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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

69% make five credits in NECO NEWS Page 5

•‘Result best in three years’

Ibori: Oando rejects untested evidence


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•Ribadu testtifies against ex-governor

VOL. 8, NO. 2612 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013




Ministers: Jonathan rules out governors’ nominees Nigeria’s economy shaky, says Amaechi

Baraje PDP backs Mark, Tambuwal


•Governor replies Okonjo-Iweala

From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

HE crack in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is widening, with President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision not to consult the aggrieved group of seven governors on the choice of new ministers. Nine ministers were relieved of their jobs last week. Before then, Minister of Youth Development Inuwa Abdulkadir from Sokoto State had been sacked. Those disengaged last week, ostensibly for their loyalty to perceived “opponents” of the President, are: Olugbenga Ashiru (Foreign Affairs); , Ruqqayatu Rufai (Education); Shamsudeen Usman.(National Planning); Amal Pepple (Land and Urban Development); Hadiza Mailafia, (Environment); Ita Ewa (Science and Technology);Olusola Obada(Defence); Zainab Kuchi(Power); and Tijani Bukar (Agriculture). The tradition in the PDP has been for governors to nominate candidates for minister from among whom the President picks. This will not apply now, a Presidency official, who pleaded not to be named, told The Nation last night. The thinking in official circles is that the governors have bungled the opportunity to have a say on the ministerial list. The source said: “By visiting the National Assembly on Tuesday , the Presidency felt the governors had breached an agreement reached with Jonathan on Sunday night.” The President, said the source, tried to bring everybody together but the governors violated the ceasefire. “So, the decision of the President and his strategists is that none of the G-7 governors will have input into the nomination of candidates into the vacant 10 cabinet slots,” he said, adding: Continued on page 4


•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola showing his registration card...yesterday

Registration of residents ON begins in Lagos STORY PAGE 9

IVERS State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has disagreed with the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Delta State Governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan over the state of the economy and Southsouth’s support for President Goodluck Jonathan. In Amaechi’s view, the economy is battling to survive, contrary to the rosy picture being painted by the minister. According to him, the Federal Government is yet to pay fully the Rivers State allocation for July. Amaechi spoke at a programme organised by the Rotary International, District 9140 for young future leaders at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, yesterday. On Governor Uduaghan’s remarks that opposition to President Jonathan should not come from the Southsouth, Amaechi said he considered Nigeria’s national interest far and above any other (regional) interest. He challenged youths to become interested in governance and demand responses from those in government. The governor, who is also the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Chairman, bemoaned the fact that those fighting a just cause were be-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

ing maligned on the altar of public criticism, adding that Nigerians do not ask relevant questions. “When you are principled in Nigeria and you stand on your principles, what do they call you? “Stubborn”, the audience chorused. “They expect you to compromise at a point but when you refuse to compromise, you are a very stubborn man”. “We(NGF) asked the Minister of Finance to resign if she is not able to manage the economy and she replied that ‘I dey kampe’. As at now, we are yet to receive complete, the federation allocation for July. How strong is an economy that cannot fund its statutory state government federal allocation? Our entitlement

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Salami: I leave with my head high thought we were rebels, but God is vindicating us now. Clara Ogunbiyi ‘They is already in Supreme Court. Ariwoola is also there. Kekereekun, who was stigmatised, is also in the Supreme Court...there is only one side to justice. Please, do justice according to your conscience ’ NORTON DIES AT 70 P42 •’ NO IBORI SHARES IN NOTORE’ P11 •EX-BOXING CHAMP •Justice Salami





How crude •Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (second left) displaying an award given him by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) during the 31st Annual Convocation of NPMCN at Ijanikin, Lagos...yesterday. With him are Registrar, NPMCN Oluwole Atoyebi (left), the college’s President, Prof. Victor Wakwe (second right) and fellow of the College, PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA Dr. Aishat Umar.

In a report published yesterday, London-based research think-tank, Chatham House, details how criminal gangs, made up of politicians, military men and businessmen bleed the country.


•Divisional Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations, UBA Plc Mr. Charles Aigbe (left) greeting Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos Prof Ralph Akinfeleye (right) at a news conference to announce call for entries for 2013 the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools in Nigeria in Lagos...yesterday. With them are Managing Director, UBA Foundation Ms. Ijeoma Aso and Vice Principal, Kings College Mr. Charles Utomi (second left).

•From left: Executive Director, Corporate Banking, First Bank of Nigeria Plc Mr Tokunbo Abiru; Chief Executive, Chapell Hill Denham Mr Bolaji Balogun; Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr Kingsley Moghalu; Director, Euro Money Conference Mr Christopher Garnett and Chief Executive, Financial Derivatives Company Mr Bismarck Rewane at the Annual Euro Money Conference in Lagos...yesterday.

• Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services Hakeem Adeniyi Ogunbambi (left) receiving Excellence Award from Deputy National President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Issac Olurunfemi (right). With them is Chairman, Ikeja Branch of NSE Bola Akinribido.

RIMINAL networks stole at least 100,000 barrels of oil a day in the first quarter of 2013 and sold it to buyers in West Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, a new Chatham House report estimates. The large-scale theft of crude and related pipeline sabotage reduced output to below 2m barrels a day this summer, a four-year low. It also helped drive up the global oil price and cut the Federal Government’s revenues, nearly 80 per cent of which come from petroleum. The Chatham House report, published yesterday, is the first independent study to examine in detail the murky and complex trade in stolen oil, worth between $3bn and $8bn a year. The report, Criminal Crude, says that politicians, military officers, local communities, criminal groups and oil workers and traders are all profiting from the so-called “bunkering”, which started in the late 1970s, but has mushroomed in recent years because of lax oversight and high prices. “Nigerian crude oil is being stolen on an industrial scale,” the report said. “Proceeds are laundered through world financial centres and used to buy assets in and outside Nigeria.” To access the oil, thieves tap into pipelines and other infrastructure in the Niger delta. Some of the crude is refined locally using basic technology. But the bulk is transferred to barges via hoses up to 2km long. The barges then navigate the creeks and estuaries, before transferring the cargo to small tankers that are anchored offshore and can hold up to 62,000 barrels of oil. Once full, the tankers offload at night in deeper waters to larger “mother ships”, which may be partially loaded with legally purchased petroleum. International oil companies operating in Nigeria, including Shell and Eni, have complained repeatedly in recent years about the growing and brazen nature of oil theft. Damage to pipelines by thieves causes spillages and can prevent the pumping of crude. The oil companies are also responsible for some leaks, because of poor maintenance programmes. Two of the delta’s main pipelines, Trans-Niger and Nembe Creek, have been shut for months this year for repairs following sabotage by bunkerers. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, finance minister, has said the total loss to Nigeria, both from stolen oil and production outages, has been as high as 400,000 b/d. The government has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the problem. Though the security forces have confiscated thousands of small boats and made numerous arrests, no senior figures in the illegal trade have been

prosecuted. Corruption and lack of transparency in Nigeria’s petroleum industry makes it hard to quantify the stolen crude. Chatham House said the 100,000 b/d is the best estimate, but that this excludes oil that may go missing at export points. “This ‘white collar’ branch of oil theft allegedly involves pumping illegally obtained oil on to tankers already loading at export terminals, or siphoning crude from terminal storage tanks on to trucks,” the report said. Much of the stolen oil is exported to foreign refineries or storage facilities. The report said that sources “tentatively pointed” to buyers in west Africa, the US, Brazil, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Balkans. The proceeds appear to be laundered through banks and other channels in various African countries, Dubai, Indonesia, India, Singapore, the US, the UK, and Switzerland. The report recommended further investigation of the possible role of commodity traders in oil theft, as well as the involvement of former militants who were granted amnesty in 2009. Foreign governments should also do more to follow the cash trail, and pursue money laundering cases and asset forfeitures abroad, said Christina Katsouris, co-author of the report. “But it’s more difficult to do this without initial tip-offs from Nigeria,” she said. “It would be ideal if there was buy-in from Nigeria to start with.” The illicit oil is around 5 per cent of total output in the first quarter of 2013. Chatham House noted that stolen crude and the profits from it are laundered around the world, threatening the integrity of financial markets and the legitimate oil business. Worried by the development, the Federal Government last June urged the United Kingdom and other countries to help Nigeria curtail the growing incidence of crude oil theft in the country by rejecting stolen Nigerian crude destined for their refineries. Speaking at the Chatham House on ‘Nigerian Defence Priorities: Domestic Stability for Regional Security’, former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada likened Nigerian stolen crude to the Liberian and Sierra Leonean blood diamond, and demanded the confiscation of assets and property of foreign vessel owners and businessmen involved in such illicit transactions.




cash is laundered, by Chatham

•Petroleum Minister Diezani AlisonMadueke

•An illegal oil rfeinery

In a press statement by its press office, Chatham House said despite the threat “ no oil thieves have been prosecuted internationally, and knowledge of the illegal business and its practitioners remains poor, says Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil.” “Criminal Crude – the first independent, in-depth report on the international dimensions of Nigerian oil theft – explores the problem in the

context of legal trading markets and Nigeria’s own oil sector and political culture. “The report describes oil theft as a species of organized crime that is almost totally off the international community’s radar. “Nigeria cannot resolve the problem alone, but it needs to take the initiative to develop an achievable strategy with its foreign government partners. Even then, much more intelligence is needed to connect the

very complex issues and range of actors involved. “Foreign governments may want to say this is not their problem,” says co-author Aaron Sayne, “But without better knowledge of how oil theft affects security and strategically important markets, not every government can say so with confidence.” “Criminal Crude offers a four-point framework for states seeking to take first steps against Nigerian oil theft.

•Shell chief Mutiu Sunmonu

“First, Nigeria and its foreign government partners should prioritize the gathering, analysis and sharing of intelligence on oil theft. The report offers preliminary conclusions about how much oil is stolen, how the oil and money move globally and the links between oil theft and insecurity. It highlights knowledge gaps and points out specific priorities for investigators overseas. “Second, Nigeria should consider taking other steps to build the

confidence of foreign government partners. Interviews for Criminal Crude found officials in other countries willing to act on oil theft, but only if Nigeria takes some serious steps first. “Third, other states should begin cleaning up parts of the trade they know are taking place within their borders. This could involve tracking ships by satellite; investigating possible links between crude theft, drug smuggling or terrorism; following international money trails; or targeting known thieves through “smart sanctions.” “Fourth, Nigeria should articulate its own multi-point, multi-partner strategy for addressing oil theft. Most international initiatives would require Nigerian cooperation to succeed, and the stolen oil trade is a Nigerian problem first. “The government is likely to have the best intelligence on how the business works. “The analysis in the report finds that there are no easy answers: tackling this form of transnational organised crime is about making smart choices with tools that work, in a high risk environment where political will easily waivers. Criminal Crude provides a solid basis for greater international engagement on the trade in stolen Nigerian oil. “A key issue is how much other stakeholders such as international oil companies, oil traders and shippers would be willing to contribute at the risk of undermining their relationships, reputations and capacity to operate in Nigeria, “ says Christina Katsouris, co-author.”

Oando condemns use of untested evidence in Ibori’s case •I’ve only 443 shares, says ex-governor •Ribadu testifies against ex-governor in London court


AILED former Delta State Governor James Ibori has cleared the air over his shares in Oando Plc.

He says his shares in the oil giant are 443 units only. Ibori, according to a close aide, said the British prosecutor was misleading the public on his shares in Oando. The Crown prosecutor claimed Ibori had 30 per cent shares in Oando, citing a statement by a foreign bank as evidence. At yesterday’s resumed hearing of the matter at Court 14, Southwark Crown, no mention was made of the Oando shares throughout the almost two hours Ibori’s lawyer was crossexamined. The company, in a statement, has denied culpability, saying it should not be held responsible for any misrepresentation by any shareholder or contradictory statements made to other people. The company said Ibori has only 443 of its shares. Oando’s counsel, DLA Piper, UK LLP, has written the Director of Public Prosecution of the Crown Court, London, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the allegations. Oando, in a statement yesterday, flayed the use of untested evidence. The statement reads: "At Southwark Crown Court in London, proceedings are underway against Mr James Ibori (known as 'confiscation proceedings'), ex-Governor of Delta State in Nigeria, aimed at making Mr. Ibori forfeit assets worth approximately £90million to the Crown. "These proceedings started on Monday 16 September, since when Oando PLC has been mentioned several times by the prosecutor. "Mr. Ibori was convicted in 2012 of Fraud and Money Laundering. At his trial, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted on that basis. Due

We have a situation where the Crown Prosecutor is using untested evidence as the basis of its case in the confiscation proceedings.The Prosecutor is presenting this evidence as factual and true, including, unbelievably, statements made by Mr. Ibori - a convicted criminal - to the effect that either he, or his family own 30% in Oando or in another statement "beneficial interest in Ocean & Oil •Ibori

to his guilty plea, none of the allegations put forward in the prosecution's case were ever tested. "Now, we have a situation where the Crown Prosecutor is using untested evidence as the basis of its case in the confiscation proceedings.The Prosecutor is presenting this evidence as factual and true, including, unbelievably, statements made by Mr. Ibori - a convicted criminal - to the effect that either he, or his family owns 30 per cent in Oando or in another statement "beneficial interest in Ocean & Oil". "These contradictory statements were not tested in the first Court case and nor can they be tested in the confiscation proceedings, as the defen-

dant has elected not to participate. This is a dilemma for Oando as it is not a party to the proceedings - it is not the accused, the defendant or a witness. As Oando does not have a right to be heard it cannot challenge the prosecution's evidence where it touches upon Oando, for example by asking the following: Exactly which company does Ibori say he owned 30 per cent of? Why are you making sensational statements about a supposed shareholding when in your own evidence you say Mr Ibori's statements are untrue? Why do you allege he owns 30 per cent of the company while also admitting that he only has about 400 shares in Oando PLC? How do you account for the disparity be-

tween the company's own share register and the statements you are making in Court? “Of its own volition, Oando approached the Metropolitan Police sometime in 2012 when it became apparent that the Company's name had been mentioned in the Crown prosecution case in relation to an alleged Ibori shareholding and transfer of money. "Oando made available to the Metropolitan Police evidence of Mr. Ibori's shareholding of the Company at the time, which was approximately 400 shares. We also presented evidence that the transfers of money to Ocean and Oil Services Ltd to an Ibori controlled company was as a result of a legitimate foreign exchange transactions and without any knowledge at the time that the Company was related to Ibori. "Furthermore, there was no evidence of any transfer from Oando PLC to the Ibori controlled company. Oando as a responsible corporate with obligation to its shareholders will pursue all legal avenues available to right this wrong and seek compensation for any losses it incurs as a consequence of this inappropriate course of action. "The UK prosecutor is making damaging statements about a very substantial oversees company without any reasonable evidence while our company cannot defend itself in return. This insidious grandstanding cannot continue. It is leading to unfounded speculation that we are determined to bring to an end. At this time, we have our Counsel in court, to intervene as "a friend of the Court" if any damaging statements are made in relation to Oando." Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu testified

against the former governor yesterday. Ribadu said Ibori offered him a bribe of $15 million to obtain a clean bill of health from the commission. He said the bribe was given to him in the Abuja home of the Special Adviser on Domestic Matters to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Andy Uba. He said the cash was handed over to him in the presence of EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde and another EFCC top shot, James Garba. He said: “ Ibori wanted to bribe me personally in order to get an EFFC clearance letter freeing him from corruption. The $15 million bribe he offered was sent straight to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as exhibit and the CBN issued us a receipt. Ibori wanted a clearance and each time he saw me, he demanded that I give him a clearance letter. When a new president emerged and new political appointments were made, there was a lot of interference in our work. They wanted the Ibori case stopped. The Attorney-General, Mike Aondoaka, one day after being sworn in, wanted to take over the prosecutorial powers of the EFCC. Luckily, there is a Supreme Court ruling giving EFCC prosecutorial powers. But, not long afterwards, I was removed. Five days after charging Ibori to court in an Abuja High Court, I was asked to vacate my position as EFCC chairman. I was sent to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). James had told me I would be removed as EFCC chairman. He told me I would be charged to court and also that I would be dismissed from the Police force.” Ribadu told the court that all the threats Ibori made were fulfilled. He was removed as EFCC chair, charged to court for declaration of non-asset and dismissed from the police.



NEWS •From left: Managing Director Africa, ExecuJet Aviation Group, Mr. Ettore Poggi; Chairman/CEO, Quits Aviation Services, Chief Sam Iwuajoku and the Chief Executive Officer, ExecuJet Aviation Nigeria, Mr. Peter De Waal, at the media briefing and official Launching of Execujet private jets Fix Base Operation facility and services, in Lagos …yesterday.


I leave with my head high, says Salami

OURT of Appeal President Ayo Isa Salami was yesterday full of praises to God for making him survive attempts to destroy his image. Justice Salami, who retires on October 15, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during the presentation of a book in his honour - a ceremony organised by the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The book is titled: “Nigeria judiciary: Contemporary issues on administration of justice.” Apparently touched by the outpouring of encomiums, Justice Salami said: “All these encomiums that you have attributed to me, I thank all for that. I know they came from the bottom of your heart. But, don’t let us forget that it is not my acts, but Allah that led me that way. Left to me, I might have failed, but Allah guided me and I acted the way he wanted me to act. “Like any human being, I am subject to human foibles, but with Allah behind me I succeed-

Continued from page 1

as Rivers State Government in July was N19 billion, they have paid us only N14 billion, you get the point? Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) published receipt of N1.05 trillion in July, so why do they say that there is no money? If we receive N1.05 trillion by July, why are they saying there is no money”? , he queried. “Now, why am I saying this to you? I am saying it because as potential leaders, you must learn to ask questions. If you think that the youth spur me,

ed in avoiding the temptation. Because it was a temptation which l refused to cave into. I will not go into details today, but just to thank all of you for finding time to come and celebrate with us. I appreciate and love all of you members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch. “To my colleagues at the bench, we thank God for your lives. They thought we were rebels, but God is vindicating us now. Clara Ogunbiyi is already in Supreme Court. Ariwoola is also there. Kekereekun, who was stigmatised is also in the Supreme Court and I pray that all of you will be abundantly rewarded and you will succeed and get to the pinnacle of the Nigerian judiciary. And the spirit you have now embraced will lead you there and when you are there disseminate the message because there is only one side to justice. The law applies to the

fact and that is the decision of the court. Please, do justice according to your conscience. “I am very grateful for the support you gave me during those days when we were writing answers to queries as if it was our work to be answering queries. You get one today, we would answer it. Nweze would leave for Ilorin, by the time he got to Ilorin, he had got another one, but we were able to answer them. “You are all aware of the call log issue; none of them, not a single one, showed that I ever called Tinubu, Lai Mohammed - the ACN chieftains they were referring to. We went to the tribunal with witnesses (experts) who were able to show the NJC that you could use my phone in my pocket to call somebody. The experts demonstrated it at NJC. You could use my phone which is in my pocket to send text messages to another person. “All these call logs were fake,

but we thank God we survived all the efforts to paint us black. A question was asked and I said Kastina-Alu called to ask me to dismiss Sokoto Appeal and he said ‘no’; he didn’t call for that; that he called to say that the judgment had leaked. He testified before the NJC and I did my own. “The chairman of the panel said that the information about leakage was derived from the petition written against me. There was nothing of such in the petition against me. There was nothing to say against my defence. Is it not in the absence of any evidence to the contrary they should accept my own. They never did that, they said my own was unfounded. Did I go there for a tea party? So we just leave everything to God Almighty, who is the final arbiter. I assure you all that in spite of what happened, I am a very happy man. I have not for a moment regretted what I did. I am very

you don’t, you don’t inspire me. Why don’t you inspire me? Because you are learning to be like us. Let me paint the image of us – corrupt, poor leadership, that’s what you are copying...” “We produce oil and we are one of the poorest nations in the world, are we not? Which nation would allow a Commissioner of Police like (Joseph) Mbu to continue to be Commissioner of Police other than in Nigeria? ‘Iraq, Syria’, the crowd chorused. “Maybe, Syria. So, you see our peers: Syria, Iraq, Paki-

stan. I am sharing experiences with you before I talk about the issue of leadership.” “Now, I read today’s newspapers and my friend (Governor Emmanuel) Uduaghan (of Delta State) says anybody who is from Southsouth should not oppose our President, should not have a different view from our president. Did you read it? I will reply him but let me start replying him from here. First, I am a Nigerian... The reason why you have Southsouth, Southwest, Southeast, South this, North-

west, North that, is because in Nigeria what you have in leadership is a wreck culture. I would have brought you a book titled ‘It’s our turn to eat’ in Kenya. In Nigeria, it should be what, ‘It’s our turn to chop’. “Now the reason why you have this South-West, SouthEast, North-West, North this, North that and all that is because you have a wreck culture where all we care about is how to share the till... So, South-South has shared for four years, how many

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Continued on page 57

‘Nigeria’s economy shaky’

Continued on page 57

No plan to impeach Tambuwal, say Reps


EMBERS of the House of Representatives are not contemplating the impeachment of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, spokesman of the House Zakari Mohammed said yesterday. The lawmaker who spoke with reporters after plenary debunked speculations that there were moves to remove the Speaker, adding that had not done anything to warrant such a move. “We’re not contemplating such”, Mohammed said, adding that the power to remove the Speaker does not belong to a caucus, group or a few party members but to the entire House. The Reps’ Spokesman also refuted the claim that money was given to members to impeach the Speaker. There were news making the rounds that some lawmakers

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

have been given $25, 000 each to impeach the Speaker. Mohammed said such insinuations were figments of the imagination as no member would descend to such level. He also allayed the fears that certain members of the leadership have been targeted for impeachment because of the changing political configurations in the House. The lawmaker said from Tuesday, the House would suspend its plenary session and embark on a one-week oversight function in Ministries, Department and Agencies to ascertain the level of implementation of the 2013 budget. He added that the committees would continue to function.

SWF instrumental to fiscal discipline, says Jonathan


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is critical to maintaining fiscal discipline . Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, also inaugurated the governing council and board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and issued shares certificates of contribution to the SWF to the 36 states. Issuing the certificates to the federal, state and local government for their contribution to the Fund before the commencement of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, the President said the inauguration of the governing council was an indication of the progress made so far in the running of the fund. He urged government officials to ensure that the objectives of the Fund is achieved through the commitment of their contribution. He listed the objectives of the NSIA to include: building a saving base for future generations

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

of Nigeria, enhancing the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure and promoting fiscal stability for the country in times of economic stress. He said: “Sovereign Wealth Fund all over the world has been instrumental for t fiscal discipline and development of the countries in which they exist. Our collective furnishing of the fund is re-enforced by the presentation of certificates of contribution tofederal, state and local government and I urge all Nigerian officials at all levels of government to give their full support to the NSIA to ensure that the objectives are speedily realised for the benefit of all Nigerians.” I am happy to report that the board and management team of the NSIA has set about implementing robust governance and investment structures towards the achievement of its laudable objectives and the international community is already taking Continued on page 57

David-West ‘not for national conference’


ORMER Petroleum Minister Tam David-West is opposed to a sovereign national conference, contrary to a report on page 5 of The Nation yesterday. “I have opposed sovereign national conference for over 10 years in all my writings and interviews,” Prof. David-West said.

Ministers: Jonathan rules out governors’ nominees Continued from page 1

“All the nominees will be seriously screened to prevent having moles in government.” The source alleged that the attitude of some of the governors and leaders of the Kawu Baraje faction of the PDP confirmed one of the reasons why some ministers were removed. He spoke of security reports confirming that some of the sacked ministers were leaking Federal Executive Council(FEC) papers to the aggrieved governors. The Rotimi Amaechi faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) demanded for the resignation of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. This, to the Presidency, confirms that the governors had some insights into a few economic policies in the offing, through the leaked council papers, and decided to harass the minister”. Also, there were indications yesterday that the peace talks between President Jonathan

and the governors might be heading for a deadlock. Another government functionary, who is one of the strategists of the President, said: “With the latest twist in the House, it will be difficult for the President to return to the peace table with the G-7 governors and Baraje faction on October 7. “The option already tabled before the President by his strategists or think-tank is to damn the consequences of the G-7. The President loses nothing by ignoring these people. “With the exception of Rivers and Kwara State, the President lost in the remaining five states during the 2011 poll. So, some of the governors are not political assets in any manner.” Also yesterday, the Abubakar Baraje- led New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) warned against alleged attempts by certain members of the National As-

sembly and forces in the Presidency to impeach Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. The Baraje faction described the alleged move as a misadventure capable of plunging the country into a crisis of monumental proportions. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Chukwuemeka Eze, yesterday, the party accused the Bamanga Tukurled PDP of working with the Presidency to instigate the lawmakers. Eze said the Presidency and the Tukur group were rattled by the warm reception accorded the G7 governors and leaders of the New PDP by the leadership of the National Assembly during their visit on Tuesday. The statement reads: “We learnt of the sinister plot to impeach both the Senate President, Senator David Mark,

and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal in connection with the visit of the progressive Governors and the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the National Assembly on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. “To us, this plot by the hawks in the Presidency is politics taken too far and illustrates the extent to which they are prepared to go in their determination to plunge this country into chaos. “We wish to warn those who are planning this coup to desist forthwith as such a misadventure is capable of plunging this nation into a crisis of monumental proportions. “These undemocratic elements should stop overheating the polity just because of their selfish ambitions. Those who feel that politics is better practised by way of threats and the unseating of those who do not share their unprogressive thoughts should know that there is a limit to

how far they can push us”. The New PDP commended Mark and Tambuwal for their leadership qualities and urged them not to lose sleep over the alleged plot, adding that the visit was well intentioned and was part of the efforts to resolve the lingering crisis in the ruling party. “For the avoidance of doubt, the progressive Governors have for the past three months been visiting past Heads of State and some other great minds in their search for a peaceful way out of the logjam in the PDP, orchestrated by the failed Tukur leadership of the party. “Their visit to the National Assembly was just in continuation of their nationwide tour. The aim was to brief and rub minds with members of the National Assembly on how to reposition our great party to be united and face other parties by 2015. “Any other motive imputed into the visit is not only mis-

•Dr. Jonathan

chievous but also a product of the devilish imaginations of those reaching such conclusions”, the statement added.

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



NEWS Reps condemn MDAs, Armed Forces for job recruitment fees From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


HE House of Representatives has described the collection of recruitment fees for job seekers by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Armed Forces as inappropriate and unjustified. The lawmakers urged the MDAs and the military to stop the collection of recruitment fees in any guise. This followed the passage of a motion on the need to stop employment scam on the Internet in Nigeria, sponsord by Abiodun Abudu-Balogun (APC, Ogun). The lawmaker said there was high unemployment rate in the country. He regretted that some firms and individuals were exploiting the situation to the detriment of unsuspecting job seekers. Abike Dabiri-Erewa supported the need for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to begin massive campaigns to put Nigerians on the alert about such scams. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) said the solution lies in massive awareness for Nigerians to avoid the deceit by Internet fraudsters since adverts on the internet cannot be regulated.

Aregbesola urges Fed Govt to join job creation efforts O

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has urged the Federal Government to complement the efforts of states in job creation. The governor noted that if the Federal Government showed the same level of commitment to job creation, like the states, youth unemployment would reduce. Addressing reporters in Abuja at the launch of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), the governor noted that “if the Federal Government matches each state’s effort at youth empowerment scheme one-onone, it will go a long way in reducing youth unemployment and even eliminating all the security threats, which are indeed a manifestation of youth unemployment”. He said if the Federal Government could match the states’ efforts in the fight

•Fed Govt building registry for empowerment programmes, says Okonjo-Iweala From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor, Abuja

against unemplooyment, nobody would accuse it of favouring one state over the others. Aregbesola said: “If the state employs or empowers 1,000, let the Federal Government also employ or empower 1,000; if the state can do 10,000 or 100,000, let the Federal Government match it with the same 10,000 or 100,000. It is easier for the Federal Government to do it.” A youth engagement programme, he said, is the panacea for the prevailing insecurity and threats across the land. “I am miffed, disturbed and worried by the spate and scale of insecurity in Nigeria. It is

also clear to me that there can’t be a solution outside providing something for these army of unemployed youth,” the governor said. Aregbesola noted that the energy, vibrancy and creative talents that abound in young people are vital ingredients of development, which only need to be properly channelled into productive ventures. The governor said it is the government’s duty to positively engage youths for social and economic development. He said: “Keeping young people meaningfully engaged is not only a sound economic policy, it is also a sensible approach to good governance. No effective or successful gov-

ernance can take place where there is rampant unemployment among the youths.” Using Osun State as a positive example of government’s intervention in youth empowerment, Aregbesola said the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES) became an effective mechanism of massive public sector employment which offered some income but great hope for the youths who are absorbed into the scheme. Through the scheme alone, the governor said, N200 million is injected into the economy of Osun State every month as allowances for the cadets. This, he stressed, has multiplier effects. Giving the success recorded by the O’YES initiative, Aregbesola said the World Bank studied it and certified it to be

SSS parades Yar’Adua’s daughter’s ‘kidnappers’ From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE State Security Service (SSS) yesterday paraded two suspects who allegedly plotted the abduction of a daughter of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said the suspects - Hamza Abubakar (27) and Dennis Okoro (43) - on August 21, attempted to abduct the unnamed daughter of the late President at a construction site at Kado, Abuja, said to be owned by the lady. Ogar said following his friendship with a security man at the construction site, Abubakar allegedly co-opted Okoro and other accomplices to carry out the operation. But it was foiled in the nick of time, the security agency said.

Senate defers debate on £3,000 UK visa bond From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HE Senate yesterday postponed a debate on the proposed imposition of £3,000 “Visa Bond” placed on Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom (UK). The Chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs, Matthew Nwagwu, brought a motion urging the Senate to condemn and reject the proposal. Nwagwu noted that Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) expressly forbids discrimination against any Nigerian for whatever reason.

•From right: Aregbesola; Dr Okonjo-Eweala; National Coordinator, National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Alhaji Mukhtar Balewa; World Bank Country Director to Nigeria, Madam Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly and Oyo State Deputy Governor Moses Alake Adeyemo, during the official launch of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) at Nicom Luxury Hôtel, Abuja...yesterday

APC to Jonathan: replace sacked ministers with women T

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to replace the sacked ministers from his cabinet with seven women. The party described the sack as an onslaught on women in Nigeria, where the same President harps on 35 per cent women affirmative action. Addressing reporters during the APC’s Internal Democracy and Party Organisation Training in Abuja, the party’s Interim National Women Leader, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor,

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

noted that Jonathan’s action was a major setback to Nigerian women. Ikeazor said: “It is an onslaught on the women. It is a direct attack on the Nigerian women. I might be in the opposition but I make my feelings clear. I make it known that it is wrong. “So, we pray that the President replaces those five female ministers with women; with at

least seven women, to make up. In APC, we are building capacity. There are competent women all over the country. They can be found all over Nigeria.” She explained that in the quest to carry the women along, most of the APC-ruled states have ensured that their deputy governors are women. According to her, APC’s women are forming into caucuses to air their views. She said a policy document

Oil marketers arraigned for alleged N1.3b subsidy fraud


HE Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the police yesterday arraigned two oil marketers - Chinyerem Nweze and Olaniran Ogundipe - at the Federal High Court, Lagos, for alleged N1.3 billion subsidy fraud. They were charged along with their companies, Geacan Energy Limited and Petroleum Brokers Limited. The police said the accused “fraudulently” obtained N1.32 billion from the Federal Government, under the pretext of importing about 18,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). But they never imported the products despite collecting the “subsidy”, the police said. The alleged crime was re-

By Joseph Jibueze

portedly committed between January and April 2011. The prosecution alleged that the defendants forged a consolidated Hallmark Marine Insurance Certificate, with which they allegedly perpetuated the fraud. The alleged offence contravenes Sections 1(1), 1(2), 3 (1), 8 (a) and 10 (1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation 2004, as well as Section 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation 2004. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge. The prosecutor, Mr Dania Abdullahi, prayed the court, presided over by Justice

Musa Kurya, to order their remand. He also asked for accelerated trial. Defence counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), objected to the application for remand, saying he had filed a bail application. Justice Kurya granted the defendants bail for N1.5 billion each and a surety each in like sum. The sureties, the judge ruled, must be a Permanent Secretary in Lagos State who must show evidence of such position. The judge said the defendants should be remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons within 24 hours, if they failed to meet the bail conditions. He adjourned the trial till November 6, 7 and 8.

on women would soon emanate from the party’s women’s summit. On the training, the APC Interim Deputy Secretary, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, explained that it was “an assistance to the new political party - the APC packaged by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and funded by USAID. “It is to support democracy and the growth of democracy in Nigeria. We are very happy that our party is one of the beneficiaries of such a programme. It is talking about internal party democracy and how to manage political parties and so on.” He said APC is doing its best to be an internally democratic party in all ramifications, adding that the party has already conducted open democratic party registration and primaries in Anambra State. On opening APC’s doors to the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, elRufai said the progressives’ party has its constitution and guidelines for all issues. He added: “If they come to our party, they are welcome. It is an open platform, as we exclude no one from joining the APC. But you have to be subject to our rules and the way we do things. It will not be the way PDP does things. You are now in a new party and you have to do things the way APC does things.”

a viable and sustainable solution to youth unemployment in Nigeria. The global bank, the governor said, recommended it to the Federal Government and other states as a model. The result, he said, is the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation the Federal Government launched yesterday. The Federal Government will build a registry of beneficiaries of its youth empowerment programme, the Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala said yesterday. The former World Bank chief, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, spoke yesterday at the official launch of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) in Abuja. She said the government “will build a registry of beneficiaries and begin to have a very strong record and those at the bottom end of the ladder in the country who need assistance to be ascertained”. Dr Okonjo-Iweala said the government cannot target and help those who need help, if it does not know who they are. She said: “One of the things that will be done is to begin to register them. This will complement what is being done at Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) at the federal and state levels because the Federal Government is using it to create jobs. This is what the states are also doing.” The Federal Government, the minister said, would have a conditional cash transfer to enable it “develop incentives for those who are unskilled in our communities and many youths who need opportunities in life. This is one instrument that will target them and help them build jobs and help them build their businesses.”

NECO records 69.57% credit pass in SSCE From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


FTER three years of consecutive mass failure in its Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), the National Examinations Council (NECO) yesterday announced that 69.57 per cent of the candidates who wrote this year’s June/July SSCE had five credits and above. Announcing the results of the school-based examination in Minna, the Niger State capital, NECO’s Registrar and the Chief Executive of the Council, Prof Promise Okpala said 681,507 candidates, representing 66.63 per cent, made credit pass and above in English language while 668,314 candidates, or 65.50 per cent, recorded same in Mathematics. In Biology, 66.88 per cent of the candidates had credits and above; 66.68 per cent of the candidates who wrote Physics and 66.41 per cent in Chemistry candidates also made credit pass and above. The NECO chief said of the 1,034,263 candidates who sat for the examination, which had 128 blind candidates, 998,624 of them, or 96.55 per cent, made five passes and above. The elated NECO registrar also said a small percentage of candidates was involved in examination malpractice.



NEWS Fed Govt dumps Oronsaye’s MDA rationalisation report


HE Federal Government may have jettisoned the controversial Steve Oronsaye Report on the rationalisation of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The government said its expenditure focus in the medium term was to complete ongoing capital projects, particularly those with a high rate of returns. This is contained in the 20142016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval. The government said it could not implement the White Paper on rationalising public agencies because some agencies recommended for closure or merger were underpinned by law, which cannot be repealed in the short run. The document reads: “It had been hoped that significant savings would be made from the implementation of government’s White Paper on rationalising public agencies. “Unfortunately, very little or no savings are likely to be made from the implementa-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

tion of government’s White Paper on rationalising public agencies due to the fact that many agencies recommended for closure or merger were allowed to remain partly due to the fact that some of them are underpinned by law, which cannot be repealed in the short run.” It said the biometric verification of government employees was being accelerated and extended to all MDAs with the inauguration of implementation committee on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS). On capital projects, the document said: “The focus of government expenditure in the medium term continues to be on completing ongoing capital projects, particularly those with a high rate of returns. “The country, however, has faced serious challenges since the first quarter of 2013 as a result of significant disruptions in oil production, which has led to an output drop of almost 400,000 barrels per day.”

Akingbola’s case file transferred to another judge


HE trial of the former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola, could not hold yesterday, as the transfer of the matter was transfered to another judge. The Chief Judge (CJ) of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, transferred the former bank chief’s case file to Justice Babajide Lawal-Akapo, the third judge to try the theft charges preferred against Akingbola and his associate, Bayo Dada by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), in the last two years. Akingbola was first arraigned before Justice Habeeb Abiru in 2011. When he was arraigned on May 31, 2011 before Abiru, he pleaded not

By Adebisi Onanuga

guilty to the charges. Justice Abiru granted Akingbola bail for N100 million with two sureties in like sum. He also granted Dada N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum. Akingbola’s trial was at the stage of adoption of the final written addresses by the parties when Justice Abiru was elevated to the Court of Appeal. The accused were re-arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo on February 26, last year, and the matter started de-novo. They again pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail with the terms earlier given to them by Justice Abiru.

Late service of documents stalls trial of ‘fake’ varsity proprietor


HE late service of relevant documents on the defence yesterday stalled the trial of a professor accused of running a “fake” and unregistered university. Prof David Iornem was arraigned before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on September 1 by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) on a three-count charge. At the beginning of proceedings yesterday, prosecution lawyer E. A. Shogunle said although the matter was adjourned till September 19 he had just served copies of the

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

proof of evidence and statement of offence on the defence. Shogunle said his attention was only drawn to the court’s practice direction after the last hearing date. By the provision of Order 4, Rule 1 of the Practice Direction, the prosecution is required to provide the defence all necessary materials, including proof of evidence, a statement of offence, the list of witnesses, and list of exhibits, among others. The lawyer urged the court to grant the parties an adjournment.

Tinubu’s aide for LAF 2013


R Sunday Dare, the Special Adviser to former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is the special guest at this year’s Lifestyle, Arts and Fashion (LAF 2013). The event will hold at Protea Oak Wood Hotel, LekkiEpe Expressway, near Chevron Roundabout, Lagos, on October 5. The event opens the window of opportunity for talented en-

trepreneurs with registered businesses by creating for them an avenue to showcase their products and services in an exceptionally creative way. The organisers, Aivourie Couture & my OLAEDO, will unveil 10 budding entrepreneurs at the show. The show is powered by ShePrays, an organisation which brings women together for life-changing times in the presence of God.

•From left: Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; the World Bank’s Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly and another World Bank officer, Raffaello Cervini, after a meeting between the bank’s officials and officials of Anambra State Government at the World Bank Office, Abuja...on Wednesday.

Maku’s supervision of Defence Ministry untenable, says APC


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Federal Government that Information Minister Labaran Maku be relieved of his new assignment as the supervising minister of defence. The party alleged that the minister “is an interested party” in the spiralling crisis ravaging Nasarawa State – the minister’s home state where the government has ordered the deployment of troops to end the violence. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the fact that Maku is of the Eggon ethnic stock, to which the Ombatse cult/militia group behind the Nasarawa crisis has been linked, has made his new role as the supervising minister of defence untenable. It said even if the minister has no sympathy for the rampaging Ombatse, whatever action he takes in his new capacity - as far as the Nasarawa violence is concerned - will be open to misinterpretation and allegation of bias, which can aggravate the crisis. “This is why we believe that the most prudent thing to do is for President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately take the Defence Ministry portfolio from Mr. Maku. This is in line with international best practice,”

•PDP absolves minister From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

APC said. The party said the minister has not helped matters by the comments he made in an interview he granted the BBC on Thursday, in which he insinuated that the state government had not initiated dialogue with stakeholders to end the crisis “and in which he tried to downplay the critical role that the state government has played in curtailing the activities of the Ombatse cult/ethnic militia that has been engaged in senseless killings and plundering in the state”. APC added: “In both instances, the minister has been economical with the truth. In the first instance, Maku was invited to several meetings in the wake of the Ombatse attacks on Assakio and Agyaragu, last year, and the Alakyo massacre of security agents, this year. He neither attended nor sent his apologies, despite the invitations extended to him to be part of the meetings with traditional rulers, national and state legislators, as well as political and public office holders at federal and state levels, among others. “At the instance of the state government, several

meetings have also been held with Eggon leaders and the Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA), to no avail. It is, therefore, blatantly wrong for the minister, or anyone for that matter, to say the state government has not initiated dialogue to resolve the crisis. “Also, the state governor has been briefing the President, on a regular basis, on the crisis. He has requested for the deployment in the state of a Mobile Police Squadron as well as troops. While the requests were granted, the deployments are just about being carried out; yet Maku gave an erroneous impression concerning the role of the state government in curtailing the crisis. “Thirdly, the state government has compiled and sent to the Federal Government the names and addresses of the suspected leaders and major players in Ombatse, the perpetrators of the violence. The state government has also instituted a judicial commission of enquiry into the violence, while assisting the victims of the violence state-wide. “It is, therefore, an act of blatant mischief to try to belittle the role of the state government in ending the

needless crisis.” The party said the fact that Maku and any prominent Eggon indigene has not yet condemned Ombatse’s endless attacks on innocent people as well as security operatives was enough evidence of where their sympathy lies. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday replied the APC following its comment on the crisis in Nassarawa State. In a statement, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Yunana Iliya, absolved Maku of any complicity in the crisis. Iliya blamed Governor Tanko al-Makura for allegedly working clsely with the Ombatse sect, even when the minister was publicly castigating the group. The statement reads: “On September 19, Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) issued a tendentious statement which tried to question the integrity of the Minister of Information and Acting Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, regarding the ongoing crisis in Nasarawa State. “The PDP in Nasarawa State wishes to state unequivocally that the APC government in Nasarawa State is largely responsible for the ongoing violence in the state.”

‘Judges exempted from retirement directive’


LL directors and permanent secretaries who have served for eight years must retire, the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF) has said. But judges are exempted from heeding the directive, the HOSF said. The clarification, it was learnt, followed a request by the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), seeking an explanation on whether or not the policy applied to workers of judicial institutions. The AGF, in a letter by Ukura Samuel to the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies Office of the Office of the HOSF, sought clarification on whether or not the policy applied to judiciary workers. It was learnt that the AGF’s letter was informed

•NJC’s, FJSC’s secretaries, others affected •Judicial officers, varsities’ academic workers to retire at 65, 70 “There has been an arguFrom Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

by arguments among senior judicial workers that they were exempted from the policy. The AGF’s letter, a copy of which The Nation obtained in Abuja, reads: “I write to request for the interpretation of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation’s circulars ...of August 29, 2009 and of October 21, 2009 on the tenure of the office for permanent secretaries and directors as they relate to the judicial arm of the government, viz: the executive secretaries and the directors who have spent eight years and above with the Judiciary.

ment from the courts we audit that the Judiciary is exempted, hence the need for the clarification. “Your quick response will aid our ongoing assignments in the Judiciary.” The HOSF, in his letter on August 30, which was sent to the Secretary of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), explained that only judges were exempted from the policy. By implication, the executive secretaries of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the FJSC, Danladi Halilu and Hajiya Bilkisu Bashir, are affected by the policy, having served for eight years.

By the HOSF’s clarification, some directors may also be affected in the NJC by the new government policy. The HOSF’s letter was signed on his behalf by the Director, Organisation Design and Development, Kehinde Adeyemi. The letter requested the Executive Secretary of the FJSC “to advise the affected executive secretaries and directors in the Judicial Service, who have served the maximum of eight years on the post, to proceed on retirement”. The Nation learnt that Mrs Bashir was appointed the pioneer and later Acting Secretary of the NJC from 1999 to 2002, the position she held concurrently as the Secretary of the FJSC. Halilu has spent similar years in office.




Insecurity: Yobe pilgrims leave from Kano From Duku Joel, Damaturu


•Some of the fake National Youth Service Corps members (NYSC), who were alleged to have used forged certificates, being paraded by the State Security Service (SSS) in PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Abuja... yesterday.

