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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

CNPP faults N30b plan for ID card

19 killed in attack on village

NEWS – Page 4


Page 7

•Parties say project unnecessary

•150 gunmen on vengeance mission


VOL. 7, NO. 1902 MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011



•From left: Music stars Lagbaja, Sir Shina Peter, Vogue publisher Ada Chukwudozie, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Director-General Segun Runsewe (OON), the Senate President’s wife’s representative, Hajia Rabi Mohammed, musicians Alariwo of Africa and Sunny Nneji cutting the ‘unity cake’ of the 51st Independence Anniversary at TBS in Lagos ... at the weekend.

Why dialogue with Boko Haram is tough, by Kukah


T will be difficult for the government to dialogue with Boko Haram, Catholic Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah said yesterday. Kukah, who played a role

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

in the resolution of the Ogoni dispute, said there has been a disconnect between the sect and their grievances. The Islamic fundamental-

ist sect has claimed responsibility for the bombings in the North. There have been calls for the government to open talks with the group, but the sect has rebuffed its over-

tures for peace. “Boko Haram’s grievance two years ago was their frustration with the excesses of the police and the military apparatus, but subsequently, there has been a

disconnect and we don’t know what they are asking for,” Bishop Kukah said. He spoke in Ibadan during the second National Missions Congress of Nigeria, held at St. Mary’s Catholic

Cathedral. He enjoined Nigerians to believe in President Goodluck Jonathan’s strategies in the war against the Continued on page 4

Jonathan under pressure over N34.1b UBE cash Governors push for change in law for access to funds


•Dr Jonathan

OVERNORS are pushing for direct access to the N34.1 billion Universal Basic Education (UBE) fund. They are mounting pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to amend the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act, to relax its strict guidelines and conditions. The governors, specifically, are demanding non-payment of counterpart funds as a pre-condition for accessing matching grants. But there are fears by stakeholders that the governors may divert the cash to political and cosmetic projects.

OUTSTANDING GRANTS •Kwara (N635,294,572.80) •Ogun (N1,350,389,166.74) •Osun (N934,172,951.18) •Ekiti (N934,172,951.18) •Plateau (N634,568,886.98) •Sokoto (N591,755,849.54) •Yobe (N634,568,886.98) •Enugu (N1,465,294,573.80) From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Governors tabled their demand for waivers at a meeting between the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Minister of State for Education,

•Lagos (N634,568,904.54) •Ondo (N311,390,985.54) •Oyo (N311,390,985.54) •FCT (N311,390,985.03) •Rivers (N934,172,951.18) •Taraba (N484,766,854.86) •Zamfara (N965,673,426.38) •Abia (N1,465,294,572.80) Mr. Nyisom Wike, last Tuesday in Abuja. It was gathered that the governors asked the President to revisit two conditions for accessing the matching grants.

The conditions are contained in Sections 9(b) and 11(2) of the UBE Act. Those sections read in part: “The Universal Basic Education Commission shall receive block grant from the Federal Government and allocate to states and local governments and other relevant agencies implementing the UBE in accordance with an approved formula as may be laid down by the Board of the commission and approved by the Federal Executive Council, provided that the Commission Continued on page 4





More jobs for NAFDAC, SON, Drugs, if properly administered, bring succour to their users. But, some ‘manufacturers’ adulterate them to make cheap money, keeping agencies, such as the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Customs Service and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on their toes, writes Assistant Editor (News) OLUKOREDE YISHAU


HEY smile to the banks, just for selling fake, sub-standard and adulterated drugs. But, those who pay to fatten their bank accounts often die a painful, quick or slow death. In some instances, they suffer irreparable health challenges. The drugs bought at registered pharmaceutical stores often turn out fake because the distributors deliberately place orders for counterfeit drugs which they mix with the genuine and then sell to unsuspecting patrons. In the world of the fake drug manufacturers and sellers, it is the case of the more you look, the less you see. They operate from dingy and obscure places where counterfeited drugs are packaged in such a way that makes it difficult to detect that such products are from the merchants of death. In the early 2000s, statistics show that over 40 per cent of the anti-malaria drugs in circulation in the country were counterfeited. The figure dropped to 15.7 per cent in 2005, only to rise again three years later to an unprecedented 64 per cent. It has not quite reduced significantly, said a source. According to a source, Lonart, a popular anti-malaria drug reportedly lost 40 per cent of its market, no thanks to counterfeiting. Last Thursday, the company launched a Mobile Authentication Service (MAS), through which consumers can detect counterfeited Lonart. The Executive Chairman, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dr. Obiora Chukwuka, said the MAS would assist the firm in protecting its brands from abuse by drug counterfeiters. The Federal Government has directed that all anti-malarial drugs be protected with scratch codes by January next year. Records have shown that Asian countries such as India and China account for the bulk of drugs used in the country. It has also been found out that the bulk of the counterfeit drugs in circulation also found their ways into the country from these countries. It was learnt that of recent, cocaine barons have been diversifying into importation of fake drugs, which they believe is less risky and equally profitable. The situation is giving relevant agencies sleepless nights. DirectorGeneral of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Joe Odumodu, said the country is under siege from other nations. “We are under siege from other nations. We are under siege from substandard products. But, we don’t seem to know it. Out of five products in the Nigerian market, four are substandard. From pharmaceuticals to tyres, aside from non-core consumables, we are under siege,” he said. Of recent, the law enforcement agencies stepped up efforts to checkmate drugs adulteration and counterfeiting. Several arrests have been made;

seizures were effected and tonnes of killer-drugs burnt; and warehouses of unwholesome drugs sealed up. In the last few weeks, NAFDAC has carried out impromptu tours of no less than 23 states. On October 31, three Camerounians will return to the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt to answer charges for allegedly selling unregistered and fake drugs in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital. The products have their oringin in China. The suspects - Penda Geougs, Nana Patrice and Andrea Capoel, were arraigned earlier in September by NAFDAC on a four-count charge of importing, selling, distributing and being in possession of unregistered, fake and counterfeit drugs. NAFDAC officials accused the suspects of operating an illegal clinic at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Abakaliki, where they also dispensed and administered fake Chinese medicines on unsuspecting members of the public. Six bags of assorted fake drugs labelled in Chinese language were confiscated from them. The offence contravenes Section 1(1) of the Food, Drug and Related Products (Registration etc) Act Cap F33 LFN 2004 and is punishable under Sections 6 and 7 of the same Act, and also violates Section 1(a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drug and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provision) Act cap C34, LFN, 2004 and punishable under Section 3(1) (a) of the Act. In the aftermath of a raid carried out last week by the agency, no fewer than 30 drug dealers, including pharmacists, who allegedly contravened the regulatory laws of the NAFDAC on fake and sub-standard drugs, were arrested by the Delta State command of the agency. The arrests were the product of an exercise that has been on for weeks in the state. Not long ago too, NAFDAC shut 10 fake drug stores in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital over alleged sale of fake drugs and involvement in sundry unethical practices. The officials assisted by security operatives used Tru-Scan to detect the fake drugs. Several medicine store owners took to their heels when they sighted the NAFDAC officials. NAFDAC’s Deputy Director, Spot Inspection Mrs. Comfort Makanjuola said the exercise was carried out to safeguard the health of the people. She said: “Makers of fake drugs in Nigeria have gone haywire and we are ready for them. We really need the cooperation of these sellers, especially in getting receipts for all their products so that makers of fake drugs could be easily traced and arrested.” The agency’s Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, said counterfeiting is becoming more dangerous. He described it as a ballon filled with water. The NAFDAC chief said: “Counterfeiting is like a balloon filled with water; you push it on one side, it goes and waits for your hands, and if you want to take the hands, it can bounce back even stronger. So, that is what we saw when NAFDAC

Blacklisted companies •Comet Pharmaceuticals Ltd. India •Coral Laboratories Ltd. India •Dew Healthcare Pvt Limited •Henkish Chemical Pvt Limited •Honest Trading Co. Ltd. China •Hubei Provincial Medicines & Health •Products Imports & Exports Company China •Intermed 4GK •Kamala Overseas Export Bombay •Medico Remedies Pvt. Ltd, India. •Merit Organics Ltd •Milan Laboratories •Milan Medical Stores, India. •Mission Pharmaceuticals Ltd •Novus Pharmaceuticals Ltd.India. •Pharmadeal Pvt Ltd. India •Rose Pharmacy •Sangola Pharma, Owned by Raj SHAH, India •Sangula Enterprises •Santacruz Medical Stores. India. •Shreechem Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd. •Sinochem, Ningbo Import & Corp, China. •Uma Medical Agency, Mumbai, India. •Unibios Lab Limited •Unison Drugs Pvt Ltd. India •Vardhman Export A-188TTC •Wardex Pharm Pvt Limited •Wellbert Pharmaceutical (Bombay) Ltd. India •Wellcure Drugs and Pharmaceutical Ltd. India •Yantai Foreign Economic & Technical Trade Corp •Pliva Pakistan (Pvt) Limited •Qingdao Yili Pharmaceutical Company, China. fought counterfeiting and reduced it to 15.7 per cent. But by 2008, we found out that more than the 64 per cent of the anti-malaria drugs in the circulation were either fake or substandard. So, you cannot celebrate that you have gained some victory, especially now that it is even more dangerous.” The situation has put other agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on their toes.

•Fake drugs being burnt

The Nation learnt that the Customs officials have developed a system, which allow them know the content of a container ahead of its arriver. Once the content is identified as pharmaceutical in nature, they allow NAFDAC to inspect the consignment. Customs confirmed that a lot of counterfeit drugs are smuggled into the country. The agency on its website said: “Smuggling ...can destroy people’s health through importation of expired, fake, and other drugs.” Though it claimed to have reduced smuggling generally, but the

•Mobile Automation System (MAS) for drugs

drug-fighting agencies remain handicapped. NAFDAC, for instance, has serious financial constraints. The agency operates with few old Peugeot 504 cars, with one or two for each local government areas. These vehicles, because of their age, often break down while on opeartions. But the agency is not resigning to fate. It has been trying to make up with modern technologies, one of which is the Truscan, a new invention by the United States (US) military. With this, it scans imported products at the Ports and releases them on time without compromising their quality. NAFDAC is also working towards a situation where there will be standard drug market centres across the country. The centres, it was learnt, are to be manned with Truscan to ensure that drugs are tested before they are transferred to the various distribution points. When they become operational, NAFDAC will sanction any importer or manufacturer whose products are found in the open drug market without going through the centres. For now, the merchants of death still beat the system to line their pockets with what observers have described as blood money.




Customs over drug counterfeiting How new technology can stop fake drugs


HE Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) was developed by a Cambridge, United Kingdom-based company, Sproxil. The company said it developed the technology for some pharmaceutical companies to help countries such as Nigeria where the simple act of popping a pill can be life threatening. It said it has already sold millions of anti-counterfeit labels in Nigeria. Using a system it calls mobile product authentication, Sproxil allows customers to text a number on the package to confirm or refute the drug’s authenticity. The company’s founder Ashifi Gogo said: “The process is designed to use the abundance of cellphones to empower the consumers to avoid purchasing fake products. This way, they can reestablish trust between the consumer and the pharmacy.’’ The drug manufacturers which hired Sproxil have agreed to embed on each package a scratch-off panel. The customer is expected to type in the code revealed by scratching the panel and send it via a free text message to a Sproxil line. An almost immediate response indicates whether the medicine has been manufactured by a reputable pharmaceutical company or is a fake. “This is a hugely innovative idea that we think could be a real game changer in terms of how pharmaceuticals are delivered,’’ said Shuaib A. Siddiqui, a portfolio manager with Acumen Fund, a New York non-profit that invests in companies providing services

•Mr Gogo

to the poor in developing countries. “This can really ensure that the poor are getting access to quality drugs.’’ Acumen has this year invested $1.8 million in Sproxil on the strength of its idea and the relationships that Gogo has been able to build with major international drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as pharmacies in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and elsewhere. Gogo, who holds a PhD from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, said he was moved to develop the technology by the magnitude of the counterfeiting problem. “For tuberculosis and malaria alone, up to 700,000 people die every year due to fake products,’’ he said. “That’s four jumbo jets full of people dying every day.’’ With this system, it will be easier for consumers to determine whether or not a medication is what it says it is, made by a reputable company, or a clever copy. Another organisation, mPedigree , in conjunction with HP Labs as the technology provider, has also launched a similar project to track and authenticate a range of lifesaving drugs in Nigeria and Ghana. “This technology not only provides commercial benefits to clients, but also helps to save lives,” said Prith Banerjee, senior vicepresident (research) and director of HP Labs.

‘Our battle against fake drugs’ T

HE Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul Orhii has said drug counterfeiting is a global problem. He said the agency has had to employ technological advancement to tackle the menace. He told The Nation that the agency introduced the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) to authenticate drugs. MAS was launched last Thursday. Orhii said: “Following the success recorded by MAS, and the agreement of stakeholders that the MAS be deployed to protect consumers and products, all antimalarias are to be protected with scratch codes by January 2012. “We have adopted a holis-

By Wale Adepoju

tic, multifaceted, diverse and well-coordinated anti-counterfeiting strategy that transcends local, national and international boundaries. The anti-counterfeiting technology platform will help to provide additional layer of security from counterfeiters while re-assuring the public of the agency concern for their safety.” He said drug counterfeiting is preventing over 270 million people from accessing quality medicine across the world, with Nigeria being one of the most affected. The NAFDAC boss said the MAS would complement other methods such as surveillance, Truscan , minilabs , the black eye device, mass awareness on television and radio jingle. The goal is to rid the country of fake drugs, ensure consumer safety

and market share of pharmaceutical companies. He said the MAS, which was developed by Sproxil, was introduced to NAFDAC by a former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi. He said Nigeria was the first country to deploy the MAS to fight drug counterfeiting. The success of this is hinged on the fact that the use of Short Messaging Service (SMS), otherwise known as text messaging, provides a platform for over 80 million mobile phone users in Nigeria, to authenticate their products at the point of purchase. Last February, NAFDAC in conjunction with Sproxil and Biofem Pharmaceuticals launched the pilot phase of the MAS in the country, using glucophage, an anti-diabetic agent as a case study, which counterfeit operations had

•Dr Orhii

eroded its market share. The MAS is believed to have helped Biofem regain its market because customers began to ask specifically for sachets with scratch off labels. The success recorded, said Orhii made the agency decide to start its real implementation. NAFDAC, in its effort to

combat drug counterfeiting, has adopted various strategies such as sustained public enlightenment campaigns, continuous training and retraining of officers to strengthen regulatory capacity, review of its laws and improved international collaboration, he added.



NEWS Why dialogue is tough, by Kukah Continued from page 1

•Students of Abia State University protesting the alleged gang-rape of a female student of the school on their campus ... at the weekend.

activities of Boko Haram. Bishop Kukah urged Nigerians to conquer fear and desist from activities that create more fear and confusion through bomb scares and unguided statements. He said: “Everybody has become an expert in conversations regarding Boko Haram without realising that we are playing into the hands of very dangerous elements. They have succeeded in instilling fear in all of us. “It is now pertinent to believe what Jonathan said in his Independence Day broadcast. We should believe in the strategies and plans he has put on ground to curb this Boko Haram menace. We should encourage the government in this onerous task.” He said conquering the Boko Haram crisis is the responsibility of every Nigerian because “we all must join hands with the government”

Jonathan under pressure over N34.1b UBE cash Continued from page 1

shall not disburse such grant until it is satisfied that the earlier disbursements have been applied in accordance with the provisions of this Act. “For any state to qualify for the Federal Government block grant pursuant to subsection 1(1) of this section, such state shall contribute not less than 50 per cent of the total cost of projects as its commitment in the execution of the project.” A meeting of the National Economic Council, headed by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, is expected to be convened this week or later to consider the governors’ demand. A source in the Presidency said: “The governors are mounting pressure on the President to reconsider the guidelines for accessing of funds for the UBE scheme. “But the President cannot unilaterally review the guidelines without the amendment of the UBE Act through the parliament. “Discussions are still ongoing among stakeholders. It is

OUTSTANDING GRANTS •Adamawa (N311,390,985.10) •Anambra (N1,465,294,572.80) •Bayelsa (N1,630,091,868.80) •Borno (N333,294,563.84) •Delta (N3,111,390,985.54) •Edo (N634,568,886.54) •Imo (N1,228,972,951.14) •Kaduna (N311,390.985.54) •Katsina (N311,390,985.54) •Kogi (N622,172,951.18) •Niger (N771,881,374.78) too early to conclude whether the President will bow to the governors’ request or not.” A governor confirmed the demands. He said governors are disappointed that funds have been lying idle as some states are unable to access their matching grants because they cannot afford counterpart funding. “What we want is direct disbursement of funds due to the states for UBE implementation without any condition,” the governor, who pleaded not to be named, said, adding: “We have been lobbying the President to make access-

•Akwa Ibom (N1,465,294,572.80) •Bauchi (N311,755,850.54) •Benue (N2,113,909,436.80) •Cross River (N934,172,951.18) •Ebonyi (N2,297,727,005.24) •Gombe (N634,568,889.98) •Jigawa (N634,568,886.98) •Kano (N2,297,727,004.80) •Kebbi (N634,568,887.64) •Nasarawa (N2,297,727,004.80)

ing the funds easier. Ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua, to a large extent, assisted us by taking matching grants to commercial banks. But we cannot secure loan facility that would enable us to draw our matching grants. “We are actually pushing for amendment to the UBE Act to accelerate the implementation of the scheme.” But a stakeholder, who spoke in confidence, said: “The governors are after the UBE cash, which they see as alternative source of funds for other projects. “Our worry is that politics is creeping into UBE funds and the Presidency needs to

avoid falling into the trap of the governors,” he said. The total disbursement of the UBE funds as at July 5, 2011 is N113, 919,169,985.99. The un-accessed balance is N34,152,729,107.03. According to a recent report, six states have not accessed their grants since 2008; 11 did not respond in 2009; and 27 states left their grant unattended in 2010. The breakdown of the outstanding N34.1b grant is as follows: Abia (N1,465,294,572.80); Adamawa (N311,390,985.10); Akwa Ibom (N1,465,294,572.80); A n a m b r a

(N1,465,294,572.80); Bauchi (N311,755,850.54); Bayelsa (N1,630,091,868.80); Benue (N2,113,909,436.80); Borno (N333,294,563.84); Cross River (N934,172,951.18); Delta (N3111,390,985.54); Ebonyi (N2,297,727,005.24); Edo (N634,568,886.54); Ekiti (N934,172,951.18); Enugu (N1,465,294,573.80); Gombe (N634,568,889.98); and Imo (N1,228,972,951.14). Others are: Jigawa (N634,568,886.98); Kaduna (N311,390.985.54); Kano (N2,297,727,004.80); Katsina (N311,390,985.54); Kebbi (N634, 568,887.64); Kogi (N622,172,951.18); Kwara (N635,294,572.80); Lagos (N634,568,904.54); Nasarawa (N2,297,727,004.80); Niger (N771,881,374.78); Ogun (N1,350,389,166.74); Ondo (N311,390,985.54); Osun (N934,172,951.18); Oyo (N311,390,985.54); Plateau (N634,568,886.98); Rivers (N934,172,951.18); Sokoto (N591,755,849.54); Taraba (N484,766,854.86); Yobe (N634,568,886.98); Zamfara (N965,673,426.38); FCT (N311,390,985.03).

Abdumutallab’s trial opens in U.S. today


IGERIAN Umar F a r o u k Abdulmutallab accused of attempting to blow up a packed United Statesbound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 returns to court today for trial in Detroit, United States. His action is regarded as one of al-Qaeda’s biggest plots. The jury to try the case will be selected this week before the underwear bomber contests the charges that he tried to kill nearly 300 people aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Holland to Detroit. The trial will be closely watched as it comes three days after the killing of AlQaeda leader Anwar alAwlaqi in a US air strike in Yemen. American intelligence officials have repeatedly linked US-born cleric Awlaqi to the Christmas Day operation. The prospects of court room drama are high as Abdulmutallab, 24, fired his

attorneys and has insisted on representing himself. Finding jurors who say they are able to consider the evidence impartially could also prove difficult. The Christmas Day plot was foiled when explosives stitched into Abdulmutallab’s underwear failed to detonate and only caused a small fire, allowing passengers and crew members to restrain him. The botched operation triggered global alarm and led the United States to adopt stringent new screening and security measures, including controversial patdowns at airports and a massive expansion of the no-fly list. The reputation of the US intelligence services also took a hit because Abdulmutallab’s father, a former Chairman of First Bank, had warned the CIA about his son’s growing Islamic radicalisation. Republicans capitalised on the missteps and the revived security fears to paint President Barack Obama as weak

on terror, as well as to undermine his plans for shutting down Guantanamo Bay and prosecuting self-confessed 9/ 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other highprofile “enemy combatants” held there in US civilian courts. Judge Nancy Edmunds has repeatedly urged Abdulmutallab to let a lawyer argue his case and appointed “standby counsel” to help him prepare. While he accepted some help, Abdulmutallab insists he will make his own opening statement and will question witnesses. “This is the American legal system on display for the world. That’s important,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University and former federal prosecutor. “The judge has to ensure this trial is conducted fairly without letting it dissolve into a circus,” he said in a recent interview. “That’s difficult to do because Mr.

Abdulmutallab has his own agenda.” Zacarias Moussaoui, the only 9/11 plotter to be tried in a US court, also represented himself and tried to use his trial as a platform for al-Qaeda propaganda. Abdulmutallab was calm and respectful at the bulk of his pre-trial hearings, but as the case moved closer to trial he became disruptive and unruly. It started in August with a series of handwritten motions in which he asked to be released from custody because Muslims “should only be judged and ruled by the law of the Qur’an” and accused guards at the federal detention centre in Milan, Michigan of using “excessive force” during Ramadan. He shouted out “Osama’s alive”, referring to slain alQaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and complained to reporters about his “prison clothes” as he walked into court for a September 15 pretrial hearing.

He then refused to stand when the court was called to attention and even propped his feet up on the defence table while watching prospective jurors fill out questionnaires ahead of the formal jury selection. The prospective jurors — who were in another room — witnessed his antics on the two-way video feed but it was unclear if they could hear him holler “jihad” when Judge Edmunds briefed them about his alleged crimes. At a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, Edmunds dismissed Abdulmutallab’s objection to the prosecution’s request to show jurors his martyrdom video and a video demonstration of the power of the explosives. Jurors will also be shown a reproduction of the underwear that Abdulmutallab allegedly wore to hide the explosives and are expected to hear testimony from the plane’s passengers and crew. Opening statements are expected on October 11.

Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna and Episcopal Chairman of the National Missionary Council of Nigeria, Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, said dialogue and the pursuit of peaceful co-existence among religious groups is imperative for National development and stability. This, he noted, were integral duties of all Catholic Missions. Also in Ibadan at the weekend, Head, Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Dr Osisioma Nwolise, said the Boko Haram sect is not a terrorist organisation. The expert in terrorism described the group as a liberation force in the mould of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and others which emerged as a result of struggle for social justice. Nwolise spoke on the theme: “Nigeria @ 51: Where is the life more abundant for the masses?” at a public lecture and award ceremony to mark the independence anniversary. It was organised by the Centre for Good Governance in Africa. Dr Nwolise explained that the abundant life promised Nigerians by the nationalists at independence has remained elusive. He said: “Between 1450s and 1850s, over 400,000 Africans were forcibly carried away as slaves. Today, if a slave ship of one million capacity berths at Apapa port and calls for those who want to go voluntarily to the United States, United Kingdom, on slavery and the the ship will not take one hour to be filled. It shows the extent our post-independence political rulers have devalued our lives,” he said. Programme coordinator Adefemi Johnson, said while it was noteworthy that President Jonathan has finally made up his mind to carry out power sector reforms, it is important for him not to delay in executing programmes and projects that will bring better tidings to citizens. The Director General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja, the chairman of Offa Local Government, Kwara State, Mr Saheed Popoola, and others received African Symbol for Quality Leadership award.

19 dead in Zamfara attack


GROUP of about 150 people armed with guns and machetes invaded Lingyado village in Zamfara State yesterday. They moved from door-todoor, shooting or slashing anybody in sight. They operated for hours unmolested. At the end, no fewer than 19 persons lay dead. Scores of others were injured, many of them critically. It was not clear whether the assailants were Boko Haram men. The attack was believed to be a planned retaliatory action for an earlier attack on another village last August. The attackers were believed to have come from the neighbouring village. After the attack, troops were deployed in Lingyado to restore the peace. Zamfara State police spokesman Sanusi Amiru said the attack happened early in the morning. A local elder told was quoted by as confirming the attack.

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NEWS To their owners, they are homes but the government views them as obstructions on drainage paths. Hence, such structures must give way, writes MIRIAM NDIKANWU

Lagos demolishes shanties in Agege N

O fewer than 25 houses built on drainage channels were yesterday demolished by the Lagos State Task Force on the Environment and Miscellaneous Offences. The demolition was part of the government’s promise to clear all the drainage path in the Centre of Excellence of all obstructions. Mostly affected were scores of residents on Odejobi Street, Agege, a Lagos suburb. Bulldozers overran the shanties and illegal structures, which hitherto served as their homes. The homes were built along the rail line near the Abattoir. Some residents, mostly the aged, were seen making frantic efforts to move their properties as the bulldozers roared to bring down the structures. A resident, Nurudeen Rasaq, lamented the development which he said rendered many, especially the aged, homeless. Rasaq, who confirmed that they had earlier been notified by the state authorities through abatement and demolition notices, complained that the enforcement team did not stick to the earlier arrangement. His words: “When they notified us about the demolition, they said they will not pull down the entire structures, but only about six to eight metres will be affected. You can see that some of the property owners have already removed the roofs, but we were shocked when they came this (yesterday) morning and pulled down the entire structures. We don’t know what to do again.” He said none of the victims benefited from the N50, 000 compensation which the government gave affected persons. “None of the landlords here received anything. The people that received money were

tenants selling, and they were those that collected the forms when the government enumeration team visited. How much is even N50, 000? More so, most of the landlords were not aware of the form in the first place; some had left for their various places of work. We only got to know about the money when they came to inform us from Alausa,” he said. A woman in her late 80’s, Mrs. Victoria Osho, whose home was demolished, was helped to a safe place by some women and youths, as she struggled to walk. Mrs Osho, who spoke in Yoruba, said she was taken unawares as she had no clue about the demolition, until yesterday morning when the bulldozer arrived. According to her, she had been left with no alternative accommodation. Another affected person at the railway extension, Freeman, an indigene of Kano State, said he was in Lagos to do business. He lamented the plight of the people, saying the government was not fair by demolishing structures that provide shelter for low income earners. He said: “It is unfair that government is sending us away from here without providing alternative for us. We are law abiding citizens and we voted en masse for this government. The last time they came here to demolish our structures, our leaders went to discuss with them and thereafter they allowed us to stay. But here they are today sending us out in this manner as if we are criminals, where do they want us to go to now”, Freeman lamented. But, the Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Other Special Offences, Mr Bayo Sulaimon, a Superintendent of Police, who led the demolition squad, said the directive to rid the area of

•(Top) Houses reduced to rubbles by buldozers to create channels for easy flow of water in a streetin Agege, a Lagos suburb; (Down) belongings salvaged by residents before the buldozers pulled down the marked houses. PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES

shanties came from Governor Babatunde Fashola after the July 10 flood. Suleimon said: “After the visit of the governor on July 11, properties sitting directly on the drainage channels were marked for demolition and the occupants were given a token to enable them relocate to other places. They were all duly informed about the demolition we came here to carry out.”

Suleimon said the place could be an easy hideout for criminals. An official of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Adekunle Rufai, said a 10metre extension on either side would be required to expand the canal through Odejobi Street. He noted that the area had been prone to flood for years. He said: “If you have been tracing the history, you will notice that when it

rained, the area will be submerged in flood for months. What the government is doing now is the permanent solution to the challenge. “ So, some other structures on the other sides are being removed as well as those ones that are in very distressed state because it will not be good that after constructing the drainage channels, we will start experiencing building collapse.”

Community in tears as The Nation man Bardi is buried


GBODU, a rustic community in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, was silent at the weekend, as it buried one of its sons, Mr Chukwuka Bardi. Until his death, Bardi was a pre-press manager with Vintage Press Limited, publisher of The Nation. Bardi, who died at 44, was survived by a wife, three children and four brothers. Wearing mournful looks, men, women and youths of the community waited patiently for the arrival of the funeral procession into the Bardi compound at Ogbe-Obi quarters. Sympathisers wailed uncontrollably when they heard the blaring of the ambulance that brought in the remains of Bardi at exactly 4pm. Residents, especially women ululated as grim-faced men brought out the Mahogany casket

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

with gold trimmings that bore Bardi’s remains out for the funeral service at St Thomas Catholic Church, Catholic Diocese of IsseleUku Ogbodu. The officiating priest, Rev Jude Awunor, in his homily, told the congregation to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ because no one knows when death would come. He urged the congregation to reflect on the quality of their lives, adding that the quality of the life lived while on earth was more important than its length. The cleric said because the late Bardi died in Christ, his future was assured, adding that his spirit will be received into heaven. Awunor asked the family not to weep as pagans who do not

have hope in Christ, adding “there is another fellowship in heaven.” According to him, death is a necessary end as no man can enter heaven with his mortal body hence the need to shed it by dying. A distraught Chwukwuma Bardi, elder brother to the deceased, described the late Bardi as an easy-going person. His words: “He is an easy-going person. He is always full of smiles. He lived in the village longer than all of us and knew everyone. I spoke to him a few days before he passed on. I am unable to fathom this loss.” Reflecting on the deaths that have befallen their family in the last four years, Chwukwuma Bardi queried rhetorically: “How can we lose four people in four years? One event too much breeds suspicion.” Bardi’s remains were buried at exactly 5.46 pm.

•The widow, Esther and son during the burial. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS



NEWS NIGERIA @ 51 Mimiko frees six inmates From Damisi Ojo,Akure

FOR six inmates of Akure prisons, it was time to go home at the weekend. They were freed by Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko. He also commuted the death sentence of five others to life imprisonment. In a letter to the Comptroller of Prisons, Akure, Mimiko asked the authorities to discharge Friday Edem, Joshua Falore, Mathew Olakanmi, Clement Adewoye, Bolawole Oluseyi and Olowosogba Alaba .E. “out of prison custody” having served part of their sentences. The “order to release” was in exercise of the power conferred on the governor by Paragraph (d) of sub-section (1) of Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. In another letter, the death sentence of Feyisayo Alatise, Aderemi Omotayo, Federick Akintade, Akinyele Okiki and Adebiyi Famakinwa was commuted to life jail.

Wamakko calls for peace From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State yesterday said Nigeria was fast developing in many areas despite the numerous challenges facing it and stressed the need for continued peaceful co-existence for growth. “ We have to employ all necessary avenues of ensuring peace, unity and stability of purpose that will stimulate the enabling environment for growth and continuity” he said after a special prayer session at the Government House, Sokoto to mark the nation’s 51st Independence anniversary. He expressed optimism that the present corps of leaders was determined to give the nation its bearing through vibrant policies and programmes for service delivery. He said the country needed prayers with a high level of commitment in actualising its dreams. The prayer session, which lasted about 30 minutes was preceded by reading from the Holy Qur’an and attracted Islamic scholars, politicians, top government functionaries and members of the House of Assembly.


There’s little to celebrate, says ACN

ROM the Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N) came yesterday a damning verdict on Nigeria at 51. The party said the nation has failed to realise the dream of its founding fathers; hence there is little or nothing to celebrate on this Independence anniversary. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said, however, that all hope is not lost, provided the leadership and the citizenry will roll up their sleeves and put their shoulder to the wheel. ‘’There is so much work to be done if we are to even begin the journey to where we are supposed to be as a nation after 51 years of nationhood. But we can only do that if we tell ourselves the truth, instead of engaging in sophistry. That truth is that in these past 51 years, we have fallen short in

By Sunday Omoniyi

almost all aspects of our national life,’’ it said. ACN said perhaps the biggest problem has been the mediocrity of the country’s successive leadership, which has led to a lack of vision and little or no development, especially when Nigeria is placed side by side with the countries that gained Independence about the same time as it did. ‘’Without a bright and brave leadership to steer the affairs of state with a rare vision, courage and selflessness, our country has failed to meet the yearnings of the citizenry in the areas of welfare and security; infrastructure, rule of law, transparent election, economic growth and overall development. ‘’Today, our country is at the very bottom of every ranking by development agencies, no thanks to our low marks in all


the relevant indices. Security is almost non-existent as life has become so short and brutish for hapless citizens, in the face of unrelenting kidnapping, armed robbery, ethnoreligious crises and extra-judicial killings. ‘’Those who are lucky to escape being mowed down by armed robbers, kidnappers

and sect killers are not spared a gruesome fate on the roads, which have become death traps due to years of neglect. Nothing signifies the near total collapse of our infrastructure than the parlous state of our roads nationwide,’’ the party said. It said despite the phony statistics being reeled out by the government of the day indicating economic growth, the people have yet to experience a better life, as their dining tables are becoming leaner, their pockets emptier. ‘’For a country that has earned billions of naira in oil revenue, this is nothing short of a disaster, and the only explanation could be the massive, mindless corruption that has seen a huge chunk of the national wealth siphoned off by fat cats - while successive governments have failed to tackle the corruption cankerworm!

Elechi commutes death sentence for eight



HREE police officers, one of them a woman, collapsed during the 51st Independence anniversary celebration at the Government House, Lafia, Nasarawa State on Saturday . The police officers were on parade with their colleagues when they collapsed one after the other. First to go down was an assistant superintendent. The others followed. They were given first aid treatment in an ambulance A doctor who attended to the officers said the ASP suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) because he went to the parade on an empty stomach and stood in the sun for too long. •One of the officers being revived in an the weekend. PHOTO: JOHNNY DANJUMA Governor Umaru Tanko alMakura, in his speech at the occasion said Nigeria would have been better today if it had harp on the recent rotten past, “While one equally poor utilised its God’s given talent. From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia and are unable or unwilling northern state built over 300 “We have failed as a country to chart a new future. Things and as a people to utilise our corrupt, most of our leaders kilometres of good roads in must just change for the bettalents and resources to build and the elite have been una- the past four years, Nasarawa ter. the kind of country that we ble to lift the country up and State has failed to build a sin“Mercifully, we have dreamt of 51 years ago, as we set it on the path of sustained gle kilometre of asphalt road made a start in that direction became independent from Brit- growth and greatness”, he in the 15 years since its creaespecially in the power and tion.” ish rule on October 1, 1960,” added. al-Makura, who described water sectors, where our On how to improve the forhe said. achievements in the first 100 “I say to you that our lead- Nasarawa State as the least de- tunes of the state, al-Makura days of coming to office are ers — past and present — and veloped in the country ex- said: “We must give up our out there for everyone to see. our elite more generally are plained that “even the states bad old ways, and move deLet’s be judged by our record, largely to blame for our na- created on the same day as us cisively to change the face of not by the whims and fantasy tion’s plight. Greedy, oppor- have made tremendous Nasarawa State. I have nothof our adversaries”, he said. ing but scorn for those who tunistic, lazy, visionless and strides.

•Governor: blame elite for nation’s woes

lot. Deltans should embrace dialogue in order to promote peace in the state,” he said. The governor who promised to work tirelessly to move the state to greater heights said he has already worked out the roadmap to achieve the much needed social economic development. He said to realise this, his administration is determined to complete all on-going projects in the state in order to energise the economic life of the people. Uduaghan said while unemployment remained the greatest challenge of his administration, he would partner with the private sector and well meaning investors to achieve this goal and provide employ-

‘’In spite of the mouthing of the rule of law by successive administrations, the rule of law has been turned to the rule of the jungle, with dire consequences for all. Worst of all, the judiciary that has been the last hope of the common man is now on the verge of being destroyed by those who believe it must either serve them or serve no one! ‘’Yes, we have somehow managed to remain united even after a devastating civil war, and have always managed to pull back from the brink. But the simple test of the state of our nationhood today should be measured by the answer to the following question: Are we better off today than we were in 1960?’’ ACN asked.

Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

Three police officers collapse in Nasarawa

Uduaghan seeks renewed spirit ELTA State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has exhorted Deltans to renew the spirit of brotherhood, love, peaceful and harmonious existence for the progress of the state and the entire country. Uduaghan, who made the appeal in his Independence Day speech in Asaba urged them to bury the hatchet and join him in providing the dividends of democracy. He enjoined Deltans not to allow issues that could be settled through dialogue to destroy the unity and love which is currently being shared and cherished. “I appeal to all Deltans to bury the hatchet and join me in my effort to improve our

‘Today, our country is at the very bottom of every ranking by development agencies, no thanks to our low marks in all the relevant indices’

OVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has commuted the death sentence on eight prisoners to life jail and ordered the release of four other inmates of the Abakaliki and Afikpo prisons. The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Ben Igwenyi said: “In his determination to decongest the prisons and re-integrate some exprisoners into the society on account of their reformation while therein, Chief Elechi has exercised his prerogative of mercy in favour of some of the ex-prisoners in the spirit of the commemoration of the 51st Independence of Nigeria and 15 years of the creation of Ebonyi State. “After due consultation with the State Advisory Council on prerogative of mercy, Chief Elechi granted unconditional pardon and ordered the release of eight prisoners serving jail terms in Abakaliki and Afikpo Federal Prisons. Four other prisoners who are serving life sentences, same having been commuted from death to life some years ago have been released from Enugu prisons”. “In similar vain, eight others who are serving death sentence for offences of murder and armed robbery have their penalty commuted to life imprisonment. In other words, we have 12 persons who are going home now and eight others who are still prisoners as lifers, on account of this gubernatorial gesture.”

Senator urges Nigerians to reject bad leaders


•Dr. Uduaghan ment opportunities for the teeming youths. The governor said it has become imperative to restructure and reposition the economy of the state, not only to create job opportunities but to be less dependent on oil.

ENATOR Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central) has urged Nigerians to reject what he called perennial bad leadership in the country, saying “no nation can be great without unrelenting determination of its citizens to make it so”. Senator Ojudu, in his Independence Day message to Nigerians said although the nation has not been blessed with good leaders, Nigerians must now stop believing they are helpless in the face of unyielding leaders. Urging Nigerians to demand from their leaders concrete evidence of development of the country, Ojudu said a nation does not need a multitude to effect

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

desirable changes but a few determined people who are ready to invest their all in the nation’s survival and progress. The Senator called for attitudinal change in Nigerians, especially the masses, adding that events had shown that the masses are pivotal to the redemption of the nation. He said: “Neither idle faith nor good luck can deliver us from the morass we have found ourselves. It is good thinking and the right and positive actions that can deliver us. Even the Bible said

where there is no vision, the people perish. “We have run too long without vision believing that with luck and the good heavens things are going to be better. History has never revealed to us any where it has been so.” Describing the family as a microcosm of the larger society, Ojudu stressed the need for parents to instil in their kids the confidence that would enable them take their rightful place in life, explaining that one of the greatest problems besetting the country is that most Nigerians are even too timid to demand their right, one of which is good governance.



NEWS Fashola: our greatness requires collective efforts, peace

OPC chief urges dialogue to end Boko Haram bombings


S Nigeria marked her 51st Independence anniversary on Saturday, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) restated that it would require the efforts of every citizen in a peaceful atmosphere to build the collectively desired country. Fashola, who spoke at the Police College, Ikeja, venue of the march past involving the Police, voluntary organisations, school children and para-military agencies, noted that “nobody will do it except ourselves”. He said: “We can, of course, continue to agonise without organising, and in that sense betray the responsibility of our generation. Conversely, we can resolve from today to be part of the solution rather than the problem.” He recalled that during his 50th anniversary address, he had cause to assert that Nigeria’s good days are ahead of her and not behind her. Fashola said: stating that: “Today, inspite of the challenges that we face, my belief is unshaken; that our better days lie ahead of us, but it is more important to also say that we must earn it by working hard, probably harder than we have ever done before”. “We must earn it by promoting our common humanity and embracing peace, probably more than we have ever done before. We must aspire to those better days which lie ahead of us by exercising the greatest restraint that we can muster when things are not going the way we expect.” The governor, who said he should not be misunderstood to be suggesting that Nigerians must remain docile in the face of want, hunger, poverty and insecurity, added that options and choices must be considered to redress those wrongs without aggravating its already difficult situation.

Lagos ACN begins reconciliation for council poll By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor


HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has begun the reconciliation of aggrieved members over the misunderstanding that arose from the primaries in the preexisting 20 local governments and the 37 local council development areas (LCDAs). Leading the moves are the party’s chairmanship candidates who have been reaching out to their opponents to avoid post-primary crisis ahead of the local government election scheduled on October 22. The Ifako-Ijaye council chairmanship candidate, Toba Oke, who thanked party leaders and followers, called for reconciliation, unity and harmony within the party. He urged his supporters to brace up for campaigns and the election. Oke said: “ACN has started fighting the infrastructure battle in this council. We will continue the battle with more vigour. We will not disappoint the party, the council, the state and all our people.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

•Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko greeting some children after the 51st Independence anniversary thanksgiving at the Beautiful Gate, Alagbaka, Akure Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God...yesterday.

CNPP faults Fed Govt’s plan to spend N30b on ID cards T HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday described the proposed spending of N30.066billion on the Unified Identity Management System by the Federal Government as fraud. The party noted that the expenditure is of no value because “Nigeria spent over N40 billion for Identity Data Capture Machine for Biometric Registration of Nigerians of over 18 years and above for the 2011 elections under the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) less than eight months ago”. Last week, the Minister of Information Labaran Maku announced the plan by the Federal Government to spend the money on identity date capturing machines for Bio-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

metric Registration. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the N30.066 billion planned spending. CNPP said it had searched the Federal Government’s Tenders Journal and could not locate where the Unified Identity Management Systems Project was advertised, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act”. It said: “Independent Speech of President Jonathan’s October 1, 2011. In the Federal Executive Council meeting of September 28, few days before

the Independent speech, quoted above, where President Jonathan assured the citizenry to work together to bequeath a country where corruption and its attendant vices are banished; regrettably, N30.066 billion was siphoned off the Federation Account. “Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) also deployed around the country state-ofthe-art Biometric Equipment for Driver’s Licence for 18year-olds and above; the National Health Insurance Scheme {NHIS} has Identity Data Capture Machine; the National Communications Commission (NCC), the banks, Pension Commission and sundry agencies have similar

equipment. “Questions! Questions! Questions! Why spend N30.066 billion for Unified Identity Management System, rather than adapt the INEC data base, which covered the nooks and crannies of the country? Or, is it the confirmation that INEC Data Base is amateurish, which made the commission to refuse the CPC to access its Data Base for the party’s case at the Presidential Election Tribunal? “We cannot locate how our economy will grow, generate employment for our teaming youths and enhance prosperity for every citizen, when billions are being siphoned under Mr President’s watch and when he has shown gross incapacity to recover stolen wealth.

NLC vows to resist removal of labour from Exclusive List T

HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the weekend vowed to resist Federal Government’s plan to remove Labour from the Exclusive List. A source who spoke in confidence to our correspondent in Abuja said the Federal Government has penciled downthe Labour issue for the Constitutional review proposed by the National Assembly. In his 51 st Independence Day message to workers, NLC President Abdulwahed Omar said: “…Those who seek to emasculate Labour, by moving it from the Exclusive to Concurrent List in the guise of Constitution amendment, will be stoutly resisted. We will never allow a situation where state and local govern-


NIVERSITY workers, under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASUU) will begin a warning strike today. SSANU National President Samson Ugwoka told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the strike is to enable the unions press for the implementation of the agreement they signed with the Federal Government in 2009. He said despite today’s

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

ments will be allowed to pay Nigerians peanuts in the name of a deregulated minimum wage.” The NLC president noted that as Labour and the minimum wage are in the Exclusive List, the Federal Government has turned the implementation of the minimum wage into a battle. He said due to the flouting of the Constitution and law, the country has had many strikes in the states. Omar said: “Given the level of resistance by some governors and the use of thugs

against peaceful workers strike in a number of states, the NLC may reconsider its decision not to call a national strike and go on mass protests to ensure that the minimum wage is implemented all over the country.” If the Federal Government removes Labour and the minimum wage from the Exclusive List, the NLC will lose its power to battle state governments over the negotiation and implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage as states will have the power to take different decisions. Acting Secretary General of the NLC, Comrade Owei Lakemfa noted that this “will

result in the states paying whatever they like to their civil servants. But we will not allow that.” The congress insisted that “Nigerians have a right to a better life; our children have the right to a bright future. To ensure these, the Labour movement, in concert with other democratic forces, will ensure that the Nigerian child has the right to free, qualitative and compulsory education. Lakenfa said: “We will strive to ensure that the huge cost of governance is drastically reduced; the fundamental rights of Nigerians are respected and, in practice, sovereignty will belong to the Nigerian people from whom all powers must flow.”

THE National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams yesterday said dialogue, not military force, is the solution to the bombings by the Boko Haram sect. Addressing reporters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Adams noted that the suicide bombers in Boko Haram do not bother about dying. He said: “The Federal Government should engage members of Boko Haram in dialogue. Our government should work towards ensuring that justice prevails in our society. “It is normal for the Federal Government to look for a way to reconcile with the Boko Haram sect. There is no amount of military might that can stop a group that is ready to die for its cause. “No amount of military might can stop a suicide bomber. America has the best of equipment, as far as security is concerned. They monitor the activities of alQaeda, but the members are difficult to stop.” He condemned the marginalisation of the Southwest by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Obasanjo’s ex-aide, PDP supporters to join LP in Ondo From Ojo Damisi and Leke Akeredolu, Akure

A FORMER National Coordinator, Obasanjo Foundation, Mr Amuzat Adams, at the weekend declared his intention to join the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State. Adams, who is also the former Acting National Coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Youth Vanguard, said he would lead over 10,000 supporters of the PDP into LP in Akoko Northwest. He said he had agreed to pitch his tent with the LP because he wants to join hands with the Olusegun Mimiko administration to ensure further development of the state. Adams told reporters in Akure, the state capital, that what Nigeria needs is how to build the states, local governments and the people.

