisations, at the weekend visited Anambra State to assess the post-flood needs of the state. The international team was accompanied by officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the National Planning Commission and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. The joint multi-disciplinary

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

team is led by Mr Simon B. Muhindi, a national food security expert and information systems consultant from the FAO office in Kenya. Members of the UN team hailed the state government for its proactive approach to the disaster. The team is expected to produce a comprehensive report on the floods. The report will include short, medium and long-

term remedial and resettlement measures. The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Oseloka Obaze and some members of the Anambra State Flood Disaster Relief Coordinating Committee (SFDRCC) welcomed the team on behalf of Governor Peter Obi. Obaze noted that the visit was “most propitious” because of the envisaged post-flood challenges confronting the affected states. He urged the team to criti-

cally examine the areas of needs, the scope and the required resources for the resettlement and rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons IDPs). The SSG noted that the national response to the postflood disaster must be holistic and multi-sectoral to be effective. He advised that the UN team’s report should include “best practices” which Nigeria must adopt as well as “lessons learnt and the missed opportunities”.

Orji prays for Suntai’s quick recovery


BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has praised God for sparing the life of Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai and his aides in last Thursday plane crash near Yola, the Adamawa State capital. Orji prayed for the quick recovery of his brother governor. He urged Nigerians to pray for Suntai, saying he loves his people and is always ready for go the extra mile to meet the needs of the state and its residents. In a statement in Umuahia, the state capital, by his Chief

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

Press Secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue, the governor noted that God has saved the nation from what could have been another mourning period, after the Dana Air crash on June 3 in which all 153 passengers and crew members died. Orji said God answers prayers, especially when “our Muslim brothers are marking the Eid-el-Kabir festival”. The governor noted that Nigerians’prayers for their leaders and the nation have

saved and sustained the governor’s life. He urged Nigerians to pray more for Suntai. According to him, prayers are among the ways the nation can ensure the governor’s quick recovery and the good result the medical treatment he is receiving in Germany will have on his health. Orji expressed optimism that Suntai and his aides would recover soon and come back to Nigeria. The governor added that Suntai would soon return to his desk and continue in his service to the state.

•Governor Orji



NEWS Robbers kill policeman From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


POLICEMAN has been killed by robbers in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He was killed after the robbers raided a phone shop in Rumuogba. His rifle was reportedly taken away. It was learnt that the hoodlums stole some money contained in three Ghana-Must-Go bags and many handsets. Sources said the sales girlwas injured. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed the incident.

Amaechi hails Ekwueme at 80


•From right: Amaechi; his wife, Judith; Ekwueme and his wife, Beatrice. Behind is Senator Magnus Abe...yesterday


Bodies were not washed off Delta morgue, says govt

HE Delta State Government yesterday said bodies were not washed off its hospital by floods in Patani. Commissioner for Information Chike Ogeah, in a statement, said the report that the morgue at Patani hospital was water logged was incorrect. Ogeah said: “Although Patani is one of the areas most affected by floods, its mortuary was never flooded. At the onset of the flood, every public office holder was deployed in their areas of origin by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to monitor and coordinate relief efforts. “Thus, top officials of the state government and officials of organisations charged with providing relief materials to internally displaced persons maintained a handson approach to the management of the flood. “Commissioner for Special

Duties Timi Tonye, who hails from Patani Local Government Area, has virtually been living in the area since the onset of the floods. He has remained on ground and has been coordinating relief efforts. “The report gave the impression that there was a fresh surge of floods in Patani. This is far from the truth. On the contrary, the floods have been receding in the past two weeks and the state government is gearing up for the second phase of the flood management, which is the rebuilding of the affected areas. “Tonye, who oversees the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission (DESOPADEC), has attested to the fact that the morgue in Patani was never flooded and that services are gradually resum-

ing at the General Hospital. “Similarly, Commissioner for Health Joseph Otumara has been actively involved in the management of floods through the provision of requisite medical services in relief camps. “At the peak of the floods, no resident complained about the washing away of the bodies in any mortuary. At no time was the premises of the General Hospital, Patani, overrun by flood. The road leading to the hospital and the Doctors’ Quarters were the only areas flooded. The main hospital compound, including the morgue and other critical service areas, were not affected. “The mortuary attendant at the hospital, Mr. Kenny Edios, confirmed that the hospital was evacuated due to the

flooding of the access road and the Doctors’ Quarters. “He affirmed that the mortuary and other major facilities in the hospital remain intact and that the water has been receding in the affected areas, paving the way for the resumption of normal service delivery. “Edios said two elderly people, who died at the peak of the flood, were embalmed and deposited at the morgue in Patani General Hospital. He said there were 42 bodies at the morgue before the floods and they are all accounted for. “In putting the records straight, we are not suggesting that there are no health challenges in the aftermath of the flood. The health challenges are enormous. We acknowledge the fact that our people have displayed uncommon valour and improvisation as they sought to cope with the ravaging floods.”

Delta flood victims protest ‘ill-treatment’


LOOD victims at the Oharisi Primary School Camp in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday held a peaceful protest. The victims, who were from Odorubu, Patani, Oharo, Uduophori, Besegha, Uwheru and Bulu-Angiama Ofoni, went to the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli, Wilson Oharisi III, where they complained that they were being maltreated by the management of the camp.

•Monarch donates clothes, shoes to displaced persons From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

The victims said despite donations from well-meaning individuals and groups, they were not fed until 3pm daily. They said three victims, who complained about the illtreatment, were allegedly remanded in Warri Prisons. A victim, Mr. Diamond Ikpesivwe, urged the state

government to change the camp’s management. Another victim, who pleaded for anonymity, said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the government have failed in their responsibility to cater for the people at their time of need. The monarch said he would look into their complaints.

He fed the protesters and gave them clothes and shoes worth thousands of Naira. The lawmaker representing Ughelli North State Constituency 1, Mr. Samuel Mariere, and the Commissioner for the Oil Producing Areas Deveopment Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr. Timi Tonye, said the victims’ complaints would be passed to the governor.

Imoke to resettle Agwagune flood victims


ROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke yesterday said the people of Agwagune, Biase Local Government Area, would be resettled in another place. Imoke spoke while inspecting flood ravaged communities across the state. He said Agwagune had suffered flooding and land slides over time and its resi-

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

dents would be relocated to a safer place. Imoke pledged to relocate the people and build the Abini–Agwagune Road before his tenure expires. He said the new area would be built according to the specifications of the community and the project

would be devoid of undue government influence. The governor assured the victims that their situation would be made known to the Federal Government. He urged them to cooperate with government agents, who will be coming to the area to distribute relief materials as a temporary measure. The Paramount Ruler of

Biase Local Government Area, Apostle Nicholas Odum, who is also a victim, urged the government to help his people recover from the disaster. He said without quick resettlement, the community would be wiped out. Odum thanked the government for the relief materials and promised to use them judiciously.

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday described former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme as a patriotic Nigerian, who contributed immensely to the promotion of unity and development. Amaechi spoke at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Port Harcourt, the state capital, during a thanksgiving service marking Ekwueme’s 80th Birthday. He said: “I do not see ethnicity in you (Ekwueme), so Nigerians owe you a lot in that regard. Many of us admire your patriotism.” The governor said at 80, Ekwueme was still fit to add value to the Nigerian society. He said: “Rest assured that some of us look up to you after looking up to God and we will continue the struggle that you are still struggling for, which is a better Nigeria. I pray there will be a better Nigeria. “An opportunity has opened up to improve the country and it is the forthcoming constitutional amendment. As usual, Nigerians have started dealing with cosmetics, not the reality of power distribution and the country’s structure. “I will join Ekwueme in asking fundamental questions that would consolidate Nigeria’s unity” Ekwueme thanked Amaechi and all Nigerians, who turned out to honour him.

Delta flood panel for inauguration


HE 12-member committee constituted by the Delta State Government to manage the N500 million flood relief fund given to the state by the Federal Government will be inaugurated today. The committee is chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Tabai. Members include economist Prof. Pat Utomi; Southsouth Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Archbishop God-Do-Well Awomakpa; an educationst, Mrs. Florence Ehinlaye; Dr. Thomas Okpaku and Pharm. Paul Enebeli. Others are Dr Asanuvwie Oberheri, representing the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Dr. M. Osarenkhoe, representing the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Mr. Owen Mordi, representing the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). The rest are Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, representing the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, Warri and Mr. Onyeisi Nkenchor of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, who will serve as the committee’s secretary.




08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Fashola, Okotie, Madubuko others for PFN award

AS part of activities marking the yearly programme of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Ikeja, Lagos Chapter, dignitaries such as Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Senior Pastor, Household of God, Chris Okotie and Senior Pastor, Revival Assembly, Anslem Madubuko would be given awards for their contributions to humanity. Also to be honoured are the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Joke Orelope-Adefulire; a lawyer, Monday Ubani; radio presenter, Moyo Oyatogun; Pastors Femi Paul; Esosa Eze-Iyamu; Elishama Ideh and an industrialist, Mazi Sam Ohunabunwa. According to a statement signed by the Chairman Organising Committee of PFN, Deacon Oswald Olatunbosun, reads in part: “It is a prophetic night where we declare the counsel of God concerning our land, Nigeria. We also give awards to some deserving citizens on the day.” Olatunbosun added that the event, which will take place on November 9, at the Jesus Evangelical Assembly, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, would be used to pray for Nigeria, especially on the security threat posed by the sectarian sect, Boko Haram, threatening the unity of country.

•Fashola (with microphone fifth right) addressing the traders... yesterday.


Traders count losses as Fashola visits I site of razed building

T was time yesterday for traders at the burnt EuroAsia plaza in the popular Balogun Market in Lagos Island to count their losses. The six-storey shopping plaza collapsed after it was gutted by fire late Saturday evening. Their wares were mostly foot wears. They told Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who was at the scene to assess the disaster, that they lost all their investments. The fourth and fifth floors housing the traders were razed. One of the affected traders, Mr. Olise Damian, told The Nation that the fire started at about 5pm when they were closing for the day. He added that it was just by divine intervention that the occupants of the building that had about 500 shops, including a

From Miriam Ndikanwu

branch of United Bank of Africa (UBA) survived. “I was parking my wares to close for the day when suddenly I heard a noise and people shouting fire. A couple of others and I, quickly rushed out, unlocked the place and used the extinguisher we had, but the fire escalated to the other floor,” Damian said. He explained that the fire completely razed all the goods in the fourth and fifth floors before the two floors collapsed. The trader said as the fire raged, occupants managed to escape through the stair cases. It was when they were rushing that some of the traders sustained minor injuries, Damian said.

“We escaped through the stair case, the building has just one stair case and there was no fire or emergency exit,” he said. The situation, according to him, could have been salvaged if the emergency agencies, especially the fire service officials had arrived earlier. Another trader told the governor that the disaster was a major setback for their businesses considering the fact that it happened when the peak season was approaching. “We are not happy because all we had perished yesterday (Saturday) in this fire disaster.” Replying, Fashola sympathised with them, noting however, that it was an avoidable incident. “I am sorry about this, but

the reality is that this was a disaster that was avoidable, judging by the report we got from the fire service that came to rescue the situation. “You have to understand that in life, accidents do happen and some of the accidents are caused by what we ourselves do,” he said. The governor appealed to the traders to stay off the building for a while in order to enable the authority carry out proper investigation and determine the structural integrity of the property. “For now, we have to keep a safe distance from here to ensure your safety and you may not be able to trade here for a few days. We are bringing in structural engineers to access the building after the fire is put out. You can see

that the fire is still on,” he said. The structural engineers, the governor explained, would access the property and determine its integrity, adding that it is only when it is certified to be free that people would be allowed to go inside. He urged them on the need to have insurance policy, saying that risks such as the fire incident can be well managed when businesses have insurance cover. Sunday service could not hold yesterday at St Paul’s Church, Breadfruit Street, directly behind the razed building as the area was cordoned off by security personnel to ensure safety. Some of the worshippers were turned backed by the security personnel at strategic entrance to ensure that hoodlums did not hijack the situation and loot the stores in the building.

‘How I escaped being killed A over property’ MIDDLE-AGED woman, Princess Hadiza Ibrahim, has told The Nation how she was almost killed by her tenants while recovering one of her properties which she gave out to them on a five-year rent. It was in the morning on July 30, when Princess Ibrahim and her daughter staged a peaceful protest at Plot 1678, Karimu Kotun Street , Victoria Island , to alert residents that they were the real owners of the property, contrary to the claim of a car dealer which was then occupying it. Upon arrival, Princess Ibrahim, who had come from Abuja, blocked the entrance to the car shop with a mattress and sat on it with her daughter. Although they did not stop anybody from entering the premises of Chariot Motors, the woman and her daughter screamed to whoever cared to listen that the present occupants who were allegedly claiming ownership of the property were fake, noting that she acquired the property from the Federal Government in 1988. She also claimed that she sold part of the property to Africa RE to build its corporate head office in Nigeria . However, on September 28,

By Jude Isiguzo

the Manager of the car shop, simply identified as Mr Yekini, had allegedly gone to Princess Ibrahim’s Ibadan, Oyo State home to return the keys of the property and informed her that they had finally moved out of the place. She claimed that two days later, she got a call from Yekini, urging her to come and take over the property as it was not good leaving it empty since they had moved out. “When I received the call, we got to Lagos about 7:30pm from Ibadan that day. There, we discovered that my tenant had indeed vacated the property and had moved out all their cars except three Tata cars. We took over the property and about 12midnight, we heard knocks on the gate and the security men came to alert me that policemen were around; that they said they got a distress call that armed robbers were operating in the car shop,” she recalled. She went on: “I was shocked when I opened my gate. I was scared to see over 20 armed policemen point guns at me. I told them that we were not armed robbers but owners of the property

and that I had been having problems recovering it from my tenant who had refused to move out after several quit notices. “The police officer who led the team believed me and ordered others to ‘relax.’ That was how I escaped being killed. The policemen from Lion Building, Lagos, said somebody called to inform them that robbery was going on in the building and that was why they came”, she added. After investigations, she said they discovered that it was Mr Yekini that called the police to inform them of a robbery at their car shop. Ibrahim, who hailed the ‘reformed police’ led by Inspector General (IGP) Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, noted that were it not that the police had been repackaged, she would have been dead. “Policemen are no longer being used, contrary to the thinking of my tenant; they investigate before they act and that is why I’m still alive. Princess Ibrahim told The Nation that owing to her closeness to former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, her tenants had run to him, asking him to plead for for-

•Princess Ibrahim

giveness on their behalf after investigation had shown that they were the ones behind the false robbery alarm. She had made copies of the quit notices served the Managing Directors of the car shop on March 1, 2010 and April 2, this year available to The Nation during the July protest. She also submitted a petition of threat to her life dated July 15, to the office of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubarkar. According to her, it was because of IGP’s intervention that the assault incident was charged to court. She said her former tenant allegedly confessed that it was a Senior Advocate (SAN), who advised him on the court orders he obtained from a Magistrate and High Courts on which her signature was forged.

















Alert Vs alarm •Nigeria’s dwindling oil export to US should not lead to frantic alarm on budget benchmark


IGERIA’s plummeting export of crude to the United States is bitter food for thought. According to newspaper reports, crude export to America nosedived from 810, 000 barrels a day in July 2011 to 361, 000 barrels as at July 2012 – a whopping 449, 000 barrels plummet! Even then, the 2011 figures were a decline from more than one million barrels a day in 2010. That should alert our economic managers to think of further diversifying the crude export market, aside from moving away from decades of near mono export driven by crude oil – hardly a novel call, for that has been the campaign for decades now. But not even that dying market should be turned into a potent scarecrow, in the executive-legislative war over the appropriate budget benchmark for receipts from exported crude. The executive has suggested US $75. While the Senate prefers US $78, the House of Representatives is insisting on US $80, as basis for computing the likely revenue inflow, on which Budget 2013 would be hinged. Not unexpectedly, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, finance minister and coordinating minister for the economy and chief strategic mind behind the executive budget estimates, has climbed on the moral high horse, playing the role of a hurt visionary, on why the benchmark must stay at US $75. “These are some of the reasons we went for a sensible US $75 benchmark price,” she told The Guardian, “in view of the changing nature of oil supplies in the world’s principal markets, and the pos-

sible impact on demand.” As a general principle, the minister may well be earnest. If the market is shrinking, it logically follows supply might just outstrip demand, leading to a glut. If that happens, price will come tumbling. That would mean that the lower the benchmark, the more secure the integrity of the budget, since it is based on expected, and not ready cash. Still, the minister’s attempt at stacking cards is apparent. Though crude export to the United States may have dropped and (no thanks to new technology which could turn the heaviest of crude into highend refined fuel) Nigeria’s sweet Brent is progressively threatened globally, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) sources maintain the drop in the American market has been taken up by other buyers, thus further diversifying the market; and making more improbable the event of a market crash. If that is indeed so, then there is little basis for the minister’s subtle attempt to turn a just alert into a shrill alarm, just to push the executive’s case for US $75. For the 2013 budget to be well implemented, the unit of expected cash – the benchmark – must be right. But that would not be attained by each side getting fixated over its own proposals. They should rather dialogue for a reasoned middle path. Both sides are hobbled, though. The executive is fairly and legitimately charged with fixing arbitrary benchmarks to create artificial budget deficits, which actual export receipts could fund. But instead of presenting supplementary

budgets for fresh appropriations, it resorts to borrowing, for which the public is punished with avoidable interests. Besides, the presidency is rather too cozy with the idea of free funds it can play around. This vexed issue has turned the states hopping mad at the Federal Government playing god over money that belongs to all. The legislature, on the other hand, is no less legitimately charged with being irredeemable spendthrift, particularly when the issue is securing own pork. Both sides should turn the patriotic leaf to lay a strong foundation for Budget 2013. But much more, the authorities should do more in the diversification of the economy beyond crude oil by taking special advantage of agriculture.

‘If that is indeed so, then there is little basis for the minister’s subtle attempt to turn a just alert into a shrill alarm, just to push the executive’s case for US $75. For the 2013 budget to be well implemented, the unit of expected cash – the benchmark – must be right. But that would not be attained by each side getting fixated over its own proposals. They should rather dialogue for a reasoned middle path’

Privatisation controversy •It’s in our collective interest that the matter be resolved amicably, or in the court


T was expected that the privatisation of the power sector would be dogged by controversies. However, the threat by the quartet of Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo to prevent winner of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) – Vigeo Power Limited – from operating has, no doubt, brought a dangerous dimension to the privatisation story. The governors’ angst stems from the failure of their consortium, the Southern Electricity Distribution Company to clinch the bid for the distribution company. The governors had alleged manipulation of the process in favour of the preferred bidder. Specifically, they charged the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) with using a set of criteria

‘We do not here suggest that the fears of the governors are unfounded. The point however is that they will better help the cause of the public and that of the privatisation process by supplying proof of the infractions observed beyond general statements. A possible option is for the governors to register their concerns with Vice President Namadi Sambo in his capacity as chairman of the privatisation process’

that had never been used before to create room for manipulation. There were other allegations about the figures said to have been put forward by the preferred bidder as being “shady”. The winning consortium was also described as lacking the technical knowhow and the financial capability to handle the project. Indeed, Governor Oshiomhole passed off the entire exercise as “a racket that’s inconsistent with running a transparent government”. Rather ominously, he stated on behalf of the four that having invested taxpayers’ money in the electricity distribution projects, they would not sit idly by and watch the investment lie waste. The Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) chaired by Atedo Peterside responded to the allegations last week. The body denied allegations of manipulation and lack of transparency just as it stopped short of describing the governors’ tales as a case of sour grapes. It insisted that the ground rules for the process were well circulated among the investors. The rules, the body also noted, were in accordance with the Request for Proposals (RFP) which all the bidders were given the opportunity to comment on and which were accepted before they submitted their technical and commercial proposals. Accusing the governors of bad faith, the chairman of the technical committee of NCP charged: “They never made any allegations of lack of transparency until after the race had been run via the com-

mercial bid opening ceremony which was televised live”. As for the criteria used in picking the bid winners, the NCP insisted that it approved the privatisation strategy as far back as June 11, 2010 and that “the advertisement soliciting for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) emphasised that the BPE would use this strategy”. Is the NCP like Caesar’s wife – above reproach? Only if we accept that the governors’ consortium was actually privy to the rules as stated by the NCP. However, the idea that the exercise was not guided a priori, by a set of agreed rules, or that the consortium would undertake the exercise – blindfolded as it were – would seem ridiculous – hard to accept. We do not here suggest that the fears of the governors are unfounded. The point however is that they will better help the cause of the public and that of the privatisation process by supplying proof of the infractions observed beyond general statements. A possible option is for the governors to register their concerns with Vice President Namadi Sambo in his capacity as chairman of the privatisation process. In the alternative, they could seek redress in court. There is also a third option – pressing for higher stakes in the distribution companies through negotiations. Either of the three would seem a far better strategy than the threat to prevent the preferred bidder from operating. Of course, the idea that the governors’ consortium must win no matter what, is wrong.

A Dark Ages day in Italy


TALY’s decision to convict six scientists and an ex-official for misinterpreting the quake risk before a 2009 temblor struck is a setback for science. Maybe the United States doesn’t need to worry about an impending shortage of scientists. The ones in Italy might be happy to move here after the preposterous conviction of six earthquake experts who inaccurately gauged the chances of a major temblor striking a quake-prone area in that country. In a decision more reminiscent of Dark Ages magical thinking than modern scientific understanding, a three-judge panel sentenced the experts, as well as a former government official, to six years in prison for concluding in 2009 that the risk of a catastrophic earthquake in L’Aquila was small. The region had been plagued by a series of tremors, and less than a week after the panel of scientists delivered its opinion, a 6.3magnitude quake killed 300 people. The government had asked the scientists, members of the Major Risks Commission, for an assessment of the risk and they gave it — including a caveat that their prediction might prove incorrect. Tragically, the caveat came true. Maybe the scientists made mistakes in their calculations. Perhaps they could have been better at their jobs and reached a more accurate assessment, or this might have been the best any seismologist could do. But if the responsibility belongs anywhere, it’s with the government for treating earthquake prediction as if it were an exact science — it notably is not — and implying that the public could rely on such predictions. Meanwhile, if there was a blame-worthy action by the experts, it was committed by one man who made the rather condescending remark that people in the quake zone should relax, preferably with a glass of wine. But flippant comments aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, criminal offenses. Had the commission come to a different conclusion and warned of impending peril, residents might have jammed the streets with cars in a frantic attempt to evacuate, which could have resulted in loss of life in collisions. And what if that prediction proved false? Would the scientists have been convicted of unnecessarily causing a panic that resulted in death? If the Italian government wanted absolute accuracy, it would have needed to find an all-knowing authority. Experts can give their educated opinion on whether geologic events fit a dangerous-looking pattern, but the only utterly true answer that current earthquake science can deliver is: We don’t know. And that’s the only answer Italy will be able to expect from scientists in the future unless an appeals court overturns this case and the government drops its Inquisitionlike prosecution of imperfect experts. - Los Angeles Times

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IR: To say Nigerian Hip Pop or Afro Pop or whatever, has grabbed the attention of millions across the globe is to put it mildly. This is no doubt our time to shine. Our musical artists both male and female have raised the stakes notches higher and achieved recognition and acclaim within Africa and beyond. However, our musical artists need to be strategic on how they translate this global attention to positive use. They have an opportunity to literally change Nigeria and the world at large for good. Music is a powerful tool for change; see the impact of American music on music lovers across the globe. Growing up in the 80s, teens and youths in Nigeria were more American than even the Americans in our love for their music. From


Women and Nigerian music videos Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, New Edition, Boys to Men, The Jacksons, Michael Jackson, Barry White Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Natalie Cole, Shalamar, Whispers etc. We knew and loved them all. Nigerian music came second place in our hearts except for maybe Fela. With our appreciation for Nigerian music currently at an all time high, this in my view is a great opportunity for positive change.

This positive change might not be a reality going by the growing trend in the contents of the lyrics been produced by our artists, especially in 2012. The sex, degradation, objectification, commoditization of the Nigerian female in some of these lyrics and their videos is alarming and worrisome. What I find most worrisome is that in these scandalously vulgar videos some beautiful intelligent

Open letter to IG Abubakar


IR: In spite of the security challenges facing the Nigeria Police, your administration is already painstakingly working towards giving Nigerians the kind of police they have been yearning for. Your efforts at giving the police a human face through training aimed at inculcating respect for human rights is noteworthy. It is a known fact that there is no organisation without its share of bad eggs who fail to appreciate the need for a good image for the establishment they represent. Your administration battle to redeem and restore the battered image of the police seen as pathologically and irredeemably corrupt is commendable just as the cancellation of the practice of mounting road blocks otherwise known street as ‘toll gates’ is a step in the right direction. Another area which urgently requires your attention is the practice whereby people are intimidated to part with large sums of money as pre-condition before bail could be secured for sometimes spurious and unfounded allegations. It is noteworthy that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State has already taken the bull by the horn in this direction. He recently issued stern warnings to all the men of the police in the state command to stop the practice or be shown the way out of the police. One of the problems is that a

leader may mean well but along the line, there are usually some black legs in the system whose preoccupation is to sabotage and make nonsense of the leader’s good and lofty intentions. A situation where the Commissioner of Police is preaching sanity on one hand and a group of greedy and corrupt officers under him are doing the opposite does not augur well for a good image for the police. The bitter truth is that until the police force is effectively purged of corrupt elements, the people will remain glued to their negative perception. It is pertinent to draw your attention to a popular saying that in Nigeria that ‘Behind every wealth there is a crime”. Without doubt, this is the extent to which corruption has driven our country. Effective checking of corruption in the force will no doubt have a knock-on effect on the capability and success of checking the cankerworm in the larger society. It is noteworthy that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a body set up to fight corruption has, since inception drawn its leadership from the Nigeria Police. My candid advice to you, sir, is that you must not relent in your efforts at sanitising the Nigeria police by putting the squeeze on the corrupt elements in the force. You have done it before as Commissioner of Police and you can

also achieve the same feat as the overall boss. Apart from the cracking of the whip, there may be need to go an extra mile by drawing a line in the sand to come up at the end of the day with a police that will actually be seen to command the respect and become true friends of the people in the real sense of the word. •Odunayo Joseph Lagos

looking girls are rigorously dancing their hearts out virtually nude. While the male leader singer (s) is/are fully clad in his/their designer clothing and accessories. Wait a minute must dancers strip to their bare necessities to aid our appreciation of the lyrics of a song. Besides, if these videos are blue films, shouldn’t the male singers also bare it all? No they are the super stars, they are well dressed but the female dancers are literally nude. For how much if I may ask. Even if it’s a million naira or dollars is it really worth trampling on the dignity of those dancers? A lot of our male artists are sadly guilty of promoting this vulgar trend in their lyrics and music videos, which will only lead to further violence against girls and women. But I would use the singer Timaya to buttress my point. I am a fan of Timaya’s earlier songs but the songs and videos he recently released are horrifying for the peaceful existence of girls and women in Nigeria and the world

at large. His song “sexy ladies” would only inspire boys and men to assault and even rape girls and women. It promotes sex without consent of the female. Please listen to the lyrics and you will see what I mean. For the female dancers, please think through these questions before you bear it all in your next music video. Is money everything? What good would this music video inspire in its viewers? Will it advance respect for girls and women in our communities and country at large or will it further the view of girls and women as objects of pleasure and abuse? Will you be proud to show this video to your parents and in future your children and grand children? Is this really a comprehensive expression of your talents and contribution to the development of the Nigerian music industry and the world at large? For Nigerian musicians keep up the good work but please keep it positive and inspiring. Please sing songs that would inspire our kids and youths for positive change, Songs on love faith and hope. Songs promoting protection of the environment, respect for human rights, prolife, anti corruption, politics, creativity, economic empowerment etc. Songs that can change the world for good! •Angela Odah, Centre for Gender Education Abuja.

Local government, not state police


IR: President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) and some nothern governors have as for now, said “No” to the establishment of state police. While the argument for or against rages on, my question is, what does the Inspector general of Police say seeing the nation is worried about the inadequacies of his establishment? I support the establishment of state police but with a proviso for adequate preparation and provision within a given time frame. The onus of state polcie creation is on the readiness of the polcie themselves to uphold the rule of law and imbibe democratic changes and principles. In my opinion the debates for and against are off-target as they fail to identify the police as the actors in the drama of national theatre in

which the people are mere audience. A few examples will suffice to show where the police failed the nation in her quest for growth and greatness. It is on record that for political reasons, a Police Commissioner in one of the eastern states denied one of the nation’s founding fathers-Zik of Africa-accesss to use a hotel built by Zik himself to hold a political rally. It is also on record that a third of the police force serve only the powerful and rich of the society. Above all, Nigerians lose faith in elections because the police until recently, aided and helped in rigging thereby denying the people the legitimate changes they deserve for growth. Hope is not however lost as stakeholders can help in evolving poli-

cies and strategies that will give us a fair and firm police force at the local government areaas where patrol vhicles can be provided and 50 units of houses can be built to house local government police personnels as welll as police doctrine centres where all cadres of the force can have retreats and be trianed and retrained at all times under a unified and not discrete systems to take effect in the year 2017 (i.e) five years from now. My advocacy is the desirability of local government police under the control of the nation’s Inspector General of Police. To sweep the matter under the carpet is to live in a perpectual state of insecurity and corruption that will engulf the nation on the long run. •Albert Nkeruwem Udoh, Uyo Akwa Ibom State.




Today, they shout Hosanna…


HE declared re-election of Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko does not mean peoples’ pragmatic rejection of the declared losers. After all, when Dr. Olusegun Agagu was declared winner of the 2007 Ondo governorship election, a set of fake jubilants hailed him and his party for being victorious over Mimiko and others. But when the election tribunal sitting in Benin-City eventually reversed INEC’s wrong declaration, the same set of jubilants turned around to hail Iroko as the truly ordained winner. Such is the tale of our people, akin to the Scriptural story where those who were shouting “Hosanna” when Jesus Christ triumphantly rode on donkey into Jerusalem became the same group that screamed “crucify Him” few days later. Let Mimiko know that those hailing him today are not doing so because they love him. Rather, it is because they hope to receive something back from whosoever is on the throne beyond good performance. And of course, since he is skilful at ditching, the reward of disloyalty is awaiting the disingenuous hearts. Or why is the Peoples Democratic Party leadership at the national and state levels divided over him instead of supporting their own candidate in unity? In any contest, there is bound to be a winner and a loser. If Mimiko’s victory which a newspaper unprofessionally hollered as “Mimiko landslide” is so much overwhelming as hailers are deceitfully declaring, that means the larger percentage of Ondo’s voters who did not vote for him are being reduced to nothing. The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) in a release last week claimed there was voters’ apathy as less than one sixth of the voting population in the state voted for Mimiko who secured only 260,199 out of the 1,638950 registered voters meaning Mimiko is sitting on a thin mandate. In the word of the group, “the number of persons who actually participated in determination of who should manage the affairs of the state was only slightly above a third of the registered voters; in the final event, the declared winner of the election, incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko secured victory on the basis of just 260,199 votes, 41.67% of valid votes, and less than one sixth of the registered voters.” A so-called Afenifere’s prediction of death of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in South-west because its candidate was declared a loser shows dearth of wisdom and love for the people. In the regional group’s congratulatory letter to Mimiko, it averred that the poll’s outcome in Ondo State illustrated that Yoruba people were tired of the ACN. Yet, this is a party which had never been in power in that state. The rejoicing group stated: “We need to remind you


HERE is no point reiterating that transportation is an important aspect of everyday human life. However, good, comfortable and affordable transportation has eluded many Nigerians. But, it seems with the coming of the Delta City Bus initiative, things are beginning to change in Delta State. And it is for the better. On a recent visit to the Sapele, one of Delta’s major towns, on official duties, I could not help but notice a transformation, as blue and white painted Toyota buses sped across the different roads in the state. Upon enquiry, I was told by my cousin who also lives in Sapele that those buses are actually called ‘Uduaghan’ buses, named after the Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. My cousin also told me that rides on those buses are affordable and also comfortable. I would later

‘What I found out is that at the designated parks for the buses, everything is done orderly. Passengers queue to get tickets, the staff are polite and the passenger lounges I visited were not only neat, the chairs were adequate and the arrangement cool. The only shock I experienced was an occasion when I had to wait for about 45 minutes to board the bus’

(Mimiko) that this victory, among other things, is victory over god-fatherism, a rejection of political imposition and slavery from outside the state and the people’s hope of a better deal to come.” Yes, it is comprehensible some of the expired politicians are fighting ACN leadership; but they are wrongly focused. A purposeful struggle would not have been on hegemonic interest, but rather on what could truly work for the good of the people. If indeed the elders still say they are Awoists, then they are denouncing the god-fatherism model of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Or have they forgotten the underpinning of 1983 political battle between Chief Adekunle Ajasin and Chief Segun Omoboriowo in that same Akure? If they are now functioning against ACN because they do not want the party to take total control of the South-west - which they see as the interest of its leadership, that means they were only pretending to be supporters of Awolowo’s political ideals and philosophies. Let anyone criticize or abuse Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. That is the sacrifice a true leader must be ready to absorb. Though he might not be in perfection, his political leadership is undeniable. After all, Awolowo with all his legendary feats that lifted the region to developmental front burner had political conflicts with regional challengers and adversaries. Late Chief Ladoke Akintola fought him till the very end. The likes of Chief Richard Akinjide became the twelve-twothird tool used to frustrate his political fulfilment. Yet, Awolowo was not put to shame even when he was declared loser at presidential elections to the advantage of the erroneous elements that ended dragging the nation down the valley. Today, many years after, Papa Awo remains glorified. Thinking deeper, the Lord Jesus Christ was hated by his enemies just because they never wanted him to fulfil his purpose of leaving the throne of Heaven and coming into the world for Divine reconciliation. He was vilified, denied, betrayed, tortured and eventually crucified on the cross of Calvary. He died and went down, only to come up on the third day victoriously with the key of life. Forever He has remained glorified, given a name that is above all names – a reward greater than the sacrifice. If indeed so, must a loser today then be seen as an everlasting failure? The Alliance for Democracy (AD) that was supposed to be the Afenifere’s political platform was in full control of the South-west region following 1999 general elections. But at the same time was a made-up Yoruba man craftily enthroned as Nigeria’s President by powers that were – and are still, against the progress of the hitherto forefront region. The same Afenifere group that backed up its own Chief Olu Falae was made to fail woefully and could only cry foul without push. Of course the Afenifere leadership was alive to see how much the Yoruba nation was frustrated under the eight-year unproductive reign of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who swept their party out of power and enforced those he thought were

his own faithful – the god-father way. Since history remains there for record, it was only Lagos State under Tinubu that survived Obasanjo’s political annihilation - because of his refusal to align with his disparaging manoeuvrings and intrigues. Had the Afenifere elders not become expired politicians, they could have managed their damaged AD party and restore it as AG/UPN’s regional model. But where is the party today? If they do not want ACN as a platform just because of one person and not for the functionality of the party, then what is their alternative? Could it be PDP where there are still an OBJ and the Akinjides who failed the region all over? Or a President Goodluck Jonathan whose administration hardly has space for the best of the Yorubas? Or the Labour Party that could not win half of Ondo State in spite of its candidate’s acclaimed popularity? PDP reigned in South-west for several years with nothing tangible on the ground to show today. Across the nation, it has entrenched corruption such that most Nigerians are today living in penury in the midst of evidently viable abundance. At least, the latest news from the Nuhu Ribadu panel’s report has it that about N86.65 billion oil money earned through NNPC in 10 years is missing, likely to some private pockets. That is just a small bit of the wide fraud now afflicting the nation. Going by the tradition of PDP governance, the panel’s recommendation that NNPC should be reorganized or scrapped would eventually be swept under the corruption-ridden carpet. The truth is that ACN governors inherited decayed states from PDP. States like Osun, Oyo and Ogun were on the verge of collapse such that promised turn-around could not be expected to come up in a jiffy. There are non-contentious challenges in fixing fundamental errors of the past. It is easier to pull down than to rebuild. The regional-based tagged ACN that did well in Akwa Ibom, Benue and Adamawa states in the last gubernatorial elections is seen as threat to the poorlyfunctioning ruling party whose priority is more on tenureship and zoning of political posts than in actualization of the peoples’ meaningful desires. Rather than waste efforts fighting Asiwaju Tinubu, let the opposition wrestle issues that would be of benefit to the people. If indeed people are sincere in motive and crave for progress and vital development, it is work that should speak for leadership instead of party affiliation. Governors Babatunde Fashola and Adams Oshiomhole’s overwhelming re-election victory in Lagos and Edo states were on the basis of their remarkable state-wide tangible performances. To succeed means keying in into the same wisdom in action, notwithstanding the contrary schemes of political foes. When people on ground in states and localities see practical evidences of performance, opposition would only come to contend and lie just for the sake of antagonism. Hence, unless a group like Afenifere begins to live up to its name, we can ever be sure that those shouting “Hossana” today would be the same to turn around to shout “crucify Him” when they begin to see reality.