Ombatse: Emergency rule likely in Nasarawa


F the deployment of troops in Nasarawa State does not stop the violence by the Ombatse militia, the Federal Government may declare a state of emergency, it was learnt yesterday. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Services, Senator Suleiman Adokwe, said this in Abuja when reviewing the latest killings in the state. The Federal Government on Wednesday drafted troops to the state, following a fresh outbreak of ethnic hostilities. Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, announced the decision of the Federal Government to draft troops to the troubled state. Adekwe said he was trapped in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, when the latest skirmishes began on September 13. He said there was no doubt that the activities of the Ombatse


From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, Abuja

militia had gone out of hand. The lawmaker, who represents Nasarawa South, said he had concluded arrangements to sponsor a motion, praying the Senate to prevail on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Nasarawa due to the heightening spate of Ombatse’s activities. He hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for sending soldiers to the state. According to him, at the moment, the deployment of the soldiers may be sufficient to mitigate the problem. Adokwe said they are studying the situation and if deployment of soldiers fails to address the problem, he and others would back the House of Assembly, which had called for a state of emergency. He said: “State of emergency

is what we really need in the state. “I was in Nasarawa when the violence broke out. Up till today, nobody can give the reason why the hostilities broke out. “The activities of the Ombatse started last year when they clashed with the Asakyo. It was almost like a full-blown war. “For three days, people were being killed, houses were being burnt, villages were being wiped out. This went on for two days. “I was trapped in Lafia and it was clear that the situation was worse than a normal, communal clash; it was a war situation. “Soldiers came but they were not sufficient to contain the hostilities. More soldiers were later drafted from Makurdi, Shendam and Keffi. They were mobilised to the state before peace could be restored.

“So, I applaud President Jonathan for sending soldiers there. “In fact, I have prepared a motion, to seek a state of emergency, but at the moment, the deployment of the soldiers is sufficient to mitigate the problem.” “If we study the situation and feel it is getting out of hand, I will support members of the House of Assembly, who have already called for a state of emergency.” On the shunning of the commission of enquiry set up by the state government, Adokwe said: “We are dealing with people, who do not believe in due process. They have refused to avail themselves of the judicial commission of enquiry set up by the government where people are expected to go and state their cases. “Ombatse is not your every-

Police debunk kidnap kingpin report

HE Delta State Police Command yesterday debunked media report that kidnap kingpin Kelvin Ibruvwe spoke to reporters in Kokori community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. It said the event was stagemanaged, and urged the public to disregard the report. Delta Police Commissioner, Ikenchukwu Aduba, expressed disbelief that an event of such magnitude could hold in a small community like Kokori with the security forc-

Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

es not getting a wind of it. He said Kelvin was declared wanted by the Delta police, adding that efforts were on to arrest him. According to him, Kelvin called him on the telephone sometime last year, appealing for amnesty. Aduba said a detachment of the army, the police and other security forces are present in the area and wondered how such an event occurred without it being stopped.

He wondered why the media, which covered the event, failed to report the matter to security agencies when they were aware the kidnap kingpin had been declared wanted. His words: “As far as I am concerned, Kelvin has been declared wanted by the security forces in Delta State. It is conceivable that an event of such magnitude will take place in Kokori and the police will not get wind of it. The DPO in charge of the area says nothing of such took place. I am of the opinion that the event was

stage-managed by some elements using the media. Why did the media, who were present at the event, not alert the police of the event. Is it not a criminal offence to aid and abet a criminal? “In Kokori community, we have a detachment of the police and the army, yet we are told Kelvin addressed a news conference. “The conference was held with some women supporting members of the kidnap group. They ever allowed their photographs to be taken.”

Taraba Speaker’s attack: Police Alake refutes alleged murder attempt escorts receiving treatment in Keffi ORMER Lagos State newspapers did not identify


HE two injured police escorts attached to the Speaker of the Taraba House of Assembly, Mr Haruna Tsokwa, are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State, an official of the hospital has said. Mr Jamil Nagogo, the hospital spokesman, said yesterday in Keffi that the policemen were admitted in the hospital due to the injuries they sustained. The speaker’s motorcade was attacked on Wednesday by unknown gunmen at Jagindi village on the Jos-Abuja Road. “It is true that two police-

men attached to the convoy of the Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, are on admission in this hospital due to the injuries they sustained. “They were brought to this hospital around 6:15pm on Wednesday for treatment. “The two police officers were identified as Levi Kenneth and Daniel Innocent. “Levi sustained a penetrating left thigh injury due to gunshot, while Daniel sustained blunt abdominal injury also due to gunshot.” According to him, the officers are in stable condition as they were responding to treatment.


Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake, has refuted rumours that he was a victim of an alleged murder attempt by a traditonal ruler. Alake said it became important to refute the report following enquiries by friends and associates concerned about his health. The former editor of the rested National Concord, who is in the United States, said many of those who called claimed they read the reports in The Punch,Leadership,National Mirror and Osun Defender. Alake wondered why the

the victim properly, adding that referring to the victim as “one Mr. Dele Alake” misled many readers to believe the report referred to him. Urging the newspapers to publish a corrigendum on the story, Alake said the incident underscores the need for more professionalism in journalism, adding that if this could happen to him, other Nigerians would be worse off. The newspapers published a report that a court remanded the monarch of Igbadae in Osun State for attempted murder of a man called Dele Alake.

day social organisation. This is almost a cult body that has rules different from the regular rules that apply to normal societies. “So, they damn the consequences. They don’t give a damn! “It’s either the law enforcement agencies make proper arrests and prosecute whoever is perpetrating this or they will continue to have a field day. Our submission is that the Commission of Enquiry or White Paper are not going to work! “What will work is simple. Whoever is a criminal, perpetrating crimes, should be fished out and prosecuted. “If the security agencies and government would not rise up to secure Nasarawa State, it means the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is not safe. Marauders can invade the FCT from Nasarawa State within five minutes.”

OBE State 2013 Amirul Hajj, Adamu Dala Dogo, has said intending pilgrims in the state would leave from the Aminu Kano Airport in Kano, instead of the Maduguri International Airport. Vice-President Namadi Sambo last week launched the exercise in Maiduguri. Dogo, who is also the Speaker of the House of Assembly, spoke to reporters in Damaturu on the arrangements made by his team for a successful Hajj. He said insecurity in Borno State and the recent ambush and killing of travellers and residents by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect at Benishek in Kaga Local Government compelled the state government to relocate the pilgrims to Kano. “I want to confirm to you that the Yobe State Government has decided that its pilgrims will travel from Kano, instead of Maiduguri. This decision was taken after considering the security situation in Borno State, especially the recent attack on travellers on the Maiduguri Road and lack of GSM services. “We met the governor and explained the issue to him and he approved that intending pilgrims from the state should travel from Kano”, Dogo said. He said about 95 per cent of the 2316 intending pilgrims are going to Saudi Arabia for the first time and they are sponsoring themselves, while government is sponsoring five per cent.

Gaidam sacks six commissioners


From Duku Joel, Damaturu

OBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam yesterday sacked six of his 21 commissioners. They are Hajiya Fatsuma Talba, Ministry of Health; Yusuf Yahaya, Ministry of Sports; Musa Maina Dumburi, Ministry of Youths; Yusuf Bala Haladu, Ministry of Transport and Energy and Ahmed Wakil Sarki, Ministry Environment. The governor, who read the statement to reporters in the presence of the commissioners, said he was dissatisfied with their performance, hence their disengagement. He thanked them for the service they have rendered to the state and wished them the best in their future endeavours.

Suspected Boko Haram members kill soldier, policeman’s wife in Yobe


USPECTED members of the Boko Haram sect have allegedly killed a soldier and a policeman’s wife at Buni Yadi in Yobe State. The unknown gunmen attacked the town with weapons. They set public buildings ablaze and killed the soldier and wife of a senior police officer, a source said yesterday. The attack, which reportedly occurred on Wednesday, is the latest in the state, which has witnessed an upsurge in violence recently, linked to military offensives as well as attacks by Boko Haram members. Armed with Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and home-made bombs, the suspected Boko Haram members stormed Yadi Buni around 10pm, resulting in a gun duel with troops, during which a soldier was killed. Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufa’i confirmed the incident. He said the gunmen torched a makeshift police station, a fire service building, a local education office and the home of the divisional police head in the town, whose wife was burnt to death. “Buni Yadi was attacked on Wednesday night by suspected Boko Haram insurgents,” he said. “A soldier was killed in the shootout and the wife of the divisional police chief was burnt to death in her home. Telecoms towers in the town were also burnt by the gunmen,” the police commissioner added. It was the second time Buni Yadi was attacked by suspected Boko Haram members in two months.



NEWS Ondo fixes October 4 for Agagu’s funeral

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) condoling with former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Agagu’s widow, Olufunke, and first son, Feyi, at the deceased’s Ibadan home...yesterday.

•Lanlehin mourns ex-governor • PDP urges Mimiko to honour politician From Damisi Ojo, Akure and Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


HE Ondo State government yesterday fixed October 4 for the burial of former Governor Olusegun Agagu, who died on September 13 in Lagos State. The government has constituted an 11-man committee for the funeral. The three-day programme will begin on October 2 with tributes at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, by 11am. Agagu’s body will leave Lagos to arrive at the Akure Airport by 9:am on October 3. This will be followed by a lying-in-state at the Democracy Park in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Another lying-in-state and wake will hold on the same day at 5pm at the Civic Centre in Iju-Odo, Okitipupa Local Government Area. The funeral service will hold on October 4 at the St Paul’s Anglican Church, IjuOdo, by 11am. The remains of the former governor will be interred at the church cemetery. Reception follows at Manuwa Memorial Grammar School in the town. Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Senator Olufemi Lanlehin commiserated with the Agagu family, describing the politician’s death as “another great loss to Nigeria”. In a statement, Lanlehin said: “The news of the demise of the former aviation minister came as a rude shock. This is because he was a courageous, committed and fine gentleman, who served his fatherland and humanity for many years. His sudden death has created a vacuum in many spheres of our national life, as he left indelible imprints in academics, politics and humanity, among others. “To say that Dr. Agagu would be sorely missed by all is an understatement but

we take solace in the fact that he came, he saw and he conquered. “Therefore, we beseech God Almighty to grant him eternal rest, console the good people and government of Ondo State as well as grant his family members, political associates and friends across the globe the fortitude to be the irreparable loss.” The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged Mimiko to complete abandoned projects that were started by the Agagu administration. It said this would be a befitting way to honour Agagu’s memory. The projects include the Owena Multipurpose Water Dam Reticulation Project; International Golf Course, Idanre; and the OkitipupaAyeka-Irele Road. PDP urged the government to name the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, after the late Agagu. It proposed that one of these three roads - FiwasayeAdo-Owo Road, IsinkanOndo Road and OreOkitipupa Highway, should be renamed Olusegun Agagu Freeway. Speaking with reporters at the party’s secretariat in Akure, the State Chairman, Mr Ebenezer, said a 50-man burial committee would organise a befitting burial for Agagu.


HE police and commercial drivers yesterday thwarted the planned inauguration of House of Representatives’ member Opeyemi Bamidele’s political platform, Ekiti Bibiire Coalition (EBC). As early as 6:30am, members of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) mounted barricades on major roads in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. There were long queues on the Police HeadquartersBasiri road; AdebayoIworoko road; Ajilosun Ikere road; Old GarageOkeyinmi road and Ilawe road. Bamidele, who planned to declare his intention to contest next year’s governor-

S •Lanlehin

Tinubu for honour ORMER Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu will receive the Millennium Defender of Democracy Award (MDDA) at a leadership and educational summit, organised in honour of the first civilian Governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande. The maiden edition of the annual summit, themed: “Leadership and Educational Development”, will hold tomorrow at the Oranmiyan Hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola is expected at the event, which is organised by the Old Students Association of OdoObara High School, Epe. Also expected are Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) and Prof. Abubakar Momoh of the Lagos State University,


Police halt Bamidele’s campaign

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

who is the guest speaker. National President of the Old Students’ Association, Feyi-Abiodun Oyeniyi, said the summit was to thank Jakande for making education available to the masses. He said: “As beneficiaries of his administration’s free education policy, members of the association decided to organise the annual summit to celebrate his enduring legacy in the educational sector.” Oyeniyi said a N250 million Education Endowment Fund for the school would be inaugurated at the summit. Lagos State Commissioner for Education Olayinka Oladunjoye and Airtel Telecommunications would also be honoured at the event.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

ship election, entered AdoEkiti through the IkereAjilosun road a little after noon and ran into policemen. They shot into the air and fired teargas to disperse Bamidele’s convoy and supporters, who were advancing towards his office at Basiri, the venue of the event. Some people were injured while running to safety. Traders, schools and banks hurriedly closed for the day. Policemen and soldiers were on guard at several spots across the town to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation. Police Commissioner Sotonye Wakama said the police dispersed Bamidele’s campaign trail because it

was not yet time for election campaign and the planned event was against the law. Wakama said: “The Electoral Act, 2011, as amended in Section 99, states clearly that it is wrong for any political office seeker or politician to mount campaign platforms in open places and streets until 90 days to election. “You will recall that earlier, some politicians held campaigns but they were restricted to their offices. They never moved on the streets. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) forbids anyone from engaging in public procession and the police are aware of this. “Bamidele wanted to hold his declaration somewhere

in Adebayo, but we warned him, through one of his aides and lawyers, to restrict such declaration to his secretariat. “Bamidele is a lawyer and he is aware of all these laws. Today (yesterday), his supporters wore party vests and carried flags, moving through the streets. We fired tear gas to disperse them. No one was shot or beaten.”


Protest disrupts activities at YABATECH

TUDENTS of the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos, yesterday grounded activities in the institution, following an attack on a student by suspected cultists on Wednesday. A National Diploma II Business Administration student, simply identified as Chinazo, was attacked with machetes. He was deeply cut in the head. The incident occurred at the Complex Hall’s common room, while students were watching a European Champion’s League match. Eyewitnesses said a group of suspected cultists stormed the room and prevented students from coming in or going out. They said the victim, who was unaware of what was going on, wanted to go in


•CP: he flouted the law

By Wale Ajetunmobi

to watch the match but was prevented by the cultists. He challenged them and was attacked. The victim was rushed to a clinic on the campus, where he was treated. An eyewitness said: “The guy did not know they were cultists and tried to challenge them. They pounced on him and boxed him to a corner, hitting him with cutlasses on the head.” The students regrouped and chased the cultists out of the campus. Yesterday, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) officials led students to protest the attack and vandalised the Complex Hall. They locked the campus’ gates, preventing workers from coming in. The protesters demanded

‘The guy did not know they were cultists and tried to challenge them. They pounced on him and boxed him to a corner, hitting him with cutlasses on the head’ to speak with the Rector, Dr. Margret Ladipo, who was said to be absent at the time of the incident. The Nation learnt that the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Mr. O.T. Raheem, who tried to pacify the students, was pelted with sachet water. The school’s security per-

sonnel watched helplessly as the students barricaded the main gate. Policemen deployed in the school were also pelted with sachet water and stones, but they did not fire any shot. A member of the Students’ Union Representative Council, who did not want to be named, accused the management of indifference to their plight. After some hours, Dr. Ladipo addressed the students. She described the incident as unfortunate, saying the culprits would be brought to book. She said the management was doing its best to tigthen security on the campus. Dr. Ladipo said a panel would be set up to probe the incident and expose the culprits.

ASUU strike: Mass protest rocks Abeokuta

COALITION of university lecturers, students, labour and civil organisations yesterday marched on the streets of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to protest the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The protesters carried placards denouncing the Federal Government’s unwillingness to honour the terms of agreement it reached with

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

ASUU in 2009. They urged Nigerians to use a mass rally to compel the government to release funds for the implementation of the agreement. The protesters took over roads, making vehicular movement difficult. Police Commissioner Ikemefuna Okoye said his men monitored the protest. The Joint Action Front (JAF), the facilitator of the

protest, said it was wrong of the Federal Government to allow students stay home for three months. JAF Secretary Abiodun Aremu said the government should be blamed for the strike. Aremu said: “Students have been home since July 1 because of the strike. For three months, polytechnic students had their academic calendar disrupted for similar reasons. “Just last week, the Col-

leges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) had a warning strike. All these have implications on the academic calendars, standard of education, security and the future of the current generation and the Nigerian child.” The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun State chapter, Falola Ahmed, bemoaned the fall in the standard of education and urged the government to end the strike.





Lagos begins registration of residents

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said a unique Identification (ID) number will be generated for residents. He said the data of every resident would be captured biometrically by the Lagos State Resident Registration Agency (LASRRA). Fashola spoke yesterday at

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

the inauguration of the registration at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja. He said the exercise would help the government effectively plan for the required infrastructure and meet the needs of residents. Fashola said: “It is a wa-

tershed in the history of Lagos State, as this will enable the government register and collate the data of all residents. “The data gathered from the exercise will help the state emergency response team respond to emergency effectively, as it will not need to ask for the caller’s data since it already has it.”

Minister assures Aregbesola on water projects


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has hailed Water Resources Minister Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe for ongoing water projects in Ilesa and IleIfe. The governor spoke yesterday during his visit to the minister in Abuja. He thanked her for including Osun on the list of beneficiaries of the Federal Govern-

ment’s water scheme. Aregbesola said Osun people would remain grateful for the water schemes, adding that Ilesha had been without water for almost 50 years. He urged the minister to include other areas in the state in next year’s budget. The governor said his administration would collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that the projects

are completed on time. Mrs. Ochekpe said she was pleased to know that her ministry is the first Aregbesola was visiting since he assumed office. She said the projects would be completed by the second quarter of next year. The minister said Osun would benefit from the Irrigation Fund for agricultural development.


Ogun govt: rape suspect must be punished


Two men drown in Osogbo From Adesoji Adeniyi,



WO unidentified young men drowned on Wednesday night in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, while trying to apprehend a suspected rapist, Toheeb Agbaje (28). The incident occurred at Dada Estate. It was learnt that Agbaje attempted to rape a 15year-old girl near the Osun River behind Capital Hotel, but the girl’s screams attracted her father and the two young men. Following their intervention, sources said Agbaje jumped into the river and swam to escape arrest and the young men followed him. Unfortunately, the young men drowned, but Agbaje made it to shore. The bodies were evacuated yesterday and deposited at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. Agbaje, who lives at No. 28, Alekuwodo Street, has been arrested by the police.

Addressing reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, she said the government had set up a panel of enquiry on the matter. Mrs. Sonubi said: “If the allegation is proved and Atunde is found guilty of the offence, he would be prosecuted. I assure the public that my ministry will

continue to care, protect and promote the survival of children. “I remind those keen on writing reports on these children that their future is involved and their privacy should be respected. Their academic and psychological well-being is paramount to us.”

‘Ex-CAC President has case to answer’


From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

USTICE Abimbola Adejumo-Obaseki of a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday ruled that the former President of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Pastor Elijah Olusheye, and three others, who were indicted for forgery, have a case to answer. Others are the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Johnson Olabisi; the General-Secretary of the General Executive faction of the church, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh; and Mr. Abdulhakeem Muhammed of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja. Justice Adejumo-Obaseki said a prima facie case was established by the prosecution against the accused persons in seven of the nine count charges brought against them. The judge said the prosecution established counts one to six of the charges with documentary evidence from the prosecution witnesses. She said a no-case submission could only be upheld if the evidence of the prosecution was discredited by the accused.

Ordination at Bible College


HE graduation and ordination ceremony of pastors and evangelists of God’s Triumphant Bible College of Nigeria in Mowe, Ogun State, will hold at the School Hall tomorrow by 10am. A statement by the college’s Rector, Pastor Adeyemi Obaowo, said Mr. Ebenezer Ayodele

Makinde will be ordained as a pastor. Miss Funke Oladipupo; Mrs. Clara Samuel and Mrs. Cecilia Okunade are among those to be ordained as evangelists. Pastor Obaowo said Apostle Olawale J.O. is the guest speaker. The theme of the event is: “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great”.

He said to register, an individual must have a means of identification that shows that he or she resides in the state. The governor said Lagos State indigenes, who live in other states are not eligible for the registration because the state they reside in would cater for their demands. He said the “desired development” would not happen without a comprehensive date bank, adding that data has become the most demanding currency in the world. LASRRA General Manager Ms. Olayinka Fashola said the agency’s team would move round to register the elderly and handicap. She said it is mandatory for every resident to register.

From Adesoji Adeniyi,



SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has sent the list of nominees for the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) to the House of Assembly for ratification. The seven nominees are: Otunba Segun Oladitan (Boluwaduro Local Government); Mr. Adeyemo Abiola (Irepodun local government); Alhaji Kazeem Olayiwola (Ifelodun); Mr. Omoleke Dauda (Irewole); Mr. Oyeniran Sunday (OlaOluwa); Mr. Ebenezer Awobiyi (Atakumosa East) and Ms Bosede Omibekun (Ife).

Landlords praise Ajimobi for link road

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said he has no regret opening up communities. Ajimobi spoke yesterday when members of the Landlords and Residents Association of Joyce B community in Ibadan, the state capital, visited him to thank him for linking their area with Liberty Stadium Road. The governor berated the owner of a popular events centre in Ibadan, Jogor Centre, Mr. Femi Babalola, for trying to politicise the opening up of the access road, which had been blocked for

•House of Representatives’ Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha greeting the Chairman of the National People’s Congress,People’s Republic of China, Mr. Zhang Dejiang at a banquet held in Dejiang’s honour at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja...on Wednesday.

HE Ogun State government has said the proprietor of the Light of Hope Orphanage, Akute, Pastor Samuel Atunde, who allegedly raped two minors, will be prosecuted, if found guilty. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi said the matter would be heard this month.

He said the idea was conceived in 2003 during the administration of former Governor Bola Tinubu, when he (Fashola), who was then the chief of staff, engaged in a debate with the Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Prof. Yemi Osibanjo on how to get a data base to help the government serve the people better. Fashola said: “Though there is a lot of data in the country, it is insufficient and there are still many gaps to fill. The resident registration would fill those gaps. “For instance, we have data on the number of vehicle owners in the state but not all residents own cars. We know the number of pupils in public schools but not all children attend school. All these show that there is a gap to be filled.”

Governor sends OSSIEC nominees’ names to Assembly

several years. The government opened up Joyce-B Road to Liberty Stadium Road by building a link-bridge. Babalola sued the government, seeking an injunction restraining it from carrying out any construction that could affect his property. The Director-General of the State Public Works Department, Taiwo Akintola, said the government did not flout any court order concerning Babalola’s property. Ajimobi said: “The Jogor Centre man is only politi-

cising the issue. He blocked the road, which he has no right to block. He should go and look at the master plan of the area. We have removed the fence to open up the road. We cannot allow anybody to block a road that is serving the larger interest of the people.” The community’s spokesman, Alhaji Mudasiru Popoola, thanked the governor for “putting an end to their suffering”, saying the closure of the road by Babalola for several years put the community through untold hardship.



CITYBEATS 'Nigerians spend N2.8tr on T generators' By Jude Isiguzo

NIGERIAN manufacturers and small-scale business enterprises spend over N2.8 trillion yearly to fuel generators, a nongovernmental organisation, Good Governance Initiative (GGI), said yesterday. It was a media briefing to sensitise the Federal Government on the urgent need to stabilise electricity supply. Its president, Mr Festus Mbisiogu, said this statistics followed a comprehensive survey carried out by the organisation, which involved the Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (MAN), banks, small-scale business operators and private homes. Mbisiogu, an industrialist and chief executive of Blue Diamond Logistic, China, said the power problem affects every sector in the economy and is running business out every day. He noted that over 200 lives have also been lost following suffocation suffered from generator fumes, adding that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for generating sets in the world. Mbisiogu said as at 2012, Nigeria spent N25 billion annually on the importation of generating sets. He said given the irregular or outright power failure in the country, many have opted for alternative means of power supply by using generating sets of different kinds with lifethreatening implications. "In several occasions, an entire family had been wiped out as a result of inhaling of dangerous fumes from their generating sets. In fact, almost homes in urban areas are identified with generating sets. We cannot continue like this. We cannot keep silent until the massive resources with which God has blessed us are translated into beneficial ventures," he said. He urged government to pursue its transformation agenda to the letter by monitoring the emerging transition market in order to protect the interests of both the citizenry and investors.

Customs chief pledges improved services By Kunle Akinrinade

The Comptroller of Customs, Ogun State Command, Prince Ade Dosunmu, has pledged that the outfit would continue to ensure global best practices in its operations. Speaking during a visit to companies in the OgunGuangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, he said: "The Ogun State Command of NCS will continue to ensure international best practices that will engender economic growth of companies and businesses in OGFTZ. This is necessary because over N50 million is usually realised every month as revenue from the trade zone. The customs chief added that the zone had the potential to develop into a global trade centre in the nearest future if necessary facilities are put in place to facilitate business transactions.

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

HE University of Lagos (UNILAG) has lost a lecturer Mr Cyril Oseloka Ikemefuna. He was said to have been shot dead by unknown gunmen outside his Onike, Yaba, Lagos Mainland home on Wednesday. The Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, Prof Rasheed Ojikutu, told The Nation yesterday that Ikemefuna, who would turn 58 in November, died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), where he was rushed to. Ojikutu, quoting the late Ikemefuna's son, Obinna, said the lecturer was attacked outside his

Gunmen kill UNILAG lecturer By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

home opposite customs office, Yaba, on his way to the church for an early morning service. He said: "I got a call from the university that one of our colleagues, Mr C.O. Ikemefuna, had been shot by armed robbers. I immediately went to the hospital and waited for good news; unfortunately, it was bad news we got. "It happened in his home on Araromi Street near Onitiri opposite

Ex-convict, varsity graduate held over fake visa


NIGERIAN, Charles Sanusi, who was deported after serving a jail term in the United Kingdom (UK) for alleged Credit Card fraud, has been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU). He was allegedly involved in fake visa racketeering. He was arrested following a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in charge of SFU, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, by the British High Commission. The petition alleged that a man, Jude Oseiwe Esebanmhen, with Nigerian passport A04701778, applied for a six-month visit visa on June 6, with fake documents. Esebanmhen later allegedly applied for a Spanish visa with a fake UK entry clearance visa on his passport, but after thorough checks by a trained forgery officer, the visa was discovered forged. SFU's spokesperson, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who paraded the suspects, said: "The 26 year-old suspect, Esebanmhen, was arrested and he confessed to the crime. His confession led to the arrest of the

the customs building. What I was told by his son is that he (Ikemefuna) was leaving home in the morning for church. Then he (Obinna) heard an explosion which he thought was a transformer. He rushed outside and found his father on the ground, holding his stomach. "Immediately the university was informed, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH was called and he said he would be admitted into a private ward because of the strike by the hospital's workers. That was done

immediately. We were outside the theatre waiting with two of his children, the Sub-dean when the leader of a medical team told us that our colleague did not make it." Ojikutu described the late Ikemufuna, who joined the university 16 years ago, as lively and undeserving of the fate that befell him. "I wept. Our colleagues were weeping. Ikemefuna was wonderful and lively. All I know is that he didn't deserve it," he said.

By Jude Isiguzo

prime suspect, Sanusi. Isintume-Agu said after Esebanmhen's confession, Sanusi was arrested. Sanusi, 40, an Osun State-born concrete fabricator, confessed that he arranged the documentation and stamp for Esebanmhen who was in a desperate need for a travel visa. Sanusi was said to have told the police that a man, Alhaji Oyekanni, whom he usually met under the bridge at CMS bus stop on Lagos Island, helped him to procure the fake documents. Isintume-Agu further said: "He is an appointed agent who claims he can assist prospective travellers to procure visas to London, Spain and France, including other documents like insurance certificates, invitation letters, employment letters and statements of account." Sanusi also said he uses his friend's office at Shogunle for visa consultancy, adding that he never worked in any embassy. He said: "I collected only N150,000 as service

•The suspects ... yesterday

charge from him (the suspect). I forged the document for him, but he did not know it was fake. I was jailed in London over credit card fraud for one year. I used someone's credit card to buy goods. After serving my jail term, I was deported. I changed after my UK experience; I never knew I would go back to crime again. Jude is not the first person I am doing fake visa for." Esebanmhen, who claimed to be a

graduate of Industrial Chemistry at the Ambrose Ali University, said: "I intended to travel to the UK. I paid him N300, 000 as part of the money he charged and he processed it for me. When the UK visa failed, he promised to compensate me with a Spanish visa; that was when he forged the document he gave me to submit. Unknown to me, the Embassy invited me to collect my visa; when I got there, I was arrested."

My ordeal, by kidnap victim By Ebele Boniface


TRADER in Awka market in Anambra State, Mr Ifeanyi Uchendu, yesterday relived how a four-man kidnap gang fired several shots before seizing him in the Okpoko area of the state. He said they blindfolded him with a piece of cloth before driving him away to an unknown destination in his own car. Through he was released after paying N2.5 million ransom, Uchendu said he could not locate where he was kept for seven days while he was feed on snacks and water. Upon his release without his car, Uchendu reported the case to the Lagos State Police Command. And following a tip-off that the car was about being sold at a "give-away price" of N800,000, the Scorpions, led by Abba Kyari, a Superintendent

•The suspected kidnappers ... yesterday

(SP), swung into action on the order of Commissioner of Police Umar Manko. The operative arrested Arinze Onuorah who led them to other suspects - Chimaobi Onuoha,

20; Arinze Onuorah, 29; Moses Okon,19 and Nwachukwu Nnadi Eko. They all confessed to committing the crime when they

were paraded, yesterday, except 40year-old Nwabugo Agonwa, insisted that he did not know any of the suspect. But the others said he was lying.

Rotary Club president unfolds agenda


HE newly installed president, Rotary Club of Omole Golden, Lagos, Mr Kayode Owolabi, has pledged to execute peopleoriented projects during his oneyear tenure. He listed the projects to include: Provision of water for communities in the club's locality, micro-credit scheme for Iju village traders, maternal and child care/disease prevention and treatment, workshop on conflict prevention/resolution for community leaders and the construction of a vocational centre. Owolabi, a chartered accountant, spoke during his installation as the club's 10th president at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba. He said: “I will inspire and motivate all the members of the club

By Uyoatta Eshiet

to collectively and individually maximize the mitigation of the plight of the downtrodden. We have a collective resolve in this club to bring smiles to the faces of the lessprivileged. That's the reason all projects and programmes we are going to execute in this Rotary year are primarily about them." He sought the support and encouragement of all members of the club and interested philanthropic individuals and organisations to partner with the club in order to fulfill its objectives. His predecessor, Mr Adebayo Idowu, noted that Rotary Club is not only an avenue to socialise, but an opportunity to serve others. He urged

• Idowu (left) and Owolabi at the ceremony

the members to support the his successor. The District Governor, District 9110,

Mr Olugbemiga Olutayo Olowu, charged the new president to continue the good works of his predecessors.





11 Risk management could entail avoiding the risk completely, reducing the negative impact of the risk through risk mitigation actions, transfering or sharing the risks with other parties and retaining the risk; ie, accepting some or all the consequences of the risk and budgeting for it. - Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor

‘Ibori does not own any shares in Notore’


• From left: Fellow, Nigerian Economic Society (NES), Prof. Joe Umo; Chairman, Roundtable on Institutions and Economic Development, National Planning PHOTO: NAN Commission, Mr Tunde Lawal and another Fellow, NES, Prof. Christiana Okojie, at the Roundtable event in Abuja...yesterday.

Govt to spend N15b to guide oil installations


BOUT N15 billion would be spent annu ally by the Federal Government and International Oil Companies to check the increasing wave of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country. Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting chaired by Vice President NamadiSambo at the Presidential Villa. He said oil production has improved following progress made by the military joint task force deployed to the region to protect the nation’s oil installations. He said that NEC has received an updated report from the Delta State Governor’s Committee on the criminal incidence of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta Region, and approved the provision of the fund as logistics’ support for the secu-

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8.7% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $46.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• Says Oil Production stable at 2.4 million Barrels Per Day rity agencies to achieve their obligation of arresting crude oil theft in the country. Obi said government has made substantial progress in tackling crude oil theft in the region, leading to substantial improvement in crude oil production level, adding that oil production has now stabilised at 2.4million barrels per day, as against about 1.7 million barrels a few months back. He said: “The security agencies are professionals, well trained Nigerians, laying their lives for you and I that we should get revenue. If

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

you know some of the activities that happen in the Niger Delta area, I know some of my personal friends have died.” “Now the oil production as at today, is 2.4 million barrels per day, but there was a time it went to as low as 1.7 million barrels per day.” From the report, he said most of the oil is allowed to be spilled into the ocean when the pipelines were vandalised and that the activities of vandals have also led to stoppage in production ac-

tivities. “Most of the oil is not stolen. When you vandalise the lines, they cannot produce. When the lines are broken, if you try to pump, you pump into the sea, oil companies will not produce under that condition,” Obi explained. “So that oil is called deferred oil. It is there, not stolen, but you cannot produce. Once you cannot produce, you cannot sell it. But a lot of repairs have been made and we are making sure that the level we are is sustained, that is why the facilities that are

needed have been approved. We are going to spend about N15 billion over the year and that is what we loose in just few days.” The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, John Jonah, said with the security situation in the oil producing region, the government has a responsibility to equip Security agencies operating in the area. “So what we are trying to do is to ensure that we buy the necessary equipment for them to perform their duty in the areas that we have identified gaps. We also want to make sure that more personnel are available. The terrain is a very difficult one,” he added.

Budget: Senate summons Okonjo-Iweala, Ngama


HE Senate yesterday invited the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama over the implementation of the 2013 budget. They are expected to brief the lawmakers on the level of implementation of the 2013 budget, including releases made to Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The invitation followed a motion sponsored by Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) and 13 others, entitled, “2013 Budget and alleged over bloated revenue estimates.” Ningi had on Wednesday drawn the attention of the Senate to a statement allegedly credited to Ngama that “the National Assembly over bloated the 2013 budget, thus making it unimplementable.” Ngama had since disowned the alleged statement saying he never made such pronouncement. Senate President, David Mark, said that Ngama wrote him denying ever saying that the National Assembly overbloated the 2013 Budget. In the motion, Ningi noted that the National Assembly passed the 2013 Appropriation Bill on December 20th, 2012 and was assented to by Presi-

• Reps reject NCC’s N55.9b provision From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, Sanni Onogu, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

dent Goodluck Jonathan on 15th February, 2013. He said that Appropriation Act guiding the implementation of the budget, most especially clause six, states that “the Minister of Finance shall ensure that funds appropriated under this Act are released to the appropriate agencies and or organ of government as and when due, provided that no fund for any quarter of the fiscal year shall be differed without prior waiver from the National Assembly.” He noted that the alleged utterances of Ngama were clearly targeted to blackmail the National Assembly, considering that all the revenue variables are within the target expectations. He said that such unguarded pronouncement was capable of sending serious negative signals to Nigerians and the international community. Some Senators who contributed to the motion cautioned that the upper chamber should not base it conclusion on newspaper reports. Senator Bello Tukur

(Adamawa Central) wondered why it took the Senate nine months to come up with a motion on the implementation of the budget. Tukur said that the Senate needed to be given actual figure of the implementation of the budget for it to draw conclusions. He noted that it was wrong for the Senate to use newspaper publication as its guide without thorough investigation. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) said that the two Ministers should be invited instead of inviting only OkonjoIweala to speak on the level of implementation of the budget. He also cautioned against using newspaper report to draw conclusion on what Ngama was alleged to have said. Mark noted that the motion is a wake up call to committees to conduct their oversight thoroughly. He said that the committees should know the level of implementation of the budget including the level of releases to MDAs. Senate mandated its Committee on Finance and Appropriation to find out the level of implementation of the 2013 budget and report to the Sen-

ate within three weeks. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday threw out the 2013 budget proposal of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The lawmakers said the presentation of the bill failed procedural steps as details of the proposal were not in the bill that would have enabled thorough examination by the lawmakers. House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola who presented the bill, had a difficult time reading it while making the presentation. Of the N55,852,837,000, the NCC proposed N29,317?457,000 for capital and special projects, while N14,667,445,000 was for recurrent expenditure. N7,311,474?000 was proposed for transfer to Federal Government, while N10,521,740,000 was for transfer to Universal Service Fund, On reading the mood of the House, Chairman, Committee on Communications, Oyetunde Ojo (APC, Ekiti), said the Committee needed time to further scrutinise the document to be able to make quality input. He was supported by the House Leader who asked that the bill be stepped down. The request was granted by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

OTORE Chemical In dustries Limited yes terday stated that the jailed former governor of Delta State, Mr James Ibori, does not and has never owned or controlled shares in the company. A statement released yesterday by the fertilizer company stressed that it had worked extremely hard to become a major player in the global fertilizer market, relying on strict ethical principles. According to Notore, “the ongoing confiscation proceedings are solely between the United Kingdom (UK) court and Mr. James Ibori.” The fertilizer giant based in Onne, River State added that “Notore is not a party to the UK court proceedings because English law does not allow Notore to defend itself in them.” The firm stressed that Mr James Ibori does not have ‘hidden assets’ in Notore. He has never owned nor controlled shares in the company, and, so far as the company is aware, no other shareholder or shareholders hold shares for him in trust. “Notore remains proud of the central role it is playing in the revolution of African agriculture and Africa’s economic empowerment and is committed to the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda and to the objective of making the country self-reliant in food production .”

N190b saving coming from cassava flour, wheat initiative By Akinola Ajibade


EDERAL Government’s cassava flour-wheat bread initiative could result in about N190billion savings, the Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Organisation, (FIRRO), Dr Gloria Elemo has said In a paper titled:’ Bridging the Banking Industry Gap’ and delivered at the 2013 Bakery, Catering and Confectionary Expo in Lagos, she said the country would be saving billions of naira from cassava flour/wheat bread initiative. Represented by an official, Dr Oluwatoyin Oluwole, Elemo said the government will save money, based on the percentage of cassava bakers add to wheat for production. She said the government will be saving N31.75billion with the 5 per cent cassava flour-wheat inclusion initiative, (N63.50billion for 10 per cent); N127.08billion at 20 per cent); and N190billion at 30 per cent), adding that an average of 25 bakeries would be created in each of the 774 local government areas in the country in the next few years.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40


Nigeria has competitive edge in int’l capital market, says Sanusi

OBUST economic growth, a friendly investment climate and minimal risk have given Nigeria competitive edge in the international capital market, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said. Sanusi, who spoke yesterday at the Euromoney Nigeria Banking and Capital Markets conference in Lagos, said the economy has been growing above six per cent on the average in the last 10 years, stressing that it has been projected to grow by 7.6 per cent next year. Represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System’s Stability, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, he said the CBN is committed to ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability, adding that the economy will emerge as the preferred destination for investment. He said the drive for PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) as a deliberate policy of government comes with several incentives. Also available is the opportunity for higher returns on investments on account of the interest rate differential between the country and most developed countries. “There is evidence that Nigeria is a preferred investment destination. Total investment as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 22 per cent in 2012 and is projected to increase by 23.6 per cent in 2013,”

• Lists steps to curb oil price shocks By Collins Nweze

he said, adding that Nigeria is largely dependent on crude oil proceeds as the major source of revenue, but oil price shocks will certainly impact on the economy if proactive measures are not taken. He said the country has taken steps to minimise the effects of oil price shocks on the economy adding that oil price benchmark of the budget is clearly geared towards creating a buffer. According to the CBN Governor, such protection becomes useful in events of shortfalls in the projected price of oil, saying that the excess crude account has also been used on several occasions to shield the economy from adverse shocks. He said despite the slow recovery in global growth, the future of the economy remains positive and encouraging. “The real output growth in the past 10 years averaged over six per cent. It is projected that by 2014, real output growth will reach 7.3 per cent. The stance of monetary policy of the CBN has significantly reined in inflationary pressures bringing it to 8.7 per cent in July. It is projected that the rate of inflation will be within single digit band through to 2014,” he said. The CBN boss said government’s

fiscal prudence and consolidation have yielded positive results as fiscal deficit had remained below three per cent of GDP as at last year and is not expected to change next year. He said the implementation of the banking reforms has not only strengthened the banks’ financial intermediation process, but also resulted in improved interventions in relevant and critical sectors of the economy. He said banks have become safer and sound as a result of the activities of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and other reforms,” he said. Sanusi said Nigeria’s external reserves has improved, rising from $44.2 billion last year to $46.9 billion in August 2013. This, he said, has helped, in addition to other policies of the CBN in stabilising the exchange rate position of the domestic currency and should increase confidence in the economy going forward. He said the full effect of the financial intervention initiatives of the CBN including the financial inclusion strategy, Power and Airlines Intervention Fund (PAIF), the Nigeria Incentive – based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs) and other projects of government would be felt going forward so that the growth prospects and stability of the economy can only get better in the near future.

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


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

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

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

ZTE delivers $470m security communication project to govt • IGP says it has helped track down criminals


By Lucas Ajanaku

HINESE telecoms equipment vendors, ZTE, said it has completed and handed over the $470 million National Public Security Communicationn System (NPSCS) project it was awarded about three years ago to the Federal Government, stressing that the infrastructure has started assisting the security agencies to tackle criminal activities in the country. Deputy Managing Director, ZTE Nigeria Limited, Brielle Gao, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the project is complete security infrastructure that covers the whole country but has a close circuit camera television (CCTV) component for Lagos and Abuja. She spoke during an official visit by the Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Zhang Dejiang , to the main switch center of the NPSS. “We have built a completely secure security platform for the Federal Government all across the nation. The project has about 700 base transmission stations (BTS) acros the nation which can fulfill the platform for the whole of Nigeria. The project also has video conferencing as part of the project which the police is currently using across the nation. Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, acknowledged that the NPSS project has enhanced the capacity of the police track criminals. The police chief said: “There is no doubt about the importance of this project to the protection of lives and property. “We are delighted about the progress of this project, we are committed to the project and this is the first step as we will continue to improve on our infrastructure.”

Lagos seeks single digit interest rate for agric loans

L • From left: Managing Director, Turfsport, South Africa, Mrs Gail Petrie; General Manager, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila and Special Adviser to Lagos Governor on Taxation, Mr Bola Shodipo, at the 2013 stakeholders meeting of Lagos State Lotteries Board in Lagos...yesterday.


Fed Govt repositions cooperative institutions

HE Federal Government would commence the imple mentation of the recommendations of the Cooperative Transformation Action Plan (CTAP) with a view to repositioning cooperative societies and make them contribute meaningfully to economic growth, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote has said. Mrs. Odusote, who stated this yesterday in Abuja, while declaring open a retreat, organised for Federal and State Cooperative Officers in support of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), said the gesture is to make cooperative institutions more effective in performing their role towards achieving the ATA. She said: “The new plan is to strengthen the internal management of cooperatives, sensitise cooperative societies on existing opportunities in agriculture and other

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Jane Maha, Abuja

sectors, support the promotion of new cooperatives, strengthen and popularise the Federal Cooperative Colleges so that they can play a more active role in training cooperative personnel.” According to a statement signed by Mrs. Idowu Jokpeyibo from the Ministry’s Press and Public Relations Office, cooperatives in the 60s played significant roles in the nation’s economy, especially in the area of agricultural input delivery to small scale farmers, mobilisation, delivery of credit and provision of marketing services. She added that the institutions are veritable tools for achieving and sustaining economic growth because they are widely spread and could be found in all the 774 local government areas of the country.

The retreat was aimed at bringing stakeholders and supervisors of the cooperative movement at various levels together to debrief them on activities of the CTAP and acquaint them of their roles and responsibilities. She urged the participants to be active in the renewed efforts to reposition the cooperative societies The Director, Federal Department of Cooperatives in the Ministry, Dr. Dickson Okolo, said the retreat was meant to debrief all stakeholders about components and contents of cooperative governance so as to enable them come with a template and generate data on specific issues that would be agreed upon in the course of the retreat. He said the emphasis is not about registering cooperatives, but “making the cooperative viable.” “We need to see what they are doing and we need to see cooperative institutions declaring surpluses,” he said.

By Daniel Essiet

AGOS State government is seeking a single digit interest rate on loans from the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to improve agricultural production in the state. Addressing the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) Media Interactive Session in Lagos, the Director, Agric Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya said this was in line with

Cooperative Transformation Action Plan (CTAP)

He said farmers would not pay more than nine per cent on loans granted by the bank. He said the measure was intended to stimulate investment and encourage development of agricultural enterprises, with increasing food challenges. This, he stated was part of the measures to transform the agriculture sector. Onasanya said Lagos has been the epicentre of the nation’s economic and social development with a current population of over 21 million residents. He said the state is faced with the challenge of providing food to its residents. To this end, he said food security has been prioritised for action giving its growing population. He said the government intends to raise agricultural productivity and increase its economic contribution with emphasis on job and wealth creation.