Varsity workers begin strike today From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

public holiday declared by the Federal Government to mark the 51st Independence anniversary, the seven-day warning strike would begin as scheduled. Ugowa said: “SSANU has concluded arrangements for effective 7-day warning strike starting on Monday, 3rd October, 2011. The strike which is expected to be total under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) constituted by SSANU, NASU and NAAT, is aimed at forcing the

Federal Government to fully implement the 2009 agreement it willingly signed with the unions. Our unions have lost a great number of her members as a result of government’s refusal to honour the agreement. “The agreement clearly states that from January 1, 2010 our members should retire at 65 years but government has continued to retire them on the old order of 60 years or 35 years in service. Also issues such as earned allowances (field trip/teaching practice/industrial supervi-

sion allowances, hazard allowances, deanship of student affairs etc have not been addressed almost two years after agreements were consummated. Recall that the agreement spanned through two years costing our unions colossal sums of money. That shows that government is not sincere and serious with us from the onset.” He also noted that the unions have mobilised their members-the non-academic employees in the country’s universities for an effective strike.

“We have fully mobilized our members all over the country ready for the commencement of the warning strike. We have successfully held our zonal and branch meetings and also congresses during which members were well informed and directed to fully comply and ensure the success of the strike action. All branches have also received letters of authority to proceed on strike from Monday, 3rd October, 2011. University authorities across the country have been served with necessary documents in respect of the strike.”



NEWS Two robbery suspects held


WO suspected armed robbers, who snatched money belonging to Business day newspaper, have been arrested by policemen attached to FESTAC Police Station at Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos. Chijoke Aniechie (21) and Kalu Orji (25) allegedly stole N3.8 million from an employee of the media house Friday afternoon. The incident occurred in front of Intercontinental Bank, 4th Avenue Road, FESTAC town. It was gathered that the suspects, who were on a motorcycle, snatched the bag containing the money from their victim, who was trying to enter his company’s car. Sources said the criminals shot into the air to escape, but the driver of the Business day vehicle chased and

By Jude Isiguzo

ran them over with the car. It was learnt that the driver and some passersby apprehended the suspects and handed them over to the police. But only N2.8 million was recovered, as some of those who helped the driver to apprehend the hoodlums were said to have taken part of the money before the police arrived at the scene. Aniechie said he came for the operation from PortHarcourt. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Usman Ndababo, said the suspects, from whom pistols were recovered, would be transferred to the Special AntiRobbery Unit at the command headquarters in Ikeja.

We’ll chart new course, says Ondo commissioner


NDO State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, has said the ministry would strengthen the relationship between the government and the people. The former Media Adviser to former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dimeji Bankole spoke to reporters at the weekend after he was inaugurated with 15 other commissioners by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Akinmade said: “The most important assignment before us now is to make sure that the confidence that has been built over the last years in this state is sustained. “Media management in a state like Ondo, which has a population of informed people who are conscious of their political, social and economic rights as well as expected roles of the government in the polity, should naturally be based on truth and transparency. “Our people hate deceit and that is why any government that relies on propaganda or the art of hoodwinking the population cannot succeed here. “The position of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, on how education can make a people easy to govern and difficult to cheat is very apt in our situation. “We are going to use the state information machinery as a two-way traffic to inform the people about government programmes and intentions, disseminate important and correct information, get feedback from the system, and gauge public acceptance ratings of government gestures.” Mimiko urged the new commissioners to use their privileged positions to improve the lot of the people. He said: “As part of a government committed to social transformation, you are expected to hit the ground running. I expect each of you to, in the next few weeks, come up with wellarticulated work plans that really align with our 12-point agenda for development.”

Fayemi off to Brazil, Canada, US


KITI State Goveror Kayode Fayemi yesterday embarked on a 10-day business trip to Brazil, Canada and the United States (US). Fayemi was invited by the Governors of Minas Gerais, Brazil; Maryland, US; and Manitoba, Canada; to explore areas of possible cooperation and educate and foreign investors on the rich agricultural potentials of Ekiti State. The governor was accompanied by his wife, Erelu Bisi

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Otunba Remi Bodunrin, among others. They are expected to visit the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation to learn how sustainable agricultural development can be achieved through technology generation and transfer. The governor will return to the country on October 11.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (left) receiving an award from the Zonal Co-ordinator of the Institute of Government Research & Leeadership Technology, Mahmud Ibrahim, in the weekend. With them is the institute’s Country Director, Moses Esseh.

Ekiti begins payment of allowances to senior citizens S ENIOR citizens aged 65 and above will, from this month, earn N5,000 monthly in Ekiti State. This is in addition to the free health services they are already enjoying. No fewer than 53,000 senior citizens will benefit from the Social Security Scheme. Governor Kayode Fayemi spoke yesterday during a live broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 51st Independence and the state’s 15th anniversaries. Fayemi said: “The plight of the elderly has been of concern to many in our various communities. Old age is a thing worthy of celebration, but unfortunately, the near collapse of our social capital, popularly known as the extended family system, has exposed many of our elderly

ones to poverty. “As a consequence of the above and in line with our campaign promise to establish a social security support scheme for the elderly, I am delighted to announce that with effect from this month of October, every adult of 65 years and above, who is not currently a pension beneficiary or has evidence of not being taken care of by family, shall be entitled to a monthly social security benefit of N5,000. “This is in addition to the free health care that this category of vulnerable people already enjoy. It is our expec-

tation that this would further prolong the lives of our elderly in a state that is currently enjoying the highest life expectancy in the country.” During the march past by members of the Armed forces, Police, paramilitary organisations and students to mark the anniversaries at Christ School in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, Fayemi bemoaned the level of insecurity in the country and warned perpetrators of the consequences of wasting innocent lives. He said: “The nation’s security is being threatened by selfish individuals hiding under the pretence of religious fanaticism to perpetrate violence across the na-

Activist-lawyer to run for governor in Ondo LAWYER, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, has declared his interest to contest the 2013 governorship election in Ondo State, which he said should be part of the wind of change blowing across the Southwest. Abayomi, an activist, spoke at the weekend in his home town of Oke-Agbe, Akoko Northwest Local Government Area, while unveiling his campaign poster. The event also coincided with his 61st birthday. He said his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), would transform the state.


Ekiti perm sec honoured

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Abayomi lamented that most of the projects of the present administration do not have direct impact on the lives of the people. He said the state’s growth in the last two and a half years is not commensurate with its monthly federal allocation. Abayomi said: “Ondo State cannot be an exception in the wind of change that is blowing in the Southwest. The real progressives are ready to take over the state from pretenders. “Our state has not witnessed meaningful development in the last two and a half

years, except deception and projects that are misplaced. Up till now, we don’t know how much comes to the state monthly.” Abayomi said his experience in the struggle for democracy and activism have placed him in a good stead to free the people from “the below expectation performance” of the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration. He said the country would continue to lag behind, if it fails to elect leaders with genuine interest of the masses at heart. The lawyer said the failure of credible Nigerians to come out to represent their people will put the destiny of the

masses in the hands of charlatans. He urged Nigerians to desist from money-induced politics and back credible aspirants. Abayomi said: “The most essential ingredient in bringing about diverse changes is good leadership. Humility, wisdom and knowledge are the fundamental requirements in successful leadership. “Developing countries, like Nigeria, need leaders, who have not forgotten painful memories. Unfortunately, our leaders are very selfcentered. Their only interest is how to enrich themselves.”

Tinubu’s trial an embarrassment to Nigeria, says David-West

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


HE Permanent Secretary of Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Sunday Fatoba, has won the 2010/2011 Folayegbe Akintunde-Igodalo Foundation Award for the best Permanent Secretary in the Southwestern. Receiving the awardee in his office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Governor Kayode Fayemi praised Fatoba for his dedication to duty. Fayemi said his administration would continue to recognise and reward excellence. The Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Famosaya, said Fatoba came first in the examination conducted for permanent secretaries in the state in January. Famosaya said it was the first time a Permanent Secretary in the state would win the award and described the development as a pointer to a better civil service. He said: “This award shows that the civil service is no longer business as usual; things have changed. We now have a transformed civil service. It has never happened since the creation of the state.” Famosaya described Fatoba as “disciplined and hardworking,” urging workers to emulate him.”

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

tion, as reflected during the recent United Nations (UN) House bombing in Abuja, where 23 innocent lives were lost and several others hospitalised. “It is my fervent belief that none of these unpatriotic individuals will escape divine judgment, considering the innocent lives that had been destroyed through their barbaric act. “It behoves on all to join hands with government at all levels to fight this scourge, and at the same time expose all that are involved in the act.” The governor said some of the achievements of his administration include health intervention schemes, provision of security equipment and logistics to the police and road construction/rehabilitation.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan



ORMER Minister of Petroleum Resources Prof. Tam David-West has described the ongoing trial of the National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu, by the Code of Conduct Bureau as “an embarrassment to the nation.” He said it shows that Nigerian politics is still “primitive, vindictive and satanic.” Speaking to our reporter in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, David-West condemned the trial and called on Nigerians to rise up and support the former Lagos State governor in the same way they condemned the sack of the former President of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami.

He said it is not Tinubu that is on trial, but Nigeria. Dismissing the trial as “political persecution,” DavidWest said: “What is happening to Tinubu is an embarrassment to any Nigerian who loves this country. “Tinubu and I are not in the same political camp, but what they are doing to him is political persecution and I completely condemn it. Tinubu is not the one on trial, but Nigeria. It shows that our politics is primitive, so vindictive and so satanic.

“If Tinubu as governor made mistakes, why didn’t they bring it out before now? He was there for eight years. It is so silly to try him 12 years after he allegedly committed the offence. “Why didn’t they use it to disqualify him when he was running for a second term? It is political. They are embarrassing themselves and Nigeria, not Tinubu. “Nigerians should rise up against the trial. They should give Tinubu the same solidarity they gave Justice Salami.”




PDP decides Kogi governorship candidate today T

Court dismisses case against NNPC station


HIGH Court sitting in Gasahua, Yobe State, has dismissed a suit filed by Mallam Ibrahim Ali Gadaka, a former commissioner in the administration of former Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim, for unlawful revocation and re-allocation of his land to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Gadaka, since 2006, has been praying the Gashua High Court to grant him an injunction restraining the NNPC from building a mega station on the disputed piece of land measuring about 20,000 square metres. The plaintiff said he is the rightful owner. After his injunction suffered a setback, Gadaka filed a fresh suit against the NNPC, demanding N500 million compensation. He also demanded another N16 million as damages as part of preliminary development expenses on the land. In the alternative, he prayed the court to declare that the purported revocation of his land be voided and declared unconstitutional. In a 24-page judgment, Justice I. W. Jauro dismissed the prayers of the plaintiff but asked him to take advantage of the compensation offered him by the Yobe State Government. Justice Jauro said: “…The issue of compensation is one of fairness. Thus, if a person’s land is compulsorily acquired, it naturally follows that he ought to be compensated. Thus, to allow the plaintiff wallow in vain would defeat the purpose of compensation. Therefore, this court, as a court of equi-

Seven dead in Bauchi road crash From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

EVEN people were feared dead in an auto crash involving a trailer and a JF bus on Azare-Potiskum Expressway, Bauchi State, at the weekend. An eyewitness said several other people were injured while about 15 cows, being conveyed in the trailer, were killed. The accident, the witness said, occurred because the road became wet and slippery after a heavy downpour. The witness said three vehicles were involved in the accident, which occurred after the trailer slipped, somersaulted and blocked the road. It was gathered that a JF bus from the opposite direction rammed into the trailer, resulting in the death of four occupants of the bus on the spot. A Toyota Camry car, said to be on high speed, also crashed into the trailer and the JF bus, increasing the casualties. It is, however, not clear if the injured, who have been rushed to unknown hospitals, would survive the injuries they sustained in the accident.


•Ibrahim From Duku Joel, Damaturu

ty and justice, would not watch the plaintiff go helplessly. The compensation offered to him by the authority is still lying with the ministry as evidence shows. The plaintiff ought to take advantage of that offer. “More so, even the 10,000 square metres left of his acquired land remains vested in him, going by Exhibit “F”. I rather give effect to that than the plaintiff has nothing.”

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will decide, today, who will be its governorship candidate for the December 3 poll in Kogi State. The party is expected to choose between Jubril Isah Echocho and Capt. Idris Wada. Any name submitted by the National Secretariat of the PDP will be the standard-bearer of the party. But a group, the Movement Against Corruption and Graft, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on anti-corruption agencies to probe how $8million was allegedly withdrawn by the state government to support a governorship candidate. Investigation by our correspondent showed that the PDP was involved in last-minute consultations on who to present as its governorship candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

The party is at a crossroad on whether to retain Echocho, who won the primary on January 9, or a hurriedly “anointed” candidate of the governor, Capt Wada. While the primary that produced Echocho was said to be free and fair, the exercise which produced Wada was boycotted by five aspirants. A party source said: “We are still consulting on the matter, but definitely, we will try our best to meet the INEC deadline. “The choice is definitely between Echocho and Wada. Our leaders are trying to sort things out, including discussions with the two candidates.” According to Section 31 of

the Electoral Act, the PDP has till October 3 to nominate its candidate. The section reads: “Every party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general election under the provisions of this Act, submit to the Commission in the prescribed forms the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.” In a statement by its Director of Research and Documentation, Adedayo Fagbenle, the group said: “Things are happening in Kogi State at such a fast rate that except the President urgently steps in, Kogi State will be totally and completely thrown into confusion. “The future of Kogi State is being mortgaged by a sitting

governor, who will stop at nothing to impose his in-law, friend and business partner on the state as the next governor unto whom he will handover governance to. “Our organisation has confirmed from a reliable source that the state government has directed and approved massive withdrawals of money from the state coffers, all in a bid to oil the wheel that would instal a candidate as the governor of Kogi State. “Our very dependable source has confirmed on good authorities that in the last two weeks, there have been massive withdrawals, both local and foreign currencies from the various Kogi State Government accounts in the banks. “This money, it has been confirmed, is to enable the government to meet the continuous demands by some members of the PDP. “As at Friday night, our dependable source confirmed that about $8million was paid as part payment and a further N1billion was to be paid as a condition for releasing the PDP nomination forms to a candidate...”

Bida Poly gets panel on riot From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) with his Anambra State counterpart, Peter Obi, during a visit to Uduaghan in Asaba...yesterday

Falana kicks against military court’s contradictory verdicts C OUNSEL to Brig-Gen. Muraino Raji, the former Commander of 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi, Mr Femi Falana, has accused the Special Court Martial trying his client over sundry charges of bias. The Lagos lawyer specifically accused the special court of turning itself into the accuser, the prosecutor, the witness and the judge in a criminal case, saying the development is alien to natural justice. According to him, it is strange for a court, which had discharged and acquitted Raji, to turn round and jail the army chief over new charges. He said Raji had earlier been discharged and acquitted on the

three charges of neglect and negligent performance of military duties that led to the escape of two Boko Haram suspects from custody on February 18. In a statement, Falana said: “After exonerating the General in its verdict, the special court, which sat in Jos, the Plateau State capital, turned round, in a rather bizarre manner, to frame a new charge of conduct prejudicial to service discipline, contrary to Section 103 (1) of the Armed Forces Act, against him. Without asking the accused to plead to the

new charge and defend himself, he was convicted and sentenced to a three-month loss of seniority! Thus, the Special Court Martial turned itself into the accuser, the prosecutor, the witness and the judge in a criminal case contrary to all known canons of natural justice. “Is is pertinent to point out that the fresh trial of our client violently offends Section 103(2) of the Armed Forces Act, which provides that the fact that an accused has been charged under Sections 54-102 thereof shall be a defence to any charge under Section

103(1) of the Act. Having discharged and acquitted General Raji under Section 62 (b) of the Armed Forces Act, his conviction in the circumstances did not take cognisance of his defence under the law. On this score, we strongly appeal to the Army Council to vacate the conviction and the sentence unjustly meted out to our client. More so, that Lance Corporal Habu Ali and Lt.-Col Roland had been convicted last week by the General Court Martial for their indictment in the escape of the two Boko Haram suspects.

Gunmen attack Benue ACN governorship candidate’s aide


UNMEN suspected to be working for a rival party at the weekend attacked an aide of Benue State governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the April election, Prof Steve Ugbah. Mr Aondoungwa Ashiekaa was allegedly attacked at 7.30pm on Friday at the premises of Mr. Adaa Maagbe, at Benson Abounu Crescent, Hudco Quarters, Makurdi, where Prof Ugbah lives. Party Chairman Comrade Abba Yaro said the gunmen shot Ashiekaa and escaped

when he alerted the neigbourhood. The incident was reported at the Nigeria Police “B” Division, Makurdi. The police rushed the victim to the Federal Medical Centre, Apir, for treatment. Yaro said: “We are deeply worried that this trend of attempts on the life of our candidate, Prof Ugbah, has continued, despite several reports we have made to security agencies in the state. It will be recalled that the media aide to Prof Ugbah, Mr. Charles Ayede, was murdered in similar circum-

stances by yet-to-be identified gunmen at Kadarko. “The party is particularly concerned at the spate of unresolved killings in the state. When we raise the alarm, the party is always castigated for crying wolf where there is none. “We call on law enforcement agencies to investigate this incident and bring the culprits to book. We call on all wellmeaning sons and daughters of Benue to denounce violence and tread the path of peace in resolving issues. “The ACN will continue to

abhor violence and seek constitutional means of seeking redress. “The other day, civil society and organised market associations took to the streets to peacefully demonstrate the miscarriage of justice in Benue, particularly as it affects the governorship election. Instead of addressing the needs and yearnings of these groups, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration issued a directive to the police to arrest members of the ACN and other innocent citizens who had nothing to do with the demonstration...”

THE management of Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, has set up a 13-man committee to investigate the cause of the unrest, which disrupted academic activities and led to the closure of the institution last week. Students of the polytechnic last Monday went on the rampage over the alleged disappearance of a male student’s organ. They destroyed the school’s property worth millions of naira. A statement by the school’s Public Relations Officer, Mallam Hussaini Enagi, said the committee would investigate the immediate and remote causes of the riot and recommend measures to prevent a reccurrence. The statement said the management received a report of the alleged missing organ of a Higher Diploma (HND) II Office Technology and Management student. But when the “victim” was examined by the institution Chief Medical Director (CMD), he was certified okay. The statement added: “It was at this stage that the students started demanding that the lady, who was alleged to have been responsible for the disappearance of the student’s organ be handed over to them. “The Polytechnic management explained to the students that the lady was in its custody and would be produced at the appropriate time... “Instead of the students to quietly move out of the campus, they resorted to a violent protest on September 26. “This led to the destruction of property worth millions of naira at the polytechnic campus, the Rector’s personal house and Etsu Nupe’s palace.”




Amaechi assures on 24-hour power supply

Governor pleads with lawyers EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has appealed to members of the state Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) not to deny kidnap suspects legal representation. He made his position known at the opening of the 2011/2012 legal year. The governor said: “This new phenomenon is extremely worrisome. “Over 300 kidnap suspects have been arrested. They have been charged to court and they have been remanded in prison.” He said many of the cases had not been prosecuted because the Bar had taken a decision not to defend kidnappers. “I think that it is not helpful when the Bar resolves not to handle cases of kidnap suspects, knowing how the the law operates. When you are caught in the act and you confess, you must go through trial,” he said. He reminded the lawyers that their professional calling required them to defend criminals, urging them to remain faithful to their calling.


IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said his administration plans to provide 24 hours power supply by December, next year. Amaechi spoke at the Independence Anniversary Celebration night, organised by the Shell Club, Port Harcourt, at the weekend. He said although the power problem could not be fixed in a hurry, his administration would achieve the goal within the set time. “You know the power problem cannot be addressed overnight, but once our inde-

‘You know the power problem cannot be addressed overnight, but once our independent power projects come on stream, power outage would be a thing of the past’ pendent power projects come on stream, power outage would be a thing of the past.” Amaechi further stated that

by January, seven of the ongoing major roads and flyovers under construction in Port Harcourt, would be completed and open to traffic. The projects include the Ken Saro-wiwa/Stadium Road, Chief G.U Ake Road, Olu-Obasanjo Road, Obiri Ikwerre/East-West flyover and interchange, Choba/NTA Road and the Ikwerre RoadAgip Junction flyover, among others. He also hinted of plans to build roads in Oyigbo. “As soon as the rain stops, we will do the roads in Oyigbo, and fix the major roads in

the area.” The governor said he had embarked on road constructions all over the state. He reiterated his administration’s resolve to improve security in the state, hence the success of the 17th National Sports Festival now adjudged as one the best in the history of the event. As part of government efforts to reduce traffic congestion in Port Harcourt City, Amaechi announced that the state is building four major motor parks at Eleme and Omagwa areas to reduce the influx of inter-state vehicles

Akpabio calls for unity


Ex-ACN chair is council boss From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

THE former Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akwa Ibom State, Aniekan Akpan, was among 31 persons sworn in as chairmen of local government transition committees by Governor Godswill Akpabio. Akpan is to head Eket Local Government. The former ACN Chair had disagreed with ACN executives for congratulating Akpabio on his election victory. Akpabio said the swearing-in was in pursuance of Section 4(3) of the Akwa Ibom State Local Government Administration Law (2010). The governor said in constituting thecommittees, the government took consideration of all political sentiments, especially in the appointment of women.

•Prof Kofi Duncan cutting his 80th birthday cake with his daughters at his Victoria Island, Lagos, home…yesterday. From left are Mrs Tosan Wooche; Mrs Erejuwa Gbadebo; Dr Timehin Osindero; Ms Erimu Duncan and Dr Alero Roberts. PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES

ASUU, varsity in showdown over convocation charges


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the authorities of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, are in a row over “outrageous” convocation charges. RSUST is charging N12,500 for first degree, N27,000 for Master’s degree and N75,000 for doctorate degree (Ph.D.) for the 19th to 23rd combined convocation.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

The Registrar, Mrs. D. C. Odimabo, said participants are graduates who completed their programmes from 2004 to 2010 academic sessions. Odimabo added that the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia, would deliver the convocation lecture, entitled: “The Challenges of Nation Building: Empowerment, Expectation and Entitlement,”on

October 13. Igwe said: “ASUU strongly condemns the exorbitant amount being charged by the university administration for the convocation of graduates. “These charges are outrageous and did not pass through the Governing Council or Senate’s approval. “It is an act of exploitation of our graduates, as the university’s certificate is not for sale. “ASUU, RSUST dissociates

itself from this unwholesome act and calls on all graduates and the public to resist this open rape of the funds of our graduates. “This brazen exploitation is unacceptable and must stop.” The university’s Public Relations Officer, Des Wosu, said: “I have forwarded your text to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barineme Fakae and he is yet to get back to me. I will contact you later.”

There’s hope for Nigeria, says Oshiomhole From Osagie Otabor, Benin



OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has urged Nigerians to renew hope in the nation saying “the challenges of the moment are not insurmountable.” In his message to the people to mark the nation’s 51st Independence anniversary, the governor said: “This year’s anniversary provides

which often compound the traffic situation in Port Harcourt. Dismissing the view that the State Traffic Management Authority (TMARIV) was inept, Amaechi blamed the citizenry for flouting traffic laws, saying offenders would be prosecuted. Residents of Rivers State will in January commence payment of the Social Services Levy, which was passed into law last year. The governor stated that the levy would drive the free education and health care policy of his administration.

another opportunity to reflect on the state of the Nigerian polity, economy and society. “I acknowledge that Nigeria in its current state is not the Nigeria of the dream of the founding fathers or of the current generation. “Many Nigerians, especially younger people, are disenchanted with several aspects of the country, particularly the performance of key functionaries and institutions involved in governance. “Life remains unbearable for Nigerians, a fact that is evident in the rising unemployment and generally acknowledged deepening poverty levels. “Compared to other nations, far less progress has

•Urges patience with Jonathan been made in economic development, especially in the areas of infrastructure. “Indeed, the robust gains and solid foundations for development laid by the immediate post-independence leaders have been eroded over the years through ill-conceived policies, incompetence and corruption. “With the recent upsurge in sectarian violence and the growth of ethnic and religious tensions in some parts of Nigeria, it is now obvious that we need to do more to manage our diversity. “But the challenge is not to despair or to dismiss the country as failed. “Even in advanced democracies today, we still see evidence of social, economic

and political explosions, some of them of severe magnitude. “However, such chains of events have not provoked their citizens to dismiss their countries or re-draw their maps, as some habitually sectarian elements often do here in Nigeria. “While Nigeria is passing through tough times, I believe that the challenges of the moment are not insurmountable. “Fixing Nigeria calls for all of us to redouble our efforts, especially to restore broken bridges and unite the people. “These times call for leaders to moderate their utterances and desist from orchestrating sentiments that tend to be divisive.

“Our political elite need to develop the tools that can foster reconciliation. It is noteworthy and commendable that Mr. President has already taken some steps to address the grievances of those who have taken up arms to canvass their views. “We must continue to encourage all such groups to give up arms and avail themselves of the opportunity for peaceful resolution offered by the President. “At 51, Nigeria ought to strengthen the foundations of democracy. We need to build on the recent gains towards evolving an electoral system that meets international standards of transparency and credibility.” Oshiomhole also urged Nigerians to be patient with the President, saying 100 days was too short to solve the nation’s many problems.

KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has urged the people to show love to one another. Akpabio made the call at the weekend after inspecting the Independence Day parade. The governor advised them to be committed to the nation and work towards greatness. Paying tribute to the founding fathers, Akpabio said: “Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa was right when he said we are well built upon firm foundations but those foundations are getting fragile and we should begin to worry about how many more shocks they can absorb.” He hailed President Goodluck Jonathan, saying he is a pride to the Niger Delta. “How long shall the actions of misguided brothers and sisters threaten the foundations of our nation?

Mobil spends N48m on malaria From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


IL giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria, has launched a $325,000 (N48million) programme aimed at preventing and combating malaria at MPN supplier communities (MAPs-C). The programme, which is to be implemented by Africare, is to cover three years starting from 2011 to 2013. The company’s Executive Director/General Manager, Public & Government Affairs, Mrs. Gloria EssienDanner, spoke at the launch of the programme. She said the programme would reduce malaria through prevention and control by providing and ensuring that children under five and expectant women sleep under insecticide treated nets , treating of malaria cases through laboratory and /or Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT). According to her, the programme will be accessed through outreaches in 12 communities: Okon-Eket, Afaha Atai, Odio, NduoEduo, Ikot Abia, Eket Urban in Eket Local Government and Okoroutip, Akata/ Opolom-Iwuopom, Afia Ndito Eka Iba, Opolom, Ntafre in Ibeno Local Government.





Wema appoints directors, right-sizes

Interbank rates fall on budget inflows

AMCON waives right to N directorship in banks


EMA Bank Plc has appointed two di rectors. they are Mr Abubakar Lawal and Mr Ramesh Naraindas Hatharaman. It also elevated 100 employees and sacked others due to non-performance. The new appointments, according to a statement from the bank, “is an indication of the bank’s continued commitment to the sustenance of good corporate governance and its transformation agenda stands to boost the bank’s existing Board Structure as they bring with them quality experience and expertise having distinguished themselves in various endeavors and have made significant contributions to the growth of the nation’s economy.” This brings to seven, the total number of directors on Wema Bank’s Board. Speaking on the appointments, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, Managing Director of the Bank said: “The appointments were part of the Bank’s short to medium term strategic plans to enable it to meet the demands of modern banking for the Bank to effectively compete with other top industry players.” He said the Bank will continue to make significant investments in its people, processes, Information Technology and other structures to drive its goal of becoming a foremost provider of banking services in Nigeria. Oloketuyi further said the transformation, which started a little over two years ago, has also witnessed the resignation of a few staff, which has inadvertedly also provided opportunities for the bank’s growing dynamic younger workforce to exploit their potential in contributing to the growth and success of the bank.

The Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NEBT) shall exist only as long as it takes the distribution firms to become creditworthy and be able to directly negotiate their own power purchase pacts. -Prof Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power


HE Asset Manage ment Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has waived its right to appoint directors into the boards of several banks it has significant equity stakes. The Nation gathered that this is in line with the commitment of the bad-debt special purpose vehicle not to interfere in the management and direction of banks. AMCON has significant equity stakes in post-combination First City Monument Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc through the corporations investments in three acquired banks- Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB), Oceanic Bank International, FinBank and Intercontinental Bank and through direct investment in Union Bank. A top industry source said AMCON has indicated that it would not exercise its right to appoint a director into the board of a bank where its 10 per cent equity stake automatically grants it a seat on the

Taofik Salako

board of the post-merger entity. Although the specific waiver was said to be due to AMCON’s trust in the corporate governance of the bank, the source said AMCON might adopt the waiver as a general policy in relation to all the banks where it has significant investments. Under the mergers and acquisition deals struck by banks last week, AMCON is expected to receive equities for injection of capital to recapitalise rescued banks and reverse their huge negative shareholders’ funds to zero level as a first step to enhance the attraction of the banks. Thereafter, new investors are expected to recapitalise the banks to meet the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent. With overwhelming shareholders’approvals for the mergers and acquisitions, AMCON has 20 per cent equity stakes in Union Bank, 10 per cent equity

stake in Sterling Bank through ETB and 15 per cent equity stake in Intercontinental Bank, which would be transferred to Access Bank. AMCON is expected to hold 4.28 billion shares in restructured capital of FinBank, which would be exchanged with FCMB shares in the ratio of one FCMB share for every six shares. Besides, AMCON has substantial investments in nearly all Nigerian-owned banks, although there are no available data to ascertain whether this meets the statutory significance level of five per cent. Quoted companies are required to list out direct and indirect shareholdings of directors as well as other shareholders with equity stakes of five per cent and above. Also, AMCON has sprinkles of shareholdings in several non-bank quoted companies, which shares were the underlying collaterals in several of the bad debts acquired by AMCON. Managing director,

AMCON, Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, also confirmed the corporation’s waiver of right to appoint directors. He, however, reaffirmed the commitment of AMCON to protecting its investments in the banks and ensuring good corporate governance. According to him, appointing director to the board is just one of the many ways shareholders can influence the corporate governance in their companies and AMCON will always be alive to its responsibilities to safeguard tax payers funds invested in the banks. He said AMCON would not be involved in the running of the banks, but it would do everything to protect its funds by making sure that governance and investment in the banks are solid. “We will explore all available means to protect our interests in the ownership of these banks, including appointing directors where necessary,” Chike-Obi said.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$118.7/barrel Cocoa -$2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber -¢146.37pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.747 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -9.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.84% Savings rate -1.42% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit -6% MPR -8.75% Foreign Reserve $34.87b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL


0.281 215.1 245.00 153.16 1.5652 243.2 40.57

• From left: Mrs Funke Osibodu, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer; Prof. Musa Yakubu, Chairman, and Company Secretary, Mr Muyiwa Sonubi, at the Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the bank in Abuja ... on Friday.

Reps committee seeks review of banks’ mergers, acquisitions T

HE House of Repre sentatives Commit tee on Capital Market and Institutions is advocating a review of the acquisition and mergers of banks, saying the process is flawed. The committee also decried the current state of the country’s capital market, which requires the strengthening of investor’s confidence to be revived. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Herman Hembe, who spoke after the inauguration of House committees by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, last week, said the committee would

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

intervene and investigate the processes to save the sector in conformity with Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution as amended. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to adhere to rules and procedures guiding the process, adding: “The on-going mergers and acquisition of banks, which operations fall directly within the purview of this committee, the process has largely been flawed, laws, rules and procedure have not been

followed. We will step in to ensure the rule of law”. According to the lawmaker, the committee will intervene in the overall interest of the investors and the nation’s economy having discovered that “Quite a number of petitions regarding these mergers particularly with respect to the fact that some very high bids were disregarded in favour of lower bids”. Noting that the current state of capital market requires investor’s confidence, Hembe noted: “The capital market in Nigeria

is in a state none of us can be proud of. The all-share index that rose to 57,990.22 points by December 31, 2007 with market capitalisation of N13.29 trillion with over 300 listed securities on the exchange has by 2011 witnessed a 56 per cent decline to 20,202,50 points and a market capitalisation value of N6.44 trillion”. He assured that the committee would collaborate with stakeholders to strengthened investors’confidence and check inconsistencies as they arise to encourage regulators and investors.

IGERIAN interbank lending rates eased marginally to an average of 11.50 per cent last week from 11.66 per cent the previous week following a cash inflow boost from August budgetary disbursal. The market opened last Friday with a balance of about N238.15 billion ($1.49 billion), compared with a negative balance of around N225.8 billion last week. The secured Open Buy Back (OBB), according to Reuters news was steady at 11.25 per cent, equal to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lending rate and 400 basis points above the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate. Overnight placement fell to 11.50 per cent from 11.75 per cent, while call money closed lower at 11.75 per cent from 12 per cent last week. “There were large inflows of budget funds into the system last Monday, while part of public sector wages were also released on Wednesday, raising the level of liquidity in the system,” one dealer said. Traders said increased conduct of Open Market Operations (OMO) by the CBN, coupled with the sales of treasury bills at the primary market took out some liquidity. “Rates actually fell to around 10 per cent for overnight placement in the week, but with the consistent mopping-up exercise by the central bank, the system liquidity gradually thinned out,” another dealer said. Dealers said over N100 billion in payments for the purchase of foreign exchange will be transferred to the CBN vault from the banking system on Friday, which would further reduce cash in the system next week. “We see rates climbing next week because of the possible continuation of the conduct of OMO, foreign exchange purchases and other transactional outflows which would reduce liquidity in the system,” one dealer said. Dealers said most banks will be borrowing heavily next week to make provision for their cash reserves requirement. This will also affect negatively the level of liquidity in the system and cause rates to rise. Indicative rates for the Nigeria interbank offered rate (NIBOR), fell in tandem with seven-day funds, closing at 11.66 percent from 12.08 percent last week. Thirty-day funds eased to 12.25 percent from 12.50 percent, the 60-day closed at 12.70 percent against 12.79 percent, while the 90-day was unchanged at 13.25 percent.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

Fed Govt sells N53.6b treasury bills

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 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 1. 2. 3. 4.

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 Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana 1. IRS 2. Arik

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 11.15 13.15 15.50 18.00

LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

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 left: Council member, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr Olusegun Odubogun; Group Managing Director/CEO, Skye Bank Plc, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti and Group Managing Director/CEO, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr Alex Otti, at the Annual Bankers Conference in Abuja.

RMAFC to NNPC: stamp out oil theft, others T

HE Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, has charged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and other stakeholders to stamp out oil theft and pipeline vandalism to boost oil revenue generation. Mbam, who led members of the Commission on an inspection of facilities at the Port Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemical, a subsidiary of the NNPC, urged management and staff of the company to collaborate with security agencies, revenue generating agencies, civil society, mass media and host communities to check pipeline vandalism and oil bunkering to increase revenue generation. The RMAFC boss added that given the transformation agenda of the administration, it has become expedient for revenue generating agencies to support the agenda

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

through transparent, accountable and timely collections and remittances of revenue to enable the government to carry out its development agenda. He expressed disgust at the manner in which economic saboteurs siphon Nigeria’s oil resources, which would have been channelled for development, adding that such ignoble acts destroy our economy, undermine national security, defile our environment, damage our image and deprive our youths of a brighter future. The members of the Commission had earlier visited oil facilities at Brass Terminal, Obrikom Gas Plant, Bonny LNG, Amenam Floating Production, Storage and Uploading plant operated by Agip, Shell and

Total Elf. The Managing Director of PHRC, Anthony Ogbuigwe, expressed his company’s readiness to partner with the Revenue Mobilisation Commission on effective revenue generation in the oil industry, noting that it remains the biggest foreign exchange earner for Nigeria. The managing director, who was represented by Executive Director Services, Mr Dominic Ekpan, said that continued oil theft, vandalism and the attendant shut downs of flow stations, which greatly limits production and decreases revenue earnings must be condemned by Nigerians. Ogbuigwe added that the ugly incident plaguing the industry, which scares away investors, needs to be arrested if Nigeria is to maximise its oil revenue.

S’Africa wades into First Guarantee/ PENCOM feud


HE South African govern ment has stepped into the face-off between First Guarantee Pension Limited and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM). Already, the South African High Commission in Nigeria has petitioned PENCOM, which, however, claimed that the development had been overtaken by events. The South African government said it was forced to issue a statement following the refusal of the PENCOM to obey court orders and the subsequent queries issued to the commission by the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke. The Attorney-General had queried the Director-General of PEMCOM Mr M.K. Ahmad on August 17, 2011 in a memo with reference number HAGF/ PEMCOM.2011/Vol.1/2 titled Contempt of Court by PENCOM on the removal of Mr Derrick Roper as Director of First Guarantee Pension Limited and a copy sent to the Inspector-General of Police on August 18, this year. Mr Roper represents the interest of NOVARE (A South African firm) on the Board of First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL). A statement signed by Kgaugelo Mogashoa, the Second Secretary, Political of the South African High Commission, said it has “raised the issue with relevant authorities in

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor (Abuja)

Nigeria within the spirit of existing cordial bilateral relations with the hope that a quick, amicable, mutual and beneficial solution can be found.” He said the South African High Commission will “endeavour to exhaust all the available channels and options in resolving any matter that may impact negatively on the economic relations” of both countries. The South African government, the secretary said, values the economic and political relations with Nigeria and remains committed to advancing those interest. He added that the High Commission has the responsibility “to facilitate the interactions between SA and Nigerian companies we are also expected to enhance the already existing excellent economic and trade relations between our nations.” Meanwhile in the said query, the Attorney-General had written to the PENCOM boss that he had “carefully reviewed the said court order and it is my considered opinion that the decisions and actions of PENCOM complained about are clearly in violation of the order, which is capable of exposing the government particularly, the Honourable Attorney- General of the Federation who is the second respondent in the order, to unnec-

essary criticism and embarrassment.” To this end, Adoke instructed PENCOM: “Unless it can be shown that the above order has been vacated in which case a copy should be forwarded to me for my record, I strongly advise that you reverse decisions and actions already taken as outlined and return to status quo. This is to avoid being held in contempt of court as your actions are clearly in violation of subsisting court order.” Contacted by The Nation, for its reaction, a staff of PENCOM, who pleaded anonymity admitted that the commission received the memos from the attorney general but insisted that the memos have been “over taken by events as the attorney general has been briefed by PENCOM and put in the true picture of things.” Based on what PENCOM told the attorney general, the PENCOM official said the attorney general had instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest those responsible for the change of management of FGPL. On its part, First Guarantee Pension Limited said they were aware that the attorney general had directed the EFCC to investigate the matter and that officials of the pension company had been invited by the EFCC to explain their side of the matter.

HE Federal Government sold 53.63billion ($336.45million) in 91-day, 182-day and 364day treasury bills last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said last Friday. The regulator sold N19.10billion of the 91-day paper, N19.08 billion of 182-day bill and N15.45 billion of the 364-day paper at marginal rates of 10.23 per cent, 10.85 per cent and 11.24 per cent. Yield on the papers were generally up as a result of last week’s hike in the apex bank’s benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 9.25 per cent. The CBN penultimate week raised its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year to 9.25 per cent to tackle future upward inflationary pressure and expectations of continued high government spending. The Federal Government issues treasury bills regularly as part of monetary control measures to help lenders manage their liquidity. Total subscription stood at N110 billion, as increased in system liquidity raised appetite for treasury bills.

N’Delta youths laud NLNG’s hqtrs’ relocation From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


HE planned relocation of the entire headquarters of the Ni gerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, from Lagos to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has been lauded by Niger Delta youths. Speaking on behalf of the youths, President of the National Delta Youth Leaders Council (NDYLC), Japhet Ogbueri, yesterday in Port Harcourt, said the relocation would boost the local content policy of the Federal Government. The youths’leader noted that having the NLNG’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, very close to its Bonny Island, Rivers State base, would assist in providing employment opportunities for the teeming qualified youths, directly or indirectly. Ogbueri stated that the relocation would also boost the economy of Rivers State, through the payment of taxes and levies, with a lot of indigenes, especially the contractors, to be adequately empowered. He stressed that the relocation would also contribute to putting an end to militancy, kidnapping, sea piracy and other vices, when the youths are fully engaged.

Agency flays ALGON over revenue collection


RESIDENT of Harmonised Mobile Adverts and Allied Services Agency of Nigeria (HAMAASAN), Chief Theophilus Oluwarotimi Oke, has condemned the attempt by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) or its accredited agents to take over collection of mobile adverts revenue from his agency. He spoke in Lagos, at the launch of the agency’s clearance certificates and inauguration of state executives of the agency, which will be held in Benin on October 14 and 15. Describing the action of ALGON as arbitrary and inconsequential, he said the association lacked the power to take over the function of revenue collection, as it was expected to be engrossed with chairmen’s affairs alone and not meddling in the day-to-day administrations in local governments across the country.



ISSUES Banking crises are getting closer to being resolved, with last week’s shareholders’ approval of the recapitalisation of the five rescued banks. Although a major feat, more work needs to be done by the merged entities to make these institutions remain competitive. COLLINS NWEZE writes.

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi


HE over two years banking reforms have reached a milestone, with the endorsement by shareholders of the five rescued banks, the recapitalisation of their institutions. It didn’t come to many as a surprise, as the shareholders had little or no choice. In short, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Moghalu, had consistently warned the shareholders of the implications of failing to approve their banks' recapitalisation bids. It was, therefore, seen as a loss cutting strategy, when shareholders of defunct Afribank, Bank PHB and Spring bank lost N32 billion for their nationalisation. With the approvals, an hurdle has been cleard in the recapitalisation bids of Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank, FinBank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Union Bank, but more challenges lie ahead. Although new ownership has emerged as promised by the regulator, the banking sector is still not sufficiently healthy or devoid of the challenges limiting its performance. "The banking sector is still not fully healthy. We have seen new ownership of the rescued banks as promised by the regulator. The banks are bigger and better but it is only when the CBN becomes less active in the management of the banks that we can envisage a reliable financial services sector," former Executive Director, Bank PHB, Richard Obire, said. He said the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the CBN have put in over N3 trillion in the resolution of the banking crises, but a good portion of the fund remain government equity in these banks. But the entire process, he agreed, will strengthen the sector and provide leverage for the banks to meet their obligations, both to the customers and the economy. The Managing Director, Financial Nigeria Limited, Olawale Akintunde, said the full effects of the policies unveiled by the apex bank in the last two years will begin to trickle into the banking sector in the first quarter of 2012. These policies, especially the lifting of bans on government bonds, will have big effect on banks’ balance sheets and determine business directions in the remaining part of the year. “The economy is

•AMCON CEO, Chike-Obi

Rescued banks: More hurdles to clear taking a leap forward, and that will affect positively, banks’ balance sheets and their ability to meet stakeholders’ targets,” he stated.

Implications for the banks

A financial analyst, Ben Otua, said banks should focus on putting finishing touches to the mergers and acquisitions. For him, it is only when this is concluded that the benefits of the reforms will be fully realised, adding that getting the banks out of the woods will require more than shareholders’ approvals, but critically looking at ways of implementing all the concessions and tradeoffs that were agreed upon, during the transactions. For instance, the new entities that will come from the dust of consolidation will need to deal with brand-related issue such as whether there will be change of name, logo and evolution of a new brand culture. There could also be implications for the Information Technology integration. However, bigger banks may gain access to costsaving technologies or spread their fixed costs over a larger base, thus reducing average costs. Efficiency gains may also result from economies of scope, as the deal may allow the merging parties to enter new markets and cross-sell their products to a wider customer base. Finally, consolidation may improve managerial efficiency. However, the extent of exploitable scale and scope of

economies might be smaller than commonly thought, and efficiency gains resulting from better management might be elusive in large and complex institutions. He said part of the challenges will be the desire of the acquiring banks to seek operational efficiencies by harnessing strengths of recapitalised ones. Staff rationalisations are likely to follow, but over time, the industry will experience new areas of growth leading to renewed search for talents. “Beyond manpower challenges, will be critical issues of infrastructure - power, broad-band availability and network adequacy. These are fundamental to efficient retail banking services. But there is need for appropriate risk management framework for running retail businesses,” he added. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane, said the emerging banks will have to improve on their Information Communication Technology (ICT) convergence and rapidly changing customer behaviour. They are also expected to be embrace creativity, especially in the face of customer price sensitivity, decreasing loyalty, willingness to switch banks and products as well as propensity to shop around. Going forward, he said banks’ positions will be determined by efficiency of their operations, with

viable ones focusing on their core competence areas, providing quality customer services, employees competences and quality technology. Analysts insist that once these happen, the ultimate beneficiary is the customer.

Job loss imminent

Many staff of the recapitalised banks are already apprehensive about their job security. Such staff, especially those whose performance ratings fall below 50 per cent industry minimum, have been victims of downsizing by banks in the past. Some of them are already expecting that in the coming months, their job positions may be reviewed. In some banks, workers, who fall within this threshold, are either looking for alternative career path, or lobbying key management staff to reassign them to new units. But many of such management staff, seem not to be complying, as their own positions are equally under threat under the new dispensation.