Uduaghan – moving Deltans forward By Wilson Egbedi learn that the buses plied all the major routes to different destinations in the state. I was impressed and that was all the push I needed to ride on one of them. Immediately after my business dealings in Sapele, and with sufficient time on my schedule, I decided to visit friends and relatives in other parts of the state. Hitherto, I would have boarded cabs with drivers who thrived in over-loading, over-speeding, and also overcharging. Eventually, I ended up travelling to Warri, Abraka, Ughelli and Oleh during my one-week stay in the state. All on the ‘Uduaghan’ buses. What I found out is that at the designated parks for the buses, everything is done orderly. Passengers queue to get tickets, the staff are polite and the passenger lounges I visited were not only neat, the chairs were adequate and the arrangement cool. The only shock I experienced was an occasion when I had to wait for about 45 minutes to board the bus. But, the alternative - joining the rickety buses or cabs which, in anyway were overpriced fares and thrived in sandwiching passengers, was something I didn’t look forward to. I dreaded having cramps after a journey, hence, ever since I had started earning a reasonable salary, each time I visited Delta, to combat the stress, I always paid double the fare so as to have a good legroom. But, I found out that with the ‘Uduaghan’ buses, this isn’t the case. I didn’t have to pay any extra for the sake of my legs. It seems that within its short existence, the Uduaghan intervention in intra-city transport service within the state has generated

huge patronage. Commuters within the state now troop to these parks in droves. The down-side I saw to the whole arrangement was that I had to wait for about 45 minutes once to board a vehicle from Warri to Oleh. However, just back from a tight and dangerously over speeding journey between Abraka and Warri, I was not sad or much in any haste waiting for the bus to fill up. Waiting for ‘Uduaghan’ bus, I had time to ruminate on how it is the little things that make a huge difference. Before the advent of the Delta City Bus in its present state, moving around the different parts of the state could have best been described as a tortuous experience. One was literally at the mercy of selfish drivers and also motor-park touts. They could inflate prices at a second’s notice. The drivers drove recklessly and they had little qualms about cramming passengers like sardines in tins. It was just about profit and more profits for them. Not much thought was spared for the comfort and safety of their passengers. With the Delta City Bus offering the right price, comfort, as well as safety for its passengers, I guess it is little wonder the huge patronage the buses have been getting. While the Uduaghan administration is yet to perform all the necessary magic to transform Delta, I could not help but commend the good work he is doing in the area of transportation. Especially, as regards intracity routes in the state. The whole episode reminded me just how the introduction of BRT buses in Lagos changed the way Lagosians used public transport. No doubt, the coming of the bus trans-

port service has also created employment. Drivers, clerks, ticketing officers, cleaners, and provider of other ancillary services now have jobs. And, given that the bus service, which is not new, has decided to go into a public private partnership with a major and renowned transporter in the state, this is very commendable. This inclusion with the private sector, I am sure is one major factor responsible for the good service being provided by the Delta City Bus service. As it is, while governor Uduaghan deserves kudos for a job well done, the truth is that more work can still be done to really make the bus service more sterling. • Egbedi writes from Lagos

‘While the Uduaghan administration is yet to perform all the necessary magic to transform Delta, I could not help but commend the good work he is doing in the area of transportation. Especially, as regards intra-city routes in the state’





OMMERCIAL motorcycle operators popularly called “Okada” last week took laws into their hands in protest against aspects of the Lagos traffic laws as they affected their activities. The riders, who have been at daggers drawn with the government for restricting them from plying 475 roads in the state, took to lawlessness as government moved to enforce the law. According to reports, the motorcycle operators were incensed by the arrest of more than five thousand commercial motorcycles. They went on rampage in some parts of the state and by the time the dust had settled 10 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses had been damaged even as some passengers were inflicted with injuries. The Okada operators had since the law was enacted vowed to resist it hinging their grouse on the ground that it will send them out of business. But the government has pressed on with the law allowing some time for the operators to come to terms with it. But as the riot has shown, Okada operators are not ready to budge unless they are defeated by the superior power of the government. As it is, the law has to be implemented as any piece of legislation that cannot be enforced is no law. The government has over time expressed serious worry over the excesses of the commercial motorcycle operators. Apart from their flagrant disregard of traffic laws, they drive very dangerously, ride against traffic and constitute a serious health hazard to other road users. They have also been fingered in many armed robbery attacks using the high speed of their bike to beat traffic and evade arrest. Even safety laws as the use of helmets and restriction on the maximum number of passengers are observed in the breach. They could also be easily seen and noticed for their unruliness, molesting and attacking motorists at the slightest incident of infraction. Records also have it that most of the accident patients in our orthopaedic hospitals are victims of Okada accidents. It was for some of these reasons that the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in January 1, 2009 began the enforcement of the use of crash helmets by the operators. Like the current law, the Okada operators vehemently resisted it, staging at will, all manner of arguments and protests so as to stall

Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Rioting ‘Okada’ riders that high-minded exercise. But the commission went ahead to enforce the law, arresting thousands of defaulters which like in the present circumstance, elicited protests. That law has come to stay even though it is still being flouted by many motorcyclists. Thus, Okada riders do not seem to have a choice than to start coming to terms with the fact that the state government will finally have its way in this piece of legislation. The Lagos State House of Assembly has even threatened outright ban on commercial motorcycles if their acts of lawlessness are not reined in. That would be a foreboding measure. But the operators have a strong point in arguing that the ban will lead to loss of jobs for its army of members and families. With the high rate of unemployment in the country in the face of rising cost of living, it will be highly uncharitable not to admit the deleterious effects of restricting Okada operators from plying as much as 475 roads. It is also proper to admit that Okada came into the nation’s transport calculation as a child of necessity. For a very long time in this city as well as many others across the country, an efficient transport system was completely non-existent. And in the particular case of Lagos, grinding traffic jams made movement a daunting task. Okada then came to the rescue as it made for easy movement though not without serious repercussions. However, residents of the city had to contend with the attendant risks as they were considered a lesser evil; an indication of how bad the situation was. With time, the limitations of Okada began to dawn on the people. Apart from being an


IVEN the circumstances, it is very tempting to have a complete misreading of the outcome of the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State in which the incumbent, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, was declared the winner. More foreboding, the significance on Yoruba politics and democracy in general could easily be lost. Some people have erroneously proposed the election as a direct contest between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his lieutenants like Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on one hand and Governor Mimiko on the other. To begin with, neither Asiwaju Tinubu nor Ogbeni Aregbesola was a candidate in the election. Rotimi Akeredolu was the candidate of their party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). What they did was to deploy their political and campaign skills into Akeredolu’s governorship project. It was the same way Edward Kennedy poured himself into the Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. What they did for Akeredolu was no different from what they did for Adam Oshiomhole in Edo, Abubakar Audu in Kogi, James Akpanudoedehe. in Akwa Ibom and Steve Ugbah in Benue State. It’s the same intensity, panache and wits. There is nothing unusual and nothing to be ashamed of. If Aregbesola threatened that he was going to drive out Mimiko from office prior to the October 20 election, it was a legitimate political statement consistent with his standing as a leader in ACN. What would have been bizarre would have been for him to promise to support Mimiko for a second term when his party was going to field a candidate for that election. The first duty of a political party is to contest electoral offices by fielding candidates and seeking to win. A political party stands for something in terms of ideology, values, tradition, programmes, development agenda etc. When people vote for a candidate of a political party, they are indeed buying into these. The ACN for instance stands for progressivism. This is the tradition directly descended from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the father of progressive politics in Nigeria. It is a tradition of Fabian socialism with its hallmark of egalitarianism, human development and social wel-

It is one of the imperfections of democracy that a supposedly democratic election would produce a most unusual outcome. This confirms again the notion that democracy only offers a platform for choice but does not guarantee a rational one. The people however will have to live with the consequences of their choice, good or bad.

inelegant means of transportation, it began to lend itself to sundry abuses as the criminally-minded ones in their midst took advantage of its getaway services to commit sundry crimes. No government worth its salt can afford to standby while this continues. Thus, in spite of the reality that the restriction will throw many of its operators out of job, it does appear that the Lagos state government has no choice than to implement the law to the letter. No doubt, the temporary losses by the operators by way of loss of jobs will be adequately compensated by the larger benefits to society that will ultimately come with that piece of legislation. It is therefore in the overall interest of the society that the activities of the Okada operators are properly regulated. That is why government is there in the first place. So it not a matter of confrontation and lawlessness as the Okada riders took resort to last week Monday. They must increasingly have to come to terms with the reality that they cannot win this war. Before now, some state governments have taken similar decisions restricting Okada operators to certain inner roads. Ekiti state government is very close to enforcing similar decision even as the traffic situation there can be described as a child’s play when compared with Lagos. In effect, the restriction is a thing whose time has come. Those nursing the feeling that Okada would continue to operate as a viable means of transportation in our urban centres are living on borrowed time. There is a time for everything and one thinks Okada has served its purpose. Tricycles are

quickly assuming the character of a bridge between Okada and commercial buses. They have the advantage of quicker movement in traffic hold-ups though this has also come with its own problems. The government must also move quickly to regulate their activities on the roads. As things stand, tricycle operators must be made to conform to traffic laws. The disorderliness that characterizes their activities may soon be their greatest undoing. Through such a regulation, there will be more decency on our roads as Okada departs for good. Though the transport situation is yet to substantially improve, there is nothing to indicate that Okada operators are even prepared to change from their unruly activities. Rather, they have become more daring and menacing in their operations, running against traffic at their whims and caprices such that gives the impression that we have a lawless state. In this lawlessness, those who benefit are some unscrupulous law enforcement agencies, especially those charged with the control of traffic. In the face of the ban placed on police men against the mounting of roadblocks, the traffic points have now become the most veritable avenue to extort money from Okada operators who would rather offer money to law agents than obey the law. It would appear to me that apart from the lure of money, that law enforcement officers are equally overwhelmed by the sheer number of Okada defaulters that they consider it time wasting and cumbersome to apprehend them. They seem to be saying, take money from them and let them go. So the acts of lawlessness go on unrestrained. The restriction therefore comes with the added advantage of saving the law enforcement agents the problem of managing the menace of the high number of Okada defaulters. Our roads will be better for it.

The restriction therefore comes with the added advantage of saving the law enforcement agents the problem of managing the menace of the high number of Okada defaulters. Our roads will be better for it.

Mimiko’s victory in perspective By Sola Fasure fare. In contrast, a party like Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is descended from a tradition of hierarchy, big money, plutocracy and neo-feudalism. When these parties campaign, this is what they try to sell and those who vote for them have wittingly or unwittingly bought these products, assuming that the election is free and fair. The tendency though is that a party like PDP will see democracy as a system of power, rather than a platform for providing choice for the people and would therefore not have the slightest compunction in rigging and manipulating election as long as it serves the purpose of either getting its members into power or keeping them in it. Nevertheless, it is the raison d’etre of a political party to contest elections, seek to win where it was excluded from power and consolidate on where it holds sway. This point is very important in light of the negative campaign of the Mimiko campaign team and sections of the media who either don’t know what democracy is about or have conveniently forgotten that parties seek to win election and were accusing ACN of seeking to extend its influence to Ondo State. To put the records straight, ACN had sought to expand its reaches to other places and narrowly lost in places like Anambra and other aforementioned states where its governorship candidate is now a senator of the Federal Republic. It simply beggars belief how supposedly ‘enlightened’ people will urge a political party not to contest election in a particular place because that party is strong in the region. This point is overstretched and expanded into the ‘alien’ and ‘Lagos invaders’ hysteria that ran through the campaign. If this logic is to hold water, only one election is to ever be held in a country and the parties should just be allowed to rule indefinitely in any territory where they win the first election. The Labour Party for instance that had no political base prior to 2008 in Ondo State cannot and should be disqualified from contesting any election anywhere in the country. Of course, this will be absurd, but those who take a position forget to reconcile their position with a bigger principle. It is interesting to note that the Mimiko campaign was never about any issue, development agenda or a solid base of first term achievement. Rather, it ran seamlessly on the divisive tide of rejecting the Lagos invaders and a godfather. If we are to accept for a second that Ondo people indeed rejected the Lagos invaders and a godfather, it means Ondo people have alienated themselves from the greater Yoruba agenda and the march of history. On the face value, the consequence of this would have been

political isolation of Ondo State by other Yoruba states. But this is not an option. This is the Ondo of Papa Adekunle Ajasin, Papa Adebayo Adefarati and other titans of Awolowo school of political leadership. It fills me with trepidation to think that the Ondo that drove out Akin Omoboriowo in 1983 in order to enforce the enthronement of Adekunle Ajasin who was the candidate of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Awolowo (Baba Ijebu)’s party, has now degenerated into an insular and other-Yoruba-hating enclave. Of course, there are Ondo indigenes in Lagos and other Yoruba states, doing business and occupying positions of political leadership. If an Ondo indigene for instance is keen, he or she can be a governor in Lagos State that has become the avatar of Yoruba accommodation and openness. In Osun, there are frontline members in the Aregbesola government who are from Ondo State and are in every sense at home. That is the way it has always been and should be in Yorubaland. Some people, however, for their own selfish reason, have for the first time brought this divisiveness into Yorubaland and are being cheered on in evil mischief by a section of the media. It will however be unfair to ascribe this unwholesome development to Ondo people who indeed are as progressive and well-meaning as they come. This is no exaggeration – Ondo people are the nicest people you can ever have as your neighbour. I speak from a rich experience. Those who engineered this campaign represented nobody but themselves and spoke for no one other than themselves. More importantly, Governor Mimiko was declared winner for fulfilling the requirements of the Electoral Act which states that a winner must have at least one third of the total votes cast in two thirds of the local governments. This interestingly translates into a paltry 260,199, representing only 40 per cent of the total votes and certainly less than two per cent of the population of the whole state. I have no problem with this. Democracy is about the rule of law. It will be unfair however to hold Ondo people responsible for this mea culpa. It is one of the imperfections of democracy that a supposedly democratic election would produce a most unusual outcome. This confirms again the notion that democracy only offers a platform for choice but does not guarantee a rational one. The people however will have to live with the consequences of their choice, good or bad. Our consolation however is in the words of the Nobel Laureate that nowhere in the natural order of things does a mere bird of passage determine the fundamentals of the terrain over which it has flown. This present darkness will surely pass. • Fasure writes from Osogbo


Ike Uche ends goal drought in style

Quality preparation, key to Eagles' success —Emenike Pg. 24

Pg. 41

Sport Monday, October 29, 2012


Apam out with thigh injury again •Elderson


IGERIA international Onyekachi Apam missed Rennes trip to Saintétienne on Friday. The former Enugu Ranger is spending an unspecified length of time on the sidelines after he got injured in training during the week. With a return to the Super Eagles' fold being mooted by

local media, Apam's latest injury set-back will hinder his chances of making an appearance for the National Team against Venezuela in Miami on November 14. Apam has played two games for 11th placed Rennes in the French championship. The central defender's last

international appearance was against DR Congo in March 2010. Quim, Beto, Cristiano, Nuno André Coelho, Ruben Amorim, Mossoro, Paulo Cesar, Hélder Barbosa. Michel, Ruben Micael, Baiano, Eder, Ismaily, Djamal, Saline, Paulo Vinicius, Custos, Ze Luis, Alan, Douglão and Hugo Viana





Ike Uche ends goal drought in style N

Oparanozie, Ordega root for Falcons against Lioness


HE duo of Rossiyanka of Russia's Desire Ugochi Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega have tipped the Super Falcons to hit the ground running in Equatorial Guinea when they battle the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon today in a Group B tie of the 8th Africa Women's Championship (AWC). Both players were not allowed to honour their country's call after their Russian club denied them permission to travel for the Falcons' build up to the championship. In separate interview with NationSport both players expressed their optimism that the Super Falcons would still


toward another title. These countries are no maintain their top rating match to us and we must show our stuff to beat on the continent and thus them. would still defeat " I was hoping to play in Cameroon and their other two Group B rivals: Cote D my very first AWC but Ivoire and Ethiopia on their Rossiyanka's refusal came way to their 7th AWC title. and then the ankle injury too. I couldn't have made it Daring Oparanozie a even if I was released former player of Delta Queens said that: " There is because of ankle complaint. Like I told you earlier on, I no doubting the fact that copped the injury in Japan the Super Falcons are the during the FIFA U20 overwhelming favourites Women's World Cup having won the against Brazil but I competition more than managed it throughout the others. Cameroon will no competition before it doubt come out smoking and strive to erase their not became an eyesore when I trained with Rossiyanka. too impressive result against Nigeria but Falcons I'm back in the country to give the ankle injury the will still excel. proper treatment it "How I wished I was requires. part of the team but it was "I will be praying and beyond me and the rest I left for posterity to judge. I supporting Falcons to ensure that we win again." am still a member of the Oparanozie and Ordega Falcons and will be ready both marshalled Falconets' to play anytime I am semi finalist placing in invited. What transpired Japan after they accounted leading to this AWC has for 7 out of the 9 goals taught me one or two converted by the team in lessons. It won't repeat the competition with itself again." Ordega getting 4 goals On the part of the including a hat trick ravishing Ordega: "I wish my country the very best. I against Italy while Oparanozie netted 3 will like the team to beat including the extra time Cameroon and subsequently Ethiopia and winner against stubborn Cote D Ivoire as we march Mexico in the quarter From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

Fashola defeats Tennis Federation president at Lagos club •As foreign players cart $80,000 home


OVERNOR Raji Fashola was the cynosure of all eyes as he hit the court of the Lagos Lawn Tennis club, Onikan where he defeated the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Sanni Ndanusa, 1-0 at an exhibition match, but also lost to the Group Managing Director of First City Monument Bank, Ladi Balogun 0-2. The Governor was cheered throughout the duration of the matches by students from about 26 schools in Lagos and other dignitaries. However, many of the spectators at the Lagos Lawn where unable to witness the prowess of the Delta State Governor, Emannuel Uduaghan on the court as he strolled into the venue of the Governor's Cup championship with his entourage decked in his kit late. In a chat with the NationSport , Uduaghan stated that he was at the venue of the championship to witness the championship and also find ways of developing sports more in his state. Uduaghan however played after the curtain draws on the 12th edition of the Governor's Cup Championship with a young tennis player before leaving the premises. Meanwhile, the grand finale of the 2012 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship ended with Spain’s Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain and Cristina Dinu of Romania making history to win the Men and Women’s Singles of FCMB/Etisalat Nigeria sponsored ITF pro circuit at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan on Saturday. Perez, who had earlier won the Men's Singles of the first leg, beat other contenders to the crown in the trophy and $15,000 prize money as he defeated South African Ruan Roelofse in straight sets of 6-0,6-4, while Romanian Dinu, who had

By Stella Bamawo also won the first leg defeated Switzerland's Conny Perrin in straight sets of 6-2,6-3 in the Women's Singles. Perez and Dinu once again entered the history book of names of players that had won the Governor’s Cup back to back. Indian Sania Mirza won both the Futures 1 and 2 of 2004’s Women’s Singles, while in 2009, El Amrani Reda of Morocco and Slovak lady, Zuzana Kucova won the first and second leg of that year men and women’s singles respectively. The total prize money of $80,000 was won by the winners.

•Ikechukwu Uche

PHOTO BY: Moses Omosehin

The Nigerian star struck in the 12th and 49th minutes and has now netted three times for Villarreal. In France, John Utaka was among goal scorers when Montpellier beat Nice 3-1 in a Ligue 1 game. Utaka’s goal came in the 64th minute and Montpellier have now moved to 12th

place on the table with 11 points from 10 matches. However, Uche Nwofor's 31st minute strike was not enough to save VVV Venlo from a home defeat as NAC Breda hammered Venlo 4-1. VVV are rock bottom of the Dutch Eredivisie on three points from 10 matches.


Quality preparation, key to Eagles'



From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

preparation itemised for South Africa 2013 to be made available on time which he added should also include how to facilitate the release of the players based abroad. "I don't have anything to say for now on our opponents in the Nations Cup but I will urge the NFF to liaise with the technical crew to ensure that we have a working programme ahead of the games. "We may boast from today till match day if we don't prepare we'll, countries that will consider as minnows will come forth to teach us football lesson. We need to prepare well," Emenike counselled.

ABS believe the former C.D. Atlético Malacitana ace is the answer to the club's deficiency in midfield and his name has been highlighted with a marker. 19 - year -old Ogangan, who trained with the Golden Eaglets back in 2009, has admitted that he wants to play in the NPL to attract the attention of scouts and enhance his chances of moving to an illustrious European club in future. An unnamed Australian tier 2 club has also joined the scramble for Frederick Ogangan, who can cover several roles in midfield. The youngster is believed to command annual wages of €20, 000 (Four Million Naira).

•Emmanuel Emenike

IGERIA attacker, John Utaka scored his first goal of the 2012/13 season in France for Montpellier HSC on Saturday. Utaka’s strike in the 64th minute which was his side’s second of the day helped them to a 3-1 victory over OGC Nice. The forward latched on a defence-splitting pass from Rémy Cabella before slotting past the Nice keeper, Joris Delle. Replays showed the Nigerian was just offside when he received the pass from Cabella but the officials failed to spot the action and Utaka will be pleased to have finally gotten off the mark this term. The 30-year-old was an integral figure for

Montpellier as they romped to the 2011/12 Ligue 1 title. He made 43 appearances for the club in all appearances last season netting 8 times. The forward has yet to replicate that form as he picked up an injury early this season and missed crucial games. He will now be looking to continue his impressive form as he looks to force his way back to reckoning at international level as Nigeria prepare for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Utaka made his Nigeria debut in 2002 and has made 43 appearances for the Super Eagles since then scoring six goals.

Ambrose dreams Nations Cup triumph


•Bishaw work hard we will qualify for the quarterfinals and no one knows what will happen. Our team has a good spirit and the players are wishing if they could play with Cote d' Ivoire.'' The Super Eagles play Ethiopia in their final group game on January 29 at Rustenburg.

minute, while former Eagles star Seyi Olofinjana was an 88th minute substitute for Hull. Former Everton and Blackburn striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni scored his ninth goal of the season for Guangzhou R&F in a 3-2 loss to Qingdao Jonoon. Aiyegbeni struck in the 42nd minute to pull a goal back for his team. In India, Ranti Martins Soleye scored his fourth goal for Prayag United in the three-week-old league. Martins netted in the 87th minute in a 1-1 draw away at ONGC. He told that he looks forward to getting more goals. "I am happy with my progress so far. I have scored four goals in three games and I hope to score more for Prayag,” he said.

Portugal confirmed as final team for Copa Lagos

NPL clubs jostle for Utaka opens season’s account midfield ace Ogagan N CCORDING to reports reaching NationSport, former Spain based central midfielder Fredrick Ogangan, who is now a free agent, is attracting huge interest from clubs in the domestic championship, the Nigeria Premier League. The hierarchies at Nasarawa United, ABS, Bayelsa United, Dolphins and Akwa United are tracking Ogangan with a view of signing him before the start of the season. understands that ABS are in pole position to sign the teenage sensation dubbed 'The New Nosa Igiebor'. There has been contact between club and player, and negotiations are almost concluded.



THIOPIA National Team Coach, Sewenet Bishaw has told reporters in his homeland that there are no easy teams in Group C of next year's African Cup of Nations. ''We are not scared because we have played with big teams to qualify for the the African Cup of Nations. We are also in a good position in our world cup qualifying group. ''Every team is tough because the teams qualified by beating strong teams if we work hard and prepare by having friendly matches until the games start I believe that we will be capable to play in any group,'' S e w e n e t i n f o r m e d The confident coach of The Black Lions, who has plans to introduce new players in the team, has disclosed that preparations for the tourney will start next month. Sewenet told the newspaper: ''If we

IGERIAN teenager Imoh Ezekiel, Sone Aluko and Yakubu Aiyegbeni were all on target abroad this weekend. Ezekiel scored his fifth goal of the season as Standard Liege beat Cercle Brugge 2-1 in a Belgian league game. Standard have thus climbed to ninth place on the table with 16 points from 12 matches. Nigerian youngster Ezekiel scored Standard’s opener after half an hour and was replaced by Batshuayi in the 73rd minute. His compatriot Michael Uchebo was a 58th minute substitute for Cercle Brugge. Sone Aluko was on song in England for his championship side Hull City in a 2-1 away win over Bristol City. Aluko scored for Hull in the eighth


PARTAK Moscow of Russia's hitman, Emmanuel Emenike has asserted that the quality of the Super Eagles' preparation for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations slated for South Africa that will determine where the team will be placed at the end of the competition. Emenike who declined to comment on the chances of the Eagles against their Group C opponents of Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso stressed that football has gone beyond paper work but the amount of time put into the build up to the competition and the zeal and resolve of the players to excel too. The striker said he expects the

Ethiopia not scared of Nigeria

Imoh Ezekiel leads Nigeria goal rush




IGERIAN striker Ikechukwu Uche scored a brace on Saturday to end a dry patch in the Spanish second division. Uche's goals earned Villarreal a 2-0 win over Mirandes to place them third on the table with 21 points from 11 games.

AFCON 2013

ENTRE-HALF Efe Ambrose is convinced that Nigeria have enough "quality" to conquer Africa next year in South Africa. The Africa Cup of Nations gets underway on January 19, 2013 and Ambrose has remained bullish of the chances of the Super Eagles. The Celtic defender also acknowledged that the continent have "good teams" that will feature in the championship next year. Ambrose, who has made 16 appearances for Nigeria, did not fail to spell out the recipe of

conquering Africa. "There are good teams in Africa and we know that. To be the best in Africa now, you have to beat the best. For us, we are getting there but if we must get there we will have to work hard and show more determination. "I believe we have the coaches, the quality (in the team) as well as the support. I believe with all of these we can go there (in South Africa) and conquer," said the former FC Ashdod centre-back. Nigeria are drawn in Group C with Afcon holders, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.


NATION SPORT Cross River receives National Sports Festival Torch of unity

scorer on 6 occasions, making him AGOS – OCTOBER 29th, 2012 – Six times, Euro Beach Soccer one of the most revered Beach Soccer players in the World. He is Cup winners Portugal have nicknamed Madjer after his idol, been confirmed as the 4th and final former Algerian player Rabah team to compete at this year’s Copa Madjer and also for his goal scoring Lagos Beach Soccer tournament. abilities. Portugal, winners of the Beach Soccer World Cup in 2001 will take Organisers of Copa Lagos are their place alongside Argentina, delighted with the quality of Lebanon and Nigeria. All 4 teams opposition at this year’s tournament. will begin their quest to win the 3 out of the 4 teams competing at Copa Lagos trophy from the 14thof this year’s Copa Lagos are placed December Nigeria will be looking to within the top ten World rankings defend their title as Copa Lagos for Beach Soccer. champions. Banking giants FCMB Discussing the decision to include will be among the major sponsor for Portugal, Kinetic sports CEO, this year’s event. Samson Adamu revealed “It is Portugal is ranked 2nd in the extremely difficult to secure a team World, after Brazil who lost out to of Portugal’s calibre, in fact earlier in Nigeria in last year’s enthralling the year we were told it would not encounter. Portugal is the only team be possible. Thankfully things to knock Brazil out of a FIFA Beach moved in our favour and we are able Soccer World Cup, they managed to to treat Copa Lagos fans. They will do this on two separate occasions. see the World’s best players live, Lagos will play host to a team that here, in Lagos.” has an impressive 16 International titles to its name. Popularly known as Madjer, João Victor Saraiva, is the captain of the Portuguese squad and regarded as one of the finest players to ever grace the sand. He has won an astonishing 5 Golden Shoe awards at the Beach Soccer World Cup and has been crowned the Euro Beach Soccer League’s top goal •Portugal beach football player celebrates

OVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has received the Torch of Unity of the 18th National Sports Festival “Eko 2012”, Lagos State. Speaking at the UJ Esuene stadium, Calabar, Imoke explained that receiving the torch showed the respect the state has for the festival as well as afforded it the opportunity to show case what it has been doing in the last four years towards sports development. Imoke, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, explained that the state will not only participate in the Lagos festival but will put up a good performance because it is committed to exhibiting excellence in sports and sporting competitions. The governor maintained that the state will continue to train its sports men and women as well as provide them with modern equipment. He disclosed that the demonstration events which the athletes performed at the ceremony were exhibition of the efforts of the state’s comprehensive sport development. According to him, the programme which has been on within its two years, has enabled the state come first in National Schools Sport Festival which was its first time of attaining that feat and as champion, it will do everything to remain on top. Imoke said the torch of unity is necessary at the national level because the nation needs unity and added that “may we continue as a united nation and may we through sports achieve unity which has eluded the nation for long” He, however, lamented that Nigeria with a population of 160 million people could not win a medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but the handicapped who attended the Paralympics and won some medals. The governor noted that the state holds lot significance to the sports festival and it will look in Lagos to appraise its status and preparedness to host the festival in 2014. The Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, said the reception was a significant event which portrays the ideal of the games and that the torch must go round the nation as a sign of unity. The Commissioner noted that the state is committed and will put up a good performance in the “Eko 2012” and said it is equally prepared to host the 2014 edition where it will show a strong performance. The Zonal Sport Coordinator South-South, Mr. Segun Akilotan,said the torch which arrived Cross River as the 21 st state, was lit by President Goodluck Jonathan on September 25, symbolized the commencement of the 2012 sports festival to be hosted by Lagos state. The torch of unity was moved within the stadium and was handed to Director of Sports, Mr. Jude Amadi, permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Ege Egu, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, Governor Imoke, who was assisted by members of the state executive council before it was displayed along some selected routes in Calabar.

NSC partners Uti over World Peace Cup •LOC gets new officers


HE maiden edition of the World Peace Cup got a major boost at the weekend with the Sports Ministry/National Sports Commission (NSC) aligning with the organisers of the championship, the Great Power Uti World-Wide Sports Incorporation, which is also the franchise owner. The championship, expected to hold in all the geo-political zones of the country starts December 3 to 20, 2012. The championship Local Organising Committee (LOC) secretary, Jide Salau, who confirmed this at the weekend said the involvement of the NSC would serve to boost the championship image, adding that the World Peace Cup would be on the NSC annual calendar. In order to make the event a memorable one, a new set of officials have been named into the LOC. The President of the LOC is Mallam Umar Sanda Abdullahi, who has promised that the Word Peace Cup would be a successful one. Deacon Simon Ogechi Oneka is the Vice President with Barrister Chioma Okwuanyi, Barrister Felix B. Agbanwu, John Nkamiang, Peter Edema, Usman Alfa are members.






We found that one challenge was the issue of network coverage and that is a challenge we all face as a country; that the issue of connectivity reception in a number of areas has to be dealt with. We also have a number of farmers who do not have phones, especially women farmers...

- Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture


‘Bad eggs cause distortions in stock market‘ - P. 28

Why Nigeria needs more agric engineers - P. 37 Disruptions raise Nigerian crude grades

News Briefing

Three new domestic carriers coming


THE Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has said plans are afoot to establish three new domestic carriers. The entities, intended to bridge the existing gap in the number of carriers currently in service, would be private sector driven.

- Page 26

Nigeria’s non-oil exports hit $1.40b NIGERIA exported non-oil products worth over $1.40 billion this year, The Nation investigation has revealed. The figure represents about 11 per cent decline from the over $1.43 billion recorded over the same period last year.

- Page 26

Imo workers decry non-promotion HE Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council in Imo, Mr Coleman Okwara, has decried the failure of the state government to promote its workers in the past four years.

- Page 39 DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

•L-R: DGM, Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank PLC, Mojisola Bakare; MD/CEO, ‘Yemi Adeola; MD, Alkatel Lucent Nigeria, Mr Hatim Zougari and ED, North & Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Sule, when Mr Zougari visited the corporate head office of the Bank in Lagos ... last week.

Ministry accuses NASS of inflating 2013 budget


HE year 2013 may be a turbulent year between the National Assembly and the executive arm, as some officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance have accused the National Assembly of jacking up the budget figures. It was reliably learnt that the N150 billion budgeted for National Assembly in the budget is causing ripples among officials who prepared the budget. One sour point in the budget is an item in the Senate President’s office, which the Federal Ministry of Finance through the budget office had pegged at N300 million but which the legislators had inflated to over N1 billion. An official of the ministry of Finance familiar with the preparation of the budget told The Nation that “it was the opinion of the budget office that the said project (item) cannot be completed within the one year cycle of 2013 so N300 million was budgeted for the item. However, the National Assembly jacked up the figure to over N1 billion without any explanation.” Another official told The Nation that the executive caved in to the National Assembly because they “need the National Assembly to pass the annual budgets, the executive cannot pass the budget, so we have to focus on that and overlook certain things.” Three years ago, he said: “The National Assembly made its budgetary allocation a first line charge to cocoon it from making public the details of its budgetary allocations.” The decision to make the National Assembly budget a first line, he said, “is one political decision against transparency because they used their powers to preclude themselves from rendering accounts of their annual budgetary allocations.” This is the third year straight

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst Editor)

that the National Assembly has received N150 billion as its annual budgetary allocation (a 200 per cent increase from its previous allocations) and it has never made public what it spends the money on. When contacted, one of the officers of the National Assembly, who refused to be named, said: “The budget of the National Assembly and its details are the functions of the National Assembly administration and not that of the legislators directly.” He said the details of the National Assembly budget are with the ministry of Finance, but when reminded that the budget is a first line charge and only the National Assembly can make it public, he denied knowledge of the budgetary processes of the National Assembly. Next year, N971,784,000,000 will be expended on first line charges, N380,020,000,000 for statutory transfers made up of N67 billion to the National Judicial Council; N57,424,000,000 to the Niger Delta Development Commission; N72,246,000,000 to the Universal Basic Education; N150 billion to the National Assembly; N32 billion to INEC and N1.35 billion to the National Human Rights Commission. The balance of N591,764,000,000 is to be spent on debt servicing in 2013 with N543,376,000,000 earmarked for domestic debts servicing and N48,388,000,000 for foreign debts servicing. Some agencies that report directly to the executive are also guilty of not making their annual budgetary allocations public. These include the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation

(NDIC) and over 20 other agencies. The practice of keeping agency budgets secret has been a source of running controversy over the years with all those in-

volved ignoring the call for transparency and accountability in the way they allocations are spent and holding to old practices of non disclosure.

UPPLY disruptions on two key Nigerian oil grades boosted other streams on Friday while Angolan levels also held firm, drawing some support from Asian tenders. Forcados cargoes are delayed by around 10 days, according to trade sources and Bonny Light by around five days due to force majeure, pinching spot supplies. The disruptions have accelerated sales on outstanding cargoes of non-affected Nigerian grades and one trader estimated only five-seven remained unsold from the November programme. Offers on the Qua Iboe benchmark grades held steady at around dated plus $2.40 a barrel, traders said, but were stronger on small grades such as Erha. The latter grade was heard offered higher at near dated plus $3 a barrel. Nigerian supplies are expected to recover by December when exports are set to reach 2.12 million barrels per day.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY 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 7. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 9. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 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. Aero 12.20 13.30 15. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 16. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 17. Arik 13.45 14.45 18. IRS 14.00 15.20 19. Aero 14.10 15.30 20. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 21. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 22. Arik 15.50 16.50 23. Aero 16.00 17.20 24. IRS 16.30 17.50 25. Arik 16.50 17.50 26. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 27. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 29. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 20. Arik 18.45 19.45 31. 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

The minister explained that the coming of the new carriers was a direct fall out of the recent investment drive to Canada, China and the United States, which were held with aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and Bombardier. She said the government’s role in the emergence of the new carriers would be to create an enabling environment by facilitating the lease and purchase of aircraft from the manufacturers under conditions that were not too stringent. Among the carriers that are planning to leverage on the network established by the government to facilitate aircraft leases, are Medview Airlines, TopBrass, a charter firm on scheduled operations and an unnamed carrier, that would operate from the Southsouth region. The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), it was learnt,

was considering the applications of the new carriers to ensure that the promoters meet the requirements of the industry. Under the new regulation, NCAA is to issue certificates to operators to acquire at least two aircraft, before the air operators certificate could be issued. The government, investigations reveal, is considering supporting some private sector players to assist a flag carrier, to compete with foreign carriers on the 64 bilateral air services’agreements it has signed with some countries. While carriers from some European countries including British AIrways, Virgin Atlantic AIrways, KLM, AIr France, Lufthansa Airlines, Iberia, Turkish Airlines , operate into Nigeria, only Arik Air flies to London and America. The lack of reciprocity by Nigerian carriers to operate into the affected countries is due largely to

12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

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

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.