‘Southwest governors are performing’ Jeremiah Oke

•A cross section of the Special Assistants (SA) in the 33 local governments of Oyo State pledging their support for Governor Abiola Ajimobi at a rally in Oyo town. PHOTO: TAYO JOHNSON

‘Why Nigeria is not eligible for visa programme registration’


HE United States has explained why Nigeria is excluded in this year’s visa lottery programme. The State Department, in a statement announcing the start of the programme, said the country was disqualified because it sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in five years. The statement reads: “For DV-2015, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. “A “native” ordinarily means someone born within a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. Persons born in Hong

Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible. “The Congressionallymandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 and provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 diversity visas each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Fifty-five thousand immigrant visas are set aside for DV immigrants; however, since DV-1999, Congress has set aside 5,000 of this annual allocation to be made available for use under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). “The annual DV programme makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility require-

ments. A computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for diversity visas. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. No single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available diversity visas in any one year. “The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the diversity visa process more efficient and secure. We utilise special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries. “For DV-2015, the Department of State will once again implement an online process to notify entrants of their selection, and to provide infor-

Nigeria to deploy Technical Aid Corps HE Federal Governvolunteers in Rwanda ment has concluded ar-


rangements to deploy more volunteers of the Technical Aid Corps in Rwanda. The arrangement is at the instance of Rwanda, who officially requested Nigeria’s assistance. Already, according to the Director- General of the Directorate of the Technical Aid Corps, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi, more than 40 Nigerians in the health sector are working in Rwanda under the scheme. Dr. Osunyikanmi spoke on Wednesday when he received the Ambassador of Rwanda to Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Habineza, in his office in Abuja. According to the directorgeneral, the decision to send more volunteers was based on a request made by Rwanda to his office requiring Nigerian professionals in the education sector. He said: “We have well over 40 volunteers in the health sector in Rwanda and let me place it on record that

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

they have been worthy ambassadors of Nigeria in Kigali, especially in terms of their disposition, spirit of hard work and enterprise.”It is this spirit of hard work that has endeared Kigali to Nigeria to the extent that this cooperation is being asked to be deepened today. “Learning from the experiences of those in the health sector and leveraging on the fact that Nigeria is an Englishspeaking country and the fact that Nigeria has abundance of teachers, who are competent in English language, Rwanda is hoping to use our African brotherliness to also leverage on this abundant human resource base. “Rwanda has made the request to us, with a view to getting a number of teachers, especially in English language to assist in the education devel-

opment in Rwanda,’’ he said. Osunyikanmi also described the visit of the envoy as a boost in extending the frontier of discussions between the two countries. He assured that in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, Nigeria is willing to boost cooperation with brother African countries, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Habineza congratulated Osunyikanmi on his appointment as the director-general of TAC and thanked him for obliging the requests of his country for more volunteers. He said the areas of priorities of his country are education, ICT and health-related. “In Rwanda we used to speak French only, but from 1994 we included English as our third official language. “In 2006 we changed from teaching in French to teaching in English, now English is the official teaching language...”

mation about the immigrant visa application and interview. Beginning from May 1, 2014, DV-2015 entrants will be able to use their unique confirmation number provided at registration to check online through Entry Status Check at “ to see if their entry was selected. Successful entrants will receive instructions for how to apply for immigrant visas for them-

selves and their eligible families. Changes in U.S. immigration practice as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down part of the Defence of Marriage Act also apply to DV-2015 applicants. United States Embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way as applications for opposite gender spouses.”

THE Publicity Secretary of the defunct Action Group (AG) in Ijebu Province, Ogun State, Chief Kola Osunsanya, has hailed the Southwest governors for performing well. He spoke with The Nation in Ijebu-Ode. Osunsanya said the programmes of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo contributed to human development and improved fhe economy, “which the governors in the Southwest are emulating.” “I praise the governors for the infrastructural development in the geopolitical zone,” Chief Osunsanya added. He said: “In the past, I wanted to travel out of this country because of the poor performance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in Ogun State. The environment was hostile and I almost gave up. University students were carrying guns and people were being murdered in broad daylight. There was insecurity. “But peace has been restored. The All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state and other Southwest states have brought the situation under control. Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his coolleagues in the Southwest have changed the fortune of the geopolitical zone.”





This boy needs N3.5m to live

Food vendors screening begins







•Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan




Page 17


Delta creates 5,000 jobs

HE Delta State government said it has created 5,689 new jobs through the Directorate of Special Infrastructures in the past 24 months. The jobs are mainly in the social sectors of health, education and housing where the Directorate has wholly renovated and rehabilitated infrastructure across the state. Commissioner for Special Infrastructure, Orezi Esievo made this known in Asaba, the state capital. She said the jobs which are temporary in nature included skilled and unskilled labour, adding that the jobs were created by the contractors handling the various government projects supervised by her ministry.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Esievo disclosed that a total of 50 primary schools have been rehabilitated with 10 new ones equipped with modern facilities. She added that so many other projects were going on simultaneously, adding that the projects have created employment

for the teeming jobless populace which will in turn have a multiplier effect on the economy. She said approval for the renovation and rehabilitation of a second batch of 66 primary and secondary schools across the state has been given. According to her the Directorate,

So many other projects are going on simultaneously, and the projects have created employment for the teeming jobless populace which will in turn have a multiplier effect on the economy


HE cloud of gloom has lifted for various less privileged persons in Rivers State. Three orphanages got money to keep their charges in good shape. Widows got cash and clothes. People with limb disability had wheelchairs, some crutches. The ailing ones were tested and treated, while others were referred to hospital for further examination and treatment. Their benefactor was Mrs. Nice Aleruchi Alamieyesiegha, a philanthropist. The event took place at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state. Mrs. Alamieyesiegha, who is also a community leader, wanted to help orphans by providing money for the upgrade of their home and also send some of the inmates back to school. She presented N1m to three orphanages. Perhaps, the most enduring aspect of Alamieyesiegha’s gesture was giving the needy a sense of belonging. An ex-beauty queen, she mixed freely with the beneficiaries, providing love and inspiration as they ate and drank with her. It was indeed her 32nd birthday but she chose to mark it memorably, giving hope to those who sometimes feel abandoned by the society. Some of the less privileged told Newsextra that it was their day of joy marked by great fun. Each of them prayed for their benefactor and her family. The president of a section of the Association of Physically challenged persons, Mr. Moses J. Ifeanyichukwu said: “The event is wonderful; it was a happy moment. I thank God for the occasion and for the celebrant, who considered it worthwhile to invite people like us to this kind of occasion. “She has given us many things and every one of us is happy. I am one of the recipients of her gift items today. This wheelchair I am sitting on is one of the ones she gave out today and I am

Community relishes philanthropy

an initiative of Governor Uduaghan is to fast track strategic infrastructure, adding that her ministry collaborates with other ministries such as Education, Health and others for the delivery of more realistic, achievable and time bound projects. On the four new polytechnics that are yet to take off, the Esievo expressed confidence on the competence of the contractors, observing that weather factors coupled with a swampy terrain have been a major handicap militating against their early completion. She reiterated that the Uduaghan administration is set to rehabilitate intra city roads across the state, explaining that the governor has been fair, equitable and balanced in citing projects in the three senatorial districts.

•The less-privileged were attended to

A lift for the needy in Port Harcourt Philanthropist recapitalises orphanages, provides wheelchairs, crutches for the disabled From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

happy. A wheelchair is one of the things I have ever desired to have but I have not been able till today. “I am not the only one that received this gift; some others did also, while several others received crutches. God will continue to bless her, grant her more favour, success and in all her endeavours. Usman Ibrahim said: “I am happy for what the madam has done for us today, bringing us here to

celebrate with her and also give us things like crutches, cloth, wheelchairs, food, drink and money. God bless her.” Mrs. Julie John, a widow, said: “I’m very grateful today. Since I became a widow about 20 years ago (I was only 32 years when I lost my husband) I have not experienced this kind of event. “Nice is her name and she is indeed nice. I and the mother are of the same family, I have known Nice to be a nice person. She cares and provides for the widows in my place, the orphans and many other

persons I cannot mention here now. My prayer for her is that God will crown all her efforts with great success in Jesus name, Amen. The mother, Lady Amadiwochi expressed her feelings in tears, “tears of joy,” she said. “I have been shedding tears since I came to this event and saw the crowd of widows, orphaned children, among them were grownup ones. I also saw the physically challenged persons, the cripple and others; I could not help breaking down in tears. It was actually tears of joy for everything

happening in my daughter’s birthday celebration. “This is because my daughter has done what her mates cannot do. Nice is a wonderful child; each time I look at her, I keep glorifying God for giving her to me, a beloved and caring child. “She is passionate, kind; she does not like seeing people shed tears over what she can afford. Most times, she gives out to her inconvenience, just to ensure the person does not cry anymo •Continued on Page 45



Imo begins screening of food vendors


•Governor Okorocha

HE Imo State government has begun a compulsory medical screening for all public food vendors under its Food Safety Initiative (FSI). The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr JonnyIhebereme, told journalists in Owerri that the screening was aimed at ensuring the safety of the food served by all public food vendors. He noted that many people had died of food poisoning, while others now survived on constant drugs’ intake after eating contaminated food from public food vendors. Ihebereme said that the programme would prevent people from being infected with ailments as a result of eating food

Akwa Ibom to establish college of nursing


HE Akwa Ibom State government has concluded arrangements for the establishment of a degree-awarding college of nursing at Ikot Ekpene, its Commissioner for Health, Dr Emem Bassey, has said . Bassey told journalists in Uyo that other schools of nursing in the state would be satellite campuses of the proposed institution. He said that the executive bill for the project would soon be forwarded to the State House of Assembly for the enactment of the enabling law. The commissioner said that the proposal was in tune with the current high demand for more qualified nurses in health institutions in the state.


He said that it was also aimed at making nurses in the state eligible to hold higher positions in the health sector. “In the Federal Civil Service, for instance, if you don’t have a B.Sc in Nursing, you cannot grow beyond the Chief Nursing Officer cadre,” The commissioner said that the college would be affiliated to the Akwa Ibom State University for the award of degrees. Bassey said that the state currently had nine schools for the training of health personnel, and that four of them were for midwifery, one for psychiatrics and four for nursing.

bought from food vendors. “We will make sure that food sellers are thoroughly screened and certified because some of them can contaminate food through their saliva. “Some of these food vendors are so careless that after using the restroom, they don’t wash their hands with soap before handling the food,’’ he said lhebereme said that the ministry was on course in efforts to ensure public health safety, as proposed by the state government. He said that under the FSI, every food vendor in the state was expected to undergo a medical test, adding that those found with any disease would be sent for treatment. He said that the exercise was compulsory for all public food providers, adding that the government would not fail to sanction those who refused to participate in the programme. The permanent secretary said that the ministry would issue safety logos and certificates to owners of food outlets that passed the screening for smooth operation. Ihebereme, however, stressed that the exercise was not meant to witch-hunt anybody, adding that it was in compliance with the directive of Governor Rochas Okorocha to raise the life expectancy of the citizens.


HE Ekiti State government has explained why it is investing in the teaching hospital of its varsity - Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti. Provision of quality healthcare services which is the fifth on the Eight-Point Agenda of the Governor Kayode Fayemi informed it, Deputy Governor Prof Modupe Adelabu, has said . She was making a remark to the submission of the members of the management team of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), who visited the deputy governor

Agency to improve drainage system


•From left:Muniheen Ajani Toba-Dosumu;Mubaraq Atanda Toba-Dosumu;Abdulateef Aremu-Dosumu and MusaAlamu Adekunle Erinle during the 1st Quranic Graduation ceremony of Sheriff Deen Jundulah Fil Islam, at Gbenle Street,Mushin, Lagos

Ekiti Deputy Governor explains govt’s investment in teaching hospital in her office. The team was led by the Acting Chief Medical Director (CMD) Dr. Kolawole Ogundipe. According to Prof Adelabu, the establishment of EKSUTH was not a favour but an obligation to the people, who freely entrusted their mandate to the administration. She also spoke of

Cleric urges steadfastness

HRISTIANS have been urged to remain steadfast and focused in their faith and behaviour for them to be role models in the society, and inherit the kingdom of heaven. This was the thrust of the third anniversary and thanksgiving service of the Soldiers of Christ and King David Bands of the Holy Order of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church (Ayo Ni O), Chapel of Divine Blessing, Victory District, Olabode Olubu Crescent, AIT Road, Alagbado, Lagos. The anniversary and thanksgiving, which was celebrated amid praises and worship in the church main auditorium, was well attended by members of the congregation, including Special Apostle J.A. Oyeku JP, Leader-InCharge; Special Apostle J.O. Idowu; Special Apostle Emmanuel Aderemi Awode and guests from other churches. In his sermon, entitled:Fight a Good Fight, Most Special Apostle Prophet Solomon Bamidele bemoaned the attitude of some Christians, saying what happens in some churches nowadays, and in the Christendom generally gives cause for worry. He said many go to church toady without the fear of God noting that,“For Christians to fight a good fight, they must shun back-biting, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, keeping malice, corruption, as well as other ungodly attitude that should not be found with Christians.” Prophet Bamidele advised Christians to embrace those godly virtues such as honesty, hu-

mility, selflessness, saying it is only those who do the will of God that will inherit the kingdom of heaven, and not those who go to churches without the fear of God. Special Apostles Oyeku and Awode, who charged the congregation to be strong in faith and in the grace that is in Jesus Christ, offered prayer for the members of the two bands, as well as the entire congregation.

‘Shun shady chieftaincy titles’ TRADITIONAL rulers in the country have been advised to desist from giving chieftaincy titles to people of questionable character in order to respect honour accorded our values. The advice was given by Prophetess Funmi Sodipe of the Glorious Prayer Church, beside King Solomon Hospital, Anthony, in Lagos. She said it has become a common practice to see individuals without legal means of livehood being honoured with high traditional titles. She said in time past, such honour was reserved for those that have served the society diligently in all selflessness, saying it is regrettable that the reverse is the case today. She, therefore, charged traditional rulers to toe the line of honour by returning the country to the path of rectitude.

• Some members of the Soldiers of Christ Band during the anniversary and thanksgiving ceremony.

government’s plan to upgrade facilities at the hospital to world-class standard and make it second to none in the Southwest zone. The deputy governor assured the team that the government will give all the necessary supports to the team to ensure that all EKSUTH programmes are fully accredited, saying the Fayemi-administration came into office to serve the people. Her words: “The government is ready to support. The governor, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, is very passionate about health, education and the people’s welfare as captioned in his Eight-Point Developmental Agenda. We are here to serve the people. One of the avenues is exposing them to quality healthcare delivery.” Urging the management to expose personnel to best practices in healthcare delivery, she lauded the management team for keeping the hospital environment always neat and tidy. Speaking earlier, the CMD presented his management’s scorecard and listed the efforts being made upgrade facilities at the hospital.

Community seeks completion of projects

•From left: Mr Dugo; Mrs Aida Sow; Dr Ayorinde; Mrs Nwachukwu,Dr Nwachukwu and Mrs nokala at the event

Forum canvasses integrity in leadership


EADERS in the country have been urged to imbibe discipline,transparency and fear of God as hallmark of their leadership style. It was the consensus of speakers at the three-day conference of the Voice of Integrity International, an arm of Grace Prevailing Ministries in Lagos. The highlights of the grand finale were speech making and award of prizes.The theme was:Ahieving Result The atmosphere was convivial and members of the choir were in their best element as they rendered soul-lifting songs to the admiration of all. This was followed by prayers which kick started the programme. Speaker after speaker discussed impediments to true leadership and the way out. They mentioned specifically that leadership must be integrity focused. The first speaker, Mrs E.O. Ibru,said every Christian is an image bearer of the Lord. She added that at the centre of every temptation is an integrity issue. She examined what robs man of integrity or why people lack integrity to include mindless acquisitive tendencies. That is when we want to have more than necessary. Another is when we unnecessarily engage in competition,that is when we want to live better than the other. She sugested discipline and closeness to God as panacea to this behaviour. The next speaker, Mr James Dugo, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs looked at the topic from the spiritual point of view. He said: “Ordinarily, a man with visible results is considered an achiever, but we are not looking at achievement from the world success but we are looking at success with kingdom


By Bode Monogbe principles”. He described an achiever as a person who has received salvation through Jesus Christ, adding that if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul, such has not achieved anything afterall. He concluded saying “Achieving success here is bringing people into the Kingdom.” Mrs Ebube Gloria Nwachukwu, showered encomiums on her husband for the training and freedom granted her to prove her worth. She enumerated the exploits made through her pet programmme, Women and Marital Oneness International to include rehabilitation of battered homes, counselling, empowering widows and women, giving hope and succour to the less privileged in the society. She prayed for more grace and enablement to continue giving her best to humanity. A Senegalese , Mrs Aida Sow, received Peace Ambassador Award. She was honoured for her efforts in mentoring young ones and initiative against child trafficking. She appreciated the effort of the church particularly the noble work of Mrs Ebube Nwachukwu for making her stay in Nigeria a pleasurable one. The award would formally be presented to the Senegalese President on September 28 at Abuja Sheraton Hotels. Mrs Tese Onokala and Samson Ayorinde were honoured too. Dr. Nwachukwu praised the efforts of the awardees for standing out in character to be recognised. He said integrity in leadership has become a salient issue to be discussed because of the abysmal level our values have fallen into. It is regrettable that corruption has become so endemic in our culture, noting it has become imperative to confront it headlong.He prayed for grace and strength to do more.


By Joseph Eshanokpe

HE Chairman, Idowu Aso Community Development Association (CDA) in Isheri Osun in Igando Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Chief Segun Kolawole has urged the government to complete its projects in the community. He spoke on the sideline at the presentation of commendation letters to the immediate past executives of the CDA. He listed the projects as the Jakande-Ijegun Road, which in its sixth year of construction, upgrade of the community’s secondary school from junior to seniorclass; and expansion of its only health centre. An official of the council’s Department of Agriculture, Rural and Social Development, Mrs. M. O. Afolayan, while presenting the letters to the executives, said CDA’s work is self-less service. Noting that the government cannot do everything, she said CDAs are seen as partners in development. She urged the executives to work hard to improve the lot of their people. “As residents, they (CDAs) should assist the government in the provision of infrastructure. There are 468 CDAs in the local government. But there are some that are not working,” she said. She continued: “Get a financial card for every resident; a member can pay a minimum of N200 monthly. Payment is not optional. It is a tax. Attend meetings regularly. Take your work serious. In your file there is nothing to show that you have executed projects; or that there are ongoing ones. Those who are working are benefitting from either the state or Federal Government because it is when we see your projects that we can recommend you for some government’s assistance.” The CDA’s Treasurer Mrs Christy Ofoluwa said: “We did a lot of projects,” promising to send a list of them to the council.

HE Abia Road Maintenance Agency (ABROMA) said that it had begun the first phase of de-silting of drainage systems in Aba, the state’s commercial hub. The General Manager, Mr Ndukwe Agu, gave this indication in an interview with journalists in Aba . Agu, after inspecting the ongoing de-silting work on Azikiwe Road,said that the government decided to embark on the project to ensure the durability of the roads currently undergoing rehabilitation. ‘’We discovered that primarily the blockage of the drains was responsible for the flooding and subsequent collapse of several sections on our roads. “This has made life unbearable and posed serious threats to motorists and road users. “So, in our attempt to find a solution, we decided to get to the root of the problem, and the problem that we discovered was primarily hinged on the blocked drainage system. ‘’That was the reason we decided to open up the drainage systems, de-silt them, cart away the debris and ensure that the waste water is drained up.’’ Agu noted that the de-silting became imperative to ensure the durability of the roads and reduce cost of frequent rehabilitation. He said that ridding the roads of water and channelling same to the appropriate places was the easiest way of achieving du-

Abia rable roads. ‘’Before we can get durable repairs, you need to rid the road of water and the easiest way to do that is to direct the water to its channel. ‘’As an agency with the primary mandate to fix failed sections of road in Abia State, this work is an all-encompassing thing but we have arranged them in phases. ‘’What you are seeing now is the first phase. ‘’From the way we are going, one will be convinced that we will do a good job.’’ The ABROMA boss said his agency had an agreement with the refuse collection arm of the government to ensure timely removal of the silt from the roads. ‘’As the de-silting is going on now, I assure you that by this time tomorrow (Thursday)evening, the debris will not be here. ‘’We have trucks, pay loaders and personnel that are greatly mobilised and motivated to do the job.’’ Agu assured Aba residents that the agency


had been well equipped by the governor to do a good job. He promised that the agency’s work would make Aba roads more accessible to the citizenry.

Council chief seeks prompt payment of rates


ROMPT payment of council rates and dues will assist in a great deal to serve the citizens better and promptly.” This was the submission of the

•From left: Chairman,Mushin Local Government Area,Hon Babatude Adepitan;Chairman,House Committeeon Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,Hon Olanrewaju Osin Council Manager,Hon Rasaq Oladimeji; member of the House,Hon Akeem Masha and the Leader of the Legislative Council,Hon Awotunde Omolewu during the visit the visit of the committeeto the council ATURE Hero Limited, the Nigerian branch of Nature Hero International, a network marketing group, in its first year of operations has made good its promise of financial freedom to Nigerians who remain faithful using or selling its products up to a certain level. Last week in its first anniversary in Lagos, witnessed by the international president of the group, Mr Derrell Ieremia, who was in the coun-

•Governor Orji

Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area, Hon. Olatunde Adepitan at the inauguration of a special committee to ensure that citizens pay all the dues and rates as issued to them by the council officials. Adepitan said: “At the beginning of the year, demand notices were issues to shop owners, market men, women and other rates collectors. This is September, some people have not paid our rates. Every lawabiding citizen should have paid the government rates by now. “The task before this committee is to use all means possible to rake in council’s revenue, this is the only way we can meet the needs of the citizens. It is not optional for the citizens to pay rates, it is the law. “There are some revenue points that are yet to be identified and tapped, go to every nook and cranny of Mushin, give bills in accordance to the law and ensure that the money is paid”. The chairman of the Special Revenue Committee, Hon. Ismail Yahya, promised to deploy every necessary machinery to convince the citizens to pay. Similarly, a committee chaired by Hon. Jide Bello was constituted to see to the immediate rehabilitation of Omobola/Alris/Oseni streets in Itire that was destroyed by water from the Lagos State Water Corporation. The water taps were not functional before the construction of the roads, suddenly; water was pumped into the damaged pipe. This caused a serious damage to the roads.

Firm rewards customers By Uyoatta Eshiet

try for the first time, four people who won cars were given $10,000 each as they preferred while eight others were presented with a cheque of $2,000 each,bringing it to $56,000. Derrell, who presented the cheque, said he was happy to be in the country to witness the first

•Second from left, the President, Nature Hero International, Mr Derrell Lerenia, sixth from right, the Managing Director, Nature Hero Nigeria, Mr Sunny Elan, with a cross section of the awardees during the covention and awards ceremony in Lagos

anniversary of the Nigerian branch of the international products network marketing group whose headquarters is in the United States. An elated Managing Director, Nature Hero Limited, Sunny Elem said,”this time a year ago, many of the members of Nature Hero International didn’t know it would be possible to live their dream of financial independence so soon, but today they have been able to achieve these dreams in less than a year due to Nature Hero’s ground breaking network marketing services.” The company also honoured several members of the group who are also called ‘Heroes’ with several awards for their sterling performance in their network marketing business with the organisation. They got surprise awards of up to N20,000 while several others won several items through a liferaffle draw. Elem said the company uses Network Marketing as a platform to distribute products ranging from health supplements, security products, jewelry and other items. Items such as bio disc, video key holders, GSM watch phones, alkaline sticks, energy ring for men, odourless garlic, lifepro- a powerful Antioxidant, African mango, among others. He said Nature Hero Nigeria Limited is set to help people make money using the power of leverage and have already people in the networking family who are earning commissions in the six figure region in just one year of operations. He said to gain the freedom you are looking for; you need to ride the newest success wave provided by Nature Hero Family.





Suntai’s predicament

•Medical referral papers say he needs to rest if he must live


HE contrived debacle in Taraba State concerning the health status of Governor Danbaba Suntai, following his return from Seaview Hospital and Rehabilitation Home in Staten Island, United States, after all is a dangerous game. We say so based on the investigation conducted by this paper, and published Tuesday. According to a quoted medical source, “one of the strongest recommendations handed to his (Suntai) family and officers is that he should be allowed to have good rest due to what happened to him, plus the shock and trauma he had been through over the last year.” Now, if there was a strong recommendation that Suntai must have a full rest, to have a chance to recover from his traumatic experience, then it is strange that his immediate family and personal aides, who received the medical directive, will disregard such a life-saving requirement to fitfully rush him back to work. Quoting again the medical source, this paper reported that Suntai “is a very fragile case, but what I am sternly advising is that the instruction handed from his medical doctors should be duly obeyed and followed to save his life. Great caution must be applied if they want him to snap out of the trauma.” Now, against this reported clear warning, it appears that those who stand to benefit from making Suntai a stooge is in firm control in determining his fate. In the

report, the medical source expressed shock on hearing that the man was back to work, wondering about the little value we place on human life in the country. The medical source also hinted that the medical condition could relapse if the medical advice for a full rest is ignored, and the consequence could be death. The medical source strongly advised those around Suntai not to play politics with his health, noting that right from the Hanover Medical Hospital, in Germany, it was clearly marked out on his file, “that the patient must be allowed to rest.” According to the medical source, Governor Suntai suffered what in medical terms is called, Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI), which is “a very difficult and rotational condition that is associated to brain injuries.” It also noted that “during the period of his rehabilitation, he often relapsed into and out of bouts of trauma due to the injury on his brain from the clash”. As also quoted in the report, Governor Suntai has difficulty to coordinate and make coherent speeches. That much has been noticed by every observer of the unfortunate development of events in the state. Despite pressure from the state House of Assembly that the ailing governor should address the state legislators, the best that came out was barely audible two minutes recorded message. In the message, the governor merely thanked the people of the state for their prayers, and apparently because of his state of

health, had nothing to say about the primary function for which he was elected. Considering this information in the public domain, it is strange that the family of Governor Suntai and their political accomplices are bent on taking him on a journey that may prove fatal, unless there is a complete recourse to the recommendations of his medical team. In our view, while the trappings of power may be attractive, it can never equate to the life of a person. We therefore urge Suntai’s family to have a deep introspection, so as to act in his best interest, knowing that Taraba State will endure with or without the governor.

‘Quoting again the medical source, this paper reported that Suntai “is a very fragile case, but what I am sternly advising is that the instruction handed from his medical doctors should be duly obeyed and followed to save his life. Great caution must be applied if they want him to snap out of the trauma’

Fantastic football


•The 2013 Federation Cup is a triumph of organisation and skill

N spite of its lamentable fixation on the football leagues of other nations, Nigeria demonstrated its own capacity to stage a feast of football last weekend. The occasion was the finals of the 2013 Federation Cup competition held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, and contested by Enyimba Football Club of Aba and Warri Wolves. The match displayed all the ingredients of a true Cup finals. It was alive with atmosphere, replete with incident and brimming with the passion of a clash of titans. Both teams played with the verve expected of clubs with their pedigree, and displayed all the skill and flair of a top-qual-

‘The 2013 Federation Cup Finals signals the emergence of a viable strategy for weaning Nigerian football fans off their misplaced love for leagues thousands of kilometres from their shores. It is clear that if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) can guarantee that its competitions will feature good, purposeful football, fair officiating, and a modicum of comfort and safety, fans will return to the stadia and offer unstinting support’

ity sporting confrontation. The first 90 minutes ended in a 2-2 draw, and was an excellent reflection of the high standard of play. Goals came from set plays, well honed predation and free-kicks. The resulting penalty shoot-out was a master class of ice-cold nerves and precision shooting. Eventually, Eyimba FC won 5-4, to lift the cup for the third time. This marvellous outing owes its success to several sources. First is the Lagos State Government, whose selfless commitment to the development of football was once again revealed in its flawless hosting of the event. Working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the state government handled the intricate logistics of venue preparation, publicity, ticketing, security and crowd management with competent ease, thereby ensuring that the match was devoid of the ludicrous and unsavoury incidents which often conspire to disfigure such occasions. Globacom is also to be singled out for the praiseworthy generosity that it brought to bear upon its sponsorship of the Cup finals. Given the all-round success of the 2013 Federation Cup Final, it is surprising that Nigerian football fans persist in their preference for football played in leagues other than their own. While it must be conceded that these foreign leagues, particularly those in Western Europe, appear to offer a more glamorous product, nothing can alter the fact that they are not Nigerian. No matter how ferociously they declare their support, no local follower of such leagues can truly be said to be a supporter. They do not go to the stadia; much of the information they receive about the clubs is obtained second-hand; the clubs they profess to love so strenuously are probably

unaware of their existence. Nigerian football clubs, by contrast, are wholly, totally and unapologetically Nigerian. They are located in towns familiar to their fans. The players are people they know, and can therefore relate to. Their matches can be experienced firsthand. Consequently, the joy of victory and the agony of defeat taste much more authentic than anything a European club can offer, no matter how pretty it is. The 2013 Federation Cup Finals signals the emergence of a viable strategy for weaning Nigerian football fans off their misplaced love for leagues thousands of kilometres from their shores. It is clear that if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) can guarantee that its competitions will feature good, purposeful football, fair officiating, and a modicum of comfort and safety, fans will return to the stadia and offer unstinting support. That is how it was years back when confrontation between established rivals like Shooting Starts and Enugu Rangers, for instance, often meant that fans had to arrive at the stadium hours before kick-off if they hoped to obtain seats. Proper organisation is the key to ensuring that league matches replicate the success of the 2013 Cup finals. Venues must be made ready for matches; proper arrangements should be put in place to ensure that fans can watch games in safety and comfort; all efforts must be made to ensure that matches are fair and free of violence, gamesmanship and cheating of any kind. Only then will the love and energy expended on undeserving foreign clubs return to those who can rightfully lay claim to it.

Russian fog puts WMD deal at risk • Moscow’s attack on UN inspectors undermines credibility


UST after the horrific chemical weapons attack in Damascus that left up to 1,400 dead last month, Russia argued against international reprisals for lack of evidence. This week UN inspectors delivered that proof in an exhaustive and compelling dossier. Though no blame was apportioned, the evidence points strongly to the culpability of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But now Russia has claimed the report is biased and stuffed with distortions. Moscow’s response to the UN report has taken the shine off President Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic coup of last week. In striking a deal with the US to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, Mr Putin presented himself as a positive force for resolving the crisis rather than an obstructive player determined to prop up a tyrannical regime. The accord, if it succeeds, is the best hope for ensuring these terrible weapons of mass destruction cannot be deployed again. Yet the deal is weakened by Moscow’s cavilling over evidence gathered by the UN. Such blatant disregard for the facts on the ground will give succour to those who suspect that Russia will find reasons to prevaricate in favour of its Syrian ally should it fail to comply with the WMD accord. Its actions may also harden the west’s stance on whether the UN Security Council resolution that will enshrine the chemical weapons accord should authorise the use of force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter as a threat to deter non-compliance. The US, France and UK are in favour but Russia is hostile. Yet, given Mr Assad’s record of playing for time, the initiative will only achieve its aims if there is a sanction for failure to comply. This has to be laid out in any resolution, whether or not it is proposed under Chapter 7. The option of military intervention should not be taken off the table. Western powers have good reason to press the issue. Russia, which has repeatedly blocked Security Council attempts to condemn Mr Assad, will still be able to veto any suggestion that Syria has not met the terms of its agreement. Mr Putin last week argued for mutual trust in an article in the New York Times. He emphasised the importance of the UN and international law. If his words are not to ring hollow, and if he is to have any credibility as an international statesman, Moscow has to abandon obfuscation. Containing the proliferation of Syria’s WMD is as much a matter of strategic urgency for Russia as it is for the rest of the world. – Financial Times

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

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IR: If there is a single phenomenon to which almost every failing of Nigeria is attributed, it is corruption. Corruption exists in almost every facet and level of our society. Corruption is variously referred to as the bane of the country’s development, a hydra-headed monster, a cancerous cell, the worm eating up the fabric of the society etc. The rich, the poor, almost everyone rail against it. But with all the negative attention and repeated vows to stamp it out, corruption sadly has not only continued to survive in the country but in fact thrive. Most persons would say that government is not doing enough to combat it, or the anti-corruption agencies are inefficient. But are these the whole truth? I don’t think so. The question is: who really should be most eager to end cor-


IR: I admire former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as a man who is free from delusion, who understands things as they are and as a man who has good thoughts whenever he speaks. That is the reason why I hold the view that there is no other Nigerian better-positioned to understand and lead this faction of PDP, (nPDP) . The purported largest party in Africa is unlikely to achieve in the six decades it plans to ride the Nigerian horse without opposition, which is what it has been unable to do over the last decade of steering the country’s ship of state. The seven PDP governors led by Atiku are a potent opposition which is operating from inside the ‘purported largest party’ PDP itself. What a fantastic good fortune for Nigeria. It is unlikely that the All Progressives Congress, APC will



Why corruption thrives ruption? People in government and even leadership of the anti-corruption agencies are not so adversely affected by corruption. So they actually don’t have much incentive to fight it; the fight is not really theirs. On another hand it would be extremely naïve to expect those who benefit from corruption to lead the fight against it. This leaves us with the majority who suffer its consequences. These actually are those who should take up arms against corruption. The fight should never

be left in the hands of government alone. Experience shows that the average government will not seriously bother itself with fighting corruption unless it is prodded by citizens bearing its brunt. The people’s body language matters a lot, it determines the priority government would place on the fight against the monster. Where the people are tolerant of it, government also tend to look the other way. But where they take an uncompromising stand

against it, government equally sits up. So, though the federal government wields the powers and resources of state with which to fight corruption, it may need a kick at the backside from Nigerians to effectively deploy it. But before this can happen, Nigerians must first reject corruption in its entirety. Before one destroys something, he must first convince himself that it’s no longer of use to him or he wants nothing from it. As long as there still exists some belief or hope

give the old PDP the contest of a lifetime in 2015; but now, with the nPDP, it is virtually assured that 2015 will be a fight to remember; that is if all of us are not consumed by the actors and Nigeria does survive it. We are aware of doomsayers who predict that 2015 is the end of all contests. Especially, since criminals have taken centre stage, mouthing threats against the corporate existence of Nigeria, which curiously, President Jonathan has neither condemned nor dissociated himself from those behind it. Nigeria had in the past weathered fiercer storms and so, we shall wither this political storm too. But, there are definitely good omens too that have sprouted for Nigeria since the new faction of the PDP declared their opposition to the so called largest party in Africa. Actions like these are capable ig-

niting the rare questions of purposeful leadership and development that come with occupying the highest political office in the land including those at the state and local government levels. A careful look will tell us that the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s leading of the G7 of the nPDP is borne out of his desire to protect Nigeria’s democracy and his belief in total adherence to the rule of law rather than his ambition to be President. Atiku it was, who paid a costly price for his desire to legitimately succeed Obasanjo at the end of 2007. The country’s (Nigeria) return to democratic rule did not itself come on a platter of gold. Atiku was among those who fought the ruthless military regimes into submission not minding the severe consequences that went with it. Nigeria needs dedicated, focused,

well-meaning leadership devoid of all sentiments be they regional, religious and ethnic in a bid to take us out of delusion to actualize our dream of being among the most prosperous nations in the world. The lack of direction and purpose exhibited by the occupiers of the Villa is a source of worry and concern for most Nigerians. The incredible determination and foresight displayed by the nPDP is a remarkable and a positive new twist in Nigeria’s politics, which has finally delivered the breath of fresh air President Jonathan, has failed to find in the wide expanse of our blessed land. It is now the hope of many that at least the larger PDP will reform, even if it is against its will to do so. This is good for Nigeria.

Atiku and the new PDP

• Lami Ladan Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja

that it might still be of service someday, it will be difficult to act decisively. Corruption despite all the verbal attacks it receives has continued to wax strong because majority of those suffering its consequences and who should be most eager to see an end to it hope (consciously or subconsciously) to somehow, someday, also benefit from it. We celebrate and shield individuals whose source of wealth is shady with the intention of benefitting from their often ill-gotten wealth. It is not uncommon, for instance, to hear suffering Nigerian youths while discussing corruption make comment like, “my guy forget that thing, if you get there you no go thief? Me if I reach there I go collect my share o!” He perhaps forgets that the overwhelming majority of the citizenry (including most likely himself) will never get to the position where they can dip their hand in the public till. The point here is that when it comes to corruption we tend to speak from both sides of the mouth. While it is condemned on one hand, on the other, we still hope and ‘pray’ to benefit from it. The result is a conflict of interest which manifests in the indecisiveness with which the fight against the monster has been so far prosecuted. To effectively fight and reduce corruption to the barest minimum, Nigerians, especially the majority suffering untold hardship as a result of it must reject it absolutely. An uncompromising stand against corruption by the majority will send a strong message to whoever might consider tampering with public fund; it will also set government on its toes. Very importantly, we must critically consider who we honour. When only real men of honour and integrity are celebrated, even the not-so-honourable would want to act with some honour. • Nnoli Chidiebere Aba, Abia State.




Big Brother’s guinea fowls (2) • If Beverly Osu had won the Big Brother Africa (BBA)


HE Chase” game show, she would have become a proud recipient of a $300, 000 cash prize, organized razzmatazz, inexplicable movie roles and corporate endorsement deals. But she didn’t win. Even though she had to get naked and engage in a sexual act in the bath with fellow “inmate,” South Africa’s Angelo Collins, to the delight and revulsion of the show’s teeming audience. Beverly didn’t win but she emerged from the house a heroine of sort. Her mother must be proud of her; the Nigerian society too. Thus her celebration by the print, broadcast and social media. A local newspaper reports that: “Beverly Osu made history by becoming the first BBA contestant that was never nominated for eviction since the inception of the African franchise of the television series in 2003. Twenty four hours after she arrived Nigeria, the BBA ‘The Chase’ finalist, Beverly Osu (sic) was rushed to Faith City Hospital, Oju Olobun Close, off Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The BBA star was admitted for treatment due to a sprain ankle she suffered in the BBA house, a day to the finale…” Embellishments of the quoted report abound in mainstream media across the country. The message is “

clearly woven to arouse sympathy for Beverly, particularly amongst local moralist circuits. By endorsing her claim to celebrity status, the media confers on Beverly, the iconic image of a national heroine. Journalists are supposed to be aristocrats of the spirit, projectors of the just, decent and humane; not promoters, hustlers and salesmen for the high jinks and infamy of every middling creature with a narcissistic streak – yet many a Nigerian journalist opts to fulfill roles characteristic of the latter. So doing, a character like Beverly is projected as role model to millions of Nigerian youths. If Beverly had won, she would have become another living proof that decadence and idleness are preferable to decency and hard work. Ordinary folk’s decadent fantasies of fame, success and fulfillment would have been perpetuated and substantiated by her. Yet in her loss, these fantasies are irreverently stoked by the media, perceived moral agents who amplify reality TV’s culture of illusion and persuade us that the shadows are real. The contemporary media landscape has changed significantly thus affecting the nature of the press’ involvement in the construction of citizenship and cultural identities. There

‘Journalists are supposed to be aristocrats of the spirit, projectors of the just, decent and humane; not promoters, hustlers and salesmen for the high jinks and infamy of every middling creature with a narcissistic streak – yet many a Nigerian journalist opts to fulfill roles characteristic of the latter. So doing, a character like Beverly is projected as role model to millions of Nigerian youths’


ECENTLY, the city of Lagos was agog, as the final of the 68th edition of Nigeria’s oldest football competition, now christened the Confederation Cup, took place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium amid pomp and pageantry. Since the Lagos State government began to host the final match of this annual football competition about four years ago, it has brought in lots of innovations aimed at restoring its lost glory. For instance, the state government usually uses the occasion to honour past heroes of the competition, both living and dead. In the last edition, 10 of such personalities, including ace broadcasters’ whose colourful radio commentaries brought glamour to the completion in time past, were honoured. Included in this year’s honour list are late Ishola Folorunsho and late Earnest Okonkwo, two ace radio commentators whose unique style of radio commentary added colour and grandeur to the competition. Others in this year’s honour list include legendary footballers such as, late Muda Lawal, former Super Eagles Coach and Jogo bonito exponent, Joe Erico, former Super Eagles coach, ‘Wonder Boy’, Paul Hamilton, 1985 FIFA U-17 World Cup winning coach and Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen. Others are Dominic Iorfa, Joe Erico, Josiah Dombraye, Toyin Ayinla, Stanley Eguma and ace broadcaster, Walter Oyatogun. According to Lagos State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Enitan-Oshodi, “The essence of this honour is to appreciate the outstanding performance of some players who had featured in the Federation Cup”. The long term objective is to motivate the present crop of players that their efforts in the competition will not go unnoticed even after they had retired. Without doubt, the role being played by the Lagos state government in the revival of football, and indeed other sports, in the country, is a reflection of the sporting personality of the state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. The earliest impression of the state governor, painted in most media reports was that of a sports loving individual. He had been photographed in sporting attires playing active football even after his election into office. Consequently, it was clear from the outset that sports loving Lagos youths are in for a great time. When one realizes that sport has moved beyond the level of recreation, which it used to be in time past, to one with a mega-buck earning status, the efforts of the state government in encouraging the youth to take active part in sports will be properly appreciated. Globally, football has become a money spinning sport. The organisation and management of football in Europe, for instance, is a multi-million dollars venture with all the teams running other sports related businesses. Indeed, all sorts of professionals-doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, grass men, scouts, etc-are employed by the various teams in their drive for soccer glory. Football, in Europe, has gone beyond the mere recreational activity that it is in Nigeria. As a result of the excellent manner it is managed in Europe, youths across

is no gainsaying that the Nigerian media is wholly perverted by this wave of change. The changes are evident in relevant parlances where prime time local and educational cultural content have been displaced by commercial and transnational media offerings like the BBA game show on TV. In the print media, pages that could be devoted to thrashing developmental issues and moving them to the front burner of national discourse and resolution are dedicated to promoting the agenda of international media companies like Endemol and the shenanigans of participants in its perverse entertainment and lottery offerings like the BBA. Consequently, BBA producers attempt to appropriate the functions of the media as societal watchdogs and moral agents – particularly the reconstruction of citizenship and cultural identity of a state and national community. The agenda of BBA isn’t quite difficult to detect. Although producers and fans of the show explain its depravity away as a realistic take and mirror of human behaviour; the Big Brother game show seeks to repudiate and destroy ancestral cultural norms and ethics of morality. Its mission is to desensitize its teeming audience, particularly the youth, to base urges and primal instincts that renders brutes like the stray bitch and guinea fowl the lower beasts they are. Little wonder the Big Brother game show thrives on its xrated scenes: the shower hour and the party nights. These scenes are scripted to celebrate sexual freedom and irresponsibility but defenders of the show argue that there is no compulsion to view the scenes. Often times, they argue that since the show’s xrated scenes are viewable only by subscription to VIP access via payTV, critics of the show have no justi-

fication. Of course such argument pales to reality: the fact that the show’s x-rated scenes and pictures are downloadable on the internet renders its apologists’ arguments invalid. As you read, impressionable minors of primary and high school ages across the country have easy access to BBA’s porn scenes. In the show’s recently concluded edition, Natasha, a BBA ‘inmate’ from Malawi masturbated before live audience, while having her bath. Of course she knew she was being broadcasted to millions of viewers worldwide and therefore, endeavoured to put up an excellent performance for her voyeuristic audience. Pan over to Beverly and Angelo; the latter who had a serious relationship with his fiancée back home in South Africa, indulged in steamy smooch sessions in the bathtub with Nigeria’s Beverly thus repudiating moral and romantic notions of love, loyalty, decency and responsibility. Sierra Leonean Bolt who was actually a husband and a father and Betty, an Ethiopian School Teacher equally put up a daring bathtub performance, similar to Beverly and Angelo’s. With such characters in the house, BBA’s “The Chase” successfully projected flawed and debauched characters as worthy role models for the African youth to emulate. It’s all part of a grand plot: Endemol’s Big Brother, having identified Africa as yet a virgin territory for defilement seeks to infest her with perversions from the west even as it stirs up and legitimizes similar but latent perversions that has so far being curtailed by the African continent. Very soon, producers BBA producers will introduce two homosexual couples – male and female – into the show. Sex between the gay couples will be used to legitimize African

homosexuality and desensitize Africans towards it. As Okwuanya Pius rightly notes, Mary Cover Jones’ desensitization theory as adapted by Joseph Wolpe, a South African psychologist infers that when an individual or a group is desensitized towards an activity, they quickly move to another activity that will best hold their interest. He termed it “systematic desensitization.” Now that Africans, Nigerians in particular have been desensitized to voyeurism and random sex, the next stop is homosexuality and bestiality otherwise known as sex with animals perhaps. Who knows? African youths, Nigerian youths in particular, may yet revolt against established norms and demand the institution and legitimization of incest. Eventually, human beings become a commodity in celebrity culture. Poor, unemployed and desperate youths learn to fantasize and obsess about chancing on unearned acclaim and affluence. Beverly, in perpetuation of this reality is objectified by her performance in the BBA game show. Like every other participant in the game show, she has become an object like consumer products. But celebrities like consumer products have no intrinsic value. Very soon, she will be subjected to the inescapable debasement of the currency of celebrity: the impossible illusions inspired by BBA’s celebrity culture and perpetuated by the media to substantiate her glaring insignificance will soon begin to pale away. But unlike many a consumer product helplessly caught in depreciation, Beverly will beg for more. And the Nigerian media will continue to aid her simply because it’s hip, lucrative and socio-politically correct to do so. The society will be worse for it. To be continued...