The genesis

Shareholders of five banks, in their separate Extra-Ordinary General Meetings (EGMs) held last week approved the recapitalisation of the banks. This put to rest all the oppositions and disagreements between them and the apex bank over the recapitalization of the banks. The investors had opposed the CBN’s plan to recapitalise the banks through mergers, acquisitions and capital injections from both local and foreign investors. To buttress their point, coalition of shareholder groups had gone to court to stop possible mergers and acquisition of the banks, as well as held several rallies, to ensure that the apex bank failed in its bid to get core investors to buy the banks. But the shareholders lost part of the battle on August 5, when three of the banksAfribank, Bank PHB and Spring bank were nationalised by the CBN. The apex bank said the three banks failed to show the necessary capacity and ability to recapitalise within the • Continued on page 14




•GMD Oceanic Bank, John Aboh

•GMD FinBank, Suzzane Iroche

•GMD Intercontinental Bank, Lai Alabi

•GMD Union Bank, Funke Osibodu

Rescued banks have more hurdles to clear • Continued from page 13

September 30 deadline set for them. It therefore handed them to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). The Corporation subsequently transferred the assets and liabilities of the banks to newly incorporated Bridge Banks, namely Mainstreet Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited and Enterprise Bank Limited. The assets and liabilities of the banks were sold to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which subsequently injected N679 billion into the banks to keep them running. By the nationalisation, shareholders of the three banks had lost an estimated billion of naira. Between September 26 and 30, when the rescued banks’ recapitalisation bids were tabled before shareholders at the EGMs for approval, a coalition of 25 registered shareholders associations expressed their willingness to endorse the lenders’ deals.

The Extra-Ordinary General Meetings

Shareholders of Oceanic Bank International, on September 27, overwhelmingly approved the planned merger with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). At a courtordered meeting, the shareholders consented to the proposal brought before them by the board of Oceanic Bank. “Shareholders at the meeting gave their overwhelming support for the board and management to go ahead with the merger deal,” Group Managing Director, Oceanic Bank, John Aboh, said. He said both banks are coming together to form a solid larger bank that will deliver better returns for shareholders. He said the reform process has taught shareholders and stakeholders that communication is very essential in everything, adding that contrary to projections that share exchange ratio between ETI and Oceanic was 20 for one, it was actually 14 for one. Aboh disclosed that ETI paid N1.12 for each unit of Oceanic share. “People thought that share exchange ratio was 20 for one, but it is actually 14 for one. And also, if you look at the price of Oceanic, which was suspended at N1.15 and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated is actually paying about N1.12,” Aboh said. He said the combined entity is coming back together, not as an asset striping corporation, but with the commitment to do business and create value for shareholders. “It is the beginning of a new day for Oceanic Bank. It is the beginning of a new day for the combined entity.”

Sterling Bank/ETB EGMs

Likewise, shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc and Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) Limited also approved the merger of the two banks with shareholders describing the merger as a fair deal. At their separate EGM in Lagos, shareholders overwhelmingly voted for the merger, citing opportunity for better returns and strengths of the two banks as part of the reasons for their consent.

With the shareholders’ approval of the scheme of merger, Sterling Bank would issue two ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in exchange for one ordinary share of N1 each of ETB. This implies an exchange ratio of two shares for two shares exchange ratio where ETB’s share is subdivided into 50 kobo nominal value. With the merger, shareholders of ETB including AMCON would assume 20 per cent stake in Sterling Bank Plc, consisting of 10 per cent equity stake each for existing shareholders of ETB and AMCON. ETB would also nominate a director unto the board of Sterling Bank. Speaking at the EGM, chairman, Sterling Bank, Dr. Suleiman Adegunwa, said with the common values of both banks and other numerous synergies, the merger would maximise values for the customers and shareholders of both banks. According to him, the merger would further strengthen Sterling Bank into a formidable financial institution wider branch network and strong retail franchise. “We also envisage that the emergent Sterling Bank from the merger would be a market leader in service delivery in all locations with branches well situated in metropolitan centres in Nigeria with attractive demographic characteristics,” Adegunwa said. Addressing shareholders on the benefits of the merger, Group Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Yemi Adeola, said the bank expects to increase its earnings, reduce costs and leverage on the synergies from the two banks to consolidate its market share. “With this merger, we are laying the foundation for future earnings growth and better financial performance. We expect to increase earnings, cut costs and significantly build shareholder value,” Adeola said.

ETI shareholders also met

Equally, shareholders of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) also unanimously approved the bank’s resolution to acquire Oceanic Bank Plc as part of strategic transactions for which the bank is raising $3 billion. The board assured shareholders that Oceanic Bank has been rid of bad debt by the AMCON. The board also insisted that Oceanic remained strong in assets with wide spread network. Approving the resolution in an EGM in Lagos, overwhelming 93.332 per cent of shareholders voted in favour as against 6.667 per cent that opposed the resolution, while 0.001 was void. Shareholders of Oceanic had a day before, overwhelmingly approved the transaction.

With shareholders of both banks giving their nod to the acquisition, the coast is now clear for 100 per cent acquisition of Oceanic Bank by ETI. Addressing shareholders at the meeting, ETI Board Chairman, Mr Kolapo Lawson to said that the approval would enable the bank pursue its expansion agenda in Africa, particularly Nigeria and Ghana. Expressing his satisfaction at shareholders’ approval, the chairman said: “The general meeting approved the resolution reaffirming the authorisation earlier granted to the board in 2008 to raise up to $3 billion in equity, debt, quasi equity global depository receipts (GDR) or a combination of any or all of these as the board of directors may deem appropriate.”

Union Bank shareholders approve recapitalisation

Shareholders of Union Bank at the weekend, voted in support of the lender’s scheme of arrangement, paving way for the 94-yearold institution to progress with its recapitalisation plan. At the Court Ordered Meeting held in Abuja, 2955 shareholders translating to a total number of 2,174,349,978 shares voted in favour of the scheme. This represents 99.9 per cent of the value of shares of shareholders present at the meeting. Only 189,000 shares voted against the scheme, representing 0.01 per cent of value of shares of shareholders present. Earlier, the shareholders called on every stakeholder to take up their Rights Issue in full so as to preserve their capital value in the bank. They also commended the board of directors, management and staff of the bank for their efforts and understanding in ensuring that the recapitalisation process is realised. Upon the scheme coming into effect, existing shareholders would retain 2, 533,125,000 ordinary shares in the recapitalised Union Bank. They would receive three new Union Bank shares in exchange for 16 currently held. It is expected that post-recapitalisation, the value of the recapitalised Union Bank would rise, thereby enhancing shareholder value. The banks has projected profit after tax of N9.2 billion, N17.2 billion and N19,4 billion for the years ended December 31, 2002; 2013 and 2014. In view of the forecast, the effect of the scheme on the returns of existing shareholders would be accretive in the medium to long-term.

How the mergers, acquisitions will unfold Oceanic Bank is seeking business combination

‘However, bigger banks may gain access to cost-saving technologies or spread their fixed costs over a larger base, thus reducing average costs. Efficiency gains may also result from economies of scope, as the deal may allow the merging parties to enter new markets and cross-sell their products to a wider customer base.’

with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated; Intercontinental Bank has opted to combine with Access Bank; Finbank has chosen First City Monument Bank (FCMB); Equitorial Trust Bank has signed on to Sterling Bank while Union Bank has chosen the African Capital Alliance (ACA) as new core investors. Also, new core investors are expected to capitalise the rescued banks above the minimum capital adequacy level. For instance, the ACA is expected to inject $500 million equity funds and $250 million Tier II capital into Union Bank while FCMB has guaranteed N15 billion to ensure Finbank meets 15 per cent capital adequacy ratio.

The AMCON Example

In what appeared to be a definitive stand on immediate action on any failed business combination, AMCON CEO, Mustafa Chike-Obi said the Corporation put N2.1 trillion down to fully recapitalise and take full control of the five banks in case shareholders vote against the business combinations. Besides, AMCON also increased the shelf value of its bond to N4.5 trillion to provide headroom for additional capital that might be needed should the shareholders fail to play ball. Chike-Obi noted that though financial services authorities have no premeditation of any failure, they would act in any failure to protect the interests of depositors and guaranteeing continuing operations of the banks, employees’ jobs and customer relationships.

Shareholders, stakeholders perspectives

The Co-ordinator of the Coalition, Olufemi Timothy, said recapitalising the banks will enable them to recoup their investments instead of losing everything. “We appeal to both the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulators, not to nationalise our banks again. We are in support of all the Transaction Implementation Agreements (TIA) signed by the five recued banks,” he said. Assessing the CBN reforms so far, Renaissance Capital, an investment and research firm, said the global financial crises of 2008 and 2009 altered the equation of the country’s banking industry. “The big Nigerian banks have remained big and some of the previously mid-tosmall-scale banks have leapt into the big banks’ league, creating more top-level concentration. Going forward, we believe size, liquidity, capital and efficiency will define the champions in the emerging banking landscape and the healthy banks will have first mover advantage,” Renaissance said in an emailed statement. The projection is that in total, the number of Nigerian banks will reduce by four to 20, with the tier -one controlling 65 per cent and 66 per cent of assets and deposits the tiertwo controlling 25 per cent and 23 per cent of assets and deposits; and the tier-three controlling 10 per cent and 11 per cent of assets and deposits.






Full of ideas? Try graphic design

• A graphic designer at work

There is no gainsaying the fact that graphic designers are highly creative. This, it is believed, is why individuals and companies scramble for their signatures. Their services are needed in many areas. This opens windows of opportunity for them to up their income. AKINOLA AJIBADE writes.


RAPHIC designing has become a highly lucrative job, follow ing the growing need for such designers in recent times. Reputed to be a job for creative minds, graphic designers are expected to be full of ideas. They are also expected to be skillful and fit into any aspect of visual communication. They flick through the computer, manoeuvre the keyboards, call up symbols, make issues out of them, redesign them, and lay them on pages in a fascinating manner. An average designer must have an eye for beauty, and an ability to make texts and pictures striking. Because their world is knowledge related, newspapers, publishing companies and advertising agencies jostle for their signatures. Those in below-theline advertising use graphic designers a lot. The reason being that they beautify materials, such as mugs, key holders, T-shirts, fez-caps and many others. In the past, companies did not fancy using graphic designers because they

believed it was a job for dropouts. But with the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), graphic designing became the toast of many. Some universities, too, began offering graphics. Yet, it seems there is a dearth of graphic designers. Although the computer has made the job easier, there are no enough designers to go round. Companies employ graphic designers to push their brands, raising the demand for trained ones, preferably graduates. The Deputy Director, Arts, Franchise Law and Kenneth, Mr Tunde Edidi, said graphic designing is a versatile area which re-

quires technical knowhow. Edidi said it is important for people to go through the rudiments of graphic designing, by attending a school of arts or A university. He said there is no way one can perform as a graphic artist except he or she studied the course. Graphics, he said, involves the use of colours or forms to communicate, adding that it is a kind of visual art. He said fine and commercial arts are the two basic types of arts, adding that the former deals with the expression of feelings while the latter is profit-oriented.

‘When a fine artist is producing some drawings, he does not have a target audience in mind. That is why it is easier to see works of art expressing no commercial values. But it is not so with a graphic artist or designer’

Edidi said: “A fine artist produces artworks for its own sake and has no commercial interest in mind. But a graphic designer works as a commercial artist with business approach to issues. “When a fine artist is producing some drawings, he does not have a target audience in mind. That is why it is easier to see works of art expressing no commercial values. But it is not so with a graphic artist or designer. A graphic artist considers the audience. He knows what he has in mind based on the briefs given to him, and goes out to achieve it. Graphic designers practise industrial arts. Graphic jobs are well planned because of their commercial values.” He added: “If I want to design an advert as a graphic artist, I would collect briefs and generate ideas. The way we design obituary advert is different from that of wedding advert. Graphic art is about the use of designing elements, such as colours to communicate effec• Continued on page 16




Full of ideas? Try graphic design •Continued from page 15

tively.” According to him, graphic artists can work in any area where there is creativity. He said their services are needed in fashion houses, printing companies, advertising agencies, manufacturing outfits and financial institutions, among others. Edidi said some banks have graphics department where they produce their weekly bulletins and hand bills for their products. He said such bulletins cannot be given to advertising firms because of their sensitive nature. “The need for graphic artists or designers is endless. Anywhere there is visual communication, they are bound to get jobs,” he added. On remunerations, Edidi said the salaries of graphic designers depend on what employers want. “If a graphic designer works in a mainstream outfit like an advertising firm, he earns more than his counterpart that works in an auxiliary institution. Besides, there are opportunities to do some jobs on his own and make money,” he added. Also, a lecturer in Graphic Arts, Yaba College of Technology, Mr AbdulRasheed Afolabi, said graphic designers stand a better chance of making money if they are good. For him, they are needed in educa-

tional institutions, public relations outfits, social marketing, television production, multi-media designs and business presentation. He said website design has taken graphic communication to new heights, adding that moving pictures, montages used in television programmes as well as footages that accompany news items are produced by graphic artists or designers. He said publishers of books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals have found increasing use of images and effective layouts very effective as their audience became more image-reliant. “ The variety of visual materials used in schools include photographs, line drawings, paintings, posters, slides, classroom charts, signs, films, models, graphs, books, and newspapers,” he said. He said a carefully-packaged business proposal, embellished with good communication graphics is more likely to get attention from decision makers than one that presents the facts and figures in a blind, uninteresting and non-captivating manner. Afolabi said graphic designers can easily appeal to the consciousness of business executives through their works, urging them to take their jobs serious. To a former staff member of Rosabel Advertising Company, Mr Tokunbo Olaide, graphic designing is a good area that

• Edidi

• Afolabi

people must show interest in. Olaide said there are many computer operators, but few graphic designers in the country. He observed that computer operators who do not have additional skills would find it difficult to survive and advised them to acquire knowledge of graphic designing. Olaide said computer operators are becoming irrelevant in the market, since many people have the ability to do what they do. “I observe that journalists are typing their stories and planning their pages with the aid of their laptops. That shows that the days of computer operators are numbered

in newspapers. To get enough recognition, they need to have basic understanding of graphic designs. The market is competitive, and it is only the workers who improve on their skills that would withstand pressures,” he said. It is evident that graphic designers are getting more recognition, due to their skills. In fact, they have various opportunities to prove their worth and make money. Given the growing demand for graphic artists, there is the need for more people to take up the course to fill the widening gap between demand and supply.


Wetherheads Group elevates staff


• Mrs Blessing-Kayode

ETHERHEADS Advertis ing Group Limited has elevated some of its 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 as director, and Mrs Olamide Blessing–Kayode, Chief Executive and Associate Director of Wing Communications Limited (Wincomm), a subsidiary of the group. Others 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 & Public Relations from ESUT Business School, Enugu in 2005. Mrs Blessing-Kayode is a 1995 graduate of Linguistics from 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 solutions.

• Akokhia


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).



THE CEO Managing Director and Chief Executive of Guinea Insurance Plc Soji Emiola has been a chartered insurance practitioner for more than two decades. He has requisite knowledge and skill in underwriting, corporate planning, branch networking, business development and strategic marketing. In this interview with TAOFIK SALAKO, Emiola speaks on the economy, financial sector reforms, challenges and prospects of the insurance sector and his company’s transformation, among others.


HAT’S your assessment of the economy? The economy is growing steadily and I think there are reasons to be optimistic about the long-term future of the economy in spite of obvious immediate challenges. Available statistics reveals that the Gross Domestic Product is expected to reach seven per cent before the end of 2011 and therefore, the economy and, indeed, those of other SubSaharan economies, are growing in spite of the impact of the global economic crisis. You will also see that the inflation rate has dropped in recent time to a single digit, though there are still concerns that inflation might still trend upward. Also, for some time the exchange rate has been stable between N150 and N158 per dollar. The reform in the banking sector has gathered momentum with the conclusion of banks’ business combinations. Besides, it is hoped that with better planning and execution, the country can attract more direct foreign direct investments. So, if you look beyond the recession at the stock market and the liquidity squeeze in the economy, you will see good prospects for the economy. However, let me quickly add that the direction and performance of the economy will depend largely on the vision and programmes the government intends to run with. It is expected that the government of President Jonathan will be able to fix the problem of power, and availability of power in sufficient supply, will act as catalyst in accelerating the performance of the economy. So, even though we may not be one of the 20 biggest economies by 2020, I still see Nigeria making giant strides economically. Most insurance stocks are trading around 50 kobo nominal value, do you think investors are undervaluing insurance potential or it’s just a reality of the worth of the insurance sector? You have raised a valuable observation. With the exception of a handful of insurance companies, majority of insurance companies are trading at par at the stock market. The situation now is a huge contrast to what was obtained during the stock market boom when share prices of some insurance stocks reached N15 and insurance stocks were the toast of investors. Mainly, the reason for the low share price of insurance companies is traceable to the double-edged crash in the capital market as it relates to insurance stocks. Most insurance companies invested the capital raised during the 2007 recapitalisation exercise and have since witnessed massive diminutions in investments in the capital, which eroded their shareholders’ funds. This has adversely affected the fundamentals of insurance stocks, which you know also form the basis for market valuations. Besides, the increasingly tough position of the regulatory authority on outstanding premium is also affecting the amount of profit insurance companies can show in the short term. However, in the long run, the industry will be better for this, as real profit will be shown in the years ahead. Notwithstanding, what I have said, the Nigerian insurance industry has enormous potential and it is expected that the industry is entering the phase of market induced consolidation that will produce fewer but stronger insurance companies. This will obviously impact on the fundamentals of insurance companies and, ultimately, their share prices. What are the challenges of insurance companies? Insurance companies in Nigeria have gone through different phases since Nigeria attained independence in 1960. However, the real change was first noticed in early 1990s with the emergence of young and dynamic insurance companies. One of the challenges facing us is the issue of huge outstanding premium. The guideline of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), which require that full provision should be made for uncollected debts after 180 days is in the immediate period impacting profits negatively and impairing solvency margin. However, the insurance companies will be better for it in the long run. Another challenge is the issue of rate cut-

• Emiola

‘Insurance is the next phase of mergers, acquisitions’ ting in the name of competition. It is common knowledge that the way and manner underwriters in this market price risks is not scientific and therefore not sustainable in the long run. The latest challenge confronting underwriters is the compliance with International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) by 2012. The regulatory authority is doing everything possible to provide direction in this regard but there is still much to be done by operators. Last but not the least challenge is the lack of coherence amongst the underwriters. It has been very difficult for underwriters in this market to cooperate amongst

themselves in order to evolve a disciplined industry that can speak with one voice. How can stakeholders boost the performance of the insurance sector? We all have roles to play-government, regulators, operators, consumers and the Nigerian public, in the development of insurance sector. In terms of incentives that Government needs to put in place for the growth and development of insurance sector, all over the world, governments are responsible for creating enabling environment necessary for insurance business to develop and thrive. In Nigeria, the Federal Government is living

up to its responsibility in this regards. The enabling laws for Insurance business are enacted and reviewed regularly. The Federal Government has equally strengthened the regulatory authority, NAICOM, to play its supervisory role more effectively. The biggest incentive to insurance sector from Government has come in form of patronage. Right now, Government is the biggest buyer of insurance and annually budget is cut to provide for this. Also, the Local Content Act has helped insurance companies to benefit • Continued on page 18




‘Insurance is the next phase of mergers, acquisitions’ • Continued from page 17

from premiums that would have otherwise left the shores of the Country. With much attention on the various compulsory insurances, the growth of insurance business, will be enhanced On the part of the practitioners, we need to create incentives that will lead to real growth and development. We need to develop products and services that we offer by raising the bar in line with international standards. Also, we need to offer our products and services using more convenient channels in reaching the customers. But let me add that we are seeing better cooperation among all stakeholders. The Market Development and Restructuring Initiatives (MDRIs) promoted by NAICOM have enjoyed the support of most underwriters especially as the implementation of compulsory insurance comes into effect. Since the launch and enlightenment campaigns carried to different parts of the country, more people have become aware and getting answers to their questions. It is expected that with our population, Nigeria should soon become a leading insurance market. Other initiatives like the database control that NIA has embarked on would also boost the efforts at ensuring that more people become policyholders. With the spate of bombings and security challenges in Nigeria, what’s the risk profile of insurance operators now? It is very unfortunate that Nigeria is grappling with security challenges which has now assumed entirely new dimension. No doubt, the risk profile has changed and insurance operators would have to respond differently. Therefore, underwriting and acceptance of risks that are prone to terrorist attacks will have to meet some underwriting criteria going forward. We should not forget the impact of September 11, 2001 terrorist in the United States. This is singular event that happened ten years ago made reinsurance rates to go up significantly and I expect that the attitude of our foreign reinsurance will change in response to insecurity in Nigeria. Can insurance companies cope with transition to International Financial Reporting Standard and what are the likely effects of this on their audited results? Insurance companies are still struggling to understand what IFRS is all about. IFRS involves a lot of judgement and it is expected that NAICOM will come out with a model financial statement shortly. Also, IFRS involves a lot of disclosures. IFRS 4, Insurance Contract has 16 pages dealing with disclosure requirements. There are stringent requirements for recognizing assets and liabilities. Hence a lot of assets and liabilities may not be recognized, and therefore the Balance Sheet of many insurance companies could be eroded. What are your strategies for entrenching Guinea Insurance as a leading insurer? The vision that we have agreed to pursue is that of making Guinea Insurance Plc the most respectable insurance brand in Nigeria that brokers and clients will be excited to do business with. This we have begun to see with the overwhelming support we have received since coming on board of the new Management. In terms of the strategic goals that we have set, going by our Business

Plan of five years, we have set the goal of becoming one of the industry’s top 10 by 2015, in terms of Gross Premium Income. Therefore, we are focusing on growing our business aggressively through the creation of relationships and establishing alternative channels of reaching the market. Secondly, in terms of market share, we have set a target of four per cent for ourselves considering where we are today. Thirdly, we are working to establish strategic partnerships that will enable us grow our retail portfolio, and lastly, we consistently seek to grow our shareholders’ fund and profit. To reposition Guinea Insurance Plc, we are very clear about what to focus the business on. We are focused on three key areas: Business Growth, Strong Internal Business Process and People. Therefore the strategies we will be deploying will be around these key areas. On Business Growth, we are seeking to build and deepen our relationships with brokers. This we have started doing by re-establishing relationships and letting them know what we are bringing to the table. From my experience, there are two keys things that brokers expect from underwriters - effective relationship management and excellent service delivery. In pursuing our business growth agenda, we are deliberately strengthening our branch network to be able to provide excellent services to our clients outside Lagos. This we are doing by providing the right people and infrastructure in our Regional and Branch offices. Apart from developing our corporate business, we are also deploying strategy to develop and grow our retail business which has been neglected by concentrating attention on corporate and public sector business. The second major agenda we are focusing on is having a strong internal business process. In alignment with our vision of building an insurance brand that will be the most respectable in this country, we reason that this is hinged on our ability to deliver excellent services and exceed the customers’ expectations at all times. Therefore, we are starting with the aspect of internal branding by ensuring that our processes are in top shape to meet customers’ aspirations for speed, quality and empathy. We are investing in technology to drive our processes in the area of claims administration and policy documentation. In addition to this, we are preparing to sign Service Level Agreements (SLA) with our Business Suppliers and Business Partners so that in every relationship we are entering into expectations are clear up front. Last but not the least is our People. We are quite aware that the greatest resource that we have is our people. Following the extensive human resources audit carried out by a reputable international consulting firm on Guinea Insurance Plc, the

• Emiola Board has invited them to implement their recommendations which were largely endorsed. It is expected that they will work with us till the end of the year to ensure a total transformation of our people. Going forward we intend to put the issue of staff development and training on the front burner. What should shareholders expect in terms of returns and fundamentals of the company? We are aware that shareholders expect returns in the form of dividend and capital appreciation. Last year we paid dividend to our shareholders and we intend to sustain that trend. We expect that there will be upward movement in Guinea share price as we execute our strategic initiatives in a bid to transform the Company. The investing public and the shareholders will see strong fundamentals in the years ahead. Our Annual General Meeting will be held in some few days from now precisely 6th of October in Awka, Anambra State. You may ask why the choice of Awka? To our business, Anambra State is very strategic in terms of business patronage and shareholding. As a matter of fact, we are the lead insurer on Anambra State Third Party Housing/Property Insurance Scheme which is a joint initiative of the State Government and Guinea Insurance. In recent period, there have been changes in the top management of many insurance companies, what do you think is driving this change? In business nothing is sacrosanct and that goes for changes in top management of insurance companies. Usually, the reasons for these changes are attributable to the changes in the broader business environment and the increasing expectations of investors. For instance, new owners who have bought into an existing insurance company may decide to inject new

hands into the business or the need to take the business to the next level. One of the major reasons insurance companies were hard hit during the stock market recession was the over concentration of their investments in the stock market, especially equities. What are you doing to build all-time investment portfolio to sustain operations irrespective of economic changes? It is true that most insurance companies lost substantial part of the funds raised during the 2007 recapitalisation exercise. This resulted in massive diminution in investment. As I said making the right investment requires knowledge and, therefore, we intend to retrain our people and ensure that the Investment decisions are based on the right skills and sound judgement. What alternative investment opportunities are available to insurers? Depending on which line of insurance business you are into whether life or non-life, the investment of insurance funds is regulated by Insurance Act and in doing this the law is concerned about liquidity and security of the investible funds. For a long time, the money and capital markets have been the two major investment outlets that insurance companies have played actively in. The crash in the stock market and low interest rate in the money market have made insurance companies to consider other investment options which to my mind are limited in number and attractiveness in view of the regulatory restrictions on the type of investments and amount that can be invested. However, it is important to point out that what insurance companies need are experienced, knowledgeable and skilled investment personnel more than investment alternatives. Notwithstanding massive

‘Religion of our people has not been helpful in making insurance an attractive proposition. Generally, Nigerians see purchase of insurance as an attempt to help God in protecting them. Even the so called educated in Nigeria share this belief that insurance is against their religious beliefs. ’

diminution of investment as a result of crash in the Capital Market, one or two insurance companies made money and exited the market while majority could not read the trend correctly and ended up losing money. Therefore, it is important to know when to invest and when to exit. Do you think insurance companies are adequately capitalised to play effectively in the financial market? As you are aware, by law, you need minimum capital of N2 billion and N3 billion to transact life and non life insurance business respectively. These are huge amount of money when compared with the level of capital needed to transact the same business prior to 2007 recapitalisation. Having said this, the business of insurance is about underwriting risks. In doing this insurance company all over the world work with reinsurance companies as major partners in carrying risks that are far more than their retention capacity. Therefore insurance companies truly and really do not need more than the stipulated capital to play effective role in the financial market. Nigerians appear averse to insurance policies. How do we strike a balance between compulsion and willingness in the promotion of insurance? Insurance penetration in Nigeria is still very low at about two to three per cent compared with penetration in South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritania. One can say that the low insurance penetration in Nigeria is as a result of some factors. First, high level of poverty in the country with a per capita income of less than $100 as well as uneven distribution of wealth contribute in no small way to low penetration of insurance in Nigeria. Second, the literacy level in this country is still not sufficiently high enough for people to appreciate the importance of using insurance as a means of loss mitigation. Education helps generally in appreciating the concept of insurance otherwise it will be perceived as something abstract and therefore a hard sell. Third, religion of our people has not been helpful in making insurance an attractive proposition. Generally, Nigerians see purchase of insurance as an attempt to help God in protecting them. Even the so called educated in Nigeria share this belief that insurance is against their religious beliefs. You can see that we have a lot of work to do in this country to improve on the penetration. Last is the negative perception that has been created in the minds of the insuring publics over the years which the industry is trying very hard to correct especially in the area of prompt claims settlement. The perception that insurance companies are only interested in collecting premium and not ready to meet obligation is not real and has to be totally corrected for the concept of insurance to be completely embraced. In terms of what can be done to make insurance appealing and therefore improve the penetration. First, massive education and awareness of insurance products and services would have to be provided for the right perception to be created and appreciation of the benefits of insurance. Second, we practitioners have to create simple products and services that meet the needs of majority of the populace. Most of the products that we have are targeted at the corporate clients and are the usual traditional products. In other words, we need to develop retail products that are cheap to sell and understand generally. Also the channels that we are going to use must be easy to reach our target markets. For retail to be an attractive proposition to insurance companies, technology will need to be leveraged i.e online sale and telemarketing in order to reduce the cost of sales. Third, we need to simplify our processes for claims administration.





Killing the recovery

Living without oil •We will need gargantuan will to overcome our addiction to the black gold


IKE the grand ritual of which it has become part, the nation’s 51st Independence anniversary celebration was not shorn of the customary homilies about the elements of a great country and what Nigeria requires to become one. As in previous years, this year’s ritual – from dissection to prescription – was complete – near perfect. On hand to dissect was Richard Dowden –speaker at the anniversary lecture titled “Nigeria in Transformation”. A pity-party of sorts, it was another occasion to rue the missed opportunities, the lost years of development, particularly the steady regression of an economy that started off as an agrarian one at independence, only to suffer tragically years later from the Dutch disease. As for the rite of prescription – this came from no less than President Goodluck

‘With due respects to the President’s pronouncement, we wish we could see the basis of his optimism. Sure, we have seen old templates dressed in new garments to convey appearances of being different. We have had the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of the Olusegun Obasanjo years ....The latest sing-song is – Transformation Agenda’

Jonathan himself when he pronounced in manner typical of a crystal ball gazer “that oil would cease to be the mainstay of the economy in the next 10 years”. Such lofty aspirations are obviously shared by most Nigerians. It is clearly the desire of every citizen to see the economy weaned from oil, to see agriculture restored to its pride of place, to see manufacturing rev back to life, and to see every single segment of the economy live up to their potential in creating wealth and employment. The plain truth however is that wishes – as against a plan of action –have become the stuff of which the Nigerian dreams and its bitter tales of disappointments are made. It goes to the heart of the saying that if wishers were horses, beggars would surely ride. With due respects to the President’s pronouncement, we wish we could see the basis of his optimism. Sure, we have seen old templates dressed in new garments to convey appearances of being different. We have had the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of the Olusegun Obasanjo years, followed by the 10-point agenda of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The latest sing-song is – Transformation Agenda. All claim to be the answers to the country’s economic woes, just as they share the premises of lofty goals although oftentimes with ill-defined timelines. Common to them is that they have done pretty little to excite the citizens. Nigeri-

ans could hardly be blamed therefore for being wary of attaching weight to such statements coming from their leaders. Nothing of course says that President Jonathan is fated to go the way of the others. As an incumbent, he has the opportunity to make a difference. The trouble is – he hasn’t even begun to scratch at the surface of what needs to be done to convince anyone that he means business. Take, for instance, a look at our ports system –of which the President seems enamoured given its potential as a honey pot. It remains a non-starter as far as making it a business-friendly environment. Whereas Ghana’s businessmen require about half-a-dozen signatures to get their goods cleared from their ports, their Nigerian counterparts have nearly two dozens – to that we may add the ubiquitous port rats – to contend with. Corruption, poor work ethics and inefficiency remain endemic at the ports – factors that pad up the cost of doing business. The question is: where are the plans to address these challenges that are at the heart of the economy’s legendary lack of competitiveness? Nigerians obviously know enough about the potential of our ports system as a major revenue earner. Ditto for agriculture, mining and manufacturing. They know which factors are responsible for what. What they yearn to see are demonstrable efforts by their government to address them. We doubt that declarative statements or wishes by the President would do the magic.

Still on Boko Haram •Enough is enough. It’s high time govt reined in the sect BOUT two years ago, when Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the Boko Haram extremist sect was allegedly killed by the police, in circumstances akin to extra-judicial murder, both the Federal Government and the people went to sleep. They thought that the rebellion had been crushed. That has turned out be a costly error! However, capitalising on the porous security and intelligence service delivery system in the country, the fundamentalist group launched back with a focused but ill-conceived agenda, maddening fury and a pungent disdain for human civilisation on a scale that pales down the terrifying horror of the Maitatsine days. Events in the last few months have shown that Nigeria is dealing with a fullfledged terrorist group masquerading as religious zealots. For instance, this group operates through multiple but identical cells, frustrating efforts at tracking them down. They go for the maximum kill at each operation. The demands they make on the State are neither rational nor justiceable. Human life counts for little and although, other people may join their group, the group itself is impervious to any alternative ideas and or opinions. Ultimately, for the members, it is a zero sum game and they make no pretensions about it. Yes, religious fanaticism abhors tolerance of other religions, but the killing of innocent Nigerians and other nationals, in public places and private homes, with bombs and other sophisticated and deadly weapons, clearly betrays the antediluvian agenda of the Boko Haram


sect, and urgently calls for a redefinition of the terror phenomenon it represents. To do otherwise is to live in fool’s paradise. An assiduous attempt at extrapolating political contents out of criminality as the Federal Government is wont to do, is neither helpful nor the false comparison of regional upheavals a panacea for peace. Indeed, it is in this light that the recalcitrant position and the recent ‘no room for negotiation’ threat by the Boko Haram sect to the Federal Government is to be understood. In real terms, Nigeria is on trial here, and her predicament, which requires very urgent attention, is two-fold. First, the inalienable right of every citizen to life can only be guaranteed by the Nigerian State. The mindless killing of people within the geographical borders of the country by the Boko Haram sect or any group whatsoever frontally challenges the fundamental basis and continued relevance of the State. Secondly, it is sad to note that the Federal Government handles governance like a government without authority. Overpoliticisation of government’s decision, especially during crisis, further erodes the power of the State in the eye of the citizens. To rein in the Boko Haram sect, the Federal Government must put its acts together; it cannot afford to shy away from this responsibility. Any further error of omission or commission in dealing with the Boko Haram might trigger unintended consequences. However, consid-

ering the obvious limitation of the government, we suggest that help should be freely sought, perhaps from advanced countries with better management experiences in anti-terrorism, at least in the interim. In addition, we observe that the terrorists put into maximum use the power of the media. Sometimes, misinformation or improper dissemination of information or even rumour about terrorists’ activities could have the same effect with the real acts; either way, the society is worse for it. The psychological trauma may acquire a life of its own and thus, people live in palpable fear of real and imagined terror. Therefore, the media as information gatekeepers must perform its role with utmost sense of responsibility and patriotism and ensure that the terrorist groups do not take advantage of undue publicity.

‘To rein in the Boko Haram sect, the Federal Government must put its acts together; it cannot afford to shy away from this responsibility. Any further error of omission or commission in dealing with the Boko Haram might trigger unintended consequences’


HE world has barely dug out of recession and the global economy is again slowing dangerously. Most leaders seem eager to make things even worse. Instead of looking for ways to reignite growth, Europe’s leaders — and Republicans on Capitol Hill — are determined to slash public spending. Europe’s fixation on austerity is also compounding its debt crisis, bringing the Continent even closer to the brink. Meanwhile, China’s government, which is struggling to contain inflation without letting its currency rise, has been trying to slow domestic demand, allowing its trade surplus to balloon. Each of these policies is wrong. In combination, they are likely to tip the world into a deep recession. The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for global growth this year to 4 percent, from the 4.3 percent it had forecast in April. It expects rich countries to grow by only 1.6 percent. That may be too optimistic. It is true that many countries do not have the money to pay for policies to promote employment and growth. The United States, Britain, Germany and China could boost global demand by spending more at home and buying more from weaker countries that cannot stimulate their own economies. The United States government must cut its budget deficit, but the economy must recover first. According to Mr. Zandi, President Obama’s $450 billion jobs plan could add 1.9 million jobs in 2012 and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point. With interest rates so low, the government could easily pay for a bigger program. The British government has similar room to maneuver. And its stubborn insistence on fiscal austerity is already causing havoc. But the countries that could do most to assist global growth are China and Germany. China today makes 14 percent of the world’s economic product but consumes only 6 percent of it. Allowing its currency to rise would help combat inflation by lowering the domestic price of imports, while increasing the spending power of the Chinese people. Germany’s export model is also failing, producing little growth while sucking demand from its neighbors. Germany could easily raise money at low cost to stimulate its own consumption. Yet not only has it refused stimulus spending, it is imposing austerity on the rest of Europe — forcing weak countries to contract their economies in exchange for its aid. Economic policy makers have made similar mistakes before. That is what caused the Great Depression. There is not a lot of time left to get this right. New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye

•Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

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IR: Kehinde Laniyan’s harangue -”For peace in Jos, let’s chase away the stranger”— of Sunday September 25, made an interesting reading, althought it was equally fraught with distortions. Nevertheless, I totally agree, with his submissions on the need to allow peace to enter the Plateau through whichever door it chooses. Laniyan was however, speciously simplistic, particularly on the BokoHaram dimension. For many familiar with the crisis on the Plateau –now decade long –it is tantamount to a distortion of facts or diversionary to harp on the not more than two years Boko-Haram militancy as an issue or a snag of sort. Although, Boko-Haram may have taken advantage of the crisis to expand its frontiers of anti-state struggles, but the real stranger Laniyan failed to discern, is the newfangled Sallah-Haram inclination the Governor acquired and institutionalized in the administration of the state. If Laniyan would humbly reflect on the crisis ab initio, such posers as to how a neighborhood crisis provoked by an attempted trespass of a tram at a Friday mosque fully in session, could metamorphose into a state-wide crisis in a spate of hours. Or how could such crisis seep into the southern part of the state, mutating perennially and moving spirally, targeted at a particular ethnic or religious interest? And then, when added to the dreaded Langtang siege, the odious Yelwa


Re: For peace in Jos, let’s chase away the stranger massacres and the arson attack at the Jos main market, one easily figures out, that, there is more to the crisis than nascent Boko-Haram. In 2007, when Jang took over, the crisis took another trajectory with the eviction in Wase, the Kuru genocide and the blitzkrieg of Bukuru market. Regrettably, the colossal loss in Jang’s first term doubled the loss incurred during Dariye’s two term combined all within the Berom axis. This tells a lot about rediscovered gallant of a retired Air force general in his new demarche of tribal jingoism. Rather than simply lay the framework to empower his

not- too -enterprising and seemingly indolent kins to become competitive with other Nigerians, he chose the grueling path of violence, abandoning ubuntu philosophy in an adventure that now appears a mere chimera. Now Laniyan must hearken to the admonitions of Governor Fashola at the grand cocktail at Marina in honour of the past and outgoing security Tsars in the state as he charged; “all those who choose violence as a cause to have a re-think, because violence has never solved any problem anywhere. Let start at the negotiated table and end there.

Violence consumes everybody and not just the perpetrators alone. It diminish all of us and take away our humanity”. Accessing Fashola’s intellectual counsel visà-vis the vitriol occasionally oozed out of the retired Air force general, it is manifest, how easily the Old man on the Plateau loss mien of all common senses. The decade long ‘Plateau crisis’ has now narrowed down to “Jos crisis” and increasingly, communities including those inclined to the past bunkum now remember with contrite their involvement and understand better the meaning of


• Qasseem Mohammed Yahya Kubau Street, New Extension, Kawo, Kaduna.

Same-sex marriage prohibition bill


IR: It’s cheering news to learn that a bill to outlaw same-sex (gay) marriages in Nigeria is making steady progress in the hallowed chambers of the Senate. This development should be applauded by all men and women of goodwill in Nigeria and on the continent. All God-fearing persons

within the length and breadth of the land should add their voice to commend the Senate for by their action; they are indeed living up to their revered title of “distinguished”. My heart aches to see our leaders sheepishly toeing the beaten paths of the Americans. Even the Nige-

rian media, one of the freest and fiercest in the world sometimes fall into this same familiar trap of swallowing hook-line-and-sinker anything that is American(or Western as the case may be). It’s as if, once that’s the way the Americans (or white people) do it, it has to be right and that is the way we should do it in Nigeria.

The politics of federal roads IR: The politic of federal roads is the main reason why Nigeria roads are still in deplorable states. Decision are made in Abuja not based on cost/benefit analysis, safety, traffic analysis or to improve regional economic activities but to a large extent on control of national wealth by few. It is unbelievable that the Ministry of Work and FERMA are still involved in maintenance of roads in the states. The administration talks of transformation but most Nigerians do not know what that mean. It is important for GEJ to involve Nigerians in his transformation agenda rather than the ministers just using it as a slogan

tranquility. Jos crisis can only be resolved when the Biroms decide to call it off. Until then, Plateau needs all the soldiers in the country to stabilize the peace. The retired general’s faculty for handling security issues has gone senile and before he subject us to doom, the defense headquarters need to rein him in. My fear for the Plateau man in this debacle is the fact that he may in the near future become the same settler elsewhere due the dearth of employment on the Plateau, predicated on pro long years of ethnic strife that scared investors in the state. And for the Berom myopia that allows one of their own to bequeath them a legacy of war they may find difficult and costly to maintain. Come 2015, Plateau may have strategic dynamics, and the Biroms may soon realize that, somehow lately.

like “say no to drug”. I am tired of officials saying that some powerful people are preventing them from doing the right thing for the country. Who are these more powerful people? Who can be more powerful than the President of USA or Nigeria? The President can propose any reform that he strongly believes is needed to move the country forward. President Obama believes in health care reform and he fought hard to get it passed. Other than power roadmap, the President often act like he has nothing to offer to Nigerians. Replacement of Niger bridge has always been used as a bait to keep

South east in line. Ore-Benin road is another road that is used as political bait. Lagos has a bridge under construction which is longer than the obsolete Pratt truss that span Niger River. GEJ promised to replace the only bridge that link Asaba to Onisha in three years. I wonder if he understands the problems involved in replacing a truss bridge, Anyway, time will tell. Rivers and Lagos states are engaged in real transformation that are visible to their citizens. Governor Rotimi Amaechi is building public schools with modern teaching aids that make expensive private school in Abuja look like a mud or brothel house. The pace of

infrastructural development in both states is faster than that of the federal government. My advice is that the governors should sue the federal government for negligence of their roads. Either the federal government will transfer these roads to each state for maintenance or make it safe for motorists. Honestly, the federal government should only be responsible for funding, oversight and developing policies for states. That is real transformation and institution reform that the President is talking about. • Yinka Olagoke Lagos

Any enlightened person on the globe today knows that the US is a land where practically any negative thing conceivable by the human mind is possible, no matter how bad, despicable or bestial. Many a times, what saner minds consider morally despicable even gets the backing of the almighty American law, all in the name of (extreme) liberty. The basic truth is that the values, mores and culture of the American people are tangentially different from ours, therefore, some things that they consider in their ‘wisdom’ to be ‘right’ (such as legalizing gay-marriage, human cloning, irresponsible research on human embryos and stem cells) may not necessarily be right and appropriate in our own culture. Ride on our distinguished national (and state) legislators and make more laws that reflect the mores, cultures and sensibilities of the Nigerian people. • Olugbenga Daramola Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti




This country, our nation


IMES indeed have changed. But things can hardly be the same again. The supercilious middle class of yore now walk with hunch back, pummeled and weatherbeaten by superior forces that have engaged it in cold class war. Gradually, but methodically, beleaguered and weary old generation has been brutalized and pushed further the rung of the social ladder. Hardly could a middle ground be found in Nigeria of today. It is either you are up there with the few looters and rulers or down in the pit with the consistently marginalized majority. Just ask the upper class aspirants who some years back desperately rushed to join or found financial houses and rosy businesses; they are now struggling for survival. The unchecked systematic decline in the stuff of leadership over the years is the result of what we have today. Once upon a time, before the nation’s recent and current nightmares, it was as if Nigeria was awashed with quality minds - those qualified and capable of leading it to the comity of civilized nations. There were potential leaders that could engage the populace in reasonable dialogue and were responsive and accountable to the ruled. There was then the hope that the country named Nigeria was heading to become a great nation in spite of the foundational challenges. You ask: what has become of that great hope today? Of a truth, as times are universally changing, things can hardly be the same again on the local realm. While some countries formerly on the same crawling level are now sprouting and becoming globally relevant, for others, with the on-going rate of decline, things can only get worse.