HE Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has said plans are afoot to establish three new domestic carriers. The entities, intended to bridge the existing gap in the number of carriers in service, would be private sector driven. Princess Oduah said operations of the entities would follow after the completion of the on-going remodelling of the 11 designate airports. She spoke in an interview as part of plans by the government to stimulate the growth and development of the aviation sector, in the master plan for infrastructure development. She said after delivering the completion of the remodelling, the next line of action would be to deliver private sector domestic carriers that stimulate the growth and development of the economy, using air transport as a catalyst.

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Aero 10.50 12.30 5. Arik 11.40 13.00 6. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 7. IRS 13.30 15.00 8. Arik 14.00 15.20 9. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 10 Arik 16.10 17.30 11. Aero 16.15 17.30 12. Arik 17.10 18.30

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

Three new domestic carriers coming, says Minister

08.00 18.00

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

•From right: Corporate Services Executive, MTN, Akinwale Goodluck; General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Funmi Omogbenigun and PR & Protocol Manager, Funso Aina, at a briefing in MTN head offices in Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA


Nigeria’s non-oil exports hit $1.40b

IGERIA exported non-oil products worth over $1.40 billion this year, The Nation investigation has revealed. The figure represents about 11 per cent decline from the over $1.43 billion recorded over the same period last year. The country exported goods worth $161.6 million dollars in January, this year compared to $307.2 million realised a year ago. The Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), David Adulugba, put the value of non-oil export for the first and second quarters of the year at $660.1million and $686.2 million as against $818.8 million and $676.2 million recorded for the same period in 2011.


By Oluwakemi Dauda

The NEPC boss attributed the decline to unrecorded exports, the fuel crisis and workers’strike in January. Adulugba said the nation exported non-oil products worth $242.9 million in February, this year compared to $273.6 million recorded in the same period last year, adding that Nigeria exported non-oil products worth $255.7 million and $220.6 million in March and April, this year compared, as against $237.9 million and $250.6 million recorded for 2011. He said the country’s non-oil exports in May and June, this year were $242.6 million and $223.1 million, compared to $703.5 million and $222 million recorded in

the same period in 2011. “The agency is working hard to translate the $2.8 billion per annum export to 40 per cent ($3.92 billion). All sorts of strategies will be adopted to achieve the target within the regional market.’’ He said the high incidence of unrecorded exports had been a major challenge to accurate reporting of the performance of the non-oil sector in the country. To tackle the problem, Adulugba said the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment was making moves to establish border markets at some strategic locations,pointing out that the country’s non-oil exports were dominated by raw commodities and few products with value addition.

LCCI queries overhead allocation in 2013 appropriation

HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for more transparency on the 2013 Budget. The chamber wants the Budget Office to explain the N1.08trillion provided under the Consolidated Transfer Funds in the budget. The Director-General, LCCI, Muda Yusuf, raised the alarm over the billions of naira proposed for entertainment and meals, honorarium and sitting allowances, welfare packages, stationery and consumables, as well as maintenance of vehicles in the Appropriation Bill. He said the allocations were grossly overstated. “Following the release of the budget appropriation details by the budget office, there is need for further clarifications on aspects of the budget, especially with regard to classification of budget heads and the integrity of some of the num-

By Toba Agboola

bers,” he said. Muda said beyond the allocations to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), there were other expenditure headings with substantial allocations, which require clarification in line with democratic ideals. His words: “This budget head accounts for 22 per cent of total expenditure and 70 per cent of capital budget. It is critical to get explanation on these spending proposals to situate it within the context of national priorities and the delivery of value to the citizens. It is also important to clarify the institutions of government responsible for the management of these expenditure heads. The integrity of the budget process is fundamental to fixing the economy as the budget is a principal

tool of value delivery to the citizens. The importance of transparency in the management of public funds cannot be overstated. “Given the experience with the management of pension funds, it’s time to fully devolve the responsibility to the National Pension Commission. We should be guided by lessons of experience if we are truly committed to transformation of the economy and our society. Relevant pension legislation should be amended to make this happen. The corruption risk of direct management of pension funds by bureaucrats is very high.” He said the release of the appropriation details revealed many curious numbers, which are replicated across the MDAs. Examples abound on the allocations to food stuff and catering materials, refreshment and meals , vehicle Maintenance/transport equipment, motor vehicle fuelling , honorarium and sitting allowance, among others.

failure of capacity, one of the reasons that is driving the government to facilitate a strong carrier that could compete. Investigations further reveal that efforts to build new international terminals at airports in the country without strong domestic carriers will not achieve the desired results if plans by the government to use air transport a catalyst for socio-economic development is anything to go by.

‘Foreign control of tourism, hospitality aid capital flight’ By Lucas Ajanaku


ONTINUED foreign dominance of the tourism and hospitality business in Nigeria has been described as a source of capital flight to the country. Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Okon Ewa, who stated this in Lagos, argued that the trend had to be stopped for the benefit of the country. Speaking at a national workshop organised by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in collaboration with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, he said as an agency under the ministry, NOTAP had during interactions with the firms engaged in the hospitality business and discovered that most of the big hotels operating in the country were being managed by foreign services providers from Europe, America and South Africa. He said the situation in the industry is robbing the nation of huge capital both in terms of technology application and the human resources. “The implication of this scenario is that the nation pays huge sums of money in foreign exchange annually as technology fees to foreign managers of these hotels. This trend does not augur well for the development of the Nigerian economy,” the minister said. He, therefore, called on stakeholders in the industry to map out strategies to reverse the trend to achieve the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. With the theme: Improving technology transfer capabilities and capacity building in the hotels and allied services sector in Nigeria, the forum was convened to encourage capacity building and development in the sector by building a critical mass of skilled manpower needed and the development of indigenous hotel brands that can compete favourably with the international hotel chains. According to him, “Workshops, such as this, will create the necessary platform for robust interaction and exchange of ideas, among participants, to formulate new policies and strategies aimed at encouraging the development of indigenous capacity and capabilities for managing hotels in Nigeria.” He disclosed that these entails human capital development and emergence of more indigenous hotels, brand names that can compete favourably with some of the globally-rated hotel chains in Europe, America, and other countries. For Director-General of NOTAP, Umar Bindir, there is a need to embrace modern technology to improve the performance of the hospitality business in the country. He pledged NOTAP’s readiness to continue partnering with stakeholders in all sectors of the economy by carrying out the registration of contracts/agreement for the transfer of technology into the economy. “In addition, the agency carries out monitoring exercises on a continuous basis of the implementation of contracts/agreements having effect in Nigeria,” he said.



ISSUES The health sector has been in the news for some time. But this time, it is about the disagreement between medical doctors and other health workers. The bone of contention is the demand by registered unions for the scrapping of the Consolidated Health Sector Salary Structure (CONHESS), which gives more cash to medical doctors than other workers in the sector. Medical doctors say the workers’demand is an invitation to anarchy, writes DUPE OLAOYE-OSINKOLU

•LASUTH building

Salary disparity threatens workers in health sector


ROUBLE is brewing as paramedics are up in arms against the medical doctors, who they say, are being over-pampered by the government. Medical doctors on their part said unions of other health workers are inviting anarchy by seeking parity in salary with them. The other health workers on the other hand, are asking the government to stop paying the doctors Consolidated Health Sector Salary Structure (CONHESS). CONHESS gives medical

doctors salaries that are much fatter than other professionals in the sector. Doctors however, disagreed with the demand, saying should the Government grant the request; they (doctors) would go on strike. But the paramedics said that doctors have been in control of the sector for too long and are carrying themselves as the lord of the sector, despising other health workers. The medical doctors said that they strive not just to be experts but consultants in their various fields, noting that paramedics parade

themselves as if they (paramedics) can perform the roles of doctors. The battle line is therefore drawn between the pharmacists, nurses, laboratory scientists, other hospital workers on one side, and medical doctors on the other. The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), a united platform of five registered Trade Unions with legal backing to represent the interest of workers in the health industry is making efforts to ensuring that they achieve some landmark in the

area of salary structure of health workers, by bridging the gap in the allowances of other health professionals and the doctors. JOHESU members include NonAcademic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions and •Continued on page 28




Salary disparity threatens workers in health sector •Continued from page 27

the Nigeria Union of Pharmacists, Medical Technologists and Professions Allied to Medicine. All the unions believe they have an axe to grind with the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the umbrella body of medical doctors, which is the reason they came together to form a formidable body. The General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi said there is an inbuilt arrogance about doctors because they are being over-pampered by the government. He noted that no worker in the health sector can be regarded as least important since a doctor cannot do their jobs. “Right from the gate of the hospital, we have workers, whose duty the doctors cannot do, even issuing of cards, because no doctor can see a patient without a card. They can’t attend to patients on their own; they need nurses to administer drugs. Even the idea of only the doctors being made minister of health has to change. There are more qualified paramedics who can hold the position. They have arrogated so much authority to themselves, as if they can achieve anything without the contribution of other health workers. They always believe they are the only ones who are useful in the health sector,” he said. But the President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele said doctors were not fighting the health workers, and that they (health workers) are the ones fighting doctors. He said that all the agenda of JOHESU was aimed at undermining the authority of the doctors. He said the problem in the sector was caused by the “perpetual greed of health workers to equate themselves with the doctors.” But the health workers are asking for the reconstitution of the boards of University Teaching Hospitals and other parastatals under the Ministry of Health with equitable representation by union and professional association.

JOHESU’S Agitation In a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of JOHESU, Ayuba Wabba and George Ayua, JOHESU, the group said the NMA should “concentrate on its professional matters rather than dabbling into matters it is ignorant of.” The NMA President on his part said JOHESU’s agitation seeking equation with doctors will lead to anarchy. “We are saying everybody should be asking for what is realisable, the agitation must be based on anything besides an invitation to anarchy,” he stated. Mr Wabba said there is hierarchy in the health profession, and wondered why a laboratory scientist should be bent on being like a doctor. “They want to be consultants in the hospitals,” he said. He said if the government wants to concede to health workers demands,it also has to concede to so many other things, such as chief consultant and senior consultant that are no more in the structure. All these he said have to be restored. On the agitation for CONHESS, Enabulele said he started the battle for Consolidated Health Sector Salary Structure (CONHESS) as a way of stopping

skipping of Salary CONHESS 10 now before the National Industrial Court for adjudication, National Health Bill, Consultancy and Specialist Allowance, Call/ Shift duty and other Professional Allowances, Presidential Committee Report on Harmony in the Health Sector namely: Promotion of Health Professionals from CONHESS 14-15, Request for implementation of 2008 Job Evaluation Committee Report, Need to review the retirement age, Re-constitution of Boards of management dissolved since September, 2011 and increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years. Baring intervention by older health professionals and other stakeholders, this brewing enmity might assume an unhealthy crescendo in which professionals would be exchanging blows.

Optometrist’s grouse

•Doctors at work

•General Secretary Medical and Health workers union

•NMA President,

•Peters Adeyemi

regular migration of doctors to other countries to seek greener pastures. “I introduced the concept of specialists’ allowance. You have to be appointed as a consultant to earn the specialist allowance. They also want it. They want to take final decision on patients. They can do anything elsewhere, but in the hospital setting, consultants are in charge. If there is a case of negligence, nobody thinks of nurses, they look for doctors. Earlier, this year, there was a strike called by health workers at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta over alleged superiority tussle between nurses and doctors. The action grounded the hospital for about five days. A doctor allegedly slapped an assistant nursing officer in the heat of an argument, and failure of the hospital management to react when the matter was reported

made the nurses association embark on strike. At a point, the loggerhead manifested when the issue of the health bill came up for assent. The health workers said President Jonathan should not sign it as it was, while the doctors urged Mr President to sign it.

Contentious Bill The contentious provisions in the Health Bill according to the health workers include, National health system and regulation of health services; headship of the tertiary hospitals commission and the federal capital territory primary healthcare board. Others include status of the Armed Forces medical corps and membership of the National Council on Health; provision of essential drugs in primary care services; and developing primary care facilities in Nigeria. Also, es-

Health workers ‘Right from the gate of the hospital, we have workers, whose duty the doctors cannot do, even issuing of cards, because no doctor can see a patient without a card. They can’t attend to patients on their own; they need nurses to administer drugs. Even the idea of only the doctors being made minister of health has to change

tablishment, composition, functions and tenure of national health research ethics committee; research of experimentation with human subjects; removal of tissue, blood products from living persons; removal, use or transplantation of tissue and administering of blood and blood products by medical practitioner or dentist. But medical doctors said that it was better for the bill to be assented to first by Mr President and amended later. The doctors said the health bill was the boldest step any government had taken in the last 10 years to address the challenges facing the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria, noting that those opposed to the bill are ignorant of the potential for transformation therein should the bill be faithfully implemented. The current agitation of the health workers include, non-


‘You have to be appointed as a consultant to earn the specialist allowance. They also want it. They want to take final decision on patients. They can do anything elsewhere, but in the hospital setting, consultants are in charge. If there is a case of negligence, nobody thinks of nurses, they look for doctors’

Other areas of the health sector where grudges are being nursed against the medical doctors is the eye care. The optometrists are complaining bitterly that the government only recognises the ophthalmologists, even though they only perform eye surgery in cases of glaucoma or cataract, while other eye ailments are being taken care of by optometrists. Dr Tony Chiwike of Optic Ideal Eye Clinic, Lagos, said, other areas of health care professions is being neglected by the government. “ In the eye care profession, we have the optometrists, which is the first point of contact for any eye problem. Then we have the ophthalmologist, which is like a tertiary form for those who require surgery. The situation now is that the government only recognises the ophthalmologists, while the optometrists are being relegated to the background. “In some other advanced countries such as in the United States, and in Britain, all these professions have their distinct places. The ophthalmologists have their own functions, while the optometrists have their own duties. Any patient that has an eye problem comes to the optometrist, who attends to him or her, but if he or she needs a referral, maybe due to eye conditions like glaucoma or cataract, the optometrists refers such cases to ophthalmologists. If the patient needs eye glasses after the surgery, then the patient has to be referred back to optimist. “However in this country, ophthalmologists want to take care of everything concerning eye care. It is not done that way in other countries.” Chiwike added that Ophthalmologists have sent a proposal to the government on the issue to enlighten people on who to go to when they have eye problems and also to warn professionals not to encroach on other people’s duties. He blamed the government for not doing enough for optometrists in terms of recognition. He said only the medical doctors are being recognised, while other health professionals are not being accorded their rightful place. If they are accorded their rightful place, they would do more. Baring strong intervention by health professionals of old and other stakeholders, this brewing enmity might assume an unhealthy crescendo in which professionals would be exchanging blows, if these issues are not resolved.




U. S. economic growth up sharply in Q3 T

HE United States economy grew more than expected in the three months to September, official figures showed. The world’s largest economy expanded at an annualised rate of two per cent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said. According to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the figures are the one of the last pieces of important economic data before the US presidential election between Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney on 6 November. Federal government expenditures and gross investment increased 9.6 per cent compared with the previous quarter, while national defence spending rose by 13

per cent . The Commerce Department said there was a jump in personal consumption as well. A drought in the US, which was the worst for 50 years, cut farm output and took 0.4 per centage points off the GDP figures, the Commerce Department said. With more than 20 million Americans unemployed and a huge public deficit, the economy has become one of the central issues of the campaign. The US has been growing for more than three years, since June 2009. “Growth came in a little higher than we had feared, largely because of the big jump in federal spending,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US

economist at Capital Economics. “But the economy is still not growing rapidly enough to create sufficient jobs to reduce the unemployment rate.” Mr Romney has repeatedly challenged President Obama’s record, saying ‘’we have not made the progress we need to make’’. “If the president were re-elected, we’d go to almost $20 trillion of national debt. This puts us on a road to Greece,” Mr Romney said during the second presidential debate. Mr Obama replied that his opponent did not have a five-point plan to fix the economy, but ‘’a one-point plan’’. Last month, the US unemployment rate fell to 7.8 per cent , down

from 8.1 per cent , its lowest since January 2009 when Mr Obama’s term in office began. To help get the US economy back on track, the US Federal Reserve in September restarted its policy of pumping money into the economy via quantitative easing. The Fed pledged to buy $40billion (£25billionn) of mortgage debt a month, with the aim of reducing long-term borrowing costs for firms and households. “Growth was fairly resilient,” said Christopher Vecchio, a currency analyst at DailyFX, but “nevertheless, this is still not the stable recovery the Federal Reserve is looking for”. Recent housing data has also

shown some encouraging signs of recovery, analysts say. Sales of existing homes and housing construction have picked up and the main home price index has risen consecutively for three months. House prices have rebounded in some areas, while mortgage rates are expected to stay at record lows because of low interest rates. The Fed has vowed to keep rates at the current levels of close to zero until 2015. The economy grew by 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The US states its growth in annualised terms, meaning that its quarterly growth rate is extrapolated as if it was growing at that pace for the whole year.

Samsung posts record profits on Galaxy phone sales


AMSUNG Electronics has reported record profits in the three months to September, led by strong sales of its Galaxy range of smartphones. The South Korean phonemaker was also boosted by strong demand at its display panel unit. The results come after quarterly profits from Apple - its biggest rival in phones and tablets - disappointed some investors. While Samsung has enjoyed tremendous success with its Galaxy range of smartphones, other manufacturers have been releasing new models. But not all mobile phone firms are doing well as competition gets more aggressive. Last month, Apple started selling the latest version of its iPhone and this week, launched a smaller version of the best-selling iPad. Last week, it announced profits in the last quarter were $8.2billion, up from $6.6billion last year; HTC said its sales would be lower than had been expected at the end of the year as the Taiwanese smartphone maker has been finding it hard to emulate the success of its rivals And South Korea’s LG Display returned to profit for the first time in more than a year as strong demand for the iPhone 5 and tablets increased sales of its display panels

Amazon, the US bookseller, reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss but said its best-selling product was its Kindle Fire HD tablet Meanwhile, Blackberry-owner RIM’s boss Thorsten Heins spoke to the BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones about its next operating system, which comes as it is losing market share in the West Samsung expects market competition to intensify but “we will do our best to sustain our earnings momentum throughout the fourth quarter by implementing strategies we have developed for our businesses”, said Robert Yi, head of investor relations. The firm said its flagship Galaxy SIII smartphone has been a key driver in raising profit margins. “The business environment remained difficult with global economic uncertainties persisting amid the fiscal concerns in the US and Europe. “However, we continued to break our quarterly profit records,” Mr Yi added. The display panels unit at the firm had revenues of 8.46trillion won, up 19 per cent from the previous year. The unit is now profitable. And the firm expects a “flurry of new mobile devices hitting the market” to boost sales of application processors and image sensors it makes that power smartphones and tablet PCs.

Q3: Spain jobless rate hits new high


HE unemployment rate in Spain is the highest in the eurozone Continue reading the main story About a quarter of people in recession-hit Spain are unemployed, new figures have shown. The unemployment rate rose to 25 per cent in the third quarter, from 24.6 per cent in the previous three months, Spain’s National Statistic Institute said. Among workers aged 16-24, the jobless rate was flat at about 52 per cent . The figures confirm those by the EU statistics agency, which has said that unemployment in the eurozone is at a high of 18.2 million. “In the space of just five years, unemployment in Spain has risen from eight per cent to now just over 25 per cent ,” said the BBC’s Tom Burridge in Madrid. “In parts of southern Spain, one in three of those looking for a job can’t find one.” “An increase in the number of people out of work means less money circulating in a recession-hit Spanish economy. It also makes it harder for the Spanish government to balance its finances, as it pays more out in unemployment benefits, and takes less revenue in.” Spain is trying to restore confidence

among international investors in Madrid’s ability to repay its debts, which have been made harder by the fact that Spain is currently in a deepening recession. Spain’s banks funded the construction bubble, and because the property market crashed, those loans turned bad, leading to a eurozone bailout for some Spanish banks in June” The Spanish government has found itself in financial difficulty since the 2008 global financial crisis caused a big crash in the country’s over-heated property market, and many fear that it will need a full bailout on top of the banking loan that has already been agreed. It has introduced highly unpopular spending cuts and tax rises as it attempts to reduce the country’s deficit. But with a shrinking economy and unrest in the country, reducing the deficit with further austerity measures may prove a difficult task for the government. The government is still hoping to avoid requesting a bailout from the eurozone rescue funds, but many think this is inevitable. At least five regions of Spain’s 17 have requested help from Madrid’s 18billion euro Regional Liquidity Fund, including Valencia and Catalonia.

•A ship docks at the Bandar Imam Khomeini port in Khuzestan province,1032 km (641 miles) southwest of Tehran.

Iran’s coal shipping trade booms despite Western heat


SING shadowy middle men, multiple bank accounts and a fleet of ghost ships, Iran’s coal trade is quietly booming as the Islamic Republic tries to sidestep Western sanctions and prevent its industrial economy from crashing. According to Reuters, tougher measures imposed by the European Union and the United States have tightened the screws on Tehran, which relies on its shipping trade for many imports including food, consumer and industrial goods. Many foreign companies, including shipping firms, have pulled out for fear of losing business in the U.S. and due to the complexities of arranging nonsanctioned deals. Despite the setbacks, industry sources say producers in Ukraine are providing Iran with coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal, and coke - key steel ingredients. “Iranians used to buy a lot of coking coal from Australia to make their own coke but that has stopped now as the big companies there don’t want to do it as they are too exposed,” a British-based coal trade source said. “So Iran went to buy coke from

Ukraine,” he added, referring to the concentrated coal used in blast furnaces. While coal is not directly targeted as a commodity, the European Union imposed a ban on steel sales to Iran last week, making the Islamic Republic’s coal needs more pressing because it now must produce more steel itself. “Iran is one of the fastest-growing countries in terms of steel production so they need more steel raw materials,” a European based trade source said. “They need to import more (metallurgical) coal and coke,” he said. Lured by a trade worth nearly $25 million a month, suppliers in Ukraine are aiming to take advantage. “The US and EU sanctions programs currently in place against Iran are complex and include sanctions against the indispensable marine insurances,” said Jakob Larsen with BIMCO, the world’s largest private ship owners’ association. “As is often the case, for those who are willing and able to take the risk,

the rewards are more likely to be high. In such a market the risk-taker segment will try to find a way out.” Sources say the trade is complex involving often multiple brokers and diverse payment arrangements including a mix of currencies such as Russian roubles. “We have been approached to sell some (metallurgical) coal to Iran and they have been buying more lately,” one Ukrainian metallurgical coal producer said. “We have done some business but not directly, through another country — Syria and Lebanon,” he said, without providing further details. Even those looking to do deals with Iran from Ukraine are having to find creative ways to trade, other sources said. “One of the ways around it being looked at is barter. We’ve been approached several times but haven’t done any deals yet to do barter of coal for steel of equivalent value, that way no money needs to change hands,” a raw materials trader said. A Black Sea based trade source also reported receiving multiple enquiries in recent weeks from Iran.

World shares, commodities slide ahead of U.S. over the budget problems in Washrecovery in the global economy. GDP report The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of top ington, known as the fiscal cliff, which could depress business activity early


ORLD shares and commodities fell as lacklustre corporate earnings reports undermined investor confidence before the release of American growth data due out later on Friday, Reuters has said. Gloomy earnings and outlook statements from global giants like as Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O), South Korea’s Samsung and Renault (RENA.PA) and Ericsson (ERICb.ST) in Europe have corroded hopes of a

European shares was down 0.5 percent with London’s FTSE 100, Paris’s CAC-40 and Frankfurt’s DAX all around 0.5 to 0.7 per cent lower. Efforts by the world’s major central banks to boost activity and draw a line under the euro zone debt crisis, along with signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy, have been behind a strong rally in global equity markets this year. But investors want to see the recovery confirmed by the U.S. GDP data, especially with uncertainty growing

next year. “What you have now is no additional oomph coming from the central bankers and you have the data seeming to weaken if you look at the more recent evidence,” said William De Vijlder, chief investment officer at BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “On top of that you have the never ending story of what is going to happen to the (fiscal) cliff, so that is not an environment where people, would say let’s now go for equities.”




CIBN flays amendment of CBN Act T

HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has said that the proposed amendment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act would jeopardize the membership composition of the Board. CIBN President, Segun Aina said the proposed bill will reduce the impact of the CBN’s management on the board’s decisions, as it will create situations where only one member of its management, the Governor, sits on the CBN’s seven man board. He said that currently, five members of the management of CBN, that is, the Governor and Deputy Governors, sit on a 12 man board. This, he said, does not augur well for good governance and management succession.

By Collins Nweze

The board composition proposed by the Bill increases the number of direct government officials on the CBN Board from two to five despite the almost 50 per cent reduction in the board’s size. “Consequently the new composition would create the perception of a government majority on the Board. This is capable of undermining the “independence” of the CBN and may lead to unintended consequences,” he said. According to him, the situation where the Governor acts as Chairman of the CBN’s Board is aligned to international best practice and is designed to support the independence of the CBN. Such independence, he explained, includes the authority of the apex bank to manage or handle its own

operations without excessive involvement of the government. Such practices, he maintained, exists in many countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan and Netherlands, India, Korea. The same is true of other African Countries such as The Gambia, Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa. “A survey of many Central Bank Boards, in countries at various levels of development revealed that, without exception, the Central Bank Governors act as Chairmen of the Boards of Central Banks. It is also pertinent that, in Mexico and South Korea, there are no external Directors, as their Central Banks Boards consist of solely the Governor and a number of Deputy Governors,” he said.

Aina said many Central Bank laws set out qualifications for board members that are designed to reduce the risk of conflicts of interest. He added that board members could come from different backgrounds but must not be delegates of special interest groups. Also, some countries have mechanisms, which ensure that a wide range of political interests are involved in the appointment process and enhance, the legitimacy of the board. He said the ability of the Central Bank to speak out, if needed, and possibly on critical issues with respect to economic and budgetary policies, might also be impaired if the Governor, or the other members of the board are subjected to restrictive controls and this might be inter-

Group seeks insolvency law execution


HE Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN) has called on the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to institute a general insolvency law structure that would encourage business rescue. BRIPAN said it was committed towards drafting insolvency legislative reform bill and the legislative agenda committee THE euro rose for a sixth day against the yen, the longest run since March, as European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said the currency was irreversible and that the bank’s decision to purchase bonds helped ease tensions.


By Amrose Nnaji

on the draft bill, which will be presented to the National Assembly soon. The insolvency legislative reform bill, when introduced, is expected to provide modern techniques that would make it easier for companies to survive. These, included business rescue options, moratoriumsm which it noted would give the

business an opportunity to get an appraisal. “There are certain benefits that would be incorporated in the law that if you have a rescue plan, which would be prepared by experts you would get those benefits and that would encourage people to go for rescue rather insolvency,” the association said. President of the association, Anthony Idigbe, advised AMCON to come up with a

structure that would encourage general business rescue in the country. He said that AMCON played a critical role in the market sector in terms of business rescues, but regretted that assets management was restricted only to banks and was not generally available. He added that it is about the only area where there is a modern law for assisting institutions in this regime.

Euro rises on bonds purchase The euro advanced 0.8 per cent Bloomberg report said the 17nation currency gained the most in almost three weeks versus the dollar after Draghi said the ECB was ready to start buying government debt from nations such as Spain as soon as the necessary

to 102.08 yen after rising earlier to 102.21 yen, the strongest level since September 20. Japan’s currency depreciated past its 200-day moving average against the 17nation currency, 101.75 yen, for the first time in more than a week.

conditions are met. The euro appreciated against all but one of 16 major counterparts on speculation ECB President Mario Draghi will provide more detail of the bond-purchase program announced last month.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




0.60 3.75 4.75 14.00 10.00 31.52 0.61 0.62 1.48 5.75


0.66 4.10 4.88 14.90 10.50 33.09 0.64 0.65 1.55 6,00


0.06 0.35 0.13 0.90 0.50 1.57 0.03 0.03 0.07 0.25

O/PRICE 29.50 1.23 3.54 1.75 8.05 4.10 6.30 1.68 11.97 17.00

C/PRICE 26.57 1.12 3.23 1.60 1.65 3.90 6.00 1.60 11.41 16.21

CHANGE 2.93 0.11 0.31 0.15 0.40 0.20 0.30 0.08 0.56 0.79

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 24-10-12


IGERIA and South Africa account for major portion of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report said. It said intraregional trade and financing links within sub-Saharan Africa have been expanding significantly in recent years. However, it recognised that there is a long road to travel in terms of achieving close economic integration at the regional and sub-regional level. “As this integration proceeds and economic linkages deepen, the importance of spillover effects from large countries to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, and within their own sub-region, will grow: closer economic linkages inevitably imply increased exposure to shocks, both favorable and unfavorable, in partner countries,” it said. IMF African Department senior economist Cheikh Gueye said that to a large extent, South Africa is shaping the structure of trade within sub-Saharan Africa. He said that at least 12 countries

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


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year


in sub-Saharan Africa export to South Africa and this represents one per cent of their GDP. “On the investment side, we have noticed that South African companies are investing in the rest of Africa, and this has an impact in shaping trade flows. Third, there are linkages in the financial system. Since 2005, Nigerian banks have extended their operation in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. That is also true of South African banks,” he said. According to him, Nigeria has different trade policies through its neighboring countries, and these policies have been a source of transmission of shock from Nigeria to the other countries. “Let us look at South Africa and its trade channel because it is quite large. South Africa is part of the SACU, the South African Customs Union. The country and the other members of the SACU have what we call a customs revenue sharing formula. This means almost 50 per cent of the customs revenues within the zone will go to the remaining countries of the SACU,” he said.

‘Nigeria, South Africa drive region’s growth’



OBB Rate Call Rate

mous Central Bank of Nigeria has become more imperative for the integration of the Nigerian financial and economic systems with the rest of the world, and it is therefore necessary that the independence and autonomy of the Central Bank be strengthened to ensure it effectively, efficiently and successfully executes it’s very important national mandates in the interest of the economy and the citizenry,” he said.




preted as political interference. He said the subsisting CBN Act is a product of several rigorous efforts to align with international best practices, adding that the independence and autonomy of the apex bank must be guaranteed to ensure effective execution of its mandate. “In this era of globalization, Nigeria cannot afford not to follow well tested and enduring global trends and practices. A truly independent and autono-

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 126.47 126.33 0.76 1.10 0.91 1,732.32 9.94 1.33 1.80 0.00 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





•CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi


•Naira notes

‘Reserves accretion to firm naira’

HE uptick in foreign reserves is expected to firm the naira, Renaissance Capital(Racap) has said. The naira had last week, firmed to N155.70 to the dollar, its strongest in two weeks against the dollar on the interbank market. The reserve stood at $42.27 billion on October 23 and is expected to hit $50 billion target by year end. The currency was supported by dollar sales by international oil companies (IOCs). The international oil prices are likely to remain firm this quarter but their positive effect on export earnings is likely to be undermined by the loss of oil production due to floods in early fourth quarter and oil theft. The price of oil at the international oil market stood at $112. 5 per barrel and is expected to rise further in the coming months. Analysts said the cushion of external reserves of over nine months of imports cover and oil output may not totally protect the naira from slide. Analyst predict that oil price is likely to drop below $100 per barrel after United States election in November.

External debt

Nigeria’s external debt rose to $6.04 billion in September from $5.99 billion in March 2012, a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report on the external development in the economy has shown. According to the apex bank, external debt sustainability index computed as the ratio of external debt to nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remained unchanged at 0.1 as in the preceding quarter and corresponding quarter of 2011. It said the private sector external debt stood at $0.22 billion in the re-view period compared with $0.27 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and $0.32 billion in second quarter of 2011. It also showed that public sector debt service payments stood at $0.06 billion in the second quarter of 2012, indicating a downward trend in comparison with $0.09 billion in first quarter. Also, Nigeria’s trade balance declined to $6.85 billion in from $10.34 billion recorded in the first quarter 2012, following the contraction in merchandise exports and expansion in imports. Aggregate exports declined by 9.80 per cent from $24.97 billion in first quarter of this year to $22.53 billion while aggregate imports on the other hand, increased by 7.57 per cent to $14.49 billion.

Banks’ assets Banks’total assets and liabilities for the first time this year, hit N20 trillion, data from the CBN Economic Report for August showed. This indicates an increase of 0.8 per cent when compared with the level at July ending of 2012. The apex bank said the funds were sourced mainly from mobilisation of time, savings and foreign currency deposits and disposal of Federal Government securities. The report said N12.5 trillion banks’ credit to the domestic economy fell by two per cent, when compared with the level in the preceding month. On a monthly basis, banks’credit to the private sector rose by 0.4, while credit to the

By Collins Nweze

government fell by 14.5 per cent relative to the level in the preceding month. Also, CBN’s credit to the banks fell by 18.9 per cent to N275.7 billion at end of August 2012. “The specified liquid assets of the banks stood at N5.2 trillion, representing 39 per cent of their total current liabilities. This level of liquid assets was 2.6 percentage points below the preceding month’s ratio of 41.6, but nine percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30 per cent. The loanto-deposit ratio was 45.7 per cent and was 34.3 percentage points below the stipulated maximum target of 80 per cent for the industry,” it said.

Tier two banks’ merger Nigeria’s smaller banks may be forced to consolidate to compete with the biggest institutions, Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, has said. According to Bloomberg report, Nigerian banks have reported rising profits and loan growth this year. “The largest banks are moving forward at a fast pace to strengthen their position, so smaller banks may not have any other choice but to merge or acquire,” Mobius, who oversees about $45 billion, said. According to him, there is a possibility of further consolidation in the banking sector, although he failed to identify any banks that may combine. He said the growth of the industry comes after CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi fired the chief executive officers of eight of the country’s 24 lenders in 2009 and bailed them out with 620 billion ($4 billion) because loans by banks to equity speculators and fuel importers had pushed the industry to the verge of collapse. The government then set up Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to buy bad debts from the country’s banks.

ANAN The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) is seeking for the implementation of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria’s Act. In a statement, ANAN appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to aside seeing that the Act of the Council is fully executed, to also constitute the Board of the Council. This was part of the resolution in a communique issued at the end of its 17th Annual Conference held in Abuja. The participants said the constitution of the Council was necessary to enable it formulate policies toward the realisation of Inter-

national Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the country. “The Board of Bureau of Public Procurement should be put in place to formulate policies that will guide government agencies in procurement and ensure sanitisation of the process of awarding contracts’’, the participants said.

Financial Inclusion Strategy The United Nations Secretary General’s Advocate for Inclusive Finance for development, Her Royal Highness, Princess Maxima of The Netherlands has commended the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for being the first to launch the National Financial Inclusive Strategy. Princess Maxima gave her commendation at a cocktail reception organised by the CBN in her honour on yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. In a statement, she said that of the 17 countries that signed a commitment to set up financial inclusion strategy in their respective countries, the CBN remains the first to have designed a strategy, that is being launched on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. She said that so much is going on in the Ministries and donor agencies and urged for a more coordinated programme in order to work together to achieve financial inclusion.

World Bank The African continent would generate an extra $20 billion in yearly earnings if African leaders can agree to dismantle trade barriers that blunt more regional dynamism, the World Bank has said. It disclosed this in a report released on the eve of an African Union (AU) ministerial summit in Addis Ababa on agriculture and trade. In a statement, the bank said that Africa’s farmers can potentially grow enough food to feed the continent and avert future food crises if countries remove cross-border restrictions on the food trade within the region. The report urged African leaders to improve trade so that food can move more freely between countries and from fertile areas to those where communities are suffering food shortages. “The World Bank expects demand for food in Africa to double by the year 2020 as people increasingly leave the countryside and move to the continent’s cities,” it said.