Lagos and revival of Nigeria’s football By Tayo Ogunbiyi the continent have found in football a means through which they could use their talents to escape poverty. Young players such as Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabrigas, Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi among others – thanks to football – have become multi millionaires before they clocked the age of 21. Ironically, in Nigeria, what we have is the exact opposite of what operates in Europe. The once exciting Nigeria local league, that produced household names like Segun Odegbami, Adokie Amaesimeka, Christian Chukwu, Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini among others, has become a shadow of itself. Hitherto widely followed teams such as Stationery Stores, Spartans of Owerri, Rovers of Kano, Abiola Babes, Leventis United, etc have gone into extinction while popular European clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, AC Milan etc have been in existence for over 100 years. Unlike in Europe, where the clubs are purely run as business ventures, clubs in Nigeria are mostly run by governments on a non-profit basis. Unfortunately, football administrators in the country are mostly only interested in fighting over the paltry funds that come from government rather than creatively and passionately evolving strategies to lift the game. This is why, some of our footballers travel to less known footballing nations such as Bangladesh, Sudan, and India among others to further their careers. There was a time when Nigerian footballers were the toasts of the soccer world. Then, we used to have up to six nominees among the 10 footballers for the annual African Footballer of the Year Award. Indeed, the high point of the country’s dominance in African football was when Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, Victor Ikpeba and Kanu Nwankwo won the title in successive order. Other sports such as lawn tennis, table tennis, wrestling, volley ball, basketball etc are not exempted from the rot that currently pervades the nation’s sporting landscape. If we are to offer the teeming youth in the country an opportunity to fulfil their God-given potentials, we must change our attitude to sports. If we could go as far as the World Bank to get a tested professional to manage the Ministry of Finance, then we need a thorough-bred sport personality – someone whose whole essence revolves around sports – to take charge of the Sports Ministry. Equally, a complete overhaul of all sporting facilities in the country is needed. Since it seems those saddled with overseeing the nation’s prime sporting facilities are overwhelmed with the enormity of the responsibility, government can resort to the PPP model.

Similarly, the private sector needs to take more active part in the project to restore the nation’s lost glory in sports. All over the world, the initiatives and funds that drive sports come from the private sector. With the needed private sector drive, moribund school sports competitions across the country could be resuscitated. Finally, governments across the country should focus on sports development at the grassroots. Lagos State is leading in this regards with the recently inaugurated Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund which is geared to take sports to all parts of the state. The state government has also resuscitated competitions such as the Principals’ Cup among secondary schools, the School Sports Festival, the State Sport Festival, the U- 13 Soccer Championship, the U-15 Swimming Competition, Governor’s Cup, the International Squash Racket Competition, MTN Street Soccer, Oba Cup, among others. Additionally, it has embarked on sports and recreational infrastructural development which has transformed the popular Campos Square in Lagos Island into a mini stadium with a seating capacity of 5,000, multi-purpose hall for all outdoor court games, FIFA Star 2 Artificial Turf, and administrative offices/equipment stores as well as the Agege Stadium into a sporting facility with a FIFA standard playing turf and a seating capacity of 15,000. It is only in doing this that we can discover new sports heroes and deal with the identical issues of job creation and youth restiveness in the country. • Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.

‘The private sector needs to take more active part in the project to restore the nation’s lost glory in sports. All over the world, the initiatives and funds that drive sports come from the private sector. With the needed private sector drive, moribund school sports competitions across the country could be resuscitated’





AST week we had said that 39 and not nine ministers should have been fired by President Goodluck Jonathan. I had held that barely half a dozen so-called ministers know why they sat on their exalted seats while picking at random, both the sacked and retained public officials for a quick performance review in the last two years. Many readers reacted insisting that my list was not comprehensive enough while pointing out some woeful non-performers I seemingly spared. Diezani Alison-Madueke , minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources seems the most detested and disagreeable to readers. How could you have missed her out, many queried? I quite agree with them that she has been the least stellar and disappointing of all the Jonathan’s men. Ironically, she holds the most important job in the land after the president of course. Her failure is an entire story that would probably require a serial when the time ripens but suffice to say that surprisingly, she brought nothing to her office for one who had played in the oil sector most of her life. She simply picked up the decadent template that had been operational in that office for about five decades and even debased it further. In other words, she just collects rent and fritters it with such frenzy. She has not brought a penny value to the industry that is supposed to drive Nigeria’s growth and development. If she is sacked today, she would have been remarkable for three things, a

‘If she is sacked today, she would have been remarkable for three things, a flurry of corruption allegations trailing her tenure like flies; the multi-trillion naira subsidy scandal that passed under her nose yet she feigned ignorance; and third, we will all remember the PIB (whatever that is) and how she has wasted our time singing PIB, PIB, PIB!’


F there is one incontrovertible point that the recurring and destructive challenges of Nigeria have proved in more than half a century of its existence as an independent entity, it is the disturbing view that its bereavement of good leadership is the cause of our backwardness and poverty. To be sure we do not lack the raw ingredients to brew to transform us into an eminently prosperous society. We have them aplenty, indeed a surfeit of these. There is a landmass that triples a host of vastly developed European nations put together. This implies that size isn’t essentially the issue. There is more to owning a treasure. We also have enormous foreign-currency magnetising resources, chief of which is crude oil. This has proved, over the decades, near inexhaustible. But it is deceptive wealth as it hasn’t led us to the Promised Land. Again what we deduce here is that it is not enough to possess seemingly bottomless wealth. What do you do with it? Who handles it? In whose custody is it for optimum utility? Next we have the putative advantage of population. One out of six black men on planet earth is probably a Nigerian. Our population is more than that of the other nations of the entire West Africa sub region added together. A breakdown of the statistics indicates that most of these Nigerians are vibrant young men and women ready to work productively for the fatherland but they are either forced straight into crime or idleness which eventually leads them into antisocial activity and parasitism! On this score also, we discern that to have large human resources is not the magic wand for the greatness of a nation. Something in the form of a direction must come along. Matching this dynamic population input in the mix is a rich potpourri of our cultural diversity coupled with an impressive array of such tourism destinations as Yankari, Obudu, Ikogosi etc. etc. that can spin us hard currency, local and foreign investments and jobs if the industry finds its way into the hands of a visionary and committed leader. But one more time, as it is with the other resources we have mentioned, something vital is missing and making the system mal-


SMS 08111526725,

Wetin ministers dey do sef? flurry of corruption allegations trailing her tenure like flies; the multi-trillion naira subsidy scandal that passed under her nose yet she feigned ignorance; and third, we will all remember the PIB (whatever that is) and how she has wasted our time singing PIB, PIB, PIB! May be we would have been better off with a beautiful parrot as oil minister. We just teach the bird to sing PIB and it would probably make a better job of it. She promised to build what she calls the Greenfield refineries after the January 2012 fuel subsidy protests but everything promised in the wake of that upheaval has turned out to be lies. She insists that refineries and petrochemical complexes cannot be developed unless the so-called subsidies are removed but even countries like South Africa that has no crude deposit have numerous large and viable refining complexes functioning. The same international oil companies that would not develop or add value to our crude oil are developing and running huge modern refining and petrochemical complexes in Asia, Europe and America. Mrs. AlisonMadueke has turned out the worst in the long list of incapacious and visionless oil ministers. What a crying pity. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister for Finance and the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), also came up for mentioning as among the failed ones requiring to be expended. Yes the CME has not been able to pull her weight considering the enormous powers conferred on her. Life has turned out worse for the average Nigerian regardless of the meaningless positive ratings from abroad. The budget, her primary task and a key driver of the economy has remained mired at all its crucial stages of preparation, appropriation and implementation. It has

become certain that Mrs Okonji-Iweala does not have the grit and aplomb to pull this economy from the brinks. Other ministers that drew an especial ire of the readers are agriculture minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and Olusegun Aganga of the ministry of Trade and Investment. These two are said to be adept at playing to the gallery and making so much sound and fury with little significance. Someone pointed out that Aganga has sign over a dozen phoney MoUs with so much fanfare with hardly any progressing further from the signing ceremony. One such example is the $2.55 billion biofuels project which MoU was signed by Aganga late 2011. The pilot project ought to have been completed December last year. We are not aware of any such ‘giant’ project anywhere; there are several other examples. When Aganga is not signing phantom MoUs, he is regaling us with some chimerical huge Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) flowing into Nigeria like Ogunpa river flood. But many Nigerians can only watch in bemusement as the little, little Western Union change from their long-suffering ‘exiles’ abroad is being co-opted into Aganga’s pool of achievements in office. But we know better to understand that when government claims Nigeria’s FDI inflow is the largest in Africa, its all lies and deceit. Dr. Adesina on the other hand was early this year, embroiled in the Nigerian wonder of delivering 10 million GSM telephones to rural farmers as if phones were major implements for farming. He has become clever at telling us how much we spend annually to import rice, palm oil, wheat, fish, vegetable oil and other items we can easily produce but he has not been able to devise a

Nation-building: The missing link By Olu Obafemi & Banji Ojewale

function tragically. Ditto for politics. We can truly boast of fulfilling all the righteousness of the political process: periodic elections, party formation, party primaries, going on the hustings to campaign, voter registration, massive media enlightenment on polling conduct etc. etc. Yet the majority of the people don’t enjoy the dividends of democracy for who all these mammoth motions and rituals are performed. Again the sad refrain: something is missing! What is the problem and where is it? Certainly the problem is not in our stars. It is in the calibre of leadership. Dr. Michael Oladele-Cole, a prominent Nigerian industrialist, is as concerned as we are on this sore point. He declared recently: “More than ever before in the history of its existence, Nigeria needs an urgent solution to the many leadership challenges besetting it which are threatening the nation’s economic infrastructural and ethical revolution.” And Catholic cleric George Ehusani has added: “We need a shift in leadership focus sustained by transparency and accountability where civil society will engage the political leadership in balancing policy objectives against concrete acts of governance.” And speaking on Channels TV during an interview, Adetokunbo Obayan, a leadership consultant said: “The reason we are where we are as a nation is not accidental. It is because the holders and occupiers of many of our platforms of leadership have relatively failed. They failed to understand what leadership is and they failed to deliver leadership.” Some compatriots may question the stand of these gentlemen in putting wholesale blame at the doorstep of leadership for the

woes of the country, and not also on the followership. We believe however that the problem is located in both spectrum of society but a slightly heavier weight of the burden is one of the leadership. There is a massive leadership problem which the country has been struggling with from its very inception. And it is getting worse. The country’s political elite has failed thus far to provide that calibre of leadership which the country needs to free its genius. At every turn in the political life of the country, leadership has been abysmal right across the board, to the extent that the ethical and moral decline has degenerated so terribly that a systematic collapse confronts the country. This situation makes the question of leadership so desperate that the search for a suitable leader to unbottle that genius in us needs some creative new approach. We are broadening the search for the appropriate leader who can, not only pull Nigeria from the brink but also put it on track for economic development and modernity. Media is our tool in this business. Our advocacy is uniquely designed to investigate the potential of a prospective leader and propagate him via radio, television and documentaries, basically from the achievements. The key factors that will be isolated and allencompassingly searched and propagated are the perceivable content of the individual’s thought processes manifested in his activities, and the moral-ethic background to his delivery. We are informed on this path because the role of politics in identifying a potential leader has over the years been long on selfish interest and hopelessly short on moral/ ethical values of the individual. Most of our leaders are railroaded onto positions of leadership without any demonstration of ability to comprehend the problems of our societies on the basis of which they could fashion

means to transform our agriculture. Rice farming presents the greatest opportunity were the minister serious and capable. Nigeria is perhaps the second largest importer of rice globally, giving away over $1 billion annually. But there are key stakeholders in rice production in Nigeria and there is a Rice Fund which has become a sink hole of corruption. The minister has not driven local rice production beyond the level he met it two years ago and the huge fund is still sunk somewhere used more as slush fund than for local rice development. These are the visible ministers, most others are so docile and inactive we do not eve know them two years on and that is so very convenient for them to live in obscurity, to hide in the shadows while enjoying the perks of office and giving nothing back. Wetin ministers dey do sef? Ministers such as Abba Moro, (Internal Affairs), Sarah Ochekpe, (Water Resources), Tanimu Turaki (Special Duties), Chukwuemeka Wogu (Labour and productivity), among others. What really do they do? By the way, do we really need ministers? FEED BACK: Re: 9 ministers sacked, should have been 39 Brilliant piece, however Jonathan should axe himself too in addition to the 39 ministers suggested. He is just too clueless and wasteful. Motunrayo, Ibadan, 08067564858 I have just finished reading your piece… you miss the point on the Agric. Minister. If you ask a peasant farmer in northern Nigeria, he is like a god to him thank you. From Abdullahi Mohammed, 08095592257 Steve you wrote well but did not say anything about the girl with the protruding beautiful eyes who frittered away 2 billion bucks on private jets. Isn’t it incredible that while others are being booted out, she is loved and left alone? 07025885993 Thanks Steve for that clinical assessment of GEJ’s ministers but don’t you think that the failure of about 39 students in a class of about 43 is a failure of the teacher himself? Now can you point to a singular achievement of the emperor himself? From F.T. odugbemi, State of Osun, 08033565813 Steve that was mean but if truth must be told, GEJ and his cabinet leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Thanks for that stringent x-ray of executive inertia. 08037910012 Steve I have criticized your articles in the past but concerning the sacked ministers, I score you a hundred and one per cent. Well done. 07058534745 a sustainable plan. Less than one per cent of the leaders Nigeria has ever had drew any plan for the country’s development. All of this should change if the country is to progress. We must scout for that leader who has not only demonstrated a capacity for creative thinking; his resource management capability should be in evidence from his work. And when we find such leader or leaders we must present them powerfully to the Nigerian public, the political parties and the international community. We are confident that we can make an impact with this approach because our experiences as journalists and political consultants have taught us one great lesson that leadership of a country like Nigeria should transcend narrow partisan politics, but the truth of Nigeria’s political experience is that most of the politicians engaged in party politics are parochial in thinking, limited in experience and bereft of the fundamentals of ethical moral discipline. This is the bane of their failure in governance especially at the federal level. We call on all Nigerians to join us in this noble mission to identify committed and selfless leaders who will help to release the chained genius in the bottle of Nigeria’s bottomless resources. Less endowed countries have struck gold and elevated their society through the sheer inputs of good leadership. We shall begin to identify some of the potential leaders who measure up to this identity in the days ahead. •Obafemi and Ojewale, promoters of WriteConsult, sent this article from Lagos.

‘We must scout for that leader who has not only demonstrated a capacity for creative thinking; his resource management capability should be in evidence from his work. And when we find such leader or leaders we must present them powerfully to the Nigerian public, the political parties and the international community’



Pages 25


Cross River rate Page 27 ‘My grouse about Governor Amaechi’ hike threatens Page 40 ‘Jonathan won’t return in 2015’ UNICEM’s, other firms’ Page 37 Omo-Agege: by-election Urhobo affair future Page 26 Concern over NDDC board members •PAGE 26


Water everywhere in Bayelsa, but none to drink

Tension as Cross River holds council polls tomorrow

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar


ENATE Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba once attributed the peace in Cross River State to its lack of resources. He said the peace was due to the fact that it does not have many rich people. “Lack of resources have compelled our togetherness,” he said. He gave an instance of “some states” where one can count at least thirty people who are richer than the government and the kind of crisis being faced in “those states”. He expressed pride coming from a state where no such rancour can be found. The point he was trying to make was the fact that despite all the wrangling in the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which had led to its balkanisation, the party in the state remains one. Cross River State has been known as peaceful, not just when there is no political activity. Even during elections, calm still persists. But, whether it is peace of the graveyard, unfolding events in the political landscape of the state, especially the local government elections coming up tomorrow will tell. The disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the local government elections and the party’s struggle to remain relevant as far as the council polls are concerned will be a major test for the peace. The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission( CROSIEC), Sir Patrick Otu, said the APC was not qualified to field candidates for the elections elections since it was not up to 90 days old. But, the APC went to court to challenge its non-inclusion in the election and sought an extension of election date. The opposition party says the court process is being deliberately delayed so the election will be conducted without it. Already, the tension in the air is palpable. CROSIEC chairman told reporters that the elections would still go on tomorrow come what may. A chieftain of the APC, Cletus Obun, said the security agencies should hold the electoral umpire responsible for the breakdown of law and order. He said: “CROSIEC cannot screen and collect fees from candidates and turn around to bar them from contesting election simply because their party changed name. All the candidates and aspirants of parties to merge notified CROSIEC on July 12 and they acknowledged receipt on July 17 and on July 31, APC was registered. “They had enough time to print fresh election materials and everything they had to do. They had ignored all these and are hell bent on excluding APC. Yet APC has participated in elections under 20 days in Offa in Kwara. It has received and sent its nomination to INEC in Anambra State for the governorship elections. Anambra State governorship election includes APC. APC was less than 30 days when Senator Chris Ngige was nominated and went through primaries that was monitored and supervised by INEC that registered APC.” Obun said CROSIEC lacked the power to exclude any registered political party from elections in Nigeria. He warned that the election umpire was planning chaos. He added: “What they are doing is going to bring about a breakdown of law and order in Cross River State because APC has been unjustly and illegally excluded from participating in elections, and as citizens we have the right to vote and be voted for as a duly registered political party in Nigeria. No law bars us because our colleagues in other states have participated in elections even earlier than we are about to do. So, there is no foundation and legal backing to exclude APC in Cross River State.” A councillorship candidate of the APC in Obanliku Local Government Area, Boniface Evuo, said: “The achievement of peace is a responsibility of the leaders and followers. Leaders should consider if any action they are about to take is such that would lead to crisis. “Personally, I have been preparing for this election for the past three years and in the dying minutes, you are telling me that I cannot contest. It cannot happen. This is becoming too much. APC was accommodated in the Offa election in Kwara State and the Senatorial election in Delta State; why must Cross River be different? Is it because they refer to us as a woman’s state and that nobody would talk? “This is the only state people are not just going to sit down and take decisions and expect it to be binding on everybody. They have chosen to impoverish us to achieve their aim. It is not going to be. We will fight them to the end. This time around it is not going to be business as usual. There must be a change.” The election is expected to go ahead tomorrow and is widely held to be an all PDP affair. But, going by unfolding developments, it is clear that its fallout will continue to reverberate.

‘They have chosen to impoverish us to achieve their aim. It is not going to be. We will fight them to the end. This time around it is not going to be business as usual. There must be a change’


•Niger Delta Minister Godsday Orubebe

Calabar-Lagos Coastal Road… A dream aborted? •SEE STORY ON PAGE 28

ESIDENTS of Igbede Street, Yenagoa, the capital city of waterside Bayelsa State, had their early morning sleep interrupted on Monday. A landlord of one of the buildings and his tenant were at daggers drawn. They raised their voices and quarrelled with each other in a disagreement that lasted over an hour. The bone of contention? Water. The tenant, an innocent-looking slim dark man, was visibly angry with his landlord for not allowing him access to a borehole in the compound. But, the landlord adamantly asked his aggrieved tenant to look for water elsewhere. That is the frustration in Yenagoa and other parts of Bayelsa. There is scarcity of pipe-borne water, a basic amenity, not just in Yenagoa but in other parts of the state. Though the state will on October 1 mark her 17th birthday, it will do so without potable water for her residents. Experts say the state has no business with water scarcity citing its geographical location. Of the 15 water outlets that get to the sea, 13 are from the state. Bayelsa has more rivers than Rivers State and is more deltaic than Delta State. In fact, the state is said to be squarely in the Delta. Apart from that, scholars say 2500mm to 3000mm of rains fall annually in the state making it the most rainy part of the country. Despite these advantages, residents in the state groan and gnash their teeth over lack of usable water. A landlord, who identified himself simply as Lazarus, blamed water scarcity on the alleged irresponsibility of the government. He said previous administrations lacked the commitment to provide water for the people. He said: “Since the creation of this state, no government has shown seriousness to make public water work in the state. One of the functions of the government is to provide basic amenities for the citizens. “Despite hope, basic water is and in spite of how rich this state is, no government has been able to provide a functional public water works. It is unfortunate. But we hope that the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson will solve this problem.” But people have capitalised on the vacuum created by the government to make brisk business. Such persons who are mainly nonindigenes from the northern and eastern parts of the country make their living by satisfying residents’ endless needs for water. •continued from page 37





Cross River rate hike threatens UNICEM’s, other firms’ future The decision of the Cross River State government to increase its road levy is affecting the activities of United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) and other firms operating in the state, with fears being expressed about their future, writes NICHOLAS KALU, CALABAR


HE crowd of protesters at the gate of the United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) plant in Mfamosing Akampka Local Government Area of Cross River State on Monday, September 2 was a glaring sign that all was not well. There has been a string of developments, which observers fear might lead to the eventual closure of the company, if not properly handled. UNICEM is one of the major investors in the state and is the second largest cement plant in Nigeria. It mainly manufactures Ordinary Portland Cement and its head office in Calabar, the state capital. The crisis was sparked off by “astronomical” hike in road maintenance levy imposed on the company’s cement transporters by the Cross River State Government and the protesters on that Monday were major transporters who convey cement from the plant to customers in the Southsouth and South-east regions. They were piqued about the increase of the levy from N500 to N12, 800 per truck following the state’s enforcement of the State Road Maintenance Levy Law No. 6 which was passed in 2012, on Monday, September 2, 2013. A source said UNICEM, which hitherto paid the old rate of N500 as incentive to their distributor, dropped the responsibility because of the new rate, forcing transporters to threaten withdrawal of their operations from the state to other cement companies that would be more “investor friendly”. Interest groups fear that the threat, if carried out, could lead to the collapse of UNICEM, which solely relies on the transporters to move out its product to its customers.

The UNICEM dedicated transporters told reporters in Calabar recently that they may be forced pull of the state if something “reasonable” was not done the about the exorbitant hike. Managing Director of Iquasu Limited, Charles Egbi who spoke on behalf of the service providers, said the astronomical hike in the levy portends danger, not only for UNICEM but his company and others. Egbi said: “Most of us head this businesses on facilities acquired from the banks. And this business is to enable us pay off those facilities and sustain ourselves. Now if we are not able to sustain the business and make our commitments to the banks, then we don’t need anybody to ask us to relocate. “We are not averse to paying taxes. We know states which have passed similar laws, but they collect between N500 to N1500. We have been paying over the years, but to jump a quantum from N500 to N12, 00 is unimaginable. “Provision for road maintenance law is the right of every state government including Cross River. We all know they are striving to increase IGR. Now if you allow Cross River State Government to continue with the law as it is and it goes on successfully, what is the guarantee that Akwa Ibom, or Abia State, or Rivers or Bayelsa or Anambra or Imo or Delta or Edo where we operate would not pass similar laws. “Imagine we pay N12, 800 in all these states, at a point, we would pack somewhere and dispose of the products. That means we would close the business, and once we close this business, that means UNICEM would shut down because they don’t have the trucks. We provide this service for them. We complement what they are doing. Once we

• The UNICEM plant at Mfamosing

The road maintenance levy is to assist government to maintain the roads as their trucks do a lot of damage to our roads. If they don’t want to pay, then if it is possible for them, when they load their trucks; they will make it fly to their destinations without using the roads stop what we are doing, they will close down. You can imagine the ripple effect on the people, on the economy.” Similarly, Etim Okon of Etim E. Okon and Company Nigeria Ltd said, “If we have to pay this N12, 500 and given the current price of cement, we would not be able to meet up based on the fact that the Federal Government has insisted we reduce the price of cement. UNICEM used to pay on our behalf and the government has not given us any reason for this sharp increase in price.” Another distributor, Emmanuel Bassey, Manager of Ubotex Limited, appealed to the state government to reduce the price. He “We are not saying we would not be paying our taxes.

We will as law abiding citizens. The state government should do something because if they go ahead with this, it is going to affect all of us in the state.” A driver of one of the trucks, Michael Ndem, said the situation was already affecting them as they have not been operating. “All the dispatch given to us has finished and it is affecting us a lot.” Ndem said they were already paying N3, 000 for community development and N800 for their union per truck; hence the sharp rise is going to be difficult for them to cope with. Efforts to reach chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, Cletus Adie, proved abortive. A top official in the ser-

vice said the hike was to “harness all unharnessed revenues” as a result of cash crunch experienced by the state. “We have to work hard to increase our IGR as the state does not have money and we are looking at areas which we were not looking at before. “The road maintenance levy is to assist government to maintain the roads as their trucks do a lot of damage to our roads. If they don’t want to pay, then if it is possible for them, when they load their trucks; they will make it fly to their destinations without using the roads. Then, we would not charge them. “Is it N500 we would use to maintain the roads? Each truck has to pay as they lift. The

people cannot tell us they were not aware of this development as we had been negotiating with them for some time. “They are not the only company operating in Cross River State. We have other companies operating quarries in the state and they have been paying this levy since without complaining. Now it is being implemented with UNICEM there is a problem.” UNICEM official refused to comment. The transporters had for a couple of days after the implementation of the new levy quit operations and the fallout was the sharp increase in the price of cement in the state. At the moment they have resumed operations subdued by the new levy regime, but

Youths urge Jonathan to appoint credible members into N


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan have been urged to appoint only credible members into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to fast track development of the region. The advice was given by a coalition of Niger Delta-based youth groups, Niger Delta Ideological Forum for Peace and Development (NDIFPD) and Niger Delta Youth Initiative for Positive Change (NIDEYIPOCH).

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

They urged the President to appoint intellects that will imbibe his culture of developmental and transformation agenda for the Niger Delta region through the NDDC. The call was contained in a press statement jointly signed by the National Presidents of both groups, Mr. Goodluck Edafe and Mr. David Ato.

They observed that the NDDC since inception has not been fortunate to have good and patriotic administrators who genuinely manage its vast resources to achieve the Niger Delta Master Plan and good of the region. They lamented that billions of naira it has received by past boards have mostly been wasted. The statement said in order to achieve meaningful and satisfactory results in the coming years, President needs to look within




‘My grouse about Amaechi’

•Nwogu, with his supporters


T was a heroic welcome for Kelechi Nwogu, one of the five anti-Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers in Rivers State, when he returned to his home town, Eberi in Omuma Local Government of Rivers State to give account of his stewardship and explain his role in the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis. Nwogu, who flew into the town in a helicopter, was described as a history maker and a true son of the Omuma by his people, who said it was the first time such means of transportation had been used in the town. As early as 2pm on that fateful Sunday, the State School 1 Eberi –Omuma venue of the community meeting had been filled with a huge crowed patiently waiting for the arrival of the lawmaker, who touched down at 3pm in a helicopter marked 5N-BHG.


From Precious Dikewoha, Port one of the five anti-Amaechi Harcourt lawmakers. So the community

Immediately he alighted from the aircraft, the lawmaker wafted through the community with his supporters, members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the area, political friends and those that came from other neighbouring communities to support him. The youths of the community and cultural dancers where not left out of the ceremony as they joined to entertain the guests and eulogise the leadership quality of the lawmaker. A youth leader, Comrade Nwogu Onyekachi, said the heroic welcome accorded to the lawmakers was because of the love the community has for him. “This is the first time he would be briefing the people after the fracas at the Rivers State House of Assembly. He is

invited him to hear directly from their son instead of hearing from the roadside. We also want to know where he wants us to queue because whichever way we are solidly behind him” Nwogu said he escaped death by the whiskers during the fracas that took place on the floor of the House. The clash left another lawmaker, Chinda, with severe injuries. He said he said because of his belief and demand for development of his constituency he had suffered greatly and had not been paid salaries and allowances since the incident. Yet, Nwogu said he refused to be bribed or intimidated to dissuade from his path of standing for the truth. He said: “I did not do anything; I am innocent. I am been intimidated because I boldly

told those against our constituency that until I see good projects in my constituency like the way it is in other constituencies I will not pass vote of confidence on anybody and that was the genesis of my problem.” He advised party loyalists in the area to support him and queue behind President Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that he would only follow his conscience. He noted that Omuma was the last to get a commissionerhip slot. ”Our commissioner has been sacked; I don’t know the kind of support they want from me. The electricity we are using today was connected through Abia State. There are other good projects executed in other Local Government Areas but come to my Local Government Area you will find nothing,” he said.

•Charles Egbi

they say they are only “testing the waters” and “exploring available options” and

would definitely leave when the situation becomes unbearable.

NDDC board the NDDC for dedicated and qualified personnel to appoint into the new board to reduce time factor and inefficiency that has characterized the appointment of politicians who come into the NDDC and within a short time turn themselves into demigods to run the NDDC as personal fiefdom for pursuing overnight riches. They urged President Jonathan to prevail on the state governors to ensure that the state representatives are not failed politicians.

•Officials of Rivers State NEPAD and Ignatius AJuru University of Education during the donation of books to the university as part of theone million book project in Port Harcourt , the Rivers State capital.




Calabar-Lagos coastal road… A dream aborted? Some years ago, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) unveiled its plans to build a road that will connect Calabar to Lagos in three hours. The creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta saw a conflict arising over who should drive the project. The ministry got the nod, but has been unable to actualise this dream for lack of fund. OLUKOREDE YISHAU examines this dream, its challenges, advantages and odds


IT takes no less than 8 hours to make one trip from Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to Lagos, the capital of Lagos State. This means it is extremely difficult for a driver to make two trips in a day. But, if a coastal road is built from Calabar to Lagos, a trip can be made in three hours. This dream started in 2006 when the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) masterminded a Masterplan for the Niger Delta. One key ingredient in the plan borders around opening up the creeks, villages and towns of the region to other parts of the country and the world at large. With a vast tourism potential, among many other things the global village can tap into, a coastal road from Calabar was considered germane to developing the region. The idea is to improve the economic fortunes of the area so that people who are into fishing and other agricultural activities can sell their goods easily to people in Lagos and elsewhere. It is envisaged that with this road more people will go into agriculture; it will become easier to bring electricity to some communities that were hitherto inaccessible and such businesses as cold room for sea food, gas stations, holiday resorts and schools will spring up. The contract for the design of the 704 km project was awarded to Pearl Consultants, an indigenous firm, with over 40 years’ experience in the business of engineering designs. This ambitious project, which if completed, will radically change the face of transportation, economic and social activities in the country, is known as the East-West Coastal Road. In 2008, the commission awarded a contract for the design of the coastal road. The job was divided into two phases. The first phase was to find out the potential areas of alignment and look into the feasibility of the construction of the road. In this phase, the consultants undertook such tasks as alignment selection, scoping and realistic cost estimate, determination of construction methods and standards and financing options for the project. Significantly, after that phase was successful, the second phase was approved. Under the second phase, the firm was tasked with assessing the environmental impact of the project and carrying out full engineering design. The two phases, said the then NDDC Managing Director Chibuzor Ugwoha, were independent of each other in order to know “whether the project is possible before taking on further expenses, otherwise, we just end up wasting resources if we award everything in a lump only to discover, after the feasibility study, that the construction is not feasibility.” Now, the second phase is



This joint sitting of the Delta and Akwa Ibom state Houses of Assembly hereby urge Jonathan to: Direct the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development commission (NDDC) to ensure that work commences on the proposed Coastal road Project from Calabar to Lagos over 90 per cent completed, which means real construction will begin once the finance and other details are sorted out. Reports from the first phase of the project indicated that the road would be two-lane dual carriageway, with provision for expansion of the road into three lanes on both sides of the road. However, the bridges are to be constructed as three-lane dual carriageways from the beginning so as to make future expansion easier. The study on the project also shows that about 106 kilometres of the road will run through islands, forests, mangrove swamps and fresh water swamps. The road will also house about 160 bridges. Some of the places that the bridges will cross are places where ships also pass, which means the bridges in such places would be extra-ordinary. Two of the bridges, from the feasibility study, will be cablestayed bridges while another two will be suspension bridges. The cable-stayed bridges, said the report, will be the fifth longest of the type in the whole world, while the suspension bridges would be the eight longest the world over. For ease of delivery, the construction work was broken into several segments so that the job can be done simultaneously. In all, there are five sections of the contract which are: CalabarAndoni River with a length of 177.8km; Andoni River-Brass River, spanning 133km; Brass River-Ramos River, covering 133.750km; Ramos River-Benin River which runs across 92km; and the Benin River-Lagos, which will cover 168km.

For a project of this magnitude, compromise has had to be made. Ugwoha said: “The consultants came across community issues whenever they got to certain communities and the community would prevent them from working in certain areas because they (the community) consider such areas no-go areas either because they were being used as shrines or were simply considered sacred groves or forest. The implication of that is that very often, the workers needed to shift elsewhere in order to secure alignment points. Naturally, they also had to contend with government regulations which prevent carrying out certain forms of construction activities in some areas.” But, not a few have wondered where the over N1 trillion for the project will come from? The NDDC admitted it cannot go it alone. So, it wanted to partner with government, the oil companies and other corporate bodies. The creation of the Niger Delta Ministry affected the project. The Federal Government transferred the responsibility for executing the project to the Niger Delta Ministry. Vice-President Namadi Sambo offered a justification for this when he said: “The Federal Government, in its quest to complete all major projects in the Niger Delta, has directed that the coastal road construction be transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta since the money needed for its construction is over N1 trillion and is beyond the capability of the NDDC.”

Niger Delta Minister Godsday Orubebe was quoted as blaming the inactivity on the project on lack of fund. The project, a brainchild of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has remained on the drawing board because of lack of capital outlay. It was gathered that the project would gulp a staggering N1.3 trillion. Orubebe said it would be difficult to source the kind of fund to prosecute the project. The Akwa Ibom and Delta states assemblies, at a joint sitting, deliberated on the matter. The Deputy Majority Leader, Johnson Erijo (Delta) said the construction of the Coastal road project would serve as a catalyst for both regional integration and enhanced economic activities in the Southsouth. Part of the resolutions read: “That this joint sitting of the Delta and Akwa Ibom state Houses of Assembly hereby urge His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to: Direct the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development commission (NDDC) to ensure that work commences on the proposed Coastal road Project from Calabar to Lagos. “Use his good offices to urge all oil exploration and exploitation companies operating in the South –South region including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders in the oil industry to as well partner with the above mentioned MDAs for the construction of the Coastal Road Project

which will serve as a catalyst for both regional integration and enhance economic activities in the South- south region.” Interestingly, the issue of when this dream will become a reality is dependent on a number of factor, which also revolve around funding. Even if the funding is made available, the terrain is such a challenge that it can take not less than five years for the road to be ready for use. And that is also provided the job is segmented and awarded to several companies to handle the five different portions of the road. The commission hoped that inhabitants of the communities that the coastal road will pass through will co-operate with the contractors, leaving them to grapple with only environmental and natural challenges. A construction expert and member, Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN), Mayne DavidWest, said it would take about five years to complete the proposed construction of the EastWest Coastal Road, saying the project would be a catalyst for the development of the Niger Delta region. David-West, in a paper presented as a guest lecturer at the 6th annual lecture of Prof. Youpele Beredugo organised by the Port Harcourt chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), in Port Harcourt , Rivers State, said the project was divided into ten sections and awarded simultaneously to different companies to enable the contrac-

tors complete it within a period of five years. The lecture has as its theme: ‘East-West Coastal Road : Challenges and Prospect.” The member of COREN Register, who was involved in the studies and design of the proposed coastal road, explained that the project might span a period of ten years if contracts for the different sections of the projects were not awarded at the same time. “It will take about five years to complete the construction of the East-West Coastal road. It was designed in such a way that the project will be divided into ten sections and awarded to different contractors. “But if the project is not awarded to different companies, it will take up to ten years to get it completed,” DavidWest explained. The expert in civil engineering expressed fears that as laudable as the project might be, the responsibility of paying the minimum wage may pose a major challenge in securing the full support of the Niger Delta governors in the proposed construction of the proposed coastal road project. David-West said the planned 704 kilometre road would crisscross over one thousand communities in the Niger Delta, saying due to the huge cost of the project comprising 180 bridges across river channels from Calabar to Lagos, there have been calls for alternative means of funding. “This solicits the support of the states governors (whose states lie along the corridor of the road), oil companies, international donor agencies and willing investors to come on board. “However, the clog in securing the full support of the governors concerned may be the looming responsibility of paying the minimum wage; an added burden on the states’ finances. “States along the road corridor may as a result find it difficult in meeting allotted obligations unless certain ad hoc arrangements are made to ameliorate the weight of the project on state finances,” David-West observed. David-West described the move by the Federal Government to seek external sources of raising the required fund for the project as a welcome development, saying: “The project holds a lot of promise for the people of the coastal communities and Nigeria at large.” He said such promises would come with some sacrifice and challenges, especially from the people of the region who have suffered from age long neglect and deprivation. He said: “The project would act as a catalyst in the development of the region and unlocking the vast tourism potentials and opportunities in the region. “It is planned that contract for the project would be awarded to different companies simultaneously. If that is done, the project will be completed in five years, otherwise it would be completed in ten years,” David-West said.





The week-long activities marking the 70th birthday of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, climaxed last Saturday, with a thanksgiving service and reception in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. NNEKA NWANERI reports.

•Governor Amosun (second right); the celebrator, Oba Gbadebo, his wife, Tokunbo; Chief Shonekan (right) and Rev Okoh


LL roads, as they say, led to the ancient town of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, last Saturday. It was a day many, especially the Egba, had been waiting for. The day climaxed the 70th birthday celebrations of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo. Abeokuta was in a celebration mood. Many shut their shops to be part of the joyous occasion at the palace. A stone throw from the palace is the Cathedral of St Peter, Ake, where a thanksgiving service for the monarch was held. The historical church was the first Christian worship centre in Nigeria. Built by Wilhelm in 1843 with the help of the Creoles (the returnees from Sierra Leone), it is on a hill slightly overlooking the palace. When The Nation got to the church 30 minutes before midday, the scheduled time for the service, it had been filled to capacity. At noon, Oba Gbadebo walked all the way from the palace to the church. A large crowd followed him, beating drums, blowing trumpets and dancing. He went straight to the front pew where he, his wife and children took their seats. After the opening prayer, the congregation sang the Gbadebo Anthem. While it was being sung, the monarch sat; everyone, including his Olori, rose to sing his praise. Purple was the colour of the day. Balloons and fabrics ran across the walls of the church. After the opening hymn, the monarch walked to the altar, where he took the Bible reading from Ephesians 1:3-14. As he majestically walked up, he revealed his purple agbada, laced with damask and yellow embroidery. His wife wore the same blend of purple with lilac. The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Rt Rev Nicholas Okoh, delivered the sermon titled: “The principles of Christian leadership.”

70 royal years •Oba Gbadebo joins septuagenarian club Lauding the achievements of the monarch in serving his people and maintaining peace in the land, he prayed God to grant the Oba many more years on the throne. Rev Okoh also urged leaders to follow the principle of Jesus who came to serve and not to be served, so that long after their administration, they would have made a mark in the lives of the people and their great deeds will not be forgotten. Like a young man, Oba Gbadebo danced to the altar. He bent and wriggled his waist with every step he took. While dancing, he smiled to the admiration of the onlookers who joined him to dance. Bearing the offerings and leading the thanksgiving were the four princes, their spouses and children. After the service, guests moved to the palace for the reception. Only those with passes were allowed in. They were quizzed by heavily built security men at three gates before being allowed into the the large white tent where the event was held.

Those not allowed watched the happenings on a large screen which was visible from outside. They climbed the fence to get a full view. Those who could not go through the rigours hung around the palace gate, hoping to get an opportunity to enter. The venue was tastefully furnished with purple decorations. Pretty ushers in short native attires welcomed guests and placed them on their seats. The evergreen songs of the music maestro, Chief Ebenezer Obey, spiced up the event. The high and mighty were there to share in the joy of the day with the monarch. It was simply royalty at play. The ceremony featured the conferment of chieftaincy title on former Head of Interim Government Chief Ernest Shonekan as the Babasale of Egbaland and his wife, Margaret, Erelu Babasale. The Babasale title is said to be next to the Alake’s. Chief Shonekan knelt before the Alake who prayed for him and presented him with the

‘Like a young lad, Oba Gbadebo danced to the altar in thanksgiving. He bent and wriggled his waist with every step he took. While dancing, he smiled to the admiration of the onlookers who joined him to dance to the rhythm of the praise songs’


staff of office. As Shonekan rose and took his seat with his wife, Chief Obey sang their praises. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade Okunade, who chaired the event, said he was there for the double celebration. He described the Alake as a hero who since he assumed the traditional office eight years ago has been a shining light; a lover of peace and a fine gentleman. He prayed for the monarch to live long and in sound health. Oba Sijuwade described Chief Shonekan as an amiable patriot who deserves all the honour and respect he gets, having left his mark in the sands of time. The ceremony also featured the launch of the biography of Oba Gbadebo titled: Honour most undeserved. The Old Boys of Ibadan Grammar School, Oba Gbadebo’s alma mater, sang their school anthem. In attendance were: Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his wife Funsho; the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; former Secretary of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba; the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Oba AbdulRazaq Adenugba; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Ambassador Theophilus Shodipo; Senator Ahmadu Alli; the Olowu of Owu, Oba Gboyega Dosunmu; the Obong of Calabar, Ekpo Okon Otu; Senator Biyi Durojaiye; Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso; Asiwaju of the Source, Chief Alex Duduyemi; Gen Alani Akinrinade; the first military governor of Ogun State Gen Saidu Balogun; Admiral Jubril Ayinla; Chief Ayo Banjo; Chief Segun Shoneye; Chairman of Skye Bank Chief Tunde Ayeni and Senator Gbenga Obadara. •More pictures on page 30




•Oba Sijuwade and his Olori

•Oba Adetona and his Olori, Kemi

•Oba Tejuoso and his Oloris Olabisi (right) and Yetunde •Chief Anyaoku (right) and Oba Adenugba

•Chief Osoba (left) and Ogun State Deputy Governor, Segun Adesegun

•Oba Olugbenle and his Olori

•From left: Senator Durojaiye; Gen Balogun and Gen Akinrinade

•From left: Sir Kessington Adebutu; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon Suraj Adekunmi and Senator Tinubu

•Mrs Margaret Shonekan

Ogun State Head of Service Mrs Modupe Adekunle

•Dr Ademola Folarin-Williams

•Erelu Abiola Dosunmu PHOTOS: ERNEST NWOKOLO








Price war intensifies as year draws to a close Supermarkets and retail stores in the Lagos metropolis are gearing up for a round of price reduction to win price-conscious shoppers in the last quarter of the year, TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.


T is the last quarter of the year - September to December. Supermarkets and retail stores are stepping up their games to satisfy their customers by slashing prices and giving generous discounts. They also want to sell old stocks and bring in new ones. This has, therefore, intensified the price war among them to the advantage of shoppers who can now buy grocery and non-grocery items at cheaper rates. Contenders in the clothing sector are also seeking to win back budget-minded customers who have migrated to discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Woolworths. The have lowered the prices of about 5000 items, giving 10 per cent discount on each item. Ralph Laurel Store has also launched what it called a “significant” reduction in prices of often-purchased items. It said the decision to slash prices was to satisfy old customers and make new ones. “It is encouraging,” said a shopper, Adewale Odunayo of Innocris Ltd, who was seen buying a dress shirt at a David Wej Store on Lagos Island. “Retailers are lowering prices. I think it is best to wait for a time like this to shop. I am enjoying every bit of it. I used to buy a David Wej shirt for N7,500. Its price has been reduced to N6,955; that means N505 has been taken off its original price. I was prepared to buy two shirts but when I saw the price slash, I bought four. The good thing is that I got same quality but for a cheaper price,” he added. “I noticed a 10 to 15 per cent reduction on items at Mr Price,” said Mr Raphael Chukwuma,

•Discounted items at a groccery store.

who said he bought items cheaper at Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Rubies and Life mate in recent weeks. He also said he was saving money by concentrating on the discounts and that he was planning his shopping around ‘what is on sale by this time.’ Price is “the number one factor consumers consider when they pick where to shop, Mrs Modupe Shopeju, chief executive of Delightsome Gifts Concept, Gbagada said. “The discounters have put in more strategies,” said Ms Mumuni Omolara, the custormer relation officer for Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Surulere, Lagos. “Mango Store did a round of price cuts recently, despite the increased competition among retail stores which sell similar items; they top the list of clothing stores, and are also


stepping up in advertising and mail promotions.” Max Fashion has also reduced prices on many products. A regular Chinos pair of trouser which used to sell for N7,000, now goes for N6,905. A plain Polo shirt with small logo used to be N8,000, it is now N7,395. A striped collar polo shirt used to be N4,995, it is now N3,245. A single breasted suit used to be N24,495, it now sells for N14,995. Montaigne Perfume Store at Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall will add a refreshment section to its price slash on the first of each month till December. It will give out drinks and food to customers as they shop at the store. The Manager, Mrs Onoriode Otobo, said the store came up with the strategy to satisfy its customers and attract more. Grocery chains are doing much

the same. Shoprite is giving a facelift to its price structure and customer reward scheme to grab back its market share from competitors like Addide, Justrite, The Bazaar and Grocery Bazaar who are its major contenders in grocery business. It has also lowered the prices of perishables and products that are among the most purchased items in its store. According to Mr Sander Norman, the Centre Manager Ikeja City Mall, “Retailers have been lowering prices because they are aware that the consumer is price-conscious. But the question from consumers is who is delivering the lowest prices,” Shoprite is generally priced about three per cent below the other grocery retail, and that is one reason it has gained a fraction of a point in market share since its entrance into the country, topping the Nigerian

grocery market. However, stores who have refused to follow the trend experience a drop in demand and low sales, as shoppers move to discounters or purchase less-expensive items from such stores as substitute for items they used or would like to patronise. “These days,people spend less on impulse items,” said Mrs Folashade Akinremi, of Guesthouse Company Limited. According to her, some customers who used to spend about N20,000 on a bottle of wine previously, might decide to spend only N5,000 if the price is not reduced like in other stores. In most cases, this happens if those customers are fond of that store and won’t want to move to a cheaper one maybe because of one reason or the other.