‘Violence and terrorism are being openly endorsed due to authority’s non-punitive actions, with security machineries being overwhelmed by imposed sacred cows’

The sterner stuff of which Nigerians were supposedly made is now worn out. Before, a Nigerian would confidently boast that this is not a banana republic. We are now wiser; quality hardly emerges from unrefined heaps of dirt. Instead of addressing issue that is panacea to nation building and economic development that would impact positively on people’s life, the country spends much energy contesting unproductive self-inflicted challenges that ordinarily would not have been contentious if fundamental principles and procedures were followed. From the garrison politics to politics of cabals, we contend with tenureship and internal terrorism that could only further drive away meaningful investments from our rapidly declining socioeconomy profile. There is hardly candour in the land anymore; morality and earnestness have diminished. To the outsider, 419 has become another name for Nigeria. At home, treachery, mediocrity and corruption are being institutionalized, glorified and rewarded above integrity, hardwork and diligence. The once-cherished rule of law is being debased in progression; just as justice is being purchased and mortgaged. There is a constitution and set of laws, but over time they are crassly bastardized and abused with impunity. Violence and terrorism are being openly endorsed due to authority’s nonpunitive actions, with security machineries being overwhelmed by imposed sacred cows. Yet in all these, the nail-biting characterizing in this season of despair should not succumb to brooding over material acquisition and Sugar Candy type of life. Nigerians are not created to occupy the land by accident, but for a purpose; not for moaning and nit-picking but for being part of building a nation that will fulfill the purpose of God’s grace that has sustained it as an entity for more than half a century. Situation can turn around for good for the coming generation if there is the resolve to lay a solid foundation for the future. In other words, this country can still become the desired nation when the people are determined to take hold of their destiny in their hands. This will go beyond personal enrichment, political partisanship, ethnic affiliation or religious commitment. It will be more of placing the interest of Nigeria at heart in true patriotism. Let me state unequivocally: This country Nigeria is our nation. Leaders will come and go. Generations will pass away. It is individual role – positive or negative, sincere or deceptive, committed or self-centered – that will remain in the hand of history. Above is the preface to This Country, Our Nation, a compilation

of my write-ups as in various publications between 1986 and 2006. It was assembled to mark my 30 unbroken years in active journalism as personal thoughts on prevailing affairs of Nigeria and was publicly presented yesterday. In the compilation process, I found, just like I recounted in this column last week, that the views I expressed almost two decades ago are still as fresh as the ones just being written. Going through them, I could see much semblance of our dilemma as a country today as before, and even an apparent decline in the overall standard of living. But which other country can I call my nation but Nigeria? Last weekend, the Federal Government was compelled to tone down the celebrations of the 51 st independence anniversary. Information Minister Labaran Maku had to denounce a newspaper report that the quiet option was because of “Boko Haram bomb scare.” I agree with him that there apparently was nothing to celebrate. Lavish and elaborate celebration in the midst of mass penury, where payment of a minimum wage of N18,000 (average of N600 or less than US$4 per day) remains a contentious national issue would have been uncaringly anomalous. We cannot afford the challenges of today to stall our journey to the Promised Land. There is indeed need for serious sober reflections on the way forward such that celebrating our nation can be justified. To tow Maku’s line of thought, “Nigeria belongs to all of us.” As such, “we must put the interest of this country first” so that it can be transformed to our dreamed nation.

‘It was assembled to mark my 30 unbroken years in active journalism as personal thoughts on prevailing affairs of Nigeria and was publicly presented yesterday. In the compilation process, I found, just like I recounted in this column last week, that the views I expressed almost two decades ago are still as fresh as the ones just being written’

Death of investigative journalism


NE of the factors that influenced my decision to study journalism was the nobility attached to it. I saw it as a profession for men and women who know the importance of truth and will do all within their power in the pursuit and defence of it. It is disheartening to admit that journalism today; especially in Nigeria is no longer what it used to be. The profession which used to be an exclusive reserve of people with a high level of integrity, unconditional honesty and a probing mind has been infiltrated by wayfarers who know nothing about it. Journalism thrives on truth. Hence, everyone in the business knows that truth is sacred at all times. A thorough-bred journalist goes the extra-mile to prove the truth no matter how difficult it may be. But nowadays journalists seem to be contended with sacrificing the truth for a lie. Recently, Mike Odiegwu, a journalist with the Punch Newspaper, a publication that prides itself as the most read in Nigeria sacrificed the truth for a blatant lie. He wrote a report that not only gave him away as a half-baked journalist but also as a tool in the hands of some desperate and mischievous politicians. In the report titled ‘NGO report spells more trouble for Sylva’, published on page 44 in the September 24th edition of the newspaper, the reporter made some baseless accusations aimed at disparaging the achievements of Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State. Anyone who lives or has visited Bayelsa State since the inception of Sylva’s administration will agree that the reporter did a hatchet man’s jobs with his write-up. His report which reeks of malicious lies once again affirms the claims of some critics of the Nigerian press that our journalists have lost their place as custodians of truth. In the said report, Odiegwu claimed that ahead of next year’s gubernatorial election in the state, some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts were plotting Sylva’s removal as the party’s candidate. Without mentioning any names, he went on to say that those leading the battle to oust the governor were the party’s bigwigs and technocrats who had relocated to Abuja in protest of Sylva’s style of governance. From his assertions, it is obvious that Odiegwu is not in tune with on-goings within the state’s ruling party let alone knowing the situation of things in other parts of the State. Where was he when Governor Sylva was endorsed as the party’s flag bearer by the so called wigwigs and technocrats in December 2010? Could there possibly be any bigwig and technocrat in the party bigger than President Goodluck Jonathan who came all the way from Abuja to support the governor? Who did the reporter talk to before concluding that the party members were angry? Even if it is true that some people are against the governor’s bid for a second term in office, the principles of balance and

By Tombrakepa Bodonyefa (Yenegoa) fairness in investigative journalism requires that the reporter reach out to the members of the party to hear their views. He did not do that because he was paid the make snide remarks about a performing governor. The reporter also made another avoidable error when he made reference to a report by the African Centre for Leadership, a non-governmental organization that has no presence in Bayelsa State. The NGO report which accused the state government of spending a chunk of Bayelsa State budgets for the upkeep of the Government House and State House of Assembly while abandoning other sectors was totally incorrect. Anyone privileged to have access to some classified information in the state knows that Governor Sylva’s administration caters for every sector including mental health, dental health, immunization, emergency and those the NGO accused it of neglecting. Before publishing such lies, the reporter should have gone to those ministries to make enquiries in order to ascertain whether or not they were neglected. In this age of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) he could have done so with just a tap of a button. Also, the accusation that the only sectors that maintained a steady increase in terms of percentage share of the budget allocation from 2007 to 2011 was the State House of Assembly, the Governor’s office and health sector is totally unfounded. The NGO’s observation that the recurrent expenditure in the state accounted for 40 per cent of the total budget for the period under review is nothing short of an evil fabrication. You don’t have to be a government worker to know that a large portion of Bayelsa State budget at that time was devoted to security. It was the time when militants held the entire region under siege and hindered oil production in Bayelsa and other oil producing states. Perhaps the reporter is not aware that the relative peace enjoyed today by Bayelsa and other states in the region was a result of governor’s Sylva intervention. At a point when the entire nation sought an end to the militant insurgence in the region, the governor came up with the idea of amnesty. When every other person saw the restive youths as enemies of the state and treated them like lepers, Sylva offered them an embrace. He went into the creeks, dialogued with them and convinced them to accept the federal government’s amnesty offer. Determined to underplay the achievements of the Governor, the reporter claimed that his administration had no agenda to tackle the challenges of unemployment, maternal health and infrastructures in the state. If he has no agenda for unemployment how come the whole world, including the president and governors of other state are praising him for the proposed Hyundai factory to be built in the state? Did this reporter not read or hear that when com-

pleted, the factory will employ over 20,000 people in the state? The rubber factory in Yenegoa has employed over 2000 people since it was opened in 2009. How about the construction of over 52 internal roads and completion of projects such as, the judiacry building, the peace park, the new government house, the revenue house and the treasury building? These are projects executed by Sylva’s administration which has significantly changed the landscape of Yenegoa and made it one of the fastest growing capital cities in Nigeria and created jobs for many people? Did the governor do all that for fun? These naysayers must blind not to have noticed the tremendous change that has taken over Yenegoa and other parts of Bayelsa. Can they say without guilt that none of them has boarded the fancy metro taxis and buses running in various parts of the state? Like a rabbit, destined for the hunter’s trap, Mike Odiegwu finally shot himself on the foot when he said the mention of Sylva’s name in social gatherings, relaxation spots and drinking joints in most parts of Bayelsa may likely spark off a deluge of complains. I guess he meant to say a deluge of commendations because the governor’s achievements have been lauded by many individuals and groups within and outside the state. Just recently, Bayelsa State students from various higher institutions in Nigeria converged in Yenegao to show their solidarity for the governor who has also released about N478 million for the payments of their bursaries. The students also disclosed that they would hold a rally to officially endorse the governor for a second term in office later in the year. Women and other groups in the state are also impressed by Sylva’s achievements. Like the students they are convinced that giving him their mandate for a second term will not only ensure continuity of the good work he has started, but guarantee them an enviable future. Odiegwu and other journalists should endeavor to investigate their stories before publishing them. They must always remember the old wise saying that a ‘lie can travel a thousand mile, but the truth will catch up with it one day’. The detractors of governor Timipre Sylva will surely be put to shame soon. • Bodonyefa is a lecturer and social analyst in Bayelsa

‘Anyone who lives or has visited Bayelsa State since the inception of Sylva’s administration will agree that the reporter did a hatchet man’s jobs with his write-up. His report which reeks of malicious lies once again affirms the claims of some critics of the Nigerian press that our journalists have lost their place as custodians of truth’





PPARENTLY reacting to the welter of criticisms regarding the style of his administration in the face of mounting national challenges, President Goodluck Jonathan last week, came out with what seemed a defense for his actions. The President spoke at an interdenominational church service in Abuja as part of Nigeria’s 51st Independence celebrations. Hear him “Some Nigerians will want the president of this country to be like a lion, a tiger, somebody that acts like a fighter; they will want the president to operate like an army general, to display like kings in the biblical era, like King of Syria, King of Babylon, Pharaoh of Egypt. Unfortunately, I cannot be one. God knows why I am here” He went further to state that he can still change the country for the better without ‘following those trends’ Coming from our number one citizen, these statements are no doubt as weighty as they are contentious. Even if they were designed to provide the rationale for the offhanded manner the president is seen to be attending to critical national matters, their philosophical purport would seem to have stirred the hornets nest. For one, we are in a democratic setting with established rules for governance and conflict resolution. The emphasis here is on the observance of the rule of law and due process. As such, no room is provided for despots, autocrats or military dictators or the styles of leadership they represent. Neither are these attractive any longer. Given the above, it remains hazy how a democratically elected government such as the one Jonathan leads can reasonably operate in the fashion of these discredited and old fashioned forms of government. It is also curious how these rusty forms of government or the practices that mark them out can fit into modern day democracy. So what point is there in comparing his style of leadership with variants that have waned over time? And for another, implicit in the president’s statements is the admission that his regime is largely perceived to be weak. This could well be. But it will be incongruous to rationalize such perceptions by bringing into comparison governance forms that are polar opposites of the one he was elected to preside over. Military dictatorships or the despotism of medieval Syria, Babylon or Egypt are no longer relevant today. Even at that, such a


F all the outrageous statements made on the scourge of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, none is as impolitic as the reported statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigerians had misplaced expectation of firmness and decisiveness from him in dealing with security threats. This is the confirmation of the worst fears of the critical section of the intelligentsia that the president is incapable of handling any of the serious challenges of his office, especially the ones that require balls and sheer guts. ‘Some others will want the President to operate like an army General, like my Chief of Army Staff commanding his troops. Incidentally, I am not a lion; I am not also a General’ – President Jonathan was reported to have replied his critics during a church service commemorating the nation’s independence celebration in Abuja. What is tragic about this statement is that the president innocently proclaimed his ignorance of his military status as Commanderin-Chief , even as civilian head. He appoints and fires the Generals, instructs them on which war to fight and mobilises resources for them. He is the commander of the com-

A visibly shaken president, possibly hiding behind a thick security wall, is now begging the terrorists to ceasefire, sending all kinds of emissaries to them. What is he going to hand over to them next? Nigeria’s sovereignty?

Emeka OMEIHE 08058105720 email:

Jonathan: fox or lion? comparison begs the issue when we bring to mind recent democratic changes in a country like Egypt where civil revolt toppled the government there a couple of months back. What of the uprisings in Syria? In effect therefore, it is not possible for Jonathan to operate like an army general. It is also not possible for him to display like kings of the biblical era. Neither is he a troop commander in the sense of seeing the citizens as the soldiers to be issued commands that must be obeyed. But he is still the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. And there will be times he will issue orders. There will be times to be like a lion, a tiger and a fighter. There will be times to take very hard decisions in the overall interest of the country. It is difficult to fathom how a President can reasonable function very effectively without calling into action some of these leadership qualities. What should be of concern to all is not that hard or tough decisions are taken but that the process conforms to established norms in a democratic setting. Perhaps, a better insight into the contradictions raised by Jonathan was provided by Machiavelli. In his writings on leadership styles, he had identified two categories: that of a fox and a lion. One is the direct opposite of the other. While the lion is known for its brutality, the fox has its strength in cunning. Machiavelli believes that these qualities are required in any leader. But he subscribes more to brute force. He believes a heavy dose of brutality is needed in every leader. Maybe that is where Jonathan

disagrees. Jonathan does not want to be a lion as some people are demanding. It is therefore only reasonable to assume that the quality of the fox may have higher appeal to him. He seemed to have corroborated this when he said that those putting stumbling bloc on his way as a leader would soon be exposed as he would change the fortunes of the country for the better in spite of not being an autocrat or a military genius. He could as well be subscribing to some other inexplicable styles. That may well be. But the fact he recognizes the raging skepticism about the effectiveness of his government, presupposes that whatever contrivance he currently subscribes to has not been to the satisfaction of many. This is a logical corollary of those statements. If they were, he would have had no need to tell us that he can still deliver without toeing those lines. In order words, the issue is not just about the style of governance as its capacity to yield the desired results. Jonathan could as well be a fox. But how effective has that been in significantly responding to the complex challenges striving to wrestle the country to the ground? That is the real issue to ponder. Perhaps, he may still need a dose of the qualities of the fox and the lion for him to be effective. It is also not enough for the president to cite the purported accolades or commendation he received from Presidents Barack Obama of United States and Jacob Zuma of South Africa as all it takes to satisfy

Lamb as commander-in-chief By Sola Fasure manders and the number one soldier in the defence of the country. ‘I don’t need to be a lion’, he quibbled. Then what are you as president? A lamb? Ladies and gentlemen, our commander in chief is a lamb in a forest where the enemy soldiers are wolves, foxes and jackals. You must then know that from now on, you are on your own. This is a moment of clarity for Nigerians. Roll back to September 11, 2001 when the terrorists hiding in the caves of Torah Borah unleashed suicide bombers on several targets in the United States. A livid President George Bush was unequivocal when he pronounced that his government was going to hunt the terrorists and their masterminds to the ends of the earth. ‘We will either bring you to justice or bring justice to you’. He immediately began the fiercest military expedition of an octopoidal nature with tentacles all over the world to haul Osama bin Laden and his cohorts before American justice. We can say whatever we want about Bush; his was the most brutally focused effort at establishing deterrence; that the cost of attacking America should be so prohibitive to discourage potential aggressors. The British were more practical. In the wake of the July 7, 2005 bomb attack in London and the failed attempt 18 days later, before the end of the day, the security agencies had reconstructed the lives of all the terrorists involved in the attack, living or dead. Before the next day all of them were arrested, including the one that fled to Italy. The Israelis were more hard-headed. After the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by the Black September group during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the then Western Germany, Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, quickly asked the Mossad to carry out ‘Operation Wrath of God’ during which all those involved in the attack were hunted down and

killed. In a February 2006 interview, former Mossad chief, Zvi Zamir, dismissed the allegation of vengeance as the motivation for this scotched earth policy; “No. We were not engaged in vengeance. That is nonsense. What we did was to concretely prevent in the future. We acted against those who thought that they would continue to perpetrate acts of terror. I am not saying that those who were involved in Munich were not marked for death. They definitely deserved to die. But we were not dealing with the past; we concentrated on the future.” If we compare these manly examples to the pacific posture of our president, then, to paraphrase Lance Morrow, we are in for a procession of Boko Haram attacks. The way the government had approached the Boko Haram menace had been suspect and imponderable all along. The military mounted roadblocks, searching every vehicle, thereby creating traffic gridlock. Meanwhile, Boko Haram elements on approaching the roadblocks would simply turn back or find some other means to transport their incendiary materials to the desired location. In the alternative, the roadblock with an assortment of vehicles and security agencies could well be a prime target if the suicide bombers are so inclined. But of course, this is an effete measure that could not have shaken the organisation in any way as it continues to record one murderous success after another, culminating in the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja. A visibly shaken president, possibly hiding behind a thick security wall, is now begging the terrorists to ceasefire, sending all kinds of emissaries to them. What is he going to hand over to them next? Nigeria’s sovereignty? Think it is impossible? Don’t bet on it. Anybody who assumes this president is capable of defending Nigerian lives

the requirements for good governance from our domestic point of view. Those leaders are within their rights to commend Nigeria on aspects of our affairs that appeal to them. That cannot circumscribe the inalienable rights of Nigerians to take up other aspects that appear not in line with our collective aspirations. Moreover, it makes a mockery of our sovereignty for our president to be boldly telling us not to complain just because some foreign leaders had commended his government. When have such foreign leaders become the barometer for the temperament of our people on issues that concern their collective destiny? It is very instructive that Rev. Turaki Yusuf in his sermon at the same occasion, identified “destructive ideological religion, insincerity, ethnocentrism and primordialism” as the evils plaguing the nation which ‘must be immediately addressed’. There is a litany of other national problems crying for urgent attention. It will be a surprise if the accolades received from those world leaders cover these areas. In other words, without necessarily being a lion, a tiger or a military commander, the minimum expectation of our people is that their president should be more pragmatic, more decisive and more forthcoming in his responses to some of the intricate challenges of our nation. Once the president is seen to be firm, proactive and result-oriented, the frustrations that led a writer to ask whether Nigeria is on auto pilot will no longer arise.

‘It is difficult to fathom how a President can reasonably function very effectively without calling into action some of these leadership qualities. What should be of concern to all is not that hard or tough decisions are taken but that the process conforms to established norms in a democratic setting’ is gravely mistaken. Forget about mouthing scriptures. He can negotiate with the devil at our expense. When the government surrenders its authority to govern, especially that which gives it the legitimate right to the monopoly of force within its territory, it is not difficult for groups like Boko Haram to seize the moment and start placing the condition for ceasefire. In this way, the impression is being created that the terrorist group is the wronged party which must be legitimately placated if we do not want to be consumed by its fury. This interestingly is a group that declared war on Nigeria, killing her people at will and with impunity, long before its leader was captured at the theatre of war but extrajudicially killed. Who is more aggrieved? The government and the people whose functionaries are daily killed by Boko Haram or a criminal who got his just desert in a war he started? I was not amused when the panel set up by the government to investigate Boko Haram submitted its report. It launched into a long discourse on the factors responsible for the emergence of the group, blaming the regulars – poverty and ignorance. From all the account I read, I did not see anything close to the first item on its term of reference asking it to unmask the group and its sponsors. I was not surprised when it concluded lamely that government should negotiate with the group. But the group, still revelling in its superiority over the Nigerian state killed the government’s contact man in their camp and spurned any offer of negotiation after the panel submitted its report. This is not some harebrained political science. The number one responsibility of the government is to protect the citizens. President Jonathan has failed woefully to do this. But he is not stopping at that. He is telling us that it is insane to expect him to fight the security threat. In pre-colonial societies, any king that displays such cowardice will be forced to commit suicide. I hope Nigerians will not be provoked to act along this line in the face of the daily bloodbath in the hands of Boko Haram and a supine national leader. Fasure lives in Osogbo

Injury woes: Agbonlahor Amoebi confused about playing for Nigeria to see a specialist Pg. 24

Pg. 24

Nation Monday, October 3, 2011


•Nigeria youth international Joel Obi is shown a red card by the center referee during FC Inter Milan’s 3-0 home defeat to SSC Napoli on Saturday

Joel Obi rues red card in Napoli clash Says Eagles will soar above Guinea






Injury woes: Agbonlahor to see a specialist •Aston Villa boss hails striker


STON VILLA striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has revealed that he is set to see a specialist regarding his recurring back problem. The 24-year-old is therefore unlikely to be called into Fabio Capello's England squad ahead of their crunch Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro on Friday. The Villa star has shown tremendous form in the Premier League this season, scoring four goals in the opening seven games and was simply sparkling in the 2-0 home win against Wigan on Saturday. However, Agbonlahor admits he will be focused on trying to resolve the injury during the international break. He said: "I've got a back problem which I'm going to get sorted during the international break. "I'm going to see a specialist about it - but overall I feel okay and I feel good about things. "The manager (Alex McLeish)

knows what I am capable of and has given all the players the confidence to go out and do their best." And McLeish, who dedicated Villa's win against the Latics to his father-in-law, Danny Taylor, who died on Thursday, said: "Gabby has got some untapped ability and has surprised me with a few of the things he does. "He can become even better and we are working to get the best out of guys like Gabby. "But he is getting treatment for a back injury, is having manipulative work every day, and I'm glad we got him off the treatment table to play." Agbonlahor inspired Aston Villa to their first ever home Premier League win over Wigan. He scored his fourth league goal of the campaign to break the deadlock before the interval and created the second for Darren Bent. Only a series of fine saves by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi prevented Villa – still unbeaten in the league this season – from winning by a

more emphatic margin. Delighted boss McLeish said: “Gabby’s pace was frightening. “I would have hated to have played against him in that form. It would have been a hell of a challenge.”

Nigeria basketball championship which is being organised by First Deep Water Company. The competition which embraces both public and private secondary schools in the country is expected to fill the void of linadequate basketball championships at the grassroots. According to the CEO of Ist Deep Water, Babatunde Babalola, the organisation intends giving scholarships to deserving basketball players at the end of the championship while winners will have their school libraries equipped with books and laptops. Basketball Coach, Ganiyu Otegbade who discovered Akeem Olajunwon has also been placed in charge of technical issues at the championship which has been slated to commence from October 18. In a chat with NationSport, Coach Otegbade stated that four zones have been created for the championship. They include: Yaba/Lagos Island, Obanikoro/Ikeja, and Ojo/Ijanikin. Meanwhile the elimination will take

two Saturdays. This will herald the teams into the finals which have been fixed for a date after the Zenith Basketball Championship. However, Babalola has said the initiative is a philanthropic gesture from the First Deep Water Organisation. "Like I said earlier, what we are trying to achieve is to make sure we build basketball from the grassroots. We found out that their is a vacuum from the age of 8-15 amongst our basketball players. We want to project our young ones to the next level. Although we have the Milo basketball championship, we discovered that most people that play Milo basketball championship shortly after they that they have gone to the winds. There is so much export of our players and when our basketball team season is ended, nothing is being done, so we are trying to fix basketball at the secondary school level. Coaches will come around to nurture them to a stage so that the national league can take them from there to the national team.”


concluded "Samsung Cup" was in line with the determination of the state to promote sports development in the country. Speaking at the formal

•Flying Eagles coach, John Obuh presenting the Samsung trophy to the winner in Port Harcourt on Saturday

NTER MILAN midfielder Joel Obi is at a loss to explain his red card his side’s 3-0 in defeat to Napoli. Before half-time, he clattered into Christian Maggio just outside the box, but the referee awarded a penalty and a second yellow card. “I got the ball with that tackle and Lavezzi stayed on his feet, so I really cannot explain the first yellow card,” Obi told Inter Channel. “Then with the penalty incident it was shoulder-to-shoulder outside the area, so I don’t understand why the referee gave a spot-kick. “In any case, I want to apologise to all the tifosi and my teammates. I thank the fans for their support. I can assure them that we will not give in now.” Obi however insists that the Super Eagles have the capacity to beat Guinea and qualify for next year’s Nations Cup, his rising profile at the Italian giants as well as his future. “All I know is that I will always give my best for the Super Eagles whenever I am fielded by the Chief Coach. We are ready for this match because we all desire to be at the Nations Cup”, Obi told

On his impression of coach Samson Siasia, his assistants and captain Joseph Yobo since he teamed up with the Eagles in February, Obi, said “they are really doing their best. They are hard working and have been relating and co-operating well with the players. There is a good relationship between the technical crew led by coach Samson Siasia and the players. Yobo is a great captain and I am saying this because I had the privilege of staying very close to him. He encourages the young players in the team like me”. Looking back at his career, Obi says he has every reason to be satisfied with the chance to play for the Super Eagles “I have sufficient reasons to thank God because He has been so good to me. I believe I have achieved so much as a football player most especially if you consider that I am a very young player at a top club in Europe as well as being privileged to be in the Super Eagles. “But I need to thank God immensely not even for what I have achieved so far as a young player but for

preserving my life because it is only the living who can play football. I also thank my dear family, my dad, mum and the rest for their support because without their support I can’t be where I am today”. On how he felt playing the full game for Inter Milan in Tuesday’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow, Obi said that he was thrilled with his performance and the club’s win. “The most important thing is for a player to play according to his coach’s instructions which I believe I did. I am doing to the best of my abilities. It is a great feeling and a good thing to play regularly and play in the first team of Inter Milan but I will confess to you that it is not easy playing in the Inter first team, but I have resolved to always do my best as well as give my all to the team whenever I am called to do so even if it is just for a minute I will give my best. “Yes, I must confess I really enjoyed the game just like my other colleagues did. I am also very happy that we won the match away from home which has now brought us back in contention for qualification to the next round of this year’s competition”, added Obi.


LTHOUGH Sammy Ameobi was born in Geordieland, England, the younger brother of Super Eagles invitee, Shola Ameobi claims to be undecided about whether or not to play for Nigeria. He said in an interview: " I see myself as a Geordie, but my heritage is important too and I could decide to play for Nigeria. I’m not completely sure where I’d go at the moment but I’d love to play for England.” Ameobi qualifies for Nigeria through his parents – and the striker admits to “mixed feelings” when it comes to deciding which nation to play for. “England are obviously the higher ranked team, the better team. But whoever gives me an opportunity I’ll take it. “Because I was born here, I see myself as a Geordie but my heritage is important too. “I also see myself as a Nigerian and I have always wanted to go back to my parents home town. I hope to do that soon.”

Why we partnered Samsung –Rivers Sports Commissioner HE Commissioner for Sports, Rivers State, Honourable Fred Igwe has said the need to partner electronic giants, Samsung in the just

•Says Eagles will soar above Guinea


•Agbonlahor Grassroots Basketball: All Secondary Schools competition set to kick off Amoebi confused •As Akeem Olajuwon's Coach takes charge about playing for • Ist Deep Water plans scholarship scheme for winners OGISTICS have been put in place Nigeria By Stella Bamawo for the All Secondary Schools in


Joel Obi rues red card in Napoli clash

presentation to the winners of the competition, Macjef Football Club, Hon. Igwe, said Samsung is contributing its quota to the all round development of the state, hence the resolve by the state to throw its weight behind them in organising a successful tournament. According to him, “We supported this tournament because it is a great initiative.No electronics company in Nigeria has sponsored a tournament. Samsung has done something great keeping the boys in Port Harcourt city busy for one week. I am happy about the outcome of the tournament”. Macjef Football Club and Port Harcourt City Football Club gave a good account of themselves in the final of the maiden edition of Samsung Cup played at Liberation Stadium. After a pulsating encounter, the match had to be settled through penalty shoot-out and it was Macjef that carried the day by winning the penalty at 5-4 to lift the coveted trophy.

•Sammy Amoebi

Ambrose weds heartthrob Adenike


UPER EAGLES defender Efe Ambrose Saturday took his heartthrob Adenike to the alter at the Barnawa Baptist Church Kaduna. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) were represented by general secretary, Musa Amadu. He was accompanied by the chief media officer of the NFF, Ademola Olajire. The Eagles backroom staff who witnessed the occasion included team co-ordinator, Emmanuel Attah; team secretary Dayo Achor Enebi; team curator, Chidi, NFF Security Committee member, Chris Omeruah and the chief security officer of the NFF, Gideon Akinsola, while Eagles coach Samson Siasia was represented by his personal assistant (media) Segun Ogunjimi and his personal aide Sola Fatodu. Amadu praised FC Ashdod of Israel defender Ambrose for being a dedicated, patriotic and disciplined professional. He also advised the new couple to continue to love themselves. “My advice to the bride and the bridegroom is that they have to exhibit the highest sense of love for each other,” said Amadu. “I have to also warn them that marriage is not a bed of roses. It is a relationship that needs a lot of understanding, patience, love and

loyalty to each other. “It will take time for them to understand each other very well and they need to exhibit patience to be able to overcome some of the temptations that may come their way. “But I know Efe to be a very honest, diligent and dedicated person and I am sure that just as he has brought to the field of play those qualities playing for Nigeria, he will also accomplish it in his marriage.”

•Ambrose and his wife

NFF to rule on Morocco invitational after Nigeria/Guinea tie


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has ruled that a decision on the identity of the country’s national team that will honour the Morocco Invitational Tournament shall be made shortly after the all-important African Cup of Nations Qualifiers between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Syli Nationale of Guinea billed for this weekend. Super Eagles’ coach, Samson Yebowei Siasia and his Olympic Eagles counterpart, Austin Eguavoen are locked in battle as regard the eligible team for the competition but the Technical Committee Head of the NFF, Barrister Christopher Green told NationSport that a decision on which team would be representing Nigeria has not been reached and would be determined after the October 8 AFCON Qualifier in Abuja National Stadium. “Nothing has been said on the invitational tourney in Morocco and a decision will be delayed till after the AFCON Qualifiers with Guinea this weekend. The Technical Committee will sit and deliberate on the team that needs the competition most and the interest of the country will be taken into consideration before a decision is made.” Barrister Green informed NationSport. Both Siasia and Eguavoen have in the media expressed interest in taking their teams to the tourney. Nigeria senior national team trails

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri Guinea by three points and lies second in its Group with only the top spot assured of a place at the AFCON Finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea while the second placed team would have to wait till the end of the qualifiers to know its fate whether it is one of the lucky two that will also secure berths as second best sides.

Ochiagha disclosed that the FA had before Heartland’s final match against Enyimba made a proposal to the state government through the sports ministry on how to prosecute the game. “As we speak, no body got back to the FA on the proposal. We don’t even know how funds released for the match was spent and it is only proper to put the records straight because the FA should not be called at a later date to account for funds that never got to it.” Ochiagha was however quick in giving kudos to Imo state governor Owelle Okorocha for rewarding players and officials of Heartland. “I am happy the governor has adequately rewarded the team for doing Imo proud. I thank God the trophy jinx of over two decades has been broken and with proper planning, Heartland will bring more laurels to the state.”


Babangida charges Eagles on early arrival


ORMER Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida has charged players of the Super Eagles to ensure that they arrive early for the crucial Nations Cup qualification match against the Syli Nationale of Guinea. He said for the players to display true patrotism, arriving for the match on time will be pivotal to the team’s quest to qualify for another Nations Cup for the sixth consecutive edition after the fouryear break between 1996 and 1998 . Babangida, who arrived from Holland yesterday on a business trip, informed NationSport from Amsterdam that all things being equal he expects Nigeria to beat

Only five Falcons in camp



MO STATE Football Association (IMFA) has expressed surprise over the way sports authorities in the state handled the reception of Heartland FC after its federation cup victory last week in Lagos. Heartland it would be noted was given a rousing reception in Owerri with the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha throwing a big bash for the team at Government house. Interestingly, the state FA was not in anyway part of the show as the sports ministry single handedly ran the ceremony. In fact , no board member of Imo FA was anywhere near the venue where the governor hosted the team. General Manager of Heartland, Chief Fan Ndubuoke had during the victory bash handed over the trophy to the state sports commissioner, Mr Ken Emelu who in turn presented it to the governor. State FA vice chairman, Sir Emman Ochiagha who described the sidelining of the FA as shocking noted that there was no way Heartland would have emerged Nigerian champions without the FA. “Heartland in the first place registered for the federation cup after winning the Imo FA cup . So, the club first and foremost was flying Imo FA’s flag. We played our role to ensure Heartland won the trophy in Lagos. Having won the cup, one had expected that it was only proper for the sports ministry to recognize that there is an FA on whose back Heartland rode to become champions.” Continuing, Ochiagha said: “What the Imo sports ministry did could be likened to the NSC presenting a trophy won by the Super Eagles to the presidency without the NFF which is the nation’s soccer governing body. That has never happened.”



INCE resumption on the 29th of September, only five players have reported to the camp of the Super Falcons for the all-important return leg match of the London 2012 qualifiers against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon. The players in camp are Captain Precious Dede, Ezinne Mbalisi, Rose Umeh, Augusta Egwim and Asisat Oshoala. Coach Uche is not happy that the girls, knowing the importance of the task ahead, have still not reported to camp. She has therefore issued an ultimatum to them to make sure they report to camp today . “ Any player who does not report

Heartland: Imo FA berates sports commissioner

to camp by Monday 3rd should do well to remain in their houses” she said. “We all know how important this return leg is and the players are not here yet. “I and my assistants have agreed to give them till Monday before we call up new players. “We just finished watching the Super Six and Challenge Cup matches and so we have a plethora of players to call up as replacements,” coach Uche explained. The players in camp have trained every day since resumption. The return leg comes up on the 22nd of October in Cameroon.

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

Guinea and get the automatic berth to the Nations Cup owing to their near invincibility at home. His words,“ I am sure Nigeria will beat Guinea but I still feel we need to be cautious in doing so. The

rivalry between us and Guinea dates far back and they will come to Nigeria fighting really hard to keep their unbeaten start to the Qualifiers and to ensure to secure the automatic ticket to Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea 2012.” Babangida has since retired and is now a Football Agent.

Why Fashola dissolved Sports Council, Association Boards—Oshodi • Says new board to be constituted in fortnight


ESPONDING swiftly to questions emanating from

the recent dissolution of the board of the Lagos State Sports Council, and the various sports associations in the State, the state’s Commissioner for Youth, Sports, and Social Development, Enitan Oshodi has said that the move had become necessary to refocus sport development in line with the policies of the current administration. Speaking further on the issue that has continued to raise dust in the sports fraternity in the state, Oshodi said the action was not to spite anyone as the individuals that served on the board did their best, but that the governor felt the need to inject fresh blood into the running of sports in the state. "We need to work hard to change the face of sports in the state. The facilities on ground will

By Innocent Amomoh

be used regularly to engage the athletes. As you saw on Sunday, at the Federation Cup final that was hosted by Lagos, the stadium was just half full. Part of our plans is to ensure that every sport in Lagos is made attractive so as to get the crowd back. "Fashola wants to make changes in sports administartion in the state. A lot of people with ideas to contribute their quota to the development of sports in the state," he said. He assured that a new board will be constituted in two weeks, adding that from November this year, twelve sports will be encourged to organise regular events that will keep the athletes in competitive state. He, however, reiterated that any association found wanting will have its board dissolved henceforth.





Mike Igini, activist - lawyer and public commentator, is the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Cross River State. In this interview with Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN, he speaks on the recent general elections and preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for future electoral tasks. Excerpts:

Electioneering cost too high, says REC Igini C

ROSS River is one of the few remaining states where governorship election will be conducted next year. Has INEC commenced preparations? One of the constraints we had with the April 2011 elections was time pressure with several introductions to the legislative framework guiding the electoral processes and the introduction of some new control processes by INEC. But even with that we tried our utmost to meet the requirements of a credible and acceptable election, with some hitches here and there. Regarding the imminent gubernatorial elections, we have had the opportunity to test and audit our processes, and from the post election auditing, we are able to assess both quantitative and qualitative information regarding the weaknesses and strengths of our systems and how to apply remedial actions. In this regard, we can say that we will be better able to conduct the imminent election because we have the benefit of hindsight regarding our needs and our field expectations; moreover since it will involve only a specific type of election, we can say that we shall be better prepared. Are there lessons learnt from the just concluded elections that would be factored into INEC plans for these remaining elections? Yes indeed. As I have just alluded, we have been conducting a post election audit which is a normal management post-election activities control measure to see the variance between our planned electoral activities and the actual performance, such information gathering is necessary for performance improvement. The goal being the adding of value to the electoral process, intended to improve the confidence of Nigerians in the electoral process, as the best process of keeping the leaders who they have elected to public office accountable to their developmental aspirations. You have been reported to be pushing for the establishment of a forensic department in INEC, why? The establishment of a forensic department by INEC whose activities can be open to observation by an ombudsman, established by nominations from an inter-party committee, will ensure that INEC can take proactive administrative steps to correct electoral malpractices arising from genuine complaints, before releasing some results, and prevent some unnecessary litigation. If this was the case, the unnecessary burden placed on petitioners which makes them to go abroad to pay millions to hire forensic experts to examine INEC audit trails will be reduced. Such cost is counter-productive because it can make candidates who have been rendered bankrupt to resort to violence for redress and discourage participation of Nigerians in the democratic process. The goal of good election management is to try at all cost to remove disincentives for peaceful pre-, election and post election scenarios. You were quoted to have said that the bar of electoral contests should be raised to improve the quality of leadership in the country, what exactly do you mean? What I mean is that when you recall the intellectual class of leaders we had in the First Republic at the time of Awolowo, Zik, Alhmadu Bello, Michael Okpara, Pa Enahoro, Aminu Kano, and others and you compare them with the nadir we descended in 2003 and 2007 most especially where politicians turned trench combatants sought to turn an otherwise political contest into a cesspool for the banter of base values, you will shudder at the direction we are headed until the just concluded 2011 elections relatively speaking. We must continue to reform the electoral system to allow the voice of the people speak louder to prevent the worst from leading the best and the rest. For this reason, I believe we should make a conscious effort to evaluate the political parties internal selection processes that allows just anyone endorsed by the so-called godfathers to come to up by buying or forcing their

* Igini way through. Are you satisfied now with the condition of service of your staff that you once described as not good enough and what have you done to improve the situation? I’m certainly not. I have been advocating for improvements in the conditions of services of INEC personnel because, the position of financial vulnerability on the part of INEC personnel make them susceptible to political influence peddling and partisanship, and that is bad for election administration. We can see the negative side of this trend in the attitude of politicians. Prior to the emergence of the new leadership of INEC, politicians, unfortunately, seem to respect INEC officials more than the electorate who truly should be the game changer in a democracy. This is because they have been able to find officials in the past who are able to deliver elections to them irrespective of the votes of the people. So, we keep advocating that to stem this unhealthy development we must first remove the vulnerability though better conditions. When we have done that then we can justifiably punish any INEC officials who are found to undermine elections in favor of any politician. In fact

we are advocating that the punishment for such officials should be more severe than the punishment for ad-hoc INEC personnel and it should not be less than the 4 years jail term covering the tenure of the would be beneficiary until the next election. So we should improve significantly the conditions of service of INEC staff and not make them vulnerable. What is your assessment of security in the last election and suggestions for future elections? Although there were a few lapses here and there, security was very effective because of the seriousness and commitment of the security agencies who were involved. Despite these, we shall take into planning for upcoming elections some lessons learnt in the just concluded exercise. One of the things that should change is the funding of the police and disbursement of funds during elections with other security agencies. The funding should be decentralized. The State offices should deal directly with the Commissioners of Police and field officers so that we do not end up with a situation where a Police DPO who is conducting security of a vast districts ends up being by far less compensated than an ad-hoc polling clerk who is in charge of one of the units the DPO is securing. We should also avoid posting Commissioners of police at short notice near elections, although I know there may be justifiable reasons for this, it should be done on a case-bycase basis, because in my jurisdiction, a very excellent police Commissioner whom we had relied on was affected by the transfer and he had done an excellent job of stemming electoral law breaches. Thankfully, we also had the excellent support of the Zonal AIG, the Police Officer in Command of Operations and the excellent army and navy commanders who all did a splendid job with their officers and men to ensure that the will of the electorate whom we are all serving were respected. What measures would you suggest to reduce the cost of electioneering in Nigeria? Every election involves some cost which are divided into core cost and integrity cost. Core cost relates to the cost of creating voter lists, for voting materials, for training and ensuring competence among polling officials, for civic education and voter information, and organizational and logistical arrangements for elections and associated activities, this we can only impact upon by making them more efficient, that is ensuring value for money. But integrity cost involves cost for expert personnel serving as part of the electoral administration; tamperresistant electoral materials necessitated by a low level of trust among contenders; long-term elec-

toral observer missions; intensive voter education campaigns and election publicity; and assistance to political parties at national and local levels as part of a broader approach to capacity building. Now it can be seen that integrity cost is very high in our situation because of the erosion of trust which has been necessitated by years of electoral fraud, even if we would like to bring that cost time, I feel we still need to allow time for the public to develop sufficient confidence in the process through consistent reliable outcome. There are complaints by election petitioners/ lawyers in some states of the refusal of INEC to make available election materials used for the conduct of the election. What is the situation here in Cross River? Well, if true in those places, Cross River State is not one of the states where such claim could be made and sustained given also the provision of Section 77 of the 2010 electoral Act that stipulates a 12 months jail term. We provided everything that was required to all petitioners and their lawyers, and even asked them to inform us if there were any additional materials which they feel as an election management body we ought to make available to them for a just and fair determination of the matters before the tribunals. As a lawyer, what is your candid assessment of your constituency, the judiciary, in the last few years of democracy and the current internal crisis? To say the least, I’m sad and depressed. Some people may say that every institution has its time of trial and that crisis is sometimes good as it allows it to examine itself, but given what I know, the way the judiciary is going if we don’t rescue it, we are going to a terrible state were people will lose confidence totally and absolutely in the institution, that we may never regain in a long time. We must stand up now and take steps to remedy these downward trend because the American judicial system and the integrity it showed in the face of very strong political and partisan challenges was what sustained American constitutionalism. Writing of the strength of the American democracy, a French philosopher, Alex de Tocqueville said ‘’...hardly any issue of law and elections between citizens came up that was not determined strictly on the side of the law and sustenance of democracy to prevent future violation’’ The Germans, French and Americans would always say that they are proud and indebted to their Judicial systems for being the backbone of the success of their democracy. Can we, Nigerians honestly and proudly say the same about our Judiciary on election petition adjudication matters?

From left: Hon. Ghali Umar Na’abba, Speaker Aminu Wasiri Tambuwal, Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, Hon. Anaekwe Agunwah and Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha during the inauguration of House Committees held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.




Yoruba is culturally enslaved, says Akande A

CTION Congress of Ni geria (ACN) National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande has lamented what he described as the “cultural enslavement” of Yoruba within Nigeria, adding that hope for the ethnic group under the 1999 Constitution is dim. He said: “The Yoruba, as presently positioned in Nigeria, can never be economically and politically viable to mobilise the Diaspora. Until the ethnic groups are granted absolute autonomy to manage their peoples’ internal security, transportation, agriculture, education and health, there is no way Yoruba in the Diaspora can be effectively mobilised for development. “Like the American Jews from Israel since 1948, Yoruba in Nigeria is waiting to be mobilised into freedom of unfettered opportunities by Yoruba in the Diaspora”. The former Osun State governor delivered a lecture in New York, United States, titled: “Yoruba beyond 2011: Utilising synergy of economic and political development of Yoruba nation to mobilise Yoruba in the Diaspora”. It was part of the activities marking the 19th national convention of ‘Egbe Omo Yoruba in North America”. The guest of honour was Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Southwest Economic Integration, Rev. Tunji Adebiyi. The governor reasoned that, there was the need for the race to look inward and brace up for the challenge of returning to the basics. Fashola said that Yoruba should return

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

to agriculture, which was the mainstream of the regional economy in the days of former Premier Obafemi Awolowo. The governor asked the government and people of the zone to ponder on the negative impact of the loss of the income-yielding occupation, which boosted the internally generated revenue of the pioneer progressive government that performed the magic of “Life more abundant” in the old Western Region. Akande dissected Nigeria, saying that, despite the restoration of civil rule after decades of struggles, it has not moved from the quasi-unitary form of centralised authority nominally called federalism. He frowned at the penchant of the federal government for pegging down the developmental moves of the component units through the obstructions of their efforts to establish railways, build roads and generate electricity. The ACN chairman recalled that the suppression of the states by the federal government got to a peak 28 years ago when former military Head of State MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) cancelled the metro-line mass transportation programme embarked upon by former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande. He also berated Obasanjo Administration for appropriating all megawatts of electricity generated by Tinubu Administration on the excuse that the railways and electric national grid were in the exclusive lists.

Urging Nigerians to ponder on the existing lopsided federalism, Akande said: “Our problem is the erosion of the country’s federalism between 1966 and now. The appropriate solution to this problem is a steadfast struggle by Yoruba, along with other ethnic nationalities that want to have cultutral freedom, to modernise their own sections of the country”. The elderstatesman said the manipulation of democracy since 1999 had created room for electoral insanity, pointing out that the devolution of powers to states or regions to facilitate their development in consonance with their cultural values has been blocked. Akande said, despite the huge resources allocated to the central government, it has failed to judiciously use them to carry out the responsibilities given to it by the constitution. He highlighted the areas of failure, contending that rail transportation and power generation, which are in the Exclusive List are at ground zero. The former governor stressed: “The 1960 Constitution had 44 items on the Exclusive List and 28 on the Concurrent. The Republican Constitution of 1963 had 45 items on the Exclusive List and 29 on Cuncurrent. In 1963, the ratio between federal and regional responsibilities was 3:2. The situation became worse under the 1999 Constitution. 68 items are on the Exclusive List and 30 on the Concurrent. “With the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions, Nigeria had been

‘Southwest ‘ll be back to Awolowo days’


ORMER Minister of Power and Steel and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Dr Olu Agunloye, has said that his party programmes would revert the dwindling Human Development Index and return the state to the glorious Awolowo years. Agunloye noted that Chief Awolowo’s example of good governance, welfarist agenda anchored on agriculture, urban development and establishment other projects, placed the Western Region as a leading light in Africa. In this dispensation, what the current governors of the ACN were doing was to go back to that lofty glory, which placed them ahead in term of Human Development Index ,but had slipped backward for lack an integral marshal plan. He said: “It is more about the people taking over governance, they want to go back to their root, where social justice was supreme and human development was paramount. They want to go back to Afenifere days when HDI had remained number one in the country since 1952 to 1959 under Chief Obafemi Awolowo and he managed to keep that, maybe to the last seven years, but now we are behind in the zones in Nigeria”. The former minister explained that the people want to go back to that era and their leaders are not pretending about it. “The leaders like Asiwaju Tinubu, Baba Bisi Akande, Rauf Aregbesola, Ajumobi, Fayemi, Oshiomhole and Fashola are not pretending.