Bank to bank report The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Unity Bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka has been con-

‘On a monthly basis, banks’credit to the private sector rose by 0.4, while credit to the government fell by 14.5 per cent relative to the level in the preceding month. Also, CBN’s credit to the banks fell by 18.9 per cent to N275.7 billion at end of August 2012’

ferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB). The award was bestowed on him by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at an elaborate ceremony held in Lagos. President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Segun Aina described Wanka as a distinguished banker and resourceful member of the banking industry. The CIBN boss said the award confines on the recipient, all rights, privileges and obligations that come with it. He advised Wanka to always inspire young professional bankers as such would improve the quality of manpower in the banking sector while also carrying out his duties with integrity, competence and uprightness. The integrity of Guaranty Trust Bank’s alternative banking channels received a boost recently with the bank’s receipt of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification (PCIDSS). The bank explained in a statement that the PCIDSS certification is a security standard maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCISSC) to detail acceptable technical and operational requirements. This, it said would help organisations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud, hacking and various other security vulnerabilities and threats. A certificate of compliance has since been issued to the Bank validating its compliance as a level 1 Acquirer and Issuer under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, version 2.0. Unity Bank third quarter pre-tax profit rose 48 per cent to N4.44 billion ($28.22 million), compared with N3 billion in the same period a year ago. The lender’s gross earnings in the year to September rose to N38.91 billion from N30.72 billion, while loans grew by 48.28 per cent to N178.05 billion in the period, the bank said in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The bank’s shares were up 1.64 per cent on the day to N0.62 on the local bourse. The Managing Director of the bank, Ado Yakubu Wanka said the lender is close to the grassroots, and is strictly a retail bank and will continue to assist its customers to create wealth for individuals and the community. United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has taken a frontline position in stakeholder’s discussions on bridging the gap between opportunity and infrastructure investment in Nigeria and Africa. A two-day United States (US) /Africa Infrastructure Conference, themed Building the Infrastructure for Nigeria ’s Vision 20:20, was organised in the US by The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in conjunction with the Embassy of Nigeria and co-sponsored by UBA Plc. CEO, UBA Capital, Africa, Wale Shonibare spoke at a panel session titled “Financing it All”. He commended the Federal government’s renewed focus on developing infrastructure to stimulate economic growth. According to him, “policy decisions such as the recently announced tax incentives to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure are essential to accelerating investment in the sector.




‘Bad eggs cause distortions in stock market‘


The market is gaining back its lost ground as all indices indicate. The Managing Director, BGL Securities Limited, Mr Sunday Adebola, attributed the development to the introduction of the market making system. He speaks on infractions and the listing of cash-cows, such as telecoms and oil and gas firms to further deepen the market. AKINOLA AJIBADE met him.


HAT is the focus of BGL Securities Limited? The company is a dealing member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), operating in the secondary market. By this, we are licensed to buy and sell shares on behalf of our clients, as well as taking trading positions in the market. Besides, we are also registered by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an issuing house, which has put us in a position to raise capital for many companies. For instance, during the banking consolidation, we raised capital for many banks and, over the years brought many companies for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. We are also the distribution arm of BGL Group responsible for marketing of financial products being packaged by BGL Group. I would like to say at this juncture that the holding company is BGL Plc. The holding company has three subsidiaries, namely BGL Securities Limited, BGL Assets Management Company Limited and BGL Private Equity Limited. However, BGL Securities Limited is the only dealing member of the NSE. What is your volume of transaction? We have traded over a trillion naira worth of shares, and

the total volume is in excess of N200 billion. What is the level of confidence in the market, is it reassuring? Confidence is gradually returning to the market due to the efforts of the NSE and the SEC. The two bodies have put in place measures to bring confidence back to the market. If you look at some of the measures, you will realise that they are meant to bring the much-needed growth to the market. Recently, NSE introduced market making system programme to foster growth. What this implies is that there are market makers appointed by the NSE, who hold themselves out as being ready to buy or sell the shares of companies under the market making arrangement for their respective accounts on regular and continuous basis, and sell them when there are demands for them. This has brought the much – needed liquidity into the market. Another step taken to return confidence to the market is the entrenchment of best practices derived from the enthronement of corporate governance. Where there is corporate governance, people would do what they are supposed to do. When this happens, shareholders’ value would improve. The introduction of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is an-

other initiative by the Stock Exchange that is highly commendable. More ETFs are still being expected to be introduced to the market in the very near future. In the past, some companies were not rendering quarterly and annual returns as at when due. The Exchange has taken corrective measures and sanctioned most of these companies. Some of them were put on full suspension, while others were delisted for not complying with the listing rules of the exchange. Also, the introduction of securities lending has helped in making the market more liquid. It is instructive to note that without Securities lending, the market makers cannot achieve the desired objectives. How has the introduction of market makers impacted on the system? We commenced market making programme in September, and we have seen the positive reaction of the market to this noble initiative. Some stocks have grown by 40 per cent in terms of price movement in the past few weeks. Some have grown by 56 per cent. This is what is making confidence to •Continued on page 29



THE CEO •Continued from page 28

come back to the market. SEC has been having meetings with stakeholders on how to make sure that the market moves forward. This, among others, is one of the measures put in place to re-invigorate the market. If this continues, we believe within a short period of time, the market will bounce back in a sustainable manner and the investors would be better for it. What is the motivating factor for investors now? Every investor has his own objective of participating in the market. I can say that investors have made a fortune from the market in the past and even this year. This year alone; the market has gained about 32. 60 per cent compared to about the 18.5 per cent it lost last year. This has made the market worth looking at by those people that have left the market. We are happy that investors are gradually coming back to the market. In recent times, the volume traded has improved. Before, we were trading between N150billion and N200billion worth of shares, but now, we are trading on the average N2.8trillion naira worth of shares. Also, if you look at market indicators, you will observe that the All-Share Index has actually moved up. It is over 27,200 points now. The market capitalisation is over N8.328 trillion compared to about N6.5trillion in the beginning of this year. By how much has the market grown in the past one year? To be precise, the NSE All-Share Index yearto-date (YTD) is about 31.63 per cent, which is remarkable enough, compared to the 18.3 per cent recorded last year. On Sectoral Indices year-to-date movement, NSE 30 Index recorded growth of 40.14 per cent YTD, NSE Banking Index also recorded increase of 61.91 per cent, NSE Consumer Index grew by 301.27 per cent, while NSE Insurance Index fell by 1.8 per cent. NSE Oil/Gas Index also moved southward by 26.02 per cent. These indicators on the average, showed remarkable growth of the market. A lot of infractions were made and attributed to the stockbrokers. What measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence? Before the meltdown, people alleged stockbrokers of many infractions, saying, they are the ones causing distortions in the market. In my opinion, these allegations are not right. For Instance, when you mandated a stockbroker to buy some stocks for you, he would do so in line with the instructions given to him. He would also sell in line with the mandate given to him. We have seen instances where people would give stockbrokers mandate to sell their stocks. When they realise that prices of those stocks are going up, they deny ever giving such a mandate, claiming that their mandates were forged. That is not to say that we do don’t have few bad persons among stockbrokers. But it cannot be generalised that stockbrokers are the ones causing distortions in the market, I do not agree. There are principles guiding the market and the market is a structured one that has rules and principles driving it. These are followed by Authorised Dealing Clerks and the Dealing members. Erring operators are properly sanctioned on fair and equity basis. Are you saying brokers and investors connive to cause infractions in the market? Far from it. There are various infractions in the market. My own understanding of infraction is when you violate the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the market. In the past, we have where people committed series of professional misconduct. They were duly punished and sanctioned appropriately. Regulators neither condone market indiscipline nor professional misconduct. That is why our market is still one of the best in the world. Some of the erring operators were suspended, while others have their licences revoked. These are some of the disciplinary actions the regulators have taken to protect the integrity of the market. Do you see the surge being sustained or just a flash in the pan? It is an undeniable fact that stock market is a the barometer of the economy. Events in the economy have reflections on the stock market. Once the economy improves, the market witnesses a lot of activities. If the economy is improving, companies performance will improve and precipitate the release of good results to the market. Once companies’ performances are improving, it will impact positively on shareholders’ value which have direct influence on their prices and lead to market indicators moving upward. Besides, it is our prayer that the economy will continue to do well as other macroeconomic factors become more favourable to the

‘Bad eggs cause distortions in stock market‘


‘For any country to have a vibrant capital market, you must have a good payment system, viable REPO market, as well as opening up your market to foreign investors’ market. First, it has been observed that there is direct correlation between the price of crude oil and out stock market returns. If the price of our crude oil continue to go up, we are going to see many foreign investors showing interest in the Nigerian market. Secondly, availability of funding within the economy has also been impacting on the growth of the market. Once there is liquidity squeeze, market becomes sluggish. Thirdly, the decision of the monetary authorities to bring down the interest rate would help improve activities in the market. Nigeria’s oil price has been on the increase in recent times. To what extent has it attracted foreign investors to the country? According to a data released by the NSE, over 60 per cent of the activities on the buyside in the nation’s stock market are being controlled by foreign investors. The reason is because the returns in our market are relatively higher than what it is obtained in other

emerging markets. This has attracted so many foreign investors into the country. Once the oil prices are going up, foreign investors consider the Nigerian market of the positive correlation between crude oil prices and stock market returns. The more we have the oil prices going up, the more our economy becomes buoyant and our market becomes attractive to foreign investors. Who are those controlling activities in the stock market-Institutional investors or foreign portfolio investors? When we are talking about foreign investments, they are of two types. We have foreign portfolio investment and direct foreign investment. The former refers to a situation whereby foreign investors come to invest in financial instruments in our domestic market, while the latter explains foreign investors coming to invest in physical assets in manufacturing, power and fast moving consumer goods,

among other areas. Here, we are talking about foreign portfolio investors. We have seen some of them coming to buy shares in our market. Can you put a figure to year-to-date value of foreign portfolio investments in the market? In foreign portfolio investment, the market has recorded some growth. If the market capitalisation has moved from N6.5 trillion to over N8.6trilion this year. We can safely say that over 60 per cent of this comes from the foreign portfolio investors. It has been estimated that fresh funds of about N419.93billion has been invested this year alone. I want to assume that 66 per cent of this is done by the foreign portfolio investors which translates to N277.15billion. To what extent can we say the infighting between the leadership of SEC and its staff has affected the market? This is an internal issue in SEC, and it cannot affect the market in any way. I believe the issue cannot have any meaningful effect on the market and the issue would soon be resolved soon. What is your assessment of the performance of the leadership of the Exchange? We can give him a pass mark, considering the good initiatives he has brought into the market. He has brought dynamism that has transformed the landscape of the market. He has initiated certain reforms, and they are yielding fruits. Before now, for the price of a stock to move, we need to trade some stocks up to 50,000 units. This principle has not favoured some high priced stocks thus making their prices to be creeping for sometimes. But now, with 10,000 units in a single trade, price of such stocks can move. The introduction of market makers is another noble achievement in the market. Others are the introduction of Exchange Traded Fund and the Investors Clinic to educate investors. However, the management of Stock Exchange can do better by intensifying efforts in collaborating with other stakeholders to bring more companies to the market. I am talking about giant telecommunications companies, power firms, Energy and oil. This will go a long way to build capacity and deepen the market. Interestingly, the market currently has 235 dealing members but less than 200 quoted companies. There is the need for more companies to come to the market for listings, as well as introducing more securities so as to increase the market depth and width. What are the prospects for fixed-income securities like bonds? Some years ago, the Federal Government bonds, called Federal Government Development stocks, were being traded on the Stock Exchange. At a point, the trading on these bonds stopped and became inactive. Then, the Federal Government used to appoint stockbroker brokers to buy and sell on behalf of other stockbrokers. With the establishment of Debt Management Office (DMO), government revisited the bond market by appointing primary market dealers Market makers (PDs/MMs) to trade in bonds. However, there is an on-going process to deepen the bond market. NSE, SEC and DMO are working together to ensure that the retail aspect of bond is returned to the platform of the NSE. Permit me to say that any market that does not have solid retail platform cannot stand the test of time. This initiative of bringing the retail aspect of bond trading to the exchange is a laudable one. The development would make more Nigerians to participate in bond market. It is only banks and discount houses that are trading in the Federal Government bond market because of their appointment as market dealers makers. They are dealing on wholesale basis. This excludes participation of retail investors in the secondary market. By returning bond trading to the NSE platform, retail investors would be able to participate in the bond market. In what other ways can the government make the bond market stronger? For our any country to have a vibrant capital market, you must have a good payment system, viable REPO market, as well as opening up your market to foreign investors. The inclusion of Nigeria’s bond in JP Morgan Bond Index is one way of opening the financial services market to foreign investors. Through this, foreign investors would have access to relevant data on the instruments and our capital market would be better for it. Besides, interest rate management by monetary authorities should also be done to ensure that the interest of the market is considered. Furthermore, enlightenment programme by various regulators and market operators should be intensified so as to increase the number of participants in the bond market.




Sterling Bank grows net profit by 64%


TERLING Bank Plc continued its impressive performance in the third quarter almost doubling its gross earnings recording a 64 per cent increase in profit after tax. Interim report and accounts of the bank for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 showed substantial growths across key performance indicators, improving prospects for considerable improvement in dividends for the current business year. The report indicated 92.6 per cent growth in gross earnings, underlining the success of the bank’s bank-focused business strategy. Interest income doubled by 109.9 per cent while net interest income jumped by 84 per cent. Profit before tax thus rose by 58.5 per cent. Sterling Bank grossed N50.74 billion by third quarter 2012 as against N26.35 billion recorded in comparable period of 2011. Interest income leapt to N39.56 billion in 2012 compared with N18.85 billion in corresponding period of 2011. While interest expenses increased from N8.97 billion to N21.37 billion, net interest income also nearly doubled from N9.88 billion to N18.19 billion. Non-interest income increased by 49 per cent to N11.2 billion as against N7.5 billion. Altogether, operating income rose by 78 per cent from N15.9 billion to N28.3 billion.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

With these, profit before tax jumped from N3.01 billion to N4.77 billion. After taxes, net profit distributable to shareholders increased from N2.74 billion to N4.49 billion. Earnings analysis showed earnings per share of 29 kobo for third quarter 2012 compared with 22 kobo in similar period of 2011. At current share price, the net earnings indicated strong double-digit returns for Sterling Bank. It should be recalled that the outstanding issued shares of Sterling Bank had increased in the last quarter of 2011 following issuance of scheme shares to shareholders of the defunct Equitorial Trust Bank, which Sterling Bank had acquired last year. Besides, the report showed strong and quality balance sheet with growing deposit base and increasing lending activities underpinned by reduction in the proportion of non-performing loans to total loans 4.8 per cent in December 2011 to 2.4 per cent by September 2012. Customers’ deposits increased from N392.05 billion to N433.98 billion. Loans and advances similarly improved from N164.3 billion to N229.43 billion. Total assets also rose to N564.06 billion from N504.72 billion. Commenting on the results, managing director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola,

said the results reflected the continuing success of the bank’s strategic growth initiatives as it continued to draw benefits from the seamless integration of Equitorial Trust Bank. According to him, Sterling Bank has been well positioned to capture emerging growth opportunities with customercentric approach to financial services and products. “In line with our forecast, loans and advances grew by 23 per cent to N229.4 billion on the back of our enhanced presence in the corporate banking space. We also grew customer deposits by 13 per cent to N434 billion and added over 22,000 retail accounts. Despite the 400 basis points increase in Cash Reserve Ratio in July, we recorded a 70 basis points reduction in cost of funds to six per cent,” Adeola said. He said the performance of the bank showed its underlying strengths, pointing out that the increase in cost-to-income ratio was as a result of one-off merger related expenses. He noted that the growth in loans and reduction in nonperforming assets were in line with the bank’s objective to grow risk assets as the economy rebounds while focusing on quality growth.. He assured that directors of the bank were confident they would sustain the performance. “In the last quarter of the year, we will consolidate on the progress made thus far and sustain our drive towards building our retail deposits with a view to achieving our corporate goals for year-end,” Adeola assured.






DN Meyer Plc is the best-performing market making stock. Within 28 days of operating the market making initiative, the company has risen by about 337 per cent. TAOFIK SALAKO reports on the underlying variables rediscovering the chemical and paints company's market consideration


HE introduction of market making on September 18, 2012 marked another milestone for the Nigerian stock market. Market making is a technical term that generally refers to the system of providing liquidity to securities through provision of bid and offer prices in the trading system of a stock exchange. Market makers can be categorized according to the level of liquidity supports they provide. A primary market maker is regarded as the foremost liquidity provider of a particular security while the supplemental market maker acts as a supplementary liquidity provider. The market making initiative took off with 16 stocks including some of the most capitalised stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Under the operating rule for the programme, market-making stocks are allowed daily price movement band of 10 per cent as against general market band of 5.0 per cent. This implies that market-making stocks can rise or fall by as much as 10 per cent every trading day as against 5.0 per cent rise-andfall limit of other stocks. Although it may be too early to fully assess the impact-positive or negative, of the initiative, it has undeniably provided several stocks the platform to unlock their market values. DN Meyer is obviously the lead beneficiary of the initiative. While four market-making stocks opened today with negative returns, DN Meyer's share price has risen by 336.5 per cent since the introduction of market making. This pushed its year-to-date return to 201.9 per cent. For a stock that had traded at its nominal value of 50 kobo this year, today's opening price of N3.23 per share-the highest so far this year, represents a return of 546 per cent on the lowest consideration. DN Meyer appears to be riding on the back of its corporate renewal as it stutters out of a long-drawn decline. Audited and interim re-

DN Meyer: What’s the attraction?

ports in recent periods have shown sustained growth in sales while the company's tenuous profitability has resisted shocks from mid-line costs. Interim report for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012 showed turnover of N694.61 million as against N646.98 million in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax stood at N11.60 million compared with net loss of N55.5 million in 2011. The second quarter performance showed the tenuous nature of the company's recovery. Profit after tax had closed the first quarter at N14.36 million while sales had risen from N3615.6 million in first quarter 2011 to N371.58 million in 2012. The company had recorded a

net profit of N1.4 million in first quarter 2011. But notwithstanding, the interim reports still supported a recovery mode for the company. DN Meyer had made a strong comeback with 15 per cent growth in sales in 2011 compared with a decline of 37 per cent in 2010. Audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed that considerable reduction in losses. Gross profit rose by 16.5 per cent in 2011 just as the underlying margin firmed up to 37.2 per cent in 2011 as against 36.7 per cent in 2010. Average loss per unit of sales, as measured by pre-tax margin, dropped from 19.6 per cent in 2010 to 6.9 per cent in 2011.

Returns improved considerably in 2011 above the recent averages. Return on total assets improved from -8.7 per cent in 2010 to -3.9 per cent in 2011. Return on equity also improved from -40 per cent to -16.5 per cent. With the impending release of the third quarter earnings of the company, the spiraling pricing trend may soon pause to factor in prospective gains and yield vis-àvis comparative returns by other stocks. Given that the market already entering a more ponderous mood, the extent of fundamental support for DN Meyer’s upwardly pricing trend will soon be evident.

•Chairman, DN Meyer, Sir Remi Omotosho




Evans Medical: Improving outlook E

VANS Medical Plc achieved its highest sales and broke away from recent streak of losses in 2011 as management tightened costs and stepped up new market initiatives. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2011 signaled significant recovery for the healthcare company, which had struggled with losses since 2007. Better cost efficiency translated into improved profit margin, turning the red lines in the previous accounts into green. With 16 per cent increase in sales, decline in overall operating and finance expenses magnified top-line impact on the bottom-line, resulting in a profit before tax of N130.2 million. While the net impact of the losses in previous years had eroded the capital base and pushed shareholders' funds at a deficit of N57.04 million in 2010, improved profit outlook also impacted positively on the balance sheet position of the company. Shareholders' funds recovered N37.5 million in 2011. However, the company's recovery remained fragile, a position that the board appeared to appreciate with its decision not to declare a cash dividend in spite of earnings per share of 19 kobo. With pre-tax profit margin at 2.8 per cent as against gross profit margin of about 48 per cent, the company still needs to consolidate the recovery.

Financing structure The overall financing structure of the company improved in 2011. The proportion of equity funds to total assets improved from -1.4 per cent in 2010 to 0.9 per cent in 2011. Current liabilities/total assets ratio also improved to 57.5 per cent as against 58.7 per cent. Group paid up capital remained unchanged at N243.2 million, indicating some 486 million issued and fully paid ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. However, negative reserves of N304.08 million that resulted from previous losses moderated the equity base, leaving the shareholders' funds at N37.47 million in 2011. This was however, a significant improvement from -N57.04 million in 2010. Total assets inched up by 6.2 per cent from N4.1 billion to N4.35 billion. Current assets grew by 6.0 per cent from N2.4 billion to N2.55 billion while permanent as-

Fiscal Year Ended December 31 Nmillion Profit and Loss Statement Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross dividend Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net Assets per share (kobo) Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds



By Taofik Salako

sets improved similarly from N1.69 billion to N1.80 billion. On the other hand, total liabilities inched up by 3.8 per cent from N4.15 billion to N4.31 billion. Current liabilities grew by 4.0 per cent to N2.5 billion as against N2.4 billion in 2010 while long-term liabilities increased from N1.75 billion to N1.81 billion.

Efficiency The company witnessed considerable improvements in cost efficiency and productivity during the period, as increased cost per head translated into better performance. Average number of employees dropped from 331 persons to 319 persons but the related staff costs jumped from N586.2 million to N783 million. Average cost per employee thus increased from N1.77 million to N2.45 million. However, total cost of business, excluding finance charges, reduced from about 93 per cent of total sales to some 91 per cent of sales in 2011. Average contribution of each employee to pre-tax profit also improved from N0.03 million to N0.3 million.

Profitability Group turnover grew by 16 from N3.94 billion in 2010 to N4.57 billion in 2011. With 14 per cent increase in cost of sales from N2.1 billion to N2.4 billion, gross profit improved by 18 per cent to N2.2 billion compared with N1.8 billion in previous year. Operating expensesincluding marketing and distribution costs, stood at N1.8 billion in 2011, 13.5 per cent above N1.6 bil-



lion recorded in 2010. Non-core business incomes dropped by 43 per cent from N77 million to N43 million. This was counterbalanced by decline in finance costs, which dropped from N409 million to N317 million. Profit before tax thus recovered from pre-tax loss of N54 million in 2010 to profit of N130 million in 2011. Profit after tax further consolidated from N8.8 million in 2010 to N94.5 million in 2011. The company had written back tax provisions of N63.14 million in 2010, which induced the modest net earnings. It however, provided for taxes of N35.6 million in 2011. Further analysis showed a more reassuring earnings outlook. Basic earnings per share improved from 2.0 kobo to 19 kobo while net assets per share reversed from loss of 13 kobo to positive position of some 8.0 kobo. Underlying profit and returns indices also turned positive with return on equity improving from -15.4 per cent to 252 per cent. Return on total assets recovered from -1.3 per cent to 3.0 per cent. Gross profit margin had increased from 46.8 per cent to 47.7 per cent. The company made average pre-tax profit of N2.8 on every N100 unit of sales in 2011 as against loss of N1.4 on similar sales in previous year.


Evans Medical strengthened its liquidity position in 2011 with better financial coverage for emerging liabilities. Current ratio, which indicates current assets to similar liabilities, improved marginally from 1.00 2011 2010 times in 2010 to 1.02 times in 12 months % change 12 months 2011. The pro-

4,572 4,572 2,389 2,183 1,780 43 317 130 95 19 0 0 8

16.0 16.0 14.0 18.3 13.5 -43.4 -22.6 -339.3 973.9 850.0 0.0 0.0 -161.5

3,943 3,943 2,096 1,846 1,568 77 409 -54 9 2 0 0 -13

1,744 1,801 902 2,546 4,347

7.9 6.4 27.3 6.0 6.2

1,616 1,693 709 2,401 4,094

439 1,192 2,498 1,811 4,309

13.4 423.7 4.0 3.6 3.8

388 228 2,402 1,748 4,150

243 38

0.0 -165.8

243 -57







portion of working capital to sales improved from -0.03 per cent in 2010 to 1.0 per cent in 2011. Debtors/creditors ratio stood at 205.4 per cent in 2011 as against 183 per cent in 2010.

Governance and structures Established in 1954, Evans Medical is quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The company is owned by some 18,000 shareholders, with Devpharm Limited holding the largest equity stake of 28 per cent; the only investor with substantial shareholding above the statutory disclosure benchmark of 5.0 per cent. Evans Medical Group consists of four companies, Evans Medical Plcthe holding company that majors in manufacturing, sales and marketing of over-the-counter (OTC) products, Evans Nutraceutical Ventures Limited, CiplaEvans Nigeria Limited and Evans Healthcare Nigeria Limited. CiplaEvans is a strategic alliance between Evans Medical Plc and Cipla (India) and ii deals in sales and marketing of prescription only medicines (POMs). Evans Medical Group has more than 31 products. Following recent restructurings, Mr. Olubunmi Olaopa, erstwhile managing director of Cipla-Evans, assumed the position of group managing director. Chief Saifudeen Edu remains the chairman of board of directors. The company broadly complies with code of corporate governance and best practices.

Analyst's opinion Against the background of the national and global macroeconomic variables and the historic performance of the company, Evans Medical appeared to be on a major upswing. With a healthy top-line growth, re-

Fiscal Year Ended December 31

•MD, Evans Medical, Olubunmi Olaopa

cent investments in research and development, human resources and technology appeared to have provided boosters against the generally sluggish operating environment. The overall outlook is reassuring, especially given that the company's performance was driven not only by cost management but by relatively robust growth in sales. Notwithstanding, the company needs to step up implementation of its growth plan, focusing on three key areas of financial structure, sales growth and cost management. Its debt profile remains substantial and could still undermine possible returns unless the company takes measures to refinance its balance sheet, with equity injection the most relieving dose. The improving fundamentals of the company and the general recovery mode at the Nigerian capital market could provide strong appeals for existing and new investors to rally round the recovery of healthcare company. The 2011's performance was a good start, but the company still has long way to full recovery.

2011 %

2010 %

Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio

0.9 41.7 57.5 3178.7

-1.4 42.7 58.7 -399.3

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

47.7 2.8 3.0 252.0 0.00

46.8 -1.4 -1.3 -15.4 0.00

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

0.3 2.45 91.2

0.03 1.77 92.9

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Turnover Debtors/Creditors

1.02 1.0 205.4

1.00 -0.03 183.0





Why Nigeria needs more agric engineers •Agric engineers maintain farm tractors

Agricultural engineers play vital roles to ensure food security.This has brought to the fore the dearth of this group of professionals in the sector. There is, therefore, the need, to engage and train more agricultural engineers to fill the burgeoning gap in the industry, writes DANIEL ESSIET.


HERE is increasing demand for agricultural engineers in the sector. Against the backdrop of the push for modern and mechanised farming to ensure adequate food supplies, the dearth of these important professionals in the value chain has been brought to the fore. The nation cannot talk of food security without the engineers who work on various areas of the sector, spanning production, processing, packaging, land use, equipment construction and maintenance, seed improvement, biofuel development and many others. An agricultural engineer, depending on specialisation, is involved in the production and processing of food commodities for national and international markets. He adds value to seeds for the production goods for exports, ensuring that they meet international standards. To achieve optimal performance, farmers acquire purpose-built machines which can only be maintained by an expert. These equipment are used for

canning, freezing and drying. Running these machines to attain the desired efficiencies requires the competencies of agricultural engineers. Beyond this, they analyse operations, new technologies and methods to increase yields, improve land use, and conserve resources, such as seed, water, fertilisers, pesticides, fuel and the likes. Speaking with The Nation, the Director General/Chief Executive, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Gloria Elemo, said more agricultural engineers are needed to help farmers adopt new farming practices and equipment to combat the looming food insecurity. According to her, with their expertise, agricultural engineers reduce crop loss from field damage, during handling, sorting, packing and processing. They also prepare the land for planting — soil engineer – and implements for harvesting to avoid loss of produce.

She said they are a vital part of the food industry. Some work for processing companies to develop efficient processes for better products. At FIIRO, she said agricultural engineers are employed in research and development unit. The institute, she said, however, prefers Ph. D holders who are expected to provide solutions to a variety of problems through research. Most of them, she said, work outdoors, at times, visiting farms and rural areas, but the bulk of their work is in the laboratories doing research. She said there are five major areas of specialisation: farm structures, mechanical power, electrification, soil and water conservation, and food engineering. She urged more candidates to take up courses in those areas to bridge the growing •Continued on page 38




Why Nigeria needs more agric engineers •Continued from page 37 demand for agric engineers. Elemo noted that many universities, colleges of agriculture and polytechnics have established agricultural engineering programmes. The universities run a Bachelor of Science programme in agricultural engineering of five academic sessions during which the students are exposed to industrial training over a 12month period. The training period is broken into three parts of three, three and six months. The first industrial attachment is undertaken during the vacation period at the end of the second year. The second training comes during the vacation period at the end of the third year, while the last one is for six months which starts at the beginning of the second semester of the fourth year and lasts till the beginning of the following academic session when the students return to school for their final year work. She, however, noted that agricultural engineering curriculum needs to be reviewed to expand the entrepreneurial potential of agricultural engineering graduates. Speaking with The Nation, the Managing Director, Alvan Blanch, a British manufacturing and project engineering firm, Andrew Blanch, said the agricultural engineer is at the heart of farming. According to him, farmers need the support of a sophisticated engineering industry to produce the machines and equipment they need to guarantee the crops and livestock they grow to reach the high quality standards they must achieve to get top market prices. Also,

he said farm machinery and equipment manufacturers require engineers of the highest calibre with the right skills to deal with structures, mechanisms, control systems, hydraulics and electronics, as well as having an interest and appreciation of farming systems and other relevant industry sectors. He said the design and operation of manufacturing systems used in the agricultural industry must rely on sound engineering principles.To this end, he said his company looks for engineers who specialise in design, production and supply of quality machines and integrated systems processing of agricultural produce and waste materials. Blanch’s company has developed systems for food processing, such as drying processes, distillation, or long term storage. The job requires visits to farms, working directly with growers, and servicing a wide variety of industries, including crops and livestock as well as manufacturing concerns and governments. Many tasks of an agricultural engineer are completed outdoors, but there is office work, too. During the day, he dedicates time to designing projects, such as helping to plan a new type of grain silo, improving existing models of threshing equipment, or creating a new method of grain harvesting. There are agricultural engineers who design animal housing units, or might work on bettering a slaughterhouse to make it a more hygienic environment. Others test soil for chemicals, improve waste disposal and monitor water quality to make sure natural resources are protected and not

•Dr Elemo


exploited. Some agricultural engineers work in universities, educating newcomers to the field, while others write for farming publications. There are more chances for agricultural engineers to travel to other countries where they can help give advice on farming practices and showcase their equipment. Many agricultural practitioners choose to earn a professional engineers license. Although it’s not necessary, being licensed assures competencies and expands opportunities for advancement. The Nigerian agriculture sector, Blanch said, offers good opportunities for engineers, adding that the current system of training agricultural engineers, is inadequate for the sector’s potential for revenue creation or for the development of skills.

He stressed the need for better co-ordination between agricultural engineering education and work. Many graduates of agriculture engineering have not even seen, or get acquainted with field machines or equipment before, or during their practical training. One of the more important technological advances in agricultural engineering has occurred in the use of applied enzymes. Agricultural engineers use applied enzymes to make healthier food products. For watchers, however, there are positive trends that are creating job opportunities for agricultural engineers. Many states are working toward increased agricultural mechanisation and demand is for the latest technologies and innovations that improve operating efficiencies.


Wetherheads Group elevates staff

• Mrs Blessing-Kayode

WETHERHEADS Advertising Group Limited has promoted some senior management staff. Those elevated, according to a statement, include Mr Alfred Akhokia, who has been confirmed Managing Director, Wetherheads Outdoor Limited and elected to the Board; and Mrs Olamide Blessing– Kayode, Chief Executive and Associate Director of Wing Communications Limited (Wincomm), a subsidiary of the group. Others are Adeola Amusat, General Manager, Media Associates; Victor Adu, Head of Business in Signcom and Tony Eguridu, Head of Port Harcourt office, Eastern operations.

Before his promotion, Akhohia was Associate Director/Chief Executive of the company. Before joining Wetherheads, he worked at Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) as Membership Affairs Officer. He obtained his Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from Ogun State Polytechnic in 1996 and his Masters in Business Administration in Advertising and Public Relations from the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) Business School, Enugu in 2005. Mrs Blessing-Kayode is a 1995 graduate of Linguistics from Ekiti State University (then Ondo state

University), Ado Ekiti. She started her advertising career as a Client Service Executive at Eminent Communications Limited and later moved to Novell Potta as Senior Business Development Executive. According to the statement, the need to realise maximum benefits from the group’s on-going consolidation and rebranding efforts, led to the employment of Mr Chetan Mehan as head of its business development and strategy desk. With Mr Abi Iderawumi as Group Managing Director, the statement said the group is determined to assume leadership of the industry in providing effective advertising • Akokhia solutions.


Career and job success skills for newly employed


OW that you have made the big transition through job hunting and landed the job, the next goal is job success. Don’t take that for granted. There are specific skills you need to know and use to be successful at your job. It’s important to practise these skills prior to starting the job. First impressions show from day one. You only get one opportunity to create first impression. What follows here isn’t a complete list. It’s a good idea to check with your direct boss about what’s most important.An important information for you: employers say many people lose their job because they don’t use good work habits and not because they are unable to do the job.The following list of suggestions is based on feedback form a majority of surveyed employers.

Employers expectations • A positive attitude is one of the most important factors in achieving job success. Don’t carry negative feelings into your new workplace. Resolve them elsewhere. • Always be on time. How long will it take to get to work? Allow a few extra minutes for traffic problems and getting children to school. Set an alarm clock to help you get up.

By Olu Oyeniran

Being reliable and dependable gains the trust and respect of your new employer. • Good attendance and promptness are always important. It you’re going to be unavoidably late or out sick, find out the proper method of informing them. • Know and follow office rules, policies and procedures.Read the employee manuals. Please find out the informal rules. • Listen and learn. Be open to new ways of doing things, even if you have taught differently in school or on a different job. Don’t be quick to find fault, criticise or complain until you can prove you can do something a better way. • Meet and exceed your employer’s expectations. • Learn all you can about the job you were hired to do before thinking about moving up.

Communication • When you need to talk with your supervisor, ask when would be a good time to meet. • Take advantage of your performance reviews. Stay calm. Learn from them. Ask how you can improve. Show results or jobs-re-

lated classes you’ve taken. Most Supervisors appreciate employees who are concerned about performance and in finding ways to improve. Your job success is also their success. • Be a team player. Be willing to help. Know the goals of your job and how your job fits into the overall organisation. Avoid a “knowit-all attitude.”Try to fit in with the team. Keep your sense of humour. • Ask for help when you need it. If you make a mistake, let your supervisor know immediately. Find the proper chain of command. Discuss items with your supervisor first.

Personal • Prior to starting the job, have all your appointments with doctors, dentists, etc., out of the way. Have your transportation and daycare lined up so you don’t immediately have to take time off. Have an emergency plan for daycare and transportation. • Be willing to learn new skills. Keep a record of classes you’re taking that relate to the job. Review this with your supervisor at an appropriate time. • Take time in making new friends. Find positive and upbeat co-workers. Avoid negative, critical and gossiping people.

• Be clean and well groomed. Wear clean and job-appropriate clothes. Pay attention to how your coworkers are dressed. Avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes. • Keep you personal life and problems at home. Do not use the employer’s equipment and time to do personal things like making personal phone calls, using the copy machine or resolving your personal problems on the job. If you’re having trouble resolving personal problems, counseling, support groups or employee assistance programmes may be useful. • Create the image. Dress for the job you want next. • Be patient with yourself and your employer. It takes time to get used to, learn and like a new job. • Volunteer to projects and committees if your work is completed and your supervisor approves.

Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




ASCSN seeks special allowance for education officers T HE unit chairmen of the 104 Unity Schools and the six zonal coordinators rose from a meeting in Abuja with a 10-point communiqué seeking progress in the service of education officers and other staff of the schools across the country. In the communiqué signed by their union leaders, the National President and General Secretary of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Comrades Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Alade Bashir Lawal, the meeting endorsed the memorandum submitted to the National Public Service Negotiating Council I (NPSNC I), by the union leadership. The memorandum is requesting the Federal Government to approve 15 per cent of the consolidated salary as special allowance to Education Officers teaching in the Unity Colleges. The teachers are also asking for the restoration and upward review of Science Teachers A l lowance and the Boarding House Master/Mistress Allowance inadvertently omitted from the salaries

Stories by Dupe OlaoyeOsinkolu

of affected teachers since 2007 during the transition from the manual payment system to Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), which have not been restored since then despite series of demands by the Association. They enjoined the National Leadership of the Union to pursue the demands until they are implemented. The meeting also commended the leadership of the association for presenting another memorandum in respect of payment of end-ofyear incentives approved by the Federal Government for civil servants. "We support the position of the association that the payment should be extended to all civil servants at the headquarters of the ministries as well as outstation staff and that the disbursement of the incentives should be based on grade levels to ensure fairness, equity, and

justice,”s said the communique. The civil servants called on the Federal Ministry of Education to convey and thereafter institutionalise a quarterly meeting as agreed with the Union more than two years ago. "It is surprising that the q u a r terly meeting has not been summoned by the Management of the Federal Ministry of Education despite constant reminders by the leadership of the association.The essence of the platform is to ensure that latent labour issues capable of truncating industrial peace in the Ministry including the Unity Schools are identified and amicably resolved in line with contemporary trade union best practice, said the communique." The officers reiterated their demand that officers who have duly sat for promotion examinations and passed should be paid their promotion arrears and properly placed in their appropriate grade

•From left: PENCOM DG, Mohammad Ahamad; Head, Capital Market, Dan Ndackson and his Corporate Affairs counterpart Emeka Onuora at a media workshop in Abuja.

levels to boost their morale. They said it was demoralising for officers to be made to undergo rigorous promotion examination, and be denied their promotion after they excelled in the exercise. "This practice is unacceptable and should be discontinued," they said. The communiqué further said that the meeting frowned at the increasing cases of victimisation of officials of the Association by some Principals in some of the Unity Schools. On the purported withdrawal of some members of the association, to join the Nigeria Union of Teachers, the meeting said, as senior federal civil servants employed by the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Unity School teachers are "bonafide members" of ASCSN, which has always stood by them in times of their trials and tribulations including saving their jobs when it waged a relentless battle against the Federal Government, which had concluded plans to sell the Unity Schools to private individuals. "We, therefore, disassociate ourselves entirely from any individual or group which purport to claim that Unity S c h o o l s teaching staff are members of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT). The NUT which is the umbrella body of primary and secondary schools teachers employed by the state governments is advised to steer clear of Unity Colleges henceforth in the interest of industrial peace in the schools and concentrate on improving the welfare of its members, the abysmal failure of which has led to the exit of secondary schools teachers from its fold to form the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS). "Only recently, the Basic Education Teachers also pulled out of the NUT and formed Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BESAN). Both the ASUSS and BESAN have publicly stated that the NUT has patently proved incapable of promoting the welfare of its members which was why they had no option but to withdraw their membership," the communiqué stated.

Imo workers decry four years’ of non-promotion HE Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council in Imo, Mr Coleman Okwara, has decried the failure of the state government to promote its workers in the past four years. Okwara, who disclosed this in a statement, said the government’s inaction did not make room for good worker/government relationship. He noted that the workers in the state were last promoted in 2008, adding that denying them promotion after working hard for the state


amounted to insensitivity. “Promotion is supposed to be an annual event, but sometimes the government places embargo on it. This does not favour the workers. Workers deserve to be promoted,” he said. He said the council had approached the state government many times on the matter but nothing had been done. Okwara also expressed the workers’ displeasure with the government’s inability to fulfil other agreements it reached with them four months ago.

He, however, advised the workers to be calm but said they would not hesitate to embark on industrial action if nothing was done by the end of the month. In his reaction, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Chinedu Offor, explained that the government had lifted the ban on promotion, which had a process. He recalled that Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration had never toyed with the welfare of the workers.

He said the governor was able to clear the backlog of two month’s salary arrears owed the workers when he assumed office. Offor said the governor also paid 10 months backlog of pension to retirees, increased workers’ minimum wage and approved dressing allowance for them. He urged the workers to be patient with the government as it was doing everything to meet their demands.

Lagos NUJ tasks media owners on medical checks


WNERS of media houses in the country have been urged to carry out routine medical checks on practising journalists in their employment The Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), which made the call in Ikeja, also asked media owners to institute insurance policies for workers under their employment. This call is coming on the heels of reported cases of sudden deaths of practising journalists in the country, especially in Lagos. A few weeks ago, the Entertainment Editor of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Amadi Ogbonna, died.

This was followed by that on Sunday of a Sport Photo journalist with the same media organisation, Mr Sylva Eleanya, who reportedly slumped and died in his Isolo, Lagos residence. In a condolence message to the management of Vanguard Newspapers by the Council and signed by its Chairman, Comrade Deji Elumoye and Secretary, Comrade Sylva Okereke, the Council said, it was disheartening to note that within two months, the Council had lost two of its members from the Vanguard Media to the cold hand of death. It, however, described the late Sylva as a hard working journalist who put in his best to the pro-

fession. According to the statement, Eleanya apart from being an active member of the NUJ at the chapel level where he was the Vice-Chairman, was also a sport journalist, who had excelled in the coverage of the World Cup , Olympics and the Commonwealth Games for Vanguard Newspapers for over two decades The statement, however, noted with displeasure that journalists do not have time to go for medical check ups to ascertain their state of health, describing such negligence as very unfortunate. Noting the rising waves of sudden deaths of journalists in the country, the statement, therefore,

urged media houses, to start as a matter of urgency, the immediate medical checks for journalists under their employment. According to Lagos NUJ, “The high death rate in media houses in the country is very disturbing and calls for urgent action to stem the tide. In the last few weeks, we have witnessed death of two of our members in sudden circumstances. ‘’We, therefore, call for immediate medical checks on our members. All the media houses should also institute insurance policies for practicing journalists in the country. They can also buy into the Insurance scheme of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.’’

Implement N18, 000 minimum wage, group urges Ebonyi


HE Ebonyi chapter of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called on Governor Martin Elechi to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage for workers in the state. The government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state have differed on the implementation of the wage. The government insisted that since no worker in its workforce earns below N18, 000, it had implemented the minimum wage. However, the NLC believed the increase should be reflected in all grades of the state workforce. Mr David Okoro, the CDHR Chairman in Ebonyi, told The Nation that the governor should be labourfriendly by resolving all lingering issues involved in the payment. “The governor should compromise if necessary and ensure that the legal provision of the wage is implemented.This has become imperative because the labour force is the engine room of government, which needs adequate motivation for enhanced productivity,” he said. Okoro also advocated a review of the procedures of appointment in the state civil service and ensuring that merit is enshrined into the process. “The appointment of judges, state director of public prosecution, auditor general, accountant general, and permanent secretaries, should be on merit of seniority lists. A situation where junior officers are elevated above their seniors, have created room for injustice and denial of rights, privileges and fundamental human rights of workers.’’

Civil servants take oath of secrecy in Adamawa


HE Head of the Adamawa State Civil Service, Malam Musa Kaibo, has said over 900 civil servants in the state have taken the oath of secrecy. Kaibo stated this at the opening of a workshop for civil servants in Yola. He said the measure was to prevent the leakage of government’s secrets. He said the oath of secrecy was important to protect the integrity of government and personalities working for government. ”The oath is designed to protect official information from going to unauthorised persons. “The oath is authorised by the Official and Other Secrets Act of Sept. 13, 1962,” Kaibo said. On the aim of the workshop, the head of the civil service said it was intended to inculcate administrative skills in non-administrative cadre officers. He said the effort was to bridge the gap between professionals and those in the common services. ”We are actually preparing you for positions of higher responsibility in the near future. “We are arming you with the skills that will enable you perform your duties with efficiency and understanding,” Kaibo added.

Kwara to raise incentive for teachers


HE Kwara Government in Ilorin said it would increase its package of incentives for teachers on its pay roll. The Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Education, Alhaji Lamidi Alabi, stated this in Ilorin during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Alabi said the measure check the exodus of teachers from the state. He explained that the incentives would include loans to teachers in various capacities and giving them training opportunities.




NCP explains sale of distribution firms I

N my capacity as a member of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Chairman of its Technical Committee, I have been directed by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to call this press conference alongside Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The purpose of this press conference is to present the full set of facts surrounding the ongoing power sector privatisation and to counter the very “weighty” allegations that the entire process was “FRAUGHT WITH CORRUPTION”. This allegation was widely publicized because it came out of a discussion/interview which the Executive Governors of Delta, Edo and Ekiti States had with the media on Thursday 18th October, 2012. The allegations of “CORRUPTION” that I refer to were made with respect to the privatisation of Benin Disco in particular, and the privatisation process of the PHCN Successor Distribution Companies (Discos) in general. You may recall that BPE immediately issued a short, sharp rebuttal which dismissed the allegations as baseless and completely without foundation. Being so weighty and coming from three Governors, whom most of us have phenomenal respect for, the allegations have however continued to generate significant reverberations both locally and internationally. The 3 Governors appeared to be making their “complaint” because they feared that the Southern Electricity Distribution Company Consortium (Southern Consortium), which they favoured, might be edged out of the race to be declared as preferred bidder for Benin Disco by Vigeo Power Consortium (Vigeo). Obviously they presumed the latter to be the likely winner based on the outcome of the televised Commercial Bid Opening Ceremony which took place in Abuja on Tuesday 16th October, 2012, which event I presided over. It is pertinent to mention here that the NCP has not even declared a result yet and so no consortium has been announced as being the preferred bidder for any of the 11 Discos in Nigeria. At the end of the Commercial Bid Opening Ceremony, I explained that we still had to subject all the bids to a “material consistency/feasibility test” before making recommendations to the NCP. I would like to reiterate that the purpose of this Press Conference is to present the full facts as we know them and to take questions from the local and international media so that the whole truth can be established. As you are all aware, the 3 Governors grabbed the headlines in such a dramatic and potentially damaging fashion at a time when the nation is undertaking its largest and most complex privatisation transaction ever and which could raise divestment proceeds of close to N400 billion. I will now formally list the allegations, some of which I must confess I am still struggling to fully understand. The three Governors, in their Joint press conference in Abuja on Thursday, alleged as follows: 1). THAT the bidding process as organised by the BPE on behalf of the NCP leading to the Commercial Bid Opening on Tuesday 16TH October was not transparent and was even “fraught with corruption”; 2) THAT the use of the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) loss reduction strategy as a Commercial Bid evaluation tool/ranking is opaque, untested and not transparent;

mum of $100 million and competent technical partners. Incidentally both Southern Consortium and Vigeo had competent technical partners from India. On the allegation of Vigeo having little knowledge about the environment in which it wishes to operate, this is not and could not logically be a requirement of the RFP since there has never been a distribution licensee in Nigeria apart from the Federal Government-owned distribution companies. In any event, the information at our disposal indicates that GUMCO, a member of the Vigeo Consortium has participated in both the Revenue Cycle Management and National Prepaid Metering programmes since 2006. It also introduced prepaid metering and billing to the Benin Disco. It started from Benin City and later extended its operations to Warri, Asaba, Ondo and Ekiti. It is worth noting that none of the members of the Southern Consortium has such a record.

3). THAT Vigeo (the other bidder for the Benin Disco) that emerged with the highest loss reduction target at the bid opening exercise lacked technical competence, experience and financial capability to manage such an extensive territory as covered by Benin Disco; and 4). THAT their States have invested in power production and therefore they wanted the bidder which they preferred to be declared as winner, failing which they would not allow Vigeo to operate in their territory. The responses are as follows:

Transparency The Southern Consortium have been in the race for the Benin Disco alongside other bidders since September 2011 when they received the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the privatisation. They had ample opportunity to participate in the various investors’ fora that BPE held to communicate with potential bidders and obtain feedback. Following the release of RFPs, Southern Consortium undertook due diligence on Benin Disco, met with various officials of BPE and asked questions that were promptly and comprehensively answered. They never made any allegations of lack of transparency until after the race had been run via the commercial bid opening ceremony, which was televised live on both NTA and AIT. At the commercial bid opening ceremony, the representative of Southern Consortium was asked to examine and confirm that the envelope that contained its commercial proposal was intact, and he did so on live TV before the envelope was opened. The same process was observed for every other bidder at the event. As the loss reduction targets for each bidder were read out, they were captured on the multimedia screen, and immediately ranked in descending order for everyone to see. All of this was broadcast on live TV. Before the bids were opened, the ground rules of the bid opening were read out and circulated and it was made clear to all that the ground rules were in accordance with the RFP, which all the bidders were given the opportunity to comment upon and accept before they submitted their technical and commercial proposals. It is pertinent to point out that Southern Consortium is the only one, of the 16 consortia that participated in the bid opening, to have submitted multiple commercial bids for the same Disco. Their envelope contained two different commercial bids, both of which were signed by a Mr. Matthew Edevbie. The first bid was dubbed the “primary” bid, while the other was dubbed an “alternate” bid. This was a clear contravention of the RFP. We did not make a big issue of this on live TV because both the primary and the alternate bids fell below the bid submitted by Vigeo and so neither bid would alter Southern Consortium’s ranking on the large screen. Instead, this matter was brought to the attention of the Technical Committee of NCP, which considered the breach and made recommendations to the NCP. Therefore, on the allegation that the bid process was not transparent, I wholeheartedly affirm that the entire transaction followed due process and was governed by the provisions of the RFP. Incidentally, the submissions made by the Southern Consortium to the BPE show that the ownership of the Consortium is comprised of seven members as follows:Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (of India) [25 per cent equity of

Benin Disco investments


consortium]; Income Electrix Limited (of Nigeria) [25 %]; Smartworks Global Resources Ltd (of Nigeria)[8.3%]; Pinnacle Power Projects & Services Ltd (of Nigeria) [31.7%]; Fountain Holdings Limited (of Nigeria)[3.33%]; Citadel Nominees (of Nigeria)[3.33%]; and NJ Services (of Nigeria)[3.33%] . Unless I am missing something, close to 90% of this consortium is therefore owned by private sector companies that are NOT owned directly or indirectly by the Governments of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo States.

Criticisms on ATC&C The current ATC&C losses sustained by the various distribution companies in Nigeria are estimated at between 35 and 40 percent of the power wheeled to them. These levels of losses are very high. The privatisation strategy that the NCP chose for the Discos was aimed at addressing the identified problems within the distribution segment of the sector. Accordingly, bidders were told from the onset that they would compete on the basis of a trajectory of technical, commercial and collection loss improvements for the first five years of operation. Furthermore, this method is built around the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2 issued by the NERC—the industry regulator. It is important to emphasize that ALL the bidders who participated in the Commercial Bid Opening had obtained scores in excess of 75% when technical evaluations were being scored some weeks ago. It is also imperative to point out that the NCP approved the privatisation strategy for the Discos, based on the use of ATC&C loss reduction proposal as a basis for core investor selection, as far back as 19th August, 2010. The advertisements that ran in December 2010 soliciting for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective core investors emphasised that the BPE would use this strategy. So, Southern Consortium knew the rules of the race before it joined the contest. It is also apt to point out that even when the BPE solicited feedback from prospective investors about the bid process and the industry and transaction documents last year,

Southern Consortium did not raise any concerns about the use of this strategy.

Vigeo Power Technical Competency Section 93 of the RFP states that: “Those bidders with Proposals that have successfully achieved the benchmark technical score (75%) will be considered eligible contenders, and the ranking of the bidders for each Distribution Company will be determined solely based on the technically qualified bidders’ Commercial Proposals.” Three evaluating teams were formed to evaluate the technical bids. Each of the teams had seven members drawn from the following agencies: 1. Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); 2. Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); 3. Federal Ministry of Power; 4. CPCS Transcom - advisers on the transaction; 5. NEXANT—USAID-funded power sector consultants providing support to the BPE; and 6. NIAF—DFID-funded infrastructure support programme to the Nigerian government. Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Directorate of State Security Services (DSSS) also observed the entire process from bid submission to the conclusion of evaluation. The bids were assigned to the evaluating teams by balloting to ensure that no evaluator had any prior knowledge of which bid he/she would evaluate. Some of the criteria evaluated were: (1) Experience in operation and maintenance of distribution companies (2) Experience in developing countries; (3) Technical and investment plan; (4) Management and staffing—human resources; and (5) Financing plan and ability to raise finance. We state here, in respect of the 20 Disco bidders which NCP approved at its meeting of 18th September , 2012, that they fully met the RFP requirement which specified that in order to have its commercial proposals opened each bidder must have a tangible net worth of a mini-

We affirm and recognise the efforts of these States, as well as all other States and Local Governments to contribute their quota to the investment drive by the Federal Government in the power sector. Every level of government has contributed and continues to contribute. It should be remembered here that only 60% of the equity of the respective Discos is being privatised. The balance of 40% will be owned by the Federal Government, the State Governments within that Disco’s territory (through a Special Purpose Vehicle to be created by the States for that purpose) and the staff. The exact percentage that the States will get will vary depending on the valuation of their previous investments. The valuation will be determined by the electricity regulator, NERC, working in collaboration with the State Governments. In a nutshell, the State Governments will be equity partners with any preferred bidder for a Disco which operates in their territory.

Conclusion This power sector privatisation process has come a long way. Many eminent Nigerians, as well as the international community, have praised the painstaking process that has brought the reforms this far. It is also clear from the foregoing that the adopted processes will accommodate not only the interests of the State Governments but also the workers. Seeking to rewrite the rules after a game has been played is unacceptable and certainly does not conform to global best practice. Likewise, accusations of corruption which are not based on the provision of an iota of evidence are also unacceptable. Finally, I wish to conclude by noting that I am amongst those who believe that we cannot grow as a nation unless we challenge the systems that we have put in place. If the systems and institutions of State are as robust and transparent as this power sector privatisation programme has been, then the challenges will be overcome and the merits of the rigorous processes that we have put in place will be appreciated even more by all and sundry. I would only plead that when making these challenges we exercise a little restraint and also buttress our case with hard facts. The intention cannot be to unjustly cast doubts on the integrity of persons who are serving the Federal Republic of Nigeria for little or no reward in some cases. • A statement by chairman, Technical Committee, NCP, Atedo Peterside on sale of discos

"I am the only player who can judge what it's like working with Arsene and Sir Alex," said Van Persie. "It is an absolute privilege to say that in my career I have had both these managers at the clubs I have played for. They are both icons as managers in football. They are both world class, one not more nor less than the other.”


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ancelotti praises Ibra’s

Messicareer hits goals

talent P

SG coach Carlo Ancelotti praised star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede scored his tenth of the campaign to steer the leaders to a 10 win over Nancy. "Thank you Ibra. He is a fantastic player and, over the course of the season, he is going to improve the character and personality of the team and help it win matches. The second half was better for us. Bodemer and Rabiot gave us security and we deserved to win. The first half was tough, we had a problem on the right because Pastore isn't used to playing in midfield. Once he moved to behind the strikers our shape was better. Ménez tried to make up for a missed chance by over doing it a bit. We aren't used to synthetic pitches. We lost here last season (21) so it was an important win for us."



mark in Rayo rout

IONE L Messi took his senior "He has scored a couple of goals but I prefer to remember the career goals tally to 301 as he moment when he ran 30 metres to help out in defence in the 89th minute. Lionel Messi his seniorI love the goals, but I like this more." scored twice in Barcelona's 5-0took arehe third with 18 points after a disappointing 0-0 draw victory at Rayo Vallecano, which career goalsput tally Malaga to 301 as at struggling them three points cleartwice at the scored in Barcelona's 5- Espanyol, while Real Betis beat Valencia 1-0 to move up to fourth on 16 thanks to Salva Sevilla's early goal. top of La Liga on Saturday. 0 victory at Rayo Vallecano, Second-placed The World Player of the which put Year them three points Atletico Madrid, with 22 points host bottom club got Barca's second just clear at theafter top of LaOsasuna Liga on on Sunday when champions Real Madrid, in fifth half time and finished off the with 14 points, travel to Real Mallorca. Saturday. rout with another the end. The at World PlayerBarca, of thewith Yearmidfielder Sergio Busquets and fullback Adriano The 25-year-old has now scored 270 goals Correia deputising in central defence, were under a lot of pressure from hard-running Rayo before taking control in for his club and 31 for Argentina. Spain players David Villa, Xavi and Vallecas Cesc Fabregas scored the others as Barcelona continued their unbeaten start under new coach Tito Vilanova and moved on to 25 points from nine games. "We are delighted for Lionel," Vilanova told a news conference.


RVP: Ferguson, Wenger equal

n o a b g o Dr e v o m n a lo l o o p r e v i to L


IVERPOOL are to temporarily fix their striker crisis by bringing in Didier Drogba on loan, according to news papers report. The Chinese season ends next week and The People claim that Shanghai Shenhua are willing to tear up Drogba's mammoth contract in order to free him up for a move to Anfield - on the understanding that he returns for the new season in

March. However, with financial uncertainty surrounding the Chinese club which also employs Nicolas Anelka he may never return. Drogba's family live in Surrey and, with Liverpool down to one fit striker in Luis Suarez, the giant Ivorian who served Chelsea with such distinction could be the ideal short-term fix. Liverpool are still thought to be likely to sign Newcastle

striker Demba Ba in January, and Alan Pardew will have all the funds from any deal with which to replace him. (Sunday Mirror) On the back of yesterday's reports that Manchester United are to make a shock move for Chelsea star Ashley Cole in the summer, several papers have said Roberto Di Matteo has pleaded with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to give the left-back anything he wants.


Rio 2016:Farah may consider marathon double

M •Ibrahimovic

Former Arsenal pointsman, Robin van Persie, declaring he alone was in vantage position to pay tribute to both Arsene Wenger and sir Alex Ferguson.


O FARAH, named last week as the British Athletics Writers' Association's (BAWA) athlete of the year for a record third time, may go for a 10,000 metre/marathon double at the 2016 Rio Olympics – according to his coach, Alberto

Salazar. Farah (pictured above) won the 5000m and 10,000m gold at London 2012, but has made it clear he intends to step up a distance to 26.2 miles. Salazar said that Farah could bid to become only the second man in history to win gold in

both the marathon and the 10,000m at the same Games. "My guess is he will do a 10-marathon double," Salazar was quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. "At Rio, that would be a good shot. "We will have to look at the schedule, but if the 10,000m is first, he would go for that and the marathon.”


OBIN van Persie has paid tribute to Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson and admits he cannot separate the two managers. The Dutchman, who spent eight years at Arsenal, faces his former club on Saturday for the first time since making his move to Old Trafford this summer. And the 29-year-old praised the Premier League's longest-serving tacticians for their dedication and longevity in the game. "I am the only player who can judge what it's like working with Arsene and Sir Alex," said Van Persie. "It is an absolute privilege to say that in my career I have had both these managers at the clubs I have played for. "They are both icons as managers in football. They are both world class, one not more nor

less than the other. "I purely look at this comparison as a footballer. I look at the way they both work on the pitch, in training, at the club and off the field. "I had a fantastic time with Arsene. I enjoyed training, playing, talking and all the other times I spent with him. I love it that I now experience the same with Sir Alex. "But what I love about both managers is that they came to their clubs for a good cause. They both wanted to be at the club for a really long time."

•Van Persie





The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Kogi Assembly crisis announced the suspension of all legislative activities in the House without recourse to the Green Chamber in Abuja. In this report, Correspondent SANNI ONOGU presents the controversy that attended the decision, with many contending that the Committee overshot its bounds and may be stoking a constitutional crisis.

Kogi Assembly ... the sore festers T

HE controversial suspension of the Kogi State House of Assembly by a House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee has continued to generate ripples. The lower chamber of the National Parliament had set up the committee to investigate the leadership rocking the state Assembly and report back. The committee followed the purported “sack” of the Speaker of the House, Hon Abdullahi Bello and other principal officers of the House by 12 out of the 25-member House. Legal experts, legislators and former lawmakers who spoke with The Nation argue that the group of 12 members acted contrary to Section 92 (2) (C) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that “The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly shall vacate his office if he is removed from office by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-third majority of all the members of the House.” Bello on his part contends that two-third means 17 out of the 25 member House but only 12 members sat with a “Taiwan Mace” in a primary school and claimed to have illegally removed the leadership of the House. Besides, he said, the House was yet to resume from its oversight recess by the time the group illegally convened the House. Legal experts and Nigerians across all divide have continued to condemn the use of strong arm and undemocratic tactics to scuttle the smooth functioning of a democratic institution in the state. The Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada has been identified as the man who wrote the script which was acted by the 12 “dissident” members. The governor has vehemently denied it. Apart from the man said to have been responsible, Nigerians who have denounced the action as reprehensible and a drawback to the dark days of military jackboot dictatorship in the country, the House of Representatives and the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria (CSSLN) swiftly constituted committees to unravel the situation and advise it on how to ensure that the House, now divided against itself, stands again. A non-governmental organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network, leading “Kogi Sons and Daughters in Abuja,” staged a peaceful protest at the headqurters of the Ministry of Justice, calling on the Federal Government to speak before the milk of rule of law is spilled irretrievably in Kogi. Leader of the group, Hon. Dino Melaye, said it would amount to complicity on the part of the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who is from Kogi State to remain silent while “Rome is burning.” As if the group of 12 was out to demonstrate that it was not in hurry to sheathe their swords and allow peace reign in the state, they sent only three of its members to the fact finding meeting called by the House of Representatives committee in Lokoja. The group of 12 could not also present before the committee, the resolution of the House showing they constituted two-third at the sitting where the leadership was removed. The group of 13 loyal to the purportedly removed leadership was said to have been present. Apparently enraged by the intransigence of the 12 , the committee ordered the suspension of all legislative activities in the House of Assembly pending its report.

Politicians decry action This action has drawn criticisms from Nigerians who view it as unconstitutional even as the Group of 12 have vowed never to

abide by the “peace initiative of the committee”. They sat a day after the order was handed down and claimed to have conducted legislative businesses. A former Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, described the action of the committee as illegal. Mamora said that any matter that violates Section 92 of the Constitution which stipulates that the impeachment of the Speaker of a House of Assembly must be carried out by two-thirds majority of members could only be reversed by a court of competent jurisdiction. He insisted that since no state of emergency has been declared in the state, “care must be taken not to give the impression of meddlesomeness.” “My understanding,” Mamora continued, “is that it is within the context of declaration of a state of emergency in a state that the National Assembly can legislate for a House of Assembly as it was in the case in Plateau and Ekiti states. What exists in Kogi Assembly is just a skirmish, as it was in the case of Ogun State...The National Assembly did not suspend the House activities.” Besides Mamora, analysts have accused the committee of overshooting its runway for not reporting back to the House before unilaterally suspending the Kogi House sittings. Although, they acknowledge the legality of the House’s intervention, they query the power of the Committee to take such a drastic action without an express resolution of the House. The critics are further buoyed by provisions of Section 62 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that “The Senate or the House of Representatives may appoint a committee of its members for such special or general purpose as on its opinion would be better regulated and managed by means of such a committee and may by resolution, regulation or otherwise as it deems fit, delegate any functions exercisable by it to any such committee. “Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing such House to delegate to a committee the power to decide whether a Bill shall be passed into law or to determine any matter which it is empowered to determine by resolution under the provisions of this Constitution, but the committee may be authorized to make recommendations to the House on any such matter.” Many also see the Reps’ intervention in the matter as too hasty and uncalled for. They argue that due process demands that the Bello group approach the court for interpretation of the action of the 12 and whatever the judiciary decides would then be deemed final. According to them, the National Assembly can directly intervene in the affairs of any state legislature only when there is a state of emergency. They further argue that Section 11 (4) of the Constitution expressly provides that “at any time when any State House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in the State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good

• Tambuwal government of that state may appear to be necessary or expedient until such a time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions...”

Our case, by Reps The Vice Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Constituency and Outreach Development, Hon Pally Iriase, said the suspension was a first step towards restoring legislative balance to the state. He added that it was in order to prevent confusion and breakdown of law and order. He said it was unwholesome for the two factions to continue to sit in parallel arrangement and carrying out legislative business. The lawmaker who represents Owan Federal Constituency in Edo State said the House was not being “meddlesome”, but acted to prevent a repeat of unpalatable history. Iriase said: “The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives can intervene and indeed take over the legislative functions of any State Assembly where things are not going well. “So, we are not just being meddlesome; we are doing what the constitution enjoins us to do.When the House sets up a committee, that committee is imbued with authority from the House to take action that are not final in nature but hat would ensure that the status quo is maintained in such a way that the issue in contention are not . “What that committee has done is very right in the sense that if you allow confusion arising from contending forces deciding to take laws into their hands, the situation could degenerate. So, they said, let us maintain a level headed situation whereby we will be able to report back to the House. “So what the House now decides, based on their findings, will be put together in a final resolution of the House and that resolution will be the final decision of the

‘The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives can intervene and indeed take over the legislative functions of any State Assembly where things are not going well’

• Bello House. What has been done temporarily is to ensure that the situation does not degenerate.” On whether it was not too hasty or why the House had to set up the Committee seeing that there is no state of emergency in Kogi State, he said: “We have to be very careful. Let’s not forget history. It is from the corner of a nation that problems that could consume the nation starts. Kogi may be one of the 36 states, but whatever happens in Kogi, if not properly handled, could affect the entire nation. “When Nigeria had four regions, this country was looking at the problem of the Western region as confined to Western region. But you know that from history things that happened later took root from what happened in one region. “In the same way we must never overlook any threat to democracy in any part of Nigeria. If you hear that the Constitution is being flouted in any part of Nigeria and you say “it is their business, it is not the business of the other part of the nation’ then you cannot blame anybody if the thing engulfs the nation later. “Now, you hear that there are 25 members in Kogi State. There are discordant notes. Some say only 12 took part in an exercise that require two-third. Some say it is not so ‘we had the required number.” “What were you to do? Just to fold your hands and say it is all a Kogi problem? A state of emergency is a final outcome of a degenerated process. “If you allow the situation to degenerate, then you are calling for state of emergency. Nobody wants to get to the stage of a state of emergency before nipping it in the bud. We are saying that look, who among the two groups should be given the room to stay? “Or you want a situation that happened in a particular state in the past where eight members out of 20 or thereabout were sitting in the chambers and while those in the majority were sitting under the tree? Come on, we have come a long way. We need not go back to such bad ways. “This 7th National Assembly, if you follow our legislative agenda, everything we said we will be doing is what we are doing right now. We want Nigeria to continue to enjoy democracy. We want Nigeria to be peaceful. We want things to be done in an orderly manner but if we think that what they did is right so be it. How long will it take? • Continued on page 44




‘Zoning is sweet music to us’


AST week’s declaration by the National Secretary of the rul ing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola that the party is committed to its zoning formula in distributing elective positions ahead of the 2015 general election has been described as “sweet music to the ear”. A chieftain of the party in Delta State and protem chairman of a political pressure group, Anioma Agenda , Chief Alex Onwuadiamu, told The Nation yesterday that it is also the only hope for minority groups across the country. The group has been campaigning for the zoning of the governorship slot of the state to the Anioma speaking people of Delta North senatorial district. According to him, “It is a welcome development because it shows that the PDP leadership is listening to the clamour and yearning of all minority groups across the country. It is sweet music to our ears. We believe that Nigerian democracy is still at infancy; if we continue without zoning and rotation of offices, great injustice would be done to a lot of people across the country and we cannot continue like that”, he said. He argued that it only fair and just for the people of the zone to be allowed to produce the governor of the state after two decades of creation. “We are urging our brothers and sisters in the South and Central senatorial zones for support and understanding of the quest by the Anioma ethnic nationality for the governorship of Delta State come 2015. The Anioma people are clamouring for the governorship of Delta State principally because there is the need for equity, fairness and justice in any given pol-

ACN has provided genuine opposition, says Senator

By Augustine Avwode

ity, particularly ours. Delta State is constituted by there senatorial districts and the Anioma people of Delta North are the only senatorial zone that has never occupied the office of Governor since the creation of Delta State”. His enthusiasm was not, however, shared by all as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for a correction of the “injustice” done to many loyalists of the party when it jettisoned the principle of zoning in the run up to the 2011 general election. In a reaction to questions by The Nation yesterday, Atiku’s media aide Mallam Shehu Garba insisted that the implementation of the principle has been observed more in breach by the party. He therefore called for making serious amends by the leadership of the party by first and foremost publicly admitting that an error had been made. According to Atiku, “It is a fact that the issue of zoning is still enshrined in the PDP constitution as amended. However, recall that in the run up to the 2011 election, the principle of zoning as enshrined in the party was implemented in breach. “If the current leadership wants to right the wrongs of the past, it has to match its intent with action. It can not be that zoning is right for some people and it is abandoned when it comes to others. “You cannot eat your cake and have it. If the leadership is serious about making amends for the injustice of the past, it has to first admit that a wrong had been done and then take appropriate steps to do the right thing. There cannot be



atonement without confession. The admission of error is the first step to rectification”. The now contentious Section 7 (2) (c) of the PDP Constitution states in part that, “in pursuant of the principles of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels” . Oyinlola had told newsmen in that it would be politically dangerous to abandon zoning because it is our binding force. “What has endeared PDP to the people from all over the country has been the zoning arrangement which has given the hope that those in the minority in the country would have access to power. “There is an adage in my language that says when a medicine is working for you, you don’t throw it away. So we will continue with zoning arrangement because it is working very well”, he said.

Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, his wife, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji and His Eminence Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde, Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria (left) after the investiture and dedication of the governor as a Knight of John Wesley (KJW)at the Methodist Theological Institute Chaplaincy, Umuahia, at the weekend.

ENATOR Domingo Obende of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the contribution of the opposition to national issues and development of the country at the National Assembly as vibrant. The Senator representing Edo North senatorial district on the platform of the ACN, who spoke to The Nation at the weekend, remarked that without meaningful opposition to put government on its toes the affairs of the countries would be tackled with ignominy and such countries would s uffer for it. He said: “National Assembly performance by ACN is fantastic; we have intelligent members there and our contribution has been impartial. If you check the contribution of all the members of the National Assembly, you will not see anybody going on party lines, we are one on national issues.” The senator noted that genuine opposition was expected to bring development and that in other advanced countries, opposition are even rewarded for their courage because it had led to stability and development. In his words: “I think genuine opposition is not just about opposing what is right or wrong. It is about opposing what is wrong and when you oppose it, you must proffer solution and it is your convincing projection that will bring about the understanding of the main ruling body” The senator who was on his way to Canada to attend the Inter-parliamentary Union explained that if the opposition was against a wrong decision, it must be prepared to give an option. “If the opposition is saying that this decision is not right, they are giving us an option of reasons so let come together and have a common ground. That is why a couple of things have been changing and of course in this seventh assembly. Everybody knows that the National Assembly is full with credible people who are prepared to take Nigeria to the next level.” On what to expect from the Interparliamentary Union, the senator remarked that it has to do with the regions. This according to him was the European Parliament which major interest was to galvanize legislative activities that would make impact on the affairs of Europe and other regions like the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS). “The ECOWAS Parliament sends representatives and I am one of the people they have sent. There is supposed to be a new executive and this will include what they will do on


CTION Congress of Nige ria (ACN) chieftain, Mr. Kayode Tinubu, has lamented the outcome of the governorship election in Ondo State, saying that it may be a setback to the much-sought integration of the region. He urged progressives in the region to intensify their campaigns for regional economic integration so that the Sunshine State can still participate, despite the political differences. Tinubu recalled that administrations of the Southwest across the five states have encountered difficulties in convincing the Ondo State government about the need for collaboration and cooperation in the interest of regional

By Emmanuel Oladesu

development. He said that kind of collaborative efforts had become more compelling at this critical time in the life of the country. Tinubu told reporters in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, that the long term interest of the people of the Southwest, including Ondo State, is more important than the transient partisan interest of any politician. He said the integration initiative is a continuation of the struggle for regional autonomy and true federalism in Nigeria, stressing that the Southwest had decided to put its destiny in its hands.

He said:” The need to have solid road networks cut across the Southwest; the need to have a regional rail network, the desire to leverage on each state’s comparative advantage, the desire for a broader market to boost our regional economy are all in the interest of this and future generations. “That is why we feel that the outcome of the poll in Ondo State may be a setback to regional integration. Ondo people can never reject regional integration. It is now important that stakeholders in the state should insist on the idea so that the government can develop the political will like its counterparts in the region. The advantages cannot be ignored.”

the region. And of course everybody ought to go and study them and it is way of improving parliamentary activities.” “The parliament is expected be very energising and crossbreeding of ideas, this will make us to improve in our legislative function. It is about legislation, what is practicable internationally should be practised in Nigeria, in West Africa and it’s about improvement in legislative function and good governance.” Obende who gave kudos to the ACN legislators, explained that true federalism was the way out of the mirage of the problems confronting the country and solicited for more emphasis on this when the constitution was being reviewed. “True federalism is the real issue, in a federating state which says that whatever we do should be on equal terms must be reflected in the case of Nigeria. And if you check for instance when you go to the House of Representatives you see that some zone having the membership twice the number of some zones. I do not see any need for that, I believe that if you want us to distribute the liability and wealth of the country it should be evenly shared.” He stated that the issue of the Niger Delta could still be looked into because so much money is being made from the area to develop other parts of the country. “How well have we improved the lives of the people of the Niger Delta area? They cannot farm, they cannot fish, yet their roads are not good. Just imagine what is happening now in the flooding arena that we found ourselves, go to Niger Delta it is a terrible situation and there is nothing positively the government is doing about it.”