NGO to protect consumers against fraud


HE Executive Secretary of the Consumers Right Protection (CRP), a nongovernmental organisation, Mr. Onu Uche, has said consumers are being shortchanged because they are not aware of their

By Musa Odoshimokhe

rights. He said this was a sad commentary because most consumers do not verify the authenticity of the products they consume . Uche said to protect consumers

against such challenges, CRP would embark on enlightenment campaign to keep them abreast of developments concerning their rights. He said: “Consumers have the right to verify what they buy. We have been involved in educating

them in the past concerning what they should know when they are shopping for their products. “This had been done at the market places and through the media. Consumers can make complain to us if their rights on goods have been

violated and we will take it up for them.” He called on government to live up to its responsibilities by ensuring that its economic blueprint is fashioned to enhance the living standard of the people.




1.1m litres of champagne to be bought in 2017


IGERIANS’ love for champagne takes sales growth to second highest in the world. Consumption of champagne in Nigeria is expected to reach 1.1million litres by 2017. The lyrics to Pop Champagne – one of many Nigerian pop songs to pay homage to the ubiquitous French drink – are self explanatory. “We dey pop champagne, pop pop pop pop, pop champagne!” the song goes, as a nightclub jumps with men holding bottles and women glasses full of bubbly. But Nigerians’ love of champagne is fast becoming fact as well as legend – with new figures forecasting that champagne consumption in the west African country will reach 1.1 million litres by 2017, with 2011 consumption at almost N8bilion (£31 million). The figures, from research company Euromonitor, found that Nigeria had the fastest growing rate of new champagne consumption in the world, second only to France, and ahead of rapid growth nations Brazil and China, and established markets such as the US and Australia. “Champagne has its own demographic on the higher end of things – it’s not even about the middle class, it’s about the elite,” said Spiros Malandrakis, a senior analyst at Euromonitor. “People may find it surprising that Nigeria came second in the rankings, but it has an

extremely extravagant elite, with Nollywood and the oil industry.” Nigerians’ love of big spending has attracted growing attention in recent months. Last year figures revealed that Nigerian tourists in the UK are the fourth biggest foreign spenders, ringing up an average £500 in each shop where they make purchases – four times what the average UK shopper spends. “At all the celebrity parties in Lagos, they always have champagne. And it has to be the finest – Cristal, Dom Pérignon, lanson or Moet et Chandon rosé – these are the things that are important symbols here,” said Vanessa Walters, the Lagos-based editor of Nigerian women’s magazine Genevieve. “People say that at every elite event the champagne has to be flowing, and that how much champagne there is is a one-upmanship thing, like showing people that your house is bigger than theirs.” But not everyone in Nigeria – 63 per cent of whose 160 million population still live on less than $1 a day – is impressed with the extent of Nigerian champagne consumption. “Nigerians’ unhealthy enthusiasm for anything foreign or imported is a plague that continues to pull the country back into this sort of wasteful expenditure,” said an editorial in the Daily Trust in response to the figures. “(These figures) reveal the profligacy that is offensive, if not obscene.”

Mall embraces innovations With the diverse nature of a shopping mall, it is capable of introducing innovations to its shoppers in different forms. Such was displayed last Friday when the second Fashion and Music Show of the Ikeja City Mall was held inside the Mall. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.


HE ultra-modern Ikeja City Mall located at Obafemi Awolowo Road, Alausa, Ikeja, currently the largest shopping centre in Lagos and one of two western-standard shopping centres in Nigeria, has held its second Fashion and Music show. It was a fashion runway with music, comedy, dance and raffle draw. It took off with a red carpet section outside the mall as people walked in. Some people were just getting to know at their arrival, some others were there mainly for the show haven heard about it via one medium or the other. At 5pm, one of the finest fashion shows the country has seen with Nigerians top models taking to the runway to display amazing designs from clothing stores in the mall began. The best of both local and international designers were on display. The show was opened by the prolific Soundcity presenter, S.DOT who was the host of the evening. Guest designers who showcased their outfits were Yomi Casual, MonAmin, Signature by Aniferaz and J-Reason and fifteen fashion stores who are tenants in the mall. Special guests at the show were top fashion icons. Also,the best of youthful artistes like; T-songz, Korede Bello, I-rap, Mykey o, Karate

•Shoppers enjoying the fashion show.

kid, El-phlex and last year’s Project fame winner, Ayoola performed at the show. Chief Executive Officer Broll Properties Ltd, Mrs Erejuwa Gbadebo, while giving the opening speech, said Ikeja City Mall has become a place of commerce, place of entertainment, and a tourist centre “today, we have been able to show Nigerians worldwide that running such a business model


within our shores is possible, where people can have as many packages as they want at the same time, shopping and having fun. That’s the kind of atmosphere we want to create with our innovations. ‘’Shopping should be fun and at Ikeja City Mall, we have been able to put a great impact on Nigerians.” According to the Centre Manager, Mr Norman Sander, the mall is dynamic

coming up with innovations and building a shopping industry for Nigeria. “We are trying to give an all in one package for a unique and fulfilledshopping experience. The mall’s versatile nature is to give people a remarkable shopping experience while bringing a new lease of life to her neighborhood,” he said The mall, which opened in 2011, has changed the way people shop.

They are not regular traders but forced by circumstances beyond their control. TAIBAI IDOWU spoke with vegetable female farmers who are also traders and are all wives of ex-soldiers.

‘Why we became traders’


O a regular user of the Iyana-Iba/Ojo road, the sight of large acre of farmlands opposite the Lagos State University (LASU) is a familiar sight. To the average eye, it is nothing but large expanse of vegetable farm cultivated by hard working young Nigerians. But this farm is different in two ways, it is cultivated by women who are traders and wives of former soldiers. Another interesting thing about this farm-turned market is that many of the traders are university graduates from LASU. Investigations by The Nation Shopping reveals that the farmers are residents of the Army Post Service House Scheme in IyanaIba area of Ojo Local Government Area. According to the women, life became difficult for most of them following the retirement of their husbands from the military and despite the fact that many had university degrees, they decided to turn to farming But farming did not bring the commensurate financial rewards they expected as consumers grossly underprised their products making them lose huge money invested in the process. They thereby devised a method which has

•Vegetable farmers at the market.

proven profitable by becoming retailers themselves. To make things work for them, they started the trading opposite of the varsity, gate about three years ago. They divided themselves into three groups for proper supervision and to reduce wastage. They sell from Monday till Saturday group by group. Trading hours starts at 7: 00am and ends at 10: 00am because they sell wholesale


to retailers. Mrs. Vera Godson Samuel, the secretary of one of the groups, said: “Our effort is not noticed. Buyers look down on our produce and offer to pay little amount for a huge quantity of vegetable, but because we don’t want to throw our goods away, after cultivation, we sell at give away prices. We decided to share ourselves into different groups . We now run it one

turn after the another. Mondays, Group A displays their vegetable for sale; on Tuesdays, Group B will do same and on Wednesdays, Group C will display theirs. Other groups will do same till Saturday. “Our market is called Army Post Service Farmer/ Seller Association. The land we farm on is owned by the government, they assist us with raw materials like fertiliser and the likes.”

According to Mrs. Vera Godson Samuel, Group A consists of 60 farmers and sellers; Group B has 70 farmers and sellers; it is like that with the other groups. Mrs. Chinaka Nnadozie, another farmer, who also participates in selling, said few months after they organised the market, traders started trooping in from far and near. ‘’The way our customers looked down on our goods is not encouraging, maybe it’s because we are farmers who have now resolved to selling our produce ourselves . It is here in Nigeria that I see that they don’t recognised farmers. In abroad they are the number one because we are the pillar of every nation,”she noted. A shopper who was found at the vegetable market, Mrs. Akinlosotu Mariam, said she buys from the farmer to resell. “I buy five pieces of corn at the rate of N100 from the farmers here and sell 6pieces for N150 or N200 ,” she added. Mrs. Seberu Agwe is also one of the vegetable sellers who majors in water leaves. “I have been here for five years now. As a retired army wife I used to be a house wife, but thank God I can now earn a living with farming and trading at the same time,” she said. Mrs. Amaka Uwgu is a graduate of Economics at the LASU. She is one of the traders who is not regretting her line of business. According to her, she wouldnt have practised any other profession. ‘I have found farming and trading vegetable very lucrative.’ “The government have been very supportive, they give us fertilisers for N5, 000.’’





HE Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), This is a formal petition to your Commission against the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), a Federal Government agency responsible for traffic and safety of roads in Nigeria. The petition is being written on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians who have been rendered voiceless by the power that be. It is quite unusual for a letter of this type to be an open one. But since its subject matter is an open wound which, only the truth can heal, making it an open document becomes a sine qua non especially due to the prevailing expediency. Besides, this is the only easy means of reaching your Commission without any delay or foul play. Perhaps you will recall that a unit of your Commission, (the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering) paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Supreme Council (NSCIA) at its headquarters in Abuja last Friday. The purpose of the visit, according to the Head of the Unit, was to sensitize the Nigerian Muslim Ummah under the umbrella of NSCIA, on the need to cooperate with the unit on matters relating to money laundering and other related offences. Whether the same sensitization campaign was extended to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is another matter.

FEMI ABBAS ON 08115708536

Letter to EFCC

The fraud called driver’s licence

Encounter with an EFCC representative Yours sincerely was one of those who played host to that unit. After an elaborate explanation on corruption generally and money laundering in particular, the leader of the team called for comments, questions and observation. As a journalist, my own comment came in form of question. And the question went thus: 1. Is the duty of EFCC only to run after government officials who have left office and are suspected of stealing public funds? If the answer is no, why is EFCC not running after the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)? The reason for this question is this: the same FRSC which designed and introduced a new driver’s license to Nigerians a few years ago came round in 2011 to introduce another with 100% tariff and reduced the three year tenor of that license to two years. Yet, the license is said not to be available after making people to pay for it. If that is not fraud what is it? And now, basking in the euphoria of its success on license matter, the same FRSC has gone ahead to design a new number plate to replace the old one without minding the rule of contract guided its transaction between the Commission and the public. Should the EFCC fold its arms and watch idly while a government agency is ripping off the public in such an audacious manner? 2. What informs the idea of plea bargain that you adopted as a measure of performance? Should recovery of money from a daring thief be enough as punishment for stealing public funds? Isn’t that an encouragement for further theft especially by the younger generations? In response to my questions, the head of the EFCC delegation that paid visit to NSCIA admitted that he had been following the debates and controversy trailing the number plate saga but, according to him, nobody had formally petitioned his Commission on the matter. He therefore advised me to write a petition to EFCC if I felt strongly about the way the number plate was being handled in the country vis a vis the populace. I therefore gladly grabbed the advice and took it for a challenge because I really felt not only strongly but also terribly bad about it. The matter quickly reminded me of Margaret Thatcher’s impression of Nigerians, as relayed in this column two weeks ago, which enabled the Iron Lady to dream of coming back into this world as a Nigerian ruler after her death. It is unimaginable that any such open day robbery as that of number plate would be committed in any sane country by government officials in the name of generating funds for the government and get away with it. Constitutionally, generating funds is not part of the duties of FRSC but the idea was motivated by the urge to make money using the government as alibi.

ask vehicle owners to pay exorbitantly for it. He also confirmed that the only difference between the old number plate and the new one is the transfer of the local government number to the beginning from the end an action which he described as a mere gimmick to dupe the public. He then denied any involvement of VIO in the ‘dirty’ exercise and pointed out that the gimmick was between the FRSC and the Nigerian Police saying it all had to do with money. Asked to name the exact amount for acquiring a new number plate, the gentle man said it is N25000. And when I pointed out to him that the FRSC announced N10000 for replacement of the old number and N15000 for a new plate he said by replacing an old number a vehicle owner must automatically replace other documents like vehicle license and vehicle insurance documents. All these plus the number plate, according to him, will cost about N25000. Now, this is the question that concerns the EFCC: If the tenor of my vehicle particulars has not expired should I be forced to change them willy-nilly?

•President Goodluck Jonathan

•EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde

Breach of contract

except for new vehicles. Now, nobody is quarreling with FRSC on the introduction of a new number plate. The bone of contention is the contract on the old one. If the FRSC decided to change the number plate again without consulting anybody, why must the populace be forced to acquire it? The only reasonable way of going about it is to replace the old number plate free of charge since there was never an agreement between the agency and the populace on it. If FRSC chooses to force people to acquire the new number plate at (an outrageous) fee what then happens to the money they had paid for the old number plate especially when that old number plate will be collected from the vehicle owner who paid for it?

The concern here is not about the new number plate per se but about the manner in which it is being used to extort money from gullible Nigerians. For God’s sake, how can anybody breach a contract so audaciously and claim to be acting according to law? What law permits a government agent to dupe the public by any means and insist on enforcing such fraud? Besides asking me to petition his Commission on the matter, the EFCC man neither stated categorically that EFCC would invite FRSC nor express personal opinion on the matter. In his answer to my second question about plea bargain, the head of the visiting EFCC unit said that plea bargain is a contemporary global norm aimed at minimizing the extent of loss on stolen money. He went ahead to justify it as a rational way of punishing a thief which he described as better than mere imprisonment that could not fetch the defrauded person or institution anything.

The facts Nigeria was using a particular kind of number plates before the creation of FRSC. Soon after its creation, the new road safety corps introduced a new number plate. After a few years, the newly introduced number plate was changed but the populace was not forced to acquire the new one

VIO’s denial The argument here is that the new number plate should be meant for new vehicles while the old plate should remain with the old vehicle. And that is the main gist of this petition. In my quest for the whole truth about the controversial number plate, I visited a Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) to make inquiry and my findings were shocking. An official in that office who spoke with me on condition of anonymity said the whole exercise was about ‘chop make I chop’ (i.e. a fraud). He said everybody already knew Nigerian flag which was on the old number and queried the rational for placing Nigerian map on number plates of vehicles only to

‘If FRSC chooses to force people to acquire the new number plate at (an outrageous) fee what then happens to the money they had paid for the old number plate especially when that old number plate will be collected from the vehicle owner who paid for it?’

As for the driver’s licence, no fraud can be more daringly committed. The FRSC introduced a new driver’s licence in 2011 without much ado. It imposed a fee on it and unilaterally reduced its tenure. These were not contested by gullible Nigerians. But now, even after paying the stipulated fee, most Nigerians cannot obtain the license for which they have paid. Instead, they are given what is called a temporary licence which lasts only two months after the expiration of which you can be questioned and fined on the road either by the same FRSC or the Police. Is this not enough as an assignment for EFCC? Is FRSC above the law and immune to investigation?

Terrorism angle The case of number plate as currently being handled by the FRSC is far beyond ordinary fraud. It actually amounts to terrorism by all means which is capable of igniting a keg of gunpowder if not altered. Terrorism, as mentioned in this column last week, is not just about killing and maiming innocent people by aggrieved renegades. What is going on currently about number plate in Nigeria is nothing but terrorism the fight of which falls within the EFCC’s jurisdiction. Some respondents to this column have either called for the boycott of the controversial number plate or rolling out of all vehicles in the country and then abandon them on the roads for the bullying FRSC and its Police counterpart to tow to their stations.

Why open letter? I chose to write this open letter to you as the watchdog of corruption in the country with the intention of making copies available to all Nigerians so that in the near future you will not feign ignorance of information about this type of fraud. We are all Nigerians. If this kind of treatment is given to Nigerians in Diaspora what will be your role as the nation’s watchdog on corruption? With this open letter to you, the trust reposed in you by Nigerians in respect of taming the monster called corruption is being tested. And your success or failure in this case will determine the hope or despair of the citizenry in the national assignment given to you. Through the imposed number plates and the deadline given by FRSC Nigerians are being defrauded and you are generally perceived as a major rescuer.

Warning In journalism, it is no news to report that a dog bites a man. What is news is a report that a man bites a dog. To avoid the latter situation as far as the issue of number plate is concerned your Commission must step in now and stop what may soon become a keg of gunpowder. Nigerians must not be taken for granted perpetually. The nation already has enough problems to grapple with. People’s revolt must not be added. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.




•From left: Daughter of the deceased and Secretary to the Lagos State Government Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire; Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; her Local Government and Chieftaincy Affaiars and Rural Development counterparts Hon Ademorin Kuye and Hon Cornelius Ojelabi

•All Progressives Congress (APC) National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed and his wife, Kudirat

•Lagos State House of Assembly Majority Leader Dr Dayo Adeyeye

•Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye

•Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure Mr Ganiyu Johnson

•From right: Member, House of Representatives, Hon Toyin Suarau; former Lagos State Independent Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Musibau Oyefeso and Mr Segun Oshiyoye

•From right: Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Alhaji Lateef Ibirogba; member, Lagos State House of Assembly Hon Rahmatallahi Akinola-Hassan and Chairman, Mosan-Okunola LCDA Hon Abiodun Mafe

•Prof Murtadoh Muhibudeen (left) and Dr Kabir Paramole

•From left: Hon Ramota Oseni-Adeyeri; Prince Adeyinka Durosinmi and Hon Bolaji Roberts

•From left: Dr Luqman Jimoh; Deputy Registrar Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Alhaji AbdulQuadri Muhideen and Dr Musbaudeen Raheemson

•Alhaja Fatimat Oyefeso flanked by Alhaja Ganiyat Kadri (left) and Mrs Sidiqat Smith



S OCIETY Kamaldeen Ibrahim Adedeji has suceeded Mr Charles Duru as president of the Rotary Club of Ikorodu Metropolitan. He was installed at the Harmony Castle Hotel, Aga, Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb. AMIDU ARIJE was there.

Rotary gets new head

•Duru (right) presenting certificate to Adedeji. With them is Jacob Bankole

•Chief Benson (left) and Abdullahi

tives in office. When it was time for the investiture, members and guests watched keenly how the symbol of office would be handed over to the incoming president. Duru first handed the gavel to Adedeji. He also gave him the certificate of office and, thereafter, removed the rope from his neck, a symbol of authority, and put it on Adedeji’s neck. After this, he was pronounced president. Adedeji thanked God and all for their support for the occasion. He promised he would work for the good of the club. “I am going to work vigorously with clear focus on our vision and mission as we all are committed to be among award winning, participating and

contributing club in District 9110, Nigeria, while maintaining functional and effective club status,” he said. Adedeji emphasised that he would together with his executives work to bring to limelight the vision of the club to better the lives of people in their community and society at large. “We shall reach our vision by continuously running an effective club with clear focus on annual and long term goals that are shared, measured, challenging, and achievable and time bound that impact positively on our immediate community, district and Rotary International at large,” he said. Among the projects he listed included construction of eLearning Centre, donation of

AWARD Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (left) receiving Distinguished Manager of the Year Award from the President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), Dr Michael Olawale-Cole at the 52nd Conference of the institute in Uyo.

Public speaking Icon 3



IS family, friends and associates were there. They all gathered to witness the installation of Alhaji Kamaldeen Ibrahim Adedeji as President of Rotary Club of Ikorodu Metropolitan for 2013-2014 year. The ceremony was held at the Harmony Castle Hotel, Aga Ikorodu, Lagos for the event. They ensured the occasion was successful. Everything was put in place for the investiture. The Banquet Hall of the hotel was adorned in blue satin. It was a day to remember for Rotarians and their friends. To Adedeji, it was a day to glorify God for His mercies. To him, assuming leadership responsibility is a divine job. He appeared in a black suit and T-shirt. Everyone stood up to catch a glimpse of him. He was filled with joy. Soon, the venue was filled to capacity. The event began with an opening prayer, followed by the recitation of the National Anthem and the Rotary’s prayer. The occasion was chaired by Chief Babatunde Benson, who thanked God for the lives of the Rotarians. Benson urged them to keep up the good work they are doing. He cautioned that they should keep to time in whatever they do. He advised that a Rotary Foundation should be set up to look into issues that affect the club. The outgoing president, Charles Duru, in his farewell message, thanked God and members of his executive for their commitment and selfless service to humanity during his tenure. He urged them to extend the same gesture to the incoming president so that he will achieve his objec-


incubator to Ikorodu General Hospital, computer systems to secondary schools and donation of wheel chairs. The highlight of the occasion was the fund raiser for the club’s projects. Members of the executive include President-elect, James Ogunolu; Vice President, Tosin Ademilua; Secretary, OlaDaniels Alice and Public Relations Officer, Bunmi Anifowoshe. Others are Treasurer, Ade Iyiade; and History and Archives Abdul Fatai Olukoga. Guests on the occasion included Assistant Governor of Rotary District 9110 Nigeria, Muhammed Abdullahi; and Deputy Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic Mr Samuel Sogunro.

AM excited to welcome you again to this column. Thanks for always being there. Over the past few months, we have learnt valuable lessons on public speaking. We have even learnt from people who were kind enough to share their lives AMODU LANRE OLAOLU with us. Today, I bring you (Ph.D) another Icon I have person07034737394 ally learnt a lot from. I consider him particularly gifted in public speaking because of the way he manages his audience. He is also an on-line business veteran. Get ready for a rewarding experience as I present to you Mr. Olatunde Samson. Olatunde Samson Olatunde Samson was born on November 12, 1983, in Lagos. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 2008. As an undergraduate, his demonstrated his passion for entrepreneurship by establishing a computer training centre in school. After his graduation, he took the business to the next level by registering it in 2008. Now, Mr. Olatunde Samson is the Principal Consultant of Business Impact Ltd., a business that has clientele base of over 700 customers and a growing network of trainees. Enjoy this interview with Mr. Olatunde Samson. Factors responsible for success so far God is the first factor responsible for my success because He gives me inspiration. Secondly, I have mentors from whom I'm privileged to benefit of the wealth of experiences gathered through past failures and successes. While some of them mentor me physically, others do so through their materials I read or listen to; they provide wisdom beyond my current level. Thirdly, I learnt that the secret of most successful people is in their time management. So, I don't work outside my schedule. I plan my activities daily and evaluate my performance at the end of the day. Also, I try to stay on top of my game by seeking fresh knowledge my area of interest. The Value of Communication I realized early that communication goes beyond the communicator. When you communicate, you can never accurately estimate the number of people you are reaching. Also, several channels can be used to communicate. As for me, I use ICT, books, other forms of writing (e.g. blogs), and public speaking, both directly and through audio and video programmes, to reach people. First experience before a crowd The first time I faced a crowd was when I organised my first seminar in school in 2005. Though a lot of planning went into it and I wanted to have a large student audience, the turnout was beyond my expectation. I prepared my presentation and even rehearsed several times before a mirror, but when I was called up for the presentation, I went blank for about five minutes. I wasn't sure where to start from or what to say next. After about five minutes, however, I got my bearing. I was destabilised initially because I expected my presentation slides to be up by the time I mounted the podium, but the technician was still trying to sort it out. At that time, I was prone to grammatical errors, but overtime, after watching others present at several events, I learnt to speak correctly and to use presentation slides effectively. When I started speaking, I was so shy I couldn't look my audience in the eye; right now, I am very comfortable with speaking. Overcoming stage fright At the initial stage of my speaking career, my hands would shake, even when I was holding the microphone, and my voice would also shake; observant members of the audience would actual notice that I was afraid. It was so bad that if there was a distraction during my presentation, like someone coming in or people conversing, I would be destabilised. Later, however, I adopted the technique of starting my presentations with stories. Some other times, I would ask members of the audience to introduce themselves. I may even decide to ask everyone to walk around and say thing to other participants; or invite some people on stage as part of my illustrations. All these gave me enough time to compose myself before the presentation. Something else I do is to make sure the technical aids, such as microphones and slides, are effectively running. Time Management A good presentation should end strictly ten minutes before the time given. When most people handle the microphone, they feel they can keep people for as long as they want, forgetting that people can either listen or walk out. I was part of a programme recently, we informed the guest speaker that the duration of her presentation was 35 minutes because she was addressing youths, but she spent 25 minutes extra. Of course, everyone was upset because it disrupted other programmes scheduled for the day. I believe speakers who are paid by the hour are more judicious with time because they understand the implication of an extension. You should always finish up 10 minutes before your time so that you can respond to questions where applicable. When you use your time wisely, the conclusion of your speech will be greeted with standing ovation. Dr. Amodu teaches at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ogun State.



SOCIETY The yearly family day organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has been held at the main bowl of the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos. RISIKAT RAMONI reports.

Alhaja Gawat (right) Alhaja Kudirat Alli

•Senator Habib Fashinro flanked by Dr Jubril Oyekan (left) and Alhaji Nafiu Bamigbopa

•From left: Alhaja Rahamota Olaniyan; Alhaja Ayanwale; Alhaja Shopeyin-Akande and Alhaja Dada PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID

•Alhaja Sidikat Binuyo (left) and Alhaja Rahmatallah Ogunmiyiwa

A yearly ritual T

HE day will linger in people’s memory. Women from different parts of Lagos ignored class, wealth and ethnic differences as they gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos to celebrate. It was the yearly Family Day organised by the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Lagos State chapter. The women were gorgeously dressed in different attires and colourful clothing and hijabs to depict the festive mood and atmosphere. As many as they were, each local government representatives wore different material. They were distinct in their clothing, hijabs and shoes with matching bags. The FOMWAN members in Ikeja wore peach

on white and those from Lagos Island went for the Nigerian green white green. Ikorodu women had different colours. Some in wine, others in white and blue. Alimosho old and young women took the centre stage as they paraded various colours. They wore various colours — cream on chocolate brown; green, purple and blue. Special guests also dressed well to suit the occasion. The Amirah, Alhaja Fatima Gawat, wore a green and black attire. All those at the event could attest that it was, indeed, an occasion worth celebrating. The yearly event was packed with various activities to makeit memorable. Students participated in quiz and quran com-

petition and the best three received trophies and gifts. Aside that, some schools in Lagos were represented and the children participated in a march past, showing different skills in the process. The best ones also received gifts. FOMWAN members also marched past with their banners. The best local government was recognised and given a trophy. There was an empowerment programme for individuals from various local governments. Some were given provisions, some machines - grinding and sewing. There were those who got books, drinks, hair accessories, children clothes and even fish. It was presented to each of them by the Arowoshadini of Nigeria, Alhaja Muyinat Shopeyin-Akande, and other guests. Four indigent students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Lagos State University (LASU) were given gifts to assist them in their education. It featured the recognition of the past Amirahs with awards and certificates for their contribution to the society. The General Secretary of the group, Alhaja Rahmatallah Olaniran, described the day as great.

“We make ourselves happy because we are celebrating the Family Day. That is why women appear in their best colourful clothes. It is a family affair, meant for mothers and their children,” she said. She promised that the 2014 edition would be better than this. Vice-Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government and FOMWAN state Assistant Public Relations Officer Kudirat Omolara Dada noted that the Family Day was a special occasion. She prayed for more people to witness it next year, in good health and prosperity. Alhaja Shopeyin-Akande said the yearly event makes many women happy and they looked forward to it. She said it is like a re-union party for many to celebrate and mingle. The children had fun, riding the train, jumping on the bouncing castle and other games provided for them. Some of the guests on the occasion were Senator HAB Fasinro; former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Alhaja Lateefah Okunnu; Dr Jubril Oyekan; Alhaja Khadijat Ayanwale; Alhaja Ramdat Okunola and many others.

New chiefs in town Many Chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC) led other dignitaries to the turbaning organised by Ajumoni Central Mosque at the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat, Oshodi, Lagos. AMIDU ARIJE writes.


HE movements of various choice vehicles into the expansive pavilion of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat attracted attention of commuters and passersby. It was followed by shout of names, nicknames and slogans of some prominent politicians in the state. Soon, a large crowd had conveyed on the pavilion cheering the guests. Street urchins, itinerant drummers and petty traders mounted stands at various entries into the council secretariat. The gathering was not apolitical, rather it was the decoration of the new Chief Imam of Ajumoni Central Mosque and the conferment of chieftaincy titles on some members of the society. The ceremony drew dignitaries from far and near. The venue of the event was filled to capacity. Guests looked resplendent in their chosen attires. To the organisers, the day was meant to reward hard work and meticulous service to God and humanity.

In all, 28 men and women excluding the new Chief Imam were decorated with turban for various titles. Among them were Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus and Hon Idris Muse-Ariyoh, both chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC); Alhaji Sadiq Okeowo; Alhaaji Sauban Bankole, Alhaji Sulaiman Eyiowuawi; Alhaja Abibat Ayoade; Alhaja Halimot Abiola; Alhaja Habibat Sholanke; Alhaja Taibat Adigun and Alhaja Balikis Shin-Aba. The occasion started with a prayer. Alhaji Sikiru Animashaun, who delivered the welcome address, thanked God for the day. Animashaun said the turbaning ceremony long overdue. When it was time for the ceremony, the first to be decorated with turbaned was Alhaji Muhammed Robiu Adeyemo as the new Chief Imam of Ajumoni Central Mosque, Oshodi. He was followed by Alhaji Okeowo as Baba Adinni; Alhaji Badmus – Otun Baba Adinni; Muse-Ariyoh Aare Adinni; Alhaja Ayoade – Iya Adinni.

•Alhaji Badmus flanked by Muse-Ariyoh (left) and Alhaji Olorunoje

Their decoration was followed with cheers from guests and chanting of Allah Akbar (Allah is Greatest). Special prayers were offered for the new Chief Imam and other chiefs by the Sheikh Akinyemi. Certificates were presented to the new Chief Imam and other chiefs. Afterwards, awardees entertained their guests under separate tents. Thanking the Jamah (community) for their trust in him, Alhaji Adeyemo appealed for their prayers

and cooperation for success. He described the title as Amana (trust), praying Allah to assist him discharging the trust. He urged the congregation to correct him of his shortcomings anytime they notice them. While Alhaji Badmus was joyful, Muse-Ariyoh thanked the Muslim community for the honour. “I could not have ask for more; I’m highly elated and pray Allah to make me live up to expectation,” he said. “No doubt, he said, this honour

called more hardwork and dedication to Allah’s course.” Some guests on the occasion include APC National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire; Cardinal James Odunmbaku; Chairman CONFERENCE 57 Akeem Omoyele Sulaiman; Alhaji Kehinde Olorunoje; Hon Omowunmi Edet; Hons Hakeem Bamgbola; Shamsudeen Olaleye; Kamal Bashua and Kamal Bayiewu. The Chief Imam of Shogunle Central Mosque, Alhaji Abubakar Shittu gave the closing prayer.




Water everywhere in Bayelsa, but none to drink •continued on page 25 Jones Emeka, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was surprised to see carts dot different sections of Mbiama/ Yenagoa Road, when he was posted to the state. “When I asked the taxi that brought me into Yenagoa what the people behind the carts which were filled with gallons were doing, he said they were supplying water to the residents in exchange for money. “I was surprised because l earlier though that a capital city, like Yenagoa, has public taps flowing with potable water”, he said. In fact, carts loaded with gallons and being pushed about by persons commonly referred to as water vendors are common sight in Yenagoa. The business is booming and persons involved in it hope it does not end. The business is easy but strenuous. A water vendor buys the product in gallons from privately owned boreholes. He arranges the gallons in a cart and pushes it to the homes of people who buy them at fixed rates. Vendors normally buy the water at N10 per keg and supply at N20 to people who live in bungalows and N30 to N40 for those living in storey buildings. Ifeanyi Uba, a 35-year old man is in the business. He said he lost his fortunes to a fraudster in Lagos but later relocated to his village in Anambra State before moving to Yenagoa. He said his cousin, Ernest, introduced him to the business of supplying water for profit in Yenagoa. He said: “I was doing very well in clothing business in Lagos. But someone approached me and said he could help me travel abroad. I gave him over N400,000 and he escaped with the money. “I became poor and relocated to the village with my wife and daughter. But Ernest who was under me before invited me to Yenagoa and introduced this water business to me. The business is good.” At the peak period of the business, he makes a profit of between N3000 to N3500. But at every down time, he generates between N1,500 to N2000. “Peak period occurs in dry

•Jerry cans of water: regular sights in Yenagoa

•A water vendor pushing his cart

season and whenever there is power outage for a long time. There is always greater demand for water at such period and we cash in on it. But during rainy season and if power supply is stable, the demand falls and this affect our business”, he said.

He quickly added: “But if I have another job, l will quit the business. It is very strenuous. I suffer body pains and l spend a lot of money buying painkillers”. Also, Loffa Ahmed who hails from Plateau State said he was being sustained by the business in

Yenagoa. He said his idleness in Plateau compelled his brother to invite him to Yenagoa for the water business. “I have been in Yenagoa for about one year now. The business is good but it is difficult to sustain this kind of business. I always have a lot of pain every day. But l have been able to make a living from it”, he said. But, Julius Adeleke lamented living in a city without potable water. Adeleke who was transferred to Yenagoa by his company said he spends N5000 monthly to satisfy his needs for water. “I don’t drink the water supplied by water vendors. I learnt that some people after boiling it drink it. I only use it to cook, wash and bathe. I buy sachet water to quench my thirst. “But the government should do something. They should make the public water system to be functional, with the amount of revenue accruing to this state, the people in the state should have access to potable water”, he said. Dickson had in July presented a draft of N200million to Cardinal Resources for the provision of potable water in 10 communities. The governor signed a

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company. The governor said he was satisfied at the technology deployed by the company to provide potable water. He said: “We have great confidence that this partnership will result in the provision of affordable potable water for our communities. “We are not just talking of 10 communities; this is just the first in the long interaction that we are going to have with you. I am very satisfied with the briefings I got about the reliability of the system that you have developed. “If it works the way we anticipate and we trust that it will; then you have got a great partnership with this state because this government is committed to the provision of water for our people wherever they live. “We are committed to fulfilling our obligation as a government to provide basic social amenities in the areas of health, education and security for their well being.” Dickson said his administration placed priority on the provision of social amenities. He, however, said his government had not embarked on water projects because of the peculiar challenges of high iron content inside the ground.

Senatorial by-election an Urhobo affair, says Omo-Agege


FORMER Secretary to Government of Delta State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial aspirants in Central District, Obarisi Ovie OmoAgege has warned governorship aspirants from other districts of the state against intruding into the affairs of the Urhobo areas. He said the Delta Central Senatorial by-election was purely a matter for the Urhobo people and cautioned 2015 governorship aspirants scheming to wield their influences in the area to stay away. Omo-Agege spoke during his tour of the eight local government areas of Delta Central district. He said: “I want to say categorically that the by-election to decide who will be the next senator to represent Urhobo is purely our business. So, any governorship aspirant from either the North or South should face their business and allow Urhobo to pick anybody of their choice. “I have seen the handwriting on the wall how governorship aspirants in the Delta North and South are making efforts to decide who Urhobo should pick; but we are saying no to them. We are capable of choosing who we want and we are asking them to take their hands off our bye-election, they are not to tell us who should represent us.”

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

The PDP senatorial hopefulsaid he was ready to serve his people if given the opportunity. Omo-Agege, who visited Udu, Okpe, Ethiope East, Uvwie, Ughelli South and some leaders in the eight Local Government Areas, said the Senate was not a place for learners or apprentice but for people who had legislative experience and legal background. He said he would not disappoint the Urhobo nation if he got the senatorial mandate. He said: “Are we not tired of what is happening to the Urhobo nation today? Are we not sick and tired of what is not happening to make life better for the people of our people? I offer myself as a candidate for the election to the senate on the platform of the most visible, most consistently accepted political party in Nigeria, the PDP as a partner with our governor and president in this onerous task of transforming our economy and society.” Omo-Agege, a lawyer, explained that if allowed to serve, his oversight functions would benefit greatly from his experience as a former Commissioner of Special Duties, where he exhibited proven ability to manage and supervise

completion of projects to the highest standards, and his role as the former Chief Liaison Officer to PDP national headquarters, Abuja, where he develop a network of contacts and friendship across Nigeria. He said he was dragged into the contest by people of good conscience who wanted the best for the Urhobo nation and noted that none of his opponents could boast of the experience, contacts and friendships he had built over the years. He said his immense wealth of goodwill would be brought to bear in the service of the Urhobo nation in the Senate and pledged to restore a steady, reliable and strong Urhobo voice at the senate and national politics. He lamented the declining fortune of the Urhobo nation in the national politics, particularly their failure to produce a minister of any calibre at the Federal Executive Council. He said: “You will agree with me that this is the first time in the history of this country that we have no member in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), when we are contributing greatly to the economy of this country. When it comes to sharing, we will not be there, but l am assuring you that if you send me to the Upper Chamber, those errors will be

•From left: Austine Uloho, Omo-Agege and Ukpebiterhe at the declaration of OmoAgege for Senate at Egborode

corrected.” He promised to implement the agenda and ideas of the Urhobo Progress Union UPU, assuring that he would hold regular consultations with the UPU before taking any decision or voting on issues that affect them. The Chairman of Concerned Delta Central Lawyers for Good

Governance and Transparency, Johnson Akpochafo, called on the UPU and other Urhobo associations to help Omo-Agege. Akpochafo said the group had critically x-rayed all the aspirants and saw that the only man who could deliver was Omo-Agege, in view of his contributions to Urhobo while serving in the past.



NIGER DELTA REPORT September 14 is a day that will remain in the memory of former Rivers State Governor Celestine Omehia for a very long time; his friends, associates and supporters ‘connived’ to surprise him with a ‘carnival’ to mark his 54th birthday anniversary. PRECIOUS DIKEWOHA, who witnessed the event, reports.


HE Port Harcourt Polo Club last Sunday brimmed with top politicians, leaders from various communities in the 25 local government areas of Rivers State when friends and associates of former Rivers State Governor Celestine Omehia executed a surprise birthday party for him. What was meant to be a small gathering of close friends was ‘hijacked’ by the former governor’s supporters who turned it into a carnival of sort. On the eve of his 54th birthday, the K12 group, one of his political formations organised


Day Omehia will not forget

•Omehia (third right, his wife (second right) and other guests

a pre-birthday lecture for him during which Omehia advised his supporters to be useful to the society. But, the first inkling of the D-day was the display of posters and banners with his image and congratulatory messages pasted on the walls of his compound and streets linking his Port Harcourt residence by his supporters. A thanksgiving service was held at St Philip Catholic Church, which was filled, leaving a huge crowd of supporters outside. One of his supporters said the unprecedented crowed was a gift of loyalty. Before 12pm, the Port Harcourt Polo Club, the venue of the birthday reception, was

already bubbling, with supporters and guests who came to rejoice with the celebrant. The tents were fully occupied and protocol officers had hectic time controlling the crowd. By 2pm when Omehia made his grand entrance, it was likened to the arrival of a president. He was ushered in by the Elders Forum. Dignitaries at the occasion include former Deputy Majority Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Waribo Gogo Tamunosisi Jack; Prof. Kimse Okoko of University of Port Harcourt; Emma Deya; Annkio Briggs, a Niger Delta activist; Dr. Tasie Osere; chairman Jafac Group of Companies, Chief

•Members of Hausa community in Rivers State at the event

Felix Idiaga, Chief Maxwell Tasie and many former commissioners who served during the celebrant and Dr Peter Odili’s administrations. Youths, students, women, members of the Hausa community, chiefs and elders of some communities did not miss the action. The Ikwerre, Kalabari, Okirika ethnic nationalities and the people of Ubima Community - home town of the celebrant’s - stormed the venue in their large numbers and with their dance troupes Some of the guests, who spoke with Niger Delta Report, described Omehia as a man of high sense of decency, honesty

and probity. Others said during his tenure as Rivers State governor he was humble and diligently served the people and not his interest or his political ambition. Jack said Omehia was unrivalled in character and humility. He said: “The crowd here today symbolises the heart of the people. It is a sign of a man who is ready and willing to make sacrifice for the good of Rivers State. We are here to celebrate the man with fear of God; whose administration in few months he stayed in office imparted on many lives. “Today is not the day to play politics but to show love and

support to the celebrant on the occasion of his 54th birthday. Omehia is, indeed, the man of the people, our prayer is that God should strengthen him and give him more years to live.” Prof. Okoko said he did not expect to see such crowd. He said: “The celebrant is no longer in government and this kind of crowd is here today, then what would happen if he was to be celebrating this birthday in government? But, all this depends on individual lifestyle. I think Omehia deserves to be loved.” Comrade Paul Amadi, the President of Ubima Youths for Omehia (UYO), said Omehia

NDDC gives Bakassi sense o ‘

AMEROON took full sovereignty over the disputed territory of Bakassi last month as the United Nations-backed transitional period in the peninsula came to an end in August 2013. Nigeria formally ceded Bakassi to Cameroon on August 14, 2008. The Bakassi Peninsula may have gone to Cameroon, but majority of its people are Nigerians relocated home, though some of them decided to stay back in the territory ceded to Cameroon. The takeover, which effectively put a seal on Nigeria’s loss in Bakassi had added to the general feeling of abandonment by the people of Bakassi in the country’s side of the border. But, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is trying to make a difference. Since 2008, the commission has built several roads, schools, and health centres for the people. It had also executed electricity and water projects for them. On September 9, the NDDC team was in Bakassi again to commission a 80,000 litres twin tanksolar-powered water project in Ikot-Iwang Township in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State. The project has a reticulation of 1,000 metres. Performing the ceremony, the NDDC acting Managing Director, Dr. Christy Atako, assured the people that the Federal Government would not abandon them. Atako said: “The Federal Government loves Bakassi, NDDC loves Bakassi. That is why we are advancing the course of the transformation

By Wale Ajetunmobi

agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan by providing key infrastructure in this area” A community leader, Emmanuel EffiongEtteng, said what the NDDC was doing for his people had given them a sense of belonging and rescued them from the perennial problem of not having access to potable water. According to Etteng, the community’s only source of drinking water was a stream, which was often polluted as a result of oil exploration and exploitation in the area, thereby exposing the people to various health hazards. Etteng said: “We are happy with NDDC, we usually trekked long distances to get water from the stream, we prayed and hoped for this day.” In spite of the previous years of friction between the fishing communities and the notorious gendarmes, Chief OkokonEdemArchibong, a security guard at the NDDC jetty project at the IfiangAyong River, insisted that Bakassi people would not be divided by national boundaries. He said that the jetty being built by the NDDC would further unite all Bakassi people on both sides of the international border. The activities of the NDDC in Bakassi last week was part of a two-day inauguration and inspection of projects in different parts of Cross Rivers State by the acting Managing Director of NDDC. Within the twodays, Dr. Atako, who appeared to be firing from all cyl-

We are determined to provide facilities that would enhance the health status of Niger Deltans. It was for this reason that the commission had over the year’s undertaken free medical mission in all parts of the region

•Dr. Atako drinking water afetr inaugurating a water project in Bakassi

inders, commissioned 6 projects and inspected 4 others in the state. The projects that were commissioned included the rural

electrification of InuakpanUsungEsuk communities in Odukpani Local Government Area; the water project in Bakassi and four

roads in Calabar municipality. It was indeed a good day for many residents of Calabar, with the commissioning of Technical College Road at

IkotEffangEkpenyongOruin Street; EtukIkim Street and ItuOkon Street. The acting MD also flagged off the distribution of comput-




in a hurry

•Omehia’s supporters at the event

did not need to place adverts to attract a crowd. “He has the best political structure in Rivers State. His lifestyle and his ability to respect every human being stand him out of the crowed.” Chief Sabinus Obuah from Ubima community said the community was happy to have a son like Omehia. He said if outsiders would appreciate their son in the manner that he witnessed at the event, then, it was time for his people to realise themselves. The high point of the celebration was the cutting of the birthday cake by the celebrant, who was assisted by his wife Tonia.