* Agunloye By Musa Odoshimokhe

What they are simply saying is that the HDI must improve, they are not performing magic ,but are saying let do it the way our forefathers did it so that we can get result”. Citing the case of Osun State as example, he said: “Even though the revenue generation of the state is low but within the first 100 days they have hired 20,000 people. I was in Osun State once when those hired were giving testimony; one of the people who were hired sent money to his father and the father brought the money to the mosque for prayer. The father said he had always given money to that his graduate son, he never believed his

son will earn money and send to him, so dedicated to the mosque”. Making reference to the current obstacle orchestrated to derail the ACN leadership, he said: “They seem not to understand what Nigerians feel about the case they are trying to pursue. They also don’t seem to understand how the millions of people feel in the Yoruba nation. They also don’t understand that people know that even their prosecutors have dollars in their accounts, houses and foreign accounts scattered everywhere. They also seem not to understand the implication of this that literarily that people in the South-west believe that this is a politically motivated witch-hunting but for Nigeria to move forward they someone like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to contribute to that development”. “They need to engage him into what is known as participatory development for good governance because I am really worried that if they push this matter too far, it can go out of the hand of government and the hand of Asiwaju himself. The situation may start where he may not be able to face us and people of the South-west and say don’t fight, calm down because he is not the architect of the emotion, he may not be able to control it if it escalate.” Dr Agunloye, who is currently in the saddle to ensure that ACN makes an in-road to Ondo State ,believes that the current government was an epitome of a pregnant woman who was in labour but refuse do deliver.

• Akande

‘With the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions, Nigeria had been moved from federalism back to the Lugardian model of centralised authority or amalgamation of geography, people and cultural values’ moved from federalism back to the Lugardian model of centralised authority or amalgamation of geography, people and cultural values”. Akande viewed the Boko Haram violence as a contradiction because the sect is violently opposing education, which is cherished by the Southwest, adding that Yoruba parents who still take loans to educated their children are embarrassed to hr brim. He also revisited the debate on state police, flaying the central government for monopolising the security system and law enforcement agencies. Akande said: “With a central police force that is controlled by the federal government, the threat to life and limb in Nigeria is worse today than what happens in countries that are at war...The police reforms of former President

Yar’Adua called for additional funding to be sourced from money from the Federation Account, which belongs to the states as well. is it not less cumbersome and more cost-effective to open the field of law enforcement to the states as it is done in other federations across the globe?”. The ACN chairman reiterated his call for regional autonomy, adding that the fight for true federalism should be re-invigorated. He added: “It has to be fought the way ur forefathers fought for independence. Yoruba and other self-determination organisations at home and in the Diaspora need find ways of working in tandem to solve a problem that may, if not solved, keep their children in the Diaspora away from Nigeria forever and, eventually, rob them of their cultural identity”.

‘What is Nigeria celebrating at 51?’ By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor


OUSE of Representatives member from Agege Constituency, Lagos State, Dr Samuel Adejare, has lamented the leadership crisis in the country, saying that Nigeria has not developed because of lack of transformational leadership at the centre. The legislator told reporters in Lagos that lack of stable electricity supply, insecurity and collapsed infrastructure were products of bad management. He said: “There is nothing to cheer or celebrate at the independence anniversary. Nigeria is 51, but it is still crawling. This is a country that is full of potentials. This country is blessed with abundant human and material resources. We have no excuse for this sorry state. We have not got our focus right. Political and ethnic differences on the Plateau, violence by Boko Haram, poverty , squalor and unemployment make the country to lay prostrate. “We have voted for leaders who have turn round to oppress us.The lesson is that we should learn to use our votes wisely so that we can have good leaders in the future at the centre”. Adejare blamed the government for reneging on its promises to the people. But he also flayed Nigerians for being docile, saying that we close our eyes to bad policies and inaction, instead of protesting the injustice. He ruled out the chance of getting to the promised land under Jonathan Administration. Waxing philosophical, the legislator added: “The eye thay will last you for a life time will not give you trouble at the prime”. Adejare alerted Nigerians to the opportunity offered by the prioposed constitution amendment. He said the exercise would be meaningful, if it paves the way for true federalism, fiscal federalism, decentralisation of power and fair distrubution of resources. He added: “The amendment should also accord Lagos a special status within the federation as former Federal Capital Territory.”




Church screens community for ailments

Lawmaker trains 300 women

Corps member gives back to society





Lagos 38


Page 27


Osun averts flood disaster at varsity Drainage widened at OAU to save quarters, teaching hospital Aregbesola praised


HE Osun State government has prevented a possible major disaster at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. A few days of heavy rainfall would have overwhelmed the narrow drainage channel at the institution, swept off its junior staff quarters and cut off the teaching hospital. Lives would probably have been lost. Many would have been left without shelter. And its teaching hospital would certainly have been stretched to the limits, trying to keep its personnel and patients from danger. Thankfully, the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has averted the disaster. How? It extended the dredging of water channels, which started about three months ago across the state, to the institution. Hon. Bola Ilori, Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, and coordinator of the state government agency, O’Clean, saddled with keeping the state clean and safe, was at the institution to see the dredging start in earnest.

•Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife inset: Dredging machine From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Though Obafemi Awolowo University is a federal institution, Hon. Ilori said Governor Rauf Aregbesola speedily responded to the call from the university to save it from the danger of flooding. He said the governor’s concern is to ensure that all water channels in the state are wide enough to allow passage of water during heavy rainfall. The vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo and the the Chief Medical Director of the university teaching hospital, Prof. Tale Omole, and Prof. Oresanya Adejuyigbe, respectively, who witnessed the commencement of dredging of the channels, were full of praises to Governor Aregbesola for coming to the rescue of the

university promptly. Prof. Omole, who expressed profound gratitude to the Osun State governor for setting aside bureaucracy associated with the civil service to avert the “unimaginable danger hanging on the university,” said OAU would not have been able to afford the cost of dredging put at N100 million. Prof. Adejuyigbe said: “Aregbesola’s action is worthy of praises and emulation for not looking aside and said he could not commit the state resources to the federal institutions. He knew and believed that impending disaster had to be averted and he stood up and did what was right and quite at the right time. Possibly, we could not have been able to afford as much •Continued on Page 28


Fayemi flags off free hernia surgery



KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has flagged off free hernia surgery for patients at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti. The exercise, being part of celebrations marking its administration’s one year in office, is expected to benefit over 300 patients across various communities in the 16 local governments in the state. Fayemi noted that the free surgical operation is part of ongoing efforts to improve the health of indigenes of the state as shown through previous free health programmes for pregnant women, children up to five years, the physically challenged poor and elderly people aged 65

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

years and above. The governor added that the free surgery will boost the wellbeing of patients. The governor said many corporate bodies are ready to join the state government in making health more available and accessible for indigenes and residents of the state. He also appealed to other individuals, groups and corporate bodies to equally extend a hand of friendship to the state to enable it to accommodate more indigent citizens in the free health programme. Fayemi said: “The event of today is another of the various health intervention

programmes packaged to mitigate the health challenges of our people. The free hernia surgical festival that is being launched is to address the incidence of hernia in Ekiti State. “It is indeed heart-warming that many corporate bodies are responding positively to our people-focused programmes in all areas...The active investment of development partners in this regard is the confirmation of the prevailing environment that is conducive to investment in both profit-making and non-profit ventures in our state.” The state Commissioner for Health, •Continued on Page 28



Osun averts flood disaster at varsity •Continued from Page 27

as N100 million to widen up the water channels by ourselves but he has taken off some worries off the university and the teaching hospital. How can we can we quantify the relief his intervention had brought us? Is it the psychological or emotional trauma of likely effects of the damage facing the university community that we should mention or many other negative possibilities. We can’t thank Aregbesola enough. He had demonstrated a good leadership quality.” However, investigation revealed that the dredging of many water channels from Osogbo, Ilesa and many other parts of the state and which earlier stopped at Ile-Ife had exposed the Obafemi Awolowo University to great danger of possible future flooding. The last week excessive and heavy downpour had shown that the university and its teaching hospital is at a great risk if nothing was done to widen •Continued from Page 27

Dr. Wole Olugboji noted that the free surgical operation for hernia patients is intended to complement the government’s free treatment programme being implemented in various parts of the state. He disclosed that funds for the operation and treatment of patients were donated by individuals and corporate bodies in the state. Olugboji disclosed that the government realised the need to further assist hernia patients in the state during the series of free health missions conducted by Governor Fayemi when a lot of hernia cases were reported. He said that as a result of the strange discovery, massive campaigns were mounted “to sensitise people that if it is not attended to early, it becomes an emergency. “The programme is put in place outside government funds


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will commission the ‘Efon House’ Project in Lagos on November 19, following a church service expected to be officiated by the Ekiti Catholic Diocesan Bishop Felix Ajakaye. The multi-million two-storey building, which was built by the Efon Development League, Lagos branch, led by the Acting Chairman, Omooba Emmanuel Ajewole, is located at No 104, Apata Street, Somolu. When a delegation of Efon community leaders led by Dr Kunle Olajide, the Otunba-Aaye of Efon Kingdom, visited Fayemi in his office recently, he hailed the project, which he acknowledged as the first of its kind by any Ekiti community in the ‘Centre of Excellence’. Ajewole told Fayemi that the building would serve as the secretariat of the Efon Development

the old narrow water channels passing through the university to its water dam. Effect of the last week rain was bold on the community as the base of the only bridge linking the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex and the university was washed away, leaving some cracks on the surface of the bridge. The governor’s Special Adviser on Environment, Hon. Bola Ilori, said the dredging would help the university community live above fear of flooding for more than 50 years because the channel was made 1.5 meters in depth and 6 meters in width like the standard used for all water channels across the state. Appealing to the Federal Government to collaborate with the state government in ensuring that environment is made safe in Osun State, the Special Adviser urged the university to maintain proper waste management in order to keep water channels free of garbage.

•From left: The Chief Medical Director of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Prof. Oresanya Adejuyigbe, the Special Adviser, Environment in Osun State and Coordinator, O-CLEAN, Hon. Bola Ilori, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tale Omole, during the dredging of water channels on the campus of OAU, Ile-Ife. PHOTO:ADESOJI ADENIYI

Fayemi flags off free hernia operation and we thank His Excellency who has promised to make a personal donation to the fund. We planned for about 200 patients and now we have over 300. We are trying to see how funds can be accessed to accommodate

all. Chairman of the State Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Bayo Oriire, said it is no longer strange that any time the state government announces plans to do certain things for the people,

It is indeed heart-warming that many corporate bodies are responding positively to our people-focused programmes in all areas

wealthy individuals, corporate bodies and groups in the state and elsewhere rush to provide the needed funds. “I think the people themselves are aware about the seriousness of the governor. Not quite long after we informed them of plans to provide free surgical operation for hernia patients, as part of plans to celebrate one year in office of the governor, they rallied round and gave their support. People are always ready to complement a genius, a performer, a serious and ready leader. “We in the Hospitals’ Management Board see our appointment as a challenge to complement the 8-point agenda through our own 8-point agenda which we came up with.

We started this effort by fumigating our communities to make the environment friendly. We also did water reticulation. Prominent personalities at the occasion were Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi; Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye; Chief Medical Director, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Patrick Adegun; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Kolawole Aina; Permanent Secretary, Hospitals’ Management Board, Mr. Ropo Famubode; Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mrs. Kemi Falore; and Dr. Kolawole Ogundipe of the Nigerian Medical Association, among others.

Efon House for inauguration By Emmanuel Oladesu

League and venue of meetings and relaxation for sons and daughters. Highlights of the inauguration ceremony include the dedication by the governor and reception in his honour in appreciation of his good gestures to the community since he assumed the reins. Also, at the ceremony, tributes would be paid to the founding fathers and pillars of the association, including the late Chief Olasope, Sir Ogunsusi, Chief Ayegbusi, Chief Oteniya, Chief Olajide Olowolagba, Chief H.O. Davies, Chief Ologundudu, Chief Paul Fagbeyiro, Chief Adelusola and Pa Michael Olayinka. Guests at the ceremony, which would be hosted by the paramount

When a delegation of Efon community leaders led by Dr Kunle Olajide, the Otunba-Aaye of Efon Kingdom, visited Fayemi in his office recently, he hailed the project, which he acknowledged as the first of its kind by any Ekiti community in the ‘Centre of Excellence’

ruler, the Alaaye of Efon kingdom, Oba Adesanya Aladejare, include Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), top government functionaries, members of the state and National Assembly, Dr. Adio Folayan, Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Karunwi Oladapo, Hon. Bode Adetunji, Mrs Ronke Okunsanya, Prince Joel Omoniyi, Hon. Ogundele, Dr Kunle Olajide, Chiefs Kunle Olasope, Hon. Kehinde BabalolaAdepoju, Chief Dele Jeje, Chief Bode Olayinka, Chief Joseph Alake, Prince Aderogba Agbaje, and Mr Ibukun Falayi. Efon Kingdom is the home town of the Balogun Agada, Balogun Okirikiribata, and Balogun Jogunosimi, who were the heroes of Kiriji and other Yoruba wars; Alaaye Adetusa Atewogboyelowooyinbo, Alaaye Adeniran KekereataOkorobigberesi, Obanla Olilarije, Obaloja Atobatele Dubibotinkanmolehin, Obaloja Adewumi Arapaiya, Obaloja Samuel Gold Adekanhunsi, late Major Gen. James Oluleye, Chief H.O Davies, first Otun of the kingdom, Chief Ologundudu, former Finance Minister, Senator Richard Babalola, Chief Babafemi Aduralere, the late Idowu Oloro, Captain Lafiaji, Chief Ar-

moured Bearer of Nigerian Army during the Civil War, Pastor Joseph Olu-Young, Rev. Joseph Asaju, Rev. Olusesi Abaginjin, Chief Francis Olulade Mogaji, former group Managing Director of Oodua Group of Companies, Rev. Titiloye, Prof. Christopher Ola, former Commissioner for Inland Revenue, Western Nigeria, the late Chief Ebun Ilesanmi, Chief Ayo Omidiji, late Chief Adebodun Adewumi, Chief Jacob Elekolusi, Prof. Opeyemi Ola, former member of House of Representatives, Prof. Goke Ilori, Rev. Adewaare Alokan, Dr Bolarinwa Balogun, Prof. Ajisafe, first Professor of Physical Education in Africa, Prof. Tayo Fakiyesi, Prof. Caleb

Olaniyan, Senator Femi Kila, Prof. Dipo Kolawole, former Vice Chancellor of University of Ado-Ekiti, Chief Adeola Ayoola of the Cooperative Federation, the late Prince ‘Ayodeji’ Adetuberu, the late Chief Longe Oyeniran, Dr Edward Olakanmi Olowokere of World Bank, Prof. Olaniyan-Taylor, Chief Yemi Olajide, Chief Paul Oyeyemi, Chief Fagbeyiyo, Prof. Muyiwa Igbalajobi, Tunde Orikogbo Fabunmi, former Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Secretary, the late Hon. Funmilola Giwa-Asaju, Olasope, former Secretary, First Bank, and Babade Kolawole, a promising chartered accountant and administrator.




Church screens community residents for ailments


HEN a church visited residents of Mosafejo Community Development Area (LCDA) in the Badagry area of Lagos, it was not to preach a moving sermon. The church, known as Kingdom of Heaven on Earth Mission (KIHEM), screened the people for such ailments as high blood pressure (HBP) and excess sugar. They also received free clothing and drugs to ward off malaria. The community outreach took place during the annual youth retreat of KIHEM which held at the Badagry chapter of the church. Children, nursing mothers, old men and women who turned up in large numbers assembled at the Mosafejo town hall to benefit from the health support programme. The people also enjoyed free consultation from medical experts. A health specialist Matron Oluwole Adelanrin said through the programme, people suffering from hypertension, diabetes and malaria were attended to and advised on how to manage their ailments. Those with severe health conditions were referred to hospitals with bigger medical facility for better treatment, she said. Adressing the community on their health concerns, Adelanrin


ESIDENTS of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, particularly victims of flood disaster in the ancient town, have held an inter-denomination service to offer prayers against another deluge. They also expressed gratitude to the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his many environmental sanitation exercises, dredging and widening of the water channels to prevent flooding in the state. On the occasion, many victims recalled their losses while some noted how the former Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, failed to show concern for their plight. The occasion witnessed the coming together of Christians and Muslims, who described Aregbesola as a leader who cares for the less privileged and the vulnerable. They praised him for taking proactive steps to avert a repeat of the July 7, 2010 unfortunate incident that led to

By Paul Oluwakoya and Sunday Oluwatobi

encouraged them to go for regular medical check-ups at the community primary health care centre. “Regular medical check-up is necessary because people who are not healthy cannot engage in any profitable activity, the sick weakens productivity. Go to the community hospital regularly to maintain a good health,” she said Members of the youth clergy prayed for, and counselled, the beneficiaries. Priest Obaseun David of KIHEM’s international chapter, Akowonjo said the spiritual exercise was necessary to overcome the machinations of the devil and totally deliver the community for Christ. “The Kingdom of God is here with man and every believer of Christ Jesus must count himself or herself worthy to be a child of the kingdom of God to overcome the whims and caprices of the devil at this end time. It is an holistic exercise to attend to the body and soul of man. As they receive medical attention we make provision for the deliverance of their souls from the power of the devil. “The essence of the blessings we receive in the KIHEM is to help the downtrodden, sick, rejected and de-

•A patient being screened jected in the society. It is not that the ministry is so rich but the passion to help the less privilege ones as taught by Jesus Christ is what the youths of the ministry are exhibiting here today,” he clergy explained “This medic-aid is not only in line with the injunction of Christ; it is also KIHEM’s way of contributing its quota to the good governance of Lagos State, knowing full well

that government cannot be everywhere.” Priest Elijah Obaleke added. Speaking onbehalf of the women that partook in the exercise, Madam Agbike Omowele said, the health care was timely and laudable. “I have been sick for the past weeks and not buoyant to go to hospital. The nurses gave me drugs and told me how to use it. The youth gave my children clothe and food.

Women are plenty here and the nurses are attending to all of them and their children. “KIHEM thank you,” she added. Agbike, a 13-yr-old secondary student described the exercise as momentous and a hand of love. “For coming up with this programme to help children, poor and the sick in the community we are happy. “As you can see we are all happy,” she said cheerfully.

Osun 2010 flood victims pray From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

the death of many people and destruction of property worth hundreds of millions of naira. The playing field of the Local Authority Primary School, Gbonmi area of Osogbo, the venue of the programme where the flooding was most severe was packed full with the victims of last year’s flood. In a voice laden with emotion, one of the victims, a butcher at an abattoir near the Gbonmi, Alhaji Razak Aleki, said he lost no fewer than ten cows worth more than N1 million to the disaster. Expressing gratitude to Governor Rauf Aregbesola for tackling the menace of flooding by clearing blocked water channels ear-

lier this year, Aleki told the gathering that rather than expressing sympathy for their plight, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola scorned and mocked the victims when the disaster occurred last year. Aleki said that when the victims approached the former governor for succour during a monthly live phone-in programme on state radio and television, he refused to help the victims but taunted and joked with their pains. The cow dealer recalled that “when we ran to Oyinlola for succour over our losses on his monthly live phone-in programme, Oyinlola told us to reflect the name of the areas Gbonmi and directed us to go and gbonmi (use our hands to contain the flood).” “Oyinlola mocked us and joked

•From left: Hon Moses Alake Adeyemo, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, in a handshake with Akinwale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria when MTN Foundation delivered relief materials to flood victims in Ibadan, Oyo State. Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary of the organisation (middle) and Mr. Bajo Onafuwa, its Customer Relationship Manager, were with them

with our predicament. Thank God that we have Governor Aregbesola to rescue us. Since the rains began this year, there has not been any experience of flooding in Osogbo and we thank our Governor for coming to our rescue. He is a man of God and a true leader who does not derive joy from the predicament of ordinary people.” The Otun-Akogun of Osogbo, High Chief Sulaimon Oduola, thanked Governor Aregbesola for the channelisation and desiltation of Okorokoro, Gbonmi and Alekunwodo streams, noting that there was no flooding in Osogbo this year. Chief Oduola then pleaded that in view of weather forecast by the Nigeria Meterological Agency, the channels constructed by former Governor Bisi Akande between 1999 and 2003 should be widened because they could no longer contain the volume of water passing through them anymore. In a speech delivered on behalf of the governor by the Special Adviser on Environmental Matters, Hon. Bola Ilori, Aregbesola told the gathering that his administration decided to tackle the problem of flooding by carrying out an assessment of all streams passing through the state capital. According to the governor, the environmental situation his administration met was so precarious that the state was perpetually at the brink of flooding and epidemic while noting that the “breaking point was July 7, 2010 when nature resisted the abuse that our people subjected it to and we had to pay the costly price for our abuse and disregard for basic rules of caring for our own env i r o n ment”. What his administration discove r e d , Aregbesola disclosed, was that existing water drainage channels had been

blocked by refuse while the people had formed the habit of throwing their refuse into water channels. Decrying the practice of throwing refuse into water channels which had been going on for several years, he told the gathering that this was what led to the blockade and prevented free flow of water and the consequent flooding that caused destruction in the city. He explained that his administration decided to declare a ninety-day environmental emergency period backed with massive cleanup exercise tagged OClean. He said “consequently, drainage experts were called in to look at how we could solve the problem before the advent of rains this year. That was why we moved in heavy duty equipment to clear the channels and remove refuse that constituted inhibitions on the water course.” Aregbesola commended former Governor Adebisi Akande for being pragmatic and foresighted in tackling the problem by clearing the channels and carried out construction of concrete drains on them. He, however, expressed regrets that no sooner had he left office than the care for what he left was neglected while degradation which was corrected was completely reversed by the careless attitude of those who throw refuse into water flowing course. Aregbesola then used the occasion to commiserate with the people of Oyo State on the recent flood disaster and assured that his administration would pursue its commitment to maintaining a healthy and a flood free environment.




Lawmaker trains 300 women


•Governor Amosun

O fewer than 300 unemployed women on have graduated from a Vocational Skills Acquisition programme in Ijebu North –East Local Government Area of Ogun State. The programme was sponsored by a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Ijebu Central Federal Constituency, Mr Kehinde Odeneye (ACN) under his“ Health to Wealth Empowerment Programme“. The women were trained on making of liquid soap, Dettol, Izal and Bleach. Speaking at the occasion, Odeneye said that the training was aimed at reducing the rate of unemployment among women in the area. The lawmaker explained that the programme would afford the women the opportunity to

Osun Assembly cautions farmers on forest reserve T HE Osun State House of Assembly has warned farmers farming at the stateowned forest reserve in Shasha, Ife South Local Government Area, not to be involved in criminal activities. The Speaker, Mr Najeem Salam, gave the warning in Osogbo when the leaders of the farm settlement came to the House for a meeting with the legislators. He assured the farmers that even though they were operating illegally in the forest reserve, the government would not disturb them since they were there to eke out a living. He, however, warned that any farmer found to be involved in criminal activities would be dealt with, stressing that the current state administration would do everything possible to ensure the safety of its citizens. Salam also advised the farmers to promote peace and avoid violence, advising them not to hesitate in reporting criminals pretending to be genuine farmers to law-enforcement


agents. Assemblyman Babatunde Komolafe, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Food Security, urged the farmers to maintain peace coexistence with timber contractors. Assemblyman Timothy Owoeye (Ilesa East Constituency) urged the two traditional rulers in the area, the Ologudu of Ogudu, Oba Jimoh Ajayi and the Obajio of More, Oba Yaya Elugbaju, to be good ambassadors of their community. One of the farmers, Mr Ayodeji Olafare, appealed to the House to plead with the state government to allow them to continue farming at the forest reserve without any hitches.

Lagos to build 176 classrooms


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said he has given approval for the construction of 176 classrooms in the state public schools to enhance greater access to education and to improve the learning standards of pupils. Governor Fashola, who made this known at the launch of Eko Corps exercise books for students in public schools, said the approval for the schools was done to meet increasing demand for public education in the state. According to him, the production of the exercise books which would be distributed to students without charge was facilitated by five revenue generating parastatals. The five parastatals include Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Lagos Traffic Management Authority(LASTMA),Lagos State Water Corporation, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service(LIRS) and the Lagos State Signage Advertising Agencies(LASAA). Fashola said it had become imperative to

Ogun become self-reliant and also complement the efforts of their husbands in providing for their respective families. “ What we are witnessing today is part of our promises to the women to empower them financially so as to assist themselves and their husbands in order to improve the living standard of their families. “ The training was designed to improve the lives of the people and to minimise unemployment, especially among women. “Rather than giving money to people at all times, I think it is better to teach them how to make money on their own and provide for their families. “Government alone cannot solve the problem of unemployment,and that is why this empowerment programme is taking place,” the lawmaker said. While urging the beneficiaries to take the training seriously, Odeneye added that more women would be trained across the constituency. The women were at the end of the training, issued certificates and raw materials with which to start their businesses.

•From left: Ooni of Ife, Oba Okuwade Sijuwade (right); Consultant, Orderly Society Trust, Lanre-Akinshola; Project Coordinator, Foluso Idumu and Programme Officer, Adesewa Olorunpomi during their visit to Ooni on the establishment of House of Citizens in Ife

Ajimobi’s wife empowers 330 widows


HE wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, has flagged off the programme to support and empower widows in the 33 local government areas of the state.

The programme which was inaugurated at Aleshinloye market in Ibadan Southwest Local Government, would see 10 widows each in the 33 local government areas receive N50,000 each to start or strengthen their economic earning activities.

Rotary gets new president


HE Rotary Club of Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos, has installed a new president. He is Rotarian Babatunde Sowobi whose investiture was done in a colourful ceremony at Le Real Hotel, VGC recently. Sowobi, who is the 15th president of the club, told members that he would use his office to address pressing human needs in the district and urged others to rise to the occasion through their support and donation. He said the club had donated text books to some designated schools, provided medical equipments for Epe General Hospital and rendered some sundry services in communities within the Ajah axis. He said: “You will agree with me that it has become the tradition of our club to provide dictionaries to pupils in public schools, we have supported Ogoyo community sanitary project, Alaguntan community sanitary project, procurement of drugs, light equipment and furniture for schools. He said the reason for the dictionary project was that the pupils needed to have a good grasp of English Language and strong foundation. The guest speaker on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, praised the Rotarians for their contribution to societal development and urged them not to relent in their efforts as they would be rewarded in the future. He advised them to remain good ambassadors of the club as it has become an international group bringing smiles to many

Rotarians Nkadi and Sowobi at the ceremony

Lagos By Musa Odoshimokhe

faces in distress. Sowobi later inaugurated other members of the executive having received the insignia of office from the out-gone president, Rotarian Emeka Nkadi.

PHCCIMA decries exclusion from public procurement


ORT Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA has decried the exclusion of its members from the board of Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, (RSBoPP). President of the PHCCIMA, Mr Vincent Adonye Kingston Furo, made this observation when a delegation of the Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, (RSBoPP) visited his office in Port Harcourt. He stressed that the constitution of the body is faulty considering that the role of the chamber as the mouth piece of the organised private sector. “ The significance of the chamber cannot be over emphasised, especially in an economy as huge as that of Rivers State” he said, underlining the need to actively involve PHCCIMA in the affairs of the board.

The Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria/Diageo Brands Nigeria, Mr Devlin Hainsworth and Ikechukwu Onunaku, Smirnoff Ambassador at the launch of Smirnoff Midnight Circus in Lagos

Edo flood is blamed on residents


chieftain of Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Nosa Omoregie, has said that the erosion menace experienced in the state resulted from the residents’ nonchalant attitude toward environmental sanitation. He said: “The flooding problem in Edo State is exacerbated by the activities of residents who pay nonchalant attention to the environmental situation in their various places while expecting the state government to spoon feed them or perform magic.” Omoregie, who called on the State House of Assembly members to consider “a bill compelling every house in the state to construct and de-silt drains right in their various homes with a specification” also said, “such gesture should also extend to intending builders where ever they are in the state, as this will go a long way in addressing the perennial flooding problems in the society. Speaking on the need for the people to be sanitation conscious,he said:“It is worrisome the manner we point accusing fingers to the state government especially in areas of flooding menace and road maintenance. You see inhabitants of Benin living in homes with silted drains right in front of them without making efforts to de-silt them and whenever it rains, they carry placards to Government House to protest over their self-induced misfortune. “Secondly, apart from the likelihood of outbreak of epidemics in such dirty and filthy environments, it is regrettable that majority

of our people don’t have drainage system in their homes and their expectation, however, is for the Adams Oshiomhole government to locate one in their houses. “Most worrisome is the attitude of supposed big men or well-to-do Edo people who build palatial estates without having to consider drainage system in such properties. Neither have the banks, Churches and multi-nationals in the state taken up this challenge as their socio responsibility. “Apart from drainage and erosion control, there is this challenge of lack of cooperate social responsibility on the part of cooperate organisations and individuals. There is this absence of self help effort or communitybased or age group mobilisation to clean the environment or clear blocked roads due to flood and erosion menace. “When we were growing, I remember we formed a group in the community to do some of those things that could engender community cleanliness, environmental sanitation and road clearing. The situation has changed in recent times, as we all wait for the various tiers of governments to locate us in our homes to help carry out what ordinarily should be a self help in our self enlightened interest. On the need for all to play supervisory role on public projects,he said:“Worst still is the irresponsibility of the people of the state to keep quiet in the face of ugly developments in the state. Take for instance, the construction of drainages by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) or maintenance of federal roads by the same agency with substandard materials, wrong specifications and lack of requisite equipments for a durable and time lasting job where the people of the state keep sealed lips to suffer the consequences later.


Lagos By Miriam Ndikanwu

expand schools infrastructure in the state to reduce the teacher to student ratio in classrooms and meet increasing enrolments especially from private schools and neighbouring states. “In the last four years, we have built about 5,000 schools, translating into about 250,000 classrooms. Even with this high number, we cannot say it is enough because of increasing demand for our public schools from private schools and neighbouring states. “We thought we had to work harder to cope with the pressure on schools, that was why a few weeks ago, the government approved the construction of 176 public schools to further widen access”, he said. The governor said the massive investment in education by the government in the past few years through the World Bank assisted Eko Education Project among others had impacted positively on

260 groups benefit from Fadama III projects


HE Fadama III project has assisted more than 260 groups in the execution of 338 agriculture-related ventures in Ondo State. The Coordinator of FADAMA III in the state, Mrs Beatrice Adefulire, said this in an interview with reporters in Akure.

Ondo She said 49 communities in the state also received assistance in the execution of community-owned infrastructure. Adefulire said agricultural ventures funded by the project in the state included cropping,

From Bisi Oladele and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Addressing a large crowd of widows and other people at the ceremony, Mrs Ajimobi said widowhood is often seen as a curse and a burden. She lamented the plight of the widows, saying it is pitiable to see widows kicked out of their homes or forced into violence and sexual slavery by their in-laws after the demise of their husbands. Thegovernor’s wife noted that the psychological and financial loss involved in widowhood calls for immediate consideration by all the people in the society bearing in mind that if they don’t help them out of their burdens, people themselves will continue to lose. She said:” Widowhood is seen as a curse and burden and the death of their breadwinner usually translates into the death of his family. The plight of widows is thus very pitiful. Many widows and their children are kicked out of their homes, forced to live in abject poverty on the fringes of society, and are prey to abuse, violence and sexual exploitation. “The moral, financial and mental deprivation that accompanies widowhood begs for urgent attention. We all should rise to support and empower the widows in our midst. They must be given the opportunity to live again” She assured all the widows in the state that the programme would be a continuous and consistent one because all machinery has been put in place to ensure that it is properly implemented, monitored and evaluated.

•From left: Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government Area, Hon Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni; Hon Alawiye King, a Lagos State House of Assembly member; Mrs Tinni Idris, representative, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education; Mr Bola Sanut, representative, chairman, SUBEB and the Council Manager, Mrs Florence Peters during the 2011/2012 presentation of school kits tagged: My complete student to a pupil of Zummurative Islamimiyah Primary School, Lagos Island.

bee-keeping, piggery, agro-processing and storage as well as fishery. The coordinator, who explained that the Fadama III initiative was designed to boost the socio-economic base of rural farmers, added that community projects executed in the state included opening up and grading of farm roads. Others, she said, were lock-up shops, boreholes as well as construction of culverts and drainage system. “Specifically, the executed projects are grading of 32 km of farm roads, 13 boreholes and deep wells with overhead tanks, 12 open and lock-up shops, 72 food processing machines, 30 fish ponds (both earthen and concrete). She also said more than 250 farmers were trained in different aspects of agricultural practices. Adefulire further said FADAMA III projects were community-oriented in view of the fact that all projects executed through it were in consonance with farmers’ preferences. “FADAMA III projects are CommunityDriven Development (CDD) because the economic interest and well-being of rural farmers are the major concern of the programme. “This is why projects under the programme are made to ensure that decisions and steps taken by the farmers are not inimical to their economic development. “This also explains the reason why the project prioritises capacity building of the farmers and offers cutting edge advisory services that will improve their yield and income,” she stated.

‘Give law enforcement agents modern equipment’


security expert, Mr. Bola Yusuf and Managing Director of Safety Vision Nigeria Limited, has advised the


NNPC, Chevron hold arts contest CHEVRON Nigeria Limited, CNL, Operator of the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture, will reward creativity in arts with the 2011 National Arts Competition for Children beginning Thursday,October 6, with an exhibition and prize-giving ceremony at the Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos. This will be followed by an art exhibition at the Chevron-donated Lekki Conservation Centre, Lekki. In a statement, Chevron’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Mr Femi Odumabo, said the theme of this edition of the competition is, “Partnership for

•Fashola standard of education. Making reference to student’s performance in public examinations, Fashola said pass rate in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had increased considerably in the last four years.

National Progress”. He added that the programme has been specially packaged as part of the company’s 50th anniversary to commemorate the success of the NNPC/Chevron’s partnership over the years, in supporting national growth and development. “The sponsorship of Arts Competition is in line with NNPC/Chevron’s vision of helping Nigeria lay a foundation of creative and productive youths .who, by virtue of their education and creativity, can stand tall amongst their peers in any part of the world,” he said.

By Kunle Akinrinade

Federal Government and its states counterparts to equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools to counter rising crime wave in the country. Speaking at the unveiling of a high techpatrol vehicle in Lagos, he said:” There is need for government to provide modern equipment that would enhance the performance of law enforcement agencies in crime-combat.Gone are the days when police prevent crime with batons because there are modern communication gadgets and patrol

vehicles that could help track down criminals and burst crime with maximum efficiency. “What we are unveiling today, is a patrol vehicle with in-built equipment that could help the police, customs and other relevant law enforcement agencies to enhance emergency response capacity, provide a functional data base and tracking devices that would them in surveillance operations. It possesses a powerful camera capable of recording audio-visuals and it has brain box, memory and a hard disc that records information all the time.”

ACCA records growth in membership The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has been rated as the leading global professional accountancy body in reputation, influence and size by employers around the world, according to an independent survey of 1,300 employers in 20 countries. This finding shows that ACCA is widely recognised for its global reach and its leading perspective on issues facing the accountancy profession. This is supported by ACCA’s global network of 83 offices and centres, more than 70 global accountancy partnerships, extensive alliances with learning partners and exam centres. ACCA’s relevance to employers around the world can be seen in the growth in its global

membership, which now stands at over 147,000 members, compared with 140,000 announced last year – an increase of five per cent. It’sworldwide student base has reached 424,000 compared with 404,000 this time last year. Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, says: “These results show that professional accountancy adds value to business on a global basis. At a time of continuing economic instability, the role of our members on the business stage is critical. I am especially pleased to note that employers of our members recognise the contribution ACCA is making as a leading global body.

• Managing Partner, Kirwans Solicitors, Mr. Jasper Dawson (left) with the Executive Chairman, Peacock Group of Companies, Chief Segun Phillips during the signing of the Title of Deeds of the new property of the company in Hackney, London






HOSE who conceived the Apapa Government Residential Area (GRA) must be hissing at the deplorable state of the estate. The estate, which could compete with the best of its kind in Europe in terms of layout and aesthetics when it was newly built, has lost its allure and beauty. Most residents, hitherto proud of the estate, have left their homes in frustration. Those who chose to stay, live in pains and anguish. The estate was conceived by the Executive Development Board (EDB), the forerunner of the Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSDPC), as a modern and integrated community to serve the housing needs of the then emerging middle class. The estate is a mixed stock, comprising the residential, commercial, industrial, the medium scale area and the exclusive area for the elite. It was designed as a low-density area for manageable population

Apapa: A paradise lost By Gbenga Aderanti and Kunle Akinrinade

over the years, it has been home to many prominent Nigerians, among them retired civil servants. Today, the aesthetic beauty of the area has been distorted by shanties which are sprouting here and there. They are most occupied by beggars, hawkers, roadside traders and urchins. Worried by the development, the Apapa GRA Residents Association (AGRA) has written to the Lagos State government, seeking its intervention. In a letter signed by Mr Niyi Yusuf (chairman), Mrs Akin George, BrigGen Sola Ayo Vaughan, Mr Igho Dafinone, Dr J.J. Grange, and Mrs

Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, the residents likened Apapa GRA to another Ajegunle. "In reality, the Apapa GRA has become an extension of Ajegunle. The environment is not different when compared to places like Okokomaiko, Ajegunle and Oshodi," the letter said. When CityBeats visited the area, commercial buses were seen parked indiscriminately on the road. The residents frowned on the existence of a permaApapa nent bus stop that is GRA has always busy. become an "Before now, buses extension merely pick up pasof sengers and go; right Ajegunle

now, they have created a park which caters for over 50 commercial buses daily and you can imagine the nuisance this constitutes as the entire place is now littered with broken down and abandoned vehicles," the petition said. The petitioners also complained about the activities of commercial tricycles (Keke Marwa) and motorcyclists (Okada). They alleged that commercial drivers and cyclists have turned all major drainage channels to public convenience. The residents also frowned on the activities of roadside mechanics, and street boys, describing their presence in the area is annoying. During a visit, CityBeats found that some of the residential buildings

•Okada riders washing their motorbikes on Oduduwa road (Lisabi road). Inset: A blocked canal in the area

CP's wife decries dirty barracks ‘Practical steps to successful marriage’ THE chairperson of the Lagos State Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), Hajia Rano Alkali, has urged police officers’ wives in MOPOL 20 Barracks, GRA, Ikeja, to ensure that they clean their environment to avoid an epidemic. Addressing the women after inspecting the barracks, Mrs Alkali expressed shock at the deplorable environment in which they araising their families. She advised officers in charge of environmental sanitation to ensure that the place is well cleaned. Mrs Alkali, who expressed shock that the officers were absent during her visit, advised the police command to see to the appointment of new officers to take charge of sanitation.

A DEPUTY Comptroller of Prison, Dr Regina Clement Akpan, has advised couples to live a life that is devoid of rancor. She said issues such as poor communication, unresolved conflicts, and inability to respect each others' views has ruined many homes. Akpan, at the launch of her book entitled: "Practical Steps to Successful Marriage," in Lagos recently, said poor understanding has destroyed many marriages. She said:" Poor communication can drive some couples crazy. Poor planning of family finances lead to poverty. Insufficient sex or unsatisfactory sex can lead to hatred and make marriage stressful. Marriage is supposed to be treated as a business. Any business you work hard for must succeed. Based on this, coupled must change their perceptions about marriage if they want it to work.”

have been converted to commercial premises, without due regard for town planning regulations. But all these pale into insignificance compared to the residents’ complaints about the roads. According to the association, the roads have been ruined largely by trucks coming into or getting out of the seaport. The major roads they said, are getting worse because they were not built for trucks. "Unless something is done urgently, the situation will get worse," said Yusuf. He said the problem wouldn't have degenerated if not for the permission granted commercial canoe operators to lift people from Ajegunle across the Liverpool Creek into Apapa GRA. "This is being done through the drainage points that are kept open along the Oskar Ibru Way in the GRA," he told CityBeats. He said the entry points had be-



Idimu residents complain of bad roads RESIDENTS of Juba Street, Egbe-Idimu, Alimoso Local Government Area, have called on the state government to address the threat of gully erosion in the area. The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that large craters are taking over the entire area. They alleged that the Oghere-Juba-Alaro drainage collector, project which has been abandoned since 2008 has become a source of worry to residents. The project, according to NAN, would have enhanced the collection of flood water from other channels in Oghere, council bus stop and Liasu Street and environs. Residents claimed that while government completed the Oghere side of the project, the Juba-Alero end which serves as a major channel to the canal was abandoned.



CITYBEATS Council donates school to community By Risikat Ramoni

Seven communities in Tarqwa bay Island and its environs have got a new secondary school, courtesy of the Local Government. The communities’ children will, henceforth, attend the local government junior secondary school, a faculty, which was hitherto lacking. The communities are Abagbo, Tarqwa Bay, Okun-ayo, Store, Kate, Ebute-oko and Ogogoro. Children in the community complete their primary education in Epiphany Anglican primary school as well as other privately-owned private school without having a secondary school to go. This has made many children to be drop-outs, while others only attend school across the lagoon thrice a week. The school, whose construction was started in March, was handed over to the Lagos State Ministry of education on Wednesday in Tarqwa bay in the presence of both the community as well as the LCDA officials. During the handing over ceremony, the Chairman of Iru Victoria Island Local Council Development Association, Hon. Abayomi Daramola, said that the School will be of immense benefit to the resident. "Children and wards often travel a long distance to access education. This School will save the community from losing their children in a boat mishap," said the council Chairman. Daramola said the building, which is made of 10 classrooms and restrooms, has in each class, furniture, electricity, magnetic board, fans, bulbs, a terrazon floor and an aluminum window and door in all classrooms amongst other facilities in a modern school. He appreciated the community for donating the land to the government. On the construction of a Senior Secondary School, Daramola said the LCDA will liaise with the State government to build a Senior School for the children so as to save them from various risks. Tutor General/ permanent secretary of education district III, Mrs Wonuola Idris, noted that the School, situated in Tarqwa bay will both save lives as well as encourage more people to embrace education. She enjoined other councils to take education more seriously by making it as one of the most important item in their budget.

A paradise lost •Continued from page 31

come deplorable because the canoe operators have converted them to passenger walk ways. It was originally meant for the outflow of floodwater into the creek. Yusuf explained that several efforts to stop the illegal activity was resisted by the canoe operators who live in Ajegunle. "On several occasions, our residents have been attacked in their homes, along these crossing points," he said. He listed as another black spot the road linking Boundary (another slum community), the GRA and the Oluwole Market. He said the bridge, the market and the crossing points were mostly responsible for the infiltrations into the estate, adding that their existence has turned the GRA into a thoroughfare. Yusuf said: "Over 150,000 people use the GRA as a thoroughfare daily. The bridge and the crossing points brought about the need for commercial buses, okada and Keke Marwa operators in the estate." A resident said many who would have come to the estate are not willing to move in because of the activities

The entry points had become deplorable because the canoe operators have converted them to passenger walk ways

of Danfo drivers and Okada riders on one hand, and the upsurge in robbery in the area, on the other." "This situation is most worrisome at the Waterside end of Oskar Ibru Way because of the illegal motor park there and the Oluwole Market," the resident said. The residents are appealing to the state government to pay the same attention given to Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA), to Apapa GRA. They requested that the Apapa GRA be severed from Ajegunle, by the creek, saying: "The bridge and the crossing point should be sealed completely." They asked that the market within GRA be relocated. "The bus terminal and all the okada points should be removed from the GRA. Apapa GRA is like Magodo GRA with just two entrances. "Entrances into Apapa GRA were originally planned to be from two ends of Liverpool Road, but due to the heavy commercial activities in Apapa, Liverpool Road can hardly be controlled. “Therefore, we wish to reduce the entrance from Liverpool Road into the GRA to just three. We intend to retain Marine Road for residents' use only, while we leave Park Lane and Point Road for non-residents that are coming into the GRA," they said. The hope of redeeming the lost glory of Apapa is not lost. The government is working to arrest the chaotic traffic on Apapa-Oshodi Express- Way. Tanker drivers, who are the major culprits of the traffic jam have been told to move their vehicles. The government has also mobilised contractors to fix the roads. Apart from the government’s efforts, the residents too have been making efforts trying to find solutions to the problem. Last year, the Ibru family rehabilitated the Oskar Ibru Way, the longest road in Apapa and also constructed the alluring Elsie Michael Ibru Roundabout.

•Top and Bottom: Different faces of dilapidated infrastructure at Apapa PHOTO: KUNLE AKINRINADE

Club restates commitment to the less and striving for HE President, Rotary privileged eration peace,” he said. Club of Ikeja, Philip


Aderemi Babarinde, has said the club will ensure the execution of projects that will benefit the needy. According to him, the needy must not be forgotten

•Anozie decorating Babarinsa

1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 08023321770; 080-56374036.

2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No: 080-77690200; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-776909201; 01-2881304 FRSC Emergency No: 070-022553772

By Wale Adepoju

because they are part of the society and as such must be properly integrated. Babarinde, who spoke during his installation as the 25" president of the club, said he would imbibe the philosophy of Rotary, which is Service above self, adding that emphasis would be placed on family, the hub of the society. He said he would live’ up to the theme for the calendar year, ‘Reach within to embrace humanity’ add-ing that what we wish for ourselves is what others wish for themselves too. Babarinde said there would be continuity of laudable projects embarked upon by his predecessor, Mrs Anozie, adding that those protests would be taken to the next level. “We must continue our work for cleaner and safer water, mitigate diseases and illnesses, Reach spread literacy, work within to with and for embrace the new gen- humanity

EMERGENCY LINES 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 080-75005411; 080-60152462 080-23111742; 080-29728371 080-23909364; 080-77551000 01-7904983

4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 070-35068242 080-79279349; 080-63299264 070-55462708; 080-65154338

He promised to be a change agent, adding that: “We should start by being the change we wish to see in the world. If we wish for peace and end to polio or any other disease, if we wish environmental degrada-tion to stop, if we wish to reduce child mortality, to spread literacy or to prevent hunger, we must be the instrument of the change and recognise that it must start with us.” Babarinde said he would execute projects estimated at N3.35million, saying his tenure would be measured by the number of needy that would be touched with projects executed. He advised: “Let us reach within to embrace humanity, let us pro-mote peace, harmony and friend-ship. Let us bring positive change to ourselves, the community, our nation and the world at large.” A former President, Mrs Anozie, described her tenure as eventful. She said she still relishes her tenure with the theme, building communities and bridging continents.