•Senator Obende

Kogi Assembly ... the sore festers •Continued from page 43

‘Ondo election is setback to regional integration’

By Musa Odoshimokhe

“In any case, today we are on vacation nationally for the Sallah. You may just find out that by the time we resume they would have been ready with the report and nobody will get hurt as a result of what is happening. Rather it will be a winwin situation.”On his part a two time member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang said the House of Representatives was right to have intervened in the sense that the National Assembly is like the trustee to all legislatures in Nigeria . He added that when they intervene, it is expected that the parties should listen o them. “I agree that in matters of their leadership and so on, it is the business of the particular legislature but then the procedure you go on and the precedent you set is a matter of

concern for the national legislature. “So, whenever you have the type of situation that is happening in Kogi State House of Assembly, what the national parliament should do, like the House of Representatives has done, is to intervene, bring them together, persuade and dissuade the other group. “But sometimes this is difficult when there is an intervention by the state chief executive because in that case it would seem that some faction may be working for the Governor while the others are working for another group.” On whether the committee has powers to suspend the House’s sitting without recourse to the House which set up the committee, he said: “Well, I think everything is still persuasive and whatever can be done to bring to fruition the kind of peace and amity and returning the Assembly to a one big happy family should be done.”






There is a long and embarrassing history of automakers attempting to lure women with ladies-only models. Honda has taken the bull by the horn with the introduction of the Honda Fit She’s - the only model built by an automaker aimed exclusively for women. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO reports with agency addition.

•Honda FitShe

Here comes women-only car A

CROSS the world, building and designing cars remains a male-dominated business, and many companies live by an old axiom that women will buy a man’s car but men won’t buy a woman’s car. While a few companies have attempted to bend that rule, only Honda has chosen to embrace it with the Honda Fit She’s — the only model built by an automaker today aimed exclusively for women. There is a long and embarrassing history of automakers attempting to lure women with ladies-only models. At the turn of the 20th century, electric cars were marketed to wives with the pitch that their lack of handcrank starting would avoid broken shoulders and/or death. In 1955, Chrysler made a bid for feminine attention with the Dodge LaFemme — which came in a two-tone pink-and-white paint scheme, along with a storage place for the matching purse and rain hat. Lest you think modern executives learned from errors of the past, in 2000 Ford showed off a concept Windstar minivan developed with Maytag

•Interior of the car

featuring a compact washer/dryer, microwave and vacuum in the rear hatch, because why would a soccer mom ever want to be parted from her appliances? As women have grown to buy more cars in recent decades — accounting for about onethird of car shoppers in the United States — such attempts have given way to more savvy marketing. But in Japan, the gender divide

remains more stark; half of all working-age women stay out of the workforce due to more stringent societal pressure to choose homemaking over careers, a major reason Japan’s economy has been stuck in a rut for decades. But there’s a cohort of younger Japanese women putting work first, and in a weak market Honda sees an opening. Nigeria has her own fair share among

women vehicle owners. Women with good earnings nowadays hardly wait for their husbands (if they have) to buy a car for them. Sometimes, male commuters slugged it out with their female counterparts on highways and in-roads. While many old model vehicles are commonly found with the men, women cruised more on new cars. Honda Fit She’s would make a better sales if introduced to the Nigerian market. Launched this summer, the Honda Fit She’s designers say they wanted to take a regular Fit subcompact and make it in their words “adult cute.” That means lots of pink: Pink stitching in the seats and steering wheel and floor mats, matched by pink metallic bezels around the shifter and displays. There are also a few extra shades of pink in the special She’s badge, spelled with a heart for an apostrophe. If pink isn’t a customer’s style, Japanese buyers can also select a Fit She’s in shades of brown and white that a Honda executive told the Yomuri Shinbun, a foreign newspaper match the color of eyeshadow. To Honda’s credit, the Fit She’s beauty treatment is not just skin deep. It also comes with special windshield glass that cuts 99 per cent of ultraviolet rays and a “Plasmacluster” air conditioning system that Honda claims can improve a driver’s skin quality, all aimed at stopping those wrinkles that turn adult cute into just adult. With a starting price of $17,500, the Fit She’s got an attractive price for a home-market Japanese car — but automakers would not need special editions if taking advice from women was not such a noteworthy event.




Kia ranks among ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ K

IA Motors Corporation has entered the list of the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands,’ according to the 2012 study released by Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy agency. Kia’s remarkable increase in brand value is now estimated at $4.1 billion, which firmly sets the automaker at 87th place on the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ list. This is a 50 per cent increase from last year’s estimated brand value and

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

far exceeds the average automotive brand value growth rate of 11 per cent. The 2012 edition of Interbrand’s annual ‘Best Global Brands’ study was executed through a comprehensive brand performance analysis using best practice research methodology by expert analysts. The study measures a corporation’s financial performance in terms of

the raw financial return to investors; role that a brand plays in the actual purchase decision; and brand strength, which is the ability of a brand to secure the delivery of expected future earnings. The strong increase in Kia’s brand value closely mirrors the company’s recent surge in global sales, which have posted three consecutive double-digit year-on-year gains to cement Kia’s position as the world’s fastest growing major

automotive brand. Over this three year period (2008-2011), Kia’s annual global sales have grown by 81 per cent to nearly 2.5 million units. Chief Commercial Officer of Dana Motors Limited Mr Sandeep Malhotra said: “Entering the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ validates Kia’s commitment to continuously provide exciting and inspiring brand experiences. And it is amazing to see what we can accomplish by staying true to who we are – a

young and dynamic challenger that goes beyond expectations.” According to Marketing Manager for Kia in Nigeria, Kayode Adejumo, “We are excited to be in the Top 100 globally and this leadership position is also evident in Nigeria as well. Our brands are award winners both locally and internationally and we are honoured and inspired to do even more for our customers.”

FRSC advocates safety for road users


EDERAL Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Head of Operations, Abuja Command, Mr Uche Wihioka, has urged road users to take issues of safety seriously. Wihioka, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, urged the public to be safety conscious, especially drivers. “Road users should be safety conscious in all applications and the public should be enlightened on the use of vehicles and the risks of inadequate safety precautions. “It is our duty to sensitise road users in Nigeria on this issue from time to time and this is why we

•Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Oshodi Unit Commander, Samuel Ogundayo; Golden Penny Pasta Activities Manager, Mrs. Oluyomi Asebiomo and Unit Head, SMP, Mrs. Adobi Larry- Agugor, during a safety campaign seminar organised for the physically challenged at the Nigeria Armed Forces Resettlement Centre(NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos.

Lack of enforcement responsible for increase a year,’’’ he said. FRICAN countries need to Letsoalo added that the issue of in deaths tighten their road traffic enroad safety could no longer be left forcement laws or risk los-


ing more lives in avoidable road accidents, the South Africa chief executive of Road Traffic Management, Mr Collins Letsoalo, has said. Letsoalo, who disclosed this while presenting a paper at the Africa Road Safety Conference last Wednesday in Johannesburg, said South African drivers were the worse culprits in terms of not wearing seatbelts and adhering to road safety laws. He said lack of enforcement of traffic laws was responsible for the high number of deaths on the road in the continent. “There is need to understand that killing people on the road was murder. South Africans are not doing the simplest of things, like wearing a seatbelt and they don’t see it as a problem. It has

been proven that if we can double our seatbelt wearing rate from what we have now, we will have a 30 per cent reduction in road fatalities,’’ Letsoalo said. He said that some of the countries in the continent had done the simplest of things to reduce road accidents. “They focus on drunk driving and seatbelt usage. Speeding, drunk driving, and failure to wear seatbelts and helmets are the most critical challenges facing most Africa countries,’’ Latsoalo said. He said that South Africa was losing between 280 and 350 people to road crashes every week. “About 40 per cent of those killed were pedestrians. At present, 14, 000 people a year die on South Africa’s roads, with accidents reportedly costing the country 307 billion rands

to government authorities alone. “We have reached that stage now where we are calling on society to work with us. It cannot be a government thing. People need to understand that if they behave the way they are doing and continue to do so, they are likely to lose more lives,’’ he said. He noted that the laws were not lenient but enforcement was lacking. Letsoalo said that the communities needed to understand that, “today it can be me and you and tomorrow it will be somebody else.’’ The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that South Africa National Prosecuting Authority charges irresponsible drivers with murder instead of homicide and this has been welcome by some people in the country.

have organised many safety programmes in various zones. “We are carrying out an awareness programme for now, after which there will be enforcement of the law and punishment for any violators,’’ he said. According to him, every individual has a role to play in reducing the rate of accidents on the roads, and one of such roles is to possess adequate safety equipment in vehicles. Mrs Chinyere Nweke, a safety expert, enjoined government and safety institutions to work harder to ensure reduction of accidents.

London minicab firm to test 50 electric cars


LONDON-BASED minicab firm is aiming to be the first of the city’s taxi companies to use an entirely electric fleet, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese car maker BYD. Greentomatocars is to take delivery of 50 fully-electric BYD e6 models to trial in the capital from the second quarter of 2013. The five-seat crossover car is claimed to have substantial legroom and luggage space, while its BYD-made iron phosphate battery is claimed to offer a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions. The battery is also said to last more than 4,000 charges and discharge cycles, giving it genuine appeal as a long-term inner-city minicab if the claims prove accurate. At present BYD is China’s fastest-growing electric car manufacturer. Greentomatocars Managing Director Jonny Goldstone, said: “We are very pleased to be working with BYD on this project. As a partner company, BYD has shown great leadership to challenge the status quo, innovate and electrify mass

transport - principles which go to the very heart of greentomatocars.” “As a car, we see strong parallels between the e6 of today and the then-unfashionable Toyota Prius of 2006,” he continued. “It is exciting to think that, even as a five-car start up, we played a major role in making the Prius popular; given the scale, experience and high-tech infrastructure we now have at our disposal, we would love to “do a Prius” with the e6, and help propel electric vehicles into the automotive mainstream where they deserve and, for all our sakes, need to be.” Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: “It is my aim that London’s minicabs and taxis will be zeroemission by 2020, which will have a major impact on air quality. Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. “Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation, so it is great news that greentomatocars has committed to operating 50 of these super-clean machines from next year.”


Double drivers licence in Lagos


OUBLE taxation is a major problem that organisations and other well – meaning individuals have been fighting against because it is seen as a form of oppression and extortion. The monster of double taxation has crept into drivers licence system in Lagos State. The rule now is that drivers, particularly commercial drivers holding the national drivers licence are to obtain a re-certification card from the Lagos State Drivers Institute after the payment of the stipulated fee. I regard this as double taxation because, the Lagos State government is fully involved in the issuance of the national drivers licence through its

By Ola Ojo agencies (Motor Vehicle Licence Authority, and the Vehicle Inspection Unit), collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). Before anyone obtains a drivers licence, he undergoes the relevant training programme in the driving schools. The law also stipulates that the VIO should test the theory and practical skills of each candidate before recommending him or her for the national drivers licence. Under the rule of the Lagos State Drivers Institute, holders of the national drivers licence are to go for re – certification yearly at the institute at the stipulated fee, including eye test and classroom training. All these are part of what the FRSC have incorporated into

the national drivers licence issuance and renewal for drivers particularly commercial drivers. No matter how much the operation of the Lagos State Drivers Institute is defended, it is nothing but a duplication of the national drivers licence process in which the Lagos State government is fully involved. The drivers are being compelled to cough out about N6,000 for the national drivers licence and another N2,000 for the re – certification card of the Lagos State Drivers Institute to be renewed annually at N1,000 which amounts to N4,000 within a period of three years amounting to N10,000 for both, apart from other vehicle particulars. If income generation is not the

principal objective, then the Lagos State government should allow only the national drivers licence procedure to stay and support it to work as in other states of the Federation. The FRSC has appointed medical establishments in every local government to handle the eye and medical checkups which is more comprehensive than what obtains at the five centres of the Lagos State Drivers Institute. The FRSC and state VIOs have also appointed the driving schools to train and certify drivers for the national drivers licence. What other role is left to justify the operation of the Lagos State Drivers Institute apart from income generation? The situation in Nigeria is not easy for many households.

The same drivers will pay rent, tenement rate, school fees of children, family medical bills, food, water, PHCN light bills, generator fuel, vehicle particulars, tax, psp and several others. How much is the monthly income of the target drivers. I hereby plead with the Lagos State government and other authorities to desist from implementing policies that will amount to double taxation or putting unnecessary financial burdens on the masses. I advise that this case should be revised with the necessary adjustments made. The instruments, equipment and facilities already acquired can be transferred or sold to the VIO, FRSC and driving schools as appropriate. Ojo writes from Lagos












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Behind The Phrase Cool As Cucumba Meaning: Calm and unruffled. Origin Cool here means imperturbable rather than having a low temperature. Cucumbers are cool to the touch. First recorded in John Gay’s Poems, New Song on New Similies, 1732: “I ... cool as a cucumber could see The rest of womankind.”



1. Price (4) 3. Financial Instrument (6) 7. Money, in relation to wants (6) 8. Single Item (4) 9. Merchandise (4) 11. Wagers (4) 13. Trade (4) 14. An Eastern Currency(3) 16. Buoyant (5) 18. Sell (4) 20. Amass, as in profit (4) 21. Book of Records (6) 22. Financial Institution (4)

DOWN Teller (7) Divides (6) 4.Comany’s Shares (6) 5. Item entered in book (5) 6. Card with highest value (3) 10. Measuring Device (5) 11. Unwritten Cheque (5) 12. Number (5) 15. Sum up (3) 17. Relax (4) 19. Cash Box (3)


RICHSINGLES Mabruka Mai Deribe


Find alternative words for the words in the clue below. The numbers beside the words indicate the spaces in the grid where the letters that make up the alternative words should be placed. when done, the name of a forerunner of the seat occupied by the person whose photograph appears inset the grid would be spelt. The first one has been solved to spur you on.

The Black Blondes of Melanasia

A B CLUE Arunma Oteh, DG. SEC

Mabruka Mai Deribe is the daughter of late super rich Mai Deribe. A fashion designer of repute and held in high esteem in the fashion circle, Mabruka Mai Deribe is the designer behind Mabs couture. Her line of fashion include hand- made fashion accessories- earrings, bracelets and rings , crystallized ankara print fabric and dressy kaftan dresses. What’s more? She is blessed with a beautiful body which keeps men gaping and gazing in awe and admiration. Fortunately she is still single but for those who would dare to get fresh with her, they must according to her, be imbued with the qualities of her late billionaire father.

Hmm, a seemingly tall order!

Pep Talk

1. Bleat of sheep (7, 8) 2. Noise (9, 6, 1) 3. Freedom (10, 3, 2, 5, 4)

They are noteworthy because they manifest the conventional Melanesian physical type, but their hair has a blonde cast to it. When you ask the people why there are so many blonde people on the islands, they answer 3 things: they have white ancestors, they receive too much sun, or they do not eat enough vitamins! – Langania village, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

sudoku Simply fill in the missing spaces in the grid to ensure that every row, column and 3 by 3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9

They are the Melanasians, a native group of people living on the Soloman islands of northeast Australia famous for their beautiful black skin and naturally blonde hair. The odd combination has got scientists wondering about how such a color combo develops over time. What’s truly beautiful in this fascinating discovery is that it’s a great example of convergent evolution, where the same outcome is brought about by entirely different means. The variant is completely separate from what causes blond hair in Europeans, and doesn’t even exist in the European genetic set.

The diamond may adorn royalty, regardless of personal worth; but jewels of thought render even poverty illustrious and sublime - Gems for the Fireside




Oil-rich Angola launches $5b wealth fund A NGOLA, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, has launched a $5 billion sovereign wealth fund in an attempt to diversify its economy — a move more associated with wealthy Gulf States like Qatar and the UAE, according to the Cable News Network (CNN). The state-owned investment fund, known as the Fundo Soberano de Angola, will invest domestically and internationally, focusing on infrastructure development and the hospitality industry. These are two areas the Government of Angola believes is “likely to exhibit strong growth”. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, the son of Angola’s longtime president who is on the board of the fund, said “now is a very good time.” He added: “The country has had around five years of steady growth, good growth, mostly based on oil production increases, and it plans to diversify the economy. The best way to do that is to do that is to intervene directly in the economy through investments.” Dos Santos says the aim of the fund is to invest profits accrued from oil to promote social development in the country. “It is very easy to have oil money and spend it but it is very difficult to have a positive impact to improve people’s lives on a daily basis,” he said, “and that is an area we intend to invest on a lot with the sovereign wealth fund.” Critics of the government say that Angola’s oil wealth has been used to enrich a small section of society — dominated by allies of president Dos Santos and his family, along with generals associated with Angola’s lengthy civil war. “We don’t see the money that is being generated from oil having a direct impact on people’s lives” says Elias Isaac,

Angola country director for George Soros’Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. “Just look at the schools, look at the hospitals, look at the issue of water, electricity. Angola makes a lot of money out of oil, there is no doubt about this, Angola really is one of the few countries that can pay its national budget without donor funding, which is great, but where this money goes, that’s the biggest issue”. Isaac’s also argues that a $135 million development project of the capital city’s waterfront is a sign of the government getting its spending priorities wrong. Luanda’s once shabby waterfront has been transformed after land was reclaimed from the sea. Portuguese expats, many of whom have sought sanctuary here from the eurozone crisis, now jog past manicured lawns each morning. But wedged between the shiny offices and apartments that line this new waterfront, Angolans often struggle to survive in a shacks and ramshackle houses. Beyond the capital lies a large underdeveloped country with a widening income gap. Only around one in three Angolans are literate and more than half drop out before finishing primary school. Angola has faced huge challenges to develop a country decimated by the war for independence and lengthy civil war. But civil society and human rights groups say that institutionalised corruption has helped cause the widening gap between the very rich and the rest of society.

Egypt FDI stages recovery in first half of 2012


GYPT leads Arab world in mergers, acquisitions with a record $44 billion in 2010. Foreign direct investment in Egypt has made a partial recovery following last year’s uprising, with inflows hitting $2.5 billion in the first half of the year, a United Nations report said. The return of relative political stability and a series of high-profile acquisitions by mainly Arab investors helped Egypt bounce back from the $100 million net outflow it recorded in the first six months of 2011. FDI, however, remains far below the $4.1 billion seen in the opening half of 2010. “Progress towards political stability has allowed the country to attract foreign direct investment,” Astrit Sulstarova from the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development, the body behind the report, told Ahram Online. The year-on-year climb for the Arab world’s largest nation came amid an eight per cent drop in global FDI inflows due to heightened global economic uncertainty, the report showed. FDI to the African continent as a

whole rose by five per cent. Sulstarova credits France Telecom’s recent buy-out of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, along with other financial sector acquisitions by Arab investors as being behind the surge. Political turbulence had resulted in “low valuations” for Egyptian firms which had made them attractive to investors, she said. Recent announcements pointed “to the possibility of a continued recovery of FDI flows” for Egypt, Sulstarova added, citing potential investment plans by energy giant Shell, an Iranian garment-maker and French and South Korean petrochemicals firms. But she warned that a full revival could still be hampered by a downturn in the global economy and political instability across the Arab world. In October, a report from a UKbased business intelligence agency said Egypt was seeing the most mergers and acquisitions of any Middle East or North African country in the year.

Kenya Power profits leap 36 %


ENYA Power posted on Friday a 36 per cent jump in pretax profits in the year ended June 30 helped by an slight rise in revenues from electricity sales during a 12-month period that saw a leap in fuel costs recovered from customers. The company, which is the sole power distributor in east Africa’s biggest economy, said pretax profit rose to 8.51 billion shillings in 2012 and

earnings per share climbed to 2.36 shillings from 2.16 a year earlier. “The results are fantastic, they outperformed market expectation. I think the shares will rally on Monday,” saidJohnson Nderi, an analyst at Suntra Investment Bank. Revenue from electricity sales rose six percent to 45 billion shillings in the period.

•Angola deep water oil

Critics of the fund also point to the its board being dominated by cabinet members close to president dos Santos. And the younger dos Santos says he — despite being the president’s son — is qualified for the position because his financial background. Transparency International recently ranked Angola a lowly 168 out of 182 countries in its “Corruption Perceptions Index” but Dos Santos says that the fund will be beholden to international best practices, and transparent. “We are familiar with the fact that this perception exists and we are taking a lot of care to make sure all of our investments are within an approved investment policy and our accounts will be audited annually by an independent renowned auditor.” The pledge of transparency is a departure from Angola’s often opaque


OUTH Africa’s largest gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti has said m ost of its workers have started returning to its three West Wits mines. These workers, who were participating in wildcat strikes, were told to return to their posts by 12:00 last week Wednesday, or face dismissal. They joined their colleagues at the Vaal River operations. “Large numbers of employees turned up at the Mponeng, TauTona and Savuka mines and the focus now is on preparing these operations to ramp up production safely,” the company said in a statement. The dismissal process would continue for those who did not return to work. The unprotected strike started at the Kopanang mine in the Vaal River region on September 20 and

oil wealth where oil receipts are withheld by strict confidentiality agreements with international oil companies. “The way the government manages the oil receipts, we think we still have a lot of corruption”, says Manuel Jose Alves da Rocha, Economics Professor from Angola’s Catholic University. “We think the lack of transparency is also another situation we have to look at to understand why the oil income does not go to the majority of the people”. Angola’s oil industry is dominated by Sonangol, the state-owned company that gives concessions to international oil companies and, over time, takes in the lion’s share of the profits. Many observers believe that Sonangol was already acting as a sovereign wealth fund by investing its profits in many areas outside of the

oil industry — including buying up key stakes in Portugal’s biggest bank by assets, Millennium BCP. The formation of a formalised fund was first announced by Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. But the global financial crisis caused the oil price to plunge, hammering Angola’s economy. The government had to offset the crisis by securing a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the form of a Stand By Arrangement of around $1.4 billion. With new deep water oil finds announced by the government, Angola hopes to outstrip Nigeria to become Africa’s largest oil producer. But the revenue from Angola’s black gold won’t last forever. The government hopes the sovereign wealth fund will help diversify Angola’s profits to secure its future.

AngloGold Ashanti employees return to work at the remainder of AngloGold Ashanti’s South African mines on September 25. About 32 000 oz of gold production was lost each week the six mines were idle. AngloGold Ashanti’s South African operations accounted for 32 per cent of total group production during the first half of the year. Last week, the Chamber of Mines, which represents AngloGold Ashanti and two other gold mining companies, reached a new agreement with unions in the gold sector. The latest offer included that all category 3 employees would be rolled up to category four, the new

entry level, while salaries of the category four to eight employees would be raised by two per cent. Further, the company also established a new level for loader, locomotive, winch and water jet operators with basic rates adjusted by R400 a month and, while rock drill operators would have their basic rate adjusted by R500 a month. The gold industry is in the second year of a two-year wage agreement with the latest increases, ranging from eight per cent to 10 pe cent, awarded to the workforce in July 2012, under the agreement reached in 2011. A similar increase was awarded last year.

African Barrick Gold profit drops 72%


FRICAN Barrick Gold downgraded its forecast for this year’s production as disruptions at its operations dragged down output and thirdquarter profit fell 72 per cent. The company, which is the London-listed African subsidiary of Canada’s Barrick Gold, Reuters said expected full-year production to be five-10 per cent lower than the bottom of its previous forecast of 675,000-725,000 ounces of gold. The announcement came as China National Gold, the Chinese state-owned gold miner, moved closer to making a formal offer for Barrick Gold’s 74 per cent stake in

the company. Its interest could trigger a full takeover of African Barrick Gold. CNG is carrying out due diligence on ABG, including site visits. ABG posted net profit of $29million in the three months to September 30, a 72 per cent fall compared with the same period last year. Gold production was 147,786 ounces, down 19 per cent on a year ago. It also raised its forecast for cash costs for the year to between $900 and $950 per ounce. In February, it had estimated cash costs for the year of between $790 and $860 per ounce for the year. Investec analyst Hunter Hillcoat

said ABG’s weak third-quarter result “plays into the hands of ABG’s potential Chinese acquirer”. Greg Hawkins, chief executive, said that the third quarter had been “challenging” for the company. It had expected an increase in production, but output levels at its Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi sites had been lower than planned and operations at its North Mara site were disrupted by illegal mining. ABG is one of the five largest gold producers in Africa and has four producing mines in northwest Tanzania, as well as exploration projects at various stages of development.




‘National Assembly’s intervention in Kogi Assembly crisis necessary’


FORMER Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Clarence Olafemi, has urged Senator Adeleke Mamora to consider the impending doom that could befall the Kogi State House of Assembly should the Nation Assembly’s AdHoc Committee fail to intervene in the current impasse at the Assembly. Mamora, last week, described the suspension of the Assembly’s proceedings by the Ad-Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives as unconstitutional. The former senator from Lagos State noted that the National Assembly committee can only intervene when there is a state of emergency in the Assembly or when it ceases to function. But Olafemi disagreed. He said: “I believe the comment of respected Senator Mamora was misinformed, because it is the person in the middle of a river that knows the depth of the river. The Ad-Hoc Commit-

•Ex-Speaker faults Mamora From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

tee came to Kogi State; when it came, what it saw and hard, Mamora did not know. “This situation can be likened to a case in which the distinguished senator was the frontliner to resolving the problem arising from the sickness of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The National Assembly saw that the country was drifting towards anarchy and quickly moved in to give recognition and power to the VicePresident to perform the function of the President. It was out of the doctrine of necessity, a decision taken because of the circumstance. “There is no portion of 1999 Constitution that empowers the National Assembly to do that. But the good people of Nigeria appreciated their intervention. We eventually overcame the problem and we ended that administration. That is why

we still continue to have democracy in this country.” The former Speaker, who was also an acting governor, noted that the action of the adhoc committee was to avert a crisis in the Assembly and the state. He said: “The two factions, which almost have the same strength, have separate Speakers with different maces, among other things. Both had a schedule to resume sitting the same day under the same roof. You can imagine what would have happened if such a decision was not taken by the ad-hoc committee. “We have not come out from the shock of the Deeper Life Bible Church massacre in Okene; the floods destroyed our properties worth several billions of naira. Yet, we are giving room for anarchy. “So, in this circumstance, who is the appropriate person or body that can halt the sitting of last Thursday that

was only two days ahead? The Commissioner of Police has no such power; the governor is being accused by the other group. So, who has the constitutional power other than the National Assembly, which can halt what is likely to result in a pandemonium? “We Kogians never complained about the National Assembly’s temporary decision, that the activities of the Assembly be suspended to douse tension until the problem is resolved. Is it when we are counting the number of our Assembly members in the hospital as a result of this problem that the crises would be quickly resolved? I don’t think the senator should be more Catholic than the Pope. He cannot be more concerned than we are in the state. We have contributed to the building and development of Kogi State and we don’t want it destroyed.” The former Speaker noted that resolving the Assembly’s crisis should go beyond the Constitution.

JTF recovers arms, ammunition in Yobe


HE military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe State yesterday said it has recovered a cache of arms and ammunition in Pompomari Ward of Damaturu, the state capital. Its spokesman Lt. Lazarus Eli said security operatives received a tip-off about the arms warehouses at 11.20am yesterday. A statement by the task force said the raid did not result in an exchange of gunfire between its men and the sect members. Eli said: “Men of the JTF, acting on tip-off, raided a sus-

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

pected terrorist arms store at Pompomari area of Damaturu. They recovered some arms cache without any exchange of gunfire or arrest.” He added that the ammunition could have been abandoned by the fleeing sect members. “The recovered arms and ammunition include five units of Mac 4 rifles, a Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle, a pump action rifle, four riot guns, one each of riot gun shoot range and tear gas as well as several bows and arrows,” Eli said.

Hydro power areas’ commission a reality, says Aliyu From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


WO years after the signing of the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) Bill into law, the Federal Government is set for its take-off, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has said. The governor spoke at the weekend in Minna, the state capital, when he hosted the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouq Bahago, for the traditional Eid-el-Kabir homage. Aliyu said: “HYPPADEC is now a reality.” The take-off of the commission will end the agitation of over 20 years and bring succour to the four states under it. Niger and three other states have spearheaded the formation of HYPPADEC to address the perennial problems of flooding faced by the communities on the upper and lower plains of the dams of the nation’s three hydro-electric power generation stations as a result of water spillage from the dams. Other member-states are Kebbi, Kogi and Kwara.

Bayero urges Fed Govt to provide more materials for flood victims From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


HE Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, has urged the Federal Government to provide more relief materials to those who lost their property and homes to floods. The monarch noted that more aid to the flood victims would reduce the hardship they are going through in various camps. Bayero spoke yesterday in Kano during his Eid-el-Kabir homage, locally called Hauwan Nassarawa to Governor Musa Kwankwaso.

•Niger State Babangida Aliyu (left) welcoming former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) during Gowon’s visit to the state for a one day national prayer rally in Minna.

North’s governors to Nigerians: pray for Suntai’s recovery


HE Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has urged Nigerians to pray for Taraba State Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai to recover from the injury he sustained in last Thursday’s plane crash at a farm near Yola, the Adamawa State capital. The governor is receiving treatment in a German hospital. The Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu noted that prayers are essential for Suntai to recover and fulfill his vision of a greater Taraba State. In a statement in Minna, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, the governor said Suntai has shown the goodwill and fatherly disposition to the people and the government

Governor’s aides moved to National Hospital BOUT 24 hours after Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai was flown to Germany for the treatment of the injury he sustained in last Thursday’s plane crash, three of his aides, who were also injured in the crash, were yesterday taken to the National Hospital in Abuja. The aides were receiving treatment in Yola, the Adamawa State capital. They include Suntai’s Aide de Camp (ADC) Dasat Ilia; Chief Security Officer (CSO) Timo Dagana and the Chief Security Detail O.


he leads. Aliyu said prayers can sustain the injured governor and enable him to return to do more for his fatherland. He said: “Governor Suntai means well for Taraba State and has demonstrated this in words and in actions. It is, therefore, for this reason

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Jewel. The governor’s aides were brought to the hospital from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, in two ambulances. They were accompanied by armed security personnel and a long convoy. The three of them were taken to the Accident and Emergency Ward. A senior management source at the hospital, who spoke in confidence, confirmed the transfer last night.

that we seek fervent prayers for his quick recovery to enable him fulfill his vision of a great Taraba State.” Hailing the medical team that treated the governor before he was flown to Germany, the forum chairman particularly praised the management and workers

of the Federal Medical Centre in Yola and those of the National Hospital, Abuja. Aliyu hailed them for stabilising Suntai and his aides before they were flown abroad. The statement wished the injured governor and other victims of the crash quick recovery.



FOREIGN South Africa strikes: Sacked platinum miners reinstated THE world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), has agreed to reinstate the 12,000 South African miners sacked for taking part in an unofficial strike. It has agreed to take back the miners if they return to work by Tuesday, the National Union of Mineworkers has said. South Africa’s mining sector has been hit by a series of wildcat strikes, which have cost millions of dollars. Dozens of people have been killed in strike-related violence. The miners were sacked three weeks ago. “They agreed to reinstate all the dismissed workers on the provision that they return to work by Tuesday,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told the Reuters news agency. He said he expected workers would return to their posts and “that will mean the end of the strike”. Amplats said in a statement: “Employees who do not return to work on Tuesday... will remain dismissed and/or be subjected to the illegal strike disciplinary action and will not be eligible for any of the benefits mentioned above.” The company said it was offering the miners a oneoff hardship payment of $230 (£140) to facilitate their return.

‘Eta military leader’ Izaskun Lesaka arrested in France A WOMAN suspected of being a military leader in the armed Basque separatist group Eta has been arrested in France, the Spanish interior ministry says. Izaskun Lesaka and another Eta suspect were arrested by French police in the town of Macon, a statement said. It described Ms Lesaka as one of the “three most important figures” in Eta, and said both suspects had been armed. Eta announced a “definitive end” to its armed campaign in October 2011, but Spain has demanded that it disband. In May the Spanish government rejected a request for talks from Eta, whose 45-year campaign for independence has claimed over 800 lives. The group is considered a terrorist organisation by Spain, the EU and the US. Key arrests The Spanish interior ministry named the other man detained as Joseba Iturbide Ochoteco, and says the arrests bring to 24 the number of Eta suspects arrested since January. Ms Lesaka’ arrest is crucial as she controlled the organisation’s reserves of arms and explosives, the ministry said, adding that she was one of three masked figures who read out Eta’s ceasefire announcement last year.

Two killed in accidents CYCLIST in Sunderland who had stopped to exchange details with a driver after a collision was fatally struck by another car, police have revealed. Stan Coates, 55, of Sunderland, died in hospital after being hit in Burdon Lane at 16:45 BST on Friday. Two men in a Transit van claiming to know and live near Mr Coates pulled up and took the bicycle after the first collision, Northumbria Police said. But the bike is now missing and police are appealing for witnesses. The police force said the men, in a grey van, “looked as if they had just finished work”. Mr Coates was flown in nine minutes to James Cook Hospital, in Middlesbrough, by the Great North Air Ambulance. The service said it had been unable to land at a hospital in Newcastle because of snow. Officers questioned the driver of the car which struck Mr Coates, of West Herrington, but no arrests were made. The 24-year-old driver of the car involved in the first incident suffered minor injuries, the force said. Both cars involved were Vauxhall Corsas.


•China protesters during the protest

China officials bow to protests over factory A FTER a weekend of protests by thousands of citizens over pollution fears, a local Chinese government has relented and agreed that a petrochemical factory would not be expanded, only to see the protesters refuse to halt their demonstration. The standoff in the prosperous city of Ningbo, which the government attempted to quell on Sunday, has highlighted the deep mistrust between people and the government in China.Should they continue, the demonstrations would upset an atmosphere of calm that Chinese leaders want for a transfer of power in the Communist Party leadership next month. The protest in the eastern city, which comes at a sensitive time in China’s political calendar, had swelled over the weekend and led to clashes between citizens and police.Refuse to budgeThe Ningbo city government said in a statement on Sunday evening that they and the project’s investor had “resolutely” agreed not to go ahead

with the expansion. The factory is a subsidiary of Sinopec, one of the biggest petrochemical companies in the world.Outside the government offices where crowds of protesters remained, an official tried to read the statement on a loudspeaker but was drowned out by shouts demanding the mayor step down. On the third attempt, the crowd briefly cheered but then turned back to demanding that authorities release protesters being held inside.Liu Li, 24, a Ningbo resident, said the crowd did not believe the government’s statement.”There is very little public confidence in the government,” she said.”Who knows if they are saying this just to make us leave and then keep on doing the project.” The city government was likely under great pressure to defuse the protest with

China’s leadership wanting calm for the party congress next month. Hundreds of people outside the government offices refused to budge despite being urged to leave by officials. Riot police with helmets and shields came out of the government compound and pushed the crowd back. Some people including families ran away. Police dragged six men and one woman into the compound, beating and kicking at least three of them. Police also smashed placards and took away flags.Government distrustThe demonstration in wealthy Zhejiang province is the latest this year over fears of health risks from industrial projects, as Chinese who have seen their living standards improve become more outspoken against environmentally risky projects in their areas.”The government hides information from the people.

They are only interested in scoring political points and making money,” said one protester, Luo Luan.” They don’t care about destroying the environment or damaging people’s lives.”The protests began a few days earlier in the coastal district of Zhenhai, where the petrochemical factory is located.On Saturday, they swelled and spread to the centre of Ningbo city, whose officials oversee Zhenhai.Residents reported that Saturday’s protests involved thousands of people and turned violent after authorities used tear gas and arrested participants. Authorities said “a few” people disrupted public order by staging sit-ins, unfurling banners, distributing fliers and obstructing roads.Early on Sunday, thousands of residents began gathering outside the offices of the municipal government. Hundreds marched away from the offices in an apparent effort to round up more support along nearby shopping streets.