The obviously overwhelmed Omehia, who later danced with his wife, said: “I don’t know how to thank you, but I must say I am delighted to have you as my friends, brothers, sisters and well-wishers in this occasion. Let me thank the Almighty God for the shower of undeserved blessing in my life.” He called for one united and indivisible Rivers State. He thanked his wife, who he described as his “jewel of inestimable values”, and his mother who witnessed the honour done to her son. He urged the people not to judge his community by the activities of a few individuals,

saying: “It is true that the community we came from impacted on us. But, it is not right to say everybody in a community is bad. I am from Ubima and Ubima people are good.” He expressed his support for President Goodluck Jonathan, saying: “We must support the President so as to allow our daughter continue as the First lady. Don’t forget opportunity comes but once and she must surely complete her tenure as the First Lady. Nigerian women are happy having her as the First Lady. She has galvanised Nigerian women. Today, the women are no longer talking about 35 percent of women in government but they are now asking for more.”

of belonging ers to three secondary schools and treated mosquito nets to some communities in the state. She said these items would eventually be given to many more communities across the Niger Delta. In order to boost education, NDDC had already donated 200 computer sets to all the polytechnics in the region and 120 others along with accessories to colleges of education. The Cross River State director of NDDC, Osmond Adiele, said the commissioning exercise was a continuation of a hand-over programme that started in February this year, when 20 projects in different parts of the state were commissioned. All over, the people expressed their joy and appreciation in different ways. At Inuakpan, where a rural electrification project was handed over to the benefiting communities, the NDDC officials were welcomed by the highly cherished Ekpo masquerades that gyrated excitedly to the admiration of the audience. Major NyaItaNya (Rtd), the Special Adviser on Peace and Security in Odukpani Local Government Area, assured the NDDC that the electricity project would be protected from vandals. “No one would be allowed to tamper with the light. “Now that wehave seen light, no one can take us back to darkness again” he said. At the Odukpani council headquarters, it was like a home-coming for Dr. Atako, who hails from the area. Mr. Steve Asuquao, chairman of the Local Government, cap-

tured the mood of the people. He said: “When the righteous rule, the people are happy. We are particularly happy that our daughter is in leadership position”. He said that his council was investing on putting computers in school and that they were lucky to get a boost from the NDDC. Apart from the computers, they also got treatedmosquito nets to help check malaria scourge in the area. The NDDC boss reminded the people that the commission’s mandate was to intervene in the various sectors of development, such as education, health, agriculture, youth empowerment among others.She noted that education was the building block of development. “Science education and computers have reduced the world to a global village. Indeed, science and technology drive the economy of any nation,” she said. She also explained the necessity for special attention to health. According to her, “health is wealth, no matter the infrastructural development you bring to any community if the people are not healthy or active they will not enjoy the benefit of those facilities. This is even more so because experts have identified malaria as the greatest enemy of the region.” She said: “We are determined to provide facilities that would enhance the health status of Niger Deltans. It was for this reason that the commission had over the year’s undertaken free medical mission in all parts of the region. We have also donated medical equip-

ment and disposable syringes to hospitals”. The joy of the NDDC team in handing over projects, education and life-saving materials was punctured at the inspection of the hostel project at the Cross River State University of Science and Technology (CRUTECH). Dr. Atako was taken aback by what she saw at the university hostel. She was confronted with crooked pillars, cracking walls and generally poor finishing. The back-breaking flaw was the fancy blocks that practically crumbled at the touch of bare hands. The patriotism in Dr. Atako took over as she broke down in tears. She said it was unbelievable that a Nigerian would mold such fragile fancy blocks that scattered at the slightest impart. She said: “This is the worst job I have seen so far. I have seen bad jobs, but this is the worst. I feel short-changed by the contractor. I can’t image that I can break fancy blocks with my bare hands. I have never seen a thing like this in my life. All the poorly executed aspects of the project will have to be corrected,” she added. It was questions, questions and more questions. Yet, the site engineer, Chinyere Ogbujah, who is actually a petroleum engineer, had no coherent answers to give. She stumbled from one lame excuse to the other. When Dr. Atako asked her pointedly her assessment of the project, she admitted that the work was substandard and promised to do all that was needed to correct the flaws.

•The boat after it was released

Relief for oil services firm as JTF releases boat, workers


HE management of Steve Integrated Technical Services (SITS), an oil servicing company in Port Harcourt, has expressed joy at the Joint Task Force (JTF) release of its staff and tugboat that were detained on suspicion of illegal oil bunkering. The Managing Director of SITS, Mr Steve Ayiyi who spoke in Port Harcourt said that the release of his staff and tugboat has brought great relief to his company. Ayiyi praised the JTF, especially the police component of the task force for doing “a very thorough investigation concerning the crew on the tugboat and the tugboat itself. We are happy that with all their investigations, they realized that the crew was not part of the illegal bunkering activities.” “I can confirm that they have been released and the tugboat that was also seized has been released too.” While expressing joy that his company has been vindicated in this incident, Ayiyi also disclosed that the company we did not spend “any one naira on anybody to get them released. “We allowed JTF to do its job and they told us that we are

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

cleared; we were not part of that and we cannot be part of that.” When contacted, the Spokesman of JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, Lt. Col. Onyeama Nwachukwu confirmed the release of the SITS crew and tugboat administratively. Much as Ayiyi lauded JTF for vindicating his company, he said that he is feeling reluctant in continuing with that highrisk job involving the clamping of leaking oil pipelines which they were doing before being hurled into detention. The reason, he said is that the job which should have been attracting encouragement to them from stakeholders in the country has rather brought the terrible experience because the grounding of the tugboat which he hired for N100,000 per day had made him lose money for the two months period. The movement of 10 of his staff and tugboat into what he termed wrongful detention started in Bodo, Ogoni axis of Rivers State on June 19, 2013 when a spark suddenly occurred while they were clamping leaking oil pipelines, setting

the area ablaze. The spark, he said may have occurred from activities of illegal oil bunkering by persons suspected to be from the locality, a case the company had earlier reported to the JTF to enable it be on the watch out. But on sighting the fire, Ayiyi said that his staff escaped towards the JTF house boat, where the soldiers securing the area were staying. Feeling they were in the safe hands of the men of JTF, they were surprised that by the following day, June 20, 2013, they were told by the military personnel that they were under arrest and consequently, they were taken to Bori Camp, Port Harcourt where they were detained for 10 days before being released. But the company’s tugboat in which they sailed to JTF houseboat was not released till September 7, 2013. The SITS Boss also expressed regrets that the JTF was quick in going to the press on June 20, 2013 to announce the arrest of his staff, an action he said smeared the image of his company, which has been carrying out a lot of high risk jobs for international oil companies in Niger Delta.

Delta DPP chief Ezeagwu hails Ogboru THE Delta State Chairman of the Democratic Peoples Party DPP, Mr. Tony Ezeagwu, chairmanship aspirant of the party in Okpe Local Government Area, Hon. Blessing Oborevwori and other party chieftains have commended the governorship candidate and leader of the DPP in the state, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru for his steadfastness. The State party chairman who said that neither he nor chief Great Ogboru had anointed any candidate for the coming senatorial election in Delta central. He condemned speculation that an aspirant has been endorsed by the leadership of the party, describing the rumour as unfounded and untrue. Ezeagwu made this statement during a tour of Democratic Peoples Party secretariats in Delta Central senatorial districts. He said rumour that the party was losing some of its stalwarts in the state is not true, maintaining that the DPP is waxing stronger by day. The DPP chief explained that those who left were not with the party at the formation stage, stressing that their exit has had no effect on the party. He said he was impressed by the huge turn-

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

out of party members during the inspection of the Okpe party secretariat, assuring members that Ogboru has never intended to cross to any party as speculated, urging them to disregard such information and work for the progress of the party. Also speaking, Oborevwori commended the state party chairman, Mr. Tony Ezeagwu and Chief Great Ogboru for their steadfastness, saying that the high turnout of party members is a conviction that the party was very much on ground. Oborevwori vowed that the party would leave no stone unturned in its preparation for the forthcoming council election in the state. He said the days of rigging was over, adding that he has confidence that the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DESIEC) will keep their promise to conduct free and fair election. The local chairman of the party, Chief Richard Egbo and the Treasurer, Comrade Emmanuel Ofomor commended the state executive on the tour of the party secretarial, adding that the tour will build confidence on members.




Leadership is sustained selfless service, says Etuk David Etuk is the Special Assistant to Governor Godswill Akpabio on Projects. In this interview with reporters in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Etuk argued that leadership should entail a selfless service to uplift the lives of the people. KAZEEM IBRAHYM was there.


HAT has it been working as the Special Assistant with Governor Godswill Akpabio? I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve this great state. I thank my mentor, my boss, Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio (CON), for giving me the platform to serve. The experience has been very interesting and rewarding. I have learnt a lot which has also changed my perception about governance. I have been focused in my duties, because we have been working as a team with my colleagues in line with the vision of our amiable governor to meet the set objectives of his administration. I thank God the experience has changed my life positively especially with the selfless services of meeting set target in the execution of projects which has changed the lives of the people at the grassroots and we are grateful to Governor Akpabio for his exemplary leadership qualities and vision of uncommon transformation in Akwa Ibom State and I thank God that today, this great state has become an international focus of excellence. How would you assess the role of the youths in Governor Godswill Akpabio’s administration? We are grateful to His Excellency, Governor Godswill Akpabio for his vision and believe in the qualities of our youths who have been very active team players in the strategic transformation of Akwa Ibom State. Today, Akwa Ibom Youths stand tall across the country as we have become active stakeholders also in national development. The role of the Akwa Ibom Youths today cannot be over emphasized as commissioners, aides to the Governor, legislature, the student parliament, local government areas, private sector and much more. We are very proud to be given the opportunity to serve our people and contribute our quota to the development of this state as we know that the younger ones look up to us as role models state and we must leave lasting legacies as references of excellence for them to surpass. Overall, the youths of Akwa Ibom State have taken very giant steps towards sustaining the development which abounds today. How would you assess the level of development across the local government areas? Tremendous, you cannot compare what is on ground today in terms of projects across the 31 local government area to what was on ground more than six years ago. The transformation today has been massive, accepted, embraced and commended. From the construction of new classroom blocks across all the wards in the state, water projects, electricity, library, security villages and other infrastructure, Governor Akpabio has laid a solid foundation for the future generation. Today, our children have conducive learning atmospheres in their schools, the structures have been constructed according to specification in terms of quality. There is an air of fresh breath for the people as governance now has a face with the laudable projects being executed by this ad-

•Etuk answering reporters’ questions

ministration. The various inter-ministerial projects in the state have become natural references for good leadership as witnessed by the comments by Minister of Information during the Good Governance Tour of the State. Governor Akpabio is a promise keeper. A man whose style of leadership remains a case study and analysis. A leader we are very proud of. The even distribution of projects across the state further enhances his vision to transform the state and we are happy that every Akwa Ibom Son and Daughter has stood by him to succeed. You have contributed immensely to the development of your community, Ikot Idem in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. What is your motivation? Leadership is about sustained selfless services. I come from a community which I grew up and

I believe that at any given opportunity to serve, I should be able to impact on the lives of my community, friends and environs. The people at home must be able to feel your impact, like the adage that says “charity begins at home”. I thank God that He has made it possible for me to contribute my quota towards the development of my community and I am happy that I have been able to put smiles in their faces. Can you tell us some of the community work you have assisted the people of your community? By God’s Grace, I have been able to allow my position to influence some projects to my community. It is surprising to note that until His Excellency came on board, several communities in my area where not connected to the national grid.

By God’s grace, I have been able to assist students with scholarship for their education. I have used my position to attract electricity to some villages in my community, renovation of schools reconstruction of school blocks including fresh construction and water projects through the MDG programme. I come from a Christian Community, where value is placed on their place of worship. I feel humbled that God had used me to contribute effectively in providing a very conducive place of worship for as many as God has given me the grace especially in my local church, Qua Iboe Church, Obontong/Nkwot/Ikot Idem Superintendency in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. I am also an author; my literature is basically on re-directing the capacity of our youths on entrepreneurship. I have proposed to sponsor about 31 youths from Etinan Federal Constituency in a Skill Acquisition Programme in the state to build up their capacity and prepare a future for them. It is a commitment and passion to develop my community, empower my people and give the people much relevance in the change which has come to stay. What are your set standards of good governance in Nigeria? Exemplary leadership and that is what Governor Godswill Akpabio has shown Nigerians. A leader who can deliver on the promises of transformation. A promise keeper. A leader who feels the pains of the people and the need for change. A leader who can transform a society with positive anger. Leadership is a call to serve, leadership is a mandate, leadership is about upholding the people’s trust in you and sustaining an effective communication with the people as you work together to sustain the democratic dividends. Good governance is about the transparency of our leaders to succeed and at all times, we must support the laudable programmes our leaders to bring a change in our lives. What are your plans for the future? The future belongs to God, but every public servant should understand that his constituency will have a great part to play in defining the responsibilities that they will implore God to place on his laps. As a person, I have enjoyed working under the tutelage of Akpabio who singled me out in far away Spain for the services I have been able to offer so far and I will gladly make myself available for as many responsibilities as we work towards consolidating on the gains of governance. What message do you have for the people of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area and Etinan Federal Constituency? We must work together to achieve meaningful change. We must welcome a new dawn in our leadership strides. We must work as a team. My people must be active players in the developmental strides and we must support Governor Akpabio’s administration to succeed. The time for change to sustain the renaissance of development has come and we can work as a team to fulfill the vision of a new dawn. Yes, we can.

Jonathan’ll not return in 2015, Southsouth group predicts


YOUTH group, South-south Progressive Youth Movement, has predicted that President Goodluck Jonathan will “break a new record by being the first Nigeria democratically elected president to be sent packing out of Aso-Rock by vote in 2015.” The group said the honourable path would be for the president to resist pressure to run for the 2015 election National President of the group, Austine Ibok gave the prediction in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, in an interview with Niger Delta Report. He said, “Where are all the Jonathan hardliners now? The newspaper columnists, cheerleaders, court jesters, so-called elder-statesmen, ethnic militants, Federal ministers and presidential aides who don’t know their job and

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

when called to comment on national issues and claim that nothing could stop Jonathan? “Why is he doing everything in his power to woo everyone back to his faction of the PDP? I thought that they said that they could do it all alone and that they didn’t need anyone. Why are they begging him to clean up their mess? “I guess that now they know that there is a lot more to the power game than they thought. Politics is a science and an art and it is not for the brutish and unlearned.” Ibok predicted that in the next few weeks and months ahead the president and his supporters will be taught the lesson of their lives and they will come to appreciate that sobriety, restraint, humility and magnanimity are important

attributes needed to succeed in the power game. “We have little doubt that Mr. Jonathan will be the first Nigerian President to be voted out of office after serving just one term,” he stated. The SSPYM president described the crisis rocking the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) “as God’s divine intervention to liberate the ordinary Nigerian from years of deprivation, repression and maladministration by a class that has held Nigerians captive.” His words, “What we are seeing in the acclaimed biggest party in Africa is a clear indication that it is only God that rules in the affairs of men. Nigerians are suffering in the midst of plenty and those ruling us have not taken it upon themselves to assiduously address these pains

the people are living with. “We daily hear of so much money coming into the country, yet it has not translated to a better condition of living for the ordinary man in the streets and you think God is happy? None of our seaports is working in the south-south states which the president from.” Nevertheless, Ibok reminded Nigerians that those leading the revolt against Jonathan and PDP and the new PDP members are not better, remarking thaat the loud celebration that greeted their action clearly shows that the people are happy with the steps they have taken. He lamented that ordinary Nigerians are going through suffocating hardship but their leaders are living in affluence without regards for the feelings of the people, adding that with the

development there could be respite at the end of the day. “You must understand that if those at the helm of affairs are doing well, majority of Nigerians would have kicked against the revolt within the party; but that is not the case at the moment; look at what is happening in Rivers and Taraba states and elsewhere and you’ll begin to ask yourself some basic questions. I recall vividly that there was a time a barrel of crude oil sold at the international market for as low as $20 and Nigerians never faced the kind of hardship they are confronted with today. “It clearly shows that the those at the helm of affairs and currently in control of the PDP have lost touch with the people and fully legalised corruption in Nigeria and by so doing made us a mockery before the international community.”



Friday, September 20, 2013






In May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states. But has the action reduced the violent activities of the Boko Haram sect? In this report, MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE writes on the challenge of restoring security in the troubled states.

Has emergency rule restored security in North?


HEN President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on May 14, 2013 in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, hopes were high that the wanton destruction of lives and property in the North would soon end. But almost four months into the experiment, Nigerians are still assessing the effectiveness or otherwise of the policy. The killings have continued unabated. In the past, the declaration of a state of emergency translated into the abrogated of the democratic institutions, except the judiciary. But in the present instance, democratic structures are functioning along side with military operations in the affected states. The implication is that sole administrators were not appointed to run the three states. From the benefit of hindsight, emergency rule has never solved the problems that necessitated its proclamation. For instance, when the Western Region on May 29, 1962 came under emergency law, the Premier, Chief Ladoke Akintola, went to court to challenge it. He feared that the Federal Government would abuse its power by abrogating the constitutional government. Under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Plateau and Ekiti states came under the emergency rule, with Major General Chris Alli and General Tunji Olurin appointed as the administrators. In Ekiti, at the expiration of the six-month period, some people sought for an extension. General Olurin castigated the agitators. He said: “Those canvassing for extension know why they are doing that. It is not in their best interest. I know for sure that I have done my best to bring peace back to the state within my mandate.” While declaring emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, President Jonathan said the security agencies can take necessary actions within the ambit of their rule of engagement to put an end to the impunity of the insurgents and terrorists. The President said the insurgents have declared war and undermined the authority of the Nigerian state.

Criticisms Opinion was divided on the emergency rule. Many thought that the it would not pave the way for peace. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern Nigeria Governors Forum (NNGF), urged the military to thread with caution in their operations to avoid shedding the blood of innocent Nigerians in the course of duty. He argued that the civil population would be affect in the course of hunting down the insurgents, who he said, may infiltrate the local communities and use them as human shields. Critics have argued that the

emergency rule will pauperise the states because they were among the poorest in the country. They said Borno, Yobe and Adamawa accounts for just six percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with agriculture as the main stay. In a report, a group of experts, from Renaissance Capital Bank: “The direct impact of the state of emergency on agriculture will be enormous, we are not even talking of the implications for the telecoms, banking activities and the brewing industry. On the long run during the period that this emergency will last, the people will count their losses.” Also, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said the action was unnecessary. The party believed that the government would achieve tranquility, if it adopted a proactive measure, based on dialogue. According to its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, “an asymmetric use of force in an environment where insurgents operate within a civilian population will ultimately be counterproductive”. He noted that shedding innocent blood while observing their mandate would defeat the purpose. The governor of Adamawa State, Alhaji Muritala Nyako, also opposed the action, saying it is counter-productive. The Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, however, explained that the army will maintain the highest professional etiquette in the conduct of its affairs and civilians, who obey the law, should not to be apprehensive as they would be protected. In the course of the emergency rule, the government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the affected states, in a bid to minimise casualty. But it curtailed commercial activities and affected the source of livelihood. The duration of the curfew was reduced, owing to the public outcry.

‘The declaration of state of emergency was fashioned in military tradition, which does not give room for negotiation and dialogue. This, critics say, is undermining other peaceful mechanisms put in place by the government’

• Nyako

• Ibrahim Geidam

Persistent insurgent activities The situation in the Northern states, where the emergency rule subsists, has not changed. Terrorism is thriving. The state of emergency was fashioned in military tradition, which does not give room for negotiation and dialogue. This, critics say, is undermining other peaceful mechanisms put in place by the government. Analysts are of the opinion that government should review its tactics, instead of telling the public that the situation is under control. Security, they argued, is best built on intelligence gathering. They opined that, for the government to make a success of the situation, it must domesticate the security apparatus in a way that will make it everybody’s business. The involvement of the

• Kashim Shettima

people at the local level, they claim, has immense advantage. The military operation has not come without hiccups. Despite the efforts of the troops under to reduce terrorism, violence has not gone down. For instance, on July 6, Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in Yobe State, killing 27 children and a teacher. Survivors

claimed that the militants came with containers of gasoline and set the school on fire. There have also been reported cases of violent clashes between youth vigilante forces and members of the Islamic terror group. Many youths were killed. During this period, there were multiple bomb explosions in predominantly Christian neighborhood of Sabon Gari in Kano 15 people were killed, by militant from the three states. Police formations have not been insulated from the constant attack. The Adamawa Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, told reporters that gunmen had attacked the station, killing two policemen in Lala, Gombe Local Government Area. In the face of the unabated insurgence, the government has reviewed the tactics to meet force for force with the rampaging group. The operation of the Joint Task Force (JTF) was taken over by the Special Military Operation Force (SMOF) to curtail the militants. The army confronted the Boko Haram sect when it took the battle to its hideout in the forest. Army Spokesman Lt. - Col. Sagir Musa, said the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, had been killed in an operation at the Sambisa Game Forest Reserve in Borno State. According to him, Shekau died after sustaining injuries from gun shots at an undisclosed hospital in Amitchide. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. - General Azubuike Ihejirika, said Nigerians would soon heave a sigh of relief. As the COAS was scoring the operation high, it recorded another deficit when 40 soldiers were killed and 65 declared missing. The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru refuted the number. He said 81 battalion under Division 7, of the Nigerian Army carried a raid of the Boko Haram hideout in Kasiya Forest, Borno State. He said that the troop killed 150 sect members and lost 15 men in the encounter, adding that nine soldiers were still missing. The JTF lost no fewer than 20 soldiers two months ago when insurgents swoop on them in the same area. But, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam

Lawan Shuaibu, expressed doubt over the success of the emergency rule. He said government is not telling the truth. Lawan urged the government to manage information dissemination by reeling out facts, instead of falsehood. “Government should stop lying. They should stop saying that we have achieved this or that when they have not achieved what they claimed. They say so and so person has died and they are not even too sure of what they are saying”, he fumed. The President Arewa Youth Forum, Alhaji Ahmed Yerima, said the emergency rule should have human face. He said a situation where the government relies on “brute force and fire brigade” approach would lead to chaos. Yerima added: “The state of emergency is an abuse of the rights of the people by the Joint Task Force and other agencies of government; it has not really helped the image of the country. It’s quite unfortunate because, at the end of the day, it will trivialise the whole issue. One would have expected the Army to work harder. I expected the army to work toward our national unity. The government should engage intelligence gathering mechanism, which will enable them get to the root of the whole matter. So far, what has happened should serve as a lesson. There is the need to embrace dialogue instead of hunting these people and killing innocent people who should not be part of it. These people are Nigerians. They should be engaged meaningfully, while we struggle for a better alternative. Anything in life has alternative. I am a product of the struggle, but by and large, I do not support taking the life of innocent people.” To Senator Babafemi Ojudu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the emergency rule can still achieve its objectives. He lamented that the sect members had made Borno State ungovernable and called for the extension of the emergency rule. He said: “I was in Borno as a part of the delegation of the Senate Committee on the emergency. From what I have seen, there was a compelling need for the emergency. The soldiers have done their best. Terrorism has created a situation of warfare that cannot be handled with kid gloves. I will not rule out an extension because the problem has not been completely solved”.





IVE-year-old Mustapha Ramadan Hammed is lying critically ill at the children’s ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), IdiAraba, Lagos. He has been on and off in that hospital in the last few months until about two weeks ago when he was confined to a bed and placed on oxygen, pending when his parents will raise about N3.5 million for an open-heart surgery overseas to correct an abnormality in his heart. His parents say they have no such money and little Mustapha may well be left to die. A summary of his medical report dated August 20, 2013, and signed by Dr. E.N. Ekure, Consultant Paediatrician , reads: “The above named 5-year old male is a known patient of the Paediatric Cardiology Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. “Clinical evaluation indicated that Hameed has symptomatic congenital heart disease, which was confirmed by echocardiography to be Muscular Ventricular Septal defect with Esienmenger Syndrome. “Hameed requires further cardiovascular evaluation and possible open heart surgery to correct his abnormality in order to forestall irreversible and lifethreatening complications from developing. Unfortunately, open heart surgery for children is currently not available in our hospital. “This letter, therefore, serves as an introduction of the patient for any assistance that will facilitate surgical intervention at a centre with facilities for surgical surgery”. Mustapha’s woes do not end with the heart problem alone; at age 5, he is unable to walk well or stand for long, his hearing and talking abilities are impaired and his

scrotum is swollen and enlarged, all cases, though associated with the heart troubles, that would require separate medical attention, all of which have been worked out to cost that sum. His father, Musiliu Hammed, a 42year old petty trader and the mother, Falitalu Hammed, a 36-year old housewife, have sold off all they had to raise funds for his treatment from hospital to hospital since he was born until his recent proper diagnosis by LUTH. Fortis Hospitals, Mulund, Mumbai, India, contacted to carry out the surgery had through a Dr. Sachin Bhonsie, Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, puts the cost less the flight tickets, feeding, transportation within India, accommodation and post surgery treatment at $10, 000. All other variables, including the treatment of his other ailments factored in put the total sum required to make the journey to India and completely treat Baby Mustapha of the ailments at $20, 000 about N3.5 million. Hammed, Mustapha’s father is giving up hope on him, clear that he could never raise the money. “Where will I get that sort of money? We have lost everything we had over this boy’s sickness, we can hardly feed, we have stopped our other two kids from going to school because we could not cope with having them in school and put up with this boy’s treatment as we have done these past five years, we can’t continue anymore because there is no way we can get that sort of money for the surgery overseas. “We have been in this battle to save his life since he was three months, giving birth to him was something the mother miraculously survived, after several days in labour without



This boy needs N3.5m to live

being able to have him normally, she under went a cesarean section, in fact, only God saved her. Within three months of his birth, we noticed that he had breathing difficulty, we thought he had catarrh, we took him to the health centre around our area, the health centre referred us to Mercy Hospital, Lagos Island, Mercy in turn directed us to the General Hospital, Ikeja, where he took treatment for two years before we were again referred to LUTH. He has been taking treatment at LUTH since then, now we are asked to cough out N3.5million to take him to India for surgery, we can’t afford it, I think we have to end it here, God knows we have put in all we have to make him

live,” Hammed said as he tried to control tears, rolling down his cheeks. But his community is determined to save Mustapha’s life. The Secretary, Adeyemi/Arowojobe Community Development Association (AACDA), Mr. Sunday Akanni Alade, who described the Hammeds as very good and loyal members of the community, said they have been doing everything, including assisting the young boy’s parents with the daily N5,000.00 payment for his oxygen and appealed to good spirited members of the public, corporate institutions, governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and religious

bodies to come to their assistance to save the little boy’s life. “The parents are completely down; this new call for N3. 5million for an operation on the boy seems to have made them to finally give up hope on him because they have no such money. “We, therefore, appeal to members of the public to come to their aid, an account number 3075352003 has been opened in the name of Hammed Mustapha Ramadan with the First Bank of Nigeria; donors should please make their contributions to the account,” Alade pleaded, assuring that contributions would be judiciously used to save the little boy’s life.

and the international organisations of goodwill to reach out to her for partnership; the way she is going, if she gets sponsors, she will go places.” his homily at the thanksgiving service at the Corpus Christi Catholic Cathedral in Port Harcourt earlier, Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Uzoma praised the philanthropist for her choice of celebrating with the hardlyremembered of the society, with a view of putting a smile on their faces.

Fr. Uzoma said the gesture has fulfilled the scripture in Luke which states: “Jesus said, when I was naked you clothed me, thirsty you gave me water to drink, in prison you visited me…” He said Mrs. Alamieyeseigha has by this action demonstrated love, kindness and care for the orphans and less privileged in the society and prayed for God’s continued protection for her and her family. He advised corporate organisations and people of goodwill to emulate Alamieyeseiegha by extending their hands of fellowship, love, kindness and care to the needy in the society, especially the widows and orphans. On the donations to the orphanages, Alamieyesiegha said: “I learnt they have very serious and urgent need that has to do with their residence, I invited some friends here with the view of seeing how we could raise some funds for them to address the need promptly and I am

happy they responded and we were able to raise the sum of N1million, which we later distributed among the three orphanages present. “The children from Ajibola Orphanage Foundation were also here, and needed some fund for their school needs, including their school fees. “Apart from the funds for the children, we also donated some food items, (bags of rice, cartons of Indomie noodles, beverages, toiletries, among other things. “On the widows, we’ve always given them pieces of cloth. As widows, some of them may not always have enough to take care of their family and also change the clothes as often as they want or wish but with this routine intervention, at least they will have something to change with. “So in that respect, they were given wrappers, there was also a medical team that was providing free medical tests, on blood sugar and High blood pressure for all participants.

A lift for the needy in Port Harcourt •Continued from Page 17 “I know almsgiving runs in our family. I am a civil servant (primary school teacher), but I also have an NGO I run, (DOCAS) which takes care of widows in my community.” Also, the Nollywood Twins Chidinma Aneke and Chidiebere who came to add colour to the event lacked words to express what they saw. They called for support to the fledgling NGO the celebrant has floated, Nice-Esther Alamieyesiegha Initiative to carry out her charity outreach. They called on the privileged members of the society to learn to give to the poor and the downtrodden to attract more blessings from God. ”We have our own NGO (Aneke Twin Foundation), which we run also, so when we talk on this, I’m coming from a perspective of somebody that knows and understands what it takes to put up a programme like this. “Honestly, we lack words to express what we have seen today. It is not easy for somebody to put together a programme to reach out to the indigent ones. We are overwhelmed and we pray that God should bless, increase and protect her. Chidinma remarked: “One thing I noticed about her kind of giving is that she gives cheerfully from her heart. You could visibly notice the passion to give on her face; some other person may venture into it because they admire someone that does it; they may

•Patients were tested and treated actually be seen giving but when you watch closely, you will notice that he or she was not actually doing it from the heart. The reason is simple, the person is not naturally a giver. “But for Chief Mrs. Alamieyeseigha, I could notice the joy, cheerfulness, zeal and yet deep desire to give more, on her face. I watched her as the event and distribution lasted; I read them all. “I wish to use this opportunity to call on good-spirited Nigerians,

One thing I noticed about her kind of giving is that she gives cheerfully from her heart. You could notice the passion to give on her face; some other person may venture into it because they admire someone that does it



Council trains staff


O fewer than 35 members of staff of Somolu Local Government Area of Lagos have attended a two-day training programme organised by the council chairman, Hon. Gbolahan Bago-Stowe. The staff were drawn from different departments of the council such as information, education, budget, finance, agriculture, anvironment, legal, etc. The goal of the exercise was clear: to equip the junior staff to focus and learn good administrative practices. The theme of the training programme was: Effective Revenue Generation and Office Routine. The council Manager, Mrs. Kehinde Babatunde, who represented the council chairman, said that the training was borne out the need to enhance the productivity of the staff and to equip them for the challenges in line with the procedure set by the council for the junior staff. Speaking further, Babatunde said that training is not only aimed at improving the quality of workers’ service alone, but also to show the the importance


HE Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Prince Marshal Foundation have established 21 health centres in all the local government areas of Anambra State in order to improve health care delivery. The foundation will provide medications and routine tests for people suffering from such ailments as malaria, typhoid fever, arthritis and other contaminable diseases. During the flag-off of the centres at Umunze in Orumba South council area, the initiator of the foundation, Prince Marshal Chukwudike said his aim was to bring health care delivery closer to the grassroots. He assured of adequate drugs and other health facilities in all the centres in the state, adding that he will makle every effort to complement the plan of the

•Participants of the seminar By Emmanuel Udodinma

the council administration attaches to staff welfare. She told the participating staff to use the training to improve their skills in order to discharge their official duties effectively. Her words: “Our local government council is still the

best in terms of staff welfare and training.” The human resources officer of the council, Mrs Bola Adeyemi thanked the chairman and appealed to all the participants not only to have the knowledge of work but also be ready to be more diligent in their duties in order to attain greater heights.

The goal of the exercise was clear: to equip the junior staff to focus and learn good administrative practices

Anambra gets 21 health centres From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

government. Also, another philanthropist, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, while flagging off the centres, commended the efforts of the initiator of the project for his concern on the

heath of the people. Furthermore, he said that he would partner the foundation to actualise its goals in the society Ubah called on other philanthropists in the society to emulate Chukwudike’s gesture for improved health care delivery in

The foundation will provide medications and routine tests for people suffering from such ailments as malaria, typhoid fever, arthritis and other contaminable diseases

•From left: Executive Director, Human Resources, Total Ustream, Mrs Edith Ofili Okonkwo; Chairman Kuje Area Council, Ishaku Tete Shaban, Director, Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Bridget Okoeguale and Programme Co-ordinator, Family Care Association, Joshua Kempeneer during the launch of Malaria Prevention PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE and Control in Kuje Area Council, Abuja

the state Some of the beneficiaries of the project, Mr. Christian Nduchekwe, Mr. Mike Okoli, Mrs. Gloria Nwafor and Mrs. Uzoamaka Sunday told

Newsextra that the project touched the lives of many in the rural areas. They praised the efforts of the founder and the PFN for coming out with what they described as such a wonderful idea and urged the government to borrow a leaf from the project facilitators.

Edo, Delta contestants win bank’s raffle


NITY Bank customers in Edo and Delta states have won all the prizes provided in the Southsouth and Southeast zonal raffle draw, christened Save and Win promo. Three categories of N10,000; N100,000 and N250,000 were mapped out. A customer ought to have saved one of these amounts for up to 45 days with the bank to qualify for the raffle draw. At the zonal draw which took place in Port Harcourt, Ijohwodjere Avwundje from Effurun branch, Delta State was the third runner-up, winning a a Tiger brand generator for the category of N10,000. The second runner-up was Onime Okhawere from Igarra branch, Edo State who won a bedside Thermocool refrigerator. Amusa Lucky Akeem from Ughelli branch, Delta State was the first runner-up. He won a BlackBerry phone while the star prize of 32" LED Samsung plasma television was won by Ajawobu Philip Ethemena from Ozoro branch, Delta State. For the category N100,000, the third runner up was Mrs Beatrice Okun from Ring Road Branch, Benin, Edo state who won a Thermocool Refrigerator. The second runner-up was Sebastine Udeme Christiana from Abraka branch and she won a gas cooker while three children from

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

Obodo family account won a deep freezer. The star prize of a sound-proof generator went to Agoho Gabriel from Ring Road branch, Benin, Edo State. Incidentally none of these winners was present at the raffle draw ceremony but they were contacted through the telephone of the anchor person of the event, Ehi Danah of Wazobia Cool FM, Port Harcourt. However, the Zonal Head of Unity Bank, Mr Dac Chukwurah who announced the results, said that he was surprised that all the winners came from Edo and Delta states but hoped that the grand finale for category N250,000 which would take place later this year in a state yet to be announced would be won by customers from outside these two states. In his speech, the Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Abuja, Mr Usman Abaji explained that the essence of the promo was “to encourage customers to develop the culture of saving to achieve their goals and to drive retail banking to the grassroots. Abaji also noted that the process of picking winners was very transparent because the Consumer Protection Commission and PKS Auditors handled the whole exercise.



It was Onwugbenu’s way of marking his 60th birthday anniversary. The event also coincided with the family giving out his daughter, Ukay, in marriage


OMETHING great happened in Nnewi, the industrial capital of Anambra State. And the people loved every minute of it. One of its illustrious people, Chief Louis Izuchukwu Onwugbenu paid the medical bills of patients in the hospital. But that was just one of the things he did. Onwugbenu, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Carter Group of Companies, also set up a foundation to cater for the academic needs of people with disability as well as those who cannot otherwise pay for their education. His scholarship scheme takes care of that. His family also handed over a three-storey building, a hall and another three-storey structure for both St. Louis Nursery/Primary School and Secondary School, Uruagu, to the Church. They had earlier donated a chapel of adoration, a church building. It was Onwugbenu’s way of marking his 60th birthday anniversary. The event also coincided with the family giving out his daughter, Ukay, in marriage. His first son, Emeka addressed the large gathering in honour of his father. He said: “We launched Louis Carter Educational Foundation today with an initial sum of N10million. The foundation, he said, will only centre on education, helping the less privileged families to pay their children’s school fees and making sure that they get the best results. Chief Louis Carter presented the documents of the school buildings donated to the church to the Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev. Hilary Odili Okeke as well as a cheque of N1,079,945 to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital for three patients who failed to pay their medical bills. The patients were overjoyed. He promised to do more for charity through his foundation. He thanked the Bishop, the priests and well-wishers for honouring him and danced to melodies of the choir.

Inset: Chief Onwugbenu •Bishop Okeke (left), handing over documents of the new school building to the parish priest

Anambra community relishes philanthropy

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

St. Louis Primary School pupils also entertained him with a dance presentation in appreciation of what he has done for them. It was indeed a remarkable day for the people of Uruagu Nnewi. People from all walks of life came to rejoice with the Onwugbenus for their philanthropy and to celebrate the patriarchs’ 60th birthday, his daughter’s traditional marriage and 10th anniversary of the parish he built. Carter, known as Okpataozuora, recalled how he was attracted to the church. He remembered how he went as far as summoning a meeting

of the parish council with then priest Rev. Fr. Pius Ilechukwu under the Archbishop of Onitsha His Grace Most Rev. Dr. A.K Obiefuna to present his proposal which was approved by the bishop. The church took one year to be constructed solely by Chief Louis Carter and was dedicated on December 27, 2003. He recalled the symbolic change of the church from St. Bartholomew to St. Louis and how it was without hesitation granted by His Lordship, Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Dr. Hillary Odili Okeke. Overjoyed by that, he started building St. Louis Nursery and Primary School and also bought a giant two-storey building for a

secondary school for the church. This multiple project and achievements recorded has put St. Louis Parish in the first grade at the Diocesan level. Catholic Bishop of Nnewi who delivered the homily at the church advised people to emulate the celebrant who is behind the success of the church by using his wealth to bless people and the church, remembering that he was very glad when the people of St. Louis Parish brought to his notice that a member willingly wants to build the church and wished that many more people could be like Chief Louis Onwugbenu. He said: “If more people are like the celebrant, Nigeria will be a better place other than those

moneybags in government who think only about themselves and what they can gain”. Bishop Okeke went ahead to praise Governor Peter Obi for his good work in the state and his dedicated interest in education which includes paying pensioners, paying the elderly over 65 years, providing money for school rehabilitation and buying computers, buses and generators for both private and government schools. He also noted that no government has ever done what Peter Obi’s government has done. Obi who was represented by Commissioner for Education, Dr. Mrs Uju Okeke thanked Chief Louis Carter for all his efforts to boost education in the state.

103 Immigration officers screened for hypertension, diabetes


TOTAL of 103 officers of the Edo State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service have been screened for hypertension and diabetes at a seminar organised by Public Health Nurses in collaboration with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ). Fourteen of the participants were referred to hospital for further treatment and management. Chairperson of Professional Association of Public Health Nursing Officer of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Eidusi advised the officers to always go for medical check-up to ascertain the state of their health and fitness. Mrs. Eidusi said most deaths

• An alleged ‘illegal’ Eye Clinic Sealed by Akwa Ibom Ministry of Health in Uyo

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

recorded in the country was as a result of lack of awareness campaigns on health related issues. She noted that the only way to tackle mortality rate is for Nigerians to go for regular medical check-up to know their sugar level and blood pressure. In a paper titled “Diabetes and Hypertension: Causes, Care and Management,” Principal Nursing Officer, Blessing Okaka said diabetes and hypertension and twin silent killers. She said those with diabetes 2 could manage their health through exercising, proper diet and excellent body control.

The only way to tackle mortality rate is for Nigerians to go for regular medical check-up to know their sugar level and blood pressure








Food businesses battle high regulatory costs


ARM businesses are struggling under the growing weight of unnecessary regulatory burden, the Director, Africa Region, Cassava Adding Value to Africa, Dr Kola Adebayo has said. Also, a web of complex regulations which increase costs will limit the food and agric industry’s ability to produce more food, he added. While acknowledging the need for effective regulation, Adebayo said regulation protects food industry operators, but that it was important that regulation is appropriately targeted, clearly commu-

Stories by Daniel Essiet

nicated, and that its restrictions are minimised as far as possible to avoid adverse outcomes. He said there is a range of regulatory requirements across the food sector which are stifling the growth of start ups, saying issues such as registration with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, is a cost burden to comply with. He said there is a need to address challenges to competitiveness on farm with increased input prices

driving cost of production, adding that the issue becomes compounded when unnecessary regulatory burdens are imposed on industry. The don urged the government to reduce excessive regulatory coverage; overlap, or inconsistency; unwieldy approval and the licensing processes, saying there are a number of areas where improvements could be made to regulatory processes to ease the burden on the sector. He said it is expected that the government would be working towards a

lighter regulatory regime, where possible, to help keep farm businesses profitable. He stressed that it was in the interest of government to actively pursue red tape reduction as a way of stimulating economic activity and increase government revenues, as well as limit their own costs associated with administering and enforcing regulations. He contended that an improvement in red tape impacts for the food sector was particularly important as it has numerous implications on industry activities.

According to him, farmers have frequently expressed concerns over the approval process involved when looking to change the existing land use function on-farm, in addition to the myriad of local and state governments’ environmental regulations farmers have to comply with daily. He expressed the need for regulators to be transparent, efficient and consistent in the way they interact with farm businesses, particularly regarding any costs they wish to recover from the sector.

‘Govt to capture leather industry in Growth Enhancement Scheme’


•From left: Anant Patil of Olam Nigeria Limited; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Centre for Cocoa Development Initiative Robo Adhuze and President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria Sayina Riman, at the inauguration of the College for the Cocoa Corporation for Nigeria in Abuja.

‘Tackle invasive species on agric, fisheries’


ISHERIES expert, Prof Martins Antekhai, has urged the government to take measures to prevent the growing threat from invasive species in the fisheries sector. Invasive species, are foreign plants and animals that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically. Antekhai,who is of the Department of Fisheries,Lagos State University(LASU),said invasive alien species, could cause damage through hazards to human health, damage to infrastructure

and yield losses in agriculture. He urged the government to conduct a Food and Veterinary Office audit into whether fishery products are suitable for imports. He said the audit was to evaluate whether the official controls put in place by the competent authority can guarantee that conditions of the production of fishery products. He called for a robust strategy to stop the import of invasive alien species and manages existing populations in a humane and efficient way to prevent animal suffering. On cases of fish diseases,

Antekhai said emerging fish diseases are mostly due to warming temperatures. He said fish are highly dependent on environmental conditions, especially temperature, to help maintain critical physiological processes such as immune function that can affect whether a fish gets a disease or parasite, how it is affected by it, and how the disease progresses. He highlighted the importance of developing and maintaining disease-monitoring infrastructure and training to identify pathogens and parasites.

Fadama disburses N272m to 72 groups


O fewer than 72 Fadama User Groups in Kwara have benefited from a N272 million facility disbursed by the Fadama Office in the state, the Coordinator, Mr Usman Akanbi, has said . Akanbi, told reporters in Ilorin that the project is being implemented successfully in the state as more farmers are benefitting from the World Bank-assisted project. Akanbi said the scheme has created about 2,292 temporary jobs for the unemployed in the state. However, he said that the project was rounding up by December and that Kwara and Plateau have been adjudged the best in the implementation of the programme. Akanbi said that small-scale farmers were developed under the second and third phases of the programme, especially in the area

of storage and processing of farm produce. The coordinator said Fadama User Groups had successfully increased their income by 40 per cent. Also speaking, Chief Jacob Aina, the Environmental Officer in the office, said that the programme had mobilised about 1,120 project operators across the state to interact and sensitise small-scale farmers on how to increase their input. Aina said that farmers in all aspects of agriculture had received training on environment, air, water and noise pollution as well as enlightenment on the best method of tackling such problems. “Fadama project had made it possible for these illiterate farmers to convert waste to wealth, especially animal droppings, cowpea and rice husks into valuable

resources,” he said. He, however, said that the project was facing several challenges, including funding. “We also see people diverting the money intended to boost agriculture into their pockets. “These people think they are also having a piece of the national cake,” he said.