767 or email: 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.



CITYBEATS Foundation gives pupils NON-government organiwriting kits sation (NGO), Joy of Child Foundation, has donated a



HAIRMAN of Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area Mr Bavo Balogun has raised the alarm over alleged incessant harassment and arrest of traditional rulers and chiefs in the communities by men of the Nigeria Police. Balogun, who addressed reporters on the situation, said the Jatest arrest took place last week, when the police swooped on about five communities in the local government, arresting the chiefs over a petition he claimed was written by a faceless individual. Balogun said: “This situation has escalated to the level that we believe some people in the police are conniving with some land grabbers to inflict fear in the minds of the people under the pretence of carrying out criminal investigation.” He explained that between 5 and 6am last Tuesday, the police officers who said they were acting on a directive from Abuja, invaded

Council chief alleges harassment of traditional rulers By Miriam Ndikanwu

the communities including Shapati, Alawon, Bankole, amongst others, arresting the chiefs for an alleged murder which they knew nothing about. He described the development as the handiwork of land grabbers in the area, adding that the council has sent a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakubu Alkali, calling for a proper investigation into the allegation to put an end to the harassment. “The local government is not spared in this agonising horror, because some time, in June, 2010, some armed police officers came from Abuja to a local government

site at Imalefalafia, beat up council workers found on the site and took them to Abuja cell for over one week.” The chairman further recounted how the chiefs escaped from being killed when Boko Haram invaded the police headquarters. “On the day of the Abuja police headquarters bomb blast, some of our chiefs would have been killed, if it had affected the building because someone wrote a fictitious petition that got them detained for a week. There is no month in which this outright misuse of power has not been meted on our people,” he added.. Balogon also appealed to the Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola to come to their aid and rescue the residents from the police.


health centre to Ojodu Grammar School,Lagos. The Foundation also distributed books, school uniforms, writing materials, school bags and sandals to the pupils. The donation was part of plans by the NGO to give educational and health support for orphans and vulnerable children in Lagos. The event attracted traditional rulers from Agege, Ojodu and Olowo-Ira and officials of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB). Speaking during the inauguration of the health centre at the school,the Head Desk Officer, SUBEB, Lagos State, Mr Akinwolere Colman, commended the humanitarian gesture of the foundation which he said, would go a long way in providing succour to less There are privileged chilmany dren in the socischools ety. yearning He said the task of providing for quality educa- renovation

By Adeola Ogunlade

tion in Lagos State is enormous , a programme which calls for support and partnership by individual and corporate institutions. Colman said the Lagos State government is open to partnership with other stakeholders to move education forward in the state He said : "We appeal to Nigerians to adopt schools because there are many schools yearning for renovation". The Founder of Joy of a Child Foundation, Evangelist Elishama Ezenwanne, said the project was aimed at complementing the efforts of the government on education and to promote the wellbeing of the pupils. “It is also geared towards acheiving one of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), which seeks to achieve Universal Primary Education for children. She said the school was selected because it accommodates a large number of indigent and less privileged children.

Councillor provides water


CCUPANTS of Oshogbo community, in Itire-Ikate Local Council Develop-

ment Area, have a cause to smile as a councillors, Taofeek Gbolahan, provided a borehole for members at the community. Gbolahan, who listed the project as the fulfillment of one of his electioneering promises, said the time has come for members of the community to reap the dividends of democracy. “The area is densely populated with up to 50 houses and they lack water. So this borehole will enable adjourning streets to also have access to safe potable water, and that’s why we handed it over to the street chairman,” he said. Also present at the opening was the Chairman of Itire-Ikate LCDA, Hon Akeem •Cross section of the affected Obas and Chiefs

Group endorses candidate for Ikeja local govt polls


GROUP based in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital, the Progressive Alliance for Good Governance (PAGG), has endorsed Austin Omoruyi as the councillorship aspirant for ‘Ward D’ under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The President of the group, Adekunle Lukman, said in line with the philosophy of the party to produce credible and competent leadership in all spheres; the group is throwing its weight behind Omoruyi to represent the Ward. He said the action is informed by the goodwill and contributions of Omoruyi to the development of the community, adding that he has served in different capacities including being the secretary to the current Baale of Anifowos he community in Ikeja. According to him, Omoruyi has championed so many community - based projects, such as, the Provision of free-medical check-ups, free drugs distribution, organisation of youth empowerment programmes, and the establishment of adult education to eradicate illiteracy at the grassroot, and many more. “Before making his intension to contest for the elections known, Omoruvi has done so much for the community as a youth. We the

By Innocent Amomoh

members of the community have directly benefited from his gesture and so we believe that if given the chance, he will do better as our representative as a councillor. His passion for the development of human lives, coupled with the human face he put on everything he does, has informed our support

for him as our next councillor,” he said. Lukman said the group has forwarded a recommendation to the National Leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the State Chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, to make known their position. The group, however, called on the leadership of the party to stand their ground in ensuring that only credible and competent aspirants are allowed to fly the party’s flag in subsequent elections.

Council chair rallies support HAIRMAN of Itire-Ikate for Tinubu Local council Development


Area, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola has described the ongoing trial of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by the Code of Conduct Bureau as vindictive. Bamgbola urged Nigerians to rise up in support of the former governor of Lagos State the same way they condemned the sack of Justice Ayo Salami. He wondered why the Code of Conduct Bureau has refused to feed the public on when the accounts were opened and the balances in the various accounts announced to the public. The trial The council chief reiterated is that the trial of politically Asiwaju Tinubu is politically motivated motivated and

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

promptly re-enacted the history of war against the progressive bloc by the power that be. “It is reminiscent of the arraignment of the first opposition leader, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Action Group, before the Coker Commission of Inquiry and later at Justice George Sowemimo’s High Court for treasonable felony trial. ACN family and other men of goodwill would equally rally round Asiwaju Tinubu, in a manner that will embarrass the People’s Democratic Party-led government,” he said. Bamgbola added that it is not Tinubu that is on trial but the progressives.

NGO harps on care for the elderly


TUNBA Tunde BabsOlurinde, Executive Chairman of Skindudu Aged Foundation, an NGO, has stressed the need for the younger generation to imbibe the culture of caring for elderly citizens. Babs-Olurinde, who spoke at the annual seminar/get together for senior citizens in Lagos, said the NGO, was trying to resuscitate the values of caring for the old in Africa which is being eroded. “As we all know, governments at all levels pay special attention to the youth population, which of course, is the tomorrow of the society. But, we should not forget that ‘as tomorrow starts today, so did today started yesterday.’ “Therefore, when tomorrow comes and today becomes yesterday, if the culture to care and show genuine concern for the aged is not found, then, we would have been

It is our genuine desire to inspire the younger generation to always be conscious of the peculiar circumstances of the senior citizens

By Nneka Nwaneri

Bamigbola, who said the project is another way of giving back to the community. “It’s hard to see a councillor come up with such projects. One of the problems we have is our lack of potable water in this local government. This councillor deserves to be praised because he is still able to provide water for the community, from the little he gets.” He encouraged the residents to vote the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the forthcoming local government elections. Bamigbola said the people should not give space for any new politician who might come around and start experimenting with the plans the ACN already have on ground. By Oziegbe Okoeki

guilty of failing to prepare the responsibility to the senior citizens of tomorrow-just as captured in the title of this year’s lecture: Concern for the old today is the preparation for our own tomorrow,” he said. He explained that people between ages and 30 and 55 form the majority of decision-makers in almost all spheres of life, but that they would later retire and become part of the elderly citizens. He called on the youth, who are in positions of authority, “to promote the cause of the senior citizens because, at some point, it is going to be their turn as well.” He said plans were on the way to take the seminar, which the foundation started in 2009 to the grassroots and every local government. He called for the support of the state government and the private sector ot make old age worth looking forward to. “At Skindudu Aged Foundation, it is our genuine desire to inspire the younger generation to always be conscious of the peculiar circumstances of the senior citizens in our midst, brought about by age, which of course is a natural occurrence,” he said. Various pharmaceutical firms, such as Fidson, Phizer, Vitabiotics, Daily Need Industries, donated drugs to the elderly citizens. Mr Abdulhakeem AbdulLateef, Chairman, Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board, said that he would move a motion that a ministry be created for the elderly. Blood Pressure checks and other routine medical check-ups were also conducted for the oldies at the event.




QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Knowledge remains the currency of the 21st Century; the pursuit of knowledge in the contemporary Information Technology holds the promise of transmitting youth unemployment 10 youth empowerment by identifying, nurturing and equipping them.” Senator Gbenga Ashafa, (Lagos East Senatorial District), at an ICT training initiative he organised for unemployed youths at Magodo, Lagos.


CORES of residents in Obanikoro axis and its environs were over the weekend treated to a free health by the management of Zoomota healthcare. The move, according to the Managing Director of Zoomota healthcare, Mr Yemi Olavemi, is geared towards responding to the immidiate needs and challenges of the organisation's host community. Olavemi said the free health mission that is gulping about N3million from the organisation, was .their way of impacting to the environment where they have operated peacefully for many years. 'We are conducting screening in different health cases such as Hypertension, diabetes, which is our core area of competence; malaria, HIV, eye screening among others," adding that apart from screening the beneficiaries would also received free drugs to treat their ailment. He explained that the company

•Pupils of Grace School at the event


NILEVER Nigeria PLC, maker of Lifebouy soap, has embarked on an enlightement campaign to educate people about diarrhoea. The campaign seeks to mobilise the public on regular hand washing as a preventive measure to the disease. It also seek to get five million Nigerians to pledge to defeat the disease through various social networking websites such as and by sending SMS -"defeat" to 2050 to confirm their pledge and signing the pledge booklet. Speaking at the launch of the initiative, the Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Thabo Mabe, said the initiative would set a world record in fighting the disease in Nigeria. Mabe said: 'Every year, more than 3.5 million children die before their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia. In fact, one child every 15 seconds dies

UNILEVER moves against diarrhoea

Every year, more than 3.5 million children die before their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia... this is the second most common cause of death in children under five in the world

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

unnecessarily from diarrhoea disease, which is the second most common cause of death in children under five in the world." Dr Babayemi Osinaike, Consultant Paediatrician/Head, Olikoye Ransome Kuti Children Emergency Room, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos , noted that factors that drive the transmission of the disease includes lack of aware-

Council floats traffic management agency


HE Chairman of Apapa Local Government Mr Ayodeji Joseph has said chaotic traffic situation in the council area will soon become a thing of the past. Speaking at the flag-off of the Apapa Emergency Security and Traffic Response Initiative, held at the council secretariat, Joseph said his administration was poised to tackle the ugly traffic situation headlong. He said: "There is no gainsaying the fact that the traffic situation in Apapa is not only chaotic but also nightmarish at certain hours of the day, so much that unquantifiable man-hour is lost when motorists and other road users are held-up in traffic, thus resulting in near-total paralysis of economic activities. “This situation can no longer be tolerated and I think it is possible to put the traffic congestion menace behind us, hence, the coming of our traffic management outfit.” Joseph blamed the traffic snarl on the activities of truck and commercial bus drivers who park indiscriminately on the road. “A critical observation has revealed that indiscriminate parking

Firm lifts health care in Obanikoro

By Kunle Akinrinade

of tankers, trailers and the recalcitrance of their drivers are the major causes of traffic congestion in Apapa. The case of the drivers of the ubiquitous commuter buses popularly Danfo, who have posed serious menace to other road users is worthy of mention too. These drivers flout basic traffic rules and regulations. They pick and drop-off their passengers in the middle of the road and drive against traffic with impunity." In his remark on the occasion, Chairman of Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr Fola ArthurWorrey, said: "We must support our security operatives instead of deriding them because a day without the law enforcement agents in the society spells doom for the people. The Apapa Community Trust Fund, should serve as a platform for advocacy to harness the economic potential of the community. For example, you have the Apapa and Tin Can Ports and I think the community should benefit from the revenue generated from these ports."

ness on benefits of hand washing with water and soap. He said : "One of the most costeffective public health interventions studies have shown that hand washing with soap can, reduce the incidence of diarrhoea disease by over 40 per cent. Hand washing should be done before and after meals , after touching a public surface, before and after preparing food, especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood.It should also be done after using the restroom , after touching animals and when you are around someone who is ill. ''Turning hand washing with soap before and after eating and after using the toilet into a habit could a save more lives than any vaccine or medical intervention and helps to stem deaths from diarrhoea by and other acute res-

piratory infections by one-quarter.” He added, ''The guiding vision for the creation of Global Hand washing Day is to help educate children about the importance of hand washing with soap and water - encouraging them to do it at home, at school and in their communities. "Lifebuoy soap, a product of UNILEVER, is to encourage millions of people to pledge to always hand wash before meals. Make your pledge today to defeat diarrhea.” Also at the event was the Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, David Okeme.Okeme said washing hands with soap leads to healthier lives, increased school attendance and reduced visits to the doctor.We are using the Global Hand washing Day to encourage everyone in Nigeria to take a step towards creating a healthier nation. He said: "Lifebuoy has been a 'pioneering health-crusaded for 116 years, and as a mark of our commitment to accelerating vital progress in public health, we have established an ambitious goal to change the hand washing behaviour of Nigerians.

By Miriam Ndikanwu

We are conducting screening in different health cases such as hypertension, diabetes, which is our core area of competence; malaria, HIV, eye screening among others

had alwavs lived up to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), noting that the free health mission was important as it would have direct impact on their immediate environment. He lamented the prevalent health challenges in the country, saying that the situation had prevailed because of ignorance and poverty. Olayemi stressed that the key to unlocking this situation was hinged on education and sensitization of the people. In his presentation, Dr F. Fasanmade lamented the increase on the cases of diabetes in the country. Fasarunad, who was represented at the event by Dr. Avodele Adedamola, said estimated prevalence of diabetes in 2010 was 285 million and estimated prevalence in 2025 is 483 million and indicating diabetes is becoming epidemic. He urged the participant to stay away from soft drinks, a lot of sugar, pastries (meat pies), fried foods and other high cholesterol diet that may put people at risk. A beneficiary, Mr. Adeniran Adedamola,commended the organisation for the gesture. Adedamola, who said he got the information from an advertorial, learnt about how best to address his health cases. "I want to commend the organisation and pray for God's blessings and increase. Because what we have received here today was beyond our expectation when we learnt about this programme," he said.

•From left: Mrs Laja-Olugbesan, Mr Ayodeji and Arthur-Worrey at the occasion




Mimiko’s wife makes case for Niger Delta women


•(From third left), The wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko and the wife of the Deputy Governor, Alhaja Bejide Olanusi waving hands to Iya Abiye participants at the monthly programme of Abiye held at Igbokoda, Ilaje local government area of the state

HE wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko has urged the Federal Government to come up with programmes that will sustain the economic lives of the women in the Niger Delta region. She said in order to actualise this agenda; there must be synergy between the federal and state governments and other relevant agencies in the region Mrs. Mimiko stated this while addressing women in Ilaje Local Government Area during her monthly Abiye programme. The Governor’s wife also canvassed that government should create social economic programmes for them. She urged the women to be active in politics in order for them to have good representatives in government. According to her, women as instruments of political change and major factors in the nation’s economy, deserve government’s attention at all times and should be properly integrated into the politics of the Niger Delta region because of their political and economic values.”

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

She further advised the women to take cognizance of the welfare of their children and also ensure that the children’s education career receives priority attention. Mrs. Mimiko, who decried the level of moral decadence among school children, advised parents to utilise the knowledge gained at the occasion to improve on the education and social life of their wards so that their future career could be guaranteed. The chairman of Ilaje Local Government Area Prince Banji Okunomo lauded the Governor’s wife for initiating the Abiye Programme which he said would afford government the opportunity to discover and address the plight of the women appropriately. Prince Okunomo assured the governor’s wife that Ilaje, as an oilproducing area will not do anything that will jeopardize the economy of the state but will continue to support government’s efforts aimed at empowering the people of the area economically.

This woman is in pain and in need By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

free. But the most important tool she requires, her mouth, is at the moment, shackled. Life has momentarily stopped for the 24-year-old girl. The last institution she attended was Igando Community High School, Igando, Lagos State. After completing her Junior Secondary School (JSS3) certificate examination, she could not go further.



HE needs about N1.4 million to first regain her health and pursue her life ambition. Ganiyat Ibrahim wants to be a lawyer because she wants to solve people’s problems and set them

She has stopped schooling due to the stigma she was exposed to. Her condition is medically defined as Medibular tumour. Yet, she is not giving up her dreams. She needs about N1.4 million to get her life back on the track. That amount, if gets it, will be needed for the surgery that will be done to remove the abnormal tumour from her jaw. The extensive medical report reads: “There is a huge cystic expansive jaw mass in the half of the jaw, with a floating uninterrupted tooth within it. There is a suggestion of fluid level within it, featuring an

amelobplastoma.” Ganiyat is now appealing for assistance of N1.4million to enable her to get the malignant growth out of her life. “I appeal to all Nigerians to help me realise my dreams in life. I want to be a lawyer. I love the profession. I don’t feel fine. I want to continue with my education. My mother is a petty trader and my father is a transporter. They struggle hard to take care of my two brothers and three sisters. I am the third born. The swell gives me pains and I am the only one in the family with that condition. Please help me.” ‘’Please send your donation to Ibrahim Kaseem Babatunde, Intercontinental Bank, A/C No: 01481100062910, Egbeda Branch, Lagos,” she appealed. Her father also appealed to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, because, “I have been staying at Alimosho, her constituency, close to a decade. I know if she gets to read this, she will help out because she is a mother.” Her predicament, according to her father, Ganiyu, a transporter, started in 2005 when

Ganiyat complained of tooth ache. He took her to a Primary Health Centre and all the seven members of her family believed the ache had been treated. When the nagging pain won’t abate, the parents were advised to visit the then Ikeja General Hospital. But no results, not even of the X-ray taken twice, were given to them. They also went to the Military Hospital, Yaba. There, after a thorough examination, some teeth were removed and blood samples taken and were taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba in 2010. Some months later, the ache came with such a virulent pain that she was taken to Lantoro in Abeokuta from when was moved to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. There, series of tests were done, including the taking of her blood samples as specimen for laboratory diagnosis. The amount required then to treat her was N500, 000 and her family was able to raise the money. But it was the doctors’ strike that staled the treatment, the family lamented.

School, firm to host fair


O revive interest and promote learning in schools, plans have been concluded for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fair in Lagos. Organised by Immersive Solutions Limited and hosted by the Grange School, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, the fair will help raise awareness in the subjects in an interesting, active and interactive way that bridges the gap between classroom teaching and real life application of STEM principles. Chief Executive Officer of Immersive Solution, Mojisola Omole, said the fair, to be held from October 25 to 28, and involving 100 public and private schools across Nigeria who will be hosted by Grange, will expand the students’ boundary of knowledge and curiosity. She said: “It will promote understanding of science and its application to our world, stimulate interest in young people and encourage the uptake of careers in STEM fields. It will simplify science learning and make teaching easier, fun and rewarding. The STEM fair will be fun and exciting.” Omole said schools can enter projects in any of behavioral and social science; medicine and health; environmental science; earth and

By Joseph Jibueze

planetary science, and engineering and physics at a STEM Project Competition to be held during the fair. “Participants will develop their ability for problem solving through scientific enquiry and research, and the competition will create opportunity for them to further investigate the sciences and invent things related to technology, engineering and mathematics. “Students have a chance of earning scholarship awards, prizes and recognition for their efforts. Teachers of wining projects get to receive cash awards, while winning schools receive plaques, books and media recognition. There are also special category awards given by individuals and organisations,” Omole said. There will also be science quiz contest, planetarium shows (entertaining movies in spectacular environment); career arena (including seminars), educator lounge and an awards dinner. “We urge corporate organisations and institutions to get involved and support the fair through sponsorship. There are different levels of sponsorship opportunities. An organisation can also sponsor 200 less privileged students to visit the event. Students can come from orphanages or schools of sponsor’s choosing.”

•From left: Administrator, Association of International School Educators in Nigeria (AISEN), Mrs Yemisi Olorundare; Vice-Principal, the Grange School, Mr Geoff Ward, and Mrs Omole at the media briefing




Aregbesola’s wife plans for the needy at 51


AST year when she turned 50, the wife of Osun State governor Alhaja Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola distributed a variety of empowerment equipment for people in need. As she clocks 51, there may not be a repeat of the grand outing of the previous year, but her disposition to lift the needy has not changed. At that golden birthday anniversary, she had gathered eminent personalities to raise a whopping N30 million for orphanages. The event which held at the Bab-es-Salam Orphanage, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, brought joy to children also. Alhaja Aregbesola distributed motorcycles and helmets to commercial motorcyclists, sewing machines and other empowerment materials to neighbours in her Egbeda home. On that occasion, her plans to distribute gift items to 10 new babies in public health centres on that day were frustrated by the strike embarked upon by the doctors in Lagos but she eventually found two new babies at Agege Primary Health Centre. The governor’s wife said she identified with the needy on her birthday in appreciation of God’s kindness to her. Resplendent in a brown lace, she radiated beauty, charisma and carriage. But her simplicity and humility was applauded by many.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

“I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday at home,” she said. “I wanted to spend some time with the orphans. To my surprise, over N30 million has been raised.” There, prayers offered for the restoration of Dr Kayode Fayemi and Mr Rauf Aregbesola’s mandates were answered as the duo were declared governors on October 15 and November 26 respectively. The presence of many politicians and top government officials made the event to look like a convention. Aregbesola, who described her as “my second heart and wonderful partner,” said one of the greatest miracles of his life was his contact with the damsel in the North, almost three decades ago. The politician, who stunned all by saying he has never had extra-marital affairs, thanked her for her devotion, tolerance and unflinching support. Aregbesola said he was fully converted to Islam from his atheist inclination by his wife, who she fondly called “Iya Kabiru’. Less than 15 days after her husband was installed as the Governor of Osun state, Alhaja Aregbesola spoke to this reporter in Saudi Arabia. “My plan if my husband’s mandate is restored is to help reduce poverty in all ways,” she said in Makkah.

Alhaja Aregbesola presented gifts to over 40 children that were born at the health centre, which included a set of twins born on November 26, 2010, the day her husband was declared governor

First, she visited the abandoned and motherless babies unit of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Hospital, Jaleyemi, Osogbo, to show love to an abandoned baby, Francisca Jaleyemi. On January 1 this year, the joy of the families of 15 women who were delivered of babies at the State Hospitals in Osun State in the early hours knew no bounds as Alhaja Aregbesola showered gifts on them. That same day, she visited the State Hospital in Asubiaro, Osogbo, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, Osogbo and State Hospital in Ede where gifts were presented to new babies including set of twins and payment of hospital bill of some patients. Alhaja Aregbesola had also visited the children at the Juvenile Remand Home located at Testing Ground area, Osogbo, where she counseled the inmates and gave out food items and provisions among other things for the feeding and upkeep of the inmates. During the last Children’s Day, Alhaja Aregbesola was at Irogbo Health Centre, Irogbo Ijesa, to celebrate the success of the medical centre. The Irogbo Health Centre was established in 2008 by Aregbesola family to provide free heath care services to the people of the area. Chairman, Management Board of the centre, Prince Felix Awofisayo said in line with the vision of the founders of the centre, all patients treated at the health centre were treated free of charge since 2008 up till date. Awofisayo said from January to December 2010, the centre attended to the health needs of 9116 patients. Alhaja Aregbesola presented gifts to over 40 children that were born at the health centre, which included a set of twins born on November 26, 2010, the day her husband was declared governor. She joined her husband in the rigorous campaign during the last April general elections. ACN won all elective positions during the polls.

•Alhaja Aregbesola Her efforts have endeared ‘Mama Kabiru’ to the people of Osun and beyond. Her gestures have not gone unnoticed, as she received commendations and awards from quite a number of organisations among which is the Nigerian Turkish International College (NTIC), Ogun State for her supportive role in making the school the best in all NTIC schools in Nigeria. When contacted about her message for her 51st birthday, she politely told this reporter, “I do not want it to be another festivity to be celebrated annually. 51 is not a landmark.” Asked if she had any intention of donating to the less privileged, she said: “Yes, I will but I’m not disclosing it now.” “As for my message, I just want to urge Nigerians to speak good about their fellow beings,” Apparently referring to the rumour that her husband had gone to treat cancer when he went for Umrah, Alhaja Aregbesola wondered how people derive happiness in cooking up lies. She enjoined Nigerians to verify every rumour before spreading it as fact.

Foundation confers awards By Emmanuel Oladesu

•Mrs Arawore


EN categories of awards would be given to eminent Nigerians in Lagos on October 16 by the Hallmark of Labour Foundation, a non-governmental group. The awards coincide with teh organisation’s 15th anniversary. The Executive Secretary, Mrs Patricia Otuedon-Arawore told reporters that the awards will be given in honour of contemporary role models in Nigeria and Africa. The event which holds at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, would be chaired by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku. Guests include governors, ministers, members of the National Assembly, scholars, and activists, who believe in the dignity of labour, integrity and service to humanity. The Board of Trustees (BOT) members led by Prof. Umaru Sheu, frontline medical scholar and administrator, would also take their preeminent seats. They include Dr Christopher Kolade, ace broadcaster, boardroom guru and former High Commissioner to United Kingdom (vice chairman), Senator Oluremi Tinubu, founder of New Era Foundation, Prof. Itsey Sagay (SAN), Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, frontline mathematician and former Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Mrs Grace

Giwa and Otuedon-Arawore. The award categories are “HLF Emeka Anyaoku Lifetime award for Nigeria’s most outstanding international icon”, Umaru Sheu Lifetime award to the most consistent advocate for positive change within the university system, Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance, Gani Fawehinmi Lifetime award to the most consistent advocate for human rights and civil liberties in Nigeria’, Award of Excellence for Leadership and Good Governance, and the Best Performing Schools in Mathematics and English in West African School Certificate Examinations (WASC) results in the last five years. Others are ‘Award for Excellence to Nigeria’s Outstanding Sports Ambassadors’, Lifetime Achievements Awards for Exemplary/ Courageous Service to the advancement of legal system, Award for Excellence to the highest contributor to our Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the area of Agriculture, and Award for Excellence to the highest contributors to our GDP in the area of manufacturing and exportation of made-in-Nigeria goods. For Otuedon-Arawore, it is a moment of great reflection. The foundation was born during the dark period in national history when the comity of nations preferred to keep Nigerians at arm’s length because of their criminal records, acts of fraud, especially ‘419’, and drug smuggling. Nigerians were stripped naked at international airports across the globe. At home, men without legitimate means of income lived in luxury and youths perceived them as role models. The Executive Secretary recalled that the foundation was set up to address the menace

and re-orientate the people that only a high level of morality and discipline could salvage Nigeria. To change the perception of youths about role modelling, the foundation identified men of achievements, hardwork, and honesty in many fields of human endeavour and projected them as the right role models. When their achievements were used to educate the younger generation, there was a shift in perception, leading to the development of positive attitude among Nigerians, especially youths, who were repeatedly advised to shun fraud, dishonesty, greed and other acts of dishonour. “We believe that Nigeria was not a lost case. There are in our society men and women with exemplary character, who in spite of all odds, have embraced hardwork and integrity, and with enviable and lofty achievements to show for it. These Nigerians can match and even outshine their counterparts anywhere in the world. It was upon this truth that the Hallmark of Labour Foundation was born in 1996”, Otuedon-Arawore said. Past awardees have confirmed the commitment of the foundation to principle and dignity. Among the role models are the late Prof. Adeoye Lambo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, first African psychiatrist and former Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mr Allison Ayida, former Secretary to Federal Military Government, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, former ‘super’ Permanent Secretary, Dr Michael Omolayole, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Chief Philip Asiodu, Justice Mohammed Bello, and Dr Irene Ola Thomas. The list also includes Prof. Tiamiyu BeloOsagie, Pa Michael Imoudu, Alhaji Babatunde

We believe that Nigeria was not a lost case. There are in our society men and women with exemplary character, who in spite of all odds, have embraced hardwork and integrity, and with enviable and lofty achievements to show for it

Jose, Prof. Sheu, Prof. Alele-Williams, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, Senator Abraham Adesanya, Dr Matthew Mbu, Chief Anyaoku, Brig-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson (rtd), Prof. Olikoye RansomKuti, Chief Rotimi Williams, Mr Gamaliel Onosode, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, Mrs Francesca Emmanuel, Chief Folake Solanke, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, and late Prof. Babs Fafunwa. Otuedon-Arawore said the activities of the foundation are not restricted to bestowal of awards. “We hold symposia to sensitise the people on the ills of corruption and remind government about their pact with the people,” she said, adding that the foundation has also assisted in mentoring primary and secondary school students through leadership and citizenship education. However, the most salient activities undertaken by the non-governmental body were scholarship scheme for indigent students in Delta State and widows’ empowerment programme. “In 2008/2009 session, 71 secondary school students and 10 tertiary students benefitted from the scholarship scheme. The secondary school students would enjoy the award for six years. This year, 30 indigent students are also targeted”, the Executive Secretary added. In 1999, 10 widows and a blind man were empowered with small-scale business equipments and other trading items. They also received cash gift from the foundation. In addition, Otuedon-Arowore said has donated a borehole water project to Jakpa community in Warri, Delta State. Now, a modern community library with on-line facilities is being built in Warri. The Executive Secretary emphasised that the foundation is not a ‘cash and carry’ outfit. But she sid that it would use its 15th anniversary to solicit sponsorship for its on-going projects. Her vision is to intensify efforts on the foundation’s book series for the purpose of documenting the works of noble patriots who have translated the dreams of the non-governmental body into reality. “But our prime vision and mission is to infufe the thoughts and culture of sanity and integrity. The time has come for us to join hands to make Nigeria a decent society, a great nation that deserves the respect of other nations of the world. For these are the principles for which Hallmarks of Labour Foundation was founded,” Otuedon-Arawore said.



I was posted to Ekiti to serve and when I got to the state, I realised that the youths needed empowerment. I was motivated and resolved to make them happy by helping them to earn a living

Corps member gives back to society


HE popular Fajuyi Park in Ado, the Ekiti State capital, came alive as 30 indigent people across 14 local government areas in the state received various equipment that will help them lead productive and independent lives. But their benefactor was neither a multi-millionaire nor an ambitious politician. It was a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the state, Oluwafeyikemi Bolaji. That day her dream to make life better for better for her fellow human beings became a reality. Officials of the NYSC, her colleagues, Wema Bank staff, and government officials left other commitments to be part of the moment. No fewer than 30 indigent people across 14 local government areas in the state were given a new lease of life by the corps member. To her, the empowerment gesture was part of her efforts to give back to the society where she is on the mandatory one-year national service. Beneficiaries of the poverty alleviation scheme, mainly youths from vocations such as tailoring, hairdressing, barbing and telephone operation, went home that day with tools for their businesses courtesy of the corps member. Bolaji is ever persuaded that if someone can stand in the gap and provide for the needy in society, the world will be a better place. On the occasion, Bolaji doled out to eight fashion designers, eight sewing machines, eight hairdressers with eight hair dryers; eight barbers with eight generators/clippers and six telephone operators with six sets of GSM phones/tables/umbrellas in order to start their own business. She spoke on the gesture: “I was posted to Ekiti to serve and when I got to the state, I realised that the youths needed empowerment. I was motivated and resolved to make them happy by helping them to earn a living”. The 23-year-old 2010/2011


ARENTS and pupils in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State have lauded the Caretaker Committee chairman of the council, Mr Ayodeji Abass-Alesinloye for the free exercise books he distributed to pupils in the area. Distribution of free books is one of the projects of the Senator

•Beneficiaries of Bolaji’s gesture By Dada Aladelokun

Batch C corps member, who said she had nursed the dream of lifting the needy right from childhood, said she chose to kick-start her passion with alleviating the suffering of 30 indigent people across the council areas of Ekiti State as her Community Development Project. The Business Administration graduate from Bowen University who is serving with Wema Bank, Ado Ekiti Branch, added that the gesture was all about her undying passion for ensuring better living standards and it is a means of promoting entrepreneurship among the people. One of the beneficiaries, 20-year old Alabi Yemi, a hairdresser from Ilawe Ekiti, who received a hair dryer, enthused: “This is the beginning of good things in my life. This presentation will make me to be on my own and earn a living from my sweat,” she said. Mrs Adeniyi Boluwatife from Ado-Ekiti, who got umbrella, was also profuse in prayers. Tope Ogunsola, 25, a barber, who got a set of clippers and a small power generator on the occasion, said: “I graduated two years ago. I am happy and this would enable me

to work on my own and improve my living standard.” Thirty two-year old Oluwakemi Ajepe, a mother of three and a tailor from Ido Ekiti, while receiving a sewing machine from the corps member, said the gesture would propel her to work hard and give herself and her family better life. The state NYSC Assistant Director, Operations, Mrs Mofoluwaso Adebimpe Williams, who represented the state NYSC Director, expressed happiness to be part of the lifetransforming project of the corps member. Elated, the Relationship Manager, Wema Bank Orere-Owu Ado-Ekiti Branch, Mr Olatunji Desmond Ikokokan, described Bolaji’s project as good, saying “she has gone beyond her primary assignment and done something to contribute to the development of the state and its people”. Bolaji, who is from Oyo State, told journalist that her worries for unemployed youths was one of her motivations for the project, saying: “It baffles me actually because we just see you dress well but doing nothing and there is nobody to help them. I know it is not possible for the state gov-

•Bolaji presents a hair dryer to a beneficiary, Miss Yemi Elizabeth Ajayi

ernment to do everything, but if well-meaning people come in and do something, the state will be better for it.” The corps member, who said she was frustrated in the process of sourcing for the fund to execute the project which cost her about

N400,000, said she got sponsorship from political officers, members of the state House of Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the state governor, Head of Service, Governor’s Office, special advisers and Wema Bank.

Council chief distributes free books From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Abiola Ajimobi administration to revive free and quality education in the state.

No investment in education could be considered too high for a reasonable government to bear, considering the fact that the price of ignorance is far higher and far-reaching, because an ignorant society is a diseased society

Abass-Alesinloye, who personally distributed the books across primary and secondary schools in the council, said the new administration was committed to free and quality education as it is one of the cardinal campaign promises of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He added that other initiatives to put the state ahead in the education sector would soon be unfolded. While advocating for more funding for education at all levels, Aleshinloye said that increased funding of education by

all tiers of government would also assist the stakeholders in the sector to be more alive to their commitment and also improve delivery in teaching. He stressed that education is the bedrock of development in any country. “No Investment in education could be considered too high for a reasonable government to bear, considering the fact that the price of ignorance is far more higher and far reaching, because an ignorant society is a diseased society,” he said. The council boss lamented the

deplorable state of most of the primary schools he visited since he assumed office, even as he promised to renovate the schools and also construct new blocks of classrooms to complement the existing ones. He said: “Primary education is on the concurrent list in the Nigerian Constitution and all local governments in Nigeria are bound to properly fund primary education. Remember that one of the cardinal principles of our great party, ACN, is ‘compulsory free and quality education.”








There are some significant changes in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for 2012. New, more powerful and more efficient engines make their debut in every model. The E550 sedan comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, writes TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO with agency reports.

•Mercedes-Benz E-class

New Mercedes-Benz E-Class arrives F

EW cars offer the variety of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. There are four different body styles, four different engines, two sub trim levels and a multitude of options. Throw in the similar CLS sedan with its coupe-style roof and the family grows even further. Yet, throughout this family, there is not a bad apple in the bunch. Be it sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon, the E-Class is one of the finest cars on the road. For 2012, they all get even better. With the exception of the carryover E350 Bluetec and its V6 turbodiesel, every E-Class has received a new engine that is more powerful and more economical. The gasoline-powered E350 now features a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 that bumps output up to 302 horsepower from its previous 268. The E550’s V8 gets a more radical change, switching to a turbocharged, smaller-displacement mill that cranks out 402 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque. This V8 has also been paired with standard all-wheel drive in the sedan package. Overall, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains a top choice against a plethora of competitors, including those from Audi (A5, A6, S5), BMW (3 Series coupe and convertible, 5 Series, M5), Infiniti (M37 and M56), Jaguar (XF) and Porsche (Panamera). It is hard to argue against any of these, but the E-Class provides the unmistakable Mercedes virtues of meticulous engineering and a driving character that strikes a wonderful balance between responsive performance and handling.

Body Styles The E-Class is available in five-passenger sedan, four-passenger coupe, four-passenger convertible (Cabriolet) and seven-passenger wagon body styles. Each is further broken into different trims that correspond with its engine. The sedan is available in E350, E350 Bluetec, E550 4Matic and E63 AMG variants. The coupe and cabriolet are E350 and E550, the E-Class wagon is E350 4Matic and E63 AMG. 4Matic refers to the all-wheel-drive system. The E350 and E350 Bluetec sedans are simi-

larly equipped with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, a sunroof, automatic wipers, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and memory functions, MB Tex premium vinyl upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, interior accent lighting, auto-dimming inside and driver-side mirrors, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD/ DVD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The E350 sedan is further broken down into the Luxury and Sport sub-trims, which vary in suspension tuning, styling, interior trim and wheel design. The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG includes most of the E550’s equipment plus a larger V8, various AMG-engineered and tuned components (transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust), headlight washers, a sport steering wheel, sport seats with adjustable bolsters, special styling elements inside and out, and the premium sound system with satellite radio and iPod interface. The sedan gets a standard power rear sunshade and a split-folding rear seat, while the wagon gets a standard panoramic roof.

Powertrains and Performance The E350 models come with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on every E-Class. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all but the wagon. All-wheel drive (4Matic) is standard on the wagon and optional on the sedan. According to Mercedes, a rear-drive E350 sedan will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The wagon and 4Matic should be a bit slower, the Cabriolet should be a bit quicker and the coupe quicker still. Mercedes estimates that the E350 sedan will achieve 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the others should get 1 or 2 mpg lower in each driving cycle. The E350 Bluetec features a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with clean-burning

•Interior of the car

“Bluetec” technology, a liquid treatment that reduces emissions particulates. It produces a rather modest 210 hp, yet a very robust 400 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard.

Safety The E-Class comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Also standard are the Mercedes-Benz mbrace emergency telematics service, Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and inattention warning system) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). The Cabriolet features automatic rollover hoops. The Lane Tracking package adds a blind-spot warning system and a lane departure warning/keeping system. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control and more advanced versions of the Lane Tracking items

that can take evasive action should the driver fail to do so. Rear side airbags are a stand-alone option.

Interior Design It has a cabin done in a style that is meant to recall solid, dependable Mercedes from the past. Angles are sharp, the materials first-rate and the look is decidedly austere, especially when adorned in monotone color schemes and dark wood trim — very German, in other words. The general design is the same regardless of body style, except for the available three-spoke sport steering wheel and electric gear selector. All E-Class models come with the Mercedes comand electronics interface, which combines a large display screen, a control knob and dashmounted buttons. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but it’s generally neither better nor worse than similar systems from Audi or BMW. Each E-Class model is relatively comfortable and spacious for their respective segments.




Taxi drivers criticise FCT new transport scheme T HE Abuja Taxi Owners and Drivers

Welfare Association has said the plan by the Federal Capital Torritory (FCT) authorities to have them registered under its new licenced transport companies scheme is unfair. Chairman of the association, Mr Francis Nwaobudo, said this at a news conference in Abuja. Nwaobudo said that the scheme, if implemented, would render thousands

of registered taxi drivers in the FCT jobless and their dependants hungry. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FCT authorities have concluded plans to introduce a new transport scheme under its Greater FCT Operators’ Licence Scheme. Under the scheme, the authority plans to inject more than 100 high capacity mini- buses and taxis to be managed by five companies, which it

had licenced to provide and carry transport services in the city. The existing transporters are expected to register under the five licenced companies to remain in business. The companies include Messrs Abuja Transport Cooperative Society Painted Taxi, City Cab Express Limited Painted Taxi, Print Field Enterprise Taxi, Typical Messrs CDN limited and Shaanni Auto Limited. “It would be most inhu-

FRSC decries commercial vehicle operators’attitude


HE Bauchi State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Zakariya Mamman, has decried the nonchalant attitude of inter-state commercial bus operators plying the Bauchi route. Mamman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi that the attitude of the drivers had been made worse by passengers even in obvious threat to their lives. “Most passengers hardly pick interest in checking the excesses of drivers of vehicles they use while travelling. Passengers hardly caution drivers even when it becomes obvious that their lives are in danger. “A greater percentage of the blame as to the

causes of most accidents should probably go to the passengers who often remain passive and allow drivers to toy with their lives. “Passengers must cultivate the habit of checking reckless driving because they are in a better position to do so. They are in the vehicles and can judge whenever the drivers are violating traffic rules,” he said. He blamed fatal accidents in Bauchi on reckless driving by inter-state commercial bus operators, saying that such drivers were always in a hurry and as such they overspeed and overtake other vehicles dangerously. “Most of them are al-

ways in a hurry and so they maintain their speed even where they are supposed to be careful. When slight mistakes occur, ghastly accidents are recorded. “Life has no spare part but some of these drivers do not care. Unfortunately, their negligence affects other law-abiding citizens.” Mamman noted that the FRSC had been doing its best to curtail the excesses of such drivers, but stressed that it required a collaborative effort of both the passengers and the corps to check the drivers. He said the corps would report drivers, especially those working for mass transit companies, for violating traffic rules while in transit through the state to their employers.

man to ask our members, who had been in the business of offering town services since the inception of the FCT to now go and join the employment of private companies,” the chairman said. According to him, the scheme is “tantamount to enslavement, extortion and most unfair”. He noted that the scheme, if not properly handled, could “ offend the sensibility of the right thinking members of the public’’.

He alleged that the registered companies were being managed by capitalist, who were only interested in making money without having the interest of commuters. He further said the leadership of the association had met with the FCT authorities several to tell them that the proposed scheme would not only be detrimental to taxi drivers in the city, but also to commuters. He added that efforts to make the authority have


Lagos warns auto, spare parts dealers against unauthorised locations

AGOS State government has warned auto and spare parts dealers who operate in illegal places to relocate to the designated locations as their activities constitute environmental nuisance. Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, gave the warning during a stakeholders’ forum with operators of Auto Spare Parts Dealers, organised by the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, (MVAA) . The event was held at the Lagos State Educational Resource Centre, Ojodu. Opeifa, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, MVAA, Mr Akin Hanson, said the government had put in its best to ensure

that auto dealers in the state operated in a better environment but lamented that the laws of the state where not being complied with. “In spite of these user-friendly, easily accessible registration platforms, compliance with the law have been very low. Rather than operating from the envisaged environmentfriendly auto marts and decent premises, auto dealers have turned sidewalks, setbacks, eateries, fuel stations and inner city roads into display centre. “For example, the whole stretch of the O s h o d i - A p a p a Expressway is littered with all manners of used and disused vehicles clogging the sidewalks and impeding vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This is totally unacceptable,” he lamented. He informed that the government had in the past adopted a human approach in e n f o r c i n g compliance and imposing sanctions on illegal auto dealers while the MVAA had organised periodic stakeholders meetings and awareness campaigns on the legislation and the intention of government. “Let me say that the government remains unshakable in its resolve to rid the sidewalks, setbacks and other unauthorised places of displayed vehicles, which constitute a serious threat to public safety. “Such wrongly displayed vehicles may henceforth be regarded as abandoned and disused vehicles which the newly constituted

a rethink on the proposed scheme had proved abortive and therefore, called on President Goodluck Jonathan, the FCT Minister and other stakeholders to intervene. “We appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan, who our members campaigned vigorously for by carrying his fresh air poster on our vehicles to come to our aid,’’ Nwaobudo said.

Abandoned and Disused Vehicles Committee, LASTMA and other relevant law enforcement agencies have been mandated to remove. The vehicles will be towed to LASTMA’s enforcement yard at the owners’ expense,” he warned. The c o m m i s s i o n e r added that the government was worried by the unco-operative attitude of some auto spare parts dealers to compliance with the law, saying that auto spare parts dealers constituted a critical component of the vehicle usage and repair chain, stressing that their operations had significant security and safety implications. Hanson said the stakeholders’ forum was designed to enable stakeholders to rub minds on how best to achieve voluntary compliance; map out strategies to further discourage unregistered auto and auto spare parts dealers and appreciate the features and benefits of two MVAA products. The new products are the Temporary Vehicle Tag (TVT) and the Automotive Dismantling and Recycling, (ADR) Permit. Hanson, whose speech was read by the Director, Finance and Administration in the agency, O l u b u k u n o l a Omolaja, said the two products would help reduce vehicle theft and other vehicle-related crimes, curb accidents caused by the recklessness of drivers delivering new vehicles and enable security agencies to track the sources of auto spare parts.