Grayling: MPs to decide on prisoner votes


ARLIAMENT has a “clear” right not to accept the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling prisoners must get the vote, Chris Grayling has said. But the justice secretary warned there would be “consequences” for the UK’s position in Europe if MPs chose to defy the judgement. The government has insisted it will not support the granting of voting rights to prisoners, and most MPs agree. Mr Grayling said he was thinking “very carefully” about how to act. The UK has been on a collision course with the European Court of Human Rights since it ruled in 2005 that it was a breach of human rights to deny prisoners a vote. The court said it was up to individual countries to decide which inmates should be denied the right to vote from jail, but that a total ban was illegal. In May this year, it gave the

UK six months to outline how it proposed to change the law on prisoner votes. But Prime Minister David Cameron this week reiterated his promise inmates would not get the vote while his government was in power. However, Attorney General Dominic Grieve warned defying the Strasbourg court could be seen “as a move away from out strict adherence to human rights laws”. Mr Grayling declined to say whether he could contemplate the UK withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, but said he was preparing a “very clear plan” to feature in the Conservative manifesto for the next general election. He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “It is very clear that most people in the political world in the UK don’t want to give votes to prisoners. “What Dominic Grieve was arguing was that we have to

‘If we therefore choose to disagree with a ruling from that court, we have to understand that we are taking a significant step outside that international commitment.’ be very careful about how we approach the issue. “The reality is that we are signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. “If we therefore choose to disagree with a ruling from that court, we have to understand that we are taking a significant step outside that

international commitment. “I am thinking very carefully about how we do the right thing for the UK.” He continued: “Parliament has, in clear case law, the right to say to the European Court of Human Rights ‘We do not agree with you’.” But he said the Law Lord had passed a ruling that said Parliament must understand there were political consequences if it chose to disagree with the European court. The Convention drawn up in the 1950s to counter the kind of abuses seen in the Soviet Union under Stalin, but was now being used for purposes which its authors never intended, Mr Grayling said. “These are difficult international issues. We don’t want to take steps which destabilise progress in other parts of Europe towards improved human rights, better judicial systems and fairer criminal justice systems,” he said

Peru clashes: Two more die in Lima market protests


WO more people have died in street battles between protesters and Peruvian police trying to close La Parada, a sprawling market in the capital Lima. Saturday’s violence came after two people died in clashes on Thursday. More than 70 people have been arrested. Police are carrying out a council directive to move the market from its current site due to hygiene concerns. But vendors do not want to move to a newly constructed market which they say is too small and its rates too high. The existing market is known as a place to buy stolen goods and contraband, say correspondents. People create burning road blocks to protest against attempts to relocate vendors from La Parada Market to another area in Lima, Peru, 27 October 2012 La Parada market is known as a place to buy stolen goods and contraband, say correspondents The two people killed on Saturday were said to be civilians. Another 27 people were reported injured. Lima’s Mayor Susana Villaran, who wants to move the market to a modern site a short distance away, has accused stall-owners of hiring criminals to throw rocks and clubs at riot police. Police responded by firing tear gas and pistols, as well as using batons. “All the real merchants who don’t rely on criminals have said they want to move to the new market,” Mrs Villaran, who hopes to be re-elected in polls before the end of the year, told RPP radio. “We are regaining order and security in an area that has only been one of disorder, chaos, insecurity and filth.”



NEWS Greece arrests journalist over ‘Lagarde List’ banks leak


GREEK journalist has been arrested after publishing a list of about 2,000 Greeks who hold accounts with the HSBC bank in Switzerland. Kostas Vaxevanis has been charged with breach of privacy. Mr. Vaxevanis says the list he published is the same one that was given by the then French finance minister Christine Lagarde to her Greek counterpart. Some of those named, said to include many prominent Greeks, are suspected of using the accounts for tax evasion. The list was originally leaked by an HSBC employee and then handed over by Ms Lagarde to Greek authorities two years ago, according the the AFP news agency. Since then, successive Greek governments have been accused of trying to cover it up. “Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they’re trying to arrest the truth and freedom of the press,” Mr Vaxevanis said. Police clash with leftist protesters at the city of Heraclion on the island of Crete on October 28 The “Lagarde List” has angered Greeks hit by austerity measures He is due in court on Monday to answer the charges after publishing in the names in his Hot Doc magazine. “The prosecutor issued a warrant for Vaxevanis’s arrest because he published a list of names without special permission and violated the law on personal data,” a police official told Reuters. “There is no proof that the persons or companies included in that list have violated the law. There is no evidence that they violated the law on tax evasion or money laundering.”

Jimmy Savile: Gary Glitter arrested over sex offences F ORMER pop star Gary Glitter has been arrested on suspicion of sex offences by police investigating Jimmy Savile abuse claims. He was released on bail until mid-December, after being questioned at a London police station. Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was jailed in Vietnam in 2006 for child sex offences. Police are investigating allegations TV star Savile sexually abused some 300 young people over a 40-year period. Met Police confirmed officers from Operation Yewtree had “arrested a man in his 60s in connection with the investigation”. “The man, from London, was arrested at approximately 0715 on suspicion of sexual offences. The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed ‘Savile and others’.” Scotland Yard has said it is following about 400 lines of inquiry as part of the operation - which is looking into claims Savile, who died last

year aged 84, abused hundreds of young girls and some boys. Police described former BBC DJ Savile as a “predatory sex offender”. Karin Ward - a former pupil at Duncroft approved school for girls in Surrey - told the BBC she had once seen singer Glitter having sex with a schoolgirl in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC. Glitter has denied the allegations. Glitter is the first person to be arrested in connection with the Met’s Savile abuse inquiry. Gary Glitter in 1970 Glitter rose to fame with a string of Top 10 hits in the 1970s The glam rock star rose to fame during the 70s, selling 18 million records by 1975. Elsewhere the deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman has called for a judgeled inquiry into the Savile abuse claims. She told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “The trouble is that there are a multiplicity of inquiries. What we need is one over-arching inquiry.

“It should be independent because there are big lessons to be learned here, not just for the BBC, although the epicentre of it was at the BBC.” Savile is also alleged to have carried out abuse at a number of institutions, such as the high security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the same programme while what had happened was “horrendous” it was important not to “rush into a judge-led inquiry,” arguing it would take “much longer to get to the truth”. The BBC Trust’s chairman Lord Patten, writing in the Mail On Sunday, said the corporation must face up to the truth, warning it “risks squandering public trust”. Alleged victim Ms Ward was interviewed for the BBC’s Newsnight programme last November in which she made abuse claims, but the inter-

view was only shown on Panorama this week as the Newsnight investigation was shelved. Mr Patten told the paper: “Like many who work for the BBC, I feel a sense of particular remorse that abused women spoke to Newsnight, presumably at great personal pain, yet did not have their stories told as they expected.” It also emerged on Sunday that Savile’s former house in the Scottish Highlands has been vandalised and painted with abusive slogans. The BBC has already announced inquiries into the Savile abuse claims. The first, led by former Sky News head Nick Pollard, is examining whether there were any failings in the BBC’s management of the Newsnight investigation into Savile abuse claims. On Monday, former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith will begin a review into the culture and practices of the corporation during Savile’s time at the BBC. A further review will examine sexual harassment policies at the BBC.

•New York residents preparing for Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy: New York City transit suspended


EW York City’s public transport system is to be suspended ahead of the arrival on Monday of Hurricane Sandy. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the subway, bus and train services would shut down from 19:00 (23:00 GMT) on Sunday. As many as 375,000 people have been ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, and schools will be shut. Sandy’s winds are set to intensify as it merges with a wintry storm from the western US. A number of states on the East Coast have declared an emergency. Up to 60 million people could be affected by the storm, which is set to hit several states key to the 6 November presidential election. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “This is a serious and dangerous storm” The two presidential election contenders have modified their campaign engagements. President Barack Obama described the storm as “big, serious and

slow-moving” - and said it would pose additional problems. “It is important for us to respond big and to respond fast,” he said after a meeting at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema). Asked whether the storm would affect the vote, Mr Obama said: “We don’t anticipate that at this point but we’re obviously going to have to take a look.” Republican candidate Mitt Romney has cancelled an event scheduled for Sunday in Virginia, a key election state, because of the weather, and was instead heading to Ohio. Sandy has already killed 60 people in the Caribbean during the past week. ‘Life-threatening’ surge At 11:00 EDT (15:00 GMT), the eye of Hurricane Sandy was about 250 miles (400km) South of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, and 575 miles south of New York City, according to the Na-

tional Hurricane Center. With winds of 75mph, it was expected to bring a “lifethreatening” surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbour. This might turn out to be nothing. But it could be a defining moment” The centre said winds were expected to be near hurricane force at landfall. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said people needed to start taking action immediately. He said the worst of the storm would hit New York on Monday, but warned that a storm surge expected later on Sunday could do “plenty of damage”. “I don’t want anybody to go to bed tonight thinking that they can spend the day worrying about the night after,” he said. The mayor said 375,000 people living in low-lying areas should leave on Sunday. In his warning, Governor Cuomo said he did not want

to overreact, but to be “prudent”. He urged people not in low-lying areas to stay at home. Flights were expected to be affected - Air France says it will cancel all flights into New York and Washington DC on Monday. However, the New York Stock Exchange announced it would open as usual on Monday. “We continue to monitor the situation and to communicate with government officials, regulators, and markets participants,” NYSE spokesman Rich Adamonis told Reuters news agency. Similar precautions were taken last year as Hurricane Irene approached the East Coast. It killed more than 40 people from North Carolina to Maine and caused an estimated $10bn (£6bn) worth of damage. A man buys a generator in New York The authorities have published safety tips for people - including buying generators.

Syria: Rebel fighters are becoming radicalised SKY has seen new evidence that the Syrian uprising is becoming more and more radicalised and being fought by Islamic fundamentalists and extremists. The Syrian rebels have all but given up on military intervention by the West but after 18 months of grinding battle and a feeling they have been abandoned by the international community, they are making their own bombs and weapons and becoming much more self-sufficient. There are some weapons and arms being smuggled across the borders from sympathetic Muslim neighbours. We saw brand new rocket propelled grenade launchers with their rockets still in their plastic wrappers which had been smuggled across the Turkish border and an antiaircraft gun which the rebels told us had come from Iraq. But although that means that the rebels have many more weapons than they have had before, it is still small fry in comparison to the heavy weaponry, tanks and artillery employed by the regime. What is increasingly obvious is the number of Jihad (holy war) flags and Jihad paraphernalia worn and used by the rebel fighters. The black headbands worn by many of the fighters are a symbol of Islamic fundamentalism - used by extremist groups and usually antiWestern. The common refrain from many of the rebel fighters is that they have been forgotten by the outside world. Cache of weapons swized by Syrian rebels in northern Syria. A cache of weapons seized by rebel fighters A number of commanders told us they were disappointed, angry and frustrated by the lack of help from the international community. One said: “All we get is words, not actions.” I asked him how many fighters were from outside Syria. He replied: “Most of the fighters are Syrians. I would say 90% of the fighters are Syrian. Only a few hundred in the whole of Syria are from outside the country and most of them are from sympathetic countries.”

INVITATION FOR BID Federal Government Girls’ College ,Umuahia hereby invites interested and reputable contractors / suppliers to bid for the following projects in the College: Lot 1: CONSTRUCTION OF HOSTEL. Lot 2: PROCUREMENT OF STUDENTS AND STAFF FURNITURE. Lot 3: CONSTRUCTION OF 1 NO BLOCK OF SIX ( 6 ) CLASSROOMS. QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: 1. Company Certificate of Incorporation/Registration. 2. Company Current three (3) years Tax Clearance Certificate. 3. Evidence of Value Added Tax ( VAT ) Registration 4. Audited Account of Company for the last three ( 3 ) years. 5. Evidence of PENCOM compliance. 6. A copy of Company Profile. COLLECTION OF TENDER DOCUMENTS: Tender documents are available for collection with effect from Tuesday 30/10/2012,from The Secretary,School Tenders Board,Federal Government Girl’s College,Umuahia. Tender Documents attract a fee of N20,000.(Twenty thousand naira only). SUBMISSION OF BIDS: All bid documents must be contained in an envelope with “BID” boldly written at the top right hand corner of the envelope,and addressed to:The Secretary,School Tenders Board,Federal Government Girls’ College,Umuahia,Abia State. To be submitted not later than two (2) weeks from the date of this publication. OPENING OF BIDS: Opening of Bid Documents shall be by 11.00 a.m.,on 12/11/2012. NOTE:Only qualified bidders shall be notified. Signed: THE SECRETARY, School Tenders Board, Federal Government Girls’ College, Umuahia




President Jonathan and the floods B ARRING any other development of equally impactful effect, the great event of the year 2012 for Nigerians would probably be the floods that submerged many communities across the country, forcing a rude awakening about the reality of climate change and Nigeria’s share of this global phenomenon. Which is ironic in one sense more than any other, for when President Jonathan travelled to Rio de Janeiro to attend the Earth Summit, known as Rio+20, in June, many had criticized him for paying attention to “an irrelevant subject.” The principal lesson lies in how Nigeria shares with the rest of the world, the increasing challenge of climate change and its consequences, described in the Rio+20 document as “an immediate and urgent global priority.” The floods were caused according to the experts by excess rainfall, which resulted in the overflooding of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries, from Taraba, to Adamawa, Kogi, all the way to the states of Southern Nigeria. Natural disasters had always seemed to the average Nigerian like something that affects other people, and seen on CNN, and if there had been any knowledge of floods, it was regarded as something rare, occurring as a marginal reminder of the Biblical Flood. But this year, the floods reminded us all of how vulnerable our lives have become, and the sameness of both the rich and the poor in the face of natural disaster. Houses were submerged, farmlands were flooded, persons were displaced; the rich and the poor cried. This conflict between man and nature playing out on our shores, underscored the pivotal place of environmental challenges in the unmaking of human habitats. With water, an indispensable resource unleashing its power, the ordinariness of every man was exposed. Steven Solomon writes sentiently in his book Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (2010), that “by grasping the lessons of water’s pivotal role on our destiny, we will be better prepared to cope with the crisis about to engulf us all.” That pivotal role is ambiguous. We had failed to pay attention to this. In many of the affected communities, houses had been built on riverbeds, along flood plains, and reclaimed land, and for decades, persons had gotten used to living in those places, naturally and successfully, having no reason whatsoever to imagine the kind of tragedy that crept upon the land this year. When the floods finally recede, many of the affected houses would no longer be habitable: adjustments have to be made by both people and the authorities. In the meantime, we can look back, with pleasure, on the quality leadership that was demonstrated in managing the effect of the floods

By Dr. Reuben Abati

and in providing immediate relief for the affected persons. The incident brought government closer to the people; it highlighted the value of strategic institutions such as the National Emergency Management Agency, which deployed human and material resources nationwide, and worked with other agencies such as the Red Cross, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the state governments to ameliorate the people’s suffering. Deservedly, NEMA has received fulsome praise for its efforts. Needless to state that NEMA and other government agencies were responding to a strong charge from the very top, for as the flooding occurred, President Jonathan immediately directed that all relief measures should be mobilized to assist the states and the people. The moment called for leadership. And the President took charge as expected. He also promptly set up an InterMinisterial Technical Committee led by the Minister of Environment to go round the country to assess the extent of the floods. That Committee presented its interim report to the President at a meeting attended by state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly. The following day, President Jonathan addressed the nation and announced a 17.6 billion Naira relief fund for all the states, which was immediately made available for their use. All the affected states had set up displaced persons’ camps and were actively providing feeding, accommodation and health services. Further, President Jonathan constituted a National Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee cochaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, to raise funds to complement government’s efforts in assisting the flood victims, and to mobilise the general public to support the initiative. With these steps, the administration had pushed the management of the flood crisis to the level of high national priority, generating nationwide empathy in the process. n addition, President Jonathan announced that he and Vice President Namadi Sambo will visit the affected states. In the week that followed, Nigerians saw their President, without his trademark attire. This had given way to simple shirt and trouser, rolled up sleeves, and a face cap. The President travelled to Kogi, Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa, Taraba, Adamawa, and Benue states. He went from one camp to the other, identifying with the people, empathizing with them. He listened to their stories. He shared their agony. His own village in Bayelsa had also been submerged. When he went home to his village, Otuoke, he met his compound flooded up to chest level. In Kogi, he was told that a man who took a loan for his farm, and


had lost everything, contemplated suicide. Everywhere he went, the President took a message of hope, advising the victims not to commit suicide, but to remain confident that with government on their side, there is hope. Together with the state governors, he thanked the relief agencies and all the persons who had come to the rescue of the victims. He didn’t listen to official versions alone; he personally invited spokespersons of displaced persons to lay their concerns before him. There had been a baby boom in many of the camps: women who had given birth in the camps brought their babies to the President. He carried the babies, and posed for photographs with them and their mothers, the most impressive being a photograph of the President with four new-born babies and their mothers at the Makurdi camp. But the visit to the various camps was not without the touch of occasional comedy. In one of the states for example, one gentleman who felt that the spokesperson for the victims did not convey their feelings fully enough insisted on having a say in the matter. Some officials tried to prevent his intrusion. But when it was President Jonathan’s turn to speak, he collected the microphone and took it straight to the agitated fellow. Speak! It was with much ceremony that the man proceeded to narrate how people who were not affected by the floods were thronging the displaced persons’ camp to collect food meant for the victims and how this was already causing problems. He wanted the authorities to share the money that had been sent to the states by the Federal Government, directly among the victims in order to shut out non-victims who want “to shorten their ration”. President Jonathan deplored the cruel activities of those seeking to profit from other people’s misfortune, but patiently, he told the man that he had not come to discuss food, because all the state governments according to reports were doing a lot to assist the victims, and nobody would die anyway in any of the camps because of food. While government is providing necessary short term relief, the Administration is more concerned about how the people will manage their lives after the flood, how to prevent the outbreak of any kind of epidemic, how to rehabilitate the affected persons and how to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. Indeed, there has been so much preoccupation with the “sharing” of either food or money, and journalistic nitpicking over the ecological fund, whereas the Jonathan administration’s response to the crisis is much broader and comprehensive comprising short, medium and long-term measures. From the outset, the President had ordered an informed, multiperspective analysis of the incident and its aftermath to guide interventions. A mapping of the affected areas has been done, the nature and extent of the damage has been properly stud-

ied; engineers have been dispatched to the states to assess the infrastructural impact of the floods. On all his visits to the states, President Jonathan was accompanied by the House Committee Chairman on Environment, Hon. Uche Ekwunife and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Duties, Senator Clever Ikisikpo. e was also joined by the Di rector of Army Engineer ing, whose department had gone round to assess the damage and was providing the President with preliminary engineering analysis. Bridges linking communities collapsed, roads were washed away. Public infrastructures in the affected communities need to be fixed, and the military was also called in to help. In the wake of the floods, fears were expressed about the possibility of drought in the coming year. President Jonathan promptly directed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to intervene, and a National Flood Recovery Production Plan was immediately launched. Under this plan, the Federal Government is providing high-yielding, floodresistant seedlings and fertilisers for farmers, technical assistance and other incentives to boost the national yield, as well as releases from the national strategic grains reserves. The Ministry of Agriculture has since allayed fears of a food crisis, noting that the bulk of the country’s farmlands remain unaffected. Similarly, the Federal Ministries of Works, Water Resources, Health and the Environment have been directed to design other relief plans. In all of these, the Federal Government is collaborating with the state governments. The Ministers travelled to each state ahead of the President with their teams, and they were on the ground to provide necessary information. In the few states where there is no State Emergency Management Agency, President Jonathan has asked NEMA to work with the state governments to set up such agencies to further strengthen the country’s preparedness to tackle emergencies. When the floods occurred, there were also reports of a certain Cameroonian connection to wit that due to excess volume of water caused by excess rainfall, the Cameroonian authorities had released water from Lagdo dam; some other dams in Nigeria also had to be emptied raising the hydrological level in many places. Fact: the floods were predicted as far back as March by the relevant agencies. But we all took the predictions for granted. We are all such lucky people we often imagine that the worst cannot happen here. Even when government advises the people accordingly about likely dangers, the natural response is to resist official wisdom and insist that in a democracy, the people have a right to everything including selfimmolation. To prevent artificial contributions to the effect of climate change, nonetheless, the administra-


•Dr. Jonathan

tion has taken the additional step of reviewing available infrastructure that can serve the purpose. To this end, President Jonathan has directed that the dredging of Rivers Niger and Benue be expedited. He has also visited the Kashimbila Dam in Takum LGA, Taraba State, which is under construction. The buffer dam is designed to provide power and irrigation services, but more importantly to hold water released from Lake Nyos in Cameroon with a holding capacity of 18 million cubic litres. There are plans also, as part of long term intervention measures to build dams on the River Benue as well as dykes in identified vulnerable plains. President Jonathan has brought to the delivery of all these measures, passion, action and commitment. He asked the engineers in charge of the Kashimbila Dam when they think they are likely to complete the dam. “2013 sir!” He told them he hopes the promise will be kept because the nation cannot wait. he promptitude with which he has personally attended to the flood crisis has been commended by many an observer; the actual truth is that this is the nature and character of the man that Nigerians chose as their President in April 2011. He is one of the people, so he understands their feelings, and he speaks their language. He is informal, people-committed and devoted to the assignment that Nigerians have given him. He does not see the Presidency as a privilege-posting; he is committed to serving the people and making a difference, and he has removed “door-die” inclinations from the country’s electoral process. Nigerians, this includes those with politically determined ocularity, should see that whenever they are looking for someone to stand by them, Goodluck Jonathan is the leader that they can count upon.


•Dr Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Goodluck Jonathan

Visafone begins BlackBerry smartphones pre-booking in 88 shops


HE planned pre-booking announced by Visafone Communication Limited during a joint press conference held last Wednesday in Lagos with officials of Research In Motion (RIM) for the sale of BlackBerry smartphones in Visafone’s 88 shops nationwide begins today. Already, existing and prospective customers who have long awaited the launch of the first Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) BlackBerry smartphones on the network are excited at the new model of smartphones on offer and its promised superior quality of service. Global brand, Research In Motion (RIM), Canada-based makers of BlackBerry smartphones and

Visafone Communication Limited, the nation’s number one rated mobile operator for quality of service by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have signed an agreement for the launch of BlackBerry® services in Nigeria on Visafone’s Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network. This feat marked first-time availability of CDMA BlackBerry smartphones in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and it is a first in Nigeria. In a joint statement, the partners said the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9310, the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9370 and the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9930 smartphones will be available to customers from all the Visafone

shops for pre-booking from today. It explained that the launch will benefit any Visafone customer that wants access to email, Internet and social networking apps, including BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Facebook®, Twitter™ and Social Feeds. The Regional Director for RIM in East, Central and West Africa, Mr. Waldi Wepener enthused that “We are proud to support the Nigerian mobile industry with the first-time availability of CDMA BlackBerry smartphones in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Our partnership with Visafone demonstrates RIM’s commitment to working with key partners in Africa to bring the widest range of BlackBerry serv-

ices to people that want to be connected across the continent.” Chairman and Founder of Visafone,Mr. Jim Ovia said: “This partnership represents a big step forward in Africa’s mobile history and we are very excited to be at the forefront of such a ground-breaking development in the Nigerian market. We have responded to our customers’ demands for BlackBerry services by being the first to provide them with a suite of CDMAenabled BlackBerry smartphones that best meets the region’s growing mobile needs. More broadly, this launch is a major boost to the NCC’s efforts to achieve growth of data usage and quality voice services to the country’s 100 million ac-

tive mobile phone lines.” The statement explained that the range of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones run on BlackBerry 7.1 OS, which introduces a next-generation BlackBerry browser that is among the best in the industry. Browsing results are up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 smartphones and up to twice as fast as BlackBerry® 5-based smartphones*. It explained that the NFC-enabled BlackBerry Bold 9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9370 smartphones on OS 7.1 both come with BlackBerry® Tag which allows users to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content by simply tapping their BlackBerry smartphones together. BlackBerry Tag also enables friends to instantly add one another as contacts on BBM.



NEWS Suicide bomber kills eight in Kaduna church Continued from page 4

tal. The report also said one body and 14 injured persons were taken to Garkuwa Hospital, three injured persons were taken to Giwa Hospital and two injured persons were taken to Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital. An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Andrew, said the lone bomber was wearing a cross chain disguising himself as a Christian driving a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with a tinted glass. Some of the church securitymen were quoted as saying that they tried to stop the bomber from entering the church compound on the grounds that no vehicle was allowed to park inside the church premises. “The man came and we tried to stop him, he pretended as if he was reversing and all of a sudden, manoeuvred his way on a high speed and rammed through the church fence into the building. A loud explosion was the next thing we heard.” One of the Choir leaders, Mr Ezekiel Daniang, recalled the attack. He said: “As usual, we sing in between mass activities. I had just finished conducting one of such interval songs and I left to attend to another function within the church, when, all of a sudden, I heard a loud sound. “The people that were mostly affected are my choir members and the children, although some other members of the church like those on the altar and the priest were also affected, two persons died instantly including the suicide bomber, but there were over 150 others injured with some in critical condition right now” he said. An altar boy, Emmanuel Thomas, said the intervention of the Parish Priest saved him. “If not for the parish priest who drew me away, I would have suffered more injuries than I did. When we heard the first sound, the priest thought it was a spark of light. Then suddenly a heavy blast occurred, crushing the wall of the church and people started running. The next place I found myself was in this hospital”. There was tension across the city as the news of the explosion spread. Some youth embarked on a reprisal, but the timely intervention of security agents saved what would have been another round of bloodletting. Churches hurriedly closed services and sent their members home. Shops and markets were also hurriedly closed. Security officials started patrolling the city to stop any breakdown of law and oders. Heavily armed security personnel were seen patrolling the streets to prevent any possible breakdown of law

and order. Apart from the church whose building was partially destroyed, many other houses were either destroyed or had their roofs blown off. Christian youths took to the streets with machetes and sticks after the blast, targeting those they believed to be Muslims as anger again boiled over due to repeated church bombings in recent months. A mob beat a motorcycle taxi driver near the church, then put his bike on top of him before dousing him with petrol and setting him on fire, an AFP correspondent who saw the violence said. Two other bloodied bodies, apparently killed by the mob, were seen near the church. A rescue official, on condition of anonymity, also spoke of the man being burnt and said rescuers could not save him because the mob was too violent. The mob also attacked an ambulance in the ensuing violence, but there was no indication that rescuers were wounded. The Kaduna State Government called for calm and urged the people to ignore rumours of reprisal for the bombing. In a statement Mr. Reuben Buhari, the Senior Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Patrick Yakowa, said anyone caught spreading such false information would be made to face ‘the full wrath of the law’. He condoled with those who lost their loved ones and properties in the blast. Buhari stressed that the security agencies were on top of the situation and assured residents of adequate security. “So far we have eight dead and 145 injured from the church blast,” Musa Ilallah, regional coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency, told AFP, noting that his death toll included the suspected bomber. NEMA’s Kaduna Zonal Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Muhammed, said bodies of the victims had been deposited at various hospitals in the city. According to NEMA, four of the bodied were deposited at Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital, three at 44 Military Hospital, while one has been deposited at the Garkuwa Specialist Hospital. The statement said 81 injured persons were receiving treatment at Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, while 35 others were being treated at 44 Military Hospital. It said that 15 injured persons were also receiving treatment at St. Gerrad’s Hospital with five among them in critical condition. Spokesman of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Yushau

Shuaib, said: “A number of casualties have been evacuated to hospitals.” He confirmed that “the incident was suspected to be triggered by a suicide bomber in a car.” There are conflicting information regarding the number of the dead. Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kaduna, the Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso, said only four people died, adding that the number of those injured were still being collated from five hospitals. The Bishop said the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Bonni, was receiving treatment at the Multi-clinic and was in a stable condition. He described the attack as most inhuman. Rev. Ndagoso said: “It could have been worst. I have gone round all the hospitals where those injured were taken to in Kaduna. The saddest part of it is the children that where affected. “The impact was at the children section of the church. All the five hospitals I visited so far, most of the victims are children. You began to wonder that a human being in his full senses could do this kind of thing. “I think that people who can do this kind of thing need sympathy. I am convinced that they are out of their own mind. I know it is a very difficult and painful thing, but my message to the Christian community is that difficult situations do not make us less Christian, no matter how difficult the situations are. “In the same vein, difficult situations do not make us less human. We remain human and even in the most difficult and trying situations. This is my call, to Christians and Catholic Youth: never and never should they retaliate. I urge them not to retaliate because two wrongs can never make a right. “I am convinced that there are few individuals in this country who really want to plunge this country in to a difficult situation and they will stop at nothing. So, my call to Christians and Muslims is that the vast majority of us who believe in this country should never give them the chance, no matter what they do; we must ensure that we shame them”. The blast created tension across the city as some youths went on a reprisal, but security men were immediately sent into the streets to maintain law and order. Commissioner of Police Olufemi Adenaike, who visited the scene of the blast, urged residents to be calm, adding that security operatives were on top of the situation. He said he could not ascertain the number of the dead. He said soldiers and the police as well as other sister security agencies were deployed in the area to ensure safety.

FIRS generates N3.81tr revenue in nine months Continued from page 4

of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and non – resident individuals, Petroleum Profit Tax, Value Added Tax, and Education Tax. Others are Capital Gains Tax on residents of the FCT, Abuja, bodies’ corporate and non–resident individuals,

Stamp Duties on bodies corporate and residents of the FCT, Abuja. It also includes Personal Income Tax in respect of Members of the Armed forces of the Federation, Members of the Nigeria Police Force, Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Staff of Ministry of

Foreign Affairs and non- resident individuals. However, there is the need for more collaboration and partnership among relevant stakeholders within the territory in order to actualise the Service determination to expand the revenue base of the country.

Two shot dead in Rivers prison revolt

•Interior Minister, Abba Moro Continued from page 4

vice (NPS) is seriously on top of the situation as the agency is working hard to restore peace to the area. “We want to appeal to the general public to cooperate with the government in its bid to transform our prison service. The public should also not hesitate to make available vital information to the security agencies to get rid of crime in our society,” he said. A source, who was at the prison yesterday, but would not want his name mentioned, said the inmates were angry with the Federal Government over the overcrowding of the facility. The source said: “The inmates of Ahoada Prisons are always sent outside the pris-

ons to fetch water and look for firewood for cooking in the prisons, as well as engaging in other menial works outside the prisons. “On Saturday evening, some of the inmates were sent outside the prisons to fetch water. When they returned with the water, the warders wanted to return them to their cells, but they refused. One of the inmates picked a cooking pot and used it to hit one of the warders. “The protesting inmates then proceeded to the locked ATM cells and forced the locks open with iron rods, with the inmates joining others in the violent protest. At that point, the operatives of the JTF and policemen arrived at the prisons, but some of the inmates had already escaped through the broken wall, which is just being fixed. “I can confirm to you that four of the inmates escaped and nine of them are wounded, but being treated. Before the protest, the inmates had complained of overcrowding at the facility meant for 200 persons, but now having 502 inmates.” Rivers police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed the jailbreak and killing of the two inmates. Ugwuegbulam said: “Around 1700hrs (5 pm) on Saturday, inmates of the Federal Prisons, Ahoada attempted breaking out unlaw-

fully from custody. Ahoada police area command swiftly mobilised to the scene and together with other security agencies, cordoned off the entire perimeter of the prisons. “Consequently, the escaping inmates retreated to the confines of the prisons. Two of the inmates that tried escaping through the ceiling were shot at, to prevent their escape and were fatallywounded (killed) in the process. The situation has been brought under control.” The Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government, Chief Cassidy Ikegbidi, who condemned the jailbreak, lauded the security agencies for their quick intervention. Ikegbidi, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Mr. Blessed Oyagiri, said: “It is wrong for the inmates to take the law into their own hands. The people of the local government area should go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation, as security of lives and property is guaranteed. “I commend the security agencies in the area for their quick intervention. I wish to condemn the act exhibited by the inmates.” It will be recalled that the devastating floods affected Ahoada East local government area, where eight of the victims died, according to the Chairman of the Rivers State Flood Relief Committee, Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru.





certain elegance and grace filled each and every stadium around the world where Renate Lingor worked her magic with the ball. The former Germany international sticks in the memory as the last true playmaker in global women's football. A FIFA Women's World Cup winner in 2003 and 2007, Lingor finished on 149 appearances for her country, and earned a glowing reputation based on creativity and killer final passes. However, her down-to-earth personality and refreshing honesty off the field made her one of the most appealing characters of her generation. The Karlsruhe native is now 37 and hung up her boots in 2008, before joining the German FA (DFB) staff. She sat down with for an absorbing and comprehensive chat about the latest developments in the women's game, her assessment of the current German generation, and what she expects from the eagerly-awaited FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2012, to be held on 7 January 2013 at Zürich's Congress House. Renate, we've enjoyed another host of highlights in women's football over recent months. What are your fondest memories? Renate Lingor: Obviously, the absolute highlight was the Olympic Football Tournament, with the glorious conclusion of a rerun of the 2011 World Cup Final. Having Japan face USA in the final watched by an 80,000 crowd at Wembley in London was sensational. And the fact that USA prevailed this time simply proves there’s absolutely nothing to choose between the world elite these days. It's a question of form on the day, and that’s superb! On top of that, the U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan was a terrific experience for me personally. I was there as Germany team manager. The atmosphere was magnificent, especially as we went into the last few matches. I really enjoyed it. Germany missed out on the Women's Olympic Football Tournament this year. Was that a major setback? Obviously, it was agonising. But I still think we're on a par with the top nations at the moment, namely USA and Japan. Let's not forget we were knocked out in the quarterfinals on home soil in 2011 by the eventual winners. We’ve just played USA twice in friendlies, and both games finished as draws. That proves we're operating at the very highest level. However, it's a young team with a lot of potential still to be exploited. We're heading in the right direction, but the likes of Sweden and France will be exceptionally strong at the EURO. What was the biggest surprise of 2012 for you? [After thinking long and hard] Perhaps it was Canada winning bronze at the Olympics. On the other hand, the Canadians were never true underdogs, and from time to time, they've always shown they’re rightly considered one of the big names. They have a great team at the moment, and it's come together at just the right time, because what they achieved in London will give them a real boost for what will definitely be a magnificent Women's World Cup when they host it in 2015. It's not long now until the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala. You were there yourself on one occasion, when you finished third in the Women's Player of the Year vote for 2006. Oh yes, I have fantastic memories of that! I was already an experienced player by then and I'd seen and done quite a few things, but I was still nervous and excited on

“Oh yes, I have fantastic memories of that! I was already an experienced player by then and I'd seen and done quite a few things, but I was still nervous and excited on the day. The Gala includes unforgettable moments. For those who take part, it's something you're very happy to look back on after you finish playing. It's also a great chance to meet up with other players and coaches, and our male counterparts too. Naturally, you’re extremely proud, even if I always say football is a team sport. Without Birgit Prinz, who converted my passes into goals, I'd never have looked so good, because my passes would probably have trickled off into no-man's land otherwise. But you're still bursting with pride. Let’s not forget you've been recognised by the captains and coaches, another reason it's so special.”

• Lingor

Lingor: I'll never forget the Gala the day. The Gala includes unforgettable moments. For those who take part, it's something you're very happy to look back on after you finish playing. It's also a great chance to meet up with other players and coaches, and our male counterparts too. Naturally, you’re extremely proud, even if I always say football is a team sport. Without Birgit Prinz, who converted my passes into goals, I'd never have looked so good, because my

passes would probably have trickled off into no-man's land otherwise. But you're still bursting with pride. Let’s not forget you've been recognised by the captains and coaches, another reason it's so special. Who do you think deserves to be named FIFA Women's Player of the Year 2012? To be honest I'm thinking of Abby Wambach! She's been there or thereabouts often enough, and a

true member of the elite for years. Abby is one of those players you think has disappeared for 85 minutes, but suddenly pops up and scores. And her goals are usually crucial, especially in big matches, in finals. And who do you think could be the Women's Coach of the Year? Obviously the first name up is Pia Sundhage, who's led USA to another Olympic gold medal. And what about John Herdman, taking

Canada to third place. But I reckon you've got to include Norio Sasaki as well. He’s shaped and guided Japan for years and formed them into a world-class team. That's a remarkable achievement, I think. Do you think the latest German generation includes any players who could yet go on to become FIFA World Player of the Year? First of all, I'd mention our goalkeeper, who isn't part of the new generation. Nadine Angerer has been on consistently peak form for years. I have her as one of the best keepers in the world, and she would certainly deserve the award in my opinion. Otherwise, we have Dzsenifer Marozsan coming through. Just a short time ago, she proved her quality by winning the adidas Golden Ball for best player at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2012. However, we should give her the time she needs and not put her under too much pressure. Celia [Okoyino da Mbabi] definitely has the potential. She's come on fantastically well and is one of the German team's true leaders now. Who do you think deserves to be named winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or in the men's game? Obviously, all the talk is about Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi… but if you're forcing me to answer, I'm a fan of the little guy. Not exactly a huge physical presence, but what skill on the ball, so it's obvious why he'd be my favourite. It's the way I tried to play too, because I'm not exactly tall myself. You were one of that rare but prized breed, a genuine playmaker. So our final question is this: do we still have the classic ‘No10’ any more? Let me correct you here! I was only a playmaker at the start of my career. The position disappeared soon afterwards. Later on, I moved back to what you might call a ‘number six’, a holding midfielder. I recall it very well: our coach Tina Theune approached me one day and said: ‘If you don't want to end up as an unfulfilled talent, you'll have to learn about hard work in football.’ Fortunately, I worked that one out a little while later. We basically don't have these old-fashioned playmakers nowadays, but there are a few central midfielders who incorporate the skills and the quality - Homare Sawa more than anyone else, of course.