HE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the leather industry would be captured in the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme to advance the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Adesina gave the assurance in Abuja in his opening remarks at the Leather Industry Revival Initiative conference with the theme: Supporting the leather transformation of Nigeria’s leather industry. Adesina, who was represented by the Director, Livestock, Dr Joseph Ayanger, said the Ministry would partner with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to ensure quality production in the industry. “Leather comes from livestock and livestock contributes to several agricultural commodities such as meat, and even earns much more than any other nonoil export. “That is why we are happy to be partnering with Trade and Investment. What we are trying to do as much as possible, is to provide them with the raw materials. “Leather is part of the commodities we are handling as a value chain; for the past two decades, this is the first time leather has got a budget line in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. “From this month, we are rolling out some form of support in our Growth Enhancement Scheme. “We are also doing the same for leather and especially to support small scale buyers who are skin collectors so that we make sure that the quality of what we get is good enough.” Commenting, Mr Christian Rogg, the acting Head of Office, DFID Nigeria, said that the department was committed to supporting LAPAN because of its potential to create more jobs in the industry. Rogg, who was represented by Ms Ogechukwu

Omeribe, the Programme Manager of the Economic Growth Team of the organisation, said that the support was to guide LAPAN on how to improve the industry performance.This, he also said, was to help it engage in dialogue with government and other stakeholders to shape the leather transformation plan. “The reason DFID Nigeria has decided to support LAPAN is that we see LAPAN as a credible partner in the sector. We also believe that the leather industry has tremendous potential to generate foreign exchange and create employment. We know that there is a lot of unemployment in Nigeria, particularly among the youth.“ And we know that this will be of benefit to micro and small businesses as well as to the youth and the poor in our communities. “Through our GEMS1 programme, LAPAN has been supported along with other regional associations to access finance through collaboration with NIRSAL and other commercial banks. We hope that soon, the leather sector will be able to get finance to be able to do the work that they (stakeholders) need to do. “Furthermore, with ‘ENABLE’, LAPAN is being supported to build its corporate governance because we know that building a structure is an important thing in order for it to attract members and for the members to know that you will provide efficient services. “Because of the support that DFID Nigeria has given, LAPAN as an organisation started with 16 associations in membership; today it has around 70 members. “Each of these associations has a huge number of memberships; one of these associations has close to 5,000 members. So, if you multiply 5,000 members by 70, it shows the number of members that LAPAN hold.”

Firm to set up palm oil factory


N Italian company, Mano Investment and Properties, said it would establish palm oil processing factory at IleIfe, Osun. The Project Coordinator, Dr Les Beaumont, said this in Osogbo during a visit to the Commissioner for the Environment, Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye. Beaumont, who led the delegation, said the team would make necessary arrangement to facilitate the take off of the factory. He said that work would com-

mence at the project site soon, adding, “ our report will be made available to the management as early as possible”. “Based on our earlier report, the project financier has agreed to meet with officials of the company in November to discuss the modalities for the factory’s take off.” In his response, the commissioner, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, said the state government would provide enable environment for foreign investors in the state.

IBB inaugurates agric skill acquisition centre


ORMER military President Ibrahim Babangida has inaugurated the multi-million naira agricultural skill acquisition centre constructed by Sokoto State government at Milgoma village, Bodinga Local Government Area. Babaginda, who began a two-day official visit to the state, commended, Governor Aliyu Wamakko, for establishing the ultra-modern centre.

He said that agriculture plays key role in the socio-economic development of the state and the nation at large. “We came to Sokoto, we saw and we have testified that Wamakko is executing people-oriented projects. He needs the support of the people of the state to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy,’’ he said. Babaginda, who described

Wammako as “a worthy successor’’, urged him not to relent in his efforts to develop the state. All the projects the Governor has been executing directly affect the masses and this laudable gesture should be sustained,’’ Babangida said. In his remark, Wamakko said the Centre would train 3,000 people from the seven Local Government Areas of Sokoto South Senatorial zone per annum.



AGRO-BUSINESS A new farming model has emerged that allows multinational companies struggling with prohibitive cost of importing raw materials into the country to contract farmers to grow produce on their behalf. This has opened new opportunities for farmers. Known as contract farming (CF), it will not only provide them financial benefits but it will also encourage young persons to embrace the business. DANIEL ESSIET reports.

Reducing poverty through contract farming A

N American farmer, Calvin Burgess of Guthrie, Oklahoma, owner of Dominion Rice and Integrated Farms Limited, is set to begin a large scale mechanised rice farming in Taraba State. Calvin, who is an experienced American rice farmer, had last year acquired massive farmland of about 30,000 hectares to begin mechanised rice farming in the low land part of the state, close to Rivers Benue and Taraba. The farm, when completed, will require up to 15,000 well-trained men and women working daily. Approximately 90 per cent of the land will be operated with contract farmers with the remainder utilised as a corporate farm and for educational training purposes by the lead investor, Dominion Farms. Approximately 300,000 tonnes of rice will be produced annually for the marketplace. Nigeria imports as much as two million tonnes of rice annually. It will offset 15 per cent of imports. Rice has become a major staple in recent times. It is an important food for both rural and urban dwellers. Unfortunately, the sharp rise in consumption has not impacted positively on the local rice producers’ income. Other challenges faced by local farmers is the high cost of production, lack of access to credit, shortage of water, pests, diseases, non availability of suitable varieties, low quality of locally processed rice and inefficient markets for inputs and produce. These enormous challenges cannot be borne by local farmers. To this end, a new farming model is emerging between farmers and multinationals in which the companies struggling with expensive cost of imported raw materials contract farmers to grow produce on their behalf. This has opened new markets for farmers. The multinationals looking to cut cost of imported raw materials and maximise on locally available cheap ones, are spending millions chasing farmers with incentives such as free training, high yielding seeds and ready market. This arrangement has enticed


farmers who have long been grappling with low and erratic market prices for their produce. The business model has linked farmers to markets and enabled them share production and marketing risks with promoters while exposing them to new opportunities to earn income. Chief Executive, Talon Group, Dr Lanre Talabi said contract farming has the potential to link farmers to markets and stimulate agricultural production. According to him, it makes access to inputs, technologies, credit and other services easy. Talabi said the adoption of contract farming by the firm was very important. According to him, under contract farming arrangement, agricultural production is carried out according to a prior agreement under which the farmer commits to producing a given product in a given manner, and the buyer commits to purchasing it at a given price. It does not only guarantee enough rice production, but efficiency in promoting sustainable development of poor communities surrounding the project. According to him, the Taraba project's success is fostering sustainable community development which will be reflected in the smiles on the faces of the people. Incidentally, part of the strategy of the promoters is to promote social inclusion by integrating the communities in contract farming. A farmer, Pastor Segun Adewumi, said contract farming was one way agro businesses are partnering with farmers to provide seed, money and skills to produce better commodities. Not only will it give a company credibility, win the support of local communities, it will also improve, in a sustainable manner, the living

•A contract farmer.

standards of those previously excluded. The contracting company, he said, comes in to improve access to quality raw material/paddy rice and provide technical assistance on best practices. Adewusi, who is the National President, Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria said contract farming arrangement enables multinational agro business to negotiate with input suppliers, tractor owners, banks, rice processors and traders on behalf of the farmers. This, he explained, is beneficial to them especially in terms of helping them access credit, inputs and tractor services. Often, the buyer provides the farmer with technical assistance, seed, fertiliser, and other input on credit, while offering a guaranteed price for the output. Such arrangements, he said link farmers to lucrative markets and reduce the constraints they face in diversifying into high-value commodities and connecting to markets. He said the contract faming approach increases revenues for poor communities and encourage collaboration at all levels. Adewusi said buyers train farmers in land preparation, planting, harvesting and storage, pest and disease control and marketing.

The Taraba project, he indicated, demonstrates the viability of poverty reduction through entrepreneurial capacity building. He said one of the objectives of his association was to encourage buyers to enter into contracts with farmers to buy their produces after the end of the project. This has already started, he declared. CF, he noted is meaningful as it shows poor communities the potential that their produce have for alleviating poverty and, even more important, for entering solidly into the world economy. The evolving industry, he noted would lay the foundation for long-term economic vitality for the communities involved. Experts see CF as a strategy capable of re-directing the economy on the path of rapid growth and poverty reduction. It is a written commitment or an agreement made between the farmer and the buyer for cultivation and sale of specific quality, quantity, grade, and variety of commodity at predetermined price. Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Prof Ini Akpabio said contract farming has demonstrated the viability of poverty reduction through the

‘The business model has linked farmers to markets and enabled them share production and marketing risks with promoters while exposing them to new opportunities to earn income’

empowerment of farmers. He said introducing contract farming is meaningful for agricultural development. Finding show that a lot of multinationals are employing contract farming as a strategy to get their commodities. Olam Nigeria partners some farmers to produce rice. The farmers are to produce rice using the inputs supplied by Olam (as in-kind credit), comply with the farm management practices and ensure prompt repayment of loans through sale of the paddy produced to it. On the other hand, Olam is to deliver the required inputs to the farmers at the right time and buy back the paddy after harvest. The rice CF guarantees sustainable supply of raw materials, provides a boost to the rural economy and promote pro-poor growth. Under the ginger CF, the responsibility of farmers is to produce ginger, dry, pack in polybags and transport to Olam’s warehousefor sale. According to reports, there has been a reduction in the sharp practices of middlemen and in the number of middlemen participating in the ginger market. British American Tobacco (BAT) has been involved in tobacco contract farming arrangement with farmers in Oyo State. The obligation of the farmers under the contract is to produce and sell to BAT only good quality flue/ air cured tobacco of the quantity and at the grades specified by it.

FAO alerts on re-emergence of bird flu viruses

HE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that the H7N9 and H5N1 avian influenza viruses continues to pose threats to human and animal health, especially in the upcoming flu season. This warning is contained in a statement issued in Rome. “The world is more prepared than ever before to respond to bird flu viruses in light of a decade of work on H5N1 and the recent response to H7N9. “However, constant vigilance is required. Bird flu viruses continue to circulate in poultry. “Efforts must continue and be strengthened, not only in affected countries, but also in neighbouring states and areas with strong trade linkages. “This is especially true for H7N9 since it causes no clinical signs in birds and, is therefore, very diffi-

cult to detect in poultry,” said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer, Juan Lubroth. Lubroth spoke at a joint meeting with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Heads of FAO Reference Laboratories in Australia, the People’s Republic of China and the US, were also in attendance, along with representatives from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Agriculture. Along these lines, FAO has committed $2million of emergency funding supplemented by over $5 million from USAID, to start H7N9 response efforts. USAID support has enabled FAO to help countries at risk to improve surveillance capacities.

“Several at-risk countries, previously unable to pick up the virus, can now accurately detect H7N9. “Identifying the virus with consistency is critical to targeting control efforts and reducing spread,’’ Lubroth said. Dennis Carroll, Director of USAID’s Emerging Threats Programme, also spoke. “The early detection and excellent characterisation of the H7N9 virus by Chinese experts has created an unprecedented opportunity to mount a coordinated effort to stop the further spread of the virus – and thwart a possible global event.” He said that significant progress over the past decade in forging national and international partnerships and validating interventions for control of avian influenza could be adapted to address the threat posed by the H7N9 virus.

FAO and USAID stress that more work was required, the statement said. In the short term, this includes continued, targeted surveillance and trace back throughout the production and marketing system, contingency planning and compensation scheme development. In the longer-term fight against H7N9 and other viruses, FAO and USAID, are urging countries to invest in improving the way they market and sell poultry. “We need keep our eyes on the bigger picture of promoting healthy food systems, especially when it comes to animal production and marketing. “Restructuring can create healthier, safer markets by developing facilities that employ proper food safety and hygiene measures. “Since animals, and therefore, viruses are inevitably gathered at

markets, keeping these markets clean and safe reduces the chances for viruses and other pathogens to spread. “Healthy markets mean healthy birds, and that means improved public health, better food security and more sustainable livelihoods,” Lubroth further said, in the statement. According to the statement, FAO has continued its call for funds to bolster the global H7N9 response. The UN agency is urging countries to make key investments in improving markets and promoting healthy food systems to fight viruses affecting animals and humans. This is part of overarching efforts to ensure that the animal sector realised its potential in the promotion of healthy and productive lives, the statement said.




Father of six dies in prison custody •Death after N5,000 fine or two weeks jail


FATHER of six, Toyese Kehinde, who was arrested for environmental offences in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, has died in prison custody. He was given a jail term of two weeks or an option of N5,000 fine by an Egor Magistrate’s Court in Benin City on August 31 for failing to observe the monthly sanitation exercise. The late Kehinde was serving his term at the minimum security prison on Sapele Road in Benin City. He was said to have died in the early hours of September 9 and was buried by the prison authorities. Kehinde, who hailed from Osun State, was said to be a musician.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

It was gathered that his family knew about his ordeal through his friend. At the expiration of his jail term, his brother, Adewale, went to the prison to demand his release but was told that his brother died and had been buried. Adewale said: “We saw him last on August 30. We later heard that he was arrested for flouting environmental laws and was sentenced to two weeks’ imprisonment, as he was unable to pay the N5,000 fine. “When he failed to return after two days when he was supposed to be released, we went to the prisons, only to be told that he died on September 9 and had been bur-

•The late Kehinde

ied. The man who spoke to us gave us a paper.” He said it was worrisome that his brother died in prison custody and was bur-

ied without his family’s knowledge. A note under the subject, “Death of Convict No. V. 1176 Toyese Kehinde in Charge No ELG/004/13, signed by Asst. Supt. of Prisons II (Admin) for the Deputy Controller or Prisons”, said Toyese died after a protracted illness. Adewale said his brother was hale and hearty before his arrest. The note also sought the court’s consent for a coroner’s inquest. But Prisons Headquarters spokesman Suleman Aminu said he had no knowledge of the convict’s death. “I don’t want to say anything categorically now whether or not the family was informed or not. I have not been fully briefed. “I will have to crave your indulgence to give me some time to consult with the Comptroller to enable us carry out investigations why there was a death in one of our prisons and the victim was buried without our knowledge,” Aminu said.

Dokubo-Asari: I don’t hate northerners From Sanni Onogu, Abuja



EADER of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) Mujahid Dokubo-Asari yesterday said it was unfortunate that most of his comments on national issues had been twisted and taken out of context. He said some of these comments had been translated to mean that he hates the North. At a briefing in Abuja, Dokubo-Asari said having spent the greater part of his life in the struggle to defend the oppressed, it would be


wrong for people to consider him as one who hates the North. The former president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), however, insisted that he would never shy away from speaking the truth. He said it was time for Nigerians to face realities and come together to fight for their rights. This, Dokubo-Asari said, would ensure that they do not go back to the “era of darkness, especially now that the calls for a sovereign national conference have become louder.” His words: “Most of my statements have been translated as hatred against the North; this is far from the truth, because the word hatred has never existed in my lexicon. “But I will never shy away from stating the fact, not minding who feels happy or sad about it. “I have spent most of my

life in the forefront of various struggles against oppressions of my people and others, I cannot do this if I hate any part of the country. But I will remain consistent in the fight against oppression. “It is time for us to face the obvious realities and come together to fight and ensure we don’t go back to the era of darkness, especially now that the calls for a Sovereign National Conference have become louder. “We believe that with the appearance of true and sincere northerners, a new page of interaction has been open.” Dokubo-Asari, who said he has many friends and wellwishers from the North, added that he had consistently maintained cordial relations with his northern allies. He added: “It is no secret that I have many friends and well-wishers from the North, and I have always maintained cordial relations and constant contact with my

friends till today. “In fighting for my people, it is important to reassure the North of safety and security and our capacity to contain any threat or attack against them. “We will not fold our arms and watch them cow our people to submission. This is not in our character as men of valour and honour to shy away from a declaration of war. “When I embraced Islam, my first point of call to study the Quran and understand the religion was in Gamboru Ngala in Borno State. “The Chief Imam of the mosque I built in my community, Mallam Sani Mohammed, is from the North. The Imam of my household, Alhaji Salisu Marafa, is from Marafa in Zamfara State. “My younger brother and friend, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYCF), who named his son after me, Mujahid, is my best man. The list is endless.”

Robbers kill policeman in Cross River

POLICEMAN, identified as Inspector Lehman Akpan, has been killed by a two-man robbery gang at 55, IBB Way in Calabar, Cross River State, The Nation learnt yesterday. It was gathered that the robbers made away with the policeman’s gun, an AK47 and his magazine, as well as the money they stole from the residents. Sources said the robbers raided a tailor and demanded money from her. They forced her to take them to her husband’s room where they fired a shot and stole more money. The sources said a call was made to the Airport police station and the Divisional Police Officer, the late inspector and another policeman drove to the scene of the robbery. The Inspector was said to have entered the large compound while the DPO and the other policeman waited outside. But the robbers shot the inspector in the back and

•Gunmen shoot two in Bayelsa From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar and Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

made away with his weapon, through a collapsed fence near the Margaret Ekpo International Airport runway. Police spokesman Hogan Bassey confirmed the robbery. “It is true a policeman was killed in the robbery incident.” On whether his AK 47 and magazine were taken away, he said: “I can only tell you that we are investigating the matter and that is what I can tell you for now.” In Bayelsa State, gunmen on


Wednesday night stormed a popular boutique in Amarata area of Yenagoa, shooting two store attendants and stealing valuables. The gunshots, it was learnt, created pandemonium on the busy Mbiama-Yenagoa Road. The victims, identified as Edwin and Orji, were said to be recuperating in an emergency ward of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa. The assailants were said to have come from OMPADEC, an area notorious for criminal activities. They reportedly centered the male section of the boutique at 8pm after posing as

customers. One of the attendants at the female section said the two gunmen entered the boutique and requested some items. The attendant, who identified herself as Favour, said the robbers shot one of the victims in the waist. She said the other storekeeper was shot in the lower abdomen. It was learnt that the robbers abandoned their guns on the scene of the crime. Operatives of the anti-robbery squad were seen on the scene. Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe confirmed the report.

Ex-Rivers PFN chairman defends Amaechi

FORMER Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Rivers State, Apostle Eugene Ogu, has said there is nothing wrong in the rumoured vice presidential ambition of Governor Rotimi Amaechi. He slammed those castigating the governor, wondering why it was right for Jonathan to seek re-election and Amaechi victimised for allegedly exercising his right to contest.

From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt

Ogu, who is founder of Abundant Life Evangelic Mission, traced the crisis rocking Rivers and the ceding of the state’s oil wells to Bayelsa State to the rumoured ambition. He said: “What is the problem? We read in the newspaper that Amaechi wants to be VP and he said it is not true. Why not wait and see what he wants to do first?”

Edo traffic official assaulted


N official of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA), Fela Umweni, was yesterday beaten up by an accountant and officials of a furniture company on Ibiwe Street in Benin City. The accountant, whose names could not be ascertained, allegedly violated traffic rules at Oliha market and ran away. Some traffic officials chased him. Sources said the accountant

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

was accosted at his office gate and Umweni was locked inside. It resulted in a fight and other officials of the furniture company joined their boss in beating up the traffic official. Some policemen later intervened. The agency’s Head of Operations, Amadin Uwas, described the beating as an evil act.

Court voids monarch’s appointment


From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

DELTA State High Court in Ubiaruku, Ukwuani Local Government, has annulled the appointment of Friday Abaja as the Ukwata of Umukwata Kingdom. Justice Michael Obi, in a 14-page judgment, declared Abaja’s appointment as “unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”. The claimants are James Eke, Benjamin Ishie, Alex Ovili and Henry Ukor. The defendants are Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the House of Assembly and Abaja. Justice Obi highlighted two issues from the defence of the second defendant and the notice of preliminary objection with the potential of terminating the suit without going through the merit of the case. On whether the suit was an abuse of court process, Justice Obi ruled: “I resolve this issue in favour of the claimants and hold that this suit is not an abuse of court process.”

1000 deployed for council polls


From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

HE Cross River State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed over 1,000 security personnel for the local government elections tomorrow. The State Commandant, Benito Eze told reporters in Calabar yesterday that the NSCDC, in collaboration with other security agencies, was poised to ensure a hitch-free election. He warned that the NSCDC would not condone any act that would lead to a breakdown of law and order.


Delta to collect ground rent

HE Delta State government has said it will begin the collection of ground rent for property owners. The decision was reached in Asaba at a meeting between officials of the state Internal Revenue Board and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. Commissioner for Lands Patrick Ferife told reporters after the meeting that the government had not been maximising the opportunity created by law for the collection of ground rent.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

He explained that the Land Use Act vested all lands within the territory of the state on the governor for management, adding that each property/plot owner was required by law to pay rent to the governor. “We have plots designated for residential and those for commercial. For instance in Asaba, commercial plots are calculated as N100 per metre whereas it is N50 per metre for residential plots,” he explained.

Kidnapped Edo monarch released


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

HE traditional ruler of Udo community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, Patrick Igbinudu, who was abducted last Thursday, has been released. Igbinudu was released at about 7am yesterday at Uwelu in Egor Local Government Area. Sources told The Nation that he was walking aimlessly along the street. Igbinudu was abducted at his palace by four armed men, who came in an Audi. The kidnappers demanded N100 million but later reduced it to N10 million. It was not confirmed whether any ransom was paid for Igbinudu’s release.

Policeman remanded for murder


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

POLICE corporal, Amadin Idahosa, has been remanded in prison custody for the killing of a final year student of the University of Benin, Ibrahim Momodu. The accused was arraigned before an Egor Magistrate’s Court in Benin City but no plea was taken. He was dismissed from the Force after an orderly room trial and found culpable of the murder. The case was adjourned till October 30. The family’s counsel, Jefferson Uwoghiren, said the family is relieved about the arraignment. Ibrahim was killed on May 27 by some policemen and his body was hurriedly buried by the police without the family’s knowledge. A court order led to the exhumation of the corpse and it was found that he was shot three times in the back.




Oando decries reckless mention of brand name in Ibori’s case •Share price rallies amidst management assurance


ANDO Plc yesterday decried the prosecution’s mention of it’s name in relation to the on-going case involving the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori at the Crown Court in London, describing the linkage of the company to the jailed former Governor, wa s reckless and undue sensationalism. At a press briefing in Lagos, the Deputy Managing Director, Oando, Omamofe Boyo, said the prosecution was being unfair to Oando, as it has information that the prosecution had independently gathered showing that Ibori might have lied when he made claims of substantial shareholding in Oando. He said Oando was well aware that the London Metropolitan Police came to Nigeria to investigate the claim of Ibori’s shareholding in Oando and other claims, and only discovered that Ibori had less than 400 shares in Oando then. He explained that as a publicly listed company, the

Taofik Salako and Emeka Ugwuanyi

share register and shares transactions ot the firm are public documents that can be verified, wondering why the prosecution was bent on misleading the court. He said as a public company whose shares are freely traded on the floors of the exchanges in Lagos and Johannesburg, Oando cannot determine who should or not buy its shares. He regretted the sensationalism around the way the case is being run, saying that such recklessness has had effect on an innocent third party- Oando Plc. He insisted that Ibori does not own 30 per cent of Oando or Ocean & Oil, or any affiliated companies. Boyo said the prosecution lawyers had all the evidence of the true situation, describing what had happened since Monday when the trial started in London as “very bizarre.” He stressed that the company had checked its share

registers in South Africa and Nigeria, and Ibori only has 443 shares out of the more than 300,000 shareholders of the company. “We know all of those shareholders that have stake from 0.5 per cent, because there are few shareholders holding one per cent and above,” Boyo said. Oando’s share price bounced back from two consecutive declines with a gain of 7.93 per cent to close at N10 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Market analysts said the share price recovery might not be unconnected with the public information made available by the management of the company showing that it stands no risk in the Ibori’s confiscation hearing. Meanwhile, equities broke away from recent streak of losses with a strong rally that added N40 billion to aggregate market capitalisation. Market capitalisation, which had depreciated to N11.39 trillion rose by N40.20 billion to N11.43 trillion, while the All Share Index (ASI) closed higher at 35,891.91. The recovery was stimulated by gains by highly capitalised stocks such as Nigerian Breweries, which rose by 0.99 per cent to close at N161.99 per share.





‘Naira lost N102 to dollar in 19 yrs’


VER a 19 year period from 1980 to 2000, the naira depreciated by N101.50 to N102.10 to dollar when compared with N0.6 to dollar it traded as at 1981, Afrinvest Research, and investment and research firm has said. In a report released yesterday, the firm said not even the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) introduced in 1985 could

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

was considerably stable between 2000 to 2003, below N120 to a dollar, the recent adverse global capital flows amongst other factors has culminated in the current all time low of N164 to a dollar rate at the interbank market. The firm said the monetary authority has maintained a tight grip on the macroeconomic environment over the past 13 quarters as evidenced by its restrictive policy statements. Afrinvest listed potential strategies for more effective exchange rate management to include the incorporation of a long term diversified strategy in fiscal policy which would help cushion shocks in various segments of the economy. It called for diversification of the economy, adding that the current over reliance on oil receipts which constitute about 96.8 per cent of the country’s total exports by the government, poses a huge threat to the stability of the economy.

Stories by Collins Nweze

have predicted this precipitous slide. It said the naira first hit double digits moving from N9.9 to dollar in 1991 to N17.2 to dollar in 1992, a significant 73.7 per cent change. Thereafter, a gradual slide ensued, attaining triple digits in year 2000. It said although, the local currency

Sovereign debt attractive to investors, says FirstBank CEO T HE positive response of investors to the most recent Eurobond issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria, is indicative of the attractiveness of Nigeria’s sovereign debt to the investment community, Group Managing Director/ CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya, has said. Speaking yesterday at the Euromoney conference held in Lagos, he said the interest has been buoyed by the relatively high yields and the commitment of the monetary authorities in stabilizing exchange regime, which remains an attractive proposition to foreign portfolio investors. “Capital raising will expectedly become more competitive as the global economy inches back to recovery after the 2007 to 2008 crisis,” he said. Onasanya, who was represented by the bank’s Executive Director, Corporate Banking Group, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru said there are attempts by government to focus on agriculture, power supply, and infrastructure. “There is a clear emphasis on the adoption of value chain strategies in the agriculture sector. This must however be done within a framework that is affordable and feasible. The effectiveness or otherwise of

these interventions will depend on how such efforts affect the state of competitiveness in the different sectors,” Onasanya said. He said there is the need to reconcile benefits of a managed exchange rate regime and a floating rate regime. This should guide decisions of

which regime would be most appropriate to drive long-term growth. “Nigeria as the most populous country and one of the largest economies in the continent is a natural hub for economic activity within the sub-Saharan region and the continent as a whole,” he said.

UBA Foundation mulls N2.3m grant for three students


HREE best essay writers in the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for this year will go home with N2.25 million, Managing Director of the Foundation, Ijeoma Aso has said. Speaking yesterday at the flag off of this year’s competition, she said the first, second and third prize winners will get N1 million, N750,000 and N500,000 in educational grants respectively. Aso said the three best essayists will be selected as the overall winners from 12 finalists that will emerge from the first round of the competition. About 4,000 entries are expected from senior secondary school students across the country, who are eligible to participate.

She said the national essay competition which is in its third consecutive year, has witnessed increased participation from students since it was first launched in 2011. According to her, there were more than 2000 entries from all over the country in 2012 representing a 300 per cent increase from the previous year. She called on all senior secondary students across the country to send an entry within the next six weeks when the competition will be open. Entries will close by November 1, 2013 and no late entry will be accepted. “To participate in the competition, eligible senior secondary students are expected to send in handwritten entries on the topic ‘How

Reading has Impacted my Knowledge’ to the UBA Foundation’s office in Lagos. At the end of October, 2013 when entries close, four renowned Nigerian Professors will review the entries and select an initial shortlist of 12 for further assessment until the overall three best candidates emerge,” she said. The Divisional Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations, UBA Plc, Mr. Charles Aigbe said the essay competition falls within the four focus areas of the Foundation; Education, Economic Empowerment, Environment and Special Project. According to him, the bank’s CSR projects are geared toward promoting sustainable development in communities where UBA operates across Africa.

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


OBB Rate Call Rate

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 19-09-13


O/PRICE 0.60 0.80 0.71 18.00 1.50 0.55 9.32 1.90 1.37 23.79

C/PRICE 0.66 0.88 0.78 19.75 1.64 0.60 10.00 2.03 1.45 24.89

CHANGE 0.06 0.08 0.07 1.75 0.14 0.05 0.68 0.13 0.08 1.10

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %






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

239.4810 212.4997

244.0123 207.9023

245.6422 209.2910

-2.57 -1.51














O/PRICE 8.19 1.90 38.00 49.00 3.98 1.38 21.00 2.50 4.21 1.96

C/PRICE 7.40 1.74 35.00 45.41 3.73 1.30 19.99 2.38 4.05 1.90


July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

CHANGE 0.79 0.16 3.00 3.59 0.25 0.08 1.01 0.12 0.16 0.06

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

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

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


Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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



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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 19-09-13



AIZ Bank Plc has opened its eleventh branch in Gusau, Zamfara State yesterday since it started operations in January 2012 . A statement from the bank said, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, Shettiman Mafara offered to invest N1.5 billion in the bank to shore up its capital base. Jaiz Bank currently has an authorized share capital of N13 billion. The bank statement said the governor urged citizens of the state to patronize the bank so that they can benefit from the benefit of non-interest banking. The governor said funds of the local governments in the state will be invested in the bank to help it grow. In addition, over N3 billion programme of empowering women in the state will be deposited in the bank while he will “ensure that all of them open accounts in the bank to drive the process.” According to the governor, “we are aware that most people that are patronizing the bank are non-Muslims. We are going to mobilize the people through the mass media to educate our people on the importance if the bank,” he said. With an authorized shared capital of N13 billion, the board and management of the Bank hopes to open branches in all the state capital of Nigeria by its fifth year of operation. Chairman of the Bank, Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Mutallab, thanked the governor for his interest in the bank. He commended him for the pledge to invest N1.5 billion in the bank. He stated that the bank is for everybody irrespective of the religious and ethnic base.


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

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja



Jaiz Bank opens 11th branch in Zamfara


Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 141.19 153.18 0.80 1.16 1.18 100.00 1,000.00 1,824.63 13.64 1.39 1.87 11,004.94

9.08 1.00 140.70 152.58 0.78 1.16 1.16 100.00 1,000.00 1,820.08 12.97 1.33 1.80 10,860.29


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Enugu group hails Chime


HE Enugu Peoples’ Assembly (EPA) has hailed Governor Sullivan Chime for his exemplary governance. Chime got a pat on the back for the peaceful resolution of which senatorial zone would produce the next governor. The EPA said the choice of Nsukka Zone was in tandem with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (Enugu Chapter) agreement and in consonance with the yearnings and wishes of majority of the people. In a communiqué at the end of the EPA plenary in Lagos yesterday signed by its National Chairman, Patrick Mba, the group said: “That Enugu Peoples Assembly (EPA) commends the political pragmatism and exemplary leadership style of Governor Chime in the zoning of the PDP’s governorship ticket, couple with the peaceful atmosphere reigning in the state, preparatory to the forthcoming local government election slated for December. The EPA also commended Chime for the emergence of Ikechukwu Onyemaechi as the mayoral candidate of Oji River Local Government Area. Onyemaechi, it said, was an experienced candidate, considering his pedigree and wealth of experience as a former deputy national organising secretary of PDP. The EPA hailed the Southeast on the recent opening of Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Senator’s sister released From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa


HE sister of the senator representing Bayelsa West, Heineken Lokpobiri, was abducted by gunmen, the police said yesterday. The police, however, said the woman, identified as Mrs. Felicia Amasoma, who was kidnapped two weeks ago in Ekeremor Local Government Area, had been released. Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe confirmed that two persons linked to the incident had been arrested. Kidnapping attracts the death sentence in the state. The victim was said to be a dealer in fairly-used clothing. It was learnt that the gunmen posed as customers before whisking her away. Sources said she took samples of her wares to the ringleader of the gang in a car but was later held by the bandits. But Akhigbe said the victim was released early this week. He, however, failed to confirm whether or not any ransom was paid. Akhigbe said: “She was abducted. However, the police have apprehended two of the suspects. The third person in the threeman gang is still on the run.”

Anambra PDP suit: Judge withdraws


USTICE H.A Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, yesterday excused himself from the Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election matter he is handling. Nganjiwa ordered that the case file be transferred back to Awka, the Anambra State capital, where the matter originated. He cited the resumption of the normal court sitting as reason. PDP’s counsel Mecha Kalu expressed pessimism on the continuity of the matter, but promised to forge ahead with the case. “As far as I am concerned, this case is as good as dead; we will go and slug it out back home. This was the reason we insisted that the ap-

•Transfers file back to Awka The national PDP execu-

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

plication challenging the jurisdiction of the court be taken first.” Charles Onyeabor, who appeared for the plaintiffs, lauded the decision, saying it was the proper thing to do. Two parallel PDP governorship primary elections were held in Anambra State by factional leaders, Ejike Oguebego and Ken Emeakayi for the November 16 governorship elections. The election conducted by Oguebego produced Senator Andy Uba as its candidate while Emeakayi’s produced Tony Nwoye.

tives recognised the Emeakayi-led executives and accepted the outcome of the election and the candidate it produced. The Oguebego-led executives approached the vacation court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, asking it to grant an order urging the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deal with it as the rightful state executives. The suit equally asked the court to restrain the party and INEC from recognising Emeakayi as the state chairman, and not to accept the result of the election he conducted, claiming that the result and the emerging can-

didate were products of illegality. Nganjiwa ordered parties to comply with the May 3, Federal High Court, Awka ruling. He told parties about a petition from Ike and Ike Chambers Enugu, asking him to withdraw from the matter. Yesterday, Justice H.A Nganjiwa ruled that the case file be returned to Awka, the place where the matter originated. He said it was proper to do so, saying Awka is not within the jurisdiction of the Port Harcourt Federal High Court. The judge noted that he heard the matter initially because it was a vacation court and since there was no vacation court in Awka he had to fill in the gap.

•From right: Alhaja Iyabo Ojo, Iyaloja Mile 12 Market, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Iyaloja General, Miss Opeyemi Ahmed and Otunba Fatai Adegbuyi, Otunba Bobajiro of Ogijo Land during a courtesy visit to Mrs.Tinubu-Ojo.

Anambra commissioner to resign today


NAMBRA State Commissioner for Special Duties Vincent Ejikeme Ezenwajiaku has said he will resign his appointment today, following his alleged involvement in a N10.6 million fraud. He sued the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), the Tunde Ogunsakin, Chuks Mgbemena, Okposiakpo Elolor for N250 million for an attempt to damage his reputation. He urged the Awka High Court to restrain Ogunsakin, Mgbemena and Elohor from arresting him pending the determination of the suit. The police declared him

•Sues police, three others for N250m From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

wanted on Wednesday over “his refusal to honour their invitation”. Briefing reporters yesterday in Awka, Ezenwajiaku said: “I’m going to step further on the court cases against these people. I have never been involved in any form of fraud. “I am going to resign; I am going to give the letter to Governor Peter Obi today. “I do not intend to embarrass this government, this is to prove my innocence until I clear my name. Whatever

it will take to do it, I will do it. “This matter is a commercial transaction between two brothers from the same town. In 1992, I established a company, Bio Plastics Limited, which I solely funded and promoted. “The industry produced containers for packaging of cosmetics and we went into production in 1995. Mgbemena sponsored my wedding, I told him about what I was doing and he showed interest in it. “He stopped me from bringing in another brother

of ours, Jude Ezechukwu, the owner of the defunct Josper Football Club. “The issue of owing this man came up in 2004. After the meeting of the board, it was agreed that I should pay him N7.5million which I agreed. “We never quarrelled; things went bad because I was bed-ridden and that delayed the payment. “All I know is that I owe Mgbemena N7.5millon of which I have paid N1.5million. “I do not know why my brother has taken this small thing too far.”

Monarchs’ tussle: Okorocha heads to Supreme Court peal Court, which reinstated From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri



HE Imo State government has appealed the judgment of the Ap-

the embattled Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya. Ilomuanya was sacked by Governor Rochas Okorocha. The government urged the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court, pending the determination of the appeal filed against the judgment. It also urged the apex court to issue a stay of execution on the Appeal Court judgment, which was given in favour of Eze llomuanya. The judgment had granted all reliefs sought in the orig-

inating summons, which included dissolution of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers. In the notice of appeal, Okorocha described the Appeal Court judgment as a miscarriage of justice, adding that the court erred in law when it held that the counteraffidavit of the appellants were “sweeping” and that paragraphs 6(a), b, and c were not enough to counter the contents of the affidavit in support of the respondent. Arguing further the governor stated that the Appeal Court also erred in law when

it held that the judge raised the issue of hearsay and made a case for the appellants, adding that evidence of hearsay “is an issue of law and like all issues of law a court can raise same as suo motu.” He, therefore, asked the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court and affirm the judgment of the judge dismissing the suit as “unmeritorious.” llomuanya was locked out of the council secretariat by policemen when he went there to hold meeting with other traditional rulers.

Uduaghan seeks adequate health data By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday urged the Federal Government to provide adequate statistics to enable comprehensive provision of healthcare to the people. He described the absence of data as an impediment to the provision of infrastructure, service and development in the country. Uduaghan spoke yesterday in Lagos during the convocation of students of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. The governor, who is a doctor, was conferred with the fellowship of the institution. Challenging the Federal Office of Statistics on data gathering, he said: “Most of the diseases we suffer from today could be avoided if our people and communities keep a clean environment.” He announced the sponsorship of the one year training abroad of graduates of the National Medical Postgraduate College of Delta State origin. The governor was honoured with senior colleagues who have distinguished themselves in medical practice. Presenting the award, the college’s president , Dr Victor Wakwe, said: “The award came in recognition of his numerous contributions to the development of higher education and advancement of medical knowledge in Nigeria. ”As commissioner for health, all the public hospitals in Delta State were rehabilitated and many upgraded. “New hospitals were built across the state; while equipment was provided for better services. “The out-of-stock syndrome for drugs at the hospitals became a thing of the past. “Medical staff were motivated through enhanced allowances and other benefits. The health sector came back to life and was better positioned to serve people.” Acknowledging the award, Uduaghan said: “Though many complain that we spend on education, but we do spend more on security than we do education. “Deltans need to move with the trend of development taking place globally, hence there is no regret spending on training for Deltans, here or overseas. “It is a huge investment, and the state and Nigeria will be better for it. “There is the need to also work on the statistics of the country. What we have, are they correct to be pushed out?” The college said 285 got the fellowship through examination. Two fellows– Dr L.I.D Kufeji and Dr O.A Afonja– got the Distinguished Fellowship award because of their numerous services to the college. “Dr Uduaghan got his award because of the love for his profession, service to his state and the Nigerian Medical Association and its organs,” the college president, said.



NEWS ‘SWF instrumental to fiscal discipline’ Continued from page 4

•From left: Mr Apollos Ikpobe, Deputy Managing Director,- Domestic, UBA Plc; Mr Olu Owolabi, Managing Director, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL); Mr Antony Tyler, Director General, IATA and Mr George Uriesi, Managing Director Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the IATA Africa Aviation Day sponsored by UBA …on Tuesday.

I leave with my head high, says Salami

Continued from page 4

happy for what I did and I’m proud of what I did. I thank God Almighty.” Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Akin Olujimi (SAN), who was chairman at the event, berated the national body of lawyers; the NBA, for having not done ‘enough’ in fighting for the reinstatement of Salami . Olujimi, counsel to Justice Salami in the legal battle over his suspension, berated his colleague silks and some of Justice Salami’s colleagues in the Court of Appeal, arguing that several of them who first stood by the embattled PCA abandoned him in the middle of the battle. He expressed the fear that it could have been due to financial inducement. Said he: “I notice that the NBA Ilorin has made some resolutions on the matter and I note that the national body has also made some comments. But we are yet to see action from the NBA. I expect to see the national body actively involved in this


action. The NBA is a very important body that you will rarely ignore. But at some point in time that body has not acted as it should. “When the matter started, a few of our senior colleagues came out to say they are part of the struggle but after some time, they faded out. Money can be a bad thing; it can make you change. We know human rights activists all over the world and how they stand up to uphold what is right but here some of them have abandoned the cause of human rights. I am not saying this because I am his counsel; the truth is that the man did nothing wrong. “The ruling party believes that once a matter is before the court, it must go their way and once you have a judge who is not working in their favour, they descend on him with fury. I know that Salami has not done anything wrong. It started in Sokoto where he discovered that a matter had been left unattended to for a long time and he decided to open the case, not knowing that it was kept in the

cooler for certain reasons. “I commend the Justices of the Court of Appeal who have identified with the truth in this struggle. It is Salami today; it could be any of you tomorrow. When you stand with the truth, no harm can come your way. It is unfortunate that it is happening to your colleague and one would have thought that the only way to tackle the impunity would have been for all to stand up for the truth, but some would not. “Nigeria is in trouble; indeed. The judiciary used to be seen as the hope of the common man but today it has become the hope of all men. Politicians besiege the courts everyday for several causes. They can do just anything to get what they want and it is unfortunate that the judiciary has allowed politicians to penetrate the courts and bring the courts to disrepute. “We talk of corruption in Nigeria today and we mention the court. We hear stories. When a judge takes money from a politician we hear, one way or the other because nothing can be secret for long. We know them and

even if they do it in secret we know; because we hear. What I just want to say to them is that even if man does not know, God knows and one day you will stand before his judgment. “The battle is still on and we expect that the wrong done to him would be corrected. The NJC has revoked his suspension and one would have expected them to recall him but they have failed in that regard. The matter of the discipline of a judge starts and ends with the NJC; that was where the former NJC got things wrong when it invited the President into the matter but now the new one has been able to identify that error; the President has nothing to do with the discipline of a judge.” Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin Professor Ishaq Oloyede, expressed deep concerns that given the insinuations about the judiciary at the event, Nigeria was sitting literally on a keg of gunpowder. If what has happened to Justice Salami is allowed to go unchecked, Nigerians should begin to find their ways out of the country, he said.

North not afraid of confab, says Aliyu

The North is not afraid of national conference contrary to insinuations, Niger State Governors Babangida Aliyu said yesterday in Minna. Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, however, flayed the call for a sovereign national conference, saying it is not tenable in a democracy . The governor spoke against the background of Tuesday’s call by Senate President David Mark for a national conference, which he said should not be sovereign. Mark spoke at the opening session of the new Senate session in Abuja. But the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) flayed Mark’s call, saying any conference that is devoid of sovereignty would be illegitimate. Aliyu, who spoke at the opening of a workshop organised by the state’s Ministry of Tertiary Education for students, with the theme “A new focus for NANIS”, said: “Those calling for sovereign national conference must understand the implication of that. You cannot have two sovereignties in one state. “If anybody says he is going to organise a sovereign national conference, all of us in government must resign our jobs and then transfer the sovereignty of the country to the committee that is going to discuss the sovereignty of the country.” The governor, however, added: “A national conference? Yes, we can organise it and then send it (the outcome) to the appropriate organ to deliberate upon.” Setting agenda for his preferred conference, Aliyu said: “I

•Afenifere insists on SNG

Jide Orintunsin, Minna and Dada Aladelokun

will love a national conference that will look at our constitution and really give us justice, equity and fairness in our body politic and in our national life”. He maintained that the convocation of a national conference will move the country forward. “Many people are trying to make it look like Northern states are afraid of conference; we are not. Let us come and talk; let us come and look at our problems. If it means restructuring the country, let us come and do it, but we must not be hoodwinked. “If people want to secede, let them secede and then we see under which constitution they are seceding. Let us not be intimated. In fact, we cannot be intimated because intimidation will not give us good policies; intimidation will not give us good nation, Intimidation will not give us any progress,” he insisted. The ARG, in a statement, condemned Mark’s “morbid obsession” for the false inviolability of 1999 Constitution, a recurring theme in his speech. “We wish to restate, for the umpteenth time, that Nigerians are not made for the law and, as such, their fate cannot be sealed, as Mark wants, by the Constitution. His job will be more fruitful, if he directs the affairs of his office by the conviction that NASS represents the people and not the constitution,” the group said, adding: “We also found it distasteful

for Mark to condescendingly regard leaders of ethnic nationalities as ‘an unpredictable mass’, a description that shows he still bears vestiges of military dictatorship, even after more than a decade as the custodian of the nation’s democratic institution. “The ARG believes the constitution derives its powers from the sovereignty of the people and not the other way round, as Mark wants us to believe. Another wrong notion in Mark’s speech was his claim that SNC is a sectional agenda, instead of national panacea. We do not believe that SNC will serve Yoruba interest the most. In fact, the Ijaw stand to benefit more. But of what use is prosperity when there is no peace? It. Therefore, makes sense for peace that the Ijaw keep their oil proceeds and

pay royalty to the Federal Government.” It went on: “Mark’s proposed conference also stripped it of its God-given sovereignty. He offered no reason for this democratic robbery other than his morbid fear that doing so can lead to fragmentation of the country. However, the current situation in the country is such that the constituent ethnic nations do not need Mark’s sermon to agree to stay together as a nation and he cannot stop them if they decide to part ways. The ARG added: “The lot of this country will not change for good until we find the courage to summon all ethnic nations to the table of brotherhood to fashion out a new constitution as the current effort at constitutional review is a futile exercise that can never foster our nationhood.”