NEWS NIGERIA @ 51 Text of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s broadcast on Nigeria’s 51st Independence anniversary... on Saturday

Being the text of the Independence Day message by Edo State Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole

‘The good time is here’

‘There’s hope’


Y good people of the state of Osun. Our nation today is celebrating 51 years of attainment of independence after many years of British colonial rule. It was a long time and most of the Nigerian people of today, having been born post-independence, do not know what it meant to be dominated and ruled by a foreign power. For this feat alone, I congratulate all Nigerians, especially the good people of Osun State who, less than two months ago, also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the creation of their state. The journey from independence till this moment has been long and tortuous, full of ups and down. From the three regions at independence, the federating units have grown to 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory. Most of what used to be administrative provinces of the regions are now full-fledged states. Our population has also grown phenomenally from an estimated 35 million people at independence to between 150 million and 180 million today. Within this period, Nigeria won the under-17 football World Cup three times, Olympic Gold Medals and numerous sporting laurels in the continent of Africa and globally. A Nigerian, Prof Wole Soyinka, also won the Nobel Prize in Literature, as the crowning glory of the country’s academia. However, these modest achievements have not translated into good fortunes for the masses of our people. While I do not wish to dwell on the negative, we cannot pretend that all is well with our country at the moment. The federal status of the nation has been under severe assault as our governance structure is increasingly assuming a unitary form by default. The proper name of the country is Federal Republic of Nigeria, but this has been shortened to Nigeria in order to deny it of its federal status. We must all rise to effect a reversal of this anomaly and demand a proper federal structure, politically, fiscally and organically. Given the trajectory of the nation since independence, one identifiable ill is bad politics. Whereas, politics is a noble art, an avenue for self development and leadership participation and the ultimate arena for public service, it has been corrupted into a means of self aggrandisement, political witch-hunting and governance debasement. The current attempt by the Federal Government to deploy the entire power of the state in the persecution of opposition figures amounts to abuse of power which must be stopped in order not to further imperil the fragile cord that binds the nation together. Politics must be returned to its pristine position as the platform for serving the people and improving their welfare. However, a matter that is of utmost concern to all and sundry is the helplessness of the Federal Government and its agencies under the present leadership in the face of dire security challenges. At least, in the past one year, if we are counting from the bomb blasts that killed scores of people during the 50th independence anniversary in Abuja, Nigeria and her people have been in the throes of horrendous attacks and armed banditry. Security agents, political office holders, congregants at political campaigns and rallies, innocent citizens and peace workers have been killed by terrorists in cold blood while revered places like police headquarters, stations and Unit-

ed Nations building in Abuja have been attacked. In recent months, armed bandits have been on the prowl in the state of Osun and have targeted financial institutions. These attacks occasionally destabilise the peace and tranquillity we have always enjoyed in the state and are highly regrettable. It is another ugly face of the festering failure of security in the land. It is not debatable that the condition of peace, tranquillity and prosperity cannot be enjoyed in an atmosphere of insecurity. No matter how well a national leader tries to govern, his effort is in vain if the people are vulnerable to attacks carried out at will and with impunity. The foremost responsibility of the government is the protection of the lives and property of the people. Any government that fails to do this is not worth its salt. While the state governor is designated as the Chief Security Officer in the state, he has no security apparatus of his own that he can deploy at will. This is another anomaly of a federation without state police. It is important to note that the United States of America has 1400 police employment agencies catering to Federal, States, Counties, Campuses and even departmental stores’ interests. And America is a Federation and a nation practicing the executive Presidential system like ours. This occasion of independence celebration should afford us the opportunity to revisit the idea of state police if we need to take our own security in our hands. I want to assure the people of Osun State, however, that we will not allow them to be exposed indefensibly to threats and conditions of insecurity. We are going to do everything possible to protect our people and guarantee the security of their lives and property. To this end we are working on the establishment of a security trust fund through which we will support the security agencies in the state. We also intend to explore the constitution of the federal republic to the fullest in the protection of our citizens. A section of the OYES volunteers will be deployed to purely security assignment to assist the Police in the discharge of their duties. While a large pool of well motivated and balanced citizens will be recruited on ward basis to ensure adequate surveillance and monitoring of their neighbourhoods. All of this will be under the Osun Guard Scheme (O’ GUARDS). Consequently, we have ordered the immediate supply of five armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the police in the state. This is our immediate response to the sophistication and violent disposition of the bandits who now openly use explosives and dynamites in the prosecution of their daring raids on banks in the state. During the 20th anniversary of our state, I restated the commitment of our government to the promotion of the welfare of our people. We are going to follow this to its logical conclusion. Our commitment is absolute and irrevocable. When we came to power on November 27 last year, we made it a priority to create 20,000 jobs through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) in less than 100 days. Our critics sniffed and guffawed, claiming the scheme to be a ruse. But to their eternal shame, the programme succeeded and we are taking it to the next level. More than 5,000 OYES volunteers are going to be retrained as teachers and absorbed into the schools. Some others are going to be sent to India for

T •Aregbesola

further training and deployed into other areas of need. Others will be distributed to sectors and groups originally conceived; Green Gangs, Sanitation Czars, Osun Paramedics, Osun Sheriffs, Public Works Brigades, Traffic Marshals and Teaching Corps. This will take us to the second phase of recruitment and training of the second generation of OYES. We are also transforming our schools system. This entails the reorganization of schools along a three tier structure of elementary, junior and high school. We are presenting to the public very soon a model of our new public schools, some of which are already under construction. We want to make a statement on the proper and conducive atmosphere for learning, in addition to infrastructure, curricula and faculty. Before my inauguration, flooding was a major problem in the state. You will recall the flooding disaster of June and July last year in many parts of the state when lives were lost and property destroyed. I was determined to put an end to this. One of our earlier tasks was to commit N187.5 million to canal dredging and flood control in Osogbo. In spite of heavier rainfall recorded this year in our region. I am happy that no flooding incident or loss of lives was recorded. We have since committed substantial sum of money to the dredging and channelization of Esinminrin/Agbara River in Ile-Ife, Oke-Moro in Ikire, Oora stream in Ilesa, canals and water ways in Ikirun, Ode Omu, Iwo and Iragbiji among others. It is a programme that will be carried out in all parts of the state in our effort to permanently put flooding in check. Recently too, we have directed that work should commence on the Ede Waterworks to increase its capacity from the present 20 per cent of its installed capacity which has been the ultimate capacity in the last 20 years to 50 per cent. This will be completed by the end of December this year. This would boost the provision of portable water to the 20 local governments the Waterworks serves. By January 2012, the second phase of the rehabilitation work will commence which will bring the waterworks to full capacity. We have also awarded over N1 billion contracts for the rehabilitation of roads in all towns in the six administrative zones of the state. However, as part of our urban renewal policy, we are in negotiation with Messers Julius Berger Construction Company and such other reputable road construction companies on a massive construction of roads in all the local governments in the state. We are also working towards boosting the tourism sector. We have identified this sector as a rich potential for job creation, wealth creation and revenue generation for state. We are in talks with World Bank to develop at least one tourist centre in each of the senatorial districts in Osun State. •Continued on Page 56

HIS year’s independence anniversary provides another opportunity to reflect on the state of the Nigerian polity, economy and society. I acknowledge that Nigeria in its current state is not the Nigeria of the dream of the founding fathers nor of the current generation. Many Nigerians, especially younger people, are clearly disenchanted with several aspects of the country, particularly the performance of key functionaries and institutions involved in governance. Life remains unbearable for a majority of Nigerians, a fact that is evident in the rising unemployment and generally acknowledged deepening poverty levels. Compared to other nations with which Nigeria attained statehood, far less progress has been made in economic development, especially in the areas of infrastructure. Indeed, the robust gains and solid foundations for development laid by the immediate post-Independence leaders have been eroded over the years through ill-conceived policies, incompetence and corruption. With the recent upsurge in sectarian violence and the growth of ethnic and religious tensions in some parts of Nigeria, it is now obvious that we need to do more to manage our diversity. But the challenge is not to despair or to dismiss the country as failed, as a few have tended to do out of frustration or mischief. Even in advanced democracies today, we still see evidence of social, economic and political explosions, some of them of severe magnitude. However, such chains of events have not provoked their citizens to dismiss their countries or redraw their maps, as some habitually sectarian elements often do here in Nigeria. While Nigeria is passing through tough times, I believe that the challenges of the moment are not insurmountable. Fixing Nigeria calls for all of us to redouble our efforts, especially to restore broken bridges and unite the people. These times call for leaders across the spectrum to moderate their utterances and desist from orchestrating sentiments that tend to be divisive. Our political elite need to develop the tools that can foster reconciliation. It is noteworthy and commendable that Mr. President has already taken some steps to address the grievances of those who have taken up arms to canvass their views. We must continue to encourage all such groups to give up arms and avail themselves of the opportunity for peaceful resolution offered by the President. At 51, Nigeria ought to strengthen the foundations of democracy. We need to build on the recent gains towards evolving an electoral system that meets international standards of transparency and credibility. As I have always argued, Nigerian people are resourceful. However, our people need to be economically empowered through the provision of infrastructures,

particular energy, in order to bring out the best. As I always like to recall, in the early years after Independence, our local entrepreneurs competed side-by-side multinationals and State enterprises across all sectors of the economy, because they were empowered by policies which promoted indigenous industrialization and entrepreneurship. Therefore, we must continue to encourage President Goodluck Jonathan to take the necessary steps towards revamping the power sector. Above all, as Nigerians , we have to appreciate that we own the country, not the leaders. As owners, we have the duty and the right to ensure that we determine the direction of Nigeria. Those who are privileged to be in authority are merely stewards, whose conduct must be subjected to public scrutiny and popular oversight at all times. Therefore, we must develop the tools of constructive engagement and strengthen our popular organizations to trouble our leaders and make them accountable. Transformation will occur only when the people give up agonizing and organize as a vanguard of economic and democratic change. Finally, I wish to renew my appeal to all Nigerians to support the President. The President alone cannot do it all much as he is in the driving seat. It will not help to insist that one man alone is responsible either for failure or success, nor would it make sense to expect that these past few months of President Jonathan in office would suffice to fix a country that has been rendered prostrate by decades of misrule. Although he has a Pan-Nigerian Mandate, President Jonathan cannot succeed without the genuine partnership of other arms and tiers of government, the Private Sector, Civil Society and even the political opposition. With the elections behind us, partisanship needs to give way to constructive opposition, which puts the security, unity and prestige of the nation first above partisan interests. While partisan competition gives democracy its rhythm, once elections are concluded, development is nourished and nurtured by consensus. I wish my country men and women a Happy Independence anniversary. We must nourish ourselves with hope for a better future and faith in God’s positive design for our country.







Investor’s Worth Earning millions from passion


HERE are three major shareholders in Univer sity Press (UP) Plc - two institutional shareholders and one individual shareholder. University Press, the multi-billion printing and publishing company, is the second most capitalised printing and publishing company and one of the foremost and oldest publishers in Nigeria. With some 11,000 shareholders, about 93 per cent shares of UP are held by Nigerian shareholders. However, only one Nigerian individual shareholder stands out as a major investor; in addition to another Nigerian institutional investor. Dr. Lekan Are, a professor of Agronomy and a man of unquenchable passion for knowledge, has over the years staked his money on his passion and built up investments in UP. With 6.21 per cent equity stake, he is the only individual shareholder with more than five per cent equity stake in the company. Oxford University Press has the largest stake of 8.47 per cent while Cashcraft Asset Management Limited, a Nigerian investment firm, holds 8.29 per cent equity stake. With unbroken record of cash dividend payment for more than two decades and regular

bonus issue, UP is a cash cow for investors. The impressive performance of UP year-on-year has continuously translated into several millions of Naira in passive incomes for Dr. Are. Average dividend per share in the past six years stands at 34 kobo. UP had distributed dividend per share of 25 kobo in 2006 and increased this to 30 and 35 kobo in 2007 and 2008. Dividend per share increased to 40 kobo per share in 2009, the same rate that was retained for the 2010 business year. The company has just distributed 35 kobo per share for the 2011 business year. Within the same period, the company made three bonus issues on the basis of one new share for every five shares held by shareholders, which in every instance automatically increased the shareholding of every shareholder by 20 per cent without any cash consideration. So, by increasing cash dividends and declaring bonus shares, UP’s shareholders have been smiling home with bulging pockets while simultaneously growing their investments. Although Are has been the single largest individual beneficiary of the impressive performance and shareholders friendly dividend policy of UP, he has also been the major growth



driver behind the company. Under his direction as the chairman of board of directors, UP has grown to become the corporate icon in the printing and publishing industry. Turnover has risen from N692 million in 2007 to about N2 billion in 2011 while total balance sheet size has increased from N795 million to more than N2.4 billion. With several awards from many Nigerian and international institutions including the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), World Bank, Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund, Nigerian Publishers’ Association and Nigerian Bookfair Trust among others, UP’s performance reflects its operational strengths. Are’s is a classical example of passion investing.

Ask a Broker


NDEX fund is a type of mutual fund which in vestments objectives and stock selection is linked to a specific index. Generally, indices are designed to measure performance of a group of stocks-within a sector, many sectors, the entire market or many markets. An index fund tracks and invests in the underlying stocks that form the index. As such, the return of the index fund is closely related to the return of the index. There are no known index funds in Nigeria, but there are several indices that an investor can track and invest in the underlying securities. The All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is the benchmark value

What is index fund? index for the entire Nigerian stock market and serves as country index for Nigeria. ASI measures changes in prices of all quoted companies and provides average view of the return in the market. The NSE 30 Index represents the 30 most capitalised stocks at the NSE while the NSE Banking Index, NSE Food and Beverages Index, NSE Insurance Index and NSE Oil and Gas Index broadly represent the key sectors of banking, food and beverages, insurance and petroleum-marketing. Index fund is usually passive but it may sometimes benefit from the broadness of the index it is linked to, especially in a bullish market.

The passive nature of index fund, however, makes it susceptible to the changing moods of the market, which necessarily may not be based on fundamental evaluation. Besides, return on index fund tends to fall below the average return of the linked index mainly because of selection and investment size errors. These are due to the fact that an index fund only buys a number of shares in the stocks making up the index rather than the entire shares of all the stocks as well as the varying weights of the stocks in the index. Transaction charges also tend to moderate return on an index fund compared with the linked index.

Ways and Means

Using CDs to preserve values


HE two main objectives for every investor are the safety of investment and returns on investment. Achieving both objectives is the essence of portfolio management. But often time, achieving safety of principal investment and good return may be difficult, especially in a sluggish market. It even becomes more difficult in a recessive or declining market like has been witnessed in Nigeria in recent years. With high political risks, social insecurity, uncertain macroeconomic direction and poor infrastructures, an economy, such as Nigeria’s particularly pose significant challenge in terms of ensuring safety of investment alongside a reasonably high above average return. Notwithstanding these challenges, discerning investors and value-minded institutions and individuals can explore opportunities offer by high-yielding guaranteed investments, which combine the two main advan-

tages of fixed-income securitiessafety of principal and guaranteed return, with above average return. One of the most invaluable value-adding instruments in a period of recession and economic uncertainties like now is the Certificate of Deposit (CD). Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a saving and investment product that evidenced a deposit by an investor for a fixed period based on agreed interest. Thus CDs combine the attributes of savings accounts and investment in that they are guaranteed and virtually riskfree such as savings accounts while at the same time offering interest or coupon just like bonds, treasury bills and other fixed-income investment products. The tenor, of a CD can range from short to medium to long term. As such, there can be a CD for three months, nine months, a year, two years and so on. The defining attributes are that the tenor, the accruable interest and the security of the principal must be clearly spelt out. Once these terms of is-

Delegation of shareholding rights and authorities (2)

suance are accepted by the issuer and the customer and the CD is executed, it becomes an enforceable contractual obligation. Though CDs generally have similar core attributes, each financial institution may offer additional benefits to enhance the attractiveness of the instrument. These benefits may include a variable interest rate such as indexlinked or inflation-linked rates rather than the generally fixed interest rate as well as cross-trading of the CD for products and services within the issuing financial institution and related companies. Besides, CD can come in form of a negotiable or non-negotiable instrument as well as discounted or undiscounted certificate. Negotiable CDs (NCDs) are tradable like bonds, equities, etc on the secondary market. Discounted CD (DCD) is a form of CD that is issued at a price lower than the par value, the face value. A CD holder may also choose to rollover the CD upon maturity or opt for redemption.

S stated last week, an institution or a person in whose name a shareholding is registered is duly recognised as the person with the prima facie authority to take decisions on the shareholding. He exercises all rights relating to the shareholding including voting right, collection of cash payout and scrip issue and many other transactional and managerial decisions. However, he also has inalienable right to delegate his authority to another person, persons or institution for specific function or general duties of administration. This delegation, by the shareholder, can be done through the usage of proxy and power of attorney. But in the event that the shareholder is adjudged to be incapable or unable to carry out such delegation, the government is empowered to act in the best interest of the shareholder. Power of Attorney: One of the ways the shareholder exercises this right is through the instrument of Power of Attorney; a legal document by which a person or institution authorises another person or institution to perform specific acts on his behalf. Power of Attorney is also known as Letter or Warrant of Attorney. From the definition, there are three main feature of a Power of Attorney appointment, specificity of function(s) and legal backing. The three features are very important to give necessary authority to the attorney, although the absence of specific functions through the use of wordings such as to act on my behalf in my affairs, does not render the Power of Attorney a nullity but could prove counterproductive along the line. Appointment of an attorney, similar to that of a proxy, implies the presence of relevant details of the shareholder including full name and signature. Outlining specific function(s) to be performed by the attorney gives room for evaluation and control. It is usually required that a notary public appends his seal to the Power of Attorney. To effect the Power of Attorney with the Registrar, the donee-the person whom the Power of Attor-

By Taofik Salako

ney was issued in favour, must provide a photocopy of the Power of Attorney, Bankers Confirmation of his signature and a recent passport photograph. It is also advisable for the Registrar to request for the original copy of the Power of Attorney and to take a step further to cross check the genuineness of the document from the appropriate authority. Also, where the reason for the appointment of the attorney is sickness, the Registrar may also request for a medical report as an appendage to the Power of Attorney. Protection Order: The court of law in the adjudication of its duty to act in the overall interest of a citizen- individual or corporate, can also delegate on his or its behalf certain duties and responsibilities. Where the court is satisfied that a shareholder is incapable of exercising his rights or managing his own affairs due to mental incapacity, senility, protracted legal tussle or dispute or any other forms of disability, the court can issue a Protection Order appointing a Trustee to act on specific rights of the shareholder. As the name implies, Protection Order seeks to protect the rights of the shareholder from the adverse effect of his temporary or permanent incapacitation. The Protection Order as a matter of fact must detail the function(s) of the Trustee as well as the relevant details of the shareholder and his shareholding. The requirements for making a Protection Order are similar to those of Power of Attorney including provision of photocopy and original of Protection Order and Bankers Confirmation of signature. It is very important that the Registrar at all times ensure that the Trustee does not act beyond the specified function(s) in the Protection Order. In all these, the registrar to a company- as the custodian of shareholders’ rights, play important roles in ascertaining the genuineness of such delegation and ensuring that the delegate does not act beyond his or its outlined brief. As such, the registrar

usually subjects delegation documents to stringent verification process. This verification process for Proxy, Power of Attorney and Protection Order, like many other similar documents, starts from checking that the document bears necessary details including the full names of the shareholder, list of the shares related to the document, date of issuance, full names of the donee or Trustee, the seal of the court and the signature of the Court Registrar. The registrar must also looks out for any alteration that may render the document invalid. Where the correctness and authenticity of all details and the document have been proven beyond reasonable doubt, the document there and then becomes effective. It should be re-emphasised that the right to delegate is an embedded control mechanism in corporate management. This allows minority shareholders to group their decisions and exert pressures on the decision-making process. Besides, it provides professional fund managers and investment advisers opportunity to influence corporate decisions, which will impact on the fundamental performance of the company and subsequently the stock market valuation, which is usually the major concern of fund managers and investment advisers. It is unfortunate that many shareholders, especially institutional shareholders, with the wherewithal to delegate knowledgeable representatives to participate meaningfully in proceedings at general meetings, are usually reticent and unconcerned, leaving crucial decisions to uninformed or half-informed crowd of rent-seeking shareholders. This has been the bane of the corporate failures and mismanagement in Nigeria and other jurisdictions. Investors must shelve the toga of passive attitudes to issues that directly and indirectly influence their returns and fully explore opportunities to express their views on the management of their companies. This is the main thrust of shareholding; the essence of their being the ultimate bearers of the outcomes of corporate decisions.

‘Besides, it provides professional fund managers and investment advisers the opportunity to influence corporate decisions, which will impact on the fundamental performance of the company and subsequently the stock market valuation, which is usually the major concern of fund managers and investment advisers’




Banking claims 66%


ANKING sector claimed 66 per cent of the total volume of transactions at the stock market last week. Contribution shows that traders exchanged 0.65 billion units’worth N3.86 billion in 8,538 deals as against 0.52 billion units valued at N3.53 billion in 8,277 deals a fortnight ago. This means that the banking stocks were passively traded at the exchange compared to 65 per cent the penultimate week, returns on banking volume rose by two per cent and the value of money spent on banking stocks stood at 53.01 per cent. The Insurance sector occupied the first runner-up with 107.20 million units worth N 76.88 million in 443 deals. On average evaluation, the Insurance sub-sector accounted for approximately 10.80 per cent of the total activity and 1.05 per cent of the total funds invested at the Exchange during the week under review. Last week, the volume of transaction reads at N 7.28 billion with the volume of transaction of 0.99 billion shares as against the trading of 0.80 billion shares worth N 6.02 billion a fortnight ago. This shows an outright improvement on the volume of shares traded last week, the worth of activities last week improve trivially. Market activities yielded a turnaround as the bullish returns sets in on daily appraisal, market indices fell by 2.70 per cent at the Exchange last week; further decline characterised market activities as the bearish was noticed a fortnight ago. The bearish return is attributed to the price crash of some stocks. Overall market performance determinants i.e. the Market Capitalisation, All share Index and the braIndex® fell by 2.72 per cent, 2.70 per cent and 2.71 per cent in support decrease of 2.07 per cent, 2.41 per cent and 1.79 per cent recorded a fortnight ago. Transactional volume shows that Conglomerates sub-sector’s performance improved by 0.17 per cent last week. The total weekly value of stocks in this sub-sector stood at N200.33 million. Shares of United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, and Fidelity Bank Plc were the toast of investors as they were actively traded in terms of volume and total investment. The Market capitalisation which measures the share price movement fell from N 6.60 trillion a fortnight ago to N 6.42 trillion last week; the All Share Index also fell to 20,145.24 from 20,705.15, representing a 2.70 per cent drop on weekly assessment. Apparently, the braIndex® also fell by 2.71 per cent. All the three market indicators fell last week showing that overall activities in terms of volume and fund invested may decrease noticeably. The sharp drop in returns on both benchmarks was less than three percent and attributable to the recent decrease in share prices of some stocks. Stock Market Sectoral Performance Investors in the stocks of United Bank for Africa Plc exchanged 148.96 million units in 796 deals worth N 514.21 million. The average number of deals remained well over 159 deals per day during the week. Access Bank Plc was second with 108.25 million shares worth N 549.77 million. In the Insurance sub-sector, N.E.M Insurance Co. (Nig) Plc led with 30.37 million shares worth N15.18 million. The sectoral volume amounted to almost 107.20 million units and constituted over 10.80 per cent of the sector’s trading volume. Companies Appraisal United Bank for Africa Plc is the

Table 1: A Five-Day Moving Average Data of the Market Indices Change(%)

Market Capitalisation (%)


Average Weekly Depth




Year To Date (YTD)




Month To Date (MTD) Week To Date(WTD)

(5.17) (2.72)

(5.28) (2.70)

(5.67) (2.71)


Market Cap(trillion Naira)

All-Share Index


As of closing on September 30, 2011


20, 145.24


Source: NSE & bra Limited Table 2: Stock Market Summary Statistics for the week ending Sept. 29, 2011 Period Market Capitalisation (Trillion) 22/09/2011 6.60 23/09/2011 6.44 26/09/2011 6.43 27/09/2011 6.38 28/09/2011 6.38 29/09/2011 6.42 Source: NSE & Bra Limited

All-Share Index (Base Points) 20,705.15 20,202.50 20,175.54 20,015.63 20,029.66 20,145.24

braIndex® (Base Points) 13.65 13.32 13.02 12.84 13.05 13.28

Table 3: Statistics on Weekly Sectoral Contribution Sectors Banking Conglomerates Food, Beverages and Tobacco Mortgage Insurance Source: bra Limited

% of Total Trading Net Worth 53.01% 2.74% 9.16% 0.27% 1.05%

Trading Net Worth(in Naira Millions ) 3,862.94 200.33 667.62 19.78 76.88

Figure 1a: The All Share Index and braIndex® Performance at a Glance

Source: BRA Computation

Source: BRA Computation

most active company in the Banking sub-sector with 148.96 million units, followed by the Access Bank Plc. Access Bank Plc being the first runner-up closed the week at N549.77 million in 439 deals. Among the most active companies in the Insurance sub-sector were N.E.M. Insurance Co. (Nig) Plc, Goldlink Insurance Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc and Intercontinental WAPIC Insurance Plc. In the Insurance Industry, N.E.M. Insurance Co. (Nig) Plc claimed to be the most active company in the sector. The Conglomerates Industry was

also active in terms of the market value.Transnational Corporation Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and PZ Cussons Plc were some of the most active stocks in the sub-sector. Last week, shareholders of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Seven Up Bottling Company Plc saw the value of their investments earning profit less than five per cent while investors in UAC of Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc made less than five per cent loss daily. Points to note: The weekly stock market analysis

reports the position of the outlook of the stock of the companies listed on the Exchange and the aggregate market. The NSE closed the 39th trading week on a bearish note on weekly assessment. The movement shows clearly that the bearish returns may persist in coming week activities as predicted a fortnight ago. Historical analysis of trading volume shows that in the new week, the Banking, Insurance and Conglomerates stocks are likely to continue to be the toast of investors. Disclaimer This report has been prepared for

information purposes only and for private use. Whilst reasonable care had been taken in its production, bra Limited does not guarantee the correctness of its contents nor does the company accept liability for any loss arising from a reliance on its contents. Kindly note that our suggested recommendations and other tactical actions are based on bra Limited best estimates which are guided by generally available information and our Proprietary Tools. This is not an invitation or a solicitation to deal in any stocks and we do not guarantee the future outcome of such recommendation.



CAPITAL MARKET Bond and Money Market Review


RANSACTIONS at the bond market segment of the money market ended on a bearish note last week. Market index decreased by 1.30 per cent and capitalisation fell by 1.62 per cent to stand at N1.82 trillion from a lower value of N1.85 trillion recorded in the penultimate week. There is sharp drop of 0.67 per cent in value on daily evaluation. Fort night ago, the market appreciated noticeably by 0.16 per cent. The weekly depression was as a result of the decrease in prices of all short and long term instruments, which serves as the major driving force of the overall market performance. The FGN bond Index began the week at 1,525.26 and closed at 1,503.74 points, falling by 2,152 basis points in support of a rise of 244 basis points a fortnight ago. It ended the week at 1,503.74 points. Average index stayed at 1,516.13 points, compared to 1,523.96 points the previous week. The 30-day and 60-day and 90-day indices fell by 0.21 per cent, 0.12 per cent and 0.04 per cent to claim 12.16 per cent, 12.66 per cent and 13.12 per cent. The volume of market transaction decreased from N1.85 trillion to N1.82 trillion, while the index on the other side close at 1,503.74 points, as it started the week with 1,525.26 points. Market capitalisation closed with N1.82 trillion to end last week transaction as against N 1.85 trillion observed in the penultimate week, the daily changes in the index increased slightly to close the weekly observation. Index movement represents a noticeable decrease in the market performance supported by the changes on daily examination as it also increased slightly due to sharp drop in price of some short and long term instruments, these price changes in cited instruments are the major drivers of the market performance a fortnight ago. Among the 15 traded bonds, most of them have their price decline while some have their price remain unchanged throughout the last week trading activities. Surprisingly, the prices of short term instruments witnessed depreciation throughout the trading week. The top price losers was the 20-year bond, 15 per cent FGN Nov 2028, which depreciated by N3.04 to close at 118.84. However, the fiveyear bond, 10.50 per cent FGN Mar 2018 which also decline by N2.82 to end the week at 97.52. Figure 1 illustrates the year-todate change in the bra FGN bond Index. The bra FGN bond index is a market value weighted index and is designed to measure the performance of the Nigerian investmentgrade fixed income market. Although the index remained flat during most of January and February as seen, it recorded a sharp drop in March as investor outlook turned negative in the bond market in anticipation of elections. The FGN index recorded its biggest decline (108 points) in March losing roughly seven per cent of its value. We observe the stabilisation of the declining trend in April and a gradual recovery in May and June. July follows this recovery trend with index values reaching their March levels. The index stabilised in August closing at 1,512 points on Aug 26 flat compared to 1,517 points on July 30. Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold foreign exchange worth $700 million to authorised dealers at the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) window as against $350 million a fortnight ago. The dealers had demanded

Bears rule Bond market Table 4: Key Statistics of Market’s Stock Performance as of Sept. 29, 2011 S/N

Company Name

Share Price Gain (‘N)

% of Shares’ Gain by Investors


Guaranty Trust Bank Plc




First Bank of Nigeria Plc




Oando Plc




Zenith Bank Plc




7-Up Bottling Company Plc






U.A.C of Nigeria Plc


Julius Berger Nigeria Plc




Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc




Nigerian Breweries Plc




Total Nigeria Plc



Source: NSE and bra Limited Indicator Turnover Value Deals FGN Bond Index Market Capitalization Index Weekly Returns (%) Index Year-to-Date Returns (%) 1-Month Returns (%) 3-Month Returns (%) 12-Month Returns (%)

CurrentWeek 197.8 million N160.43 billion 1,301 1,503.74 N1.82 trillion (1.42) 5.30 0.58 4.48 3.96

PreviousWeek 192.8 million N157.84 billion 1,296 1,525.26 N1.85 trillion 1.75 5.37 0.64 4.45 3.91

% Change 2.59 1.64 1.41 1.62 18.85 1.30 9.37 0.67 1.28

Source: BRA Figure 1: FGN Bond Index

Source: FMDA

Figure 2: Nigerian T-bill Primary Market Auctions

Primary Market Auction

Source: Financial Markets Dealers Association $703.02 million before the auction while the actual amount offered stood at $700 million. The over-the-counter bond market notched up by 2.59 per cent last week, yielding N160.43 billion with a turnover of 197.8 million units in 1,301 deals. The amount compared favourably with the N157.84 billion invested on 192.8 million units in 1,296 deals a fortnight ago. The activity was boosted by the 20year bond, due in July 2030 with 10.0 per cent coupon rate. It traded 41.95 million units valued

at N31.30 billion in 316 deals. This was followed by the three-year bond, 5.5 per cent FGN February 2013 which traded 33.55 million units valued at N30.04 billion in 281 deals. Sixteen of the available 34 FGN bonds were traded during the week, compared with 12 the previous week. In the NTB Primary Market, there were three new issues of NTBs with three, six and 12 month maturities. The yield ranged from 7.34 per cent to 9.35 per cent yearly. These rates are slightly up from the previous

month’s auctions when the true yield on the three-month issue was 6.91 per cent and the yield on the six-month issue was 8.1 per cent. We observe the real interest rate on Nigerian one year T-bills equal to or near zero, which could be a deterring factor for investors in the region. Nigerian Yield Curves In terms of long term bonds, there were three issues of FGN Bonds with maturity dates ranging from three to five and to 10 years for a total amount of N70

billion. The yields on these bonds ranged from 10.75 per cent on the three-year bond to 11.19 per cent on the five-year and to 11.39 per cent on the 10-year one. The same yields were 10.25 per cent on the three-year note and 11.69 per cent on the 10-year one a month ago. The increases in the FGN bond yields suggest a decline in investor demand for FGN government debt in the short term but an increase in the long-term notes. Figure 23 shows the volume of the NTB and FGN Auctions in the Primary Market.




Benue Assembly workers strike over N62m wardrobe allowance A A

‘Africa’s economic growth should create jobs for youths’

S their warning strike ends today, workers of the Benue State House of Assembly may begin an indefinite strike over alleged non-payment of their N62.96million wardrobe allowance. The workers, under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), said the amount is their accumulated wardrobe allowance due to them in the last four years. Their President, Mr Ben Mela, told The Nation that the non-payment of the allowance was the reason the association gave the

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

government a 14-day ultimatum, which took effect from September 14. Despite the ultimatum, there has been no positive response from the government, compelling PASAN members to begin a seven-day warning strike last Tuesday. The warning strike ends today. “The seven days are considered as days of grace within which the government has to clear all the outstanding outfit or wardrobe allowances.”

According to Mela, if the government fails to clear the outstanding allowances within the seven days, the National Executive Council of PASAN will view it “as an invitation to lead the state chapter on an indefinite strike”. Mr Terhemen Tarzoor, the Speaker of the Benue House of Assembly, expressed dismay at the non-payment of the outfit allowance of the parliamentary staff in the last four years. Tarzoor attributed the delay in the payment to the shortfall in the federal allocation to the

state. He, however, assured the PASAN members that the outstanding allowances would be cleared as soon as the state’s share of the federal allocation was increased. “Notwithstanding, I am pretty sure that the state government is not depending entirely on the federal allocation for the settlement of the arrears. “It is working out modalities to pay the arrears within the shortest possible time.” The speaker appealed to PASAN to resolve the issue without resort to strike.

•Labour Minister Emeka Wogu (left), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Abdulwaheed Omar and Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Peter Esele at a meeting.

Labour crisis: Chime’s action stalls NBA peace move A

DIALOGUE initiated by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to end the industrial crisis in Enugu State has ended in a stalemate following Governor Sullivan Chime’s insistence on having his way, it has been learnt. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, which featured Attorney-General Anthony Ani; the Commissioner for Labour, Mrs Vivian Ezeh; senior members of the bench and bar, as well as labour leaders, had agreed on certain terms which the governor report-

edly rejected. Sources told NAN that the meeting agreed to end the indefinite strike which had paralysed activities in the state, but the governor did not accept the communiqué which indicated that no labour leade r would be punished for the strike. On bringing the communique to him, Chime was reported to have ordered the attorney-general back to the meeting, insisting that a proviso that no worker

should be punished “unduly” be reflected in the document. Reacting to the deadlock, the NLC Chairman in the state, Mr Chumaife Nze, said the organised labour was set to defend itself in a suit filed by the state government at the National Industrial Court . Nze told NAN that the executive members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council were

due in Abuja on Tuesday for the case, which comes up on Wednesday. In the suit dated September 12, the Enugu State government is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the NLC and TUC from continuing any industrial action. The strike, according to the suit, is a violation of the provisions of the Trade Amendment Act. In the suit, the NLC and six others, including the state chairmen and secretaries of the unions, are listed as defendants.

Govt calls for transparency, accountability in civil service


HE immediate past Head of the Civil Service Prof. Oladapo Afolabi has urged civil servants to fight corruption to enhance economic and political development. He made the statement during a transparency and accountability conference for federal ministries, departments and agencies in Makurdi, Benue State. Afolabi, represented by Dr. Ibrahim Idris, Director of Special

Duties, said corruption undermines economic development and sustainability. He said while government must ensure sustainable development and accountability through appropriate measures, the civil service must put in place mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability. Afolabi added that the civil service has a crucial role to play in implementing the transformation

agenda of government through transparency and accountability. Mrs. Rashida Okoduwa, an official of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), urged public officers to ensure transparency and accountability in their conduct. Okoduwa said aside enforcement, ICPC was involved in sensitising people on transparency and accountability.

Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, who declared the conference open, said his administration had taken measures to sensitise workers on transparency and accountability. Suswam, who was represented by Dr. David Salifu, the Secretary to the State Government, pledged that his administration would work with the Federal Government to tackle corruption in line with the transformation agenda.

FRICAN leaders have been urged to create jobs for youths to take advantage of the positive economic performance in the region. Vice-President of the World Bank for African Region, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Washington DC, at the just-ended Annual Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. She stressed the need for the region to work towards “inclusive growth.’’ “Africa has been experiencing very positive economic performance. That is well known. Beyond that economic performance, we seek to inquire into why growth has not delivered as much jobs as would enable growth be inclusive, broad and be shared among by the citizens in the continent.’ Mrs. Ezekesili said many experts were at the meeting to discuss issues that would lead to the economic development of the continent. According to her, growth in the region has been driven significantly as a result of good macroeconomic policies over the decade. “However, the agenda for structural transformation of African economies and the diversification of the economies of the countries have been less achievable. “And within it, lie the prospects of the Job agenda.’’ Ezekwesili said that the World Bank was worried about the job prospect as between seven million and 10 million people joined the labour force every year in the region. She said that the Bank had been working with the continent on strategies that would promote diversification, competitiveness, productivity and job creation as key pillars of the strategy. The World Bank vice-president noted that the formal sector was still a small fraction of the labour force as it constituted 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the low income countries. She noted also that the inability of the continent to achieve structural transformation had not increased the rate of employment in the formal sector. “Overall, workers lack skills. Vocational training has had poor records on the continent. Most importantly, the employment challenge basically requires microeconomic sectoral level reforms. “That has been toughest to go through because of the political and economic imperatives that stand in the way.’’ Ezekwesili urged stakeholders to partner with various governments in the region to ensure that jobs were created for unemployed youths in the region.

Workers on hunger strike


BOUT 14 cement plants of Lafarge Cement have been shut by French workers over the proposed closure of one . The workers are on hunger strike. They began the strike last week. The mayor of one of the small towns in the Burgundy region joined the strikers grouped who were visited by a number of politicians, including parliamentarian Nicolas Dupont-Aignan from l’Essone department. “I cannot stand to see businesses close and workers thrown out like dogs,” he said, refuting Lafarge’s reasons for closure. Lafarge announced on May 25, at an extraordinary Works Council meeting, that it would close the Frangey plant in three stages between August 2011 and the end of 2012.










No of Deals (N) 2 6 11 19



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

0.50 0.50 7.00

50,000 1,000,000 266,800 1,316,800


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

1.95 5.88

36,044 540,056 576,100


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

0.50 1.48

34,000 127,819 161,819


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

5.62 3.50 2.53 4.25 2.01 9.77 12.85 9.21 5.10 1.26 3.87 2.09 0.75 0.71 12.41

6,402,581 60,088,935 408,737 548,000 28,751,793 14,531,681 12,980,916 21,858,719 1,024,368 2,714,817 24,501,719 8,609,565 2,729,732 652,674 10,395,629 196,199,866

25,000.00 500,000.00 1,870,872.00 2,395,872.00


No of Deals (N) 2 41 43


73,529.76 3,148,821.49 3,222,351.25


No of Deals (N) 5 6 11


17,000.00 189,164.28 206,164.28

BANKING Company Name

No of Deals (N) 146 97 27 25 70 613 542 42 57 38 231 97 32 19 142 2,178


35,920,719.99 207,012,328.99 1,025,372.58 2,324,675.00 56,353,564.34 141,970,320.57 166,714,511.07 207,071,705.67 5,245,039.80 3,408,511.77 94,597,168.63 17,993,990.85 1,995,704.36 459,348.78 128,511,425.90 1,070,604,388.30

BREWERIES Company Name

No of Deals (N) 79 3 85 167



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

217.95 6.06 79.98

216,966 48,850 594,313 860,129


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

16.80 7.30 100.00 40.01

248,532 123,000 233,095 115,966 720,593


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

9.36 17.85 1.14 5.11

148,625 125,652 54,000 1,000 329,277

46,077,331.12 281,376.00 47,077,360.42 93,436,067.54


No of Deals (N) 21 8 22 25 76


4,151,912.11 853,720.00 23,268,245.24 4,643,395.94 32,917,273.29


No of Deals (N) 14 22 1 1 38


1,346,623.67 2,201,108.84 61,560.00 4,860.00 3,614,152.51

Optimism, caution as stock market recovers M

ARKET pundits were optimistic on the outlook of the stock market this week as last week’s approvals of rescued banks’ mergers and acquisitions and the bottomed prices of equities continue to attract investors. The Nigerian stock market recorded its first week-onweek appreciation in recent weeks last week with the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) improving by 84 points to close at 23,373 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities closed at N6.496 trillion as against its opening value of N6.442 trillion. The bullish rallies in the last trading sessions of the week were however, driven by positive sentiments about the prospects of the banking sector. The general outlook of the stock market remained cautious as there were still not enough demands to reassure a stable recovery. Some analysts were cautious that the positive sentiments in the banking sector may not be sustained as more investors might utilise the opportunity of appreciation to sell rather than buy. Most analysts were however, optimistic that the bullish rally might continue this week as the merging banks and other financial services stocks consolidate on the suc-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

cesses of the mergers and acquisitions deals to outline their growth plans. The NSE had last week imposed full suspension on the trio of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and FinBank Plc following shareholders’ approval of their recapitalisation and restructuring deals. Third quarter reports that are expected to start trickling in this month could also prove to be major boosts to the bulls. With prices at their lowest, improved earnings would translate to significant increase in dividend yields, which might excite several investors. Reflecting the cautious mood to the recovery, the NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies, dropped by 0.6 per cent to close at 912.62. Out of the four sectoral indices, only the NSE Banking Index appreciated, rising by 5.02 per cent to close at 295.45. With Dangote Sugar dragging down the index, the NSE Food & Beverage Index depreciated by 6.26 per cent to close at 643.34. NSE Insurance Index dropped 2.71 per cent to close at 139.78 while the NSE Oil & Gas Index depreciated


No of Deals (N) 1 17 18



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

0.50 2.41

300 391,114 391,414


150.00 942,584.74 942,734.74



No of Deals (N) 1 1

NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. Sector Totals


Quantity Traded Value of Shares


2,666 2,666


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

1.90 30.02 6.11 0.75 33.46 27.50

100,600 281,871 3,000 10,681,716 49,835 128,455 11,245,477

13,916.52 13,916.52


No of Deals (N) 8 50 1 51 27 31 168

182,086.00 8,473,981.13 17,430.00 7,399,369.82 1,642,202.24 3,531,670.07 21,246,739.26


No of Deals (N) 14 10 1 25



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

47.16 0.50 4.65

30,716 155,000 19,000 204,716

1,388,027.12 77,500.00 92,720.00 1,558,247.12


No of Deals (N) 2 3 5



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

2.10 4.90

3,000 5,000 8,000

6,000.00 23,300.00 29,300.00


4 3 6 2 1 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 6 87

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1


No of Deals (N) 20 38 106 89 54 8 1 15 32 1 1 365


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

47.00 13.91 6.81 7.00 59.55 3.10 1.62 4.50 401.00 0.50 0.50

11,948 131,837 3,329,756 2,390,930 184,916 194,001 350 95,345 17,952 10,000 39,845 6,406,880

556,898.72 1,854,837.52 22,464,275.91 16,601,023.15 11,224,182.79 598,643.10 539.00 429,572.06 7,208,903.14 5,000.00 19,922.50 60,963,797.89


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

5.31 0.90 1.16 27.00 3.00 0.95 3.68

1,156 26,546 111,680 15,868 734,762 6,300 1,000 897,312

5,837.80 24,582.04 125,550.20 428,553.00 2,204,395.54 5,733.00 3,500.00 2,798,151.58

HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name

No of Deals (N) 33 33



Quantity Traded Value of Shares


5,810,250 5,810,250

13,073,062.50 13,073,062.50


No of Deals (N) 1 7 8



Quantity Traded Value of Shares

6.95 5.70

1 23,766 23,767

7.01 138,181.52 138,188.53


No of Deals (N) 3 3


Quantity Traded Value of Shares


300,000 300,000


Quantity Traded Value of Shares

0.57 1.02 0.50

6,454,492 1,074,528 5,800

150,000.00 150,000.00


No of Deals (N) 47 4 1

80,109 46,050 524,600 499,900 64,200 11,532,904 10,000 2,500 30,000 35,000 5,000 50,000 2,000 249,500 20,666,583

193,062.69 23,485.50 527,666.00 249,950.00 32,100.00 5,766,452.00 5,000.00 1,250.00 15,000.00 50,050.00 2,500.00 25,000.00 1,000.00 124,750.00 11,893,020.66

Quotation(N) 0.90

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 500 430.00 500 430.00

Quotation(N) 0.82

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 294,004 241,083.28 294,004 241,083.28


No of Deals 21 21


No of Deals 7 7

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 37,075 18,537.50 37,075 18,537.50




2.30 0.50 1.01 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50



by 1.67 per cent to close at 233.25 points. There was almost one gainer for every loser with 33 advancers and 34 decliners. Dangote Cement Plc led on the gainers’ table with a gain of N5 to close at N100 per share. Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc followed with a gain of N1.50 to close at N47 per share. On the other hand, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc led losers with loss of N13.40 to close at N59.55. Nigerian Breweries Plc followed with a loss of N4.52 to close at N79.98 per share. On the over-the-counter (OTC) bond market, turnover dropped to 123.32 million units worth N116.66 billion in 846 deals as against a total of 143.52 million units valued at N138.24 billion traded in 894 deals in previous week. The most active bond last week was the 8th FGN Bond 2014 Series 1 with a traded volume of 34.24 million units valued at N34.41 billion in 239 deals. This was followed by the 4.0 per cent 7th FGN BOND 2015 Series 2 with a traded volume of 28.24 million units valued at N22.78 billion in 193 deals. Eleven out of the 28 FGN Bonds were traded during the week compared with 15 in the preceding week.