I was scared of returning, Wilshere admits


ACK WILSHERE admits there were times during his 14 months on the treat-

ment table he did not want to even think about football, but now hopes Arsenal can 'push on' after getting back to winning ways against QPR. Wilshere last played a competitive first-team game for the Gunners in May 2011 and was forced to sit out the whole of last season because of niggling ankle and knee problems, which also dashed any hopes of featuring for England at Euro 2012 or representing Team GB at the London Olympics. The 20-year-old came through more than an hour of Saturday's battling 1-0 win over QPR, which was secured by a late goal from Mikel Arteta after full-back Stephane Mbia had been shown a straight red card for kicking out at Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen. Wilshere was relieved to be finally playing again, having only been told he would start by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Saturday morning. 'There are some days when you came into the physio room and the lads were going out, you just do not want to be there because after 10 or 11 months it gets to you,' Wilshere said. 'I am happy to be back now, so hopefully we can push on.' Wilshere accepts it will take a while for him to be firing

on all cylinders, and could now be rested for next week's Capital One Cup tie at Reading with Arsenal away to Manchester United on Saturday. 'This is my first long-term injury, so I am not really used to it. After 60 minutes, my legs were going, so maybe next time after 70 or 80 then so on,' he added on BBC Sport. Wilshere had to deal with plenty of robust challenges from a hard-working QPR midfield of Samba Diakite and Esteban Granero, and the England international would not have it any other way. 'It is all part and parcel of football, there are going to be challenges on both of my ankles and my knees, it is part of my game and I am going to have to get used to it," he said. Relief swept around Emirates Stadium as Arteta bundled the ball home when inspired QPR keeper Julio Cesar was finally beaten six minutes from time, albeit from what looked an offside position. QPR, though, still had time


of the table on just three points, but not yet cut adrift. Hughes remains confident things can turn around with matches coming up against fellow strugglers Reading and Southampton. 'We are building in terms of performances. The guys are getting used to playing together. We are looking for continuity,' said Hughes, who berated referee Anthony Taylor and his officials for not ruling out Arteta's late winner. 'In terms of preparations for games I wouldn't question what we are doing. We just need to cut out the individual errors at key stages. 'We have played nine games, the majority against teams in the top 10. 'We have got a run of games coming up that hopefully will allow us to get maximum points.' Hughes added: "We weren't expected to win at Arsenal, but we have had a real go and given a good account of ourselves, so we will draw belief from that.'

Hughton pleased with performance


ITY Manager Chris Hughton was delighted with his side’s performance in the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Aston Villa on Saturday, but felt the display was deserving of all three points. Michael Turner’s late leveller sealed another valuable point for the Canaries after Christian Benteke has given Paul Lambert’s side a first half lead against the run of play. Villa’s Joe Bennett was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Elliott Bennett early in the second half as City set up camp in the opposition half, but had to settle for a draw after some fine saves from Villa ‘keeper Brad Guzan. Hughton told Canaries Player: “It feels more like one that got away, but it’s always a little bit different if you’re 1-0 down and you come back. “We were chasing and chasing and it was only right that we got the equaliser. “Over the 90 minutes I thought we were the better team and a team that deserved to win the game. But when you’re 1-0 down it’s always nice to come back from that. “You’re always worried when you’re behind, and it’s always hard to play against ten men. I’ve seen many games where you’re up against 10 men, and you have little effect. “That wasn’t the case today when they went down to ten men. We had the momentum in our game and we used that really well. “At that stage we got a lot of balls into the box, we got a lot of crosses in, and we had a great chance through Grant Holt, and we threatened. But until that goal goes in it’s always nerve wracking and it would have been a real travesty if we hadn’t got it because on the balance of play, we deserved it.” There were impressive, hard-working displays all over the park for City, and despite a lapse of concentration for Benteke’s opening goal, the defence looked solid throughout, with Turner also managing to get his head to a

• Hughton

Wes Hoolahan cross to equalise. “Credit to Michael Turner,” said Hughton. “He is a player that has needed a little bit of rhythm in his game, and I think playing games will give him that rhythm. “I was really pleased for him today. I was disappointed with the goal we conceded because it was a soft goal and we lacked that bit of concentration, but I was pleased for Michael and I thought he was part of a good XI today. “Overall I’m delighted with the performance we gave today. “There are good standards being set in these last two games and we have to make sure as a team that we maintain those standards as much as we can.” One slight concern for Hughton however was an injury to right-back Russ Martin, who was replaced by Ryan Bennett at half time. He added: “I’m hoping it’s not too bad, it was his back – it seized up a little bit but I’m hoping it’s fine. “We’ve got the midweek game against Spurs of course, but I’ve got options, and I can use them. As long as it has settled down by the end of the week then he’ll be okay.”

All square in Merseyside derby thriller E

VERTON came back from two goals down to draw with Liverpool in a pulsating Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday. An own-goal from Leighton Baines and a Luis Suarez

Man City hires Begiristain

ANCHESTER CITY has hired former Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain to take the same role with the English champions. The former Spain and Barcelona winger went on to work as a Barca executive between 2008 and 2010. He says ''the progress and on-field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honored to have been asked to contribute to its future success.'' City won the English title in May for the first time in 44 years.

to mount a couple of counterattacks, with substitute Jamie Mackie waltzing his way through the Arsenal defence only to see his shot blocked at the near post by keeper Vito Mannone. Wenger felt his side's desperation to secure a victory following the disappointments of defeat at Norwich and Schalke - which led to a heated atmosphere at the annual general meeting on Thursday - was behind their late lapse in concentration. 'It was psychological. You could see that as soon as we scored we just wanted to protect the result and we were 11 against 10,' he said. 'If the team is full of confidence maybe we give a chance away, but we would continue to flow forward. However, here we just wanted to protect the result - it shows you how quickly the confidence goes in the team.' For QPR manager Mark Hughes, it was another negative return from a performance of great industry. The Hoops remain bottom


City is second in the Premier League, a point behind Chelsea, which plays Manchester United on Sunday.

• Begiristain

header stunned the home crowd, but strikes by Leon Osman and Steven Naismith got the Toffees back on level terms, with all the goals scored in the opening half. Everton dominated most of the second period, but Suarez controversially had a goal ruled out deep into injury time, as the clash ended 2-2. A superb run from Kevin Mirallas in the tenth minute prised open the visiting defence, but Martin Skrtel’s interception deflected the Belgian’s low cross over the bar. From the resulting corner, Brad Jones’s slight touch prevented Sylvain Distin from having an attempt from close range. Liverpool opened the scoring soon afterwards. Jose Enrique’s low cross bypassed Raheem Sterling, who claimed a foul by Leighton Baines. Nothing was given, but Suarez picked up the loose ball, and his shot from a nar-

row angle cannoned in off Baines. Suarez chose to celebrate by falling in front of David Moyes, who had criticised the striker prior to the clash for his playacting and diving. However, Suarez was laughing again minutes later, after his glancing header from a Steven Gerrard free-kick gave the away side a two-goal lead. Everton, though, hit back almost immediately, as Leon Osman’s drive from the edge of the box deflected in off Joe Allen, following Jones’s poorly directed punch away. Suarez came close to adding Liverpool’s third, before, at the other end, a poor touch from Marouane Fellaini saw a fine chance for the Toffees go astray. The equaliser, however, arrived in the 35th minute. A fortunate touch allowed Fellaini to pull a left-footed ball, which perhaps should have been cut out by Skrtel,

across goal, with Steven Naismith slamming home a finish from five yards. The hosts finished the half well in the ascedency – Sktel was superb in the closing minutes of the period – but the sides went in level at the break. Before the restart, Everton were forced to replace the highly influential Mirallas with Magaye Gueye, due to injury. Raheem Sterling missed a superb chance early in the second period, lifting the ball over Tim Howard but also well off target, after being put in by a superb pass from Enrique. Baines and Everton had a penalty appeal turned down shortly afterwards, as Skrtel’s lunch made contact with the left-back, though the award of a spot-kick would have been harsh. Marouane Fellaini had been relatively quiet up until just before the hour-mark, but

then headed narrowly wide from a cross by Seamus Coleman, who then almost set-up Nikica Jelavic in front of goal.

• Leon Osman




By Innocent Amomoh

“Anywhere I go I never feel that anybody is too good for me to fight. I have beaten people who have 200 fights when I only have twelve. I am confident and I do not really care”


T only 24 years of age, he is lanky and athletic, but with a very tall ambition. Umar Sadiq, a Nigeria-born Londonbased amateur boxer exudes determination and extra-ordinary ambition. Born by a Kano State father and a Benue State mother, Sadiq is a member of the famous Repton Boxing Club of England, the club he represented at the justconcluded Annual International Boxing Championship against the Lagos State amateur boxing team. As usual, it was a two-phased contest between both sides, and Sadiq had the opportunity to compete in both phases, winning his bouts against Muri Sango and Wasiu Balogun respectively in the 81kg weight category. While the first phase is usually held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Grand Ballroom, Victoria Island, Lagos which is usually a dinner with six bouts of exciting boxing lined up, the second phase this year took place at the basketball hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, which serves as the grand finale. Sadiq stole the show with some entertaining yet accurate boxing skills in front of a packed hall which included dignitaries on both occasions. He had a way of working past his opponents with ease, reminding one of the legendary boxer, Mohammed Ali. Stuck between representing Nigeria and England, Sadiq is a graduate of accounting and intends to pursue a career as a finance executive in the nearest future. He said: “I moved to England as a kid when my dad passed away. I have spent a better part of my life over there but I am proud to be a Nigerian. I box for Repton Boxing Club which is the most famous boxing club in the entire United Kingdom. That’s who I am. I am a graduate of accounting. The national team coach Joe Mensah knows me well. I know he is proud of my performance today (On Thursday at the International Boxing Championship)”. The dark-skinned boxer is indifferent about what boxing holds for him in the future, but insists that he has other options to life and that his destiny is not tied to boxing. He however stated that he is one of the best amateur boxers around. “I want to continue as an amateur boxer, and if I am to turn professional, I’ll turn professional and if not..., but I still have plenty of things to do as an amateur boxer. I want to represent England or Nigeria whichever, I don’t really mind. I have been in Nigeria a couple of times, the people accept me and I love them too. I don’t know what I might be doing next but I want to take it one step at a time. I am a graduate and have so many business ideas apart from boxing. Boxing is not my only hope in life. “I do it because I love it. I dedicate my life to the sport; I eat well and train very hard. Like

Sadiq Umar: I want to fight for Nigeria you can see, I enjoyed myself in this year’s competition, so I just take the day as it comes. If boxing takes off, it takes off, if not I have options in life. I am hoping to work anywhere in the world and make good money. Success motivates me a lot. I love anything that is flashy, expensive and extravagant, and above all I need money,” Sadiq said. Recalling his worst moments as an amateur boxer, Sadiq takes this reporter through his ordeal, trying to start up as a boxer. He

explained how much he hates being on the losing side and how he gets hurt each time he loses a bout. And on moments he looks back and revels, he said they are countless especially when he wins bouts as a boxer. “I lost my first ever fight. Before I started boxing I used to train for fitness. The only reason I took up boxing is that I used to beat up a lot of good boxers in the gym, and I decided to try and see how it would go. When I lost my first major fight that was in 2008, I

said to myself ‘I am one of the best and I shouldn’t be losing bouts,’ I became very confident about that. I don’t just have a memorable moment; I have so many. I have won a couple of fights too and getting a gold medal is always a good feeling,” he said. His mother is presently in the United Kingdom and hopes to return soon to take him round his family members before he returns. On his dreams to fight at the Olympics Sadiq said:”I was at the Nigerian camp ahead of the London Olympics but could not make it due to injuries. That was not to say I was guaranteed to make the Olympics squad, but there’s always a next time. I know everybody in the Nigeria boxing squad, I lived with them for six weeks, we trained twice a day, they know me very well, they have my number and address and I am a phone call away.” “I work in an organisation that takes care of disabled people in the United Kingdom, besides that I box and when business opportunities come I take them. I have prospects both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, I think I am one of the best boxers. Anywhere I go I never feel that anybody is too good for me to fight. I have beaten people who have 200 fights when I only have twelve. I am confident and I do not really care. I was born in Nigeria and I will love to represent my nation, but any way it goes will be fine. But I am a Nigerian and I am very proud of it,” he said.




AWC: NFF relocates Falcons


HE Super Falcons have moved from the Villa Celoti hotel to The Hotel La Paz in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. The team was initially

lodged in a place deemed unsuitable by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.

"The rooms in the Villa Celoti were very small, with poor ventilation. Also, the distance between players’ rooms was quite much and it made it difficult to


3 indigent players wow Xtian Chukwu, Baffour in Enugu


HREE of the five talented young Nigerians who were selected from the Enugu zone for the semi final of the Glo Soccer Academy, Africa's biggest soccer reality TV show, reaped bountifully from their perseverance, grit and gut as they travelled hundreds of kilometers to the screening location and even slept at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in order to make their dream come through. The boys who travelled all the way from Benue state to edge out other competitors included Farouk Sule, an attacking midfielder and indigene of Kogi State but resident in Benue State, Monday Kyagh, also an attacking midfielder and Felix Owoicho Urama, a striker. They said their parents only gave them transport and feeding stipend which was not enough to stay in a hotel, adding that they braved the odds in order to triumph over their challenges. "We are happy we made it. We were sure our performances would earn us a place in the dream team because we have been training and playing street soccer together. We pray that we will make the final selection and we thank Glo for this opportunity," highly elated Farouk said. Others who were selected along with Farouk, Monday and Felix were Chibueze Aruo, an attacking midfielder and Okorie

Chukwuebuka, also a midfielder. Ex International and Captain of the former Green Eagles, Christian Chukwu, who made an appearance at the centre, described the Glo Soccer Academy as the best talent hunt in football for Nigerian youths. He said that he was the happiest man "because in our days, we never had this kind of opportunity that Glo is giving these young ones. This indeed is a grassroots opportunity," adding that "our boys should tap into this rare opportunity." Chukwu said kudos must be given to Glo for initiating the academy which he said "is a welcome development in the promotion and development of football in Nigeria". Another Super Eagles’ player, Sylvanus Okpala, a.k.a Quick Silver, noted that the chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga jr. (GCON), "has contributed a lot to the promotion of football in Nigeria and Africa and this soccer academy is another significant milestone in promoting football in Nigeria." Addressing the over 500 participants that registered for the screening exercise, ex-international and dashing winger of the Green Eagles, Tijani Babangida urged the budding footballers to make use of the "golden opportunity Glo is giving to you today by showing your best on

the field." Babangida who was joined by Anthony Baffour, former Nigerian goalkeeper, Zion Ogunfeyinmi and Chukwu to select the best five talents from Enugu screening centre, added that the "history of Nigerian football will surely record Glo on the positive side for the efforts it has made to support the game in Nigeria." According to Baffour, "Glo Soccer Academy is a fantastic project and a unique way of identifying untapped talents." One of the parents who brought his child for the screening exercise, Mr. Omu Cletus Acha, observed that the exercise "has been without partiality. It is wonderful as it stands the chance of taking Nigeria to the next level in football.” RESULTS: ENGLAND - PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 2 - 2 Liverpool Newcastle 2 - 1 West Brom South'pton 1 - 2 Tottenham Chelsea 2 - 3 Man Utd ITALY - SERIE A Catania 0 - 1 Juventus Bologna 1 - 3 Inter Milan Fiorentina 2 - 0 Lazio Pescara 0 - 0 Atalanta Sampdoria 0 - 1 Cagliari Torino 1 - 3 Parma SPAIN - PRIMERA DIVISION Zaragoza 2 - 1 Sevilla Levante 3 - 1 Granada GERMANY - BUNDESLIGA I. Stuttgart 2 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt

manage the team. Dr. Sanusi, and officials from the Nigerian Consulate in Bata insisted on an alternative accommodation for the delegation. "When we insisted that we were not staying there, the LOC were not ready to listen to us. We brought our luggage out and when they saw that, the they swung into action, looked for a hotel where we inspected and got the required number of rooms. "The team is settled now and they are raring to go. I have seen them in training and I am happy with the commitment of the players. I think the treatment they received in Equatorial Guinea has hardened them and made them more determined.”

Forget Chipolopolo—Kalu


RING on the Chipolopolo,defending champions are easy prey,Eagles must pick a medal in South Africa," according to the former Abia State governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who believes the Nations Cup Draw is a good deal. He said,"Eagles have a way round defending champions.From Zaire in 1976,Ghana in 1984,Cote D'Ivoire in 1994,Cameroun in 2004 to Tunisia in 2006,Nigeria beat all Cup holders. The only time that record was dented was at Angola 2010, by Egypt.Playing defending champions Zambia should not scare anybody. And records show that anytime the Super Eagles con-


Jamaica's coach lands in Nigeria •S/Africa's Olympic gold-medal winning Rowing coach joins him


UST one week after the Presidential Retreat on sports, the Delta State government is following suit with a Sports Summit in Asaba, holding tomorrow at the Grand Hotel. Unlike the Federal government's retreat which was on sports generally, the Asaba summit which is an initiative of the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan will be focusing on aquatic sports and track and field. Interestingly, the man on the driving seat of the new world power in athletics, Jamaica's Track and Field Coach, Bertland Cameron is among the resource persons expected at the summit. He will be joined by coach of the South African Olympic gold medal winning Rowing team, Barrow Roger, among other renowned sports personalities. When contacted for the sum-

mit, Cameron was ecstatic and happy to be called. “I am really thrilled because when I was competing, Nigeria was at the same level with Jamaica,” he recalled, asking, “what happened to Nigeria? It will be my pleasure to come down to Nigeria and discuss with you how Jamaica is excelling in athletics.” Top sports personalities like former Nigeria international, Adokiye Amiesimaka, Chairman of the Vanguard Newspapers Editorial board Ikeddy Isiguzo, Paul Bassey, Dr Ojeme Emmanuel, the Managing Director of Complete Communications, Mumini Alao, Managing Director Mastersports International, Ejiro Omonode, Vanguard Group Sports Editor, Onochie Anibeze are among those who will submit papers at the summit.

fronted Cup holders, they returned with a medal." Kalu described Zambia as a good meal for Nigeria."For 22 years now,Eagles have had them for lunch at the Nations Cup.They lost at Algeria'90, fell at Tunisia '94 when they made a Fairy tale grand-finale appearance, and lost again at Angola 2010." The former governor blamed the Zambians for their plight. "Zambia drew Eagles wrath when their 5-1 victory in 1973 not only booted Nigeria out of the Egypt '74 qualifiers,Gen.Yakubu Gowon had to disband the team, August 2 1973.Coach Joe Erico could tell this story better. In 1982, Nigeria travelled to Libya as defending Champions. In their all important final group match, Zambia disgraced us. After conceding two goals, goalie Peter Fregene just kicked the ball into his own net to complete the shame at 3-0. The same Zambia stopped Nigeria from playing at Egypt '86. That was Patrick Ekeji's last time as Eagles coach and Muda Lawal's sad farewell." According to Kalu,"the South Africa 2012 group reminds me of Ghana'78.Nigeria,Zambia and Burkina Faso [then Upper Volta] were in the same group. Eagles defeated the Burkinabes 4-2, and drew 0-0 with Zambia. Also, it takes me back to Libya '82 where they played Ethiopia and Zambia in same group. That was Stephen Keshi's first Nations Cup. He got a brace in the 3-0 demolition of Ethiopia." Kalu wished the Eagles well, urging them to prove they were no more on Ground Zero in the eyes of Nigerians.




NIPOGA 2013: Fedpoly Bida hosting to win

Lagos boxers send warning A signals ahead NSF P MATEUR in Lagos boxers at the weekend sent warning signals to prospective opponents at the forth -coming 18th National Sport Festival (NSF), Eko 2012 with some entertaining but yet purposeful boxing bouts. The Indoor Sports Hall of the University of Lagos sports centre was agog as spectators were given a bit of what to expect at Nigeria’s most glamorous sporting fiesta slated to commence November 27 through to December 9 in Lagos. The nine- bout competition, which is the 35th edition, is an initiative of the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF), in conjunction with the Lagos Amature Boxing Association (LABA), and had Dauda Azeez defeating Muda Owolaboi in the 49kg weight category in the first bout, while Salau Nuru could not withstand the power punch from the gloves of Taiwo Abiodun in another 49kg category contest. While Hakeem Akinnade of Olakins Boxing club defeated Isaac Oloyade of Badagry Pioneer Boxing Club in the 52kg weight category, in the 56kg weight category, Kudus Adeleke of Adeleke Boxing club also fell to Abdulahi Balogun of Brightes Boxing club as referee stop contest in the third round of the 56kg weight category bout. In the 60kg weight category, prolific boxer, Otto Joseph of Paramount Boxing Club defeated Saheed Lawal of Ajetunmobi Boxing Club, as Hammed Rufai of Diamond Boxing Club lost his bout with Adedeji Adekunle in the 64kg weight category. Meanwhile, fast improving Abua Christian defeated Saheed Lawal in the 69kg weight category, as Shina John

•As NBB of C boss lauds initiative By Innocent Amomoh could not contain the aggressiveness of Michael Oriyomi in the 75kg weight category. In the only female bout of the day, Mutiat Adebayo of Champions Boxing Club defeated Adekunle Funmi in the 49kg weight category. However commending the initiative, the President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Godwin Kanu said competitions of this mag-

nitude are hope for the future of boxing in the country. "There's hope for boxing in Nigeria from what I have seen here today. When we watch good boxing at the amateur level, it shows that the future is bright for professional boxing," he said. According to the ace administrator, the emergence of good amateur boxers will invariably transform into having the best professional boxers in the future, adding that

this is the kind of platform which the monthly boxing show provides. “It is the Amateur boxers that become professional in the future. When the boxers a kept in competitive mood, monthin-month –out, they aspire for greater heights. I will want to commend the organizers of this initiative for a job well done and hope that laudable project of this magnitude be replicated all over the country,” he said.



•Chairman Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame, Olawale Edun instructing Lagos State medal hopeful for the National Sport Festival, Olaide Fijabi after his bout at the International version of the Monthly Saturday boxing show held at the Eko Hotel, Lagos earlier in the year.

and Ramires. Branislav Ivanovic saw red five minutes before Torres, whose second yellow card prompted furious exchanges between the rival managers, and that was before Javier Chicharito Hernandez's winner, which had home fans screaming for an offside call. United were celebrating a two-goal lead after 12 minutes as they became the latest top side to ruthlessly expose Chelsea's shortcomings. The opener took less than four minutes, the Blues losing possession and Van Persie crashing a shot against the post, the ball rebounding in off the luckless Luiz. Ivanovic was fortunate to escape a booking for clattering into Young before United

struck again, Ferdinand this time the architect. The veteran ambled out of defence and found Rafael, who fed Antonio Valencia, with the winger's low cross instantly swept home by Van Persie. It was a goal of embarrassing ease against a Chelsea side Di Matteo had warned about the way they were starting games, but the European champions finally woke up midway through the half when Michael Carrick chopped down Ramires. Luiz's brutal free-kick was saved by David De Gea's legs, the Spaniard deviating from the goalkeeping coaching manual again to keep out Gary Cahill's header. Torres was having another shocker, but his failure to react

to a corner missed by everyone else was forgivable and his header was only just kept out by a brilliant De Gea save. The goalkeeper could do nothing, though, when Wayne Rooney needlessly upended Eden Hazard a minute from half-time earning a booking - and Mata stepped up to curl a sumptuous free-kick into the corner. Mata would have equalised moments later had De Gea not made amends for a horrendous clearance before Torres earned his first booking for a foul on Tom Cleverley.

HE newly appointed technical crew head for Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt seem to have recognised on time what his predecessors may not have known. In a chat with after the unveiling of the coach over the weekend in Port Harcourt, the ex-international was quick to note that he is not going to change Sharks pattern but would build on it. "First of all, they (fans) should look out for good football. They (Sharks) play good football and am are not going to change that. We will try to build on that and also improve on that and win games. Its all about winning", he said. He also noted the much pressure which is characteristic with the club and promised to instil discipline, urging the management to play its role well. "People that knows me know that I don't compromise discipline. Its the key word for me. Sharks football club is a very good team and its the pressure team here with a lot of pressure in Port Harcourt. Am not new to pressure. Having played for Nigeria before and also coached Nigeria, I know what pressure is all about. But the good thing is


Eaglets beat Guinea 4-0 again


IGERIA U17s defeated Guinea 4-0 on Sunday in Conakry to qualify for the next round of the African Junior Championship on a 7-0 aggregate. The Eaglets won the first leg qualifier 3-0 in Calabar a fortnight ago to now set up a final qualifier between the winners of the match between Mali and Algeria in the middle of November. On Sunday, the Eaglets led

•Games to gulp N1.49b •Solicits for sponsorships From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja cial support from the Federal Government, states, local government and most especially corporate bodies to help raise the N1.49 billion required to host the competition in Bida which the two personalities promised to have international flavor. The Nipoga President said the N1.49 billion would cover both the hosting of Nipoga and participation of Nigeria in the West Africa Polytechnic Games holding in Accra, Ghana also next year. “1.14billion of the amount is what will be used for the provision of facilities, administration and organization of the 2013 NIPOGA Games, while the remaining 350million will be expended on the training and sponsorship of the school athletes to WAPOGA Games. Right now we have contracted Pitch Affairs as the Marketing Company to help us in marketing this competition as well as raise the needed funds for us”, Sule disclosed.

Too much pressure in Sharks —Eguavoen

United edges Chelsea 3-2 in contentious EPL thriller OBERTO Di Matteo and Sir Alex Ferguson had to be separated as Manchester United ended their ten-year wait for an English Premier League win at Chelsea in controversial fashion The Blues finished with nine men and were beaten by a late winner as United made up for all the bad luck they had suffered at Stamford Bridge in one fell swoop to cut their opponents' lead at the top of the league to one point. Referee Mark Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres for diving after Chelsea had fought back from a David Luiz own-goal and Robin van Persie's ninth of the season to equalise through Juan Mata

RESIDENT of the Nigeria Polytechnics Games (NIPOGA), Engineer Abdullai Sule who is also the Rector Federal Polytechnic Bida has vowed that his institution would emerge 2013 NIPOGA champion at the end of the games fixed for October 2013. According to him, we (Bida) are definitely hosting to win and we have already put the machinery in motion to achieve that. We are banking on a very good preparations to achieve this”, Sule boasted. Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) President, Engineer Sani Ndanusa who also hails from Bida corroborated the NIPOGA President’s claims of preparing his athletes to win the 2013 Games. “I believe and strongly supported the NIPOGA President declarations that Bida will prepare very well to emerge winner. “You know that this competition is taking place in my place and I will support the athletes in their preparations to emerge eventual winner”, Ndanusa also promised. Both Sule and Ndanusa are, however, soliciting for finan-

•Qualify on 7-0 aggregate 2-0 by first half with goals from Alhassan Ibrahim and Isaac Success. Success scored again in the second half to complete his brace with goal scorer Ibrahim and Ifeanyi Matthew outstanding for the visiting Nigerians. Nigeria has won the U17 World Cup thrice in 1985, 1993 and 2007, but the class of

2012 are proving to be unstoppable as they have won their two qualifiers against Niger and Guinea home and away. They have also scored 17 goals and conceded only a goal in the process. The African Junior Championship will be staged in Morocco in April.

•Golden Eaglets players celebrate

•Calls for support Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt Port Harcourt people like me. Am not going to say everyone here must like me but people here likes me. And I hope that the Rivers people will give me a good environment to work. And as I said before, we are not going to compromise discipline and any player found wanting would face the music. No one knows tomorrow but collectively I think we can do a great job. Even you as the Press, we will need your support. When the players are not motivated, it becomes difficult and the management is aware of that, they should try to ensure that players are in the right frame of mind and we will definitely achieve". On the target set for the crew, Eguavoen say its necessary now to achieve it. "Sharks football club under the leadership of John Obuh won the WAFU Clubs cup and they've not won much in domestic league and that's our main target now to make sure we achieve it", he said.







VOL 7 NO 2,293

‘The restriction therefore comes with the added advantage of saving the law enforcement agents the problem of managing the menace of the high number of Okada defaulters. Our roads will be better for it.’



E read it in the newspapers and magazines. We saw the spectacles of nightmare on television. We followed the ominous buzz on the internet. We knew a tragedy was upon us. It was not the sort that humans made, but humans had to save. We could not live down the horrors of the story. Floods came in savage majesty, water levels levitated with the arrogance of height, lapping highways, humbling roofs, topping and toppling trees. Villages succumbed, towns shrank to the size of puny hamlets. Lush vistas ruined by rush of water. People fled, but not always fast enough. Nature is no friend of surrenders, not partial to escapes. Many died in the swash of its cruel journeys. It invaded homes, swept out privacies, pulverised memories. Memorabilia of ancient remembrances were gone, hostages to the pitiless appetites of watery graves. Water, water everywhere but not a home to save. Suddenly boundaries shattered. Water did not keep its contracts. River and land collapsed into each other. Where cars glided, canoes tumbled. Where children frolicked, fishes flourished. Where humans slept and sat at dinner, crocodiles and hippos swaggered with jaws. It was the definition of chaos, and an omen for the end of life. Homes of high and low fell. No bodyguard or military hardware could guarantee the integrity of the first private home in Otuoke, nor that of the subaltern farmer in Anambra State. It was a democracy of plunder, the equality of tragedy, the impotence of hierarchy. Who would not have contemplated apocalypse, when all of a sudden water rushed from its appointed place and came, sheets after sheets, roars after roars, threatening, shattering in endless arrays of conquests. Within 24 hours, we had refugees. This was not the aftermath of the Jos bloodsheds nor the Boko Haram rampages. It was nature, in its unthinking might, coming in incarnations of human disarray. It came not with guns or bombs, not with nozzle to aim or eyes to gloat, but with a malice of its own. When all of these happened, in as many as 24 states, I had a feeling of surrender. Much has been written about President Goodluck Jonathan’s late response, how he was in New York selling investment to Nigerians who followed him from home. But the story of flood is that of a failure of Nigerians as a people. We lamented privately, but on the whole we have done too little. As I write, many people cannot go home. Even when the water dries or returns to its natural course, home will not be the old home. Existentialist philosopher Heidegger wrote about home as the ultimate sum of all human effort. These people were


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009& 2010 (D.A.M.E)

Beneath and above water


dislocated. When they return, they will begin a new search. But this is not the time for philosophy, for abstract sympathy. African society is noted for its sense of communal empathy. But we have little of that now. Where are the rich among us? Other than Aliko Dangote who rolled out a huge sum of money, I have not seen much from private citizens. This is the time for corporations to show their responsibility to society. In spite of the huge profits of the banks, oil firms, and telecom giants, we see tokenism. They are quick to spend money on Nollywood impresarios, social conceits and concerts of vanity. Where is all that money politicians pay to help their ambitions and acolytes? It is time to turn the loot to charity. Where are the churches? I observed that they reacted to the

RIPPLES Don’t use middlemen to disburse funds to flood victims- CAN

refugees from Boko Haram torments with great mobilised materials and money. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) worked up the brotherly love of members. But the flood had no sectarian friend. The foe was humanity. The churches have done little. They can expend billions in expensive schools built with the poor’s tithes, but they have not risen to the needs of neighbours in various camps and schools in Delta, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kogi, etc. A few churches have given some help in the affected areas. But what did their mega pastors in Lagos do, in spite of the massive resources at their command? The Muslim brothers too have not shown any better love. When hurricane sacked Louisiana in the United States less than a decade ago, America rose up in a flush of cooperative help.


Churches, nonprofits, individuals poured into the area. They bore materials and haloes of hope. Our state governments not affected by the tragedies have acted as though grateful for the beneficence of nature for not enlisting them for these apparitions of torture. The Red Cross and a few other groups have helped. In my conversation with the head of publicity, Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, I learned of the limitations of the body. Of the over 130,000 Nigerians displaced, they have resources to help a small percentage in 10 of the 24 states. The Red Cross needs to be commended for their work of love. Of states affected, two governors have stood out in the work. They include Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Peter Obi of Anambra State. They have been mobilising people to bring relief to the displaced. If for its symbolic value, Gov. Uduaghan paddled a canoe. I thought it was quite an amount of risk. In the ambience of crocodiles, I wonder what the presence of guards around him could have mustered if the scaly beast lurked. They operate with stealth and could have surprised from under a canoe. So Uduaghan’s effort was not only symbolic but an exercise in understated gallantry. When the Bible tells us the story of the first great flood, God provided the ark for Noah. We don’t need a physical ark today. The ark is the love we can give. Why are people not flooding the places with the little they have, a widow’s mite mentality? We don’t have to be wealthy to give, we only need to empathise. Why can’t our musicians mobilise and do concerts in affected camps for free? Americans did the We Are The World concert for the starving children in the Horn of Africa. As Chinua Achebe records in his controversial There was A Country, a concert kindled sympathy for the starving children in Biafra. It is not that we don’t have it. Good leadership can light the quiet candles in our souls. In a recent visit to Ekiti State, I witnessed the efforts of first lady Bisi Fayemi who extends the Governor Fayemi’s social security programme with a food bank project. You want to see the joy in the faces of the poor as they took possessions of their bags containing food items. I wondered how the trickster would not replace the needy. Mrs. Fayemi assured me that a system of supervision guaranteed its integrity. Fountain of Life Church provides free lunch in a part of Lagos. Cash nexus and the individual ethos of the city have robbed us of the Noah’s Ark. We need to return to the compassionate society, to revive the village ethic and cooperative élan of our forefathers. We don’t need a flood to remind us. If we are faithful in little things, the national reflex will rise up to big occasions like the present disaster.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Obasanjo, Southwest PDP and sufficient discipline


or else, the MONEY might just GROW WINGS

‘We don’t need a physical ark today. The ark is the love we can give. Why are people not flooding the places with the little they have, a widow’s mite mentality? We don’t have to be wealthy to give, we only need to empathise. Why can’t our musicians mobilise and do concerts in affected camps for free? ‘


URING last weekend’s caucus meeting of the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which took place in Ibadan, former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo attributed the electoral problem the party was having in the zone to lack of sufficient discipline. If members buried their hatchets, he admonished, the party could make progress in its attempt to reconcile warring members and reclaim the zone from the hands of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). According to Obasanjo, “Our party is not sufficiently disciplined. People run from the South-West to Abuja to claim that they are the authentic group in the party. We should be tolerant. If you respect us, you shall be respected. The issue of structure is a serious problem in the PDP. Some people believe once they have structure they have all it takes. This is the tool they are using to destroy the party. Whoever ignores the word of wisdom will regret it. I want all of you to know that whatever your ambition you cannot unilaterally elect yourself.” The former president went on to counsel and challenge the national,

zonal and state levels of the party to carry out a review of the party in all ramifications as a prelude to achieving its goals. Obasanjo was no doubt referring to the loss of the four states of Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti to the ACN in the 2007 and 2011 polls. He expects that if the schisms in the party are healed, the PDP could win the lost states back from the rival party. The PDP National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Mr Segun Oni, corroborates the former president’s perspective by suggesting that the ACN was short on performance and was not immune to being upstaged. He also wants the PDP to create a level playing field for every aspirant to contest for the party’s tickets, and come together to fight as a team. Neither Obasanjo nor Oni, nor any other zonal leader of the party, said anything about the most important task the PDP has avoided for so long. Either in the zone or at the national level, the party has appeared not to recognise the importance of conceptualising and marketing a philosophical base for the party. Other than being known as the main

opposition to the ACN in the zone, the party has scrupulously avoided the mention of ideology in both its existence and campaigns, and has not spoken of the need to create a coherent body of ideas to undergird both its struggle for power and the systematic effort to deliver performance that would better the opposition’s. It is hard not to form the impression that the PDP is short on intellectualism and has merely embraced the rather simple and expedient notion that if a party could build roads and hospitals, that alone was sufficient to earn plaudits and votes for the party. Were our existence to be reduced to such inchoate pragmatism, we would end up being much poorer and less ambitious than we set out to be or is good for us. The PDP at any level is free to aspire to any height, but whenever its caucuses meet, let them meet under an atmosphere of deep reflections and robust intellectual exercises. If they find that hard to do on their own, let them hire the right thinkers who can help them climb the rarified atmosphere of philosophy where the few think for the many.

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

The Nation October 29, 2012  

The Nation October 29, 2012

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