Delta sponsors 16 for London training


IXTEEN journalists from the print and electronic media will on Monday

begin a one-week training at the Thomson Reuters Institute in London. They are sponsored by the Delta State Government. The theme of the training is “Investigative Journalism” and will focus on ethics and the principles of investigation in news writing. The training is the second to be sponsored by the Delta State Government. Last year, 12 journalists were at the same institute for training. Giving approval for the training, Governor Emmanuel Udu-

aghan, said it is in line with his administration’s programme of building human capacity in all spheres of endeavours. According to him, as the watch dog of the society and being in the vanguard of the protection of democratic values, journalists need to sharpen their skills to meet the challenges of news writing in an increasing global village. The team which comprises correspondents of major print and electronic media in the state as well the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Mr. Austin Mowah, will be led by the Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, who will declare the training open.

note of their efforts. “Also a number of other sovereign wealth fund and international investment institutions have expressed their readiness to partner with the NSIA in the execution of infrastructure projects in Nigeria. Given this, we should all be encouraged to remain steadfast in making contributions to the fund. While the initial $1 billion investment is not inconsequential and gives us credibility, the sustainability of our sovereign wealth fund depends on our continuous contributions.” “The NSIA makes investment with the expectations of profitable returns and in this vein, there as been significant progress in the stabilisation and future generation funds. The authority’s currently working hard to evaluate a number of infrastructure projects across the country. Some of the undertaking include second Niger Bridge, Gurara dam phase 2, sea ports investment and an aircraft leasing company to ease the financial burden in the airline industry and promote greater visibility in its operation. It is pertinent to say that the development of well-conceived infrastructure projects by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority will also provide a platform for our national pension funds to invest in credible undertakings. Members of the governing council include: the President,

represented by the VP, will Chair the council, while the 36 governors, Attorney General of the Federation, minister of Finance, minister of National Planning, Central Bank Governors, Chief Economic Adviser to the President , Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission as members. A 12 non-statutory members of the council whose nominations are subject to the confirmation by the senate as stipulated by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority establishment Act of 2011, will join the council at a later date as members. Chairman of the board of directors of the NSIA Mahey Rasheed, said that the NSIA, which kicked off in February, is now fully operational and has commenced investment activities. He said: “We have gone far in investing the stabilisation and future generation funds. Also we are evaluating a number of investment opportunities in the nation’s infrastrucute relating to transportation, power, healthcare, and agriculture”. According to him, the NSIA has been significantly recognised as potential investment power house by global investment partners and is already in the top ranking chart of Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The Managing Director of the NSIA, Uche Orji, said they would do their best to attain the set objectives of the fund.

‘Nigeria’s economy shaky’ Continued from page 4

of you have benefitted from the sharing for four years, raise your hand, how many of you, ‘none’, “ the crowd again chorused. “So none. How many of you passed through East-West road, how was the road”. “Bad”, they again chorused. “And our President is from South-South, so you see why I should support the President? “No ooo”, the crowd chorused again. “So, the basic rule is that none of us should oppose our President if you are from SouthSouth, that is what the man(Uduaghan) tells us...” He urged the youths to arm themselves with education to revive Nigeria which is comatose, expressing sadness that the country’s poverty rate has risen to an unbearable level where

many Nigerians hardly get enough to eat. “Now for you as young men and women, we present you a nation that is yearning for repair. For me, the nation does not only need repair, it requires change.” “In 1970, the poverty rate in Nigeria was 30 per cent. How many of you know the poverty rate now? I was in a meeting where I said it was 70%, the Minister of Finance said it was 68%. What’s the difference between 68 and 70? So, we are giving you a nation that is in the state of comatose, that’s what we are handing over to you.” “If it is a nation that is progressing, from 30% in 1970, we should be talking about 15% now. So you have work to do and the first step to that work is education”, Amaechi said.



This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matter Acts No. 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Chief (Mrs.) Blessing Okechukwu - Chair Person 2. Honourable Chibuzor Adiela - Secretary 3. Princess (Mrs.) Ruth Eluozo 4. Princess Gift Patrick 5. Mrs. Ijeoma Joel AIMS AND OBJECTIVES a. Advocacy for peace and peaceful co-existence. b. Reforming the social values of the youths and children. c. Harnessing the potentials of Usomini Women. d. Using Usomini Women as a tool or agent of social engineering. e. Empowerment of Usomini Women. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Chief (Mrs.) Blessing Okechukwu

PUBLIC NOTICE OLANREWAJU-OLADELE OLUTOLA FOUNDATION This is to inform the general public that the above foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.1990. TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Olabisi Ogunjobi 2. Pastor Dr G. O Olutola 3. Olusemire Kayode 4. Apoeso Deborah Bolanle (Mrs) 5. Hasstrup Adedeji Dr 6. Power Ziakede Aginighan 7. Folorunso Peter Odunayo 8. Ade Matthew Odunewu 9. Adebayo O.Olaiya AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) Uplifting of human dignity through timely intervention in areas that promote human development like education, health and job creation. 2) To carry on relief programmes, establish small scale business or enterprise and run other welfare programmes for widows, abused women, orphans, destitute etc. 3) To fund the education of the handicapped. 4) To co-operate and associate with or otherwise encourage and assist any person, body or organization with identical or supplementary aims and objectives. 5) To accept donations, subscriptions, gifts, grants, acquire, develop, sell and dispose of all real or personal property of the foundation or part thereof for the purpose of achieving the objective of the foundation. 6) To employ all such officer and staff as may be required for the work of the foundation. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission P.M.B 198, Plot 420, Tigirs Cresent, off Aguyi Ironsi street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: CHRISTIAN NWAGBARA Esq. (Solicitor) Tel: 08038136080





OPE Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals. In a wide-ranging interview yesterday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage. Moreover, if the church fails to find a "new balance" between its spiritual and political missions, the pope warned, its moral foundation will "fall like a house of cards." The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis' vision for the Roman Catholic Church. The pope's comments don't break with Catholic doctrine or policy, but instead show a shift in approach, moving from censure to engagement. Elected in March with the expectation that he would try to reform the Vatican, an institution that many observers say is riven by corruption and turf wars, Francis said his first mission is to change the church's "attitude." "The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things," the pope said, "in smallminded rules." "The people of God want pastors," Francis continued, "not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials." Jesuits from around the world submitted questions to Spadaro. Francis answered them with the frankness that has become a hallmark of his young papacy. To begin the interview, Spadoro bluntly asks, "Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?" - Francis's name before he was elected pope. "I am a sinner," the pope answers. "This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner." The pope didn't mention any particular sins, and Catholic theology holds that all humans are sinners, a consequence of Adam and Eve's original transgression. Still, a pope describing himself foremost as "sinner" is striking. Offering new glimpses of his personal life, Francis said he prays at the dentist's office and felt trapped in the Vatican's traditional papal apartments. (He moved to a smaller one in a

Pope Francis speaks out •The Church must find a 'new balance' •Can't 'interfere' with gays’ and lesbians' rights •Women must play a key role in church decisions

•Pope Francis

nearby building.) He has a taste for tragic artists and Italian films and keeps the will of his beloved grandmother in his prayerbook. But it was the pope's vision for the church's future - painted in broad strokes - that's sure to rile or inspire Catholics, depending on which side of the church they sit. Francis said, emphatically, that the "door is closed," on women's ordination, a statement that disappointed many Catholic liberals. But that doesn't mean the church should consider women secondary or inferior, Francis said. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," he told Spadora. Francis also called on Catholics to think hard

about the function of women in the church. "Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed," the pope said. "The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role." When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were "socially wounded" by the church, he said. "But the church does not want to do this," Francis said in the interview. The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people? "By saying this, I said what the catechism

says," the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church's book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." "Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person." Francis said that someone once asked him if he "approved" of homosexuality. "I replied with another question," he said. "`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being." Some American Catholics grumble that Francis has been largely silent on signature Catholic political issues. "I'm a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn't, at least that I'm aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that," Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said earlier this month. Francis said that he's aware of the criticism, but he is not going to change. "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he told his Jesuit interviewer. "I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that." But the pope said the church's teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say? "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," Francis said. Only false prophets claim to have all the answers, Francis said. "The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt," he said. "You must leave room for the Lord." But church leaders, including himself, haven't always practiced humility, the pope admitted. Many of the bad decisions he made while leading Catholics in Argentina came about because of his "authoritarianism and quick manner of making decisions," the pope said. That won't happen again, Francis said, as he begins to steer the church in a new direction. He didn't offer an exact course, but he said change will come. Sooner or later.



FOREIGN NEWS killed as Egyptian Syria: Assad wants US to pay $1b General forces raid pro-Morsi town to destroy chemical weapons A


YRIAN President Bashar Assad wants to cooperate with diplomatic agreements that would compel his country to be rid of chemical weapons within a year, but there are technical issues to consider about such a sensitive operation, he said Wednesday night during an interview on Fox News. Facing questions at the presidential palace in Damascus, from former U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Fox News senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot, Assad said during the hourlong conversation that his government is committed to the agreement hammered out in talks with Russia. "It's a very complicated operation technically and it takes a lot of money," Assad said, later elaborating that the price tag would be about $1 billion because the chemicals would be detrimental to the environment.

•Rival rebel groups fight near Turkey

"It's not about will; it's about techniques," he said. Assad also said if the United States wanted to pick up the $1 billion, that would help. Of the year timeline, he said the operation would take "maybe a little bit less, maybe a little bit more." The Syrian leader expressed skepticism about a United Nations report that says there is evidence that chemical weapons were used and that evidence also appeared to show aggression appeared to originate from Qasioun Mountain, where the Syrian Republican Guard is known to operate. Assad said that sarin is known as a "kitchen gas." "You know why?" he continued. "Because anyone can make sarin in his house." He said there is evidence that "terrorists" in his country have used sarin. Meanwhile, Al-Qaidalinked gunmen in northern

Syria captured a town near the Turkish border after heavy clashes with a rebel group in the area, activists said yesterday. It was the latest development in what has been a relatively new component in the Syrian conflict stepped-up infighting between extremists with ties to alQaida and Western-backed opposition groups. The U.S. and its European and Gulf allies are increasingly concerned about the rising prominence of Islamists among the rebels, who have been playing a major role in the battles against President Bashar Assad's forces. The fighting in the north prompted Turkey to close the nearby border crossing of Bab al-Salameh, a Turkish foreign ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was


not authorized to talk to the media. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that monitors the conflict, said members of the al-Qaida offshoot known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant stormed the town of Azaz in the northern Aleppo province on Wednesday evening, forcing opposition fighters from the Western backed bloc to pull out.

•A man wades through a flooded street in Acapulco yesterday. Meteorologists said Mexico was experiencing "unusual" weather as it was hit by Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid within the space of 24 hours - something which had not happened PHOTO:AFP in there since 1958

Rouhani: Iran won't seek nuclear weapon


EWLY-ELECTED Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will never seek nuclear weapons, ahead of his proposed trip to the UN General Assembly. 'Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever,' Rouhani said

in a US interview on Wednesday. 'We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,' he said, according to NBC News. Rouhani repeated Iran's position that the clerical state - slapped with US-led sanctions following sensitive uranium work - was solely 'looking for peaceful nuclear

Nintendo visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85


IROSHI Yamauchi, the Japanese businessman credited with transforming Nintendo into a world-leading video games company, has died aged 85. Mr Yamauchi ran the firm for 53 years, and was its second-largest shareholder at the time of his death. The company confirmed the news in an emailed statement. A spokesman said the firm was in mourning over the "loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning." He died of pneumonia at a

hospital in central Japan, the company said, adding that a funeral will take place on Sunday. Mr Yamauchi ran the company from 1949 until 2002. In that time, he took what was a small-time collectable trading card company and built it into one of the most recognisable - and successful - video games brands today. "Hiroshi Yamauchi transformed a run-of the-mill trading card company into an entertainment empire in video games," said Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop and former chairman of publisher Eidos.

technology.' Rouhani, considered more moderate than his rivals, swept to power in June on promises to help repair Iran's suffering economy and to ease tensions with the West. His stance has been met alternately with cautious optimism and scepticism in Washington, where experts note that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately controls foreign policy. 'In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority,' Rouhani said. 'The problem won't be from our side,' he was quoted as saying. 'We have sufficient


political latitude to solve this problem.' NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels yesterday he was very 'encouraged' by Iran's pledge not to seek nuclear weapons, saying a more open approach was in Tehran's own best interest. 'I have been very encouraged by recent statements from the new Iranian leadership,' Rasmussen said, stressing the need to resolve international concerns over Iran's contested nuclear programme. 'I think it is in Iran's own interest to engage with the international community,' he said, adding that if that is what Tehran is seeking, then 'I can only welcome it.'

N Egyptian police general has been killed during a raid by security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood stronghold of Kerdasa, near the capital Cairo. Security forces fought gun battles in the town as they searched for the killers of 11 police officers in the town. At least 55 suspected militants were arrested, police say. Kerdasa is the second big raid on a militant stronghold since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July. On Monday, security forces arrested dozens of residents during a raid on pro-Morsi supporters in the town of Delga, Minya province, about 300km south of Cairo. In Kerdasa, General Nabeel Farrag was killed when gunmen opened fire from the rooftops of several schools and

mosques they had taken over, the interior ministry was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. Reporting from the centre of the town, the BBC's Quentin Sommerville said security forces had to take cover behind buildings during the shooting. By the afternoon, the gunfire had petered out but there was still a heavy police presence on the streets and army checkpoints at all main exits, he adds. At least 1,000 people - including about 100 police officers have died in unrest following President Morsi's removal from power. The deadliest incidents took place when security forces moved in to disperse two proMorsi sit-ins in Cairo last month.

Gaddafi’s son appears in court


USTED Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son has appeared in court in Zintan where he is being held by ex-rebels on the same day he was due in Tripoli on security charges. A lawyer said that Seif al-Islam, charged with undermining state security, appeared on Thursday in the dock in Zintan west of the capital in a trial that was then adjourned. 'Seif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared before the Zintan court that decided to adjourn the trial until December 12 to allow the attendance of other accused in the case,' the lawyer who was present in court told AFP. Gaddafi's son had also been due at a pre-trial hearing in Tripoli on charges related to the 2011 uprising, but there were doubts that his captors in Zintan would allow this. Prosecutor general Abdulqader Radwan said on Wednesday he had ordered Seif transferred to the Tripoli court from Zintan, 180 kilometres to the southwest. Gaddafi's former heir apparent and others including exintelligence supremo Abdullah al-Senussi are accused of crimes during the revolt in which he was ousted and killed. Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, Gaddafi's last prime minister, and Mansur Daw, who headed the People's Guard, are also among the accused in one of the most important legal cases in Libyan history. The main charges against the suspects in Tripoli include murders committed during the regime's battle against the revolt that erupted in the eastern city of Benghazi. The North African country's interim authorities have tried several times to negotiate his transfer to Tripoli, but still insist that Seif is in state custody. Asked about the coincidental court appearances, Sur said only that 'the prosecutor general's office was not officially informed about the date of the trial' in Zintan. Amnesty International has urged the 'immediate' handover of both Seif al-Islam and Senussi to the International Criminal Court.

South African police 'lied over mine shootings', says report


OUTH African police lied about the Marikana shootings last year, in which 34 striking miners were killed, a commission of inquiry has said. Police falsified or withheld documents, and gave false accounts of events, it said. The police shooting of the miners at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine in August 2012 shocked the nation. The police said they were acting in self-defence, days after two officers had been hacked to death by protesters. The commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to investigate the deaths

of the 34 miners - the most deadly police action since the end of white minority rule in 1994. Its statement comes just 10 days after gaining access to police computer hard drives and previously unseen police documents. It said the material which had come to light had "serious consequences" for its future work. The hearing was adjourned, while the commission reviewed the "thousands of pages" of documents, and sought to obtain access to additional hard drives and electronic records.

three other reactors to melt and damaged a fuel cooling pool at another. TEPCO has been unsure about what to do with the two surviving reactors, leading some to believe that it may be still be hanging on to hopes of keeping them alive. Abe said that he urged TEPCO to ensure it has enough funding on hand to take care of urgent work needed to clear

the way for the plant's decommissioning, and that Hirose promised to obtain 1 trillion yen ($10 billion). The prime minister said he stood by the reassurance about Tokyo's safety that he gave to the International Olympic Committee before the city of 35 million was awarded the right to host the 2020 summer games earlier this month.

Japan PM wants Fukushima plant scrapped

APANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the operator of the country's crippled nuclear power plant yesterday to scrap all six reactors at the site instead of just four already slated for decommissioning and to concentrate on tackling pressing issues like radioactive water leaks. After taking a firsthand look at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, however, Abe insisted

that radiation-contaminated water had been contained at the complex and said he would fend off "rumours" regarding Fukushima's safety. Following a three-hour tour of the plant, Abe instructed its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to decommission the Nos. 5 and 6 reactors, which survived the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The disaster caused







NEWS SURE-P: 111,000 workers may lose jobs


NLESS additional funds are made available, the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Committee may sack 111,000 workers at the end of this month, it was learnt yesterday. Its Chairman, Dr. Christopher Kolade, spoke on the cash crunch affecting the activities of the committee when he briefed the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on SUREP in Abuja. Kolade told the Senator Abdul Ningi-led committee that the SURE-P committee employed 3,000 workers each from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He regretted that of a budget proposal of N27 billion meant to pay workers under its employment generation scheme, only a paltry N9 billion was approved in this year's budget. The agency chief said the development has hindered the committee's target of employing 5,000 workers per state and the FCT on a monthly allowance of N10,000 each. Kolade said his committee would not be able to meet its commitment to the 111,000 youths already engaged under the programme. He said: "This year, for instance, I mentioned the fact that our target was to provide jobs for 5,000 youths per state,

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

including the FCT. We started last year and, in fact, in all the states we got to the level of 3,000 youths per state. "We pay each of these people N10,000 per month. So, there is a lot of money involved in this. "…In our budget to get to 5,000 per state this year and to maintain all of them, we needed N28.5 billion. "What we estimated in the budget was N27 billion and the Federal Government agreed to this and passed on to the National Assembly. But when the budget came back from the National Assembl, we found that the N27 billion had been reduced to N9 billion. So, there is a shortfall. "We immediately alerted the executive on this and I believe the executive made representations to the National Assembly, saying if we reduce this fund to that extent, we will be unable to carry out the programme. "Unfortunately, when the National Assembly returned with the final budget, it was still at N9 billion. So, it means that we cannot only be unable to press forward in 5,000 per state, but that in fact continuing to pay the 3,000 per state we have now, as from the end of this month, is impossible."

Reps' motion to stop police BCMR scheme fails


MOTION seeking to stop the Nigeria Police from introducing the proposed new Biometric Central Motor Registration (BCMR) failed on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday. The police introduced the new BCMR on Monday. It requires vehicle owners, including tricycles and motorcycles owners, to pay a certain amount to the police to get the process done. The police said the scheme would assist in fighting terrorism, kidnapping and car theft. But a lawmaker, Hassan Sale, who moved a motion of urgent national importance on the matter

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

yesterday, faulted the introduction of the scheme. According to him, the law setting up the police has no provisions which give them the authority to collect charges for the Federal Government. He noted that if the police were allowed to start the scheme, it would not only be a duplication of the schedules of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) but also an exploitation of the Nigerians, who he said are already impoverished. Members voted against the motion when it was put to voice vote by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.

•Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide (right) bidding farewell to intending pilgrims before their departure from the Permanent Hajj Camp near Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

El-Rufai to Oritsejafor: you're pampering Jonathan's govt A

FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday accused the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, of pampering and protecting the Goodluck Jonathan administration. He said other clerics were not siding with Jonathan's government the way "Oritsejafor is doing". El-Rufai said Oritsejafor "even champions their politics of ethnic and religious division by making unfounded allegations against opposition leaders". A statement in Abuja quoted the former minister as saying that while Pastor Oritsejafor "chose to be a subaltern to power, other men of faith rose to stem division and help the country to achieve peace, efforts for which Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize". The statement reads: "Pastor Oritsejafor's utterances and behaviour amount to repudiation of the moral authority, fair-mindedness and high standing his predecessors invested in that office. While they spoke truth to power in

UBEC's N787m contract: Court frees directors, others


FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday freed five people and two companies charged with fraud on a N787 million contract awarded by the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) between 2004 and 2005. The contract was for the supply of 109,400 plastic chairs and tables for public schools. Those freed are: former UBEC's Executive Secretary, Prof Bridget Omotunde Sokan; Molkat Manasseh Mutfwang, Dr. Andrew Ekpunobi and Michael Aule (all UBEC directors). Alexander John Cozman, a foreign contractor and two of his companies - Intermarkets USA LSC and Intermarkets Nigeria Limited - were also freed. Justice Adamu Bello held

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused to warrant calling on them to enter defence. The judge faulted the quality of evidence presented by the prosecution, the quality of investigation conducted on the case and the choice of those chosen for prosecution. Justice Bello held that it was the board of UBEC, which awarded the controversial contract, should have been taken to court and not the accused. The judge, who noted that the accused were merely punished for daring to sue the UBEC's management, added: "The wrong person were in court while the real culprits are out there enjoying."


From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

the exalted prophetic tradition, he cossets and pampers the government of the day. How else can any neutral observer rationalise his two calls for General Buhari's arrest? In contrast, Oritsejafor was dead silent when persons that are Jonathan's sidekicks threatened the nation with violence if he is not voted president in 2015! The dissonance between the glorious past and now is rather loud. "Such an esteemed global honour is a measurement of leadership quality and character; as distinct from Oritsejafor who prefers earthly gains and ostentatious lifestyle of private jets! Everyone can recall that November morning in 2012 when Oritsejafor accepted the gift of a private jet in the presence of a smiling President Jonathan. "Observers of Oritsejafor's record should pause and ponder why the Catholic leaders took the recent unprecedented decision to temporarily opt out of CAN! It is not because Christians in Nigeria today are markedly different from those who lived in the days when Anthony Cardinal Okogie, Archbishop Peter Akinola and Dr Sunday

Mbang-led CAN honourably; it is because the Oritsejafor style has driven the organisation into the ignominious politics of hatred and division. "Due to how sensitive any discourse about religion has become in Nigeria, many have refrained from pointing out the errant ways of Oritsejafor. But if we are to build the Nigeria of our dreams, we must have the courage to point out transgressions against all Nigerians by people masking themselves in religious toga to create strife in the country. The truth is that Oritsejafor is neither a personalisation of CAN, nor an example of the compassion, grace and modesty Christianity teaches. "Many in Nigeria today may not remember the name of Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, but if there was any opposition to the military regimes of the eighties and nineties, the CAN under him definitely represented a voice of resistance to those governments' excesses. At a time when many people kept silent in the face of human rights abuses, Okogie faced down the military government and told them some home truths. It didn't matter if the victims were Muslims or Christians; it didn't matter

‘N750b on roads 'll bridge Nigeria's infrastructure deficit’

HE Minister of Works, Chief Mike Onolememen, yesterday said Nigeria will need an annual N750 billion investment on roads to bridge its infrastructural deficit. He said this would enable the country to meet the Vision 20:2020 target and allow the construction of at least 14,000 kilometres of roads every year. The minister spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during the 20th National Council on Works, with the theme: Reforming the Road Sector for Sustainable Economic Development. The minister noted that Nigeria, like most African countries, "has a huge infrastructural deficit".

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

He said physical infrastructure such as roads, houses, power and water, are essential for the growth of any economy. Onolememen said: "With adequate investment in infrastructure, the deficit could be removed. For the road sector alone, it has been estimated that in order to adequately support economic growth at current growth rate and meet Vision 20:2020 target, we need to invest in the construction of at least 14,000 kilometres of new roads annually for the next seven years. We will also have to maintain and rehabilitate the existing road network as a matter of routine. This will require the average annual expenditure

on roads to increase sevenfold to nearly N750 billion…" Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said a declaration of a state of emergency in the road sector, which the minister advocated, was a welcome development. He called for synergy among all tiers of government to confront the challenges in the road sector. The governor explained that his administration had completed all the projects it inherited from the previous administration, adding that the state government had completed 400 kilometres of roads in the last two years. He said additional 500 kilometres of roads have been earmarked for construction before the end of his administration.

whether they were from the north or south; CAN fought for all Nigerians. Okogie had the moral authority to act, and did so with dignity, to the admiration of all of us. "Okogie's bravery was not unusual for CAN leaders; if anything, in the turbulent history of this country, there is a proud tradition of leaders of CAN who spoke for and stood by the people of this country. They used their moral authority to defend the rights of all Nigerians even during the most brutal military dictatorships or corrupt and inept civilian administrations. The courage of the likes of Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, the Dr Sunday Mbang and Cardinal John Onaiyekan, for instance, are shining examples of faith in action, with compassion for the oppressed and chastisement for the tyrants,” he said.

Minister urges National Eye Centre to excel


INISTER of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday urged the board of the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, to ensure that the institution becomes a centre of excellence. Prof Chukwu spoke in Abuja when he inaugurated the boards of four health institutions which were recently reconstituted by the Federal Government. The boards are those of the National Eye Centre (NEC), Kaduna, with Prof. Chike Anibeze as Chairman; the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos; the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Abuja, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Lagos. The minister urged members of the boards not to betray the confidence reposed in them by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said: “Your role as a chairman or board member should be clear from the onset as this is adequately defined by laws, rules, regulations, policies and guidelines.”



SPORT EXTRA Rangers ready for 3SC tie


Keshi needs Yobo in C Omeruo’s absence—Iroha •Iroha


ORMER Super Eagles defender, Benedict Iroha has urged Eagles’ Chief Coach Stephen Keshi to recall Eagles’ want-away Captain, Joseph Yobo for the final play-off of the 2014 World Cup between Nigeria and Ethiopia. Iroha told NationSport in Abuja that in as much as the draw has favoured Nigeria since the Eagles avoided big teams like Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire; there is still need to work on the defence line of the team before the play-off is played. This is a favourable draw and I believe God has

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja answered the prayers of all soccer loving Nigerians. But it all depends on our preparations and hard work put in before the two legged matches are played. But the most important thing is that we need the Captain of the team Joseph Yobo in this team now. “Yobo should be recalled by Keshi to bring sanity to the

central defense now since our dependable central defender, Kenneth Omeruo is out injured. The best leg to do the job is Yobo who has also been very active for his club Fenerbahce even in the Europe competition. I am saying this as a patriotic Nigerian nothing more. I believe once the central defense is knitted and solved we should be home and dry. “I sincerely want to sheer in the opinion of Nigerians that

Ethiopia should not be treated with kid gloves. I was in South Africa for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and I watched live the Eagles versus Ethiopia. They are not a bad side at all. We (Nigeria) were able to beat them courtesy sheer bravery of Victor Moses who single handedly committed the Ethiopians to two penalty kicks which he also converted. But the overall input of the Ethiopians was not bad at all”, Iroha disclosed.

Ideye, Haruna handed new targets


HE manager of Brown Ideye and Lukman Haruna at Ukrainian side, Dynamo Kiev, has revised and set a new target for his wards, following their shaky Start to the new season. Kiev now lie nine points behind league leaders, Metallist, as they suffered some embarrassing early losses, including back to back losses against Shakhtar and Chornomorets. Now, Blokhin in a chat with Ukraininan journalists before their Europa Cup clash against Genk, said he is refocusing the team. - We still have ambitious goals in Ukraine Premier League, Ukrainian Cup and Europa League, he told the club website - Of course it’s hard to lose. Still there’s no time to ache, we must work and move on. We have already had a talk with players. - I think everything will be fine after that. We’ll treat things as they come in. - First of all we must qualify for Europa League next stage. Our dream is to reach the final of this competition. The Europa Cup tie will kick off at 8:05pm Nigerian time.



Iorfa charges players on concentration


OBI'S supremo Dominic Iorfa has charged his wards not to be distracted at this stage as the battle towards another stint in the elite division next season is not yet won. He appealed to his wards not to celebrate yet as they head back home to prepare for the next round of game. "We are happy we got a draw but we need to put celebration on hold until our premiership status is got. We shall go back home to prepare for our next match immediately "It is not yet uhuru. There is paddy man in the jungle. There shouldn't be complacency. We have to respect Kaduna United but we need to apply the necessary sledge hammer to beat them in our quest to beat

•Lobi hails ref Bwarshi From Tunde Liadi,Owerri

the drop zone," Iorfa told the players at their Peebody Hotel Transit camp, Warri shortly before their departure to Makurdi. Lobi are on 42 points from 32 matches and they 16th on the log on goals difference with Nasarawa United who moved to 15th courtesy of their 2-1 home win over Bayelsa United. The Lafia side are on 42 points from as many games. NationSport recalls that Lobi moved a step closer towards retaining their top flight status with a morale booster goalless draw at the Warri Township Stadium against Warri Wolves. Warri Wolves just lost in the

Delta Queens, Imo Heartland Flickers qualify for final


as well as their weekend match against 3SC on Sunday in Ibadan.manager made an undisclosed financial pledge for a victory or a draw the crucial match with 3SC, stating that though we expect a tough game from 3SC with week 33 game at the Lekan S a l a m i Stadium,Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan, Rangers are poised more than ever before to redeem their Image battered by 3SC action that is condemnable. Rangers he noted have the capacity and quality of players and bench with good pedigree to get the job successfully done in Ibadan, as Rangers had in their first meeting in Enugu drubbed 3SC 3- 1, and a double wont be bad. Club Chairman, Chief Festus Onu has also promised the sum of three hundred thousand naira to the players if they beat 3SC on Sunday and, two hundred and fifty for a draw. Rangers FC is currently placed 5th on the league table with 48points from 32matches, while 3sc of Ibadan is last on the table with 39points from same number of matches and threatened by relegation.

Chess Federation endorses Lagos Chess Masters


ELTA QUEENS and Imo Heartland Flickers will on Saturday September 21st, 2013 contest the final of the IEI Hockey Super League after they defeated their semi final opponents yesterday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt. The Imo State flagbearers were the first to qualify for the final after they beat hard-fighting hosts, Rivers 1-0 after extra time with Justin Oneyedum scoring the solitary goal at the dead. The head coach of the Imo Heartland Flickers, Jude Nze told NationSport that the game was very tough as the hosts stepped up their game against their expectation. He, however, praised the

OAL CITY Flying Antelopes, Rangers international football Club of Enugu have intensified training on Thursday preparatory for their epic battle against archrivals 3SC of Ibadan on Sunday. .In a Press Release, the director, media and publicity, Rangers, Foster Chime said the team is battle-ready after their 3- 1 defeat of Akwa United in a mid week game in Enugu. He said the victory is the tonic needed to face 3SC in their backyard with sole aim of running away with the 3 points at stake. Addressing Players and technical crew in Enugu, the General Manager of the team, Ozor Paul Chibuzor charged them to redouble their efforts in the forthcoming match against 3SC. He said they have to repay the huge investment on the team from the state government by beating the Oluyole Warriors in Ibadan for them to stage a dramatic return to the continent Mr Chubuzor said the payment of the two match bonuses to them is to motivate the players and officials in their home match against Akwa United which they won

•Through to the African Club Championship From Tunde Liadi,Owerri doggedness and the fighting spirits of his players who heeded instructions and calmed down to ensure that the team qualify for the final. Nze said:"We are through to the final of the competition. It was a tough encounter but I thanked my players for rising up to the occasion. They beat Rivers despite the fact that the hosts made the game very tough for us. We thank God for this win. We shall know how to deal with Delta Queens when we meet them in the final. "I also appreciate the contribution of the State government under Owelle Rochas Okorocha for the moral

and financial support on the team. Without the support of the Imo government we won't have been here. We are grateful for the gesture." Imo Heartland Flickers beat Plateau Queens 10 and Yobe Queens 3-0 but drew goalless with Delta Queens before getting the ticket to play against Rivers whom they downed 1-0 in an explosive semi final tie on Thursday. Delta Queens picked the other final ticket at the expense of Edo State. Both Delta Queens and Imo Heartland Flickers have thus booked tickets to the African Club Championships which has been tentatively fixed for Accra, Ghana later in the year.

final of the Federation Cup barely three days at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos and their lack of enough time to prepare was obvious throughout the match. Meanwhile, Lobi Stars have praised the centre referee that officiated their Matchday 32 Glo Premier League tie, Marcus Bwarshi of Bauchi State and other match officials that have been upholding the tenets of the profession. Bwarshi was singled out for commendation for the professional way he handled the league tie between the 2013 Federation Cup finalists, Warri Wolves and Lobi Stars who are still not completely safe from the drop zone for now. UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE RESULTS Valencia 0 - 3 Swansea St. Gallen 2 - 0 Kuban' D/Zagreb 1 - 2 C’morets PSV 0 - 2 Ludogorets Salzburg 4 - 0 Elfsborg Standard Liège 1 - 2 Esbjerg Waregem 0 - 0 Wigan Maribor 2 - 5 Rubin Kazan' Fiorentina 3 - 0 Ferreira Pandurii 0 - 1 Dnipro Frankfurt 3 - 0 Bordeaux M/Tel Aviv 0 - 0 APOEL Dynamo.K 0 - 1 Genk Thun 1 - 0 Rapid Wien Freiburg 2 - 2 Slovan Liberec Estoril 1 - 2 Sevilla Real Betis 0 - 0 Lyon Guimarães 4 - 0 Rijeka Apollon 1 - 2 Trabzonspor Lazio 1 - 0 Legia Warszawa Sheriff 0 - 0 Anzhi Tottenham 3 - 0 Tromsø PAOK 2 - 1 Shakhter Karagandy Maccabi Haifa 0 - 1 AZ

•Finals holds today


INALISTS emerged in the on-going Lagos Chess Masters Series which received official endorsement from the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF). It is the maiden edition of the tournament put together by the Lagos State Chess Association (LSCA) as part of its program to prepare Team Lagos Chess for the National Sports Festival which will be hosted by Cross River State in 2014. President of NCF, Lekan Adeyemi could not attend the official opening ceremony on Wednesday but spoke to the Chairman of LSCA, Fela Bank-Olemoh and assured him that the Federation fully endorsed the tournament. "It is our responsibility to work with, and encourage states that embark on developmental activities such as Lagos Chess has been doing. The tournament has our blessing", Adeyemi said. In the semi-final events decided Thursday, Odun Martin defeated Edunwale King in two sets while

youthful Udeme Dominic had to go into the play-off before edging out Barrister Dave Ehrabor, one of the veterans of the game in the men's category. Rabiu Bisi and Seun Olabisi are the finalists in the women category as they ousted Tumininu Oyewole and Chinyere Ehirim respectively. Technical Director of LSCA, Bayo Babalola described the contests as keen and very close, saying, "any of the players that entered for the tournament could have been playing in the finals because their games have been highly technical. It is good for Lagos because it shows we have a strong team". The Lagos Chess Masters Series will end today with final games in the men, women and Secondary School categories. The State will from October 8-11 host the first Lagos International Chess Classics which will attract entrants from Africa and other parts of the world.

Gombe Utd hopeful ahead of continental action


HAIRMAN of Gombe United FC, Alhaji Auwalu Musa Umar is optimistic his team will land a continental ticket at the end of the season despite currently trailing league leaders by nine points and precariously placing fifth on the league table. His confidence is anchored on the new found form and high spirits among players following the payment of over N200million as hundred percent settlement of the backlog of sign – on fee for 2011/2012 and half of the N200million liability inherited from the previous administration. He said the present 5th spot is

By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe Gombe United’s best position since the 2005/2006 season in which it won the ticket to represent Nigeria in 2006/2007 African Champions League fiesta. “We are alright for now and hope the support will continue next. With this kind of support, the sky is our limit,” said Gombe United Chairman while speaking of demands of the club. He also said hinted at heavy shopping at the next window to fortify all departments of the field but hinged the activity on the movement of players.




HE ice is melting. The door has been opened. We are inching closer. We must seize the moment.” Thus spoke Opalaba, in his new role as the Oke-Ogun oracle. “What is this about?” “From “forget about it,”we are now hearing “maybe it’s time for a national conference,” and you still don’t get it? Just weeks ago, the Number 3 citizen ruled out even the idea of a sovereign national conference because there is no constitutional provision for it. Now he sees the light and is willing not only to entertain the idea, but to give prospective organisers his blessing. On my part, I see an opening and it must be exploited and taken advantage of.” “That’s wonderful, my friend,” I responded. “But since when have you been excited about anything that comes out of NASS? You have always been the Cartesian skeptic. Nothing would assure you of the sincerity of purpose of our lawmakers until they deliver. So why is this case any different? Are you so sure that our Senate President doesn’t have a joker up his babaringa?” “More importantly” I continued, some of the best minds who have remained for more than three decades at the forefront of this issue have expressed doubt and concern concerning the genuineness and reliability of Senator David Mark’s new position. While some kicked “against a National Conference without sovereign power”, others described it as “diversionary” according to media reports. So tell me, Opalaba, what do you know that they don’t?” “And before you answer, there is something that I thought you are missing. In your enthusiastic response to Senator Mark’s new insight, you didn’t quite pay close attention to what he said. He still doesn’t endorse a conference with sovereign authority; the conference he endorsed is still not going to be a sovereign national conference; for him we have to settle for a national conference.” “You are right”, Opalaba responded. “And I am not visually handicapped. I can read and understand. I know that Senator Mark pulled back from a full endorsement of a sovereign national conference. But can’t you and your progressive friends give the man some credit? Do you know where he had been? This man is a soldier—an officer and a gentleman. Do you think it was easy for him to admit that he was not quite right just a few weeks ago? Moving from an absolute “no” to a maybe “yes” is certainly a big deal for him and it is for me an opening. The question is whether you folks will take advantage of it.” “What is striking to me”, Opalaba contin-



VOL.8 NO.2,612

TOMORROW IN THE NATION Journalists are supposed to be aristocrats of the spirit, projectors of the just, decent and humane; not promoters, hustlers and salesmen for the high jinks and infamy of every middling creature with a narcissistic streak – yet many a Nigerian journalist opts to fulfill roles characteristic of the latter. OLA TUNJI OLOLADE AT



An opening

•Senator Mark

ued, “is that this born-again approach is not just coming from NASS. I read that a few weeks ago, Oronto Douglass, the influential Special Adviser to President Jonathan observed that “a we the people agreement” must “be midwifed by all Nigerians for the good of Nigeria.” Whatever you think about that statement, it appears to me to represent a rethink on the part of the President who had also ruled out an SNC.” “It is important to bear in mind where we came from and how we got to where we are now. The military truncated our democratic journey in 1966. They dictated to us what the norms of governance had to be for thirteen years during which period they moved us into the wilderness of unitarism. Then in 1979 they gave us a bit of a democratic respite but ensured that the unitary system wasn’t tampered with. They took back the reins of power after four short years and remained in the saddle for another fourteen years. In the circumstance, even quite a good number of the


HAT an irony most viciously twisted that President Goodluck Jonathan has elected to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday. A most symbolic duty usually conferred on personages of means and renown, by that bastion of global capitalism, NYSE. President Jonathan egged on perhaps, by some overzealous handlers, has been corralled, albeit unwittingly, into having to sound what Hardball fears amounts to an ominously morbid alarm. Now how is it that a seemingly innocuous bell that merely gives opportunity for a few pictures for international news media is being twisted into a dark Elizabethan tale? Simple: as Jonathan performs the symbolic bell-ringing at the centre-point of the world’s largest, most vibrant and most prosperous economy, his minders and indeed all patriotic Nigerians would have to be in fervent prayers and supplication so that some rascals do not begin to question his locus and temerity for taking that prestigious spot and feigning to belong there. We must pray that nobody as much as googles ‘Nigeria in global economy’ if only for the sake of basic information. If anyone did, they would easily be confronted by what we Nigerian journalists call ‘shock find’. It would be revealed that Nigeria ranks among the poorest pool of economic development

‘Who knows what, in light of everything going on around him, the interest of the president is at the present time? If he has an interest in a lasting legacy that would place his name in the annals of Nigerian history, not just as a “metoo president” but as one who laid the foundation of a truly federal republic, then he might be willing to work with advocates of a national conference to get it done now’ non-military folks among us have only the vaguest ideas of what a true federal system is and they need the most gentle orientation and accommodation.” “Furthermore”, Opalaba continued, I am aware of the polar opposites of extreme absolutes and the havoc they wreck on a political community. My way or the high way is a prescription for chaos and terrible impasse. Against the insistence of the “absolute no to SNC” there is the “absolute yes.”Between the two, nothing gets done, except for those that derive satisfaction from indefinite struggle on the rhetorical level. But the most productive politics is the one that allows for compromise. It’s how policies get made for the benefit of the people. It’s how politicians get credit for their actions.” “So Mr. Wiseman, what are you suggesting?” I inquired of my friend. “If you would know and would not think that it is below your dignity to negotiate, I

see an opening for negotiation and compromise for us to have a national conference of ethnic nationalities. If my assumption is correct, by now, the leading organisations in the advocacy for a sovereign national conference have their various position papers not only on the substance but also on the procedure. The first step then is for these organisations and groups to get together, compare notes, and come up with a consensus on how to move the agenda forward. “My second step would be this.Once there is an agreement on the part of all the pronational conference organisations, then they need to approach the office of the Senate President for a dialogue on how he and his team would make good on his words. I don’t agree that Senator Mark, an officer and gentleman,just threw out lines without any intention of following through. In any case, even if that was what he did, we will not know until we make the effort to reach out to him and his team. Moreover, in view of the statement attributed to Oronto Douglass, I would not leave out the Office of the President. “Here is the foundation of this approach. Politics is about interests and at any point in the life of politicians and the political environment that they inhabit, there are plural interests a good number of which cross and interlock in a good number of concentric circles. The loop between the circles sometimes has strange bedfellows occupying it.It is a confirmation of the famous saying that in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, just permanent interests. The idea of permanent interest is also suspect. An interest in getting elected into an office may bring two politicians together. Once and if they lose and the ticket is disbanded, that interest is rendered impotent. Therefore all along, it appears that it is a temporary interest. “Who knows what, in light of everything going on around him, the interest of the president is at the present time? If he has an interest in a lasting legacy that would place his name in the annals of Nigerian history, not just as a “me-too president” but as one who laid the foundation of a truly federal republic, then he might be willing to work with advocates of a national conference to get it done now. This is why I see this recent development as an opening and we must take the initiative, seize the opportunity and enter the room of negotiation and compromise now.”Thus sayeth Opalaba in his moment of reflection.

•For comments, send SMS to 08111813080


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

For whom the NYSE bell tolls

during childbirth and even babies seem automatically at risk as they are born into the Nigerian space. It is surely the country with worst power infrastructure known anywhere with about a measly 2000 megawatts for a population of about 160 million. And on account of this, and since our president pretends his country, Nigeria, is still a member of the global economy, many manufacturing firms had to recently relocate to neighbouring West African countries. Further checks will show that Nigeria imports nearly everything, including staple foodstuff like rice, wheat, palm oil, corn meal and even fruits to name a few. All these stuff we really ought to be exporting to the rest of the world. We will also find that Indians, Chinese and South Africans have taken over the productive economy, including retail trade, eateries, hotels and hospitality businesses. They will find to their bemusement that the president enjoying the rare ‘privilege’ of ringing the bell at the NYSE is actually overseeing a geographical conundrum that currently spins malevolently at a precipice. He oversees a banana republic that seems to be at the end-stage of a terminal affliction. Hardball can only make silent prayers, for the sake of country at least that no rascal picks on our president as he heaves that sacred capitalist bell. ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’: that was Ernest Hemingway writing in 1940 and we paraphrase him.

possible in the entire world. According to the World Economic Forum, WEF, Global Competitive Index (GCI) for 20132014, Nigeria ranked 120th out of 148 countries on the list. Nigeria under President Jonathan dropped five places from 115th position of last year. By this, the country ranks among the most wretched countries of the world like Liberia, Laos, Mali and Yemen. The survey under purview would become the more depressing when Nigeria’s case is viewed against the 12 major parameters employed which include weak institutions on which it ranked 129th out of 148. Others are engrained corruption, undue influences, weakly protected property rights, insecurity (142nd), poor infrastructure (135th) and poor primary education enrolment 146th out of 148th. A little more casual browsing will show that the man gaily ringing the NYSE bell runs a hollow entity called Nigeria which is considered the worst place to be born, the worst place to live and the country with the worst primary school enrolment record. It would be discovered that women still die almost unrestrainedly

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

Sep 20, 2013  
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