3,796,825.91 1,076,028.56 2,900.00


No of Deals 2 2 4

Quotation(N) 1.08 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,475 5,639.25 11,000 5,500.00 16,475 11,139.25

Quotation(N) 6.57 1.76 2.92 13.28

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 712 4,450.00 233,010 406,956.00 360 1,000.80 72,469 962,388.32 306,551 1,374,795.12


No of Deals 1 11 1 1 14


No of Deals 1 9 1 18 22 201 14 266

Quotation(N) 63.86 34.36 5.12 10.44 148.00 22.99 200.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 183 11,102.61 5,806 197,668.46 2,000 9,740.00 137,735 1,473,493.20 34,429 4,914,863.20 4,685,278 103,698,329.14 87,942 16,836,528.80 4,953,373 127,141,725.41


No of Deals 2 3 9 14

Quotation(N) 2.60 4.79 3.81

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,898 4,688.06 5,600 26,686.00 40,070 158,457.00 47,568 189,831.06

Quotation(N) 12.20

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 26,845 334,007.50 26,845 334,007.50


No of Deals 5 5


No of Deals 2 2


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) 0.54

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 48,000 24,960.00 48,000 24,960.00

Quotation(N) 0.85

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,423 1,266.47 1,423 1,266.47



No of Deals 25 25

Quotation(N) 12.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 361,000 4,285,382.60 361,000 4,285,382.60







CIBN foresees strong banking sector


HE Chartered Institute of Banks of Nigeria (CIBN) has envisaged the emergence of a new banking sector that is not only strong in terms of capital base and balance sheet but largely enjoys public confidence. The institute however, noted that deploying more capital to the banking sector without proper adherence to prudential guidelines can not create the desired stability in the sector. A statement by the institute signed by Chairman, Consultative Committee Annual Banking & Finance Conference, George Uwakwe said there was need to guide against possible reoccurrence of the present crisis, by building a sustainable banking sector, focused on delivering value to the economy. He said the challenges of rebuilding trust in the banking sector are becoming more pronounced than ever. “The event, which is part of the Institute's public enlightenment programme is meant to constantly keep the captains of the industry and stakeholders abreast of the developments in the economy. “It is also one of the various ways the Institute complements Federal Government’s socio-economic programmes with a view to fast tracking the socio-economic development of our country, Nigeria and by extension attract foreign investments and improved national earnings to the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said. Meanwhile, CIBN President, Laoye Jaiyeola, has said there is need to work out plans that would encourage specialisation in the Nigerian banking sector. He said the institute has set up five work groups that would draw specialties where bankers can deploy effectively their competencies. He said that banking industry is not a one cap fits all, calling for the need to set up faculty boards to look at diverse areas of banking.

By Collins Nweze

He said it was obvious that there is dearth of skilled manpower in the sector, making it needful for practitioners and regulators to enhance skills and know how of bank workers. “Our own job is to see that we get

the right people in terms of skills to manage the banking sector,” he said, adding that one way of doing that is through training. He said there is renewed emphasis on risk management and the banking sector is getting to a point where International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will be

fully implemented to enhance quality financial reporting in the industry. To enhance its professional efficiency, the CIBN recently, reviewed professional code of conduct for bankers practicing in the country. The draft Code of Conduct has been sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria,

Mobilisation fee on contract coming, says BPP


N its commitment to entrenching due process in the award of public contracts, Director-General of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), Emeka Ezeh has said that not more than 15 per cent should be paid to contractors as mobilisation funds. A statement from the bureau said companies involved in the execution of government contracts should start small and grow their businesses over time rather than expecting mouth - watering mobilisations fees. "I expect the young companies to start small and grow, you do not

pockets. The BPP boss explained that there are strict sanctions in place for erring personnel of government ministries agencies and departments, who breach regulations to short change the government. He listed the challenges of budget implementation to include poor procurement planning by the respective governmental agencies, delay in budget submission by the National Assembly delay in appropriation. He therefore called for strong political support, affirming that no reform will work without the

just set up a small company and expect to do a contract of N1 billion, there are financial thresholds,” he said. During the meeting in which participants discussed issues bothering on public procurement, due process, budget execution and criminal offences, Ezeh explained that there is need for stakeholders to support the crusade by the BPP to bring about a transparent process for the award and execution of contracts. He affirmed that the laid down procedure at the bureau has helped to save government more funds that would have gone into private


UDAN’S central bank said on Saturday it was ready to pump dollars into the market to halt a “temporary” slide in the Sudanese pound. A severe economic crisis in the African country according to Reuters news, has sparked two small protests in the capital Khartoum in the past few days as anger builds over spiraling food inflation and the sliding value of its currency. The Sudanese pound has fallen significantly on the key black market since South Sudan became independent on July 9, taking with it most of the country’s oil production. Some 80 percent of 40 million Sudanese live

Sudan’s loss of 75 percent of oil production when the south became independent. Juba will have to pay a fee to use northern export facilities but analysts say the revenue Khartoum receives will be much less than under the existing 50:50 split. Inflation jumped to 21 per cent in August, driven by rising food costs. Sudan needs to import much of its food and consumer goods, which have become more expensive due to a shortage of dollars in the country. The government has launched a package of counter-measures such as temporarily waiving duties for 12 basic food items but analysts are sceptical it will have much of an impact.

in the north. Traders on the black market said one dollar was now buying 4.5 to 4.8 pounds compared to 3.5 quoted in July. This is well above the official rate of around 3 pounds to the dollar. The central bank said the currency’s fall was due to dollar demand from Southern Sudanese changing their final pay checks into the U.S. currency before going home. “The reasons (for the currency fall) are only temporary,” the central bank said in a statement, adding that it was willing to provide the necessary hard currency to help the pound. Analysts blame the slide on the gloomy economic outlook following

Amount N

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 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 17.00 16.00 5.60 1.20 76.18 2.41 1.41 8.92 6.49 3.69

C/PRICE 17.85 16.80 5.88 1.26 79.98 2.53 1.48 9.36 6.81 3.87

CHANGE 0.85 0.80 0.28 0.06 3.80 0.12 0.07 0.44 0.32 0.18


O/PRICE 0.60 13.97 92.56 3.05 3.55 0.76 1.03 7.05 2.02 5.11

C/PRICE 0.57 13.28 59.55 3.00 3.50 0.75 1.02 7.00 2.01 5,10


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

The central bank has asked fellow Arab states to put deposits in the central bank and commercial lenders to help the economy. Sudan is also trying to diversify its economy to cut its exposure to oil costs by boosting mineral exports and the agricultural sector, but economists say progress has been slow because of bad planning and a U.S. trade embargo. Foreign minister Ali Karti said on Friday that Sudan’s massive debt risks exacerbating the difficult economic situation following the secession of the south. Annual servicing costs for the country’s $38 billion of debt are currently about $1 billion, he said.



OBB Rate Call Rate

needed assistance. "We are calling for strong international support needed for the Bureau for Public Procurement to survive. “We are also calling for depoliticisation of the procurement process, as we look forward to gain stakeholders buy in as well as urging all state and local governments to adopt the law," he said. He explained that a few years ago the general perception about Nigeria was that there is nothing transparent about the contract verification process; a development he said had adverse effects on the budgeting system

Sudan’s central bank: Currency slide temporary



Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the 24 deposit money banks for their input before final copy is endorsed by all the relevant bodies. The disciplinary organs of the Institute, the Investigating Panel and Tribunal have also been activated to ensure the enforcement of the subsisting Code.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






13-09-11 N6.7026tr 21,018.52

14-09-11 N6.760tr 21,199.16

% Change -0.87% -0.86%





July ’11

Aug ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.69 107.46 0.78 1.02 0.94 1,628.78 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,221.04 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.53 107.10 0.75 1.02 0.93 1,625.40 7.84 1.33 1.80 6,999.77 191.08


CHANGE 0.03 0.69 3.01 0.05 1.05 0.01 0.01 0.05 0.01 0.01


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011











Public schools, teachers boycott celebration in Ebonyi


OST public primary and secondary schools boycotted the Independence Day march past scheduled for the Abakaliki Township Stadium on Saturday. The boycott was at the instance of organised labour which directed pupils, teachers and parents not to participate in the march past and other functions of the state government. The directive was to press home the demand for the full implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage for workers. The Commissioner for Education, Prince Chibueze Agbo had, at a press confer-

Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

ence on Friday, asked all nursery, Primary and Secondary schools to participate in the exercise and ignore the threat by organised labour of a possible breakdown of law and order during the exercise. Stern looking mobile policemen, men of the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies were deployed in the Abakaliki township Stadium venue of the event as early as 6 am to avert any violence. But local government employees turned out in large

numbers as were representatives of development centers, youth organisations, women groups and voluntary organisations mobilised by the state government for the function. The government also mobilised more than 20 private schools for the march past. The schools, according to a source, were threatened to attend or their license would be withdrawn. Governor Martin Elechi said on the occasion that the state government had not reneged on its decision to pay the new minimum wage and pointed out that government had opened an attend-

‘Good times are here’ •Continued from Page 46


ance register in each ministry and department to ensure that only those who work are paid.

PDP governorship aspirant calls for unity


IGERIANS have been urged to see the unity of the nation as a paramount vision that must be protected and sustained. This was the advice of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Mr. Bimbo Owolabi, in his message to Nigerians on the nation’s 51st Independence anniver-

sary in Ado-Ekiti. He said: “Let us thank the Almighty that despite the predictions of naysayers and our differences as a people, we, today, celebrate our nationhood as a unit. What divides us a nation is not as important as our common destiny. I believe there is a purpose for our inhabitation of this space we call Nigeria.”

Owolabi advised the electorate to pick only people who have the ability to develop the nation, imploring all citizens to work towards the socio-economic development of the nation. He, however, appealed to all warring groups to sheath their swords, saying “I appeal to our brothers in MEND, Boko Haram and other groups who are ag-

grieved for one reason or the other to be mindful of the effect of their actions on the ordinary man on the street. I pray that soon hope will be restored to all Nigerians and there will be no need for needless bloodshed. I pray God will bring all His children together so that Nigeria can be enjoyed by all Nigerians.”

Why political reform is impossible, by don


PROFESSOR of Zoology at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof. Idowu Awopetu at the weekend expressed doubt over the possibility of Nigeria to achieve much in its quest to reform the political and economic spheres. Speaking at a symposium organised by the Ondo State Government to mark the 51st Inde-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

pendence anniversary celebratio in Akure, the state capital, Prof. Awopetu said the problem affecting the nation’s growth was far beyond the various reforms being introduced by successive governments. He said only a radical change like a revolution would improve the country. Awopetu, a former Nation-

al Treasurer of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), also criticised the plan by the National Assem-

bly to review the 1999 Constitution, stressing that all Nigerians should make an input in the exercise.

Suffice to say that our commitment to massive food production is unwavering. Out of the 30,000 hectares of land already acquired for this purpose, a total of 3000 hectares have been cleared and made ready for cultivation in Mokore Farm Settlement for allocation to willing farmers. Access road is in place to the farms. Agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, improved seedlings, chemicals and herbicides and extension services have been given to farmers in the state. Credit facilities have been extended to agricultural cooperatives and groups in the state. We are working on the mid-regional hyper market in Dagbolu, Osogbo for the free freight of agricultural produce from the terminus by rail to our logistic centre in Lagos and manufactured goods from the logistics centre in Lagos to Dagbolu, Osogbo. This is geared towards returning Osogbo and the entire state to a regime of commercial prosperity. We cannot forget the ongoing Osun Clean (O’ Clean) exercise and the commitment to a clean, healthy and attractive environment. An Urban

Renewal Committee composed of seasoned academics and competent professionals are working assiduously to develop a modern urban outlook for our numerous towns and cities. I want to assure our people in Osun State that the good time we have been looking forward to is here. We are ushering in an era of prosperity for all, including workers in the state. Recently a section of workers in the state embarked on an industrial action. The matter was resolved amicably without a single incident or skirmish; there was no arrest, attack or shooting, contrary to what we used to experience in the past. These workers demonstrated maturity and understanding. I appreciate this and I want to thank them for the high display of civility. I am assuring them also that they will be part of the coming prosperity in the state. We should however take the occasion of the independence celebration to rededicate ourselves to the development and upliftment of our state, Ipinle Omoluabi, and our country, Nigeria. Let us shun every act capable of bringing her down. Once again, I congratulate all Nigerians and wish us all a happy Independence celebration. Osun a dara o.

Ogun West PDP leaders meet Ogun East THE leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun West Senatorial District will today visit their counterparts in Ogun East Senatorial District. The visit, which is meant to thank the leaders for their support for the Yewa during the April 26 governorship election, will also provide an opportunity for the leaders to rub minds on the future of the party. Various interest groups and members of the party in the zones have begun mobilisation for the event. The major financier of the party in the state and the founder of Omoilu Foundation, Prince Buruji Kashamu, is set to make the occasion a memorable one. He has sent goodwill messages to Ogun West leaders such as governorship candidate in the April 26 election, Chief Adetunji Olurin; the Chairman, Ogun West Elders’ Consultative Forum, Chief Ishola Olateju and Senator Felix Kolawole Bajomo, among others.



NEWS Petroleum marketers, others join strike

USA, FRSC partner on drivers’ licence

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (INPMAN)has shut down all petroleum filling stations in Ebonyi state ,following the Organised Labour’s directive to the association to join the three- week old strike embarked upon by the state civil servants to press home their demand for the full implementation of the N18, 000 national minimum wage. The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) also joined in the industrial action as commercial buses went off the road. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had, on September 6, called on civil servants in the state to embark on an indefinite industrial action over the non-implementation of the minimum wage by the state government. Thousands of commuters and school children were stranded on major streets of Abakaliki and its environs.

Security strengthened in prisons From Austine Tsenzughul , Bauchi

THE Nigerian Prisons Service( NPS) has adopted proactive measures to avert jail-break in prisons nationwide,Assistant Comptroller General Abubakar Falke has said. Falke, who is the AIG for the North-East Zone, spoke at the weekend while exchanging views with reporters in Bauchi He said: ‘’NPS authority has taken various proactive steps to protect our prisons all over the country. Soldiers and policemen are involved and the arms squad of NPS have been properly trained andequipped with new arms to enable them protect the prisons and the inmates.

Funeral for Accountant A RENOWNED Chartered Accountant,Mr. Olusola Obafemi, is dead.He died on August 27 in Ibadan, Oyo State.He was 68. Born in Usi, Ekiti, on January 21, 1943, he began his early education at Local Ahthority Primary School, Usi, Ekiti. He attended All Saint Teacher Training College, Usi,Ekiti.He proceeded to the University of Manchester,UK, where he studied Accounting. He worked in the United Bank (UBA) for 29 years. He will be interred on October 22 in his home town. He is survived by wife, Victoria, and five children.

•The late Obafemi

• Abia State Governor Theodore Orji presenting staff of office to His Royal Highness Eze Ojukwu Imo Kalu Achi 1 of Achiobi Autonomous Community in Ohafia Local Government Area at the Micheal Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia.

Abia varsity students protest over rape


THE Abia State University students on Friday protested what they called smear campaign against the university over the alleged rape of a female student of the institution by a five member- gang. Addressing the protesting students, the Vice –Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chibuzor Ogbuagu insisted there was no rape. anywhere in the institution. Ogbuagu said the university is willing to help the security agencies to resolve the issue, saying they have been

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

cooperating with those investigating the matter to redeem the image of the state. The VC challenged the rape victim to come out and tell the security agencies what happened. He advised her not to be ashamed since she had been posted on the internet. “There is nothing to hide again for the girl except to come out and tell the public what happened, so that the five rapists would be fished out and face the punishment,” he said.

“We have done our investigation and found out that the rape case did not take place in our institution, there is no hostel in the university or off campus that resemble our own. We may after due consultation with our lawyers sue those media outfits that are at the forefront of tarnishing our image.” He accused the media houses in Lagos as those championing the smear campaign against the institution, saying there was nowhere in the video clip that the institution was mentioned.

The Students’ Union Government president [SUG] Christian Afulike said the university has an enviable image that is guided jealously, adding that their students are well behaved. Afulike dismissed the rape story and challenged those behind the act to fish out the victim and the rapists. He added that he has watched the video clip, “and found out that none of the students is an Ikenga.” The SUG president called on security agencies to fish out the culprits.

Lawmaker’s dad, 78, abducted in Anambra


UNMEN yesterday abducted 78-year-old Louis Azubogu in Nnewi, Anambra state. The four- man gang stormed Azubogus home on Sunday morning and forcefully took away their victim to an unknown destination. Azubogu is the father of the lawmaker representing Nnewi North/ South and Ek-

wusigo Federal constituency, Chris Azubogu. The lawmaker said the incident happened when they were preparing for church. He said:” As we were preparing for service, four gunmen walked into the compound and took my father away. No contact has been established with the abductors.

“Right now, I am still in shock. All I want is for my father to come back home without any problem. I plead with security agencies to help rescue my father.” Governor Peter Obi’s Special Assistant on Security, Okey Nwokoye, also urged the state police command to fish out the abductors of the father of the All Progressives Grand Alli-

ance (APGA) chieftain. He said Azubogu’s kidnap was politically motivated. Commissioner of Police, Muhtari Ibrahim, confirmed the incident. Ibrahim said the command had deployed more men in Nnewi and its environs. He urged the public to volunteer information to the police.

Ebonyi to shut down 494 schools


BONYI State Government is to shut down 494 illegal schools in the state, Commissioner for Education Chibueze Agbo has said. Agbo said the Committee on Illegal and Sub-standard Schools has uncovered the illegal schools. The Commissioner spoke at the weekend in Abakaliki while addressing reporters on the determination of the state

government to ensure an efficient school administration. He said the ministry would close down all illegal and substandard schools. The illegal institutions comprises 166 nursery schools, 205 primary schools and 123 secondary schools. He said: “The Committee on Illegal and Substandard Schools set up by the Ebonyi State Ministry of Education has

identified 166 nursery schools, 205 primary schools and 123 secondary schools. The ministry has resolved to close down these schools. “It is unfortunate to see the environmental condition under which our children learn. In some of these schools, the children are subjected to learn under the sun while others do not even have enough seats to accommodate the number of

pupils they enroll annually. “How do you expect them to learn under such condition and comprehend what they are being taught? Governor Elechi’s administration understands the importance of learning in a conducive environment and that is why we are embarking on this drive to ensure that our children learn in a good environment and get the needed qualitative education.”

Chukwumerije lauds Judiciary over victory ENATOR Uche Chukwumerije has said his victory at the election tribunal is a further confirmation that the judiciary is the bastion of justice and the last hope of the common man. The Senator representing Abia North, in his reaction to his victory at the Abia North Senatorial Election Petition Tribunal brought against him by the candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and former Governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on Thursday in Umuahia, also urged the people of Abia to see his victory as “the beginning and not the end to the struggle to uproot the root, stem and branches of the tree of internal colonisation by a family oligarchy in


From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Abia.” Kalu had gone to the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election in which Chukwumerije was declared winner. Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Adebayo Adebara, dismissed Kalu’s application on the ground that it lacked competence to survive. Kalu’s petition was dismissed following an application filed by Chukwumerije’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, challenging the competence of the petition. Justice Adebara said Kalu’s petition was handicapped because the score of the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not stat-

ed in the petition while the petitioner also failed to join the military as parties after alleging that soldiers were used to rig the poll. Chukwumerije, in a statement in Abuja, said: “I appreciate the judgment of the court and this is a confirmation once again that the judiciary is the bastion of justice and the last hope of the common man. Surely, I have no resources compared with the stupendous wealth of the former Governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others who dragged me to the tribunal. “I dedicate this victory to God first and to the gallant resistance of the masses of Abia state under the transparent and all inclusive style of


leadership of Chief T. A. Orji against the insult and humiliation of misrule of one family. “Lastly, I urge the people of Abia to see the victory as the beginning, not the end to the struggle to uproot the root, stem and branches of the tree of internal colonisation by a family oligarchy in Abia,”he said.

UNITED States of America (USA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have signed an agreement for officials of the FRSC to train at the U.S. Company L-1 Identity Solutions’ Facility. The USA is to provide $300,000 to facilitate the training of FRSC officials on the new drivers’ license of demonstration of the central biometrics system and card production process. The Public Affairs section of the United States Embassy, Abuja said the partnership would be carried out through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. The statement reads: “The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), is pleased to partner with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on an important grant agreement that will provide $300,000 for Nigerian state government officials to train at U.S. company L-1’s training facility in the United States.”

Enugu suspends strike From Chris Oji, Enugu

THE industrial action embarked upon by the civil servants in Enugu State has been called-off. The workers are expected to resume work tomorrow after the public holiday. The workers have been on strike over the nonpayment of the N18, 000 national minimum wage. The resolution of the strike followed a meeting held at the weekend by stakeholders and church leaders.

AGF hailed over electronic payment system By Innocent Amomoh

THE Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) has hailed the Accountant- General of the Federation (AGF) Jonah Otunla for his proactive measure to ensure the success of the Integrated Personnel and Pay Roll Information System (IPPIS). The IPPIS is a reform project of the Federal Government where all personnel payments of the government are done electronically. Chairman of the NCSU, Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation,Abuja,Orisamuyiwa Oladele spoke at the IPPIS. He hailed the AGF for ensuring the removal of all bottlenecks that could impede the successful implementation of the IPPIS. He assured the AGF of the union’s support. “The AGF has ensure the success of this IPPIS and I have to commend President Goodluck Jonathan for his support for the programme and the AGF who has ensure that the implementation was carried out without



FOREIGN NEWS Obamas celebrate wedding anniversary with lavish dinner

Syrian opposition launches joint National Council



T’S been almost 20 years since Barack and Michelle Obama tied the knot - and they last night celebrated in style at a $150-a-head restaurant. The United States President and First Lady visited Restaurant Eve, in Alexandria, Virginia - located just seven miles southwest from the White House. The Obama couple married on October 3, 1992, in Chicago, so their actual 19th wedding anniversary is today. President Obama had been speaking at an event for a major gay rights organisation on Saturday night before going out to dinner. He returned to the White House briefly after the speech before his motorcade made its way to the upscale restaurant in Virginia. Restaurant Eve’s chef Cathal Armstrong has worked with Mrs Obama to promote healthier eating for children, reported the Washington Times. Mrs Obama said earlier this year that the couple’s secret to long-lasting marriage is laughing and not taking themselves too seriously at home. Mr Armstrong has previously cooked for television chef Julia Child and Senator Ted Kennedy, reported Irish Central.

•Barack and Michelle Obama at the wedding celebration... yesterday


YRIAN opposition groups say they have formed united common front to challenge President Bashar al-Assad. After a two-day meeting in Turkey, leaders said they had agreed on the aims and structure of the Syrian National Council (SNC), first announced last month. Its aim was to bring about a new, democratic Syria and was open to all citizens, they added. Meanwhile, government troops have retaken the central town of Rastan. The town of 40,000, in the restive province of Homs, has seen days of fierce fighting between Mr Assad’s forces and army defectors who refused to fire on protesters. At least 2,700 people are believed to have been killed in

Many of civilians flee Libyan city of Sirte

ESIDENTS trapped in fighting for the Libyan coastal city of Sirte have run out of basic medical supplies and are resorting to drinking contaminated water to survive as conditions deteriorate, a Libyan doctor who was in the city at the weekend said. Dr Siraj Assouri, who was travelling from Sirte to nearby Misrata, said: “The conditions have been getting worse and worse. There is no medicine for heart disease or blood pressure or baby milk or nappies. There is very little water that is drinkable. The water is contaminated with waste oil. Our forces are close to the centre but there are other areas still under the control of Gaddafi loyalists where they have been putting up a very strong fight. They still control 40% of the city.” His comments came as a ceasefire announced by the new government’s forces brought a lull in the fighting and allowed hundreds of res-

idents of the city, whose population is normally around 100,000, to leave via queues at checkpoints. The two-day truce is expected to be followed by an all-out attack on the positions still held by proGaddafi loyalists in an attempt to bring the country’s war to a final conclusion. Residents, many of them supporters of the country’s former leader, confirmed the bleak account of life inside Sirte. Some blamed continuing Nato air raids on Sirte for causing civilian casualties. “The revolutionaries camping at the frontline of Sirte have given residents two days to leave the city, which will allow for the evacuation of large numbers of civilians,” said the National Transitional Council leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil. The truce was declared by Libya’s new transitional authority, which says it had ordered a halt in operations to allow civilians to flee before it launched a final assault.

The depiction of conditions in Sirte follows a warning at the weekend by an International Red Cross team of a humanitarian crisis. The team was able to deliver body bags and war wounded kits but was not able to enter the main hospital itself on Saturday – despite negotiating a safe passage from both sides – because of fighting that flared up. According to the Red Cross, some 10,000 people have fled Sirte. “The hospital is facing a huge influx of patients, medical supplies are running out and there is a desperate need for oxygen. On top of that, the water reservoir has been damaged,” the ICRC said in a statement. The rapidly deteriorating situation follows several weeks of fighting, with antiGaddafi fighters now holding positions about three miles from the city centre, according to commander Mustafa alRubaie.

six months of protests against Mr Assad, who has refused to step down. Chairman Burhan Ghalioun, a France-based academic, said the council had succeeded in uniting opponents of Mr Assad both in and outside of Syria. “The Syrian National Council reunites the forces of the opposition and the peaceful revolution,” he told AFP news agency. “The council rejects any outside interference that undermines the sovereignty of the Syrian people,” Mr Ghalioun said. The BBC correspondent in Lebanon, says the opposition knows it has to provide a credible, alternative, national leadership, but has so far found it difficult to create an organisation that could bring together the various strands of opinion opposing the regime. It remains to be seen whether they have now created an organisation that will remain cohesive, our correspondent adds.

Zambia’s anti- corruption chief fired ZAMBIA’S newly-elected President Michael Sata has dismissed the head of the country’s anti-corruption watchdog. A presidential statement said Godfrey Kayukwa would be replaced by Rosewin Wandi, without giving further details. Mr Kayukwa is considered to be a close aide to former President Rupiah Banda, who lost last month’s tightlycontested elections to Mr Sata. During the campaign, Mr Sata pledged to stem out corruption among government officials. And during the swearingin ceremony last week he said: “Corruption has been a scourge in this country and there is a wide link between corruption and poverty.” The previous government was criticised for not being tough on tackling graft.

Cameroonian police arrest 126 protesters AN official says police have arrested 126 protesters seeking independence for English-speaking Cameroon. The police official says they were arrested Saturday and yesterday for defying public order. They follow the arrests of 50 activists from the Southern Cameroons National Council who demonstrated Saturday. The official asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to journalists. Saturday was the 50th anniversary of British Cameroon’s merger with the former French Cameroon. The protest follows other recent unrest as October 9 elections approach. On Thursday, gunmen carrying signs opposing President Paul Biya blockaded a bridge and shot at police in the city of Douala.






Moratti: Ref not up to the job I

NTER President Massimo Moratti blasted referee Gianluca Rocchi. “He’s not up to the job. I hope I never lay eyes on him again.” The official made a series of poor decisions during the 3-0 home defeat to Napoli on Saturday night, most notably an incorrect booking for Joel Obi (who was later sent off) and a penalty for a foul outside the box. “This referee Rocchi is not up to the job. It’s infuriating and I hope something changes,” snapped Moratti. “He is inadequate. This game was stupidly, and I mean

very stupidly, ruined by the referee. You can’t really talk about anything else in this match. I hope that I never have to lay eyes on this character again.” It’s not the first time Rocchi has had a problem with Inter, as Jose Mourinho famously said he “was trying to make us lose” after Wesley Sneijder and Lucio saw red against Milan. Obi is now the seventh Nerazzurri player sent off in 16 of their games officiated by Rocchi. “The players certainly did not disappoint me, as they played

well and gave me the certainty we’ll see a great Inter this season,” continued Moratti. “What did disappoint me was Rocchi’s refereeing, which was so bad that he even got pig-headed in sticking by this attitude for the whole 90 minutes. “Just think, he didn’t even have the courage to send off Claudio Ranieri when he was on the field, but rather sent an emissary to tell him at halftime. “A character like this does huge damage to the club. He was just awful. I hope something changes.”

Van Nistelrooy surprised with Malaga start R

UUD van Nistelrooy has admitted that he is delighted with Malaga's impressive start to the 2011-12 campaign in the wake of his side's 3-2 La Liga win over Getafe at the weekend. • Moratti

Carlos: I ‘ve told Neymar to choose Real Madrid

Lahm: Bayern were short on energy


AYERN Munich defender Philipp Lahm has admitted that his side's Champions League exploits cost them in the goalless Bundesliga draw away

against Hoffenheim on Saturday. The German giants' winning streak came to an end in Sinsheim after six consecutive league victories, and Lahm

Totti doubtful for Lazio clash due to injury


OMA have received some concering news from the treatment table in the aftermath of their 3-1 Serie A home win over Atalanta on Saturday as attacker Francesco Totti has sustained a muscle injury and faces a spell on the sidelines. The veteran forward featured from the start at Stadio Olimpico, but was forced to leave the pitch after 69 minutes of play after picking up a thigh injury. Totti visited the hospital on Sunday to undergo further

examination, and Roma have now confirmed on their official website that a scan has revealed a damaged thigh muscle. It is not yet known exactly how long Totti will be sidelined, but there are doubts as to whether the 35-year-old will recover in time to face rivals Lazio on October 16. Roma have climbed to sixth spot in the Serie A table with eight points from five games following this weekend's results.

feels they lacked energy after their 2-0 Champions League Group A win over Manchester City in midweek. "We came up against good opponents today, and you could see we were tired and short of energy, so you’ve got to be happy with a goalless draw away from home," Lahm said on the club's official website. "We never really got going and we often came up short in our tackling. We pulled ourselves together a little after half-time and made a couple of chances, but at the end of the day, the draw was the right result." Bayern Munich currently sit top of the Bundesliga table, with 19 points from eight encounters.


EW Anzhi playercoach Roberto Carlos has told Neymar to join Real Madrid. The Real legend is close to Santos star Neymar. "I told Neymar to stop messing around and join Real Madrid when I spoke to him last week," he told Radio

Marca. "I said he ought to sign for them now. However, he is like a superstar in Brazil and people are stopping him from leaving. "Neymar is like the Cristiano Ronaldo of Santos - a leading player, but I hope he signs for Madrid."

AFA Benitez admits he had Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea to replace Pepe Reina at Liverpool. The former Reds manager admits he had De Gea under consideration at Atletico Madrid in the event they lost Reina. "As Liverpool manager I had Pepe Reina - a top class keeper but if you lose Pepe what do you do?” he told Sport magazine. “So at that time we were really monitoring David de Gea - he is a player I know has the potential to be a great keeper. “He definitely has the quality to be a very good signing in the long term.”

Toulalan, Santi Cazorla and Diego Buonanotte. However, van Nistelrooy is rather surprised that Malaga are already achieving the sort of results they were aiming for as he thought the team would need time to gel. "It's a great thing that we have already collected this many points. I never thought that we would be on 13 points after six matches," van Nistelrooy was quoted as saying by Voetbal International. The 35-year-old scored his first competitive goal for Malaga on Saturday when he restored parity shortly after the hour mark. Malaga currently sit top of the table in Spain with 13 points from six games. Their next match is the away clash against Levante on October 16.

Joe Cole open to Lille stay


Benitez: I wanted Man Utd’s De Gea at Liverpool

R • Totti

The Primera Division outfit spent big in the summer to secure the services of players such as Joris Mathijsen, Jeremy

• Neymar

OE Cole has admitted he would be willing to consider a permanent

switch to Lille when his loan spell comes to an end. The midfielder will see out the season with the reigning French champions after falling out of favour at Liverpool. A change of scenery has helped to breathe new life into Cole's career after he stagnated somewhat at Anfield. The England international is enjoying his football again and that has showed in his performances. Cole's loan agreement will reach a conclusion next summer, but he has refused to rule out the prospect of remaining in Ligue 1. "I could join Lille permanently," he said. "If they are happy with me, and vice versa, I don't see why not. Lille have quality players and there's an unbeatable mood in the dressing room. I benefit from it every day and I am enjoying myself. "There is a superb team spirit at the club. I love playing here."






Wenger bothered by failure


RSENE Wenger's frustration at Arsenal's extremely disappointing start to the season shows no sign of going away. The Gunners on Sunday suffered their fourth Premier League defeat of the season in a 2-1 loss at North London derby rivals Tottenham. Three points moved Tottenham into sixth place, while Arsenal are languishing in 15th position and are seemingly already struggling in the race for the top four. Wenger, who recently passed his 15th anniversary as manager, has come under scrutiny as a result and he has admitted his disappointment at his club's struggles. Questioned on Arsenal's early season underachievement, the Frenchman told Sky Sports: "It bothers me, of course.

"We are not where we want to be and it is important we respond quickly. And that is down to the next game." Arsenal's next fixtures will come after the international break, when they host Sunderland, and Wenger will demand defensive improvements against Steve Bruce's strugglers. Rafael van der Vaart appeared to use his left arm to control the ball before opening the scoring in the first half, while a celebration among the Tottenham supporters behind the goal could have earned the Dutchman a second booking. Aaron Ramsey equalised after half-time, but Tottenham earned the win in the 73rd minute, when Kyle Walker's speculative longrange effort swerved past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Wenger was less than impressed with his defenders and the match officials, as he said: "We lost a game when we were on top. We conceded two poor goals. I think the first goal was handball and second yellow card. "The referee, maybe, cannot see it, but how can the linesman not see it? "After the second goal, I think we defended badly and made two or three mistakes in the same situation. "Overall, it is a game we have come out of very disappointed because we feel we should not have lost it." But Wenger did not want to criticise Szczesny, who was otherwise excellent before Walker's winner. "He knows that you cannot blame him on it," Wenger said of his goalkeeper. "We know that Wojciech, himself, will feel, certainly, a bit unlucky on it."

• Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane


Enyimba’s super run halted by Wydad


HE 11-match unbeaten run of Nigeria’s Enyimba in the CAF Champions League

RESULTS England - Premier League Bolton W. 1 - 5 Chelsea Fulham 6-0Q u e e n s Park R. Swansea C. 2 - 0Stoke C. Tottenham .2 - 1Arsenal Italy - Serie A Novara 3 - 3 Catania Cesena 0 - 0 Chievo Fiorentina 1 - 2 Lazio Lecce 0 - 2 Cagliari Palermo 2 - 0 Siena Parma 3 - 1 Genoa Udinese 2 - 0 Bologna Spain - Primera Division R/Sociedad1 - 2 A/ Bilbao Real Betis 0 - 1 Levante A/Madrid 0 - 0 Sevilla Germany - Bundesliga I. Hannover 3 - 2 W.Bremen Hamburger1 - 2 Schalke France - Ligue 1 Lille 2 - 0 Rennes Marseille 1 - 1 Brest Holland - Eredivisie VVV Venlo1 - 3 Alkmaar FC Groningen 1 - 0 Ajax FC Twente 2 - 2 Rotterdam Feyenoord 0 - 3 Den Haag NEC 0 - 2 PSV Belgium - Jupiler League Standard Liege 2 - 0 Lierse

was halted at the death by Wydad Casablanca of Morocco on Saturday night. Home team Wydad scored the match winner through substitute Pascal Angan a minute from time to give the Moroccans a slim advantage going into the Champions League semi-final second leg tie in Aba on October 16. Like it was against another Casablanca side Raja in a group game, Enyimba Saturday night defended from start to finish with goalkeeper Paul Godwin again posting another huge game inside a jammed Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca. Wydad attacked from the first whistle and even thought they had opened scoring in the 16th minute when Congolese striker Fabrice Ondama shot home only for the referee to disallow it for an infringement on Enyimba defender Valentine Nwaebili. Goalkeeper Godwin, in for first-choice Chijoke Ejiogu, was the main reason the Nigerian champions lost narrowly as he pulled several saves to deny the lively home team. His saves included one in

which he pushed for a corner a goal-bound shot from distance in the 36th minute. He obviously had put behind him his fumble that gifted Heartland the Nigeria Federation Cup on Sunday. Enyimba lived dangerously for most of this game in Morocco and nine minutes from time, defender Markson Ojobo cleared off the goalline after Godwin had been beaten. Striker Uche Kalu was a lone figure upfront for the Nigerian champions, who needed 26 minutes before they would fire their first shot at the Moroccan goal through Peter Onoja. At a time Wydad recorded 14 corners against none by Enyimba to show the measure of the pressure against the two-time African champions. Skipper Chiedozie Johnson and Rasheed Olabiyi were booked in the first half as the Moroccans piled pressure after pressure in search of an opening goal. And in the second half, Chinedu Udoji also got into the referee’s bad book for a late tackle. Goalkeeper Godwin was also lucky not to be sent off in stoppage time when he handled the ball outside his box to deny Wydad a second goal. He was lucky to get away with a yellow for what was clearly a professional foul.






IGERIA is a grownup and toddler, or shall we say Nigeria is a grownup toddler. In his play, Enemy of the People, Scandinavian writer Henrik Ibsen pursues an idea called arrested development. It means that though his characters, a couple, are grown up and mature, it only seems so. They never develop since they are still children. They have money but not prosperity. They have lots of rooms in their mansion for children or nurseries, but they are empty. Visitors flock in but not friends, food but not nourishment, the couple fulfill their conjugal duties but not love. It is the classic bane of capitalism as curse. They have everything and nothing. Their ability to grow is arrested, so while they look like adults, they are toddlers at heart. At 51, I cannot but think about Nigeria in that gloomy light. We are big, with lots of petrodollars, panoply of talent, gold, stone, rice, cocoa, palm produce, rubber, groundnut, kaolin, et cetera, enough to make us the richest country on earth. Yet we are, to all intents and purposes, one of the poorest per capita. So what are we celebrating at 51? Not success but our inabilities to put food on the table, to heal our sick, to stop our so-called leaders from lying to us about giving us refineries where they cannot, enlightening our children where our best earn their schooling out of our shores including in Johnny Come Lately called Ghana. President Goodluck Jonathan who is not a lion or a general boasts about our country’s great potential, which is true. At the time we had independence, we had great potential. Fifty one years later, we still have potential. Are we going to heal the country with potential? That is why I say we are still old but young. We do not have the youth that flies like an eagle. When we were 15 or 20 years old, we did not fly. We merely lumbered along. We grew fat with oil. We grew fat with bureaucracies. We grew fat with liars and thieves. We grew fat with individual accounts bloating in foreign banks. We grew fat with ignorance. We grew in all categories except the good ones. We are today like the toddler with elephantiasis. We are big, limbs fat, lips fat, eyes like a watermelon, arms stodgy, febrile but weak. But essentially we are small. We are babies parading tufts of grey hair. On the cusp of our 51st independence, our president came out openly to let us know what he is not. He is not a lion, he pleads. He does not roar, does not have manes or the jaws that growl while bones crack and crumble inside. He is not an army general. So he does not have to stand guard at parades, or issue orders or command troops. He is not pharaoh. Although Femi Adesina tries to educate him on good and bad pharaohs in his The Sun column, President Jonathan could claim he was referring to the pharaoh who slayed first sons and whose soldiers floated fatally as they pursued the children of Israel through the Red Sea. So he is not the evil pharaoh, but if he is not that, he is

collect money as subsidy from the government about 100 percent of the cost, and they ship the same consignment out of the country and berth again to receive the same money. These men buy private jets, estates after estates, stash their extra tranches abroad. They flaunt their obscene lifestyles, splash money on weddings and funerals and contrived parties in Europe, Dubai and the US while many suffer. They also want our refineries not to work, so they buy off licences from those who should get our refineries working and build new ones. By subsidies, we are encouraging the impoverishment of our societies. If you don’t have the heart of a lion, how do you tackle these vermin, these errant leeches? Removing subsidies should mean not only stopping imported fuel, but jumpstarting our refineries. That way, we won’t have to debate the price of fuel. The money spent on subsidies amounts to billions of naira and would go to our decayed infrastructures and schools. In his independence anniversary broadcast, the president promised to build three new refineries. He would have to contend with resistance. A lion does not have to


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009 (D.A.M.E) •Columnist of the Year 2009 (NMMA)

A toddler with elephantiasis

By disavowing these metaphors, he left us wondering: who is Jonathan? We cannot really call him David since he has denied the lion. We are left with the metaphor of a lamb, meek, gentle, incapable of hurting a fly, which were the qualities that endeared him to Nigerians and why he became president •Dr. Jonathan

not also Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, he wants to throw down Goliath. So, he is David, although he would probably regret that metaphor. David was the last and an unfavoured son of his parents. He was wild, intelligent, cunning and strong. He tore lions with his hands. If David was not a lion, he was tougher than the cat. David had swagger or cockiness. He became a sort of general himself and even had as king the temerity to plot adultery with a soldier’s wife. As general he wrote poems, psalms of revelry and he was a dancer too. He was lover, fighter, emperor, artiste, a renaissance man in the age of absolute monarchy. Jonathan is meek like a dove. He does not boast or flaunt his capacities. He is just him. A leader needs the heart of a lion. How can you battle the daredevilry of militants or the band of entrenched interests in oil and banking without firmness? Who can handle the crisis of oil with what is called illegal bunkering with powerful men in politics and corporate Nigeria holding us hostage. What of the so-called oil subsidy? A group of powerful people who have connection in high places import oil to this country, and they


be brave alone. In the movie, Lion King, the qualities of the cat are shown to be patience, cunning, vision among others. The president forgets that lions are metaphors deployed to describe leaders through history. Caesar, Napoleon, Hercules, Charles De Gaulle, Winston Churchill. Religious icons drew this accolade. Jesus was known as the lion of the tribe of Judah and the historical Buddha was also known as lion. Churchill was called lion especially for his role in the Second World War, and some historians said he mobilised the English language to battle. He did not do so by wielding a gun, but the power of oratory and charisma of his confidence. He was also called the bull. He was enamored of the lion metaphor, and in a fit of proud humility he responded: “I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion’s roar.” Napoleon had a nuanced view of the metaphor and thought the lion was all about bravery and the fox about cunning. He probably read Machiavelli’s The Prince, which made a distinction between fox and lion. Napoleon said: “I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be one or the other.” David beat Goliath, even though he was not a general then. But how could President Jonathan deny who he is? He says he is not an army general, yet he is the commander in chief. I think of all the metaphors, that was the most ill-advised. By disavowing these metaphors, he left us wondering: who is Jonathan? We cannot really call him David since he has denied the lion. We are left with the metaphor of a lamb, meek, gentle, incapable of hurting a fly, which were the qualities that endeared him to Nigerians and why he became president. A lamb is good, but if President Jonathan is a lamb 24 hours, we shall not grow but like a toddler with elephantiasis. Lambs cannot stand up to bomb throwers, or assassins, or withstand the challenges of falling education or infrastructure, or the increasing pressure on our currency held artificially from crashing by the Central Bank. Nothing wrong with being a lamb, but a leader must learn to be lamb, fox, lion or general depending on the demands of leadership. All those holding the country down are lions and foxes and they need the leader of the pride to maul them. After all, Jesus was called lion and he was also called the lamb. That is what Jonathan must become to be a transformational leader and not merely a transactional one, which is what he threatens to become by his dilatory moves and indecisiveness. Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye wrote a book, The Powers To Lead, which I recommend to the president. It distinguishes between hard and soft power, the soft power can be simplified as the power of charm and collaborative decision making, and hard power is the use of force, the law and rules and punishment. He will learn much from this thinking, so he does not dither and let Nigeria continue as a toddler with elephantiasis.



Bombers intimidate Nigeria at 51

AWOLOWO, MY INSPIRATION, says Governor Aliyu


...then declare FREE EDUCATION, sir

VOL.7, NO. 1,902



’Before the Armageddon, the message: reform, restructure or face sure, painful death! That is the message to Nigeria at 51. It is hoped the leaders are not far too gone to hear!

WO days ago, the Federal Government staged the 51 st Independence Anniversary parade at the presidential villa in Abuja instead of at the customary Eagle Square venue. A spokesman of the government insists the unprecedented shift in venue is unconnected with the heightened state of insecurity, particularly in Abuja. Critics, especially from the political opposition, suggest that hosting the parade in the relative safety of the presidential villa is both a metaphor for the government’s lack of political will and an indication of just how ineffective the ruling party has become in tackling the country’s developmental challenges. Why the government attempts to mask the real reason for the shift behind a supposed desire to save cost, having spent heavily in the past one year or so in hosting other

events, is hard to say. But a little honesty, as humiliating as it might seem, is not completely out of place. However, whether the government admits it panicked by shifting the venue in the face of threats by Boko Haram extremists and Niger Delta militants or not does not lessen the damage to its reputation and that of the country. The shift gave an indication of a government that has no answer to the terrorism crisis the country is contending with. Rather than talk and act tough against terrorist threats, instead of bravely giving the impression we are winning the war against terrorism and that it has the wherewithal to defend the country against insurrection, the government easily yielded to its enemies by hiding behind massive gates to carry out an activity that has long been used to express and exemplify the free spirit

of the country and mobilise citizens to believe in the country’s manifest destiny. It will take a long time to live down the shame of hiding behind steel gates to celebrate who we are. Coupled with an uninspiring Anniversary speech, the President Goodluck Jonathan government has merely confirmed that when we face grave threats to our existence, his government cannot be trusted to summon the sound judgement to do the right thing. It is time Jonathan reassessed his responses to crises. His government has not always risen up inspiringly to challenges. He can only do this if he recruits brilliant aides, consults a little bit more widely across party lines rather than fight the opposition, and summons the capacity to reflect much more deeply on national issues than he has done so far.

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The Nation October 3, 2011  

The Nation October 3, 2011

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